From Xenophon’s Ephesian History: or the Love-Adventures of Abrocomas and Anthia, in Five Books. Translated from the Greek by Mr. Rooke [the Second Edition], London: Printed for J. Millan at Locke’s Head in Shug-Lane; 1727, pp. 37-56.



Abrocomas and Anthia, retiring into an inner Chamber, communicated to each other, every thing they had heard, and prostrating themselves to the Earth, begun to lament, and cry out, “O dearest Parents! O Country! O Kindred! O Friends!” Abrocomas at length recovering himself, “Alas,” says he, “What will become of us Wretches! What must we suffer in this Nest of Pyrates, being, every Hour, subject to their Insults! Now do we feel the beginning of the [Pærdiction], and 38 now am I justly punish’d by the Gods, for my former Pride. Corymbus burns for the Love of me, Euxinus, of Thee; O how unhappy is Beauty to both of us! Have I preserv’d my self chaste so long, to stoop to the Lust of a filthy Robber at last? What a miserable Life should I lead, after I had committed such a detestable Crime? and how should I breathe, depriv’d of my Anthia? But, by my Chastity, I swear to remain for ever Thine; and my Chastity shall appear in Death, before I will consent to obey Corymbus.” Having thus said, he burst forth into Tears, and Anthia replied, “Alas, with how many, and how great Evils are we, poor Wretches, surrounded? We shall soon feel their Violence, in endeavouring to shock our present Resolutions. We shall soon experience Slavery. Shall any one, raging with Lust, hope to enjoy me? Shall any obtain his Desires of me, after my Abrocomas? I shall never chuse Life on these Terms; nor even wish to behold the Sun, after having suffer’d such a Disgrace: It is resolved. Tho’ we die, my Abrocomas, we shall enjoy each other in Death, nor shall any Troubles ever reach us afterwards.”


Thus were their Resolutions fix’d. But, in the mean while, Apsyrtus Captain of the Pyrates, impatiently expected the Return of Corymbus, hoping he would come home full fraught with precious Merchandise. He no sooner cast his Eyes upon Abrocomas and Anthia, than he was surpriz’d with their Beauty; and immagining he should make sufficient Booty of them, demanded them for his Share, giving up all the rest of the Cargoe of Money, Wares, and Slaves, to Corymbus, and his Crew. Euxinus and Corymbus unwillingly yielded Abrocomas and Anthia to Apsyrtus, but being compell’d thereto, departed. Apsyrtus carried them both, with their two Servants Leucon and Rhoda to Tyre. Their Entrance into that City was publick; All admir’d their Beauty, having never beheld the like before: The Barbarian Inhabitants thought them Gods, and deem’d Apsyrtus a happy Man, who possess’d such Slaves. He convey’d them to his own House, and committed them to the Care of a trusty Servant, hoping that he should be enriched by his Prize, if they could be sold for their real Worth.

Thus stood Affairs with Abrocomas at that time; but, soon after, when Apsyrtus was 40 gone into Syria, on Account of Merchandise; his Daughter Manto, a fair Virgin (but far inferior to Abrocomas in Beauty) being now come to Maturity, fell desperately in love with him. She was charm’d with the Gracefulness of his Mien, and could not restrain her Passion: What Course to take she knew not, but despair’d of Success. To reveal the Matter to Him, all at once, she durst not, because he had a Wife already; and, to declare it to any of her own Family, she deem’d improper, for fear of her Father’s Displeasure. So that she was at a Loss, what Course to take. But, at last, no longer able to contain her self, she resolved to declare the whole secret of her Love to Rhoda, Anthia’s Servant, and companion, whom she hop’d to find her Assistant in the Affair. At a convenient time, therefore, she invites Rhoda into an Inner-Chamber of her Father’s House, and, after having bound her by an Oath, she intreats her not to interrupt her, but suffer her to proceed. She then declar’d the violence of her Passion for Abrocomas; requested her Aid, and made her many Promises. “Know you not,” said she, “that you are my Slave, and subject to my Wrath, if you disobey me; and that I am a Barbarian.” Having thus said, she dismiss’d Rhoda, who was now in great Doubt 41 how to proceed: To declare her Message to Abrocomas, she was unwilling, for Anthia’s sake; and on the other Hand, the revengeful Temper of the barbarian Woman was a Terror to her. She therefore resolv’d to communicate the whole Affair to Leucon, her intimate Friend, who had, aforetime, been her Companion at Ephesus. So soon as she happen’d to find her alone, “O Leucon,” says she, “we are undone, we shall no longer enjoy those sharers of our Sorrows, and partners of our Capitivity. Our Master’s Daughter is deeply in Love with Abrocomas, and threatens, that unless she succeeds in her Wishes, we shall suffer. What can be done? To reject her Request is unsafe, and to tear the two Lovers from each other is impossible.” Leucon, hearing these sad News, burst into Tears, as foreseeing that a long Train of Evils would proceed from thence: But at length, recovering her Spirits, “Rest contented, my Rhoda,” says she, “I will manage this Affair my self.” She forthwith goes to Abrocomas, whose only comfort consisted in loving his Anthia, and in being belov’d by her: In talking to her, and in listning to her agreeable Discourse.


She no sooner approach’d them, than she cry’d out, “What are we doing? How shall we, Slaves, consult for our Safety? Thy charms, O Abrocomas, have wounded one of our Mistresses: Apsyrtus’s Daughter is in Love with you: To reject her Suit may be dangerous. Resolve therefore, what Measures to take for thy own, and our Preservation; that we fall not under the Lash of her inveterate Rage.” Abrocomas hearing this, was fill’d with Anger, and fixing his Eyes on Leucon, “Darest thou,” says he, “O wicked Woman, more barbarous than the Phœnicians, declare this? How canst thou presume to mention any other Name to me, in my Anthia’s Presence? I am a Slave, ’tis true, but I know how to preserve my Vows: My Body is in Bondage, but my Mind is at Liberty. Manto may threaten me, if she pleases, with Sword, or Fire, or all the Tortures which can be inflicted on the Body of a Slave, but she shall never perswade me to relinquish my dear Anthia.” Anthia hearing this, was struck dumb with Astonishment; but at last, with some Difficulty, recovering her self, “Thy Love,” says she, “my Abrocomas, I have fully try’d; and that I am dear in thy Eyes, I no ways doubt; but let me intreat Thee, 43 Lord of my Heart, and Me, not to expose thy self to Danger, nor incurr the Wrath of this barbarian Woman. Listen to thy Mistress’s Will, and comply with her Desires: I will slay my self, that I may be far remov’d from you: I only request you to bury my Body, to bestow a soft Kiss on my cold Lips, and preserve your Anthia always in your Memory.” These things hurried Abrocomas into more Perplexities, insomuch that he was at a loss which Way to turn him.

Thus did they continue their Discourse, amidst a thousand Troubles. But Manto, already grown impatient with Rhoda’s long Delay, writes Abrocomas a Letter to this purpose.

To the beauteous Abrocomas, thy Mistress sends Health.

Manto loves thee dearly, and is able to endure the Violence of her Flames no longer. This declaration, perhaps, may not become the reservedness of a Virgin, but it agrees with the Necessities of a Lover: Disdain me not, I beseech you, nor scorn her, who values you so much. If you yield to my Suit, I will obtain my Father Apsyrtus’s Consent to marry you, and will remove your present 44 Wife far out of the Way, so shall you be rich and happy: But if you reject it, think within your self, what Torments you are to undergoe. I, whom you despise, will be your Punisher, and all those wicked Companions of yours, who counsel you to this, shall share your Fate.” He, reading the Contents thereof, was chiefly griev’d for what was threaten’d to Anthia. However, he preserv’d the Letter, and return’d an Answer in these Words.

“You may satisfy your Will, my Mistress, and use this Body of mine as the Body of a Slave. If you incline to kill me speedily, I am content. If to make me linger in Torments, torment me how you please. I shall never enter the Marriage Bed with you, nor will I ever obey such unlawful Commands.” Manto no sooner received this Letter, than she was seiz’d with a sudden Fit of Rage, Envy, and Jealousy, and being confounded with Grief and Fear, meditated Revenge against him who had thus disdain’d her.

In the mean while, Apsyrtus returns from Syria, and brings along with him a Husband for his Daughter, whose Name was Mæris. Her Father no sooner approach’d the House, than 45 Manto rack’d her Invention against Abrocomas, and going forth to meet him, with dishevel’d hair, and a tatter’d Garment, fell at his Feet, and cry’d, “O my Father, pity a Daughter, who has been deeply injur’d by one of your Slaves. That Youth Abrocomas has not only endeavour’d to rob me of my Honour, but to lay in wait for your Life. He pretends that my Charms have captivated him. Do you cause him to suffer some Punishment suited to the heinousness of the Offence. Or if you have already decreed to marry your Daughter to a Slave, let me suffer Death first.” Apsyrtus not doubting the Truth of this, enquires no further into the Cause, but sending for Abrocomas, threatens him, “Villanous, and wicked Wretch that thou art! Darst thou offer Violence to thy Mistress? Darst thou, a Slave, presume to attack the Chastity of a Virgin? Thou shalt not long reign in such Wickedness. I shall soon punish thy Wantonness, by making thee an Example to all the rest of my Slaves.” Having thus said, and refusing to listen to a Reply, he commanded his Slaves to tear off his Cloaths, to prepare Fire and Clubs, and forthwith to punish him. O miserable Sight! The Blows he receiv’d disfigur’d his whole Body; tender alass! and unaccustomed to such servile 46 Sufferings. The Blood flow’d down in Abundance, and the Beauty of his Countenance vanish’d. Massy chains were prepar’d, Fire was brought, and all manner of Tortures used, that Apsyrtus might show his Daughter’s Spouse what a chaste Wife he was to enjoy. Anthia, at last, falling down at the Knees of Apsyrtus, intreated for Abrocomas, but she was answer’d, that he ought rather to be punish’d the more, for her Sake, because having so fair a Wife, he had injur’d her by loving another Woman. He was then order’d to be put in Chains, and thrown into a Dungeon.

Thus chain’d and thus confin’d, he lay, when a grievous Despair seiz’d him, occasion’d by his long Absence from Anthia. He sought Death many Ways, but was not able to find it, because of his numerous Guards. Apsyrtus, in the mean time, celebrates his Daughter’s Nuptials, and many Days of Feasting are kept on that Account. Anthia, overwhelm’d with Grief, whenever she could soften the hard Hearts of his Keepers, enter’d privately into the Prison, where they bemoan’d their joint Misfortune.

When the new married Pair made ready for their Journey into Syria, Apsyrtus bestow’d 47 many rich Gifts upon his Daughter, before he sent her away. He gave her Babylonish robes, and great Store of Gold and Silver; he also presented her with Anthia, Rhoda, and Leucon. When Anthia knew she was to be carried into Syria, with Manto, she enter’d the Dungeon so soon as she could, and embracing Abrocomas, “Alas! my Lord,” says she, “I must be convey’d into Syria, being already deliver’d as a Present into the Hands of my Rival Manto. You will die miserably in Confinement, without having so much as one Friend to take care of your Body; but, by both our Genii, I swear, that neither Life nor Death shall divide our Affections.” Having thus said, she kiss’d and embrac’d him again, and catching hold of his Chains, fell at his Feet. She then went out of the Prison, and he, with what Strength he had left, casting himself on the Ground, laments and bewails his wretched Fortune. “O dearest Father!” cries he, “O my Mother Themisto! Where is now that happiness I formerly enjoy’d at Ephesus? Where is now that famous and excellent pair Anthia and Abrocomas so renown’d for Beauty? She, alass! is carried Captive into a foreign Land! My only comfort is taken from me, and here shall I die miserably, alone, 48 and in Chains?” Whilst he was thus deploring his case, Sleep seiz’d his Eyes, and he fell into a Dream. His Father Lycomedes, in a mourning Habit, seem’d to appear to him, having travers’d divers Lands and Seas to approach the Place of his Confinement. He seem’d to strike off his Shackles, and set him at Liberty. He proceeded to dream that he was transform’d into a Horse, and carried thro’ many Countries in Search of a Mare, which, having found, he return’d to his Human Form again. Then awaking from Sleep, he arose, and from thence conceiv’d some Hopes of Liberty.

Whilst he continued in Custody, Anthia, with Leucon and Rhoda, were carried into Syria, along with Manto and her Spouse, and arriv’d at Antioch, the Country of Mæris, who bore an inward Hatred against them. Rhoda and Leucon she order’d to be convey’d on shipboard, and carried to some distant Country, to be sold. Anthia she intended to bestow on a clownish Goat-herd, the most despicable of all her Slaves, imagining, by that Means, to be fully reveng’d on Abrocomas. Having therefore sent for the Goat-herd, whose Name was Lampon, she delivers Anthia into his Hands, and commands him to receive her as his Wife, 49 and if she refus’d to submit; to use Violence. She was, forthwith, carried into the Field, to be married to the Goat-herd, but coming to the Place where his Flocks were feeding, she bow’d down to his Knees, and intreated him to pitty, and spare her. She then declar’d to him who she was, her Relations, her Husband, and her Slavery. Lampon hearing these things, was mov’d with Compassion, and bid her to be of good Comfort, promising by an Oath, that he would never attempt to violate her Chastity.

Long time she remain’d in the Fields, with the Goat-herd, bewailing the Absence of her Lover. In the mean while, Apsyrtus searching the Dungeon, where Abrocomas, before his Punishment, lay confin’d, fell accidentally upon a Letter written to Abrocomas by his Daughter Manto. He well knew the Hand, and, from thence, gather’d that the Youth was unjustly accused. He therefore commanded him instantly to be set at Liberty, and brought before him. He having already undergone a long Scene of Misery, prostrated himself at Apsyrtus’s Feet, who raising him up, “Be of good Cheer, Youth,” said he, “I unjustly condemn’d thee, by too hastily believing my Daughter’s Accusation. But now, from a Slave, I pronounce thee a Freeman; I appoint thee Ruler over my 50 Houshold, and will give thee the Daughter of any Citizen of this City to Wife, but be not too mindful of past Injuries, nor lay to my Charge, what I involuntarily committed.” “I return you all Thanks, my Lord,” answer’d Abrocomas, “because when you knew the Truth, you rewarded my Continency.” All the Family rejoic’d at his Deliverance, and return’d their Acknowledgments to their Lord, on that Account. In the mean while, he was anxious for his Anthia, and would often reflect upon his present State, and say, “What have I to do with Liberty, or Riches, or Power in Apsyrtus’s House? These suit not my Condition, Anthia shall not escape my Search, and whether in Life or Death, I will be sure to find her out.”

Whilst he præsided over Apsyrtus’s Affairs, he would often consider within himself, where, and how he should find her. As for Leucon and Rhoda, they were sold to a certain old Man, an Inhabitant of Xanthus, a City of Lycia, far distant from the Sea. He having no Issue, entertain’d them as his Children, so that they were happy in all Respects, save that they griev’d for their Absence from Abrocomas and Anthia. Anthia had now pass’d away some time with the Goat-herd, when Mæris, Husband to Manto, 51 coming frequently into the Field, fell desperately in love with her. At first, he endeavour’d to conceal his Passion, but at length disclos’d it to the Goat-herd, making him many Promises if he did not betray him. He protested he would not, and offer’d him his Assistance in the Affair; but dreading Manto’s Wrath, went straight to her, and discover’d the whole Secret of her Husband Mæris’s Amours. She, in a Rage, cry’d out, “Am not I the most unhappy Wretch alive, in bringing this wicked Woman along with me! By her, I lost my first lov’d Youth in Phœnicia, and by her I now run the Hazard of loosing my Husband. But she shall not long rejoice in appearing beautiful to Mæris, for she shall now suffer a heavier Punishment, by my Means, than before at Tyre.” Having thus said, she restrain’d her Rage for a Time, but when her Husband went abroad, she sent for the Goat-herd, and gave him strict Orders to convey Anthia into some thick Wood, and slay her; promising him a great Reward for so black a Deed. He fearing his Mistress’s revengeful Temper, if he refus’d to obey her Commands, and yet moved with Compassion for the distressed Damsel, goes strait to Anthia, and tells her what was contriv’d against her; She, hearing this, begun to bewail her wretched State, and to weep bitterly, “How inconvenient,” says she, “and how vastly 52 treacherous has Beauty been to both of us! Abrocomas dies at Tyre, I, here. But I entreat thee, O Goat-herd, as hitherto thou hast shew’d some Regard towards me, when thou hast slain me, be careful to bury my Body in some neighbouring Field: Close my Eyes with thy own Hands, and call again, and again on the Name of Abrocomas. O Abrocomas how happy had I been had my Fate happen’d in thy Presence!” These Words inclin’d the Goat-herd to Pity: He consider’d what an execrable Act he was about to commit, in putting to Death a Virgin so fair and innocent, and therefore without any Design of executing so bloody a charge, he address’d himself to her in this manner. “Know you not Anthia,” says he, “that Manto, my Mistress, has commanded me to seize and slay you, but I fearing the Gods, and compassionating your Beauty, will only sell you to some distant Place, lest if ever she come to the Knowledge of your being still alive, I should be doom’d to a severer Sentence my self.” She fell down at his Feet, and with Tears cry’d out, “O ye Gods, and Thou Diana, my Country’s Goddess, repay this Kindness to the Goat-herd.” Then gave her Consent to be sold. He hasted with her directly to a Sea-port, where meeting with some Cilician Merchants, he sold her, receiv’d the 53 Price, and return’d to his Farm. The Merchants carry her on board their Ship, and the next Evening, set sail for Cilicia, but meeting with contrary Winds, and Storms: And their Ship foundering in the Deep, they, with great Difficulty, reach’d the Shore on a Plank, carrying their fair Purchase along with them. Not far from that Shore was a thick Wood, into which they stray’d, and where they were, that very Night seiz’d by the Robber Hippothous.

In the mean while, a Servant was dispatch’d out of Syria, to Apsyrtus, from his Daughter Manto, with a Letter, to this Effect. “You have chosen me a Husband in a strange Country. Anthia, whom you bestow’d on me, with other Slaves, for many ill Practices, I commanded to seek a Habitation in the Country, where my Husband, frequently seeing her, became enamour’d with her, which, when I could no longer bear, I sent for my Goat-herd, and order’d him to sell her to some Place in Syria.” So soon as Abrocomas understood this, he was unable to rest, and therefore, unknown to Apsyrtus, and all his Domesticks, set forth to search for Anthia. When he came into the Field, where she lately resided, he found Lampon, the Goat-herd: Him, he carried to the Sea-shore, to hear if he knew any Thing of 54 the Tyrian Virgin: The Goat-herd not only told him that her name was Anthia, but also assur’d him of their marriage, and the religious Observation of his Oath on that Account. He likewise added the Story of Mæris’s Love to her, and Manto’s Orders against her Life, with her Voyage into Cilicia, and concluded that she never ceas’d calling upon the Name of one Abrocomas. He told not the Goat-herd who he was, but the next Morning, as soon as Light appear’d, begun his March for Cilicia, in full hopes of finding his dear Anthia there.

Hippothous and his Crew spent the whole Night in revelling; and, the next Day, prepar’d to offer Sacrifice. All Things were now in readiness. The Images of Mars, the Military Ensign, and Garlands: And their Sacrifices were to be perform’d, as usual. Whatever Victim was to be offer’d, whether Man or Beast, it was chain’d to a Tree, and pierc’d with Darts, by the Robbers, standing at a Distance. To those who struck the Mark the first Cast, the God was deem’d propitious, and those who threw their Darts aside made a second Tryal. In this manner, was Anthia doom’d a Victim: But when all Things were ready, and they were preparing to chain her to the Tree, a rushing Noise filled the Wood, and humane Voices were heard. A certain Man, 55 named Perilaus, of the Cilician Nobility, who was order’d to oversee the Affairs of the Country, with a choice Band of valiant Soldiers, surpriz’d the Robbers, slew the greatest part of them, and took all the rest Prisoners, except Hippothous himself, who escap’d in Armour. Perilaus receiv’d Anthia kindly, and, understanding what Sentence she stood condemn’d to suffer, he pitied her. But this Pity of his was the Source of much Sorrow to Her, for when he carried her, with the Robbers, taken at the same time, to Tarsus, a City of Cilicia, he was charm’d with her, and soon acknowledg’d himself her Slave. At his Entrance into the City, he committed the Robbers to Prison, but strove, by all Means, to oblige Anthia, by gentle Deportment. He had neither Wife nor Children, but great Store of Wealth, and he assured her that she should be to him a Mistress, Wife, and Children. She withstood him obstinately, at first, but when he renew’d his Suit afterwards, with greater Earnestness, finding little to object against him, and fearing, lest if she continued inflexible, he might proceed to Violence. She consented to the propos’d Terms of Marriage, but begg’d for a small Respite of Thirty Days, during which time she might remain pure and untouch’d. Perilaus granted her Request, swore to defer the Marriage, and accordingly 56 promis’d that she should preserve her self chaste ’till the propos’d Term was expir’d.

While she expected the Time of her Marriage with Perilaus, Abrocomas pursu’d his Journey into Cilicia, and not far from the Robber’s Cave (for he wander’d out of the right Path) he met Hippothous, all in Armour. He, when he saw Abrocomas, accosted him courteously, and intreated him to accompany him in his Journey. “I see thee,” says he, “O Youth, whoever thou art, beautiful, and stout. The Path thou now takest, must surely lead thee out of thy right Way. Let us, therefore, leaving Cilicia, direct our March to Cappadocia, and thence to Pontus, for I have heard much of the Happiness of the Inhabitants of these Parts.” Abrocomas had not yet acquainted him with the story of his Search for Anthia, but being in a great Strait, yielded to his Request. They then bound themselves by an Oath, to asssit each other, for Abrocomas was not without Hopes, that in some of his Travels, one where or other, he might find out his belov’d Anthia. Returning to the Cave, they spent the remaining Part of that Day in preparing htmeslves, and their Horses, for the Journey, for that of Hippothous had been before secur’d in an obscure Part of the Wood.