Love Letters| FROM A| NOBLE MAN| TO HIS| SISTER:| Mixt With the| HISTORY| OF THEIR| ADVENTURES.| [rule]| The Second Part by the| same Hand.| [rule]| LONDON,| Printed for the Author, and are to be sold| by the Booksellers of London, 1685.*
|<[iii]> [The Epistle Dedicatory]
I beg you will give me leave to express my gratitude in some measure, for the favours I have receiv’d of you, and to make an acknowledgement where I cannot pay a debt. ’Tis only what was long since design’d you, when possibly it might have found something a better wellcome, by its having made (as it must have done) a voyage to have kist your hands, and might perhaps then have contributed in
How soon at the choice of the most glorious Senate, that ever blest the Land, was your vallu’d name snatch’d
Your most Oblig’d
At the end of the first Part of these Letters, we left Philander impatiently waiting on the Sea shore for the approach of the lovely Silvia; who accordingly came to him|<2> drest like a youth, to secure her self from a discovery. They staid not long to caress each other, but he taking the welcome Maid in his Arms, with a transported joy bore her to a small Vessel, that lay ready near the Beach, where, with only Brilljard and two Men Servants, they put to Sea, and past into Holland, landing at the nearest Port; where, after having refresht themselves for two or three days, they past forwards towards the Brill Silvia still remaining under that amiable disguise: but in their passage from Town to Town, which is sometimes by Coach, and other times by Boat, they chanc’d one day to incounter a young Hollander of a more than Ordinary Gallantry for that Country, so degenerate from good manners and almost common Civility,|<3> and so far short of all the good qualities that made themselves appear in this young Noble-Man. He was very hansom, well made, well drest, and very well attended; and whom we will call Octavio, and who, young as he was, was one of the States* of Holland;* he spoke admirable good French, and had a vivacity and quickness of Wit unusual with the Natives of that part of the World,* and almost above all the rest of his Sex: Philander and Silvia having already agreed for the Cabin of the Vessel that was to carry them to the next Stage, Octavio came too late to have any place there but amongst the common crow’d; which the Master of the Vessel, who knew him, was much troubl’d at, and addrest himself as civilly as he cou’d to Philander, to beg permission for one stranger of quality|<4> to dispose of himself in the Cabin for that day: Philander being well enough pleas’d, so to make an acquaintance with some of power of that Country, readily consented, and Octavio enter’d with an address so graceful and obliging, that at first sight he inclin’d Philanders, heart to a friendship with him, and on the other side the lovely person of Philander, the quality that appear’d in his face and mein, oblig’d Octavio to become no less his admirer. But when he saluted Silvia, who appear’d to him a youth of quality, he was extreamly charm’d with her pretty gayety, and an unusual Air and life in her address and motion, he felt a secret joy and pleasure play about his Soul, he knew not why; And was almost angry, that he felt such an emotion for a youth, though the most lovely that he e-|<5>ver saw. After the first complyments, they fell into discourse of a thousand indifferent things; and if he were pleas’d at first sight with the two Lovers, he was wholly charm’d by their conversation, especially that of the amiable youth; who well enough pleas’d with the young Stranger, or else hitherto having met nothing so accomplisht in her short Travels, and indeed despairing to meet any such; she put on all her gayety and charms of Wit, and made as absolute a Conquest as ’twas possible for her suppos’d Sex to do over a man, who was a great admirer of the other; and surely the lovely Maid never appear’d so charming and desirable as that day; they din’d together in the Cabin, and after dinner repos’d on little Matresses by each others side, where every motion, every|<6> limb, as carelessly she lay, discover’d a thousand Graces and more and more inflam’d the now beginning Lover; she cou’d not move; nor smile, nor speak, nor order any charm about her, but had some peculiar Grace that begun to make him uneasie; and from a thousand little Modesties, both in her blushes and motions, he had a secret hope she was not what she seem’d, but of that Sex whereof she discover’d so many softnesses and beauties; though to what advantage that hope wou’d amount to his repose, was yet a disquiet he had not consider’d nor felt: nor cou’d he by any fondness between them, or indiscretion of love, conceive how the lovely Strangers were alied; he only hop’d, and had no thoughts of fear, or any thing that cou’d check his new begin-|<7>ning flame. While thus they past the after-noon, they ask’d a thousand questions, of Lovers, of the Country and manners, and their security and civility to Strangers; to all which Octavio answer’d as a man, who wou’d recommend the place and persons purely to oblige their stay; for now self interest makes him say all things in favour of it; and of his own friendship, offers ’em all the service of a Man of power, and who cou’d make an interest in those that had more than himself; much he protested, much he offer’d, and yet no more than he design’d to make good on all occasions, which they receiv’d with an acknowledgement that plainly discover’d a generosity and quality above the common rate of Men; so that finding in each other occasions for Love and friendship,|<8> they mutually profest it, and nobly entertain’d it. Octavio told his Name and quality, left nothing unsaid that might confirm the Lovers of his sincerity. This begot a confidence in Philander, who in return told him so much of his Circumstances as suffic’d to let him know he was a person so unfortunate to have occasion’d the displeasure of his King against him, and that he cou’d not continue with any repose in that Kingdom, whose Monarch thought him no longer fit for those honours he had before receiv’d; Octavio renew’d his protestations of serving him with his interest and fortune, which the other receiving with all the Gallant modesty of an unfortunate Man, they came a shore, where Octavio’s Coaches and Equipage waiting his coming to conduct him to his house, he offer’d his new friends the best|<9> of ’em to carry them to their lodging, which he had often prest might be his own Pallace, but that being refus’d as too great an honour, he wou’d himself see ’em plac’d in some one, which he thought might be most sutable to their quality; they excus’d the trouble, but he prest too eagerly to be deny’d, and he conducted them to a Merchants house not far from his own, so Love had contriv’d for the better management of this new affair of his heart, which he resolv’d to persue, be the fair object of what sex soever: but after having well enough recommended em to the care of the Merchant he thought it justice to leave em to their rest, tho with abundance of reluctancy. So took his leave of both the Lovely Strangers and went to his own home: and after|<10> a hasty supper got himself up to bed: not to sleep; for now he had other business: Love took him now to task, and ask’d his heart a thousand questions. Then ’twas he found the Idea of that fair unknown had absolute possession there: Nor was he at all displeas’d to find he was a captive; his youth and quality promise his hopes, a thousand advantages above all other men: but when he reflected on the Beauty of Philander, on his Charming youth and Conversation, and every Grace that adorns a Conqueror, he grew inflam’d, disorder’d, restless, angry, and out of Love with his own attractions; consider’d every Beauty of his own person, and found ’em, or at least thought ’em infinitely short of those of his now Fancy’d Rival; yet ’twas a Rival that he cou’d not hate, nor did his|<11> passion abate one thought of his Friendship for Phillander, but rather more increas’d it, insomuch that he once resolv’d it shou’d surmount his Love if possible, at least he left it on the upper hand, till time shou’d make a better discovery. When tir’d with thought we’l suppose him a sleep, and see how our Lovers far’d. Who being lodg’d all on one Stair Case (that is, Phillander, Silvia, and Brilljard) it was not hard for the Lover to steal into the longing Arms of the expecting Silvia; no fatigues of tedious journeys, and little voyages, had a bated her fondness, or his vigour; the night was like the first, all joy! all transport! Brilljard lay so near as to be a witness to all their sighs of Love, and little soft murmurs, who now began from a servant to be permitted as an humble com-|<12>panion; since he had had the Honour of being marry’d to Silvia though yet he durst not lift his eyes or thoughts that way: yet it might be perceiv’d he was melancholy and sullen, when e’re he saw their daliances, nor cou’d he know the joys his Lord nightly stole, without an impatience, which, if but minded or known, perhaps had cost him his life: he began, from the thoughts she was his wife, to fancy fine injoyment, to fancy Authority which he durst not assume. And often wisht his Lord wou’d grow cold as possessing Lovers do; that then he might advance his hope, when he shou’d ever abandon or slight her: he cou’d not see her kist without blushing with resentment; but if he has assisted to undress him for her Bed, he was ready to dy|<13> with anger, and wou’d grow sick, and leave the office to himself, he cou’d not see her naked charmes, her armes stretcht out to receive a Lover, with impatient joy, without Madness. To see her clasp him fast, when he threw himself into her soft, white bosom, and smother him with kisses: No, he cou’d not bear it now, and almost lost his respect when he beheld it, and grew sawcy unperceiv’d. And ’twas in vain that he look’d back upon the reward he had to stand for that necessary Cypher a Husband, in vain he consider’d the reasons why, and the occasion wherefore; he now seeks presidents of usurp’d dominion, and thinks she is his Wife, and has forgot that he’s her creature, and Philander’s Vassal. These thoughts disturb’d him all the night, and|<14> a certain jealousie, or rather curiosity to listen to every motion of the Lovers, While they were imploy’d after a different manner.
Next day it was debated what was best to be done, as to their conduct in that place: or whether Silvia shou’d yet own her Sex or not; but she, pleas’d with the Cavalier in her self: beg’d she might live under that disguise. Which indeed gave her a thousand charmes to those which Nature had already bestow’d on her Sex; and Philander was well enough pleas’d she shou’d continue in that agreeable dress, which did not only add to her beauty, but gave her a thousand little Priviledges, which otherwise wou’d have been deny’d to Women, though in a Country of much Freedom. Every day she apear’d in the Toure,* she fail’d|<15> not to make a conquest on some unguarded heart of the fair Sex, not was it long ere she receiv’d Billets Deux from most of the most accomplish’d who cou’d speak and write French. This gave them a pleasure in the midst of their unlucky exile; and she fail’d not to boast her conquests to Octavio, who every day gave all his hours to Love, under the disguise of Friendship, and every day receiv’d new wounds, both from her conversation and beauty, and every day confirm’d him more in his first belief, that she was a Woman: and that confirm’d his Love. But still he took care to hid his passion with a gallantry, that was natural to him, and to very few besides; and he manag’d his eyes, which were always full of Love, so equally to both, that when he was soft and fond it|<16> appear’d more his natural humour, than from any particular cause, and that you may believe that all the arts of gallantry, and graces of good management were more peculiarly his, than anothers, his Race was illustrious, being descended from that of the Princes of Orange,* and great birth will shine through, and shew it self in spight of education and obscurity, but Octavio had all those additions that render a man truly great and brave; and this is the character of him that was next undone by our unfortunate and fatal Beauty. At this rate for sometime they liv’d thus disguis’d under feign’d names. Octavio omitting nothing that might oblige ’em in the highest degree, and hardly any thing was talk’d of but the new and beautiful Strangers, whose conquests in all places over|<17> the Ladies are well worthy, both for their rarity and comody,* to be related intirely by themselves in a Novel.* Octavio every day saw with abundance of pleasure the little revenges of Love, on those Womens hearts who had made before little conquests over him, and strove by all the gay presents he made a young Fillmond (for so they call’d Silvia,) to make him appear unresistible to the Ladies, and while Silvia gave ’em new wounds, Octavio fail’d not to receive ’em too among the crow’d, till at last he became a confirm’d slave, to the lovely unknown; and that which was yet more strange, she captivated the Men no less than the Women, who often gave her Serinades under her Window, with Songs fitted to the Courtship of a Boy, all which added to|<18> their diversion: but fortune had smil’d long enough, and now grew weary of obliging, she was resolv’d to undeceive both Sexes, and let ’em see the Errors of their love; for Silvia fell into a Feaver so violent, that Phillander no longer hop’d for her recovery, inso much that she was oblig’d to own her Sex, and take Women Servants out of decency, this made the first discovery of who and what they were, and for which every body languisht under a secret grief. But Octavio who now was not only confirm’d she was a Woman, but that she was neither Wife to Phillander, nor cou’d in almost all possibility ever be so: That she was his Mistress, gave him hope that she might one day as well be conquer’d by him; and he found her youth, her Beauty, and her quality, merited all his pains of la-|<19>vish Courtship: And now there remains no more than the fear of her dying to oblige him immediately to a discovery of his passion, too violent now by his new hope to be longer conceal’d, but decency forbids he shou’d now pursue the dear design; he waited and made Vows for her recovery; visited her, and found Phillander the most deplorable object that despair and love cou’d render him, who lay eternally weeping on her bed, and no Counsel or perswasion cou’d remove him thence; but if by chance they made him sensible ’twas for her repose, he wou’d depart to ease his mind by new torments, he wou’d rave and tear his delicate hair, sigh and weep upon Octavio’s bosome, and a thousand times begin to unfold the story already known to
Octavio to Phillander.
I had rather dy then be the ungrateful messenger of news, which I am sensible will prove too fatal to you, and which will be best exprest in fewest words, ’tis decreed that you must retire from the United Provinces in Four and Twenty hours, if you will save a life that is dear to me and Silvia, there being no other security against your being render’d up to the King of France. Support it well, and hope all things from the assistance of,
From the Council,
Philander having finisht the reading of this, remain’d a while wholly without life or motion, when coming to himself, he sigh’d and cryd, —— Why —— farewell trifling life —— If of the two extreames one must be chosen, rather than I’le abandon Silvia, I’le stay and be deliver’d up a Victim to incensed France —— ’Tis but a life —— At best I never Valu’d thee —— And now I scorn to preserve thee at the Price of Silvias teares! Then taking a hasty turn or two about his chamber, he pawsing cryd —— But by my stay I ruine both Silvia and my self, her life depends on mine; and ’tis impossible hers can be preserv’d when mine is in danger, by retiring I shall shortly again be blest with her sight in a more safe security; by staying I resign my self poor-|<24>ly to be made a publick scorn to France, and the cruell Murderer of Silvia; now, ’twas after an hundred turns and pawses, intermixt with sighs and raveings, that he resolv’d for both their safeties to retire, and having a while longer debated within himself how, and where; and a little time ruminated on his hard persuing fate, grown to a calm of grief (less easy to be born than rage) he hastes to Silvia, whom he found something more cheerful than before, but dares not aquaint her with the commands he had to depart —— But silently he views her, while tears of Love and grief glide unperceivably
Phillander to Octavio.
I know, my Lord, that the Exercise of Vertue and Justice is so innate to your soul, and fixt to the very Principle of a generous Commonwealths man,* that|<26> where those are in competition, ’tis neither birth, wealth, or Glorious merit, that can render the unfortunate condemn’d by you, worthy of your pity or pardon: your very Sons and fathers fall before your justice, and ’tis crime enough to offend, (tho innocently,) the least of your wholesom laws, to fall under the extremity of their rigor. I’m not ignorant neither how flourishing this necessary Tyranny, this lawful oppression, renders your State; how safe and glorious, how secure from Enemies at home, (those worst of foes) and how fear’d by those abroad; pursue then, Sir, your justifiable method, and still be high and mighty, retain your ancient Roman vertue, and still be great as Rome her self in her height of glorious Commonwealths; rule your stubborn Natives by her excellent|<27> examples, and let the height of your ambition be only to be as severely just, as rigidly good as you please; but like her too, be pitiful to Strangers, and dispence a Noble Charity to the distress’d, compassionate a poor wandring young Man, who flies to you for refuge, lost to his Native home, lost to his fame, his fortune, and his Friends; and has only left him the knowledge of his innocence to support him from falling on his own Sword, to end an unfortunate life, persu’d every where, and safe no where, a Life whose only refuge is Octavio’s goodness; nor is it barely to preserve this life that I have recourse to that only as my Sanctuary; and like an humble Slave implore your pity: Oh, Octavio pity my Youth, and interceed for my stay yet a little longer, Your self|<28> makes one of the illustrious number of the Grave, the Wise and mighty Councel, your Unkle and Relations make up another considerable part of it, and you are too dear to all, to find a refusal of your just and compassionate application. Oh! what fault have I committed against you, that I shou’d not find a safety here as well as those charg’d with the same Crime with me, tho of less quality? Many I have incounter’d here of our unlucky party; who find a safety among you; is my birth a Crime? Or does the greatness of that augment my guilt? Have I broken any of your Laws, committed any outrage? Do they suspect me for a spie to France? Or do I hold any Correspondence with that ungrateful Nation? Does my Religion, Principle, or Opinion differ from yours? Can I|<29> design the subversion of your Glorious State? Can I plot, cabal, or mutiny alone? Oh charge me with some offence, or your selves of injustice. Say, why am I deny’d my length of earth amongst you, if I dy? Or why to breath the open Air, if I live, since I shall neither oppress the one, nor infect the other; but on the contrary am ready with my sword, my youth and Blood to serve you, and bring my little aids on all occasions to yours: and shou’d be proud of the Glory to dy for you in Battle, who wou’d deliver me up a Sacrifice to France. Oh! where Octavio, is the glory or vertue of this Punctilio,* for ’tis no other? There are no Laws that bind you to it, no obligatory Article of Nations, but an unnecessary complyment made a nemine contradicente* of your Senate, that argues nothing|<30> but ill nature, and cannot redound to any one’s advantage. An Ill nature that’s levell’d at me alone; for many I found here, and many shall leave under the same circumstances with me; ’tis only me whom you have mark’d out the victime to atone for all: Well then, my Lord, if nothing can move you to a safety for this unfortunate, at least be so merciful to suspend your cruelty a little, yet a little, and possible I shall render you the body of Phillander, tho dead, to send into France, as the trophy of your fidelity to that Crown: Oh yet a little stay your cruel sentence, till my lovely Sister, who persu’d my hard fortunes, declare my Fate by her life or death: Oh, my Lord, if ever the soft passion of Love have touch’d your soul, if you have felt the unresistable force of young charms about your heart,|<31> if ever you have known a pain and pleasure from fair eyes, or the transporting Joyes of Beauty, Pity a youth undone by Love and ambition, those powerful conquerours of the young —— Pity, oh Pity a youth that dies, and will ere long no more complain upon your Rigours. Yes, my Lord, he dies without the force of a terrifying Sentence, without the grim reproaches of an angry Judg, without the soon consulted Arbitrary —— Guilty! of a severe and hasty Jury, without the ceremony of the Scaffol’d, Ax, and Hang man, and the clamours of inconsidering Crowds. All which melancholy ceremonies render death so terrible, which else wou’d fall like gentle slumbers upon the eye-lids. And which in field I wou’d incounter with that joy I wou’d the sacred thing I Love! But oh,|<32> I fear my fate is in the lovely Silvia, and in her dying eyes you may read it, in her languishing face you’le see how near it is approacht. Ah! will you not suffer me to attend it there? by her dear side I shall fall as calmly as flowers from their stalks, without regret or pain: Will you, by forcing me to dy from her, run me to a madness? To wild distraction? Oh think it sufficient that I dy here before half my race of youth be run, before the light be half burnt out, that might have conducted me to a world of Glory! Alas, she dies —— The Lovely Silvia dies; she is sighing out a soul to which mine is so intirely fixt, that they must go upward together. Yes, yes, she breaths it sick into my bosom, and kindly gives mine its disease of death; let us at least then dy|<33> in silent, quitted; and if it please Heaven to restore the languish’d Charmer, I will resign my self up to all your Rigorous honour, only let me bear my treasure with me, while we wander o’re the world to seek us out a safety in some part of it, where pity and compassion is no crime. Where men have tender hearts, and have heard of the God of Love; where Politicks are not all the business of the powerful, but where civility and good nature reign.
Perhaps, my Lord, you’l wonder I plead no weightier Argument for my stay than Love, or the griefs and tears of a languishing Maid: But, oh! they are such tears as every drop wou’d ransom lives, and nothing that proceeds from her charming eyes can be valu’d at a less rate! In Pity to her, to me, and your Amo-|<34>rous youths, let me bear her hence. For shou’d she look abroad as her own Sex, shou’d she appear in her natural and proper beauty, alas they were undone. Reproach not (my Lord) the weakness of this confession, and which I make with more Glory than cou’d I boast my self Lord of all the Universe: if it appear a fault to the more grave and wise, I hope my youth will plead something for my excuse. Oh say, at least, ’twas Pity that Love had the ascendant over Phillanders soul, say ’twas his Destiny, but say withal, that it put no stop to his advance to Glory; rather it set an edg upon his Sword, and gave wings to his ambition! —— Yes, try me in your Councells, prove me in your Camps, place me in any hazard —— But give me Love! and leave me to wait the life or|<35> death of Silvia, and then dispose as you please,
Of Your unfortunate, Philander.
Octavio to Philander.
I am much concern’d, that a Request so reasonable as you have made, will be of so little force with these arbitrary Tyrants of State, and tho you have addrest and appeal’d to me as one of that grave and rigid number, (tho without one grain of their formalities, and I hope age, which renders us less Gallant, and more envious of the joys and liberties of|<36> youth, will never reduce me to so dull and thoughtless a Member of State) yet I have so small and single a portion of their power, that I’m asham’d of my incapacity of serving you in this great affair. I bear the Honour and the name, ’tis true, of Glorious sway; but I can boast but of the worst and most impotent part of it, the Title only; but the busie, absolute, mischievious Politician finds no room in my Soul, my humour, or constitution: And Plodding restless power I have made so little the business of my gayer, and more careless youth, that I have even lost my right of rule; my share of Empire amongst them. That little power (whose unregarded losse I never bemoan’d till it render’d me incapable of serving Philander,) I have stretch’d to the utmost bound for your stay; insomuch|<37> that I have receiv’d many reproaches from the wiser Coxcombs,* have had my youth’s little debauches hinted on, and Judgments made of you (disadvantagious) from my Friendship to you; a Friendship, which, my Lord, at first sight of you, found a being in my soul, and which your wit, your goodness, your greatness, and your misfortunes has improv’d to all the degrees of it: Tho I’m infinitely unhappy that it proves of no use to you here, and that the greatest testimony I can now render of it, is to warn you of your aproaching danger. And hasten your departure, for there is no safety in your stay. I just now heard what was decreed against you in councel, which no pleading nor Eloquence of Friendship had force enough to evade. Alass, I had but one single voyce in the number,|<38> which I sullenly and singly gave, and which unregarded past. Go then, my Lord, hast to some place where good breeding and humanity reigns. Go and preserve Silvia, in providing for your own safety; and believe me, till she be in a Condition to pursue your Fortunes, I will take such care that nothing shall be wanting, either to recovery here, in order to her following after you. I am, alas but too sensible of all the pains you must indure by such a separation, for I am neither insensible, nor uncapable of love, or any of its violent effects: Go then, my Lord, and preserve the lovely Maid in your flight, since your stay and danger will serve but to hasten on her death: Go and be satisfied she shall find a protection sutable to|<39> her Sex, her innocence, her Beauty, and her quality, and that wher-ever you fix your stay, she shall be resign’d to your Arms by my Lord,
Your Eternal Friend
and humble Servant,
Lest in this sudden remove you shou’d want Mony, I have sent you several Bills of Exchange to what place soever you arrive, and what you want more (make no scruple to use me as a friend and) command.
After this Letter, finding no hopes; but on the contrary a dire necessity of departing, he told Briljard his misfortune, and ask’d his Counsel in this extremity of affairs. Brilljard (who of a Servant was become|<40> a Rival) you may believe, gave him such advice as might remove him from the object he ador’d. But after a great deal of dissembl’d trouble, the better to hide his joy, he gave his advice for his going, with all the arguments that appear’d reasonable enough to Phillander. And at every period urg’d, that his life being dear to Silvia, and on which hers so immediately depended, he ought no longer to debate, but haste his flight, to all which councell our Amorous Hero, with a soul ready to make its way thro’ his trembling body, gave a sighing unwilling assent. ’Twas now no longer a dispute, but was concluded he must go, but how was only the question. How shou’d he take his farewell, how shou’d he bid adieu, and leave the dear object of his soul in an estate to* hazardous,|<41> he form’d a thousand sad Ideas to torment himself with; fancying he shou’d never see her more, that he shou’d hear that she was dead, thou now she appear’d on this side the Grave, and had all the signs of a declining disease. He fancy’d absence might make her cold, and abate her passion to him, that her powerful beauty might attract adorers, and she being but a Woman, and no part Angel, but her form, ’twas not expected she shou’d want her Sex’s frailties. Now he cou’d consider how he had won her, how by importunity and opportunity she had at last yielded to him, and therefore might to some new Gamster, when he was not by to keep her heart in continual play: Then ’twas that all the despair of jealous love, the throbs and piercing of a violent passion seiz’d his timorous and|<42> tender heart, he fancy’d her already in some new Lovers Arms, and ran o’re all these soft enjoyments he had had with her; and fancy’d with tormenting thought, that so another wou’d possess her; till rackt with tortures, he almost fainted on the Repose on which he was set: But Brilljard rous’d and indeavour’d to convince him: Told him he hop’d his fear was needless, and that he wou’d take all the watchful care imaginable of her conduct, be a spy upon her vertue, and from time to time give him notice of all that shou’d pass: Bid him consider her quality, and that she was no common Mistriss whom hire cou’d lead astray; and that if from the violence of her passion, or her more severe fate she had yeilded to the most Charming of men, he ought as little to imagine she cou’d be|<43> again a Lover, as that she cou’d find an object of equal beauty with that of Phillander. In fine, he sooth’d and Flatter’d him into so much ease, that he resolves to take his leave for a day or two under pretence of meeting and consulting with some of the rebell party; and that he wou’d return again to her by that time it might be imagin’d her feaver might be abated, and Silvia in a condition to receive the news of his being gone for a longer time, and to know all his affairs. While Brilljard prepar’d all things necessary for his departure, Phillander went to Silvia. From whom, having been absent two tedious hours; she caught him in her Arms with a transport of joy; reproach’d him with want of Love, for being absent so long. But still the more she spoke soft sighing words of|<44> Love, the more his Soul was seiz’d with melancholy, his sighs redoubl’d, and he cou’d not refrain from leting fall some tears upon her bosom —— Which Silvia perceiving with a look and a trembling in her voyce, that spoke her fear, she cry’d, oh Phillander! these are unusual marks of your tenderness. Oh tell me, tell me quickly what they mean. He answer’d with a sigh, and she went on —— ’Tis so, I am undone, ’tis your lost vows, your broken faith you weep, Yes, Phillander, you find the flower of my beauty faded, and what you lov’d before, you pity now, and these be the effects of it. Then sighing, as if his Soul had been departing on her neck, he cry’d, by heaven, by all the powers of Love, thou art the same dear charmer that thou wert, then pressing|<45> her body to his bosom, he sigh’d a new as if his heart were breaking —— I know (says she) Phillander there’s some hidden cause that gives these sighs their way, and that dear face a paleness. Oh tell me all; for she that cou’d abandon all for thee, can dare the worst of Fate, if thou must quit me —— Oh Philander, if it must be so, I need not stay the lingring death of a feable Feaver: I know a way more noble and more sudden. Pleas’d at her resolution, which all most destroy’d his jealousie and fears, a thousand times he kist her, mixing his grateful words and thanks with sighs, and finding her fair hands (which he put often to his mouth) to increase their fires, and her pulse to be more high and quick, fearing to relapse her into her (abating) feaver, he forc’d a|<46> smile, and told her, he had no griefs, but what she made him feel, no torments but her sickness, nor sighs but for her pain, and left nothing unsaid, that might confirm her he was still more and more her Slave; and concealing his design in favour of her health, he ceas’d not vowing and protesting, till he had settled her in all the tranquillity of a recovering beauty. And, as since her first Illness he had never departed from her Bed, so now this night he strove to appear in her Arms with all that usual Gayety of Love that her condition wou’d permit, or his circumstances cou’d feign, and leaving her a sleep at day-break (with a force upon his Soul that cannot be conceiv’d) but by parting Lovers, he stole from her Arms, and retiring to his chamber|<47> he soon got himself ready for his flight and departed. We will leave Silvia’s ravings to be exprest by none but her self, and tell you that after about Fourteen days absence Octavio receiv’d this Letter from Philander:
Phillander to Octavio.
Being safely arriv’d at Collen,* and by a very pretty and lucky adventure lodg’d in the house of the best quallity in the Town, I find my self much more at ease than I thought it possible to be without Silvia, from whom I am nevetheless impatient to hear. I hope absence appears not so great a Bugbear to her as ’twas imagin’d. For I know not what effects it wou’d|<48> have on me to hear her griefs exceeded a few sighs and tears. Those my kind absence has taught me to allow and bear without much pain, but shou’d her Love transport her to extreams of rage and despair, I fear I shou’d quit my safety here, and give her the last proof of my Love and my compassion, throw my self at her Feet, and expose my life to preserve hers. Honour wou’d oblige me to’t. I conjure you, my dear Octavio, by all the Friendship you have vow’d me, (and which I no longer doubt) let me speedily know how she bears my absence, for on that knowledg depends a great deal of the satisfaction of my life; carry her this inclos’d which I have writ her, and soften my silent departure, which possibly may appear rude and unkind, plead my pardon, and give her the story of my necessity of offending, which none can so well relate as your self. And from a mouth so eloquent to a Maid so full of Love, will soon reconcile me to her heart. With her Letter I send you a Bill to pay her 2000 Patacons,* which I have paid Vander Hanskin here, as his Letter will inform you, as also those Bills I receiv’d of you at my departure, having been supply’d by an English Merchant here, who gave me credit. ’Twill be an Age, till I hear from you, and receive the news of the health of Silvia. Than which two blessings nothing will be more welcome to,
Direct your Letters for me to your Merchant Vander Hanskin.|<50>
Philander to Silvia.
There is no way left to gain my Silvia’s pardon for leaving her, and leaving her in such circumstances, but to tell her ’twas to preserve a life, which I believ’d intirely dear to her, but that unhappy crime is too severely punisht by the cruelties of my absence. Believe me, Lovely Silvia, I have felt all your pains, I have burnt with your fever, and sigh’d with your oppressions; Say, has my pain abated yours? Tell me! and hasten my health by the assurance of your recovery, or I have fled in vain from those dear Arms to save my life, of which I know not what account to give you, till I receive from you the|<51> knowledg of your perfect health, the true state of mine. I can only say I sigh, and have a sort of a being in Collen, where I have some more assurance of protection than I cou’d hope I from those int’rested Bruits,* who sent me from you; yet Bruitish as they are, I know thou art safe from their Clownish outrages. For were they senseless as their Fellow-Monsters of the sea, they durst not profane so pure an excellence as thine; the sullen Boors wou’d jouder* out a wellcom to thee, and gape, and wonder at thy awful beauty, tho they want the tender sense to know, to what use ’twas made. Or if I doubted their Humanity, I cannot the Friendship of Octavio, since he has given me too good a proof of it to leave me any fear, that he has not in my absence pursu’d|<52> those generous sentiments for Silvia which he vow’d to Philander, and of which the first proof must be his relating the necessity of my absence, to set me well with my adorable Maid. Who, better than I, can inform her: and that I rather chose to quit you only for a short space, than reduce my self to the necessity of losing you eternally. Let the satisfaction this ought to give you, retrieve your health and beauty, and put you into a condition of restoring to me all my joys. That by pursuing the dictates of your Love, you may again bring the greatest happyness on earth to the Arms of
My affairs here are yet so unsettl’d, that I can take no order for|<53> your coming to me but, as soon as I know where I can fix with safety, I shall make it my business and my happyness: Adieu. Trust Octavio with your Letters only.
This Letter Octavio wou’d not carry himself to her, who had omitted no day, scarce any hour, wherein he saw not or sent not to the charming Silvia, but he found in that which Philander had writ to him, an Aire of coldness altogether unusual with that passionate Lover, and infinitely short in ’ of tenderness to those he had formerly seen of his, and from what he had heard him speak; so that he no longer doubted (and the rather because he hop’d it) but that Philander found an abatement of that heat, which was wont to inspire at a more Amorous rate; this appearing de-|<54>clension he cou’d not conceal from Silvia, at least to let her know he took notice of it; for he knew her Love was too quick-sighted and sensible to pass it unregarded, but he with reason thought, that when she shou’d find others observe the little slight she had put on her, her pride (which is natural to women in such cases) wou’d decline and lessen her Love for his Rival. He therefore sent his Page with the Letters inclos’d in this from himself.
Octavio to Silvia.
From a little necessary debauch I made last night with the Prince, I’m forc’d to imploy my Page in those duties I ought to have perform’d my self: He brings you, Madam, a Letter from|<55> Philander, as mine, which I have also sent you informes me; I shou’d else have doubted it; ’tis, I think, his character, and all he says of Octavio confesses the Friend, but where he speaks of Silvia sure he disguises the Lover: I wonder the mask shou’d be put on now to me, to whom before he so frankly discover’d the secrets of his Amorous heart. ’Tis a mistery I wou’d fain perswade my self he finds absolutely necessary to his interest, and I hope you will make the same favorable constructions of it, and not impute the lessen’d zeal wherewith he treats the charming Silvia to any possible change or coldness, since I am but too fatally sensible, that no man can arrive at the Glory of being belov’d by you, that had ever power to shorten one link of that dear|<56> chain that holds him, and you need but survey that adorable face, to confirm your tranquillitie; set a just value on your charmes, and you need no arguments to secure your everlasting Empire, or to establish it in what heart you please, this fatal truth I learnt from your fair eyes, e’re they discover’d to me your Sex, and you may as soon change to what I then believ’d you, as I from adoring what I now find you; if all then, Madam, that do but look on you become your Slaves, and languish for you, love on, even without hope, and die, what must Phillander pay you, who has the mighty blessing of your Love, your Vows, and all that renders the hours of amorous Youth sacred, glad, and Triumphant? But you know the conquering power of|<57> your charmes too well to need either this daring confession, or a defence of Phillander’s vertue from,
Your obedient Slave,
Silvia had no sooner read this with blushes, and a thousand fears, and trembling of what was to follow in Phillander’s Letters both to Octavio and to her self, but with an Indignation agreeable to her haughty Soul, she cry’d —— How —— slighted! and must Octavio see it too: By Heaven, if I shou’d find it true, he shall not dare to think it; then with a generous rage she broke open Phillander’s, Letter; and which she soon perceiv’d did but too well prove the truth of Octavio’s|<58> suspition, and her own fears. She repeated it again and again, and still she found more cause of grief and anger; Love occasion’d the first, and Pride the last: And, to a Soul perfectly haughty, as was that of Silvia, ’twas hard to guess which had the ascendant: She consider’d Octavio to all the advantages that thought cou’d conceive in one who was not a Lover of him; she knew he merited a heart tho she had none to give him; she found him charming without having a tenderness for him, she found him young and amorous without desire towards him; she found him great, rich, powerful, and generous, without designing on him, and tho she knew her Soul free from all Passion, but that for Philander; nevertheless she blusht and was angry, that he had thoughts|<59> no more advantagious to the power of those charmes, which she wisht might appear to him above her Sex: it being natural to Women to desire Conquests, tho they hate the conquer’d; to glory in the tryumph, tho they despise the Slave. And believ’d, while Octavio had so poor a sense of her beauty as to believe it cou’d be forsaken, he would adore it less; And first to satisfy her pride, she left the softer business of her heart to the next tormenting hour, and sent him this careless answer by his Page, believing, if she appear’d too angry it might look as if she valu’d his opinion, and therefore dissembled her thoughts, as women in those cases ever do, who when most angry seem the most Galliard,* especially when they have need of the friendship of those they flatter.|<60>
Silvia to Octavio.
Is it indeed Octavio, that you believe Philander cold, or wou’d you make that a pretext to the declaration of your own passion, ee French Ladies are not so nicely ty’d up to the formalities of vertue, but we can hear Love at both ears, and if we receive not the addresses of both, at least we are perhaps vain enough not to be displeas’d to find we make new conquests. But you have made your attacque with so ill conduct, that I shall find force enough without more aids to repulse you. Alas, my Lord! did you believe my heart was left unguarded when Philander departed? No, the careful charming Lover left a thousand
How poorly have you paid your self, my Lord, (by this pursuit of your discover’d Love) for all the little friendship you have rendred me? How well you have explain’d, you can be no more a Lover than a Friend, if one may judg the first by the last: Had you been thus obstinate in your passion before|<62> Philander went, or you had believ’d me abandon’d, I should perhaps have thought that you had lov’d indeed, because I should have seen you durst, and should have believ’d it true, because it ran some hazards for me, the resolution of it would have reconcil’d me then to the temerity of it, and the greatest demonstration you cou’d have given of it, woud have been the danger you wou’d have ran and contemned; and the preferance of your passion above any other consideration. This, my Lord, had been generous, and like a Lover, but poorly thus to set upon a single Woman in the disguise of a Friend, in the dark silent melancholy hour of absence from Philander, then to surprise me, then to bid me deliver! to pad for hearts! It is not like Octavio. That Octavio, Philander made his Friend, and for|<63> whose dear sake, my Lord, I will no further reproach you, but from a goodness, which, I hope, you will merit, I will forgive an offence, which your ill timing has render’d almost inexcusable; and expect you will for the future consider better how you ought to treat
As soon as she had dismist the Page, she hasted to her business of Love, and again read over Philanders Letter, and finds still new occasion for fear, she had recourse to pen and paper for a relief of that heart which no other way cou’d find it; and after, having wip’d the tears from her eyes, she writ this following Letter.|<64>
Silvia to Philander.
Yes Philander, I have receiv’d your Letter, and but I found my name there, shou’d have hop’d it twas not meant for Silvia: Oh! ’tis all cold —— Short —— Short and cold as a dead Winters day. It chill’d my blood, it shiver’d every vein. Where, oh where hast thou lavish’d out all those soft words so natural to thy Soul, with which thou us’d to charm; so tun’d to the dear musick of thy voice? What is become of all the tender things, which, as I us’d to read, made little nimble pantings in my heart, my blushes rise, and tremblings in my bloud, adding new fire to the poor burning Victim! Oh where are all thy pretty flatteries of Love, that made me fond, and vain, and set a value on this trifling Beauty? Hast|<65> thou forgot thy wondrous Art of loving? Thy pretty cunings, and thy soft deceivings? Hast thou forgot ’em all? Or hast thou forgot indeed to love at all? Has thy industrious passion gather’d all the sweets, and left the rifled flower to hang its wither’d head, and die in shades neglected? for who will prize it now, now when all its perfumes fled. Oh my Philander, oh my charming Fugitive! wast not enough, you left me, like false Theseus,* on the shore, on the forsaken shore, departed from my fond, my clasping Arms; where I believ’d you safe, secure and pleas’d; when sleep and night, that favour’d you and ruin’d me, had render’d ’em incapable of their dear loss? Oh was it not enough, that when I found ’em empty and abandon’d, and the place cold where you had lain, and my poor trembling bosom un-|<66>possest of that dear load it bore, that I almost expired with my first fears; Oh, if Philander lov’d, he wou’d have thought that cruelty enough, without the sad addition of a growing coldness: I wak’d, I mist thee, and I call’d aloud, Philander! my Philander! But no Philander heard; then drew the close drawn Curtains, and with a hasty and busie view, survey’d the Chamber over, but Oh! in vain I view’d, and call’d yet louder, but none appear’d to my assistance but Antonet and Briljard to torture me with dull excuses, urging a thousand feign’d and frivolous reasons to satisfie my fears: But I, who lov’d, who doated even to madness, by nature soft, and timerous as a Dove, and fearful as a Criminal escap’d, that dreads each little noise, fancy’d their eyes and guilty looks confest the treasons of|<67> their hearts and tongues, while they, more kind than true, strove to convince my killing doubts: Protested, that you would return by night, and feign’d a likely story to deceive. Thus between hope and fear I languisht out a day, Oh Heavens! A tedious day without Philander, who wou’d have thought, that such a dismal day shou’d not, with the end of its reign have finish’d that of my life, but then Octavio came to visit me, and who till then I never wisht to see, but now I was impatient for his coming, who by degrees told me that you were gone —— I never ask’d him where, or how, or why, that you were gone was enough to possess me of all I fear’d, your being apprehended and sent into France, your delivering your self up, your abandoning me; all, all I had an easie faith for, without|<68> consulting more than That, Thou wert gone, —— that very word yet strikes a terrour to my Soul, disables my trembling hand, and I must wait for reinforcements from some kinder thoughts. But, Oh! from whence shou’d they arrive? from what dear present felicity, or prospect of a future, tho never so distant, and all those past ones, serve but to increase my pain; they favour me no more, they charm and please no more, and only present themselves to my memory to compleat the number of my sighs and tears, and make me wish that they had never been, tho even with Philander! Oh, say, thou Monarch of my panting Soul, how hast thou treated Silvia, to make her wish that she had never known a tender joy with thee? Is’t possible she shou’d repent her loving thee, and thou shou’dst give|<69> her cause! Say, dear false Charmer, is it? But O, there is no lasting Faith in sin! —— Ah —— What have I done? How dreadful is the Scene of my first debauch, and how glorious that never to be regain’d prospect of my Virgin innocence, where I sat inthron’d in awful vertue, crown’d with shining honour, and adorn’d with unsullied reputation, till thou, O Tyrant Love! with a charming usurpation invaded all my glories; and which I resign’d with greater pride and joy than a young Monarch puts ’em on. Oh, why then do I repent? as if the vast, the dear expence of pleasures past were not enough to recompence for all the pains of Love to come? But why, O why do I treat thee as a Lover lost already. Thou art not, canst not, no, Ile not believe it, till thou thy self confess it. Nor shall the|<70> omission of a tender word or two make me believe thou hast forgot thy vows. Alas, it may be I mistake thy cares, thy hard fatigues of Life, thy presant ill circumstances (and all the melancholy effects of thine and my mMisfortunes) for coldness and declining Love. Alas, I had forgot my poor, my dear Philander is now oblig’d to contrive for Life, as well as Love; thou perhaps (fearing the worst) art preparing Eloquence for a Council Table, and in thy busie and guilty imaginations haranguing it to the grave Judges, defending thy innocence, or evading thy guilt: Feeing Advocates, excepting Juries, and confronting Witnesses, when thou shou’dst be giving satisfaction to my fainting love-sick heart: Sometimes in thy labouring fancy the horrour of a dreadful Sentence for an ignominious death|<71> strikes upon thy tender Soul with a force that frights the little God from thence, and I’m perswaded there are some moments of this melancholy nature, wherein your Silvia is even quite forgotten, and this too she can think just and reasonable, without reproaching thy heart with a declining passion, especially when I am not by to call thy fondness up, and divert thy more tormenting hours: But Oh, for those soft minutes thou hast design’d for Love, and hast dedicated to Silvia, Philander shou’d dismiss the dull formalities of rigid business, the pressing cares of dangers, and have given a loose to softness. Cou’d my Philander imagine this short and unloving Letter sufficient to atone for such an absence? And has Philander then forgotten the pain with which I languish’d, when but absent from him an hour? how|<72> then can he imagine I can live, when distant from him so many Leagues, and so many days? while all the scanty comfort I have for life is, that one day we might meet again; but where, or when, or how —— thou hast not love enough so much as to divine; but poorly leavest me to be satisfied by Octavio, committing the business of thy heart, the once great importance of thy Soul, the most necessary devoires* of thy life, to be supply’d by another. Oh Philander, I have known a blessed time in our reign of Love, when thou wou’dst have thought even all thy own power of too little force to satisfy the doubting Soul of Silvia: Tell me, Philander, hast thou forgot that time? I dare not think thou hast, and yet (O God) I find an alteration, but Heaven divert the Omen: yet something whispers to my Soul,|<73> I am undone! Oh, where art thou, my Philander? Where’s thy heart? And what has it been doing since it begun my Fate? How can it justifie thy coldness, and thou this cruel absence, without accounting with me for every parting hour? My Charming Dear was wont to find me business for all my lonely absent ones; and writ the softest Letters —— Loading the Paper with fond Vows and Wishes, which e’re I had read o’re another wou’d arrive, to keep Eternal warmth about my Soul; nor wert thou ever wearied more with writing, than I with reading, or with sighing after thee; but now —— Oh! There’s some Mystery in’t I dare not understand. Be kind at least and satisfie my fears, for ’tis a wonderous pain to live in doubt; if thou still lov’st me, swear it|<74> o’re a new! and curse me if I do not credit thee. But —— if thou art declining —— or shou’dst be sent a shameful Victim into France —— Oh thou deceiving Charmer, yet be just, and let me know my Doom: By Heaven this last will find a welcome to me, for it will end the torment of my doubts, and fears of losing thee another way, and I shall have the Joy to dye with thee, dye belov’d, and dye
Having read over this Letter, she fear’d she had said too much of her doubts and apprehensions of a change in him; for now she flies to all the little Stratagems and artifices of Lovers, she begins to consider the worst, and to make the best of that; but quite abandon’d she cou’d not believe|<75> her self, without flying into all the rage that disappointed Women cou’d be possest with, she calls Briljard shews him his Lords Letters, and told him (while he read) her doubts and fears; he being thus instructed by her self in the way how to deceive her on, like Fortunetellers who gather peoples Fortune from themselves and then return it back for their own Divinity; tells her he saw indeed a change! glad to improve her fear, and feigns a sorrow almost equal to hers: ’Tis evident, says he, ’Tis evident, that he’s the most ungrateful of his Sex! Pardon, Madam (continued he, bowing) If my Zeal for the most Charming Creature on Earth make me forget my duty to the best of Masters and Friends. Ah Brilljard, cry’d she, with an Air of languishment that more inflam’d|<76> him, have a care, least that mistaken Zeal for me shou’d make you prophane a Vertue, which has not, but on this occasion, shew’d that it wanted Angels for its guard. Oh Brilljard, if he be false —— If the dear Man be perjur’d, take, take, kind Heaven! the life you have preserv’d but for a greater proof of your revenge —— And at that word she sunk into his Arms, which he hastily extended as she was falling, both to save her from harm and to give himself the pleasure of grasping the lovely’st body in the World to his Bosome, on which her fair face declin’d cold, dead and pale, but so transporting was the pleasure of that dear burden, that he forgot to call for, or to use any aid to bring her back to life, but trembling with his love and eager passion he took a thousand joys,|<77> he kist a thousand times her Lukewarm lips, suckt her short sighs, and ravisht all the sweets her Bosome (which was but guarded with a loose Night Gown) yielded his impatient touches. Oh, Heaven, who can express the pleasures he receiv’d, because no other way he ever cou’d arrive to so much daring? ’twas all beyond his hope, loose were her Robes, insensible the Maid, and love had made him insolent, he rov’d, he kist, he gaz’d, without controul, forgetting all respect of persons, or of place, and quite despairing by fair means to win her, resolves to take this lucky opportunity; the door he knew was fast, for the Counsel she had to ask him admitted of no lookers on, so that at his entrance she had secur’d the pass for him her self, and being near her Bed, when she fell|<78> into his Arms, at this last daring thought he lifts her thither, and lays her gently down, and while he did so, in one Minute ran o’re all the killing joys he had been witness to, which she had given Philander; on which he never paws’d but urg’d by a Cupid altogether malicious and wicked, he resolves his cowardly Conquest, when some kinder God awaken’d Silvia, and brought Octavio to the Chamber door, who having been us’d to a freedom, which was permitted to none but himself with Antonettt her woman, waiting for admittance, after having knockt twice softly, Brilljard heard it, and redoubl’d his disorder, which from that of Love, grew to that of surprise; he knew not what to do, whether to refuse answering, or to re-establish the reviving sense of Silvia; in this mo-|<79>ment of perplexing thought, he fail’d not however to set his hair in order, and adjust him, tho there were no need of it, and steping to the door (after having rais’d Silvia, leaning her head on her hand on the bed side,) he gave admittance to Octavio; but oh Heaven, how was he surpriz’d when he saw it was Octavio? his heart with more force than before redoubl’d its beats, that one might easily perceive every stroke by the motion of his Cravate, he blusht, which, to a complexion perfectly fair, as that of Briljard (who wants no Beauty, either in face or person) was the more discoverable, add to this his trembling, and you may easily imagine what a fuger* he represented himself to Octavio: Who almost as much surpriz’d as himself to find the Goddess of his Vows and Devo-|<80>tions with a young Endimion* a lone, a door shut too, her Gown loose (which from the late fit she was in and Briljards rape upon her Bosom) was still open, and discover’d a World of unguarded Beauty, which she knew not was in view, with some other disorders of her head Cloaths, gave him in a moment a thousand false apprehensions, Antonett was no less surpriz’d, so that all had their part of amazement but the innocent Silvia, whose Eyes were beautifi’d with a melancholy calm, which almost set the generous Lover at ease, and took away his new fears, however he cou’d not chuse but ask Briljard what the matter was with him, he lookt so out of countenance, and trembled so, he told him, how Silvia had been, and what extream frights she had possest him with, and told him|<81> the occasion, which the lovely Silvia with her eyes and sighs assented to, and Brilljard departed; how well pleas’d you may imagine, or with what gusto he left her to be with the lovely Octavio, whom he perceiv’d too well was a Lover in the disguise of a Friend. But there are in love those wonderful Lovers who can quench the Fire one Beauty kindles, with some other Object, and as much in Love as Brilljard was he found Antonett an Antidote that dispell’d the grosser part of it; for she was in Love with our Amorous friend, and courted him with that passion those of that Country do almost all handsom Strangers, and one convenient principle of the Religion of that Country is to think it no sin to be kind while they are single Women, tho otherwise (when Wives) they are|<82> just enough, nor does a Woman that manages her affairs thus discreetly meet with any reproach, of this humour was our Antonett who persu’d her Lover out half jealous there might be some amarous intrigue between her Lady and him, which she sought in vain by all the feable Arts of her Countries Sex to get from him, while on the other side, he believing she might be of use in the farther discovery he desir’d to make between Octavio and Silvia; not only told her she her self was the Object of his wishes, but gave her substantial proofs on’t, and told her his design, after having her Honour for security that she wou’d be secret, the best Pledge a man can take of a Woman: After she had promis’d to betray all things to him, she departed to her affairs, and he to giving|<83> his Lord an account of Silvia, as he desir’d, in a Letter which came to him with that of Silvia; and which was thus,
Philander to Briljard.
I doubt not but you will wonder that all this time you have not heard of me, nor indeed can I well excuse it, since I have been in a place, whence with ease I cou’d have sent every Post, but a new affair of Gallantry has engag’d my thoughtful hours, not that I find any passion there that has abated one sigh for Silvia, but a mans hours are very dull, when undiverted by an intrigue of some kind or other, especially to a heart young and gay as mine is, and which would not if possible, bend under the fatigues of more serious thought and business; I shou’d not|<84> tell you this, but that I wou’d have you feign all the dilatory excuses that possible you can to hinder Silvia’s coming to me, while I remain in this Town, where I design to make my abode but a short time, and had not staid at all, but for this stop to my journey, and I scorn to be vanquish’d without taking my revenge, ’tis a sally of Youth, no more —— a flash, that blazes for a while, and will go out with enjoyment. I need not bid you keep this knowledge to your self, for I have had too good a confirmation of your faith and friendship to doubt you now, and believe you have too much respect for Silvia to occasion her any disquiet. I long to know how she takes my absence, send me at large of all that passes, and give your Letters to Octavio, for none else shall know where I am, or how to|<85> send to me: Be careful of Silvia, and observe her with diligence, for possibly I should not be extravagantly afflicted to find she was inclin’d to love me less for her own ease and mine, since Love is troublesome when the height of it carries it to jealousies, little quarrels, and eternal discontents; all which beginning Lovers prize, and pride themselves on every distrust of the fond Mistress, since ’tis not only a demonstration of love in them, but of power and charmes in us that occasion it, but when we no longer find the Mistress so desirable, as our first wishes form her, we value less their opinion of our persons, and only endeavour to render it agreeable to new Beauties, and adorn it for new Conquests, but you Briljard, have been a Lover, and understand already this Philosophy. I need say no more then,|<86> to a man who knows so well my Soul but to tell him I am
His constant Friend
This came as Briljards Soul cou’d wish, and had he sent him word he had been chosen King of Poland,* he cou’d not have receiv’d the news with so great joy, and so perfect a welcome. How to manage this to his best advantage was the business he was next to consult, after returning an answer; now he fancied himself sure of the lovely prize, in spight of all other oppositions: For (says he, in reasoning the case) if she can by degrees arrive to a coldness to Philander, and consider him no longer as a Lover, she may perhaps consider me as a Husband, or shou’d she receive Octavio’s addresses, when once I have found|<87> her feable I will make her pay me for keeping of every secret. So either way he entertain’d a hope, tho never so distant from Reason and probability; but all things seem possible to longing Lovers, who can on the least hope resolve to out wait even Eternity (if possible) in expectation of a promis’d blessing, and now with more than usual care he resolv’d to dress and set out all his Youth and Beauty to the best advantage, and being a Gentleman well born, he wanted no Arts of dressing, nor any advantage of shape or Mein, to make it appear well: Pleas’d with this hope, his art was now how to make his advances without appearing to have design’d doing to.* And first to act the Hypocrite with his Lord was his business; for he consider’d rightly, if he should not represent|<88> Silvias sorrows to the life, and appear to make him sensible of ’em, he shou’d not be after be credited if he related any thing to her disadvantage; for to be the greater Enemy you ought to seem to be the greatest Friend. This was the policy of his heart, who in all things was inspir’d with phanatical notions. In order to this, being alone in his Chamber, after the defeat he had in that of Silvia’s, he writ this Letter.
Briljard to Philander.
You have done me the Honour to make me your Confident in an affair that does not a little surprize me: Since I believ’d, after Silvia, no mortal Beauty cou’d have touch’d your heart, and nothing but your own|<89> excuses cou’d have suffic’d to have made it reasonable: and I only wish, that when the fatal news shall arrive to Silvia’s ear (as for me it never shall) that she may think it as pardonable as I do; but I doubt ’twill add abundance of grief, to what she is already possest of, if but such a fear shou’d enter in her tender thoughts. But since ’tis not my business, my Lord, to advise or counsel, but to obey, I leave you to all the success of happy Love, and will only give you an account how affairs stand here, since your departure.
That Morning you left the Brill, and Silvia in Bed, I must disturb your more serene thoughts with telling you, that her first surprise and griefs at the news of your departure were most deplorable, where raging madness and the softer passion of Love,|<90> complaints of grief, and anger, sighs, tears, and cries were so mixt together, and by turns so violently seiz’d her, that all about her wept and pity’d her: ’twas sad, ’twas wonderous sad, my Lord, to see it: Nor cou’d we hope her Life, or that she wou’d preserve it if she cou’d, for by many ways she attempted to have releas’d her self from pain by a violent Death, and those that strove to preserve that, cou’d not hope she wou’d ever have return’d to sense again, sometimes a wild extravagant Raving wou’d require all our aid, and then again she would talk and rail so tenderly —— and express her resentment in the kindest softest words that ever madness utter’d, and all of her Philander, till she has set us all a weeping round her, sometimes she’d sit as calm and still as death,|<91> and we have perceiv’d she liv’d only by sighs and silent Tears that fell into her bosom, then on a suddain wildly gaze upon us with Eyes that even then had wondrous Charms, and frantickly survey us all, then cry aloud, where is my Lord Phillander! —— Oh, bring me my Phillander, Brilljard, Oh Antonett, where have you hid the Treasure of my Soul, then weeping floods of Tears, wou’d sink all fainting in our Arms. Anon with trembling words and sighs she’d cry, —— but Oh, my dear Philander is no more, you have surrendered him to France —— Yes, yes, you’ve given him up, and he must dye, Publickly dye, be led a sad Victim thro the joyful crowd —— reproacht and fall ingloriously —— Then rave again and tear her lovely hair, and Act such wildness, —— so|<92> moving and so sad, as even infected the pitying beholders, and all we cou’d do, was gently to perswade her grief, and sooth her raveing Fits; but so we swore, so heartily we vow’d that you were safe, that with the aid of Octavio, who came that day to visit her, we made her capable of hearing a little reason from us: Octavio kneel’d, and beg’d she wou’d but calmly hear him speak, he pawn’d his Soul, his honour, and his life Phillander was as safe from any injury either from France or any other Enemy as he, as she, or Heaven it self; in fine, my Lord, he Vow’d, he swore, and pleaded, till she with patience heard him tell his Story, and the necessity of your absence, this brought her temper back, and dry’d her Eyes, then sighing answer’d him —— that if for your safety you|<93> were fled, she wou’d forgive your cruelty and your absence, and indeavour to be her self again: But then she wou’d a thousand times conjure him not to deceive her faith, by all the friendship that he bore Philander, not to possess her with false hopes; then wou’d he swear a new; and as he swore, she wou’d behold him with such charming sadness in her Eyes that he almost forgot what he wou’d say, to gaze upon her, and to pay his Pitty? But if with all his power of Beauty and of Rhetorick he left her Calm, he was no sooner gone, but she return’d to all the Tempests of despairing Love, to all the unbelief of faithless passion, wou’d neither sleep, nor eat, nor suffer day to enter; but all was sad and gloomy as the vault that held the Ephesian Matron,* nor suffer’d she|<94> any to approach her but her Page, and Count Octavio, and he in midst of all was well receiv’d, not that I think my Lord she feign’d any part of that close retirement to entertain him with any freedom, that did not become a Woman of perfect Love and Honour; tho’ I must own, my Lord, I believe it impossible for him to behold the Lovely Silvia, without having a passion for her, what restraint his Friendship to you may put upon his heart or Tongue, I know not, but I conclude him a Lover, tho without success, what effects that may have upon the heart of Silvia only time can render an account of: And whose conduct I shall the more particularly observe from a curiosity natural to me, to see, if it may be possible for Silvia to love again after the adorable Phillander,|<95> which levity in one so perfect wou’d cure me of the Disease of Love, while I liv’d amongst the fickle Sex: But since no such thought can yet get possession of my belief I humbly beg your Lordship wou’d entertain no jealousie that may be so fatal to your repose and to that of Silvia, doubt not but my fears proceed perfectly from the zeal I have for your Lordship, for whose Honour and tranquillity none shall venture so far as,
Your Lordships most humble
and Obedient Servant.
P O S T S C R I P T.
My Lord the Groom shall set forward with your Coach Horses to morrow Morning according to your Order.|<96>
Having writ this, he read it over; not to see whether it were wity or Eloquent, or writ up to the sence of so good a Judge as Philander, but to see whether he had cast it for his purpose; for there his Master-piece was to be shewn; and having read it, he doubted whether the relation of Silvia’s griefs were not too moving, and whether they might not serve to revive his fading love which were intended only as a demonstration of his own pitty and compassion, that from thence the deceiv’d Lover might with the more ease entertain a belief in what he hinted of her Levity when he was to make that out, as he now had but toucht upon it, for he wou’d not have it thought the business of malice to Silvia, but duty and respect to Philander: That thought reconcil’d|<97> him, to the first part without alteration, and he fancy’d he had said enough in the latter, to give any man of Love and Sence a Jealousie which might inspire a young Lover in persut of a new Mistress, with a revenge that might wholly turn to his advantage, for now every ray gave him light enough to conduct him to hope, and he believ’d nothing too difficult for his Love, nor what his invention cou’d not conquer, he fancy’d himself a very Machiavel* already, and almost promis’d himself the Charming Silvia, with these thoughts he seals up his Letters, and hastes to Silvia’s Chamber for her Further commands, having in his politick transports forgotten he had left Octavio with her. Octavio, who no sooner had seen Brilljard quit the Chamber all trembling and disor-|<98>der’d, after having given him entrance, but the next step was to the Feet of the newly recover’d languishing Beauty, who not knowing any thing of the freedom the daring Husband-Lover had taken, was not at all surpriz’d to hear Octavio cry (kneeling before her) Ah Madam, I no longer wonder you use Octavio with such rigour, then sighing declin’d his Melancholy Eyes, where love and jealousie made themselves too apparent, while she believing he had only reproach’d her want of Ceremony at his entrance, checking her self, she started from the Bed and taking him by the hands to raise him, she cry’d, Rise, my Lord, and pardon the omission of that respect which was not wanting but with even life it self; Octavio answer’d, Yes Madam, but you took care, not to make the World|<99> absolutely unhappy in your Eternal loss, and therefore made
Octavio to Silvia.
’Tis true, that in obedience to your commands, I begg’d your pardon for the|<110> confession I made you of my passion. But since you cou’d not but see the contradiction of my tongue in my eyes, and hear it but too well confirm’d by my sighs, why will you confine me to the formalities of a silent languishment, unless to increase my flame with my pain.
You conjure me to see you often, and at the same time forbid me speaking my passion, and this bold intruder comes to tell you now, ’tis impossible to obey the first, without disobliging the last, and since the crime of adoring you exceeds my disobedience in not waiting on you, be pleas’d at least to pardon that fault, which my profound respect to the lovely Sylvia compells me to commit; for ’tis impossible to see you, and not give you an occasion of reproaching me: If I|<111> cou’d make a truce with my eyes, and like a mortifi’d Capuchion,* look alwayes downwards, not daring to behold the glorious temptations of your Beauty, yet you wound a thousand wayes besides; your touches inflame me, and your voice has musick in’t, that strikes upon my Soul with ravishing tenderness; your Wit is unresistible and peircing; your very sorrows and complaints have charms, that make me soft without the aid of Love: But Pity joyn’d with Passion raises a flame too mighty for my conduct! And I in transports every way confess it! Yes, yes, Upbraid me! Call me Traytor and ungrateful! Tell me my friendship is fals! But Sylvia, yet be just, and say my love was true. Say only he had seen the charming Sylvia; and who is he, that after that wou’d not excuse the rest|<112> in one so absolutely born to be undone by Love, as is
Her destin’d Slave
Madam: Among some Rarities. I this Morning saw, I found these Trifles Florio brings you, which because uncommon I presume to send you.
Sylvia, notwithstanding the seeming severity of her Commands, was well enough pleas’d to be disobey’d; and Women never pardon any fault more willingly than one of this nature, where the Crime gives so infallable a demonstration of their power and Beauty; nor can any of their Sex be angry in their hearts|<113> for being thought desirable; and ’twas not with pain that she saw him obstinate in his passion, as you may believe by her answering his Letters, nor ought any Lover to despair, when he receives denial under his Mistresses own hand, which she sent in this to Octavio.
Silvia to Octavio.
You but ill judge of my Wit, or Humour, Octavio, when you send me such a Present, and such a Billet, if you believe I either receive the one, or the other, as you design’d: In obedience to me you will no more tell me of your Love, and yet at the same time you are breaking your word from one end of the Paper to the other. Out of respect to me you will see me no more, and yet are|<114> bribing me with presents; believing you have found out the surest way to a Womans heart. I must needs confess, Octavio, there is great eloquence in a pair of Bracelets of five thousand Crowns:* ’Tis an Argument to prove your Passion, that has more prevailing reason in’t, than either Seneca* or Tully* cou’d have urg’d, nor can a Lover write or speak in any Language so significant, and very well to be understood, as in that silent one of presenting. The malicious World has a long time agreed to reproach poor Women with cruel, unkind, insensible, and dull; when indeed ’tis those men that are in fault, who want the right way of addressing, the true and secret Arts of moving, that sovereign Remedy against disdain. ’Tis you alone, my Lord, like a young Columbus, that have found the|<115> direct, unpractic’d way to that little and somuch desir’d World the favour of the Fair, nor cou’d Love himself have pointed his Arrows with any thing more successful for his conquest of hearts: But mine, my Lord, like Scæva’s Sheild,* is already so full of Arrows shot from Philanders eyes, it has no room for any other darts! Take back your presents then, my Lord, and when you make ’em next, be sure you first consider the Receiver; for know, Octavio, Maids of my Quality, ought to find themselves secure from addresses of this nature, unless they first invite; you ought to have seen advances in my freedoms, consenting in my eyes, or (that usual vanity of my Sex) a thousand little trifling Arts of affectation, to furnish out a conquest, a forward complysance, to every|<116> Gawdy Coxcomb, to fill my train with amorous Cringing Captives, this might have justified your pretensions, but on the contrary, my Eyes and thoughts, which never stray’d from the dear man I love, were always bent to earth, when gaz’d upon by you; and when I did but fear you lookt with love, I entertain’d you with Phillanders praise, his wondrous Beauty, and his wondrous Love! and left nothing untold that might confirm you how much impossible it was I e’re shou’d love again, that I might leave you no room for hope, and since my story has been so unfortunate to alarm the whole world with a conduct so fatal, I made no scruple of telling you with what joy and pride I was undone; if this incourage you; if Octavio have sentiments so meanly poor of me, to think, because I yiel-|<117>ded to Philander, his hopes shou’d be advanc’d? I banish him for ever from my sight, and after that disdain the little service, he can render the
Never to be alter’d Silvia.
This Letter, she sent him back by his Page, but not the Bracelets which were indeed very fine, and very considerable, at the same time she threatened him with banishment, she so absolutely expected to be disobey’d in all things of that kind, that she drest her self that day to advantage, which since her arrival she had never done in her own habits; what with her illness, and Philanders absence, a careless negligence had seiz’d her, till rous’d and weaken’d to the thoughts of Beauty by Octavio’s Love, she be-|<118>gan to try its force, and that day drest: while she was so imploy’d, the Page hastes with the Letter to his Lord, who chang’d Colour at the sight of it e’re he receiv’d it; not that he hop’d it brought love, ’twas enough she wou’d but answer, tho she rail’d; let her (said he in opening it) vow she hates me: Let her call me Traytor and unjust, so she take the pains to tell it this way, for he knew well those that argue will yield, and only she that sends him back his own Letters without reading ’em can give dispair. He read therefore without a sigh, nor complained he on her rigours, and because it was too early yet to make his Visit, to shew the impatience of his Love, as much as the reality and resolution of it, he bid his Page wait and sent her back this answer.|<119>
Octavio to Silvia.
Fair angry Silvia, how has my Love offended? Has its excess betray’d the least part of that respect due to your Birth and Beauty? Tho I am young as the Gay rudy Morning, and vigorous as the guilded Sun at Noon, and Amorous as that God, when with such haste he chas’d young Daphne o’re the flowery Plain! it never made me guilty of a thought that Silvia might not Pitty, and allow. Nor came that trifling present to plead for any wish, or mend my Eloquence, which you with such disdain upbraid me with, the Bracelets came not to be raffl’d for your Love, nor Pimp to my desires: Youth scorns those common aids; No, let dull|<120> Age pursue those ways of merchandise, who only buy up hearts at that vain price, and never make a Barter, but a Purchase. Youth has a better way of trading in Loves Markets, and you have taught me too well to judge of, and to value Beauty, to dare to bid so cheaply for it; I found the toy was gay, the work was neat, and fancy new; and know not any thing they wou’d so well adorn as Silvia’s lovely hands: I say, if after this, I shou’d have been the mercenary fool to have dunn’d you for return, you might have us’d me thus —— Condemn me e’re you find me sin in thought! that part of it was yet so far behind ’twas scarce arriv’d in wish. You shou’d have staid till it approacht more near, before you damn’d it to eternal silence. To love, to sigh,|<121> —— to weep, to pray, and to complain; why one may be allow’d it in Devotion; but you, nicer than Heaven it self, makes that a Crime, which all the powers Divine have n’re decreed one I will not plead, nor ask you leave to love; Love is my right, my business, and my Province; the Empire of the young, the vigorous, and the bold; and I will claim my share; the Air, the Groves, the Shades, are mine to sigh in, as well as your Philanders; the Eccho’s answer me as willingly, when I complain, or Name the cruel Silvia; Fountains receive my Tears, and the kind Springs reflection agreeably flatters me to hope; and makes me vain enough to think it just and reasonable I shou’d pursue the Dictates of my Soul —— Love on in spight of opposition, because I|<122> will not lose my Priviledge; you may forbid me naming it to you, in that I can obey, because I can; but not to love! not to adore the fair! and not to languish for you, were as impossible as for you not to be lovely, not to be the most charming of your Sex. But I am so far from a pretending fool, because you’ve been possest, that often that thought comes cross my Soul, and checks my advancing Love! and I wou’d buy that thought off with all most all my share of future bliss! Were I a God, the first great Miracle shou’d be to form you a Maid again! For oh, what ever reasons flattering Love can bring to make it look like just, the World! the World fair Silvia, still will censure, and say —— you were to blame, but ’twas that fault alone that made you mortal, we|<123> else shou’d have ador’d you as a Deity, and so have lost a generous race of young succeeding Hero’s that may be born of you! yet had Philander lov’d but half so well as I, he wou’d have kept your glorious Fame intire, but since alone for Silvia, I love Silvia! let her be false to honour, false to Love, wanton and proud, ill-natur’d, vain, fantastique, or what is worse —— let her pursue her Love, be constant, and still dote upon Philander —— Yet still she’l be the Silvia I adore, that Silvia born eternally to inslave
This he sent by Florio his Page at the same time that she expected the visit of his Lord, and blusht with a little anger and concern at the disappointment; however she|<124> hasted to read the Letter, and was pleas’d with the haughty resolution he made, in spight of her, to love on as his right by birth; and she was glad to find from these positive resolves that she might the more safely disdain, or at least assume a Tyranny which might render her vertue Glorious, and yet at the same time keep him her slave on all occasions when she might have need of his service, which, in the circumstances she was in, she did not know of what great use it might be to her, she having no other design on him, bating the little Vanity of her Sex, which is an ingredient so intermixt with the greatest vertues of Women kind, that those who indeavour to cure ’em of that disease robs ’em of a very considerable pleasure, and in most, ’tis incurable: Give Silvia then|<125> leave to share it with her Sex, since she was so much the more excusable by how much a greater portion of Beauty she had than any other, and had sense enough to know it too; as indeed whatever other Knowledge they want, they have still enough to set a price on beauty, tho they do not always rate it, for had Silvia done that, she had been the hapiest of her Sex! but as she was, she waited the coming of Octavio, but not so as to make her quit one sad thought for Philanders. Love and vanity, tho they both reign’d in her Soul, yet the first surmounted the last, and she grew to impatient ravings when ever she cast a thought upon her fear that Philander grew cold; and possibly pride and vanity had as great a share in that concern of hers as Love it self, for she wou’d|<126> oft survey her self in her Glass, and cry! Gods! can this Beauty be despis’d? this Shape! this Face! this youth! This Air! and what’s more obliging yet, a heart that adores the fugitive, that languish and sighs after the dear Run away. Is it possible he can find a Beauty, added she, of greater perfection —— But oh ’tis fancy sets the rate on Beauty; and he may as well love a third time as he has a Second: For in Love those that once break the rules and Laws of that Deity set no bounds to their Treasons, and disobedience. Yes yes —— wou’d she cry, he that cou’d leave Mertilla, the fair, the young, the Noble, Chast and fond Mertilla, what after that may he not do to Silvia, on whom he has less tyes, less obligations: Oh wretched Maid —— what has thy fondness done! he’s satiated now with thee, as before with Mertilla, and carries all those|<127> dear, those charming joys, to some new Beauty, whom his looks have Conquer’d, and whom his soft bewitching Vows will ruin! with that she rav’d and stampt, and cry’d aloud! Hell —— Fiers —— Tortures —— Dagers —— Racks and Poyson —— come all to my relief! Revenge me on the perjur’d lovely Divel —— But I’le be brave —— I will be brave and hate him —— This she spoke in a tone less fierce, and with great Pride, and had not paws’d and walk’d above a hasty turn or two, but Octavio as impatient as love cou’d make him, enter’d the Chamber, so drest, so set out for Conquest, that I wonder at nothing more than that Silvia did not find him altogether Charming, and fit for her revenge who was form’d by Nature for Love: And had all that cou’d render him the Dotage of Women; but where a heart is pre-|<128>possest, all that is Beautiful in any other Man serves but as an ill comparison to what it loves, and even Philanders likeness, that was not indeed Philander, wanted the secret to charm. At Octavio’s entrance she was so fixt on her Revenge of Love, that she did not see him who presented himself as so proper an Instrument, till he first sighing, spoke, Ah Silvia, shall I never see that Beauty easie more? Shall I never see it reconcil’d to content, and a soft calmness fixt upon those Eyes, which were form’d for looks all tender and serene, or are they resolv’d (continu’d he, sighing) never to appear but in storms when I approach? Yes, replyed she, when there’s a Calm of Love in yours that raises it. Will you confine my Eyes (said he) that are by Nature soft? May not their silent Language tell you my hearts|<129> sad Story? But she reply’d with a sigh, it is not generously done Octavio, thus to pursue a poor unguarded Maid, left to your Care, your promises of Friendship. Ah, will you use Philander with such treachery? Silvia, said he, my Flame’s so just and reasonable, that I dare even to him pronounce I love you, and after that dare love you on —— And wou’d you (said she) to satisfie a little short liv’d passion, forfeit those vows you’ve made of Friendship to Philander? That heart that loves you Silvia (he replyed) cannot be guilty of so base a thought, Philander is my Friend, and as he is so, shall know the dearest secrets of my Soul. I shou’d believe my self indeed ungrateful (continu’d he) wher e’re I lov’d, shou’d I not tell Philander, he told me frankly all his Soul; his loves, his griefs, his Treasons, and escapes, and in return I’le pay him|<130> back with mine, and do you Imagine (said she) that he wou’d permit your love, how shou’d he hinder me (reply’d he.) I do believe (said she) he’d forfeit all his safety and his friendship, and fight ye, then I’d defend my self, said he if he were so ungrateful. While they thus argued Silvia had her thoughts a part, on the little stratagems that VVomen in love sometimes make use of; and Octavio no sooner told her he wou’d send Philander word of his Love, but she imagin’d that such a knowledge might retrieve the heart of her Lover, if indeed it were on the wing, and revive the dying Embers in his Soul, as usually it does from such occasions, and on the other side, she thought that she might more allowably receive Octavio’s addresses, when they were with
Octavio to Philander.
Since I have vow’d you my Eternal friendship, and that I absolutely believe my self honour’d with that of yours, I think my self oblig’d by those powerful|<132> tyes to let you know my heart, not only now as that friend from whom I ought to conceal nothing, but as a Rival too, whom in Honour I ought to treat as a generous one; perhaps you will be so unkind as to say I cannot be a friend and a Rival at the same time, and that almighty love, that sets the world at odds, chases all things from the heart where that reigns, to establish it self the more absolutely there, but, my Lord, I avow mine a Love of that good Nature, that can indure the equal sway of friendship, where like two perfect Friends they support each others Empire there, nor can the glory of one Eclipse that of the other, but both like the notion we have of the Deity, tho two distinct passions make but one in my Soul, and tho friendship first enter’d, ’twas in vain, I call’d it to my aid, at the|<133> first soft invasion of Silvia’s power; and you my charming friend, are the most oblig’d to, pitty me, who already know so well the force of her beauty I wou’d fain have you think, I strove at first with all my reason against the irresistible lustre of her eyes. And at the first assaults of Love, I gave him not a welcome to my bosome, but like slaves unus’d to fetters, I grew sullen with my chains, and wore ’em for your sake uneasily. I thought it base to look upon the Mistress of my friend with wishing eyes; but softer Love soon furnisht me with arguments to justifie my claim, since Love is not the choice but the face of the Soul, who seldom regards the object lov’d as ’tis, but as it wishes to have it be, and then kind fancy makes it soon the same. Love, that Almighty Creator of something|<134> from nothing, forms a Wit, a Hero, or a Beauty, Vertue, good Humour, Honour, any excellence, when oftentimes there’s neither in the Object, but where the agreeing world has fixt all these, and ’tis by all resolv’d, (whether they love or not) that this is she, you ought no more Philander, to upbraid my Flame; than to wonder at it; it is enough I tell you that ’tis Silvia, to justifie my passion! nor is’t a Crime that I confess, I love! since it can never rob Philander of the least part of what I’ve vow’d him, or if his nicer Honour will believe me guilty of a fault, let this attone for all; that if I wrong my friend in loving Silvia, I right him in despairing, for oh I am repuls’d with all the Rigour of the coy and fair, with all the little Malice of the wity Sex!|<135> and all the Love of Silvia to Philander, —— There, there’s the stop to all my hopes, and happiness, and yet by Heaven I love thee, oh thou favour’d Rival!
After this frank confession, my Philander, I shou’d be glad to hear your sentiment, since yet, in spight of Love, in spight of Beauty, I’m resolv’d
To dy Philanders
Constant Friend, Octavio.
After he had writ this, he gave it to Silvia. See Charming Creature (said he in delivering it) if after this you either doubt my Love, or what I dare for Silvia. I neither receive it (said she) as a proof of the one or the other; but rather that you believe, by this frank Confession, to render it as a piece of Gallantry|<136> and diversion to Philander; for no Man of sense will imagine that, love true, or arriv’d to any height, that makes a publique confession of it to his Rival. Ah Silvia answer’d he, how malicious is your Wit, and how active to turn its pointed mischief on me, had I not writ, you wou’d have said I durst not, and when I make a declaration of it, you call it only a slight piece of Gallantry! but Silvia you have wit enough to try it a thousand ways, and power enough to make me obey; use the extremity of both; so you recompence me at last with a confession that I was at least found worthy to be numbred in the crowd of your adorers. Silvia reply’d, he were a dull Lover indeed, that wou’d need instructions from the Wit of his Mistress to give her proofs of his passion, what ever opinion you have of my sense, I have too good a one of Octavio’s to be-|<137>lieve, that when he’s a Lover he’le want aids to make it appear, till then we’le let that argument alone and consider his address to Philander. She then read over the Letter he had writ, which she lik’d very well for her purpose, for at this time our young Dutch Hero was made a property of, in order to her revenge on Philander. She told him he had said too much both for himself and her. He told her, he had declar’d nothing with his Pen, that he wou’d not make good with his Sword. Hold Sir, said she, and do not imagine from the freedom you have taken in owning your passion to Philander, that I shall allow it here; what you declare to the world is your own Crime, but when I hear it, ’tis no longer yours but mine, I therefore conjure you, my Lord, not to charge my Soul with so great a sin against Philander, and I confess to|<138> you, I shall be infinitely troubl’d to be oblig’d to banish you my sight for ever. He heard her and answer’d with a sigh, for she went from him to the Table and seal’d her Letter, and gave it him to be inclos’d to Philander, and left him to consider on her last words, which he did not lay to heart, because he fancy’d she spoke this as women do that will be won with industry, he, in standing up as she went from him, saw himself in the great glass, and bid his person answer his heart, which from every view he took, was reinforc’d with new hope, for he was too good a judge of Beauty not to find it in every part of his own Amiable person, nor cou’d he imagine from Silvia’s eyes, (which were naturally soft and languishing, and now the more so from her fears and jealousies) that she|<139> meant from her heart the rigours she exprest: Much he allow’d for his short time of Courtship, much to her Sex’s modesty, much from her quality, and very much from her Love, and imagin’d it must be only time and assiduity, opportunity, and obstinate passion, that was only capable of reducing her to break her faith with Philander, he therefore indeavour’d by all the good dressing, the advantage of lavish gayety, to render his person agreeable, and by all the Arts of Gallantry to charm her with his conversation, and when he cou’d handsomely bring in love, he fail’d not to touch upon it as far as it wou’d be permitted, and every day had the vanity to fancy he made some advances, for indeed every day more and more she found she might have use for so considerable|<140> a Person, so that one may very well say, never any past their time better than Silvia and Octavio, tho with different ends, all he had now to fear was from the answer Philanders Letter shou’d bring, for whom he had in spight of Love, so intire a friendship, that he even doubted whether, (if Philander cou’d urge reasons potent enough) he shou’d not chuse to dye and quit Silvia rather then be false to friendship; one Post past, and another, and so eight successive ones, before they receiv’d one word of answer to what they sent, so that Silvia, who was the most impatient of her Sex, and the most in Love was raving and acting all the extravagance of despair, and even Octavio now became less pleasing, yet he fail’d not to Visit her every day to send her rich presents,|<141> and to say all that a fond Lover, or a faithful friend might urge for her relief: at last Octavio receiv’d this following Letter.
Philander to Octavio.
You have shew’d Octavio a freedom so generous, and so beyond the usual Measures of a Rival, that ’twere almost injustice in me not to permit you to love on, if Silvia can be false, to me and all her vows, she is not worth preserving; if she prefer Octavio to Philander, then he has greater merit and deserves her best; but if on the contrary she be just, if she be true, and constant, I cannot fear his Love will injure me, so either way Octavio has my leave to Love the Charming Silvia: alas, I know her|<142> power, and do not wonder at thy fate! for ’tis as natural for her to Conquer, as ’tis for youth to yield, oh, she has fascination in her Eyes! a spel upon her tongue, her Wit’s a Philter,* and her air and motion all snares for heedless hearts; her very faults have Charmes, her pride, her peevishness, and her disdain, have unresisted power. Alas, you find it every day —— and every Night she sweeps the Toore* along, and shews the Beauty, she inslaves the Men, and Rivals all the Women! how oft with Pride and Anger I have seen it, and was the unconsidering Coxcombe then, to rave and rail at her, to curse her Charms, her fair inviting and perplexing Charmes, and bullyed every Gazer; by Heaven I cou’d not spare a smile, a look! and she has such a lavish freedom|<143> in her humour, that if thou chance to love as I have done —— ’twill surely make thee mad, if she but talkt aloud, or put her little affectation on, to shew the wondring crowd, what she cou’d do, if she design’d to shew the force of Beauty; oh God! how lost in rage! How mad with jealousie, was my fond breaking heart, my eyes grew fierce, and Clamorous my Tongue! and I have scarce contain’d my self from hurting, what I so much ador’d! but then the subtil Charmer, had such Arts to flatter me to peace again —— to clasp her lovely arms about my neck —— to sigh a thousand dear confirming vows into my Bosom, and kiss, and smíle, and swear —— and take away my rage, —— and then —— Oh my Octavio! no humane, fancy, can present the joy of the dear reconciling|<144> moment, where little quarrels rais’d the rapture higher, and she was always new. These are the wondrous pains, and wondrous pleasures that Love by turns inspires, till it grows wise by time and repetition, and then the God assumes a serious gravity, injoyment takes off the uneasie keenness of the passion, the little jealous quarrels raise no more, quarrels, the very Feathers of Loves darts, that send ’em with more swiftness to the heart; and when they cease, your transports lessen too, then we grow reasonable, and consider; we love with prudence then, as Fencers fight with foyls; a sullen brush perhaps sometimes or so; but nothing that can touch the heart, and when we are arriv’d to love at that dull easie rate, we never die of that Disease, then we’ve recourse to all the little Arts,|<145> the aids of flatterers, and dear dissimulation (that help meet to the lukewarm Lover) to keep up a good Character of constancy, and a right understanding.
Thus Octavio, I have ran thro’ both the degrees of Love; which I have taken so often, that I’m grown most learn’d and able in the Art: My easie heart is of the Constitution of those whom frequent sickness renders apt to take relapses from every little cause, or wind, that blows too fiercely on ’em; it renders it self to the first effects of new surprizing Beauty, and finds such pleasure in beginning passion, such dear delight of fancying new injoyment, that all past loves, past
Perhaps, my friend, you are wondring now, what this discourse, this odd discovery of my own inconstancy tends to? Then since I cannot better pay you back the secret|<147> you had told me of your Love, than by another of my own, take this confession from thy Friend —— I love! —— I languish, and am dying, —— for a new Beauty. To you, Octavio, you that have liv’d twenty dull tedious years, and never understood the Mystery of Love, till Silvia taught you to adore; this change may seem a wonder, you that have lasily run more than half your youths gay course of life away; without the pleasure of one nobler hour of mine! who, like a Miser hoord your sacred store, or scantily have dealt it but to one, think me a lavish prodigal in love, and gravely will reproach me with inconstancy, —— but use me like a friend, and hear my story.
It happen’d in my last days journey, on the road I overtook a man of quality, for so his E-|<148>quipage confest, we joyn’d and fell into discourse of many things indifferent, till, from a Chain of one thing to another, we chanc’d to talk of France, and of the Factions there, and I soon found him a Cæsarian; for he Grew hot with his concern for that Prince, and fiercely own’d his int’rest, this pleas’d me, and I grew familier with him; and I pleas’d him so well in my Devotion for Cæsario, that being arriv’d at Collen he invites me home to his Pallace, which he beg’d I wou’d make use of as my own during my stay at Collen. Glad of the opportunity I obey’d; and soon inform’d my self by a Spanish Page (that waited on him) to whom I was oblig’d; he told me it was the Count of Clarinau, a Spaniard born and of quality, who for some disgust|<149> at Court retir’d hither; that he was a person of much gravity, a great politician, and very rich; and tho well in years was lately married to a very Beautiful young Lady, and that very much against her consent; A Lady whom he had taken out of a Monastery, where she had been pentioned from a Child, and of whom he was so fond and jealous, he never wou’d permit her to see or be seen by any Man, and if she took the Air in her Coach, or went to Church, he oblig’d her to wear a Veil. Having learnt thus much of the Boy, I dismiss’d him with a present; for he had already inspir’d me with curiosity, that prologue to love, and I knew not of what use he might be hereafter; a curiosity that I was resolv’d to satisfie, tho I broke all the laws of hospitality, and even|<150> that first Night I felt an impatience that gave me some wonder; in fine, three days I languisht out in a disorder that was very near alied to that of Love. I found my self magnificently lodg’d, attended with a formal Ceremony, and indeed all things were as well as I cou’d imagine, bating a kind opportunity to get a sight of this young Beauty: now half a Lover grown, I sight and grew opprest with thought, and had recourse to Groves, to shady walks and Fountains, of which the delicate Gardens afforded variety, the most resembling nature that ever Art produc’d, and of the most Melancholly recesses, fancying there in some lucky hour, I might incounter what I already so much ador’d in Idea: Which still I form’d just as my fancy wisht; there, for the first|<151> two days, I walkt and sight, and told my new born passion to every gentle Wind that play’d among the boughs, for yet no Lady bright appear’d beneath ’em, no Visionary Nymph the Groves afforded, but on the third day, all full of Love and Stratagem in the cool of the Evening, I past into a Thicket near a little Rivulet, that purl’d and murmur’d thro’ the glad, and past into the Meads, this pleas’d and fed my present Amorous humour, and down I laid my self on the shady brink, and listen’d to its melancholly glidings, when from behind me, I heard a sound more ravishing, a Voice that sung these Words:|<152>
Alas, in vain, you Powers above,
You gave me youth, you gave me Charms,
And every tender sense of Love;
To destine me to old Phileno’s Arms.
Ah how can youths gay spring allow,
The chilling kisses of the Winter’s Snow!
All Night I languish by his side,
And fancy joys I never taste,
As men in Dreams a Feast provide,
And waking find, with grief they fast.
Either, ye Gods, my Youthful fires alay,
Or make the old Phileno, young and Gay.
Like a fair flower in shades obscurity,
Tho every sweet adorns my head,
Ungather’d, unadmir’d I lie,
And wither on my silent gloomy Bed,
While no kind aids to my relief appear,
And no kind Bosom makes me Triumph there.
By this you may easily guess,|<153> as I soon did, that the Song was sung by Madam the Countess of Clarinau, as indeed it was; at the very beginning of her Song my joyful Soul divin’d it so! I rose, and advanc’d by such slow degrees as neither alarm’d the fair singer, nor hinder’d me the pleasure of hearing any part of the Song, till I approacht so near as (behind the shelter of some jesimin that divided us) I unseen, completed those wounds at my Eyes, which I had receiv’d before at my Ears. Yes, Ociavio, I saw the lovely Clarinau! leaning on a Pillow made of some of those Jesimins, which favour’d me, and serv’d her for a Canopy. But, Oh my Friend! how shall I present her to thee in that Angel form, she then appear’d to me? all young! all ravishing as new-born light to lost benighted Tra-|<154>vellers; her Face, the fairest in the World, was adorn’d with Curls of shining jett ty’d up —— I know not how, all carelessly with Scarlet Ribbon mixt with pearls; her Robe was gay and rich, such as young Royal Brides put on when they undress for joys! her Eyes were black, the softest Heaven e’re made, her mouth was sweet, and form’d for all delight, so red her Lips, so round, so grac’d with dimples, that without one other Charm, that was enough to kindle warm desires about a frozen heart! a sprightly air of Wit compleated all, increas’d my Flame, and made me mad with love! endless it were to tell thee all her Beauties: Nature all o’re, was lavish and profuse, let it suffice, her face, her shape, her mien, had more of Angel in ’em than hu-|<155>manity! I saw her thus all charming! thus she lay! a smiling melancholly drest her Eyes, which she had fixt upon the Rivulet, near which I found her lying; just such I fancy’d fam’d Lucretia was, when Tarquin* first beheld her, nor was that Royal Ravisher more inflam’d than I! or readier for th’incounter. Alone she was, which heighten’d my desires! Oh Gods! alone lay the young lovely Charmer, with wishing Eyes, and all prepar’d for Love! The shade was gloomy, and the tell tale leaves combin’d so close, they must have given us warning if any had approacht from either side! all favour’d my design and I advanc’d! but with such caution as not to inspire her with a fear, instead of that of Love! a slow, uneasie pace, with folded Arms, Love in my Eyes,|<156> and burning in my heart. —— At my approach she scarce contain’d her cries, and rose surpriz’d and blushing, discovering to me such a proportion’d height —— so lovely and Majestick —— that I stood gazing on her, all lost in Wonder, and gave her time to dart her Eyes at me, and every look pierc’d deeper to my Soul, and I had no sense but love, silent admiring Love! Immovable I stood, and had no other motion but that of a heart all painting, which lent a feeble trembling to my Tongue, and even when I wou’d have spoke to her, it sent a sigh up, to prevent my boldness; and Oh Octavio, tho I have been bread in all the sawcy daring of a forward Lover, yet now I wanted a convenient impudence, aw’d with a haughty sweetness in her look, like a Favbrave* after a vigorous on set, finding the danger fly so thick around him,|<157> sheers off and dares not face the pressing Foe, struck with too fierce a lightening from her eyes, whence the God sent a thousand winged Darts, I veil’d my own and durst not play with Fire: while thus she hotly did pusue her conquest, and I stood fixt on the defensive part, I heard a rusling amongst the thick Grown Leaves, and thro’ their Mystick windings soon perceiv’d the good old Count of Clarinau approaching, Muttering and mumbling to old Dormina, the Dragon appointed to guard this lovely Treasure, and which she having left alone in the Thicket, and had retir’d but at an awful distance had most extreamly disoblig’d her Lord. I only had time enough in this little moment to look with eyes that ask’d a thousand pitties, and told her in their silent Language|<158> how loath they were to leave the Charming Object, and with a sigh —— I vanisht from the wondering fair One, nimble as lightening, silent as a shade: To my first post behind the Jesimins, that was the utmost that I cou’d perswade my heart to do; you may believe, my dear Octavio, I did not bless the Minute that brought old Clarinau to that dear recess, nor him, nor my own fate; and to compleat my torment I saw him (after having gravely reproach’d her for being alone without her Woman) yes I saw him fall on her neck, her lovely Snowy neck, and loll, and kiss, and hang his tawny wither’d Arms on her fair Shoalders, and press his nauscious load upon Calista’s Body, (for so I heard him name her) while she was gazing still upon the empty place, whence she had|<159> seen me vanish; which he perceiving, cry’d —— My little Fool, what is’t thou gazest on, turn to thy none* old man and buss him soundly —— when putting him by with a disdain, that half made amends for the injury he had done me by coming, Ah, my Lord, cry’d she, even now, just there I saw a lovely vision, I ne’re beheld so excellent a thing —— How, cry’d he, a vision, a thing, —— what Vision what thing, where, how, and when —— Why there, said she, with my eyes, and just now, it vanisht behind yon Jesimins: With that I drew my Sword —— for I despair’d to get off unknown, and being well enough acquainted with the jealous nature of the Spaniards, which is no more then see and stab, I prepar’d to stand on my defence; till I cou’d reconcile him if possible, to reason; yet even in that moment I|<160> was more afraid of the injury he might do the innocent fair One, than of what he cou’d do to me, but he not so much as dreaming she meant a Man by her lovely Vision, fell a kissing her a new, and beckning Dormina off to pimp at distance, told her, The Grove was so sweet, the Rivers Murmurs too delicate, and she was so curiously drest, that altogether had inspir’d him with a love-fit, and then assaulting her a new with a Sneere, which you have seen a Satyr make in Pictures, he fell to act the little tricks of youth, that lookt so goatish in him —— instead of kindling ’twou’d have dampt a flame, which she resisted with a scorn so charming gave me new hope and fire, when to oblige me more, with Pride, disdain, and loathing in her Eyes, she fled like Daphne from the Ravish-|<161>er; he being bent on love persu’d her, with a feeble pace, like an old Wood God chacing some coy Nimph, who wing’d with fear out strips the flying VVind, and tho a God he cannot overtake her; and left me fainting with new love, new hope, new jealousie, impatience, sighs and wishes, in the abandon’d Grove. Nor cou’d I go without another view of that dear place in which I saw her lie, I went —— and laid me down just on the print which her fair body made, and prest, and kist it o’re a thousand times with eager transports, and even fancy’d fair Calista there; there ’twas I found the Paper with the Song which I have sent you; there I ran o’re a thousand Stratagems to gain another view, no little States men had more Plots and Arts, than I to gain this Object I|<162> ador’d the soft Idea of my burning heart, now raging wild; abandon’d all to Love and loose desire, but hitherto my industry is vain; each day I haunt the thickest Groves and Springs, the flow’ry VValks, close Arbors; all the day my busie Eyes and heart are searching her, but no intelligence they bring me in; in fine Octavio, all that I can since learn is, that the bright Calista had seen a Vision in the Garden, and ever since was so possest with melancholly, that she had not since quited her Chamber; she is daily pressing the Count to permit her to go into the Garden, to see if she can again incounter the lovely Phantom, but whether, from any Description she have made of it, (or from any other cause) he imagines who it was, I know not, but he indeavours all he can to|<163> hinder her, and tells her ’tis not lawful to tempt heaven by invoking an apparition, so that till a second view eases the torments of my mind there is nothing in nature to be conceiv’d so raving mad as I; as if my despairs of finding her again increas’d my impatient flame instead of lessening it.
After this declaration, judge Octavio, who has given the greatest proofs of his friendship, you or I; You being my Rival trust me with the Secret of loving my Mistress, which can no way redound to your disadvantage; but I by telling you the secrets of my Soul, put it into your power to ruin me with Silvia, and to establish your self in her heart? a thought I yet am not willing to bear, for I have an ambition in my love, that wou’d|<164> not, while I’m toyling for Empire here, lose my dominion in another place; but since I can no more rule a Woman’s heart, than a Lovers Fate, both you and Silvia may deceive my opinion in that, but shall never have power to make me believe you less my friend, than I am
P O S T S C R I P T.
The inclos’d I need not oblige you to deliver: You see I give you opportunity.
Octavio no sooner arriv’d to that part of the Letter which nam’d the Count of Clarinau, but he stop’d and was scarce able to proceed, for the Charming Calista was his Sister, the only one he had|<165> who having been bred in a Nunnery, was taken thence to be married to this old rich Count, who had a great Fortune: Before he proceeded, his Soul divin’d this was the new Amour that had ingag’d the heart of his Friend, he was afraid to be farther convinc’d, and yet a curiosity to know how far he had proceeded made him read it out with all the disorder of a man jealous of his Honour, and nicely careful of his Fame; he consider’d her young about eighteen, married to an old ill-favour’d jealous Husband, no Parents but himself to right her wrongs, or revenge her levety, he knew tho she wanted no Wit she did Art, for being bred without the Conversation of Men she had not learnt the little cunnings of her Sex, he guest by his own Soul that hers was soft and|<167
The Page hasting to Silvia, finds her in all the disquiet of an expecting Lover, and snatching the Papers from his hand, the first she saw was that from Philander, at which she trembl’d with fear and joy, for Hope, Love and Despair at once seiz’d her, and hardly able to make a sign with her hand, for the Boy to withdraw, she sank down into her Chair all pale, and almost fainting, but re-assuming her Courage, she open’d it, and read this.
Philander to Silvia.
Ah Silvia! Why all these Doubts and Fears? Why at this distance, do you accuse your Lover, when he’s uncapable to fall before you, and unde-|<173>ceive your little jealousies. Oh Silvia, I fear this first reproaching me, is rather the effects of your own guilt, than any that love can make you think of mine. Yes, yes, my Silvia, ’tis the Waves that roul, and glide away, and not the steady shore. ’Tis you begin to unfasten from the Vows that hold you, and float along the flattering Tide of Vanity. ’Tis you, whose Pride and Beauty scorning to be confin’d, gives way to the admiring Croud, that sigh for you. Yes, yes, you, like the rest of your fair glorious Sex, love the admirer tho you hate the Coxcomb. ’Tis vain! ’tis great! and shews your Beauties Power! —— Is’t possible, that for the safety of my Life, I cannot retire but you must think I’m fled from Love and Silvia! or is it possible that pitying tenderness|<174> that made me uncapable of taking leave of her shou’d be interpreted as false —— And base, —— and that an absence of thirty days, so forc’d, and so compell’d must render me inconstant, —— lost —— ungrateful —— as if that after Silvia heaven e’re made a Beauty that cou’d Charm me?
You charge my Letter with a thousand faults, ’tis short, ’tis cold, and wants those usual softnesses that gave ’em all their welcom, and their Graces. I fear my Silvia loves the flatterer, and not the Man, the Lover only, not Philander: And she considers him not for himself, but the gay glorious thing he makes of her! Ah! too self int’rested! Is that your Justice? You ne’r allow for my unhappy circumstances, you never think how care oppresses me: Nor what my love contributes|<175> to that care. How business, danger, and a thousand ills, take up my harass’d mind; by every power I love thee still, my Silvia, but time has made us more familiar now, and we begin to leave off Ceremony, and come to closer joys to joyn our int’rest now, as people fixt, resolv’d to live and die together; to weave our thoughts, and be united stronger. At first we shew the gayest side of Love, dress and be nice in every word and look, set out for conquest all; spread every Art, use every Stratagem —— but when the toyl is past, and the dear Victory gain’d, we then propose a little idle rest, a little easie slumber; We then embrace, lay by the Gawdy shew, the Plumes and guilded Equipage of Love, the trappings of the Conqueror, and bring the naked Lo-|<176>ver to your Arms; we shew him then uncas’d with all his little disadvantages; perhaps the flowing hair, (those Ebon Curles you have so often comb’d and drest, and kist) are then put up and shew a fiercer Air, more like an Antique Roman than Philander, and shall I then, because I want a Grace be thought to love you less; because the embroider’d Coat, the Point,* and Garniture’s* laid by, must I put off my Passion with my Dress? No, Silvia, love allows a thousand little freedoms: Allows me to unbosom all my Secrets; tell thee my wants, my Fears, complaints and dangers, and think it great relief, if thou but sigh and pitty me: And oft thy Charming wit has aided me, but now I find thee adding to my pain. Oh where shall I unload my weight of cares, when Silvia, who was wont|<177> to sigh and weep, and suffer me to ease the heavy Burden, now grows displeas’d and peevish with my moans, and calls ’em the effects of dying love! instead of those dear smiles, that fond bewitching prattle, that us’d to calm my roughest storm of Grief, she now reproaches me with coldness, want of concern and Lovers Rhetorick: And when I seem to beg relief and shew my Souls resentment, ’tis then I’m false; ’tis my aversion! or the effects of some new kindling Flame! Is this fair dealing Silvia? Can I not spare a little sigh from love, but you must think I rob you of your due? If I omit a tender Name by which I us’d to call you, must I be thought to lose that passion that taught me such indearments? And must I ne’re reflect upon the ruin both of my fame and For-|<178>tune, but I must run the risk of losing Silvia too? Oh cruelty of Love! Oh too, too fond and jealous Maid, what Crimes thy innocent passion can create, when it extends beyond the bounds of reason: Ah too, too nicely tender Silvia, that will not give me leave to cast a thought back on my former glory; yet even that loss I cou’d support with tameness and content, if I believ’d my suffering reach’d only to my heart, but Silvia, if she love, must feel my torments too, must share my loss, and want a thousand Ornaments, my sinking Fortune cannot purchase her; believe me, Charming Creature, if I shou’d love you less, I have a sense so just of what you’ve suffer’d for Philander, I’d be content to be a Galley Slave, to give thy Beauty, Birth and Love their due, but as|<179> I am thy Faithful Lover still, depend upon that Fortune Heaven has left me; which if thou canst (as thou hast often sworn) then thou wou’dst submit to be cheerful still, be gay and confident, and do not judge my heart by little words, my heart —— too great and fond for such poor demonstrations.
You ask me Silvia, where I am, and what I do; all I can say is, that at present I am safe from any fears of being deliver’d up to France, and what I do is sighing, dying, grieving; I want my Silvia: But my Circumstances, yet have nothing to incourage that hope, when I resolve where to settle, you shall see what haste I will make to have you brought to me: I am impatient to hear from you, and to know how that dear pledge of our soft hours advances. I mean|<180> what I believe I left thee possest of, a young Philander: Cherish it Silvia, for that’s a certain Obligation, to keep a dying fire alive; be sure you do it no hurt by your unnecessary grief, tho there needs no other tie but that of Love to make me more intirely
If Silvia’s Fears were great before she open’d the Letter, what were her pains when all those fears were confirmed from that never failing mark of a declining Love, the coldness and alteration of the Stile of Letters, that first Symptom of a dying flame! Oh where, said she, where, Oh perjur’d Charmer, is all that ardency that us’d to warm the Reader? where is all that Natural Innocence of Love that cou’d not, even to disco-|<181>ver and express a Grace in Eloquence, force one soft word, or one Passion? Oh, continu’d she, he is lost and gone from Silvia and his Vows; some other has him all, Clasps that dear body, hangs upon that face, gazes upon his Eyes, and listens to his Voyce, when he is looking, sighing, swearing, dying, lying and damning of himself for some new Beauty —— He is, I’le not indure it, aid me Antonett, Oh, where’s the perjur’d Traytor! Antonett who was waiting on her seeing her rise on the suddain in so great a fury, wou’d have staid her hasty turns and ravings, beseeching her to tell her what was the occasion, and by a discovery to ease her heart, but she with all the fury imaginable, flung from her Arms, and ran to the Table, and snatching up a Penknife, had certainly sent it to her heart had|<182> not Antonett stept to her and caught her hand, which she resisted not, and blushing resign’d, with telling her, she was asham’d of her own Cowardize, for, said she, if it had design’d to have been brave, I had sent you off and by a Noble resolution have freed this Slave within (striking her Breast) from a Tyranny which it shou’d disdain to suffer under: With that she rag’d about the Chamber with broken words and imperfect threatnings, unconsider’d imprecations, and unheeded Vows and Oaths: at which Antonett redoubl’d her Petition to know the cause; and she reply’d —— Philander! the dear, the soft, the fond and Charming Philander is now no more the same. Oh Antonett said she, didst thou but see this Letter compar’d to those of heretofore, when love was gay and young, when new desire drest|<183> his soft Eyes in tears, and taught his tongue the Harmony of Angels; when every tender word had more of passion then Volumes of this forc’d, this trifling business. Oh thou woud’st say I were the wretch’dest thing that Nature ever made —— Oh thou wou’dst curse as I do —— Not the dear Murderer, but thy Frantick self, thy mad, deceiv’d, believing, easie self; if thou wert so undone —— Then while she wept she gave Antonett liberty to speak, which was to perswade her, her fear were vain; she urg’d every argument of Love she had been Witness too, and cou’d not think it possible he cou’d be false: To all which the still weeping Silvia lent a willing ear; For Lovers are much inclin’d to believe every thing they wish. Antonett having a little calm’d her, continu’d telling her that to be better|<184> convinc’d of his Love or his perfidy, she ought to have Patience till Octavio shou’d come to visit her, For have you forgotten, Madam, said she, that that generous Rival has sent him word he is your Lover: For Antonett was waiting at the reading of that Letter, nor was there any thing the open hearted Silvia conceal’d from that Servant; and Women, who have made a breach in their Honour, are seldom so careful of their rest of Fame, as those who have a Stock intire; and Silvia believ’d after she had trusted the secret of one Amour to her discretion, she might conceal none. See, Madam, says Antonett, here is a Letter yet unread: Silvia who had been a great while impatient for the return of Octavio’s answer from Philander, expecting from thence the confirmation of all|<185> her doubts: Hastily snatch’d the Letter out of Antonetts hand, and read it, hoping to have found something there to have eas’d her Soul one way or other; a Soul the most raging and haughty by Nature, that ever possest a Body, the Words were these.
Octavio to Silvia.
At least you’l pity me, Oh Charming Silvia, when you shall call to mind the cruel services, I am oblig’d to render you; to be the Messenger of love from him, whom Beauty and that God plead so strongly for already in your heart.
If, after this, you can propose a torture; that yet may speak my passion and obedience in any higher measure, command and|<186> try my fortitude, for I too well divine, O rigorous Beauty, the business of your love sick Slave will be, only to give you proofs how much he does adore you, and n’re to taste a joy, even in a distant hope; like Lamps in Urns my lasting Fire must burn; without one kind material to supply it. Ah Silvia, if e’re it be your wretched fate to see the Lord of all your Vows given to anothers Arms —— When you shall see in those soft eyes that you adore, a languishment and joy, if you but name another Beauty to him: —— When you behold his blushes fade and rise at the approaches of another Mistress. —— Hear broken sighs and unassur’d replys, when e’re he answers some new conqueress: tremblings, and pantings seizing every part at the warm touch as of a second Char-|<187>mer: Ah Silvia do but do me justice then, and sighing say —— I pitty poor Octavio.
Take here a Letter from the blest Philander, which I had brought my self, but cannot bear the torment of that joy, that I shall see advancing in your eyes when you shall read it o’re —— no —— ’tis too much that I imagine all! yet bless that patient fondness of my Passion that makes me still
Your Slave, and
At finishing this, the jealous fair One redoubl’d her tears with such violence that ’twas in vain her Woman strove to abate the flowing Tide by all the reason-|<188>able arguments she cou’d bring to her aid; and Silvia to increase it, read again the latter part of the ominous Letter, which she wet with the tears that stream’d from her bright eyes. Yes, yes, (cry’d she, laying the Letter down) I know Octavio, this is no Prophesie of yours, but a known truth; alas, you know too well the fatal time’s already come when I shall find these changes in Philander! Ah Madam reply’d Antonett, how curious are you to search out torments for your own heart, and as much a Lover as you are, how little do you understand the Arts and Politicks of Love: Alas, Madam, continu’d she, you your self have arm’d my Lord Octavio with those Weapons that wound you: The last time he writ to my Lord Philander, he found you possest with a thousand fears and jealousies; of|<189> these he took advantage to attaque his Rival, for what man is there so dull that wou’d not assault his Enemy in that part where the most considerable mischief may be done him; ’tis now Octavio’s Int’rest and his business to render Philander false, to give you all the umbrage that is possible of so powerful a Rival, and to say any thing that may render him hateful to you, or at least to make him love you less. Away; reply’d Silvia (with an uneasie smile) how foolish are thy reasonings, for were it possible I cou’d Love Philander less, is it to be imagin’d, that shou’d make way for Octavio in my heart, or any, after that dear deceiver? No doubt of it, reply’d Antonett, but that very effect it wou’d have on your heart, for Love in the Soul of a witty person is like a scain* of Silk; to unwin’d it from the bottom,|<190> you must wind it on another or it runs into confusion and becomes of no use, and then of course, as one lessens the other increases, and what Philander loses in Love, Octavio or some one industrious Lover will most certainly gain: Oh, reply’d Silvia you are a great Phylosopher in Love. I shou’d be Madam, cry’d Antonett, had I but had a good Memory, for I had a young Church man once in love with me, who has read many a Philosophical Lecture to me upon Love; among the rest he us’d to say the soul was all compos’d of Love. I us’d to ask him then, if it were form’d of so soft Materials, how it came to pass that we were no oftner in love, or why so many were so long before they lov’d, and others who never lov’d at all? No question but he answer’d you wisely, said Silvia carelessly and sighing, with her|<193
Silvia to Octavio.
I find Octavio this little Gallantry of yours, of shewing me the Lover, stands you in very great stead, and serves you upon all occasions for abundance of uses, amongst the rest, ’tis no small obligation you have to’t, for furnishing you with handsome pretences to keep from those who importune you, and from giving ’em that satisfaction by your Council and Conversation which possibly the unfortunate may have need of sometimes; and when you are prest and oblig’d to render me the friendship of your Visits, this necessary ready love of yours, is the only evasion you have for the answering a thousand little questions I ask|<198> you of Philander; whose heart I am afraid you know much better than Silvia does, I cou’d almost wish Octavio, that all you tell me of your passion were true, that my commands might be of force sufficient to compel you, to resolve my heart in some doubts that oppress it, and indeed if you wou’d have me believe the one, you must obey me in the other, to which end I conjure you to hasten to me, for something of an unusual coldness in Philanders Letter, and some ominous divinations in yours, have put me on a rack of thought; from which nothing but Confirmation can relieve me, this you dare not deny if you value the repose
She read it over, and was often about to tear it, fancying ’twas too kind: But when she consider’d ’twas from no other inclination of her heart than that of getting the secrets out of his, she pardon’d her self the little levity she found it guilty off, all which, considering as the effects of the violent Passion she had for Philander, she found it easie to do, and sealing it she gave it to Antonett to deliver to the Page, and set her self down to ease her soul of its heavy weight of grief by her complaints to the dear Author of her pain; for when a Lover is insupportably afflicted, there is no ease like that of writing to the person lov’d: And that all that comes uppermost in the Soul, for true love is all unthinking artless speaking, incorrect disorder, and without Method, as ’tis|<200> without bounds or rules, such were Silvia’s unstudy’d thoughts, and such her following Letter.
Silvia to Philander.
Oh my Philander, how hard ’tis to bring my Soul to doubt, when I consider all thy past tender vows, when I reflect how thou hast lov’d and sworn. Methinks I hear the Musick of thy voice still whispering in my bosom; methinks the Charming softness of thy words remain like lessening Eccho’s on my Soul, whose distant Voyces by degrees decay, till they be heard no more! Alas, I’ve read thy Letter o’re and o’re, and turn’d the sense a thousand several ways, and all to make it speak and look like Love —— Oh I have flatter’d it with all my Art.* Sometimes I fancy’d my ill|<201> reading spoil’d it, and then I tun’d my Voice to softer Notes, and read it o’re again; but still the words appear’d too rough and harsh for any moving Air, which way so e’re I chang’d, which way so e’re I question’d it of love, it answer’d in such Language —— as others wou’d perhaps interpret love, or something like it; but I, who’ve heard the very God himself speak from thy wondrous Lips, and known him guide thy Pen when all the eloquence of moving Angels flow’d from thy Charming Tongue! when I have seen thee fainting at my feet, (whil’st all Heaven open’d in thy glorious face) and now and then sigh out a trembling word; in which there was contain’d more love, more Soul, than all the Arts of speaking ever found. What sense! Oh what reflections|<202> must I make on this decay, this strange —— this suddain alteration in thee? But that the cause is fled, and the effect is ceas’d, the God retir’d, and all the Oracles silenc’d! Confess —— oh thou eternal Conqueror of my Soul, whom every hour, and every tender joy, renders more dear and lovely —— Tell me why (if thou still lov’st me, and lov’st as well) does love not dictate to thee as before! Dost thou want words? Oh then begin again, I repeat the old ones o’re ten thousand times, such repetitions are loves Rhetorick! how often have I ask’d thee in an hour, when my fond Soul was doating on thy Eyes, when with my Arms clasping thy yielding Neck, my lips imprinting kisses on thy cheeks, and taking in the breath, that sight from thine, how often have I|<203> ask’d this little but important question of thee? Does my Philander Love me? then kiss thee for thy Yes and sighs, and ask again, and still my Soul was ravisht with new joy, when thou woud’st answer, Yes; I love thee dearly! and if I thought you spoke it with a tone that seem’d less soft and fervent than I wisht, I ask’d so often till I made thee answer in such a voice as I wou’d wish to hear it; all this had been impertinent and foolish in any thing but love, to any but a Lover: But oh —— give me the impertinence of love! talk little nonsense to me all the day, and be as wanton as a playing Cupid, and that will please and Charm my love sick heart better than all fine sense and reasoning.
Tell me, Philander, what new accident, what powerful misfortune|<204> has befallen thee, greater than what we have experienc’d yet, cou’d drive the little God out of thy heart, and make thee so unlike my soft Philander? What place contains thee, or what pleasures ease thee, that thou art now contented to live a tedious day without thy Silvia. How then the long long Age of forty more, and yet thou liv’st, art patient, tame and well; thou talk’st not now of ravings, or of dying, but lookst about thee like a well pleas’d Conqueror after the toyls of Battel —— Oh, I have known a time —— but let me never think upon it more! it cannot be remembred without madness! What think thee fallen from love! to think that I must never hear thee more pouring thy Soul out in soft sighs of love? A thousand dear expressions by which I knew|<205> the Story of thy heart, and while you tell it, bid me feel it panting —— Never to see thy Eyes fixt on my face —— till the soft showres of joy wou’d gently fall and hang their shining dew upon thy looks, then in a Transport snatch me to thy bosom, and sigh a thousand times e’re thou cou’dst utter —— Ah Silvia, how I love thee —— Oh the dear Eloquence, those few short words contain; when they are sent with Lovers accents to a Soul all languishing! but now —— alas, thy love is more familiar grown —— Oh take the other part of’th’ Proverb too, and say ’t has bred contempt, for nothing less than that your Letter shews, but more it does, and that’s indifference, less to be born than hate, or any thing ——
At least be just and let me know my doom; do not deceive the|<206> heart that trusted all thy Vows, if thou be’st generous —— if thou let’st me know —— thy date of Love —— is out (for love perhaps as life has dates) and equally uncertain, and thou no more canst stay the one than t’other, yet if thou art so kind for all my honour los; my youth undone, my Beauty tarnisht, and my lasting vows to let me fairly know thou art departing, my worthless Life will be the only loss; But if thou still continuest to impose, upon my easie Faith, and I shou’d any other way learn my approaching Fate —— Look to’t Philander —— She that had the courage t’abandon all for Love, and faithless thee, can, when she finds her self betray’d and lost, Nobly revenge the ruin of her fame, and send thee to the other World with,
She having writ this, read it over, and fancy’d she had not spoke half the sense of her Soul —— Fancy’d if she were again to begin she cou’d express her self much more to the purpose she design’d, than she had done. She began again, and writ two or three new ones, but they were either too kind or too rough, the first she fear’d wou’d shew a weakness of Spirit, since he had given her occasion of jealousie; the last she fear’d wou’d disoblige if all those jealousies were false, she therefore tore those last she had writ, and before she seal’d up the first she read Philanders Letter again, but still ended it with fears that did not lessen those she had first conceiv’d; still she thought she had more to say, as Lovers do, who never are weary of speaking or writing to the dear object of their Vows, and having already forgotten what she had just|<208> said before —— and her heart being by this time as full as e’re she began, she took up her complaining Pen, and made it say this in the Covert of the Letter.
Oh Philander! Oh thou eternal Charmer of my Soul, how fain I wou’d repent me of the cruel thoughts I have of thee! when I had finisht this inclos’d I read again thy chilling Letter, and strove with all the force of Love and soft imagination, to find a dear occasion of asking Pardon for those fears, which press my breaking heart: but Oh the more I read, the more they strike upon my tenderest part, —— something so very cold, so careless, and indifferent you end your Letter with —— I will not think of it —— by Heaven it makes me rave —— and hate my little power, that cou’d no longer keep thee soft and|<209> kind. Oh if those killing fears (bred by excess of Love) are vainly taken up in pity my adorable —— in pity to my tortur’d Soul convince ’em, Redress the torment of my jealous doubts, and either way confirm me; be kind to her that dyes and languishes for thee, return me all the softness that first Charm’d me, or frankly tell me my approaching Fate. Be generous, or be kind to the unfortunate and undone.
She thought she had ended here, but here again she read Philanders
You ask me, Oh Charming Philander how the Pledge of our soft hours thrives? Alas, as if it meant to brave the worst of fate! it does advance, my sorrows and all your cruelties have not destroy’d that: But I still bear about me the destiny of many a sighing Maid, that this (who will I am sure, be like Philander) will ruin with his looks.
Thou Sacred Treasure of my Soul, forgive me, if I have wrong’d thy love; adieu.
She made an end of writing this, just when Antonett arriv’d, and told her Octavio was a lighted at the Gate, and coming to visit her, which gave her occasion to say this of him to Philander.
I think I had not ended here, but that Octavio the bravest and the best of friends, is come to visit me. The only Satisfaction I have to support my life in Philanders absence, pay him those thanks that are due to him from me, pay him for all the generous cares he has taken of me; beyond a friend! almost Philander in his blooming Passion when ’twas all new and young, and full of duty, cou’d not have render’d me his service with a more awful industry: sure he was made for love and glorious friendship. Cherish him
She had no sooner finisht this and seal’d it, but Octavio came into the Chamber, and with such an Air, with such a Grace, and mien he approach’d her —— with all the languishment of soft trembling Love in his face, which with the addition of the dress he was that|<215> day in, (which was extreamly rich and advantagious, and altogether such as pleases the Vanity of Women.) I have since heard the Charming Silvia say, in spight of her tenderness for Philander; she found a soft emotion in her Soul, a kind of pleasure at his approach, which made her blush with some kind of anger at her own easiness. Nor cou’d she have blusht in a more happy season; for Octavio saw it, and it serv’d at once to add a Luster to her paler Beauty, and to betray some little kind sentiment, which possest him with a joy that had the same effects on him: Silvia saw it; and the care she took to hide her own, serv’d but to increase her blushes, which put her into a confusion she had much ado to reclaim: she cast her Eyes to Earth, and leaning her Cheek on|<216> her hand, she continu’d on her seat without paying him that usual Ceremony she was wont to do. While he stood speechless for a moment gazing on her with infinite satisfaction, when she, to assume a formality as well as she cou’d, rose up and cry’d (fearing he had seen too much) Octavio, I have been considering after what manner I ought to receive you, and while I was so, I left those Civilities unpaid which your quality, and my good manners ought to have render’d you. Ah, Madam, reply’d he sighing, if you wou’d receive me as I merited and you ought, at least you wou’d receive me as the most passionate Lover that ever Ador’d you. I was rather believing, said Silvia, that I ought to have receiv’d you as my Foe: Since you conceal from me so long what you cannot but believe I am extreamly|<217> impatient of hearing, and what so neerly concerns my repose. At this, he only answering with a sigh, she pursu’d, Sure, Octavio, you understand me: Philanders answer to the Letter of your confessing Passion has not so long been the subject of our discourse and expectation, but you guess at what I mean? Octavio, who on all Occasions wanted not wit, or reply, was here at a loss, what to answer: Notwithstanding he had consider’d before what he wou’d say: but let those in love fancy, and make what fine speeches they please, and believe themselves furnisht with abundance of eloquent Harangues at the sight of the dear Object they lose ’em all, and love teach ’em a dialect much more prevailing without the expence of duller thought: And they leave unsaid all they had so floridly form’d|<218> before, a sigh a thousand things with more success: Love like Poetry cannot be taught, but uninstructed flows without painful study, if it be true; ’tis born in the Soul, a Noble inspiration not a Science! such was Octavio’s, he thought it dishonourable to be guilty of the meanness of a Lye, and say he had no answer: He thought it rude to say he had one and wou’d not shew it Silvia: And he believ’d it the height of ungenerous baseness to shew it.
Octavio to Silvia.
By this time, oh Charming Silvia give me leave to hope your Rage is abated, and your reason return’d, and that you will hear a little from the most unfortunate of men, whom you have reduc’d to this miserable Extremity of losing either the Adorable Object of his Soul, or his Honour: If you can prefer a little curiosity that will serve but to afflict you before either that or my repose. What esteem ought|<236> I to believe you have for the unfortunate Octavio; and if you hate me, as ’tis evident, if you compel me to the extremity of losing my repose or honour, what reason or argument have I to prefer so careless a Fair One above the last? ’Tis certain you neither do nor can love me now; and how much below that hope shall the expos’d and abandon’d Octavio be, when he shall pretend to that Glory without his Honour: Believe me, Charming Maid, I wou’d Sacrifice my life, and my intire Fortune at your least command to serve you; but to render you a devoyr* that must point me out the basest of my Sex, is what my temper must resist in spight of all the violence of my Love, and I thank my happyer Stars that they have given me resolution enough rather to fall a Sacrifice to the last, than|<237> be guilty of the breach of the first: This is the last and present thought and pleasure of my Soul, and least it shou’d by the force of those Divine Ideas which Eternally surround it, be sooth’d and flatter’d from its Noble Principles, I will to morrow put my self out of the hazard of Temptation, and divert if possible by absence to the Compagne, those soft importunate betrayers of my Liberty; that perpetually solicit in favour of you: I dare not so much as bid you adieu, one sight of that bright Angels face, wou’d undo me, unfix my Nobler resolutions, and leave me a despicable Slave, sighing my unrewarded Treason at your insensible Feet: My Fortune I leave to be dispos’d by you; but the more useless necessary I will for ever take from those lovely Eyes, you can look|<238> on nothing with joy, but the happy Philander: If I have denied you one satisfaction, at least I have given you this other of securing you Eternally from the trouble and importunity of
Madam your Faithful
This Letter to any other less secure of her power than was our fair Subject, wou’d have made them impatient and angry: But she found that there was something yet in her power, the dispensation of which cou’d soon recal him from any resolution he was able to make of absenting himself: Her Glass stood before her, and every glance that way was an assurance and security to her heart; she cou’d not see that|<239> Beauty, and doubt its power of perswasion. She therefore took her Pen, and writ him this answer, being in a moment furnisht with all the Art and subtilty that was necessary on this occasion.
Silvia to Octavio.
Tho I have not Beauty enough to command your heart; at least allow me sense enough to oblige your belief, that I fancy and resent all that the letter contains which you have deny’d me, and that I am not of that sort of Women, whose want of youth or Beauty renders so constant to pursue the Ghost of a departed Love: It is enough to justifie my Honour, that I was not the first Agressor. I find|<240> my self pursu’d by too many Charmes of Wit, youth, and Gallantry, to bury my self beneath the willows, or to whine away my youth by murmuring Rivers, or betake me to the last refuge of a declining Beauty, a Monastery: no, my Lord, when I have reveng’d and recompenc’d my Self for the injuries of one inconstant, with the joys a thousand imploring Lovers offer, ’twill be time to be weary of a world, which yet every day presents me new joys; and I swear to you, Octavio, that ’twas more to recompence what I ow’d your passion that I desir’d a convincing proof of Philanders false-hood, than for any other reason, and you have too much Wit not to know it; for what other use cou’d I make of the Secret; if he be false he is gone, unworthy of|<241> me, and impossible to be retriev’d, and I wou’d as soon dye my sullied Garments, and wear them over again, as take to my imbraces a reform’d Lover, the Native first Luster of whose passion is quite extinct, and is no more the same; no, my Lord, she must be poor in Beauty that has recourse to shifts so mean; if I wou’d know the Secret by all that’s good it were to hate him heartily, and to dispose of my Person to the best advantage; which in honour I cannot do, while I am unconvinc’d of the falseness of him with whom I exchang’d a thousand Vows of fidelity, but if he unlink the Chain I am at perfect liberty, and why by this delay you shou’d make me lose my time, I am not able to conceive, unless you fear I shou’d then take you at your word, and expect the|<242> performance of all the Vows of Love you have made me. —— If that be it —— My Pride shall be your security, or if other recompence you expect, set the Price upon your Secret, and see at what rate I will purchase the liberty it will procure me, possibly it may be such as may at once infranchize me, and revenge me on the perjur’d ingrate, than which nothing can be a greater Satisfaction to
She Seals this Letter with a wafer, and giving it to Antonett to give the Page, believing she had writ what wou’d not be in vain to the quick-sighted Octavio: Antonett takes both that and the other which Octavio had sent and left her Lady busie in dressing her|<243> head, and went to Briljards Chamber, who thought every moment an Age till she came; so vigorous he was on his new design: That which was sent to Octavio being seal’d with a wet Wafer he neatly opens, as ’twas easie to do, and read, and Seal’d again, and Antonett deliver’d it to the Page. After receiving what pay Briljard cou’d force himself to bestow upon her; some flatteries of dissembl’d love, and some cold Kisses, which even imagination cou’d not render better. She return’d to her Lady, and he to his Stratagem, which was to counterfeit a Letter from Octavio: She having in hers given him a hint, by bidding him set a price upon the Secret, which he had heard was that of a Letter from Philander, with all the Circumstances of it, from the faithless An|<244>tonett whom Love had betray’d: and after blotting much paper to try every Letter through the Alphabet, and to produce them like those of Octavio, which was not hard for a Lover of ingenuity; he fell to the business of what he wou’d write, and having finisht it to his liking, his next trouble was how to convey it to Her; for Octavio always sent his by his Page, whom he cou’d trust. He now was certain of love between ’em? For tho he often had perswaded Antonett to bring him Letters, yet she cou’d not be wrought on till now to betray her trust: And what he long apprehended, he found too true on both sides, and now he waited but for an opportunity to send it seasonably, and in a lucky minute. In the mean time Silvia adorns her self for absolute con-|<245>quest, and disposing her self in the most charming, careless, and tempting manner she cou’d devise, she lay expecting her coming Lover, on a repose of rich Embroidery of Gold on blew* Sattin, hung within side with little Amorous Pictures of Venus descending in her Chariot naked to Adonis,* she imbracing, while the youth, more eager of his rural sports, turns half from her in a posture of pursuing his Dogs, who are on their Chace: Another of Armida,* who is dressing the sleeping warrior up in wreaths of Flowers, while a hundred little Loves are playing with his guilded Armour; this puts on his Helmet too big for his little head, that hides his whole face; another makes a Hobby horse of his Sword and Lance; another fits on his breast-piece, while three or four little Cupids are seeming|<246> to heave and help him to hold it an end, and all turn’d the Emblimes of the Hero into redicule. These and some other of the like nature adorn’d the Pavilion of the languishing Fair One, who lay carelessly on her side, her Arm leaning on little Pillows, of Point of Venice,* and a Book of Amours in her other hand. Every noise alarm’d her with trembling hope that her Lover was come, and I have heard she said she verily believ’d, that acting and feigning the Lover possest her with a tenderness against her knowledge and Will; and she found something more in her Soul than a bear* curiosity of seeing Octavio for the Letters sake: But in Lieu of her Lover, she found her self once more approacht with a Billet from him; which brought this.|<247>
Octavio to Silvia.
Ah Silvia, he must be more than humane that can withstand your Charms, I confess my frailty, and fall before you, the weakest of my Sex, and own I am ready to believe all your dear Letter contains, and have vanity enough to wrest every hopeful word to my own int’rest, and in favour of my own Heart: What will become of me, if my easie faith shou’d only flatter me, and I with shame shou’d find ’twas not meant to me, or if it were, ’twas only to draw me from a Vertue which has been hitherto the Pride and Beauty of my youth, the Glory of my name, and my Comfort and refuge in all extreams of Fortune:|<248> The eternal Companion, Guide and Counsellor of all my actions: Yet this good you only have power to rob me of, and leave me expos’d to the scorn of all the laughing World: Yet give me Love! give me but hope in lieu of it, and I am content to divest my self of all besides.
Perhaps you will say I ask too mighty a rate for so poor a secret. But even in that, there lies one of my own, that will more expose the feebleness of my Blood and Name, than the discovery will me in particular, so that I know not what I do, when I give you up the knowledge you desire. Still you will say all this is to inhance its value, and raise the Price: And oh, I fear you have taught my soul every quality, it fears and dreads in yours, and|<249> learnt it to chaffer for every thought, if I cou’d fix upon the rate to sell it at: And I with shame confess I wou’d be Mercenary, cou’d we but agree upon the Price: But my respect forbids me all things but silent hope, and that, in spight of me, and all my reason, will predominate? for the rest I will wholly resign my self and all the faculties of my Soul, to the Charming Arbitrator of my peace, the powerful Judge of Love, the adorable Silvia: And at her Feet render all she demands; yes, she shall find me there to justifie all the weakness this proclaims, for I confess, oh too too powerful Maid, that you have absolutely subdu’d
She had no sooner read this Let-|<250>ter, but Antonett, instead of laying it by, carryied it to Briljard, and departed the Chamber to make way, for Octavio, who she imagin’d was coming to make his visit, and left Silvia considering how she shou’d manage him to the best advantage, and with most honour acquit her self of what she had made him hope, but instead of his coming to wait on her: an unexpected accident arriv’d to prevent him; for a messenger from the Prince came with commands that he shou’d forthwith come to his Highness, the messenger having command to bring him along with him; So that not able to disobey he only beg’d time to write a note of business, which was a Billet to Silvia, to excuse himself till the next day, for it being Five Leagues to the Village where the Prince waited his com-|<251>ing, he cou’d not return that night: which was the business of the Note, with which his Page hasted to Silvia: Briljard who was now a vigilent Lover, and waiting for every opportunity that might favour his design: Saw the Page arrive with the Note; and as ’twas usual he took it to carry to his Conqueress; but meeting Antonett on the Stayers, he gave her what he had before counterfeited with such Art, after he had open’d what Octavio had sent, and found Fortune was wholly on his side, he having learn’d from the Page, besides that his Lord had taken Coach with Monsieur —— to go to His Highness, and wou’d not return that night: Antonett not knowing the deceit, carried her Lady the forg’d Letter, who open’d it with eager hast, and read this.|<252>
Since I have a secret, which none but I can unfold, and that you have offer’d at any rate to buy it of me: Give me leave to say, that you fair Creature, have another secret, a joy to dispence, which none but you can give the languishing Octavio: if you dare purchase this of mine, with that infinitely more valuable one of yours: I will be as secret as death, and think my self happier than a fancy’d God! Take what Methods you please for the payment, and what time, order me, command me, conjure me, I will wait, watch, and pay my Duty at all hours, to snatch the most|<253> convenient one to reap so ravishing a blessing. I know you will accuse me with all the confidence and rudeness in the world; but oh! consider, lovely Silvia, that that passion which cou’d change my Soul from all the Course of Honour, has power to make me forget that nice respect your Beauty aws me with, and my passion is now arriv’d at such a height, it obeys no Laws but its own; and I am obstinately bent on the pursuit of that vast pleasure, I fancy to find in the dear, the ravishing Arms of the Adorable Silvia: Impatient of your answer, I am, as love compels me.
Madam, your Slave,
The Page, who waited no an|<254>swer, was departed; but Silvia who believ’d he attended it, was in a thousand minds what to say or do: She blush’d, as she read, and then lookt pale, with anger and disdain, and, but that she had already given her Honour up, it wou’d have been something more surprising: But she was us’d to questions of that Nature, and therefore receiv’d this with so much the less concern? nevertheless, ’twas sufficient to fill her Soul with a thousand agitations, but when she wou’d be angry, the consideration of what she had writ to him, to incourage him to this boldness stop’d her rage: When she wou’d take it ill, she consider’d his knowledge of her lost fame, and that took off a great part of her resentment on that side; and in midst of all she was raving for the knowledge of Phi-|<255>landers secret. She rose from the Bed, and walk’d about the room in much disorder, full of thought and no conclusion; she is asham’d to consult of this affair with Antonett, and knows not what to fix on: The only thing she was certain of, and which was fully and undisputably resolv’d in her Soul, was never to consent to so false an Action, never to buy the secret at so dear a rate; she abhors Octavio, whom she regards no more as that fine thing which before she thought him, and a thousand times she was about to write her despight and contempt, but still the dear secret staid her hand, and she was fond of the torment: At last Antonett, who was afflicted to know the cause of this disorder, ask’d her Lady if Octavio wou’d not come: No, replyed Silvia, blushing at the Name, nor|<256> never shall the ungrateful man dare to behold my face any more. Jesu, replyed Antonett, what has he done, Madam, to deserve this severity? For he was a great benefactor to Antonett, and had already by his gifts and presents made her a Fortune for a Burgomaster:* He has, said Silvia, committed such an impudence, as deserves death from my Hand: This she spoke in rage, and walk’d away cross the Chamber. Why, Madam, cry’d Antonett,does he denie to give you the Letter: No, replyed Silvia, but askes me such a price for it, as makes me hate my self, that am reduc’d by my ill conduct to Addresses of that Nature: Heavens, Madam, what can he ask you to afflict you so; the presumptuous man, said she (in rage) has the impudence to ask what never man, but Philander was ever possest of —— At this Antonett laught ——|<257> Good Lord, Madam, said she, and are you angry at such desires in men towards you? I believe you are the first Lady in the World, that was ever offended for being desirable: Can any thing proclaim your Beauty more, or your youth, or Wit? marry Madam, I wish I were worthy to be ask’d the question by all the fine dancing, dressing, Song-making Fops in Town: And you wou’d yield, replyed Silvia, not so neither, replyed Antonett, but I wou’d spark my self, and value my self the more upon’t. Oh, said Silvia, she that is so fond of hearing of Love, no doubt but will find some one to practise it with. That’s as I shou’d find my self inclin’d, replyed Antonett: Silvia was not so intent on Antonett’s rail’ery, but she imploy’d all her thought the while on what she had to do; and those last words of Antonett’s jogg’d a thought|<258> that ran on to one very advantagious, at least her present and first apprehension of it was such: And she turn’d to Antonett with a face more gay than it was the last minute, and cry’d, Prithee good Wench tell me, what sort of man wou’d soonest incline you to a yielding? if you command me, Madam, to be free with your Lordship,* reply’d Antonett, I must confess there are two sorts of men that wou’d most villainously incline me: the first is he that wou’d make my fortune best; The next he that wou’d make my pleasure; the young, the handsome, or rather the wellbread, and good humour’d; But above all, the Man of Wit. But what wou’d you say Antonett, replyed Silvia, if all these made up in one man shou’d make his Addresses to you? Why then most certainly, Madam, replyed Antonett; I shou’d yield him|<259> my Honour, after a reasonable siege. This tho’ the wanton young maid spoke possibly at first more to put her Lady in good humour, than from any inclination she had to what she said, yet after many arguments upon that subject Silvia cunning enough to pursue her design, brought the business more home, and told her in plain terms that Octavio was the man who had been so presumptuous as to ask so great a reward as the possession of her self for the secret she desir’d; and, after a thousand little subtilties, having made the forward Girl confess with blushes she was not a Maid; she insinuated into her an opinion, that what she had done already (without any other motive than that of Love, as she confest in which int’rest had no part,) wou’d make the trick the easier to do again,|<260> especially if she brought to her Arms a person of Youth, Wit, Gallantry, Beauty, and all the Charming qualities that adorn a man, and that besides she shou’d find it turn to good account, and for her secrecies, she might depend upon it, since the person to whose imbraces she shou’d submit her self, shou’d not know but that she her self was the Woman, so that, says Silvia, I will have all the infamy, and you the reward every way with unblemisht Honour, while she spoke, the willing Maid gave an inward pleasing attention, tho at first she made a few faint modest scruples; Nor was she less joy’d to hear it shou’d be Octavio, whom she knew to be rich, and very handsome; and she immediately found the humour of inconstancy cease* her, and Briljard appear’d a very Husband|<261> Lover in comparison of this new Brisker man of quality; so that after some pro’s and Con’s the whole matter was thus concluded on between these two young persons; who neither wanted Wit nor Beauty; and both cro’d over the contrivance, as a most diverting piece of little Malice, that shou’d serve their present turn, and make ’em sport for the future. The next thing that was consider’d, was a Letter which was to be sent in answer, and that Silvia being to write with her own hand, begot a new doubt, in so much as the whole business was at a stand: For when it came to that point that she her self was to consent, she found the project look with a face so foul, that she a hundred times resolv’d and unresolv’d. But Philander fill’d her Soul, revenge was|<262> in her view, and that one thought put her on new resolves to pursue the design, let it be never so base and dishonourable: Yes, cry’d she at last, I can commit no action that is not more just, excusable and honourable, than that which Octavio has done to me, who uses me like a common Mistris of the Town, and dares ask, me that which he knows, he durst not do if he had not mean, and abject thoughts of me; his baseness deserves death from my hand if I had courage to give it him, and the least I can do is to deceive the deceiver. Well then, give me my Scrutore; says she, so, sitting down she writ this, not without abundance of guilt and confusion, for yet a certain Honour, which she had by birth check’d the cheat of her Pen.|<263>
Silvia to Octavio.
The price Octavio, which you have set upon your secret, I (more generous than you) will give your merit; to which alone ’tis due.
She having, with much difficulty writ this, read it to her trusty confident; for this was the only secret of her Ladys she was resolv’d never to discover to Briljard, and to the end he might know nothing of it, she seal’d the Letter with Wax; But before she seal’d it, she told her Lady, she thought she might have spar’d abundance of her blushes, and have writ a less kind Letter, for a word of invitation or consent, wou’d have serv’d as well: To which Silvia replyed, her anger against him was too high, not to give him all the de-|<266>feat imaginable, and the greater the Love appear’d, the greater wou’d be the revenge, when he shou’d come to know (as in time he shou’d) how like a false friend she had treated him: This reason, or any at that time wou’d have serv’d Antonett, whose heart was set upon a new adventure, and in such haste she was (the night coming on a pace) to know how she shou’d dress, and what more was to be done, that she only went out to call the Page, and meeting Briljard, (who watcht every bodies motion) on the Stair-Case, he ask’d her what that was, and she said to send by Octavio’s Page: You need not look in it, said she (when he snatcht it hastily out of her hand): For I can tell you the contents, and ’tis seal’d so, it must be known if you unrip it: Well, well, said he, if you tell it|<267> me, it will satisfie my curiosity as well; therefore I’le give it the Page. She returns in again to her Lady, and he to his own Chamber to read what answer the dear Object of his desire had sent to his forg’d one: So opening it, he found it such as his Soul wisht: and was all joy and extasie, he views himself a hundred times in the glass, and set himself in Order with all the Opinion and pride, as if his own good parts had gain’d him the blessing; he inlarg’d himself as he walkt, and knew not what to do, so extreamly was he ravisht with his coming Joy, he blest himself, his Wit, his Stars, his Fortune, then read the dear obliging Letter, and kist it all over, as if it had been meant to him, and after he had forc’d himself to a little more serious consideration, he bethought himself|<268> of what he had to do in Order to this dear appointment: He finds in her Letter, that in the first place he was to send her the Letter from Philander: I told you before he took Octavio’s Letter from the Page; when he understood his Lord was going Five Leagues out of Town to the Prince. Octavio cou’d not avoid his going, and write to Silvia: in which he sent her the Letter Philander writ, wherein was the first part of the confession of his love to Madam the Countess of Clarinau: Generously Octavio sent it without terms; but Briljard slid his own forg’d one into Antonetts hand, in Lieu of it, and now he read that from Philander, and wonder’d at his Lords inconstancy, yet glad of the opportunity to take Silvia’s heart a little more off from him, he soon re-|<269>solv’d she shou’d have the Letter, but being wholly mercenary, and fearing, that either when once she had it, it might make her go back from her promis’d assignation, or at least put her out of humour, so as to spoil a great part of the entertainment he design’d: He took the pains to counterfeit another Billet to her, which was this,
Since we have begun to chaffer, you must give me leave to make the best of the advantage I find I have upon you; and having violated my Honour to Philander, allow the breach of it in some degree on other occasions; not but I have all the obedience|<270> and Adoration for you that ever possest the Soul of a most passionate and languishing Lover: But fair Silvia, I know not whether, when you have seen the secret of the false Philander, you may not think it less valuable than you before did, and so defraud me of my due. Give me leave, oh wondrous Creature! to suspect even the most perfect of your Sex; and to tell you, that I will no sooner approach your presence, but I will resign the paper you so much wish; if you send me no answer, I will come according to your Directions; if you do, I must obey and wait, tho with that impatience that never attended a suffering Lover, or any but,
Divine Creature, your
This he seal’d, and after a convenient distance of time carried as from the Page to Antonett, who was yet contriving with her Lady, to whom she gives it, who read it with abundance of impatience, being extreamly angry at the rudeness of the stile, which she fancy’d much alter’d from what it was; and had not her rage blinded her, she might easily have perceiv’d the difference too of the Character, tho it come as near to the like as possible so short a practice cou’d produce: She took it with the other, and tore it in pieces; with rage, and swore she wou’d be reveng’d; but after calmer thoughts she took up the pieces to keep to upbraid him with, and fell to weeping, for anger, defeat and shame; but the April show’r being past, she return’d to her former resentment, and had|<272> some pleasure amidst all her torment of fears, jealousies, and sense of Octavio’s disrespect, in the thoughts of revenge; in Order to which she contrives how Antonett shall manage her self, and commanding her to bring out some fine point Linnen, she drest up Antonett’s head with them, and put her on a Shift lac’d with the same; for tho she intended no Light shou’d be in the Chamber, when Octavio shou’d enter; she knew he understood by his touch the difference of fine things from other. In fine, having drest her exactly as she her self us’d to be, when she receiv’d Octavio’s Visits in Bed, she imbrac’d her, and fancy’d she was much of her own shape and bigness, and that ’twas impossible to find the deceit; and now she made Antonett dress her up in her Cloaths, and mob-|<273>bing her Sarcenet* hood about her head, she appear’d so like Antonett (all but the face) that ’twas not easie to distinguish ’em: And Night coming on they both long for the hour of twelve, tho with different designs; and having before given notice that Silvia was gone to Bed, and wou’d receive no Visit that Night, they were alone to finish all their business, this while Briljard was not idle, but having a fine Bath made, he washt and perfum’d his Body, and after drest himself in the finest Linnen perfum’d that he had, and made himself as fit as possible for his design, nor was his shape, which was very good, or his stature, unlike to that of Octavio: And ready for the approach, he conveys himself out of the house telling his footman he wou’d put himself to Bed after his Ba-|<274>thing, and locking his Chamber door, stole out, and it being dark, many a longing turn he walk’d impatient till all the Candles were out in every Room of the House; in the mean time, he imploy’d his thoughts on a thousand things, but all relating to Silvia; sometimes the Treachery he shew’d in this Action to his Lord, caus’d short liv’d blushes in his Face, which vanisht as soon, when he consider’d his Lord false to the most beautiful of her Sex: Sometimes he accus’d and curst the Levity of Silvia, that cou’d yield to Octavio, and was as jealous as if she had indeed been to have receiv’d that Charming Lover, but when his thought directed him to his own happiness, his Pulse beat high, his Blood flasht apace in his Cheeks, his eyes languisht with Love; and his Body with a fe-|<275>verish fit? In these extreams by turns he past at least three teadious hours, with a striking watch in his hand; and when it told ’twas twelve, he advanc’d nearer the door, but finding it shut walk’d yet with greater impatience every half Minute going to the door; at last he found it yield to his hand that pusht it: But oh, what mortal can express his Joy, his heart beats double, his knees tremble, and a feebleness seizes every Limb, he breaths nothing but short sighs, and is ready in the dark hall to fall on the Floor; and was forc’d to lean on the rail that begins the Stairs to take a little Courage: While he was there recruiting himself, intent on nothing but his vast joy; Octavio who going to meet the Prince, being met halfway by that young Hero was
Octavio this while was traversing the street wrapt in his Cloke,|<286> just as if he had come from Horse, for he was no sooner gone from the door, but his resenting passion return’d, and he resolv’d to go up again, and disturb the Lovers, tho it cost him his life and fame: But returning hastily to the door, he found it shut; at which being inrag’d, he was often about to break it open, but still some unperceivable respect for Silvia prevented him; but he resolv’d not to stir from the door, till he saw the fortunate rogue come out, who had given him all this torment? at first he curst himself for being so much concern’d for Silvia or her actions, to waste a minute, but flattering himself that it was not love to her, but pure curiosity to know the man, who was made the next fool to himself, tho the more happy one, he waited all Night, and when|<287> he began to see the day break, which he thought a thousand years; his Eye was never off from the door, and wonder’d at their confidence, who wou’d let the day break upon them; but the Close drawn Curtains there, cry’d he, favours the happy Villainy. Still he walk’d on, and still he might for any Rival that was to appear for a most unlucky accident prevented Briljard’s coming out, as he doubly intended to do, first, for the better carrying on of his cheat of being Octavio; and next that he had challeng’d Octavio to fight, and when he knew his Error, design’d to have gone this morning and ask’d him pardon if he had been return’d; but the Amorous Lover over Night, ordering himself for the incounter to the best advantage had sent a Note to a Doctor, for something that wou’d|<288> incourage his spirits; the Doctor came, and opening a little Box, wherein was a powerful Medicine: He told him that a Dose of those little flies* wou’d make him come off with wondrous Honour in the Battail of Love, and the Doctor being gone to call for a glass of Sack,* the Doctor having laid out of the Box what he thought requisite on a piece of Paper, and leaving the Box open; our Spark thought if such a Dose wou’d incourage him so, a greater wou’d yet make him do greater Wonders, and taking twice the quantity out of the Box, puts ’em into his pocket, and having drank the first with full directions, the doctor leaves him, who was no sooner gone, but he takes those out of his pocket, and in a glass of Sack drinks ’em down; after this he bathes and dresses, and|<289> believes himself a very Hercules* that cou’d have got at least twelve Sons that happy Night; But he was no sooner laid in Bed with the Charming Silvia as he thought, but he was taken with intollerable gripes and pains, such as he had never felt before, insomuch that he was not able to lye in the bed, this enrages him, he grows mad and asham’d, sometimes he had little intermissions for a moment of ease, and then he wou’d plead softly by her Bed side, and ask ten thousand pardons, which being easily granted he wou’d go into bed again, but then the pain wou’d seize him anew, so that after two or three hours of distraction he was forc’d to dress and retire; but, instead of going down he went softly up to his own Chamber, where he sate him down and|<290> curst the World himself and his hard fate; and in this extremity of pain, shame and grief, he remain’d till break of day: By which time Antonett who was almost as violently afflicted, got her Coats on, and went to her own Chamber, where she found her Lady more dead than alive. She immediately shifted her bed Linnen, and made her Bed, and conducted her to it, without indeavouring to divert her with the History of her own misfortune; and only ask’d her many questions concerning her being thus ill, to which the wretched Silvia only answer’d with sighs; so that Antonett perceiv’d ’twas the Letter that had disorder’d her, and begg’d she might be permitted to see it; she gave her leave and Antonett read it, but no sooner was she come to that part of|<291> it which nam’d the Countess of Clarinau, but she ask’d her Lady if she understood who that person was, with great amazement? At this Silvia was content to speak, pleas’d a little that she shou’d have an account of her Rival. No, said she, Dost thou know her, Yes, Madam, replyed Antonett particularly well; for I have serv’d her ever since I was a Girle of five years old, she being of the same Age with me, and sent at six years old both to a Monastery; for she being fond of my play her Father sent me at that Age with her, both to serve and to divert her with Babies and Baubles, there we liv’d seven years together, when an old rich Spaniard, the Count of Clarinau, fell in love with my Lady, and married her from the Monastery, before she had seen any part of the World beyond those sanctified|<292> Walls. She cry’d bitterly to have had me to Collen with her, but he said I was too young now for her service, and so sent me away back to my own Town, which is this, and here my Lady was born too, and is Sister to —— Here she stopt, fearing to tell; which Silvia perceiving, with a briskness (which her indisposition one wou’d have thought cou’d not have allow’d) sate up in Bed, and cry’d, Hah Sister to whom? Oh, how thou wou’dst please me to say to Octavio, why Madam, wou’d it please you? said the blushing Maid. Because, said Silvia, ’twou’d in part revenge me on his bold Addresses to me, and he wou’d also be oblig’d, in honour to his Family, to revenge himself on Philander. Ah Madam, said she, as to his presumption towards you, fortune has sufficiently reveng’d it; at this she hung down|<293> her head, and look’d very foolishly: How, said Silvia, smiling and rearing her self yet more in her Bed, is any misfortune arriv’d to Octavio. Oh, how I will triumph and upbraid the daring man —— tell me quickly what it is; for nothing wou’d rejoyce me more than to hear he were punisht a little; Upon this Antonett told her what an unlucky Night she had, how Octavio was seiz’d, and how he departed, by which Silvia believ’d he had made some discovery of the cheat that was put upon him, and that he only feign’d illness to get himself loose from her imbraces; and now she falls to considering how she shall be reveng’d on both her Lovers: And the best she can pitch upon is that of setting them both at odds, and making ’em fight and revenge themselves on one ano-|<294>ther; but she, like a right Woman, cou’d not dissemble her resentment of jealousie, what ever art she had to do so in any other point; but mad to ease her Soul that was full; and to upbraid Philander, she writes him a Letter; but not till she had once more, to make her stark mad, read his over again; which he sent Octavio.
Silvia to Philander.
Yes, perjur’d Villain, at last all thy perfidy is arriv’d to my knowledge; and thou hadst better have been damn’d, or have fall’n, like an ungrateful Traytor, as thou art, under the publique shame of dying by the common Executioner, than have fall’n under the grasp of my re-|<295>venge; insatiate as thy Lust, false as thy Treasons to thy Prince, fatal as thy destiny, lowd as thy infamy, and bloody as thy party. Villain, Villain, where got you the courage to use me thus, knowing my injuries and my Spirit; thou seest base Traytor, I do not fall on thee with treachery, as thou hast with thy King and Mistress, to which thou
Having shot this flash of the lightning of her Soul, and finisht her rant, she found her self much easier in the resolves on revenge she had fix’d there? she scorn’d by any vain indeavour to recal him from his passion; she had wit enough to have made those eternal observations, that love once gone is never to be retriev’d, and that it was impossible to cease loving, and then again to love the same person, one may believe for sometime one’s love is abated, but when it comes to a tryal, it shews it self as vigorous as in its first shine; and finds its own Error, but when once one comes to love a new Object, it can never return with more than pity, compassion, or civility for the first: This is a most|<301> certain truth which all Lovers will find, as most Wives may experience, and which our Silvia now took for granted, and gave him over for dead to all but her revenge. Tho Fits of softness, weeping, raving, and tearing, wou’d by turns seize the distracted abandon’d Beauty; in which extremities she has recourse to scorn and Pride, too feeble to aid her too often: The first thing she resolv’d on, by the advice of her reasonable Councellor, was to hear Love at both her ears, no matter whether she regard it or not, but to hear all as a remedy against loving one in particular, for ’tis most certain, that the use of hearing Love, or of making Love (tho at first without design) either in Women or men, shall at last unfix the most confirm’d and constant resoluti-|<302>on. And since you are assur’d, continued Antonett, that sighs nor tears brings back the wander’d Lover, and that dying for him will be no revenge on him, but rather a kind assurance that you will no more trouble the man, who is already weary of you, you ought with all your power, industry and Reason rather to seek the preservation of that Beauty, of that fine humour to serve you on all occasions, either of revenge or love, than by a foolish and insignificant Concern and Sorrow reduce your self to the condition of being scorn’d by all, or at best but pitty’d: How pity’d cry’d the haughty Silvia, is there any thing so insupportable to our Sex as pity! No surely, reply’d the Servant, when ’tis accompany’d by Love; Oh what blessed comfort ’tis to hear people cry —— She was once Charming, once a|<303> Beauty; is any thing more grating, Madam? At this rate she ran on, and left nothing unsaid that might animate the Angry Silvia to love a new, or at least to receive and admit of love, for in that Climate, the Air Naturally breeds Spirits avaritious, and much inclines ’em to the Love of Mony, which they will gain at any price or hazard, and all this discourse to Silvia was but to incline the revengeful listening Beauty to admit of the Addresses of Octavio, because she knew he wou’d make her fortune. Thus was the unhappy Maid, left by her own unfortunate conduct, incompass’d in on every side with distraction; and she was pointed out by fate to be made the most wretch’d of all her Sex; nor had she left one faithful friend to advise or stay her youth in its ha-|<304>sty advance to ruin; she hears the perswading Eloquence of the flattering Maid, and finds now nothing so prevailent on her Soul as revenge, and nothing
Silvia to Octavio.
After such a parting from a Maid so intirely kind to you; she might at least have hop’d the favour of a Billet from you, to have inform’d her of your health; unless you think that after we have surrender’d all, we are of the Humour of most of your Sex, who despise the obliger, but I believ’d you a man above the little Crimes and Levities of your race, and I am yet|<308> so hard to be drawn from that opinion; I am willing to flatter my self, that ’tis yet some other reason that has hinder’d you from visiting me since, or sending me an account of your recovery, which I am too sensible of to believe was feign’d, and which indeed has made me so tender, that I easily forgive all the disappointment I receiv’d from it; and beg you will not afflict your self at any loss, you sustain’d by it, since I am still so much the same I was, to be as sensible as before of all the obligations I have to you, send me word immediately how you do, for on that depends a great part of the happiness of
You may easily see by this Letter she was not in a humour of either writing love or much flattery, for yet she knew not how|<309> she ought to resent this absence in all kinds from Octavio, and therefore with what force she cou’d put upon a Soul too wholly taken up with the thoughts of another, more dear and more afflicting, she only writ this to fetch one from him, that by it she might learn part of his sentiment of her last Action, and sent her Page with it to him; who, as was usual, was carried directly up to Octavio, whom he found in a Gallery walking in a most dejected posture, without a Hat, unbrac’d, his Arms a cross his open breast; and his eyes bent to the Floor; and not taking any notice when the Pages enter’d, his own was forc’d to pull him by the Sleeve, before he wou’d look up, and starting from a thousand thoughts that opprest him almost to death, he gaz’d wildly about him and|<310> ask’d their business: When the Page deliver’d him the Letter, he took it, but with such confusion as he had much a do to support himself, but resolving not to shew his feebleness to her Page he made a shift to get a Wax Light, that was on the Table and read it; and was not much amazed at the contents, believing she was persuing the business of her Sex and Life, and Jilting him on; (for such was his opinion of all Women now) he forc’d a smile of scorn, tho’ his Soul were bursting, and turning to the Page gave him a liberal reward, as was his daily use when he came, and Muster’d up so much Courage as to force himself to say —— Child, tell your Lady it requires no answer, you may tell her too, that I am in perfect good Health —— He was opprest to speak more, but sighs|<311> stopp’d him, and his former resolution, wholly to abandon all correspondence with her, check’d his forward Tongue; and he walk’d away to prevent himself from saying more: While the Page, who wonder’d at this turn of Love, after a little waiting, departed, and when Octavio had ended his walk, and turn’d, and saw him gone, his heart felt a thousand pangs not to be born or supported; he was often ready to recal him, and was angry the Boy did not urge him for an answer, he read the Letter again, and wonders at nothing now after her last nights Action, tho all was riddle to him; he found ’twas writ to some happier man than himself, however he chanc’d to have it by mistake, and turning to the outside, view’d the superscription; where there happen’d to be none|<312> at all, for Silvia writ in haste and when she did it ’twas the least of her thoughts: And now he believ’d he had found out the real Mystery, that ’twas not meant to him; he therefore calls his Page, whom he sent immediately after that of Silvia, who being yet below (for the Lads were laughing together for a moment) he brought him to his distracted Lord; who nevertheless assum’d a mildness to the innocent Boy, and cry’d, My Child, thou hast mistaken the person to whom thou shou’dst have carried the Letter, and I am sorry I open’d it; pray return it to the happy Man ’twas meant to, giving him the Letter; My Lord, reply’d the Boy, I do not use to carry Letters to any but your Lordship: ’Tis the footmens business to do that to other persons: ’Tis a mistake, where ever|<313> it lies, cry’d Octavio sighing, whether in thee or thy Lady —— So turning from the wondering Boy he left him to return with his Letter to his Lady, who grew mad at the relation of what she heard from the Page, and notwithstanding the torment she had upon her Soul occasioned by Philander, she now found she had more to indure, and that in spight of all her love Vows and resentments, she had something for Octavio to which she cou’d not give a Name, she fancies it all pride, and concern for the indignity put on her Beauty? but what ever ’twas, this slight of his so wholly took up her Soul, that she had for sometime quite forgot Philander, or when she did think on him ’twas with less resentment than of this affront; she considers Philander with some excuse now; as have-|<313>ing long been possest of a happiness he might grow weary off; but a new Lover, who had for six months incessantly lain at her feet, imploring, dying, vowing, weeping, sighing, giving, and acting all things the most passionate of men was capable of, or that love cou’d inspire, for him to be at last admitted to the possession of the ravishing Object of his Vows and Soul, to be laid in her Bed; nay in her very Arms (as She imagin’d he thought) and then, even before gathering the Roses he came to pluck, before he had begun to compose, or finisht his Nosegay: To depart the happy Paradise with a disgust, and such a disgust; as first to oblige him to dissemble sickness, and next fall even from all his Civilities: Was a contempt she was not able to bear: especially from|<315> him of whom all men living she design’d to make the greatest property of, as most fit for her revenge, of all degrees and sorts: But when she reflected with reason, (which she seldom did, for either Love or rage blinded that) she cou’d not conceive it possible that Octavio cou’d be fallen so suddenly from all his Vows and professions, but on some very great provocation: Sometimes she thinks he tempted her to try her Vertue to Philander, and being a perfect Honourable friend, hates her for her Levity, but she considers his presents, and his unwearied industry, and believes he wou’d not at that expence have bought a knowledg which cou’d profit neither himself nor Philander; then she believes some disgustful Scent or something about Antonett might disoblige him; but having call’d the Maid|<316> conjuring her to tell her whether any thing past between her and Octavio; she again told her Lady the whole truth, in which there cou’d be no discovery of infirmity there; she imbrac’d her, she kiss’d her bosom, and found her touches soft, her breath and Bosom sweet as any thing in Nature cou’d be; and now lost almost in a Confusion of thought, she cou’d not tell what to imagine; at last she being wholly possest that all the fault was not in Octavio, (for too often we believe as we hope) she concludes that Antonett has told him all the cheat she put upon him: This last thought pleas’d her, because it seem’d the most probable, and was the most favourable to her self; and a thought that, if true cou’d not do her any injury with him. This set her heart|<317> a little to rights, and she grew calm with a belief, that if so it was, as now she doubted not, a sight of her, or a future hope from her, wou’d calm all his discontent, and beget a right understanding: She therefore resolves to write to him and own her little fallacy: But before she did so; Octavio whose passion was as violent as ever in his Soul, tho ’twas opprest with a thousand torments, and languisht under as many feeble resolutions, burst at last into all its former softness, and he resolves to write to the false Fair One, and upbraid her with her last Nights infidelity: Nor cou’d he sleep till he had that way Charm’d his senses, and eas’d his sick afflicted Soul: It being now ten at Night, and he retir’d to his Chamber, he set himself down, and writ this.|<318>
Octavio to Silvia.
You have at last taught me a perfect knowledge of my self; and in one unhappy Night, made me see all the follies and Vanities of my Soul, which self Love and fond imagination had too long render’d that way guilty; long, long! I’ve play’d the Fop as others do, and shew’d the gaudy Monsieur, and set a Value on my worthless person for being well drest, as I believ’d, and furnisht out for Conquest, by being the gayest Coxcombe in the Town, where, even as I past perhaps I fancy’d, I made advances on some wishing hearts, and vain, with but imaginary Victory, I still fool’d on —— And|<319> was at last undone; for I saw Silvia, the Charming faithless Silvia; a Beauty that one wou’d have thought had had the power to have cur’d the fond disease of self conceit and foppery, since love they say’s a remedy against those faults of youth, but still my vanity was powerful in me, and even this Beauty too: I thought it not impossible to vanquish, and still drest on, and took a mighty care to shew my self —— a Blockhead, curse upon me, while you were laughing at my industry, and turn’d the fancying fool to ridicule: Oh, he deserv’d it well, most wondrous well; for but believing any thing about him, cou’d merit but a serious thought from Silvia. Silvia! whose business is to laugh at all; yet Love, that is my sin and punishment, reigns still as absolutely in my Soul, as when I|<320> wisht, and hop’d and long’d for mighty blessings you cou’d give; yes I still love! only this wretchedness is fix’d to it, to see those Errors which I cannot shun; my love’s as high, but all my wishes gone; my Passion still remains entire and raving, but no desire, I burn, I dye, but do not wish to hope, I wou’d be all despair, and, like a Martyr, am vain and proud even in suffering. Yes, Silvia —— When you made me wise, you made me wretch’d too? before, like a false Worshipper, I only saw the Gay, the gilded side of the deceiving Idol, but now ’tis fall’n —— discovers all the cheat and shews a God no more: and ’tis in Love as in Religion too, there’s nothing makes their votaries truly happy but being well deceiv’d: For even in love it self, harmless, and innocent, as ’tis|<321> by Nature, there needs a little Art to hide the daily discontents and torments, that fears distrusts, and Jealousies creats; a little soft dissimulation’s needfull, for where the Lover’s easie, he’s most constant. But oh, when love it self’s defective too, and manag’d by design and little int’rest, what cunning, oh what cautions ought the fair designer then to call to her defence; yet I confess your Plot —— Still Charming Silvia! Was subtilly enough contriv’d, discreetly carry’d on —— The shades of Night, the happy Lovers Refuge, favour’d you too; ’twas only fate, was cruel, fate that conducted me, in an unlucky hour, dark as it was, and silent too the Night, I saw, —— Yes, faithless Fair, I saw, I was betray’d; by too much faith, by too much love undone, I saw my fatal ruin and your perfidy: And like|<322 a tame ignoble sufferer left you without revenge!
I must confess, oh thou deceiving Fair One, I never cou’d pretend to what I wisht; and yet methinks, because I know my heart, and the entire Devotion, that is paid you; I merited at least not to have been impos’d upon; but after so dishonourable an Action, as the betraying the Secret of my friend, it was but just that I shou’d be betray’d, and you have paid me well; deserv’dly well, and that shall make me silent; and what so e’re I suffer, how e’re I dye, how e’re I languish out my wretch’d life, I’le bear my sighs where you shall never hear ’em, nor the reproaches my complaints express: Live thou a punishment to vain, fantastick hoping youth, live and advance in cunning and deceit, to|<323> make the fond believing men more wise, and teach the Women new arts of falshood, till they deceive so long, that man may hate and set as vast a distance between Sex and Sex, as I’ve resolv’d (oh Silvia) thou shalt be, for ever from
This Letter came just as Silvia was going to write to him; of which she was extreamly glad; for all along there was nothing exprest that cou’d make her think he meant any other than the cheat she put upon him in Antonett instead of her self: And it was some ease to her mind to be assur’d of the cause of his anger and absence, and to find her own thought confirm’d, that|<324> he had indeed discover’d the truth of the matter: she knew, since that was all she cou’d easily reconcile him by a plain confession, and giving him new hopes; she therefore writes this answer to him, which she sent by his Page, who waited for it.
Silvia to Octavio.
I own too angry, and too nice Octavio, the Crime you charge me with; and did believe a person of your Gallantry, Wit and Gayety, wou’d have past over so little a fault, with only reproaching me pleasantly, I did not expect so grave a reproof, or rather so serious an accusation, youth has a thousand follies to answer for, and cannot Octavio pardon one sally of it, in Silvia; I ra-|<325>ther expected to have seen you early here this morning, pleasantly rallying my little perfidy, than to find you railing at a distance at it; calling it by a thousand names that does not merit half this malice: And sure you do not think me so poor in good, Nature but I cou’d, some other coming hour have made you amends for those you lost last Night, possibly I cou’d have wisht my self with you at the same time; and had I perhaps follow’d my inclination I had made you happy as you wisht, but there were powerful reasons, that prevented me; I conjure you to let me see you, where I will make a confession of my last night’s sin, and give such arguments to convince you of the necessity of it, as shall absolutely reconcile you to love, hope, and ——
It being late, she only sent this short Billet: And not hoping that Night to see him, she went to bed, after having inquir’d the health of Briljard who she heard was very ill; and that young defeated Lover finding it impossible to meet Octavio as he had promis’d, not to fight him, but to ask his pardon for his mistake, made a shift, with much ado, to write him a Note, which was this:
I confess my yesterday’s rudeness, and beg you will give me a Pardon before I leave the World, for I was last Night taken violently ill, and am unable to wait on your Lordship, to beg what this most earnestly does for
Your Lordship’s most Devoted
This Billet, tho it signified nothing to Octavio, it serv’d Silvia afterwards to very good use and purpose, as a little time shall make appear: And Octavio receiv’d these two Notes from Briljard and Silvia, at the same time; the one he flung by regardless, the other he read with inifinite pain, scorn, hate, indignation, all at once storm’d in his heart, he felt every passion there but that of Love, which caus’d ’em all; if he thought her false and ungrateful before, he now thinks her fall’n to the lowest degree of lewdness, to own her Crime with such impudence; he fancies now he is cur’d of Love, and hates her absolutely, thinks her below even his scorn, and puts himself to bed, believing he shall sleep as well as before he saw the Light, the foolish Silvia: But oh he boasts in|<328> vain, the Light, the foolish Silvia was charming still; still all the Beauty appear’d, even in his slumbers the Angel dawn’d about him, and all the Fend* was laid: He sees her lovely Face, but the false heart is hid; he hears her Charming Wit, but all the cunning is husht; he views the motions of her delicate Body, without regard to those of her mind, he thinks of all the tender words she has given him, in which the Jilting part is lost, and all forgotten, or if by chance it crost his happier thought, he rowls and
Octavio to Silvia.
Since you profess your self a common Mistress, and set up for the Glorious trade of sin;|<330> send me your price, and I perhaps may purchase Damnation at your rate; may be you have a Method in your dealing, and I’ve mistook you all this while, and dealt not your way: Instruct my youth, great Mistress of the Art, and I shall be obedient; tell me which way I may be happy too; and put in for an adventurer; I have a stock of ready youth and mony, pray, name your time and sum for hours, or Nights, or months; I will be in at all, or any, as you shall find leisure to receive the
This in a Mad moment he writ, and sent it e’re he had consider’d farther, and Silvia who expected not so course and rough a return, grew as mad as he in|<331> reading it; and she had much ado to hold her hands off from beating the innocent Page that brought it: To whom she turn’d with fire in her Eyes, flames in her Cheeks, and Thunder on her Tongue, and cry’d, Go tell your Master, that he is a Villain? and if you dare approach me any more from him? I’le have my Footmen whip you? and with a scorn that discover’d all the indignation in the World, she turn’d from him, and, tearing his Note, threw it from her, and walk’d her way: And the Page, thunderstruck, return’d to his Lord, who by this time was repenting he had manag’d his passion no better; and at what the Boy told him was wholly convinc’d of his Error, he now consider’d her Character and quality; and accus’d himself of great indiscretion; and as he|<332> was sitting the most dejected melancholly man on Earth, reflecting on his misfortune, the Post arriv’d with Letters from Philander, which he open’d and laying by that which was inclos’d for Silvia he read that from Philander to himself:
Philander to Octavio.
There is no pain, my dear Octavio, either in Love or friendship like that of doubt; and I confess my self guilty of giving it you, in a great measure by my silence the last Post, but having business of so much greater concern to my heart than even writing to Octavio, I found my self unable to pursue any other, and I believe you cou’d too with the less impatience bear with my neglect|<333> having affairs of the same nature there; our circumstances and the business of our hearts then being so resembling, methinks I have as great an impatience to be recounting to you the story of my Love and Fortune, as I am to receive that of yours, and to know what advances you have made in the heart of the still charming Silvia! tho there will be this difference in the relations; mine, when ever I recount it, will give you a double satisfaction, first from the share your friendship makes you have in all the pleasures of Philander, and next that it excuses Silvia if she can be false to me, for Octavio; and still advances his design on her heart: but yours, whene ever I receive it, will give me a thousand pains which ’tis however, but just I shou’d feel, since I was the first breaker of the solemn League and|<334> Covenant made between us; which yet I do, by all that’s sacred, with a regret that makes me reflect with some repentance in all those moments wherein I do not wholly give my soul up to Love and the more beautiful Calista; yes more, because new.
In my last, my dear Octavio, you left me pursuing, like a Knight Errant, a Beauty inchanted, within some invisible Tree, or Castle, or Lake, or any thing inaccessable, or rather wandering in a Dream after some glorious disappearing fantom: and for some time indeed, I knew not whether I slept or wak’d, I saw daily the good old Count of Clarinau; of whom I durst not so much as ask a civil question towards the satisfaction of my soul; the Page was sent into Holland (with some Express to a Brother in Law of the Counts) of|<335> whom before I had the intelligence of a fair young wife to the old Lord his Master, and for the rest of the Servants they spoke all Spanish, and the devil a word we understood each other so that ’twas impossible to learn, any thing farther from them: and I found I was to owe all my good Fortune to my own industry, but how to set it a working, I cou’d not devise; at last it happen’d, that being walking in the Garden which had very high Walls on three sides, and a large fine apartment on the other, I concluded, that ’twas in that part of the house my fair new Conqueress resided, but how to be resolv’d I cou’d not tell, nor which way the Windows lookt that were to give the light, towards that part o’th’ Garden there was none, at last I saw the good old Gentle-|<336>man come trudging through the Garden fumbling out of his Pocket a Key, I stept into an Arbour to observe him, and saw him open a little door that led him into another Garden, and locking the door after him vanisht; and observing how that side of the Apartment lay, I went into the street and after a large compass found that which fac’d the Garden, which made the fore part of the Apartment. I made a story of some occasion I had for some upper rooms and went into many houses, to find which fronted best the Apartment, and still dislik’d something till I met with one so directly to it, that I cou’d, when I got a story higher, look into the very Rooms, which only a delicate Garden parted from this by street: there ’twas I fixt, and learn’d from a young Dutch woman that spoke good France,*|<337> that, that was the very place I lookt for; the Apartment of Madam, the Countess of Clarinau: She told me too, that every day after Dinner the old Gentleman came thither, and sometimes a nights: and bewail’d the young Beauty, who had no better entertainment than what an old wither’d Spaniard of threescore and ten,* cou’d give her: I found this young woman apt for my purpose, and having very well pleas’d her with my conversation, and some little presents I made her, I left her in good humour, and resolv’d to serve me on any design, and returning to my lodging, I found old Clarinau return’d, as brisk and gay, as if he had been carest by so fair and young a Lady, which very thought made me rave, and I had abundance of pain to withold my rage from breaking out upon him,|<338> so jealous and envious I was of what now I lov’d and desir’d a thousand times more than ever; since the relation my new young female friend had given me: who had wit and beauty sufficient to make her judgement impartial: however I contain’d my jealousie with the hopes of a suddain revenge, for I fancy’d the business half accomplisht in my knowledg of her residence. I feign’d some business to the old Gentleman, that wou’d call me out of town for a week to consult with some of our party, and taking my leave of him he offer’d me the Complement of Money, or what else I should need in my affair, which at that time was not unwelcome to I me; and being well furnisht for my enterprise, I took Horse without a Page or Footman to attend me, because I pretended my business|<339> was a secret, and taking a turn about the Town in the Evening, I left my horse without the gates, and went to my secret new quarters, where my young Friend receiv’d me with the joy of a Mistress, and with whom indeed I cou’d not forbear entertaining my self very well; which ingag’d her more to my service, with the aid of my liberallity; but all this did not allay one spark of the fire kindled in my Soul for the lovely Calista; and I was impatient for Night, against which time I was preparing an Ingine to mount the Battlement, for so it was that divided the Garden from the Street, rather than a Wall: All things fitted to my purpose, I fixt my self at the Window that lookt directly towards her Sashes; and had the satisfaction to see her leaning there, and look-|<340>ing on a Fountain that stood in the midst of the Garden, and cast a thousand little streams into the Air, that made a melancholly noise in falling into a large Alabaster Cistern beneath: Oh how my heart danc’d at the dear sight to all the tunes of Love; I had not power to stir or speak, or to remove my eyes, but languisht on the window where I leant half dead with Joy and transport; for she appear’d more Charming to my view; undrest and fit for Love! Oh, my Octavio, such are the pangs which I believe thou felt at the approach of Silvia, so beats thy heart, so rise thy sighs and Wishes, so trembling, and so pale at every view, as I was in this lucky Amorous moment! and thus I fed my Soul till Night came on, and left my Eyes no Object, but my heart, —— a thou-|<341>sand dear Ideas. And now I sally’d out, and with good success, for with a long engine which reacht the top of the Wall I fixt the end of my Ladder there, and mounted it, and sitting on the top brought my Lader easily up to me, and turn’d it over to the other side; and with abundance of ease descended into the Garden which was the finest I had ever seen; for now as good luck wou’d have it, who was design’d to favour me: The Moon begun to shine so bright, as even to make me distinguish the Colours of the Flowers that drest all the Banks in ravishing order, but these were not the Beauty I came to possess, and my new thoughts of disposing my self, and managing my matters, now took off all that admiration that was justly due to so delightful a place, which art|<342> and Nature had agreed to render Charming to every sense, thus much I consider’d it, that there was nothing that did not invite to love; a thousand pretty recesses of Arbours, Grotts and little Artificial Groves; Fountains inviron’d with Beds of flowers and little Rivulets, to whose dear fragrant Banks, a wishing Amorous God wou’d make his soft retreat, after having ranged about rather to seek a Covert on occasion, and to know the passes of the Garden, which might serve me in any Extreamity of surprize that might happen. I return’d to the Fountain that fac’d Calista’s Window, and leaning on its brink view’d the whole apartment, which appear’d very magnificent: Just against me I perceiv’d a Door that went into it; which while I was considering|<343> how to get open, I heard it unlock, and skulking behind the large Bason of the Fountain (yet so as to mark who came out) I saw to my unspeakable transport, the Fair, the Charming Calista
Thus, dear Octavio, I have sent you a Novel,* instead of a Letter of my first most happy adventure, of which I must repeat thus much again, that of all the injoyments I ever had, I never was so perfectly well entertain’d for two hours, and I am waiting with infinite impatience for a se-|<373>cond Encounter. I shall be extreamly glad to hear what progress you have made in your Amour, for I have lost all for Silvia, but the affection of a Brother, with that Natural pity we have for those we have undone; for my heart, my Soul and Body are all Calista’s, the bright, the young, the wity, the Gay, the fondly loveing Calista: Only some reserve I have in all for Octavio, pardon this long History for ’tis a sort of acting all ones joys again to be telling ’em to a friend so dear as is the Gallant Octavio to
P O S T S C R I P T.
I shou’d for some reasons that concern my safety have quitted this town before, but I am|<374> chain’d to it, and no sense of danger while Calista compels my stay.
If Octavio’s Trouble was great before, from but his fear of Calista’s yielding, what must it be now, when he found all his fears confirm’d? The pressures of his Soul were too extream before, and the concern he had for Silvia had brought it to the highest tide of Grief; so that this addition o’re whelm’d it quite, and left him no room for rage; no, it cou’d not discharge it self so happily, but bow’d and yielded to all the extreams of Love, grief, and sense of Honour? he threw himself upon his Bed, and lay without sense or motion for a whole hour, confus’d with thought, and divided in his concern, half for a Mistress false, and|<375> half for a Sister loose and undone; by turns the Sister and the Mistress torture; by turns they break his heart, he had this comfort left before, that if Calista were undone, her ruin made way for his Love and happiness with Silvia, but now —— he had no prospect left that cou’d afford any ease, he changes from one sad Object to another, from Silvia to Calista, then back to Silvia, but like to feverish men, that toss about here and there, remove for some relief, he shifts but to new pain, where e’re he turns he finds the mad man still, in this distraction of thought he remain’d till a Page from Silvia, brought him this Letter: Which in midst of all, he started from his Bed with excess of joy and read.
Silvia to Octavio.
After your last affront by your Page, I believe it will surprize you to receive any thing from Silvia but scorn and disdain: But, my Lord, the int’rest you have by a thousand ways been so long making in my heart, cannot so soon be cancell’d by a minutes offence, and every Action of your life has been too generous to make me think you writ what I have receiv’d, at least you are not well in your senses; I have committed a fault against your Love, I must confess, and am not asham’d of the little cheat I put upon you in bringing you to bed to Antonett instead of Silvia: I was asham’d to be so easily won, and took it ill your passion was so mercenary to ask so coursely for the possession of me; too great a pay I thought for so poor service, as rendering up a Letter, which in Honour you ought before to have shew’d me: I own I gave you hope, in that too I was Criminal, but these are faults that sure deserv’d a kinder punishment than what I last receiv’d —— A Whore —— , A Common Mistress! Death you are a Coward —— And even to a Woman dare not say it; when she confronts the Scandaller, —— Yet pardon me, I meant not to revile, but gently to reproach, it was unkind —— At least allow me that, and much unlike Octavio.
I think I had not troubl’d you, my Lord, with the least confession of my resentment, but I|<378> cou’d not leave the Town, where for the Honour of your Conversation and friendship alone I have remain’d so long without acquitting my self of those Obligations I had to you. I send you therefore the key of my Closet and Cabinet, where you shall find not only your Letters, but all those presents you have been pleas’d once to think me worthy of: But having taken back your friendship, I render you the less valluable trifles, and will retain no more of Octavio than the dear memory of that part of his Life that was so agreeable to the
He finisht this Letter, reading with Tears of tender Love; but considering it all over he fancy’d|<379> she had put great Constraint upon her natural high Spirit to write in this Calm manner to him, and through all he found dissembl’d rage, which yet was visible in that one breaking out in the middle of the Letter: He found she was not able to contain at the Word, common Mistress, in fine, how ever Calm it was, and however design’d, he found, and at least he thought he found, the Charming Jilt all over; he fancies from the hint she gave him of the change of Antonett for her self in Bed, that ’twas some new cheat that was to be put upon him, and to bring her self off with credit: Yet in spight of all this appearing reason, he wishes, and has a secret hope that either she is not in fault, or that she will so cozen* him into a belief she is not, that it may serve as well|<380> to sooth his willing heart; and now all he fears is, that she will not put so neat a Cheat upon him, but that he shall be able to see through it, and still be oblig’d to retain his ill Opinion of her: But love return’d, she had rous’d the flame a new, and soften’d all his rougher thoughts with this dear Letter; and now in haste he calls for his Cloaths, and suffering himself to be drest with all the advantage of his Sex, he throws himself into his Coach, and goes to Silvia, whom he finds just drest en Chavalier,* (and setting her Hat and Feather in good order, before the Glass) with a design to depart the town, at least so far as shou’d have rais’d a concern in Octavio, if yet he had any for her, to have follow’d her; he ran up without asking leave into her Chamber|<381> and e’re she was aware of him, he threw himself at her Feet, and clasping her knees, to which he fixt his mouth, he remain’d there for a little space without life or motion, and prest her in his Arms as fast as a dying man. She was not offended to see him there, and he appear’d more lovely than ever he yet had been. His grief had added a languishment and paleness to his Face, which sufficiently told her he had not been at ease while absent from her; and on the other side Silvia appear’d ten thousand times more Charming than ever; that dress of a Boy adding extreamly to her Beauty, Oh you are a pretty Lover, said she, raising him from her knees to her Arms, to treat a Mistress so for a little innocent raillery. —— Come sit and tell me how you came to discover the|<382>harmless cheat; setting him down on the side of her Bed: Oh name it no more, cry’d he, let that damn’d Night be blotted from the year, deceive me, flatter me, say you are innocent, tell me my senses rave, my Eyes were false, deceitfull, and my Ears were deaf: Say any thing that may convince my madness, and bring me back to tame adoring Love. What means Octavio, reply’d Silvia sure he is not so nice and squemish a Lover, but a fair young Maid might have been welcome to him coming so prepar’d for Love; tho it was not she whom he expected; it might have serv’d as well i’th’ dark at least. Well, said, reply’d Octavio forcing a smile —— advance, pursue the dear design, and cheat me still, and to convince my Soul, oh swear it too, for Women want no weapons of defence, Oaths, Vows, and Tears,|<383> sighs, imprecations, ravings, are all the tools to fashion mankind Coxcombs, I am an easie fellow fit for use, and long to be initiated Fool, come swear I was not here the other Night. ’Tis granted Sir you were, Why all this passion? This Silvia spoke and took him by the hand, which burnt with raging Fire; and tho he spoke with all the heat of Love, his looks were soft the while as infant Cupids, still he proceeded, Oh Charming Silvia, since you are so unkind to tell me truth, cease, cease to speak at all, and let me only gaze upon those Eyes that can so well deceive: Their looks are innocent, at least they’le flatter me, and tell mine that
Philander to Silvia:
There are a thousand reasons, dearest Silvia, at this time that prevents my writing to you, reasons that will be convincing enough to oblige my pardon; and plead my Cause with her, that Loves me, All which I will lay before you, when I have the happiness to see you; I have met with some affairs since my arrival to this place, that wholly takes up my time; affairs of state, whose fatigues have put my heart extreamly out of Tune, and if not carefully manag’d may turn to my perpetual ruin, so that I have not an hour in a day to spare for Silvia; which, believe me, is the greatest affliction of my Life; and I have no|<401> prospect of Ease in the endless toyls of Life, but that of reposing in the Arms of Silvia: Some short intervals: Pardon my hast, for you cannot guess the weighty business that at present robs you of
You lie, false Villain —— reply’d Silvia in mighty rage; I can guess your business, and can revenge it too; curse on thee Slave; to think me grown as poor in sense, as Honour: to be cajol’d with this —— Stuff that wou’d never sham a Chamber Maid: Death am I so forlorn, so despicable, I am not worth the pains of being well dissembl’d with. Confusion overtake him, misery seize him, may I become his plague, while life remains,|<402> or publique tortures end him: This, with all the madness that ever inspir’d a Lunatick, she utter’d with Tears and Violent Actions: when Octavio besought her not to afflict her self, and almost wisht he did not love a temper so contrary to his own: He told her he was sorry, extreamly sorry, to find she still retain’d so violent a passion for a man unworthy of her least concern, when she reply’d —— Do not mistake my soul, by Heav’n ’tis Pride, disdain, despight and hate —— to think he shou’d believe this dull excuse cou’d pass upon my judgement; had the false Traytor told me that he hated me, or that his faithless date of Love was out, I had been tame with all my injuries, but poorly thus to impose upon my Wit —— By Heav’n he shall not bear the affront to Hell in Triumph! no|<403> more —— I’ve vow’d he shall not. —— My Soul has fixt, and now will be at ease —— Forgive me, oh Octavio, and letting her self fall into his Arms, she soon obtain’d what she ask’d for, one touch of the fair Charmer cou’d calm him into Love and softness.
Thus, after a thousand transports of passion on his side, and all the seeming tenderness on hers the Night being far advanc’d, and new Confirmations given and taken on either side of pursuing the happy Agreement in the Morning, which they had again resolv’d, they appointed that Silvia and Antonett shou’d go three Miles out of Town to a little Village, where there was a Church, and that Octavio shou’d meet ’em there to be Confirm’d and secur’d of all the happiness|<404> he propos’d to himself in this World —— Silvia, being so wholly bent upon revenge (for the accomplishment of which alone she accepted of Octavio,) that she had lost all remembrance of her former Marriage, with Briljard: Or if it ever enter’d into her thought ’twas only consider’d as a sham, nothing design’d but to secure her from being taken from Philander by her Parents: And, without any respect to the Sacred tie, to be regarded no more; nor did she design this with Octavio from any respect she had to the Holy State of Matrimony, but from a Lust of Vengeance which she wou’d buy at any price; and which she found no Man so well able to satisfie as Octavio.
But what wretched changes|<401 [recte:
The End of the Second Part.