‘All round the ship they leapt in showers of splashing spray. Time after time they surfaced and fell back into the sea, playing like dancers, frolicking about in fun, wide nostrils taking in the sea to flow it out again. Of the whole twenty (that was the crew she carried) I alone remained. As I stood trembling, cold with fear, almost out of my wits, the god spoke words of comfort: “Cast your fear aside. Sail on to Dia.”
‘Landing there, I joined his cult and am now a faithful follower of Bacchus.’
‘We’ve listened to this rigmarole,’ said Pentheus, ‘To give our anger time to lose its force. Away with him, you slaves! Rush him away! Rack him with fiendish tortures till he dies and send him down to the black night of Stygia.’
So there and then Acoetes was hauled off and locked in a strong cell; but while the fire, the steel, the instruments of cruel death were being prepared, all of their own accord the doors flew open, all of their own accord the chains fell, freed by no one, from his arms.
– Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.572