The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 (1890)/Androdus
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THE TWENTY-SECOND NOUELL.
The marueilous knowledge of a Lion, being acquainted with a man, called Androdus.
There chaunced to be certaine playes and games at Rome, wher were many monstruous and cruel beastes: but amonges all those beastes, the hugenesse and cruell aspectes of the Lions were had in greatest wonder, especially of one: which Lion was of an huge and greate bignesse, hauinge a terrible voyce, his clawes stretched forth, his bristles and heare vprighte, beholdinge with his fierce and deadly eyes, all the multitude standing by. There was brought in to fight with the lion amonges al the rest, one Androdus a Dacian borne, the bondman of a great personage, of the Consular order, whom the Lion beholding a farre of, sodenly stoode still: and afterwards by litle and litle, in gentle sort he came vnto the man, as though he had knowen him: Wagging his taile like a Spaniel fawning vpon his maister, and licked the handes and legges of the poore felow, which for feare was almost dead. This Androdus perceyuing the flatteries of this fierce beast, recouered comforte,and earnestly viewed and marked the Lion. Then they began to enter into mutual acquaintaunce, one reioycing at an others meting. Upon which straung euent, the people raysed great shoutes and acclamations: wherupon Androdus was called before the Emperoure, and demaunded the cause, why that most cruell beast did in that sorte, fawne and fauour him aboue all other.
Androdus tould a maruaylous and straunge historye of the cause thereof, saying: "If it please your Maiestie, when my Lorde and maister did by the office of Proconsull gouerne Africa, I throughe his causelesse stripes and dailye whippinges, was forced to runne awaye. And when I had gotten pardon of the liefetenaunte of that countrie, to remaine there, I withdrew my selfe into the deserts and voide places: and lacking meate to ease the paine of hunger, I determined by some meanes, to seeke mine owne death. It chaunced about the midde of the day, when the Sunne was feruent hot, I entred into a Caue, which was farre from habitation, verye wide and large. Whereunto, within a while after, this Lion resorted, hauing one of his feete bloudie and hurt: for paine whereof, he vttered much mone and sorrow, bewayling the griefe, and anguishe of the fore. When I saw the Lion my hart began to quake for feare, but beinge come in, as it were into his owne habitation (for so it shoulde appeare,) perceyuinge me to go aboute to hide myselfe a farre of, he like a milde and gentle beast came vnto me, holding vp his foote, reaching the fame to me, as though he desired helpe and reliefe at my handes. Wherewithall I plucked out of his foote a stubbe, which stucke betweene the pawes thereof, and taking a litle salue, which I had in my bosome, I thruft it into the bottome of the wounde, and diligently without any further feare, I dryed vp the wound, and wiped away the bloud thereof: wherewith the lion being eased, resting his foote in my handes, he laye downe to refreshe him selfe. From that day duringe the space of three yeares, the Lion and I continued together, and liued with like fare: the fattest and best morsels of those beastes, which he prayed, he did euer bring me into the Caue: which meate because I had no fire, I rosted in the heate of the Sunne, and did eate the fame with good stomacke. But when I began to waxe weary of that kinde of diet, vpon a time the Lion being abroad, I forsoke the Caue, and trauailing almost the space of three dayes, I was espied and taken of the souldiours, and brought home to my maister out of Africa to Rome: who immediathe condempned mee to be deuoured of beastes. And now I perceiue that this lion sithens I lefte his companie is taken, and doth acquite that good tourne and cure, which I mewed him then." The people hearing the discourse of this straunge fact, made suite that the felow might be pardoned, and set at libertie: and the Lion by generall voyce was giuen vnto him for reward. Afterwards Androdus caried the Lion abrode the citie in a litle corde, and had muche money giuen him: and the Lion was decked and beautified with flowers, and euery man that met them, did vse to say: "This is the Lion the frend of this man, and this is the man, the Phisition of the Lion."