Ro. L'Estrange

FIVE LOVE-LETTERS FROM A NUN TO A CAVALIER. Done out of French into English.

LONDON Printed for Henry Brome, at the Gun at the West-end of St. Pauls. 1678.

TO THE Reader

YOu are to take this Translati­on very Kind­ly, for the Authour of it has ventur'd his Reputation to Oblige you: Ventur'd it (I say) even in the [Page] very Attempt of Co­pying so Nice an Original. It is, in French, one of the most Artificial Pieces perhaps of the Kind, that is any where Ex­tant: Beside the Pe­culiar Graces, and Felicities of that Lan­guage, in the Matter of an Amour, which cannot be adopted into any other Tongue without Ex­tream [Page] Force, and Af­fectation. There was (it seems) an Intrigue of Love carry'd on betwixt a French Offi­cer, and a Nun in Portugal. The Cava­lier forsakes his Mis­tress, and Returns for France. The La­dy expostulates the Business in five Let­ters of Complaint, which She sends af­ter him; and those [Page] five Letters are here at your Service. You will find in them the Lively Image of an Extravagant, and an Unfortunate Passion; and that a Woman may be Flesh and Bloud, in a Cloyster, as well as in a Palace.

FIVE Portugaise LETTERS Turn'd into ENGLISH.
The first Letter.

OH my Inconside­rate, Improvi­dent, and most un­fortunate Love; and those Treacherous Hopes that [Page 2] have betray'd both Thee, and Me! The Passion that I design'd for the Bles­sing of my Life, is become the Torment of it: A Tor­ment, as prodigious as the Cruelty of his Absence that causes it. Bless mee! But must this Absence last for ever? This Hellish Absence, that Sorrow it self wants words to ex­press? Am I then never to see those Eyes again, that have so often ex­chang'd Love with Mine, and Charm'd my very soul with Extacy, and Delight? Those Eyes that [Page 3] were ten thousand worlds to mee, and all that I de­sir'd; the only comforta­ble Light of Mine, which, since I understood the Re­solution of your Insuppor­table Departure, have Serv'd mee but to weep withall, and to lament the sad Approach of my Inevitable fate. And yet in this Extremity I can­not, me-thinks, but have some Tenderness, even for the Misfortunes that are of your Creating. My Life was vow'd to you the first time I saw you▪ and since you would [Page 4] not accept of it as a Pre­sent, I am Content to make it a sacrifice. A Thousand times a day I send my Sighs to hunt you out: and what Re­turn for all my Passio­nate Disquiets, but the good Counsel of my Cross fortune? that whispers me at every turn; Ah wretched Mariane! why do'st thou flatter, and Consume thy self in the vain pursuit of a Creature never to be Recover'd? Hee's gone, hee's gone; Irrevocably gone; h'as past the seas to fly thee. [Page 5] Hee's now in France; dissolv'd in pleasures; and thinks no more of thee, or what thou suffer'st for his false sake, then if he had never known any such woman. But hold: Y'ave more of Honour in you then to do so ill a thing; and so have I, then to believe it, especially of a Person that I'm so much concern'd to justify. Forget me? 'Tis Impos­sible. My Case is bad enough at best, without the Aggravation of vain suppositions. No, no: The Care and Pains you [Page 6] took to make me think you lov'd me, and then the Joyes that That Care gave Me, must never be forgotten: and should I love you less this Mo­ment, then when I lov'd you most, (in Confi­dence that you lov'd me so too) I were Ungrate­full. 'Tis an Unnatural, and a strange thing me­thinks, that the Remem­brance of those blessed hours should be now so terrible to me; and that those delights that were so ravishing in the Enjoy­ment, should become so [Page 7] ter in the Reflection. Your last Letter gave me such a Passion of the heart, as if it would have forc'd its way thorough my Breast, and follow'd you. It laid me three hours sensless: I wish it had been dead; for I had dy'd of Love. But I reviv'd: and to what End? only to die again, and lose that Life for you, which you your self did not think worth the saving. Beside that there's no Rest for me, while you're Away, but in the grave. This fit was follow'd with other [Page 8] Ill Accidents which I shall never be without, till I see you: In the mean while, I bear them yet without repining, because they came from you. But with your Leave: Is this the Recompense that you intend me? Is this your way of treating those that love you? Yet 'tis no Matter, for (do what you will) I am resolv'd to be firm to you to my last gasp; and never to see the Eyes of any other Mortal. And I dare as­sure you that it will not be the worse for you nei­ther, [Page 9] if you never set your heart upon any other woman: for certainly a Passion under the degree of mine, will never con­tent you: You may find more Beauty perhaps els­where (tho' the time was when you found no fault with mine) but you shall never meet with so true a heart; and all the rest is nothing.

Let me entreat you not to stuff your Letters with things Unprofitable, and Impertinent to our Affair: and you may save your self the trouble too of [Page 10] desiring me to THINK of you. why 'tis Impos­sible for me to forget you: and I must not forget the hope you gave me neither, of your Return, and of spending some part of your time here with us in Por­tugal. Alas! And why not your whole Life ra­ther? If I could but find any way to deliver my self from this unlucky Cloyster, I should hardly stand gaping here for the performance of your Pro­mise: but in defiance of all opposition, put my self upon the March, [Page 11] Search you out, follow you, and love you throughout the whole world. It is not that I please my self with this Project as a thing feasible; or that I would so much as entertain any hope of Comfort; (tho' in the very delusion I might find pleasure) but as it is my Lot to be miserable, I will be only sensible of that which is my Doom. And yet after all this, I cannot deny but upon this Opportunity of writing to you which my Bro­ther has given me, I was [Page 10] [...] [Page 11] [...] [Page 12] surpriz'd with some faint Glimmerings of Delight, that yielded me a tempo­rary Respite to the hor­rour of my despair. Tell me I conjure you; what was it that made you so sollicitous to entangle me, when you knew you were to leave me? And why so bloudily bent to make me Unhappy? why could you not let me alone at quiet in my▪ Cloyster as you found me? Did I ever do you any Injury?

But I must ask your Pardon; for I lay nothing [Page 13] to your Charge. I am not in condition to medi­tate a Revenge: and I can only complain of the Rigour of my Perverse fortune. When she has parted our Bodies, she has done her worst, and left us nothing more to fear: Our hearts are Inseparable; for those whom Love has United are never to be di­vided. As you tender my soul let me hear often from you. I have a Right me-thinks to the Know­ledg both of your Heart, and of your fortune; and to your Care to inform [Page 14] me of it too. But what ever you do, be sure to come; and above all things in the world, to let me see you. Adieu. And yet I cannot quitt this Paper yet. Oh that I could but convey my self in the Place on't! Mad fool that I am, to talk at this Rate of a thing that I my self know to be Impossible! Adieu. For I can go no farther. Adieu. Do but Love me for ever, and I care not what I en­dure.


THere is so great a difference be­twixt the Love I write, and That which I feel, that if you measure the One by the Other, I have undone my self. Oh how happy were I if [Page 16] you could but judg of my Passion by the violence of your own! But That I perceive is not to be the Rule betwixt you, and me. Give me leave how­ever to tell you with an honest freedom, that tho' you cannot love me, you do very ill yet to treat me at this Barbarous Rate: It puts me out of my Wits to see my self for­gotten; and it is as little for your Credit perhaps, as it is [...]or my Quiet. Or if I may not say that you are Unjust, it is yet the most Reasonable thing [Page 17] in the World to let me tell you that I am Misera­ble: I foresaw what it would come to, upon the very Instant of your Re­solution to leave me. Weak Woman that I was! to expect, (after this) that you should have more Honour, and Integrity then other Men, because I had unquestionably de­serv'd it from you, by a transcendent degree of Affection above the Love of Other Women. No, no; Your Levity, and Aversion have overrul'd your Gratitude, and [Page 18] Justice; you are my E­nemy by Inclination: whereas only the Kind­ness of your Disposition can Oblige me. Nay your Love it self, if it were barely grounded up­on my Loving of you, could never make me happy. But so far am I even from that Pretence, that in six Moneths I have not receiv'd one sillable from you; Which I must impute to the blind fond­ness of my own Passion, for I should otherwise have foreseen that my Comforts were to be but [Page 19] Temporary, and my Love Everlasting. For Why should I think that you would ever content your self to spend your Whole Life in Portugal; and relinquish your Country, and your fortune, only to think of me? Alas! my sorrows are Inconso­lable, and the very Re­membrance of my past Enjoyments makes up a great part of my present pain. But must all my hopes be blasted then, and fruitless? Why may not I yet live to see you again within these Walls, [Page 20] and with all those Tran­sports of Extacy, and Sa­tisfaction, as heretofore? But how I fool my self! for I find now that the Passion, which on my side, took up all the faculties of my soul, and Body, was only excited on your part by some loose Pleasures, and that they were to live and die together. It should have been my Business, even in the Nick of those Critical, and Blessed Mi­nutes, to have Reason'd my self into the Modera­tion of so Charming, and deadly an Excess; and [Page 21] to have told my self be­fore-hand, the fate which I now suffer. But my Thoughts were too much taken up with You to consider my self; So that I was not in Condition to attend the Care of my Repose, or to bethink my self of what might poison it, and disappoint me in the full Emprove­ment of the most Ardent Instances of your Affecti­on. I was too much pleas'd with you, to think of parting with you, and yet you may remember that I have told you now [Page 22] and then by fits, that you would be the Ruin of me. But those Phan­cies were soon dispers'd; and I was glad to yield them up too; and to give up my self to the Enchant­ments of your false Oaths, and Protestations. I see very well the Remedy of all my Misfortunes, and that I should quickly be at Ease if I could leave Loving you. But Alas! That were a Remedy worse then the disease. No, no: I'le rather en­dure any thing then for­get you. Nor could I if I [Page 23] would. 'Tis a thing that did never so much as en­ter into my Thought. But is not your Condition now the worse of the two? Is it not better to endure what I now suffer, then to enjoy Your faint satis­factions among your French Mistresses? I am so far from Envying your Indifference, that I Pitty it. I defie you to forget me absolutely: and I am deceiv'd if I have not ta­ken such a Course with you, that you shall never be perfectly happy with­out me. Nay perhaps I [Page 24] am at this Instant the less miserable of the two; in regard that I am the more employ'd. They have lately made me door­keeper here in this Con­vent. All the people that talk to me think me mad; for I answer them I know not what; And certainly the rest of the Convent must be as mad as I, they would never else have thought me Capable of any Trust. How do I envy the good Fortune of poor Emanuel, and Francisco! Why cannot I be with you perpetually [Page 25] as they are? tho in your Livery too? I should follow you as Close with­out dispute, and serve you at least as faithfully; for there is nothing in this World that I so much de­sire as to see you; But however, let me entreat you to think of me; and I shall Content my self with a bare place in your Memory. And yet I can­not tell neither, whether I should or no: for I know very well that when I saw you every day I should hardly have satis­fy'd my self within these [Page 26] Bounds. But you have taught me since, that whatsoever you will have me do, I must do. In the Interim, I do not at all repent of my Passion for you; Nay, I am well enough satisfi'd that you have seduc'd me; and your Absence it self tho' never so rigorous, and per­haps Eternal, does not at all lessen the vigour of my Love: which I will avow to the Whole world, for I make no secret on't. I have done many things irregularly 'tis true; and and against the Common [Page 27] Rules of good Manners: and not without taking some Glory in them nei­ther, because they were done for your sake. My honour, and Religion are brought only to serve the Turn of my Love, and to carry me on to my lives end, in the Passionate Continuance of the Affe­ction I have begun. I do not write this, to draw a Letter from you; where­fore never force your self for the Matter: for I will receive nothing at your hands; no not so much as any Mark of your Affe­ction [Page 28] unless it comes of its own accord, and in a Man­ner, whether you Will or No. If it may give you any satisfaction, to save your self the trouble of Writing, it shall give me some like­wise, to excuse the Un­kindness of it; for I am wonderfully enclin'd to pass over all your faults. A French Officer, that had the Charity this morning to hold me at least three hours in a dis­course of you, tell me that France has made a Peace. If it be so; Why cannot you bestow a visit [Page 29] upon me, and take me away with you? But 'tis more then I deserve, and it must be as you please; for my Love does not at all depend upon your Manner of treating me. Since you went away I have not had one Minutes Health, nor any sort of Pleasure, but in the Ac­cents of your Name, which I call upon a Thousand times a day. Some of my Companions that un­derstand the deplorable Ruin you have brought upon me, are so good as to entertain me many [Page 30] times concerning you. I keep as Close to my Chamber as is possible; which is the dearer to me even for the many Visits you have made me there. Your Picture I have per­petually before me, and I Love it more then my hearts bloud. The very Counterfeit gives me some Comfort: But oh the Horrours too! When I consider that the Original, for ought I know, is lost for ever. But why should it be possible, even to be possible, that I may never see you more? Have you [Page 31] forsaken me then for ever? It turns my Brain to think on't. Poor Mariane! But my Spirits fail me, and I shall scarce out-live this Letter?—Mercy—Farwel, Farwel.


WHat shall be­come of me? Or what will you advise me to do? How strangely am I dissap­pointed, in all my Ex­pectations! Where are the Letters from you? the [Page 34] Long and Kind Letters that I look'd for by every Post? To keep me alive in the hopes of Seeing you again; and in the Confidence of your faith, and Justice; to settle me in some tolerable state of Repose, without being abandon'd to any insup­portable Extream? I had once cast my Thoughts upon some Idle Projects of endeavouring my own Cure, in Case I could but once assure my self that I was totally forgotten. The distance you were at; Certain Impulses of De­votion; [Page 35] the fear of utter­ly destroying the Remain­der of my Imperfect health, by so many rest­less Nights, and Cares; the Improbability of your Return; The Coldness of your Passion, and the For­mality of your last A­dieu's; Your Weak, and frivolous pretences for your departure: These, with a thousand other Considerations, (of more weight, then profit) did all concurre to encourage me in my design, if I should find it necessary; In fine; having only my [Page 36] single self to encounter I could not doubt of the success, nor could it en­ter into my Apprehension what I feel at this day. Alas! how wretched is my Condition, that am not allow'd so much as to divide these sorrows with you, of which you your self are the Cause? You are the Offender, and I am to bear the Punishment of your Crime. It strikes me to the very heart, for fear you, that are now so Insensible of my Tor­ments, were never much affected with our mutual [Page 37] delights. Yes, yes; 'Tis now a Clear Case that your whole Address to me was only an Artificial disguise. You betray'd me as often as you told me, how over-joy'd you were that you had got me alone: and your Passions, and Transports were only the Effects of my own Importunities. Yours was a deliberate design to fool me; your business was to make a Conquest, not a friend; and to triumph over my Heart, without ever engaging or hazzard­ing your own. Are not [Page 38] you very Unhappy now, and (at least) Ill-na­tur'd, if not ill-bred, only to make this wretched use of so Superlative a friendship? Who would have thought it possible that such a Love as mine, should not have made you happy? 'Tis for your sake alone if I am troubl'd for the Infinite delights that you have lost, and might as easily have enjoy'd, had you but thought them worth the while. Ah! If you did but understand them aright, you would find a great difference be­twixt [Page 39] the Pleasure of O­bliging me, and that of Abusing me; and betwixt the Charming felicities of Loving violently, and of being so belov'd. I do not know either what I am, or what I do, or what I would be at. I am torn to pieces by a Thousand contrary Mo­tions, and in a Condition deplorable beyond imagi­nation. I love you to death, and so tenderly too that I dare hardly wish your heart in the same condition with mine. I should destroy my self, or [Page 40] die with Grief, could I believe your nights and Thoughts, as restless as I find Mine; your Life as Anxious and disturb'd; your Eyes still flowing, and all things and people Odious to you. Alas! I am hardly able to bear up under my own Misfor­tunes; how should I then Support the Weight of yours; which would be a Thousand times more grievous to me? And yet all this While I cannot bring my self to advise you, not to Think of me. And to deal freely with [Page 41] you, there is not any thing in France that you take pleasure in, or that comes near your heart, but I'm most furiously jealous of it. I do not know what 'tis I write for. Perhaps you'l pitty me; but what good will that pitty do me? I'le none on't. Oh how I hate my self when I con­sider what I have forfeited to oblige you! I have blasted my Reputation; I have lost my Parents; I have expos'd my self to the Lawes of my Country against Persons of my Profession; and finally, [Page 42] to your Ingratitude, the worst of my Misfortunes. But why do I pretend to a Remorse, when at this In­stant, I should be glad with all my Soul, if I had run ten thousand greater hazzards for your dear Sake? and for the danger of my Life and Honour; the very thought on't is a kind of doleful Pleasure to me, and all's no more then the delivery of whats your own, and what I hold most Pretious, into your Disposition; And I do not know how all these risques could have [Page 43] been better Imploy'd. Up­on the Whole matter, e­very thing displeases me, my Love, my Misfortune; and alas! I cannot per­swade my self that I am well us'd even by You. And yet I Live, (false as I am) and take as much pains to preserve my life, as to lose it. Why do I not die of shame then, and shew you the despair of my Heart, as well as of my Letters? If I had lov'd you so much as I have told you a thou­sand times I did, I had been in my Grave long ere this. But I have de­luded [Page 44] you, and the Cause of Complaint is now on your side. Alas! why did you not tell me of it? Did I not see you go away? Am I not out of all hopes of ever seeing you again? And am I yet alive? I have betray'd you, and I beg your pardon. But do not grant it though; Treat me as severely as you will: Tell me that my Passion is Weak, and Ir­resolute. Make your self yet harder to be pleas'd. Write me word that you would have me die for you. Do it, I con­jure [Page 45] you; and assist me in the Work of surmount­ing the Infirmity of my Sex; and that I may put an end to all my fruitless deliberations, by an effe­ctual despair. A Tragical Conclusion would un­doubtedly bring me often into your thoughts, and make my Memory dear to you. And who knows how you might be Affect­ed, with the Bravery of so Glorious a death? A death Incomparably to be preferr'd before the Life that you have left me. Farwel then; and I wish [Page 44] [...] [Page 45] [...] [Page 46] I had never seen the Eyes of you. But my heart Contradicts my Pen; for I feel, in the very moment that I write it, that I would rather chuse to Love you in any state of Misery, then agree to the bare Supposition that I had never Seen you. Wherefore since you do not think fit, to mend my fortune, I shall chear­fully submit to the worst on't. Adieu; but first promise me, that if I die of grief, you will have some Tenderness for my Ashes: Or at least that [Page 47] the Generosity of my Passion shall put you out of Love with all other things. This Consolation shall satisfie me, that if you must never be mine, I may be secur'd that you shall never be Anothers. You cannot be so Inhu­mane sure, as to make a mean use of my most Af­fectionate despairs, and to recommend your self to any other Woman, by shewing the Power you have had upon me. Once more, Adieu. My Let­ters are long, and I fear troublesom; but I hope [Page 48] you'l forgive them, and dispense with the fooleries of a Sot of your own making. Adieu. Me­thinks I run over and over too often with the story of my most deplorable Condition: Give me leave now to thank you from the Bottom of my heart for the Miseries you have brought upon me, and to detest the Tranquillity I liv'd in before I knew you. My Passion is greater eve­ry Moment than other. Adieu. Oh what a World of things have I to tell you!


YOur Lieutenant tells me that you were forc'd by foul Weather to put in upon the Coast of Algarve. I am afraid the Sea does not agree with you; and my Fears for your Misfortunes make [Page 50] me almost to forget my own. Can you imagin your Lieutenant to be more concern'd in what befals you, than I am? If not, How comes he to be so well inform'd, and not one sillable to me? If you could never find the means of wri­ting to me since you went, I am very Unhappy; but I am more so, if you could have written, and would not. But what should a body expect from so much Ingratitude, and Injustice? And yet it would break my heart, if hea­ven [Page 51] should punish you up­on any account of mine. For I had much rather gratifie my kindness, than my Revenge. There can be nothing clearer, than that you neither Love me, nor Care what becomes of me; and yet am I so foolish, as to follow the Dictate of a blind, and besotted Passion, in op­position to the Counsels of a demonstrative Rea­son. This Coldness of yours, when you and I were first acquainted, would have sav'd me ma­ny a sorrowful Thought. [Page 52] But where's the Woman, that in my Place, would have done otherwise than I did? Who would ever have question'd the Truth of so pressing and Arti­ficial an Importunity? We cannot easily bring our selves to suspect the Faith of those we Love. I know very well, that a slender Excuse will serve your Turn; and I'le be so kind as to save you even the Labour of That too, by telling you, that I can never consent to con­clude you guilty, but in order to the infinite Plea­sure [Page 53] I shall take to acquit you, in perswading my self that you are Inno­cent. It was the Assi­duity of your Conversa­tion that refin'd me; your Passion that inflam'd me; Your good humour that Charm'd me; your Oaths, and Vows that confirm'd me; but 'twas my own precipitate Inclination that seduc'd me; and what's the Issue of these fair, and promising Beginnings, but Sighs, Tears, Disquiets, nay, and the worst of Deaths too, without ei­ther Hope, or Remedy. [Page 54] The Delights of my Love, I must confess, have been strangely surprizing; but follow'd with Miseries not to be express'd; (as whatever comes from you works upon me in Ex­treams.) If I had either obstinately oppos'd your Address; or done any thing to put you out of humour, or make you jealous, with a design to draw you on: If I had gon any crafty, artificial wayes to work with you; or but so much as check'd my early, and my grow­ing Inclinations to com­ply [Page 55] with you, (tho' it would have been to no purpose at all) you might have had some Colour then to make use of your Power, and deal with me accordingly. But so far was I from opposing your Passion, that I prevented it; for I had a kindness for your Person, before you ever told me any thing of your Love; and you had no sooner de­clar'd it, but with all the joy imaginable I receiv'd it, and gave my self up wholly to that Inclina­tion. You had at that [Page 56] time your Eyes in your Head, tho' I was Blind. Why would you let me go on then to make my self the miserable Crea­ture which now I am? Why would you [...]rain me on to all those Extrava­gances which to a person of your Indifference must needs have been very Importune? You knew well enough that you were not to be always in Portugal; Why must I then be singl'd out from all the rest, to be made thus Unfortunate? In this Country without dispute [Page 57] you might have found out handsomer Women than my self, that would have serv'd your turn eve­ry jot as well, (to your course purpose) and that would have been true to you as far as they could have seen you, without breaking their hearts for you, when you were gon: and such as you might have forsaken at last, with­out either Falsness, or Cruelty: Do you call this the Tenderness of a Lo­ver, or the Persecution of a Tyrant? And 'tis but de­stroying of your own nei­ther. [Page 58] You are just as ea­sie, I find, to believe ill of me, as I have always been to think better of you than you have de­serv'd. Had you but lov'd me half so well as I do you, you would never have parted with me up­on so easie Terms. I should have master'd grea­ter Difficulties, and ne­ver have upbraided you with the Obligation nei­ther. Your Reasons, 'tis true, were very feeble, but if they had been the strongest imaginable, it had been all one to me: [Page 59] for nothing but death it self could ever have torn me from you. Your Re­turn into France was no­thing in the World but a Pretext of your own con­triving. There was a Ves­sel (you said) that was thither bound. And why could not you let that Ves­sel take her Course? Your Relations sent for you away. You are are no stranger sure to the Persecution, that for your sake, I have suffer'd from mine. Your Honour (forsooth) en­gag'd you to forsake me. Why did you not think of [Page 60] that scruple, when you deluded me to the loss of mine? Well! but you must go back to serve your Prince. His Majesty, I presume, would have ex­cus'd you in that point; for I cannot learn that he has any need of your Ser­vice. But, Alas! I should have been too happy, if you and I might have liv'd, and dy'd together. This only Comfort I have in the bitterness of our deadly separation, that I was never false to you; and that for the whole World I would not have my Con­science [Page 61] tainted with so black a Crime. But can you then, that know the Integrity of my Soul, and the Tenderness that I have for you; can you (I say) find in your heart to a­bandon me for ever, and expose me to the Ter­rours that attend my wretched Condition? Ne­ver so much as to think of me again, but only when you are to sacrifice me to a new Passion. My Love, you see, has distracted me; and yet I make no complaint at all of the violence of it: for I [Page 62] am so wonted to Persecuti­ons, that I have discover'd a kind of pleasure in them, which I would not live without, and which I en­joy, while I love you, in the middle of a thou­sand afflictions. The most grievous part of my Ca­lamity, is the hatred, and disgust that you have gi­ven me for all other things: My Friends, my Kindred, the Convent it self is grown intollerable to me; and whatsoever I am oblig'd either to see, or to do, is become odi­ous. I am grown so jea­lous [Page 63] of my Passion, that methinks all my Actions, and all my Dutys ought to have some regard to you. Nay, every moment that is not employ'd upon your service, my Conscience checks me for it, either as misbestow'd, or cast away. My Heart is full of Love, and Ha­tred; and, Alas! what should I do without it? should I survive this rest­lessness of thought, to lead a Life of more tran­quility, and ease, such an Emptiness, and such an Insensibility could never [Page 64] consist. Every Creature takes Notice how strange­ly I am chang'd in my Humour, my Manners, and in my Person. My Mother takes me to task about it: One while she speaks me fair, and then she chides me, and asks me what I ail. I do not well know what answers I have made her; but I Phancy that I have told her all. The most severe, even of the Religious themselves, take pity of me, and bear with my Condition. The whole World is touch'd with [Page 65] my Misfortunes; your single self excepted, as wholy unconcern'd: Ei­ther you are not pleas'd to write at all; or else your Letters are so cold; so stuff'd with Repeti­tions; the Paper not half full, and your Constraint so grosly disguis'd, that one may see with half an Eye the pain you are in till they are over. Dona Brites would not let me be quiet the other day, till she had got me out of my Chamber, on to the Balcon that looks (you know) toward Mertola: [Page 66] she did it to oblige me, and I follow'd her: But the very sight of the Place struck me with so ter­rible an Impression, that it set me a Crying the whole day after. Upon this, she took me back again, and I threw my self upon my Bed, where I pass'd a thousand Re­flections upon the despairs of my Recovery. I am the worse I find for that which people do to re­lieve me; and the Re­medies they offer me do but serve to aggravate my Miseries. Many a [Page 67] time have I seen you pass by from this Balcon; (and the sight pleas'd me but too well) and there was I that fatal day, when I first found my self strook with this unhappy Pas­sion. Methought you look'd as if you had a mind to oblige me, even before you knew me; and your Eye was more upon me than the rest of the Company. And when you made a stop, I fool'd my self to think that it was meant to me too, that I might take a fuller view of you, and see how [Page 66] [...] [Page 67] [...] [Page 68] every thing became you. Upon giving your Horse the spur (I remember) my heart was at my mouth for fear of an untoward leap you put him upon. In fine; I could not but secretly concern my self in all your Actions; and as you were no longer indifferent to me, so I took several things to my self also from you; and as done in my fa­vour. I need not tell you the sequel of Matters (not that I care who knows it) nor would I wil­lingly write the whole Sto­ry, lest I should make you [Page 69] thought more culpable (if possible) than in Effect (perhaps) you are. Be­side that it might furnish your Vanity with subject of reproach, by shewing that all my Labours, and Endeavours to make sure of you, could not yet keep you from forsaking me. But what a fool am I, in thinking to work more upon your Ingratitude, with Letters, and Inve­ctives, than ever I could with my Infinite Love, and the liberty that at­tended it! No, no: I am too sure of my ill Fortune, [Page 70] and you are too unjust to make me doubt of it; and since I find my self de­serted, what mischief is there in Nature which I am not to fear? But are your Charms only to work upon me? Why may not other Women look upon you with my Eyes? I should be well enough content per­haps to find more of my Sex (in some degree) of my Opinion; and that all the Ladyes of France had an esteem for you, provided that none of them either doted upon [Page 71] you, or pleas'd you: This is a most ridicu­lous, and an impossible Proposition. But there's no danger (I may speak it upon sad Experience) of your troubling your head long with any one thing; and you will for­get me easily enough, without the help of be­ing forc'd to't by a new Passion. So infinitely do I love you, that (since I am to lose you) I could e'en wish that you had had some fairer colour for't. It is true, that it would have made me more mi­serable; [Page 72] but you should have had less to answer for then. You'l stay in France, I perceive, in per­fect Freedom, and per­haps not much to your Satisfaction; The Incom­modities of a long Voy­age; some Punctilioes of good Manners; and the fear of not returning Love for Love, may per­chance keep you there. Oh, you may safely trust me in this Case: Let me but only see you now and then, and know that we are both of us in the same Country, it shall [Page 73] content me. But why do I flatter my self? Who knows but that the Ri­gour and Severity of some other Woman may come to prevail upon you more than all my Favours? tho' I cannot believe you yet to be a Person that will be wrought upon by ill usage.

Before you come to en­gage in any powerful Pas­sion, let me entreat you to bethink your self of the Excess of my Sor­rows; the Uncertainty of my Purposes; the Di­straction of my Thoughts; [Page 74] the Extravagance of my Letters; the Trusts I have repos'd in you; my De­spairs, my Wishes, and my Jealousies. Alas! I am affraid that you are about to make your self unfortunate. Take warn­ing, I beg of you, by my Example, and make some Use to your self of the Miseries that I endure for you. I remember you told me in Confidence, (and in great Earnest too) some five, or six Months ago, that you had once a Passion for a French Lady. If she be any Ob­stacle [Page 75] to your Return, deal frankly with me, and put me out of my Pain. It will be a kind of Mercy to me, if the faint hope which yet Supports me, must never take ef­fect, even to lose my Life, and that together. Pray'e send me her picture, and Some of her Letters, and write me all she says. I shall find Something there undoubtedly that will make me either better, or worse. In the Condition that I am, I cannot long continue; and any Change whatsoever must be to my [Page 76] Advantage. I should take it kindly if you would send me your Brothers, and your Sisters pictures too. Whatsoever is dear to you must be so to me; and I am a very faithful Servant to any thing that is related to you: and it cannot be otherwise: for you have left me no power at all to dispose of my self. Sometimes me-thinks I could Submit even to at­tend upon the Woman that you Love. So low am I brought by your Scorns, and ill Usage, that I dare not so much as say [Page 77] to my self, Methinks I might be allow'd to be jea­lous, without displeasing you. Nay, I chide my self as the most mistaken Creature in the World to blame you: and I am many times convinc'd that I ought not to im­portune you as I do, with those passages, and thoughts which you are pleas'd to disown.

The Officer that waits for this Letter grows a little Impatient: I had once resolv'd to keep it clear from any possibility of giving you Offence. [Page 78] But it is broken out into Extravagances, and 'tis time to put an end to't. But Alas! I have not the heart to give it over. When I write to you, me­thinks I speak to you: and our Letters bring us nearer together. The first shall be neither So long, nor So troublesome. But you may venture to open, it, and read it upon the assurance that I now give you. I am not to entertain you, I know, with a Passion that dis­pleases you, and you shall hear no more on't. It [Page 79] is now a year within a few days, that I have deliver'd my self wholy up to you, without any Reserve. Your Love I took to be both Warm, and Sincere: And I could never have thought you would have been so weary of my favours, as to take a Voyage of five hun­dred leagues; and run the Hazzards of Rocks, and Pi­rates, only to avoid them. This is a Treatment that certainly I never deserv'd at any mans hands. You can call to mind my Shame my Confusion, and my Disorders. But you have [Page 80] forgotten the Obligations you had to Love me even in despite of your Aver­sion. The Officer calls upon me now the fourth time for my Letter. He will go away without it, he Says; and presses me, as if he were running away from another Mistress. Farwell. You had not half the difficulty to leave me (tho' perhaps for ever) which I have, only to part with this Letter. But Adieu. There are a thousand tender names that I could call you now. But I dare not deliver my [Page 81] self up to the freedom of Writing my thoughts. You are a thousand times dearer to me than my Life, and a thousand times more than I imagine too. Never was any thing So barbarous, and so much belov'd. I must needs tell you once again, that you do not write to me. But I am now going to begin afresh, and the Offi­cer will be gone. Well, and what matters it? Let him go. 'Tis not so much for your sake that I write, as my own; for my Business is only to divert, and [Page 82] entertain my self: Beside that the very Length of this Letter will make you afraid on't: And you'le never read it tho­rough neither. What Have I done to draw all these Miseries upon me? And why should you of all others be the poisoner of my peace, and blast the Comfort of my Life? Why was I not born in some other Country? for­give me, and farwell. See but to what a Miserable point I am reduc'd, when I dare not so much as intreat you to Love me. Adieu.


YOu will find, I hope, by the dif­ferent Ayre and stile of this Letter, from all my former, that I have chang'd my Thoughts too; and you are to take this for an Eternal farwell; [Page 84] for I am now at length perfectly convinc'd, that since I have Irrecoverably lost your Love, I can no longer justify my own. Whatsoever I had of Yours shall be sent you by the first Opportunity: There shall be no more writing in the Case; No, not so much as your Name upon the Pacquett. Dona Brites is a Person whom I can trust as my own soul, and whom I have entrusted (as you know very well) Unfortunate, Wretch that I am! in Confidences of another [Page 85] Quality betwixt you and me. I have left it to her Care to see your Picture and your Bracelets di­spatch'd away to you, (those once beloved Pledg­es of your Kindness) and only in due time to assure me that you have receiv'd them. Would you believe me now, if I should swear to you, that with­in these five days, I have been at least fifty times upon the very point of Burning the One, and of Tearing the Other into a Million of Pieces? But, You have found me too [Page 86] easy a fool, to think me Capable of so Generous an Indignation. If I could but vex you a little in the story of my Mis­fortunes; it would be some sort of Abatement me-thinks to the Cruelty of them. Those Bawbles (I must confess, both to Your shame, and Mine) went nearer my heart than I am willing to tell you, and when it came to the Pinch of parting with them, I found it the hardest thing in the World to go thorough with it: So Mortal a Tenderness [Page 87] had I for any thing of Yours, even at that In­stant when you your self seem'd to me the most In­different thing in Nature: But there's no resisting the force of Necessity and Reason. This Resolu­tion has cost me Many, and Many a Tear; A thousand, and a thousand Agonies, and Distracti­ons, more than you can imagine; and more, Un­doubtedly, than you shall ever hear of from me. Dona Brites (I say) has them in Charge; upon Condition, never to name [Page 88] them to Me again; No, not so much as to give me a sight of them, though I should beg for't upon my Knees; but, in fine, to hasten them away, without one Syllable to Me of their Going.

If it had not been for this Trial to get the Ma­stery of my Passion, I should never have under­stood the force of it; and if I could have foreseen the Pains, and the haz­zards of the Encounter, I am afraid that I should never have ventur'd upon the Attempt: for I am [Page 89] verily perswaded that I could much better have Supported your Ingrati­tude it self, though never so foul, and Odious, than the Deadly, Deadly Thought of this Irrevoca­ble Separation. And it is not your Person nei­ther that is so dear to me, but the Dignity of my unalterable Affection. My soul is strangely divi­ded; Your falseness makes me abhor you, and yet at the same time my Love, my Obstinate, and Invincible Love, will not consent to part with you.

[Page 90] What a Blessing were it to me now, if I were but endu'd with the Com­mon Quality of other Women, and only Proud enough to despise you? Alas! Your Contempt I have born already: Nay, had it been your Hatred, or the most Raging Jea­lousie; All this, compar'd with your Indifference, had been a Mercy to me. By the Impertinent Pro­fessions, and the most Ri­diculous Civilities of your Last Letter, I find that all mine are Come to your hand; and that you have [Page 91] read them over too: but as unconcern'd, as if you forsooth had no Interest at all in the Matter. Sot that I am, to lie thus at the Mercy of an Insensible, and Ungrateful Creature; and to be as much afflicted now at the Certainty of the Arrival of those Pa­pers, as I was before, for fear of their Miscarriage! What have I to do with your telling me the TRVTH OF THINGS? Who desir'd to know it? Or the SINCERITY you talk of; a thing you never practis'd toward me, but [Page 92] to my Mischief. Why could you not let me alone in my Ignorance? Who bad you Write? Miserable Woman that I am! Me­thinks after so much pains taken already to delude me to my Ruin, you might have streyn'd one point more, in this Extremity, to deceive me to my Advantage, without pretending to excuse your self. 'Tis too late to tell you that I have cast a­way many a Tender Thought upon the Worst of Men; the most Oblig'd, and the most Unthankful. [Page 93] Let it suffice that I know you now as well as if I were in the heart of you. The only favour that I have now to desire from you, after so many done for you, is This: (and I hope you will not refuse it me) Write no more to me; and remember that I have conjur'd you never to do it. Do all that is Possible for you to do, (if ever you had any Love for me) to make me absolute­ly forget you. For Alas! I dare not trust my self in any sort of Correspond­ence with you. The least [Page 94] hint in the World of any kind Reflection upon the reading of this Letter, would perchance expose me to a Relapse; and then the taking of me at my Word, on the other side, would most certainly transport me into an Ex­travagance of Choler, and Despair. So that in my Opinion it will be your best course not to meddle at all with Me, or my Affairs: for which way so ever you go to work, it must inevitably bring a great disorder upon both. I have no Curiosity to [Page 95] know the success of this Letter: Me-thinks the Sorrows you have brought upon me already, might abundantly content you (even if your Design were never so malicious) with­out disturbing me in my Preparations for my future Peace. Do but leave me in my Uncertainty, and I will not yet despair, in time, of arriving at some degree of Quiet. This I dare promise you, that I shall never hate you; for I am too great an Enemy to Violent Resolutions ever to go about it. Who [Page 96] knows but I may yet live to find a truer friend than I have lost? But Alas! What signifies any mans Love to me, if I cannot Love him? Why should his Passion work more up­on my heart, than mine could upon Yours? I have found by sad Experience, that the first Motions of Love, which we are more properly said to Feel, than to Understand, are never to be forgotten: That our souls are perpetually In­tent upon the Idol which we our selves have made: That the first Wounds, and [Page 97] the first Images are never to be cur'd, or defac'd: That all the Passions that pretend to succour us either by Di­version, or Satisfaction, are but so many vain Pro­mises of bringing us to our Wits again, which, if once lost, are never to be re­cover'd: And that all the Pleasures that we pursue, (many times without any desire of finding them) amount to no more, than to convince us, that no­thing is so dear to us as the Remembrance of our Sor­rows. Why must you pitch upon Mee, for the [Page 98] subject of an Imperfect, and Tormenting Inclination; which I can neither Re­linquish with Temper, nor Preserve with Ho­nour? The dismal Con­sequences of an Impetuous Love, which is not Mu­tual? And why is it that by a Conspiracy of Blind Affection, and Inexorable fate, we are still condemn'd to Love where we are Despis'd, and to hate where we are Belov'd?

But what if I could flat­ter my self with the Hope of diverting my Mise­ries by any other Engage­ment? [Page 99] I am so sensible of my own Condition, that I should make a very great scruple of Using any other Mortal as you have treat­ed me: and though I am not Conscious of any Obligation to spare you, yet if it were in my Power to take my Revenge upon you, by changing you for any other, (a thing very Unlikely) I could never a­gree to the gratifying of my Passion that way.

I am now telling my self in your behalf, that it is not reasonable to expect, that the simplicity of a [Page 100] Religious should confine the Inclinations of a Ca­valier. And yet me­thinks, if a body might be allow'd to reason upon the Actions of Love, a man should rather fix upon a Mistress in a Convent than any where else. For they have nothing there to hinder them from be­ing perpetually Intent upon their Passion: Whereas in the World, there are a thousand foole­ries, and Amusements, that either take up their Thoughts intirely, or at least divert them. [Page 101] And what Pleasure is it (or rather how great a Torment, if a body be not Stupid) for a man to see the Woman that he loves, in a Continual Hurry of Delights; taken up with Ceremony, and Visits; no discourses but of Balls, Dresses, Walks &c. Which must needs expose him every hour to fresh jealou­sies? Who can secure him­self that Women are not better Satisfied with these Entertainments than they ought to be? even to the Disgusting of their own Husbands? How can any [Page 102] man pretend to Love, who without examining Parti­culars, contentedly believes what's told him, and looks upon his Mistress under all these Circumstances with Confidence, and Quiet? It is not that I am now Arguing my self into a Title to your Kindness, for this is not a way to do my business: especially after the Trial of a much more probable Method, and to as little purpose. No, no: I know my Des­tiny too Well, and there's no strugling with it. My Whole Life is to be mise­rable. [Page 103] It was so, when I saw you every day; When we were together, for fear of your Infidelity; and at a distance, because I could not endure you out of my sight: My heart ak'd eve­ry time you came into the Convent; and my very life was at stake when you were in the Army: It put me out of all Patience to consider that neither my Person, nor Condition were Wor­thy of you: I was afraid that your Pretensions to me might turn to your Damage: I could not Love you enough me thought: [Page 104] I liv'd in dayly Apprehen­sion of some Mischief or other from my Parents: So that upon the Whole Matter, my Case was not much better at that time then it is at present. Nay had you but given me the least Proof of your Affecti­on since you left Portugal, I should most certainly have made my Escape, and follow'd you in a disguise. And what would have be­come of me then, after the loss of my honour, and my friends to see my self abandon'd in France? What a Confusion should [Page 105] I have been in? What a plunge should I have been at? What an Infamy should I have brought upon my family, which I do assure you, since I left loving of you, is very dear to me. Take Notice I pray'e, that in Cold thoughts I am very Sensible that I might have been much more Mi­serable than I am; and that once in my Life I have talk'd Reason to you: but whether my Modera­tion pleases you, or not; and what Opinion soever you entertain of me, I be­seech you keep it to your [Page 106] self. I have desir'd you al­ready, and I do now re-con­jure you, never to Write to me again.

Methinks you should sometimes reflect upon the Injuries you have done me; and upon your In­gratitude to the most Ge­nerous Obligations in Na­ture. I have Lov'd you to the degree of Madness; and to the Contempt of all other things, and Mortals. You have not dealt with me like a Man of honour. Nothing but a Natural A­version could have kept you even from adoring [Page 107] me. Never was any Wo­man bewitch'd upon So easy terms. What did you ever do that might entitle you to my favour? What did you ever Lose, or but so much as hazzard for my Sake? Have you not en­tertain'd your self with a thousand other delights? No, not so much as a Sett at Tennis, or a Hunting-Match, that you would ever forbear upon any Ac­compt of Mine. Were you not still the first that went to the Army, and the last that came back again? Were you ever the [Page 108] more Careful of your Per­son there, because I begg'd it of you, as the greatest Blessing of my Soul? Did you ever so much as offer at the Establishment of your fortune in Portugal? A place where you were so much esteem'd. But one single Letter of your Brothers hurry'd you a­way, without so much as a moments time to consi­der of it: and I am certain­ly inform'd too, that you were never in better hu­mour in your Whole Life, than upon that Voyage. You your self cannot deny, [Page 109] but that I have reason to hate you above all men Living; and yet, in Ef­fect, I may thank my Self; for I have drawn all these Calamities upon my own head. I dealt too openly, and plainly with you at first: I gave you my heart too soon. It is not Love alone that begets Love; there must be Skill, and Address; for it is Artifice, and not Passion, that creates Affection. Your first design was to make me Love you, and there was not any thing in the World which you would [Page 110] not then have done, to compass that End: Nay rather than fail, I am per­swaded you would have lov'd Me too, if you had judg'd it necessary. But you found out easier ways to do your Business, and so thought it better to let the Love alone. Perfidious Man! Can you ever think to carry off this Affront, without being call'd to an Accompt for't? If ever you Set foot in Portugal a­gain; I do declare it to you, that I'le deliver you up to the Revenge of my Pa­rents. It is along time that [Page 111] I have now liv'd in a kind of Licentious Idolatry, And the Conscience of it strikes me with horrour, and an Insupportable Remorse; I am Confounded with the Shame of What I have done for your Sake; and I have no longer (alas!) the Passion that kept the foulness of it from my Sight. Shall this tor­mented heart of Mine ne­ver find ease? Ah barba­rous Man! When shall I see the End of this Op­pression? And yet after all this I cannot find in my heart to wish you any [Page 112] Sort of harm; Nay in my Conscience I could be yet well enough content to see you happy: which as the Case stands, is utterly Impossible.

Within a While, you may yet perhaps receive another Letter from me, to shew you that I have outliv'd all your Outrages, and Philosophiz'd my self into a state of Repose. Oh what a Pleasure will it be to me, when I shall be able to tell you of your Ingratitude, and Treache­ries, without being any longer concern'd at them [Page 113] my Self! When I shall be able to discourse of you with Scorn; When I shall have forgotten all my Griefs, and Pleasures, and not so much as think of your Self, but when I have a mind to't.

That you have had the better of me, 'tis true; for I have Lov'd you to the very Loss of my Reason: But it is no less true that you have not much cause to be proud on't. Alas I was young, and Credulous: Cloyster'd up from a Child; and only Wonted to a rude, and disagreea­ble [Page 114] sort of People. I never knew what belong'd to fine Words, and Flat­teries, till (most unfortu­nately) I came acquain­ted with you: And all the Charmes, and Beau­ties you so often told me of, I only look'd upon as the Obliging Mistakes of your Civility, and Bounty. You had a good Character in the World; I heard every body Speak well of you: and to all this, you made it your Business to engage me; but you have now (I thank you for't) brought me [Page 115] to my self again, and not without great need of your Assistance. Your two last Letters I am re­solv'd to keep, and to read them over oftener than ever I did any of the for­mer, for fear of a Relapse. You may well afford them, I am sure, at the Price that they have cost me. Oh how happy might I have been, if you would but have given me Leave to Love you for ever! I know very well that betwixt my Indignation, and your Infidelity, my present [Page 114] [...] [Page 115] [...] [Page 116] thoughts are in great Disorder. But remem­ber what I tell you: I am not yet out of hope of a more peaceable Con­dition, which I will ei­ther Compass, or take some other Course with my self; which I presume, you will be well enough content to hear of. But I will never have any thing more to do with you. I am a fool for saying the Same things over, and over again so often. I must leave you, and not so much as think of you. Now do I begin to Phansie [Page 117] that I shall not write to you again for all This; for what Necesity is there that I must be telling of you at every turn how my Pulse beats?


Books Printed for and sold by H. Brome, since the dreadful Fire of London 1666, to 1678.

The Life of the great Duke of Espernon, being the History of the Civil Wars of France, beginning 1598. where D' Avila leaves off, and ending in 1642. by Charles Cotton Esq

The Commentary of M. Blaiz de Montluc the great Fa­vourite of France, in which are contained all the Sieges, Battels, Skirmishes, in three Kings Reigns by Charles Cotton Esq

Mr. Rycaut's History of Turkie.

The History of the Three last Grand Seigniors.

The History of Don Quixot, fol.

Bishop Wilkin's Real Cha­racter, fol.

Bishop Cosens against Tran­substantiation.

Dr. Guidots History of Bathe and of the hot Waters there.

The Fair one of Tunis.

Domus Carthusiana, or the most Noble Foundation of the Charter House in London, with the Life and Death of Thomas Sutton Esq

The History of the Sevarites a Nation inhabiting part of the third Continent.

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