THE| AMOURS| OF| PHILANDER| AND| SILVIA:| Being the Third and Last Part| OF THE| Love-Letters| Between a| NOBLE-MAN| AND HIS| SISTER.| [double rule]| LONDON,| Printed, and are to be Sold by most| Book-Sellers, 1687.*
|<[iii]> [The Epistle Dedicatory]
When a New Book comes into the World, the first thing we consider, is the Dedication; and according to the Quality and Humour of the Patron, we are apt to make a Judgment of the following Subject: If to a States-man we believe it Grave and Politick; if a Gown-man,* Law or Divinity; if to the Young and Gay, Love and Gallantry. By this Rule, I believe the gentle
My Lord, I presume to lay at your Lordship’s Feet, an Illustrious Youth; the unhappy Circumstances of whose Life ought to be Written in lasting Characters of all Languages, for a President to succeeding Ages, of the Misfortune of heedless Love, and a too Early Thirst of Glory; for in him, your Lordship will find the fatal Effects of great Courage without Conduct, Wit without
Pardon the Liberty, my Zeal for your Lordship has here presumed to take, since among Vows and Prayers for your Lordship’s
Most Humble and
PHILANDER and SILVIA.
Octavio, the Brave, the Generous, and the Amorous, having left Silvia absolutely resolv’d to give her self to that doting fond Lover, or rather to sacrifice her self to her Revenge, that unconsidering Unfortunate, whose Passion had expos’d him to all the unreasonable Effects of it, return’d to his own House, wholly transported with his happy Success. He thinks on nothing but vast coming Joys: Nor did one kind thought direct him back to the evil Consequences of|<2> what he so hastily pursu’d; he reflects not on her Circumstances, but her Charms; not on the Infamy he shou’d espouse with Silvia, but on those ravishing Pleasures she was capable of giving him: he regards not the Reproaches of his Friends; but wholly abandon’d to Love and youthful Imaginations, gives a Loose to young Desire and Fancy, that deludes him with a thousand soft Ideas: He reflects not that his gentle and easy Temper, was most unfit to joyn with that of Silvia, which was the most haughty and humorous in Nature; for tho’ she had all the Charms of Youth and Beauty that are conquering in her Sex, all the Wit and Insinuation that even surpasses Youth and Beauty; yet to render her Character impartially, she had also abundance of disagreeing Qualities mixt with her Perfections. She was Imperious and Proud, even to Insolence; Vain and Conceited even to Folly; she knew her|<3> Vertues and her Graces too well, and her Vices too little; she was very Opinionated and Obstinate, hard to be convinc’d of the falsest Argument, but very positive in her fancied Judgement: Abounding in her own Sense, and very critical on that of others: Censorious, and too apt to charge others with those Crimes to which she was her self addicted, or had been guilty of: Amorously inclin’d, and indiscreet in the Management of her Amours, and constant rather from Pride and Shame than Inclination; fond of catching at every trifling Conquest, and lov’d the Triumph, tho’ she hated the Slave. Yet she had Vertues too, that balanc’d her Vices, among which we must allow her to have lov’d Philander with a Passion, that nothing but his Ingratitude cou’d have decay’d in her Heart, nor was it lessen’d but by a Force that gave her a thousand Tortures, Racks and Pangs, which had al-|<4>most cost her her less valu’d Life; for being of a Temper nice in Love, and very fiery, apt to fly into Rages at every Accident that did but touch that tenderest Part, her Heart; she suffer’d a world of Violence, and Extremity of Rage and Grief by turns, at this Affront and Inconstancy of Philander. Nevertheless she was now so discreet, or rather Cunning, to dissemble her Resentment the best she cou’d to her generous Lover, for whom she had more Inclination than she yet had leisure to perceive, and which she now attributes wholly to her Revenge; and considering Octavio as the most proper Instrument for that, she fancies what was indeed a growing Tenderness from the sense of his Merit, to be the Effects of that Revenge she so much desired and thirsted after; and tho’ without she dissembled a Calm; within she was all Fury and Disorder, all Storm and Distraction: She went to Bed rack’d with a thousand|<5> thoughts of dispairing Love; sometimes all the Softness of Philander in their happy Enjoyments came in view, and made her sometimes weep, and sometimes faint with the dear lov’d Remembrance; sometimes his late Enjoyments with Calista, and then she rav’d and burnt with frantick Rage: But oh! at last she found her hope was gon, and wisely fell to argue with her Soul. She knew Love wou’d not long subsist on the thin Diet of Dispair, and resolving he was never to be retriev’d who once had ceas’d to Love, she strove to bend her Soul to useful Reason, and thinks on all Octavio’s Obligations, his Vows, his Assiduity, his Beauty, his Youth, his Fortune, and his generous Offer, and with the Aid of Pride resolves to unfix her Heart, and give it better Treatment in his Bosom: To cease at least to love the false Philander, if she could never force her Soul to hate him: And tho’ this was not so soon done|<6> as thought on, in a Heart so prepossest as that of Silvia’s, yet there is some Hope of a Recovery, when a Woman in that Extremity will but think of listening to Love from any new Adorer, and having once resolv’d to pursue the Fugitive no more with the natural Artillery of their Sighs and Tears, Reproaches and Complaints, they have Recourse to every thing that may soonest chase from the Heart those Thoughts that oppress it: for Nature is not inclin’d to hurt it self; and there are but very few who find it necessary to die of the Disease of Love. Of this sort was our Silvia, tho’ to give her her due, never any Person who did not indeed die, ever languished under the Torments of Love, as did that charming and afflicted Maid.
While Silvia remain’d in these eternal Inquietudes Antonett having quitted her Chamber, takes this opportunity to go to that of Brilljard,|<7> whom she had not visited in two days before, being extreamly troubl’d at his Design which she now found he had on her Lady; she had a mind to vent her Spleen, and as the Proverb says, Call W—re first.* Brilljard long’d as much to see her, to rail at her for being privy to Octavio’s Approach to Silvia’s Bed as he thought (she imagin’d) and not giving him an account of it, as she us’d to do of all the Secrets of her Lady. She finds him alone in his Chamber, recover’d from all but the Torments of his unhappy Disappointment. She approach’d him with all the Anger her sort of Passion cou’d inspire (for Love in a mean unthinking Soul, is not that glorious thing it is in the Brave) however she had enough to serve her Pleasure, for Brilljard was young and handsome, and both being bent on Railing, without knowing each others Intentions, they both equally flew into high Words; he up-|<8>braiding her with her Infidelity, and she him with his. Are not you, said he (growing more calm) the falsest of your Tribe, to keep a Secret from me that so much concern’d me? is it for this I have refus’d the Addresses of Burgomasters Wives and Daughters, where I cou’d have made my Fortune and my Satisfaction, to keep myself intirely for a thing that betrays me, and keeps every Secret of her Heart from me? false and forsworn, I will be Fool no more. ’Tis well, Sir, (reply’d Antonett) that you having been the most perfidious Man alive, shou’d accuse me who am Innocent: Come, come Sir, you have not carried Matters so swimingly but I could easily dive into the other Nights Intrigue and Secret. What Secret, thou false one? Thou art all over secret; a very hopeful Bawd at eighteen —— go I hate ye —— At this she wept, and he pursu’d his Railing to out-noyse her, You thought because your Deeds were done in Darkness,|<9> they were conceal’d from a Lovers Eyes; no thou young Viper, I saw, I heard, and felt, and satisfi’d every Sense of this thy Falshood, when Octavio was conducted to Silvia’s Bed by thee. But what, said she, if instead of Octavio I conducted the perfidious Traytor to love Brilljard? Who then was false and perjur’d? At this he blush’d extreamly, which was too visible on his fair Face. She being now confirm’d she had the better of him, continued —— Let thy confusion, said she with Scorn, witness the Truth of what I say, and I have been but too well acquainted with that Body of yours, weeping as she spoke, to mistake it for that of Octavio. Softly, dear Antonett, reply’d he —— nay, now your Tears have calm’d me; and taking her in his Arms, sought to appease her by all the Arguments of seeming Love and Tenderness; while she yet wholly unsatisfied in that Cheat of his of going to Silvia’s Bed, remain’d still|<10> pouting and very frumpish. But he that had but one Argument left, that on all Occasions serv’d to convince her, had at last Recourse to that, which put her in good Humour, and hanging on his Neck she kindly chid him for puting such a Trick upon her Lady. He told her, and confirm’d it with an Oath, That he did it but to try how far she was Just to his Friend and Lord, and not any Desire he had for a Beauty that was too much of his own Complexion to Charm him, ’twas only the Brunet and the Black, such as her self, that cou’d move him to Desire; thus he shams her into perfect Peace. And why, said she, were you not satisfied that she was False, as well from the Assignation as the Tryal? Oh no, said he, you Women have a thousand Arts of Gibing, and no Man ought to believe you, but put you to the Tryal. Well, said she, when I had brought you to the Bed, when you found her Arms stretch’d out|<11> to receive you, why did you not retire like an honest Man, and leave her to her self? Oh fy, said he, that had not been to have acted Octavio to the Life, but wou’d have made a Discovery. Ay, said she, that was your Aim to have acted Octavio to the Life, I believe, and not to discover my Lady’s Constancy to your Lord; but I suppose you have been sworn at the But of Hedleburgh,* never to kiss the Maid, when you can kiss the Mistress: But he renewing his Caresses and Asseverations of Love to her, she suffer’d herself to be convinc’d of all he had a mind to have her believe. After this she cou’d not contain any Secret from him, but told him she had something to say to him, which if he knew, would convince him she had all the Passion in the World for him: He presses eagerly to know, and she pursues to tell him, ’tis as much as her Life is worth to discover it, and that she lies under the Obligation of an Oath|<12> not to tell it; but Kisses and Rhetorick prevails, and she crys —— What will you say now if my Lady may Marry one of the greatest and most considerable Persons in all this Country? I shou’d not wonder at her Conquests (reply’d Brilljard) but I shou’d wonder if she should Marry. Then cease your Wonder, reply’d she, for she is to morrow to be married to Count Octavio, whom she is to meet at nine in the Morning to that end, at a little Village a League from this place. She spoke, and he believes; and finds it true by the raging of his Blood, which he could not conceal from Antonett, and for which he feigns a thousand Excuses to the Amorous Maid, and charges his Concern on that for his Lord: At last (after some more Discourse on that Subject) he pretends to grow sleepy, and hastens her to her Chamber, and locking the Door after her, he began to reflect on what she had said, and grew to all the Torment|<13> of Rage and Jealousie, and all the Dispairs of a Passionate Lover: And tho’ this Hope was not Extreme before, yet as Lovers do, he found, or fancy’d a Probability (from his Lord’s Inconstancy, and his own right of Marriage) that the Necessity she might chance to be in of his Friendship and Assistance in a strange Country, might some happy Moment or other render him the Blessing he so long had waited for from Silvia; for he ever design’d, when either his Lord left her, grew cold, or shou’d happen to die, to put in his Claim of Husband. And the soft familiar way, with which she eternally liv’d with him, incourag’d this Hope and Design; nay, she had often made him Advances to that happy Expectation. But this fatal Blow had driven him from all his fancy’d Joys, to the most wretched Estate of a desperate Lover. He traverses his Chamber wounded with a thousand different Thoughts, mixt|<14> with those of preventing this Union the next Morning. Sometimes he resolves to fight Octavio, for his Birth might pretend to it, and he wanted no Courage; but he is afraid of being overcome by that gallant Man, and either losing his Hopes with his Life, or if he kill Octavio, to be forc’d from his Happiness, or die an ignominious Death. Sometimes he resolves to own Silvia for his Wife, but then he fears the Rage of that dear Object of his Soul, which he dreads more than Death it self: So that tost from one Extream to another, from one Resolution to a hundred, he was not able to fix upon any thing. In this Perplexity he remain’d till Day appear’d, that Day must advance with his undoing, while Silvia and Antonett were preparing for the Design concluded on the last Night. This he heard, and every Minute that approach’d gave him new Torments, so that now he would have|<15> given himself to the Prince of Darkness for a kind Disappointment: He was often ready to go and throw himself at her Feet, and plead against her Enterprize in hand, and to urge the unlawfulness of a double Marriage, ready to make Vows for the Fidelity of Philander, tho’ before so much against his own Interest, and to tell her all those Letters from him were forg’d: He thought on all things, but nothing remain’d with him, but Dispair of every thing. At last the Devil and his own Subtilty, put him upon a Prevention, tho’ base, yet the most likely to succeed, in his Opinion.
He knew there were many Factions in Holland, and that the States themselves were divided in their Interests, and a thousand Jealousies and Fears were eternally spread amongst the Rable; there were Cabals for every Interest, that of the French so prevailing, that of the English, and that of the Illustrious Orange, and|<16> others for the States; so that it was not a Difficulty to move any Mischief, and pass it off among the Crowd for dangerous Consequences. Brilljard knew each Division, and which way they were inclin’d, he knew Octavio was not so well with the States as not to be easily rendred worse; for he was so intirely a Creature and Favourite of the Prince, that they conceiv’d abundance of Jealousies of him which they durst not own. Brilljard besides knew a great Man, who having a Pique to Octavio, might the sooner be brought to receive any ill Character of him: To this sullen Magistrate he applies himself, and deluding the Credulous busie old Man with a thousand circumstantial Lies, he discovers to him, that Octavio held a Correspondence with the French King to betray the State; and that he Caball’d to that end with some who were look’d upon as French Rebels, but indeed were no other than Spies|<17> to France. This coming from a Man of that Party, and whose Lord was a French Rebel, gain’d a perfect Credit with the old Sr. Politic; so that immediately hasting to the State House he lays this weighty Affair before them, who soon found it reasonable, if not true, at least they fear’d, and sent out a Warrant for the speedy apprehending him; but coming to his House, tho’ early, they found him gone, and being inform’d which way he took, the Messenger pursu’d him, and found his Coach at the Door of a Caberett,* too Obscure for his Quality; which made them apprehend this was some place of Rendezvous, where he possibly met with his Traytorous Associators: They send in, and cunningly inquire who he waited for, or who was with him, and they understood he stay’d for some Gentleman of the French Nation, for he had ordered Silvia to come in mans Cloaths, that she might not be|<18> known; and had given Order below, that if two French Gentlemen came they shou’d be brought to him. This Information made the Scandal as clear as Day, and the Messenger no longer doubted of the Reasonableness of his Warrant, tho’ he was loath to serve it on a Person whose Father he had serv’d so many Years. He waits at some distance from the House unseen, tho’ he cou’d take a View of all; he saw Octavio come often out into the Balcony and look with longing Eyes towards the Road that leads to the Town; he saw him all rich and gay as a young Bridegroom, lovely and young as the Morning that flattered him with so fair and happy a Day; at last he saw two Gentlemen alight at the Door, and giving their Horses to a Page to walk the while, they ran up into the Chamber where Octavio was waiting, who had already sent his Page to prepare the Priest in the Village Church to marry them. You|<19> may imagine, with what Love and Joy the ravished Youth approach’d the Idol of his Soul, and she, who beholds him in more Beauty than ever yet she thought he had appear’d, pleas’d with all things he had on, with the gay Morning, the flowery Field, the Air, the little Journey, and a thousand diverting things, made no Resistance to those fond Imbraces that prest her a thousand times with silent Transport, and falling Tears of eager Love and Pleasure, but even in that moment of Content, she forgot Philander, and receiv’d all the Satisfaction so soft a Lover could dispence: While they were mutually thus exchanging Looks, and almost Hearts, the Messenger came into the Room, and as civilly as possible told Octavio he had a Warrant for him to secure him as a Traytor to the State, and a Spy for France. You need not be told the Surprize and Astonishment he was in; however he obey’d.|<20> The Messenger turning to Silvia, cry’d, Sr. Tho’ I can hardly credit this Crime that is charg’d to my Lord, yet the finding him here with two French Gentlemen, gives me some more Fears that there may be something in it; and it wou’d do well if you wou’d deliver your selves into my Hands for the farther clearing this Gentleman. This foolish grave Speech of the Messenger had like to have put Octavio into a loud Laughter, he addressing himself to two Women for two Men: But Silvia reply’d, Sir, I hope you do not take us for so little Friends to the gallant Octavio, to abandon him in his Misfortune; no, we will share it with him, be it what it will. To this the generous Lover blushing with kind Surprize, bow’d, and kissing her Hand with Transport, calling her his charming Friend; and so all three being guarded back in Octavio’s Coach they return to the Town, and to the House of the Messenger, which|<21> made a great Noise all over, that Octavio was taken with two French Jesuits plotting to fire Amsterdam,* and a thousand things equally Ridiculous. They were all three lodg’d together in one House, that of the Messenger, which was very fine, and fit to entertain any Persons of Quality; while Brilljard, who did not like that part of the Project, bethought him of a thousand ways how to free her from thence; for he design’d as soon as Octavio should be taken to have got her to have quitted the Town under pretence of being taken upon Suspicion of holding Correspondence with him, because they were French; but her delivering her self up, had not only undone all his Design, but had made it unsafe for him to stay. While he was thus bethinking himself what he should do Octavio’s Uncle, who was one of the States,* extreamly affronted at the Indignity put upon his Nephew and his sole Heir, the Dar-|<22>ling of his Heart and Eyes, commands that this Informer may be secur’d; and accordingly Brilljard was taken into Custody, who giving himself over for a lost Man, resolves to put himself upon Octavio’s Mercy, by telling him the Motives that induc’d him to this violent and ungenerous Course. It was some Days before the Council thought fit to call for Octavio, to hear what he had to say for himself in the mean time, he having not had Permission yet to see Silvia; and being extreamly desirous of that Happiness, he bethought himself that the Messenger, having been in his Father’s Service, might have so much Respect for the Son as to allow him to speak to that fair Charmer, provided he might be a Witness to what he should say: He sends for him, and demanded of him where those two fair Prisoners were lodg’d who came with him in the Morning; he told him, in a very good Apartment on the same Floor,|<23> and that they were very well Accommodated, and seem’d to have no other Trouble but what they suffer’d for him. I hope, my Lord, added he —— your Confinement will not be long, for I hear there is a Person taken up, who has confest he did it for a Revenge on you. At this Octavio was very well pleased, and ask’d him who it was; and he told him a French Gentleman belonging to the Count Philander, who about six Months ago was oblig’d to quit the Town as an Enemy to France. He soon knew it to be Brilljard, and comparing this Action with some others of his lately Committed, he no longer doubts it the Effects of his Jealousie. He ask’d the Messenger, if it were impossible to gain so much Favour of him, as to let him visit those two French Gentlemen, he being by while he was with them: The Keeper soon granted his Request, and reply’d —— There was no Hazard, he wou’d not run to serve|<24> him; and immediately putting back the Hangings, with one of those Keys he had in his Hand, he opened a Door in his Chamber that led into a Gallery of fine Pictures, and from thence they past into the Apartment of Silvia: As soon as he came in he threw himself at her Feet, and she received him, and took him up into her Arms with all the Transports of Joy a Soul (more than ever possest with Love for him) could conceive; and tho’ they all appear’d of the Masculine Sex, the Messenger soon perceiv’d his Error, and beg’d a thousand Pardons. Octavio makes hast to tell her his Opinion of the cause of all this Trouble to both; and she easily believ’d, when she heard Brilljard was taken, that it was as he imagin’d; for he had been found too often faulty not to be suspected now. This Thought brought a great Calm to both their Spirits, and almost reduc’d them to the first soft Tranquillity, with|<25> which they began the day: For he protested his Innocence a thousand times, which was wholly needless, for the generous Maid believed before he spoke, he could not be guilty of the Sin of Treachery. He renews his Vows to her of eternal Love, and that he wou’d perform what they were so unluckily prevented from doing this Morning, and that tho’ possibly by this unhappy Adventure his Design might have taken Air, and have arriv’d to the Knowledge of his Uncle, yet in spite of all Opposition of Friends, or the Malice of Brilljard, he would pursue his Glorious Design of marrying her, tho’ he were forc’d for it to wander in the farthest parts of the Earth with his lovely Prize. He begs she will not disesteem him for this Scandal on his Fame; for he was all Love, all soft Desire, and had no other Design, than that of making himself Master of that greatest Treasure in the World; that of|<26> the possessing, the most charming, the all ravishing Silvia: in return, she paid him all the Vows that could secure an Infidel in Love, she made him all the indearing Advances a Heart could wish, wholly given up to tender Passion, insomuch that he believes, and is the gayest Man that ever was blest by Love. And the Messenger, who was present all this while, found that this Caballing with the French Spies, was only an innocent Design to give himself away to a fine young Lady: And therefore fully convinc’d he, was guilty of no other Crime, he gave them all the Freedom they desired; and which they made use of to the most Advantage Love could direct or Youth inspire. This suffering with Octavio begot a Pity and Compassion in the Heart of Silvia, and that grew up to Love, for he had all the Charms that could inspire; and every Hour was adding new Fire to her Heart, which|<27> at last burnt into a Flame; such Power has mighty Obligation on a Heart that has any grateful Sentiments: And yet, when she was absent anights from Octavio, and thought on Philander’s, Passion for Calista, she would Rage and Rave, and find the Effects of wondrous Love, and wondrous Pride, and be even ready to make Vows against Octavio: But those were Fits that seldomer seiz’d her now, and every Fit was like a departing Ague, still weaker than the former, and at the sight of Octavio all would vanish, her Blushes would rise and discover the soft Thoughts her Heart conceived for the approaching Lover; and she soon found that vulgar Error of the Impossibility of Loving more than once. It was four days they thus remain’d without being call’d to the Councel, and every day brought its new Joys along with it: They were never asunder, never interrupted with any|<28> Visit, but one for a few Moments in a day by Octavio’s Uncle, and then he would go into his own Apartment to receive him: He offered to baile him out; but Octavio, who had found more real Joy there than in any part of the Earth besides, evaded the Obligation, by telling his Uncle, he would be oblig’d to nothing but his Innocence for his Liberty: So would get rid of the fond old Gentleman, who never knew a Passion but for his darling Nephew, and return with as much Joy to the Lodgings of Silvia as if he had been absent a Week, which is an Age to a Lover; there they sometimes would play at Cards, where he would lose considerable Summs to her, or at Hazard, or be studying what they should do next to pass the Hours most to her Content; not but he had rather have lain eternally at her Feet, gazing, doating, and saying a thousand fond things, which at every View he|<29> took were conceived in his Soul: And tho’ but this last Minute he had finish’d, saying all that Love could Dictate, he found his Heart oppress’d with a vast store of new Softness, which he languish’d to unload in her ravishing Bosom: But she, who was not arrived to his pitch of Loving, diverts his softer Hours with Play sometimes, and otherwhile with making him follow her into the Gallery, which was adorn’d with pleasant Pictures, all of Hempskerk’s* hand, which afforded great Variety of Objects very Drole and Antique, Octavio finding something to say of every one that might be of Advantage to his own Heart; for whatever Argument was in dispute, he would be sure to bring it home to the Passion he had for Silvia; it should end in Love however remotely begun: So strange an Art has Love to turn all things to the Advantage of a Lover!|<30>
’Twas thus they pass’d their time, and nothing was wanting that lavish Expence* could procure, and every Minute he advances to new Freedoms, and unspeakable Delights, but still such as might hitherto be allow’d with Honour; he sighs and wishes, he languishes and dies for more, but dares not utter the Meaning of one Motion of Breath; for he lov’d so very much, that every Look from those fair Eyes that charm’d him, aw’d him to a Respect that rob’d him of many happy Moments, a bolder Lover would have turn’d to his Advantage, and he treated her as if she had been an unspotted Maid; with Caution of Offending, he had forgot that general Rule, That where the sacred Laws of Honour are once invaded, Love makes the easier Conquest.
All this while you may imagine Brilljard indured no little Torment, he could not on the one side determine what the States would do|<31> with him, when once they should find him a false Accuser of so great a Man, and on the other side, he suffered a thousand Pains and Jealousies from Love; he knew too well the Charms and Power of Octavio, and what Effects Importunity and Opportunity have on the Temper of feeble Woman: He found the States did not make so considerable a matter of his being Impeach’d, as to confine him strictly, and he dies with the Fears of those happy Moments he might possibly enjoy with Silvia, where there might be no Spies about her to give him any kind Intelligence; and all that could afford him any glimps of Consolation, was, That while they were thus confin’d, he was out of Fear of their being married. Octavio’s Uncle this while was not Idle, but taking it for a high Indignity his Nephew should remain so long without being heard, he mov’d it to the Councel, and accordingly they sent for him to the|<32> State-House* the next Morning, where Brilljard was brought to confront him; whom, as soon as Octavio saw, with a scornful Smile, he cry’d, —— ’Tis well, Brilljard, that you, who durst not fight me fairly, should find out this nobler way of ridding your self of a Rival; I am glad at least that I have no more honourable a Witneß against me. Brilljard, who never before wanted Assurance, at this reproach was wholly Confounded; for it was not from any Villainy in his Nature, but the absolute Effects of mad and desperate Passion, which put him on the only Remedy that could relieve him; and looking on Octavio with modest Blushes, that half pleaded for him, he cry’d —— Yes, my Lord, I am your Accuser, and come to charge your Innocence with the greatest of Crimes, and you ought to thank me for my Accusation; when you shall know ’tis regard to my own Honour, violent Love for Silvia, and extream Respect to your Lordship,|<33> has made me thus saucy with your unspotted Fame. How, reply’d Octavio, shall I thank you for accusing me with a Plot upon the State? Yes, my Lord, reply’d Brilljard; and yet you had a Plot to betray the State, and by so new a way, as could be found out by none but so great and brave a Man. —— Heavens, reply’d Octavio inrag’d, this is an Impudence, that nothing but a Traytor to his own King, and one bred up in Plots and Mischiefs, could have invented: I betray my own Country? —— Yes, my Lord, cry’d he (more briskly than before, seeing Octavio colour so at him) to all the Looseness of unthinking Youth, to all the Breach of Laws both Human and Divine, if all the Youth should follow your Example, you would betray Posterity it self; and only mad Confusion would abound: In short, my Lord, that Lady who was taken with you by the Messenger, was my Wife: And going towards Silvia, who was struck as with a Thunderbolt, he|<34> seiz’d her Hand, and Cry’d, —— while all stood gazing on —— This Lady Sir I mean —— she is my Wife, my lawful married Wife. At this Silvia could no longer hold her Patience within its Bounds, but with that other Hand he had left her, she struck him a Box on the Ear, that almost stagger’d him, coming unawares, and as she struck, she cry’d aloud, Thou liest base Villain —— and I’ll be reveng’d; and flinging her self out of his Hand, she got on the other side of Octavio, while the whole Company remained confounded at what they saw and heard. How, cry’d out old Sebastian, Uncle to Octavio, a Woman, this? By my Troth, sweet Lady, (if you be one) methought you were a very pretty Fellow: And turning to Brilljard, he cry’d, —— Why, what Sir, then it seems all this Noise of betraying the State was but a Cuckold’s Dream. Hah! and this wonderful and dangerous Plot, was but one upon your Wife, Sir; hah|<35> —— was it so? Marry Sir, at this rate, I rather think ’tis you have a Design of betraying the State —— you cuckoldy Knaves, that bring your handsome Wives to seduce our young Senators from their Sobriety and Wits. Are these the Recompences, reply’d Brilljard, you give the Injured, and in lieu of restoring me my Right, am I reproach’d with the most scandalous Infamy that can befal a Man. Well Sir, reply’d Sebastian, this is all you have to charge this Gentleman with? At which he bow’d and was silent —— and Sebastian continu’d —— If your Wife, Sir, have a mind to my Nephew, or he to her, it should have been your Care to have forbid it, or prevented it, by keeping her under Lock and Key, if no other way to be secured; and, Sir, we do not sit here to relieve Fools and Cuckolds; if your Lady will be Civil to my Nephew, what’s that to us: Let her speak for herself; What say you, Madam? —— I say, reply’d Silvia, that|<36> this Fellow is mad and raves; that he is my Vassal, my Servant, my Slave; but, after this, unworthy of the meanest of these Titles. This she spoke with a Disdain that sufficiently show’d the Pride and Anger of her Soul —— La you, Sir, reply’d Sebastian, you are discharg’d your Ladys Service; ’tis a plain case she has more mind to the young Count than the Husband, and we cannot compel People to be honest against their Inclinations. And coming down from the Seat where he sate, he imbraced Octavio a hundred times, and told the Board, he was extreamly glad they found the mighty Plot, but a Vagary of Youth, and the Spleen of a Jealous Husband or Lover, or whatsoever other malicious thing; and desired the angry Man might be discharged, since he had so just a Provocation as the loss of a Mistriss. So all laughing at the Jest, that had made so great a Noise among the Grave and Wise, they|<37> freed ’em all: And Sebastian advised his Nephew, that the next Cuckold he made, he would make a Friend of him first, that he might hear of no more Complaints against him. But Octavio very gravely reply’d: Sir, you have infinitely mistaken the Character of this Lady, she is a Person of too great Quality for this Raillery; at more Leisure you shall have her Story. While he was speaking this, and their Discharges were making, Silvia confounded with Shame, Indignation, and Anger, goes out, and taking Octavio’s Coach that stood at the Gate, went directly to his House, for she resolved to go no more where Brilljard was. After this Sebastian fell seriously to good Advice, and earnestly besought his Darling to leave off those wild Extravagancies that had so long made so great a Discourse all the Province over, where nothing but his splendid Amours, Treats, Balls, and Magni-|<38>ficences of Love, was the Business of the Town, and that he had forborne to tell him of it, and had hitherto justified his Actions, tho they had not deserved it; and he doubted this was the Lady to whom for these six or eight Months he heard he had so intirely dedicated himself: He desires him to quit this Lady, or if he will pursue his Love, to do it discreetly, to love some unmarried Woman, and not injure his Neighbours; to all which he blushed and bowed, and silently seem’d to thank him for his grave Councel. And Brilljard having receiv’d his Discharge, and Advice how he provok’d the Displeasure of the States any more, by accusing of great Persons, he was ordered to ask Octavio’s Pardon; but, in lieu of that, he came up to him and challenged him to fight him for the Injustice he had done him, in taking from him his Wife; for he was sure he was undone in her Favour, and|<39> that Thought made him mad enough to put himself on this second Extravagancy: However this was not so silently managed but Sebastian perceived it, and was so inraged at the young Fellow for his second Insolence, that he was again confined, and sent back to Prison, where he swore he should suffer the utmost of the Law: And the Council breaking up, every one departed to his own Home. But never was Man Ravished with excess of Joy as Octavio was, to find Silvia meet him with extended Arms on the Stair-Case, whom he did not imagine to have found there, nor knew he how he stood in the Heart of the Charmer of his own, since the Affront she had received in the Court from those that however did not know her, for they did not imagine this was that Lady, Sister to Philander, of whose Beauty they had heard so much, and her Face being turn’d from the Light, the old|<40> Gentleman did not so much consider or see it. Silvia came into his House the back way, through the Stables and Garden, and had the good Fortune to be seen by none of his Family but the Coach-man, who brought her home, whom she conjur’d not to speak of it to the rest of his Servants; And unseen of any body she got into his Apartment, for often she had been there at Treats and Balls with Philander. She was all alone, for Antonett stay’d to see what became of her false Lover, who, after he was seized again, retired to her Lodging the most disconsolate Woman in the World, for having lost her Hopes of Brilljard, to whom she had ingaged all that Honour she had. But when she missed her Lady there, she accused her self with all the Falshood in the World, and fell to repent her Treachery. She sends the Page to inquire at Ocatvio’s House, but no body there could give him any In-|<41>telligence; so that the poor amorous Youth returning without Hope, endur’d all the Pain of a hopeless Lover, for Octavio had anew charm’d his Coach-man: And calling up an ancient Woman who was his House-keeper, who had been his Nurse, he acquainted her with the short History of his Passion for Silvia, and order’d her to give her attendance on the treasure of his Life; he bid her prepare all things as magnificent as she could in that Apartment he design’d her, which was very rich and gay, and towards a fine Garden. The Hangings and Beds all glorious, and fitter for a Monarch than a Subject; the finest Pictures the World afforded, Flowers in-laid with Silver and Ivory, guilded Roofs, carv’d Wainscot,* Tables of Plate, with all the rest of the movables in the Chambers of the same, all of great value, and all was perfumed like an Altar, or the Marriage-Bed of some young King. Here Silvia was de-|<42>sign’d to lodge, and hither Octavio conducted her; and setting her on a Couch while the Supper was getting ready, he sits himself down by her, and his heart being ready to burst with Grief, at the thought of the Claim which was laid to her by Brilljard; he silently views her, while Tears were ready to break from his fix’d Eyes, and Sighs stopt what he would fain have spoke: While she (wholly confounded with Shame, Guilt, and Disappointment, for she could not imagine that Brilljard could have had the Impudence to have claim’d her for a Wife) fix’d her fair Eyes to the Earth, and durst not behold the languishing Octavio. They remain’d thus a long time silent, she not daring to defend her self from a Crime, of which she knew too well she was guilty, nor he daring to ask her a Question to which the Answer might prove so fatal; he fears to know what he dies to be satisfied in, and she fears|<43> to discover too late a Secret which was the only one she had conceal’d from him. Octavio runs over in his Mind a thousand Thoughts that perplex’d him, of the Probability of her being married; he considers how often he had found her with that happy young Man, who more freely entertain’d her than Servants use to do. He now considers how he had seen ’em once on a Bed together, when Silvia was in the Disorder of a yielding Mistress, and Brilljard of a ravish’d Lover; he considers how he has found ’em alone at Cards and Dice, and often entertaining her with Freedoms of a Husband, and how he wholly managed her Affairs, commanded her Servants like their proper Master, and was in full Authority of all. These, and a thousand more Circumstances confirms Octavio in all his Fears: A thousand times she is about to speak, but either fears to lose Octavio by clear Confession, or to|<44> run her self into farther Error by denying the matter of Fact, stops her Words, and she only blushes and sighs at what she dares not tell, and if by chance their speaking Eyes meet, they would both decline ’em hastily again, as afraid to find there what their Language could not confess. Sometimes he would press her Hand and sigh —— Ah Silvia, you have undone my Quiet; to which she would return no Answer, but Sigh; and now rising from the Couch, she walk’d about the Chamber as sad and silent as Death, attending when he should have advanced in speaking to her, tho’ she dreads the Voice she wishes to hear, and he waits for her Reply, tho’ the Mouth that he adores should deliver Poyson and Daggers to his Heart. While thus they remained in the most silent and sad Entertainment (that ever was between Lovers that had so much to say) the Page, which Octavio only trusts to wait, brought him this Letter.|<45>
Brilljard to Octavio.
I am too sensible of my many high Offences to your Lordship, and have as much Penitence for my Sin committed towards you as ’tis possible to conceive; but when I implore a Pardon from a Lover, who by his own Passion may guess at the violent Effects of my dispairing Flame, I am yet so vain to hope it. Antonett gave me the Intelligence of your Design, and raised me up to a Madness that hurried me to that Barbarity against your unspotted Honour. I own the baseness of the Fact, but Lovers are not, my Lord, always guided by Rules of Justice and Reason; or, if I had, I should have kill’d the fair Adulteress that drew you to your Undoing, and who merits more your Hate than your Regard; and who having first violated her marriage Vow to me with Phi-|<46>lander, would sacrifice us both to you, and at the same time betray you to a Marriage that cannot but prove fatal to you, as it is most unlawful in her; so that, my Lord, if I have injured you, I have at the same time saved you from a Sin and Ruin, and humbly implore that you will suffer the Good I have rendered you in the last, to atone for the Ill I did you in the first. If I have accused you of a Design against the State, it was to save you from that of the too subtil and too charming Silvia, which none but myself could have snatcht you from: ’Tis true I might have acted something more worthy of my Birth and Education; but, my Lord, I knew the Power of Silvia, and if I should have sent you the Knowledge of this, when I sent the Warrant for the Security of your Person, the haughty Creature would have prevail’d above all my Truths with the Eloquence of Love, and you had yielded and been betray’d worse by her, than by the most un-|<47>generous Measures I took to prevent it: Suffer this Reason, my Lord, to plead for me in that Heart where Silvia Reigns, and shews how powerful she is every where. Pardon all the Faults of a most unfortunate Man undone by Love, and by your own guess what his Passion would put him on who aims or wishes at least for the intire Possession of Silvia, tho’ it was never absolutely hop’d
by the most unfortunate
At the beginning of this Letter Octavio hoped it contained the Confession of his Fault in claiming Silvia; he hop’d he would have own’d it done in order to his Service to his Lord, or his Love to Silvia, or any thing but what it really was; but when he read on —— and found that he yet confirm’d his Claim, he|<48> yielded to all the Grief that could sink a Heart over-burthen’d with violent Love; he fell down on the Couch where he was sate, and only calling Silvia with a dying Groan, he held out his Hand, in which the Letter remain’d, and look’d on her with Eyes that languished with Death, Love, and Dispair; while she, who already feared from whom it came, receiv’d it with Disdain, Shame, and Confusion: And Octavio recovering a little —— Cry’d in a faint Voice —— See Charming, Cruel Fair —— see how much my Soul adores you, when even this —— cannot extinguish one spark of that Flame you have kindled in my Soul: At this she blush’d, and bow’d with a graceful modesty that was like to have given the lie to all the Accusations against her: She reads the Letter, while he greedily fixes his Eyes upon her Face as she read, observing with curious Search every Motion there, all killing and adorable. He|<49> saw her Blushes sometimes rise, then sink again to their proper Fountain, her Heart; there swell and rise, and beat against her Breast that had no other Covering than a thin Shirt, for all her Bosom was open, and betray’d the nimble Motions of her Heart. Her Eyes sometimes would sparkle with Disdain, and glow upon the fatal tell-tale Lines; and sometimes languish with excess of Grief: But having concluded the Letter, she laid it on the Table, and began again to traverse the Room, her Head declined, and her Arms across her Bosom. Octavio made too true an Interpretation of this Silence and Calm in Silvia, and no longer doubted his Fate. He fixes his Eyes eternally upon her, while she considers what she shall say to that afflicted Lover; she find’s Philander lost, or if he ever return, ’tis not to Love, so that he was for ever gone; for too well she knew no Arts, Obligations, or Industry, could re-|<50>trieve a flying Cupid: She found, if even that, could return, his whole Fortune was so exausted he could not support her; and that she was of a Nature so haughty and impatient of Injuries, that she could never forgive him those Affronts he had done her Honour first, and now her Love; she resolves no Law or Force shall submit her to Brilljard; she finds this Fallacy she had put on Octavio, has ruined her Credit in his Esteem, at least she justly fears it; so that believing herself abandoned by all in a strange Country, she fell to weeping her Fate, and the Tears wet the Floor as she walk’d: At which Sight so melting Octavio starts from the Couch, and catching her in his trembling Arms, he cry’d, be false, be cruel, and deceitful; yet still I must, I am compell’d to Adore you —— This being spoken in so hearty and resolved a Tone, from a Man, of whose Heart she was so sure, and knew to be so|<51> generous, gave her a little Courage —— and like sinking Men she catches at all that presents her any Hope of escaping. She resolves by discovering the whole Truth to save that last Stake, his Heart, tho’ she could pretend to no more; and taking the fainting Lover by the Hand, she leads him to the Couch: Well, said she, Octavio, you are too generous to be impos’d on in any thing, and therefore I will tell you my Heart without Reserve as absolutely as to Heaven it self, if I were interceeding my last Peace there. She begg’d a thousand Pardons of him for having conceal’d any part of her Story from him, but she could no longer be guilty of that Crime, to a Man for whom she had so perfect a Passion; and as she spoke she imbraced him with an unresistible Softness that wholly charm’d him: She reconciles him with every Touch, and sighs on his Bosom a thousand grateful Vows and Excuses for her Fault,|<52> while he weeps his Love, and almost Expires in her Arms; she is not able to see his Passion and his Grief, and tells him she will do all things for his Repose. Ah Silvia, sigh’d he, talk not of my Repose, when you confess your self Wife to one and Mistress to another, in either of which I have alass no part: Ah, what is reserv’d for the Unfortunate Octavio, when two happy Lovers divide the Treasure of his Soul! Yet tell me Truth, because it will look like Love; shew me that excellent Vertue so rarely found in all your fickle Sex. Oh! tell me Truth, and let me know how much my Heart can bear before it break with Love; and yet, perhaps to hear thee speak to me, with that insinuating dear Voice of thine, may save me from the Terror of thy Words; and tho’ each make a Wound, their very Accents have a Balm to heal! Oh, quickly pour it then into my listening Soul, and I’ll be silent, as ov’r ravished Lovers, whom Joys have|<53> charm’d to tender Sighs and Pantings. At this, imbracing her anew, he let fall a Shower of Tears upon her Bosom, and sighing, Cry’d —— Now I attend thy Story: She then began anew the Repetition of the Loves between her self and Philander; which she slightly ran over, because he had already heard every Circumstance of it, both from herself and Philander; till she arriv’d to that part of it where she left Belfont, her Fathers House: Thus far, said she, you have had a faithful Relation: And I was no sooner miss’d by my Parent, but you may imagine the diligent Search that would be made, both by Foscario, whom I was to have married the next day, and my tender Parents; but all Search, all Hu-an-Crys* were vain; at last they put me into the weekly Gazette,* describing me to the very Features of my Face, my Hair, my Breast, my Stature, Youth, and Beauty, omitting nothing that might render me apparent to all that|<54> should see me, offering vast Sums to any that should give Intelligence of such a lost Maid of Quality. Philander, who understood too well the Nature of the common People, and that they would betray their very Fathers for such a proferr’d Sum, durst trust me no longer to their Mercy: His Affairs were so involved with those of Cæsario, he could not leave Paris; for they every Moment expected the People should rise against their King, and those Glorious Chiefs of the Faction were obliged to wait and watch the Motions of the dirty Croud. Nor durst he trust me in any place from him, for he could not live a Day without me. At that Thought she sigh’d, and then went on: so that I was oblig’d to remain obscurely lodged in Paris, where now I durst no longer trust myself, tho’ disguis’d in as many Shapes as I was obliged to have Lodgings. At last we were betray’d, and had only the short Notice given us to yield or secure our selves from|<55> the hand of Justice by the next Morning, when they design’d to surprize us: To escape we found almost impossible, and very hazardous to attempt it; so that Philander, who was raving with his Fear, call’d my self and this young Gentleman, Brilljard, (then Master of his Horse) and one that had serv’d us faithfully through the whole Course of our Loves) to Councel: Many things were in vain debated, but at last this hard Shift was found out of marrying me to Brilljard, for to Philander it was impossible; so that no Authority of a Father could take me from the Husband. I was at first extreamly unwilling, but when Philander told me it was to be only a mock-Marriage, to secure me to himself, I was reconcil’d to it, and more when I found the infinite Submission of the young Man, who vow’d he would never look up to me with the Eyes of a Lover or Husband, but in Obedience to his Lord did it to preserve me intirely for him: Nay further, to se-|<56>cure my future Fear, he confest to me he was already privately married to a Gentlewoman by whom he had two Children. Oh —— tell me true, my Silvia, Was he married to another? Cry’d out the over-joy’d Lover. Yes, on my Life, reply’d Silvia; for when it was proved in Court that I was married to Brilljard, (as at last I was, and innocently Beded) this Lady came and brought her Children to me, and falling at my Feet, wept and implor’d I would not own her Husband, for only she had right to him; we all were forced to discover to her the truth of the Matter, and that he had only married me to secure me from the Rage of my Parents; that if he were her Husband, she was still as intirely possest of him as ever, and that he had advanc’d her Fortune in what he had done, for she should have him restored with those Advantages that should make her Life, and that of her Children more Comfortable; and Philander making both her and the chil-|<57>dren considerable Presents, sent her away very well satisfied. After this, before People, we used him to a thousand Freedoms, but when alone, he retain’d his Respect intire; however, this us’d him to something more Familiarity than formerly, and he grew to be more a Companion than a Servant, as indeed we desired he should; and of late have found him more presumptuous than usual. And thus much more, I must confess, I have reason to believe him a most passionate Lover, and have lately found he had Designs upon me, as you well know.
Judge now, oh dear Octavio, how unfortunate I am; yet judge too, whether I ought to esteem this a Marriage, or him a Husband: No, reply’d Octavio, more briskly than before, nor can he by the Laws of God or Man, pretend to such a Blessing, and you may be divorc’d. Pleas’d with this Thought, he soon assum’d his native Temper of Joy and Softness, and making a thousand new Vows that he would|<58> perform all he had sworn on his part; and imploring and pressing her to renew those she had made to him, she obeys him; she makes a thousand grateful Returns, and they pass the Evening the most happily that ever Lovers did. By this time Supper was served up, noble and handsome; and after Supper, he led her to his Closet, where he presented her with Jewels and other Rareties of great Value, and omitted nothing that might oblige an Avaritious designing Woman, if Silvia had been such; nor any thing that might beget Love and Gratitude in the most insensible Heart: And all he did, and all he gave, was with a peculiar Grace, in which there lies as great an Obligation, as in the Gift it self: The handsom way of giving being an Art so rarely known, even to the most Generous. In these happy and glorious Moments of Love, wherein the Lover omitted nothing that could please, Philan-|<59>der was almost forgotten, for ’tis natural for Love to beget Love, and Inconstancy its Likeness, or Disdain: And we must conclude Silvia a Maid wholly insensible, if she had not been touch’d with Tenderness, and even Love it self, at all these extravagant marks of Passion in Octavio; and it must be confess’d, she was of a Nature soft and apt for Impression; she was, in a word, a Woman. She had her Vanities, and her little Feviblesses,* and lov’d to see Adorers at her Feet, especially those in whom all things, all Graces, Charms of Youth, Wit and Fortune agreed to form for Love and Conquest: She naturally lov’d Power and Dominion; and it was her Maxim, That never any Woman was displeased to find she could beget Desire.
’Twas thus they liv’d with uninterrupted Joys, no Spies to pry upon their Actions, no false Friends to censure their real Pleasures, no Ri-|<60>vals to poyson their true Content, no Parents to give Bounds or grave Rules to the distruction of nobler lavish Love; but all the Day was past in new Delights, and every day produc’d a thousand Pleasures; and even the Thoughts of Revenge were no more remembered on either side; it lessen’d in Silvia’s Heart as Love advanced there, and her Resentment against Philander was lost in her growing Passion for Octavio: And sure if any Woman had Excuses for Loving and Inconstancy, the most Wise and Prudent must allow ’em now to Silvia; and if she had Reason for Loving, ’twas now, for what she paid the most deserving of his Sex, and whom she managed with that Art of Loving (if there be Art in Love) that she gain’d every Minute upon his Heart, and he became more and more her Slave, the more he found he was belov’d: In spight of all Brilljard’s Pretention he would have married|<61> her, but durst not do it while he remain’d in Holland, because of the Noise Brilljard’s Claim had made; and he fear’d the Displeasure of his Uncle, but waited for a more happy time, when he could settle his Affairs so as, to remove her into Flanders,* tho’ he could not tell how to accomplish that without ruining his Interest: These Thoughts alone took up his time whenever he was absent from Silvia, and would often give him abundance of Trouble, for he was given over to his Wish of possessing Silvia, and could not live without her; he lov’d too much, and thought and consider’d too little. These were his eternal Entertainments, when from the lovely Object of his Desire, which was as seldom as possible; for they were both unwilling to part; tho’ Decency and Rest required it, a thousand soft things would hinder him, and make her willing to retain him; and tho’ they were to meet again|<62> next Morning, they grudge themselves the parting Hours, and the Repose of Nature. He longs and languishes for the blessed Moment that shall give him to the Arms of the ravishing Silvia, and she finds but too much yielding on her part, in some of those silent lone Hours, when Love was most prevailing, and feeble Mortals most apt to be overcome by that insinuating God; so that tho’ Octavio could not ask what he sigh’d and dy’d for; tho’ resolv’d he would not press her, tho’ for the Safety of his Life, for any Favours; and tho’, on the other side, Silvia resolv’d she would not grant, no, tho’ mutual Vows had passed, tho’ Love within pleaded, and almost unresistible Beauties and Inducements without, tho’ all the Powers of Love, of Silence, Night and Opportunity, tho’ on the very Point a thousand times of yielding, she had resisted all: But oh! one Night; let it not rise up in Judg-|<63>ment against her, ye bashful modest Maids, who never yet try’d any powerful Minute; nor ye chast Wives, who give no Opportunities: One night —— they lost themselves in Dalliance, forgot how very near they were to yielding, and with imperfect Transports found themselves half dead with Love, clasp’d in each others Arms, betray’d by soft Degrees of Joy, to all they wished. ’Twould be too Amorous to tell you more; to tell you all that Night, that happy Night produc’d; let it suffice that Silvia yielded all, and made Octavio happier than a God. At first, he found her weeping in his Arms, raving on what she had unconsideringly done; and with her soft Reproaches chiding her ravished Lover, who lay sighing by, unable to reply any other way, he held her fast in those Arms that trembled, yet with Love and new-past Joy; he found a Pleasure even in her Railing, with a Ten-|<64>derness that spoke more Love than any other Language Love could speak. Betwixt his Sighs he pleads his Right of Love, and the Authority of his solemn Vows; he tells her that the Marriage Ceremony was but contrived to satisfy the Ignorant, and to proclaim his Title to the Crowd, but Vows and Contracts were the same to Heaven: He speaks —— and she believes; and well she might; for all he spoke was honourable Truth. He knew no Guile, but uttered all his Soul, and all that Soul was Honest, Just and Brave; thus by degrees he brought her to a Calm.
In this soft Rancounter,* he had discovered a thousand new Charms in Silvia, and contrary to those Men, whose end of Love is Lust (which extinguish together) Octavio found increase of Tenderness from every Bliss she gave; and grew at last so fond —— so doating on the still more charming Maid, that he|<65> neglected all his Interest, his Business in the State, and what he ow’d his Uncle, and his Friends, and became the common Theam over all the United Provinces, for his Wantonness and Luxury, as they were pleased to call it, and living so contrary to the Humour of those more sordid and slovenly Men of Quality, which make up the Nobility of that parcel of the World. For while thus he lived retired, scarce visiting any one, or permitting any one to visit him, they charge him with a thousand Crimes of having given himself over to Effeminacy; as indeed he grew too Lazy in her Arms; neglecting Glory, Arms, and Power, for the more real Joys of Life; while she even Rifles him with Extravagancy; and grows so bold and hardy, that regarding not the Humours of the stingy censorious Nation, his Interest, or her own Fame, she is seen every day in his Coaches, going to take the Air out of Town;|<66> puts him upon Balls, and vast expensive Treats; devises new Projects and ways of Diversion, till some of the more busie Impertinents of the Town made a publick Complaint to his Uncle, and the rest of the States, urging he was a Scandal to the Reverend and Honourable Society. On which it was decreed, that he should either lose that Honour, or take up, and live more according to the Gravity and Authority of a Senator: This Incenses Sebastian, both against the States and his Nephew; for tho’ he had often reproved and counselled him, yet he scorn’d his Darling should be school’d by his Equals in Power. So that resolving either to discard him, or draw him from the Love of this Woman; he one Morning goes to his Nephew’s House, and sending him up Word by his Page he would speak to him, he was conducted to his Chamber, where he found him in his Night-Gown: He began to|<67> upbraid him, first with his want of Respect and Duty to him, and next, of his Affairs, neglecting to give his Attendance on the Publick: He tells him he is become a Scandal to the Common-Wealth, and that he liv’d a lude Life with another Man’s Wife: He tells him he has all her Story, and she was not only a Wife, but a scandalous Mistress too to Philander. She boasts, says he, of Honourable Birth, but what’s that, when her Conduct is Infamous? In short, Sir, continued he, your Life is obnoxious to the whole Province: Why, what, Sir —— cannot honest Men’s Daughters (cry’d he more angerly) serve your turn, but you must crack a Commandment? Why, this is flat Adultery: A little Fornication in a civil way might have been allow’d, but this is stark naught. In fine Sir, quit me this Woman, and quit her me presently; or, in the first place, I renounce thee, cast thee from me as a Stranger, and will leave thee|<68> to Ruine, and the incensed States. A little Pleasure —— a little Recreation, I can allow: A Layer of Love, and a Layer of Business —— But to neglect the Nation for a Wench, is flat Treason against the State; and I wish there were a Law against all such unreasonable Whore-Masters —— that are States-Men —— for the rest ’tis no great matter. Therefore, in a Word, Sir, leave me off this Mistress of yours, or we will secure her yet for a French Spy, that comes to debauch our Common-Wealth’s-Men —— The States can do it Sir, they can —— Hitherto Octavio received all with a Blush and Bow, in sign of Obedience; but when his Uncle told him the States would send away his Mistriss; no longer able to contain his Rage, he broke out into all the Violence imaginable against them, and swore he would not now forego Silvia to be Monarch over all the nasty Provinces, and ’twas a greater Glory to be a Slave at her Feet.|<69> Go, tell your States, cry’d he —— They are a company of Cynical Fops, born to moyl on in sordid Business, who never were worthy to understand so great a Happiness of Life as that of nobler Love. Tell ’em, I scorn the dull Gravity of those Asses of the Common-Wealth, fit only to bear the dirty Load of State-Affairs, and die old busie Fools. The Uncle, who little expected such a Return from him who used to be all Obedience, began more gently to perswade him with more solid Reason, but could get no other Answer from him, than that what he commanded he should find it Difficult to disobey; and so for that time they parted. Some days after (he never coming so much as near their Councils) they sent for him, to answer the Contempt: He came, and received abundance of hard Reproaches, and finding they were resolved to Degrade him, he presently rallied them in Answer to all they said; nor could all the Cauti-|<70>ons of his Friends perswade him to any Submission, after receiving so rough and ill-bred a Treatment as they gave him: And impatient to return to Silvia, where all his Joys were Centred, he was with much a-do perswaded to stay and hear the Resolution of the Council, which was to take from him those Honours he held amongst them; at which he cock’d and smil’d, and told ’em he receiv’d what he was much more proud of than of those useless Trifles they call’d Honours; and wishes they might treat all that served them at that ungrateful Rate: For he that had received a hundred Wounds, and lost a Stream of Blood for their Security, shall, if he kiss their Wives against their Wills, be banish’d like a Coward: So hasting from the Council, he got into his Coach and went to Silvia. This incensed the old Gentlemen to a high Degree, and they carried it against the younger Party (because more in|<71> Number) that this French Lady, who was for high-Treason, as they call’d it, forc’d to fly France, should be no longer protected in Holland: And in order to her Removal, or rather their Revenge on Octavio, they sent out their Warrant to Apprehend her; and either to send her as an Enemy to France, or force her to some other part of the World. For a day or two Sebastian’s Interest prevailed for the stoping the Warrant; believing he should be able to bring his Nephew to some Submission; which when he found in vain, he betook himself to his Chamber, and refus’d any Visits or Diversions: By this time Octavio’s rallying the States was become the Jest of the Town, and all the Sparks laugh’d at them as they past, and Lampoon’d ’em to damnable Dutch Tunes, which so highly incens’d ’em, that they sent immediately, and serv’d the Warrant on Silvia, whom they surpriz’d in Octavio’s Coach,|<72> as she was coming from taking the Air. You may imagine what an Agony of Trouble and Grief our generous and surpriz’d Lover was in: It was in vain to make Resistance, and he who before would not have submitted to have sav’d his Life, to the States, now for the Preservation of one moment’s content to Silvia, he was ready to go and fall at their Feet, kiss their Shooes, and implore their Pity. He first accompanies her to the House of the Messenger, where he only is permitted to behold her with Eyes of dying Love, and unable to say any thing to her, left her with such Gifts, and Charge to the Messengers Care, as might oblige him to treat her well; While Silvia less surprized, bid him, at going from her, not to afflict himself for any thing she suffer’d; she found it was the Malice of the peevish old Magistrates, and that the most they could do to her, was to send her from him:|<73> This last she spoke with a Sigh, that pierced his Heart more sensibly than ever any thing yet had done; and he only reply’d (with a Sigh) No Silvia, no rigid Power on Earth shall ever be able to deprive you of my eternal Adoration, or to separate me one Moment from Silvia, after she is compell’d to leave this ungrateful Place, and whose Departure I will hasten all that I can, since the Land is not worthy of so great a Blessing. So leaving her for a little Space, he hasted to his Uncle, whom he found very much discontented: He throws himself at his Feet, and assails him with all the moving Eloquence of sighs and Tears; in vain was all, in vain alas he pleads. From this he flies to Rage —— and says all a distracted Lover could power forth to ease a tortured Heart; what Divinity did he not provoke? Wholly regardless even of Heaven and Man, he made a publick Confession of his Passion, deny’d her being married to Brill-|<74>jard, and weeps as he protests her Innocence: He kneels again, implores and begs anew, and made the movingest Moan that ever touched a Heart, but could receive no other Return but Threats and Frowns: The old Gentleman had never been in Love since he was born, no not enough to marry, but bore an unaccountable Hate to the whole Sex, and therefore was pityless to all he could say on the Score of Love; tho’ he endeavours to soften him by a thousand things more dear to him. For my sake, Sir, said he, if ever my soft Plea were grateful to you, when all your Joy was in the young Octavio; release, release the charming Silvia; regard her tender Youth, her blooming Beauty, her timerous helpless Sex, her noble Quality, and save her from rude Assaults of Power —— Oh save the Lovely Maid! This he utter’d with interrupting Sighs and Tears, which fell upon the Floor as he pur-|<75>su’d the Obdurate on his Knees: At last Pity touch’d his Heart, and he said —— Spare, Sir, the Character of your inchanting Circe;* for I have heard too much of her, and what Mischief she has bred in France; abandoning her Honour, betraying a virtuous Sister, defaming her Noble Parents, and ruining an Illustrious young Noble Man, who was both her Brother and her Lover. This Sir, in short, is the Character of your Beauteous Innocent. Alas, Sir, reply’d Octavio, you never saw this Maid; or if you had, you would not be so cruel. Go to, Sir, reply’d the old Gentleman, I am not so soon softened at the sight of Beauty. But do but see her, Sir, reply’d Octavio, and then perhaps you will be charm’d like me —— You are a Fop, Sir, reply’d Sebastian, and if you would have me allow any Favour to your inchanting Lady, you must promise me first to abandon her, and marry the Widow of Monsieur —— who is vastly|<76> Rich, and whom I have so often recommended to you; she loves you too; and tho’ she be not fair, she has the best Fortune of any Lady in the Netherlands. On these Terms, Sir, I am for a Reconciliation with you, and will immediately go and deliver the fair Prisoner; and she shall have her Liberty to go or stay, or do what she please —— and now, Sir, you know my will and Pleasure —— Octavio found it in vain to pursue him any further with his Petitions; only reply’d, it was wonderous hard and cruel. To which the old one reply’d; ’Tis what must be done; I have resolved it, or my Estate, in value above two hundred thousand pounds, shall be disposed of to your Sister, the Counteß of Clarinau: And this he ended with an Execration on himself if he did not do; and he was a Man that always was just to his Word.
Much more to this ungrateful effect he spoke, and Octavio had Recourse to all the Dissimulation his|<77> generous Soul was capable of; and ’twas the first base thing, and sure the last that ever he was guilty of. He promises his Uncle to obey all his Commands and Injunctions, since he would have it so; and only beg’d he might be permitted but one Visit, to take his last Leave of her: This was at first refused, but at last; provided he might hear what he said to her, he would suffer him to go: For, said the crafty old Man, (who knew too well the Cunning of Youth) I will have no Tricks put upon me; I will not be outwitted by a young Knave: This was the worst part of all; he knew, if he alone could speak with her, they might have contriv’d, by handsome agreeing Flattery, to have accomplish’d their Design; which was; first, by the Authority of the old Gentleman to have freed her from Confinement; and next, to have settled his Affairs in the best Posture he could; and without valuing his|<78> Uncle’s Fortune, his own being greater, he resolv’d to go with her into Flanders or Italy; but his going with him to visit her would prevent whatever they might resolve: But since the Liberty of Silvia was first to be considered, he resolves —— since it must be so, and leaves the rest to Time and his good Fortune. Well then, Sir, said Octavio, since you have resolv’d your self, to be a Witneß of those melancholly things, I shall possibly say to her, let us haste to end the great Affair —— Hang it, cry’d Sebastian, if I go I shall abuse the young Hussie,* or commit some Indecency that will not be suitable to good Manners —— I hope you will, Sir —— reply’d Octavio —— Whip ’em, whip ’em, reply’d the Uncle, I hate the young cozening Baggages,* that wander about the World undoing young and extravagant Coxcombes;* gots so they are naught, stark-naught —— Be sure dispatch as soon as you can; and —— do you hear —— let’s have no Whineing.|<79> Octavio overjoy’d he should have her released to Night, promis’d lavishly all he was urged to; And his own Coach being at the Gate, they both went immediately to the House of the Messenger; and all the way the old Gentleman did nothing but rail against the Vices of the Age, and the Sins of Villainous Youth; the Snares of Beauty, and the Danger of witty Women; and of how ill Consequences these were to a Common-Wealth. He said, if he were to make Laws, he would confine all young Women to Monasteries, where they should never see Man till Forty, and then come out and marry for Generation sake, no more: For his part, he had never seen the Beauty that yet could inspire him with that silly thing call’d Love; and wonder’d what the Devil ail’d all the young Fellows of this Age, that they talk’d of nothing else: At this rate they discoursed till they arrived at the Prison, and calling for|<80> the Messenger, he conducted them both to the Chamber of the fair Prisoner, who was laid on a Couch, near which stood a Table with two Candles, which gave a great Light to that part of the Room, and made Silvia appear more fair than ever, if possible. She had not that day been dress’d but in a rich Night-Gown, and Cornets* of the most advantagious Fashion: At his Approach she blush’d (with a secret Joy, which never had possesd her Soul for him before) and spread a thousand Beauties round her fair Face: She was leaping with a transported Pleasure to his Arms, when she perceived an old grave Person follow him into the Room: At which she reassum’d a Strangeness, a melancholly Languishment, which charm’d no less than her Gayety. She approaches ’em with a modest Grace in her beautiful Eyes; and by the Reception Octavio gave her, she found that reverend Person was his Un-|<81>cle, or at least some body of Authority; and therefore assuming a Gravity unusual, she receiv’d ’em with all the Ceremony due to their Quality: And first, she address’d herself to the old Gentleman, who stood gazing at her, without Motion; at which she was a little out of Countenance. When Octavio perceiving it, approach’d his Uncle, and cry’d, Sir, This is the Lady —— Sebastian starting as from a Dream, cry’d —— Pardon me, Madam, I am a Fellow whom Age hath rendred leß Ceremonious than Youth: I have never yet been so happy as to have been used to a fair Lady; Women never took up one Minute of my more
His Uncle had belonging to his House the most fine Garden of any in that Province, where those things are not much esteem’d; in which the Old Gentleman took wonderful Delight, and kept a Gardener and his Family in a little House at the far-|<101>ther end of the Garden, on purpose to look to it and dress it. This Man had a very great Veneration for Octavio, whom he call’d his Young Lord. Sure of the Fidelity of this Gardener, when it was dark enough to conceal him, he wrapt himself in his Cloak, and got him thither by a back-way, where with Presents, he soon won those to his Interest, who would before have been Commanded by him in any Service. He had a little clean Room, and some little French Novels* which he brought; and there he was as well conceal’d as if he had been in the Indies;* he left Word at home, that he was gone out of the Town. He knew well enough that Silvia’s, Lodgings look’d that way. And when it was dark enough, he walk’d under her Window, till he saw a Candle lighted in Silvia’s Bed-Chamber, which was as great a Joy to him as the Star that Guides the Traveller, or wandering Seaman, or the Lamp at Sestos,*|<102> that Guided the Ravish’d Lover o’er the Hellespont. And by that time he could imagine all in Bed, he made a little Noise with a Key on the Pummel* of his Sword; but whether Silvia heard it or not, I cannot tell, but she anon came to the Window, and putting up the Shash, leaned on her Arms and look’d into the Garden. Oh! who but he himself that Lov’d so well as Octavio, can express the Transports he was in, at the Sight? which more from the Sight within than that without, he saw was the lovely Silvia; whom calling softly by her Name, answered him, as if she knew the welcome Voice, and cry’d —— Whose there Octavio? She was soon Answer’d you may imagine. And they began the most indearing Conversation that ever Love could dictate. He complains on his Fate that sets ’em at that distance, and she pities him. He makes a Thousand Doubts, and she undeceives ’em all. He Fears, and she convinces his Error,|<103> and is impatient at his Suspicions. She will not indure him to question a Heart that has given him so many proofs of its Tenderness and Gratitude: She tells him her own Wishes, how soft and fervent they are; and assures him, he is extreamly oblig’d to her —— Since for you —— my Charming Friend, said she to Octavio, I have refus’d this Night to Marry your Uncle; have a care, said she, Smiling, how you treat me, least I revenge my self on you; become your Aunt, and bring Heirs to the Estate you have a Right to: The Writings of all which I have now in my Chamber, and which were but just now laid at my Feet, and which I cannot yet get him to receive back. And to oblige me to a compliance, has told me, how you have deceived me, by giving your self to another, and exposing me in Lampoons. —— To this Octavio would have replied, but she assured him she needed no Argument to convince her of the Falshood of all. He Sighs, and|<104> told her, all she said, tho’ dear and charming, was not sufficient to ease his Heart; for he foresaw a World of hazzard to get her from thence, and mischiefs if she remained; insomuch that he caus’d the Tears to flow from the fair Eyes of Silvia, with her Reflections on her rigid Fortune. And she cry’d, Oh, my Octavio! What strange Fate or Stars rul’d my Birth, that I should be born to the ruine of what I Love, or those that love me? At this rate they past the Night, sometimes more soft, sometimes incouraging one another; but the last result was to contrive the means of escaping. He fancy’d she might easily do it by the Garden from the Window: But that he was not sure he could trust the Gardener so far, who in all things would serve him, in which his Lord and Master was not Injured; and he, amongst the rest of the Servants, had Order not to suffer Silvia out of the Garden, for which reason he kept a Guard on that|<105> back-Door. Some way must be found out which yet was not, and was left to time. He told her where he was, and that he wou’d not stir from thence, till he were secur’d of her flight: And Day coming on, tho’ loath, yet for fear of Eyes and Ears that might Spy upon ’em, he retired to his little Lodging, and Silvia to Bed; after giving and receiving a thousand Vows and Farewels. The next Night he came to the same place, but instead of entertaining her —— he only saw her softly put up the Shash a little, and throw something white out of the Window and retire. He was wondering at the meaning, but taking up what was thrown down, he found and smelt it was Silvia’s Handkerchief, in which was ty’d up a Billet: He went to his little Lodging and read it.|<106>
Silvia to Octavio.
Go from my Window my adorable Friend, and be not afflicted that I do not entertain you, as I had the Joy to do last Night, for both our Voices were heard by some one that Lodges below, and tho’ your Uncle could not tell me any part of our Conversation, yet he heard I talk’d to somebody: I have perswaded him the Fellow dream’d who gave him this Intelligence, and he is almost satisfie’d he did so; however, hazard not thy dear self any more so, but let me lose for a while the greatest Happiness this Earth can afford me (in the Circumstances of our Fortunes) rather than expose what is dearer to me than Life or Honour: Pity the Fate I was born to, and expect all things from
I will wait at the Window for your Answer, and let you down a Ribband, by which I will draw it up: But as you love me do not speak.|<107>
He had no sooner read this, but he went to write an Answer, which was this.
Octavio to Silvia.
Complain not, thou Goddeß of my Vows, on the Fate thou wert born to procure to all Mankind; but thank Heaven for having receiv’d ten thousand Charms that can recompence all the Injuries you so unwillingly do us: And who would not implore his Ruine from all the angry Powers, if in return they would give him so glorious a Reward? Who would not be undone to all the trifling Honours of the mistaken World, to find himself, in lieu of all, posses’d of the Ravishing Silvia? But oh! where is that presumptuous Man, that can at the price of all, lay claim to so vast a Blessing? Alas, my Silvia, even while I dare call you mine, I am not that hoping Slave, no not after all the valued|<108> dear things you have said and vow’d to me last Night in the Garden, welcome to my Soul as Life after a Sentence of Death, or Heaven after Life is ended. But, oh Silvia! all this, even all you uttered from your dear Mouth is not sufficient to support me: Alas, I die for Silvia; I am not able to bear the cruel Absence longer, therefore without Delay assist me to contrive your Escape, or I shall die, and leave you to the Ravage of his Love who holds thee from me; the very Thoughts of that is worse than Death. I die, alas I die, for an intire Possession of thee: Oh let me grasp my Treasure, let me ingross it all, here in my longing Arms. I can no longer languish at this Distance from my eternal Joy, my Life, my Soul! But oh I Rave! and while I should be speaking a thousand useful things, I am telling you my Pain, a Pain that you may gueß; and confounding myself between those and their Remedies, am able to fix on nothing. Help me to think, oh my dear|<109> charming Creature, help me to think how I shall bear thee off! Take your own Measures, flatter him with Love; sooth him to Faith and Confidence, and then —— oh pardon me, if there be Baseneß in the Action —— then —— Cozen him —— Deceive him —— any thing —— for he deserves it all, that thinks that lovely Body was form’d for his Imbraces, whom Age has rendered fitter for a Grave. Form any Plots, use every Stratagem to save the Life of
He writ this in Hast and Disorder, as you may plainly see by the Stile, and went to the Window with it, where he found Silvia leaning expecting him: The Shashes were up, and he toss’d it in the Handkerchief into her Window: She read it, and writ an Answer back as soft as Love could form, to send|<110> him pleas’d to Bed; wherein she commanded him to hope all things from her Wit and industrious Love.
This had partly the Effects she wished, and after kissing his Hand, and throwing it up towards Silvia, they parted as silent as the Night from Day, which was now just dividing —— so long they stay’d, tho’ but to look at each other; so that all the Morning was pass’d in Bed to make the Day seem shorter, which was too tedious to both: This Pleasure he had after Noon, towards the Evening, that when Silvia walked, as she alwaies did in the Garden, he could see her thorow the Glass of his Window, but durst not open it; for the old Gentleman was ever with her. In this time Octavio fail’d not however to essay the good Nature of the Gardener in order to Silvia’s Flight, but found there was no dealing with him in this Affair; and therefore durst not come right down to the|<111> Point: The next Night he came under the beloved Window again, and found the sacred Object of his Wishes leaning in the Window expecting him: To whom, as soon as she heard his Tread on the Gravel, she threw down a Handkerchief again, which he took up, and toss’d his own with a soft complaining Letter to entertain her till his Return; for he hasted to read hers, and swep’d the Garden as he pass’d as swift as Wind; so impatient he was to see the Inside —— which he found thus.
Silvia to Octavio.
I beg, my charming Friend, you will be assur’d of all I have promised you; and to believe that, but for the Pleasure of those dear Billets I receive from you, I could as little support this cruel Confinement as you my Absence. I have but one Game to play, and I beseech you not to be sur-|<112>priz’d at it; ’tis to promise to marry Sebastian: He is eternally at my Feet, and either I must give him my Vow to become his Wife, or give him hope of other Favours. I am so intirely yours, that I will be guided by you, which I shall Flatter him in, to gain my Liberty, for if I grant either, he has proposed to carry me to his Country-House, two Leagues from the Town, and there Consummate whatever I design to bleß him with; and this is it that has wrought my Consent, that we being to go alone, only my own Servants, you may easily take me thence by Force upon the Road, or after our Arrival, where he will not guard me perhaps so strictly as he does here: For that, I leave it to your Conduct, and expect your Answer to
He immediately sate down and writ this.
Octavio to Silvia.
Have a Care, my Charming Fair, how you play with Vows; and however you are forc’d, for that Religious End of saving your Honour, to deceive the poor old Lover, whom, by Heaven, I pity; yet rather let me die than know you can be guilty of Vow-Breach, tho’ made in jest. I am well pleased at the Glimpse of Hope you give me, that I shall see you at his Villa; and doubt not but to find a way to secure you to myself: Say any thing, promise to sacrifice all to his desire; but oh, do not give away thy dear, thy precious self by Vow, to any but the Languishing
After he had writ this, he hast’d, and throws it into her Window, and return’d to Bed without seeing her, which was no small Affliction to his Soul: He had an ill Night of it, and fancy’d a thousand tormenting things; That the old Gentleman might then be with her; and if alone, what might he not perswade by force of rich Presents, of which his Uncle was well stored: And so he guess’d, and as he guess’d it proved, as by his next Nights Letter he was inform’d, that the old Lover no sooner saw Silvia retire, but having in mind to try his Fortune in some Critical Minute —— for such a Minute he had heard there was that favoured Lovers; but he goes to his Closet, and taking out some Jewels of great Value, to make himself the more welcome, he goes directly to Silvia’s Chamber, and entered just as she had taken up Octavio’s Letter, and|<115> clap’d it in her Bosom as she heard some body at the Door; but was not in a little Confusion when she saw who it was; which she excused, by telling him she was surpriz’d to find herself with a Man in her Chamber: That there he fell to pleading his cause of Love, and offered her again to settle his Estate upon her, and implor’d she would be his Wife. After a thousand faint Denials, she told him she could not possibly receive that Honour, but if she could, she would have look’d upon it as a great Favour from Heaven; at that he was Thunder-struck, and look’d as gastly as if his Mothers Ghost had frighten’d him; and after much Debate, Love and Grief on his side, Design and Dissimulation on hers, she gave him Hopes that Aton’d for all she had before said; insomuch that, before they parted, an absolute Bargain was struck up, and he was to settle part of his Estate upon her, as also that Villa,|<116> to which he had resolved in two days to carry her; in earnest to this, he presents her with a Necklace of Pearl of good Value, and other Jewels, which was the best Rhetorick he had yet spoke to her; and now she had appear’d the most Complaisant Lady in the World, she suffers him to talk wantonly to her, nay even to kiss her, and rub his grizly Beard on her divine Face, grasp her Hands, and touch her Breast; a Blessing he had never before arriv’d to with any body above the Quality of his own Servant-Maid. To all which she makes the best Resistance she can, under the Circumstances of one who was to deceive well; and while she loaths she seems well pleas’d, while the gay Jewels sparkled in her Eyes and Octavio in her Heart; so fond is Youth of Vanities, and to purchase an addition of Beauty at any Price. Thus with her pretty Flatteries she wrought upon his Soul, and smil’d and look’d|<117> him into Faith; loth to depart she sends him pleas’d away, and having her Heart the more inclin’d to Octavio by being Persecuted with his Uncles Love (for by Comparison she finds the mighty Difference) she sets herself to write him the Account of what I have related; this Nights Adventure, and Agreement between his Uncle and herself. She tells him that to Morrow, for now ’twas almost Day, she had promised him to go to his Villa: She tells him at what rate she has purchased the Blessing expected; and lastly, leaves the management of the rest to him, who needs not to be instructed. This Letter he receiv’d the next Night at the old place, and Silvia with it lets down a Velvet Night Bag, which contain’d all the Jewels and things of Value she had receiv’d of himself, his Uncle, or any other: After which he retired, and was pretty well at ease, with the imagination he should ere long be made|<118> Happy in the Possession of Silvia: In order to it the next Morning he was early up, and dressing himself in a great course Campaign-Coat of the Gardener’s, puting up his Hair as well as he could, under a Country-Hat, he got on a Horse that suited his Habit, and rides to the Villa, whither they were to come, and which he knew perfectly well every Room of; for there our Hero was born. He went to a little Caberet in the Village, from whence he could survey all the great House, and see every Body that pass’d in and out: He remain’d fix’d at the Window, fill’d with a thousand Agitations; this he had resolv’d, not to set upon the old Man as a Thief, or Robber; nor could he find in his Heart or Nature to injure him, tho’ but in a little affrighting him, who had given him so many anxious Hours, and who had been so unjust to desire that Blessing himself he would not allow him; and|<119> to believe that a Vertue in himself, which he exclaim’d against as so great a Vice in his Nephew; nevertheless he resolv’d to deceive him, to save his own Life. And he wanted that nice part of Generosity, as to satisfy a little unnecessary Lust in an old Man, to ruin the eternal Content of a young one, so nearly allied to his Soul, as was his own dear proper Person. While he was thus considering, he saw his Uncle’s Coach coming, and Silvia with that doting Lover in it, who was that day dressed in all the Fopperies of Youth, and every thing was young and gay about him but his Person, that was Winter it self, disguised in artificial Spring; and he was altogether a meer Contradiction: But who can guess the Disorders and Pantings of Octavio’s Heart at the Sight; and tho’ he had resolved before, he would not to save his Life, lay violent Hands upon his old Parent; yet at their Approach, at their presenting|<120> themselves together before his Eyes, as two Lovers going to betray him to all the Miseries, Pangs and Confusions of Love, going to possess —— her, the dear Object and certain Life of his Soul, and she [!] the Parent of him, to whom she had disposed of herself, so intirely already, he was provok’d to break from all his Resolutions, and with one of those Pistols he had in his Pockets, to have sent unerring Death to his old amorous Heart: But that Thought was no sooner born than stifled in his Soul, where it met with all the Sence of Gratitude that ever could present the tender Love and dear Care of a Parent there; and the Coach passing into the Gate put him upon new Designs, and before they were finished he saw Silvia’s Page coming from the House, after seeing his Lady to her Apartment, and being show’d his own, where he laid his Vallice* and Riding-things, and was now come out to look a-|<121>bout a Country where he had never been before. Octavio goes down and meets him: And ventures to make himself known to him: And so infinitely glad was the Youth to have an Opportunity to serve him, that he vow’d he would not only do it with his Life, on Occasion, but believ’d he could do it effectually, since the old Gentleman had no sort of Jealousie now; especially since they had so prudently manag’d Matters in this time of his Ladies remaining at Sebastian’s House. So that, Sir, it will not be difficult, says the generous Boy, for me to convey you to my Lodging, when it is dark. He told him his Lady cast many a longing look out towards the Road as she pass’d, for you, I am sure my Lord; —— for she had told both myself and Antonett of her Design before, least our Surprize or Resistance should prevent any Force you might use on the Road, to take her from my Lord Sebastian: She sigh’d, and look’d on|<122> me as she alighted, with Eyes, my Lord, that told me her Grief, for your Disappointment. You may easily imagine how transported the poor Octavio was; he kiss’d and imbrac’d the Amiable Boy a thousand times; and taking a Ring from his Finger of considerable Value, gave it the dear Reviver of his Hopes. Octavio already knew the Strength of the House, which consisted but of a Gardener, whose Wife was House-keeper, and their Son, who was his Fathers Servant in the Garden, and their Daughter, who was a sort of Maid-servant: And they had brought only the Coach-man, and one Foot-man, who were likely to be mirrily imploy’d in the Kitchin at Night when all got to Supper together. I say, Octavio already knew this, and there was now nothing that opposed his Wishes: So that dismissing the dear Boy, he remain’d the rest of the tedious day at the Caberet, the most|<123> impatient of Night of any Man on Earth: And when the Boy appear’d it was like the Approach of an Angel. He told him his Lady was the most Melancholly Creature that ever Eyes beheld, and that to conceal the Cause, she had feigned herself Ill, and had not stir’d from her Chamber all the day: That the old Lover was perpetually with her, and the most concern’d Doatard that ever Cupid inslav’d: That he had so wholly taken up his Lady with his disagreeable Entertainment, that it was impossible either by a Look or Note to inform her of his being so near her, whom she considered as her present Defender, and her future Happiness. But this Evening, continued the Youth, as I was waiting on her at Supper, she spy’d the Ring on my Finger, which, my Lord, your Bounty made me Master of this Morning. She blush’d a Thousand times, and fix’d her Eyes upon it, for she knew it, and was Impatient to|<124> have ask’d me some Questions, but contain’d her Words: And after that, I saw a Joy dance in her lovely Eyes, that told me she divin’d you were not far from thence. Therefore I beseech your Lordship let us haste. So both went out together, and the Page Conducted him into a Chamber he better knew than the Boy, while every Moment he receives Intelligence, how Affairs went in that of Silvia’s by the Page, who leaving Octavio there went out as a Spy for him. In fine, with much ado Silvia perswaded her Old Lover to urge her for no Favours that Night, for she was indispos’d and unfit for Love; yet she perswades with such an Air, so Smiling and Insinuating, that she increases the Fire, she indeavour’d to allay: but he, who was all Obedience as well as New Desire, resolves to humour her, and shew the perfect Gallantry of his Love; he promises her she shall command: And after that never was the Old Gentleman seen in|<125> so excellent a Humour before in the whole Course of his Life; a certain Lightening against a Storm, that must be fatal to him. He was no sooner gone from her, with a promise to go to Bed and Sleep, that he might be the earlier up, to shew her the fine Gardens which she lov’d, but she sends Antonett to call the Page, from whom she long’d to know something of Octavio, and was sure he cou’d inform her. But she was undressing while she spoke, and got into her Bed before she left her: But Antonett, instead of bringing the Sighing Youth, brought the Transported and Ravish’d Octavio, who had by this time pull’d his Course Campaign and put down his Hair. He fell breathless with Joy on her Bed side; when Antonett, who knew that Love desir’d no lookers on, retired, and left Octavio almost dead with Joy, in the Clasping Arms of the Trembling Maid, the lovely Silvia. Oh, who can guess their sa-|<126>tisfaction? Who can guess their Sighs and Love? their tender Words, half stifled in Kisses; Lovers! fond Lovers! only can imagine; to all besides, this Tale will be Insipid. He now forgets where he is, that not far off lay his Amorous Uncle, that to be found there was Death, and something worse; but wholly Ravish’d with the Languishing Beauty, taking his Pistols out of either Pocket, he lays them on a Dressing Table, near the Bed side, and in a Moment throws off his Cloths, and gives himself up to all the Heaven of Love that lay ready to receive him there, without thinking of any thing but the vast Power of eithers Charms. They lay and forgot the hasty Hours, but Old Sebastian did not. They were all counted by him, with the Impatience of a Lover: He Burnt, he Rag’d with fierce Desire, and tost from side to side and found no ease; Silvia was present in Imagination, and he like Tantalus* reaches at the|<127> Food, which, tho’ in view, is not within his reach: He wou’d have Pray’d, but he had no Devotion for any Deity but Silvia; he rose and walk’d and went to Bed again and found himself uneasie every way. A Thousand times he was about to go, and try what Opportunity would do in the dark silent Night —— But fears her Rage —— he fears she’ll chide at least; then he resolves and unresolves as fast: Unhappy Lover —— thus to blow the Fire when there were no Materials to supply it; at last overcome with fierce Desire, too Violent to be withstood, or rather Fate wou’d have it so ordained, he ventures all, and steals to Silvia’s Chamber, believing, when she found him in her Arms she could not be displeas’d; or if she were, that was the surest place of Reconciliation: So that only putting his Night Gown about him, he went softly to her Chamber for fear of waking her: The unthinking Lovers had left open|<128> the Door, so that it was hardly put to. And the first Alarm was Octavio’s Hand being seiz’d, which was Clasping his Treasure. He starts from the frighted Arms of Silvia, and leaping from the Bed wou’d have escaped; for he knew too well the touch of that Old Hand; but Sebastian, wholly surpriz’d at so robust a repulse, took most unfortunately a stronger hold, and laying both his Hands roughly upon him, with a Resolution to know who he was, for he felt his Hair; and Octavio struggling at the same Minute to get from him, they both fell against the Dressing Table, threw down the Pistols; in their fall, one of which going off, shot the unfortunate Old Lover into the Head, so that he never spoke word more: At the going off of the Pistol, Silvia, who had not minded those Octavio laid on the Table, cry’d out —— Oh my Octavio! My dearest Charmer, reply’d he, I’m well —— And feeling on the|<129> Dead Body, which he wonder’d had no longer Motion, he felt Blood flowing round it, and Sighing cry’d —— Ah, Silvia! I’m undone —— my Uncle —— Oh my Parent —— Speak, Dear Sir! Oh! what unlucky Accident has done this fatal Deed? Silvia, who was very soft by Nature, was extreamly surpriz’d, and frightned at the News of a Dead Man in her Chamber, so that she was ready to run Mad with the Apprehension of it: She rav’d and tore her self, and exprest her Fright in Cries and Distraction; so that Octavio was compelled from one charitable Grief to another. He goes to her and Comforts her, and tells, since ’tis by no design of either of them, their Innocence will be their Guardian Angel. He tells her all their fault was Love, which made him so heedlessly fond of Joys with her, he staid to reap those when he should have secur’d them by Flight. He tells her this is now no place to stay in, and|<130> that he would put on her Clothes and fly with her to some secure part of the World; For who, said he, that finds this poor Unfortunate here, will not charge his Death on me or thee? —— Haste then, my dearest Maid, haste, haste, and let us fly —— So dressing her, he led her into Antonett’s Chamber, and conjured her to say nothing of the Accident, while he went to see which way they could get out. So locking the Chamber door where the dead Body lay, which by this time was stiff and cold, he lock’d that also of his Uncle’s Chamber, and calling the Page, they all got themselves ready; and putting Two Horses in the Coach, they unseen and unperceived got themselves all out: The Servants having drunk hard at their meeting in the Country last Night, were all too sound a sleep to understand any thing of what past. It being now about the Break of Day Octavio was the Coachman, and the Page Riding by the Coach-|<131>side, while Silvia and Antonett were in it, they in an hours time reach’d the Town, where Octavio pack’d up all that was carriageable; took his own Coach and Six Horses; left his Affairs to the Managent [!] of a Kinsman, that dwelt with him; took Bills to the value of Two thousand Pounds, and immediately left the Town, after receiving some Letters that came last Night by the Post, one of which was from Philander; and indeed this new Grief upon Octavio’s Soul, made him the most Dejected and Melancholy Man in the World, insomuch that he, who never wept for any thing but for Love, was often found with Tears rowling down his Cheeks, at the remembrance of an Accident so deplorable, and of which, he and his unhappy Passion was the Cause, tho’ Innocently: Yet could not the dire Reflection o[f
Thus between excess of Grief and excess of Love, which indeed lay veil’d in the first, they arriv’d at Bruxells; where Octavio, having News of the proceedings of the States against him, resolving rather to lose his Life, than tamely to surrender his Right, he went forth in order to take some Care about it: And in these extreams of a troubled Mind, he had forgot to read Philander’s Letters, but gave ’em to Silvia to peruse, till he return’d, beseeching and conjuring her, by all|<136> the Charms of Love, not to suffer herself to be afflicted, but now to consider she was wholly his; and she could not, and ought not to rob him of a Sigh, or Tear for any other Man. For they had concluded to marry, as soon as Silvia should be delivered from that part of Philander of which she was possess’d. Therefore beholding her intirely his own, of whom he was so fondly tender, he could not indure the Wind should blow on her, and kiss her lovely Face: Jealous of even the Air she breath’d, he was ever putting her in mind of whose and what she was; and she ever giving him new Assurances that she was only Octavio’s. The last part of his ill News he conceal’d from her; that of the Usage of the States. He was so intirely careful of her Fame, that he had two Lodgings, one most magnificent for her, another for himself; and only visited her all the live-long Day. And being now re-|<137>tired from her, she whose Love and Curiosity grew less every day, for the false Philander, open’d his Letter with a Sigh of departed Love, and read this.
Philander to Octavio.
Sure of your Friendship, my dear Octavio, I venture to lay before you the History of my Misfortunes, as well as those of my Joys; equally Extream.
In my last, I gave you an Account how triumphing a Lover I was, in the Possession of the adorable Calista; and how very near I was being surpriz’d in the Fountain, where I had hid my self from the Rage of old Clarinau; and escaped wet and cold to my Lodging: And tho’ indeed I escaped, it was not without giving the old Husband a Jealousy, which put him upon Inquiry after a stricter manner, as I heard the next day from Calista; but with as ill Success as the Night be-|<138>fore; notwithstanding it appears, by what after happened, that he still retain’d his Jealousie, and that of me, from a thousand little Inquiries I had from time to time made, from my being now absent, and most of all from my being (as now he fancied) that Vision, which Calista saw in the Garden. All these Circumstances wrought a thousand Canundrums,* in his Spanish politick Noddle:* And he resolves that Calista’s Actions should be more narrowly watch’d. This I can only gueß from what insu’d. I am not able to say, by what good Fortune, I escap’d several happy Nights after the first, but ’tis certain I did so; for the old Man carrying all things fair to the lovely Countess, she thought herself secure in her Joys hitherto, as to any Discovery: However I never went on this dear Adventure but I was well arm’d against any Mishaps, of Poniard,* Sword, and Pistol, that Garb of a right Spaniard. Calista had been married above two years before I beheld|<139> her, and had never been with Child: But it so chanced, that she conceived the very first Night of our Happineß; since which time not all her Flatteries and Charms could prevail for one Night with the old Count: For, whether from her seeming Fondneß he imagin’d the Cause, or what other Reason he had to withstand her Desire and Caresses, I know not: But still he found, or feign’d some Excuses to put her off; so that Calista’s Fears* and Love increased with her growing Belly. And tho’ almost every Night I had the fair, young Charmer in Bed with me (without the least Suspicion on Dormina’s side) or else in the Arbours, or on flowery Banks in the Garden: Till I am confident there was not a Walk, a Grove, an Arbour, or Bed of Sweets, that was not conscious of our stollen Delights. Nay, we grew so very bold in Love, that we often suffered the Day to break upon us; and still escaped his Spyes, who by either watching at the wrong|<140> Door, or part of the vast Garden, or by Sleepineß, or Carelessneß, still let us paß their View. Four happy Months, thus bless’d, and thus secur’d, we liv’d, when Calista could no longer conceal her growing Shame, from the Jealous Clarinau or Dormina. She fear’d, with too much Reason, that ’twas Jealousy which made him refrain her Bed, tho’ he dissembled well all Day: And one Night, weeping in my Bosom, with all the tenderneß of Love, she said, That if I loved her, as she hoped I did, I should be shortly very miserable: For oh, cry’d she, I can no longer hide this —— dear Effect of my stollen Happiness —— and Clarinau will no sooner perceive my Condition, but he will use his utmost Rigour against me. I know his jealous Nature, and find I am undone —— With that she told me how he had killed his first Wife; for which he was obliged to fly from the Court and Country of Spain: And that she found from all his Severity he was|<141> not chang’d from his Nature. In fine, she said and lov’d so much, that I was wholly charm’d, and vow’d myself her Slave, or Sacrifice, either to follow what she could propose, or fall a Victim with her to my Love. After which ’twas concluded (neither having a mind to leave the World, when we both knew so well how to make our selves happy in it) that the next Night I should bring her a Suit of Mans Cloths; and she would in that Disguise fly with me to any part of the World. For she vow’d if this unlucky Force of Flying had not happened to her, she had not been longer able to indure his Tyranny and Slavery: But had resolved to break her Chain, and put herself upon any Fortune. So that after the usual Indearments on both sides, I left her resolved to follow my Fortune, and she me, to sacrifice all to her Repose. That Night, and all next Day, she was not idle; but put up all her Jewels, of which she had the richest of a-|<142>ny Lady in all those Parts, for in that the old Count was over lavish: And the next Night I brought her a Suit, which I had made that day on purpose, as gay as could be made in so short a time; and scaleing my Wall well arm’d, I found her ready at the Door to receive me; and going into an Arbour, by the aid of a Dark-Lanthorn I carried, she dress’d her in a lac’d Shirt of mine, and this Suit I had brought her, of blew* Velvet, trimm’d with rich Loops and Buttons of Gold; a white Hat and white Feather; a fair Peruke,* and scarlet Breeches, the rest suitable. And I must confeß to you, my dear Octavio, that never any thing appear’d so Ravishing, and yet I have seen Silvia! But even she a Baby to this more noble Figure. Calista is tall, and fashion’d the most divinely —— the most proper for that Dreß of any of her Sex: And I own I never saw any thing so Beautiful all over, from Head to Foot: And viewing her thus (carrying my|<143> Lanthorn all about her) but more especially her Face, her wondrous, Charming Face —— (Pardon me, if I say, what does but look like Flattery) —— I never saw any thing more resembling my dear Octavio, than the lovely Calista, Your every Feature, your very Smile and Air; so that, if possible, that increas’d my Adoration and Esteem for her: Thus compleated, I Armed her, and buckl’d on her Sword, and she would needs have one of my Pistols too, that stuck in my Belt; and now she appear’d all lovely Man. ’Twas so late by that time we had done, that the Moon, which began to shine very Bright, gave us a Thousand little Fears, and disposing her Jewels all about us safe, we began our Adventure, with a Thousand dreadful Apprehensions on Calista’s side. And going up the Walk, towards the place where we were to mount the Wall; just at the end of it, turning a Corner, we encounter’d Two Men, who were too near us to be prevented. Oh, cry’d Calista to me, who|<144> saw ’em first, —— My dear Philander we are undone! I look’d and saw ’em, and replied, My Charmer, do not fear, they are but two to two, who e’re they be; for Love, and I shall be of Force enough to Encounter ’em. No, my Philander, replied she briskly, ’tis I will be your Second in this Rancounter. At this approaching ’em more near (for they hasted to us, nor could we fly from them,) we soon found by his hobling, that Old Clarinau was one, and the other a Tall Spaniard, his Nephew. I clapt my Hair under my Hat, and both of us making a stand, we resolv’d, if they durst not venture on us, to let ’em paß —— but Clarinau, who was on that side which faced Calista, cry’d, Ah Villain, have I caught thee! and at the same instant with a Poniard stabbed her into the Arm; for with a suddain turn she evaded it from her Heart, to which it was design’d. At which, repaying his Complement, she shot off her Pistol, and down he fell, crying out for a Priest; while I at the|<145> same time laid my Tall Boy at his Feet. I caught my dear Virago* in my Arms, and hasted through the Garden with her, and was very hasty in mounting the Ladder, putting my fair Second before me, without so much as daring yet to ask her, if she were wounded, least it should have hinder’d our flight, if I had found her hurt: Nor knew I she was so, till I felt her warm precious Blood, streaming on my Face, as I lifted her over the Wall; but I soon convey’d her into my new Lodgings; yet not soon enough to secure her from those that pursu’d us. For with their bauling they alarm’d some of the Servants, who looking narrowly for the Murderers, track’d us by Calista’s, Blood, which they saw with their Flambeaus,* from the Place where Clarinau, and his Nephew lay, to the very Wall; and thinking from our Wounds we could not escape far, they searching the Houses, found me dressing Calista’s Wound, which I kist a Thousand times. But the matchleß Courage of the fair Vira-|<146>go! the Magnanimity of Calista’s Soul! nothing of foolish Woman harbour’d there, nothing but softest Love; for while I was raving mad, tearing my Hair and cursing my Fate in vain, she had no concern but for me; no pain but that of her fear of being taken from me, and being delivered to old Clarinau, whom I fear’d was not dead; nor could the very seizing her daunt her Spirits, but with an unmatch’d Fortitude she bore it all; she only wish’d she could have escap’d without Bloodshed. We were both led to Prison, but none knew who we were; for those that seized us, had by chance never seen me, and Calista’s Habit secur’d the discovery. While we both remain’d there, we had this comfort of being well Lodg’d together; for they did not go about to part us, being in for one Crime. And all the satisfaction she had, was, that she should, she hop’d, die conceal’d, if she must die for the Crime; and that was much a greater Joy, than to think she should be ren-|<147>der’d back to Clarinau, who in a few days we heard was upon his Recovery. This gave her new fears; but I confeß to you, I was not afflicted at it; nor did I think it hard for me to bribe Calista off; for the Master of the Prison was very Civil and Poor, so that with the help of some few of Calista’s, Jewels, he was wrought upon to let her escape, I offering to remain, and bear all the brunt of the Busineß, and to pay whatever he could be Fined for it. These Reasons, with the ready Jewels, mollified the needy Rascal; and tho’ loath she were to leave me; yet she being assured that all they could do was but to fine me; and her stay she knew was her inevitable Ruine, she at last submitted, leaving me sufficient in Jewels to satisfie for all that could happen, which were the value of a Hundred thousand Crowns.* She is fled to Bruxells, to a Nunnery of Augustin’s, where the Lady Abbess is her Aunt, and where for a little time she is secure, till I can follow her.|<148>
I beg of you my dear Octavio, write to me, and write me a Letter of Recommendation to the Magistrates here, who all being concern’d when any one of ’em is a Cuckold, are very severe upon Criminals in those Cases. I tire you with my Melancholy Adventure —— but ’tis some ease in the Extreams of Grief, to receive the tender Pity of a Friend, and that I’m sure Octavio will afford his unhappy
As cold and as unconcern’d as Silvia imagin’d she had found her Heart to Philander’s, Memory, at the reading of this Letter, in spight of all the Tenderness she had for Octavio, she was possest with all those pains of Love and Jealousie, which heretofore tormented her when Love was Young, and Philander appeared with all those Charms with which he first Conquer’d; she found|<149> the Fire was but hid under those Embers, which every little blast blows off and makes it Flame a new. ’Twas now that she forgetting all the past Obligations of Octavio, all his vast Presents, his Vows, his Sufferings, his Passion and his Youth, abandon’d herself wholly to her Tenderness for Philander, and drowns her fair Cheeks in a Shower of Tears: And having eas’d her Heart a little by this natural Relief of her Sex, she open’d the Letter that was design’d for herself, and read this.
I know, my lovely Silvia, I am accused of a Thousand Barbarities, for unkindly detaining your Lover, who long ere this ought to have thrown himself at your Feet, imploring a Thousand Pardons for his tedious Six Months absence, tho’ the affliction of it is all my own, and I am afraid all|<150> the Punishment; but when, my dearest Silvia, I reflect again, ’tis in order to our future Tranquillity, I depend on your Love and Reason for my Excuse. I know my absence has procur’d me a Thousand Rivals, and you as many Adorers, and fear Philander appears grown Old in Love, and worn out with Sorrow and Care, unfit for the soft Play of the Young and Delicate Silvia; new Lovers have new Vows and new Presents, and your fickle Sex stoop to the lavish Prostrate. Ill luck —— unkind Fate has rifl’d me, and of a shining Fortune left me even to the Charity of a stingy World; and I have now no Complement to maintain the esteem in so great a Soul as that of Silvia, but that old repeated one, of telling her my dull, my trifling Heart is still her own: But, oh! I want the presenting Eloquence that so perswades and charms the Fair, and am reduced to that fatal Torment of a generous Mind, rather to ask and take than to bestow. Yet out of my contemp-|<151>tible stock, I have sent my Silvia something towards that dangerous, unavoidable hour, which will declare me, however, a happy Father of what my Silvia bears about her; ’tis a Bill for a Thousand Pattacoons.* I am at present under an easie restraint about a little Dispute between a Man of Quality here and my self; I had also been at Bruxells to have provided all things for your coming Illneß, but every day expect my Liberty, and then without delay I will take Post and bring Philander to your Arms.
I have News that Cæsario is arrived at Bruxells. I am at present a Stranger to all that passes, and having a double Obligation to haste, you need not fear but I shall do so.
This Letter raised in her a different Sentiment, from that of the Story of his Misfortune; and that taught her to know, that this he had writ to her was all false, and dissembl’d: Which made her, in con-|<152>cluding the Letter, cry out with a vehement Scorn and Indignation. —— Oh how I hate thee, Traytor! who hast the Impudence to continue thus to impose upon me, as if I wanted common Sense to see thy Baseneß: For what can be more Base and Cowardly than Lyes, that poor Plebeian Shift, condemn’d by Men of Honour or of Wit. This she spoke, without reminding that this most contemptible Quality she herself was equally guilty of, tho’ infinitely more excusable in her Sex, there being a thousand little Actions of their Lives, liable to Censure and Reproach, which they would willingly excuse and colour over with little Falsities; but in a Man, whose most inconstant Actions pass oftentimes for innocent Gallantries, and to whom ’tis no Infamy to own a thousand Amours, but rather a Glory to his Fame and Merit: I say, in him (whom Custom has favour’d with an Allowance to commit any Vice|<153> and boast it) ’tis not so brave. And this Fault of Philander’s cur’d Silvia of her Disease of Love; and chaced from her Heart all that Softness, which once had so much favoured him. Nevertheless she was fill’d with Thoughts that fail’d not to make her extreamly Melancholy: And ’twas in this Humour Octavio found her; who, forgetting all his own Griefs, to lessen hers (for his Love was arrived to a Degree of Madness) he caresses her with all the Eloquence his Passion could pour out; he falls at her Feet, and pleads with such a Look and Voice as could not be resisted; nor ceas’d he till he had talk’d her into Ease, till he had look’d and lov’d her into a perfect Calm: ’Twas then he urg’d her to a new Confirmation of her Heart to him, and took hold of every yielding Softness in her to improve his Advantage. He press’d her to all he wish’d, but by such tender Degrees, by Arts so fond and indearing that|<154> she could deny nothing. In this Humour, she makes a thousand Vows against Philander, to hate him as a Man, that has first ruined her Honour, and then abandon’d her to all the Ills that attend ungoverned Youth, and unguarded Beauty: She makes Octavio swear as often to be reveng’d on him for the Dishonour of his Sister: Which being perform’d, they re-assum’d all the Satisfactions which had seem’d almost destroy’d by adverse Fate, and for a little space liv’d in great Tranquillity; or if Octavio had Sentiments that represented past Unhappinesses, and a future Prospect of ill Consequences, he strove with all the Power of Love to hide ’em from Silvia. In this time, they often sent to the Nunnery of the Augustins, to inquire of the Countess of Clarinau; and at last, hearing she was arriv’d, no force of Perswasion or Reason could hinder Silvia from going to make her a visit. Octavio pleads in|<155> vain the overthrow of all his Revenge, by his Sister’s Knowledge that her Intrigue was found out: But in an Undress* —— for her Condition permitted no other, she is carry’d to the Monastery, and asks for the Mother Prioress, who came to the Grate: Where, after the first Complement’s over, she tells her she is a Relation to that Lady, who such a day came to the House. Silvia by her Habit and Equipage, appearing of Quality; was answered, that tho’ the Lady were very much indispos’d, and unfit to appear at the Grate, she would nevertheless indeavour to serve her, since she was so earnest; and commanding one of the Nuns to call down Madam the Countess, she immediately came; but tho’ in a Dress all negligent, and a Face where Languishment appeared, she at first sight surprized our Fair One; with a certain Majesty in her Mein and Motion, and an Air of Greatness in her Face, which resembled that of|<156> Octavio: So that not being able to sustain herself on her trembling Supporters, she was ready to faint at a Sight so charming, and a Form Angelick. She saw her all that Philander had describ’d; nor could the Partiality of his Passion render her more lovely than she appear’d this Instant to Silvia. She came to reproach her —— but she found a Majesty in her Looks above all Censure, that aw’d the jealous Upbraider, and almost put her out of Countenance; and with a rising Blush she seem’d asham’d of her Errand. At this Silence the lovely Calista, a little surpriz’d, demanded of an attending Nun if that Lady would speak with her? This awaked Silvia into an Address, and she reply’d, Yes, Madam, I am the Unfortunate, who am compell’d by my hard Fate to complain of the most charming Woman that ever Nature made: I thought in my coming hither, I should have had no other Busineß but to have told you|<157> how false, how perjured a Lover I had had; but at a Sight so wonderous I blame him no more (whom I find now compell’d to love) but you, who have taken from me, by your Charms, the only Blessing Heaven had lent me. This she ended with a Sigh, and Madam the Countess, who from the beginning of her speaking, guess’d, from a certain trembling at her Heart, who it was she spoke of, resolv’d to show no Signs of a womanish Fear or Jealousie, but with an unalterable Air and Courage, reply’d, Madam, if my Charms were so powerful, as you are pleased to tell me they are, they sure have attracted too many Lovers for me to understand which of ’em it is I have been so unhappy to rob you of. If he be a gallant Man, I shall neither deny him, nor repent my loving him the more, for his having been a Lover before. To which Silvia, who expected not so brisk an Answer, reply’d. She that makes such a Confession with so much Gene-|<158>rosity, I know she cannot be insensible of the Injuries she does, but will have a Consideration and Pity for those Wretches at least, who are undone to establish her Satisfaction. Madam, reply’d the Countess (a little touch’d with the Tenderness and Sadness with which she spoke) you have so just a Character of my Soul, that I assure you, I would not for any Pleasure in the World, do an Action should render it less worthy of your good Thoughts. Name me the Man —— and if I find him such as I may return you with Honour, he shall find my Friendship no more. Ah, Madam, ’tis impossible, cry’d Silvia, that he can ever be mine, that has once had the Glory of being conquered by you; and what’s yet more, of having conquered you. Nay, Madam, reply’d Calista, if your Loss be irrecoverable, I have no more to do, but to sigh with you, and join our hard Fates; but I am not so vain of my own Beauty, nor have so little Admiration for|<159> that of yours, to imagine I can retain any thing you have a claim to; for me, I am not fond of Admirers, if Heaven be pleased to give me one, I ask no more. I’ll leave the World to you, so it allow me my Philander. This she spoke with a little Malice, which call’d up all the Blushes in the fair Face of Silvia; who a little netled at the word Philander, reply’d; Go, take the perjured Man, and see how long you can maintain your Empire over his fickle Heart, who has already betray’d you to all the Reproach an incensed Rival and an injured Brother can load you with: See where he has exposed you to Octavio; and after that tell me what you can hope from such a perjured Villain —— At these Words, she gave her the Letter Philander had writ to Octavio, with that he had writ to herself —— and without taking Leave, or speaking any more, she left her thoughtful Rival: Who after pausing a Moment on what should be writ|<160> there, and what the angry Lady meant, she silently past on to her Chamber. But if she were surprized with her Visiter, she was much more when opening the Letters, she found one to her Brother, fill’d with the History of her Infamy, and what pressed her Soul more sensibly, the other fill’d with Passion and Softness to a Mistriss. She had scarcely read them out, but a young Nun, her Kinswoman, came into her Chamber; whom I have since heard protest she scarce saw in that Moment any alteration in her, but that she rose and received her, with her wonted Grace and Sweetness; and but for some Answers that she made mal a propo,* and Sighs, that against her Will broke from her Heart, she should not have found an Alteration; but this being unusual made her Inquisitive; and the faint Denial she met with made her importune, and that so earnestly and with so many Vows of Fidelity and Secrecy,|<161> that Calista’s Heart, even breaking within, poured it self for Ease, into the faithful Bosom of this young Devotee; and having told her all the Story of her Misfortune, she began with so much Courage and bravery of Mind, to make Vows against the charming Betrayer of her Fame, and with him all Mankind; and this with such Consideration and Repentance, as left no room for Reproach, or Perswasion; and from this Moment resolved never to quit the Solitude of the Cloysters. She had all her Life, before her Marriage, lived in one, and wished now she had never seen the World, or departed from a Life so pure and Innocent. She looked upon this fatal Accident, now a Blessing, to bring her back to a Life of Devotion and Tranquillity; and indeed is a Miracle of Piety. Sometime after this she was brought to Bed, but commanded the Child should be removed where she might never see it, which accordingly was|<162> done; after which, in due time, she took the Habit; and remains a rare Example of Repentance and Holy-living. This new Penitent became the News of the whole Town; and it was not without some Pleasure, that Octavio heard it, as the only Action she could do, that could reconcile him to her; the knowledg of which, and some few soft Days with Silvia, made him chase away all those Shiverings that had seized him upon several Occasions: But Silvia was all Sweetness, all Love and good Humour, and made his Days easy, and his Nights intirely Happy. While, on the other side there was no Satisfaction, no Pleasure, that the fond lavish Lover did not, at any Price purchase for her Repose; for it was the whole Business of his Life, to study what would charm and please her: And being assur’d by so many Vows of her Heart, there was nothing rested, to make him perfectly Happy, but her being delivered of|<163> what belong’d to his Rival, and in which he had no part, he was at perfect Ease. This she wishes with an Impatience equal to his; whose Love and Fondness for Octavio appeared to be arrived to the highest Degree, and she every Minute expected to be freed from the only thing, that hinder’d her from giving herself intirely to her impatient Lover.
In the midst of this Serenity of Affairs Silvia’s Page one day brings ’em News his Lord was arriv’d, and that he saw him in the Park walking with some French Gentlemen, and undiscovered to him came to give her notice, that she might take her measures accordingly, in spight of all her Love to Octavio: her Blushes flew to her Cheeks at the News, and her Heart panted with unusual Motion; she wonders at her self, and Fears and doubts her own Resolution; she till now believ’d him wholly indifferent to her,|<164> but she knows not what Construction this new Disorder will bear; and what confounded and perplext her more, was, that Octavio beheld all these Emotions, with unconceivable resentment; he swells with Pride and Anger, and even bursts with Grief, and not able longer to contain his Complaint, he reproaches her in the softest Language that ever Love and Grief invented; while she weeps with Shame and divided Love, and demands of him a Thousand Pardons; she deals thus kindly at least with him, to confess this Truth; that it was impossible, but at the approach of a Man, who taught her first to love, and for which Knowledge she had paid so infinitely dear, she could not but feel unusual Motions, that that Tenderness and Infant Flame, he once inspired could not but have left some warmth about her Heart, and that Philander, the once charming dear Philander, could never be absolutely|<165> to her as a common Man, and beg’d that he would give some grains of allowance to a Maid, so soft by Nature, and who had once lov’d so well, to be undone by the dear Object; and tho’ every kind Word she gave his Rival was a Dagger at his Heart, nevertheless, he found, or would think he found some reason in what she said; at least he seem’d more appeased, while she, on the other side, dissembled all the ease, and repose of Mind, that could flatter him to Calmness.
You must know that for Silvia’s Honour, she had Lodgings by her self, and Octavio had his in another House, at an Aunts of his, a Widow, and a Woman of great Quality; and Silvia being near her Lying-in, had provided all things, with the greatest Magnificence imaginable, and past for a Young Widow, whose Husband died, at the Siege of —— Octavio only visited her daily, and all the Nights she had to her self. For he|<166> treated her as one whom he design’d to make his Wife, and one whose Honour was his own; but that Night the News of Philander’s, Arrival was told her, she was more than ordinary impatient to have him gone, pretending Illness, and yet seem’d loth to let him go, and Lovers (the greatest Cullies in Nature, and the aptest to be deceived, tho’ the most quick-sighted) —— do the soonest believe; and finding it the more necessary he should depart, the more ill she feign’d to be, he took his Leave, and left her to Repose, after taking all care necessary, for one in her Circumstances. But she, to make his Absence more sure, and fearing least he should suspect something of her Design, being herself Guilty, she orders him to be call’d back, and Caresses him anew, tells him she was never more unwilling to part with him, and all the while is complaining and wishing to be in Bed: And says he must not stir|<167> till he sees her laid. This obliges and cajoles him anew, and he will not suffer her Women to undress her, but does the grateful Business himself, and reaps some dear Recompence by every Service, and pleases his Eyes and Lips, with the ravishing Beauties, of the loose unguarded suffering Fair one. She permits him any thing to have him gone, which was not till he saw her laid, as if to her Rest: But he was no sooner got into his Coach, but she rose, and slip’d on her Night-Gown, and some other loose things, and got into a Chair,* commanding her Page to conduct the Chair-men to all the great Cabarets:* where she believed it most likely to find Philander; which was accordingly done; and the Page entering, enquires for such a Cavalier, describing his Person, his fine remarkable black Hair of his own: But the first he entered into, he saw Brilljard bespeaking Supper: For you must know that, that Husband-|<168>Lover being left, as I have said, in Prison in Holland, for the Accusation of Octavio; the unhappy young Noble Man was no sooner fled upon the unlucky Death of his Uncle, but the States set Brilljard at Liberty; who took his Journey immediately to Philander, whom he found just released from his troublesome Affair, and design’d for Bruxells, where they arriv’d that very Morning: Where the first thing he did, was to go to the Nunnery of St. Austin, to inquire for the fair Calista; but instead of encountering the kind, the impatient, the brave Calista, he was addressed to, by the old Lady Abbess in so rough a Manner, that he no longer doubted, upon what Terms he stood there, tho’ he wondered how they should know his Story with Calista: When to put him out of Doubt, she assured him, he should never more behold the Face of her injur’d Neece; for whose Revenge she left him to Heaven. It was in|<169> vain he kneel’d and implored; he was confirm’d again and again she should never come from out the Confines of those Walls; and that her whole remaining Life spent in Penitence was too little to wash away her Sins with him: And giving him the Letter he sent to Octavio (which Silvia had given Calista, and she the Lady Abbess, with a full Confession of her Fault) she cry’d; See there, Sir, the Treachery you have committed against a Woman of Quality —— whom your Criminal Love has rendred the most miserable of her Sex. At the ending of which, she drew the Curtain over the Grate, and left him, wholly amazed and confounded, finding it to be the same he had writ to Octavio, and in it, that he had writ to Silvia: by the sight of which, he no longer doubted, but that Confident had betrayed him every way. He rails on his false Friendship, curses the Lady Abbess, himself, his Fortune, and his Birth;|<170> but finds it all in vain: nor was he so infinitely afflicted with the Thought of the eternal Loss of Calista (because he had possesed her) as he was to find himself betray’d to her, and doubtless to Silvia, by Octavio; and nothing but Calista’s being confin’d from him (tho’ she were very dear and charming to his Thoughts) could have made him rave so extreamly for a Sight of her: He loves her the more by how much more it was impossible for him to see her; and that Difficulty and his Dispair increased his Flame. In this Humour he went to his Lodging, the most undone Extravagant that ever rag’d with Love. He considers her in a place where no Art or force of Love, or humane Wit, can retrieve her; no nor so much as send her a Letter. This added to his fury, and in his first wild imaginations, he resolves nothing less than firing the Monastery, that in that Confusion he might seize his right|<171> of Love, and do a Deed that would render his name famous as the Athenian Youth,* who to get a Fame, tho’ an Inglorious one, fir’d the Temple of their Gods. But his Rage abating by Consideration, that Impiety dwelt not long with him: And he ran over a number more, till from one to another, he reduc’d himself, to a Degree of Moderation, which presenting him with some flattering Hope, that give him a little Ease: ’Twas then that Chivalier Tomaso,* and another French Gentleman of Cesario’s Faction, (who were newly arriv’d in Bruxells) came to pay him their Respects: And after a while carry’d him into the Park to walk, where Silvia’s Page had seen him; and from whence they sent Brilljard to bespeak Supper at this Cabaret, where Silvia’s Chair and herself waited, and where the Page found Brilljard, of whom he ask’d for his Lord; but understanding he would not possibly come in|<172> some Hours, being design’d for Court that Evening, whither he was oblig’d to go and kiss the Governours Hands, he went to the Lady, who was almost dead with Impatience, and told her what he had learn’d: Upon which she ordered her Chairmen to carry her back to her Lodgings, for she would not be perswaded to ask any Questions of Brilljard, for whom she had a mortal Hate: However, she resolved to send her Page back with a Billet to wait Philander’s coming; which was not long; for having sooner dispatched their Complement at Court than they believed they should, they went all to Supper together, where Brilljard had bespoke it: Where being impatient to learn all the Adventures of Cesario since his Departure from him, and of which no Person could give so good an Account as Chivalier Tomaso, Philander gave order that no body whomsoever should disturb them,|<173> and sate himself down to listen to the Fortune of the Prince.
You know, my Lord, said Tomaso, the state of Things at your Departure; and that all our glorious Designs for the Liberty of all France were discovered, and betray’d by some of those little Rascals, that great Men are obliged to make use of in the greatest Designs: Upon whose Confession you were proscrib’d, my self, this Gentleman, and several others: It was our good Fortunes to escape untaken, and yours to fall first in the Messenger’s Hands, and carried to the Bastile,* even from whence you had the Luck to escape: But it was not so with Cesario. Heavens, cry’d Philander, the Prince, I hope is not taken? Not so neither, reply’d Tomaso, nor should you wonder you have receiv’d no News of him, in a long time, since forty thousand Crowns* being offered for his Head, or to any that could discover him, it would have exposed|<174> him to have written to any body, he being beset on all sides with Spies from the King; so that it ’twas impossible to venture a Letter without very great Hazzard of his Life. Besides all these Hindrances, Cesario, who, you know, was ever a great admirer of the fair Sex, happen’d in this his Retreat to fall most desperately in Love: Nor could the fears of Death, which alarm’d him on all sides, deterr him from his new Amour: Which, because it has Relation to some part of his Adventures, I cannot omit, especially to your Lordship, his Friend, to whom every Circumstance of that Princes Fate and Fortune will be of Concern.
You must imagin, my Lord, that your Seizure and Escape was enough to alarm the whole Party; and there was not a Man of the League who did not think it high time to look about him, when one, so considerable as your Lordship, was surpriz’d.|<175> Nor did the Prince himself any longer believe himself safe, but retired himself under the darkness of the following Night: He went only accompanied with his Page, to a Ladies House, a Widow of Quality in Paris, that populous City; being as he conceived, the securest Place to conceal himself in. This Lady was Madam the Countess of —— who had, as you know, my Lord, one only Daughter, Madam Oselle Hermione,* the Heiress of her Family. The Prince knew this young Lady had a Tenderness for him ever since they were both very young, which first took beginning in a Mask* at Court, where she then acted Mercury,* and danced so exceedingly finely, that she gave our young Hero new Desire, if not absolute Love; and charm’d him at least into Wishes. She was then old enough to perceive she conquered, as well as to make a Conquest: And she was capable of receiving Impressions, as well|<176> as to give ’em: And it was believed by some who were very near the Prince, and knew all his Secrets then, that this young Lady pitied the Sighs of the Royal Lover, and even then rewarded ’em: And tho’ this were most credibly whispered, yet methinks it seems impossible he should then have been happy, and after so many Years, after the Possession of so many other Beauties, should return to her again, and find all the Passions and Pains of a beginning Flame. But there is nothing to be wondered at in the Contradictions and Humours of Man’s humane Nature. But however inconstant and wavering he had been, Hermione retain’d her first Passion for him; and that I less wonder at, since you know the Prince has the most charming Person in the World, and is the most perfectly Beautiful of all his Sex: To this his Youth and Quality adds no little Lustre; and I should not wonder, if all the softer Sex should|<177> languish for him, nor that any one should love on —— who hath once been touch’d with Love for him. ’Twas his last Assurance the Prince so absolutely depended on, that (notwithstanding she was far from the Opinion of his Party) made him resolve to take Sanctuary in those Arms he was sure would receive him in any Condition and Circumstances. But now he makes her new Vows, which possibly at first his Safety oblig’d him to, while she return’d ’em with all the Passion of Love. He made a thousand Submissions to Madam the Countess, who he knew was fond of her Daughter to that degree, that for her Repose she was even willing to behold the Sacrifice of her Honour to this Prince, whom she knew Hermione loved even to Death; so fond, so blindly fond is Nature: And indeed after a little time that he lay there conceal’d, he reap’d all the Satisfaction that Love could give him, or his Youth could wish, with|<178> all the Freedom imaginable. He only made Vows of renouncing all other Women, what Ties or Obligations soever he had upon him, and to resign himself intirely up to Hermione. I know not what new Charms he had found by frequent Conversation with her, and being uninterrupted by the sight of any other Ladies; but ’tis most certain, my Lord, that he grew to that excess of Love, or rather Doatage (if Love in one so young, can be call’d so) that he languishes for her, even while he possessed her all: He dy’d, if oblig’d by Company to retire from her an Hour, at the end of which, being again brought to her, he would fall at her Feet, and sigh, and weep, and make the most pitious Moan that ever Love inspir’d. He would complain upon the Cruelty of a Moments Absence, and vow he would not live where she was not. All that disturbed his Happiness, he reproach’d as Enemies to his Repose, and at last|<179> made her feign an Illness, that no Visits might be made her, and that he might possess all her Hours. Nor did Hermione perceive all this without making her Advantages of so glorious an Opportunity; but, with the usual Cunning of her Sex, improved every Minute she gave him: She now found herself sure of the Heart of the finest Man in the World; and of one she believed would prove the greatest, being the Head of a most powerful Faction, who were resolved, the first Opportunity, to order Affairs so as to come to an open Rebellion, and to make him a King. All these things, how unlikely soever in Reason, her Love and Ambition suggested to her; so that she believ’d she had but one Game more to play, to establish herself the greatest and most happy Woman in the World. She consults in this weighty Affair with her Mother, who had a share of Cunning that could carry on a Design|<180> as well as any of her Sex. They found but one obstacle to all Hermione’s rising Greatness; and that was the Prince’s being married; and that to a Lady of so considerable Birth and Fortune, so eminent for her Vertue, and all Perfections of Woman-kind, and withal so excellent for Wit and Beauty, that ’twas impossible to find any Cause of a Separation between ’em. So that finding it improbable to remove that Lett* to her Glories, she grew very Melancholy; which was soon perceived by the too Amorous Prince, who pleads, and sighs, and weeps on her Bosom Day and Night to find the Cause: But she, who found she had a difficult Game to play, and that she had need of all her little Aids, pretends a thousand little frivillous Reasons before she discovers the true one; which serv’d but to oblige him to ask anew, as she design’d he should —— At last, one Morning, finding him in the softest fit in the World,|<181> and ready to give her whatever she could ask in return for the Secret of her Disquiet, she told him with a Sigh, how Unhappy she was in loving so violently a Man who could never be any thing to her more than the Robber of her Honour: And at last, with abundance of Sighs and Tears, bewail’d his Marriage —— He taking her with all the Joy imaginable in his Arms, thank’d her for speaking of the only thing he had a thousand times been going to offer to her, but durst not for fear she should Reproach him. He told her he look’d upon himself as married to no Woman but herself, to whom, by a thousand solemn Vows he had contracted himself, and that he would never own any other while he liv’d, let Fortune do what she pleas’d with him. Hermione, thriving hitherto so well, urged his easie Heart yet farther, and told him, Tho’ she had left no Doubt remaining in her of his Love and Vertue, no suspicion of|<182> his Vows, yet the World would still esteem the Princess his Wife, and herself only as a Prostitute to his Youthful Pleasure; and as she conceiv’d her Birth and Fortune not to be much inferior to that of the Princess, she should die with Indignation and Shame, to bear all the Reproach of his Wantonness, while his now Wife would live esteem’d and pitied as an injured Innocent. To all which he reply’d, as mad in Love, that the Princess, he confess’d, was a Lady to whom he had Obligations, but that he esteem’d her no more his Wife, since he was married to her at the Age of twelve Years; an Age, wherein he was not capacitated to chuse Good or Evil, or to answer for himself, or his Inclinations: And tho’ she were a Lady of absolute Vertue, of Youth, Wit and Beauty; yet Fate had so ordain’d it, that he had reserved his Heart to this Moment intirely for herself; and that he renounc’d all Pretenders to him ex-|<183>cept herself; that he had now possess’d the Princess for the space of twenty Years; that Youth had a long Race to run, and could not take up at those Years with one single Beauty: That hitherto Ravage and Destruction of Hearts had been his Province and Glory, and that he thought he had never lost time but when he was a little while Constant: But now he was fix’d to all he would ever possess whilst he had Breath; and that she was both his Mistress and his Wife; his eternal Happiness, and the end of all his Loving. ’Tis there he said he would remain as in his first state of Innocence: That hitherto his Ambition had been above his Passion, but that now his Heart was so intirely subdu’d to this fair Charmer (for so he call’d and thought her) that he could be content to live and die in the Glory of being hers alone, without wishing for Liberty or Empire, but to render her more Glorious. A thou-|<184>sand things tender and fond he said to this purpose, and the result of all ended in most solemn Vows, That if ever Fortune favoured him with a Crown, he would fix it on her Head, and make her in spight of all former Ties and Obligations Queen of France. This was sufficient to appease her Sighs and Tears, and she remain’d intirely satisfied of his Vows, which were exchanged before Madam the Countess, and confirm’d by all the binding Obligations, Love on his side could invent, and Ambition and Subtilty on hers. When I came at any time to visit him, which by stealth a-nights I sometimes did, to take Orders from him how I should act in all things, (tho’ I lay conceal’d like himself) he would tell me all that had passed between him and Hermione. I suppose, not so much for the reposing the Secret in my Breast, as out of a fond Pleasure to be relating Passages of his Doatage, and repeating her Name, which|<185> was ever in his Mouth: I saw she had reduc’d him to a great degree of Slavery, and could not look tamely on, while a Hero so young, so gay, so great, and so hopeful, lay idling away his precious Time, without doing any thing, either in order for his own Safety or Ambition. ’Twas, my Lord, a great pity to see how his noble Resolution was changed, and how he was perfectly effeminated into soft Woman. I indeavoured at last to rouse him from this Lethargy of Love; and argued with him the little Reason, that in my Opinion he had to be so charm’d. I told him Hermione, of all the Beauties of France, was esteemed one of the meanest, and that if ever she had gain’d a Conquest (as many she was infamously fam’d for) it was purely the force of her Youth and Quality; but that now that Bloom was past, and she was one of those, which in less quality we call’d Old. At these Reproaches of his Judgement, I of-|<186>ten perceiv’d him to blush, but more with Anger than Shame. Yet because, according to the Vogue of the Town, he found there was Reason in what I said, and which he could only contradict by saying however she was, she appear’d all otherwise to him: He blam’d me a little kindly for my hard Words against her, and began to swear to me he thought her all over Charm. He vow’d there was absolute Fascination in her Eyes and Tongue. ’Tis confess’d, said he, she has not much of Youth, nor of that which we agree to call Beauty; but she has a Grace so Masculine, an Air so Ravishing, a Wit and Humour so absolutely made to charm, that they all together sufficiently recompense for her want of Delicacy in Complexion and Feature: And in a word, my Tomaso, cry’s he, imbracing me, she is, tho’ I know not what, or how, a Maid that compels me to adore her; she has a natural Power to please above the rest of her dull Sex; and I|<187> can abate her a Face and Shape, and yet vie her for Beauty, with any of the celebrated ones of France.
I found, by the manner of his saying this, that he was really charm’d, and past all Retrieve, bewitch’d to this Lady. I found it vain therefore to press him to a Separation, or to lessen his Passion; but on the contrary told him, there was a time for all things; if Fate had so ordain’d it that he must love. But I besought him, with all the Eloquence of perfect Duty and Friendship, not to suffer his Passion to surmount his Ambition and his Reason, so far as to neglect his Interest and Safety; and for a little Pleasure with a Woman, suffer all his Friends to perish that had woven their Fortunes with his, and must stand or fall, as he thriv’d: I implor’d him not to cast away the Good Cause which was so far advanc’d, and that yet, notwithstanding this Discourse, might all be retrieved by his Conduct, and good|<188> Management, that I knew, however, the King appeared in outward shew to be offended, that it was yet in his Power to calm the greatest Tempest this Discovery had raised: That ’twas but casting himself at his Majesty’s Feet, and begging his Mercy, by a Confession of the Truth of some part of the Matter; and that it was impossible he could fail of a Pardon, from so indulgent a Monarch, as he had offended: That there was no Action could wholly raze out of the Kings Heart that Tenderness and Passion he had ever expressed towards him; and his Peace might be made with all the Facility imaginable. To this he urged a very great Reluctancy, and cry’d he would sooner die, than by a Confession expose the Lives of his Friends, and let the World see their whole Design before they had power to effect it: And not only so, but put it past all their Industry, ever to bring so hopeful a Plot about again.|<189> At this I smil’d, and asking his Highness Pardon, told him I was of another Opinion, as most of the Heads of the Hugonots* were, That what he said to his Majesty in Private could never possibly be made Publick: That His Majesty would content himself with the Knowledge of the Truth, without caring to satisfy the World, so greatly to the Prejudice of a Prince of the Blood, and a Man so very dear to him as himself: He urg’d the Fears this would give those of the Reform’d Religion,* and alarm ’em with a thousand Apprehensions, that it would discover every Man of ’em, by unraveling the Intrigue. To this I reply’d, that their Fears would be very short liv’d; for as soon as he had, by his Submission and Confession, gained his Pardon, he had no more to do, but to renounce all he had said, leave the Court, and put himself into the Protection of his Friends, who were ready to receive|<190> him. That he need but appear abroad a little time, and he would see himself addressd to again, by all the Hugonot Party, who would quickly put him into a Condition of fearing nothing.
My Councel, with the same Perswasion from all of Quality of the Party, who came to see him, was at last approved of by him, and he began to say a thousand things to assure me of his Fidelity to his Friends, and the Faction, which he vow’d never to forsake, for any other Interest, but to stand or fall in its Defence; and that he was resolved to be a King or Nothing; and that he would put in Practice all the Arts and Stratagems of Cunning, as well as Force, to attain to this Glorious End, however crooked and indirect they might appear to Fools. However, he conceived the first necessary Step to this, was the getting his Pardon, to gain a little time, to manage things anew to the best Advantage:|<191> That at present all things were at a stand without Life or Motion, wanting the sight of himself, who was the very Life and Soul of Motion; the Axle-tree that could turn the Wheel of Fortune round about again.
And now he had talk’d himself in to Sense again; he cry’d —— Oh my Tomaso! I long to be in Action, my Soul is on the Wing, and ready to take its Flight through any Hazzard —— But sighing on a suddain again he cry’d: But oh, my Friend, my Wings are impt by Love, I cannot mount the Regions of the Air, and thence survey the World; but still as I would rise to mightier Glory, they flag to humble Love, and fix me there. Here I am charm’d to lazy soft Repose, here ’tis I smile and play, and love away my Hours: But I will rouse, I will, my dear Tomaso; nor shall the winged Boy hold me inslav’d: Believe me, Friend, he shall not. —— He sent me away pleased with this, and I left him to his Repose.|<192>
Supper being ready to come upon the Table, tho’ Philander were impatient to hear the Story out, yet he would not press Tomaso, till after Supper; in which time they discours’d of nothing but of the Miracle of Cesario’s Love to Hermione. He could not but wonder a Prince so young, so amorous, and so gay, should return again, after almost fifteen Years, to an old Mistress; and who had never been in her Youth a celebrated Beauty: One, whom it was imagined, the King, and several after him at Court, had made a Gallantry with —— On this he paused for some time, and reflected on his Passion for Silvia; and this fantastick Intrigue of the Prince’s inspired him with a kind of Curiosity to try, whether fleeting Love would carry him back again to this abandoned Maid. In these Thoughts, and such Discourse, they passed away the time during Supper; which ended, and a fresh Bottle brought to the|<193> Table, with a new Command that none should interrupt ’em: The impatient Philander oblig’d Tomaso to give him a farther Account of the Princes Proceedings; which he did in this manner.
My Lord, having left the Prince, as I imagined, very well resolved, I spoke of it to as many of our Party, as I could conveniently meet with, to prepare ’em for the Discovery I believed the Prince would pretend to make, that they should not by being alarm’d at the first News of it, put themselves into Fears, that might indeed discover ’em: nor would I suffer Cesario to rest, but daily saw him, or rather nightly stole to him, to keep up his Resolution: And indeed, in spight of Love, to which he had made himself so intire a Slave, I brought him to his own House, to visit Madam his Wife, who was very well at Court, maugre her Husbands ill Conduct, as they call’d it. The King being, as|<194> you know, my Lord, extreamly kind to that deserving Lady, often made her Visits, and would without very great Impatiency hear her plead for her Husband, the Prince; and possibly it was not ungrateful to him: All this we daily learn’d from a Page, who secretly brought Intelligence from Madam the Princess: So that we conceived it wholly necessary for the Interest of the Prince, that he should live in a good Understanding with this prudent Lady. To this end he feigned more Respect than usual to her, and as soon as it was dark, every Evening made her his Visits. One Evening among the rest, he happened to be there, just as the Proclamation came forth of four thousand Crowns* to any that could discover him; and within half an Hour after came the King to visit the Princess, as every Night he did; her Lodging being in the Court: The King came without giving any Notice, and with a very|<195> slender Train that Night; so that he was almost in the Princess’s Bed-chamber before any body inform’d her he was there; so that the Prince had no time to retire but into Madam the Princess’s Cabaret, the Door of which, she immediately locking, made such a Noise and Bustle, that it was heard by his Majesty, who nevertheless had passed it by, if her Confusion and Blushes had not farther betray’d her, with the unusual Address she made to the King: Who therefore asked her, who she had conceal’d in her Closet. She endeavoured to put him off with some feign’d Replies, but ’twould not do; the more her Confusion, the more the King was inquisitive, and urged her to give him the Key of her Cabaret: But she, who knew the Life of the Prince would be in very great Danger, should he be taken so, and knew on the other side, that to deny it, would betray the Truth as much as his Discovery would, and cause him ei-|<196>ther to force the Key or the Door, fell down at his Feet, and wetting his Shooes with her Tears, and grasping his Knees in her trembling Arms, implor’d that Mercy and Pity, for the Prince her Husband, whom her Vertue had rendered dear to her, however Criminal he appear’d to his Majesty: She told him, his Majesty had more peculiarly the Attributes of a God than any other Monarch upon Earth, and never heard the Wretched or the Innocent plead in vain. She told him that herself, and her Children, who were dearer to her than Life, should all be as Hostages for the good Conduct and Duty of the Prince’s future Life and Actions: And they would all be obliged to suffer any Death, tho’ never so ignominious, upon the least breaking out of her Lord: That he should utterly abandon those of the reformed Religion, and yield to what Articles his Majesty would graciously be pleased to impose, quitting all his|<197> false and unreasonable Pretensions to the Crown, which was only the Effects of the Flattery of the Hugonot Party, and the Male-Contents. Thus with the Vertue and Goodness of an Angel, she pleaded with such moving Eloquence, mix’d with Tears, from beautiful Eyes, that she fail’d not to soften the royal Heart, who knew not how to be deaf when Beauty pleaded: Yet he would not seem to yield so suddenly, least it should be imagined he had too light a Sense of his Treasons, which, in any other great Man, would have been punished with no less than Death: Yet, as she pleaded, he grew calmer, and suffered it without Interruption, till she waited for his Reply; and obliged him by her Silence to speak. He numbers up the Obligations he had heaped on her Husband; how he had, by putting all Places of great Command and Interest into his Hands, made him the greatest Prince, and Favourite, of|<198> a Subject, in the World; and infinitely happier than a Monarch: That he had all the Glory and Power of one, and wanted but the Care: All the Sweets of Empire, while all that was disagreeable and toilesom, remain’d with the Title alone. He therefore upbraided him with infinite Ingratitude, and want of Honour; with all the Folly of ambitious Youth: And left nothing unsaid that might make the Princess sensible it was too late to hide any of his Treasons from him, since they were all but too apparent to his Majesty. ’Twas therefore that she urged nothing but his Royal Mercy and Forgiveness, without indeavouring to lessen his Guilt, or inlarge on his Innocency. In fine, my Lord, so well she spoke, that at last she had the Joy to perceive the happy Effects of her Wit and Goodness, which had mov’d Tears of Pity and Compassion from his Majesty’s Eyes; which was Cesario’s Cue to come|<199> forth, as immediately he did (having heard all that had pass’d) and threw himself at his Majesty’s Feet: And this was the critical Minute he was to snatch for the gaining of his Point, and of which he made a most admirable use. He call’d up all the Force of necessary Dissimulation, Tenderness to his Voice, Tears to his Eyes, and Trembling to his Hands, that stay’d the too willing and melting Monarch by his Robe, till he had heard him implore, and granted him his Pity: Nor did he quit his Hold, till the King cry’d with a soft Voice —— Rise —— at which he was assured of what he asked. He refused however to rise, till the Pardon was pronounced. He own’d himself the greatest Criminal in Nature; that he was drawn from his Allegiance by the most subtile Artifices of his Enemies, who under false Friendships had allur’d his Hopes with gilded Promises; and which he now too plainly saw were|<200> Designs to propagate their own private Interests, and not his Glory. He humbly besought his Majesty to make some gracious Allowances for his Vanities of Youth, and to believe now he had so dearly bought Discretion, at almost the price of his Majesty’s eternal Displeasure, that he would reform, and lead so good a Life, so absolutely* from any appearance of Ambition, that his Majesty should see he had not a more faithful Subject than himself. In fine, he found himself, by this Acknowledgment he had begun with, to advance yet farther: Nor would his Majesty be satisfied without the whole Scene of the Matter; and how they were to have surprized and seized him; where, and by what Numbers. All which he was forc’d to give an Account of; since now to have fallen back, when he was in their Hands, had been his infallible Ruine. All which he perform’d with as much|<201> Tenderness and Respect to his Friends concern’d, as if his own Life had been depending: And tho’ he were extreamly prest to discover some of the great ones of the Party, he would never give his consent to an Action so mean, as to be an Evidence. All that could be got from him farther, was to promise his Majesty to give under his Hand, what he had in private confess’d to him; with which the King remained very well satisfy’d, and order’d him to come to Court the next day. Thus for that Night they parted with infinite Caresses on the King’s part, and no little Joy on his. His Majesty was no sooner gone, but he gave immediate order to the Secretaries of State, to draw up his Pardon, which was done, with so good Speed, that he had it in his Hands the next day. When he came to Court, ’tis not to be imagined the Surprize it was to all to behold the Man, in the greatest State imagi-|<202>nable, who but Yesterday was to have been Crucified at any Price: And those, who most exclaim’d against him, were the first who paid him Homage, and caress’d him at the highest rate; only the most Wise and Judicious, prophesied his Glories were not of long Continuation. The King made no Visits where the Prince did not publickly appear: He told all People, with infinite Joy, that the Prince had confessed the whole Plot, and that he would give it under his Hand and Seal, in order to have it published thro’out all France, for the Satisfaction of all those who had been deluded and deceiv’d by our specious Pretences; and for the Terror of those, who had any ways adhered to so pernicious a Villainy: So that he met with nothing but Reproaches from those of our own Party at Court: For there were many, who, hitherto were unsuspected, and who now, out of fear of being|<203> betray’d by the Prince, were ready to fall at the Kings Feet and confess all: Others there were, that left the Court and Town upon it. In fine, the face of things seem’d extreamly altered, while the Prince bore himself like a Person who had the Misfortune justly to lie beneath the Exclamations of a disobliged Multitude, as they at least imagined, and bore all, as if their Fears had been true, without so much as offering at his Justification, to confirm his Majesty’s good Opinion of him: He added to his Pardon, a Present of twenty thousand Crowns,* half of it being paid the next day after his coming to Court. And in short, my Lord, his Majesty grew so fond of the Prince, he could not indure to suffer him out of his Presence; and was never satisfied with seeing him: He carried him the next day to the publick Theatre with him, to show the World he was reconcil’d. But by this time he had|<204> all confirm’d, and grew impatient to declare himself to his Friends, whom he would not have remain long in their ill Opinion of him. It happened the third day of his coming to Court (in returning some of those Visits he had received from all the great Persons) he went to wait upon the Dutchess of —— a Lady who had ever had a tender Respect for the Prince: In the time of this Visit, a young Lady of Quality happen’d to come in; one whom your Lordship knows a great Wit, and much esteemed at Court Madamoisell Mariana: By this Lady he found himself welcom’d to Court with all the Demonstrations of Joy; as also by the old Dutchess, who had divers times heretofore perswaded the Prince to leave the Hugonots, and return to the King and Court: She used to tell him he was a handsome Youth, and she loved his Mother well; that he danc’d finely, and she had rather see him|<205> in a Ball at Court, than in Rebellion in the Field; and often to this purpose her Love would rally him; and now shew’d no less concern of Joy for his Reconciliation; and looking on him as a true Convert, fell a-railing, with all the Malice and Wit she could invent, at those publick spirited Knaves who had seduced him. She rail’d me, and cursed those Politicks which had betray’d him to almost Ruine it self. The Prince heard her, with all the Patience he could, for some time, but when he found her touch him so tenderly, and name his Friends, as if he had own’d any such ill Councellors, his Colour came in his Face, and he could not forbear defending us with all the Force of Friendship. He told her he knew of no such Seducers, no Villains of the Party, nor of any traytorous Design, that either himself, or any Man in France, had ever harboured: At which, she growing to upbraid him,|<206> in a manner too passionate, he thought it decent to end his Visit, and left her very abruptly. At his going out, he met with the Duke of —— Brother to the Dutchess, going to visit her: En passant a very indifferent Ceremony pass’d on both sides, for this Duke never had entertain’d a Friendship, or scarce a Respect for Cesario; but going into his Sister’s, the Dutchess her Chamber, he found her all in a Rage at the Princes so publick Defence of the Hugonots, and their Allies; and the Duke entering, they told him what had pass’d. This was a very great Pleasure to him, who had a mortal Hate at this time to the Prince. He made his Visit very short, hastens to Court, and went directly to the King, and told him how infinitely he found his Majesty mistaken in the imagined Penitence of the Prince; and then told him what he had said at the Dutchess of —— Lodgings, and had disown’d he ever confess’d any trea-|<207>sonable Design against his Majesty, and gave ’em the Lye, who durst charge him with any such Villainy. The King, who was unwilling to credit what he wished not true, plainly told the Duke, he could not believe it, but that it was the Malice of his Enemies who had forg’d this; the Duke reply’d, he would bring those to his Majesty, that heard the Words: Immediately thereupon dispatched away his Page, to begg the Dutchess would come to Court, with Madamoisell Mariana. The Dutchess suspecting the truth of the Business, and unwilling to do the Prince an ill Office, excused herself by sending word she was ill of the Colick. But Mariana, who lov’d the King’s Interest, and found the Ingratitude, as she call’d it, of the prime,* hasted in her Chair to Court, and justified all the Duke had said; who being a Woman of great Wit and Honour, found that Credit which the Duke fail’d of, as an open Enemy to the|<208> Prince. About an hour after the Prince appeared at Court, and found the face of Things changed extreamly; and those, who before had kiss’d his Hand, and were proud of every smile from him: Now beheld him with coldness, and scarce made way as he past. However, he went to the Presence and found the King, whose looks were also very much changed; who taking him into the Bed-Chamber, show’d him his whole Confession, drawn up ready for him to sign, as he had promis’d, tho’ he never intended any such thing; and now resolv’d to die rather than do it: He took it in his Hand, while the King cry’d —— Here keep your Word, and Sign your Narrative —— Stay, Sir, replied the Prince, I have the Council of my Friends to ask first, in so weighty an Affair. The King, confirm’d in all he had heard, no longer doubted but he had been too cunning for him; and going out in a very great dis-|<209>content, he only cry’d, —— Sir, if you have any better Friends than my self, I leave you to ’em; —— and with this left him. The Prince was very glad he had got the Confession-Paper, hoping it would never come to light again; the King was the only person to whom he had made the Confession, and he was but one Accuser; and him he thought the Party could at any time be too powerful to oppose, all being easily believed on their side, and nothing on that of the Court. After this, in the Evening, the King going to visit Madam the Dutchess of —— for whom he had a very great Esteem, and whither every Day the whole Court followed him: The Prince, with all the assurance imaginable, made his Court there also; but he was no sooner come into the Presence, but he perceived Anger in the Eyes of that Monarch, who had indeed a peculiar Greatness and Fierceness there, when Angry: A Minute after he|<210> sent Monsieur —— to the Prince, with a command to leave the Court; and without much Ceremony he accordingly departed, and went directly to Hermione, who with all the impatience of Love expected him; nor was much surprized to find him Banisht the Court: For he made her acquainted with his most Secret Designs; who having made all his Interests her own, Espoused whatever related to him, and was capable of retaining all with great Fidelity: Nor had he quitted her one Night, since his coming to Court; and he hath often with rapture told me Hermione was a Friend as well as a Mistress, and one with whom, when the first Play was ended, he could Discourse with of useful things of State as well as Love; and improve in both the Noble Mysteries, by her Charming Conversation. The Night of this second Disgrace, I went to Hermione’s to visit him, where we Discours’d what|<211> was next to be done. He did not think his Pardon was sufficient to secure him, and he was not willing to trust a King who might be convinced, that that Tenderness he had for him, was absolutely against the Peace and Quiet of all France. I was of this Opinion, so that upon farther debate, we thought it absolutely necessary to quit France, till the Courts heat should be a little abated; and that the King might imagine himself by his absence, in more Tranquillity than he really is. In order to this, he made me take my Flight into Flanders, here to provide all things necessary against his coming, and I receiv’d his command to seek you out, and beg you would attend his coming hither. I expect him every Day. He told me at parting, he long’d to consult with you how next to play this mighty Game, on which so many Kingdoms are staked, and which he is resolved to win, or be nothing. An im-|<212>perfect Relation, reply’d Philander, we had of this Affair, but I never could learn by what Artifice the Prince brought about his good Fortune at Court; but of your own Escape I have heard nothing, pray oblige me with the Relation of it. Sir, said Tomaso, there is so little worthy the trouble you will take in hearing it, that you may spare your self the Curiosity. Sir, reply’d Philander, I always had too great a share in what concern’d you, not to be Curious of the Story. In which, reply’d Tomaso, tho’ there be nothing Novel, I will satisfie you.
Be pleas’d to know, my Lord, that about a Week before our design was fully discover’d by some of our own under-Rogues, I had taken a great House in Faubour St. Jermins,* for my Mistress, whom you know, my Lord, I had liv’d with the space of a Year. She was gone to drink the Waters of Bourbon, for some indisposition, and I had promised her|<213> all things should be fitted against her return, agreeable to her Humour and Desire; and indeed, I spared no cost to make her Apartment Magnificent: And I believe few Women of Quality could purchase one so rich; for I lov’d the Young Woman, who had Beauty and Discretion enough to charm, tho’ the Parisians of the Royal Party call’d her Nicky Nacky,* which was given her in derision to me, not to her, for whom every body, for her own sake, had a considerable Esteem. Besides, my Lord, I had taken up Money out of the Orphans and Widows Bank from the Chamber of Paris, and could very well afford to be Lavish, when I spent upon the publick Stock. While I was thus ordering all things, my Vallet came running out of Breath to tell me, that being at the Louvre, he saw several persons carried to the Secretaries Office, with Messengers; and that inquiring who they might be, he found|<214> they were two Parisians, who had offered themselves to the Messengers, to be carryed to be Examined about a Plot, the Prince Cesario and those of the Reform’d Religion had to surprize his Majesty, kill Monsieur his Brother, and set all Paris in a Flame: And as to what particularly related to my self; he said, That, I was named as the person design’d to seize upon the King’s Guards, and dispatch Monsieur. This my own Conscience told me was too true, for me to make any doubt, but I was discovered; I therefore left a Servant in the House, and in a Hackney-Coach* took my Flight. I drove a little out of Paris till Night and then returned again, as the surest part of the World where I could conceal my self: I was not long in studying who I should trust with my Life and safety, but went directly to the Pallace of Madam the Countess of —— who you know, my Lord, was a Widow, and a Woman who had|<215> for a year past, a most violent Passion for me; but she being a Lady, who had made many such Gallantries, and past her Youth, I had only a very great Respect and Acknowledgment for her and her Quality, and being obliged to her, for the Effects of her Tenderness, shown upon several Occasions, I could not but acquit my self like a Cavalier to her, whenever I could possible; and which, tho’ I have a thousand times feigned great Business to prevent, yet I could not always be ungrateful; and when I paid her my Services, ’twas ever extreamly well received, and because of her Quality, and seting up for a second Marriage, she always took care to make my Approaches to her, in as conceal’d a manner as possible; and only her Porter, one Page, and one Woman, knew this secret Amour; and for the better carrying it on, I ever went in a Hackney-Coach, least my Livery should be seen at her Gate: And as|<216> it was my Custom at other times, so I now sent the Porter (whom, by my Bounty, and his Ladies, was intirely my own Creature) for the Page, to come to me, who immediately did, and I desired him to let his Lady know, I waited her Commands; That was the Word: He immediately brought me Answer, that by good Fortune his Lady was all alone, and infinitely wishing she knew where to send him for me: and I immediately, at that good News, ran up to her Chamber; where I was no sooner come, but desiring me to sit, she ordered her Porter to be call’d, and gave him Orders, upon pain of Life, not to tell of my being in the House, whatever Ennquiry should be made after me; and having given the same Command to her Page, she dismiss’d ’em, and came to me with all the Fear and Trembling imaginable. Ah Monsieur, cry’d she, falling on my Neck, we are undone —— I not imagining she|<217> had heard the News already; cry’d, Why, is my Passion discovered? Ah, reply’d she in Tears, I would to Heaven it were no worse! would all the Earth had discovered that, which I should esteem my Glory —— But ’tis, my charming Monsieur, continu’d she, Your Treasons and not Amour, whose discovery will be so fatal to me. At this I seemed amaz’d, and beg’d her, to let me understand her: She told me what I have said before; and moreover, That the Council had that very Evening issued out Warrants for me, and she admired how I escaped. After a little Discourse of this kind, I asked her, what she would advise me to do? for I was very well assured the violent hate the King had particularly for me, would make him never consent I should live on any terms: And therefore ’twas determined I should not surrender my self; and she resolved to run the risk of concealing me; which in fine she did Three Days,|<218> furnishing me with Money and Necessaries for my Flight. In this time a Proclamation came forth, and offered five hundred Crowns* for my Head, or to Seize me alive, or dead. This Sum so wrought with the slavish Minds of Men, that no Art was left unassay’d to take me: They searcht all Houses, all Hackney-Coaches that pass’d by Night; and did all that avarice could inspire to take me, but all in vain: At last, this glorious Sum so dazled the Mind of Madam the Countess’s Porter, that he went to a Captain of the Musquetiers, and assur’d him, if the King would give him the aforesaid Sum, he would betray me, and bring him the following Night to surprize me, withou any Resistance: The Captain, who thought, if the Porter should have all the Sum, he should get none; and every one hoping to be the happy Man that should take me and win the Prize, could not indure another should have the Glo-|<219>ry of both, and so never told the King of the Offer the Porter had made. But however Secret, one may imagine an Amour to be kept, yet in so busie a place as Paris, and the Apartments of the Court Coquets, this of ours had been discoursed, and the Intrigue more than suspected: Whether this, or the Captain before nam’d, imagin’d to find me at the House of the Countess, because the Porter had made such an Offer; I say, however it was, the next Morning, upon a Sunday, the Guards broke into several Chambers, and missing me, had the Insolence to come to the Door of that of the Countess; and she had only time to slip on her Night-Gown, and running to the Door, besought them to have Respect to her Sex and Quality, while I started from my Bed, which was the same from whence the Countess rose; and not knowing where to hide, or what to do, concealing my Clothes between|<220> the Sheets, I mounted from the Table to a great silver Sconce* that was fastened to the Wall by the Bed-side, and from thence made but one spring up to the Tester* of the Bed; which being one of those rais’d with strong wood-work and Japan,* I could easily do; or, rather it was by Miracle I did it; and laid myself along the top, while my back touch’d the Cieling of the Chamber; by this time, when no Intreaties could prevail, they had burst open the Chamber Door, and running directly to the Bed, they could not believe their Eyes: They saw no Person there, but the plain print of two, with the Pillows for two Persons. This gave them the Curiosity to search farther, which they did, with their Swords, under the Bed, in every Corner, behind every Curtain, up the Chimney, felt all about the Wainscot* and Hangings for false Doors, or Closets; survey’d the Floor for a Trap-door: At last,|<221> they found my fringed Gloves at the Window, and the Shash a little up, and then they concluded I had made my Escape out at that Window: This Thought they seem’d confirm’d in, and therefore ran to the Garden, where they thought I had descended, and with my gloves, which they bore away as the Trophies of their almost gained Victory, they searched every Hedge and Bush, Arbour, Grotto, and Tree; but not being able to find what they sought, they concluded me gone, and told all the Town how very near they were to seizing me. After this, the very Porter and Page believed me escaped out of that Window, and there was no farther Search made after me: But the Countess was amazed, as much as any of the Souldiers, to find which way I had convey’d myself, when I came down and undeceiv’d her; but when she saw from whence I came, she wondered more than before, how I|<222> could get up so high; when trying the trick again, I could not do it, if I might have won never so considerable a Wager upon it, without pulling down the Sconce and the Tester also.
After this, I remain’d there undiscovered the whole time the Prince was at Hermione’s, till his coming to Court, when I verily believed he would have gained me my Pardon, with his own; but the King had sworn my final Destruction, if he ever got me in his Power; and proclaiming me a Traytor, seiz’d all they could find of mine. ’Twas then that I believed it high time to take my Flight; which, as soon as I heard the Prince again in Disgrace, I did, and got safely into Holland, where I remained about six Weeks. But, oh! what is Woman? The first News I heard, and that was while I remain’d at the Countess’s that my Mistriss, for whom I had taken such Care and who had|<223> professed to love me above all things, no sooner heard I was fled and proscrib’d, but retiring to a Friends House (for her own was seized for mine) and the Officers imagining me there too, they came to search; and a young Cavalier, of a noble Aspect, great Wit and Courage, and indeed a very fine Gentleman, was the Officer that entered her Chamber to search for me; who, being at first sight, surprized with her Beauty, and melted with her Tears, fell most desperately in Love with her, and after hearing how she had lost all her Money, Plate,* and Jewels, and rich Furniture, offer’d her his Service to retrieve ’em, and did do it; and from one Favour to another, continu’d so to oblige the fair fickle Creature, that he won, with that and his handsome Mein, a Possession of her Heart, and she yielded in a weeks time to my most mortal Enemy. And the Countess, who at my going from her, swoond-|<224>ed, and bath’d me all in Tears, making a thousand Vows of Fidelity, and never to favour Mankind more: This very Woman, Sir, as soon as my Back was turn’d, made new Advances to a young Lord, who, believing her to be none of the most Faithful, would not trust her under Matrimony: He being a Man of no great Fortune, and she a Mistriss of a very considerable one, his standing off on these Terms, inflames her the more; and I have Advice* that she is very much in love with him, and ’tis believed will do what he desires of her: So that I was no sooner abandoned by Fortune, but fickle Woman followed her example, and fled me too. Thus, my Lord, you have the History of my double Unhappiness: And I am waiting here a Fate which no Human Wit can guess at: The Arrival of the Prince will give a little Life to our Affair; and I yet have Hope to see him in Paris, at the|<225> Head of forty thousand Hugonots, to Revenge all the Insolences we have suffered.
After discoursing of several things, and of the Fate of several Persons, it was Bed-time, and they taking Leave, each Man departed to his Chamber.
Philander, while he was undressing, being alone with Brilljard, began to discourse of Silvia, and to take some care of letting her know he was arrived at Bruxells; and for her Convoy thither; Brilljard, who even yet retain’d some unaccountable Hope, as Lovers do, of one day being happy with that fair one; and believing he could not be so, with so much Facility,* while she was in the Hands of Octavio, as those of Philander, would never tell his Lord his Sentiments of her Conduct, nor of her Love to Octavio, and those other Passages that had occurr’d in Holland: He only cry’d, he believ’d she might be overcome, being left|<226> to herself and by the Merits and good Fashion of Octavio; but would not give his Master an absolute Fear, or any account of Truth; that he might live with her again, if possible, as before; and that she might hold herself so obliged to him for Silence in these Affairs, as might one day render him happy. These were the unweighed Reasons he gave for deluding his Lord into a kind Opinion of the fickle Maid: But ever when he named Silvia, Philander could perceive his Blushes rise, and from ’em believ’d there was something behind in his Thought, which he had a mind to know: He therefore pressed him to the last degree, —— and cry’d —— Come —— confess to me, Brilljard, the reason of your Blushes: I know you are a Lover, and I was content to suffer you my Rival, knowing your Respect to me. This, tho’ he spoke smiling, raised a greater Confusion in Brilljard’s Heart. I own, my Lord, said he, that I have,|<227> in spight of that Respect, and all the force of my Soul, had the daring to love her whom you lov’d; but still the consideration of my Obligations to your Lordship surmounted that sawcy Flame, notwithstanding all the Incouragement of your Inconstancy, and the Advantage of the Rage it put Silvia in against you. How, cry’d Philander, does Silvia know then of my Falsneß, and is it certain that Octavio has betray’d me to her? With that Brilljard was forc’d to advance, and with a design of some Revenge upon Octavio (whom, he hoped, would be challenged by his Lord, where one or both might fall in the Rancounter, and leave him Master of his Hopes) he told him all that had past between ’em, all but real Possession, which he only imagined, but laid the whole Weight on Octavio, making Silvia act but as an incensed Woman, purely out of high Revenge and Resentment of so great an Injury as was done her Love. He far-|<228>ther told him, how in the Extravagancy of her Rage, she had resolv’d to marry Octavio, and how he prevented it by making a publick Declaration she was his Wife already; and for which Octavio procur’d the States to put him in Prison; but by an Accident that happened to the Uncle of Octavio, for which he was forced to fly, the States released him, when he came to his Lord: How, cry’d Philander, and is the Traytor Octavio fled from Holland, and from the reach of my Chastisement? Yes, reply’d Brilljard; and not to hold you longer from the Truth, has forced Silvia away with him. At this Philander grew into a violent Rage, sometimes against Octavio, for his Treasons against Friendship; sometimes he felt the old Flame revive, rais’d and blown by Jealousie, and was raving to imagine any other should possess the lovely Silvia. He now beholds her with all those Charms that first fired him, and|<229> thinks, if she be Criminal, ’twas only the Effects of the greatest Love, which always hurries Women on to the highest Revenges. In vain he seeks to extinguish his returning Flame by the Thought of Calista; yet, at that Thought, he starts like one awakened from a Dream of Honour, to fall asleep again, and dream of Love. Before ’twas Rage and Pride, but now it was Tenderness and Grief, softer Passions, and more insupportable. New Wounds smart most, but old ones are most dangerous. While he was thus rageing, walking, pausing, and loving, one knock’d at his Chamber-Door. It was Silvia’s Page, who had waited all the Evening to speak to him, and could not till now be admitted. Brilljard was just going to tell him he was there before, when he arrived now again: Philander was all unbutton’d, his Stockings down, and his Hair under his Cap,* when the Page, being let in by Brilljard, ran|<230> to his Lord, who knew him and imbraced him: And ’twas a pretty while they thus caressed each other, without the Power of speaking; he of asking a Question, and the Boy of delivering his Message; at last, he gave him Silvia’s Billet; which was thus ——
False and perjured as you are, I languish for a Sight of you, and conjure you to give it me as soon as this comes to your Hands. Imagine not that I have prepared those Instruments of Revenge that are so justly due to your Perfidy; but rather, that I have yet too tender Sentiments for you, in spight of the Outrages you have done my Heart; and that for all the Ruine you have made, I still adore you: And tho’ I know you now anothers Slave, yet I beg you would vouchsafe to behold the Spoils you have made, and allow me this Recom-|<231>pence for all, to say —— Here was the Beauty I once esteem’d, tho’ now she is no more Philander’s
How! cry’d he out, No more Philander’s Silvia? By Heaven, I had rather be no more Philander! And at that word, without considering whether he were in order for a Visit or not, he advancing his joyful Voice, cry’d out to the Page; Lead on, my faithful Boy, lead on to Silvia. In vain Brilljard beseeches him to put himself into a better Equipage; in vain he urges to him, the indecency of making a Visit in that Posture; he thought of nothing but Silvia; however he ran after him with his Hat, Cloak, and Comb, and as he was in the Chair dress’d his Hair, and suffered the Page to conduct him where he pleas’d: Which being to Silvia’s Lodgings,|<232> he ran up Stairs, and into her Chamber, as by Instinct of Love, and found her laid on her Bed, to which he made but one step from the Door; and catching her in his Arms, as he kneeled upon the Carpet, they both remain’d unable to utter any thing but Sighs: And surely Silvia never appear’d more charming; she had for a Month or two liv’d at her Ease, and had besides all the Advantage of fine Dressing, which she had purposely put on, in the most tempting Fashion, on purpose to ingage him, or rather to make him see how fine a Creature his Perfidy had lost him: She first broke Silence, and with a thousand violent Reproaches, seem’d as if she would fain break from those Arms, which she wish’d might be too strong for her Force; while he endeavours to appease her by swearing and lying, as Lovers do, protesting a thousand times that there was nothing in that History of his Amour with Calista, but Revenge|<233> on Octavio, who he knew was making an Interest in her Heart, contrary to all the Laws of Honour and Friendship (for he had learn’d, by the Reproaches of the Lady Abbess, that Calista was Sister to Octavio) he has had the daring to confess to me his Passion, said he, for you, and could I do less in Revenge than to tell him I had one for his Sister? I knew by the violent Reproaches I ever met with in your Letters, tho’ they were not plainly confess’d, that he had play’d me foul, and discover’d my feign’d Intrigue to you; and even this I suffered, to see how far you could be prevail’d with against me. I knew Octavio had Charms of Youth and Wit, and that you had too much the Ascendant over him, to be deny’d any Secret you had a mind to draw from him; I knew your Nature too curious, and your Love too inquisitive, not to press him to a sight of my Letters, which seen must incense you; and|<234> this Tryal I designedly made of your Faith, and as a Return to Octavio. Thus he flatters, and she believes, because she has a mind to believe; and thus by Degrees he softens the listening Silvia: Swears his Faith with Sighs, and confirms it with his Tears, which bedew’d her fair Bosom, as they fell from his bright dissembling Eyes; and yet so well he dissembled, that he scarce knew himself that he did so: And such Effects it wrought on Silvia, that in spight of all her Honour and Vows engaged to Octavio, and horrid Protestations, never to receive again the Fugitive to her Arms, she suffers all he ask’s, gives herself up again to Love, and is a second time undone. She regards him as one to whom she had a peculiar Right as the first Lover: She was married to his Love, to his Heart, and Octavio appeared the intruding Gallant, that would, and ought to be content with the Gleanings of the|<235> harvest Philander should give him the opportunity to take up: And tho’, if she had at this very time been put to her sober Choice, which she would have abandoned, it would have been Philander, as not in so good Circumstances at that time to gratify all her Extravagancies of Expence; but she would not indure to think of losing either: She was for two Reasons covetous of both, and swore Fidelity to both, protesting each the only Man; and she was now contriving in her Thoughts how to play the Jilt most Artificially; a Help meet, tho’ natural enough to her Sex, she had not yet much essay’d, and never to this purpose: She knew well she should have need of all her Cunning in this Affair; for she had to do with Men of Quality and Honour, and too much Wit to be grossly imposed upon. She knew Octavio lov’d so well, it would either make her lose him by Death or resenting Pride, if she|<236> should ever be discovered to him to be untrue; and she knew she should lose Philander to some new Mistriss, if he once perceived her false. He asked her a thousand Questions concerning Octavio, and she seem’d to lavish every Secret of her Soul to her Lover; but like a right Woman, so ordered her Discourse, as all that made for her Advantage, she declared, and all the rest she conceal’d. She told him that those Hopes which her Revenge had made her give Octavio, had oblig’d him to present her with such and such fine Jewels, such Plate, such Summs; and in fine, made him understand that all her Trophies from the believing Lover should be laid at his Feet, who had conquered her Heart: And that now, having inriched herself, she would abandon him wholly to Dispair. This did not so well satisfy Philander, but that he needed some greater Proofs of her Fidelity, fearing all these|<237> rich Presents were not for a little Hope alone; and she fail’d not giving what Protestations he desired.
Thus the Night pass’d away, and in the Morning, she knowing he was not very well furnished with Money, gave him the Key of her Cabinet,* where she bid him furnish himself with all he wanted; which he did, and left her, to go take Orders about his Horses, and other Affairs, not so absolutely satisfied of her Vertue, but he fear’d himself put upon, which the Advantage he was likely to reap by the Deceit, made him less consider than he would perhaps otherwise have done. He had all the Night a full Possession of Silvia, and found in the Morning he was not so violently concern’d as he was over-night: It was but a Repetition of what he had been feasted with before; ’twas no new Treat, but like Matrimony, went dully down: And now he found his Heart warm a|<238> little more for Calista, with which little Impatience he left Silvia.
That Morning a Lady having sent to Octavio, to give her an Assignation in the Park; tho’ he were not curious after Beauty, yet believing there might be something more in it than merely a Lady, he dress’d himself and went, which was the reason he made not his Visit that Morning, as he used to do, to Silvia, and so was yet ignorant of her Ingratitude; while she, on the other side, finding herself more possess’d with Vanity than Love; for having gain’d her end, as she imagined, and got a second Victory over his Heart, in spight of all Calista’s Charms, she did not so much consider him as before; nor was he so dear to her as she fancied he would have been, before she believed it possible to get him any more to her Arms; and she found it was Pride and Revenge to Calista, that made her so fond of indearing him, and that she should|<239> thereby triumph over that haughty Rival, who pretended to be so sure of the Heart of her Hero: And having satisfied her Ambition in that Point, she was more pleased than she imagin’d she should be, and could now turn her Thoughts again to Octavio, whose Charms, whose Indearments, and lavish Obligations, came anew to her Memory, and made him appear the most agreeable to her Genius and Humour, which now lean’d to Interest more than Love; and now she fancies she found Philander duller in her Arms than Octavio; that he tasted of Calista, while Octavio was all her own intirely, adoring and ever presenting; two Excellencies, of which Philander now had but part of one. She found Philander now in a Condition to be ever taking from her, while Octavio’s was still to be giving; which was a great Weight in the Scale of Love, when a fair vain Woman guides the Ba-|<240>lance: And now she begins to distrust all that Philander had said of his Innocence, from what she now remembers she heard from Calista herself, and reproaches her own Weakness for believing: While her penitent Thoughts were thus wandering in favour of Octavio, that Lover arriv’d, and approach’d her with all the Joy in his Soul and Eyes that either could express. ’Tis now, my fair Charmer, said he, that I am come to offer you what alone can make me more worthy of you —— And pulling from his Pocket the Writings and Inventories of all his own and his Uncles Estate —— See here, said he, what those mighty Powers that favour Love, have done for Silvia? It is not, continu’d he, the Trifle of a Million of Money (which these amount to) that has pleased me, but because I am now able to lay it without Controul at your Feet. If she were before inclined to receive him well, what was she now, when a|<241> million of Money rendered him so charming: She imbrac’d his Neck with her snowy Arms, laid her Cheek to his ravish’d Face, and kiss’d him a thousand welcomes; so well she knew how to make herself Mistress of all this vast Fortune. And I suppose he never appear’d so fine, as at this Moment. While she thus carest him, he could not forbear sighing, as if there were yet something behind to compleat his Happiness: For tho’ Octavio were extreamly blinded with Love, he had abundance of Wit, and a great many doubts (which were augmented by the arrival of Philander) and he was, too wise and too haughty, to be impos’d upon, at least as he believ’d: And yet he had so very good an Opinion of Silvia’s Honour and Vows, which she had engaged to him, that he durst hardly name his Fears, when by his Sighs she found them: And willing to leave no Obstacle unremov’d, that might hinder|<242> her possessing this Fortune, she told him; My dear Octavio —— I am sensible these Sighs proceed from some Fears you have of Philander’s being in Bruxells, and consequently that I will see him, as heretofore; but be assured, that that false Man shall no more dare to pretend to me; but, on the contrary, I will behold him as my mortal Enemy, the Murderer of my Fame and Innocence, and as the most ungrateful and perfidious Man that ever liv’d. This she confirm’d with Oaths and Tears, and a thousand indearing Expressions. So that establishing his Heart in a perfect Tranquillity, and he leaving his Writings and Accounts with her, he told her he was obliged to dine with the Advocates, who had acted for him in Holland, and could not stay to dine with her.
You must know, that as soon as the Noise of old Sebastian, Octavio’s Uncle’s Death was noised about, and that he was thereupon fled, they|<243> seized all the Estates, both that of the Uncle, and that of Octavio, as belonging to him by right of Law; but looking upon him as his Uncle’s Murderer, they were forfeited to the States. This part of ill News Octavio kept from Silvia, but took order, that there should be such a Process begun in his Name with the States, that might retrieve it; and sent word, if it could not be carry’d on by Attornies (for he was not, he said, in Health) that nevertheless he would come into Holland himself. But they being not able to prove by the Witness of any of Octavio’s or Sebastian’s Servants, that Octavio had any hand in his Death; but, on the contrary all Circumstances, and the Coroner’s Verdict, brought it in as a thing done by Accident, and through his own Fault, they were obliged to release to Octavio all his Fortune, with that of his Uncle, which was this day brought to him, by those he was|<244> oblig’d to dine, and make up some Accompts withal: He therefore told her, he fear’d he should be absent all that Afternoon; which she was the more pleased at; because, if Philander should return before she had ordered the Method of their Visit, so as not to meet with each other (which was her only Contrivance now) she should be sure he would not see or be seen by Octavio; who had no sooner taken his Leave, but Philander returns; who being now fully bent upon some Adventure to see Calista if possible, and which Intrigue would take up his whole Time; to excuse his Absence to the jealous Silvia, he feign’d that he was sent to by Cesario, to meet him upon the Frontiers of France, and conduct him into Flanders, and that he should be absent some Days. This was as Silvia could have wished; and after forcing herself to take as kind a Leave of him as she could, whose Head was wholly possess’d|<245> with a Million of Gold, she sent him away, both Parties being very well pleased with the Artifices with which they gilted each other. At Philander’s going into his Chair, he was seen by the old Count of Clarinau, who, cur’d perfectly of his Wound, was come thither to seek Philander, in order to take the Revenge of a Man of Honour, as he call’d it; which in Spanish is the private Stab, for private Injuries; and indeed more reasonable than base French Duelling,* where the Injured is as likely to suffer as the Injurer: But Clarinau durst not attack him by Day-light in the open Street, nor durst he indeed appear in his own Figure in the King of Spain’s Dominions, standing already there convicted of the Murder of his first Wife; but in a Disguise came to Bruxells. The Chair with Philander was no sooner gone from the Lodgings, but he inquir’d of some of the House, who lodged|<246> there that that Gentleman came to visit? And they told him, A great Bellied Lady, who was a Woman of Quality, and a Stranger: This was sufficient, you may believe, for him to think it Madam the Countess of Clarinau. With this Assurance he repairs to his Lodging, which was but hard by, and sets a Footman that attended him to watch the Return of Philander to those Lodgings, which he believ’d would not be long: The Footman, who had not seen Philander, only asked a Description of him; he told him, he was a pretty tall Man, in black Clothes (for the Court was then in Mourning) with a long black Hair, fine black Eyes, very handsome, and well made: This was enough for the Lad; he thought he should know him from a thousand by these Marks and Tokens. Away goes the Footman, and waited till the shuting in of the Evening, and then, running to his Lord, told him Philander was come to those Lodgings; that he saw him alight out of the Chair, and took perfect Notice of him; that he was sure it was that Philander he look’d for: Clarinau, overjoy’d that his Revenge was at hand, took his Dagger, Sword and Pistol, and hasted to Silvia’s Lodgings, where he found the Chair still waiting, and the Doors all open; he made no more ado, but goes in and ascends the Stairs, and passes on, without Opposition, to the very Chamber where they sate Silvia in the Arms of her Lover, not Philander, but Octavio, who being also in black, tall, long brown Hair, and handsome, and by a Sight that might very well deceive; he made no more to do, not doubting but it was Philander and Calista, but steps to him, and offering to stab him, was prevented by his starting at the suddeness of his Approach; however, the dagger did not absolutely miss him, but wounded him in the left Arm; but Octavio’s Youth,|<248> too nimble for Clarinau’s Age, snatching at the Dagger as it wounded him, at once prevented the Hurt being much, and return’d a home Blow at Clarinau, so that he fell at Silvia’s Feet, whose Shreeks alarm’d the House to their Aid, where they found by the light of a Candle that was brought, that the Man was not dead, but lay gazing on Octavio, who said to him, Tell me, thou unfortunate Wretch, what miserable Fate brought thee to this place, to disturb the Repose of those who neither know thee, nor had done thee Injury? Ah, Sir, reply’d Clarinau, you have Reason for what you say, and I ask Heaven, that unknown Lady, and your self, a thousand Pardons for my Mistake and Crime: Too late I see my Error, pity and forgive me; and let me have a Priest, for I believe I am a dead Man. Octavio was extreamly mov’d with Compassion at these Words, and immediately sent his Page, who was alarm’d up in the Crowd, for|<249> a Father and a Surgeon; and he declar’d before the rest that he forgave that Stranger, meaning Octavio, since he had, by a Mistake of his Footman, pull’d on his own Death, and had deserved it: And thereupon, as well as he could, he told them for whom he had mistaken Octavio, who, having injured his Honour, he had vow’d Revenge upon; and that he took the fair Lady, meaning Silvia, for a faithless Wife of his, who had been the Authoress of all this. Octavio soon divin’d this to be his Brother-in-Law Clarinau, whom yet he had never seen; and stooping down to him, he cry’d, ’Tis I, Sir, that ought to demand a thousand Pardons of you, for letting the Revenge of Calista’s Honour alone so long. Clarinau wondered who he should be that named Calista, and asking him his Name, he told him he was the unhappy Brother to that fair Wanton, whose Story was but too well known to him. Thus while Cla-|<250>rinau viewing his Face, found him the very Picture of that false Charmer; while Octavio went on and assured him, if it were his Unhappiness to die, that he would revenge the Honour of him and his Sister on the Betrayer of both. By this time the Surgeon came who found not his Wound to be mortal, as was feared, and ventured to remove him to his own Lodgings, whither Octavio would accompany him; and leaving Silvia inclin’d, after her Fright, to be repos’d, he took his Leave of her for that Evening, not daring, out of Respect to her, to visit her any more that Night: He was no sooner gone, but Philander, who never us’d to go without two very good pocket Pistols about him, having left ’em under his Pillow last Night at Silvia’s Lodgings; and being upon Love Adventures, he knew not what Occasion he might have for ’em, return’d back to her Lodgings: When he came she was a lit-|<251>tle surprized at first to see him, but after reflecting on what Revenge was threatened him, she exposed Octavio’s Secret to him, and told him the whole Adventure, and how she had got his Writings, which would be all her own, if she might be suffered to manage the fond Believer. But he, whose thought ran on the Revenge was threaten’d him, cry’d out —— He has kindly awaken’d me to my Duty by what he threatens; ’tis I that ought to be reveng’d on his Perfidy, of shewing you my Letters; and to that end, by Heaven, I will defer all the Busineß in the World to meet him, and pay his Courtesy —— If I had injoy’d his Sister, he might suppose I knew her not to be so; and what Man of Wit or Youth, would refuse a lovely Woman, that presents a Heart laden with Love, and a Person all over Charms, to his Bosom. I were to be esteem’d unworthy the Friendship of a Man of Honour, if I should: But he has basely betray’d me every way,|<252> makes Love to my celebrated Mistriß, whom he knows I love, and getting Secrets, unravels them to make his Court and his Access the easier. She foresaw the dangerous Consequence of a quarrel of this nature, and had no sooner blown the Fire (which she did, to the end that Philander should avoid her Lodgings, and all places where he might meet Octavio) but she hinders all her Designs; and fixing him there, he was resolv’d to expect him at the first place he thought most likely to find him in: She indeavoured, by a thousand Intreaties, to get him gone, urging it all for his Safety; but that made him the more resolv’d; and all she could do could not hinder him from staying Supper, and after that, from going to Bed: So that she was forced to hide a thousand Terrors and Fears by feigned Caresses, the sooner to get him to meet Cesario in the Morning, as he said he was to do: And tho’ she could|< not help flattering both while by, yet she ever lov’d the absent best; and now repented a thousand times that she had told him any thing.
Early the next Morning, as was his Custom Octavio came to inquire of Silvia’s Health; and tho’ he had oftentimes only inquir’d and no more (taking Excuse of ill Nights, or Commands that none should come to her till she call’d) and had departed satisfied, and came again: Yet now, when he went into Antonett’s Chamber, he found she was in a great Consternation, and her Looks and flattering Excuses made him know, there was more than usual in his being to day deny’d; he therefore pressed it the more, and she grew to greater Confusion by his pressing her. At last he demanded the Key of her Lady’s Chamber, he having, he said, Business of great Importance to communicate to her; she told him she had as great Reason not to deliver it, —— That is,|<254> said she (fearing she had said too much) my Lady’s Commands; and finding no Perswasion would prevail, and rather venturing Silvia’s eternal Displeasure, than not to be satisfied in the Jealousies she had raised; especially reflecting on Philander’s being in Town, he took Antonett in his Arms and forced the Key from her, who was willing to be forced; for she admired Octavio’s Bounty, and car’d not for Philander. Octavio being Master of the Key, flies to Silvia’s Door like Lightning, or a jealous Lover, mad to discover, what seen, would kill him: He opens the Chamber-door, and goes softly to the Bed-side, as if he now fear’d to find what he sought, and wished to Heaven he might be mistaken; he opened the Curtains, and found Silvia sleeping with Philander in her Arms. I need make no Description of his Confusion and Surprize; the Character I have given of that|<255> gallant, honest and generous Lover, is sufficient to make you imagine his Heart, when indeed he could believe his Eyes: Before he thought —— he was about to draw his Sword, and run ’em both through, and revenge at once his injured Honour, his Love, and that of his Sister; but that little Reason he had left check’d that Barbarity, and he was readier, from his own natural sweetness of Disposition to run himself upon his own Sword: And there the Christian pleaded —— and yet found his Heart breaking, his whole Body trembling, his Mind all Agony, his Cheeks cold and pale, his Eyes languishing, his Tongue refusing to give Utterance to his Pressure, and his Leggs to support his Body; and much ado he had to reel into Antonett’s, Chamber, where he found the Maid dying with Grief for her Concern for him. He was no sooner got to her Bed-side, but he fell dead upon it; while she, who|<256> was afraid to alarm her Lady and Philander, least Octavio being found there, had accused her with betraying ’em; but shuttng the Door close (for yet no body had seen him but herself) she indeavoured all she could to bring him to Life again, and it was a great while before she could do so: As soon as he was recovered, he lay a good while without speaking, reflecting on his Fate; but after appearing as if he had assum’d all his manly Spirits together, he rose up, and conjured Antonett to say nothing of what had happen’d, and that she should not repent the Service she would do him by it. Antonett, who was his absolute devoted Slave, promised him all he desired; and he had the Courage to go once again, to confirm himself in the Lewdness of this undone fair one, whose Perjuries had rendered her even odious now to him, and he beheld her with Scorn and Disdain: And that she might know|<257> how indifferently he did so (when she should come to know it) he took Philander’s Sword that lay on her Toylet, and left his own in the place, and went out pleased; at least in this, that he had commanded his Passion in the midst of the most powerful Occasion for Madness and Revenge that ever was.
They lay thus secur’d in each others Arms till nine a-Clock in the Morning, when Philander received a Note from Brilljard, who was managing his Lords Design of getting a Billet delivered to Calista by the way of a Nun, whom Brilljard had made some Address to to that end, and sent to beg, his Lord would come to the Grate and speak to the young Nun, who had undertaken for any innocent Message. This Note made him rise and hast to go out, when he received another from an unknown Hand; which was thus:|<258>
My Lord, I have important Business with you, and beg I may speak with you at three of the Clock; I will wait for you by the Fountain in the Park:
Silvia, who was impatient to have him gone, never asked to see either of these Notes, least it should have deterr’d him; and she knew Octavio would visit her early tho’ she knew withal she could refuse him Enterance with any slight Excuse, so good an Opinion he had of her Vertue, and so absolute an Ascendant she had over him. —— She had given Orders, if he came, to be refused her Chamber; and she was glad to know he had not yet been at her Lodgings. A hundred times she was about to make use of the les-|<259>sen’d Love Philander had for her, and to have proposed to him the suffering Octavio to share her Embraces for so good an Interest, since no Returns could be had from France, nor any Signs of Amendment of their Fortunes any other way: But still she fear’d he had too much Honour to permit such a Cheat in Love, to be put even upon an Enemy. This Fear deferred her speaking of it, or offering to sacrifice Octavio as a Cully* to their Interest, tho’ she wished it; nor knew she long how to deceive both; the Business was to put Philander off handsomely, if possible, since she fail’d of all other Hopes. These were her Thoughts while Philander was dressing, and rais’d by his asking for some more Pistols* from her Cabinet, which she found would quickly be at an end, if one Lover diminished daily, and the other was hindered from increasing: But Philander was no sooner dress’d but he left her to|<260> her Repose; and Octavio (who had a Grison* attending the Motions of Philander, all that Morning, and had brought him Word he was gone from Silvia) went to visit her, and entered her Chamber, all changed from what he was before, and Death sate in his Face and Eyes, maugre all his Resolves and art of Dissembling. She not at first perceiving it as she lay, stretch’d out her Arms to receive him with her wonted Caresses, but he gently put her off, and sighing, cry’d —— No Silvia, I leave those Joys to happier Lovers. She was a little surpriz’d at that —— but not imagining he had known her Guilt, reply’d: Then those Caresses were only meant for him; for if Silvia could make him happy, he was sure of being the Man; and by force compell’d him to suffer her Kisses and Imbraces, while his Heart was bursting, without any sense of the Pleasure of her Touches. Ah Silvia, says he, —— I can never|<261> think my self Secure or Happy while Philander is so near you; every absent Moment alarms me with ten thousand Fears; in Sleep I dream thou art false, and gives thy Honour up all my absent Nights, and all day thy Vows: And that he was sure, should she again suffer herself to see Philander, he should be abandoned; and she again undone. For since I parted with you, continu’d he, I heard from Clarinau, that he saw Philander yesterday come out of your Lodgings. How can I bear this, when you have vow’d not to see him, with Imprecations that must damn thee, Silvia, without severe Repentance? —— At this she offered to swear again —— but he stop’d her, and begg’d her not to swear till she had well considered; then she confess’d he made her a Visit, but that she us’d him with that Pride and Scorn that if he were a Man of Honour, he could never bear; and she was sure he would trouble her no more: In|<262> fine, she flattered, fawn’d, and gilted so, as no Woman common in the Trade of sinful Love, could be so great a Mistriss of the Art. He suffered her to go on, in all that could confirm him she thought him an errant Coxcomb; and all that could render her the most contemptible of her Sex. He was pleas’d, because it made him despise her; and that was easier than adoring her; yet, tho’ he heard her with Scorn, he heard her with too much Love. When she was even Breathless with eager Protestation* —— he cry’d, Ah Indiscreet and Unadvised Silvia, how I pity thee! Ah, said she —— observing him speak this with a scornful Smile —— is it possible, you should indeed be offended for a simple Visit! which neither was by my Invitation or Wish: Can you be angry, if I treat Philander with the Civility of a Brother? Or rather, that I suffer him to see me to receive my Reproaches? —— Stop here, said he,|<263> thou fair deluding Flatterer, or thou art for ever ruin’d. Do not charge thy Soul yet farther; —— do not delude me on —— all yet I can forgive as I am dying, but should I live, I could not promise thee. Add not new Crimes by cozening me anew; for I shall find out Truth, tho’ it lie hid even in the bottom of Philander’s, Heart. This he spoke with an Air of Fierceness —— which seeing her grow pale upon, he sunk again to Compassion, and in a soft Voice cry’d —— Whatever Injuries thou hast done my Honour, thy Word, and Faith to me, and my poor Heart, I can perhaps forgive when you dare utter Truth: There is some Honesty in that —— She once more embracing him, fell a-new to protesting her ill Treatment of Philander, how she gave him back his Vows, and assur’d him she would never be reconcil’d to him. And did you part so Silvia? reply’d the dying Octavio. Upon my Honour, said she, just so.|<264> —— Did you not kiss at parting? said he faintly. —— Just kiss’d, as Friends, no more, by all thy Love. At this he bursts into Tears, and cry’d —— Oh! why, when I repos’d my Heart with thee, and lavished out my very Soul in Love, could I not merit this poor Recompence, of being fairly dealt with? Behold this Sword —— I took it from your Toylet; view it, it is Philander’s; myself this Morning took it from your Table: No more —— since you may guess the fatal rest: I am undone, and I am satisfied —— I had a thousand Warnings of my Fate, but still the Beauty charmed, and my too good Nature yielded: Oft you have cozen’d me, and oft I saw it, and still Love made me willing to forgive; the foolish Passion hung upon my Soul, and sooth’d me into Peace. Silvia, quite confounded (not so much with the Knowledge he had of the unlucky Adventure, as at her so earnest denying and forswearing any Love had pass’d be-|<265>tween ’em) lay still to consider how to retrieve this lost Game, and gave him leisure to go on. —— Now, said he, thou art silent —— would thou had’st still been so: Ah, hapleß Maid, who hast this Fate attending thee, To ruin all that love thee! Be dumb, be dumb for ever; let the false Charm that dwells upon thy Tongue be ended with my Life: Let it no more undo believing Man, least amongst the Number some one may conquer thee, and deaf to all thy Wit, and blind to Beauty, in some mad Passion think of all thy Cozenings, should fall upon thee, and forget thy Sex, and by thy Death revenge the lost Octavio. At these Words he would have rose from her Arms, but she detain’d him, and with a pityous Voice implor’d his Pardon; but he calmly reply’d, Yes Silvia, I will pardon thee, and wish that Heaven may do so; to whom apply thy early Rhetorick and Penitence; for it can never, never charm me more: My Fortune,|<266> if thou ever want’st Support, to keep thee Chast and Virtuous, shall still be commanded by thee, with that usual Frankness it has hitherto served thee; but for Octavio, he is resolved to go where he will never more be seen by Woman —— or hear the name of Love to ought but Heaven —— Farewel —— one parting Kiß, and then a long Farewel —— As he bow’d to kiss her she caught him fast in her Arms, while a Flood of Tears bathe his Face, nor could he prevent his from mixing with hers: While thus they lay Philander came into the Room, and finding them so closely intwin’d, he was as much surpriz’d almost as Octavio was before; and, drawing his Sword, was about to have kill’d him; but his Honour overcame his Passion; and he would not take him at such Disadvantage, but with the Flat of his Sword striking him on the Back as he lay, he cry’d, Rise, Traytor, and turn to thy mortal Enemy. Octavio, not at all surpriz’d,|<267> turn’d his Head and his Eyes bedew’d in Tears, towards his Rival. If thou beest an Enemy, said he, thou never could’st have taken me in a better Humour of dying. Finish Philander, that Life then, which if you spare, it will possibly never leave thine in Repose; the Injuries you have done me, being too great to be forgiven. And is it thus, reply’d Philander, —— thus with my Mistriss, that you would Revenge ’em? Is it in the Arms of Silvia that you would repay me the Favours I did your Sister Calista? You have by that Word, said Octavio, handsomly reproach’d my Sloath. And leaping briskly from the Bed, he took out his Sword, and cry’d: Come then —— let us go where we may repair both our Losses, since Ladies Chambers are not fit places to adjust Debts of this nature in. At these Words they both went down Stairs; and ’twas in vain Silvia call’d and cry’d out to conjure them to come back; her Power of Commanding|<268> she had in one unlucky Day lost over both those gallant Lovers. And both left her with Pity; to say no worse of the Effect of her ill Conduct.
Octavio went directly to the Park, to the Place whither he before had challenged Philander, who lost no time but followed him: As soon as he was come to the Fountain he drew, and told Philander that was the place whither he invited him in his Billet that Morning; however, if he liked not the Ground, he was ready to remove to any other: Philander was a little surpriz’d to find that Invitation was a Challenge; and that Octavio should be beforehand with him upon the Score of Revenge; and reply’d, Sir, if the Billet came from you, it was a Favour I thank you for; since it kindly put me in mind of that Revenge I ought so justly to take of you, for betraying the Secrets of Friendship I repos’d in you, and making base Ad-|<269>vantages of ’em, to recommend your self to a Woman, you knew I lov’d, and who hates you, in spight of all the ungenerous ways you have taken to gain her. Sir, reply’d Octavio, I confeß with a Blush and infinite Shame, the Error with which you accuse me, and have nothing to defend so great a Perfidy. To tell you, I was wrought out of it by the greatest Cunning imaginable, and that I must have seen Silvia dy at my Feet if I had refused ’em, is not Excuse enough for the Breach of that Friendship. No, tho’ I were exasperated with the Relation there of my Sister’s Dishonour; I must therefore adjust that Debt with you as well as I can; and if I dy in the juster Quarrel of my Sister’s Honour, I shall believe it the Vengeance of Heaven upon me for that one Breach of Friendship. Sir, reply’d Philander, you have given me so great a Satisfaction in this Confession; and have made so good and gallant an Atonement by this Acknowledgment, that ’tis with Re-|<270>luctancy I go to punish you for other Injuries, of which I am assured you cannot so well acquit your self. Tho’ I would not justify a Baseness, reply’d Octavio, for which there ought to be no Excuse; yet I will not accuse myself, or acknowledge other Injuries, but leave you something to maintain the Quarrel on —— and render it a little just on your side; nor go to wipe off the Outrage you pretend I have done your Love, by adoring the fair Person who at least has been dear to you, by the Wrongs you have done my Sister. Come, Sir, we shall not by disputing quit Scores, cry’d Philander, a little impatiently; what I have so lately seen, has made my Rage too brisk for long Parly.* At that they both advanced, and made about twenty Passes before either received any Wound; the first that bled was Octavio, who received a Wound in his Breast, which he return’d on Philander; and after that many were given and taken; so that the Track|<271> their Feet made in following and advancing as they fought, was marked out by their Blood: In this Condition (still fighting) Silvia (who had call’d ’em back in vain, and only in her Night-Gown in a Chair pursued ’em that Minute they quitted her Chamber) found ’em thus imployed, and without any fear she threw herself between them: Octavio, out of Respect to her, ceased; but Philander, as if he had not regarded her, would still have been striving for Victory, when she stay’d his Hand, and beg’d him to hear her; he then set the Point of his Sword to the Ground, and breathless and fainting almost, attended what she had to say: She conjur’d him to cease the Quarrel, and told him if Octavio had injured him in her Heart, he ought to remember he had injured Octavio as much in that of his Sister: She conjured him by all the Friendship both she and himself had received at Octavio’s Hands;|<272> and concluded with saying so many fine things of that Cavalier, that in lieu of appeasing, it but the more exasperated the jealous Philander, who took new Courage with new Breath, and past at Octavio. She then addrest to Octavio, and cry’d: Hold, oh hold, or make your way through me, for here I will defend Vertue and Honour! and put herself before Octavio: She spoke with so pitious a Voice, and pleaded with so much Tenderness, that Octavio, laying his Sword at her Feet, bid her dispose —— false as she was, of his Honour. For oh, said he, my Life is already fallen a Victim to your Perjuries! He could say no more, but falling where he had laid his Sword, left Philander master of the Field. By this time some Gentlemen that had been walking came up to ’em, and found a Man lye dead, and a Lady imploring another to fly: They look’d on Oclavio, and found he had yet Life; and immediately|<273> sent for Surgeons, who carried him to his Lodgings with very little Hope: Philander, as well as his Wounds would give him leave, got into a Chair, telling the Gentlemen that looked on him, he would be responsible for Octavio’s Life, if he had had the ill Fortune to take it; that his Quarrel was too just to suffer him to fly. —— So being carried to the Cabarett, with an absolute Command to Silvia not to follow him, or visit him: For fear of hurting him by disobeying, she suffer’d herself to be carried to her Lodgings, where she threw herself on her Bed, and drowned her fair Eyes in a Showre of Tears: She advises with Antonett and her Page what to do in this Extremity; she fears she has, by her ill Managment lost both her Lovers, and she was in a Condition of needing every Aid. They, who knew the excellent Temper of Octavio, and knew him to be the most considerable* Lover of|<274> the two, besought her, as the best Expedient she could have Recourse to, to visit Octavio, who could not but take it kindly; and they did not doubt but she had so absolute a Power over him, that with a very little Complaisance towards him, she would retrieve that Heart her ill Luck had this Morning forfeited; and which, they protested, they knew nothing of, nor how he got into her Chamber. This Advice she took; but, because Octavio was carried away dead, she feared (and swoonded with the Fear) that he was no longer in the World, or, at least, that he would not long be so: However, she assum’d her Courage again at the Thought, that, if he did dy, she had an absolute Possession of all his Fortune, which was to her the most considerable part of the Man, or at least, what rendered him so very agreeable to her: However, she Thought fit to send her Page, which she did in an hour after he|<275> was carried home, to see how he did; who brought her word that he was reviv’d to Life, and had commanded his Gentleman to receive no Messages from her. This was all she could learn, and what put her into the greatest Extremity of Grief. She after sent to Philander, and found him much the better of the two, but most infinitely incensed against Silvia: This also added to her Dispair; yet since she found she had not a Heart that any Love, or loss of Honour, or Fortune could break; but, on the contrary, a rest of Youth and Beauty, that might oblige her, with some Reason, to look forward on new Lovers, if the old must depart: The next thing she resolv’d was, to do her utmost Indeavour to retrieve Octavio, which, if unattainable, she would make the best of her Youth. She sent therefore (notwithstanding his Commands to suffer none of her People to come and see him) to inquire of his Health;|<276> and in four Days (finding he receiv’d other Visits) she dress’d herself, with all the Advantages of her Sex, and in a Chair was carried to his Aunt’s, where he lay. The good Lady not knowing but she might be that Person of Quality whom she knew to be extreamly in Love with her Nephew, and who liv’d at the Court of Bruxells, and was Neece to the Governour, carried her to his Chamber, where she left her, as not willing to be a Witness of a Visit, she knew must be supposed Incognito: It was Evening, and Octavio was in Bed, and, at the first sight of her his Blood grew disordered in his Veins, flush’d in his pale Face, and burnt all over his Body, and he was near to swoonding as he lay: She approach’d his Bed with a Face all set for Languishment, Love, and Shame in her Eyes, and Sighs, that, without speaking seem’d to tell her Grief at his Disaster; she sate, or rather fell on his Bed, as unable to support|<277> the sight of him in that Condition; she in a soft manner, seiz’d his burning Hand, grasp’d it and sigh’d, then put it to her Mouth, and suffered a Tear or two to fall upon it; and when she would have spoke she made her Sobs resist her Words; and left nothing unacted, that might move the tender Hearted Octavio to that degree of Passion she wished. A hundred times fain he would have spoke, but still his rising Passion choak’d his Words; and still he feared they would prove either too soft and kind for the Injuries he had received, or too rough and cold for so delicate and charming a Creature, and one, whom, in spight of all those Injuries, he still adored: She appear’d before him with those Attractions that never fail’d to conquer him, with that Submission and Pleading in her modest bashful Eyes, that even gave his the Lye, who had seen her Perfidy. Oh! what should he do to keep that Fire from breaking forth|<278> with Violence, which she had so thoroughly kindled in his Heart; how should that excellent good Nature assume an unwonted Sullenness, only to appear what it could not by Nature be? He was all Soft and Sweet, and if he had Pride, he knew also how to make his Pleasure; and his Youth lov’d Love above all the other little Vanities that attend it, and was the most proper to it. Fain he would palliate her Crime, and considers, in the Condition she was, she could not but have some Tenderness for Philander; that it was no more than what before past; ’twas no new Lover that came to kindle new Passions, or approach her with a new Flame; but a Decliner, who came, and was receiv’d with the Dregs of Love, with all the cold Indifference imaginable: This he would have perswaded himself, but dares not till he hear her speak; and yet fears she should not speak his Sense; and this Fear makes him|<279> sighing break Silence, and he cry’d in a soft Tone; Ah! why, too lovely Fair, why do you come to trouble the Repose of my dying Hours? Will you, cruel Maid, pursue me to my Grave, shall I not have one lone Hour to ask Forgiveness of Heaven for my Sin of loving thee? The greatest that ever loaded my Youth —— and yet alas, —— the least repented yet. Be kind, and trouble not my Solitude; depart with all the Trophies of my Ruine, and if they can add any Glory to thy future Life, boast ’em all over the Universe, and tell, what a deluded Youth thou hast undone. Take, take fair Deceiver, all my Industry, my right of my Birth, my thriving Parents have been so long a geting to make me happy with; take the useless Trifle, and lavish it on Pleasure to make thee gay and fit for luckier Lovers: Take that best part of me, and let this worst alone; ’twas that first won the dear Confession from thee, that drew my Ruin on —— for which I hate it|<280> —— and wish myself born a poor Cottage Boor, where I might never have seen thy tempting Beauty, but liv’d for ever bless’d in Ignorance. At this the Tears ran from his Eyes, with which the soften’d Silvia mixt her welcome Stream, and as soon as she could speak, she reply’d (with half Cunning and half Love, for still there was too much of the first mingled with the last), Oh, my Octavio, to what Extremities are you resolved to drive a poor Unfortunate, who, even in the height of Youth, and some small stock of Beauty, am reduced to all the Miseries of the Wretched? Far from my noble noble Parents, lost to Honour, and abandoned by my Friends; a helpleß Wanderer in a strange Land, exposed to Want, and perishing, and had no Sanctuary but thyself, thy dear, thy precious self, whom Heaven had sent, in Mercy, to my Aid; and thou, at last, by a mistaken turn of miserable Fate, hast taken that dear Aid away. At this|<281> she fell weeping on his panting Bosom; nevertheless he got the Courage to reply once again, before he yielded himself a shameful Victim to her Flattery, and said; Ah cruel Silvia, is it possible that you can charge the Levity on me! Is it I have taken this poor Aid, as you are pleased to call it, from you? Oh! rather blame your own unhappy Easineß, that after having sworn me Faith and Love, could violate ’em both, both, where there was no need. ’Twould have better become thy Pride and Quality, to have resented Injuries receiv’d, than brought again that scorn’d, abandon’d Person (fine as it was, and shining still with Youth) to his forgetful Arms. Alas, said she, I will not justify my hateful Crime; a Crime I loath to think of, it was a Fault beyond a Prostitution; there might have possibly been new Joy in such a Sin, but here ’twas pall’d and gone —— fled to Eternity away: —— And but for the dear Cause I did commit it, there were no|<282> Expiation for my Fault; no penitent Tears could wash away my Crime. Alas, said he —— if there were any Cause, if there be any possible Excuse for such a breach of Love, give it my Heart; make me believe it, and I yet may live; and tho’ I cannot think thee Innocent, to be compell’d by any frivolous Reason, ’twould greatly satisfy my longing Soul. But have a care, do not delude me on —— for if thou dost perswade me into Pardon, and to return to all my native Fondness, and then again shoud’st play me fast and loose; by Heaven —— by all my sacred Passion to thee, by all that Men call Holy, I will pursue thee with my utmost Hate; forsake thee with my Fortune and my Heart, and leave thee wretched to the scorning Crowd. Pardon these rude Expressions of a Love that can hardly forgive the Words it utters: I blush with Shame while I pronounce ’em true. When she reply’d; May all you have pronounced, and all your injured Love can yet invent, fall|<283> on me when I ever more deceive you: believe me now, and but forgive what is past, and trust my Love and Honour for the future. At this she told him, that in the first Visit Philander made her, she using him so reproachfully, and upbraiding him with his Inconstancy, made him understand that he was betray’d by Octavio, and that the whole Intrigue with Calista, confessed by him, was discovered to Silvia: Which, he said, put him into so violent a Rage against Octavio, that he vow’d that Minute to find him out and kill him. Nor could all the Perswasions of Reason serve to hinder him; so that she (who as she said) lov’d Octavio to Death, finding so powerful an Enemy, as her Fears made her fancy Philander was, ready to have snatch’d from her, in one furious Moment, all she ador’d; she had recourse to all the Flattery of Love to withhold him from an Attempt so dangerous: And ’twas with much|<284> ado, with all those Aids, that he was obliged to stay, which she had forced him to do, to get time to give him Notice in the Morning for his approaching Danger: Not that she feared Octavio’s Life, had Philander attacked it fairly; but he look’d on himself as a Person injured by close private ways, and would take a like Revenge, and have hurt him when he as little dream’d of it, as Philander did of the Discovery he made of his Letter to her. To this she swore, she weep’d, she imbrac’d, and still protested it true; adding withal a thousand Protestations of her future Detestation of him; and that since the worst was past, and that they had fought, and he was come off, tho’ with so many Wounds, yet with Life, she was resolv’d utterly to defy Philander, as the most perfidious of his Sex; and assured him, that nothing in the World was so indifferent as she in his Arms. In fine, after having o-|<285>mitted nothing that might gain a Credit, and assure him of her Love and Heart, and possess him with a Belief, for the future, of her lasting Vows: He, wholly convinc’d and overcome, snatches her in his Arms, and bursting into a Shower of Tears, cry’d —— Take, —— take all my Soul, thou lovely Charmer of it, and dispose of the Destiny of Octavio. And smothering her with Kisses and Imbraces, made a perfect Reconciliation. When the Surgeons, who came to visit him, finding him in the disorder of a Fever, tho’ more Joy was triumphing in his Face than before, they imagined this Lady, the fair Person for whom this Quarrel was; for it had made a great Noise, you may believe; and finding it hurtful for his Wounds, either to be transported with too much Rage, Grief, or Love, besought him he would not talk too much, or suffer any Visits that might prejudice his Health: And indeed, with what|<286> had been past, he found himself after his Transport very ill and feverish, so that Silvia promised the Doctors she would visit him no more in a day or two, tho’ she knew not well how to be from him so long; but would content herself with sending her Page to inquire of his Health. To this Octavio made very great Opposition, but his Aunt, and the rest of the Learned, were of Opinion it ought for his Health to be so, and he was obliged to be satisfied with her Absence: At parting she came to him, and again besought him to believe her Vows to be well, and that she would depart somewhere with him far from Philander, who she knew was obliged to attend the Motions of Cesario at Bruxels, whom again she imprecated never to see more. This satisfied our impatient Lover, and he suffered her to go, and leave him to what Rest he could get. She was no sooner got home, and retired to|<287> her Chamber, but, finding herself alone, which now she did not care to be, and being assured she should not see Octavio; instead of triumphing for her new gain’d Victory, she sent her Page to inquire again of Philander’s Health, and to intreat that she might visit him: At first before she sent, she check’d this Thought as base, as against all Honour, and all her Vows and Promises to the brave Octavio; but finding an Inclination to it, and proposing a Pleasure and Satisfaction in it, she was of a Nature not to lose a Pleasure for a little Punctilio* of Honour; and without considering what would be the event of such a Folly, she sent her Page, tho’ he had been repulsed before, and forbid coming with any Messages from his Lady. The Page found no better Success than hitherto he had done; But being with much Intreaty brought to Philander’s Chamber, he found him sitting in his|<288> Night-Gown, to whom addressing himself —— he had no sooner named his Lady —— but Philander bid him be gone, for he would hear nothing from that false Woman: The Boy would have reply’d, but he grew more inraged; and reviling her with all the Railings of incensed Lovers, he puts himself into his Closet without speaking any more, or suffering any Answer. This Message being deliver’d to the expecting Lady, put her into a very great Rage —— which ended in as deep a Concern: Her great Pride, fortified by her Looking-glass, made her highly resent the Affront; and she believed it more to the Glory of her Beauty to have quitted a hundred Lovers than to be abandoned by one. ’Twas this that made her rave and tear, and talk high; and after all, to use her Cunning to retrieve, what it had been most happy for her, should have been for ever lost; and she ought to have blessed the Occasion. But her|<289> malicious Star had design’d other Fortune for her: She writ to him several Letters, that were sent back sealed: She railed, she upbraided, and then fell to Submission. At last, he was perswaded to open one, but returned such Answers as gave her no Satisfaction, but incouraged her with a little Hope that she should draw him on to a Reconciliation: Between whiles she fail’d not to send Octavio the kindest, impatient Letters in the World, and received the softest Replies that the Tongue of Man could utter, for he could not write yet. At last, Philander having reduced Silvia to the very brink of Dispair, and finding, by her passionate Importunity, that he could make his Peace with her on any term of Advantage to himself, resolved to draw such Articles of Agreement as should wholly subdue her to him, or to stand it out to the last: The Conditions were, That he being a Person, by no means of|<290> a Humour to be imposed upon; if he were dear to her, she should give herself intirely to his Possession, and quit the very Conversation of all those he had but an Apprehension would disturb his Repose: That she should remove out of the way of his troublesome Rivals, and suffer herself to be conducted whither he thought good to carry her. These Conditions she liked, all but the going away; she could not tell to what sort of Confinement that might amount. He flies off wholly, and denies all Treaty upon her least Scruple, and will not be ask’d the Explanation of what he has proposed: So that she bends like a Slave for a little Empire over him; and to purchase the Vanity of retaining him, suffers herself to be absolutely undone. She submits; and that very Day she had leave from the Doctors to visit Octavio, and that all ravish’d Lover lay panting in expectation of the blessed Sight, believing|<291> every Minute an Age, his Apartment dressed and perfumed, and all things ready to receive the Darling of his Soul, Philander came in a Coach and six Horses (and making her pack up all her Jewels and fine Things, and what they could not carry in the Coach, put up to come after them) and hurries her to a little Town in Luke-Land,* a place between Flanders and Germany, without giving her time to write, or letting her know whither she was going. While she was putting up her things (I know she has since confessed) her Heart trembled, and foreboded the Ill that was to come; that is, that she was hastening to Ruin: But she had chanced to say so much to him of her Passion, to retrieve him, that she was ashamed to own the Contrary so soon; but suffered that force upon her Inclinations to do the most dishonourable and disinteressed thing in the World. She had not been there a Week, and her Trunks of Plate and|<292> fine Things were arrived, but she fell in Labour, and was brought to Bed, tho’ she show’d very little of her Condition all the time she went. This great Affair being well over, she considers herself a new Woman, and began, or rather continu’d, to consider the Advantage she had lost in Octavio: She regrets extreamly her Conduct, and from one Degree to another she looks on herself as lost to him; she every day saw what she had decay’d, her Jewels sold one by one, and at last her Necessaries. Philander, whose Head was running on Calista, grudg’d every Moment he was not about that Affair, grew as peevish as she; she recovers to new Beauty, but he grows colder and colder by Possession; Love decay’d, and ill Humour increased: They grew uneasie on both sides, and not a day passed wherein they did not break into open and violent Quarrels, upbraiding each other with those Faults, which both wished|<293> that either would again commit, that they might be fairly rid of one another: It grew at last to that height, that they were never well but when they were absent from one another; he making a hundred little Intrigues and Gallantries with all the pretty Women, and those of any Quality in the Town or neighbouring Villa’s. She saw this with Grief, Shame, and Disdain, and could not tell which way to relieve herself: She was not permitted the Privilege of Visits, unless to some grave Ladies, or to Monasteries; a Man was a Rarety she had hardly seen in two Months, which was the time she had been there; so that she had leasure to think of her Folly, bemoan the Effects of her Injustice, and contrive, if she could, to remedy her disagreeable Life, which now was reduced, not only to scurrilous Quarrels, and hard Words; but often in her Fury, she flying upon him, and with the Cou-|<294>rage or Indiscretion of her Sex, would provoke him to Indecencies that render Life insupportable on both sides. While they liv’d at this rate, both contriving how handsomely to get quit of each other, Brilljard, who was left in Bruxells, to take care of his Lord’s Affairs there, and that as soon as he had heard of Cesario’s Arrival he should come with all speed and give him notice, thought every Minute an Hour till he could see again the Charmer of his Soul, for whom he suffer’d continual Fevers of Love. He studies nothing but how first to get her Pardon, and then to compass his Designs of possessing her: He had not seen her, nor durst pretend to it, since she left Holland. He believ’d she would have the Discretion to conceal some of his Faults, least he should discover, in Revenge some of her’s; and fancied she would imagine so of his Conduct: He had met with no Reproaches|<295> yet from his Lord, and believed himself Safe. With this Imagination, he omitted nothing that might render him acceptable to her, nor to gain any Secret he believed might be of use to him: Knowing therefore that she had not dealt very generously with Octavio, by this Flight with Philander, and believing that that exasperated Lover, would in Revenge declare any thing to the Prejudice of the fair Fugitive, he (under pretence of throwing himself at his Feet, and asking his Pardon for his ill treating him in Holland) design’d before he went into Luke-Land to pay Octavio a Visit, and accordingly went; he met first with his Page, who being very well acquainted with Brilljard, discoursed with him before he carried him to his Lord: He told him, That his Lord that day that Silvia departed, being in impatient Expectation of her, and that she came not according to Appointment, sent him to her Lodg-|<296>ings, to know if any Accident had prevented her coming; but that when he came, tho’ he had been with her but an Hour before, she was gone away with Philander, never more to return. The Youth, not being able to carry this sad news to his Lord, when he came home, offered at a hundred things to conceal the right; but the impatient Lover would not be answered, but, all inraged, commanded him to tell that Truth which he found already but too apparently in his Eyes. The Lad so commanded, could no longer defer telling him Silvia was gone, and being asked again and again, what he meant, with a Face and Voice, that every Moment altered to dying; the Page assured him she was gone out of Bruxells with Philander, never more to return; which was no sooner told him, but he sunk on the Couch where he lay, and fainted: He farther told him how long it was, and with what Diffi-|<297>culty he was recovered to Life; and that after he was so, he refus’d to speak or see any Visitors; could for a long time be neither perswaded to eat nor sleep, but that he had spoke to no body ever since, and did now believe he could not procure him the Favour he beg’d: That nevertheless he would go, and see what the very Name of any that had but a relation to the Family of Silvia would produce in him, whether a storm of Passion, or a calm of Grief: Either would be better than a Dulness, all silent and sad, in which there was no understanding what he meant by it: Whoever spoke, he only made a short sign, and turn’d away, as much as to say, Speak no more to me: But now, resolv’d to try his Temper, hasted to his Lord, and told him that Brilljard, full of Penitence for his past Fault, and Grief, for the ill Condition he heard he was in, was come to pay his humble Respects to him, and gain his Pardon|<298> before he went to his Lord and Silvia; without which he had, nor could have any peace of Mind, he being too sensible of the baseness of the Injury he had done him. At the Name of Philander and Silvia Octavio show’d some signs of listening, but to the rest no regard; and starting from the Bed where he was laid: Ah! what hast thou said, cry’d he? The Page then repeated the Message, and was commanded to bring him up; who, accordingly, with all the signs of Submission, cast himself at his Feet and Mercy; and, tho’ he were an Enemy, the very thought that he belonged to Silvia made Octavio to caress him as the dearest of Friends: He kept him with him two or three days, and would not suffer him to stir from him; but all their Discourse was of the faithless Silvia; of whom, the deceived Lover spoke the softest unheard tender things, that ever Passion utter’d: He made the amorous Brilljard|<299> weep a hundred times-a-day; and ever when he would have sooth’d his Heart with Hopes of seeing her, and one day injoying her intirely to himself, he would with so much peace of Mind renounce her, as Brilljard no longer doubted but he would indeed no more trust her fickle Sex. At last, the News arrived that Cesario was in Bruxells, and Brilljard was obliged the next Morning to take Horse, and go to his Lord: And to make himself the more acceptable to Silvia, he humbly besought Octavio to write some part of his Resentment to her, that he might oblige her to a Reason for what she had so inhumanly done: This flattered him a little, and he was not long before he was overcome by Brilljard’s Intreaties; who, having his Ends in every thing, believed this Letter might contain at least something to assist in his Design, by giving him Authority over her by so great a Secret: The|<300> next Morning, before he took Horse, he waited on Octavio for his Letter, and promis’d him an Answer at his Return, which would be in a few days. This Letter was open, and Octavio suffer’d Brilljard to read it, making him an absolute Confident in his Amour; which having done, he besought him to add one thing more to it; and that was, to beg her to forgive Brilljard, which for his sake he knew she would do: He told him, he was oblig’d as a good Christian, and a dying Man, one resolved for Heaven to do that good Office; and accordingly did. Brilljard taking Post immediately, arriv’d to Philander, where he found every thing as he wished, all out of Humour, still on the Fret, and ever peevish. He had not seen Silvia, as I said, since she went from Holland, and now knew not which way to approach her; Philander was abroad on some of his usual Gallantries, when Brilljard arriv’d; and having dis-|<301>cours’d a while of the Affairs of his Lord and Silvia, he told Antonett he had a great desire to speak with that dissatisfied fair one, assuring her, he believed his Visit would be welcome, from what he had to say to her concerning Octavio: She told him (with infinite Joy) that she did not doubt of his Pardon from her Lady, if he brought any News from that gallant injured Man; and in all hast, tho’ her Lady saw no body, but refused to rise from her Couch, she ran to her, and besought her to see Brilljard, for he came with a Message from Octavio, the Person, who was the Subject of their Discourse Night and Day, when alone. She immediately sent for Brilljard, who approach’d his Goddess with a trembling Devotion; he kneel’d before her, and humbly besought her Pardon for all that was past: But she, who with the very Thought that he had something to say from Octavio, forgot all but that, hastily bid|<302> him rise, and take all he ask’d, and hope for what he wished: In this Transport she imbraced his Head, and kiss’d his Cheek, and took him up. That, Madam, said Brilljard, which your divine Bounty alone has given me, without any Merit in me, I durst not have had the Confidence to have hop’d without my Credential from a nobler Hand. —— This, Madam, said he —— And gave her a Letter from Octavio: The dear hand she knew, and kiss’d a hundr’d times as she opened it; and having intreated Brilljard to withdraw for a Moment, that he might not see her Concern at the reading it, she sate her down, and found it this.
Octavio to Silvia.
I Confeß, oh faithleß Silvia, that I shall appear in writing to you, to show a Weakneß even below that of your Infidelity; nor durst I have trusted myself to have spoken so many|<303> sad soft things, as I shall do in this Letter, had I not try’d the Strength of my Heart, and found I could upbraid you without talking myself out of that Resolution I have taken —— but because I would dy in perfect Charity with thee, as with all the World, I should be glad to know I could forgive thee; for yet thy Sins appear too black for Mercy. Ah! why, charming Ingrate, have you left me no one Excuse for all your Ills to me? Why have you injured me to that degree, that I, with all the mighty stock of Love I had hoarded up together in my Heart, must dy reproaching thee to my last Gasp of Life; which had’st thou been so merciful to have ended, by all the Love that’s breaking off my Heart, that yet, even yet is soft and charming to me, I swear with my last Breath, I had bless’d thee Silvia: But thus to use me; thus to leave my Love, distracted raving Love, and no one Hope or Prospect of Relief, either from Reason, Time, or faithleß Sil-|<304>via, was but to stretch the Wretch upon the Rack, and screw him up to all degrees of Pain; yet such, as do not end in kinder Death. Oh thou unhappy Ruiner of my Repose! Oh fair Unfortunate! if yet my Agony would give me leave to argue, I am so miserably lost, to ask thee yet this woful Satisfaction; to tell me why thou hast undone me thus? Why thou shouldest chuse me out from all the Crowd of fond admiring Fools, to make the World’s Reproach, and turn to redicule? How could’st thou use that soft good Nature so, that had not one ungrateful sullen Humour in it, for thy Revenge and Pride to work upon? No Baseness in my Love, no dull Severity for Malice to be busie with; but all was gay and kind, all lavish Fondness, and all that Woman vain, with Youth and Beauty, could wish in her Adorer: What could’st thou ask but Empire, which I gave not? My Love, my Soul, my Life, my very Honour, all was resign’d to thee; that|<305> Youth that might have gain’d me Fame abroad was dedicated to thy Service, laid at thy Feet, and idly past in Love. Oh charming Maid, whom Heaven has form’d for the Punishment of all, whose Flames are Criminal! why could’st not thou have made some kind distinction between those common Passions and my Flame? I gave thee all my Vows, my honest Vows, before I asked a Recompence for Love. I made thee mine before the sacred Powers, that witness every secret solemn Vow, and fix ’em in the eternal Book of Fate; if thou had’st given thy Faith to any other, as, oh, too sure thou hast, what Fault was this in me, who knew it not, why should I bear that sin? I took thee to me as a Virgin Treasure, sent from the Gods to charm the Ills of Life, to make the tedious Journey short and joyfull; I came to make atonement for thy Sin, and to redeem thy Fame; not add to the detested Number. I came to guild thy Stains of Honour|<306> over; and set so high a Price upon thy Name, that all Reproaches for thy past Offences, should have been lost in future Crowds of Glory: I came to lead thee from a world of Shame, approaching Ills, and future Miseries; from noisy Flatterers that would sacrifice thee, first to dull Lust, and more unthinking Wit; posseß thee, then traduce thee. By Heaven, I swear, it was not for myself alone, I took such pains to gain thee, and set thee free from all those Circumstances that might perhaps debauch thy worthier Nature, and I believed it was with pain you yielded to every buying Lover: No, ’twas for thy Sake, in pity to thy Youth, Heaven had inspired me with Religious Flame; and when I aim’d at Silvia ’twas alone I might attain to Heaven the surest way, by such a pious Conquest: Why hast thou ruine’d a Design so glorious, as saving both our Souls? Perhaps thou vainly thinkest that while I am pleading thus —— I am arguing still|<307> for Love; or think this way to move thee into Pity; No, by my hopes of Death to ease my Pain, Love is a Passion not to be compell’d by any force of Reason’s Arguments: ’Tis an unthinking Motion of the Soul, that comes and goes as unaccountably as changing Moons, or Ebbs and Flows of Rivers, only with far leß certainty. It is not that my Soul is all over Love, that can beget its Likeneß in your Heart: Had Heaven and Nature added to that Love all the Perfections that adorn our Sex, it had avail’d me nothing in your Soul: There is a Chance in Love as well as Life, and oft the most unworthy are preferred; and from a Lottery I might win the Prize from all the venturing Throng with as much Reason, as think my Chance should favour me with Silvia; it might perhaps have been, but ’twas a wonderous Odds against me. Beauty is more uncertain than the Dice; and tho’ I ventured like a forward Gamester, I was not yet so vain to hope to win,|<308> nor had I once complain’d upon my Fate, if I had never hop’d; but when I had fairly won, to have it basely snatch’d from my Possession, and like a bafled Cully see it seiz’d by a false Gamester, and look tamely on, has show’d me such a Picture of myself; has given me such Idea’s of the Fool, I scorn to look into my easy Heart, and loath the Figure you have made me there. Oh Silvia! what an Angel thou had’st been, had’st thou not sooth’d me thus to my Undoing. Alas, it had been no Crime in thee to hate me, it was not thy Fault I was not Aimable; if thy soft Eyes could meet no Charms to please ’em, those soft, those charming Eyes were not in Fault; nor that thy Sense, too delicate and nice, could meet no proper Subject for thy Wit, thy Heart, thy tender Heart, was not in fault, because it took not in my tale of Love, and sent soft Wishes back: Oh! no, my Silvia, this, tho’ I had dy’d, had caused you no Reproach; but first to fan my Fire by all the|<309> Arts that ever Subtle Beauty could invent; to give me Hope; nay, to dissemble Love; yes, and so very well dissemble too, that not one tender Sigh was breath’d in vain: All that my love-sick Soul was panting for, the subtle Charmer gave; so well, so very well, she could dissemble: Oh! what more Proofs could I expect from Love, what greater Earnest of eternal Victory? Oh! thou had’st raised me to the height of Heaven, to make my Fall to Hell the more precipitate. Like a fallen Angel now I howl and roar, and curse that Pride that taught me first Ambition; ’tis a poor Satisfaction now, to know (if thou could’st yet tell Truth) what Motive first seduced thee to my Ruin? Had it been Interest —— by Heaven, I would have bought my wanton Pleasures at as high Rates as I would gratify my real Passions; at least when Silvia set a price on Pleasure; nay, higher yet, for Love when ’tis repaid with equal Love, it saves the Chafferer a great Expence: Or|<310> were it wantonness of Youth in thee, alas, you might have made me understood it, and I had met you with an equal Ardor, and never thought of loving, but quench’d the short liv’d Blaze as soon as kindled; and hoping for no more, had never let my hasty Flame arrive any higher than that powerful Minutes Cure. But oh! in vain I seek for Reasons from thee; perhaps thy own fantastick fickle Humour cannot inform thee why thou hast betray’d me; but thou hast done it Silvia, and may it never rise in Judgment on thee, nor fix a Brand upon thy Name for ever, greater than all thy other Guilts can load thee with: Live fair Deceiver, live, and charm Philander, to all the Heights of his beginning Flame; maist thou be gaining Power upon his Heart, and bring it Repentance for Inconstancy; may all thy Beauty still maintain its Lustre, and all thy Charms of Wit be new and gay; maist thou be chast and true; and since it was thy Fate to|<311> be undone, let this at least excuse the hapless Maid; ’twas Love alone betray’d her to that Ruin, and it was Philander only had that Power. If thou had’st sinn’d with me, as Heaven’s my Witneß, after I had plighted thee my sacred Vows, I do not think thou didst: may all the Powers above forgive thee, Silvia; and those thou hast committed since those Vows, will need a world of Tears to wash away: ’Tis I will weep for both, ’tis I will go and be a Sacrifice to atone for all our Sins; ’tis I will be the pressing Penitent, and watch, and pray, and weep, until Heaven have Mercy; and may my Penance be accepted for thee; —— Farewel. —— I have but one Request to make thee, which is, that thou wilt, for Octavio’s Sake, forgive the faithful Slave that brings thee this from thy
Silvia, whose Absence and ill Treatment of Octavio, had but served to raise her Flame to a much|<312> greater degree, had no sooner read this Letter, but she suffered herself to be distracted with all the different Passions that possess dispairing Lovers; sometimes raveing, and sometimes sighing and weeping: ’Twas a good while she continued in these Disorders, still thinking on what she had to do next, that might redeem all: Being a little come to herself, she thought good to consult with Brilljard in this Affair, between whom and Octavio she found there was a very good Understanding: And resolving absolutely to quit Philander, she no longer had any Scruples or Doubt what Course to take, nor car’d she what Price she paid for a Reconciliation with Octavio, if any Price would purchase it: In order to this Resolve, fix’d in her Heart, she sends for Brilljard, whom she caresses anew, with all the Fondness and Familiarity of a Woman, who was resolv’d to make him her Confident, or rather indeed her next|<313> Gallant. I have already said he was very handsome, and very well made, and you may believe he took all the care he could in dressing, which he understood very well: He had a good deal of Wit, and was very well fashion’d and bred: —— With all these Accomplishments, and the addition of Love and Youth, he could not be imagined to appear wholly indifferent in the Eyes of any body, tho’ hitherto he had in those of Silvia, whose Heart was doating on Philander; but now, that that Passion was wholly extinguished, and that their eternal Quarrels had made almost a perpetual Separation, she being alone, without the Conversation of Men, which she lov’d, and was used to, and in her Inclination naturally addicted to love, she found Brilljard more agreeable than he used to be; which, together with
The time of Philander’s departure being come, he took a very careless leave of Silvia, telling her he would|<320> see what Commands the Prince had for him, and return in Ten or Twelve days. Brilljard pretended some little indisposition, and beg’d he might be permitted to follow him, which was granted; and the next day, tho’ Brilljard pleaded infinitely for a continuation of his happiness two or three days more, she would not grant it, but oblig’d him, by a thousand kind promises of it for the future, to get Horses ready for her Page, and Woman, and her Coach for herself; which accordingly was done, and they left the Village, whose Name I cannot now call to mind, taking with her what of value she had left. They were three days on their journey; Brilljard, under pretence of care of her Health, the weather being Hot, and for fear of overtaking Philander by some accident on the Road, delay’d the time as much as was possible, to be as happy as he could all the while; and indeed Silvia was never seen in a Hu-|<321>mour more Gay. She found this short time of Hope and pleasure, had brought all her banish’d Beauties back, that Care, Sickness and Grief, had extreamly tarnisht, only her Shape was a little more inclining to be Fat, which did not at all however yet impair her fineness; and she was indeed too Charming without, for the deformity of her indiscretion within; but she had broke the bounds of Honour, and now stuck at nothing that might carry on an Interest, which she resolved should be the business of her future life.
She at last arriv’d at Bruxells, and caus’d a Lodging to be taken for her in the remotest part of the Town; as soon as she came she oblig’d Brilljard to visit Octavio; but going to his Aunt’s, to enquire for him, he was told that he was no longer in the World; he stood amaz’d a while, believing he had been dead, when Madam, the Aunt, told him he was retir’d to the Monastery of the Order|<322> of St. Bernard, and would, in a day or two without the Probationary Year, take Holy Orders. This did not so much surprize him as the other, knowing that he discours’d to him, when he saw him last, as if some such retirement he meant to resolve upon; with this News, which he was not altogether displeas’d at, Brilljard return’d to Silvia, which soon chang’d all her good Humour to Tears and Melancholy: She inquir’d at what place he was, and believ’d she should have power to withdraw him from a resolution so fatal to her, and so contradictive to his Youth and Fortune; and having consulted the matter with Brilljard, he had promised her to go to him, and use all means possible to withdraw him. This resolv’d, she writ a most insinuating Letter to him, wherein she excus’d her flight by a Surprize of Philander’s, and urg’d her condition, as it then was, for the excuse of her long silence; and that as soon as her|<323> Health would give her leave, she came to put her self eternally into his Arms; never to depart more from thence. These Arguments and Reasons, accompanied with all the indearing tenderness her artful Fancy was capable of framing, she sent with a full assurance it would prevail to perswade him to the World, and her fair Arms again. While she was preparing this to go, Philander, who had heard at his arrival, what made so much noise, that he had been the occasion of the Worlds loss of two of the finest Persons in it, the Sister Calista by Debauching her, and the Brother by Ravishing his Mistriss from him, both which were entring, without all possibility of prevention, into Holy Orders. He took so great a Melancholy at it, as made him keep his Chamber for two Days, maugre all the urgent affairs that ought to have invited him from thence; he was consulting by what Power to prevent the Misfortune; he now ran|<324> back to all the Obligations he had to Octavio, and pardons him all the injuries he did him; he loves him more by loving Silvia less, and remembred how that generous Friend, after he knew he had dishonoured his Sister, had notwithstanding sent him Letters of Credit to the Majestrates of Cololgne, and Bills of Exchange,* to save him from the Murder of his Brother-in-Law, as he was likely to have been. He now charges all his little faults to those of Love, and hearing that old Clarinau was dead of the wound Octavio had given him by mistake, which increased in him new hope of Calista, cou’d she be retriev’d from the Monastery, he resolv’d, in order to this, to make Octavio a Visit, to beg his Pardon, and beg his Friendship, and his Continuation in the World. He came accordingly to the Monastery, and was extream civilly received by Octavio, who yet had not the Habit on. Philander told him, he heard he was leaving the|<325> World, and could not suffer him to do so, without indeavouring to gain his Pardon of him, for all the injuries he had done him; that as to what related to his Sister the Countess, he protested upon his Honour, if he had but imagin’d she had been so, he wou’d have suffer’d death sooner than his Passion to have approach’d her indiscreetly; and that for Silvia, if he were assur’d her possession could make him happy, and call him to the World again, he assured him he wou’d quit her to him, were she Ten times dearer to him than she was. This he confirm’d with so many protestations of Friendship, that Octavio, oblig’d to the last degree, believ’d and return’d him this Answer. Sir, I must confess you have found out the only way to disarm me of my resentment against you, if I were not oblig’d, by those Vows I am going to take, to pardon and be at peace with all the World. However these Vows cannot hinder me from conserving intirely that Friendship|<326> in my Heart, which your good qualities and beauties at first sight ingag’d there, and from esteeming you more than perhaps I ought to do; the Man whom I must yet own my Rival, and the undoer of my Sisters Honour. But Oh —— no more of that, a Friend’s above a Sister, or a Mistriss. At this he hung down his Eyes and sigh’d —— Philander told him he was too much concern’d in him, not to be extreamly afflicted at the resolution he had taken, and besought him to quit a design so injurious to his Youth, and the glorious things that Heaven had destin’d him to; he urg’d all that could be said to disswade him, and, after all, could not believe he would quit the World at this Age, when it would be sufficient Forty Years hence so to do. Octavio only answer’d with a Smile; but, when he saw Philander still persist, he endeavour’d to convince him by speaking, and lifting up his Eyes to Heaven, he Vow’d, by all the Holy Powers there, he never would look|<327> down to Earth again; nor more consider fickle, faithless Beauty; All the Gay Vanities of Youth, said he, for ever I renounce, and leave ’em all to those that find a Pleasure or a Constancy in ’em: for the fair faithless Maid, that has undone me, I leave to you the Empire of her Heart; but have a care, said he (and Sighing laid his Arms about his Neck) for even you, with all that stock of Charms, she will at last betray: I wish her well —— so well, as to repent of all her Wrongs to me —— ’Tis all I have to say. What Philander could urge, being impossible to prevail with him: And begging his Pardon and Friendship (which was granted by Octavio, and implor’d on his side from Philander) he took a ring of great value from his Finger, and presented it to Philander, and beg’d him to keep it for his Sake; and to remember him while he did so: They Kist, and Sighing parted.
Philander was no sooner gone, but Brilljard came to wait on Octavio, whom he found at his Devotion, and beg’d his Pardon for disturbing him: He receiv’d him with a very good Grace, and a cheerful Countenance, imbracing him, and after some Discourse of the Condition he was going to reduce himself to, and his Admiration, that one so young should think of Devoting himself so early to Heaven, and things of that nature, as the time and Occasion requir’d, he told him the extream Affliction Silvia was seiz’d with, at the News of the Resolution he had taken, and deliver’d him a Letter, which he read without any Emotions in his Heart or Face, as at other times us’d to be visible at the very mention of her Name, or approach of her Letters. At the finishing of which, he only smiling Cry’d; Alas, I pity her, and gave him back the Letter. Brilljard ask’d, if he would not please to write her some Answer, or condescend to see her; No, replyed Octavio, I have done with all the gilded Vanities|<329> of Life, now I shall think of Silvia but as some Heavenly thing, fit for Diviner Contemplations, but never with the Youthful thoughts of Love. What he should send her now, he said, would have a different Stile to those she us’d to receive from him; it would be Pious Counsel, Grave Advice, unfit for Ladies so Young and Gay as Silvia, and would scarce find a welcome: He wish’d he could convert her from the World —— and save her from the dangers that pursu’d her. To this purpose was all he said of her, and all that could be got from him by the earnest Solliciter of Love, who perhaps was glad his Negotiation succeeded no better, and took his leave of him, with a promise to visit him often; which Octavio besought him to do, and told him he would take some care, that for the good of Silvia’s better part, she should not be reduced by want of Necessaries for her Life, and little Equipage, to prostitute her self to vile inconstant Man; he yet had so much|<330> respect for her —— and besought Brilljard to come and take care of it with him, and to intreat Silvia to accept of it from him; and if it contributed to her future happiness, he should be more pleas’d than to have possess’d her intirely.
You may imagine how this News pleas’d Silvia; who trembling with fear every Moment, had expected Brilljard’s coming, and found no other Benefit by his Negotiation, but she must bear what she cannot avoid; but ’twas rather with the Fury of a Bacchanal,* than a Woman of common Sense and Prudence; all about her pleaded some days in vain, and she hated Brilljard for not doing impossibilities; and it was sometime before he could bring her to permit him to speak to her, or visit her.
Philander having left Octavio, went immediately to wait on Cesario, who was extreamly pleas’d to meet him there; and they exchang’d their Souls to each other, and all the Secrets of|<331> ’em. After they had discours’d of all that they had a mind to hear and know on both sides Cesario inquir’d of him of Silvia’s Health; and Philander gave him an account of the uneasiness of her Temper, and the occasions of their Quarrels, in which Octavio had his part, as being the Subject of some of ’em: From this he falls to give a Character of that Rival, and came to this part of it, where he had put himself into the Orders of the Bernardines, resolving to leave the World, and all its Charms and Temptations. As they were speaking, some Gentlemen, who came to make their Court to the Prince, finding ’em speaking of Octavio, told them that to morrow he was to be initiated, without the Years Tryal; the Prince would needs go and see the Ceremony, having heard so much of the Man; and accordingly next day, accompanied with the Governour Philander, Tomaso, and abundance of Persons of Quality and Offi-|<332>cers, he went to the great Church; where were present all the Ladies of the Court, and all that were in the Town. The Noise of it was so great, that Silvia, all languishing, and ill as she was, would not be perswaded from going, but so muffl’d in her Hoods, as she was not to be known by any.
Never was any thing so magnificent as this Ceremony, the Church was on no Occasion so richly adorn’d; Silvia chanc’d to be seated near the Prince of Michlenburgh,* who was then in Bruxells, and at the Ceremony; sad as she was, while the soft Musick was playing, she discours’d to him, tho’ she knew him not, of the business of the day: He told her, she was to see a Sight, that ought to make her Sex less cruel; a Man extreamly Beautiful and Young, whose Fortune could command almost all the pleasures of the World; yet for the Love of the most Amiable Creature in the World, who has treated him with Rigour, he|<333> abandons this Youth and Beauty to all the Severitie of rigid Devotion: This relation, with a great deal he said of Octavio’s Vertues and Bravery, had like to have discovered her by putting her into a Swoon: and she had much ado to support her self in her Seat. I my self went among the rest to this Ceremony, having, in all the time I lived in Flanders, never been so curious to see any such thing. The Order of St. Bernard is one of the neatest of ’em, and there is a Monastery of that Order, which are oblig’d to be all Noble Mens Sons; of which I have seen fifteen hundred at a time in one House, all handsome, and most of ’em Young; their Habit adds a Grace to their Person, for of all the Religious, that is the most becoming: Long white Vests of fine Cloth, ty’d about with White Silk Shashes, or Cord of White Silk; over this a long Cloak without a Cape, of the same fine white Broad-Cloth; their Hair of a pretty Length, as that|<334> of our Persons in England, and a White Beaver; they have very fine Apartments, fit for their quality, and above all, every one his Library; They have Attendance and Equipage according to their Rank, and have nothing of the Inconveniencies and Slovenliness of some of the Religious, but served in as good order as can be, and they have nothing of the Monastick —— but the Name, the vow of Chastity, and the Opportunity of gaining Heaven, by the sweetest Retreat in the World, fine House, excellent Air, and delicate Gardens, Grotto’s and Groves. ’Twas this Oader* that Octavio had chosen, as too delicate to undertake the Austerity of any other; and in my opinion ’tis here a Man may hope to become a Saint, sooner than in any other, more perplext with want, Cold, and all the necessaries of Life, which takes the thought too much from Heaven, and afflicts it with the Cares of this World, with Pain and too much Ab-|<335>stinence: and I rather think ’tis Necessity than Choice that makes a Man a Cordelier, that may be a Jesuit, or a Bernardine, two the best of the Holy Orders. But to return, ’twas upon a Thursday this Ceremony began; and, as I said, there was never any thing beheld so fine as the Church that day was, and all the Fathers that officiated at the High-Altar; behind which a most magnificent Scene of Glory was opened, with Clouds most rarely and Artificially set off, behind which appear’d new ones more bright and dazling, till from one degree to another, their lustre was hardly able to be look’d on; and in which sat an hundred little Angels so rarely dress’d, such shining Robes, such Charming Faces, such flowing bright Hair, Crown’d with Roses of White and Red, with such Artificial Wings, as one would have said they had born the Body up in the Splendid Sky: and these, to soft Musick, Tun’d their soft Voices with|<336> such Sweetness of Harmony, that, for my part, I confess, I thought my self no longer on Earth; and sure there is nothing gives an Idea of real Heaven, like a Church all adorn’d with rare Pictures, and the other Ornaments of it, with whatever can Charm the Eyes; and Musick, and Voices, to Ravish the Ear; both which inspire the Soul with unresistible Devotion; and I can Swear for my own part, in those Moments a thousand times I have wish’d to Die; so absolutely had I forgot the World, and all its Vanities, and fixt my thoughts on Heaven. While this Musick continued, and the Anthems were Singing, Fifty Boys all in White, bearing Silver Censers, cast Incense all round, and perfum’d the Place with the richest and most agreeable Smells, while two hundred Silver Lamps were burning upon the Altar, to give a greater Glory to the open’d Scene, whilst other Boys strow’d Flowers upon the inlaid|<337> Pavement, where the gay Victim was to tread; for no Crowd of Gazers fill’d the empty Space, but those that were Spectators, were so placed, as rather served to adorn than disorder the awful Ceremony, where all were silent, and as still as Death; as awfull, as Mourners that attend the Hearse* of some lov’d Monarch. While we were thus listening, the soft Musick playing, and the Angels singing, the whole Fraternity of the Order of St. Bernard, came in, two by two, in a very graceful Order; and going up to the shining Altar, whose Furniture that day, was Embroidered with Diamonds, Pearls, and Stones of great Value, they bow’d and retired to their Places, into little gilded Stalls, like our Knights of the Garter at Windsor:* After them, fifty Boys that sang approach in order to the Altar, bow’d, and divided on each side; they were dressed in white Cloth of Silver, with golden Wings and rosy Chaplets: After these, the|<338> Bishop, in his pontifick Robes, set with Diamonds of great Price, and his Mitre richly adorn’d, ascended the Altar; where, after a short Anthem, he turn’d to receive the young Devotee, who was just entered the Church, while all Eyes were fixed on him: He was led, or rather, on each side attended with two young Noble-men, his Relations; and I never saw any thing more rich in Dress, but that of Octavio exceeded all Imagination, for the gayety and fineness of the Work: It was white Cloth of Silver embroidered with Gold, and Buttons of Diamonds; lin’d with rich Cloth of Gold and Silver Flowers, his Breeches of the same, trimm’d with a pale Pinck Garniture; rich Linen, and a white Plume in his white Hat: His Hair, which was long and black, was that day in the finest order that could be imagined; but, for his Face and Eyes, I am not able to describe the Charms that adorn’d ’em; no Fancy, no|<339> Imagination, can paint the Beauties there: He look’d indeed, as if he were maid for Heaven; no Mortal ever had such Grace: He look’d, methought, as if the Gods of Love had met in Council to dress him up that day for everlasting Conquest; for to his usual Beauties he seem’d to have the Addition of a thousand more; he bore new Lustre in his Face and Eyes, Smiles on his Cheeks, and Dimples on his Lips: He moved, he trode with nobler Motions, as if some supernatural Influence had took a peculiar Care of him: Ten thousand Sighs, from all sides, were sent him, as he passed along, which, mix’d with the soft Musick, made such a murmuring, as gentle Breezes moving yielding Boughs: I am assured he won that day more Hearts, without Design, than ever he had gain’d with all his Toils of Love and Youth before, when Industry assisted him to conquer. In his Ap-|<340>proach to the Altar, he made three Bows; where, at the Foot of it on the lower Step, he kneel’d, and then High-Mass began; in which were all sorts of different Musick, and that so excellent, that wholly ravished with what I saw and heard, I fancied my self no longer on Earth, but absolutely ascended up to the Regions of the Sky. All I could see around me, all I heard, was ravishing and heavenly; the Scene of Glory, and the dazling Altar; the noble Paintings, and the numerous Lamps; the Awfulness, the Musick, and the Order, made me conceive myself above the Stars, and I had no part of mortal Thought about me. After the Holy Ceremony was performed, the Bishop turn’d and bless’d him; and while an Anthem was singing, Octavio, who was still kneeling, submitted his Head to the Hands of a Father, who, with a pair of Sissors cut off his delicate Hair; at which a soft Murmur of Pity and|<341> Grief fill’d the Place: Those fine Locks, with which Silvia had a thousand times play’d, and wound the Curles about her snowy Finger, she now had the dying Grief, for her Sake, for her Infidelity, to behold sacrificed to her Cruelty, and distributed amongst the Ladies, who at any Price would purchase a Curl: After this they took off his Linen, and his Coat, under which he had a white Sattin Wastcoat, and under his Breeches Drawers of the same. Then the Bishop took his Robes, which lay consecrated on the Altar, and put them on, and invested him with the Holy Robe: The Singing continuing to the end of the Ceremony; where, after an Anthem was sung (while he prostrated himself before the Altar) he arose, and instead of the two noble Men that attended him to the Altar, two Bernardines approach’d, and conducted him from it, to the Seats of every one of the Order, whom he kissed,|<342> and imbraced, as they came forth to welcome him to the Society. It was with abundance of Tears that every one beheld this Transformation; but Silvia swouned several times during the Ceremony, yet would not suffer herself to be carried out; but Antonett and another young Lady of the House where she lodged, that accompanied her, did what they could to conceal her from the publick View. For my part, I swear I was never so affected in my Life, with any thing, as I was at this Ceremony, nor ever found my Heart so oppressed with Tenderness; and was myself ready to sink where I sate, when he came near me, to be welcom’d by a Father that sate next to me: After this, he was led by two of the eldest Fathers to his Apartment, and left a thousand sighing Hearts behind him. Had he dy’d, there had not been half that Lamentation; so foolish is the mistaken World, to grieve at our happiest|<343> Fortune, either when we go to Heaven or retreat from this World, which has nothing in it that can really Charm, without a thousand Fatigues to attend it: And in this Retreat, I am sure, he himself was the only Person that was not infinitely concerned; who quitted the World with so modest a Bravery, so entire a Joy, as no young Conqueror ever perform’d his Triumphs with more.
The Ceremony being ended Antonett got Silvia to her Chair, concern’d even to Death; and she vow’d afterwards she had much ado to withhold herself from running and seizing him at the Altar, and preventing his Fortune and Design, but that she believed Philander would have resented it to the last degree, and possibly have made it fatal to both herself and Octavio. It was a great while before she could recover from the Indisposition to which this fatal and unexpected Accident had reduced her: But as I|<344> have said, she was not of a Nature to dy for Love; and charming and brave as Octavio was, it was perhaps her Interest, and the loss of his considerable Fortune that gave her the greatest Cause of Grief. Sometimes she vainly fancied that yet her Power was such, that with the Expence of one Visit, and some of her usual Arts, which rarely fail, she had Power to withdraw his Thoughts from Heaven, and fix ’em all on herself again, and to make him fly those Inclosures to her more agreeable Arms: But again she wisely considered, tho’ he might be retriev’d, his Fortune was disposed of to Holy Uses, and could never be so. This last Thought more prevailed upon her, and had more convincing Reason in it, than all that could besides oppose her Flame; for she had this wretched Prudence, even in the highest Flights and Passions of her Love, to have a wise Regard to Interest; insomuch that it is most|<345> certain, she refused to give herself up intirely even to Philander; him, whom one would have thought nothing but perfect Love, soft irresistable Love could have compell’d her to have transgress’d withal, when so many Reasons contradicted her Passion: How much more then ought we to believe, that Interest was the greatest Motive of all her after Passions? However, this powerful Motive fail’d not to beget in her all the Pains and Melancholies that the most violent of Passions could do: But Brilljard, who lov’d her to a greater Degree than ever, strove all he could to divert the Thoughts of a Grief, for which there was no Remedy; and believed, if he could get her out of Bruxells, retir’d to the little Town, or rather Village, where he was first made happy, and where Philander still believed her to be, he should again reassume that Power over her Heart he had before: In this melancholy Fit of hers he pro-|<346>posed it, urging the Danger he should be in for obeying her, should Philander once come to know that she was in Bruxells; and that possibly she would not find so civil a Treatment as he ought to pay her, if he should come to the knowledge of it: Besides these Reasons, he said, he had some of greater Importance, which he must not discover till she were withdrawn from Bruxells: But there needed not much to perswade her to retire, in the Humour she then was; and with no Opposition on her side, she told him she was ready to go where he thought fit; and accordingly the next day they departed the Town, and in three more arriv’d to the Village. In all this Journey Brilljard never approach’d her but with all the Respect imaginable, but withal, with abundance of silent Passion: Which manner of Carriage oblig’d Silvia very often to take Notice of it, with great Satisfaction and Signs of Favour; and|<347> as he saw her Melancholy abate, he increased in sighing and Lovers Boldnesses: Yet with all this, he could not oblige her to those Returns he wished: When, after ten days stay, Philander writ to him to inquire of his Health, and of Silvia, to whom he sent a very kind good natured Letter, but no more of the Lover, than if there had never been such a Joy between ’em: He beg’d her to take care of herself, and told her, he would be with her in ten or fifteen days; and desired her to send him Brilljard, if he were not wholly necessary to her Service; for he had urgent Affairs to imploy him in: So that Brilljard, not being able longer with any colour to defend his Stay, writ him word he would wait on him in two days: which short time he wholly imploy’d in the utmost Indeavour to gain Silvia’s Favour; but she, whose Thoughts were roving on new Designs, which she thought fit to conceal from a|<348> Lover, still put him off with pretended Illness, and thoughtfulness on the late melancholy Object and loss of Octavio: But assur’d him, as soon as she was recovered of that Pressure, she would receive him with the same Joy she had before, and which his Person and his Services merited from her; ’twas thus she sooth’d the hoping Lover, who went away with all the Satisfaction imaginable; bearing a Letter from Silvia to Philander, written with all the Art of Flattery. Brilljard was no sooner gone, but Silvia, whose Head ran on new Adventures, resolv’d to try her Chance; and being, whenever she pleased, of a Humour very Gay, she resolv’d upon a Design, in which she could trust no body but her Page, who lov’d his Lady to the last Degree of Passion, tho’ he never durst show it even in his Looks or Sighs; and yet the cunning Silvia had by chance found his Flame, and would often take De-|<349>light to torture the poor Youth, to laugh at him: She knew he would dy to serve her, and she durst trust him with the most important Business of her Life: She therefore the next Morning sends for him to her Chamber, which she often did, and told him her Design; which was, in Man’s Cloths to go back to Bruxells, and see if they could find any Adventures by the way that might be worth the Journey, and divert ’em: She told him she would trust him with all her Secrets; and he vow’d Fidelity. She bid him bring her a Suit of those Clothes she used to wear at her first Arrival at Holland, and he look’d out one very fine, and which she had worn that day she went to have been married to Octavio, when the States Messengers took her up for a French Spy, a Suit Philander had never seen: She equips herself, and leaving in charge with Antonett what to say in her Absence; and telling her she was|<350> going upon a Frolick to divert herself a day or two, she, accompanied by her Page only, took Horse and made away towards Bruxells: You must know that the half-way Stage is a very small Village, in which there is most lamentable Accommodation, and may vie with any part of Spain for bad Inns. Silvia, not used much to riding, as a Man, was pretty well tired by that time she got to one of those Hotels; and, as soon as she alighted she went to her Chamber to refresh and cool herself; and while the Page was gone to the Kitchen, to see what there was to eat, she was leaning out of the Window, and looking on the Passengers that rode along, many of which took up in the same House. Among them that alighted, there was a very handsom young Gentleman, appearing of Quality, attended only by his Page: She considered this Person a little more than the rest, and finding him so unac-|<351>companied, had a Curiosity, natural to her, to know who he was: She ran to another Window that look’d into the Yard, a kind of Balcony, and saw him alight, and look at her; and Saluted her in passing into the Kitchin, seeing her look like a Youth of Quality: Coming in, he saw her Page, and asked if he belong’d to that Young Cavalier in the Gallery; the Page told him he did: And being ask’d who he was, he told him he was a young Noble Man of France; a Stranger to all those parts, and had made an escape from his Tutors, to ramble for his Fancy and Pleasure; and said he was of a Humour never to be out of his way; all places being alike to him in those little Adventures. So leaving him (with yet a greater Curiosity) he ran to Silvia, and told her what had past between the young Stranger and him: While she, who was possest with the same Inquisitive Humour, bid him inquire who he was,|<352> when the Master of the Hotel coming in the interim up to usher in her Supper, she inquir’d of him who that young Stranger was; he told her, one of the greatest Persons in Flanders; that he was Nephew to the Governour, and who had a very great Equipage at other times; but that now he was Incognito, being on an Intrigue: This Intrigue gave Silvia new Curiosity; and hoping the Master would tell him again, she fell into great praises of his Beauty and his Mein; which for several reasons pleas’d the Man of the Inn, who departed with the good News, and told every Word of it to the Young Cavalier: The good Man having, besides the pleasing him with the grateful Complements, a farther design in the Relation; for his House being very full of Persons of all sorts, he had no Lodging for the Governour’s Nephew, unless he could recommend him to our Young Cavalier. The Gay unknown, extreamly|<353> pleas’d with the Character he had given him by so beautiful a Gentleman, and one who appear’d of so much quality, being alone, and knowing he was so also, sent a Spanish Page, that spoke very good French, and had a handsome Address, and quick Wit, to make his Complement to the young Mounsieur; which was to beg to be admitted to Sup with him; who readily accepted the Honour, as she call’d it; and the Young Governour, whom we must call Alonzo, for a reason or two, immediately after enter’d her Chamber, with an admirable Address, appearing much handsomer near, than at a distance; tho’ even then he drew Silvia’s Eyes with admiration on him; there were a thousand Young Graces in his Person, Sweetnesses in his Face, Love and Fire in his Eyes, and Wit on his Tongue: His Stature was neither Tall nor Low, very well made and fashion’d; a Light brown Hair, Hazle Eyes, and a very soft and a-|<354>morous Air; about twenty Years of Age: He spoke very good French; and after the first Complements on either side were over, as on such occasions are necessary; in which on both sides were nothing but great Expressions of Esteem, Silvia began so very well to be pleas’d with the fair Stranger, that she had like to have forgot the part she was to act, and have made Discoveries of her Sex, by Addressing herself with the Modesty and Blushes of a Woman: But Alonzo, who had no such apprehension, tho’ she appear’d with much more Beauty than he fansied ever to have seen in a Man, nevertheless admir’d, without suspecting, and took all those Signs of Effeminacy to unassur’d Youth, and first Address; and he was absolutely deceiv’d in her. Alonzo’s Supper being brought up, which was the best the bad Inn afforded, they sat down, and all the Supper time talk’d of a thousand pleasant things, and most of Love|<355> and Women, where both exprest, abundance of Gallantry for the fair Sex. Alonzo related many short and pleasant Accidents and amours he had had with women. Tho’ the Stranger were by Birth a Spaniard; yet, while they discours’d, the Glass was not Idle, but went as briskly about, as if Silvia had been an absolute good Fellow. Alonzo Drinks his and his Mistrisses Health, and Silvia return’d the Civility, and so on, till three Bottles were Sacrific’d to Love and good Humour; while she, at the expence of a little Modesty, declared herself so much of the Opinion of Don Alonzo, for Gay Inconstancy, and the Blessing of Variety, that he was wholly Charm’d with a Conversation so agreeable to his own. I have heard her Page say, from whom I have had a great part of the Truths of her Life, that he never saw Silvia in so pleasant a Humour all his life before, nor seem’d so well pleas’d, which gave him, her Lover, a Jealou-|<356>sie that perplext him above any thing he had ever felt from Love; tho’ he durst not own it. But Alonzo finding his young Companion altogether so Charming (and in his own way too) could not forbear very often from falling upon his Neck, and kissing the fair disguis’d, with as hearty an Ardour, as ever he did one of the other Sex: He told her he Ador’d her; she was directly of his Principle, all gay, inconstant, galiard* and roving,* and with such a Gusto he commended the Joys of fickle Youth, that Silvia would often after say, she was then Jealous of him, and Envious of those who possest him, tho’ she knew not whom. The more she lookt on him, and heard him speak, the more she fancied him: And Wine that warm’d her Head, made her give him a thousand Demonstrations of Love, that warm’d her Heart; which he mistook for Friendship, having mistaken her Sex. In this fit of beginning|<357> Love (which is always the best) and Jealousie, she bethought her to ask him on what Adventure he had now been; for he being without his Equipage, she believ’d, she said, he was upon some affair of Love: He told her there was a Lady, within an Hours riding of that place, of quality, and handsome, very much Courted: Amongst those that were of the number of her Adorers, he said, was a Young Man of Quality of France, who call’d himself Philander: This Philander had been about eight Days very happy in her Favour, and had hap’ned to boast his good Fortune the next Night at the Governours Table, where he Din’d with the Prince Cesario. I told him, continued Alonzo, That the Person he so boasted of, had so soon granted him the Favour, that I believ’d she was of a Humour to suffer none to die at her Feet: But this, said he, Philander thought an Indignity to his good parts, and told me, he believ’d he was|<358> the only Man happy in her Favour, and that could be so: On this I ventur’d a Wager, at which he colour’d extreamly, and the Company laugh’d, which Incens’d him more; the Prince urg’d the Wager, which was a pair of Spanish Horses, the best in the Court, on my side, against a Discretion on his: This odds offer’d by me Incens’d him yet more; but urg’d to lay, we ended the Dispute with the Wager, the best Conclusion of all Controversies. He would have known what measures I would take; I refus’d to satisfie him in that; I only swore him upon Honour, that he should not discover the Wager, or the dispute to the Lady. The next day I went to pay her a visit, from my Aunt, the Governours Lady, and she receiv’d me with all the civility in the World. I seemed surpriz’d at her Beauty, and could talk of nothing but the Adoration I had for her, and found her extreamly pleas’d, and vain; of which Feeble Resistance I made so|<359> good advantage, that before we parted, being all alone, I receiv’d from her all the freedoms, that I could with any good Manners be allow’d the first time; she fireing me with Kisses, and suffering my closest Embraces. Having prosper’d so well, I left her for that time, and two days after I made my visit again; she was a Married Lady, and her Husband was a Dutch Count, and gone to a little Government he held under my Uncle, so that again I found a free Admittance; I told her, it was my Aunt’s Complement I brought before, but that now ’twas my own I brought, which was that of an impatient Heart, that burnt with a World of Fire and Flame, and Non-sense. In fine, so eager I was, and so pressing for something more than Dull Kissing, that she began to retire as fast as she advanc’d before, and told me, after abundance of pressing her to it, that she had set a price upon her Beauty, and unless I understood how to pur-|<360>chase her, it was not her Fault if I were not happy. At first I so little expected it had been Money, that I reiterated my Vows, and fansied it was the assurance of my Heart she meant; but she very frankly replyed, Sir, you may spare your Pains, and five hundred Pistols* will ease you of a great deal of trouble, and be the best Argument of your Love. This Generous Consciencious Humour of hers, of suffering none to Die that had five hundred Pistols to present for a cure, was very good News to me, and I found I was not at all oblig’d to my Youth or Beauty, but that a Man with half a Nose, or a single Eye, or that stunk like an old Spaniard, that had Din’d on Rotten Cheese and Garlick, should have been equally as welcome for the aforesaid Sum, to this Charming Insensible. I must confess, I do not love to chaffer for my pleasure, it takes off the best part of it; and were I left to my own Judgment of its worth, I should|<361> hardly have offer’d so sneaking a Sum; but that sort of bargaining, was her Humour, and to injoy her mine, tho’ she had strangely pall’d me by this management of the Matter: all I had now to do, was to appoint my Night, and bring my Money; now was a very proper time for it, her Husband being absent: I took my leave of her, infinitely well pleas’d to have gain’d my point on any Terms, with a promise to deliver my self there the next Night: but she told me, she had a Brother to come to morrow, whom she would not have see me, and for that reason (being however not willing to delay the receiving her Pistoles) she desired I would wait at this very House till a Foot-man should give me notice when to come; accordingly I came, and sent her a Billet, that I waited prepar’d at all points; and she return’d me a Billet to this purpose: That her Brother with some Relations being arriv’d, as she expected, she|<362> beg’d for her Honour’s sake, that I would wait till she sent, which should be as soon as they were gone to their Chambers; and they, having rid a long Journey, would early retire; that she was impatient of the Blessing, and should be as well prepar’d as himself, and that she would leave her Woman Leticia to give me Admittance. —— This satisfy’d me very well; and as I attended here, some of my acquaintance chanced to arrive; with whom I Supp’d, and took so many Glasses to her Health as it past down, that I was arriv’d at a very handsome pitch, and to say Truth was as full of Bacchus as Venus. However, as soon as her Foot-man arriv’d, I stole away, and took Horse, and by that time it was quite dark arriv’d at her House, where I was led in by a Young Maid, whose Habit was very neat and clean, and she herself appear’d to my Eyes, then dazling with Wine, the most beautiful Young Creature I had ever seen, as in truth she was; she seemed all Mo-|<363>desty, and blushing Innocence; so that conducting me into a low Parlour, while she went to tell her Lady I was come, who lay ready drest in all the Magnificence of Night-dress to receive me, I sate contemplating on this fair Young Maid, and no more thought of her Lady, than of Bethlehem Gabor.* The Maid soon return’d, and Curtsying,* told me, with Blushes on her Face, that her Lady expected me; the House was still as Sleep, and no Noise heard, but the little Winds that rush’d among the Jesamin that grew at the Window; now whether at that moment, the false Light in the Room, or the true Wine deceived me, I know not; but I beheld this Maid as an Angel for Beauty; and indeed I think she had all the temptations of Nature. I began to kiss her, and she to tremble and blush; yet not so much out of Fear, as Surprize and Shame at my Addresses. I found her pleas’d with my Vows, and melting at my Kisses; I sigh’d in|<364> her Bosom, which panted me a welcome there; that Bosom whiter than Snow, sweeter than the Nosegay she had Planted there. She urg’d me faintly to go to her Lady, who expected me, and I swore it was for her Sake I came (whom I never saw) and that I scorn’d all other Beauties: She kindl’d at this, and her Cheeks glow’d with Love. I press’d her to all I wish’d; but she replyed, she was a Maid, and should be undone. I told her I would Marry her, and swore it with a thousand Oaths; she believed, and grew prettily Fond —— In fine, at last she, yielded to all I ask’d of her, which we had scarce recover’d when her Lady rung. I could not stir, but she who fear’d a Surprize ran to her, and told her I was gone into the Garden, and would come immediately; she hastens down again to me, Fires me anew, and pleas’d me anew; ’twas thus I taught a longing Maid the first Lesson of Sin, at the Price of Fifty|<365> Pistoles,* which I presented her; nor could I yet part from this young Charmer, but stayed so long, that her Lady rung a Silver Bell again; but my new Prize was so wholly taken up with the pleasure of this new Amour, and the good Fortune arriv’d to her, she heard not the Bell, so that the fair deceiv’d put on her Night-gown and Slippers, and came softly down Stairs, and found my new Love, and I closely imbracing, with all the passion and fondness imaginable. I know not what she saw in me in that kind moment to her Woman, or whether the disappointment gave her a greater desire, but ’tis most certain she fell most desperately in Love with me, and scorning to take notice of the Indignity I put upon her, she unseen stole to her Chamber: Where after a most afflicting Night, she next Morning call’d her Woman to her (whom I left towards Morning,) better pleas’d with my Fifty Pistoles worth of Beauty, than I should have|<366> been with that of five hundred: the Maid, whose Guilt made her very much unassur’d, approach’d her Lady with such tremblings, as she no longer doubted, but she was guilty, but durst not examine her about it, least she, who had her Honour in keeping, should, by the discovery she found she had made of her Levity, expose that of her Lady. She therefore, dissembled as well as she could, and examined her about my stay; to which the Maid answer’d, I had fallen asleep, and ’twas impossible to wake me till day appear’d; when for fear of discovery, I posted away. This, tho’ the Lady knew was false, she was forc’d to take for currant Excuse; and more raging with Love, than ever, she immediately dispatch’d away her Foot-man with a Letter to me, upbraiding me extreamly; but, at the same time, inviting me with all the passion imaginable; and, because I should not again see my young Mistriss, who was dy-|<367>ing in Love with me, she appointed me to meet her at a little House she had, a Bow-shot from her own, where was a fine Decoy, and a great number of Wild-fowl kept, which her Husband took great delight in; there I was to wait her coming, where liv’d only a Man and his old Wife, her Servants: I was very glad of this Invitation, and went; she came adorn’d with all her Charms. I consider’d her a new Woman, and one whom I had a Wager to win upon, the conquest of one I had inclination to, till by the discovery of the Jilt in her I began to despise the Beauty; however, as I said, she was new, and now perhaps easie to be brought to any Terms, as indeed it hap’ned; she caress’d me with all imaginable fondness; was ready to Eat my Lips, instead of Kissing them, and much more forward than I wish’d, who do not love an over easie Conquest; however she pleas’d me for three days together, in all which time she de-|<368>tain’d me there, coming to me early, and staying the latest Hour; and I have no reason to repent my time; for besides that I have past it very well, she at my coming away presented me this Jewel in my Hat, and this Ring on my Finger, and I have sav’d my five hundred Pistoles, my heart, and my credit in the Encounter, and am going to Bruxells to triumph over the haughty conceited Philander, who set so great a value on his own Beauty, and yet for all his fine Person, has paid the Pistoles before he could purchase the Blessing, as she swore to me, who have made a Convert of her, and reduced her to the thing she never yet was, a Lover; insomuch that she has promised me to renounce Philander: I have promised to visit her again; but if I do, ’twill be more for the Vanity to please, than to be pleas’d, for I never repeat any thing with pleasure. All the while he spoke Silvia fix’d her Eyes, and all her soft desires upon him;|<369> she envies the happy Countess, but much more the happy Maid, with whom his perfect liking made him happy; she fansies him in her Arms, and wishes him there; she is ready a thousand times to tell him she is a Woman; but when she reflects on his inconstancy, she fears. When he had ended his Story, she Cry’d, sighing: And you are just come from this fair Lady? He answer’d her, he was, Sound and Heart-hole: She reply’d, ’Tis very well you are so, but all the young do not thus escape from Beauty, and you may some time or other, be Intrapt. Oh, cry’d he! I defy the power of one, while Heaven has distributed Variety to all. Were you never in Love, replyed Silvia? Never, said he, that they call Love: I have burnt and rav’d an Hour or two, or so; pursu’d, and gaz’d, and laid Sieges, till I had overcome; but, what’s this to Love? Did I ever make a second visit, unless upon Necessity, or Gratitude? And yet —— and there he sigh’d; and yet, said|<370> he, I saw a Beauty once upon the Tower,* that has ever since given me Torment. At Bruxells, said Silvia? There, replyed he; she was the fairest Creature Heaven e’re made, such White and Read by Nature, such a Hair, such Eyes, and such a Mouth! —— All Youth and ravishing sweetness; —— I pursu’d her to her Lodgings, and all I could get, was, that she belonged to a young Noble Man, who since has taken Orders. From the Night I saw her, I never left her Window, but had Spies of all sorts, who brought me intelligence, and a little after, I found she had quitted the place with a new Lover, which made me love and rave ten times more, when I knew assuredly she was a Whore —— and how fine a one I had mist: This call’d all the Blood to Silvia’s Face, and so confounded her she could not answer; she knew it was her self, of whom he spoke; and that course word tho’ innocently spoken, or rather gayly express’d, put her quite out of Countenance; however, she recover’d|<371> again, when she considered they were not meant as rudenesses to her. She lov’d him, and was easie to pardon: With such discourse they past the Evening, till towards Bed-time, and the young Spaniard, who had took but little rest in three Nights before, was for some repose; and calling for his Chamber, the Host besought him, since they had the happiness (the Young French Gentleman and himself) to be so good Friends, that they would share a Bed together; for intruth, said he, Sir, you must sit up all Night else: he replyed, with all his Soul, it was the most grateful proposal, had been ever made him; and Addressing himself to Silvia, asked him if he would alow him that Blessing: She blush’d extreamly at the question, and hung down her Eyes, and he laugh’d to see it: Sir, said Silvia, I will give you my Bed, for ’tis all one to me to lye on a Bed, or on the Chairs. Why, Sir, said Alonzo, I am too passionate an|<372> adorer of the Female Sex, to incommode any of my own with Addresses; nor am I so Nice, but I can suffer a Man to lye by me, especially so dear a Youth as your self; at which he Embraced him in his Arms, which did but the more raise Silvia’s Blushes, who wish’d for what she dreaded: With you, Sir, said she, I could methinks be content to do what I do not use to do; and, fearing to betray her Sex, forced a consent; for either one or the other she was compell’d to do; and with the assurance that he thought her what she seemed, she chose to give her consent, and they both went to Bed together: to add to her deceit (she being forced in her Sickness to cut off her Hair) when she put off her Perriwig, she discover’d nothing of the Woman; nor fear’d she any thing but her Breasts, which were the roundest and the whitest in the World; but she was long in undressing, which to colour the Matter, she suffered her Page to do, who, poor Lad, was|<373> never in so trembling a Condition, as in that manner to be obliged to serve her, where she discovered so many Charms he never before had seen, but all such as might be seen with Modesty: By that time she came to Bed, Alonzo was fast a sleep, being so long kept waking, and never so much as dreamt he had a Woman with him; but she, whose fears kept her waking, had a thousand Agitations and Wishes, so natural it is, when Virtue has broke the bounds of Modesty, to plunge in past all retreat; and, I believe there are very few who retire after the first Sin. She considers her condition in a strange Country, her Splendour declining, her Love for Philander quite reduced to Friendship, or hardly that; she was young, and eat and drank well; had a World of Vanity, that Food of desire, that Fuel to Vice: She saw this the Beautifullest Youth she imagin’d ever to have seen, of Quality and Fortune able to serve her;|<374> all these made her rave with a desire to gain him for a Lover, and she imagined as all the vain and young do, that tho’ no Charms had yet been able to hold him, she alone had those that would; her Glass had a thousand times told her so; she compares him to Octavio, and finds him, in her opinion, handsomer; she was possest with some Love for Philander, when he first Address’d to her, and Octavio shar’d at best but half a Heart; but now, that she had lost all for Philander and Octavio, and had a Heart to cast away, or give a new Lover; it was like her Money, she hated to keep it, and lavish’d it on any Trifle, rather than hoard it, or let it lie by: ’Twas a loss of time her Youth could not spare; she, after reflection resolved, and when she had resolved, she believ’d it done. By a Candle she had by her to read a little Novel* she had brought, she Surveyed him often, as curiously as Psyche* did her Cupid, and tho he slept like|<375> a meer Mortal, he appeared as Charming to her Eyes as the wing’d God himself; and ’tis believed she wish’d he would awake and find by her Curiosity, her Sex: For this I know, she durst no longer trust herself a Bed with him, but got up, and all the last part of the Night walk’d about the Room: Her Page lay in the Room with her, by her order, on the Table, with a little Vallice under his Head, which he carried Silvia’s Linen in; she waked him, and told him all her fears, in a pleasant manner. In the Morning Alonzo awakes, and wonders to find her up so soon, and reproach’d her for the unkindness; new Protestations on both sides passing of eternal Friendship, they both resolved for Bruxells; but, lest she should incounter Philander on the way, who possible might be on visiting his Dutch Countess, she desired him to ride on before, and to suffer him to lose the happiness of his Company, till they met in Bruxells:|<376> With much ado he consents, and taking the Ring the Countess gave him from of his Finger; Sir, said he, be pleas’d to wear this, and if ever you need my Fortune, or my Sword, send it, and in what part of the World soever I am, I will fly to your Service. Silvia return’d him a little Ring set round with Diamonds, that Philander in his woing time had given her, amongst a thousand of finer value: His Name and hers was Ingraven, instead of a Posie in it; which was only Philander and Silvia, and which he took no notice of, and parted from each other in the tenderest manner, that two young Gentlemen could possibly be imagin’d to do, tho it were more than so on her side; for she was madly in Love with him.
As soon as Silvia came to Bruxells, she sent in the Evening to search out Brilljard, for she had considered, if he should come to the knowledge of her being in Town, and she should not send to him, he would take it so|<377> very ill, that he might prevent all her designs and rambles, the now Joy of her Heart; she knew she could make him her Slave, her Pimp, her any thing, for Love, and the hope of her Favour, and his interest might defend her; and she should know all Philander’s, motions, whom now, tho’ she lov’d no more, she fear’d. She found him, and he took her Lodgings, infinitely pleas’d at the trust she reposed in him, the only means by which he could arrive to happiness. She continues her Mans Habit, and he supplyed the Place of Valet, dress’d her and undress’d her, shifted her Linen every day; nor did he take all these Freedoms, without advancing a little farther upon occasion and opportunity, which was the hire she gave him to serve her in more Lucky Amours; the Fine she paid to live free, and at ease. She tells him her adventure, which, tho it were Daggers to his Heart, was however the only way to keep her his own;|<378> for he knew her Spirit was too violent to be restrained by any means. At last she told him her design upon a certain young Man of quality, which she told him, was the same she Incountered. She assures him it was not Love or Liking, but perfectly Interest that made her design upon him, and that if he would assist her, she would be very kind to him, as a Man that had gain’d very greatly upon her Heart. This Flattery she urg’d with infinite fondness and art, and he over-joy’d believed every word as Gospel; so that he promised her the next day to carry a Billet to the young Don: In the mean time, she caus’d him to Sup with her, purposly to give him an account of Philander, Cesario and Hermione, whom she heard was come to Bruxells, and liv’d publickly with the Prince. He told her it was very true, and that he saw them every day, nay, every moment together; for he verily believed they could not live asunder. That|<379> Philander was every Evening Caballing there, where all the male contents* of the Reformed Religion had taken Sanctuary, and where the Grand Council was every Night held; for some great things were in Agitation, and debating how to trouble the repose of all France again with new Broils; he told her, that all the World made their Court to Hermione, that if any Body had any Petitions, or Addresses to make to the Prince, ’twas by her sole Interest; she sate in their closest Councils, and heard their gravest debates; and she was the Oracle of the Board: The Prince paying her a perfect Adoration, while she, whose Charms of Youth were ended, being turned of thirty, fortifyed her decays with all the Arts her Wit and Sex were capable of, and kept her Illustrious Lover as perfectly her Slave as if she had ingag’d him by all those tyes that Fetter the most circumspect, and totally subdued him to her Will, who|<380> was, without Exception, the most lovely Person upon Earth: and tho, Madam, you know him so perfectly well, yet I must tell you my opinion of him: He is all the softer Sex can wish, and ours admire; he is formed for Love and War; and as he is the most amorous and wanton in Courts, he is also the most fierce and brave in Field; His Birth the most elevated, his Age arriv’d to full blown Man, adorn’d with all the spreading Glories that Charm the Fair, and ingage the World; and I have often heard some of our Party say, his Person gain’d him more numbers to his side, than his Cause or Quality; for he understood all the useful Arts of Popularity, the gracious smile and bow, and all those cheap Favours that so gain upon Hearts; and without the expence of any thing but Ceremony, has made the Nation mad for his Interest, who never otherwise oblig’d ’em; and sure nothing is more necessary in the great, than Affability; nor|<381> shows greater marks of Grandure, or shall more etternize them, than bowing to the Crowd. As the Maiden Queen* I have read of in England, who made herself idoliz’d by that sole Piece of politick Cunning, understanding well the stubborn yet good Nature of the People; and gained more upon ’em by those little Arts, than if she had parted with all the Prerogatives of her Crown. Ah! Madam, you cannot imagine what little Slights govern’d the whole Universe, and how easie ’tis for Monarchs to oblige. This Cesario was made to know, and there is no one so poor an Object, who may not have Access to him, and whom he does not send away well pleased, tho’ he do not grant what they ask. He dispatches quickly, which is a grateful Vertue in great Men; and none ever espoused his Interest, that did not find a Reward and a Protection: ’Tis true, these are all the Tools he is to work with, and he stops at|<382> nothing that leads to his Ambition; nor has he done all that lies in the Power of Man only, to set all France yet in a Flame, but he calls up the very Devils from Hell to his Aid, and there is no Man fam’d for Negromancy, to whom he does not apply himself; which, indeed is done by the Advice of Hermione, who is very much affected with those sort of People, and puts a very great Trust and Confidence in ’em. She sent, at great Expence, for a German Conjurer, who arriv’d the other Day, and who is perpetually consulting with another of the same sort, a Scot by Birth, called Fergusano.* He was once in Holy Orders, and still is so, but all his Practice is the black Art; and excellent in it he is reported to be. Hermione undertakes nothing without his Advice; and as he is absolutely her Creature, so his Art governs her, and she the Prince: She holds her Mid-night Conferences with him; and as she is very su-|<383>perstitious, so she is very learned, and studies this Art, taught by this great Master Fergusano: And so far is this glorious Hero bewitched with these Sorcerers, that he puts his whole Trust in these Conjurations and Charms; and so far they have imposed on him, that with an inchanted Oyntment which they had prepared for him, he shall be invulnerable, tho’ he face the Mouth of a Cannon: They have, at the earnest Request of Hermione, calculated his Nativity, and find him born to be a King; and that before twenty Moons expire he shall be crown’d in France: And flattering his easie Youth with all the Vanities of Ambition, they have made themselves absolutely useful to him. This Scot, being a most inveterate Enemy to France, lets the Prince rest neither Night nor Day, but is still inspiring him with new Hopes of a Crown, and laying him down all the false Arguments imaginable, to|<384> spur the active Spirit: My Lord is not of the Opinion, yet seems to comply with them in Council; he laughs at all the Fopperies of Charms and Incantations; insomuch, that he many times angers the Prince, and is in eternal little Feuds with Hermione. The German, would often in these Disputes say, he found by his Art, That the Stop to the Princes Glory would be his Love. This so incensed Hermione, and consequently the Prince, that they had like to have broke with him, but durst not for fear; he knowing too much to be disobliged: On the other side, Fergusano is most wonderfully charmed with the Wit and masculine Spirit of Hermione, her Courage, and the manliness of her Mind; and understanding which way she would be served, resolved to obey her, finding she had an absolute Ascendant over the Prince, whom, by this means, he knew he should get into his sole Manage-|<385>ment. Hermione, tho’ she seemed to be possess’d so intirely of Cesario’s Heart, found she had great and powerful Opposers, who believ’d the Prince lay idling in her Arms, and that possibly she might eclipse his Fame by living at that rate with a Woman he had no other Pretentions to but Love; and many other Motives were urged daily to him by the Admirers of his great Actions: And she feared, with reason, that some time or other Ambition might get the Ascendant of Love: She, therefore, in her Mid-night Conferences with Fergusano, often urg’d him to show her that piece of his Art, to make a Philtre to retain fleeting Love; and not only keep a Passion alive, but even revive it from the dead. She tells him of her Contract with him, she urges his forced Marriage, as she was pleased to call it, in his Youth; and that he being so young, she believed he might find it lawful to marry him-|<386>self a second time; that possibly his Princess was for the Interest of the King; and Men of his elivated Fortune, ought not to be ty’d to those Strictnesses of common Men, but for the good of the Publick, sometimes act beyond the musty Rules of Law and Equity, those politick Bands to confine the Mobile.* At this unreasonable rate she pleads her Right to Cesario, and he harkens with all Attention, and approves so well all she says, that he resolves, not only to attach the Prince to her by all the force of the black Art, but that of necessary Marriage also: This pleased her to the last degree; and she left him, after he had promised her to bring her the Philtre by the Morning, for it was that she most urged, the other requiring time to argue with him, and work him by degrees to it. Accordingly, the next Morning he brings her a Tooth-pick-case of Gold of rare infernal Workmanship, wrought with a thou-|<387>sand Charms, of that Force, that every time the Prince should touch it, and while he but wore it about him, his Fondness should not only continue, but increase, and he should hate all Womankind besides, at least in the way of Love, and have no power to possess another Woman, tho’ she had all the Attractions of Nature. He tells her the Prince could never suspect so familiar a Present, and for the fineness of the Work, it was a Present for a Prince, For, said he, no human Art could frame so rare a piece of Workmanship, that Nine Nights the most delicate of the Infernals were mixing the Metal with the most powerful of Charms, and watch’d the critical Minutes of the Stars, in which to form the mystick Figures, every one being a Spell upon the Heart, of that unerring Magick, no mortal Power could ever dissolve, undo, or conquer. The only Art now was in giving it, so as to oblige him never to part with it; and|<388> she, who had all the Cunning of her Sex, undertook for that part: She dismissed her infernal Confident, and went to her Toilet to dress her, knowing well that the Prince would not be long before he came to her: She laid the Tooth-pick-Case down so as he could not avoid seeing it: The Prince came immediately after in, as he ever used to do Night and Morning, to see her dress her; he saw this gay Thing on the Table, and took it in his Hand, admiring the Work of it, as he was the most curious Person in the World: She told him there was not a finer wrought thing in the World, and that she had a very great Esteem for it, it being made by the Sybils; and bid him mind the Antiqueness of the Work: The more she commended it, the more he liked it, and told her, she must let him call it his: She told him, he would give it away to the next Commender: He vow’d he would not: She told|<389> him then he should not only call it his, but it should in reality be so; and he vow’d it should be the last thing he would part with in the World.
From that time forward she found, or thought she found, a more impatient Fondness in him than she had seen before: however it was, she rul’d and govern’d him as she pleased; and indeed, never was so great a Slave to Beauty as, in my Opinion, he was to none at all; for she is far from having any natural Charms; yet it was not long, since it was absolutely believed by all, that he had been resolved to give himself wholly up to her Arms; to have sought no other Glory, than to have retired to a Corner of the World with her, and changed all his Crowns of Laurel for those of Roses: But some stirring Spirits have roused him anew, and awakened Ambition in him, and they are on great Designs, which possibly ere|<390> long, may make all France to tremble; yet still Hermione is oppressed with Love, and the Effects of daily increasing Passion. He has perpetual Correspondence with the Party in Paris, and Advice of all things that pass; they let him know they are ready to receive him whenever he can bring a Force into France; nor needs he any considerable Number, he having already there, in every place, through which he shall pass, all, or the most part of the Hearts and Hands at his Devotion; and they want but Arms, and they shall gather as they go: They desire he will land himself in some part of the Kingdom, and it would be Incouragement enough to all the joyful People, who will from all parts flock together. In fine, he is offered all assistance and Money; and least all the Forces of France should be bent against him, he has Friends of great Quality and Interest, that are resolved to rise in se-|<391>veral places of the Kingdom, in Languedoc and Guinny,* whether the King must be obliged to send his Forces, or a great part of ’em; so that all this side of France will be left defenceless. I myself, Madam, have some Share in this great Design, and possibly you will one day see me a Person of a Quality sufficient to merit those Favours I am now blessed with. Pray, reply’d Silvia, smiling with a little Scorn, what part are you to play, to arrive at this good Fortune? I am, said he, trusted to provide all the Ammunition and Arms, and to hire a Vessel to transport them to some Sea-port Town in France, which the Council shall think most proper to receive us. Silvia laughed, and said she prophesied another End of this high Design than they imagined; but desperate Fortunes must take their Chance. What, continued she, does not Hermione speak of me, and inquire of me? Yes, reply’d Brilljard, but in such a way,|<392> as if she look’d on you as a lost Creature, and one of such a Reputation, she would not receive a Visit from for all the World. At this Silvia laugh’d extreamly, and cry’d, Hermione would be very well content to be so mean a Sinner as myself, to be so young and so handsome an one. However, said she, to be serious, I would be glad to know what real Probability there is in advancing and succeeding in this Design, for I would take my Measures accordingly, and keep Philander, whose wavering, or rather lost Fortune, is the greatest Motive of my Resolves to part with him, and that have made me so uneasy to him. Brilljard told her he was very confident of the Design, and that it was almost impossible to miscarry in the Discontent all France was in at this Juncture; and they feared nothing but the Prince’s Relapsing, who, now, most certainly preferred Love to Glory. He farther told her, that as they were in Council, one|<393> deputed from the Parisians, arrived with new Offers, and to know the last result of the Prince, whether he would espouse their Interest or not, as they were with Life and Fortune ready to espouse his Glory: They sent him word, it was from him they expected Liberty, and him whom they look’d upon as their tutular Deity. Old Fergusano was then in Council, that High-land Wizard, that manages all, and who is ever at hand to awaken Mischief, alarm’d the Prince to new Glories, reproaching his scandalous Life, withal telling him there were Measures to be taken to reconcile Love and Fame; and which he was to discourse to him about in his Closet only; but as things were, he bade him look into the Story of Armida and Renaldo,* and compare his own with it, and he doubted not, but he would return blushing at his Remissness and Sloath: Not that he would exempt his Youth from the|<394> Pleasures of Love, but he would not have Love hinder his Glory: This bold Speech before Hermione, had like to have begot an ill understanding; but she was as much for the Prince’s Glory as Fergusano, and therefore could not be angry, when she considered the Elevation of the Prince, would be her own also: At this necessary reproach, the Prince blush’d; the Board seconding the wizard, had this good effect to draw this assurance from him, That they should see he was not so attach’d to Love, but he could for some time give a Cessation to his Heart, and that the Envoy from the Parisians, might return assur’d, that he would, as soon as he could put his affairs in good order, come to their relief, and bring Arms for those that had none, with such Friends as he could get together; he could not promise Numbers, least by leading so many here, their design should take Air, but would wholly trust to Fortune, and their good resolutions: He demanded|<395> a Sum of money of ’em for the buying these Arms, and they have promis’d him all Aids. This is the last result of Council, which broke immediately up; and the Prince retired to his Closet; where he was no sooner come, but reflecting on the necessity of leaving Hermione, he fell into the most profound Melancholy and Muzing that could seize a Man; while he sat thus Hermione (who had school’d Fergusano for his rough Speech in Council, and desired he would now take the opportunity to repair that want of respect, while the Prince was to be spoken to alone) sent him into the Closet to him; where he found him walking with his Arms across, not minding the Bard who stood gazing on him, and at last called to him; and finding no reply, he advanced, and pulling him gently by the Arm, cry’d, —— Awake, Royal young Man, awake! and look up to coming Greatness —— I was reflecting, replyed Cesario, on all the|<396> various Fortunes I have pass’d from the time of my Birth to this present hapless day, and would be glad to know if any supernatural means can tell me, what future Event will befal me? If I believed I should not gain a Crown by this great Enterprize I am undertaking, here I would lay me down in silent Ease, give up my Toils and restless Soul to Love, and never think on vain Ambition more: Ease thou my troubled Mind, if thou hast any Friend among the Infernals, and they dare utter Truth. My gracious Prince, reply’d the fawning Wizard, this Night, if you dare loose your self from Love, and come unattended to my Apartment, I’ll undertake to show you all the future Fortune you are to run, the Hazzards, Dangers, and Escapes, that attend your mighty Race of Life; I’ll lay the Adamantin Book before you, where all the Destinies of Princes are Hieroglyfick’d. I’ll show you more, if Hell can furnish Objects, and you dare stand untrembling at the Terror of ’em. Enough, replyed|<397> Cesario; Name me the Hour. ’Twixt Twelve and One, said he; for that’s the sacred dismal time of Night for Fiends to come, for Tombs to open, and let loose their Dead. —— we shall have use of both —— No more, reply’d Cesario, I’ll attend ’em. The Prince was going out, when Fergusano recalled him, and cry’d, one thing, Sir, I must caution you, That from this minute to that, wherein I shall show you your Destiny, you commit nothing unlawful with Women-kind: Away, replyed the Prince, smiling, and leave your Canting. The Wizard, putting on a more grave Countenance, replyed —— By all the Infernals, Sir, if you commit unlawful Things, I cannot serve you. If your devils, reply’d the Prince, Laughing, be so nice, I doubt I shall find ’em too honest for my Purpose. Sir, said the subtle old Fiend, such Conscientious Devils your Highness is to converse with to Night; and if you discover the Secret, it will I not prove so Lucky. Since they are so Humorous,|<398> cry’d Cesario, I will give ’em way for once: And going out of the Room, he went directly to Hermione’s apartment; where, it being late, she is preparing for Bed, and with a thousand Kisses, and hanging on his Neck, she ask’d him why he is so slow, and why he suffers not himself to be undress’d? He feigns a thousand excuses, at which she seems extreamly amaz’d; she complains, reproaches and commands —— He tells her,he was to wait on the Governor, about his most urgent affairs, and was (late as it was) to consult with him: She ask’d him what affairs he was to negotiate, of which she was not to bear her part? he refuses to tell her; and she replyed she had sense and courage for any Enterprize, and should resent it very ill, if she were not made acquainted with it: But he swore to her, she should know all the whole truth, as soon as he returned. This pacifyed her in some measure, and at the hour appointed,|<399> she suffered him to go; and in a Chair was carryed to a little House Fergusano had taken without the Town, to which belong’d a large Garden, at the farther end of which was a Thicket of unordered Trees, that surrounded a Grotto; which I pass’d a good way under the ground. It had had some rareties of Water-work formerly belonging to it, but now they were decay’d; only here and there a broken Rock let out a little Stream, that murmur’d and dash’d upon the Earth below, and ran away in a little Rivolet; which served to add a Melancholy to the dismal place: Into this the Prince was conducted by the old German, who assisted in the Charm; they had only one Torch to light the way, which at the entrance of the Cave they put out, and within was only one Glimmering Lamp, that rather served to add to the horror of the Vault, discovering its hollowness and ruins. At his entrance he was saluted with a noise|<400> like the rushing of wind, which whizz’d and whistled in the mighty Concave. Anon a more silent whispering surrounded him, without being able to behold any Creature save, the old German. Anon came in Fergusano, who rowling a great Stone that lay at one corner of the Cave, he desired the Prince to place himself on it, and not be surpriz’d at any thing he should behold, nor to stir from that inchanted Ground; he, nodding, assented to obey, while Fergusano and the German, with each a Wand in their Hands, struck against the unformed Rocks that finish’d the end of the Cave, Muttering a thousand Incantations; with Voices dreadfull, and motions Antick; and, after a mighty stroke of Thunder that shook the Earth, the rude rock divided, and opened a space that discovered a most magnificent Apartment; in which was presented a young Hero, attended with Military Officers; his Pages|<401> dressing him for the Field, all in gilded Armour. The Prince began to doubt himself, and to swear in his thought, that the Apparition was himself, so very like he was to himself, as if he had seen his proper Figure in a Glass. After this, several Persons seemed to address to this great Man, of all sorts and conditions, from the Prince to the Peasant, with whom he seemed to discourse with great confidence and affability; they offered him the League, which he took and Signed, and gave them back; they attend him to the Door with great Joy and respect; but as soon as he was gone, they laugh’d and pointed at him; at which the Prince infinitely incens’d, rose, and cry’d out, What means all this; s’Death, am I become the Scorn and Mockery of the Crowd? Fergusano besought him to sit and have patience, and he obey’d, and check’d himself. The Scene of the Apartment being changed to an Arbour of Flowers, and the prospect|<402> of a noble and ravishing Garden; the Hero is presented Arm’d as he was, only without his Plume-Head-peece, kneeling at the Feet of a fair Woman, in loose Robes and Hair, and attended with abundance of little Loves, who disarm him by degrees of those Ornaments of War. While she Caresses him with all the signs of Love, the Cupid’s make Garlands of Flowers, and wreath round his Arms and Neck, Crowning his Head, and fettering him all over in these sweet soft Chains. They Curle his Hair, and adorn him with all Effeminacy; while he lies smiling and pleas’d, —— the wanton Boys disposing of his Instruments of War, as they think fit, putting them to ridiculous uses, and Laughing at ’em. While thus he lay, there enters to him a great many States-men, and Politicians; grave-Men in Furs and Chains, attended by the common Crowd; and opening a Scene farther off in prospect, show him Crowns,|<403> Sceptres, Globes, Ensigns, Arms, and Trophies, promiscuously shuffel’d together, with heaps of Gold, Jewels, Parchments, Records, Charters and Seals; at which sight, he starts from the Arms of the fair Medea,* and strove to have approach’d those who waited for him; but she held him fast, and with abundance of Tears and signs of moving Flattery, brought him back to her Arms again, and all dissatisfy’d the promiscuous Crowd depart, some looking back with Scorn, others with signs of Rage: And all the Scene of Glory, of Arms and Crowns, disappear’d with the Crowd. Cesario wholly forgetting, cryed out again, Ha lost! all for a Trifling Woman lost; all those Trophies of thy Conquest for a Mistress! By Heaven I’ll shake the Charmer from my Soul, if both I cannot have. When Fergusano advancing to him, cry’d —— See, Sir, how Supinely the young Hero’s laid upon her downy Breast, and smil’d as he|<404> spoke, which angered the Prince, who replyed with Scorn, Now by my Life, a Plot upon my Love; but they protested it was not so, and beg’d he would be silent. While thus the Hero lay, regardless of his Glory, all deck’d with Flowers and Braclets, the Drums beat, and the Trumpets were heard, or seemed to be heard to sound, and a vast opening space was fill’d with armed Warriers, who offer him their Swords, and seem to point at Crowns that were born behind them; a while they plead in vain, and point to Crowns in vain, at which he only casts a scornful smile, and lays him down in the soft Arms of Love. They urge again, but with one amorous look the Circe more prevails than all their reasonings. At last, by force they divested him of his Rosy-Garlands, in which there lay a Charm, and he assumes new life, while others bore the Inchantress out of his sight; and then he suffering himself to be conducted where|<405> they pleas’d, who lead him forth, showing him all the way a prospect of Crowns. At this Cesario sigh’d, and the Ceremony continu’d.
The Scene chang’d, discovering a Sea-shore, where the Hero is represented Landed, but with a very Melancholy Air; attended with several Officers and Gentlemen; the Earth seems to ring with Joy and loud Acclamations at his approach; vast Multitudes thronging to behold him, and striving who first should kiss his Hand; and bearing him aloft in the Air, carry him out of sight with Peals of Welcome and Joy.
He is represented next in Council, and deep debate; and so disappears: Then soft Musick is heard, and he enters in the royal Robe, with a Crown presented him on the Knee, which he receives, and bows to all the Rabble and the Numbers, to give them thanks: He having in his Hand blew Garters, with the order of St. Espéret,* which he distributes to seve-|<406>ral persons on either Hand; throwing Ducal Crowns and Coronets among the Rabble, who scuffle and strive to catch at them: after a great shout of Joy, Thunder and Lightning again shook the Earth, at which they seemed all amaz’d, when a thick black Cloud descended and, covered the whole Scene, and the Rock clos’d again, and Fergusano let fall his Wand.
The Prince seeing the Ceremony end here, rises in a Rrage, and crys out, I charge ye to go on —— remove the Veil, and let the Sun appear; advance your mystick Wand, and show what follows next. I cannot, Sir, replyed the trembling Wizard, the Fates have clos’d the everlasting Book, forbiding farther search. Then damn your scanted Art, replyed the Prince, a petty Juggler could have done as much. Is’t not enough, replyed the German Rabbi, that we have show’d you Crown’d, and Crown’d in France it self? I find the Infernals themselves are bounded|<407> here, and can declare no more. Oh, they are petty Powers that can be Bounded, replyed the Prince with scorn. They strove with all their Art to reconcile him, laying the fault on some mistake of theirs, in the ingredients of the Charm, which at another time they’d strive to prevent: they sooth him with all the hope in the World, that what was left unreveal’d must needs be as glorious and fortunate to him, as what he had seen already, which was absolutely to be depended on: thus they brought him to the open Garden again, where they continued their Instructions to him, telling him that now was the time to arrive at all the Glories he had seen; they presented to him the State of Affairs in France, and how much a greater interest he had in the Hearts of the People than their proper Monarch, arguing a thousand Fallacies to the deluded Hero, who blind and mad with his Dreams of Glory; his Visions and Prospects, listen’d with|<408> reverence and attention, to all their false perswasions. I call them false, Madam, for I never had Faith in those sort of People, and am sorry so many great Men and Ladies of our times are so bewitch’d to their prophecies. They there presented him with a List of all the considerable of the Reformed Religion in Paris, who had assured him Aids of Men and Money in this expedition; Merchants, rich Trades-men, Magistrates and Gown-men of the reformed Church and the Law. Next to this, another of the Contribution of pious Ladies; all which Sums being named, amounted to a considerable supply; so that they assur’d him Hell it self could not with these Aids obstruct his Glory; but on the contrary, should be compell’d to render him assistance, by the help of Charms, to make him invincible: so that wholly o’er-come by them, he has given order, that all Preparations be forthwith made for the most secret and|<409> speedy conveyance of himself and Friends to some Sea-port in France; he has order’d abundance of Letters to be writ to those of the Huguenot Party in all parts of France; all which will be ready to assist him at his Landing. Fergusano undertakes for the management of the whole affair, to write, to speak, and to perswade; and you know, Madam, he is the most subtle and insinuating of all his Non-conforming Race, and the most malignant of all our Party, and sainted by ’em for the most pious and industrious Labourer in the Cause; all that he say’s is Oracle to the Crowd, and all he say’s Authentick; and ’tis he alone is that great Engin, that sets the great Work a turning. Yes, replyed Silvia, and makes the giddy World Mad with his damnable Notions. Pernicious as he is, replyed Brilljard, he has the sole management of affairs under Hermione; he has Power to treat, to advise, to raise Money, to make and name Of|<410>ficers, and lastly, to draw out a Scene of fair Pretences for Cesario to the Crown of France, and the lawfulness of his Claim; for let the Conquest be never so sure, the People require it, and the Conqueror is oblig’d to give some better reason than that of the strength of his Sword, for his Dominion over them. This Pretension is a Declaration, or rather a most scandalous, pernicious and treasonable Libel, if I may say so, who have so great an Interest in it, pen’d with all the Malice Envy can invent; the most unbred, rude piece of Stuff, as makes it apparent, the Author had neither Wit nor common good Manners; besides the hellish Principles he has made evident there. My Lord would have no hand in the Approbation of this gross piece of Villainous Scandal, which has more unfasten’d him from their Interest, than any other designs, and from which he daily more and more declines, or seems disgusted with, tho he does not wholly intend to quit the Interest.|<411> Having no other probable means to make good that fortune, which has been so evidently and wholly destroy’d by it. I am extreamly glad, said Silvia, that Philander’s Sentiments are so Generous, and am at nothing so much amaz’d, as to hear the Prince could suffer so gross a thing to pass in his Name. I must, said Brilljard, do the Prince right in this point, to assure you, when the thing was first in the rough draught show’d him, he told Fergusano, that those accusations of a Crown’d Head, were too Villainous for the thoughts of a Gentleman; and giving it him again, —— cry’d, —— No —— let it never be said, that the Royal Blood, that runs in my Veins, could dictate to me no more noble ways for its defence and pretentions, than the mean Cowardice of Lyes; and that to attain to Empire, I should have recourse to the most detestable of all shifts. No, no, my too zealous Friend, continued he, I will, with only my Sword in my Hand at the head of my Army, proclaim my right, and demand a Crown; which if I win, is|<412> mine; if not, ’tis his, whose Sword is better or Lucklier; and tho’ the future World may call this unjust, at least they’ll say it was brave. At this the Wizard smil’d, and reply’d; Alas, Sir, had we hitherto acted by rules of Generosity only, we had not brought so great advantages to our Interest. You tell me, Sir, of a Speech you’ll make, with your Sword in your Hand; that will do very well at the head of an Army, and a handsome Declaration would be proper for men of Sense; but this is not to the Wise, but to the Fools; on whom nothing will pass, but what is pen’d to their Capacity, and who will not be able to hear the Speeches you shall make to an Army: this is to rouse ’em, and find ’em wherever they are; how far remote soever from you, that at once they may be incited to assist you, and espouse your Interest: This is the sort of Gospel they believe; all other is too fine: believe me, Sir, ’tis by these gross devices, you are to perswade those Sons of Earth, whose Spirits never|<413> mounted above the Dunghill, whence they grew like o’re-ripe Pumpkins. Lyes are the Spirit that inspires ’em, they are the very Brandy that make ’em Valiant; and you may as soon beat Sense into their Brains, as the very appearance of Truth; ’tis the very Language of the scarlet Beast* to ’em. They understand no other than their own, and he that does, knows to what ends we aim. No matter, Sir, what Tools you work withal, so the finisht piece be fine at last. Look forward to the Goal, a Crown attend it! and never mind the dirty Road that leads to’t.
With such false Arguments as these, he wrought upon the easie Nature of the Prince, who ordered some thousands of ’em to be Printed ready for their being disperst all over France, as soon as they should be Landed: Especially among the Parisians, too apt to take any impressions that bore the stamp and pretence of Religion and Liberty.
While these and all other things|<414> necessary were preparing Cesario wholly given over to Love, being urg’d by Hermione, to know the Occasion of his last Nights absence, unravels all the secret, and told my Lord, and she one Night at Supper, the whole Scene of the Grotto; so that Hermione, more than ever being puft up with Ambitious thoughts, hast’ned to have the Prince press’d to marry her; and consulting with the Councillour of her closest secrets, sets him anew to work; swearing violently, that if he did not bring that design about, she should be able by her Ascendant o’re Cesario, to ruin all those they had undertaken, and yet turn the Prince from the Enterprize; and that it was more to satisfy her Ambition (to which they were oblig’d for all the Prince had promised) that he had undertaken to Head an Army, and put himself again into the Hands of the Huguenots, and forsake all the soft repose of Love and Life, than for any Inclination or|<415> Ambition of his own; and that she who had Power to animate him one way, he might be assur’d had the same power another. This she ended in very high Language, with a look too fierce and fiery to leave him any doubt of; and he promised all things should be done as she desired, and that he would overcome the Prince, and bring him absolutely under her power. Not, said she, with a scornful look, that I need your aid in this affair, or want power of my own to command it; but I will not have him look upon it as my Act alone, or a thing of my seeking, but by your advice shall be made to understand ’tis for the good of the Publick; that having to do with a sort of People of the Reformed Religion, whose pretences were more Nice, than Wise, more seemingly zealous than reasonable or just; they might look upon the Life she lead with the Prince as scandalous, that was not justifyed by form, tho never so un-|<416>lawful. A thousand things she urg’d to him, who needed no instruction how to make that appear authentick and just, however contrary to religion and Sense: But, so inform’d, he parted from her, and told her the Event should declare his zeal for her Service; and so it did, for he no sooner spoke of it to the Prince, but he took the Hint as a divine Voice; his very Soul flush’d in his lovely Cheeks, and all the Fire of Love was dancing in his Eyes: Yet as if he had fear’d what he wish’d could not handsomely and lawfully be brought to pass, he ask’d a thousand questions concerning it, all which the subtle Wizard so well resolv’d, at least in his judgment, who easily was convinced of what he wish’d, that he no longer deferr’d his happiness; but that very Night, in the visit he made Hermione, fell at her Feet, and implores her consent of what he told her Fergusano had fully convinced him was necessary for his Interest and|<417> Glory, neither of which he could injoy or regard, if she was not the partner of ’em; and that when he should go to France, and put himself in the Field to demand a Crown, he should do it with absolute Vigour and Resolution, if she were to be seated as Queen on the same Throne with him, without whom a Cottage would be more pleasant; and he could relish no Joys that were not as intirely and immediately hers as his own: He pleaded impatiently for what she long’d, and would have made her Petition for, and all the while she makes a thousand doubts and scruples only to be convinced and confirmed by him; and after seeming fully satisfyed, he led her into a Chamber (where Fergusano waited, and only her Woman, and his faithful confident Tomaso,) and Married her: since which, she has wholly managed him with greater Power than before; takes abundance of State; is extreamly elevated, I will|<418> not say Insolent; and tho’ they do not make a publick Declaration of this; yet she owns it to all her Intimates; and is ever reproaching my Lord with his lewd course of Life, wholly forgetting her own; crying out upon infamous Women, as if she had been all the course of her Life an innocent.
By this time Dinner was ended, and Silvia urg’d Brilljard to depart with her Letter; but he was extreamly surpriz’d to find it to be to the Governours Nephew Don Alonzo, who was his Lords Friend; and who would doubtless give him an account of all, if he did not show him the Billet: All these reasons could not disswade this fickle wanderer, whose Heart was at that time set on this young inconstant, at least her Inclinations: He tells her that her Life would be really in danger, if Philander comes to the knowledge of such an Intrigue, which could not possibly be carry’d on in that|<419> Town without noise: She tells him she is resolved to quit that false injurer of her Fame and Beauty; who had basely abandoned her for other Women of less merit, even since she had pardoned him the Crimes of Love he committed at Cologne; that while he was in the Country with her, during the time of her Lying in, he had given himself to all that would receive him there; that, since he came away, he had left no Beauty unattempted; and could he possibly imagine her of a Spirit to bow beneath such injuries? No, she would on to all the revenges her Youth and Beauty were capable of taking, and stick at nothing that led to that interest; and that if he did not joyn with her in her noble design, she would abandon him, and put herself wholly out of his Protection: Thus she spoke with a fierceness, that made the Lover tremble with fear of losing her: he therefore told her she had reason; and that since she was resolved, he|<420> would confess to her that Philander was the most perfidious Creature in the World; and that Hermione, the haughty Hermione, who hated naughty Women, invited and treated all the handsome Ladies of the Court to Balls, and to the Basset Table,* and made very great entertainment, only to draw to her Interest all the brave and the young men; and that she daily gain’d abundance by these Arts, to Cesario, and above all strove by these amusements to engage Philander; whom she perceiv’d to grow cold in the great concern; daily treating him with Variety of Beauty; so that there was no Gaity, no Gallantry, or Play, but at Hermione’s; whither all the Youth of both Qualities repaired; and ’twas there the Governours Nephew was every Evening to be found. Possibly, Madam, I had not told you this, if the Princes Bounty had not taken me totally off from Philander; so that I have no other dependence on him,|<421> but that of my Respect and Duty, out of perfect Gratitude. After this, to gain Brilljard intirely, she assur’d him if his Fortune were suitable to her Quality, and her way of Life, she believed she should devote herself to him; and tho what she said were the least of her thoughts, it fail’d not to flatter him agreeably, and he sigh’d with Grief, that he could not ingage her; all he could get was little enough to support him fine, which he was always as any Person of quality at Court, and appear’d as Graceful, and might have had some happy Minutes with very fine Ladies, who thought well of him. To salve this defect of want of Fortune, he told her he had received a command from Octavio, to come to him about settling of a very considerable Pension upon her, and that he had at his investing put Money into his Aunt’s Hands, who was a Woman of considerable quality, to be dispos’d of to that Charitable Use, and that if she|<422> pleased to maintain her rest of Fame, and live without receiving Love Visits from Men, she might now command that, which would be a much better and nobler support than that from a Lover, which would be Transitory, and last but as long as her Beauty, or a less time, his Love. To this she knew not what to answer, but ready Money being the joy of her Heart, and the support of her Vanity, she seems to yield to this, having said so much before; and she considering she wanted a thousand things to adorn her Beauty, being very expensive; she was impatient till this was performed, and deferr’d the sending to Don Alonzo, tho her thoughts were perpetually on him. She, by the advice of Brilljard, writes a Letter to Octavio; which was not like those she had before written, but as an humble Penitent would write to a Ghostly Father, treating him with all the respect that was possible: and if ever she mention’d love, it was as if her|<423> Heart had violently, and against her will, burst out into softness, as still she retain’d there; and then she would take up again, and ask pardon for that Transgression; she told him it was a passion, which, tho’ she could never Extinguish for him, yet that it should never warm her for another, but she would leave Philander to the World, and retire where she was not known, and try to make up her broken Fortunes; with abundance of things to this purpose, which he carried to Octavio: he said he could have wish’d she would have retir’d to a Monastery, as all the first part of her Letter had given him hope; and resolved, and retir’d as he was, he could not read this without extream confusion and change of Countenance. He ask’d Brilljard a thousand times whether he believ’d he might Trust her, or if she would abandon those ways of shame, that at last lose all: He answered, he verily believ’d she would. However|<424> said Octavio, ’tis not my business to Capitulate, but to believe and act all things for the interest and satisfaction of her, whom I yet adore; and without further delay writ to his Aunt, to present Silvia with those Sums he had left for her; and which had been sufficient to have made her happy all the rest of her Life, if her Sins of Love had not obstructed it. However she no sooner found herself Mistriss of so considerable a Sum, but in lieu of retiring, and ordering her affairs so as to render it for ever serviceable to her, the first thing she does, is to furnish herself with new Coach and Equipage, and to lavish out in Cloth, and Jewels, a great part of it immediately; and was impatient to be seen on the Toure, and in all publick Places; nor could Brilljard perswade the contrary, but against all good Manners and Reason, she flew into most violent passions with him, till he had resolved to give her her way; it hap’ned|<425> that the first day she show’d on the Toure, neither Philander, Cesario nor Hermione chanc’d to be there; so that at Supper it was all the news, how glorious a young Creature was seen only with one Lady, which was Antonet very well drest, in the Coach with her: every Body that made their Court that Night to Hermione, spoke of this new Vision, as the most extraordinary Charmer that had ever been seen; all were that day undone with Love, and none could learn who this fair destroyer was; for all the time of Silvia’s being at Bruxells before, her being big with Child had kept her from appearing in all publick places; so that she was wholly a new Face to all that saw her; and it is easie to be imagined what Charms that delicate Person appear’d with to all, when dress’d to such advantage, who naturally was the most beautiful Creature in the World; with all the Bloom of Youth that could add to Beauty. Among the|<426> rest that day that lost their Hearts, was the Governour’s Nephew, who came into the presence that Night wholly Transported, and told Hermione he dy’d for the lovely Charmer he had that day seen; so that she, who was the most curious to gain all the Beauties to her side, that the men might be so too, indeavour’d all she could to find out where this Beauty dwelt. Philander, now grown the most Amorous and Gallant in the World, grew passionately in love with the very description of her, not imagining it had been Silvia, because of her Equipage: He knew she lov’d him, at least he thought she lov’d him too well to conceal herself from him, or be in Bruxells, and not let him know it; so that wholly ravish’d with the Description of the imagined new fair One, he burnt with desire of seeing her; and all this Night was pass’d in discourse of this Stranger alone; the next day her Livery being describ’d|<427> to Hermione, she sent two Pages all about the Town, to see if they could discover a Livery so remarkable; and that if they did, they should enquire of them who they belonged to, and where that Person’s Lodging was. This was not a very difficult matter to perform: Bruxells is not a large place, and it was soon survey’d from one end to the other: At last they met with two of her Foot-men, whom they saluted, and taking notice of their Livery, ask’d them who they belong’d to? these Lads were strangers to the Lady they serv’d, and newly taken; and Silvia at first coming, resolv’d to change her Name, and was call’d Madame De —— a Name very considerable in France, which they told the Pages, and that she liv’d in such a place: This news Hermione no sooner heard, but she sends a Gentleman in the Name of the Prince and herself to complement her, and tell her she had the Honour to know some great Per-|<428>sons of that name in France, and did not doubt but she was related to them: She therefore sent to offer her her Friendship; which possibly in a strange place might not be unserviceable to her, and that she should be extream glad to see her at Court, that is, at Cesario’s Pallace. The Gentleman who deliver’d this message, being surpriz’d at the dazling Beauty of the fair Stranger, was almost unassur’d in his Address, and the manner of it surpriz’d Silvia no less, to be invited as a strange Lady, by one that hated her; she could not tell whether it were real, or a Plot upon her; however she made answer, and bad him tell Madam the Princess, which Title she gave her, that she receiv’d her Complement as the greatest Honour that could arrive to her, and that she would wait upon Her Highness, and let her know from her own Mouth the Sense she had of the Obligation. The Gentleman returned and deliver’d his message|<429> to Hermione; but so alter’d in his Look, so sad and unusual, that she took notice of it, and ask’d him how he liked the new Beauty: He blushed and bow’d, and told her, she was a Wonder —— This made Hermione’s Colour rise, it being spoke before Cesario; for tho’ she were assured of the Hero’s Heart, she hated he should believe there was a greater Beauty in the World, and one universally Adored. She knew not how so great a Miracle might work upon him, and began to repent she had invited her to Court.
In the mean time, Silvia, after debating what to do in this Affair, whether to visit Hermione and discover her self, or to remove from Bruxells, resolved rather upon the last; but she had fixed her Design as to Don Alonzo, and would not depart the Town. To her former beginning Flame, for him was added more Fuel; she had seen him the Day before on the Toure; she|<430> had seen him gaze at her with all the impatience of Love, with madness of Passion in his Eyes, ready to fling himself out of the Coach every time she past by; and if he appeared Beautiful before, when in his Riding dress, and harass’d for Four Nights together with Love and want of Sleep. What did he now appear to her Amorous Eyes and Heart? She had wholly forgot Octavio, Philander, and all, and made a Sacrifice of both to this new young Lover: She saw him with all the advantages of Dress, magnificent as Youth and Fortune could invent; and above all, his Beauty and his Quality warmed her Heart a new; and what advanced her Flame yet farther, was a Vanity she had of fixing the dear Wanderer, and making him find there was a Beauty yet in the World, that could put an end to his Inconstancy, and make him languish at her Feet as long as she pleased. Resolv’d on this new de-|<431>sign, she defers it no longer, but as soon as the Persons of Quality, who used to walk every Evening in the Park, were got together, she accompanied with Antonett, and Three or four strange Pages and Foot-men, went into the Park, Mask’d, drest in perfect Glory. She had not walked long there before she saw Don Alonzo, richer than ever in his Habit, and more Beautiful to her Eyes than any thing she had ever seen; he was gotten among the Young and Fair, caressing, laughing, playing, and acting all the little Wantonnesses of Youth. Silvia’s Blood grew disordered at this, and she found she loved by her Jealousie, and longs more than ever to have the glory of vanquishing that Heart, that so boasted of never having yet been conquer’d. She therefore uses all her Art to get him to look at her; she passed by him often, and as often as she did so he view’d her with Pleasure; her Shape, her Air, her Mien, had|<432> something so Charming, as without the Assistance of her Face, she gained that Evening a thousand Conquests; but those were not the Trophies she aimed at, it was Alonzo was the mark’d out Victim, that she destin’d for the Sacrifice of Love. She found him so ingag’d with Women of great Quality, she almost dispair’d to get to speak to him; her Equipage, who stood at the Entrance of the Park, not being by her, he did not imagine this fine Lady to be her he saw on the Toure last Night; yet he look’d at her so much, as gave occasion to those he was with to rally him extreamly, and tell him he was in Love with what he had not seen, and who might, notwithstanding all that delicate appearance, be ugly when her mask was off. Silvia, however, still past on with abundance of sighing Lovers after her, some daring to speak, others only languishing; to all she would vouchsafe no word, but made signs, as if|<433> she were a stranger, and understood ’em not; at last, Alonzo wholly impatient, breaks from these Ralliers, and gets into the Crowd that pursued this lovely unknown: her Heart leapt, when he approach’d her, and the first thing she did was to pull off her Glove, and not only show the fairest Hand that ever Nature made, but that Ring on her Finger Alonzo gave her when they parted at the Village. The Hand alone was enough to invite all Eyes with Pleasure to look that way; but Alonzo had a double Motive, he saw the Hand with Love, and the Ring with Jealousie and Surprize; and as ’tis natural in such Cases, the very first Thought that possest him, was, that the young Bellumere (for so Silvia had call’d herself at the Village) was a Lover of this Lady, and had presented her this Ring. And after his Sighings and little Pantings, that seized him at this thought, would give him leave, he bowing and|<434> blushing cry’d, —— Madam, the whole piece must be Excellent, when the Pattern is so very fine. And humbly beging the Favour of a nearer view, he took her Hand and kiss’d it with a passionate Eagerness, which possibly did not so well please Silvia, because she did not think he took her for the same person, to whom he show’d such signs of Love last Night. In taking her Hand he survey’d the Ring, and cry’d, —— Madam, would to Heaven I could lay so good a claim to this fair Hand, as I think I once could to this Ring, which this Hand Adorns and Honours. How, Sir, replied Silvia, I hope you will not charge me with Fellony? I am afraid I shall, reply’d he sighing, for you have attack’d me on the King’s High-way, and have robbed me of a Heart: I could never have robbed a Person, said Silvia, who could more easily have parted with that Trifle; the next fair Object will redeem it, and it will be very little the worse for my using. Ah Madam,|<435> reply’d he sighing, that will be according as you will treat it; for I find already, you have done it more damage, than it ever sustained in all the Rancounters it has had with Love and Beauty. You complain too soon, reply’d Silvia, smiling, and you ought to make a tryal of my good Nature before you reproach me with harming you. I know not, reply’d Alonzo, sighing, what I may venture to hope from that; but I am afraid, from your Inclinations, I ought to hope for nothing, since a Thousand reasonable Jealousies already posseß me, from the sight of that Ring; and I more than doubt I have a powerful Rival, a Youth of the most divine Form I ever met with of his Sex; if from him you received it, I gueß my Fate. I perceive, Stranger, said Silvia, you begin to be inconstant already, and find excuses to complain on your Fate before you have tried your Fortune. I perswade myself that fine Person you speak of, and to whom you gave this Ring, has so|<436> great a value for you, that to leave you no Excuse, I assure you, he will not be displeas’d to find you a Rival, provided you prove a very constant Lover. I confeß, said Alonzo, Constancy is an imposition I never yet had the Confidence and ill Nature to impose on the Fair; and indeed I never found that Woman yet, of Youth and Beauty, that ever set so small a value on her own Charms, to be much in Love with that dull Vertue, and require it of my Heart; but, upon occasion, Madam, if such an unreasonable fair one be found —— I am extreamly sorry (interrupted Silvia) to find you have no better way of recommending yourself; this will be no great incouragement to a person of my Humour to receive your Addresses. Madam, I do not tell you that I am not in my nature wondrous constant, reply’d he; I tell you only what has hitherto happen’d to me, not what will; that I have yet never been so, is no Fault of mine, but power or truth in those Beauties, to whom I|<437> have given my Heart, rather believe they wanted Charms to hold me, than that I (where Wit and Beauty ingag’d me) should prove so false to my own Pleasure. I am very much afraid, Madam, if I find my Eyes as agreeably entertained when I shall have the Honour to see your Face, as my Ears are with your excellent Wit, I shall be reduced to that very whining, sighing Coxcomb, you like so well in a Lover, and be ever dying at your Feet. I have but one hope left to preserve myself from this wretched thing, you Women love; that is, that I shall not find you so all over Charming, as what I have hitherto found presents it self to be. You have already created Love enough in me for any reasonable Woman, but I find you are not to be approached with the common Devotions we pay your Sex; but, like your Beauty, the Passion too must be great, and you are not content unleß you see your Lovers die; this is that fatal proof alone that can satisfie you of their Passion. And tho’|<438> you laugh to see a Sir Courtly Nice,* a Fop in Fashion acted on the Stage, in your Hearts that foolish thing, that fine neat Pasquel* is your Darling, your fine Gentleman, your Well-bred Person.
Thus sometimes in Jest, and sometimes in Earnest, they recommended themselves to each other, and to so great a degree, that it was impossible for them to be more Charmed on either side, which lasted till it was time to depart; but he besought her not to do so till she had informed him where he might wait on her, and most passionately solicits what she as passionately desired: To tell you Truth, said she, I cannot permit you that freedom without you ask it of Bellumere. He reply’d, Next to waiting on her, he should be the most overjoy’d in the World, to pay his Respects to that young Gentleman. However, to Name him, gave him a Thousand Fears; which when he would have urg’d, she bid him trust|<439> to the generosity of that Man, who was of Quality, and lov’d him; she then told him his Lodgings (which were her own): Alonzo, infinitely over-joyed, resolved to lose no time, but promis’d that Evening to visit him: And at their parting, he treated her with so much passionate Respect, that she was vext to see it paid to one he yet knew not. However she verily believed her Conquest was certain: He having seen her three times, and all those times for a several Person, and yet was still in Love with her: And she doubted not, when all three were joyn’d in one, he would be much more in Love than yet he had been; with this assurance they parted.
Silvia was no sooner got home but she resolved to receive Alonzo, who she was assured would come: She hasted to dress herself in a very rich Suit of Man’s Clothes, to receive him as the young French Gentleman. She believed Brilljard|<440> would not come till late as was his use, now being at Play at Hermione’s. She look’d extream pretty when she was drest, and had all the Charms that Heaven could adorn a Face and Shape withal: Her Apartment was very magnificent, and all look’d very great. She was no sooner drest but the young Lover came. Silvia received him on the Stair-case with open Arms, and all the signs of Joy that could be exprest, and leads him to a rich drawing Room, where she began to entertain him with that happy Nights adventure, when they both lay together at the Village, while Alonzo makes imperfect replies; wholly charmed with the look of the young Cavalier, which so resembled what he had seen the day before in another Garb on the Toure. He is wholly ravish’d with his Voice, it being absolutely the same that had charmed him that Day in the Park; the more he gaz’d and|<441> listen’d, the more he was confirm’d in his Opinion, that he was the same, and he had the Musick of that dear accent still in his Ears, and could not be deceived. A Thousand times he is about to kneel before her and ask her Pardon, but still is check’d by Doubt: He sees, he hears, this is the same lovely Youth, who lay in Bed with him at the Village Cabarett; and then no longer thinks her Woman: He hears and sees it is the same Face, and Voice, and Hands he saw on the Toure, and in the Park, and then believes her Woman: While he is in these perplexities, Silvia, who with Vanity and Pride perceiv’d his disorder, taking him in her Arms, cry’d, Come, my Alonzo, that you shall no longer doubt but I am perfectly your Friend, I will shew you a Sister of mine, whom you will say is a Beauty, or I am too partial, and I will have your judgment of her. With that she call’d to Antonett to beg her Lady would permit her to bring a young|<442> Stranger to kiss her Hand. The Maid, instructed, retires, and Alonzo stood gazing on Silvia as one confounded and amaz’d, not knowing yet how to determine; he now begins to think himself mistaken in the fair Youth, and is ready to ask his Pardon for a Fault but imagin’d, suffering by his silence the little Prattler to Discourse and laugh at him at his pleasure. Come, said Silvia smiling, I find the naming a Beauty to you has made you Melancholy; possibly when you see her she will not appear so to you; we do not always agree in one Object. Your Judgment, reply’d Alonzo, is too good to leave me any hope of Liberty at the sight of a fine Woman; if she be like your self I read my destiny in your charming Face. Silvia answered only with a Smile —— and calling again for Antonett, he ask’d if his Sister were in a condition of being seen; she told him she was not, but all undrest and in her Night-clothes; Nay, then, said Silvia, I must use my|<443> Authority with her: And leaving Alonzo trembling with Expectation, she ran to her dressing Room where all things were ready, and slipping off her Coat put on a rich Night-Gown, and instead of her Peruke fine Night-Clothes, and came forth to the Charm’d Alonzo, who was not able to approach her, she look’d with such a Majesty and so much dazling Beauty; he knew her to be the same he had seen on the Toure. She (seeing he only gazed without Life or Motion) approaching him, gave him her Hand, and cryed —— Sir, possibly this is a more old acquaintance of yours than my Face. At which he blush’d and bow’d, but could not speak: At last Silvia, laughing out-right, cryed —— Here Antonett bring me again my Peruke, for I find I shall never be acquainted with Don Alonzo in Peticoats. At this he blush’d a thousand times more than before, and no longer doubting but this Char-|<444>mer, and the lovely Youth were one; he fell at her Feet, and told her he was undone, for she had made him give her so undisputable Proofs of his Dulness, he could never hope she should allow him capable of eternally adoring her. Rise, cry’d Silvia, smiling, and believe you have not committed so great an Errour, as you imagine; the mistake has been often made, and Persons of a great deal of Wit have been deceiv’d. You may say what you please, replyed Alonzo, to put me in Countenance; but I shall never forgive my self the Stupidity of that happy Night, that laid me by the most glorious Beauty of the World, and yet afforded me no kind Instinct to inform my Soul how much I was blest: Oh pity a wretchedness, Divine Maid, that has no other excuse but that of Infatuation; a thousand times my greedy ravish’d Eyes wander’d o’re the dazling brightness of yours; a thousand times I wish’d that Heaven had made you Woman! and when I|<445> look’d, I burnt; but, when I Kiss’d those soft, those lovely Lips, I durst not trust my Heart; for every touch begot wild Thoughts about it; which yet the Course of all my Fiery Youth, through all the wild Debauches I had wandered, had never yet betray’d me to: and going to Bed with all this love and fear about me, I made a solemn Oath not to approach you, least so much Beauty had o’er-come my Vertue. But by this new discovery, you have given me a Flame I have no power nor virtue to oppose: ’tis just, ’tis natural to adore you; and not to do it, were yet a crime greater than my Sin of Dulness; and since you have made me lose a Charming Friend, it is but just I find a Mistriss; give me but your permission to Love, and I will give you all my life in Services, and wait the rest: I’ll watch and pray for coming happiness; which I will buy at any price of Life or Fortune. Well, Sir, replyed our easie fair One; If you believe me worth a Conquest o’re you, convince me you can|<446> love; for I’m no common Beauty to be won with petty suddain Services; and could you lay an Empire at my Feet, I should despise it where the Heart were wanting. You may believe the Amorous; Youth left no Argument to convince her in that point unsaid; and ’tis most certain they came to so good an understanding, that he was not seen in Bruxells for eight days and nights after, nor this rare Beauty, for so long a time, seen on the Toure or any publick Place. Brilljard came every day to visit her, and receive her commands, as he us’d to do, but was answer’d still that Silvia was Ill, and kept her Chamber, not suffering even her Domesticks to approach her: This did not so well satisfy the Jealous Lover, but he soon imagined the cause, and was very much displeas’d at the ill Treatment; if such a design had been carried on, he desired to have the management of it, and was angry that Silvia had not only deceived him|<447> in the promise he had made for her to Octavio; but had done her own business without him; he spoke some hard words; so that to undeceive him she was forced to oblige Alonzo to appear at Court again; which she had much ado to incline him to, so absolutely she had Charm’d him; however he went, and she suffered Brilljard to visit her, perswading that easie Lover (as all Lovers are easie) that it was only indisposition that hindered her of the happiness of seeing him, and after having perfectly reconcil’d herself to him, she ask’d him the news at Hermione’s, to whom, I had forgot to tell you, she sent every day a Page with a Complement, and to let her know she was Ill, or she should have waited on her: She every day received the Complement from her again, as an unknown Lady. Brilljard told her that all things were now prepar’d, and in a very short time they should go for France;|<448> but that whatever the matter was Philander almost publickly disown’d the Prince’s Interest, and to some very considerable of the Party, has given out, he does not like the Proceedings, and that he verily believed they would find themselves all mistaken; and that instead of a Throne the Prince would meet a Scaffold; so bold and open he has been. Something of it has arriv’d to the Prince’s Ear, who was so far from believing it, that he could hardly be perswaded to speak of it to him; and when he did, it was with an assurance before hand, that he did not credit such reports. So that he gives him not the Pain to deny them: For my part I am infinitely afraid he will disoblige the Prince one day; for last night, when the Prince desired him to get his Equipage ready, and to make such Provision for you as was necessary; he coldly told him he had a mind to go to Hungary,* which at that time was besieg’d by Solyman|<449> the Magnificent,* and that he had no inclination of returning to France. This surpriz’d and angered the Prince; but they parted good Friends at last, and he has promised him all things: So that I am very well assur’d he will send me where he supposes you still are; and how shall we manage that affair?
Silvia, who had more cunning and subtlety, than all the rest of her Sex; thought it best to see Philander, and part with him on as good terms as she could, and that it was better he should think he yet had the absolute possession of her, than that he should return to France with an ill opinion of her Vertue, as yet he had known no guilt of that kind, nor did he ever more than fear it, with Octavio; so that it would be easie for her to cajole him yet a little longer, and when he was gone, she should have the World to range in, and possess this new Lover, to whom she had promised all things, and receiv’d from him|<450> all assurances imaginable of inviolable Love: In order to this then she consulted with Brilljard; and they resolved she should for a few days leave Antonett with her Equipage, at that House where she was, and retire herself to the Village where Philander had left her, and where he still imagined she was: She desir’d Brilljard to give her a days time for this preparation, and it should be so. He left her, and going to Hermione’s, meets Philander, who immediately gave him orders to go to Silvia the next Morning, and let her know how all things went, and to tell her, he would be with her in two days. In the mean time Silvia sent for Alonzo, who was but that Evening gone from her. He flies on the Wings of Love, and she tells him, she is oblig’d to go to a place six or seven days Journey off, whither he could not conduct her, for reasons she would tell him at her return: whatever he could plead with all the force|<451> of love to the contrary, she gets his consent, with a promise wholly to devote herself to him at her return, and pleas’d she sent him from her, when Brilljard returning, told her the commands he had; and ’twas concluded they should both depart next Morning, accompanied only by her Page. I am well assur’d she was very kind to Brilljard all that Journey, and which was but too visible to the amorous Youth, who attended them; so absolutely had she deprav’d her reason from one degree of Sin and Shame to another; and he was happy above any imagination, while even her Heart was given to another, and when she could propose no other interest in this looseness, but security, that Philander should not know how ill she had treated him. In four days Philander came, and finding Silvia more fair than ever was anew pleas’d; for she pretended to receive him with all the joy imaginable, and the deceived Lover be-|<452>lieved, and express’d abundance of Grief, at the being obliged to part from her; a great many Vows and Tears were lost on both sides, and both believed true: But the Grief of Brilljard was not to be conceived; he could not perswade himself he could live, when absent from her: Some Bills Philander left her, and was so plain with her, and open-hearted, he told her that he went indeed with Cesario, but it was in order to serve the King; that he was weary of their Actions, and foresaw nothing but ruin would attend ’em; that he never repented him of any thing so much, as his being drawn in to that Faction; in which he found himself so greatly involved, he could not retire with any credit, but since Self-Preservation was the first principle of Nature, he had resolved to make that his aim, and rather prove false to a party who had no Justice and Honour on their Side, than to a King whom all the|<453> Laws of Heaven and Earth obliged him to serve; however he was so far in the power of these People, that he could not disingage himself without utter ruin to himself; but that as soon as he was got into France, he would abandon their Interest: Let the censuring World say what it would, who never had right notions of things, or ever made true Judgments of Men’s Actions.
He liv’d five or six days with Silvia there; in which time she fail’d not to assure him of her constant Fidelity a thousand ways, especially by Vows that left no doubt upon his Heart, and it was now that they both indeed found there was a very great Friendship still remaining at the bottom of their Hearts for each other, nor did they part without manifold proofs of it. Brilljard took a sad and melancholy leave of her, and had not the freedom to tell her aloud, but obliged to depart with his Lord, they left Silvia, and post-|<454>ed to Bruxells, where they found the Prince ready to depart, having left Hermione to her Women more than half dead. I have heard there never was so sad a parting between two Lovers; a Hundred times they swounded with the apprehension of the separation in each other’s Arms, and at last the Prince was forced from her while he left her dead, and was little better himself: He would have returned, but the Officers and People about him, who had espous’d his Quarrel, would by no means suffer him: And he has a Thousand times told a person very near him, That he had rather have forfeited all his hop’d for Glory, than have left that Charmer of his Soul. After he had taken all care imaginable for Hermione, for that name so dear to him, was scarce ever out of his Mouth, he suffer’d himself with a heavy Heart and Pace, to be conducted to the Vessel: And I have|<455> heard he was hardly seen to smile all the little Voyage, or his whole Life after, or do any thing but sigh and sometimes weep, which was a very great discouragement to all that followed him; they were a great while at Sea, tost to and fro by stress of Weather, and often driven back to the Shore where they first took Shipping; and not being able to Land where they first designed, they got a-shore in a little Harbour, where no Ship of any bigness could Anchor; so that with much ado, getting all their Arms and Men on shore, they sunk the Ship, both to secure any from flying, and that it might not fall into the Hands of the French. Cesario was no sooner on the French shore, but numbers came to him of the Hugonot Party, for whom he had Arms, and who wanted them he furnish’d as far as he could, and immediately Proclaimed himself King of France and Navarr, while the dirty Croud,|<456> rang him Peals of Joy. But tho’ the under World came in great Crowds to his Aid, he wanted still the main supporters of his Cause, the Men of more substantial Quality: If the Ladies could have compos’d an Army, he would not have wanted one, for his Beauty had got them all on his side, and he Charm’d the fair wheresoever he rode. ——
He march’d from Town to Town without any opposition, Proclaiming himself King in all the places he came to; still gathering as he march’d, till he had compos’d a very formidable Army. He made Officers of the Kingdom —— Fergusano was to have been a Cardinal, and several Lords and Dukes were nominated; and he found no opposition in all his prosperous Course. —— in the mean time the Royal Army was not Idle, which was composed of Men very well Disciplined, and conducted by several Princes and Men of great Quality|<457> and Conduct. But as ’tis not the Business of this little History to treat of war, but altogether Love; leaving those rougher Relations to the Chronicles and Historiographers of those Times, I will only hint on such things in this Enterprize as are most proper for my purpose, and tell you that Cesario omitted nothing for the carrying on his great Design; he dispersed his Scandals all over France, tho’ they met with an obstruction at Paris, and were immediately suppress’d, it being proclaimed Death for any person to keep one in their Houses; and if any should by chance come to their Hands, they were on this Penalty to carry them to the Secretary of State; and after the Punishment had past on Two or Three Offenders, it deterred the rest from medling with those edge Tools: I must tell you also, that the title of King, which Cesario had taken so early upon him, was much against his Inclinations;|<458> and he desir’d to see himself at the Head of a more satisfiable Army, before he would take on him a Title he found (in the condition he was in) he should not defend; but those about him insinuated to him, that it was the Title that would not only make him more Venerable, but would make his Cause appear more just and awfull;* and beget him a perfect Adoration with those People who liv’d remote from Courts, and had never seen that glorious thing called a King. So that believing it would give Nerves to the Cause, he unhappily took upon him that which ruined him; for he had often sworn to the greatest part of those of any Quality, of his interest, That his design was Liberty only, and that his end was the publick good, so infinitely above his own private interest, that he desired only the Honour of being the Champion for the opprest Parisians, and People of France; that if they would|<459> allow him to lead their Armies, to fight and spend his dearest Blood for them, ’twas all the Glory he aim’d at: ’Twas this pretended Humility in a person of his high rank that cajol’d the Mobile, who look on him as their God, their Deliverer, and all that was sacred and dear to them; but the wiser sort regarded him only as one that had most power and pretention to turn the whole Affairs of France, which they disliking were willing at any Price, to reduce to their own conditions and to what they desired; not imagining he would have laid a claim to the Crown, which many of them fancy’d themselves as capable of as himself, rather that he would perhaps have set up the King of Navarr. This Cesario knew; and understanding their Sentiments, was unwilling to hinder their joyning with him, by such a Declaration which he knew would be a means to turn abundance of Hearts against him, as indeed it|<460> fell out; and he found himself Master of some few Towns, only with an Army of Fifteen or Sixteen thousand Peasants, ill Armed, unus’d to War, Watchings, and very ill Lodging in the Field, very badly Victuall’d, and worse Paid. For, from Paris no Aids of any kind could be brought him; the Roads all along being so well guarded and secured by the Royal Forces, and wanting some great Persons to espouse his Quarrel, made him not only dispair of Success, but highly resent it of those who had given him so large promises of Aid. Many, as I said, and most were disgusted with his Title of King; but some waited the success of his first Battle; which was every day expected, tho’ Cesario kept himself as clear of the Royal Army as he could a long time, marching away as soon as they drew near, hoping by these means, not only to tire them out, and watch an advantage when to engage, but|<461> gather still more Numbers. So that the greatest mischief he did was teazing the Royal Army, who could never tell were to have him, so dexterous he was in marching off. They often came so near, as to have Skirmishes with one another by small Parties, where some few Men would fall on both sides: And to say truth Cesario in this Expedition show’d much more of a Souldier than the Politician: His Skill was great, his Conduct good, expert in Advantages, and indefatigable in Toils. And I have heard it from the Mouth of a Gentleman, who in all that undertaking never was from him, that in Seven or Eight Weeks that he was in Arms he never absolutely undrest himself, and hardly slept an Hour in the Four and twenty; and that sometimes he was on his Horse’s-back, in a Chariot, or on the ground, suffering even with the meanest of his Souldiers all the fatigues of the Enterprize: This Gentleman told me|<462> he would, in those Hours, he should sleep, and wherein he was not taking Measures and Councils (which were always held in the Night) that he would be eternally speaking to him of Hermione; and that with the softest concern, ’twas possible for Love and tenderest Passion to express. That he being the only Friend he could repose so great a weakness in, and who sooth’d him to the degree he wish’d, the Prince was so well pleas’d with him, as to establish him a Collonel of Horse, for no other merit than that of having once served Hermione, and now would flatter his disease agreeably: And tho’ he did so, he protested he was ashamed to hear how Poor this fond concern render’d this great Man, and he has often pity’d what should have been else admir’d; but who can tell the force of Love, back’d by Charms supernatural? And who is it that will not sigh at the Fate of so Illustrious a Young-man, whom|<463> Love had render’d the most miserable of all those numbers he led?
But now the Royal Army, as if they had purposly suffered him to take his Toore about the Country, to Ensnare him with the more Facility; had at last, by new Forces that came to their assistance daily, so incompass’d him, that it was impossible for him to avoid any longer giving them Battle; however he had the benefit of Posting himself the most advantageously, that he could wish; he had the rising Grounds to place his Cannon, and all things concur’d to give him success. His Numbers exceeding those of the Royal Army; not but he would have avoided a set Battle, if it had been possible, till he had made himself Master of some places of stronger hold; for yet as I said, he had only subdued some inconsiderable places, which were not able to make defence; and which as soon as he was march’d out, surrender’d again to their lawful|<464> Prince; and pulling down his Proclamation, put up those of the King: but he was on all sides so embarrass’d, he could not come even to parly* with any Town of Note; so that as I said, at last, being as it were block’d up, tho’ the Royal Army did not offer him Battle: Three Nights they lay thus in view of each other; the first night, the Prince sent out his Scouts, who brought him intelligence, that the Enemy was not so well prepar’d for Battle, as they fear’d they might be if they imagined the Prince would engage ’em, but he had so often given them the slip, that they believed he had no mind to put the Fortune of the Day to the push; And they were glad of these delays, that new forces might advance; when the Scouts returned with this news, the Prince was impatient to fall upon the Enemy; but Fergusano, who was continually taking Council of his Charms, and looking into his black Book of Fate,|<465> for every sally and step they made, perswaded his Highness to have yet a little patience; positively assuring him his Fortune depended on a Critical Minute, which was not yet come; and that if he offered to give Battle before the Change of the Moon, he was inevitably lost, and that the attendance of that fortunate moment would be the beginning of those of his whole Life: with such like positive perswasions, he gain’d upon the Prince, and overcame his impatience of engaging for that Night, all which he past in Council without being perswaded to take any rest, often blaming the nicety of their Art, and his Stars; and often asking, if they lost that opportunity that Fortune had now given ’em, whether all their Art, or Stars, or Devils, could retrieve it? and nothing would that Night appease him, or dispossess’d the Sorcerers of this opinion.
The next day they received certain intelligence, that a considerable|<466> supply would re-inforce the Royal Army under the Conduct of a Prince of the Blood; which were every moment expected: This news made the Prince rave, and he broke out into all the rage imaginable against the Wizards, who defended themselves with all the reasons of their Art; but it was all in vain, and he vow’d he would that Night engage the Enemy; if he could find but one faithful Friend to second him; tho’ he dyed in the attempt; that he was worn out with the Toils he had undergone; harass’d almost to death, and would wait no longer the approach of his lazy Fate, but boldly advancing, meet it, what Face so ’ere it bore. They besought him on their Knees, he would not overthrow the Glorious Design so long in bringing to perfection, just in the very Minute of happy projection; but to wait those certain Fates, that would bring him Glory and Honour on their Wings; and who, if slighted,|<467> would abandon him to distruction; it was but some few Hours more, and then they were his own, to be commanded by him: ’twas thus they drill’d and delay’d him on till Night; when again he sent out his Scouts to discover the Posture of the Enemy; and himself in the mean time went to Council. Philander fail’d not to be sent for thither, who sometimes feign’d Excuses to keep away, and when he did come, he sate unconcern’d, neither giving or receiving any advice. This was taken notice of by all, but Cesario, who look’d upon it as being overwatch’d, and fatigu’d with the Toils of the day: his Sullenness did not pass so in the opinion of the rest; they saw, or at least thought they saw some other marks of discontent in his fine Eyes, which love so much better became. One of the Prince’s Officers and Captain of his Guard, who was an old Hereditary Rogue, and whose Father had suf-|<468>fer’d in Rebellion before; a Fellow rough and daring, comes boldly to the Prince when the Council rose, and ask’d him if he were resolved to Engage? He told him, he was. Then, said he, give me leave to shoot Philander in the Head: This blunt proposition given, without any manner of reason or Circumstance, made the Prince start back a step or two, and ask him his meaning of what he said. Sir, replyed the Captain, if you will be safe Philander must Die; for however it appear to your Highness, to all the Camp he shows the Traytor, and ’tis more than doubted he, and the King of France understand one another but too well: Therefore, if you would be Victor, let him be dispatch’d, and I my self will undertake it: Hold, said the Prince, if I could believe what you say to be true, I should not take so base a revenge; I would Fight like a Souldier, and he should be treated like a man of Honour: Sir, said Vaneur, for that was the Captains name; do not,|<469> in the Circumstances we now are in talk of treating (with those that would betray us) like men of Honour; we cannot stand upon decency in killing, who have so many to dispatch; we came not into France to fight Duels, and stand on nice Punctillios: I say, we must make quick work, and I have a good Pistol charg’d with two handsome Bullets, that shall, as soon as he appears amongst us on Horse-back, do his business as gentilely as can be, and rid you of one of the most powerful of your Enemies. To this the Prince would by no means agree; not believing one syllable of the Accusation. Vaneur swore then, that he would not draw a Sword for his Service, while Philander was suffered to live; and he was as good as his word: He said in going out, that he would obey the Prince, but he beg’d his pardon, if he did not lift a Hand on his side; and in an Hour after sent him his Commission, and waited on him, and was with him almost till the|<470> last, in all the danger, but would not Fight, having made a solemn Vow. Several others were of Vaneur’s opinion, but the Prince believ’d nothing of it, Philander being indeed, as he said, weary of the design and party, and regarded them as his Ruiners, who with fair pretences, drew him into a bad Cause; which his Youth had not then considered, and from which he could not untangle himself.
By this time, the Scout was come back, who inform’d the Prince that now was the best time in the World to Attack the Enemy, who all lay supinely in their Tents and did not expect a Surprize: That the very out-guards were slender, and that it would not be hard to put ’em to a great deal of Confusion. The Prince who was enough impatient before, now was all Fire and Spirit, and ’twas not in the Power of Magick to withhold him; but hasting immediately to Horse, with as much speed as possible,|<471> he got at the Head of his Men; and marching on directly to the Enemy put them into so great a surprize, that it may be admired how they got themselves into a condition of defence; and, to make short of a business that was not long in acting, I may avow nothing but the immediate hand of the Almighty (who favours the juster side, and is always ready for the support of those who approach so near his own Divinity, sacred and anointed Heads) could have turned the Fortune of the Battle to the Royal side; it was prodigious to consider the unequal numbers, and the Advantage all on the Princes part; it was miraculous to behold the order on his side, and surprize on the other, which of it self had been sufficient to have confounded them; yet notwithstanding all this unpreparedness on this side, and the
Some Authors in the Relation of this Battle, affirm, That Philander quitted his Post as soon as the Charge was given, and sheer’d off from that Wing he commanded; but all Histo-|<475>rians agree in this Point, that if he did, it was not for want of Courage; for in a Thousand Incounters he has given sufficient proofs of as much Bravery as a Man can be capable of: But he disliked the Cause, disapproved of all their Pretensions, and look’d upon the whole Affair and Proceeding to be most unjust and ungenerous: And all the fault his greatest Enemies could charge him with, was, That he did not deal so gratefully with a Prince that loved him and trusted him; and that he ought frankly to have told him, he would not serve him in this Design; and that it had been more Gallant to have quited him that way, than this; but there are so many Reasons to be given for this more Politick and safe Deceit, than are needful in this place, and ’tis most certain, as it is the most justifiable to Heaven and Man, to one born a Subject of France, and having Sworn Allegiance to his proper King, to aban-|<476>don any other Interest; so let the Enemies of this great Man say what they please, if a Man be oblig’d to be false to this or that Interest, I think no body of common Honesty, Sense and Honour, will dispute which he ought to abandon; and this is most certain, that he did not forsake him because Fortune did so, as this one Instance may make appear. When Cesario was first Proclaimed King, and had all the Reason in the World to believe that Fortune would have been wholly partial to him, he offer’d Philander his choice of any Principality and Government in France, and to have made him of the Order of Saint Esprèet; all which he refused, tho’ he knew his great Fortune was lost and already distributed to Favourites at Court, and himself Proscribed and Convicted as a Traytor to France. Yet all these refusals did not open the Eyes of this credulous great young Man, who still believed it the sullenness and Generosity of his Temper.|<477>
No sooner did the day discover to the World the horrid Business of the preceding Night, but a diligent search was made among the infinite number of dead that covered the Face of the Earth, for the Body of the Prince, or new King, as they called him: But when they could not find him among the dead, they sent out Parties all ways to search the Woods, the Forests and the Plains; nor was it long they sought in vain, for he who had laid himself, as I said, under the shelter of a Tree, had not for any consideration removed him; but finding himself seiz’d by a common Hand, suffer’d himself, without Resistance, to be detained by one single Man till more advanced, when he could as easily have kill’d the Rustick as speak or move; an Action so below the Character of this truly brave Man, that there is no reason to be given to excuse his easie submission but this, That he was Stupified|<478> with long Watching, Grief, and the Fatigues of his daily Toyl for so many Weeks before: For ’tis not to be imagin’d it was carelessness, or little regard for Life; for if it had been so he would doubtless have lost it Nobly with the Victory, and never have retreated while there had been one Sword left advanced against him; or if he had disdained the Enemy should have had the Advantage and Glory of so great a Conquest, at least when his Sword had been yet left him, he should have died like a Roman, and have scorn’d to have added to the Triumph of the Enemy. But Love had unman’d his great Soul, and Hermione pleaded within for Life at any Price, even that of all his Glory; the thought of her alone blacken’d this last Scene of his Life, and for which all his past Triumphs could never attone nor excuse.
Thus taken, he suffered himself to be led away tamely by common Hands without resistance: A Victim|<479> now even fallen to the pity of the Mobile as he past, and so little imagined by the better Sort who saw him not, they would not give a credit to it, every one affirming and laying Wagers he would die like a Hero, and never surrender with Life to the Conqueror. But this submission was but too true for the repose of all his Abettors; nor was his mean surrender all, but he shew’d a dejection all the way they were bringing him to Paris, so extreamly unworthy of his Character, that ’tis hardly to be credited so great a change could have been possible. And to show that he had lost all his Spirit and Courage with the Victory, and that the great strings of his Heart were broke, the Captain who had the charge of him, and commanded that little Squadron that conducted him to Paris, related to me this remarkable Passage in their Journey; he said, That they Lodged in an Inn, where he believed both the Master, and a|<480> great many Strangers who that Night Lodg’d there, were Hugonots, and great lovers of the Prince; which the Captain did not know, till after the Lodgings were taken: However, he ordered a File of Musqueteers to guard the Door; and himself only remained in the Chamber with the Prince, while Supper was getting ready: The Captain being extreamly weary with Watching and Toyling, for a long time together, laid himself down on a Bench behind a great long Table, that was fast’ned to the Floor, and had unadvisedly laid his Pistols on the Table, and tho he durst not Sleep, he thought there to stretch himself into a little ease; who had not quitted his Horse-back in a great while: The Prince, who was walking with his Arms across about the Room, musing in a very dejected posture; often casting his Eyes to the door, at last advances to the Table, and takes up the Captains Pistols; the while He|<481> —— who saw him advance, fear’d in that Moment, what the Prince was going to do; he thought, if he should rise and snatch at the Pistols, and miss of ’em, it would express so great a distrust of the Prince, it might provoke him to do, what by his generous submitting of ’em, might make him escape; and therefore, since it was too late, he suffered the Prince to arm himself with two Pistols, who before was disarmed of even his little Pen-knife. He was, he said, a thousand times about to call out to the Guards; but then he thought before they could enter to his relief, he was sure to be shot Dead, and it was possible the Prince might make his party good with four or five common Souldiers, who perhaps lov’d the Prince as well as any, and might rather assist than hinder his flight; all this he thought in an instant, and at the same time, seeing the Prince stand still, in a kind of consideration what to do, looking, turning, and view-|<482>ing of the Pistols, he doubted not but his thought would determine with his Life, and tho he had been in the heat of all the Battle, and had look’d Death in the Face, when it appeared most horrid, he protested he knew not how to fear till this moment, and that now he trembled with the apprehension of unavoidable Ruin; he curst a thousand times his unadvisedness, now it was too late; he saw the Prince, after he had viewed and reviewed the Pistols, walk in a great thoughtfulness again about the Chamber, and at last, as if he had determined what to do, came back and laid them again on the Table; at which the Captain snatch’d ’em up, resolving never to commit so great an over-sight more. He did not doubt, he said, but the Prince, in taking them up, had some design of making his escape; and most certainly, if he had but had Courage to have attempted it, it had not been hard to have been accomplish’d: At|<483> worst, he could but have dy’d: but there is a Fate, that over-rules the most lucky minutes of the greatest men in the World, and turns even all advantages offered to misfortunes, when it designs their ruin.
While they were on their way to Paris, he gave some more signs, that the misfortunes he had suffered, had lessened his Heart and Courage: He writ several the most submissive Letters in the World, to the King, and to the Queen Mother of France; wherein he strove to mitigate his Treason, with the poorest Arguments imaginable; and, as if his good Sense had declined with his Fortune, his Stile was alter’d and debased to that of a common Man, or rather a School-Boy, filled with Tautologies and Stuff of no Coherence; in which he neither showed the Majesty of a Prince, nor Sense of a Gentleman; as I could make appear by exposing those Copies, which I leave to History; all which must be imputed to|<484> the Disorder his Head and Heart were in, for want of that natural rest, he never after found. When he came to Paris, he fell at the Feet of his Majesty, to whom they brought him, and with a Showre of Tears bedewing his Shooes, as he lay prostrate, besought his Pardon, and ask’d his Life; perhaps one of his greatest weaknesses to imagine he could hope for mercy, after so many Pardons for the same fault; and which if he had had but one grain of that Bravery left him, he was wont to be Master of, he could not have expected; nor have had the confidence to have implor’d; and he was a poor Spectacle of pity to all that once adored him; to see how he petitioned in vain for Life; which if it had been granted, had been of no other use to him, but to have past in some corner of the Earth with Hermione, despis’d by all the rest: and, tho he fetch’d Tears of Pity from the Eyes of the best and,|<485> most merciful of Kings, he could not gain on his first resolution; which was never to forgive him that Scurrilous Declaration he had dispersed at his first Landing in France; that he took upon him the Title of King, he could forgive; that he had been the cause of so much Blood-shed, he could forgive, but never that unworthy Scandal on his unspoted Fame; of which he was much more nice, than of his Crown or Life; and left him (as he told him this) prostrate on the Earth, when the Guards took him up, and conveyed him to the Bastile: As he came out of the Loure, ’tis said, he look’d with his wonted Grace, only a Languishment sat there in greater Beauty, than possible all his gayer looks ever put on, at least in his Circumstances all that beheld him imagined so; all the Parisians were crowded in vast numbers to see him: And oh, see what Fortune is, those that had vow’d him Alle-|<486>giance in their Hearts, and were upon all occasions ready to rise in Mutiny for his least Interest, now saw him, and suffered him to be carried to the Bastile with a small Company of Guards, and never offer’d to rescue the Royal Unfortunate from the Hands of Justice, while he view’d ’em all around with scorning dying Eyes.
While he remain’d in the Bastile, he was visited by several of the Ministers of State, and Cardinals, and Men of the Church, who urged him to some Discoveries, but could not prevail with him: He spoke, he thought, he dreamt of nothing but Hermione; and when they talk’d of Heaven, he ran on some Discourse of that Beauty, something of her Praise; and so continued to his last Moment, even on the Scaffold, where, when he was urged to excuse, as a good Christian ought, his Invasion, his Bloodshed, and his unnatural War, he set himself to justifie|<487> his Passion to Hermione, endeavouring to render the Life he had lead with her, Innocent and Blameless in the sight of Heaven; and all the Churchmen could perswade, could make him speak of very little else. Just before he laid himself down on the Block he called to one of the Gentlemen of his Chamber, and taking out the Inchanted Tooth-pick-case, he whisper’d him in the Ear, and commanded him to bear it from him to Hermione; and laying himself down suffer’d the Justice of the Law, and died more pitied than lamented; so that it became a Proverb, If I have an Enemy I wish he may live like —— and die like Cesario: So ended the Race of this glorious Youth, who was in his time the greatest Man of a Subject in the World, and the greatest Favourite of his Prince, happy indeed above a Monarch, if Ambition and the Inspiration of Knaves and Fools had not led him to Destruction, and|<488> from a Glorious Life brought him to a Shameful Death.
This deplorable News was not long in coming to Hermione, who must receive this due, That when she heard her Hero was dead, (and with him all her dearer greatness gone,) she betook herself to her Bed, and made a Vow she would never rise nor eat more; and she was as good as her word, she lay in that melancholy Estate about Ten Days, making the most pitious Moan for her dead Lover that e’er was heard, drowning her Pillow in Tears, and sighing out her Soul. She called on him in vain as long as she could speak; at last she fell into a Lethargy and dreamed of him, till she could dream no more; an everlasting sleep closed her fair Eyes, and the last word she sigh’d was Cesario.
Brilljard had the good Fortune the Night of the Battle to get away under the covert of the Night, and posted into Flanders, where he found|<489> Silvia in the Arms of the young Spaniard, and of whom they made so considerable Advantages, that in short time they ruin’d the Fortune of that young Nobleman, and became the Talk of the Town, insomuch that the Governour not permitting her stay there, she was forced to remove for new Prey, and daily makes considerable Conquests where e’er she shows the Charmer. Fergusano escap’d, which was to the last Moment of the Princes Life the greatest Affliction of his Mind; and he would often say in great Rage, That if that Villain had been brought to Paris, and that he could have had the satisfaction of seeing him broken on a Wheel before he had died, he should have resign’d his Life with Joy. But his time was not yet come.
Philander lay sometime in the Bastile, visited by all the Persons of great Quality about the Court; he behaved himself verry Gallantly all|<490> the way he came, after his being taken, and to the last Minute of his Imprisonment; and was at last pardoned, kiss’d the King’s Hand, and came to Court in as much Splendour as ever, being very well understood by all good Men.
F I N I S.