[Page] LA PICARA, OR THE TRIUMPHS OF Female Subtilty, Display'd in the Artifices and Impostures of a Beautiful Woman, who Trapann'd the most experienc'd Rogues, and made all those un­happy who thought her handsome: Originally, A Spanish Relation, Enriched with three Pleasant NOVELS. Render'd into English, with some Alte­rations and Additions, By JOHN DAVIES of Kidwelly.

LONDON, Printed by W. W. for John Starkey, at the Mitre within Temple-Bar. 1665.

IMPRIMATUR,

ROGER L'ESTRANGE.

To the worthily Honoured, Sir JOHN BERKENHEAD KNIGHT, Master of the Facul­ties, and Master of the Requests to his Majesty, and one of the Members of the Honourable House of Commons.

SIR,

THe world is come to that improvement of experience, as to account Dedi­catories, more certain acknowledge­ments of obligation than any Nove­rint Universi, especially when there is a great distance of Quality between those by whom they are made, and those to whom they are directed. That this should be thought such, I am rather pleas'd, than troubled, since, my being oblig'd, argues my being known, to you, and consequently, that, from the one, I derive a satisfaction; from the other, an advantage.

[Page] The last Piece, which came abroad under my obscure name, was The Travels of the Embassy from the Duke of Holstein, into Muscovy, and Persia. The excellent Person who was the original Author of it, Olearius, oblig'd, with us, most of the Neighbouring Nations, who also rendred his work into their several Languages. I am told it was not unkindly receiv'd here; onely the occasion I have to speak of it now, is, that the coming forth of the English Translation, with greater lustre, than haply it had done otherwise, is, among those of some others, due to your encou­ragement.

But I am not to date your notice of me from that; I must descend much lower, to a Time wherein you thought it dangerous to know, or be known to, many. Be not startled; when dangers are over, there remains onely a pleasing remem­brance of them. It was, long before the Com­mittee at Derby-House, was advanc'd into a Councel of State, an Age since, considering the subsequent reign of Tyranny and Barbarism, and the perpetual alarms and frights, whereto worry'd Loyalty was every where expos'd. These you have happily weather'd out, and seen the contrivers thereof at last overtaken by the slow pace of di­vine Vengeance, an advertisement to All Chri­stians [Page] and Lay-Elders, who either gratulate or envy you the favours of a Prince, for whom you would have run yet greater hazards.

As to the Piece I now present you with, I have onely this to say. It is a Spanish Relation, writ­ten by D. Alonso de Castillo Savorsano, a fa­mous Author of that Nation. One of the most refin'd Wits of France thought it worth his pains, to render it into the Language of his Country, with all the graces and advantages it might derive from either. I have done it out of the latter, with a freedome of alteration and addition, as my fancy led me, to make it the most divertive I could in ours, which is the onely recommendation of all things of this nature. My Author pro­mises his Readers a continuation of the Story, if what is already publish'd be kindly entertain'd: I do mine, the like, upon the same precaution; but with this particular inducement, That it will give me further occasion to assure the world how much I am,

Sir,
Your most humble, and very much obliged Servant, J. DAVIES.

Books Printed for and Sold by John Starkey at the Mitre betwixt the middle Temple-Gate, and Temple-Bar in Pleetstreet.

Folio's.

THe Voyages and Travels of the Duke of Hol­stein's Ambassadors into Muscovy, Tartary, and Persia, begun in the year 1633. and finisht in 1639. containing a Compleat History of those Countries; whereto are added the Travels of Man­delslo from Persia into the East-Indies, begun in 1638. and finisht in 1640. The whole, illustrated with divers accurate Maps and Figures, written origi­nally by Adam Olearius, Secretary to the Embassy, Englished by J. Davies of Kidwelly.

The World Surveyed, or the famous Voyages and Travels of Vincent le Blanc of Marseilles, into the East and West-Indies, Persia, Pegu, Fez, Morocco, Guinny, and through all Africa, and the principal Provinces of Europe.

A Practical and Polemical Commentary, or Ex­position, upon the third and fourth Chapters of the latter Epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy, by Thomas Hall. B. D.

Brevia Judicialia, or an Exact Collection of ap­proved forms of all sorts of Judicial Writs in the Common-Bench, together with their returns, by Rich. Brownlow.

Thesaurus Brevium, or a Collection of approved forms of Original and Judicial Writs in the King's Bench, with their special Directions, by J. C.

Action upon the Case for Slander, or a Methodical [Page] Collection of thousands of Cases in the Law, of what words are Actionable, and what not, by Wil­liam Shepherd, Esq;.

Guillim's Display of Heraldry.

Blundel's Treatise of the Sybels.

A General Collection of Discourses of the Vir­tuosi of France upon Questions of all sorts of Phi­losophy, and other Natural Knowledge, made in the Assembly of the Beaux Esprits at Paris, by the most Ingenious persons of that Nation, English'd by G. Havers.

The Common-wealth of Oceana, by J. Har­rington, Esq;.

Quarto's.

A Collection of Declarations, Messages, Speeches, Remonstrances, &c. which passed betwixt King Charls the first, and the long Parliament, in the years 1641, 1642, 1643.

Richard Baxter's Treatise of Saving Faith.

The History of Gavel-kind with the Etymology thereof, containing a vindication of the Laws of Eng­land, together with a short History of William the Conqueror, by Sylas Taylor.

Andronicus Comnenius, a Tragedy, by John Wil­son.

Heraclius Emperour of the East, a Tragedy, by Lodowick Carlel, Esq;.

Octavo's.

An Historical and Geographical description of the great Country and River of the Amazones in Ame­rica; with an exact Map thereof, Translated out of French.

[Page] The Shepherd's Paradise, a Pastoral, by Walter Mountague, Esq;.

Aminta, the famous Italian Pastoral, translated into English.

Plowden's Queries, or a Moot Book of choice Cases in the Common-Law, Englished, Methodized, and Enlarged by H. B.

An Exact Abridgement of all the Statutes in force and use, made in the 16th, 17th, and 18th. of King Charls the first, and in the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th. of King Charls the second, viz. from the 4th. of Jan. 1641/2. to the 24th. of Novemb. 1664. by William Hughs, Esq;.

Finch's Discourse of the Law in four Books. Engl.

Tho. Goodwin. Opuscula Theolog. Lat.

Tho. Hall Apologia pro Ministerio Evangelico. Lat.

—Translation of the second Book of Ovid's Metamorph.

—Treatise against the Millenaries.

The works of the famous Mr. Francis Rabelais, treating of the Lives of Gargantua, and his Son Pan­tagruel, to which is newly added the Life of the Author, translated out of French into English by Sir Thomas Urchard, Kt.

Rome exactly describ'd, as to the present state of it under Pope Alexander the seventh, in two curi­ous Discourses written in Italian, and English'd by J. B.

Twelves.

Tho. Hooker's Missellanies in Divinity.

Rich. Baxter's Call to the Unconverted.

LA PICARA, OR The Triumphs of Female Subtilty.
The First Book.

THERE is a Treatise in the Spanish Tongue, entituled IL PICARO, which being rendred into English, under the Title of THE ROGUE, or, The Life of Guzman de Alfarache, the humour took so well in this Nation, that He and his Rogueries were several times committed to the Press. The Design of that Work was to represent a Person, on whom either Nature, or a strange ascen­dency of Mercury had bestowed so liberal a Talent of cheating, thieving, and circumvention, that he not onely trapan'd all he dealt with, but also became a Precedent and Pattern to all those, who, out of ne­cessity, or inclination, have been forc'd to live by [Page 2] their shifts, or, as some would have it, by their wits. The present Tract hath some resemblance to the ex­cellent Piece before mentioned, inasmuch as it brings in a Woman, engag'd in as great designs as those of her Predecessor Guzman, but with this dis­advantage, that the weakness of her Sex obliges her to make use of the assistances of Men for the better prosecution thereof. Both Treatises were originally written in the Spanish, a Language we are oblig'd to for most pieces of this nature: and as, in the former, the Relation is pleasantly interrupted by certain merry tales and stories; so in ours, there is an in­termixture of Novels, to heighten the Reader's sa­tisfaction and divertisement.

The draught I am to give of this Miracle of Fe­male subtilty may be of very great advantage to three sorts of persons. Those who feel in themselves a certain disposition to be wicked, may be admo­nish'd, and reform, before they have occasion to re­pent; they, who, defying all advertisement, are re­solv'd to be mischievous, may, out of an apprehension of the ensuing punishment, be deterr'd into cau­tion; and the innocent and vertuous may learn a lesson of prudence and circumspection, to avoid those snares that are laid for them. The things I write are not supposititious, or fram'd in my own imagina­tion, but such as really happened in one of the most eminent Cities of Spain; which yet if any man have not faith enough to believe, I have no other advice to give him, but that he would travel to those places, where our Scene lies, to disprove me.

As to her Person, She was young, sprightly, and very beautiful; three dangerous advantages, when [Page 3] they are attended by those endowments for which she was no less famous, to wit, Craft, Impudence, Hypocrisie, and an insatiable longing for the goods of other people; and all these strengthned by a bent of nature, as being the issue of Parents, who, instead of giving a timely check to these vicious inclinations, rather incourag'd her in them by their example, as being addicted to the same themselves.

Seignor Trapassa, Father to this excellent person whose atchievments we intend to describe, had been condemn'd to the Galleys, for having assum'd to himself the Order of the Knighthood of Christ, be­fore he had made the necessary trials, upon which his Majesty bestows that honour, by the judgment of his Soveraign Council of Portugal. His design in doing it, was that he might more conveniently follow his profession of stealing about the Court, where he was respected as a Knight, and the better, under that cloak, to play those pranks of villany, wherein he was such a Professor, that the most expert might have heard his Lectures. A certain Woman, whom he us'd to trade withall, incens'd against him upon the account of some jealousie, that he reserv'd not all his kindness for her, put in a charge against him, the issue whereof was, That he got the said preferment in the Galleys; where he pass'd over the term of his condemnation, and somewhat more. He was dispos'd into that Squadron, which is called the Squadron of Spain, and translated from Toledo to S. Mary's Port, with the rest who were in the same Predica­ment of Slavery. He had made an attempt to recover his liberty, but the plot being discover'd, he was put to greater hardship than he had otherwise been.

[Page 4] As soon as the Lady Estephania (so was called the jealous Woman, who had shewn him that trick) understood that he was gone to exercise that painful employment, though she were not of an over-com­passionate nature, very seriously repented her, that she had been the cause of his misery, and consider'd that she could not make a better satisfaction for that injury, than by proffering her self to him in marriage as soon as the time of his penance were expir'd. What inclin'd her the more to this kind of reparation, was, that she had already had a Daughter by him, which Daughter is the subject of the present Treatise. With this resolution, she left the Court, and went to Sevil, hoping, in that great and famous City, she might the sooner hear some news of him, whom she had reduc'd to so great misery, and whom she would gladly once more see at liberty.

Estephania had a house very well furnish'd, being a Genoese's Widow, who had left her very well to pass. That, and the care she took to go somewhat high in cloaths, gain'd her such a repute at Madrid, that she was look'd on as a person of some quality: but she soon lost that, when the history of her life came to be known, especially this particular of it, that, out of an excess of jealousie, she had preferr'd to the Galleys a young Gallant, whom she had often entertain'd in a feather-bed. That imprudent sally made her abhominable in the sight of her most inti­mate acquaintances of her own sex, whose indig­nation she allow'd to be the more just against her, when she consider'd, that she had cast away her self on an impostor and a rascal fit onely for the Galleys.

These reasons and reproaches oblig'd her to re­move [Page 5] from Madrid to Sevil, taking all she could conveniently carry along with her, and selling the rest, which brought her in a considerable summe of mony. Having thus order'd her affairs, she went to­wards Sevil by Coach, with two Maids to wait on on her, intending to continue there, till the time of Trapassa's serving in the Galleys were expir'd; which being near out, (for she kept an exact account of it) she understood that the Spanish Galleys were arrived at S. Mary's Port. She immediately went thither, not so highly clad as she was wont to go at Sevil, but in a more modest habit, that it might not be afterwards cast into her dish, that she had been the wife of a Galley-slave, and withal one she had courted out of his chains into her embraces.

She immediately understood that her Gallant was in the Captain's own Galley, very jocund, and ad­vanced to the office of a Fore-man, a preeminence among the Slaves which exempts them from rowing, and he had acquir'd it of the General by the plea­santness of his conversation; nay, had he not had that charge, he was by this time grown so well ac­quainted with the Galleys, that he minded not much whether ever he got out of them. But the arrival of Estephania remedi'd all. Her first business was to treat about his liberty, speaking to those persons on whom the business depended, and presenting them with certain summs of mony, before Trapassa had any knowledge of her design, whom he could not have seen, as having not yet stirr'd out of the Galley. So that he was extremely astonish'd, when he came to understand, that some persons did not onely use bare solicitations in order to his liberty, but were [Page 6] also liberal of their mony to procure it, yet could it never come into his thoughts, that his old Love Este­phania should have chang'd the cruel humour, he had left her in, into one so mild and obliging.

All things being concluded and agreed upon for Trapassa's liberty, his chains were knock'd off, and he was told, that he might go whether he would. In the mean time he could not imagine who had pro­cur'd him that happiness, which was no small one, inasmuch as though the poor Slaves have serv'd out the time of their condemnation, yet are there some causes found that hinder their being set at liberty, nay some are so unhappy, that having been condemn'd for four years, are forc'd to stay there five, or six.

Seignor Trapassa was extremely astonish'd, when he found himself in the presence of his Estephania, and understood, that it was onely by her means he had recover'd his liberty; she receiv'd him into her arms, and he, to express his gratitude, return'd so obliging a reception with the like caresses; so that the kindness he then receiv'd of her, made him forget the resentment he might have of the miseries she had occasion'd him. He was troubled to find her in a much different habit from that he had left her in at Madrid, for he knew not that it was out of design she had so disguis'd her self, nor could she at that time give him an account of it, by reason of the Captain and others being present, who had conducted him, and whom she was oblig'd to entertain at dinner. Having treated them as well as she could, all with­drew, save onely Trapassa, who continu'd still in the Inne with his Mistress. Finding themselves alone, they reiterated their caresses, and outvy'd one the [Page 7] other in assurances of the satisfaction they conceiv'd at that interview. Trapassa render'd her his thanks with all the grateful acknowledgments imaginable, for the pains she had taken, and the goodness she had had to deliver him out of the cruel torments he en­dured. On the other side, Estephania begg'd his par­don for the mischief she had done him, and all the miseries her malice had caus'd him, telling him withall, that she could not imagine any other way to repair the injury she had done him, than by joyn­ing hands with him in matrimony, if he lik'd the proposal, since she already had a daughter by him, and wealth enough for both of them to live at their ease.

I leave you to judge whether this motion were not pleasing to Trapassa, one that would have snapp'd at the least proffer of good fortune, upon his coming out of so severe a School of penance. As if he had forgot the former, his Answer was in renew'd em­braces, thereby satisfying her with what joy he ac­cepted of the advantageous offer she made him, en­treating her to give him an account of his Daughter, whom he was passionately desirous to see.

Estephania over-joy'd to find his sentiments so consonant to her expectation, presented him with a noble riding-suit, which she had purposely caus'd to be made for him, and the next morning betimes they took their journey towards Sevil, where Trapassa finding his Daughter (who might then be about eight years of age) he acted a part he never had done before, that is, was solemnly married to the Lady Estephania, in facie Ecclesiae. They chang'd their lodgings, and indeed the quarter of the City where [Page 8] they had liv'd, being resolv'd to lead another kind of life than they had done before. For Estephania ima­gining, that the hardship which her dear Love had endur'd in the Galleys, had abated somewhat of his former extravagancies, and that the grey hairs he had brought thence would reclaim him from his debauches, endeavour'd to get him some creditable employment in Sevil, as well to keep him out of idleness, as out of a consideration that he should bring in something towards the house. But an untoward disposition, such as was that of Trapassa, is not so easily brought into discipline, and if he had as yet behav'd himself with some reserv'dness, it proceeded from the influence, which the perpetual admonitions and rebukes of his wife had over him, and not out of any bent to vertue in his nature; so that, through his own neglect, he could find himself no other employment, than that of frequenting Gaming-houses, and Plays, and those other places, where those, who are naturally inclin'd to sloth, think fit to spend the greatest part of their time. This carriage of his extremely troubled his wife, who yet willing to avoid all matrimonial dis­contents, wink'd at his disorders, and endeavour'd to find some comfort in the conversation of her Daughter, whose beauty was already become the common discourse of the City.

Idleness, the seminary of all sorts of vices, by degrees brought Trapassa into his former custom of Gaming (the Sea wherein so many Estates are wrack'd) so that beginning at first to play for little (as if it had been rather for Recreation than otherwise) but afterwards venturing more and more, he in a short time made a shift to lavander whatever he [Page 9] could lay hands on of his wife's. She was sensible enough, that many of her things were wanting, and doubted not but her Husband was the conveyer of them; but all she could do was to weep, and bemoan her self, charging none with her misfortune, but her self. Trapassa perceiving her so much troubled, pro­mised reformation; but the damn'd lechery of Gam­ing prevailing more and more upon him, his luck was such, that in four years he either sold or pawn'd whatever was worth it in his house. Finding himself at last reduc'd to very great necessities, he began to cast about how he might recover himself a little: he would have been content his wife (who was as yet handsome enough) should have condescended to lewdnesses unworthy her recover'd reputation, but he perceiv'd she was grown so honest, and so alter'd from what she had been before, that he had not the confidence to speak to her of any such thing. For she was so extremely troubled at the disorder'd demea­nour of her husband, that she grew in a manner care­less of all things; nay she little minded the education of her daughter, who was by this time come into the—teens, and, by reason of these distractions in the family, liv'd as she pleas'd her self, appearing every day at her window, and that not with little af­fectation.

The grief and regrets which poor Estephania conceiv'd at her being reduc'd to necessity, heightned by the discontent caus'd her by her husband, brought her into a sickness, whereof she died about a year after, with a perfect repentance for her past mis-carriages, reinforcing at that extremity all her spirits, that she might die as happy a death, as her husband [Page 10] had occasion'd her living an unhappy life. She was very poorly buried, Trapassa having not the means to bestow any more cost upon her than he did. He was in his turn troubled, at her death, and acknowledg'd, but too late, his great oversight in that he had so long continu'd his debauches, and that if he had follow'd her good advice, he might have liv'd handsomely all the rest of his days. All the comfort he had now left, and all the hope on which he grounded his happiness, was the beauty of his Daughter, which he thought such, as would bring him a Son-in-law, that might re­lieve his necessities; never considering that the ver­tue of the Age consists in wealth, and that all perfe­ctions and graces have no charm in them, if depriv'd of the attractions of riches.

The unfortunate Trapassa, as crush'd as he was with miseries, continu'd still a constant frequenter of the Gaming-houses, not indeed to play himself, for he had not wherewith, but to receive what he had some­times given, to wit, the Barats, a little present the Spaniards are wont to bestow on those, who look on them while they are playing, when they have had a good hand, and this is commonly the surest revenue of those who have ruin'd themselves by Gaming.

The little aboad which Trapassa made at his own house gave his daughter the greater freedom to follow her own inclinations. She would be perpetually at the window, which induc'd abundance of young Gal­lantillos to make their appearances in the street she liv'd in. The Father, who was not ignorant of what pass'd, though he might have prevented, yet wink'd at it, out of the desire he had to see his daughter ad­vantageously match'd, that she might afterwards help [Page 11] him out of his necessities. This indeed was the most likely means he had to recover himself. He there­upon left the little Rufina (so was his daughter called) to her own liberty, hoping, that, by her insi­nuations, she would in time have the disposal of their hearts and purses who courted her. His design prov'd more fortunate than he had imagin'd, inasmuch as among the many, who languish'd for her, there hap­ned to be one very rich, who was over head and ears in love with Rufina. She assum'd the title of Donna, a title belongs onely to women of noble extraction, because her Mother had taken it before her, which if she had not, her Daughter would not have balk'd it, as being an honour which costs little or nothing.

The person who was so remarkably her Suitor had the Agency of some affairs of Peru, one whose credit much exceeded his estate, was accounted very rich in the ensuring Office belonging to the Indies, and about fifty years of age. Though he knew well enough that his Mistress had no fortune, and that he must withall be charg'd with the ruin'd person her Father, yet was he resolv'd to take her, for better, for worse; whence may be deduc'd this observation, That when Love becomes Master of an aged person, it is a very hard matter to dispossess him. Laurentio de Saravia (so was this amorous Elder called) was so besotted with the beauties of Rufina, that the Treaty of Marriage was concluded in less than eight daies, and he had the earnest of a happiness, which he thought would have lasted as long as he liv'd. He took his Father-in-law into his house, though he knew him to be a great Gamester. The first days of the Nuptials were spent as they are wont to be in such Solemnities; he gave [Page 12] his wife new cloaths, rings, and jewels, yet suitably to her condition; for being a person pretty well stricken in years, he was no lover of excess, an hu­mour which pleas'd not Rufina, who minded nothing so much as gaudy cloaths, and long'd for whatever she saw worn by women of a quality much above hers; and this abated not a little of the love she bore her husband, who was of an Indian disposition, co­vetous, and careful to preserve his estate. Knowing, as I told you, that his Father was a great Gamester, and a person run out of all he had, he trusted not his wife with the keeping of his Cash, no not with the management of what was spent in the house; which quite defeated the hopes of Trapassa, who imagin'd, that, upon the marriage or his daughter, he should command what were in her power; so strangely was he possest with the restless spirit of gaming.

Rufina, perceiving her husband was taken up with his affairs, took occasion to go abroad every morning, upon pretence of a certain devotion she had under­taken, that it might please God to make her a Mo­ther. With this excuse she blinded her husband, but the true motive of her sallies, was to shew her self in the Streets and at Church. The first of those who up­on sight of her, fell in love with her, was a Citizen's son of Sevil, one of the most debauch'd young men of his time, one, to say all of him in a word, who had brought himself almost to the same condition as Tra­passa: he was descended of vertuous Parents, but his disorders had drown'd their good reputation. His name was Ruperio, a Spark of a goodly presence, and one who prov'd so fortunate in the courting of Ru­fina, that she was wholly at his devotion, hoping to [Page 13] receive such great presents from him, as might put her into cloaths sutable to her beauty, which was more than she could have expected from the Miser her husband.

The first demand she made to him, was very mo­dest, considering it came from a Merchant's wife, to wit, that he would bestow on her a Gown of the same Stuff and Fashion as a Neighbour of hers had, whom she named, and withall a gold-watch to hang by her side, promising him in requital of that favour that she would not deny him any that lay in her power. Ru­perio, who by his insolent boastings had raised her in­to a persuasion of his being a person that had thou­sands at his command, promis'd to do what she de­sir'd; but being not able to perform, he set his wits to shew that trick, which his purse could not. He happened to be well acquainted with her whose Gown was to be his pattern, he went to her, and in­treated her to lend it him, pretending it was onely for the representation of a Comedy, which was to be acted in a Nunnery. It could not be deni'd on such an account; so that at the end of three days, which time he told Rufina that it would be making, he sent it to her house, while her husband was abroad in the City about his business. The Watch he told her was not yet finish'd, but that as soon as it were, it should be brought her, intreating her in the mean time to accept of another of lesser value, as a hostage for the appearance of the other. She return'd him her hearty thanks, was extremely pleas'd to see that he had been so punctual, and to shew her self grateful, she gave him all the satisfaction he could expect from her.

He took leave of Rufina, who resolv'd to per­suade [Page 14] her husband, that a certain Kinsman of hers had sent her that Gown from Madrid, that so he might not be jealous of her. On the other side, Ru­perio was contriving how to get it return'd to her, of whom it had been borrowed. Saravia not knowing him, he effected his business by this cheat. About three or four days after the delivery of the Gown to Rufina, he puts himself into the habit of a Serving­man, and just at dinner time comes to Saravia's house, saying that he was Servant to the Lady to whom that Gown belonged. Saravia order'd him to be brought in, which being done he told him that he was sent by his Mistress for the Gown she had lent Madam Rufina, onely to see the fashion of it. Sa­ravia turning towards his wife, ask'd her what Gown the fellow would have? She presently know­ing her Gallant, ‘Friend, said she to him, come hi­ther to morrow morning, and you shall have it.’ ‘But my Mistress, replies Ruperio, hath commanded me not to come back without it; for this afternoon she is to go a Christning, at which she is God­mother, and she must needs have it.’ ‘How shall I know, replies Rufina, that you have any relation to that Lady, and that you now come from her?’ The crafty Companion perceiving what she would be at, and that she had no mind to return it, ‘The Gown, said he, is of such a colour, the Trimming such and such, and it was sent you in a green cloth, done about with a silk fringe.’ Saravia hearing him give such particular marks, ‘Sweet-heart, said he to his wife, you have nothing to reply, for since he demands it with so much earnestness, it must needs be his Mistress stands in need of it, and if you are [Page 15] unwilling to rise out of your place, give me the key of your Trunk where it is, and I will go and fetch it.’ Rufina upon this had not a word to say, and at last ready to burst with indignation, she rose from the Table, took the Gown out of the Trunk, and delivering it to Ruperio, ‘Present my humble service, said she, to Madam Leonora, and tell her, I beg her pardon, that I sent it not home sooner, which I could not, in regard she hath not been here since who borrow'd it for me to have another made by it.’

The disguis'd Gallant receiv'd the Gown, and left Rufina, her eyes all on fire, and vext to the soul, to find her self so impudently affronted. Saravia ask'd her upon what account she had borrow'd that Gown; she made answer, That she had done it at the intreaty of an acquaintance of hers, who was desirous to have such another, as being extremely taken with the fashion of it. She persuaded her husband to any thing, who, poor man, understood little of the world besides his trading. In the mean time, she was ex­tremely incens'd against Ruperio for the slovenly trick he had put upon her, in depriving her of a gar­ment she was much taken with, and whereof she thought her self indisputably possess'd. She there­upon resolv'd to be reveng'd on him, what ever it cost her; but thinking to communicate her design to her Maid, who was privy to all her secret designs, Trapassa, who over-heard them, came to know the whole story; and being acquainted with the Gallant, as being one who hanted the Gaming-houses, and conceiving himself oblig'd to revenge the affront done his daughter, he meets him in the street one [Page 16] day, and tells him, he desir'd to measure the length of his Sword, upon what account he should know, when they were come to the place. Ruperio fol­low'd him out of the City, and being out of Peoples sight, Trapassa told him what had occasion'd his giving him that challenge. They presently drew, and made several passes, but at last Trapassa prov'd the more unfortunate, for he was run through the heart, so that he died immediately, having not the time to make the least act of contrition; a judge­ment commonly happens to those who lead such Lives as he had done. Ruperio took Sanctuary, and Trapassa's Body was brought to his Son-in-law's, where it was receiv'd, with a mixture of joy and grief; joy, that the House was disburthen'd of one of the most humoursome and insupportable persons in the world; and grief for the future charges of his enterrment.

In the mean time, Rufina made it appear by her lamentations and tears, that his death caus'd her as much affliction as it brought her husband joy. She would not hear of any consolation, pretending she had lost all her support in this world, for all the kinred and friends she had were now exchang'd for a husband, whom she could not affect. On the other side Saravia thought himself the happiest man in the world, to have a wife handsome and young as his was. But she was indeed a little too handsome and too young for him; that proportion of Age, which Parents ought chiefly to mind in the disposal of their Children, was not observ'd in this. 'Tis not to be expected an old Man can please a young Girl. When a woman comes once to slight her hus­band, [Page 17] she is in the way to fancy any body. But for Rufina, the passion she had withall of going highly in cloaths, and to be reveng'd of Ruperio, made her break forth into all the excesses, that exasperated Woman-kind can fall into, defile the Marriage-bed, and implicitely give her self over to all those things, whence she might derive either satisfaction or advan­tage. Nothing ran so much in her head as the injury she had receiv'd from Ruperio, which she thought such, that she would not have Liv'd, but out of a hope to be reveng'd of him. But in regard she must have other hands than her own to do that, she sought out all opportunities imaginable to assure her self of a Gallant, who would vigorously execute her com­mands.

One of those Fridays, which are solemnized with a great concourse of people from Easter to Whit­suntide, in Triana part of the Suburbs of Sevil, through which passes the Quadalquivir, the famous River of Andalusia, and the Looking-glass of that wealthy City; Rufina went into a Boat cover'd with branches, to go and see that Festival, to which she was carried, by the express order of her husband, by a Neighbour of his, whom he thought one of the most discreet and virtuous Women in the world. But he was not the first Man that was deceiv'd in a Woman; for, on the contrary, she was one of the wantonest and withall the simplest of the whole Sex. She therefore took up a Boat for her self, Rufina, and two other Women of their acquaint­ance; but though she had given the Water-man his full fare; yet was she easily perswaded by him to take in other persons into the Boat, and among those, a [Page 18] young Man, who had his Sentinels at the Water-side to give him notice of such an opportunity. As soon as they were got into the Boat, Rufina unveil'd, and the Gallant (whom we will call Felician) had no sooner seen, but he was surpriz'd with her Beauty. He thought her so handsome, that he persuaded some of his friends, who stood on the River-side, to come into the Boat, and to effect that, greas'd the fist of the Water-man. Being all got in, Felician took his place next to Rufina, into whose favour it was his design to insinuate himself. He was Son to a person of Quality, who had rais'd himself to a vast fortune in the Indies, and had no Children but only this, who disposing of his wealth, as he pleas'd, it was conceiv'd it would not be long ere he scatter'd abroad what his Father had not in so short a time raked together. For he was a constant Gamester, a perpetual Courter of Ladies, and he maintain'd a considerable crew of Hangers-on, who did him no other service than ac­company, and encourage him in his debauches. Be­sides these noble qualities, he was extreamly extra­vagant in point of cloaths, a vice not extraordinary in those young men of Sevil, who have all things at their own disposal, as he we speak of had.

Having, as was said, seated himself next to Rufina, and his Camerades next to her friends, the Boat put off, and went very leisurely down the River, for which the Water-man was so much the better paid. Felician thought this time so precious that he lost very little of it; he discover'd his Love to Rufina in such obliging expressions, that she gave absolute credit to his words, and, by her attention, satisfy'd him, that she was not displeas'd with his company. [Page 19] Felician was a very ingenious person, and of an ex­cellent good humour, upon such occasions as those; he deliver'd himself with such a smartness and grace, that the Ladies were extreamly well satisfy'd, espe­cially Rufina, who thought nothing comparable to his conversation. She gave him her name, told him where she liv'd, and what profession her husband was of, and in a word made him a kind of Con­fession of her more secret affairs. Felician was as open to her, concluding his discourse with a thousand protestations of service and obedience. The after­noon was spent in complements and courtship, and to the great satisfaction of Rufina, who had two de­signs to carry on at the same time; one, to be re­veng'd of Ruperio, by the assistance of Felician; the other, to cajol the latter out of somewhat to­wards cloaths and her extravagant expences. Nor did the business happen otherwise than she had de­sign'd it.

From that day Felician began to frequent the street where Rufina liv'd, especially when he had intelligence that her husband was abroad about his affairs. Rufina, on the other side, resolv'd not to be over-easily conquer'd; for when she remembred how she had been serv'd by Ruperio, it rais'd in her a certain fear of receiving the like affront from ano­ther. Before she admitted his entrance into the House, she thought fit to make trial of his liberality. Of this she was in a short time pretty well satisfy'd, for Felician had been a prodigal all his Life, but upon this occasion exceeded all he had done before, send­ing her presents of cloaths, jewels, and other things, besides the expences he was at in treatments and [Page 20] collations: So that Rúfina was the most satisfy'd Woman in the world. 'Tis commonly said, that the higher a Man's enjoyments are, the sooner he is cloy'd, but it happen'd otherwise with Felician, for his affection to Rufina encreas'd daily, and came up to that height it could not well be greater.

It happen'd about this time, that Ruperio got at one time above six hundred Crowns at play. He went always very high in cloaths; but this unex­pected good fortune made him somewhat exceed his former gawdiness. But with that good, he had this ill fortune, to find out, that Felician was seen very often in the street where Rufina liv'd, and to infer thence, that he made some addresses to her. This jealousie awoke the love he had sometimes had for her; it troubled him that he should have any Rival, and thereupon he resolv'd to retrive himself into her favour, and repair the injury, he was now sensible, that he had done her. Upon this account, he pass'd several times through her street, which caus'd not a little perplexity to Felician. Rufina was enrag'd to see that the Impostor had the impudence to make any pretence to her favour, after the notorious affront she had receiv'd at his hands. She consider'd there was no way to be rid of his importunities, but to engage her beloved Gallant Felician in her quarrel, by persuading him, that Ruperio's design was to dis­place him out of her affection, which if he valued, he would find some means to check the insolence of his Rival, and deliver her from his odious Courtship. See what employments Women do many times put on their Gallants! setting them on, like Cocks, to fight, till they have destroy'd one the other.

[Page 21] Rufina thought it not prudence to acquaint Fe­lician with what had pass'd between her and Ruperio. No, she took a safer course: She told him, that Ruperio was continually importuning her with very advantageous proffers, which yet, for his sake, she slighted. Felician believ'd her, and that the rather, in regard he met him every day, and many times in the night, walking the rounds about his Mistress's house. To incense him the more, she added, that were it not for that troublesome person, she would see him oftner than she did. There needed no more; Felician being thus enflam'd into jealousie, met with Ruperio one night in his Mistress's street, when he knew Rufina was a-bed, and her husband looking over some Accounts, which concern'd his Agency. As soon as Felician had perceiv'd Ru­perio, he call'd him by his name, and having talk'd a little while together, to avoid the discovery of any quarrel in the Streets, he conducted to a little by­place, which happen'd to be over against the room where Saravia kept all his papers, and where he then was, very busie looking over them. The two Rivals being come to the place, Felician address'd himself thus to the other.

‘Signor Ruperio, I have for some days past ob­serv'd, that you have frequented this street more than you should have done, and I was somewhat at a loss to know, what might occasion your com­ing hither, in regard there are several Ladies of worth, which might oblige you thereto. But I have at last discover'd, that Madam Rufina is the cause of your diurnal and nocturnal haunts here­abouts; and this I am assur'd of, not only by what [Page 22] I have seen my self, but also by the relation of her servants, to whom you speak, and whom you would corrupt by presents to introduce you into their Mistress's favour. I have been her Servant a good while, and the services I have done her have gain'd me her affection, so far that I have receiv'd the greatest favours from her that I could expect. I am not a person much given to boast of my good fortunes; but to prevent your further progress in this affair, I am forc'd to make you this particular discovery, which I doubt not but you will enter­tain as a great secret, as every person of honour ought to do. I have acquainted you with my love, and the advantages I have made of it, to oblige you to forbear all applications to this Lady for the fu­ture. Which if you do, you will exempt your self from many inconveniences, and ease me of those resentments, which I am now full of.’

Ruperio hearkned very attentively to the discourse of Felician, and Rufina's husband no less, hearing things that concern'd him so nearly. And yet though the story he had heard was extreamly prejudicial to him, and could not but add very much to his disquiet, yet must he needs stay to take Ruperio's Answer; which was to this effect.

‘Signor Felician, I cannot wonder at all, that you should be so careful to observe, with what devotion I courted Madam Rufina, since you were so much concern'd in it as you tell me; and I believe you will be as little surpriz'd at my being engag'd in the same design, being, as I find you, ignorant what are the grounds of my Love, and the reasons I have to prosecute it. I am as backward [Page 23] as your self to proclaim the favours I receive from Ladies; but since you express your self so freely to me, I conceive my self oblig'd to do the like to you, that you may think my procedure the less strange. I was in this Lady's favour before you were, and I obtain'd of her the same thing you boast so much of: by some misfortune or other, I have lost it, yet not so, as but that I hope, in time, I re-instate my self into it again, which to do, assure your self I shall do whatever lies in my power. If I prevail, and that she will admit the continuance of my services, as I hope she may, your onely remedy is patience; for I am so far from quitting this pretension, that I shall do my utmost to prevent her giving any entertainment to yours, and bring her to such a pass, as not so much as remember, that you ever thought of her.’

With that they both drew, Felician maintaining, that he onely ought to pretend to her, and Ruperio standing upon the same tearms. The dispute was soon ended, his Sword, who was in present possession prov'd the more fortunate, Ruperio, by a thrust through the heart, falling upon the place. The noise of the Swords was not very great, for Felician had done his work so suddenly, that none heard any thing of the quarrel, but onely Saravia, who, for his own reputation, would have kept it secret. That the Body might not lye in that place, Felician took it on his Shoulders, and laid it before a Monastery, and went for refuge into another, till he found what would be done in the business.

Saravia, astonish'd at what he had seen and heard, began to be enrag'd against his wife, contriving how [Page 24] to be reveng'd of a Woman, whose perfidiousness was the more notorious, the greater reasons she had to be gratesul and loyal. She was fast asleep in her bed, never dreaming what had hapned in the streets upon her account. The first thing came into Saravia's imagination, was altogether for revenge, to effect which his course would be, to go up streight into her chamber, and to dispatch her, in bed, with a dagger. But he consider'd with himself, that the Murtherer having carried away the dead body from his door, he might be charg'd with killing her without any cause, and that he would want proof, as having for witness but two servant-maids, who were more likely to depose against him. He therefore resolv'd, as the surest way to dispatch her, to give her a secret dose of poison, such as might remove her after a certain time: but he thought withal, that he should not sa­tisfie his own just resentment, if he any longer de­lay'd a vengeance which requir'd immediate exe­cution. He propos'd to himself another expedient, which was, to leave both City and Wife, and to go to some other place: but that design was soon over with him, he having many affairs undetermin'd, and fearing the sinister judgments might have been pass'd upon such a resolution, to the shame and confusion of a man of his age and reputation. This reflection brought him to his first design of sending her going with the ponyard. But before he executed that cru­elty (which yet rightly taken was not any, but a just punishment for her offence) he thought it requisite, sor his own vindication, to leave, in writing, the rea­sons, which had induc'd him to commit that murther. He took pen and ink, and began to set down the af­front [Page 25] he had receiv'd from his wife, and the revenge he had taken: but upon second thoughts, and ima­gining he had not sufficiently express'd the heinous­ness of her crime, he tore what he had written; and this he did to the third time, so great were the con­fusion and disturbance of his thoughts. He set himself down to write the fourth time; but remembring that he was to begin his revenge with adulteries, and could not do it because he knew not the several ap­pellations thereof, he was at last satisfi'd, that he should be sufficiently reveng'd if he had but once dispatch'd his wife. A good part of the night slipp'd away in these disquiets, viz. in writing, correcting, blotting out again, and tearing all he had written. At last, being absolutely resolv'd in that rage to exe­cute his design, he made another writing, without any blot, having before-hand well consider'd what he should set down; and when he had express'd, the best he could, the injury he had receiv'd, he was o're-come by so pressing a grief that he fell down and dy'd suddenly.

All this past, while Rufina flept. Awaking of a sudden and not finding her husband in bed with her, she call'd him, and seeing he made no Answer, she put on her petticoat, and went into his closet, where she found a candle lighted, and Saravia lying on the floor, dead. She was astonish'd, as well she might; all she could do was to call up her Maids, who im­mediately came to the sight of this strange spectacle. They were no less surpriz'd than their Mistress at the strangeness of the accident. As they were going to convey the Corps to one of the best rooms in the house (before the neighbours had any notice of the [Page 26] adventure) Rufina met with a paper, which seem'd to be not quite finish'd, wherein she found these words.

That my justification may be the better known to all those who shall read this paper, I declare, that all my unhappiness proceeds from the lightness and in­constancy of my infamous wife, who, profaning the holy Sacrament of Marriage, by the sacred Tie where­of we were join'd together in the face of the Church, without any consideration of the great affection I bore her, hath prostituted her self to two Gallants at the same time, whe having quarrel'd for the precedence, which either of them pretended to over his adversary, the more unfortunate of the two was kill'd by the other, before the window of my house. Having thus been witness os my own disgrace, and heard the whole story of my dishonour, it was but just I should revenge my infamy, thus—Then ended the writing, for death surprising him at that word he immediately expir'd.

Rufina was extremely distracted at both what she saw and what she had read, so that, for half an hour, she knew not in a manner where she was, consider­ing with her self, that the greatest secrets in the world will be discover'd at last, and that it is Heaven's pleasure they should be so, either for our reformation or our punishment. The death of her husband rais'd in her a certain mixture of fear and affliction: a fear, to see how sudden it had been, oc­casion'd by the resentment of an injury which she had done him; the affliction, to see her husband deprived of life, and her self ignorant how to disguise so un­happy [Page 27] an accident. A little remorse of conscience, like a qualm over her stomach, troubled her, that she had been so perfidious to a man, who had lov'd her so well, and, by marrying her, had rais'd her from beggery to plenty. The great affection which the Neighbours knew that he had always born her, gave her a little confidence, and induc'd her to take the advice of one of her Maids, which was to carry her husband's body into his bed, and to cry out the next morning so loud, that the Neighbours might here it, whom she might, by her excessive lamentations, per­suade, that she had found him dead by her side when she awoke; and that her two Maids, to carry on the cheat, should give out that their Master had taken a surfeit, and died suddenly of it.

Having thus laid their design, day came, Rufina cried out, and lamented with all her might, and the next Neighbours came in, who found her half­dress'd, weeping, and tearing her hair through mad­ness, that she had lost so good a husband. Her two Maids acted their parts very well, by relating the cause of their good Master's death, and saying, that they advis'd him not to eat so much, or that other­wise he must expect to repent it. All were satisfi'd with these reasons, and some of Rufina's friends were busie about her, out of a fear she should have swounded, so well did she personate the afflicted Lady. They did all lay in their power to comfort her, who, amidst all her grief, had not forgotten to burn the paper she had found, lest it might have prov'd a testimony of her miscarriages. Some Officers from the Magistrate, who are never wanting upon such oc­casions, came in soon after, and upon the allegations [Page 28] of the Neighbours, that the deceas'd had ever liv'd very lovingly with his wife, went their ways, satis­fi'd that she had not any way contributed to his death. Saravia was buried, and Rufina was so put to it to act the part she was then engag'd in, that she thought not of doing what Widows commonly do upon such occasions, that is, to make the best provision they can for themselves, out of what their husbands have left. So that one of his Nephews, as soon as the Uncle was buried, seiz'd on all in the house, and Ru­fina was forc'd to go to Law with him, to recover what she might lawfully lay claim to.

Let us return to see what became of Ruperio's body. Being found in the morning by the religious Inhabitants of the Monastery, and not known by any of them, they were going, without sans cere­monie, to burie it, had they not been prevented by a Citizen, who advis'd them to expose it in some pub­lick place, that it might be known, and that if he were one that had father or mother, or friends in the City, that they might know the misfortune hap­pen'd to him; that by that means, they would se­cure to themselves the charges of his interment, as also the fees due for other prayers and devotions, in order to the repose of his soul. This advice pleas'd the Superiour of the Monastery, who immediately sent word to the Magistrate, that they had found in the morning a young man dead at their Chutch­door. The body was dispos'd into a little place near the Monastery, with two lighted wax-candles, by which place there pass'd by not long after a man that knew him. He told them who he was, and then went and carried that sad news to his Friends, who were [Page 29] extremely troubled at his death, his Father having often foretold him, that he would come to such an end; for, from the life he led, there could not any thing else be inferr'd. He was buried in the Mona­stery, and a strict search was made for him who had committed the murther: but Sevil being a vast and populous City, no discovery could be made of him. Onely Rufina knew who it was, by the absence of her Gallant, Ruperio's death, and the paper she found in her husband's closet. She was infinitely satisfi'd to see her self reveng'd of a person, who had done her such an affront; and it was a great happiness to her, that no notice had been taken of the bloud, which the deceas'd had spilt at the place where he was kill'd. Had the Magistrate known of that, it would have brought her into some trouble, for the Neigh­bours would have testifi'd, that they had often seen those two Rivals in that little street.

By this means Rufina is become a Widow, but withall poor and destitute of all accommodations, having onely the stock of her beauty to set her self up again; and that, together with her honour (if it may be said she had any left) she resolv'd to prosti­tute, that she might live in some measure sutably to what she had done before. Saravia's Nephew, who had taken possession of all his estate, was sentenc▪d to pay Rufina somewhat upon the account of dower; but it was so inconsiderable, in respect of the expence she was wont to be at, that she was forc'd to leave the house she was in and take one of a lower rent. Nor had this Nephew what he expected by being heir to his Uncle, for the estate was extremely per­plex'd, so that having even'd▪ accounts with the Cre­ditors, [Page 30] he had but little left for himself.

Rufina, having remov'd into another Quarter of the City, and being young, sumptuous in cloaths, and perfectly handsome, did not as many other Widows are wont to do, who, as soon as their husbands are march'd off, dress themselves as fine as hands can make them, and deriving a little advantage from their mourning seek out opportunities to shew them­selves to the Gallants purely out of a design to get other husbands. But ours, though young, had had so great experience, that she resolv'd to play another game, and that no small one.

There was come in the Fleet from Peru a man born amidst the Mountains of Leon, who had begun his fortune by the relation of a Servant to a Merchant of Sevil, and one who, upon his Master's cost, and some little trading into the Indies, was grown rich, insomuch that within few years, he was accounted one of the ablest Merchants that traded to Peru. He makes another voiage thither, being advanc'd to a certain publick employment, and having thereby added much to his wealth, he was return'd again to Sevil, in that years Fleet, where he sold the com­modities he had brought over at double what they had cost him; so fortunate was he in all his ventures.

Marquina (so was this lucky Merchant call'd) was a person of about fifty years of age; the most covetous and wretched'st natur'd fellow that ever was. He grudg'd himself what he eat and drunk, though even below moderation; nay he many times fasted pur­posely to spare so much. He had no more servants than he needed; his whole Train consisted in a Fa­ctor, a Lacquey, a Moor-slave, who look'd to his [Page 31] Mule, and a Maid to dress his pitiful Commons. He kept his Family so short in point of victuals, that it was wondred any one would serve him; his Miser­disposition found the whole City discourse; another would have been asham'd of it, but he onely laugh'd at it, applauding himself, and making it his whole business to heap up wealth, whereof he had abun­dance.

Rufina hearing this account of him, began to consider all the circumstances, and after she had a little reflected thereon, she concluded, that he might be made an excellent Cully, whom if she could smite, as she expected, her condition would be better than ever it had been. Marquina liv'd with­out the City, in a little Tenement he had purchas'd of one who ought him some mony, which he knew not well how to get in otherwise; for he was natu­rally so perfect a slave to his profit, that he little minded his pleasures. So that he got that Tenement, with a neat house on it, very cheap, and in satis­faction for his debt; it stood near S. Bernard's Mo­nastery, in the midst of a pleasant valley. He liv'd here to spare the rent of a house in the City; he had so fortifi'd it, that no thieves, either by day or night, could make any breach into it; all the doors were of extraordinary thickness, the windows had bars and grates, the walls very high and very strong. He had secur'd the place within with many fire-Arms, which he always kept charged, Halbards, and Partisans, which were dispos'd near the gate. He was forc'd to take one person more into his retinue, to wit, a fellow to order his Garden, and to make the best ad­vantage he could of it, a married man, who should [Page 32] carry the fruits and other things to the market to make the best of them, so vigilant was his Avarice. His treasure was dispos'd into a secret place behind his bed where he lay himself, in strong iron chests; and every night before he went to bed, he, like an over-doing Constable, search'd all the rooms in the house. Thus did this wrerched fellow live, though he had no children to succeed him, for he had never been married, nor intended to be, though very advan­tageous Matches were daily proffer'd him.

Rufina had laid her design to bring in this cove­tous Merchant into the noose, and to effect it, she communicated it to a person who was excellent at such things, and an ancient acquaintance of her Fa­ther's Signor Trapassa. This man had plaid some pranks at Madrid, which had occasion'd his removal thence to Cadiz, and his atchievments there, his de­parture thence to Sevil, where he went lurking up and down, and spending some mony, which it had cost him more hazard than pains to get. He was one of the most accomplish'd men in point of Thievery of his time, but very fearful of falling into the hands of Justice, lest there might rise up in judgment against him some of his former offences; which were such as had preferr'd him to the Galleys, where he had made acquaintance with Trapassa, and had continu'd it at Sevil. This person (whose name was Garay), Rufina took to assist her in the compassing of her design. Having given him instructions what he was to do, and told him, that Marquina return'd not to his house, till about Sun-set, as he was wont to do, they both pass'd by Marquina's garden, he on a Mule, and she on a good Horse. She had put off her Mourning, [Page 33] and put on another dress, with a hat and feather, as the Sevil-Ladies are wont to go, when they are in the Country.

They pass'd by the Garden, just as the Gardener was opening the door. Garay coming up to him, Friend, said he, here is a Lady would not willingly go into the City to day, if you will afford her enter­tainment this night. I will satisfie you to your own desires; besides that you will do us an ex [...]raordinary kindness, for you will thereby prevent a great mis­fortune which she cannot otherwise avoid. The Gardener, who was afraid of his Maste [...]s displeasure, told him that he durst not be so bold, as to receive any person into his house, without his knowledge, though he had not expresly forbidden him the doing of any such thing. But Garay, who knew the vertue and power of mony, took a considerable sum out of his pocket, and giving it to the Gardener, ‘Here, friend, said he, take this in earnest of more.’ The Gardener's wife longing to know what business they might have with her husband, comes up to them, and seeing the proffers were made him, undertook to lodge the Gentlewoman in her own room, making it appear to her husband, that their Master should never come to the knowledge of it, in regard their houses were at a good distance one from the other, and that they should not be so unhappy, as that he would that night search the whole house, as many times a toy took him in the head to do.

In fine the wife's arguments prevail'd, so that the Gardener was content the Gentlewoman should lodge secretly that night at his house, upon the re­ceipt of six Ryals which Garay gave him as an [Page 34] earnest of a greater summe promis'd him. He there­upon took down Rufina off the horse, and brought her into the Garden, where she took leave of Garay, who had already receiv'd the orders whereof we shall give an account hereafter.

Being come into the Gardener's room, she took off what cover'd her face, and astonish'd the Gar­dener and his wife at the sight of her beauty, though she seem'd to be very melancholy, as if some great misfortune had happened to her, to wit, that which she had ready to relate to Marquina, in case she might come to speech with him. The Sun was hard­ly set, but he came into the Garden: the Negro en­tring a little before to have the door opened, which he himself lock'd on the inside, and carried the key along with him. He chanc'd to be that night a little more weary than he us'd, which occasion'd his going to bed very betimes, after he had eaten a piece of bread, and some of his own Garden fruits, and wash'd them down with a glass of spring-water. He onely visited that part of the house where he lodg'd him­self, and came not down to the Gardener's, which escap'd not his privy search, when he thought of it. His family, who kept more fasting-days in the year, than the Church her self had appointed, supp'd that night, in imitation of the Master, very soberly.

Marquina gets up the next morning betimes, and gives the Slave mony to go to the market, while he went about his affairs in the City, with order to have dinner ready against his return. Rufina was at a loss how to compass her design, finding things fell not out according to her expectation: but still waiting the op­portunity, she told her entertainers that she was ex­tremely [Page 35] troubled at her Uncle's stay (so she called Garay) and that all her sadness proceeded thence. The Gardener's wife, who was a good hearty woman, found her all the diversion she could.

Marquina comes home at noon, with an intention to dine in his garden, and before he sate down, he would needs take a turn about it, to see if any thing were wanting; and he observ'd that there wanted some pieces of wood for the more convenient wa­tering of the several Knots. As he was going to the Gardeners to see if he had any fit for that purpose, the wife perceiving him coming, very hastily shuf­fled Rufina into a little back-room, where she was wont to lie: but in regard it could not be done so suddenly, but that Marquina coming in might hear the ruffling of the silks, and see Rufina's shadow, he steps into the room where she was retir'd, and hav­ing found her, he led her out by the hand, and bring­ing her into the light, he found her so beautiful, that he was astonish'd thereat. The Gardeners wife won­der'd, that her Master, instead of chiding her, as she expected, onely ask'd her who the Lady was. She answer'd, that, the night before, passing by their door with an ancient Gentleman, who seem'd as sad as her self, they had very earnestly intreated she might be lodg'd there but that night, to avoid a great mis­fortune, which would have hapned to them, if they had gone any further.

While the Gardener's wife was giving Marquina this account, he very attentively consider'd the strange Lady, who seem'd to be extremely troubled in mind, which added to the attractions of her Beauty. Marquina was so taken therewith, that dis­carding [Page 36] his unsociable and covetous humour, he told the Gardener's wife, that she had done very well, in entertaining that Lady, though contrary to his orders, which in such a case were not to be ob­serv'd, where compassion and charity plead for the relief of those that are in trouble. ‘This Lady, said he, deserves a better reception than she hath found in your poor lodgings, I heartily proffer her my house, if she will but honour it with her pre­sence.’ Rufina thank'd him very civilly for his oblig­ing proffers, and intreated him to allow her the pri­vacy of some other lodging, for the little time she had to stay there, in regard she expected an Uncle of hers to come and fetch her away that night.

Marquina, who began to be enflam'd, was sorry to hear that her stay at his house would be so short, but after a little pause, he told her, that though it were but for an hour, she would infinitely oblige him, in the acceptation of the proffer he made her with so much affection. She, who expected that cue all the while, told him, that, to make some return to so great civilities, she was ready to wait on him. With that she went to Marquina's apartment, whi­ther he led her by the hand, to the great satisfaction of the Gardener's wife, who extremely wondred to see her Master, contrary to his custom, of a civil and obliging humour. As she pass'd through the rooms, she took particular notice of all things; for though Marquina were naturally a very covetous person, yet, as to the furniture of his house, he was otherwise. He had very rich Tapestry, Chairs sutable thereto, and Cabinets of Ivory and Ebony, nay indeed many things brought out of the Indics, which though they [Page 37] cost him not much there, are here of very great price. He immediately commanded his Slave to prepare an excellent dinner, an employment he undertook with great alacrity, as knowing he might make some ad­vantage of that extraordinary liberality of his Master. Rufina din'd with him, who treated her still with the best the Table afforded, with importunate excuses that there were no better for her.

As soon as they had din'd, he conducted her into a chamber, set forth with a great number of excellent pictures, where there was also a sumptuous bed, of China-work, and intreated her to repose her self on it, a custom the Spaniards have in Summer, as soon as they have din'd, by reason of the sultriness of the Country. He intreated also to give her disquiet some remission, out of an assurance, that she should be as safe in his house as in any Sanctuary, and that she should not want any thing lay in his power. She again return'd him her most affectionate thanks, and complying with his desires, she staid alone in the room, which was the same where Marquina took his repose every day. He went into another, where he laid himself down, much troubled and disquieted, as being fallen deeply in love with his fair Guest, and not knowing by what means he might induce her to favour him in what he desir'd of her, which if he could effect, he concluded himself the happiest man in the world. Before he acquainted her with his de­sign, he was desirous to know the cause of her grief, and what might occasion her stopping at his Garden, and thereby find whether there were any obstruction that might oppose his desires to serve her. To be sa­tisfi'd in this, it was requisite he staid till she aw [...]ke; [Page 38] but she slept not at all, for she spent the time in considering, what Answer she should make him, when he came to question her.

Marquina thinking it now time to speak to her, in order to the satisfaction of his curiosity, goes into her chamber, telling her it was a close day, and that he was afraid she might over-sleep her self, and crav­ing her pardon that he had taken the boldness to give her that caution. She thank'd him for the tenderness he had for her health, and assur'd him, that she had not refresh'd her self at all, the trouble she was in not permitting her to take any rest. He begg'd of her that she would no longer smother the cause of her disquiet, and renew'd the proffers he had made to serve her to the utmost of his power. Having re­turn'd him her thanks, and thinking it now time to make some progress in her design, she gave him this relation of her adventures.

Granada, one of the most famous and eminent Cities of Spain, is the place of my birth; my pa­rents (there's no necessity I should name them) are of the most antient and most noble families of any in all the Mountains of old Casteel, and the whole issue of their matrimony was onely a Brother of mine and my self. My Brother spent the youth­ful part of his age in courting Ladies, and, among other young persons like himself, he plaid some mad pranks of youth, which oblig'd him, for fear of falling into the hands of Justice, to absent him­self from Granada; and for my part, I made it my onely business to serve and humour those who had brought me into the world. I spent the days at my needle, not taking example from my com­panions, [Page 39] who onely minded their divertisements; nay I was so ignorant what love meant, that I laugh'd at whatever related thereto, and thought those, who spent their time in courtships and en­tertaining those they call'd their Gallants, little better than so many distracted persons. But Love it seems would punish this contempt of mine, and you shall see how he did it. My Father and Mo­ther being one day gone to visit a friend of theirs in the Country, who had buried his wife not long before, I heard in the street the clashing of swords, as if some people had been fighting. I look'd out at the window to see what might be the matter. I had never been guilty of such a cu­riosity before, and had it been God's pleasure I should have shunn'd it then, I should not now be telling you my misfortunes, which are such, that I shall never think on them without tears. I there saw, to my sorrow, three men with their swords drawn, fighting against one, who defended himself with so great courage, that he not onely made his party good a long time against so many enemies, but also hurt two of them in the head, he himself having receiv'd onely a slight wound. These three Hectors finding themselves so worsted by one person, resolv'd to do their utmost to take away his life; so that exasperated by their wounds, they press'd upon him so much, that he was forc'd to retreat within our gate, where they gave him two several thrusts into the breast, upon which he fell, and was left for dead. Mov'd with com­passion to see so proper a young man so disadvan­tageously engag'd, I came down to the gate, [Page 40] calling my Maids about me, to see what might be done for him, (our house being in a lone-street) for those who were come upon the noise we made were so few, and those unarm'd, that they were not able to part them. We lock'd the doors and brought him in, and a Chirurgeon was immediately sent for. His wounds were so great, that we thought fit to dispose him into a bed, in a ground-room, where my Brother was wont to lie. The young man thank'd me very civilly for the favour he receiv'd from me; but alas! that good office began with Compassion, but ended in Love. The Chirurgeon view'd his wounds, but could not presently give any certain judgment of them, though he whisper'd me in the ear, that he thought they might cost him his life. That account of him struck me to the heart, for having seen him fight so gallantly, I must needs acknowledge, that I had even then con­ceiv'd an inclination for him. But his kind ex­pressions afterwards, and his thanking me so gen­tilly for the obligations he said I had put upon him, rais'd it into a perfect Love. My Father and Mother return'd from their visit, and, ere they were got to our house, were told by one of the Neighbours, a person of some quality, what had happened in their absence, and how that I had put a period to a quarrel, by entertaining the wounded party into their house, out of compassion and a fear that he might be kill'd; whereat they were well satisfi'd, and commended the charitable of­fice I had done at such an extremity; for they were persons who gladly embrac'd any opportunity to exercise their charity. They visited the wounded, [Page 41] encourag'd him to take heart, assuring him he should want nothing their House could afford, and acknowledg'd it well done by me, that I had so rescu'd him, upon which I took occasion to spend most of my time in waiting on him; him, I say, who is the cause of all the troubles and afflictions which lye so heavy upon me. At the second dressing, the Chirurgeon assur'd us that his wounds were not mortal, which caus'd much joy in our House, particularly to me, who became every day more and more passionately in love with him. As often as I could get out of my Father and Mo­ther's fight, I went to pass away the time in his Chamber, for which kindness he made me extra­ordinary acknowledgments.

This young Cavalier was born at Pampeluna, and one of the most eminent in that City. His business at Granada was to prosecute a Law-suit, against a very powerful person, who finding but little justice of his side, that the cause was of great importance, and that notwithstanding the favour he had in Court, the Judges must pass sentence against him, would put a period to the Suit by a shorter cut, and rid himself of his Adversary, by employing three Men to murther him, who were his own menial Servants. A month slipp'd away, ere Leonardo (so was the wounded person named) got out of his Bed, having all that time been atten­ded with as much care as might be. The second day after his getting up, he had the opportunity to see me, for my Mother was gone abroad upon a visit, wherein I accompany'd her not, because I had a greater mind to be alone with my young [Page 42] Gallant. He discover'd himself to me so oppor­tunely, and gave me such sensible assurances of his affection, that it rais'd a no less in me towards him, insomuch that there past mutual promises of fidelity between us. I knew nothing all this time that my Father was upon a treaty of Marriage be­tween me and a Gentleman of Granada, who was infinitely desirous to enter into our alliance, while I was very well satisfy'd with the choice I had made my self. Leonardo, coming to hear of the others pretensions to me, was not a little troubled at it; but the onely remedy was patience, in regard he would make no discovery of his Estate, till his Law-suit were ended, which he hoped would be in a short time, and I in the mean time kept my Father in play with persuasions, that he would not be over-hasty in concluding my Marriage with the Granadine.

Leonardo being perfectly cur'd, and requiting the kindness and noble entertainment he had re­ceiv'd at our House, with many considerable pre­sents, return'd to his own Quarters, to bring his business to a final end. For my part, my troubles increas'd more and more upon me; for my Fa­ther, never giving me any notice of it, as if I had been a person not at all concern'd, concluded the contract with the Granadine, and pass'd his word he should have me; which when I came to under­stand, I was so strucken, that I minded not what I did. This new Servant of mine, who expected ere long to be my Master, came to give me a visit: but I soon satisfy'd him, that he had reckon'd be­fore his Hostess, for whereas he had flatter'd him­self [Page 43] into a foolish imagination that he should have found the kindest reception in the world from me, he met with such a repulse, as he himself conclu­ded, must rather proceed from the aversion, than any indifference I had for him. In a word, being not of those Favourites of fortune, who promise themselves the attainment of things impossible, he easily discover'd, that my refusal was the effect of some other cause, than the modesty, which a young Maid ought at least pretend to upon such occasions: and knowing withall that the wounded Leonardo had lodg'd some time in our House, he presum'd, that my disdain towards him was occasion'd by the love I had for the other, and thence inferr'd, that having not been so happy as to prevent him in the acquisition of my favour, he had, at best, but a hazardous after-game to recover it. The jealousie he conceiv'd upon this presumption oblig'd him to make trial of all the ways he could imagine, to be assur'd of it, so as that he might not do any thing, whereof it should afterwards repent him. Should all do so, there would not be so many groundless quarrels. I was in an extraordinary confusion during these overtures; I acquainted Leonardo with my condition; he came to see me that very night, and we agreed, the next, to leave my Father's house, and to go to some of his Rela­tions, where we might be secretly Married. The expected hour being come (unhappy hour to me, considering the misfortunes I have run through since!) as my Dearest and I were going out of the House and crossing into another Street, my jealous Servant (who spent the nights to be assur'd [Page 44] of his suspition, which he now found to be too true) presently knew us, and, attended by two Servants, he set upon Leonardo, never thinking of any such surprise; so that ere he had the time to draw his Sword, he receiv'd three mortal wounds, and fell down dead, having not been able to speak one word. The little noise which the murtherers had made, occasion'd the Neighbours to come out with lights, upon the appearance whereof they ran away, fearing they might be discover'd. By this time there was a great stir at my Father's, that I could not be found, while I was in a manner dead, to see my Dearest lying breathless at my feet. Having recover'd my self, I consider'd it was to little purpose for me to stay in the street, after such an accident, so that putting off my Pattins, and tucking up my Coats, I ran away as fast as I could, to a friend's house of my Father's, an aged person and very poor, whom I told what had hap­pened to me, and how much it concern'd me not to stay any longer at Granada. Whereupon taking a Horse, he set me on him, and brought me to the next Village, where we took up another for him, and thence we are come hither, to avoid my Fa­ther, who, accompany'd by Officers, makes a search after me, as I have understood by the way. For that reason I thought it not safe, that we should go into Sevil as soon as we came hither, but that it was better I conceal'd my self in some place near it. It was the pleasure of fortune to direct me to this Habitation of yours, into which, upon extra­ordinary intreaties your Gardener ventur'd to re­ceive me for this last night.

[Page 45] Thus Sir, have you the story of a wretched Maid (if there ever were any such) whose onely com­fort now is in the good entertainment you are pleas'd to afford her. May Heaven requite your charity, since there cannot be a greater than to re­lieve such as are afflicted and persecuted to the extremity that I am.

The conclusion of this dismal story, which Rufina had had the time to invent and study so well, was a shower of Crocodile-tears, which rais'd such a com­passion in Marquina, that he could not forbear them himself. The subtle Baggage, who notwithstanding her counterfeit tears observ'd all the actions of Mar­quina, perceiv'd that he gave credit to her feign'd story, and that Love began to enter at that breach which compassion had made in his heart. This en­courag'd Rufina to prosecute her imposture, being now in a manner confident to bring it to some effect. They continu'd a good while together, she weeping, as if she had done it for a wager, and he endeavour­ing all he could to comfort her: but that comfort came not up to the height of offering her the remedy she could have wish'd, for he had not yet overcome his covetous humour.

Having with great attention consider'd the great beauty of Rufina, her affliction, and strange adven­tures, and that this happiness was as it were fallen into his mouth, he inferr'd that Heaven, as a signal addition to his former happiness, had directed her to his House. This was the first love that had ever mov'd Marquina's heart, and, in all sorts of persons that first passion ever acts violently. Is Marquina fallen in love? He must needs then be liberal. Hath [Page 46] he entertain'd Rufina into his House? That kind­ness will be the dearest to him that he ever did. O Love! O insinuating Passion, who dost bewitch the World, who dost ruine and beset Men! what Meta­morphoses dost thou not work in them? what Dis­positions dost thou not change? what Resolutions dost thou not dispence with? what Felicities dost thou not disturb? And what Hearts is it not in thy power to soften? That of this insatiable Miser, which had cast off all sense of humanity towards his nearest Relations, love hath chang'd; so that he hath transform'd a covetous and sordid Person into a li­beral and magnificent. He is extreamly taken with Rufina; he is passionately in love with her; she will ere long be Mistress of his heart and wealth. She said many things in her relation, which might have betray'd her, had not the affection, wherewith Mar­quina hearkened to her, clos'd both his Eyes and Ears: nay, he was so prepossess'd with his passion, that he would have believ'd many other things from her, though they had been more improbable than they were.

The effect of this sad narration of Rufina, was, that Marquina proffer'd her all the favour and assist­ance she could expect from him, his Estate, Life, Heart and Soul, giving her the title of absolute Mi­stress of all he was possess'd of, further entreating her, of all love, to give over thinking of her misfor­tunes, and assure her self that she was in a House where she might command, and that what ever she desir'd, her orders should be obey'd, as far as it lay in his power. Rufina very kindly thank'd him for so many generous proffers, concluding her complement [Page 47] with a fresh shower of tears, a kind of tempest she could raise, when ever she either pleas'd, or stood in need thereof.

With these artifices, she became Mistress of Mar­quina and all he had, so as that she might dispose of him and it, as she pleas'd. Her beauty had given him a kind of Itch, and he was mighty desirous to try whether she would be as willing to cure him of it: but he knew not well how to acquaint her with his indisposition; he resolv'd at last, in case he could do no good upon her by his submissions and presents, to use the last remedy, which was to Marry her. This is a Bait that many times takes the shyest of that subtle Sex; but when they are so taken, he that does it is commonly snapp'd himself. I told you before, that Rufina had no other design than to examine the Chests of the greedy Merchant, and that she would not be any way engag'd till she were secure of her prize; for the rascally trick shewn by Ruperio, had made her extreamly distrustful.

Marquina staid all that day in his Garden, and neglected his business in the City; but the next morning betimes, leaving his Guest asleep, he takes his Mule, and goes about his ordinary occasions, having charg'd the Gardener's Wife, to get a good breakfast for the Lady, as soon as she were awake, and to have a care of the House. He lock'd the Chamber-door where his Money was, and as he went out, charg'd the Gardener not to suffer any to come into his Garden, but the Old man who had brought Theodora thither, for that was the name the dissem­bling Rufina had given her self.

That done, he went about his business, attended [Page 48] by the little Negro, whom he gave Money to buy Provisions for a good Dinner. Rufina got up, and the Gardener's wife punctually obey'd the orders she had receiv'd from her Master, treating her the best she could, out of this respect, that all the Dome­sticks made their advantage of those magnificences. Rufina comes down into the Garden, where she took occasion to commend the walks, and contrivances of it, for the Gardener kept it in very good order, and well supply'd with herbs, fruits, and flowers. Find­ing the Sun beginning to grow hot, she went into the House, where casually meeting with a Lute, on which Marquina's factor was wont to play, she set it in Tune, and made that her entertainment, till such time as Marquina return'd from the City, who hearing her at it, was not a little glad to find that perfection in her more than he knew before. Perceiving that Marquina hearkened to her Musick, she joyn'd her Voice to the Instrument, to breed one maggot more in his brain than he had already. She sung so excel­lently, that Marquina was ravish'd at the melody, and acknowledg'd that it was not the Voice of a mortal Creature, but an Angel come down from Heaven. He continu'd his attention a while, ima­gining she would have begun another Song; but perceiving she laid by the Lute, he comes into the Room, and, transported with joy, ‘How hath this poor Habitation been felicify'd, said he to her, by your retirement into it, most adorable Theodora? What happiness did the hour of your arrival here bring me who never had known any before? What honour have I receiv'd in beholding your transcen­dent Beauty, and to observe in you from time to [Page 49] time a thousand unknown excellencies which are not discover'd at the first sight? This house may, no doubt, enter into competition with Heaven it self, since such an Angel honours it with her divine presence. What I say, Madam, is but little, in comparison of the passion I have for your worth, which were it to be commended proportionably to the apprehension I have of it, I think the most eloquent persons that ever were, would be at a loss for expressions suitable to so adorable a subject. You press too hard upon me, Dear Sir, replies the counterfeit Theodora, seeming to blush at those excessive praises; I am not such a stranger to my self, but that I know it argues excess in the highest degree, to bestow such extraordinary commenda­tions, on a person that deserves so little. Had I mistrusted your being within hearing, I would have put off my diversion to another time, since 'tis not unlikely my Voice may seem harsh to you, compar'd to the excellent ones of this City, which you often hear, unless it be, that generous natures have an inclination to favour persons of mean parts, by flattering them, by their praises, into an imagination, that their endowments are greater than indeed they are. No more complements, I beseech you, replies Marquina, rais'd up to the highest pitch of besotted Love, my words come short of my faith, and I am to assure you withall, Madam, that though I have heard excellent Voices in Sevil, (for I must confess there are some such) yet yours is infinitely beyond any of them. Your most humble Servant, Sir, says Rufina, your com­mendations are infinitely beyond my deserts, and [Page 50] the honour you do me can do no less than raise in me a hearty wish, that my poor abilities might find you some further diversion with this Instru­ment, since you are pleas'd to acknowledge your self so much satisfy'd therewith: But my troubles are so great and pressing, that in what I did, I minded onely my own. I must see them at an end, ere you leave this House, says Marquina to her, and therefore let me intreat you, if you cannot conclude an absolute peace with your afflictions, at least condescend to a short cessation of arms.’

‘These reiterations of your favours must needs extreamly oblige me, replies Rufina, and conse­quently force me to a greatful compliance with your commands, as far as lies in my power: but I cannot promise it you so fully as I wish, finding the person who brought me hither, hath forgotten he did it, otherwise he would have found some means to have given me a Visit once in three days. Let not that create you any trouble, replies the amorous Merchant, but rather imagine there may be some just cause of his neglect. I have some apprehension, said she, that he may be return'd to Granada, out of a fear, that, being miss'd there, he might be question'd as a Complice of my escape; and this would prove the greatest of all my misfortunes, for if he be gone, he hath carried all I had along with him. Never fear it, says Marquina, for he must have more compassion than to forsake you in so great an extremity; but though he and all else fail you, assure your self, I shall not, whereof I cannot give you a greater assurance, than you may derive from this sincere protestation, of my being so pas­sionately [Page 51] your Servant, that I imagine not my self to be the same person I was before I saw you. This transformation is wholly to be attributed to your Divinity, and thence you may inferr the influence you have over me.’

Having so said, Marquina made an absolute dis­covery of his Love; the cunning Gypsie pretending she understood not his meaning, return'd civil An­swers to the proffers he made her, acknowledging her self extreamly oblig'd to him for his kindness, and that she doubted not of the performance of what he was pleas'd, out of his own good nature to promise. By this time, Dinner was set on the Table; they both sat down, and the entertainment was very noble, suitable to the Love of the Founder; for where that little Deity comes once to reign, the first Act he makes, is for the banishment of all baseness and avarice.

Rufina and Garay had agreed together, that he should come to her, when he were sure the old Merchant was abroad, and that he should disguise himself like a Beggar, that he might not be known, nor any suspition be conceiv'd of him. She had studied several ways to chouse the Merchant of some part of his Treasure, but she could not fix on any one she thought might prove effectual, the Chamber where it was Lock'd being extreamly fortify'd. She had continu'd there three days ere she had either seen or heard from Garay, and during the time, she ex­press'd so great a discontent, as put Marquina to much trouble, in regard it kept him from making those free discoveries of his Love, which he would otherwise have done. In the mean time Rufina, [Page 52] who watch'd all occasions, cunningly discover'd the place where the Old man hid the Keys of his Iron chests.

Marquina went, according to his custom, into the City, which being observ'd by Garay, he comes to his House in Beggars weeds, as they had agreed together, with two Crutches. Being got under the Window, at which Rufina was looking out, he begg'd an alms of her. She threw him down something, and ask'd him whence he came, whereto Garay answering that he was of Granada, she seem'd to be extreamly glad, and thereupon turning to the Gardener's wife, ‘Let us go down a little into the Garden, said she to her, this poor fellow is come out of my Country, I would fain have some discourse with him, to know what news he hath brought thence.’ The poor Wo­man suspecting nothing, made no difficulty to let him into the Garden. Rufina ask'd him how long it was since he had left Granada; whereto he answering, about nine or ten days, she continu'd her questions so long, that the Gardener's wife weary of their dis­course, and having something else to do, left them. Being rid of her, they consider'd what was to be put in execution the night following, and agreed upon the course they were to take, to possess themselves of Marquina's Treasure.

That done, Garay departed, and Rufina went up to her Chamber, telling the Gardener's wife, she had understood so much from that poor fellow, concern­ing her affairs, that it would not be long ere she re­turn'd into her Country. The Gardener's wife, and the Maid were little pleas'd to hear that news, as fearing their Master would, upon her departure, re-assume [Page 53] his niggardly humour, and keep as miserable a a house as he had done before, nay haply put himself and all the servants to a greater penance in their diet, to get up what had been squander'd away, during her aboad there.

Marquina being come home found Rufina that night more cheerful than at any time before; which gave him the confidence to acquaint her more freely with his love then he had done, and to assure her of the disquiet he was in upon her account. Rufina seem'd not to take it amiss, nay by a greater famili­arity then she had express'd towards him before, she rais'd in him some hopes of seeing his desires satis­fi'd: whence the old dotard began to presume, that the fort would in a short time be taken in upon rea­sonable tearms. Upon this presumption, he bestow'd on her a Ring, which he had purposely bought for her, wherein was a Diamond worth about an hundred crowns, set about with little Rubies. The Lady gave him many thanks for so noble a present, and in re­quital promis'd him a Lesson on the Lute, to which she sung some new Aires, though she quarrell'd at the dulness of the Instrument. Marquina promis'd her a better the next day. They parted for that time, but with different thoughts, Marquina desirous to obtain those favours he expected from Rufina, and to oblige her thereto by presents, which overcome the greatest difficulties; and Rufina contriving how to compass the robbery she intended.

The next day, Garay (a person of great expe­rience in such designs) got some others of the same profession to carry on the work; and having observ'd Marquina going into his house, they staid till he [Page 54] were gone to bed, which was somewhat late, for Rufina, who held a correspondence with them, had purposely kept him up. About midnight, Garay and his Camerades brought a thing that had the figure of a man, stuff'd with straw, having about him a cloak, which cast over his shoulder, cover'd his face, and pitch'd it over against the principal window towards the garden, which was that part of the house where Marquina lodg'd, and left it there fastned to a stake they had thrust into the ground. The night was some­what dark, and so more proper for their design. Having plac'd that figure, as I told you, they knock'd at the door so loud that it might have been heard from one end of the Garden to the other. Marquina awaken'd thereby leaps out of his bed, it being strange to him to hear such knocking at his garden door, at such an unseasonable time, as being a thing had never happen'd to him before. He call'd up his servant, and bid him see who knock'd at the door. The servant went out between sleeping and waking to see what the matter was, calling as loud as he could, Who knocks there? But no body answering, and he not minding the figure that stood in the gar­den, told his Master that there was not any body.

Marquina upon that got into bed again and com­pos'd himself to rest, but it was soon interrupted, for Garay knock'd more violently than he had done before, which astonish'd him the more, and oblig'd him to send down his m [...]n a second time, to see what the matter was. Bringing his Master the same account he had done before, he got up himself, puts his cloak about him, and calls at the window, Who knocks at my door thus unseasonably? Whereto no [Page 55] Answer being made, he grew the more enrag'd; but looking a little more earnestly about the house than his man had done, he perceiv'd the figure planted before his windows. Marquina was extremely afraid, at the sight of a person, who, as he thought, knock'd at his door, yet made him no answer, and assuming more courage than he was naturally Master of, he said to him very loud, ‘'Tis basely done of you, Sir, to abuse me thus, you shall find I am not a person to suffer it; pray keep on your way, and disturb not my rest any more, if you think not your self invul­nerable, and that a brace of good bullets will make no impression in your inchanted skin.’

Having made that bravado he shut to the window and went to bed; but he was hardly got warm in it, ere they began to knock more violently than they had done before; which oblig'd him to take a fire-lock, which he kept always ready charg'd for the security of his mony. Opening the window, he found still in the same posture, him, who would not have stirr'd out of it, had he not been forc'd by some other. What obstinacy of impudence is it in you, said he to him, very much incens'd, to do a mischief, you are nothing the better for, in thus disturbing my rest? 'tis impardonable, and deserves an exemplary cha­stisement; be you gone immediately from my door, or I shall send you going the next way. Whereupon cocking the fire-lock, and aiming at him, and the other never stirring, as it were out of a presumption, that he had not any fire-arms, wherewith he might make good his threats, he gave him notice the third time, that he would not oblige him to do a violence which he was unwilling to do. At last perceiving he [Page 56] minded not any thing he said, but as 'twere defi'd him, he resolv'd to give fire, not onely to frighten him, but, if he could, to hurt him. He shot, and the figure fell to the ground, upon which Garay, who was not far off, cries out with a doleful tone, O God, I am kill'd; and immediately he and his Camerades made a great noise at the sight of a man so unfortu­nately murther'd.

Marquina was extremely troubled at what he had done, it being observ'd, that covetous persons are for the most part cowardly, and extremely fear what-ever may cause them any loss. He shut the window, and in a great fright awaking Rufina (who had greater things to mind than sleeping) told her what he had done. She seem'd to be extremely troubled at it, and much blam'd him, that he had executed so cruel a resolution. For since he knew himself to be safe enough in his own house, he might have suf­fer'd them to knock at his door till they had been weary; that he had better endur'd that noise, and lost a little of his rest, than be in the trouble he was in, that he had been the cause of a man's death. She added several other reasons, which so confounded poor Marquina, that he knew not what to do. She advis'd him for his safety, to go immediately and take refuge in the Monastery of St. Bernard, it being cer­tain, that if the dead person were found there the next morning, he would be carried to prison, as be­ing murther'd so near his house. Marquina was so perplex'd, that he wish'd he had never come into the world; and it is to be imagin'd, that if Rufina had not been very highly concern'd to dissemble upon this occasion, she would have dy'd with laughing. He [Page 57] rais'd up all his people, and told them what had hap­pen'd, and all blam'd him, for his being so forward to commit such an action, which made the poor old dotard almost mad. He imagin'd himself already ap­prehended, his mony carri'd away, and but a small matter between him and hanging, at least if he were oblig'd by tortures to acknowledge his crime, never considering that it was pardonable for one man to kill another in his own defence. At last, he resolv'd to go to S. Bernard's; but knew not how to dispose of his mony. He thought it no prudence to leave it at the discretion of his Servants; to carry it to a friend's house (in case he had any, for persons of his humour have very few) he had not time. In this distraction he desir'd Rufina to advise him; she seeming very much troubled, and no less fearful than he, pretended she could not give him any; but after a little pause she gave him that advice, which she had prepar'd long before, and he follow'd it. She ask'd him what mony he might have in the house? He ingenuously confess'd that he had about four thousand crowns in gold, and somewhat better than half the said summe in silver. ‘I'l tell you what I would do, were I in your case, says the subtil Picara, (since it cannot be carried to a friend's house without being seen) I would burie it in the garden, in some place, where you may afterwards find it, by some mark you shall set to that purpose. This you must do your self, so as that your very servants may not know any thing of it, lest they might be tempted to prove false to you; for the times are such now, that a man must have a care whom he trusts. I would assist you herein, and keep your counsel, were it not [Page 58] that I am afraid, when the search comes to be made, and I be left here, I shall be the first taken; and I would be loath to run my self into that ha­zard, having but just escap'd those I have acquaint­ed you with.’ In the midst of his affliction, Mar­quina was troubled to perceive by his guest's dis­course, the disturbance she was in upon his account, and what struck him most to the heart, was, that he saw himself upon the point of losing her. This con­sideration forc'd from him not onely tears, but also bitter exclamations against the malicious crossness of his fortune. Rufina desir'd him to be of good cou­rage, persuading him to do as she advis'd him, and hope the best. So that having commanded all his ser­vants to go to their several chambers, and not to stir thence, he and Rufina, whom onely he durst trust, went to the place where the mony was. It lay in a huge chest, cover'd all over with iron-bars, and the keys were so extraordinary, that it was impossible to counterfeit them, or to get a piece thence by any other wile than what was invented by our subtil Ferret.

They first took out all the silver, and then put the gold into a little box, and, having brought all into the garden, they made two holes, at some distance one from the other, in one whereof they put the silver, and in the other, the gold, setting a mark that they might find the places again. Marquina took along with him two hundred crowns in gold, and gave Rufina fifty, to shift for her self, till the business were accommodated.

That done, they went up into the house, whence they might see several persons walking with a light; [Page 59] 'twas Garay and his camerades, who represented the Magistrate, which Rufina shewing him, advis'd him to make all the haste he could to St. Bernard's. To do that, they got over the garden wall, as being afraid to open the door, for they perceiv'd the actors of this comedy kept a watch there, with such authority, as if they had really been the Officers of Justice. All Marquina's family follow'd him over the wall, fearing they might come into trouble for their Master's fault. Marquina and his Mistress lurk'd somewhere thereabouts, till it was day, that they might have the Church-door open, to get into the Monastery. Garay was hard by, to see what be­came of Marquina and his people. Finding he had left his house, and got into the Monastery with Ru­fina, he went about an hour after Sun-rising to St. Bernard's, in the habit of a Secular Priest, that he might the better speak to Rufina. She told him how things stood, and how they had buried the mony in the garden, and that it was all in silver, intending to reserve all the gold for her self.

About mid-night Garay and one of his Camerades went along with Rufina, disguiz'd in man's cloaths, to the garden. They help'd her over first, to go and see whether there might be any body in the house, but all were vanish'd as if the house had been vi­sited. She thereupon call'd Garay and his compa­nion, and, having taken up the mony, they carri'd it away, and took up their quarters at one of the far­thest Inns of the suburbs. Having been merry a while, and drunk their own healths, and to the good success of their future designs, they went all to bed, the two men together, and Rufina by her self. As soon as she [Page 60] found they were asleep, she puts on the same habit, and returns to the garden. She took up the little box of gold, and, without any disaster, got safe to the Inn before her companions awaked.

The next day, having divided the silver, whereof she and Garay had the best part, and sew'd up the gold in her cloaths, she left Sevit, taking Garay along with her, who, finding what advantages he might make of her company, resolv'd to run fortunes with her. They took their way towards Madrid, to which place they will be got, by that time we shall see what is become of Marquina, whom we left in St. Bernard's Monastery.

Having continu'd there four days after Rufina's departure from him, he knew not what to think of her that she came not again, as she had promis'd. He address'd himself to one of the Monks, who had great acquaintances in the City, and intreated him to inquire what proceedings there might be against him, upon the murther he had committed. The Re­ligious man promis'd him an account of it; but hav­ing enquir'd at those places where he might most pro­bably hear thereof, no body could give him any sa­tisfaction. He thereupon told Marquina, that he might safely go abroad and needed not to fear any thing. He went out one night to a friend's of his, whom he acquainted with all that had past, as also the great perplexity he was in, desiring him to make a more particular enquiry into the business, than he thought the Religious man had done. He did so, and gave him the same account as the other. Yet would not that satisfie him, but he must desire his friend to go to his house, whereof he gave him the Mistris key. [Page 61] He went, and found it without any body in it, and his Mule dead, for want of meat and tendance. He went with this news to his friend, advising him to come out of the Monastery, and go home, and thence about the City, as he was wont to do. The death of his Mule troubled him not much, so glad was he to find himself once more at liberty: the onely thing gave him any disquiet, was, that his Theodora (under which name Rufina went) came not to see him. But he imagin'd the cause of it might be, that, being a young Maid, she had shelter'd her self some-where, to keep out of the hands of Justice, or that haply she might have been met with by her Father, who, as she had told him, sought after her. He went to his house, whither came soon after the Gardener and his wife, and the other servants. He goes into the Gar­den, and, notwithstanding all the fear and distraction he had been in, remembred the place where he had hid his mony, and was not a little glad to find the mark where he had set it; so that before he went to bed, he resolv'd to secure his treasure in its former gar­rison. As soon as it was dark, he takes the Gardener with him, and a Lanthorn and Candle, and goes first to the place where the Silver was, and bids him digg. He did so, but there was nothing to be found, whereat Marquina was extremely surpriz'd. He went thence to the place where they had laid the gold, and there they found as little, onely Rufina knew what was be­come of all. He walk'd several turns about the gar­den, with much vexation, imagining the marks might be misplac'd; but what in looking after the marks, and what in digging; the night slipp'd away, so that at last dispairing to find any thing that night, he be­hav'd [Page 62] himself like a person distracted. The Garde­ner knew not what he look'd for, nor for what reason he had brought him thither. The poor man resolv'd to have a little patience till the next morning, being still in some hope to find what he had hidden. He went to bed, or rather to spend the night in unsuf­ferable torments: but as soon as it began to dawn, he got up, and having call'd up the Gardener, they re­turn'd to the work they had been at the night before. Having digg'd again at those places, where he was confident he had laid the mony, all they could find was, that there had been two holes made there be­fore, and that mony or something else had been hidden there, but all was remov'd. This assurance made him run stark mad, throwing himself on the ground, running his head against the wall, and doing such things as rais'd a compassion in his servants, who thence concluded that he had lost his mony, and su­spected the feign'd Theodora, to have robb'd him, by the orders he gave them to search after her all over the City. But she was far enough out of his reach, and had so wel secur'd his mony, that it was not likely it would come into his chests any more. He kept his bed a good while, our of a pure madness, that he had so soon lost, what had cost him many years trouble and pains to get together. The robbery was soon divulg'd all over the City; some, who knew not his humour, pitied his misfortune, but such as had experience of his insatiable avarice, were not a little pleas'd to find him so justly punish'd.

The end of the first Book.

LA PICARA, OR The Triumphs of Female Subtilty.
The Second Book.

AS soon as our subtle Picara had done her work at Marquina's, and had made a broken Merchant of one, who was ac­counted the wealthiest about Sevil, she thought it not prudence to make any long s [...]y, for fear of falling into the hands of Justice, whose Officers would be abroad, upon the sollicita­tions of the party robb'd. She was gotten far enough out of the way, ere he was sensible of his loss, for the next night after they had taken away the Money, she and Garay hired two Mules, upon which they came to Carmona, which lies about half a days jour­ney from Sevil. They had taken up two places in [Page 64] the Madrid-coach, which was to pass through that City, and take them up as it went. They lighted, at Carmona, at one of the best Inns, where Rufina, keeping out of sight, was resolv'd to expect the Coach, considering with her self, what she might come to in time, now that she was already Mistress of four thousand Crowns in Gold, in good double Pistols and Quadruples, which was all that penurious Mer­chant had gotten together, during his whole Life, with much pains taking, and many a hazardous ven­ture into the most remote Climats. Behold here, the exemplary punishment, which many times hap­pens to those miserable wretches, who become the Slaves of their own wealth. And what infinitely adds to their misfortune, is, that people are more apt to congratulate than bemoan it: for how can they expect that others should have any kindness for them, when they themselves have not any but for what they lay up in their Chests?

The Coach which our fortunate adventurers ex­pected to carry them to Madrid, came at its usual time to Carmona. There were in it already six Per­sons, a Gentleman, and his Lady, a Priest, two Uni­versity-Scholars, and a Servant belonging to the Priest, a young Lad about fifteen years of Age. They all knew, that there were two persons to be taken in at Carmona, who had paid somewhat extraordinary, for the best places. They accordingly resign'd them, as soon as they perceiv'd their coming towards the Coach: but Garay, who was a very civil and ob­liging person, would needs recommend his inte­rest in the place to the Gentleman's Lady, whom he seated on the left side of Rufina, and sat him­self [Page 65] in the fore-part of the Coach, with her Hus­band.

All being plac'd to their content, they left Car­mona on the Munday morning, it being in September, when most Fruits are ripe. All thought it a great happiness, that they had met so good Company; but Rufina and Garay had another secret satisfaction, arising from the thought of the good prize that had brought them into that good Company. The Gen­tleman was a Person of excellent discourse; the Priest, of a very sociable and conversative humour, and the two young Scholars made it appear, that they had not mis-pent their time at the University, every one being desirous to make the best discovery he could of his abilities. The Priest took occasion to tell them, that he was going to Court, to get a Pri­viledge, to put two little pieces of his into the Press, being such as some Friends of his had assur'd him he should oblige the World in the publication of them. The Gentleman, who sate next him, was a person ac­quainted with Letters, and express'd a great curi­osity to know what they might treat of. Doctor Monsalvo (so was the Priest called) told him they were Books of Discourses, and Divertisements; representing to him that things of that kind, were kindly receiv'd at Court: that one of them was entituled, The Staple of Discourse and Complements; and the other, The Flowers of Helicon; that the former contained twelve Moral Novels, with an in­termixture of Verses; and the Flowers of Helicon was a collection of Poems written by him, during his Residence at the University of Salamanca. He told them withall, that, if they thought it not tedious, [Page 66] he would entertain them with somewhat out of the former, when ever they should be at leisure to give him attention.

Rufina, who was a great lover and reader of such Treatises, intreated the Doctor, if it were no trouble to him, to read one of his Novels, promising her self, from the assurance she had of his excellent parts, that the stile and conceptions would be answerable to the worthiness of the Author. ‘I have endeavour'd, all I could, Madam, says the Doctor to her, to conform my self to the stile now us'd at Court; my Prose is free from affectation, and consequent­ly will not weary the Reader, nor are the conceipts so flat as to produce the same effect. I make it my business to give my Writings a little life and smartness, which may raise in the Reader an ear­nestness to know the period of the adventures. I write as I speak, because I see Men love those things that are natural, better than those which smell of too much study and affectation; and take it from me as a thing very certain, that it requires a certain measure of confidence for any Man to write as the times go now; which proceeds hence, that so many excellent Wits busie themselves in writing, and publish things as admirable as inge­nious, and not onely Men, who profess Letters, but also some Women. Among the latter, how are we to celebrate the ingenuity of Donna Maria de Zaras, and Soto Mayor, who hath worthily deserv'd the title of the Sibyl of Madrid, as also the reputation she hath acquir'd of an excellent Wit, and to do admirable things in Poetry, having lately put into the Press a piece containing ten Novels, [Page 67] which are look'd on as so many miracles, by those who are Judges in that kind of writing? The excellency of her Prose, and the subtilty of the designs, together with the insinuating intertexture of the Verses, have given mate to the best Pens of Spain. Donna Anna Caro de Malien, a Native of our City of Sevil, comes not much behind her, and may be allow'd near the same measure of praise. Her sweet and harmonious Verses suspend the Spirits, and charm the Ears of all that hear them, as hath been seen, by those publish'd by her the last Carnaval, at the new Palace, built by his Majesty, near the Course, which may be called the eighth Wonder of the World, since she speaks of it, with an eloquence answerable to the prepara­tions which had been there made, many days be­fore, for the divertisement of their Catholick Majesties.’ The Doctor having ended this dis­course, he took out his Book of Novels, and, the Company having compos'd themselves to silence and attention, he entertain'd them with that which follows.

THE FIRST NOVEL.
All Covet, all Loose.

VAlentia, one of the most emi­nent Cities of Spain, the Nurse of so many noble Families, the Centre of ingenious Spirits, and the sacred Receptacle of the Bodies of divers Saints, gave Birth unto Don Alexander, a Person of noble Extraction, Young, and Master of all those excellent Qualities, for which Men are either lov'd or admir'd. Having [Page 69] left his Country about twelve years before in the company of an Uncle of his, who had the command of a Troop of Horse in Flanders, he behav'd himself with so much gallantry in those parts, that he was in a short time advanc'd to be Cornet, under his Uncle, who dying, he supply'd his place, and so continu'd twelve years in the service of this Catholick Majesty, Philip the Third, against the revolted Provinces of the Low-countries. He was, at last, in compensa­tion of his Services, honoured with the Order of Saint James, with the ordinary allowances belonging thereto.

During that part of the year, which makes a kind of cessation of Arms in those colder Countries, his aboad was in the City of Antwerpe, where, by certain Letters from Valentia, he receiv'd the news of his Father's death, which made him, being the eldest, heir of a very considerable estate. He might indeed now have lived plentifully on his own, and pursu'd his pleasures, as many other young Cavaliers did, who place all the felicity of this Life in the infamous enjoyments thereof: But he, a dutiful Son of Ho­nour, chose rather to continue the exercises of War, and serve his Country, than by a sudden exchange of employments, blast his reputation, and incurr the reproach of a person impatient of hardship, and touch'd with a spice of effeminacy. This conside­ration discovers him to be much more stay'd than those young Gentlemen, who prefer whole Skins, the shameful blandishments of Ease, and the warmth of their own Fires, before the honour, which a person truly deserving that name should endeavour to pur­chase in the service of his Prince. But Don Alex­ander [Page 70] considering withal, that he could not, upon this news of his Father's death, avoid taking a journey to Valentia, to order the disposal of his Estate, he desired leave to do it, of his most serene Highness the Arch-Duke Albert, who, finding the just occa­sion he had to go, easily condescended, proffering him, at his return, what advancement he could rea­sonably expect: which oblig'd him to make the more earnest promises to come back into Flanders, contrary to the presumptions of many, who imagined, that he had made an Exit from the Military Stage, thence forward to follow the more pleasant diver­tisements of a Civil life.

Being come to Valentia, where his Relations and Friends kindly entertained him, he began to order the management of his affairs, not trifling away his time in unprofitable diversions, whereto young Men are but too much addicted. For though he were a Souldier, yet was he no lover of Gaming, a dispo­sition for which he was much to be commended, considering his Age and Quality: inasmuch as Ga­ming occasions a thousand misfortunes, and unhappy accidents, whereof there had happened not a few at Valentia. Nor was Don Alexander as yet any way inclin'd to Love, though he could not want occasions to express his Courtship, and how far he had studied the Mysteries of Love and Eloquence, since what added much to the Lustre of that City, was the great number of fair Ladies, shining in it like so many stars. But his most ordinary employment was the exercising of his Horses. Of these he had four ex­cellent ones, extreamly well manag'd, which he had bought in Andalusia, and on which he rode a hunting [Page 71] the Bulls, according to the custom of the Country, shewing himself, at that sport, more dextrous than all those who were accounted the Bravos of the City.

'Tis a custom in Valentia, that at the beginning of the Spring, for the space of about fifteen days toge­ther, most of the families of the City go about the Silk-husbandry, which they have in the adjacent Vil­lages. One day, Don Alexander rid abroad into the Country, through that delightful Plain which is near a Garden not far from Valentia, known by the name of the Monastery of our Lady of Hope, and having spent the whole afternoon about those pleasant Gar­dens, refreshing himself with the sweet scent of the flowers of the Orenge-trees, whereof there is good store thereabouts, (the Sun being so low that it seem'd to be equally divided between us and our Antipodes) he pass'd by a Country house not far from the pleasant River of Turia, where he heard, at a small distance, one playing on a Lute, so well, that he thought he had not heard any Musick comparable to it before. He stopp'd his horse, imagining the person playing on that Instrument so excellently might also sing to it. He expected a while with much impatience; but the Musician putting the Instrument into several diffe­rent Tunes, did not what he so much desired, which was, to hear her voice. In the mean time night came on, and Don Alexander extremely delighted with the place he was in, gave his horse to his Lacquey, and causing him to remove a little distance off, he staid alone, under the green Balcony, whence the Musick came, to find out who made it. But he had not waited long, ere he could perceive, by the light of [Page 72] the Moon, that it was a Lady, who being got into that Balcony to take the advantage of a gentle wind then blowing, began afresh her delightful Musick on the Lute, whereto she join'd that of an admirable voice, singing an Air, which made an absolute con­quest of that Heart, wherein all the hardships of War had not made the least breach. Whence we may deduce this Remark, That Cupid can do more in a minute, than Mars, in a Troy-siege.

To say the same thing again in other words, The excellency of the Voice, and the transcendent nim­bleness of the hand, the compliance and competition between them, so ravish'd our young Gallant, that he wish'd she might never give over, at least not till he were satiated with that pleasure. But the Lady laid by her Instrument, and leaning her breast on the Balcony, though 'twere night, made a shift to see the young Gallant, whom her Musick had ti'd so long by the ears; who also perceiving her, would needs make his advantage of so blest an opportunity. So that get­ting as near her as he could, he broke forth into this Complement: ‘How infinitely happy must that absent Gentleman be, Madam, (for in the Verses she had sung, she bemoan'd the absence of a cer­tain person) who deserves so excellent a voice to bemoan his absence. I should be extremely glad of his acquaintance, that I may give him that of this good news, that he is so obligingly bemoan'd by so deserving a Lady as you seem to be.’

The Lady wondred to find her self surpriz'd, but recovering out of her astonishment, though she knew not the person who had spoken to her, she gave him this Answer. ‘As to the Song you heard, Sir, you [Page 73] are not to imagine it sung out of any tenderness I have for some person now far from me, and there­fore you may spare your self the trouble to learn who it may be, and consequently to tell him how highly he is in my favour, as you imagine. What assurance can I have of that, says Alexander, knowing, by what I have heard from your own mouth, the predominant passion of your soul? How, I pray, Sir, may you be concern'd in that, said she to him? Very much, replies he; for the enchantment of your voice hath been so powerful over him who hath heard it, that it is not without reason he requires assurances of what he asks you, to prevent the disquiet, which he must otherwise expect.’

She could not forbear laughing at this discourse of Don Alexander's, and telling him withall, that Women do prudently, when they are flattered, not to believe any thing that Men say to them, in regard they never speak truth, representing things, not as they really are, but as they appear to their beguil'd imaginations,. ‘Wherein, I pray, says Alexander, do you think, Madam, that I have told you any thing short of truth? Mistake me not, repli'd she, I do not charge you with a coming short, but going much beyond it, for you are so prodigal of your commendations of a person you are yet very little acquainted with, nay have not so much as well view'd, that, you must either laugh at my simpli­city, or think me a great admirer of my self, if I should credit what you say. To convince you of either your errour or palpable flattery, of many, I need onely give you this one instance, that, when [Page 74] I my self, and others whose judgments I dare trust, think I do not sing tolerably well, you would make me believe, that my voice hath rais'd you into ec­stasies, when another would not have a minute's patience to hear me. Nay, Madam, replies he, take heed your reproaches rebound not upon your self, disparage not your self so far, and slight not Truth so much as to call her by any other name than her own; you have an admirable voice, and the subject of the words you sung must needs be such, since it is not to be imagin'd you sung them in vain. To make them perfect, there needs onely the mix­ture of a little jealousie, were it not that the happy man, upon whose account those words were made, knowing your worth, cannot give you any.’

Upon this the Lady remov'd from the place where she was, that she might more commodiously pro­ceed in her discourse with Don Alexander, (though she knew him not) for she imagin'd he could not talk at that rate without some ground. Which made her say to him, ‘If you make any comparison be­tween that enchantment you speak of, and the su­spicion you seem to have, I can assure you, that you are very well read in the art of Flattery, and therefore I beseech you, attribute not a melancholy humour I am subject to, to any regret occasion'd by the absence of any person, for I was never yet troubled with any such thing, and I think shall not as long as I live. I would give all I am worth in the world, says he, conditionally what you say were true. Would your hazard be very great in that, replied she? Very little, said he, considering the account upon which I proffer it; but I should say [Page 75] no less were I possess'd of all the world, and think it well bestow'd. I am extremely happy, answers the Lady, to hear things so highly spoken to my advantage; but I should be transcendently vain, to imagine I should raise love in any person before I am seen by him: nay, I dare promise you, that if you had seen my face, you would not haply be so re­solute. My hearing cannot deceive me, replies he, and I presume, that the person, who is so excellent to satisfie that part, may be the like in other things, which the envious night permits me not a view of at present. And when you consider, that in the discourse I have had with you, I have not talk'd of beams, nor splendor, nor us'd those expressions, which they seem to have studied; who with affe­cted Hyperboles, make it their business to flatter and abuse Ladies, you should in some measure assure your self, that I begin to conceive an un­feigned passion for you. Well, to humour you a little, says she, I have some inclination to believe you, which will be much confirm'd, if you tell me who you are. I have a desire, said he to her, first to deserve it by my services, that, in case there may be any thing wanting in me, as to Quality, those I hope to render you may supply the defect. Nay then I am satisfi'd, said she, that you are a per­son of Quality, when you have such a distrust of your self. Pardon me that I am forc'd to leave you, for I hear my self call'd to receive some company newly come into the house, and if I should not im­mediately be gone, some would come and find me here. Do me the favour then, says Alexander, to give me leave to wait on you here to morrow at [Page 76] this time. I know not whether it may be in my power, said she to him, however do you not fail to come hither; and though something may prevent my giving you the meeting, yet shall I think my self very much oblig'd to you. I shall infallibly ex­pect you, replies the enamour'd Gallant, more fix'd in my resolution than the Stars, you see, are in the firmament. Your last words, repli'd she, if I can­not-sleep to night, will find my thoughts a diversion to deceive the dull season; but when you come next, I beseech you, be not so liberal of your Hy­perboles, me-thinks they grate the ear, and I think all that use them great Flatterers, and consequently no great honourers of Truth, especially considering how meanly I deserve.’

Having said thus, and given him a very obliging salute, she got out of the Balcony, leaving Alexan­der in a little disturbance, to see that she left him so soon: for he was extremely taken as well with the excellency of her voice, as that of her discourse. He had a great desire to know who she was, and she had the same curiosity concerning him, for she imme­diately commanded a servant to follow him, and not to return till he had discover'd who he was: which he did without much trouble, inasmuch as not far thence, he saw him get up on horse-back, and knew him, and presently return'd with the news to his Mistris, who was over-joy'd to hear it was Don Ale­xander, of whom she had heard such noble things, and seen behave himself so galantly at the Hunting of the Bulls.

Don Alexander, being come home, enquir'd of a Neighbour of his, who that Lady might be to whom [Page 77] he had spoken; and describing to him the place where she Liv'd, he understood her name was Donna Isabella, (the Sir-name, for some reason, I shall for­bear) a Lady of great repute in the City, and of extraordinary endowments, whose understanding was equal to her beauty, Daughter to one Don Berenguel Antonio, a person of great fame for his long services in the Wars, who having quitted the Military life, and Married, well advanc'd in years, had left that fair Daughter, who was then Fatherless and Mother­less, with a very inconsiderable fortune; in regard her Father's estate consisted most in Pensions be­stow'd on him by King Philip the Second, in requital of his Services. This Lady liv'd with an Aunt of hers, an ancient Gentlewoman, who for the most part kept her Bed, and was then retir'd to that Country-house, to look after her Silk-husbandry.

Thus was Alexander fully inform'd of all he de­sir'd to know, though he had already had a particular accompt of the perfections which made the City of Valentia full of discourses of her Beauty and Wit, which was such that she had the reputation of wri­ting good Verses, a quality very recommendable in a person of her Sex and Quality. Alexander had never seen her, and was very desirous to do it, even before he had seen her; and understanding she Liv'd at that Country-house, his desire was the more en­flam'd: which made him Ride abroad the oftner, hoping to be favour'd with such another opportunity as he had met with before. But he had not that hap­piness a good while, her Aunt being so sick, that she could not stir out of the room where she lay. About fifteen days afterwards, the old Gentlewoman being [Page 78] a little recover'd, she had the liberty to go and see the Profession of a Nun, at the Royal Monastery of Zaida, which was not far from the Country-house: At which Ceremony all the Gallantry of Valentia, of both Sexes, was present. Donna Isabella came thither also, but having her face cover'd with her Mantle, and attended onely by one of her Women, she got into a little obscure Chappel.

Alexander, on the other side, who fail'd not to be there, hoping to meet her, on whom he had fasten'd his affections, wondred very much that he found her not among the other Ladies; and suspecting she might be one of those who were retir'd into that Chappel, and had their faces cover'd with their Mantles, he went in to them, with two other friends, to whom he said, (presuming it was she as soon as he saw her) ‘The new-made Nun is not much ob­lig'd to these Ladies, who retire to a place, whence they cannot see those Ceremonies, which all the rest are so desirous to do: but I attribute this in­difference to the little inclination they have to become Nuns.’ Isabella was not a little pleas'd to see Alexander, whom she had before observ'd in the Church, and wish'd not so well attended as he then was. However, changing her Voice, she return'd him this answer. ‘Being not invited to this Feast, we cannot expect the same welcome as those that are: And for the little curiosity we discover to see the Ceremonies used, at the reception of a Nun, having seen the like several times before, we do not much mind this, in regard the seeing of it but once is enough to satisfie a person inclinable to be a Nun. ’ ‘Nay then, I see, says one of Alexander's [Page 79] friends, that you are not of their number who have a desire to enter into that Profession.’ ‘I have no Answer to make you as to that, reply'd she, save that a person cannot enter into this state of Life, unless he be thereto called by God, a favour I do not yet find in my self that she hath done me.’ ‘We may then, replies Alexander, infer from this dis­course of yours, that you are not Married, but de­sirous to be so.’ ‘What my inclinations are, as to Marriage, said she, I am not oblig'd to give you any accompt, who are very far from being related to me so nearly, as that I should acquaint you with my resolution in a business of that concernment.’ ‘However, you may satisfie us so far, Madam, says Alexander, as to let us know, which condition of Life you would rather choose.’ ‘Which I pray, Sir, would you advise me to, said she to him? ‘That of Matrimony, says Alexander. ‘What, whether I have the accommodations requisite to enter into that state, or not? reply'd she. ‘If all be wanting, says he to her, you must endeavour to forget your self, for she who is not born to be a Nun, and can­not be Married, must remain Newter, as being uncapable of both.’ ‘I could very well follow that advice, said she. ‘But if you please, Madam, says Alexander, to discover, what your Mantle per­mits us not to see, I will give you a better ad­vice.’

Coming up nearer her, as if he were confident of that favour, she met his desires, and purposely gave him a full view of one of her fair Eyes, which Alex­ander's two friends also took notice of. ‘If the advice you intend to give me, said she, should [Page 80] prove to my disadvantage, 'twere better, I should still continue undiscover'd, though to hear your advice, I should not think it much to answer your expectation. That can do you no prejudice, says Alexander to her, in regard we have observ'd some things which assure us, that you ought to choose the state of Matrimony, in which you would make the person you should think worthy your enjoy­ments, the happiest Man in the world: Nay, ere I know any more of you than I do already, I wish my self the person, for whom that felicity is re­serv'd.’His two friends affirm'd the same thing on their own behalf, being extreamly satisfy'd with her Wit, and the little they had seen of her Face, ‘Can there be any happiness comparable to mine, said she, who have three such handsome Persons at my Devotion, of whom it is in my power to make one the happiest Man in the World? Well, Gen­tlemen, since you cannot expect I should make a sudden choice in a business of this concern, you will give me leave to examine your several per­fections, that I may pitch upon him, who, in my judgement, may pretend to most.’

Upon that every one began to celebrate his own worth, and undervalue his Competitors. They pass'd away some time in that pleasant discourse, without any offence taken, though the place they were in should have minded them, that some other Conversation would have been more suitable: But now a-days, young people are grown to that height of Profaneness, that they make little difference be­tween Churches and Exchanges. But the Lady having had the patience to hear what every one had to say on [Page 81] his own behalf, she answer'd them altogether, thus; ‘I am fully inform'd of the qualities, and deserts of Persons every way so excellent; I am now to advise with my Pillow, to know which of the three I should prefer, though to tell you the truth, I have in a manner resolv'd upon my choice already, find­ing in my self a stronger inclination for one of the three than for either of the other two. The person I mean hath many excellent qualities, but the particular inducement I have to think him worthy my approbation, is, that I know him to be a very great Wit; all I have to object against him, is, that he fears I am already engag'd to some other, whence I infer he is jealous, and consequently of an ill nature.’

Alexander immediately apprehended she spoke of him, reflecting on what had past in their discourse the first time he had seen her. The time being come for people to go out of the Church, the three Lovers out-vy'd one the other to find out passionate comple­ments to take leave of the Lady, Alexander pur­pofely staying to be the last, onely to whisper these words to her. ‘'Tis too great a Tyranny, Madam, towards a Servant so passionately yours, in so long time not to vouchsafe him a full sight of you: I beseech you, be more kind to him hereafter, least your further disdain may have some fatal effects on him. The indisposition of an Aunt, reply'd she, whom I must constantly attend, I hope, you will think an allowable excuse; and what I tell you is much more true, than the expressions you make to me of your Love. But I will endeavour your sa­tisfaction, and put a period to your complaints, [Page 82] when, possibly, you least expect it.’ Alexander had not the time to make her any Answer, and so he parted from her, leaving her deeply in Love, and extreamly desirous to discourse with him more at lei­sure.

Some few days after, Fortune favour'd her with an opportunity to her own wishes, at the same Balcony where he had spoken to her the first time. As soon as she perceiv'd Alexander, she came down, and they discours'd a long time together without any interrup­tion. The effect of this interview and long confe­rence, upon Alexander, was, that his Love, before little better than kindled, now broke forth into a flame. Isabella came not much behind him, yet had that command of her passion, as not to grant him the greatest kindness that can happen between persons of different Sexes, though it were out of this onely re­flection, that to have done it, at the first interview, would have argu'd such a compliance and easiness of Nature, as no Violence of affection should ever be able to excuse.

Alexander being now fully satisfy'd that Isabella was both a great Wit, and a great Beauty, writ se­veral Love-letters to her, and the better to express his passion, he also sent her some Verses of his own composure. Isabella knew, that Alexander, among so many other qualities he had acquir'd, was also skil­ful in Poetry, and consequently was the more sur­pris'd and satisfy'd therewith. Some of his Missives she very modestly answered in these tearms.

THE LETTER.

THose Commendations which transcend the merit of the Person on whom they are be­stow'd, do rather injure, than oblige, and dispa­rage the judgement of the Giver, in as much as the Receiver, thinking her self unworthy the ho­nour, justly takes the Elogy for a Satyr. I am not so much a Stranger to my self, but that I can distinguish between Flattery and Truth; nor am I so poorly conceited of my self, but that I think I deserve somewhat of the praises you give me. I shall think it an obligation, if you abate some part of what you tell me, and find out a mean be­tween excessive praise and contempt, for the for­mer my own imperfections advise me to look on as an abuse. I have no great experience of your disposition, and therefore think it not strange if I give not the credit you expect to your Poetry, because it is the Language of Fiction; nor yet to your Prose, because it proceeds from the same Author, who, 'tis very likely hath read Roman­ces. Whether they were the dictates of a sincere Affection, or an obliging Complement, it is onely in the power of Time to discover, and with all to assure me, whether I am to acknowledge your ci­vilities, or resent the injury you have done me.

[Page 84] The fair Isabella found out an expedient to con­vey this Letter into the hands of Don Alexander, her newly caught Gallant, who, desirous to set himself right in the opinion of his Mistress, and assure her of the sluency of his style in things of this kind, caus'd the Messenger to stay, and take along with him this Answer.

THE LETTER.

I See then, Madam, so that you procure your own satisfaction, you care not what inconve­niences I may run into; since that to be more mo­derate in your praises (as you seem to desire) cannot be without so much the greater prejudice to my reputation, in that I think my self far short of transcendency, in that particular, and I am forc'd to bring in the excess of my Love, to supply the de­fects of my Poetry. That I may therefore be no more guilty of such a crime, I will henceforth ex­press my self in Prose, and in some measure do what you command me in your Letter. You would find it no great difficulty to believe me, if you knew what I feel; nay though out of modesty you pretend to be ignorant of it, I defie you to do it, unless withal you resolve never to consult your Glass any more. Well, Madam, it may be the time of your conversion is not yet come, when it shall, your eyes will be opened, and you shall find, that, of all the [Page 85] hearts, subdu'd by the charms of your Beauty, mine may haply be the least, but withal the most passio­nate captive. Time, which gives all things their birth, perfection, and period, shall be the Touch­stone, to try whether this be Truth or Fiction; nay I leave it to the same old Gentleman to assure you of a thing, you yet pretend to be ignorant of, which is, that, while I live, you shall be sole Sovereign Mistress and Directress of my Inclinations. And then haply good nature, gratitude, and generosity will rather advise you to acknowledgements of the love I bear you, than a resentment of the injuries you charge me withal.

This Letter gave Isabella that satisfaction concern­ing her new Gallant, which she expected. The fre­quent visits were continu'd of Alexander's side, and the Epistolary correspondence on both sides: so that the inclinations they had one to another were, by these degrees, heightned into a noble flame of mu­tual love. His Mistress commanded him above all things to keep his pretensions to her very secret, which he inviolably promis'd to do. Nay she was so scrupulous as to that particular, that if in the Church, or some other publick place, her Gallant did so much as cast his Eye on her, in the company of some friend, she immediately imagin'd, that he acquainted him with his passion; and, as if she had heard all their dis­course, she fail'd not to send him a Letter concern­ing it, if she could not see him time enough, that he might receive her reproaches himself. Alexander [Page 86] clear'd himself the best he could, still assuring her of the contrary; and enflam'd with love and indigna­tion, all he could do was to dispel that diffidence, which troubled him extremely. But the same Love, which is wont to reconcile the lesser differences and dissatisfactions that happen between Lovers, helps them also out of the greatest and most difficult. 'Twas Alexander's design to marry this Lady, though her fortunes were very low: but he delay'd the doing of it, till he had effected a business he was then engag'd to prosecute. His Uncle and himself had done the King very considerable services in Flanders, for ma­ny years together, and he was then making his ap­plications to his Majesty for some Command in com­pensation thereof. And the obstructions and delays he met with in that affair contributed more to his after-happiness, than the expedition could have done, as will appear anon.

Isabella had taken order that he should not be seen in the street where she liv'd, much less look up to her window to be seen by her, and it was punctu­ally observ'd by Alexander, who was not known to have given her a meeting any where. But she her self was the first forgot what she had enjoin'd; it hap­pen'd thus. During the time of the Carnaval, which, in Valentia, is celebrated with Mascarades, Balls, Tiltings and Disguizes, Alexander had in some of these met with his Mistress, yet without discovery of more than ordinary kindness between them, though they had talk'd, and danc'd together. One evening, after the Ball, there was to be a meeting of certain Ladies, at the house of a Friend of Isabella's, to which she with some others had been [Page 87] invited. Alexander and some other friends of his were to be there, not in order to any Ball, but onely to discourse. Isabella came there betimes before any of the rest, and soon after her a Woman, very sumptuously attir'd, attended by two Gentlemen-Ushers of her own retinue, whom her mother had ordered to wait on her to that Neighbour's house, who was very much her friend. Alexander coming into the Room, was very kindly receiv'd by the La­dies then present, whom he endeavour'd to entertain the most lovingly he could, till the rest of the Com­pany were come in. The Lady who came in last rise from her seat to go and look upon a piece of Tapi­stry, that was in the room, wherein there were re­presented lighted Torches; the admiration she ex­press'd at the excellency of the workmanship, oblig'd Alexander to come also to see it. There was pen, ink and paper upon the Table; Laodamia (so was the Lady call'd) took the pen in her hand, and drew several stroaks upon the paper; Alexander took oc­casion to commend all she did with such high com­plements, that his Mistress, who was already pos­sess'd with a jealousie, to see him so near her, was al­most ready to burst with indignation to hear them. He, minding onely his own diversion in all he did, took no notice of it; nay on the contrary, being ac­quainted with Laodamia, through her Brother's means, whom he often visited, and a person of much freedom in his behaviour, he continu'd his game­some humour, and snatch'd out of her hand a pen she was making to write withal. After which, having dash'd a little ink upon her hand, he jestingly told her, that the blackness of the ink never appear'd less [Page 88] than it did then. She pretending to be displeas'd at that freedom, gave him a clap on the shoulder with her hand, to get off the ink; but perceiving he laugh'd at the revenge she had taken, she gave him another harder than the former. Isabella, who minded their jeasting more than what was said to her by the Mi­stress of the house, (with whom she was then dis­coursing) starts like a fury from her seat, and not considering what she was doing, gave Alexander such a blow over the face, that his nose bled. The poor man was extremely startled at it, and all he could do was to take a handkerchief out of his pocket, to receive the bloud; telling his Mistress, very coldly, ‘Well, Madam, you see, I have kept the secret you committed to my trust; you have first reveal'd it, and transgress'd the Law you had made your self.’ Concluding this reproach with a low Congy, he quit­ted the Room, and went home.

Isabella had no sooner given the blow, but she was infinitely troubled at it, not so much out of the respect she bore to the Mistress of the house, who was her intimate friend, as for her, who had occa­sion'd her jealousie. In this Interval, her Sisters, up­on whose accompt this meeting had been appointed, coming into the house, Isabella had the opportunity to retire with her friends into another room.

Being got together, onely they two, ‘My dearest Isabella, says her friend to her, what do you think of? How are you grown another person than what I have ever known you? I have hitherto admir'd your modesty and reserv'dness; how you should now be guilty of such a miscarriage in Behaviour, is the matter of my astonishment. The action you [Page 89] have done, assures me, without your speaking, what, in many words, you should hardly have persuaded me to. I was ignorant of this Affection of yours, because you ever kept it secret; and since I know it by this discovery, I am more oblig'd to your Jealousie, than your Friendship. Alexander is a person of worth and quality; I am very glad he is your Servant. You may hence-forward publickly own him, for it is to no purpose to dissemble.’

Isabella was at such a loss, that she knew not what to answer: but having a little recover'd her self, ‘I must acknowledge, my dearest Acquaintance, repli'd she, since this eruption of my jealousie and indignation hath betrai'd me, that Alexander is my humble Servant; my inconsiderate passion, hath, to my shame, discover'd what I kept not onely from your knowledge, but that of all others. I must acknowledge, I say, that Alexander serves me with a violent passion, which yet exceeds not the affection I have for him. I never saw him so indifferent, as he discover'd himself in this last action; his familiarity with Laodamia touch'd me to the quick. That short fury, which we commonly call jealousie, forc'd me to that extravagant dis­covery of my love.’ ‘Since what is past cannot be re-call'd, says her Friend to her, let us find out some remedy to alleviate the inconvenience, for it is not fit we should be depriv'd of Alexander's good company, nor he of the pleasure of this meeting. Besides, we should not give Laodamia the time to make any reflection on this accident, or conceive apprehensions which would be disadvantageous to you.’ ‘What is to be done in this conjuncture, re­pli'd [Page 90] the jealous Lady? ‘The onely way I can think of, says her friend, is, immediately to write to him.’ She follow'd her advice, and sent him these Lines.

THE LETTER.

JEalousies, when they are really the effects of Love, though express'd with some harshness, are rather to be accounted favours than affronts, by a Lover, whose soul exhales a sincere passion to­wards his Mistress. The injury I have done my self in wounding my reserv'dness, is greater than the violence you will do your self in passing by what is now past. It much concerns my reputation, that you immediately return to the Meeting. But if you persist in your resentment, you will have further occasion, if the loss of my favour may give you any.

A Messenger was immediately sent with this Let­ter to Alexander, who express'd much gladness at the receipt of it, and, without any recollection, obey'd his Mistress, as being satisfi'd in mind, that nothing discovers a real passion more than jealousie. He comes very gaily into the room where the Ladies were, which Laodamia perceiving was not a little troubled, for she doubted not of his being in love with Isa­bella, though she thought so well of him as to wish he had rather address'd his affections to her self.

Alexander, finding himself in the presence of Isabella, thought it not fit to speak to any other, ere [Page 91] he had first assur'd her of his compliance with her de­sires. Approaching her with a graceful smile, he made her this complement. ‘I have consider'd this room with as much respect as if it had been a Tem­ple, and your person no less, since it not onely kept me from profaning the one, and offering any vio­lence to the other, but also from revenging my self by that kind of Duel, which the Law permits be­tween Gallants and their Mistresses.’ Isabella re­pli'd, Being so much, as I am, a Servant to Madam Laodamia, I have taken upon my account the af­front you have done her, when she would have shewn you a kindness, never thinking of any Law that permits a man to revenge himself of a Lady by way of Duelling.’ Laodamia, knowing that that indiscreet action of Isabella's proceeded meerly from her jealousie, would not be engag'd in her ex­cuse, so that she very confidently made answer thus. ‘There was never so great a familiarity between us, Madam, as might oblige you to take my part with so much passion, in an occasion wherein I should not have wanted confidence to revenge my self: but not knowing any thing that should oblige me to jealousie, and thinking not the affront done to me so great as you would persuade me it were, my precipitation was not accordingly so great as yours. I am very glad you make me the riddle of your interpretations; let them be thought such by whom you please, but for my part, I have already given them a more easie solution, such as none in the company can be ignorant of.’ Isabella not a lit­tle mov'd at the freedom of that discourse, would have repli'd; but the Mistress of the house unwilling [Page 92] the difference should go any further, interrupted them, and oblig'd them to sit down, for several other Ladies were coming into the room.

Alexander was, that night, not onely very sum­ptuous in his habiliments, but also full of excellent discourses, insomuch that there were few Ladies in the company, who were not much taken with him, among whom Laodamia was the most concern'd of any. Her thoughts were full of what had hapned between her and Isabella, and shew was now resolv'd to use all the artifices she could, to get away that Gallant from her: wherein at last she had her desire, as shall be seen anon.

All the favours which Alexander receiv'd of his Mistress, were done by her with extraordinary de­monstrations of affection, for indeed the Lady had a greater kindness for him than any other, though at that very time she lov'd another absent Gentleman, whom she had granted more particular favours than ever she had Alexander. For the Gallant then absent had receiv'd of her by way kindness, what in ma­trimony is called Benevolence, and consequently had she not been lost to all modesty, she would have kept the promise she had made him, since the breaking of that and her own Reputation were not distinct actions.

This Gallant of hers, whose name was Don Fer­nand Corella, had made a journey to Madrid, to pro­secute a Sute at Law against the Count of Concen­tayna, his Uncle, for a considerable Estate in Lands, which at last was decided in the Sovereign Council of Arragon. He was return'd to Valentia, with a De­cree to put him into possession of the said Estate, [Page 93] which amounted to two thousand Crowns per annum. Isabella was extremely put to her shifts, not know­ing how she should keep in with both these Gallants, and satisfie them at the same time. She consider'd that her Honour was engag'd with Don Fernand, and her Love with Alexander: her affection being so much the more heightned towards the latter in re­quital of his assiduous attendances, as it was remitted towards the former, by reason of his absence. So that it is as much a miracle to see some Women for­get their engagements, (when they to whom they are made are once out of sight) and mind onely the pre­sent enjoyments, as to see Geese go barefoot.

But as drowning persons will catch at any thing, and the distress'd are commonly glad of any advice. This Lady, whom we represented before one of the greatest Wits of her Nation, reduc'd to this extre­mity, must needs advise with a Maid, whose fidelity and secrecie she had great assurances of, resolving in her self to find out some expedient, whereby she might make sure of the one and not lose the other. She receiv'd Don Fernand into the House, in the night, thinking she could not civilly deny him the reiteration of a kindness she had once granted him; and she kept the other in hand with Love-letters, al­lowing him not to see her as often as he desir'd, as well to add fuel to his love, as that the other, whom she was more oblig'd to favour, might have the freer access. Her excuse to Alexander was, that she want­ed not over-seers, that her friends were very shie in point of Honour, that one of them watch'd her day and night, and that the greatest pleasure he could do her, was, to forbear passing through the street where [Page 94] she liv'd, till she had assur'd him that the coast were clear. Alexander who really lov'd her, and suspected nothing of the imposture, easily credited all she said, and punctually obey'd her.

Don Fernand was willing to require the kindness he had receiv'd from her, by marrying her; but having a mother alive who would not have been well pleas'd with that marriage, he took occasion to put it off, hoping it would not be long ere she were remov'd out of the way, as being very ancient. So that he pass'd away the time very jocundly with his Mistress, while she, by her cunning insinuations and artifices, endeavour'd to bring Alexander into a fool's para­dise, and make him believe all proceeded from af­fection.

There hapned about this time a difference be­tween Alexander and another Gentleman, of the most eminent about the City, whose name was Don Garceran, as they were playing at Tennis. Some Friends interpos'd between them, and 'twas con­ceiv'd they were made friends; but the reconcilia­tion prov'd such as neither was satisfi'd. Alexander was a person of a generous open nature, grounding his gallantry on the emploiments he had had in Flan­ders, and imagining that no man, having any thing to say to him, would do it otherwise than by the ways of Honour. But his Adversary, conceiving he had more reason to be offended than the other, who had not express'd so much resentment, smother'd his malice, in hopes of an opportunity, wherein he might revenge himself with advantage.

Don Fernand was gone to a certain place in the Country, where he staid three or four days. Isabella, [Page 95] who had a great kindness for Alexander, sent him word to come to her house in the night, but so se­cretly and with such caution that none might per­ceive it, inasmuch as the freedom she gave him, con­cern'd her reputation in the highest degree. The Amorous Cavalier obey'd her in this, as he had done in many other things she had commanded him, com­ing thither at such hours as it was not likely any should see him. Thus, by his credulity he promoted the designs of the subtil woman, who would craftily make the most of both her Gallants, so that, pre­venting their being jealous of one another, nay, know­ing that they were Rivals, she gull'd them both. Had she been free to make her own choice, no doubt, she would have pitch'd upon Alexander for her Husband. But Fernand being aforehand with her, she could do no less, though 'twere onely out of a fear to lose him, and prevent the reproaches he might make her, than keep him still in play, and expect the performance of the promise he had made to marry her, as soon as his Mother were march'd off. But out of an apprehension that even then he might possiblv break his word with her, she thought it prudence, to give Alexander also a little more line. Upon these considerations, she suffer'd her self to be courted by both: but of this kind of demeanor this Age affords but too many examples, which have bred great trou­bles and disturbances in the most considerable Fa­milies.

Alexander being now more kindly entertain'd by his Mistress than he had been, began to conceive a hope to obtain of her, within a short time, the Grand Favour can be expected from a Woman. But he [Page 96] reckon'd without his Hostess; for it was her fear, that, if she oblig'd him in what he so much desir'd, he might become absolute Master of those inclina­tions, which she had so dextrously divided between them both. However Alexander pass'd away the time pleasantly enough, during the absence of Fer­nand; but as soon as he was return'd to Valentia, Isabella began to put on a greater reserv'dness, and would not be so much as seen by Alexander. She made him such plausible excuses for it, that he, lov­ing her as he did, believ'd all she said, though not without some suspicion, that there might be some­what else in the wind: upon which account he often disguis'd himself, that he might, undiscover'd, visit the street where she liv'd in the night. But he never could meet with any person, of whom he might con­ceive any jealousie; yet that disguise did him a cour­tesie; for by that means he escap'd being discover'd by the Cavalier who sought to be reveng'd of him. That he met not with Fernand in that street, proceeded hence, that Isabella, fore-seeing all inconveniences, had ordered, that Fernand should come to her house, through that of a She-friend of hers, which was in an­other street, and had a back-door, leading into a Gar­den joining unto Isabella's, in whose embraces he spent the whole night.

It hapned, one night, that Alexander being in the street where his Mistress liv'd, his Adversary, Don Garceran, attended by two of his servants, comes into it by another way. Being not well assur'd it was he, they follow'd him at a distance, being loath to do another that mischief which they onely intended him. Alexander at last observ'd them, and finding [Page 97] himself unfurnish'd with Pistols, to deal with persons who never went without them, as having onely his Sword to defend himself, he bethought him to make the signal he was wont at Isabella's door, who, as good luck would have it, was come down stairs, after she had put Fernand into bed. She looks out at the window, to see what her second Gallant would have, who, as soon as he perceiv'd her, desir'd her imme­diately to open the door, otherwise he was a dead man, in regard Garceran, his enemy, follow'd him, and he was destitute of weapons to defend himself. The Lady imagin'd that Alexander would onely have put a trick upon her, and onely said so, that he might come in the sooner: but Alexander, with many oaths, affirm'd he said nothing but the truth, and that Gar­ceran, with two others, were coming upon him. Isabella was extremely troubled at his discourse, and for answer, told him, that a certain Gentlewoman of her acquaintance was come to see her, and to be her Bedfellow that night, and that she durst not open the door, lest he might be seen by her. Alexander press'd her the more to do it, aggravating the danger he was in, and charging her that she had little love for him, when she deni'd him entrance into her house in so great an extremity, which the greatest stranger in the world would not have deni'd him. Isabella told him again, that she could not do it without prejudice to her reputation; that as to the Love she bore him, be needed not doubt of it, since it could not be greater than it was, and call'd Heaven to witness, that she was extremely perplex'd, that she could not satisfie his desires. Alexander told her, that since her friend was in a room above-stairs, [Page 98] she might without any scruple open the door, and let him stay below, till such time as he might retire with safety.

Isabella, seeing him so importunate, imagin'd it proceeded from some suspition he had conceiv'd of her, and that he had seen Fernand coming into the House. To be assur'd whether it were so or no, she look'd into the Street, and saw the three Men who pursu'd him, and whispering one to another, as being in some uncertainty whether it were the Person they look'd for. These circumstances fully satisfy'd her, that Alexander was in very great danger; and to find some expedient to give him entrance, she bid him expect a little and she would see whether she could open the door. She went up stairs to see Fernand, who, wondring at her stay, ask'd her what occasion'd her going down. She told him her Aunt was not fallen asleep, and that she could not come to Bed, till she were, desiring him to have a little patience.

Having thus satisfy'd him, she went into another room, to consider with her self what might be done in such an extremity. On the one side, she saw Fernand possess'd of her Bed, a person of a fan­tastick humour, yet one whom she was engag'd to, and had made Master of the most precious thing she had, and still humour'd out of a hope to be one day his Wife; so that her Honour was on his part. On the other, the Love she bore Alexander would have prevail'd with her, not to suffer him to be assassinated by his Enemies, which he must run the hazard of, if she reliev'd him not, it being in her power to do it: So that she was strangely distracted, not knowing [Page 99] whether she should follow the dictates of Honour, or those of Love. At last, after divers considera­tions, that of Honour prevail'd with her, and oblig'd her not to receive Alexander into the house. For if she did, she reflected that her reputation would be endanger'd two ways; one, that it could not be done without Fernand's hearing of it, who would thence take occasion to break his promise; another, that if Alexander were pursu'd by his Enemy, and that he should see him come into her house, he would be apt to make an ill construction of it, and that might come to the ears of Fernand, even though he saw him not.

Having thus resolv'd to stick to the surer side, she went down stairs, and finding Alexander still at the door, ‘My dearest Love, said she to him, Heaven's my witness, how willing I am to satisfie your de­sires, by giving you entrance, not onely into my house, but even into my heart, which is absolutely at your disposal. I see you are pursu'd, as you told me, but it were too great an inconvenience to me, that you should be seen coming into my house at such an unseasonable hour, being a person yet so unblemish'd in my reputation as I am. I beseech you consider with your self what discourses it might occasion. Besides my Friend, who is my Bed-fellow this night, is awake, and, as Women are extreamly inquisitive, she will be desirous to know the occasion of my stay, and who hath kept me so long from her, for there is a very great familiarity between us. Pardon me therefore, that I cannot grant your desire; it is the greatest affliction ima­ginable to me, that I must leave you in such a dan­ger, [Page 100] but reflecting on that of my reputation, I know you would not have me to hazard it, since I doubt not but you are so generous, as to prefer my Honour before your own Life.’

This unworthy treatment of his Mistress, in so pressing an extremity, went to the very heart of Alexander, nay he was so startled to find himself thus undeceiv'd, that it would not have troubled him much if Garceran had set upon him, that he might be reveng'd of the affront done him by Isabella, by Dying before her Eyes. ‘I should never have ima­gin'd, said he, parting from her, that you could have been so barbarous, as to put me off so poorly in so dangerous an exigency, or so inexorable, upon the entreaties of so faithful a Servant. You never had any real kindness for me; that reputation you stand so nicely upon, would have run no hazard, either as to your Friend, or my Enemy, by your receiving me as a Husband, upon which accompt only I made my addresses to you, upon which if you, ungrateful Woman, had entertain'd me, and not insisted on frivolous respects grounded on such maxims as I cannot like, my heart had at this time been absolutely at your disposal. To make it de­servedly such, hath been the main end of all my Courtships and Services, but Heaven would not permit it; and since I could find no compassion in your heart, I will go and try what I may expect from my Enemy, with a resolution never to forget a procedure I am so much astonish'd at.’

Isabella would have made him some Answer, and, extreamly mov'd at his discourse, was resolv'd to hazard all, to assure him of her affection. But when [Page 101] she went to call him, he was got a great way down the street, pursu'd by Garceran, who being assur'd he was the person he look'd for, was going to set upon him. His resentment of her unkindness, consider­ing the imminency of the danger, seem'd just to her, and being extreamly troubled thereat, after she had blam'd her self, she quarrel'd at Heaven, which in the mean time secur'd her Lover from danger, and reserv'd him for happier adventures. Garceran com­ing within Pistol-shot of Alexander, perceiv'd that he had met with his Friend Don Jaymo, who, with his Servant, was going home to his Lodging, which prevented him from executing his design. For Gar­ceran being, in appearance, and that before several persons, reconcil'd with him, all would have blam'd him, had he assaulted him upon the old accompt, especially at advantage, and with Fire-arms. So that seeing he had lost such a fair opportunity to re­venge himself, he slipp'd aside, to avoid being known, imagining he had not been discover'd. Alexander related the whole story to his friend, and how he had been pursu'd thither; which he much wondred at, seeing Garceran so little minded the engagement he had made before so many persons of quality, and that so slight a business should stick so close to his heart.

It was by this time very late, and as well for that reason, as to be satisfy'd of what he suspected, Alexander being near Don Jaymo's Lodging, re­solv'd to take part of it that night, which his friend was very glad of. They got in, and ere they lay down, they fell into discourse about what had pass'd. Alexander open'd himself to Don Jaymo, and ac­quainted [Page 102] him how things stood between him and Isabella. Don Jaymo had heard somewhat of the mutual love there was between her and Fernand, and was vex'd to see his friend had so far mis-plac'd his affections, and particularly at the resolution he had made to Marry her; whereupon he could not for­bear telling him what he had heard of her and Fer­nand. Which Alexander understanding, he imme­diately presum'd, that the reason why she opened not the door, must needs be, that her former Gal­lant was with her. A thousand passages came into his mind, but he particularly reflected on the pro­hibition, which the crafty Gentlewoman had made him, of speaking to her in the night, and that it was onely since Fernand's return from Madrid: Upon which communicating his thoughts to his friend, they joyntly concluded, that Fernand must needs be in the House with her. To be fully assur'd of it, they or­dered a Servant of Don Jaymo's to examine the bu­siness, and to continue in the Street, till it were Day: and for further certainty, another Servant was appointed to stand centry in the other Street, by which Fernand was wont to get in at a back-door. With this precaution, they went to Bed together; but Alexander was in such a disturbance, that he could not sleep a wink. About half an hour before Day, one of the Servants brought intelligence, that he had seen Don Fernand going out of the House belonging to Isabella's Friend, and that about the same time, he had seen Isabella in one of the Win­dows that look'd into that Street, looking on him as he went out, and that he was sure it was no other than she her self. This accompt satisfy'd Alexander [Page 103] so fully, that all the Love he formerly bore that im­pudent Woman, immediately vanished. 'Twas not imaginable, that Fernand frequented that House, upon the accompt of the Mistress of it, who being turn'd of fifty, could not be courted by any Gal­lants. Besides, she had the reputation of being a very charitable person in Love-affairs, and was wont to promote the enjoyments of younger people, and to give excellent directions how they might most cautiously accomplish their desires.

The night following, Alexander would himself, from the House of a certain friend of his, see Fer­nand getting into the Sanctuary of that charitable Sollicitress, and for his further assurance, he lay per­due upon the Roof, whence he discover'd, that that favour'd Gallant continu'd there, till word was brought him that he might make his entrance into Isabella's. That very night, the dissembling Gossip, would needs endeavour to satisfie her Lover, as to the dissatisfaction he might justly have conceiv'd of her. To leave nothing unattempted, and to keep in as near as might be with all, she sent Alexander a Let­ter, by a Servant-maid, in whom she reposed great trust, and who was not a stranger to the Loves of both the Gallants, and promoted the design of her Mistress in abusing them, for the advantage she reaped thereby. Hearing she staid to speak with him, he call'd her up, and receiv'd from her a Paper containing these words.

THE LETTER.

Signor Alexander,

I Should not think the resentment you justly have against me so great as I do, were I able to express the trouble I am in to have been the occa­sion of it. That I have not been so compassionate as the exigency requir'd, be pleas'd to attribute to the tenderness I had for my own Honour, the consideration whereof made me inexorable. I love you beyond my own Life; but one of my Birth and Sex may be pardon'd, if she sacrifice all things to the security of her Reputation, rather than expose her self to the censures of ill Tongues. You may well imagine, when I deny'd you entrance into my House, that my good Name must run a strange hazard with that troublesome Bed-fellow, whom, to my unhappiness, I was then forc'd to entertain. Notwithstanding the resentment wherewith you left me, you could not but observe the distraction I was in: whence you may infer, how thankfully I have since acknowledg'd the indulgence of those higher powers, who rescu'd you out of a danger, which I thought unavoid­able. You could not have lost your Life in that adventure, but mine must have run the same hazard, and I do not know any thing but Honour, [Page 105] which I should prefer before two things I ac­compt so pretious. Let me therefore conjure you, to smother your resentment of it, and to appease your indignation: which if I may obtain of you, I shall think all the devoirs your Love may re­quire little enough to requite it. Your compliance with my desires herein will inform me what ten­derness you have for her satisfaction and Life, who prays Heaven to preserve yours, as she wishes it may her's, who loves you with all her soul.

ISABELLA.

Alexander was extreamly incens'd at this Letter, and though he did all he could to dissemble it, yet the Maid looking on him very earnestly during the perusal, sufficiently observ'd it in his gestures. He intreated her to walk into the Garden, and stay for an Answer, which was this.

THE LETTER.

YOur satisfactions, hitherto, have ever heightned my Love, but this last hath wrought in me a quite contrary effect, for I know it to be as far from truth, as I am from dissimu­lation. I never thought my self a person to be entertain'd onely to pass away the tedious inter­val of another Man's absence, nor to act the ri­diculous [Page 106] part you have put me upon, onely to come upon the Stage, between the several Acts of your secret prostitutions. If it be any satisfaction to you, know, I have disengag'd all resentments of your Hypocrisie, and shall never complain of the frivolous Elusions, wherein you suffered my Love to Languish; no, I am more oblig'd to your De­nials, than ever I should have been to your Ca­resses. My Life indeed would have been secur'd, if you had receiv'd me into your House; but my Honour would have been irrecoverably lost, if, without my discovery of it, you could have exer­cis'd your Charity on two several persons, the same night. 'Tis very probable you lov'd me beyond your own Life, when, being so closely engag'd to another, you thought me the fittest Person in the World to make your Diversion. I am really ob­lig'd to those who intended to be my Murtherers, since by their means I came to discover your im­posture. Make sure of that fortunate Gallant, whom your charitable Neighbour was ushering to your Bed, while I was knocking at your Door. Make sure of him, perfidious Woman, and hence­forth, keep all your Cares and all your Caresses onely for him. Live as happily with him as the Conscience of your Inhumanity towards me will permit, and never think more of Alexander, who, for his part, disclaims all future thoughts of you.

[Page 107] It was not long ere this Letter came to the hands of Isabella, whom the Maid found in that Neigh­bour's House of hers, through which Fernand had access to her. She receiv'd it with some disturbance, and asking the Maid, what humour she found him in, she told her, that he had made her a very cold Reception, and that he express'd nothing of the Kindnesses he was wont to do, at other times. Isa­bella a little cast down at that discourse, It seems then, said she, I am not to promise my self any great satisfaction from this Letter. Having open'd and read it, she was like one put into a fright, not able to speak. Her Friend ask'd her what it contain'd? she thinking it too great a burthen, to acquaint her by word of Mouth, gave her the Letter to peruse. The old Croney, no less disturb than the young Mistress, found, that Fernand's love was discover'd, to the great disadvantage of her Reputation, in as much as it clearly express'd, that it was through her House, Fernand made his approaches to her Friend, whereat she was extreamly afflicted. Isabella was so troubled at the contents of that Letter, that she curs'd the day and hour she had suffered Alexander to court her: The onely comfort she could raise to her self, was, that she knew him to be of so generous a dis­position, that, though he had a just occasion to be incens'd against her, yet would he conceal her weak­ness, and not publish the correspondence there had been between them. This kind of generosity might haply be a little practis'd in the Golden Age, for the people living in this, have so far forgot the Tra­dition, that they aggravate Truths deplorable enough, with affected Lies and Calumnies, for which we must [Page 108] ever acknowledge our selves oblig'd to the ruling Ca­suists of the Times.

But Isabella's unhappiness was not yet come to its height, and the malice of her ill fortune thought not this affliction heavy enough. When the wheel of that vagabond-Goddess begins to turn, every spoke of it brings a new misfortune, one disgrace coming still in the neck of another. It happen'd then, that as the Maid was coming out of Alexander's lodgings, to bring the Letter to her Mistress, Fernand saw her with it in her hand, she having been careless to hide it, because she was dis-satisfi'd with Alexander, who had onely that time omitted to make her some pre­sent. Fernand immediately began to suspect some­what, and, undiscover'd, follow'd her to the house where Isabella was, and got into one of the upper­rooms, without any bodie's taking notice of it. The Maid, by a second oversight, having left the door open, he easily saw what pass'd, he heard the Letter read from one end to the other, and withall, their se­veral discourses and comments upon it; the afflicted Lady bursting forth into indignation at every word, and not imagining she was over-heard, she suffici­ently express'd her resentment of so pressing a mis­fortune.

The Gentleman in the next room, who would have been glad of any occasion to break the promise he had made to marry her (for a Lover once admitted to enjoyment hath other-guise thoughts than he who is still kept in hope) hearing all these things, con­ceiv'd them a very fair pretence to disengage him­self. He therefore goes very confidently into the room where they were, and addressing himself to [Page 109] Isabella, who was most startled at his presence, ‘I expected, said he, considering the mutual obli­gations between us, that you would have corre­sponded thereto, with a sincerity sutable to my desires, which aim'd onely at this, to see us one day made one by marriage, and to enjoy those pleasures lawfully, and without any sting or re­morse, which we have, upon hopes of the accom­plishment of that sacred Tie, presum'd to antici­pate. But since, ungrateful creature, I find you lost to all modesty, and have entertain'd new Gallants, I am free, to dispose of my self as I shall think most convenient: since it were neither just, nor rational, I should be inseparably bound to a per­son, destitute of all conduct and honour, and so live the rest of my days in perpetual jealousies and distrusts.’Having so said, he left the room, a little troubled at the distraction of the Women, but well satisfi'd in his own thoughts, that he had drawn his neck out of the collar, that is, shifted himself out of an affair, which bred him a great deal of trouble, since his prosecution of it to that point had been with the dis-approbation of his Mother.

'Tis not to be imagin'd, that the constancy of any Woman, should be able to endure so great a shock of misfortune. Isabella fell into a swound between the arms of her Friend, and continu'd in it a long time; but at last being come to her self again, she spoke such things as rais'd a great compassion in her who heard them. She sought for remedies to her mi­sery, and not finding any strong enough to re-engage Alexander, who was acquainted with her former en­gagement, nor yet to bring back Fernand, whom she [Page 110] knew she had offended, she was not able to smother the grief she conceiv'd to find her self so justly slight­ed by both. She imputed all her misfortune to her own mis-government of her self. Whereupon she fell a tearing of her hair, and spoke what-ever rage could inspire into a Woman exasperated in the highest degree.

She pass'd away the rest of the afternoon in con­tinual disquiet, not finding any comfort in either her friend's discourses, or her own. In the evening, she went to her own house, but her distractions went along with her, so that it is not to be imagin'd but the night prov'd as restless, as the day had been un­fortunate. Let us a while leave her in her bed, now the secret Remembrancer of her former miscarri­ages, in the midst of her troubles and transportations, and give an account what became of Alexander.

As soon as he had dispatch'd away the Maid with his Letter to Isabella, he sate down a while to con­sider with himself what course he should take, for he saw there was nothing to be expected there, and that it was not for his reputation, to continue his visits any longer. He had always had a great inclination for the fair Laodamia, ever since she had occasion'd Isabella to break forth into that extravagant discovery of her jealousie; He consider'd she was a Gentle­woman well descended, and of a great fortune; and thereupon he resolv'd to make his addresses publickly to her, by demanding her in marriage of her Father and Brother, which they, upon the first motion, very willingly granted, even with great demonstrations of gladness, inasmuch as Alexander was a person ge­nerally belov'd in his Country, as being endu'd with [Page 111] those qualities, which deserv'd the respects and esteem of all. The Contract of Marriage was soon drawn up, and the business immediately spread over the whole City of Valentia.

But when this news came to the ears of Isabella, imagine whether she were not extremely troubled thereat, nay so much the more, in that he pitch'd on the person, whom of all the world she had most rea­son to hate, ever since that fatal meeting, wherein she had express'd so much indiscretion. She said a thousand things against her, and made many impre­cations against him and her self, charging Heaven with injustice, and sometimes bemoaning her self, and sometimes cursing her misfortune. But it was not onely one she had to curse; for the very same day it was seconded by another, yet greater, inasmuch as Fernand, having had a plausible occasion to break the promise he had made to her, treated about a marriage, with another fair and rich young Lady, whom his mother had long before recommended to him. The Contract was in a few days drawn up, and though done as secretly as could be, yet was it soon known all over the City, and it was not long ere the news came to the ears of Isabella. She still retain'd a slender shadow of confidence in the love of Fernand, which made her imagine he would not break the pro­mise he had made to her, conceiving she had suffi­ciently oblig'd him thereto by the highest demonstra­tions of love and tenderness. Thus she flatter'd her self, till the very day that she was clearly convinc'd of the contrary, saw his marriage concluded, and her self absolutely forsaken. But reflecting on the other side, what an unworthy breach of trust she was guilty [Page 112] of, towards him, to whom she had devoted her ho­nour, how could she imagine he should not leave her in the lerch? How could she expect, if they inter­married, he should be able to live with her in per­petual disturbances and alarms? The very day that certain news was brought her of this Gentleman's being married, she fell into such extravagance, that she would be reveng'd of her beautiful face; she gave her self several blows, tore her hair, and did all the actions, which could onely proceed from mad­ness and dispair. Her fair eyes became two foun­tains, perpetually running; and when her sighes and grief gave her a little freedom of speech, ‘Wretched woman that I am, would she say, of whom all good fortune hath taken its last leave; how deserv'dly is thy ingratitude requited with ingratitude? How justly art thou punish'd, for having kept thy faith to a base, treacherous, and perfidious person, after thou hadst entrusted him with the disposal of the dearest thing thou hadst in the world? Thou see'st, he denies the debt; thou see'st, he paies it with in­constancy and oblivion. Let all easie-natur'd, and inconsiderate women take example by me; let those, who, deluded by flatteries and feigned ca­resses, are drawn in to lose what they shall never recover again, cast their eyes on my misery, and then consider whether there be any other in the world, whose affliction may be compar'd to mine. I wish for what all others abhor, Death; but it is deaf and inexorable, nay slights me, and will not come and put a period to my troubles.’

Having thus bemoan'd her self into some remission of her grief, she went to see her Friend, through [Page 113] whose house Fernand came into hers; who though she endeavour'd all that lay in her power to comfort her, yet was her trouble so great, the cause of it so pres­sing, and so little hope of any remedy, that all her remonstrances prevail'd nothing. The onely expedi­ent that seem'd then to offer it self, was, to forbid the Banes, since there was some ground to do it. But what proof could be made of so secret a Love, without any promise of marriage in writing, or any testimony, but that of a Servant-maid, who, belonging to her, would not have been so easily credited? A fair warn­ing-piece, Ladies, for those, who, at the same time, admit the Courtships of several Gallants, without making any reflection on their Honours, the loss whereof they are not sensible of, till, by their subtil cajollings, they are brought to remediless extremi­ties. The last and surest expedient this unfortunate Woman could pitch upon, was to become a Nun, upon which account she was receiv'd into the Royal Monastery of Zaida, three days after the Marriage of Fernand had been fully concluded.

This sudden change occasion'd a great deal of noise and discourse in Valentia; all wondred at it, especially those who knew her to be one of the hand­somest, and the most desirous to be courted, of any Lady in Valentia. It was indeed a kind of miracle, to see a young Lady, who spent her time so passio­nately at Balls, Plays, and other publick meetings, exchange all those nobler enjoyments of life, for the imaginary felicity of mortification and retir'dness. This sudden resolution was attributed, at first, not to the true cause thereof, for things were carried so closely that very few knew it: but to the secret in­spirations [Page 114] of that wind, which bloweth where it list­eth, and is pleas'd to amuse mankind with the strange ways it takes, to transplant the affections of such as are ordain'd to eternal bliss, from the transient va­nities of this world, to the constant pursuance of the perpetual joys of a better. Thus this Lady met with a kinder Spouse than she could have expected else-where, and spent the rest of her time with great con­tent▪ blessing her former afflictions, and the crosses of her love, which had brought her to the tranquillity she now enjoy'd. When she seriously reflected on the gracious designs of divine Love upon her, she thought it an act of gratitude, to acknowledge, to some friends, how it had made her miscarriages the sub­ject of its indulgence, and, instead of punishing, had rewarded her weakness; nay such was her desire to give God the glory of her conversion, that she fre­quently used this expression, That in that House, wherein there are many mansions, she hop'd there was one for such penitent Magdalens as she, who, by timely repentance, expiate the follies of their greener years. Nor was this acknowledgment of hers unre­warded even in this life; for she became the Oracle and spiritual Directress of all those, whose Love­misfortunes reduc'd them to any extremity, especi­ally those of her own sex, of whom she so effectually convinc'd many, that, disgusting the world, they em­brac'd a Religious life. After some years she was ad­vanc'd to the Government of the Monastery, after she had put forth several little Tracts of Devotion, whereof one was in Verse, entituled, A Basket of Spiritual Flowers, or a Collection of Divine Poems. These spread her fame into divers parts of Spain, but [Page 115] at Valentia, the sanctity of her life, and her charitable directions to such as had occasion to address them­selves to her, were the admiration of all, insomuch that she was reputed a Saint, even while she liv'd.

Fernand had a wife, but God was pleas'd to pu­nish his perfidiousness with her barrenness, for she bore him no children; and instead of the great for­tunes he expected with her, he had many bags, full of Law-sutes, troubles, and differences with other people, and not a few discontents with his wife. He wish'd, but too late, that he had rather entred into a Monastery, than into Matrimony, the inconveni­ences whereof sufficiently convinc'd him, that Isa­bella had made the better choice. He visited her often, and was oblig'd to her for her prudent and pious admonitions. Nay to satisfie the world, that she had left behind her in it all her resentments of his demeanor towards her, there are in a volume of Spiritual Letters which she put forth, several Letters she had written to him, upon occasion of some diffi­culties he had propos'd to her.

On the contrary, Alexander was the happiest man in the world in his disposal of himself; his Lao­damia brought him many fine children, and, by the death of some friends, a far greater fortune than he could have expected. They also visited their old ac­quaintance Isabella, who received them kindly, and gave them occasion to admire the strange attractions of Divine Love in that person, and the esteem they had before for the excellency of her endowments, was now converted into a reverence of her sanctity, and an admiration of her conduct.

[Page 116] THis pleasant Novel entertain'd the Company till they came to their Inn that night. Every one took occasion to commend Doctor Monsalvo, as well for the smartness of his Invention, as for the excel­lency of his Stile. The old Gentleman told him, that if the whole Piece were answerable to the Pat­tern he had shewn them of it, no doubt but his Novels would be very well receiv'd in the World, and that he would gain as much Reputation by them, as they had had Pleasure: and thereupon he ear­nestly entreated him to communicate somewhat of the others to them, that so their Travelling might be the less tedious. The Doctor gave him and all the rest of the Company his very hearty thanks for the good opinion they had of him, and proffer'd them, when they should be weary of discoursing, to divert them with some of the other Novels, till they came to their Journey's end, provided they thought them not tedious. They all, with much gladness and thanks accepted of his proffer.

Being come within a Musket-shot of the antient City of Corduba, heretofore the chiefest of the King­dome, while the Moors were possess'd of all Spain, after Sun-set, an unexpected accident caus'd them to make a little halt. Two Gentlemen being come out into the Fields, upon a challenge, which one had sent to the other, and having fought, one of them was worsted, being run through the Body in two several places; which had oblig'd his adversary to make his escape, to get into some place of sanctuary. The wounded person cry'd out for some body to re­ceive his Confession, just as the Coach pass'd by: which being heard by the Company, Doctor Mon­salvo, [Page 117] who was a Priest and Confessor, could do no less than get out, accompany'd by Garay, and Mi­stress Rufina, who had a great desire to see the Wounded man. They came to him, and as soon as the Doctor had receiv'd his Confession, and given him Absolution, he lost his Speech, being supported by Garay. The Doctor return'd to the Coach, and having called several times upon Rufina, who pre­tended she could not get away Garay, the Coach-man perceiving it began to grow dark, put on the Horses, having sent them word what Inn they should take up. Rufina was much troubled to see the Coach gone, having left her and Garay behind, charitably exhorting the Dying person to recommend himself as much as he could to the mercy of God; but he was so far gone, that, to spare them further Exhortation, he gave up the Ghost. They were much troubled what they should do with the Body, when certain Officers of Justice came in, who, having at a distance seen the Dead person in the Arms of Garay, and a Woman standing by, and had notice before that two Men were seen going out of the City, with a design to fight a Duel, presently imagin'd, that Garay was one of them, and consequently the Murtherer of the other; upon which presumption, he was sent to Prison, and order given the Jaylor to put him fast enough. Rufina had more favour, being confin'd in the House of one of the Officers, who was to have a care to her forth-coming. They both us'd all the arguments they could to clear themselves, from ha­ving any thing to do with the Murther, alledging upon what occasion they came to the Body. But their own words would not be taken, and it was pre­sum'd [Page 118] the Duel had been upon the accompt of Ru­fina The Judge order'd her to be brought to his own House to be further examin'd, which was accor­dingly done. When she came thither, there were in the Room several Gentlemen, and among others a Genoese, a very rich Merchant, whom some business of his own had brought thither. They had no sooner seen Rufina, but they all admir'd her Beauty and the Majesty of her Air, but the most satisfy'd of any was the Genoese, who, to give him his due, was of a very amorous constitution. Rufina was extreamly troubled that such an affront should be done her by the way, as perceiving that if they were staid the next day, they should lose the opportunity of con­tinuing their journey. The Judge put several Que­stions to her, concerning the Duel, and the Gentle­man's Death; whereto she answered, that she knew nothing of it, that she was coming in the Sevil-Coach, to go for Madrid, accompany'd by some other Persons then in the Inn, whom she named; That as the Coach pass'd by, a certain Person, who had been Wounded upon the High-way, not far from them, call'd out for some body to receive his Con­fession, and that a Priest who was with them in the Coach, went out to do it, with whom also she went out of curiosity, accompany'd by an Uncle of hers, who came along with her. They ordered, in regard it was grown late, to adjourn the business till the next day, that a more exact enquiry might be made into it, and, in the mean time, that all who came along with the Coach, should not stir from Corduba, without permission. This done, Rufina was brought back to the Officer's House, where she was to con­tinue [Page 119] that night. The Genoese, who liv'd not far from it, accompany'd her; but though he had liv'd at a far greater distance, he would have thought it no great way to wait on a Lady, with whom he was al­ready over head and ears in Love. Taking leave of her at the Officer's house, he proffer'd her all the Services lay in his power, for which she thanked him, yet taking it for no more than a Complement. The Vexation she conceiv'd at her being thus unexpect­edly staid, brought her into some fits of a Feaver, the first, of a Tertian, which she afterwards fell into.

The next day, all the persons, who came in the Coach, being examin'd, gave the same account as Rufina had done before, whereupon Garay was set at Liberty. Other witnesses also who knew some­what concerning the Duel, were heard, and gave the Judges a perfect knowledge of the Murther. Garay went immediately to visit Rufina, expressing himself extreamly troubled at her indisposition; he did all he could to cheer her up, that they might prosecure their Journey: but the Physitian, who had visited her, advis'd her not to remove thence, till she had recover'd her Feaver, and told her, that she could not travel any further, without hazard of her Life; which being so, the Coach-man was forc'd to leave them behind, but they were adjudg'd to defray the charges of their stay, and he to deliver up what they had in the Coach. The Genoese came often to see the fair Traveller, at the Officer's house, and began to treat her very nobly, an humour the more remark­able in him, who, for sordid niggardliness might be compared to the covetous Marquina; but Love, [Page 120] though but a small Deity, yet many times does very great miracles, turning Avarice into Prodigality, and Cow [...]rdice into Courage.

Rufina kept her Bed fifteen days, during which time, she was constantly visited by Signor Octavio, (so was called the amorous Genoese) and after the Visit, came in a Servant with a treat of Sweet-meats, and Wild-fowl, which the Officer and his Wife were glad to see, for the best share fell to them. At last, the Lady, with her Health, recover'd also her good Complexion, and her Beauty, and the Genoese con­tinuing his civilities, proffer'd her a House with a fair Garden, which he had on the side of the pleasant River Quadalguemir. Garay, whom she called her Uncle, advis'd her not to refuse that proffer, for he had discover'd the Man to be extreamly in Love with her, that he was very Rich, and that they might get as much out of the Genoese, as they had out of the covetous Marquina. Rufina accepted the proffer, and set things in order to go to the Genoese's, and to continue there till she had recover'd her self so well, as that she might prosecute her Journey. The Genoese would not have it known at Corduba, that he had brought her to his Country-house, to prevent peoples talk, and other inconveniences that might have ensu'd. So that, with the consent of Rufina, he gave out, that she had left the City in order to the prosecution of her Voyage. Accordingly, there were two Mules brought for her and Garay, and two others to carry their Luggage, and having left Cor­duba, towards the Evening, to blind the eyes of the inquisitive, they kept on their way towards Madrid: but having Rid out about half a League, they turn'd [Page 121] back again, and took up their quarters at Signor Octavio's, which was not above two flight shots from the City. There he expected her, with a mag­nificent Supper, which he had provided. Here the Genoese discover'd his Love to her more freely than he had done before. He was a person of about forty years of Age, of a good Manly countenance, having buried his Wife some two years before, by whom he had had no Children. He was a whole-sale Mer­chant, and traded in all sorts of Commodities, in­somuch that all the other Merchants, not onely of the City, but also of other places thereabouts came to him, for he held correspondences in all parts. He was a very thrifty person, nay, to give him his due character, I should use other expressions. He had some yearly Revenue, besides twenty thousand Crowns in ready Money, and sixty thousand in Cre­dit, and his own Trading, which was very great. He was a great Student, and had studied at Pavia and Bologna, before he became Heir to his Brother, who Dy'd a very Rich man in Spain, and that Inheritance it was, that occasion'd his Marriage at Corduba. He had so passionate an affection for Rufina, that he used all the ways he could imagine to insinuate himself into her favour. Upon that accompt it was that he proffer'd her the use of his Country-house, to take the Air, and recover her Indisposition, conceiving, that, being at his own House, it would be the more easie for him to compass his desires. She had been told by Garay, that this Merchant was a well-fea­ther'd Fowl, and might be easily pluck'd, and since this good Luck had fallen to them by chance, they should make the best advantage they could of it. [Page 122] That night, they onely Supp'd, and every one went to his rest, for it was very late. The Genoese made as if he would have returned to the City, and lye there; but his Servants, whom he had before instru­cted, persuaded him not to go abroad at that unsea­sonable time of the Night, for fear of meeting with any Thieves: besides, there being a Press in the City, many young Men presum'd to do mischief in the Night, and robbed all they met. At last, being persuaded not to stir out, he was glad to pass away some part of the Night in discoursing with Rufina, and being got to Bed, his business was to consider, by what means, and with least charge, he might ob­tain his desires of her. Several things came into his mind, but the easiest he could find, suitably to his humour, was to forget her, and never think of her any more; for he knew the Age we live in to be such, that it is a miracle to get any kindness in Love, with­out Liberality.

The next morning he commanded somewhat should be made for her break-fast, not imagining she was up: But when word was brought him that she was out of Bed, the Genoese would needs go into her Chamber, to chide her for rising so soon, and by that means to see whether Rufina's beauty were any way oblig'd to artifice. He found her kembing her head, and so he had a full sight of her hair, which was of a great length, and of a Chestnut colour. The Genoese gave God thanks, who, with so many other perfections, had bestow'd on her such an excellent Head of hair: but he was much more astonish'd, when, upon her dividing them into two parts, to make him an answer, he saw her Face, as beautiful as [Page 123] it had appear'd to him when she went to bed; a thing able to enflame a person less enclin'd to Love and more to Avarice than he was, inasmuch as there is not a greater charm, to secure a Lover's heart, than to see that the beauty of his Mistress is natural, and scorns to borrow any thing of Art. Rufina indeed was not much troubled to look after waters, paints, po­matums, unguents, and such things, wherewith such women, who stand in need of them, hasten on their age with their wrinkles, and lose their youth ere they are aware. She onely wash'd her self in fair wa­ter, and needed no other vermilion to heighten the beauty of her face, than that of her own lively com­plexion. The Merchant ask'd whether she would be pleas'd to see his Garden? She made answer, that she was extremely oblig'd to him for the trouble he gave himself to divert her; and to satissie him how kindly she took that favour at his hands, she went along with him just as she was, without putting up her hair, which hanging down over her shoulders, added much to her beauty, and it is not much to be doubted, but she had a design in it. She went down with this new Gallant of hers, who thought it an extraordinary pleasure to have her by the hand; and in that posture she saw the whole Garden, seeming to be much ta­ken with the delightfulness of it.

Having recreated her self with him, till the Sun Sun began to be somewhat hot, she return'd into the house, and broke her fast, after which, having dis­cours'd of several things, she desir'd to see the whole house. The amorous Genoese desiring nothing so much as that she might see his wealth, shews her a great number of excellent Pictures, done by the best [Page 124] Painters in Europe, some very rich pieces of Tapestry, Cabinets of Ebony, of several fashions, embroider'd Beds, and all sorts of Houshold-stuff of great value. In a word, there wanted not ought of those things re­quisite for the furnishing of a house fit for a Noble­man. Having seen all the rooms, he open'd a curious Closet, near which there was a little Oratory, and in that Closet there were a great many pieces of Painting, done at Rome, of extraordinary value, Agnus-Dei's of gold and silver gilt, and Flowers, done as near the life as could be imagin'd. The Closet was full of Books, very richly bound, and neatly dis­pos'd into gilt Drawers. Garay, who was a curious person, and had read much, was looking very earnest­ly on the Titles of the Books, which were in one Drawer, and having put that into its place, he took out another, wherein there were others very curi­ously bound, but had no Titles on the backs. Garay opens one of them, and finds the Author of it to be Arnaldus de Villa Nova, and near that were the works of Rosino, Alquindus, and Raymundus Lulli­us. The Merchant perceiving him so taken up with the perusal of those Books, ask'd him what he look'd on so attentively. ‘I find here, Sir, replies Garay, a great many Books of Chymistry, and, from the curiosity I observe in your collection of Treatises of that kind, I infer, that you have studied that Science.’ ‘'Tis true, says the Genoese, I have spent some time in the perusal of those Authors; but how far, I pray, are you acquainted with them?’ ‘Onely so far, replies the other, that I have spent the best part of my life in that study.’ ‘Nay then, says the Genoese, you must needs be a very great Chymist.’ [Page 125] I am not to acknowledge what I am, replies Garay, we shall talk another time of these things more at large; for the present, I shall onely tell you, that, besides these Authors, I have read all I could ever meet with that treated of this Science. I have turn'd over the works of Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, Terno, Pythagoras; the Secrets of Ca­lidus, the Book of the Allegory of Morillus, that of the Secret Stone, and that entituled, De tribus verbis; besides many Manuscripts, which I never shew'd any man.’The Genoese was almost out of of himself for joy to hear these things. ‘I am ex­tremely glad, said he to him, that this Science pleases you, for I have a particular inclination for it.’ ‘I know it very well, replies Garay, (which he said, having already resolv'd how to put a slur up­on him) but in regard I place a great confidence in you, I will tell you a thing in your ear, which you will be much astonish'd at. It is this (whisper­ing him in the ear) that my Niece knows, without any study, in a manner as much as I do of this Art, and is very fortunate in the practick part of it, as you shall see by experience. But I entreat you not to speak to her of it at this time, for she would not have it known to any, nay would not take it well.’ Garay could not have pitch'd upon a more likely way to bring the Genoese into the gin; for his avarice was such, that he would have parted with his Soul to find out the Philosopher's stone, hoping, if he once got that secret, ever afterwards to swim in gold.

Rufina busied her self at the other end of the Clo­set, while Garay made this discourse to the Genoese, [Page 126] and was looking upon some other curious and plea­sant Books, for there were of all sorts. Yet was she not so attentive, but she heard somewhat of Garay's discourse, concerning Chymistry, and perceiv'd the Merchant was much taken with it. The truth is, Garay had some knowledge in that Science, and that he had spent a considerable sum of mony, to find out the Philosopher's Stone, which though many had sought, yet could not any affirm they had met with it. The success he had had in that business onely satisfi'd him of their folly, who spent their time and estates in so ridiculous a disquisition, and he was glad to have met with such an opportunity, to recover some part of the mony he had squander'd away therein: for the Genoese, crediting what was told him by Garay, imagin'd himself somewhat above a Prince. He told him, that, in that very house, he had all things re­quisite to make the experiment, and thereupon brought him into a room full of Furnaces, Alem­bicks, Glasses, and Crucibles, with all the instru­ments us'd by the Chymists, and good store of char-coal. Garay seeing that, concluded the Merchant would be easily taken, and what made him the more confident was, that he imagin'd he understood all those Books, whereas Garay was satisfi'd he knew onely so much of them as would serve to bring him into the noose. In fine, they gave over talking of it any further at that time, though the Genoese was un­willing to quit the discourse. They went down thence into a ground-room, the windows whereof look'd into the fairest part of the Garden, where dinner ex­pected them. After dinner, Garay, pretending it was his custom to take a nap, left the Merchant alone [Page 127] with Rufina, to whom he took occasion to make a full discovery of his love, assuring her, that all he had was at her service, and desiring her to dispose of it as she pleased. She seem'd to entertain the proffers of his affection with much kindness, yet at that time she onely rais'd him into a sleight hope, shewing her self very pleasant to him.

Having seen a Lute, in one of the rooms above-stairs, she desir'd it might be brought down; for her Musick, at which she was excellent, contributed much to the bringing about of her designs. The Mer­chant, who had a little skill at that Instrument him­self, was very glad to hear that she us'd it, and caus'd it to be immediately fetch'd, saying that his deceased wife plaid excellently well upon it, and that about a sev'n-night before, having entertain'd some of his friends with a Collation, they had set it in tune. The Lute being come, Rufina began to play, and made it appear, that there were very few could excel her at that Instrument. The Genoese was asto­nish'd at her dexterity, and to bring him absolutely to her lure, she sung an Air to it, but with such a grace, that he was at a loss, whether he should more admire her hand, or her voice. The truth is, she had a particular excellency in both, so that his excessive commendations of them, were not so full of flattery as might be expected from a person passionately in love. With a modest blush, which spread it self gent­ly over her face (a thing she could command, though never acquainted with shame) she seem'd to express a certain bashfulness, and ere it was quite dispell'd, ‘Signor Octavio, said she to him, what I have done was onely for your diversion, be pleas'd to receive [Page 128] it with some regard to the desire I had to endea­vour your satisfaction; which yet I have not done without much temerity, before a person of so de­licate an ear as you are, and one, no doubt, wont to hear the best voices in the world.’ ‘I never heard any, replies Octavio, that came near yours, and therefore I beseech you, let not your modesty cause you any prejudice; nay rather be proud, Madam, of the excellent endowments you have so liberally receiv'd from heaven, and acknowledge the favours it hath done you; be more sensible of your own worth, and think my approbation below it; and yet when I was a young man, I was much addicted to Musick, and some would needs persuade me that my time was well bestow'd in it. I must confess, the Spanish Tongue comes not so naturally to me as the Italian, the graces and beauties whereof I have better studied upon the Theorbo, which I am so far Master of, as in some measure to satisfie the hearer.’Whereupon perceiving that Rufina would have laid by the Lute, he desir'd her to make use of it a little longer, and to sing one Air more, which she, to honour him, did.

Octavio took occasion to give his dear Rufina greater commendations for the excellency of her voice than he had done before, and she, to renew her thanks to him, for the favour he did her. He thought it time to give her leave to take a little rest, and he went himself into another room to do the like. Garay, on the other side, instead of sleeping, was contriv­ing how to get the Philosopher's stone, not for the credulous Genoese, but out of him. He had so far persuaded him of his abilities, in that Science, that [Page 129] he desired nothing so much as to be as knowing in it as he was, but all out of no other design than to sa­tisfie his own insatiable avarice. He imagin'd that if he could find the Philosopher's Stone (a Rock ra­ther, against which so many have wrack'd themselves) all his houshold-stuff should be of gold, that he should become a Croesus, and that the wealthiest about the City, compar'd to him, would be little bet­ter than beggars.

Garay had also a long discourse with Rufina, about the means how they should get the Gudgeon into the net: he gave her some instructions in writing, that the Genoese might find she knew something of the Science, at least the tearms of it. Rufina got them by heart, and, to begin the cheat, Garay ask'd for some links of a Gold-chain she had brought from Sevil. It was a large one, and if there were a dozen links ta­ken from it, they would not have been miss'd. Being come into the City, he goes into a Gold-smith's shop to melt down those links, and reduce them into an Ingot, which he brought back to the house, and communicated his design to Rufina.

Octavio, who had slept all this while as soundly as if he had not been in love, comes in to them, and they began to talk of several things, far from having any relation to the business he had been about, which Garay did purposely to engage the other to fall first into that discourse, and indeed within a quarter of an hour, he was gotten into the subject of Chymi­stry. Garay discours'd of it after the rate of a man that had spent his whole estate in the work; insomuch that Octavio was astonish'd thereat, for though he pretended much skill in the Science, yet could he [Page 130] not but acknowledge himself much inferiour to the other. Garay, desirous to give the Merchant all the satisfaction he could desire, told him, that he could turn what Metall he pleas'd into gold. The Genoese was ravish'd at the proposal, and earnestly entreated him that he might see it done. Garay ask'd him whe­ther there were any char-coal in the house; the Ge­noese told him there was good store, for he had had the curiosity to make some trials thereof himself. They went up both into the room where they had been before, and finding it full of Furnaces, Creu­sets, Alembicks, and other Chymical Instruments, Garay said to him, Here we have all things requisite for the present. He caus'd some fire to be brought, and having put a little Copper into a Creuset to melt, the Genoese saw it melting: Garay took a box out of his pocket, wherein there was a paper full of powder, which he said was the most principal ingre­dient in the whole work. He put it into the Creuset, which having brought as cleaverly as he could to a window, he pour'd out the melted Copper, and put the Ingot of gold into its place, and when he had cover'd it, he told the Genoese, that it should not be stirr'd thence for half an hour. That time they spent in discoursing of several things in Chymistry, wherein Octavio desir'd to make some further pro­gress. At last, Garay thought it time to shew him what he had done, and so opening the Creuset, he took out the Ingot and shew'd it him. The covetous Miser was almost out of himself for joy to see it, though he were not fully satisfi'd of its being perfect gold. Garay wish'd him to have it tri'd by a Gold­smith; which trouble he would needs take upon [Page 131] himself, and having found that it was very fine gold, of twenty two Carats, he returns extraordinarily well satisfi'd. While he was gone out, Garay in­structed Rufina, how to effect their design upon Octa­vio, who being more covetous than amorous, would have them immediately to begin the great work of finding the Philosopher's Stone. He promis'd Garay extraordinary recompences, and told him, that he would be at the whole charge, though it should amount to twenty thousand Crowns.

Garay, who had contriv'd how he intended to gull the Merchant, return'd this Answer to the great proffers he had made him. ‘Signor Octavio, said he, I am now gon almost seven years beyond the grand climacterical year of my life, which is as much as to tell you, that I have past the greatest and best part of it. It were no hard matter for me, with the help of the Science I am now Master of, to spend the little which is yet to come, at my ease, and it may be more plentifully, than some of the weal­thiest Grandees of Spain; and that I can be with­out any man's favour or assistance, I think you may have observ'd your self. And in regard I have no children, to inherit my estate, which, I thank hea­ven, is somewhat considerable also in Lands, the main concernment I have in this world, is to look after this young Woman, my Niece. She is al­ready but too rich, in that she hath all I have, though her Father, who was my elder Brother, left her no mean fortune. She might, had she a mind to it, be as nobly married as she was before, for her late husband was descended from the noblest houses of Andalusia. Nor were it hard for me to add to [Page 132] her wealth, you know it; but such is my confidence in you, that I will tell you the reason why I do not. That I am the ablest Alchymist in all Spain, is known to many, which being also come to the ears of his Majesty, I am sought after every where; but I have hitherto had the happiness to keep out of their clutches, who are perpetually emploi'd to find me out, having spread a report, that I was gone [...]o [...] England. It is not out of any contempt of the honours and wealth of this world, that I avoid the searches of those, whom his Majesty hath enjoyn'd to bring me to him, but out of this consideration, that I would not purchase any favour with the loss of my liberty, for I must expect no less, than to spend the rest of my days in a noble kind of captivity. I will express my self more clear­ly to you. His Majesty hath at the present very great Armies a-foot in several parts, which put him to a vast expence, such as his own Revenue and what comes from the Indies are not able to defray: so that, to satisfie his ambition, he is forc'd to make use of the industry of his Subjects. Now were it my sad fortune to be found by those who so narrowly search after me, the King, know­ing that, with the assistance of my Art, he might easily recruit the charge he is at, would im­mediately dispose of me into some Fortress, where being confin'd for the rest of my days, I should be perpetually kept at work, to augment his Trea­sures, and supply his pressing exigencies. I should not think it much to do it once or twice, but the avarice of men is grown to that heighth, that they are not satisfi'd with abundance, if they have the [Page 133] least apprehension, that the source of it may ever be dried up. This is the true reason, Signor Octa­vio, which obliges me to keep out of my own Country, and to play least in sight; and therefore receive what I have told you as a great secret, such as I should not have communicated to my own Brother, had he been in the world: but I have that confidence of you, that you will never reveal it.’

Octavio return'd Garay his most affectionate thanks for the great trust he repos'd in him, and thought himself so happy in the discovery he had made to him, that he conceiv'd the greatest Nobles might justly envy him. His Answer to him, was, that the grounds and motives, on which he conceal'd the excellent knowledge he had acquir'd, were just and rational, since that no doubt but he would be con­fin'd, though for no other reason than this, to pre­vent his carrying over such a Secret into another Country, to serve a King that were an enemy to his Catholick Majesty. He acknowledg'd himself infi­nitely oblig'd to him, and wish'd it were in his power to serve him; but having onely the wealth he was possess'd of to proffer him, he entreated him to dispose of it as freely as if it were his own, and since he had shewn him a trial of his abilities, that he would not think that enough, but ere he left Cor­duba, give him such further instructions, as, being ob­serv'd, he might not miscarry in the great work. Garay promis'd to satisfie his desires, telling him withal, that so precious a thing as Gold could not be gotten but with Gold, and that the foundations of all designs require charge; that the Philosopher's Stone could not be found without cost and much [Page 134] pains; that if he were resolv'd, he should attempt the doing of it, he must be at the whole charge, and that afterwards the profit should be equally divided, and that in a short time he would be glutted with wealth.

The Genoese, ravish'd at that proposal, proffer'd to spend all he was worth upon that accompt. Rufina promis'd to assist them. Nay, says Garay to her, there is such a necessity of your assistance; that we shall not be able to do so well without it. They thereupon re­solv'd, that within two days they should begin the great work. Garay told him, that the principal of the divine Elixir, (so the Chymists call the perfection of their work) was form'd of the solidity of Mercury, and other things which he nam'd to him, together with the urine and excrement of a red-hair'd child; that all was to be put into an Alembick, with powder of Aloes, the infusion of Opium, Toads grease, Arse­nick, and Salt-peter. But he hop'd to do it chiefly with the urine and excrements aforesaid, which he order'd Octavio by all means to procure, as being the most necessary ingredient of all.

He promis'd to find it, and, to begin the work, the Me [...]chant deliver'd him five hundred Crowns in gold, to buy certain precious drugs, which he said were necessary; and this the Genoese did the more willingly, as well out of the confidence he had to re­ceive them multipli'd into so many thousands, as out of a design he had thought on the night before, of making Rufina his wife, and by that means assuring himself of Garay. Whereupon, that very evening af­ter supper, he took occasion to carry Garay along with him into the Garden, and acquainted him with his [Page 135] resolution. The Alchymist thought it a good way to further his work, and accordingly he approv'd of his intention, and acknowledg'd it would be a great ho­nour to his Neece to meet with so worthy a Person; but that there was one Obstacle to be first removed. ‘What may that be says the other? Garay told him, that his Neece could not be Married, till a Dispen­sation were first obtained from Rome, in regard, that, out of the extraordinary regret she conceiv'd at the loss of her late Husband, she made a Vow to enter into a Religious life; that the occasion of their going to Madrid, was to receive six years Arrerages of a Rent due to them from a person of Quality, who was very backward in paying, in order to her reception into a Nunnery; but that as soon as the Dispensation were come from Rome, they would conclude the Marriage, which he doubted not but she would accept, not onely out of the compliance she had ever express'd towards him, but also out of this consideration, that she was to match her self with a Person inclin'd to the study of a Science, wherein she had naturally attain'd so great perfection. Octa­vio was the most satisfy'd Man in the world to have such a parcel of good words given him, insomuch that from that very hour Garay became absolute Ma­ster of all he was possess'd of.

Garay and Rufina having conferr'd notes upon this new Overture, were more confident than ever, to compass their design. He freely laid out the Money receiv'd of Octavio in Drugges, persuading him they were not to be had under such and such rates. He also furnish'd himself with new Fur­naces, Creusets and Alembicks, pretending that [Page 136] those in the House before, were not for his purpose. In the mean time, the silly Merchant was enquiring up and down where he might have the Urine of a Red-headed Child, which he had much ado to get; for the Mothers fearing it was to be us'd in some operation of Witchcraft, would not easily let him have it; but Money is omnipotent, and can do any thing. Garay could have done as much in one Day as in a hundred, as to the performance of what he had promis'd, but the poor Merchant must be fool'd some way or other, till he met with an opportunity to smite him, and take a Dog's leave of Corduba, with as much as he could shift away on two good Horses, which lay Leger in a secret place for that pur­pose.

He dispos'd all the Distillations into the Furnaces, in the presence of Octavio; he bought some Metals, as Brass, Copper, and Tin, several sorts of Salts, and other things commonly used by Chymists; and setting Fire to the Furnaces, they Distill'd what had been put into them, but contributing nothing to the business, and only to abuse him, who was at the charge of all the Foolery. As to Octavio's Love, he was much better treated than he was before; inas­much as since the proposal of Marriage, Rufina, the better to carry on the main design, grew more kind to him, especially in Garay's absence, which the besotted Cocks-comb was so transported with, that he knew not whether his head or his heels were on the ground.

About this time Octavio receiv'd a Bill of ex­change of a considerable Sum, to be paid within twenty days after sight. This, with the breaking of [Page 137] some of his Debtors in other Countries, put him in­to some fear of doing the like, if his attempts in Chymistry prov'd not successful. But to prevent all inconveniences, he did what most of his Quality and Kidney are wont to do, who being upon the point of breaking, secure what they can of their Estates, that they may afterwards the more commodiously remove into some other Country. So our Merchant, finding himself within some distance of breaking, provided for the misfortune, in case it should happen, and so promoted the mischievous plot of Garay and Ru­fina, whom he truly acquainted how affairs stood with him, as if they had been his most faithful Rela­tions. Garay had left in the custody of a certain friend of the Merchants, a good sum of Money, and some Jewels of great Value, with order they should not be deliver'd to any but one of them two. Be­sides which, he brought some to his Country-house, and hid them in a secret place in the presence of Rufina, of whom he had a confidence, as if she had really been his Wife. Garay, who was still busie about his Distillations, put him into good hope, that within twenty days he should see the end of the great work, and his House full of Gold, to recover the loss he had receiv'd by his Debtors.

About this time, there happen'd a business which oblig'd Octavio to take a Journey, to advise with a Correspondent of his, how to prevent the misfortune he saw coming upon him. Garay and Rufina being entrusted with the House, thought it a fair oppor­tunity to dislodge, and make the best they could of the present game. They secur'd all the Money and Jewels they could come at, and left the Plate and [Page 138] some other things, they could not so conveniently carry away, behind them, though with some regret, thinking it more prudence to make a safe retreat with what were considerable, than to hazard all, by grasping at too much. Having therefore loaden themselves with what was most pretious, they left the Furnaces, and the Alembicks, made the Philoso­pher's stone at the cost of the absent Merchant, and took Horse while the people of the House were fast asleep. They took their way towards Malaga, and travell'd all night, having about them above six thou­sand Crowns in Money and Jewels, and left, upon a Table near the Furnaces, a paper of Verses, to hasten the credulous Merchant to hang himself.

Two days after their departure he returns home, very ill satisfy'd with his Journey, in that he had not done any thing in the business which occasion'd it. All the hope he now had was in his Uncle, Garay, imagining, by his means, he should yet be able to shew his head, and not onely keep up his Reputation, but also be Richer than ever he had been, such a strange Mist had the Witchcraft of Chymistry cast before his Eyes.

He came not to his Country-house till after Night, where he found the Servant whom he had left with Garay and Rufina, for the rest of his people were in the City. The Servant receiv'd him with a sad countenance, and being got up stairs, he ask'd him (fearing somewhat were amiss) where his Guests were, of whom the Servant could give him no ac­count, as having not seen them when they went out, and could onely say, that, two Nights before, they had lock'd him into the Room where he lay, which [Page 139] he had been forc'd to break open, because he could not otherwise get out. They search'd up and down, and found that the Chests had been opened, and all the Money convey'd away. This was not the worst the Merchant feared, but that they had also been with him, in whose custody he had greater summs of Money, and the most pretious of his Houshold-stuff. It being too late to make any enquiry that Night, he thought it his best course to go to Bed; but desirous to visit the Furnaces once more, he finds on the Table the Paper, left there by Garay, which having open'd, he found in it these Lines.

Signor Octavio,

IT is the just reward of those who attempt things impossible, to be shamefully disappointed. Many of your Profession have been ruin'd by their Faith, in things relating to their Trade; it was there­fore but fit you should repent your Credulity, in a business you understood not. It was indeed impardonable, to expect to see that done by any Man, in a few days, which the Sun, who hath a greater power over the Metal you were so cove­tous of, cannot perfect under four or five hundred years. Your loss, I must confess is great, but you have this comfortable consideration, that you may now defie Chymistry, and all its cheating Pro­fessors, to shew you such another trick as we have done. But, to avoid all future Temptation, take [Page 140] this hearty advice from two dear Friends of yours; put all the fine Treatises you have of that pernicious Art into your Furnaces, and, having set Fire to them and your House together, fairly run away by the light of it.

The poor Merchant had no sooner read them, ere he was convinc'd, they were his kind Guests who had robb'd him, and extracted what he had in his Chests and Cabinets with more ease than he had in­fus'd it into them. How he spent the Night, is onely to be imagin'd, being just upon the point of Break­ing, and not knowing any means to remedy it. All the hope he had, was, that the Money and Jewels which he had left in a friend's hands, were safe e­nough; nay he despair'd not to find out those, who had done him the mischief. He turn'd himself from one side to another, not out of any disturbance, oc­casion'd by his Love to the subtle Rufina, (for that was absolutely lost with his Money) but that he had been so basely trapan'd by a beggarly Rascal. Then did he begin to curse Chymistry, and all the Authors that ever writ of it, whereas he should rather have given God thanks, who, by the cheat which was put upon him, had prevented the prosecution of his de­sign, which might have absolutely ruin'd him. As soon as he perceiv'd any appearance of Day, he got up, and went into the City, to his House, whom he had entrusted with the keeping of his Money and other things. He ask'd him whether Garay had been with him? the other answered that he had, and had taken away whatever he had in his custody, and that [Page 141] therein he had follow'd his own orders. That word struck him almost Dead; nay the resentments he express'd of that loss were so great, that if the other had not known the cause of it, he would have thought him out of his wits. He comforted him the best he could, and told him, that his onely course was to make a speedy search for the Robbers. He did all he could to that purpose, sending Officers and others several ways; but that which Garay and Rufina had taken was so extraordinary, that they could never meet with them. So they return'd to Corduba, to be paid for their fruitless pursuit, by him who had sent them, which, as his affairs stood then, added not a little to his affliction. This adventure was soon known all over the City; and the Genoese, not able to accept of another Bill of exchange that had been sent him, was forc'd to absent himself, and to return to Genua, with what he could make by the sale of his Goods. By this means he turn'd Bankrupt, and defy'd his Creditors, who could not find any thing he had left behind him. The same thing happens many times to those, who, with small Estates, engage themselves in too great affairs, presuming upon this, that, if it comes to the worst, they can secure them­selves by an escape.

The end of the second Book.

LA PICARA, OR The Triumphs of Female Subtilty.
The Third Book.

GAray and Rufina rode on a good round pace, but kept in obscure ways, and, in four Nights, they would not take up their Lodging in any Town or Village, but in open Fields, for fear of being sur­priz'd by the Officers, whom they doubted not but the Genoese had sent to enquire after them. They had shifted their Cloaths, and having disguis'd themselves as well as they could, they carefully avoided all those places where they had the least apprehension they might be known. It [Page 143] was Garay's charge to provide Victuals; and being about the beginning of the Spring, they found it no great inconvenience, to lye abroad in the open air. They got into a thick Wood just as the Sun was ready to set, and fearing that a thick Cloud, under which they were, might break upon them with too great violence, as there was some likelihood, by rea­son of the great Thunder and Lightning that had gone before, they went into the thickest part of it, the better to secure themselves. Other Travellers, upon the same apprehension, had taken refuge at a place, near that where Garay and Rufina were. The noise they made in discoursing, rais'd in Garay a cu­riosity to come and over-hear what they said; and through the means of thick Bushes, being come near them, he perceiv'd they were three Men, one whereof, speaking to the others, said; ‘If this Tempest lasts all night, I doubt we shall be dis­appointed of our design.’ ‘I fear me so too, replies another, and no doubt but the Hermit of la Serre will be out of all patience that he hath expected us so long.’ ‘O that Brother Crispin is an excellent fellow, says another of them: his Religious frock covers a great deal of mischief, and he is so insi­nuating in his behaviour, that he is very much in their favour, who bestow'd the Hermitage upon him.’ ‘He is so transcendent an Hypocrite, replies another, that he is able to blind all the World: he hath the reputation of a virtuous person all over the Country, and there is not within twenty Leagues about a more consummate Villain than he is.’ ‘I have been acquainted with him these twelve years, says the Second, and his profession [Page 144] hath been to receive Thieves, and their Booties; and he hath been so fortunate as never to be sus­pected Guilty of any crime of that kind, whereas so many other poor Rogues have been taken and truss'd up, at the first falling into the hands of Justice.’ ‘It must needs be acknowledg'd, says another, that his Hermitage is a very convenient place for persons of our profession, and the Cellar he hath made under it, is such a place, as the Divel himself would never find out. We could never have met with a more secure place, to put up the fifteen hundred Crowns we yesterday disburthen'd the Merchant of. 'Twas the most considerable Robbery that hath been committed in this Country of a long time.’ ‘If it would but hold up a little, says he who had spoken first, I hope to make as good a Prey, yet before it be Day.’They there­upon advised concerning the means how to execute their design. Garay miss'd not a word of all they had spoken; the Country he was acquainted with as well as if he had been Born in it, and very well knew the Hermit, whom, till then, he had accounted a person of great sanctity, so far was he from imagi­ning, that he drove such a Trade, and that his Her­mitage had, for so many years, been the refuge of High-way-beaters, and House-breakers.

Having made this strange discovery, he returns to the place where he had left Rufina, and gave her an accompt of what he had heard from those Robbers. They continu'd there without making any noise, they and their Horses, till such time as the others were gone, considering with themselves how they might make their advantage of that unexpected adventure: [Page 145] And taking their way to a blind Inn, not far thence, they stay'd there the remainder of that Night, and all the next Day. Having, in that time, consider'd what they had to do, they went both towards the Hermitage, where Brother Crispin (so was the Hermite named) lived, and being got within a small distance of it, Garay bound Rufina to a Tree, upon which she cries out as loud as she could, ‘Is there no body to relieve a wretched Woman, ready to be Murther'd here? O Heaven, revenge the injury done to my innocence.’ On the other side, Garay acted his part, saying, ‘'Tis in vain for thee to call any body to thy relief; thou hast not long to live, and therefore recommend thy self to God, for thou shalt not escape out of my hands; as soon as I have bound thee to this Tree, I will dispatch thy Soul into the other World.’

At the first noise of her crying out, Crispin hears her, and being all alone in the Hermitage, a thing seldome happened, for, most nights, he had the company of some of the tribe, who though guilty of much watching, were not much either of sanctity or miracles. The Hermit came out with two good Pocket-pistols, and being got near the place, whence he had heard the noise, he discharg'd one of them, which happen'd very luckily for Garay. For it being resolv'd upon the question between him and Rufina, that he should run away as soon as any came near them, it might be conceiv'd, the discharging of the Pistol had frightned him. He presently mounted one of the Horses; and leading away the other, he rid away with all the speed he could. Crispin comes [Page 146] near the Tree, and, by the light of the Moon, per­ceiv'd Rufina, weeping most bitterly, and seeming to be astonish'd, through that fright she was in. Seeing the Hermite coming towards her, ‘What art thou return'd Traitor, said she? will nothing deter thee from executing thy cruel design? Come, take away my Life, and put me out of fur­ther trouble, and doubt not but one time or other, Heaven, since it will not rescue, will revenge my innocence.’The frock'd Hypocrite, hearing this discourse, and perceiving thereby that she mistook him, made her this Answer, ‘Madam, I am not the person you think me to be, but one who comes to relieve you in this extremity, and to save your Life. What is become of the Villain, who would have taken it from you, and hath oblig'd me, con­trary to the rules of my Profession, to take Fire-arms to pursue him, not doubting but what I do will be accompted an act of meritorious charity in the sight of God?’

Having thereupon unbound her, Rufina cast her self at his feet, saying, ‘It must needs be, Brother Crispin, (for she knew his name) that you had some revelation from Heaven, of the violence in­tended me, since you came so miraculously to my relief, and that with Arms so contrary to your Profession. Heaven reward you for the charitable assistance you have afforded an innocent Woman. I cannot express the resentment I have of the kindness you have done me, otherwise than by submissions and vows, as being oblig'd to you for no less than my Life, which the fury of a Bro­ther [Page 147] was just going to deprive me of.’

Crispin was extreamly taken with the Woman, (nay notwithstanding his vow of chastity, he had a kindness for the whole Sex) but he was yet master of so much modesty and reserv'dness, that he sorbore all discourse of Love and Familiarity; and continu­ing in his counterfeit sanctity, ‘My dear Sister, in the Lord, said he to her, I think my self far from deserving all the favours it pleases God to do me: but I endeavour all lies in my power to Live vir­tuously, serving my Creator in this solitary place, where it hath been the pleasure of his divine Ma­jesty, that I should be a means to save your Life: I heartily thank him for it, and am extreamly glad, that what is done is to your satisfaction. For this night, I can onely proffer you such a reception as a poor Cell can afford, where you may continue, till you have accommodated your affairs, and re­concil'd your self to your Brother. I assure you it is absolutely at your service, and I offer it you with such a cordial affection, as a good Christian ought to have for his Neighbour, for I had not put my self into this habit, were it not to exercise such charities as these.’

Rufina renew'd her thanks to him for the civil proffers he made her, bursting forth afresh into feigned tears, a thing some Women can do when they please, but this had the knack of it beyond any. She gladly accepted of his kindness, as what con­duced very much to the compassing of her design. They thereupon took their way towards the Her­mitage, and Brother Crispin, seeing Rufina was some­what [Page 148] weary, endeavour'd to comfort her with all the kind words he could think of, and at last took her by the arm, to help her forward. He open'd the door of the Hermitage, and when they were got in, Rufina was not a little astonish'd, to see a rough Plank, which he pretended was his Bed, with a Crucifix at the head of it, and on one side, hanging up by a Nail, an Instrument made of good Whip-cord; wherewith his credulous Zealots believ'd that he disciplin'd himself: all the other furniture of the Room consisted in a little rotten Table, which, by much travelling and removing from place to place, had brought four feet to three.

Rufina finding the room so poorly furnish'd, and the person who made his aboad in it so mortify'd and reserv'd in his behaviour, began to repent her self, that she ever came thither, and imagin'd that Garay had mis-understood the conference of the Robbers in the Wood. But the devout Hermit put her out of her dumps, for taking notice of her looking a little strangely on the accommodations of his House, he said to her, ‘My dear Sister, you may haply think this a very poor Lodging, and that you will have but an ill Nights rest; be not troubled, I will Lodge you much better than you imagine. 'Twas your happiness to come hither at this time, now that there are not any here upon their spiritual retreats, which some devout souls of your Sex are wont to make at this Hermitage, sometimes for eight or ten days together. Some of these, for the greater conveniency of their devotion, have sent hither Beds, and some other Houshold-stuff.’ [Page 149] Incomparable Hypocrite! Having asked her whether she liv'd at Malaga, and she telling him that she was a stranger in those parts, he would have per­suaded her, that there were Beds in the Hermitage for such as came to make their spiritual retreats there, which was a damnable lie: but the truth of it was, that he, for his own ease, had very good Quilts, and other necessaries for a bed or two, for the entertain­ment of the secret camerades who came often to visit him. These conveniences were dispos'd into a low room, which was also the Treasury, where those birds of prey, put up such things as the true owners of them never intended should be acquainted with the place. He thereupon desir'd her to have a little patience, till he went down to fetch some bed­cloaths, which having brought, he made her a bed in a little Cell, at a small distance from his own. They had a better supper then Rufina expected, there was some boil'd meat and broth, and a cold Rabbet, which Crispin pretended had been lest at the Her­mitage by one of his Penitents, a very devout old Gentlewoman, whom he was infinitely oblig'd to; and to close their stomachs, they had some excellent fruits, according to the season.

Rufina was a woman much inclin'd to mirth, but at this time, doing her natural disposition some vio­lence, she seem'd to be very melancholly and re­serv'd, and so continu'd all the time they were at supper, eating very little, the better to express her weariness, and being troubled at the accident, which had befallen her. The Hermit in like manner pre­tended he had no great stomach, whether the meat [Page 150] was not dress'd to his mind, or that he did it out of a compliance with his fair guest, whom he look'd on so attentively all the time they were at supper, as if he had been to read a Lecture of her Physiognomy. At last, having taken away the meat and cloth, the Hermit, desirous to know of Rufina, the cause why her own Brother would have taken away her life, en­treated her to satisfie him, which she did in this short account of her self.

Though it cannot but add very much to my affli­ction, to make a rebearsal of the occasion of it, yet the kindness you have done me, my dear Brother, being so transcendent, I should be a very ungrateful person, to deny you the satisfaction of some account of her whom you have so highly oblig'd. ‘I was born, said she, in the City of Almeria, of noble Parents, my Ancestors having been famous there for several ages. All the children they had were onely my self, and a Brother, who is a year older then I am. My Father and Mother left this world, and me in it a little before I was fully ar­riv'd to the fifteenth year of my age. There were those who thought the face you now see not un­handsome, that is in other words, several persons courted me in order to marriage, but my Brother oppos'd it as much as lay in his power, charging my Sutors with some defects or other, in their estates or extraction, so that not any one of them obtain'd what they so much desir'd. I believe the true cause of my Brother's refusals proceeded from a desire he had that I should go into a Nunnery, where I had two Aunts, and he get to himself [Page 151] somewhat of the fortune my Father had left me. I discover'd his design, by their continual pressing of me to become a Nun. But I never had any in­clination to that kind of life, and so my Answer to them was sutable thereto; which incens'd my Bro­ther so much against me, that he never look'd kind­ly on me since.’

While these things were in agitation, a young Gentleman, who had left Almeria ere he was ten years of age, return'd from Flanders, where, for the good services he had done his Majesty, he had been advanc'd to the command of a Company of Foot and a Troop of Horse. He came accordingly in a very good equipage, both as to Cloaths and Horses. He had a pretty considerable estate, and had not receiv'd any thing from it since his depar­ture from Almeria, so that there was a good summ lay ready for him. He one day chanc'd to see me at Church, and lik'd me so well, that he enquir'd who I was. Some gave him an account of me, and soon after, he began to make his addresses to me, and to court me by Letters and other ways. To make my tale short, I was not insensible of his affection, but considering with my self the equa­lity there was between us as to birth, and the ex­cellent endowments he was Master of, I com­ply'd with his love, and admitted him to come into the house, but upon the assurance he gave me, that his courtship was really in order to marriage. He visited me with much freedom, for my Brother was then sick of a disease, which had brought him almost to death's door, (I would it had carried him [Page 152] quite into that cold room, my condition would not be so sad as it is at the present.) One of my former Sutors, being not a little troubled to see a New­comer so highly advanc'd in my favour, began to watch him, and in a short time saw him let in and coming out of our house, at an unseasonable time of the night. He made a very ungentlemanlike advantage of that discovery; for, envying any other should have what he could not obtain, he gave my Brother an account of what was done in his house. One day coming to visit him, and being all alone with him, he told him what he had seen. My Bro­ther, who had recover'd a little of his strength, be­gan to get up, and by his own observation was con­firm'd in what the other had told him. Yet could he not be reveng'd of me, by reason of his weak­ness, and put it off to some other opportunity. He seem'd to be extremely troubled that I had en­gag'd my affection to that Captain, and protested that he would have been much less, had I made choice of any other, for he had had some difference with his elder Brother, and ever since, they had ne­ver been good friends.

At last, my Brother recover'd his former health, and finding the Captain gone from Almeria, he told me, that he would carry me to see an Aunt of ours at Malaga, who was a Nun of the Order in­stituted by St. Bernard. I believ'd him, and not imagining he knew anything of the correspondence between the Captain and my self, I was very glad of the opportunity to see that Aunt, whom I was much oblig'd to, for several things she had sent [Page 153] me of her own working. We prepar'd our selves for the journey, and rode each of us on a horse, with two servants on two others to wait on us. Be­ing come into the wood near this place, he ordered the two servants to go before, to prepare a lodging for us, and being come to the place where you found me, just as day was taking its last leave, he threw me off my horse, and put me into the con­dition you found me in, wherein no doubt I had perish'd, had not you fortunately reliev'd me, for the discharging of the Pistol made him get away before he had done the work he intended. May God, the requiter of all good turns, remember the charitable assistance you did me, which was so strange, that I shall never forget it as long as I live.

The Hermit having heard this story, took occasion to comfort her the best he could, and promis'd her to do any thing that lay in his power; whereupon they parted for that time, and went to their several Beds; she, to that which had been prepar'd for her, and he, to another, that lay in a secret place, very well fur­nish'd; for, however he blinded the world with an apparent austerity, he was a person who lov'd his ease as well as any other. He was deeply fallen in love with Rufina, and mighty desirous to acquaint her with his passion; but the fear of scandal made him a a little reserv'd. He spent the whole night without any rest, contriving how he might best make a disco­very of his love to her.

As soon as it began to dawn, he got up and soon after him Rufina, who going into the Church be­longing [Page 154] to the Hermitage, found him on his knees before the Altar, which oblig'd her to do the like, at a little distance from him. He thought fit to con­tinue his devotion a while, but not without much distraction, for he could not forbear looking on her, to such a height was his love grown in one night. On the other side, Rufina, who was as well read in Hy­pocrisie as the Hermit, was resolv'd to outvy him at kneeling, in which posture she continued somewhat longer than she could have wish'd. At last perceiving that Crispin had done his prayers, she also ended hers. Whereupon the holy Brother comes to her, and said to her, ‘Blessed be the great Preserver of Man­kind, my dear Sister in Christ, for his infinite mercies; be it his good pleasure that you may live happily all the rest of your days, and have all those enjoyments of body and mind you can your self desire. I pray tell me, excellent creature of God, how you rested this night.’ ‘Very well, my beloved Brother, repli'd she, I thank your kindness, though the trouble I am in suffers me not to be quite free from disquiet.’ ‘There is nothing more argues a devout Soul, says Crispin, than a sweet and humble compliance with the will of Heaven; put your con­fidence in him who hath numbred the hairs of your head, and doubt not but this heaviness will be turned into joy.’ ‘If it be his blessed will, it shall be so, said she, though we see not the means how it will be effected.’ ‘O excellent creature! cries out the amorous Hermit, how highly meritorious in the sight of God is this holy acquiescence and resig­nation?’

[Page 155] Having so said, he brought her into a little room, out of which they had the prospect of the fields, where being both sate down, Crispin began to open himself to her in this discourse. ‘When I seriously consider, Madam, the strange effects of beauty, how the pursuance of it forces men into disturbances, and in a manner transports them out of themselves, I cannot chuse but pity and excuse them, because the frailer part of man endeavours its own satisfa­ction, and the heart is naturally enclin'd to desire that which the eye contemplates with a certain pleasure, especially having for its object the most delightful thing that God ever fram'd. You may hence take occasion to imagine, Sister, what re­flections we should make on the celestial beauties, and those supernatural miracles which transcend the reach of our senses. When I left the world, which was in an age not much acquainted with the wickedness of it, I propos'd to my self, as far as I could with a respect to humanity, to keep my self at as great a distance as I could from the sight of that admirable sex, which is not unde­servedly called, the fairer half of the world; in­asmuch as I have already put away childishness, and began to entertain thoughts sutable to man­hood, and apprehended, that to be exempted from the charms of women, was a privilege wholly angelical. I am at the present much more satisfied as to that particular, than I could have been in that state of innocence, and I find there is an absolute necessity I should keep out of your sight, or fall into the snare I see the devil lay­ing [Page 156] for me. The summe of this discourse, Ma­dam, is to shew you, that beautiful faces are very dangerous, and that, since my first sight of yours, I feel my Soul in a very great hazard. Be not startled, I beseech you, to hear me talk after this rate; this discourse, I must confess, is very dis­consonant to the habit I have on, and the pro­position I have embrac'd: but these have not un­mann'd me, and consequently not exempted me from humane infirmities.’

With these words there might be seen spread­ing over his face a certain blush, as if he could not make the first overture of such a thing with­out expressing somewhat he was never truly ac­quainted with, Shame. Rufina, with a counterfeit modesty, seem'd to do as much as he had: but Oc­casion presenting her fore-lock, and telling her that that was the most likely way to bring about her design, she would not give him an absolute de­nial, but made him this Answer. ‘Though I know my self not to be of their number, who, by their beauty, may engage men into any disquiet, yet must I acknowledge, Brother Crispin, that, as to this point, I am of your opinion; for the attra­ctions of Beauty are so powerful, that I my self, though a woman, am carried away therewith, as well as others, and know not a greater pleasure, than that of seeing a handsome face, and admiring the effects of it. And therefore I wonder not at all, that men are reduc'd to some extremities, when they are passionately in love, since it is to be imagin'd, that the force of beauty operates with [Page 157] an extraordinary influence. Nor do I think any more worth my admiration, to see it hath its effects as well on those who are retir'd out of the world, as on those whose affections are most inclin'd thereto, inasmuch as they have not attain'd a de­gree of perfection purifi'd from the dross of all humane enjoyments: And therefore, I have rea­son to think my self the more oblig'd to the cha­rity you have shewn me, since I understand, that your exercising of it is not without the Ioss of your quiet, and somewhat of scandal. I could wish with all my heart, that I were not the cause of so much trouble in the world; but in regard you are not heard by any but my self, you need fear nothing as to that particular. You were desirous to know the History of my Adventures, I am no less to be acquainted with yours, and particu­larly to understand what might have oblig'd you to leave the world so soon, to live in this solitary place, and with so great austerity. For though I doubt not but you did it in order to the salvation of your own soul, yet me-thinks I perceive in you those excellent endowments, for which you might have been esteem'd in your youth, and put off the execution of so hard a penance till an­other time.’

Rufina's discourse was as the counterfeit Her­mite could have wish'd it, and thereupon being transported with joy, he came more home to his purpose, and told her in plain tearms, that the charms of her beauty had so inchanted him, that, from the minute she first came into his house, he had [Page 158] not had any rest, he loving her as passionately as man could be imagin'd to love woman. Rufina, who minded her own work, entertain'd the dis­course with somewhat of kindness, excusing it upon the account of humane frailty: so that giv­ing him some hope, that he should obtain his de­sires, he seem'd to be the most satisfi'd person in world. Rufina pretended indisposition, and for two days together kept her bed, where she was treated by her charitable Entertainer, with the best meat could be had for mony, which was brought to the Hermitage in the night time, by his Camerades.

It may seem somewhat strange, that Rufina should have the confidence to continue all alone in that solitary place, with a person of whose wic­kedness she had a sufficient knowledge: but she knew withal the passion he had for her, and in­ferr'd thence, that a real Love never being with­out respect, she could not imagine he would ever injure her. What further assur'd her, was the hope she had put him in to treat him more kindly, when she had certain notice brought her, that her Brother had left Malaga; besides, that the apprehension she had lest she might be discover'd, kept her from requiting, as she thought her self oblig'd, the extraordinary kindness he had shewn her. Thus she drew in by degrees the Rampant Hermit, who, to further on the work, promis'd her to make a dili­gent enquiry, by the means of his friends, whether her Brother were at Malaga.

That night, Crispin's three intimate friends [Page 159] came to the Hermitage, bringing along with them above two thousand Crowns in gold. This was the robbery they were engag'd upon, when Garay over-heard their discourse in the wood. The dis­covery had been made by Crispin, in a house of the City, where he was wont to receive alms, and the rain having prevented the execution of the designe that night, they had now done their work, by thrusting a little boy into the house where the mony was, who made a shift about mid-night to open the door for them.

The three Robbers brought the mony that very night to the Hermitage. Crispin, who was un­willing they should see what female-company he had in the house, receiv'd them in his own cham­ber, and treated them with a Supper. As they supp'd, they discours'd of divers things. There was among them one, who having quitted his Stu­dies, had engag'd himself in that infamous kind of life, not regarding his extraction, nor his en­dowments, which were much beyond ordinary. This person furnish'd them with discourse upon all occasions; whence it came that Crispin desir'd him to divert them a little, and, to drive away the time a while after supper, to entertain them with some History or Novel, for he had abun­dance of them. He press'd him the more ear­nestly, that Rufina might also participate of the diversion, who, from the room where she was, might hear all their discourse. She was very glad, to find, that Crispin was the secret entertainer of so virtuous a Society, and immediately con­cluded [Page 160] by their discourses, that they were the same persons, whom Garay had over-heard in the wood. The young man, whom the Hermite had intreated to tell them some story, display'd the excellency of his wit and memory, in the relation of the ensuing Novel.

THE SECOND NOVEL.
The Knight of the Noble Order of the Marigold.

DOn Pedro Osorio, a Gentleman of very high Quality, was born at Ville-Franche de Vierco, an ancient City, upon the confines of Galicia. He was descen­ded from a very noble Family, and was brought up in his own Country, with his elder Bro­ther Don Fernand Osorio, and a Sister called Donna [Page 162] Constantia: but his Father and Mother leaving this World ere he was full fifteen years of Age, he was forc'd into that course of Life, which is commonly taken by the younger Brothers of Noble Houses, who have not much left them, and with the little Money he could get together, he went to trail a Pike in Flanders. He behav'd himself so gallantly there upon several occasions, that he got the Colours of a Company of Foot, and after other successful encounters against the Dutch, he was advanc'd to the Command of the same Company. Having after­wards in that Charge made yet greater demonstra­tions of his Conduct and Valour, his most Serene Highness the Arch-Duke Albert prevail'd with his Majesty to bestow on him the Order of the Knights of Alcantara, with an assurance of the first Com­mandery, that should be void, belonging to that Order. Having obtain'd that, he still continu'd his Military employments, till such time as there was a Cessation of Arms made between the King and his Enemies of the Low-countries, to last a year and a day. This opportunity, together with the news he receiv'd out of Spain, of his Elder Brother's Death, oblig'd him to desire leave to make a journey into his Country, where two Children his Brother had left, and his own Sister, stood in need of his pre­sence; the former, to be protected by him; the latter, to be dispos'd of in marriage. Don Pedro arriv'd at Ville-Franche, fifteen days after his Sister's departure thence for Vailladolid, where the Court was then, with an Aunt of his, a Widdow, his Fa­ther's Sister, who would needs have her along with her; this old Lady, who had a great kindness for [Page 163] her, having resolv'd to leave her all she had at her Death, in hopes she might with those advantages meet with a better match.

As soon as Don Pedro was come into his Country, he took order about his Brother's Estate, and the Tuition of his Nephews, whom he left in the custody of an antient Kinsman of his, whom having entrusted with the care of their education and maintenance, he resolv'd to go and visit his Sister at Vailladolid. As he was setting things in order for that Journey, passing through the broad place of Ville-Franche, he saw abundance of people, going towards an Inn, which was at the end of it, accompanying two Lit­ters, in one whereof there was an old Gentleman, and, in that which follow'd, a young Lady, whose transcendent Beauty, heightned by the sumptuousness of her attire, ravished the eyes and hearts of all that saw her, but above all those of Don Pedro. He was so enflam'd by that transient sight of her, that, co­vering with his Cloak the Order he was of, he fol­low'd the Litter, so transported out of himself, that he reflected not on what those who observ'd him might say of his demeanour. He saw her lighting at the Inn-gate; and if he was before rais'd into a kind of astonishment at the beauty of her Face, he was now no less, at the handsomeness of her Body, the magnificence of her Cloathing, and the sweetness of her Complexion. In a word, he was reduc'd to such an extremity by the passion he immediately felt in himself for her, that he made enquiry, and set himself to find out, who that miracle of perfections might be, which had so of a sudden surpriz'd his Heart, and attain'd so absolute a disposal of his Li­berty. [Page 164] He was soon satisfy'd as to that particular, for, meeting with one of her Servants going from the Inn towards the Market-place, he with much civility ask'd him, who that old Gentleman was, and whither he was then going? The other, who under­stood civility well enough, return'd him this Answer, ‘The Gentleman, whose name you are so desirous to know, and who is my Master, is called the Mar­quess Rodolfo, a person of the highest Rank next to Soveraign Princes, who comes into Spain, an Ordinary Ambassadour, from the Emperour of Germany, to his most Catholick Majesty the King of Spain. He brings along with him his beautiful Daughter, the Lady Margaret, to be married to Leopoldus, his Excellency's Nephew, who is at the present at Vailladolid, a Gentleman of extraor­dinary worth, who in the flower of his Youth left Germany, to go and see foreign Countries, attended onely by four Servants. He has travell'd over all France, England, and Italy, and is now resolv'd to make his aboad in Spain, having already continu'd some time at the Court, with a very great Train. He hath a House magnificently furnish'd, and is very highly in favour with his Catholick Majesty, and well respected by all the Nobility about the Court; nay his generosity and excellent conver­sation have acquir'd him the esteem of all the greatest persons in this Country. This marriage of Signor Leopoldus had been treated of in Germany, with this Lady Margaret, the onely Daughter of my Master, who leaving his Country upon his being honour'd by the Emperour with the present Em­bassy, hath sollicited the business with greater [Page 165] earnestness; so that his Imperial Majesty seems desirous that this Match should go forward. We came by Sea, but had such distress of Weather, that we were like to be cast away several times. While we were in that danger, my Master, a Gen­tleman much inclin'd to Devotion, made a Vow that if he escaped, through the intercession of the glorious Patron of Spain, (for whom he hath a particular Devotion) he would visit the place where his sacred Body lies buried, so well known all over the World for the great Miracles daily done there. Being come to Vailladolid, my Ma­ster continu'd there fifteen days, during which time all things were agreed upon in order to the Marriage. That great affair being concluded, he would needs perform his Vow, and go to Saint James's. His Nephew Leopoldus is not come a­long with him, but stays at Vailladolid, to send to Rome for the Dispensation, for the Lady Margaret and Signor Leopoldus are Cousin-Germans. Thus Sir, I think I have satisfy'd your desire, as to the question you put to me.’

Don Pedro gave the Servant very great thanks for the accompt he had given him of his Master, and assur'd him he would requite his kindness, if it lay in his power, and so took leave. This discourse hap­pen'd after night, as they walk'd over the Market-place, it being so dark as that the Marquess's Servant could not take any particular notice of Don Pedro, who did all he could to avoid being discover'd. The accompt he had receiv'd, that the Beauty, which had stollen away his heart at the first sight, was already engag'd, and, within a short time to be married, [Page 166] caus'd him to return home a much sadder Man than he had left it. This affliction, with the love which he already had for her, bereav'd him of all rest. That very night, he would needs go and see the Marquess and his Daughter at Supper, yet so as that he might not be perceiv'd by them. The master of the House plac'd him so as that be might see all at his ease, yet not be seen himself; and this was to leap out of the frying-pan into the fire. The next day, the Marquess went thence, so as that Don Pedro saw not the Lady Margaret any more that time: nor was he much troubled at it, for having in the night advis'd with his pillow, to find out some remedy for his disquier, he found it necessary, that he should not be seen, either by the Marquess, or his Daughter, or any one belonging to them, that he might the better compass a design which onely Love could inspire him with­all.

The Kingdom of Galicia is very full of moun­tains, and consequently the way to Saint James's must be troublesome to travel, so that the Marquess could make but short Journeys, whence Don Pedro inferr'd, that he could not be back in less than twenty days; presuming he would make some aboad at Compostella, to do his devotions, and refresh himself, ere he set out for his return. Accordingly, be dis­pos'd of his affairs in order to the design he had be­thought himself of, and, taking leave of all his ac­quaintance, he went to Pont-ferrada, a Town which lay four Leagues further from the Court than Ville-Franche. He took up his Quarters at an Inn, whence he stirr'd not in the day-time, but onely took the air a little in the night, yet with such a caution not to be [Page 167] known to any, that he discover'd himself to none of the Inhabitants, but onely his Land-lord, whom he acquainted with his quality, and the design had brought him thither. He was attended onely by one Servant, whose fidelity and courage he had many years experienc'd, for he had serv'd him as a Soldier, and waited on him, from the time of his first depar­ture from Ville-Franche. Felician (so was this faith­ful Servant named) perceiving his Master more me­lancholy than he had been wont to be, and that somewhat kept him from resting in the night, for he heard him disquietly turning in his bed, and sighing ever and anon, he imagin'd that the cause of his disturbance was not at Pontferrada, inasmuch as if it had been, he would not have fail'd, night or day, to discover by his visits, what could not be known by his disquiets and sighs. Thus this discreet Lover not discovering any thing of his secret passion, Felician could not ghess at the occasions which bred such a di­straction in his mind: nay though he did all lay in his power to pry into it, yet could he never meet with any satisfaction. One day, finding his Master all alone, and not able to endure that reserv'dness in him any longer, he thus spoke to him.

‘I should never have imagin'd, Sir, that you could be guilty of so great a closeness towards a servant, whom you have ever found faithful, and to love you even beyond his own life. You have heretofore thought me worthy the knowledge of your most important secrets; pardon me, if I pre­sume to tell you, that your silence now gives me just cause to conceive, that you have not the same thoughts of me, and that I must be guilty of some [Page 168] crime, whereof I have not my self the least appre­hension. Wherein, I pray, Sir, may I have offen­ded you? You must needs harbour some ill thoughts of me, since you conceal from me the disquiets which deprive you of all appetite to meat or rest. Sure they proceed from Love, or I am mightily mistaken. You close not your eyes all night, and spend the day in retirement, avoiding all society, and giving your self up to perpetual solitude, and melancholy; which I am extremely troubled to see. You have left your Country, telling your friends that you were going to Court; whereas you continue in an obscure place, where you are afraid to be known. 'Tis impossible for me to for­bear grieving at it, as long as I am ignorant of the cause thereof. Pardon my curiosity, Sir, which however impertinent, is an argument of my faith and readiness to serve you. I know it to be the duty of a good and faithful Servant, punctually and implicitly to obey the commands of his Master, without insinuating himself further into his secrets, than he is willing he should be acquainted there­with. I have hitherto kept my self within those bounds, and have so liv'd with you as that I fear not any reproach you can make me. But now at last, my ancient fidelity gives me the boldness to ask you, what business may have brought you to this place; what occasions your disquiet, and what you intend to do in this obscure Inn, where you admit not of any enjoyments? Have you a greater confidence of the happy Master of this House, whom you have known but within these four days, than of an old Servant, of whose zeal and fidelity [Page 169] you have had so many experiences? You have heretofore thought my advice worth the asking, nay have follow'd it, in things, for ought I know, of as great importance as this is.’

Felician having thus ended his complaint, his Master conceiv'd himself oblig'd to make him some Answer, which was this. Felician, I must confess, I have look'd on thee, and that justly, as my friend, a title I may well allow one who hath shar'd with me, in war, the dangers, in peace, the enjoyments I have been engag'd in. It is a very hard thing, not to say impossible, that any man should, in the dis­posal of himself, take a course contrary to that in­tended him by Heaven; though it be said, that a wise man shall have dominion over the Stars, that is (as Astrologers expound it) humane Prudence shall elude the decrees of Fate. I am born to love a Beauty, which surprising my heart, hath withall possess'd it self of all the faculties of my Soul. I find my self no longer Master of my own liberty, that I am not able to make the least disposal of my will, and so it were a madness for me, to oppose the inclination, whereto the sovereign Powers have made me subject. I suffer my self to be foolishly carri'd away by my passion, though I know well enough that I attempt a thing absolutely impossi­ble, and beyond my strength. This is the cause of my disquiet, musing, and melancholy, spending the nights without rest, and the day in solitude, suffering a thousand asflictions which I cannot ex­press, and loving where I am not to hope the least return of Love, by reason of an invincible obstacle that lies in my way. This is that destroys my en­joyments, [Page 170] and poisons all my joy. I have seen that divine Beauty, that mortal Angel, that prodigy of miracles, who pass'd through our Town with her Father the Marquess Rodolfo: the excellent en­dowments she is Mistris of, and which thou maist have admir'd as well as my self, are all the excuse I can alledge for the blindness of my passion; but they feed it not with any hope. There is an obstacle lies between me and the possession of her, which I shall find it impossible to remove. This transcend­ent Beauty is already made sure to a Gentleman of great worth, who is her Cousin-germane, named Leopoldus, and me-thinks I see her ready to join hands with him. I hear such high commen­dations of his excellent parts, that I find the little hope I had ready to leave me. I love her, or to say better, I adore her, and if I may judge by the present agitations of my heart, I may say, it will never be disengag'd from the passion I have for her. I know it is madness in me to think of her, and that I cannot, without extravagance, ever hope she may be mine, to the disappointment of a young Lord, who, with the advantages of bloud, hath all those of nature. Nay I think it almost im­possible to find out some means to acquaint her with my Love, and to get a Letter convey'd to her. I know that the houses of Osorio, Toledo, Astorga, and Ville-Franche, whence I derive my extraction, are not inferiour to those of Rodolfo or Leopoldus, and consequently that I am as nobly descended as she is; that would not be the greatest obstacle, if I could but make my self known at Court. I hear that she intends thither, when she [Page 171] returns from her pilgrimage; I have but three months to carry on this business, which is the time requisite to get the dispensation from Rome. I have a long time consider'd with my self of the means, how I might get access to her, and that I conceive the most likely to take, is to counterfeit, what indeed is but too real, a certain distraction of mind. By acting the mad-man's part, I might so disguise my extravagancies, as that the Father, pleas'd with my humour, may haply carry me along with him to the Court. This certainly is a design fantastick enough, and not onely contrary to my quality, but absolutely opposite to the opinion I should endeavour to raise my self in the world. I have a certain confidence, that at Court I shall be known to very few, because I have been a long time out of Spain. Besides these considerations, the habit I will put on, being altogether extrava­gant, I shall be so disguis'd, that my nearest friends and relations will hardly know me. If, by this means, I can get into the Marquess's house, I shall hope the plot will take. For I have heard this Lady is not fully satisfi'd with the marriage, having understood that her Cousin is a person of a de­bauch'd life, and inclin'd to Women; and that she admits of his addresses onely out of obedience to her Father. I have communicated my design to the Master of the house, as being a discreet per­son, who may serve me, and puts me in hope to get me into the Marquess's service, when he comes to give him an account of my pleasant extrava­gancies, as we have already agreed together. Thus, my dear Felician, have I given thee a faithful cha­racter [Page 172] of my self, thou know'st now as much as I do, as well of my affliction, as my love; mistrust not the confidence I have of thee, and assist me with all thy wit and industry, or expect ere long to be a witness of my departure out of this world.’

Felician, out of compliance with his Master, ap­proved of the project, though he doubted much the success of it. He saw his Master was too far tran­sported to receive any prudent advice; so that he promis'd to assist him according to the design he had laid to get access to his Mistress, and troubled not his thoughts with any thing but how to compass it. It was his business therefore to get cloaths made for Don Pedro, sutable to his extravagance. He put him into a Cassock after the old fashion, with puffs at the sleeves of green cloth, and large skirts, a Cloak some­what like a Rocket, very short, and a Milan Cap, of green Plush. Being thus disguis'd, he chang'd his quarters, and went to the Host's Brother's house, who also must of necessity be acquainted with the secret. All this could not be done without some yellow pieces, whereof he had brought good store out of Flanders, with some Jewels of value he had gotten by gaming, at which he was very fortunate.

About this time the Marquess, with the beautiful Lady his Daughter, were upon their return from their pilgrimage. Before they got to Pontferrada, the beams of his Litter broke, so that he was forc'd to come to the Town on horse-back, and to stay there two days, while the Litter was mended. The Mar­quess took up the same Inn where Don Pedro had lodg'd, as being the best in the Town. The Host be­ing taught what he had to say to the Marquess, for [Page 173] the furtherance of Don Pedro's design, soon met with an opportunity to do it. For, as most persons of Quality, when they travel, are very inquisitive to know what is rare or remarkable at the places through which they pass, the Marquess desirous to hear what there might be at Pontferrada, call'd for the Host. Having travell'd several times before into Spain, he spoke the Language very well, was a very sociable person, and glad of company.

The Host being come into the room, he began to ask him concerning the Antiquities of the Town, the illustrious Families had liv'd in it, the dispo­sitions of the Inhabitants, the beauty of the Ladies, and such particulars: wherein the Host satisfy'd him, giving him a very exact account of all he knew. Among the antiquities and remarkable things of the Town, he came to speak of Don Pedro, telling such stories of him as might raise a desire in the Marquess to see him. ‘There is come, said he to him, within these fifteen days, a very rare person to this Town, fantastically clad in a green stuff; but there is a greater extravagance in his behaviour than there is in his cloaths, and yet in the height of his distracti­on, there may be observ'd certain shadows of un­derstanding and staiedness which render him excel­lent good company. Being asked by some of our Inhabitants, who he was, I am, said he, Son to the River Sil, which passes by the walls of this Town, and descended from one of the most illustrious Families of Galicia. He expects to be treated with your Honour, and your Lordship, in discourse, though he is known by the title of Knight of the Noble Order of the Marigold. The fooleries he tells [Page 174] to make good the title he assumes, are so ridicu­lous, that they force Laughter from the most me­lancholy. He seldome comes out of his Lodging, feeds high, and we cannot imagine whence he should have means to live at that rate. He hath a Servant to wait on him, who knows the length of his foot, and complies with him in his madness, either for his advantage, or that he hath a soft place in his Head, as well as his Master; and I think them both very well worth your notice. I wonder the Knight hath not been yet to wait on your Ex­cellency; for he is mighty desirous to converse with Strangers, and finds them out as soon as he hears of their arrival.’

The Marquess was much pleas'd with this Rela­tion of the Host, and desir'd him to bring him ac­quainted with that noble Knight. The fair Lady Margaret express'd also a desire to see him, for she had been present at the Host's discourse. He gladly satisfy'd them, being over-joy'd the Prologue of the design had taken so well. He went to his Brother's to fetch him, having before told the Ambassadour, that he must treat him honourably, if he expected to make any sport with him; inasmuch as, being ex­treamly self-conceited in his madness, he would be put out of all humour, if he were entertain'd with any dis-respect, or indifference.

The Marquess, who was a person naturally inclin'd to mirth and civility, promis'd him he would observe his directions. Whereupon the Host marches away for Don Pedro, who came into the room very humo­rously in his fool's coat, making wry mouths, and some fantastick gestures, the introduction to his fu­ture [Page 175] extravagance. The Ambassadour, how serious soever he would appear, as being oblig'd by his qua­lity to dissemble, could not forbear Laughing, to see him in that equipage, attended by Felician, who, on the other side, acted very well the part had been given him. He went to receive him at the Chamber-door, with this complement; ‘Welcome to the noblest piece of Gallantry that ever Spain saw; welcome the mirrour of all the brave Knights that ever were celebrated for their heroick Actions.’ ‘The News your Excellency tells me, replies Don Pedro, deserves not the reward may be expected for it: you are extreamly mistaken, if you think your self the first of those who have admir'd Na­ture's prodigality towards me in excellent parts and endowments.’ ‘Give me the favour at least, answers the Marquess, to be one of the most faith­ful witnesses thereof, which no doubt I shall, if you please but to honour me a while with your sweet company. For as a rich Diamond pleases all the world, so the attractions of your countenance, and the transcendent insinuation of your behaviour forces the admiration of all that see you.’

Don Pedro was by this time got near the fair Lady Margaret, whereupon looking with a certain asto­nishment on her miraculous Beauty, ‘My Lord Marquess, said he to him, I beseech you forbear at present the praises you are pleas'd to give me, for it were to profane those which are due to this ex­cellent creature. I pray let me know whether she be your Daughter, for if she be, you will be much concern'd in the Elogies I shall give this—this—this—(well) Miracle. Her coming into the [Page 176] world was to embellish our Hemisphere, to supply Cupid with fresh Darts, to become the Load-stone of Hearts, the delight of the Eyes, the astonish­ment of the Universe, the master-piece of Hea­ven, and the miracle of Nature. By the Noble Order of Knight-wood I am of, I swear, that the very minute I first cast my Eye on this accomplish'd Beauty, I found my heart was grown rebellious, and no longer mine; my will bereay'd of all free­dome; and my soul become absolutely her Slave. In a word, Sir, I think my self somewhat different from what I was before, and the more I feel my self, the more I am astonish'd at the strange Meta­morphosis.’ ‘The commendations you give me, renowned Knight, replies the Lady, smell too much of slattery: I am confident you do not your self believe one half of what you have said, and therefore it will be hard for you to persuade me to it. You consider not that you act against your own Sentiment, when you speak against your Consci­ence. I should never advise a Gallant, who would raise himself an esteem with the Ladies, to hazard his own disappointment by so ill a Prologue; for to give undeserved praises breeds a suspition of imperfections; and to be forc'd to the belief of falshood brings truth into question.’ ‘The truth, I tell you, replies the amorous Extravagant, is such, so pure, so clear, and so far from all suspition of being otherwise, that you shall ever find it as plain­ly in my Mouth as in your own Looking-glass.’ ‘Be not so hasty, honourable Knight, says the Lady to him, be pleas'd to take a Chair, for we desire to discourse with you at leisure.’ ‘Were it Heaven's [Page 177] pleasure, Madam, says Don Pedro, as soon as he was sate, that I might ever continue near you: but I see the honour you are pleas'd to do me will be but short, and my joy soon be over, for I under­stand, that within two days you leave this place, and if you go without me, I shall dye out of pure grief. In the mean time, give me leave to look on this mansion as the Empyreal heaven, since so great a Deity hath honour'd it with her presence.’ ‘We forget all civility, says the Marquess, when we fall into other discourse, before you have first entertain'd us with your own noble adventures, that we may thereby know what respects we ought to pay your worth.’ ‘There is not any due to me Sir, replies the disguiz'd Cavalier; but that the service, I have vow'd you, may be the better re­ceiv'd, I will give you an account of my extraction, and relate you the perfect history of my Life hi­therto: be pleas'd to afford your attention to what I shall say.’

The Kingdome of Galicia was heretofore go­vern'd by Counts, and afterwards by Kings. Gon­domar reign'd in that time, and continu'd a Wid­dower after the burial of his first Wife, by whom he had no other Children but the Infanta, Theo­domira, who coming to reign after him was called the VVenching-Queen. She fell in love with the Gallant Ricaredo, one of the richest and prope est persons in the Kingdome. He ever kept about the Court, and was a Kinsman, though somewhat afar off, to the King, but his principal Favourite, by which means he had access into the Queen's cham­ber, and got of her that favour whereby Mankind [Page 178] is propagated. I prov'd to be the issue of that amorous Union, and the good hour of my birth happen'd at a time that the King chanc'd to be at his Daughter's lodging. The pains of Child-birth surpriz'd her, and being a Novice in such adven­tures, she could not dissemble her Labour, even in the presence of her Father, who imagin'd it was some other accident had happen'd to her. Her VVomen holp her to Bed, not knowing the disease that troubled her; but not long after I came into the world, it seems, to run through all the misfor­tunes that have happened to me since. Being re­ceiv'd into the world by a faithful Servant, who knew of my Mother's Loves, she took me in her Lap, to be deliver'd to a Brother of hers, who was also acquainted with the business. As she went out of the Infanta's Lodgings, she meets with the King, going to visit his Daughter. She was affraid his curiosity would have egg'd him on to examine what she had in her Lap; which made her turn back of a sudden, and, by a secret pair of stairs, go down into the Garden, where having dispos'd me into a little wicker Basket, she put me into the River Sil, which ran by the wall thereof, and told the Infanta that she had deliver'd me to her Brother, as they had resolv'd. I was carry'd awhile on the Chrystal waves of that clear River, but at last, the water growing somewhat rough, I sunk, and was receiv'd into the arms of the God of that River, who encompass'd by his fair Nymphs, conducted me into his own Chrystal palace. You may haply imagine this discourse a feign'd story taken out of the inventions of the Poets; but give [Page 179] me leave to assure you, that the business happen'd no otherwise than as I tell you.

I was brought up by the Nymphs in that secret Mansion, and instructed by the God of the River, who wish'd I might prove worthy so noble an edu­cation. He caus'd me to be instructed in all man­ner of Sciences, and spar'd no pains to make me an accomplish'd person. I learnt three or four Languages, but particularly the Latin above any of the other. Being arriv'd to the twentieth year of my Age, Love, to shew his omnipotency, and that all places are under his jurisdiction, caus'd his flames to fasten on me even through the water. In that Virginal company of Nymphs, there was one, for whom the God of that watery habitation had a particular esteem; and she deserv'd it, for she very much excell'd all her Companions; her name was Anacarsia. Her endowments were extra­ordinary, and her beauty beyond all comparison. In complexion and stature she came somewhat near this fair Lady your Daughter, and had the same advantage over the rest of the Nymphs, as the Delphick Torch hath over the other Planets. She play'd excellently well on all kinds of Instru­ments; to sum up all in a word, she was a prodigy of all perfections. I fell so passionately in love with this beauty that I had not a minute's rest, from the time that little Deity had wounded my heart, with the mortal darts of her sparkling Eyes. I found it a hard business to discover my love to her, in regard I could never meet her alone. She was perpetually haunted by some of those who liv'd in that Chrystal palace; they follow'd her every [Page 180] where, and would never be out of her sight. But one day, when all the other Nymphs were gone to a Musick-meeting, at which were also to be read certain Lectures of Poesie, being the ordinary divertisements of the God of that River, the di­vine Anacarsia purposely pretended some indis­position, to give me an opportunity to speak with her. She sent me notice of it, by one who came to tell me from her, that she kept her Bed onely for my sake, than which I could not have expected a kinder complement from one of her Sex. I went to her chamber, and found her carelessly laid on a Bed of Moss, exceeding in whiteness the fine Sheets she lay on, and disputing as to splendor and light, with the Sun, who then beheld her. I was startled at the sight of so many charms, and was upon the point of losing all Sentiment, an effect natural enough in those who are truly touch'd with love. But recovering my self a while after, though still much troubled, and my tongue but as it were newly loosned, I took the confidence to make this discourse to her.

Adorable Nymph, the glory of these deep Habitations, but the unavoidable Rack of those hearts, which are captivated by your Beauty, my soul, since the first time I saw you, is absolutely dispos'd to serve you; I have no further power over her, she is wholly yours, and glories in her slavery. Treat her as a thing belongs to you, and as I have vow'd her to you with an inviolable fide­lity. You have done me an extraordinary favour in allowing me to declare the amorous passion I have for you: may I further hope that you will [Page 181] allay it, and if I should be admitted to that degree of felicity, should I not be the happiest and the most glorious of all men?

The fair Anacarsia infinitely pleas'd with so obliging a discourse, and the worth she observ'd in me, highly honour'd me with her affection, and compli'd with my amorous desires, in such sweet and melting expressions, as put me in hopes of the happy accomplishment of my Love. But it was not long ere our discourse was interrupted by the God of the River, who finding neither of us at the Meeting, came streight to her Chamber, and slunk in so softly, that he over-heard some part of our amorous conference; which so incens'd him against me, that he immediately resolv'd to give a check to my presumption. He laid siege, with his clear waters, to the chamber of Anacarsia, and ere he had quite damm'd up the door, he cast me out with such violence, that I was got to the bank of the River. I presently heard a voice saying unto me, Guadomarus, thou art descended from Kings, though it be a long time since they have had Scep­ters in their hands; Princes of another Family have displac'd them. Thou art born a Pagan, choose what Law thou thinkest best; if thou wilt follow my advice, thou wilt take that which is ob­serv'd in this Kingdom, under which lived thy il­lustrious Ancestors. I have justly banish'd thee out of my dominions, because it was not fit I should suffer profane love to be made to a Nymph who had vow'd her chastity to me, as I had mine to her. I have promis'd her my protection and assistance in all things. Keep henceforward within thy King­dom, [Page 182] and assure thy self I wish thy good and ad­vancement, so far am I from doing thee any dis­courtesie. Whithersoever Fortune shall dispose of thee, be confident, thou wilt not be out of the reach of my care.

With those words the waters of the River seem'd to stir themselves into a gentle curl, which being presently laid, it became as smooth as it had been before. I immediately found my self (by what adventure I know not) in a Kitchin-garden, in the midst of a bed of Marigolds, which I look'd on as a good Omen, and thought my self oblig'd to derive my name thence. Afterwards, at my bap­tism, I took the name of Peter Gil of Galicia, taking the surname from the Kingdom which had been heretofore in the possession of my Prede­cessors, who have been dead these four hundred years, as I have found in History. Besides that name I have taken as an additional title, that of Knight of the noble Order of the Marigold; I have assum'd it my self, for an illustrious Hero, as I am, may be his own Herald, and by what appellations he pleases raise himself above the sphere of the common sort of people.

Thus have I given your Excellence an accompt who I am, and discover'd to you my true Original. If the qualities and endowments I own, deserve the Honour to be receiv'd into your alliance, give me leave, O most illustrious Marquess, to make my addresses to this super-celestial Beauty, this Miracle of our age, whom Nature was humorously pleas'd to frame for the delight of the eyes, and torment of hearts. I onely expect your good will, give it [Page 183] me, I beseech you, and thereby satisfie my extra­ordinary passion. I think you so generous, that you will not deny it me, if you consider, that granting it not, you bereave me of my life, which you know is the most illustrious of any in Europe; and are consequently satisfi'd, that the world, losing in me, the most renowned Knight it ever had, must withall lose the worthiest Kinsman of his Catholick Ma­jesty King Philip.

He deliver'd these last words with such pleasant gestures, the better to express the violence of his passion, that both the Marquess and his Daughter had much ado to forbear laughing. Felician was asto­nish'd to see the force of that passion, which, of an accomplish'd Gentleman, made a ridiculous laughing-stock; and could turn a person of eminent parts and judgment, one not long before consulted in Flanders as an Oracle, into a counterfeit Extrava­gant. For if he had not pretended the loss of his wits, he had lost all the hopes of his love; and he could not have gotten near so fair a Lady upon any account but that of madness.

The Marquess composing his countenance to more seriousness, return'd him this Answer. ‘Signor Don Pedro Gill, the most illustrious, and onely Knight of the Noble Order of the Marigold, I am ex­tremely pleas'd with the knowledge you have given me of your person, and the accompt you have entertain'd me with of your miraculous birth and noble education. Had a person, less illustrious than your self, acquainted me therewith, I should have mistrusted his discourse, and imagin'd he told me fables: but a person of your worth and quality ought [Page 184] to be credited in all things. What further confirms me in the truth thereof is, that, he is no less then a Prince who speaks to me. Believe me, I have a great respect for your rare Qualities, and such an honour for your person, that I would assure you my own is wholly at your service. I have that esteem for your friendship, that I shall endeavour the con­tinuance of it while I live. I wish my self a natural Inhabitant of this Kingdom, that I might have the greater opportunities to further your satisfaction. I shall stay here but till such time as his Imperial Majesty shall send order for my return; but du­ring the abode I shall make here, command me in any thing lies in my power. As for the permis­sion you desire to make your addresses to my Daughter, I from this time give it you, and I al­low her to accept of it, and to entertain you kind­ly: but she is already made sure to a Cousin of hers, and I have sent to Rome for a Dispensation, which once come, the Marriage will be con­cluded. This obstacle lies in your way, and you will find it a hard matter to remove it. I am sorry I had not the happiness of your acquaintance be­fore; for how gladly would I have embrac'd the honour of having a Son-in-law of your worth and quality, and to see my Family alli'd to the Blood-Royal of Galicia? The end of most Courtships is Marriage; of yours you see it cannot be. To ad­dress your self to my Daughter upon any other ac­count, I know you would not; the husband she expects is a person of so much gallantry, as not to receive any such affront.’

The disguis'd Extravagant broke forth into great [Page 185] resentments upon his obliging discourse, which made excellent sport for all that were present. But having laugh'd their fill, the Marquess and his Daughter could not forbear making charitable reflections on that strange kind of distraction. It pitied them to see a Gentleman every way so accomplish'd, fall'n into such unheard of extravagancies, as to alledge him­self descended from a River, and brought up in it, five hundred years before. While some that were present, purposely to urge him to speak, oppos'd the stories he had told them, and he endeavour'd to give them satisfaction, the Marquess acquainted his Daughter with a thing had come into his mind, which was to carry Don Pedro along with them to the Court, it being likely he would find them excellent sport by the way. They resolv'd to treat him as a Person of eminent quality, having understood by his Servant, that he was really such, and that upon his recovery out of a great sickness, that madness had seiz'd him. The Lady Margaret was very well content, leaving it to some other time to acquaint him therewith. Don Pedro Gil coming to take his leave of the Marquess said to him, That since he was so unhappy as not to deserve his fair Daughter's hand, in the quality of a Husband, he would allow him to love her with a vertuous Love, such as even her Hus­band should not disapprove. The Marquess gave way, desiring him to honour him with his company at supper that night, for that he had somewhat to com­municate unto him. Don Pedro gladly accepted the proffer, and thereupon they parted.

The Marquess and his people talked very much of Don Pedro, wondring at the strange kind of madness [Page 186] he was fallen into. He acquainted them with the design he had to take him along to the Court. The Master of the house where he was lodg'd happening to be then present, told him, that he doubted Don Pedro Gill would hardly be persuaded thereto, if the Marquess treated him as an inferiour; for he was mighty self-conceited, and stood much upon his ho­nour; but if he were willing, there would arise an­other difficulty in the manner of his travelling; in re­gard, said he to him, your Excellency going by Lit­ter, I think he would be loath to go by horse. ‘We'l find an expedient for that, says the Marquess, which is, that my Daughter, as his Mistress, shall command him to entertain her at the side of her Litter; for if his love continues, he will be glad of the opportunity; and he shall have an excellent horse, richly harnass'd, which I have led after me, to ride on when I am weary of the Litter.’

Don Pedro, who had been acquainted with all these discourses, fail'd not to come to supper, to which he had been invited. The Marquess receiv'd him very civilly, and caus'd a chair to be set for him, near his Daughter, which he thought a very signal fa­vour. They talk'd of divers things, the Marquess finding he had an excellent wit in his intervals, which ever clos'd with some pleasant extravagance. They were very merry at supper, and were oblig'd for their diversion to the merry discourses of Don Pedro. At last, the cloth being taken away, the Marquess broke his mind to him in these words.

‘'Tis a thousand pities, most renowned Knight, that a person so accomplish'd as you are, and one furnish'd with all the excellent endowments that [Page 187] recommend men to the favour and esteem of Princes, should as it were defie their Courts, and spend your time and talents in such an obscure place as this is. I have heard that the reason of this your retirement is, that you have not means to live sutably to your condition and the rank you should maintain. If it be so, give me leave to pro­pose an expedient to you, out of the particular esteem I have for your Signory. I shall take it for a very great favour, if you will be pleased to go along with me to Valladolid, where you shall be treated, in my Quarters, with all the submissions and respects due to a person of your quality, yet so as that it shall not cost you any thing. By this means coming to be known, and your worth spread­ing it self, you may meet with a rich wife, of some illustrious Family; wherein my Daughter may do you a kindness, in regard she, having occasion to see many of them, will advance you into her fa­vour, for whom you have most inclination. Let me obtain of your Knight-hood the favour I desire of you; live freely with us, since you would have me believe, that the love you bear my Daughter is pure and sincere; I will undertake it shall be kindly taken by the Husband she hopes to have. I expect your Answer to this particular, and I desire it may be consonant to the esteem I have for your worth.’

Don Pedro was extremely satisfi'd, that the Im­posture had taken so well, and immediately appre­hended, that, living in the house with the Marquess, he should be near her whom he ador'd, which was the main end of his desires; whereupon he return'd him [Page 188] this Answer. ‘No temptation in the world should have forc'd my removal from this place, but the extraordinary Civilities I have receiv'd from your Excellency. I had resolv'd to spend the rest of my days in this retirement, as conceiving it the best course for a person of my Quality, whose Re­venues are much below his Honour, to confine himself to some place, where he is not much known, and so avoid the charge of Servants and Cloaths. But the respects you are pleas'd to have for me, together with this transcendent Beauty, who, by the forcible attractions of her divine coun­tenance, draws hearts after her, as the Thracian Orpheus did living creatures, stones and plants, by the harmonious sound of his Harp, have made me wholly at your service. I shall not trouble either you or my self to tell you how persons of my Qua­lity ought to be treated, as thinking it enough, that I have already acquainted you with my Titles, and particularly that I am of the Blood-Royal. The greatest favour you can ever do me, is, that you command me to wait on your Daughter, which if you do, I shall the more willingly accept of the proffer you are pleas'd to make me.’

The Marquess finding him willing to go along with them, all that remain'd to be done was to per­suade him to do it on horse-back, which he was con­tent to do, that he might the better entertain his Mistress at the side of her Litter. Don Pedro help'd the Lady into her Litter, being proud in his mind at that introduction of his service to her, and that he had the happiness to take her by the fair hand, conti­nuing his attendance on her from their departure [Page 189] from Pontferrada, till they came to Valladolid. All the way along, he entertain'd her with pleasant dis­courses, intermixt with amorous expressions, and at every Inn they came to, she fail'd not to give her Father an account of the divertive discourses she had had with Don Pedro.

The last day of their Journey, Don Pedro would needs feel the pulse of his Mistress as to her inten­ded Marriage, and endeavour'd to discover how she was inclin'd thereto. He brought the business upon the Stage, so dexterously, as that she might not sus­pect him guilty of any impertinent curiosity. It is commonly observ'd that persons any way afflicted are apt to break their minds to any people, but espe­cially to those with whom they are familiarly ac­quainted. Accordingly, to ease her own thoughts, and satisfie Don Pedro, she made him this Answer. ‘Worthy Knight of the most honourable Order of the Marigold, I must needs acknowledge, that my Cousin Leopoldus is a person endow'd with all the Qualities, capable to raise a Woman's Love to the highest pitch, but I have withall discover'd him to be so fickle, and one so naturally inclin'd to address himself to all sorts of Women, not regarding whether they be nobly or meanly de­scended, that it very much cools my affection to­wards him, and makes me fear his alliance, though I find my self sufficiently inclin'd thereto, could I perceive any likelihood of his reforming himself of that insufferable humour. But, far from that, since my coming into Spain, when he should have endeavour'd to give me greater assurances of his affection, I find him as indifferent as to my satis­faction [Page 190] as ever: and God knows with what appre­hensions I am induc'd to condescend to this Match. For if I am now frightned at the thoughts of his mis-carriages, what must I not fear, when he shall become my Master? The obedience I owe my Father, and the necessity I find that this Marriage should be concluded, for the composure of some differences in our Family, make me wholly passive in the business, and so content it should go for­ward. I admit of his Addresses not without some violence to my own inclination, and all I can do, is to pray Heaven, that it would inspire him with better resolutions.’

Don Pedro could have wish'd that she had not been so resolute, as she seem'd to be. He therefore, though then personating a Fool, answer'd her as a wise Man, and advis'd her to bear a while with the failings of her Cousin. ‘Despair not, Madam, said he to her, but Don Leopoldus may become another Man, and that if he be such as you describe him now, that volatile humour will be fix'd in him, when he shall come to be possess'd of so fair and accomplish'd a Lady.’But he resolv'd, upon the first opportunity should present it self, to express his mind to her in other tearms, and to make a full dis­covery of himself to his Mistress.

They came that day to Valladolid, and Leopoldus met them half a days Journey short of it. He was very kindly receiv'd both of the Marquess and his Daughter, whereat the disguis'd Don Pedro was not a little troubled: for finding Don Leopoldus a very graceful person, he began to entertain some doubts of the success of his enterprize. The Marquess [Page 191] thought fit to make him acquainted with Don Pedro, that, by the Character he gave him, he might accor­dingly treat him. ‘Nephew, said he to him, I pray take notice of this noble Cavalier, who hath ho­noured us with his company from Galicia, for his person, and the rare qualities he is Master of are such as deserve the highest esteem. I desire you to respect him accordingly, and assure your self all you do will be below his merit, not onely upon the accompt of the Royal Blood from which he is descended, but also the Romantick title he assumes to himself, of Knight of the honourable Order of the Marigold. He pretends a jurisdiction over all those places where ever any of that Herb grows, and never sees it, but he thinks of the complexion of a Mistress he once had, who spent most of her time in Kitchin-Gardens, in one whereof it was Love's pleasure to make him a Captive to her Beauty, as she was gathering some Marigolds.’

This description made Don Leopoldus take a par­ticular notice of Don Pedro, and he doubted not, as well by his accoutrements, as by the fantastick title he had taken to himself, to conclude him a most transcendent Extravagant, and that, as such, they had entertain'd him into their Company. Accordingly, to comply with his Uncle, he made this complement to Don Pedro. ‘Most honourable Knight of the Marigold, I shall receive your acquaintance with as great satisfaction as I should do that of the greatest Monarch in the world, and think my self infinitely oblig'd to you, that, being a person of such extraordinary parts, you were pleas'd to honour the Marquess my Uncle, and my Cousin, with [Page 192] your company so far out of your own territories. In acknowledgement of that noble favour, be pleas'd to accept the proffer I make to you of ever being your most affectionate and most humble Ser­vant, than which I cannot expect a higher relation to you, when I consider the character my Uncle hath been pleas'd to give you.’

Don Pedro return'd him his most humble thanks, and said to him, ‘I have so high an esteem for what­soever this fair Lady is concern'd in, that I shall make it my business to sacrifice all you think most excellent in me to her satisfaction and yours, as long as it shall please his Excellency to give me leave to be of his retinue.’ ‘How, replies Leopol­dus, may we expect that further happiness as to enjoy your company for some time?’ ‘I see no rea­son you have to be so glad of it, replies the Mar­quess, for you are to know, that Don Pedro Gil is fallen deeply in love with your Cousin, and that it is his affection hath occasion'd this acquaintance, though he hath assur'd me, that, since he under­stood she was design'd for you, that Love is turn'd into a pure fraternal friendship, and under that innocent passion he endeavours to oblige her what lies in his power.’ ‘Be pleas'd to take my further assurance of it, says Don Pedro, that no thought of that may break your rest; for that consideration laid aside, I should think my self capable to raise a jealousie even in Narcissus himself, were he now alive: for I dare, without any vanity, affirm it, that there is not a person in the world may be compar'd to me either as to gracefulness of body; or accomplishments of mind.’ ‘I am sufficiently [Page 193] convinc'd of the truth of what you say, says Leo­poldus, though I have not known you long: and therefore wholly relying on the promise you make me, I shall fear nothing as to your pretensions, which were they any other Man's, I should not be guilty of so great an indifference.’

With these discourses, they got to the Court, and the Ambassadour being alighted at his House, he there found many Ladies, impatiently expecting the arrival of the fair Lady Margaret, who was receiv'd out of her Litter into the arms of her design'd Hus­band, whereat Don Pedro could do no less than con­ceive a little jealousie. Leopoldus, to begin the demonstrations of his Love, had prepar'd a magni­ficent Supper, to which were invited all those, of both Sexes, who were come thither to receive the Ambassadour and his Daughter.

Don Pedro went to Bed presently after Supper, extreamly troubled in mind, that he had engag'd him­self in an enterprize, wherein he found so great difficulties. He could not imagine any means to bring it about, so as that he might come off with credit; he met with too many Obstacles, and what afflicted him most of all, was, the resolution the Lady had taken to satisfie her Father's desire, who was desirous the marriage should be concluded with Leopoldus, though he had been acquainted, as well as she, with him mis-carriages. Felician could not forbear grumbling at the resolution of his Master, which must have ended amidst those difficulties. He expos'd himself as an Extravagant person in a Court where he might have rais'd himself into esteem, and out of a hope not likely to be brought to any effect, [Page 194] he ran himself daily into new inconveniences. The Master and Servant spent some part of the night in discoursing about the business, till at last Don Pedro fell asleep, with a resolution to discover himself to his Mistress, and, if his addresses were not well entertain'd by her, to return immediately into Ga­licia.

The visits of the Cavaliers and Ladies, continu'd six days, during which time the Marquess and his Daughter were often seen, both of them taking much pleasure in the pleasant demeanour of Don Pedro, who acted the part he had undertaken so ad­mirably well, that his Extravagancies became the discourse of the whole Court, all speaking of him as one of the most humorous Fools that had come upon the Stage of a long time; insomuch that some ad­vis'd the Ambassadour to bring him to the Palace, assuring him the King would be much pleas'd with his behaviour. Don Pedro coming to hear of it, seem'd to be very angry, and excus'd himself, out of a fear his Majesty might not entertain him, suitably to his quality and extraction; that he would not run the hazard of receiving an affront, and that the least dis-respect shewn him would force him to violent resentments thereof. The Ambassadour press'd him no further, lest he might put him out of humour, perceiving he lik'd not the proposal, and put it off to some other time, when haply he might find him more inclin'd to compliance.

Leopoldus, who was also Lodg'd in the Ambassa­dour's house, had onely two Servants to wait on him, whom he trusted with the knowledge of all his Love­adventures. It happen'd that both these fell Sick [Page 195] at the same time, a time when he should have shewn more reserv'dness in his Amours, to raise himself into a better esteem with his Mistress; but he, on the contrary, minded his own enjoyments above all things, and never considering the present posture of his affairs, he continu'd his Night-visits, as he was wont to do before her arrival. Being thus disap­pointed of their attendance, who were best acquaint­ed with his humours, he conceiv'd he could not pitch on a fitter person to accompany him than Felician, who, with the leave of his Master Don Pedro, went along with him. Finding him a subtle fellow, and experienc'd in such affairs, he thought him a person fit for his purpose, and accordingly that he might trust him with any thing. He took him along with him three or four nights together to a certain House, out of which he came at a very unseasonable hour. Though Felician went in with him, yet durst he not be so impertinently inquisitive, as to ask who was the Mistress of the House, till the third or fourth night that he had accompany'd him thither; and then being alone with a Servant-maid (who taking ex­ample by her Mistress began to express some kind­ness towards Felician) he ask'd her whose House that was, and to whom Leopoldus made his Visits. Love and Secrecy are seldome found in the same Lodging. She was a Servant, and in love with Fe­lician; there needs no more be said, to make it ap­ppear, that she satisfy'd him in whatever he desir'd to know. Felician understood from her, that that House belong'd to his Master's Aunt, and that his own Sister was the Person whom Leopoldus had at rack and manger, upon a promise of Marriage she [Page 196] had gotten from him a little before under his hand, she, by reason of her retiredness, being innocently ignorant of the treaty of marriage between him and his Cousin the Lady Margaret.

Felician, having pump'd out all these particulars, fail'd not to give his Master an account thereof the next day. Don Pedro was extreamly surpris'd there­at; not without indignation against his Sister, though that procedure of Leopold rais'd him into some hope of effecting his design, presuming the more upon it, in that being equal, as to birth, to Leopold, he was resolv'd ne should never marry any other, than her whom he had so highly dishonour'd. He thereupon commanded Felician to acquaint the Maid who had made those discoveries to him, that the marriage of Leopoldus and his Cousin was agreed upon, and that a Messenger was sent to Rome for the Dispensation, not forgetting the rare accomplishmen [...]s of the Lady Margaret; to the end she might acquaint his Sister therewith, to see what course she would take, and how she would remedy the affront intended her. He punctually executed the orders he had receiv'd from Don Pedro, so that the night following Donna Blanca (so was Don Pedro's Sister called) was acquainted with the whole business. She thereupon had a great contestation with Don Leopold, who impudently deny'd that he had any thing to do, as to marriage with his Cousin. In fine having done all he could to vindicate himself, and appease Donna Blanca, she pretended to be satisfy'd with him, provided he more fully justify'd his innocence the next morning. So she dismiss'd Leopold, who went away well satisfy'd, imagining her to be so too: but resolving with him­self [Page 197] not to give her any visit a while, he pretended some indisposition. Don Pedro understood that night from Felician all that had pass'd between Don Leo­pold and his Sister, and was extremely incens'd against her that she had given credit to the deceitful words of a perfidious man. However he thought fit to let pass two days, to see what course his Sister would take in that time, commanding Felician to prosecute his discoveries.

The next day, Don Leopold not coming to clear himself, as he had promis'd, Donna Blanca was so enrag'd, that she would stay no longer, but resolv'd to be satisfi'd from the mouth▪ the Ambassador, of the affront intended to be done her. She took a Coach, and veiling her face, came to his house, but at such an unfortunate time, that she met Don Leo­pold at the door, who, discovering who she was, pre­sently imagin'd what might occasion that visit, and that her coming thither was to acquaint the Ambas­sador how he was engag'd to her, and to shew him the promise of marriage. Don Leopold receiv'd her with extraordinary kindness, which she taking other­wise than he expected, added the more to his suspi­cion. He told her, he had something particular to ac­quaint her with, and entreated her to go along with him to a room at some distance from his Uncle's lodgings. Donna Blanca would not be persuaded a good while to give him that satisfaction, telling him, that she must first speak with the Ambassador, and that afterwards he should talk with her as long as he pleas'd. That Don Leopold endeavour'd to prevent, assuring her, that he was at that time very busie, look­ing over a Pacquet of Letters he had receiv'd from [Page 198] the Emperor. He was so importunate with her, that she would hear him before she spoke with the Am­bassador, that at last he prevail'd. Whereupon con­ducting her to Don Pedro's chamber, he entreated him to keep her company, till he came back to speak with her.

Donna Blanca having her face veil'd all this time, Don Pedro knew her not, but by the discoveries he had receiv'd, he suspected her to be his Sister. On the other side, he was so transform'd by the extra­vagance of his cloaths, and, what added much to his disguise, his perpetual wearing of Spectacles, that she could not have the least imagination of his being her Brother. Don Pedro kept her company a while, without enquiring into the occasion of her coming thither, and at last, leaving her lock'd up in the room, he went to look for Don Leopold, to know how he would have him dispose of her. He was then busie with his Uncle, sent one to desire Don Pedro, to en­tertain that Lady a while, with this excuse, that, as soon as he could, he would come and dispatch her. Don Pedro returning to his Chamber, immediately lock'd the door.

In the mean time, the Lady Margaret had under­stood, that her Cousin had spoken to a Woman with her face veil'd, in one of the walks leading to the Ambassador's house, and desit'd Don Pedro to con­duct her to his chamber. The jealousie she conceiv'd thereat rais'd in her a desire to know who she might be, which she might easily discover, by reason there was a passage from her lodgings to Don Pedro's chamber, and at the end of it a door, whereof she had the key. She open'd it very softly, lest she might be [Page 199] perceiv'd, and that just as Don Pedro, coming into the room, found his Sister with her face unveil'd, ex­pecting to be seen onely by Don Leopold, whom onely she staid for. As soon as he had taken a sleight view of her, he made this discourse to her.

‘Ungracious and unhappy woman, unworthy the House out of which thou art descended, and that I should call thee my Sister! Is it possible thou shouldst be guilty of so strange an oblivion of thy self, as, relying on the vain promises of a treache­rous person, to come into this house to seek him who hath abus'd thee, and to whom thou hast im­pudently prostituted thy self? Comest thou to im­portune a man that hath forgotten thee, and to court him who hath so palpably deceiv'd thee? If, besotted with a fond love, it be thy design to be married to him, thou hast friends to whom thou might'st have communicated thy desires, rather than have abandon'd thy self to a man who treats thee with so much contempt, and, notwithstand­ing all his caresses, laughs at thee in his sleeve. He is upon the point of marriage with his Cousin; art thou so simple, as that thou onely shouldst be ig­norant of what is known all over the Court? Had I not a respect for the place where thou art, this sword should dispatch thy criminal Soul into the other world, that thou might'st be an example to all such simple Gulls as thou art. Hast thou so far forgotten the respect due to thy Aunt as to profane her house, by assigning Leopold his nocturnal meet­ings in it? Thou shouldst have bethought thy self who thou art, that he is of no better House than thy self, and that thy quality is as high as his. 'Tis [Page 200] a great happiness to thee, that an humour took me to come into this Court, though thou seest me in this ridiculous habit, to prevent, what lies in my power, Leopold's further abuse of thee; which I will do with the hazard of my life. Tell me, infa­mous woman, what hath pass'd between you, that I may take some course therein, and dissemble not the truth in any thing, for it concerns thee no less than honour and life.’

The disconsolate Donna Blanca heard this dis­course with her eyes fastned on the ground and flow­ing with tears, without giving him the least inter­ruption: but at last, to obey her Brother, whose in­dignation she saw justly grounded, she told him, in few words, how Leopold had seen her at a certain publick meeting, that he lik'd her, and, having en­quir'd out her lodgings, he had sent her several Let­ters; that having continu'd his addresses to her with great demonstrations of affection, she had granted him entrance into the house, and that upon a promise of marriage under his hand (which she had about her) she had permitted him to dispose of her as he pleas'd. In fine, she gave him a particular account of all that had happened between them; whereupon he, to add no more to her affliction, put her in some hope, that Leopold should be forc'd to perform the promise he had made her.

The fair Lady Margaret had heard all this dis­course, at the door which was between her lodgings and Don Pedro's chamber, extremely astonish'd how a person of quality (such as she found Don Pedro to be by his discourse) and one of such an excellent wit, could put on a Fool's coat, and behave himself as an [Page 201] extravagant in their house, and all about the Court. She was ignorant of the causes of that strange Meta­morphosis, and yet she had a certain suspicion, that it might be upon her account. On the other side, she reflected on the double treachery of her Cousin Don Leopold, in treating of a marriage with her, having given a promise of the same thing to another, and that a person so highly qualifi'd as Donna Blanca seem'd to be.

Being fully satisfi'd as to those two things, she would not stand to hear them any longer, but rush'd into the room so of a sudden, as that she had not the time to put any thing over her face, nor he, to dis­semble his indignation. Seeing her coming towards them, ‘Ah Madam, said he to her, what mean these Ambushes? What's your design therein, So­vereign Princess of my Soul, and absolute Dire­ctress of my inclinations? Do you use such a trea­chery against those who could not so much as ima­gine you guilty of any such thing? I wish so great a Beauty would not give me any more such appre­hensions, for another surprise of this nature would make me die out of pure joy, as it hath been the fortune of others to die out of an excess of grief.’ ‘There is no dissembling any longer, replies the Lady, for I am fully assur'd that you are not the person you seem to us to be, and that the affliction you are in requires rather secret and real resent­ments, than personated extravagancies. My curio­sity heightned by a little jealousie, procur'd me the discovery of more than you imagine; I have found the perfidiousness of my Cousin Don Leo­pold, greater towards me than I could have ex­pected, [Page 202] considering his pretended kindnesses. I would fain be deliver'd out of the confusion I am in, and I earnestly intreat you to resolve me this riddle, for its obscurity perplexes me very much: but before you take that trouble upon you, give me leave to carry this Lady your Sister to my lodgings, and if my Cousin comes in the mean time to en­quire after her, you may tell him, that she went away much displeas'd at his long stay, and leave the rest to me.’

Having so said, she took Donna Blanca along with her, assuring her she would do all lay in her power to serve her, which put her in hope of a better suc­cess in her affairs, than she could have deriv'd from either her Brother's indignation or Leopold's trea­chery. The Lady Margaret left Donna Blanca among her Women, and returns to Don Pedro, who though at first supriz'd at the sight of her, and the thought of her having over-heard the infamy of his Sister; yet was he withal glad of it, since her jealou­sie and curiosity had discover'd his transformation, and the unhandsome carriage of her Cousin. Don Pedro therefore was very glad to see his Mistress re­turn'd, as might be seen by the chearfulness of his countenance. She desir'd him to take a chair, and do­ing the like her self, she open'd her mind to him in these words.

‘I have been in an extraordinary confusion for some days past, and so incens'd against my Cousin Don Leopold, to see the strangeness of his behaviour to­wards me, that I come to receive your advice how far I ought to resent it, and withal to be satisfi'd in some things, whereof I must yet acknowledge [Page 203] my self ignorant. One is, and that much raises my wonder, to see you counterfeiting the Fool and Extravagant, in a Court, where you might rather act the part of a person of Honour and Gallantry, as having the advantage of being Brother to so fair a Lady as Donna Blanca, who, besides the recom­mendation of beauty, seems to be Mistress of ma­ny other good qualities. You may infer from my discourse, that being of the quality I suppose you to be, you dishonour your self in representing the Natural and ridiculous person, as well in regard of the habit you have assum'd, as the extravagant actions wherewith you amuse the world. Which since I cannot imagine you would do but that there must be some great mystery in it, I am the more desirous to know your motives thereto, in that I conceive it will be a means to clear my mind of certain doubts which now lie somewhat heavy upon it.’

Having deliver'd this with the best grace in the world, the fair Lady was silent, and left Don Pedro the liberty to make her this reply. ‘If you find me at any loss, Madam, in satisfying your desires as to this particular, I question not but you will have the goodness to attribute it, to that distraction poor mor­tals are subject to, when they address themselves to the objects of their vows and adorations. You cannot be ignorant, (though you knew it not by experience) that Love is a powerful Divinity, to whom men sacrifice all things; no impostures but he invents; no intrigues but he is author of; no difficulties but he overcomes, to compass his de­signes. This premis'd, I am in the next place freely [Page 204] to acknowledge, that the day you pass'd through Ville-Franche, which is the place of my birth, I found my self wounded by the lightning of your fair eyes. I did all lay in my power to oppose that passion; but it still prov'd predominant, and the engagement I knew there was between you and your Cousin Don Leopold could not abate ought thereof. Nay though I knew all the particulars of that engagement, wherein you rather compli'd with the commands of a Father then your own inclinations, inasmuch as you look'd on that too happy Kinsman, as a fickle person, unworthy your affection, a truth I have since heard confirm'd by your self; nay though I saw the marriage in a man­ner concluded, yet all could not break the reso­lution I had taken to disguise my self as you have seen to traverse it, and fortune now seems to fa­vour my designes. I am not therefore, Madam, to repent me of the slurre I may have put upon my Bloud and the noble House from which I am de­scended, in acting the Fool's part in yours, into which it was my business to introduce my self by all means imaginable, since the imposture hath prov'd so fortunate, and that I begin to conceive some hope of attaining my desires. You know, Madam, that I durst not have presum'd to make you a real discovery of my self; for besides that I should run the hazard of not finding credit with you, I came in at a time when your marriage was in too great forwardness to be easily cross'd by after­applications. In fine, it was Heaven's pleasure, that a strange conjunction of my Sister's misfor­tune, and your own just jealousies, should give you [Page 205] a discovery of what, haply, I should yet a while have kept from your knowledge. My true name is Don Pedro d' Osorio and Toledo, and consequently I may affirm my self to be of the most eminent Families of Spain, since I am descended from the Seignors of Ville-Franche and Astorga. I have the honour to be Knight of the Order of Alcan­tara, and I have acquir'd it by some years services done his Majesty in Flanders, with hopes, ere long, to be gratify'd with an advantageous Commandery. I have given you an account of my Quality, and have not conceal'd from you my presumption. All I how now to Apologize for, is, my Love; and, I am the more confident of your pardon as to that, if you but ever so little consider the unavoidable influence of your own attractions. Nay I cannot but account it a happy offence, since it hath prov'd the occasion of your being undeceiv'd; and when I make a joynt reflection on my own happiness, and my Sister's credulity, I cannot repent me of a disguise, whereof the satisfaction infinitely exceeds the shame. For it is in your power to restore me the honour I have depriv'd my self of, onely for your sake; and I shall force him, who hath ca­joll'd my Sister out of her Honour, to perform the promise he hath made her, or it shall cost him his Life.’

The fair Lady was ravish'd to hear these words from her disguis'd Lover, and thought her self oblig'd to make an extraordinary return to so extraordinary a demonstration of affection. And being now fully undeceiv'd as to the Sycophancy of her Cousin Don Leopold, she made him this Answer. ‘Signor Don [Page 206] Pedro, That you have, upon so slight a ground as the little beauty I can pretend to, engag'd your self in an enterprize so prejudicial to your repu­tation and descent, I cannot but look on as a tran­scendent expression of your Love; though I do not excuse you as to this, that the noble accom­plishments you are master of might no doubt have more happily and more worthily been otherwise employ'd. I have resented, as I ought, the little respect my Cousin express'd towards me, and therefore it is but just he should not enjoy me, since it may be inferr'd from the forwardness of his matching with another, that he never truly in­tended it. It must needs be an extraordinary joy to me, that I am undeceiv'd before we were joyn'd by that Tye which onely Death can dis­solve. I am satisfy'd as to the little affection he had for me, and I do yours but justice, when I as­sure you, that I shall be so far from forgetting it, that I shall endeavour all lies in my power to re­quite it.’

This was deliver'd with so obliging an accent, that the amorous Cavalier would have cast himself at her feet, would she have permitted it. He return'd her his thanks with a thousand submissions for so extra­ordinary a favour, and the sweet encouragement she was pleas'd to give his Love. It was not now a sea­sonable time to expatiate into Complements; Donna Blanca was left in the Lady Margaret's Lodgings, whose return she expected, and Don Pedro look'd for Don Leopold, to enquire after the Lady he had recommended to his custody. The Lady Margaret went to comfort her whom she had left among her [Page 207] Women, and to put in execution what had been re­solv'd, between her and Don Pedro. About half an hour after her departure thence comes Don Leopold to his Chamber, to look after the Lady he had left there. Don Pedro told him, that he could stay her no longer, that she was gone, thinking he would not have come to her again. ‘Nay then, I am glad I staid so long, says Leopold, since my stay hath occa­sion'd her to do as I would have had her, which was that she might be gone out of the house. This Woman plagues me extreamly, and it was no small happiness to me, that she met not with my Uncle, for I should have been much troubled had she had any discourse with him.’ Don Pedro ask'd him some odd questions, as he was wont to do, to sift some­thing further out of him, but Don Leopold would discover no more. The other easily apprehended, by the little had fallen from him, what course he inten­ded to take; and the indignation he conceiv'd at his slighting of his Sister was so great, that it was not without much violence done himself, he forbore cal­ling him to account for it.

In the mean time the Lady Margaret had visited Donna Blanca, of whom she had receiv'd a punctual relation of her Loves, which were but too much con­firm'd to her by the promise of Marriage she had brought with her. And after she had entred into a second admiration at the double perfidiousness of her Cousin Don Leopold, she sent to desire her Father to come to her, who being alone with her, she made him this discourse.

‘It hath ever been a laudable custom, that Fa­thers should dispose of their Daughters in Mar­riage, [Page 208] as they either pleas'd themselves, or found most convenient for their affairs, but with this caution, that it should not be absolutely done con­trary to their wills and inclinations. Many are yet willing to do so, out of a presumption, that Matri­mony will change Men's humours: but it is sel­dome found to work that effect. Those therefore may be said to do well, who, referring the success to the higher Powers, by an implicite obedience, comply with the disposal of their Parents: but those, in my judgement do better, who use some precaution, and endeavour to prevent the incon­veniences, which they must otherwise fall into. I have ever been ready, Sir, to do whatever you com­manded me, especially in the business now in agitation, though I have found my Cousin Don Leopold to be of a disposition so contrary to mine, that I promis'd my self little satisfaction from our being joyned together in the inseparable estate you intended. I have endeavour'd to obey you, though with some violence to my own inclinations, which directed my affection to other persons not inferi­our to him, either in quality or estate. I consented to this Marriage because you seem'd so much to desire it. When it was fully concluded, there was a person sent to Rome for the Dispensation; and even during that time, when I expected my Cousin should have express'd most Love to me, I have found he hath done quite contrary, since he hath given a promise of Marriage to another Lady, whom you shall presently see.’

She thereupon call'd for Donna Blanca, whom she had left in her own Chamber, and who immediately [Page 209] came before the Ambassadour. Having dispos'd her into a Chair, the Lady Margaret continu'd her dis­course. ‘This, Sir, is the Lady I spoke of, to whom my Cousin hath given a promise of Marriage under his hand, which she now hath about her, and you shall see, how this perfidious person became there­by master of her Honour. Coming hither to speak with you, and complain of the affront intended her, she met him, who, giving her fair wo ds, lock'd her into Don Pedro's Chamber, under pre­tence that you were busie, and that it would be long ere you would be seen by her. Some little curi­osity occasion'd my going to that door, which is be­tween my Lodgings and his, and there I came to the knowledge of this business, having over-heard some part of their discourse. I thought fit to bring this Lady to my Chamber, to give you further sa­tisfaction of so pressing a Truth. Her quality is great, since she is of the House of Osorio and Toledo, two of the most illustrious Families of Spain: She is resolv'd to make the case known to her Friends, who are very noble, and of great credit in this Court, that they may oppose my Marriage and prevent our common affront. I have hitherto obey'd you as a Father, I now appeal to you as my Judge, and I be seech you discharge me of so unjust an obedience for the future: for I am resolv'd rather to confine my self for the rest of my days, in the most austere Monastery about this City, than ever be Wife to a Man so insensible of worth and honour.’

The Ambassadour was extreamly astonish'd at both what he saw, and what he had heard. He exa­min'd [Page 210] the promise made to Donna Blanca, and found, that that discovery alone was sufficient to prevent his Daughter's marriage with Leopold. He immediately resolv'd to break all to pieces, and to dismiss his Nephew, that there might be no more talk of the business. He caus'd the Ladies to with-draw, and sent for his Nephew, whom he shew'd the schedule he had made to Donna Blanca, asking him whether he knew the hand. He not a little troubled, and chang­ing colour, began to deny it: but the Ambassadour told him, that as he could not do it sincerely, so it would be very unhandsomely proffer'd, since the truth would be prov'd by several of his Letters writ­ten with the same hand. At last Don Leopold, not without extream confusion, acknowledg'd, that, blinded by Love, he had indeed made that promise, but he would lose his Life ere he perform'd it.

Don Pedro having quitted his Fool's coat, and put on a very Rich suit, with the Cross of Alcantara on the Cassock, and the Cloak, heard this discourse from a corner of the Room where he was dispos'd, and not able to endure any longer: ‘Signor Leo­pold, said he coming up to him, have a better care what you say, and consider her quality whom you injure. Her birth is at least as noble as yours. She is my Sister, and, as such, I am oblig'd to vin­dicate and protect her: if you perform not the promise you have made her, I wear a Sword by my side which shall force you to do it, if Honour will not.’ ‘I have already consider'd what I am in duty oblig'd to, as to that point, replies Don Leopold, and no Man shall force me, by menaces, to do any thing against my will.’ This so enrag'd Don Pedro, [Page 211] that he gave Don Leopold a challenge. The dispute grew higher and higher, which oblig'd the Ladies to come in between them, and to give order the doors should be shut, lest they might get out to fight.

While these things pass'd, the Ambassadour mind­ed not the person of Don Pedro, and imagin'd him some other person come thither after his Sister: for, seeing him so well clad with the Cross of Alcan­tara, and without Spectacles, which he constantly wore, he knew him not: but having consider'd him better, he found that he who challeng'd his Nephew was the same person, who, by his pleasant extrava­gancies, had found him so much sport. The Lady Margaret perceiving her Father had his Eyes fa­sten'd on him, with some astonishment, imagin'd the cause of it, and gave it a check in these words. ‘He, Sir, whom you see in a habit so different from that he was wont to wear, and who seem'd so ridi­culous to you, is Don Pedro d'Osorio and Toledo. When this dispute is over, you shall know the mo­tives oblig'd him to that disguise.’

The Ambassadour was the more astonish'd at that, and would have press'd his Daughter to make a fur­ther discovery of that secret, had he not seen the two Cavaliers, with Swords drawn, ready to make that Room the place of their Duel. He ran in between them, and endeavour'd by mildness to persuade his Nephew, not to contest in a business, which was not to his advantage; that if he satisfy'd not the injur'd Cavalier, mischief would follow; that he should not rely on any protection he might hope from him, inasmuch as seeing the little reason he had of his side, and the affront he intended that Lady, he should [Page 212] rather be against him, by assisting his Adversary, than countenance him in so unjust a business. That as to his Daughter, he might quit all hope of her, that he should never be her Husband, and that it would dis­cover a great poorness of spirit in her, if she had any thoughts of kindness for him, after she had been so unworthily treated by him.

Don Leopold, finding himself press'd with re­proaches on all sides, and withall hearkning to the advice of his Conscience, thought it best, to follow his Uncle's counsel. He thereupon went with open arms to his true Wife, to whom he once more gave his hand as a Husband, and then embrac'd his Bro­ther-in-law, whom he yet knew not. The Lady Margaret thought it a good opportunity, before the whole Company, to give her Father an accompt how Don Pedro had fallen in love with her, how he got into his Retinue in the quality of a Jeaster; that she conceiv'd her self oblig'd to requite the extraordi­nary demonstration of his affection to her, by an exchange of hers to him, if her Father approved thereof. The old Gentleman had so much mettal left, as to admire the strange conduct of Love in all its operations, and particularly, how it made the wisest Men mad, and the Mad wise, making its ad­vantages of extravagance it self, to compass its de­signs. Without any further demurring, he gave his consent, whereupon the Lady Margaret took him by the hand, and Don Pedro was so happy, as, by odd and unlikely means, to see all his desires accom­plish'd. The solemnities of both the Marriages were put off till eight days after; all the Grandees about the Court came to them. The Balls thereat, [Page 213] and the Tilting were extraordinary: but what more nearly touches the story, is, that the King honour'd these two Cavaliers with great advantages, where­with Don Pedro had also those of a numerous issue, for which Don Leopold needed not much to have en­vi'd him, being the most satisfi'd man in the world with his choice, whom he infinitely loved, and there­by made it appear, that the Inclinations of two per­sons, before they are united by Matrimony, though by some intervening occurrences somewhat remitted, may yet, by that sacred Tie, be heightned into a no­ble and vigorous flame of perfect Love.

THE Novel was lik'd and commended by all that heard it, nay Rufina was extremely satisfi'd therewith. Brother Crispin, who repos'd a very great confidence in her, was nothing troubled that she should over-hear the designs laid by him and his Camerades to search those places, where they had notice there was anybooty. Crispin approved of some of the Robberies propos'd by them, and oppos'd others, for the inconveniences he found in the exe­cution thereof: for they look'd on him as a person of great authority among them. His experience in af­fairs of that kind was such, that he assum'd the title of Director, or rather Dictator of that famous Socie­ty: insomuch that not any one durst contradict what he had once decreed. It was by this time grown very late, so that they would not make a Divident of what they had brought in that night, leaving it to be done at the next meeting, and committing it to the custo­dy of the Hermit, who was their very faithful Stew­ard. [Page 214] Crispin's Companions being gone to their quar­ters, he thought it incivility for him to do the like ere he had made a visit to Rufina, to wish her a good night's rest. He found her a little more chearful than he had ever observ'd her before, whereat he was very glad. He ask'd her what she thought of the Novel; she told him, that she thought it very pretty and full of diversion, and that if she might often hear the like, they would procure some abatement of her me­lancholy. ‘Take a good heart, Madam, says the Hy­pocrite to her, I hope you will here see an end of your affliction; we shall endeavour to find you all the divertisement we can, and 'tis possible you may not repent your being among us, if you will but remit something of your reserv'dness, and lay aside, as a thing extremely strange in this place, some part of your modesty.’ Rufina thought it time to alleviate her severities with some affability, and to quit her feigned grief. From that time, she be­gan to treat the Hypocrite with greater kindness, that she might the better execute the design she had to make a Novice of an old Projector. Crispin went to bed, half laid asleep with her favourable looks, and the hopes derived thence, that the Fort would within a short time be reduc'd, since he had made his approaches so near, and taken off the Mask of his feign'd Hypocrisie.

The next morning at the very break of day, Cri­spin's companions left the Hermitage, to seek out their livelihood, at their cost, who least mistrusted them. The Hermit himself was soon after for his march into the City, to beg alms, where he was wont to receive any. He went to take his leave of Rufina, [Page 215] who desir'd him to make very diligent enquiry for her Brother, giving him the marks of his face, person, and cloaths, much different from those whereby Garay might have been found out. He lock'd the door on the out-side, and carried away the key with him, which Rufina was not much troubled at; for she had brought with her from Corduba some of those keys, which open all locks, an invention better than Picklocks, and some other devices, which she had used at the Genoese's. Thus was she left all alone in the Hermitage, having before-hand appointed Garay to come to her as soon as Brother Crispin got to Ma­laga; which he accordingly did, mounted on one of the two horses he had brought with him. Rufina having heard him, open'd the door, and gave him a short account what trade Brother Crispin drove, of his falling in love with her, and how there was a con­siderable summe of mony in the Hermitage, brought thither the night before by his Camerades. Rufina had resolv'd to carry away all the ready mony, in or­der whereto, she sent away Garay back to the City, to get some sleeping-powders, to be administred to Crispin at his return, that so they might have the whole night to do their work in. Garay brought the powder's before Crispin got home, for he spent the whole day in begging, and return'd not to the Hermi­tage till towards night.

Being got home, he was very kindly receiv'd by Rufina, whereat he was transported with joy, for he grew more and more in love with her. He shew'd her what he had gather'd that day, and besides what had been voluntarily given him, he had very uncha­ritably taken, of his own accord, two silver spoons, [Page 216] and a neck-lace of pearl. The neck-lace he imme­diately presented Rufina with, and put it about her neck, with a thousand amorous complements. She gave him infinite thanks for his Present, after which they supp'd very merrily together, he ever and anon entertaining her with some discoveries of his love, whereto she gave him very favourable Answers, pro­mising it should not be long ere he had of her what he so much desired.

It had been ordered among the Ferrets that fre­quented the Hermitage, at the last Committee, that a general meeting should be had there that night, as well for the division of the former booty, as the making of new proposals. Crispin, who was not willing Rufina should be seen, and expected some secret kindness of her, thought it concern'd him to prevent it. As soon as they were come together, he found out an evasion to disperse them. He told them, that he had received notice from the City, that there was a strict search made for a person who had trea­cherously murther'd another; and inasmuch as Sacred places were no Sanctuaries for such cowardly Offen­ders, he feared there would be some sent to the Her­mitage, and if it chanc'd any one of them should be apprehended for some other crimes, he might be seiz'd and carried away prisoner, and afterwards, brought to the Torture, confess what he had not been charg'd with at his apprehension. Persons of that profession are commonly startled at any thing; ac­cordingly they soon credited what their Director said to them and left the Hermitage, adjourning the As­sembly to the fourth night after. By this means Cri­spin was left alone in the Hermitage, with his Mi­stress, [Page 217] who had promis'd to give him satisfaction that night; whereat he was almost out of himself for joy, thinking he should never see the hour, that should give him the possession of that Beauty.

Soon after they went to supper, which was very magnificent, for Crispin had brought some, both wild and tame, fowl, ready for the spit, and a good large bottle of Malaga, which is the best of any wine in Spain. Rufina having plaid the cook, and made all things ready, they began both to eat very heartily, their minds disburthen'd of all care and trouble; healths were drunk, Rufina out-vying the Hermit at that exercise, and having the management of the bottle, she took care that Crispin never drunk without the powder prepar'd for him. He drunk as liberally as the other fill'd, till at last, tumbling down under the table, he fell dead asleep, insomuch that Rufina, to try whether the potion had wrought its effect, pull'd him by the ears and nose, to awake him, but it was to as little purpose as if she had done it to a dead corps. With that assurance, she went down into the Cellar, which was under ground, and out of certain chests she found there, she took all the mony she met with, whereof there was no small quantity. She dispos'd it into bags, which she ty'd with cords, and into long leather pouches, wherein the Thieves had brought it, they having robb'd a rich Drover who was going to Madrid. That done, Rufina comes out, and, by a signal, got Garay to her, who lay hard by perdue for that purpose.

They took all the ready mony they could find and put it on Garay's Bay, and got up on the other horse, and put forward towards Mal [...]ga, extremely [Page 218] pleas'd that they had so easily trapann'd the subtilest and most experienc'd Thief in Europe. They left some things behind them, which might have been well worth the conveyance thence; but it was a Ma­xim of theirs, never to burthen themselves with any thing that might be known or challeng'd. They soon got to Malaga, and took up their quarter's in Garay's Inn, Rufina not being seen by the people of the house, that night nor the next day. She knew what night the Conclave of the Hermitage was to meet; but ere I tell you what course she took, me-thinks I hear Crispin snoring, and calling to me, to give an account of him. He spent that night more innocent­ly than he had done any one of a long time before, for, never stirring from the place where he had fallen asleep after supper, it may be presum'd he thought no hurt. By that time the Sun was got high enough to raise the flies from creeping to flying, he awoke, having not the least apprehension of what had hap­pened to him in the night. He call'd Rufina, re­collecting himself so far, that by his excessive sleepi­ness he had miss'd the opportunity he had so much wish'd for; but all his calling was to no purpose. He sought her all about the house, in the Church, in the Cellar, and not finding her, he went out into the fields to look for her, thinking some strange acci­dent must needs happen to her, when he found all the doors lock'd. He made a second search for her, but finding the chests open'd, and the bags of white and yellow pieces dislodg'd, he was convinc'd of his being robb'd, and that the poor innocent woman, frightned by the thieves, had made her escape, and lay lurking somewhere about the neighbouring fields, [Page 219] inasmuch as she would not venture to go far in a dark night. He sought after her till he grew weary, but she was got far enough out of his reach. At last, hearing no account of her, it came into his mind that she might be guilty of the robbery; which struck him so to the heart that he was ready to hang himself, to think that so famous a Rogue, and one that had been, for so many years, the Dictator of a Crew of Vil­lains, should be so basely trapann'd by a woman; and then he inferr'd that all she had done was onely to bring him into the noose. However, he went that day, as he was wont to do, to Malaga, to try if he might find her in the City. He met Garay, but having ne­ver seen him before, he was never the nearer.

Rufina and Garay had set things in order for their departure to Casteel; but she would not go till she had serv'd the hyppocritical Hermit such a scurvy trick as that she might never fear any requital from him. She knew the time of their meeting at the Hermitage, a place intended for other uses than to be the Rendezvous of a pack of high-way-men and house-breakers. That they might be all found to­gether, to receive the chastisement due for their vil­lanies, she writ a Letter to one of the Magistrates, acquainting him with the time, when, and the place where he should find the Malefactors, and how they might be taken. That done, Garay and Rufina took their way for Toledo, towards which place, we shall leave them on their way, to give an account what was done upon the Letter. As soon as it was night, the Magistrate, attended by some of his men, went to the Hermitage, besieg'd it, and got in. He found in the first place Crispin, little thinking to receive [Page 220] such a visit: yet was it seasonable as to the present securing of his life; for they were beginning to squabble about the mony lost, and the others charg'd Crispin with treachery, and 'tis likely he had had the worse among them, being but one to three. Having secur'd him, they search'd the whole house, and at last, went into the Cellar, where they found his Companions, as also ladders of cords, pick-locks, iron-crows, and all the other engines fit for Gentle­men of their profession. They also search'd the chests, in which they found several pieces of Plate, and other things of value, undeniable demonstrations of the devout exercises of that vertuous company. They were all taken and brought away Prisoners. Crispin himself was so much at a loss, that he knew not what Answer to make to what was ask'd him. Whereupon one of the Officers made him this comfortable dis­course: ‘Ungracious and unfortunate man, vile Hypocrite, who, cover'd with the cloak of san­ctity, dost commit such robberies! How will the world be surpriz'd to find it self so mistaken in thee? How will others, who have entred into that holy profession of renouncing the world and its enjoyments, suffer in the respects of men, when the infamous History of thy life comes to be pub­lish'd? Were not the charities bestow'd on thee every day by so many good people, sufficient for thy competent subsistance, that thou might'st spend thy time comfortably in a place so holy and so convenient for the serving of God as this is, but thou must give thy self over to the basest and most disgraceful employment in the world? Thou art now fallen into my hands, and I promise thee, that [Page 221] neither thou, nor thy companions, shall get out of them, till you are to be honourably conducted to the Gallows or some worse place.’

With these just reproaches, he carried them away to the City, where they were condemn'd to die, all the others having, upon the Rack, confessed several crimes, charging Crispin to have been the man, who gave them intelligence of the robberies, that were to be committed, and many times open'd the door for the better execution thereof. As for his part, he express'd so much courage and resolution in the midst of his torments, that he obstinately deni'd whatever was laid to his charge. Yet could not all prevent the passing of the sentence upon him, but the execution of it was a little delai'd, as to him, by reason of his falling into a violent Feaver in the prison: but his companions were all truss'd out of the way. Not long after, Crispin being, upon his recovery, to follow them, went out of the prison, at noon-day, in wo­mans cloaths, not without the great astonishment of all the world, who expected to see his Exit hence, and to the greater affliction of the Jayler, who was conceiv'd to have been corrupted with mony, and to have set him at liberty. But he clear'd himself, by producing the person who had furnish'd him with the cloaths, wherewith he had disguis'd himself, who was condemn'd to spend the remainder of his life, though he liv'd ninety-nine years, in the Gallies.

The end of the Third Book.

LA PICARA, OR The Triumphs of Female Subtilty.
The Fourth Book.

Rufina and Garay were by this time gotten to the Imperial City of Toledo, where they had resolv'd to settle them­selves. To give the greater credit to her reputation, she pretended that Garay was her Father, and took a very fair House in the most eminent quarter of the City; her train consisting of a Slave she had bought at Malaga, a waiting Gentlewoman, a Lackquey, and a Gentle­man-usher, she had taken up at Toledo. She put on the habit of a Widdow, and Garay, very handsomely clad for a person of his Age, went under the name [Page 223] of Don Jeronimo, and she under that of Donna Emerentiana, their Surname de Menezez, assuming their descent from the illustrious Family of those, who, under that name, are so well known in Por­tugal. She bought Houshold-stuff suitable to the condition of a Widdow of Quality, and accordingly she was visited by the chiefest Ladies of the Quar­ter, who were extreamly satisfy'd, as well with the charms of her beauty as those of her conversation, insomuch that they accounted themselves very happy in her Neighbour-hood. She soon became acquaint­ed with many of her own Sex, who took for Gold all that Glister'd in that subtle Woman. Going every day to hear Mass in the great Church, it could not be long ere she was observ'd by some of the young Gallantillos of the City, who, having dispatch'd their Devotions, spend some time in contemplations of the Ladies who may be present. Accordingly, she being noted to be one newly come to Toledo, and withall very handsome, there wanted not those who began to Languish for her, and make their Addresses to her.

While she is informing her self who were the richest and likely to have most ready Money, that she might not, for want of practice, forget her old Trade. We shall leave her taking her measures, and her new Gallants preparing for their amorous adventures, and take a turn to Malaga, to see what became of Crispin, after he had so cleaverly got out of Pri­son.

Finding himself once more at liberty, he left Malaga, and got into a Wood, not far from the City, where he continu'd till Night, and then he [Page 224] went to the Hermitage, where he had Liv'd many years in the reputation of a good Christian, and a person of a very exemplary Life. As soon as he was convicted of the crimes laid to his charge, there was put into his place a very Religious man, who went about to several Churches, begging alms, to build a little Hospital there. He was not as yet fully setled in the Hermitage, the place being not yet furnish'd. Crispin got thither in the night, and opposite to the South-side of it found a place, where he had laid up somewhat against a Rainy day. Breaking up the ground with a Hoe he had left in the Wood, he came at last to a little Earthen pot, wherein was a Bagg, and in that all the Money he had reserv'd, of all the Robberies he had been engag'd in; for he ever had two shares of the Booty, for his two Offices of Di­rector, and Concealer, of the good Company which frequented the Hermitage.

With that Summ, which might amount to five or six hundred pounds sterling, all in Gold, he went to the City of Jaën, where he had a friend of the same profession. This friend of his had heard of his escape out of Prison, whereat he had been not a little troubled, inasmuch as he might have made some commemoration of his Camerade upon the Rack, with whom he had been engag'd in several Rob­beries. He was very glad to see Crispin at liberty, in hopes of his direction and assistance in some new enterprises. Crispin was but poorly accoutred, as having been uncas'd of the Hermit's habit, which he had shewn himself unworthy of; but the Bagg he had so well Lin'd was a soveraign remedy against Nakedness. He gave his companion Money to buy [Page 225] him a Light-colour'd suit, and having taken off his long Beard, he put on a Periwig, which, with a Sword by his side, disguis'd him so that he seem'd to be quite another Man, and not to be easily known even by those who had been particularly acquainted with him. In that Equipage he continu'd some time at Jaen, till there happen'd an opportunity to commit a considerable Robbery at Andujar, which was very faithfully divided between him and his companion. But fearing the person who had been Robb'd would make a diligent search after them, Crispin thought it their best course to be gone thence in time, the adventure at Malaga being still fresh in his me­mory.

They took into their company a third person, whom they met with by chance, a young Man, born and bred in the City of Valentia; and they came to Toledo, where they had never been but as they travell'd through it. The new Camerade they had taken in, was call'd Jaimo, a poor Rope-maker's Son of Valentia, who, for some roguish exploits he had done there, which brought him some Money, had been oblig'd to absent himself thence for some years. He was a handsome, fair-hair'd, sprightly young Man, and besides the accomplishments of his person, he had an excellent Wit, and was not inferiour, in sub­tilty, to either Crispin or his Camerade.

This young Adonis went very Gallantly, upon their charges who either were ignorant or mindless of the old Proverb, Fast bind, fast find. He had the art to transform into the current Mode all the Cloaths he got by slight of hand, and so disguis'd them by changing the Laces and Trimming, that the [Page 226] very Owners could not have known them. On a certain Festival day, he put on a very Rich suit, and went along with Crispin to Mass, in the great Church, and into the same Chappel, where Rufina was at her Devotions, under the name of Donna Emerentiana. Though, as I told you, she was in a Widdow's habit, Crispin knew her at the first blush, and was not a little glad to see her. He kept himself from her know­ledge, for fear of being discover'd, though there was no great fear of it, as he was then accoutred. He shew'd Rufina to his Camerade Don Jaimo, who was infinitely taken with her; and having desir'd him to dogg her, so as she might not perceive it, he did it so cunningly, that he kept his Eye on her, though seem­ing to look another way, till he saw her go into her House. He was very glad to hear by the Neighbours, that she Liv'd there, and that in great Reputation, under the name of Donna Emerentiana de Menezez, lately come from Badajos, with her Father, to live at Toledo.

Crispin had a devillish pique against her, for the scurvy trick she had shewn him at Malaga, and heartily swore, that since he had so fortunately dis­cover'd her, he would not leave Toledo, ere he had call'd her to an accompt for the Money she had car­ried away from the Hermitage, together with the interest, and all the charges of his Imprisonment. To compass his design, he instructed Jaimo what he had to do, and whom he should represent, without making a real discovery of himself to her. It was not long ere an opportunity offer'd it self to pro­secute the design they had agreed upon. One even­ing, about an hour before night, there chanc'd to be a [Page 227] quarrel in the Street, where Rufina liv'd, wherein there were two Men wounded. The Officers of Justice presently came in, and carried the wounded to their Houses to be dress'd, and secur'd some others that happen'd to be then in the street, though no­thing engag'd in the quarrel; which occasion'd others to run for't, it being no great pleasure to come into trouble and restraint for another Man's crime.

Crispin's plot took its rise from that Quarrel. Jaimo, instructed by that subtle Hypocrite what he had to do, had taken the Cross of Knight of the Order of Montesa, an honour bestow'd by the King onely on the natural Inhabitants of the Kingdome of Valentia; and to that purpose he had gotten a very light handsome black suit made him. In this Equipage, being come to Rufina's house, and having given his Cloak to Crispin, he drew his Sword, and went in, acting the part of a Man much astonish'd. Finding the door which led up stairs open, he goes up, and came into the room where the jovial Wid­dow was with her Maids. They were a little startled to see a Man coming in to them with his Sword drawn, without a Cloak, and in a manner frightned out of his Wits. Rufina rose from the place where she was sate, and found the Impostor in the posture of a suppliant, addressing himself to her in these words. ‘If compassion be not at too great a di­stance from so beautiful a countenance, be pleas'd, Madam, to let your House be my Sanctuary against the Officers of Justice by whom I am pursu'd. That I have Kill'd a man, I must acknowledge, but it was in my own defence, in this street, where [Page 228] he had set upon me with advantage. The Officers persuing me at the heels, I had infallibly been taken, had I not very courageously made my party good, by laying two of the most forward with their Bellies to the Sun, who with the Commissary had me in a manner by the Collar. I escap'd from the rest, by the pure activity of my Leggs; for it is prudence for a Man to give way to the Magi­strate, whom he is oblig'd to respect. But they persisting still in the pursuit, I found your House open for my safety, and I have taken the boldness, shutting the door after me, to come up into your Chamber. I therefore most humbly beseech you Madam, if it may be done without your incon­venience, that you would dispose me into some secret corner of your House, till the people now in the street be dispers'd, and that I may safely go hence. But if my presumption puts you to any distraction, or give you any trouble, you need onely give me the least signal, and I will immediately go out into the Street, though I were sure to leave my Life in it, as choosing rather the horrours of Imprisonment, than to be over-importunate to so fair a Lady.’

We have already given a description of this fine Orator. Rufina look'd very earnestly upon him; and she who never had lov'd any thing comparably to Money, immediately found her self susceptible of an inclination towards that young Man, who seem'd to her as eloquent as she had thought him handsome. Whereupon she return'd him this Answer. ‘You have done me but justice, Sir, when you thought me sensible of honour and compassion; persons [Page 229] of my condition are never destitute thereof to­wards such as you are. I presume, by what I see of you, that you are a person of Quality; and therefore sympathizing with your affliction, I heartily proffer you my House, to continue in it as long as you shall think fit, to avoid the pursuit of those who look after you: for it were not just you should fall into their hands, since, by my means you may be secur'd from so great a danger. Fear not any thing here; for though the Officers should come into the House, I shall put you into so secret a place, that they shall never find you.’

The young Spark gave her a thousand thanks for so signal a favour, which oblig'd her to make him this further discourse. ‘You very well know, Sir, by the habit I am in, with what reserv'dness I ought to live in my House, and yet I freely proffer you the security you promise your self in it, till you have accommodated your affairs. But I have a Father, now from home, who will expect an ac­compt of my demeanour: and if, at his arrival, which it may be will be this day, he will entertain you with a Room in his Lodgings, as I am confi­dent he will think it an honour, I shall be con­tent.’The young Gallant renew'd his thanks to her, for that continuance of her kindnesses, and he express'd himself so gentilly, that she was more and more taken with him.

In the mean time, those who were of the Plot, knock'd very confidently at the door, calling upon them to open to the Officers. The family was at first a little startled; but Rufina, recovering her self out of the little disorder which appear'd in her counte­nance, [Page 230] took Jaimo by the hand, and led him into an upper Room which had a double Partition, before which there was a piece of Hangings, and left him there, with an assurance it would be impossible to find him out. That done she went to open the door, and Crispin impudently comes in, without the least fear of being known, being disguis'd as he was. He was attended by some Rogues of his Profession, who with Lanterns and Fire-arms, personating the Officers of Justice, uncivilly rush'd into the Room where Rufina was. Crispin gave her a kind salute, and counterfeiting his Voice suitably to his Person. ‘I know, Madam, said he, that it speaks a kind of incivility, to come so boldly into a VViddow's House; but my Charge obliges me thereto, and therefore you will excuse me. The Lieutenant Criminal hath commanded me, to search all the Houses hereabouts to see if I can find a Malefactor we look for. Our search hath hitherto been to no purpose, and we have but this one House to search; give us therefore leave to look into all the Rooms of it, that we may satisfie our Superiours, and withall our own Consciences.’ ‘You may assure your selves, said she to them, upon my word, that I saw no Body come into my House; but, that you may not think amiss of me, or conceive me a Woman to shelter Murtherers, and Mischievous persons, search, and see whether you can find the person you look for.’One of the Maids took a Wax-candle to light them, and they visited several Chambers, yet not too exactly, that the slightness of the search might be thought a Courtesie.

That done, he civilly took leave, recommending [Page 231] the prosecution of the plot to his Camerade. The counterfeit Knight came out of his hole, pretending an extraordinary gladness, that he had escap'd their hands, who sought after him, and in expressions full of acknowledgment, he highly celebrated the favour he had receiv'd from the fair widow. She, who, the more she look'd on him, more and more fancied him, made him a thousand demonstrations of Friend­ship, assur'd him he should be waited on at her house according to his worth; and if he would have the patience to stay till her Father came in, she was con­fident he would not suffer him to go out of the house that night.

The Gallant, who perceiv'd the Lady began to grow warm, was the more earnest to beg a leave which he saw would not be easily granted him, told her, it would be his best course to take Sanctuary in some Religious house, whence he might send notice to his people at the Inn, where he was; that he was to go the next day for Sevil; and that he thought it not safe for him, to go that night to his quarters. Rufina, troubled to find him so resolv'd, more ear­nestly presses his stay, represented to him the great hazard he ran, and desir'd him by all means to stay two hours longer.

Jaimo, who desir'd nothing so much, was per­suaded to do so. She desir'd his permission, to go and take order about some things her Father had left her to do, whereof she was to give an account at his re­turn. This was onely a pretence to get out, to confer with her slave, in whom she repos'd great confi­dence, what course she should take. She took her in­to another room, and freely acknowledg'd to her the [Page 232] inclination she had for that Knight; that it troubled her to let him go out of the house, lest he might en­danger his life, or at least hazard his liberty: but on the other side, she knew not, whether Garay would take it well that she detain'd him, and that he should be in the house all night. At last, much trou­bled at these difficulties, she desir'd her to give her the best advice she could, and what she would re­solve, were she in her condition.

The Slave, who was as subtil a baggage as her Mi­stress, and immediately apprehended, that the ad­vice she would best like must be such as promoted her passion; ‘I must acknowledge, Madam, said she to her, that it would argue an excessive easiness of nature in you, considering the short time you have known this Cavalier, to unbosom your self so far, as to give him a passage into your heart; and I think you would do imprudently on the other side to persuade Garay, when he comes, to suffer his abode this night in the house. My advice is, since the house is large enough, and that there are two or three empty rooms, into one whereof he may go through your lodgings, that you lodge him there, and make not any body acquainted therewith. It shall be my care to bring him thither, when I have made his bed, and supply him with all things re­quisite, without Garay's knowing of it. You know Garay is to be gone within these two days for Madrid, and then you may freely enjoy your self with this young Gentleman, whom it will be easie for me to persuade, that the search being still about the street, it is absolutely necessary that he stay, if he will not hazard his life or liberty.’The Slave's [Page 233] advice was extremely pleasing to Rufina, who or­der'd her to go immediately and lay clean sheets on the bed, and to put the Cavalier in possession of the room. 'Twas presently put in execution, and not long after, the amorous Widow went by a private pair of stairs, to visit her Gallant. ‘You will haply wonder, Sir, said she to him, that without my Fa­ther's permission, I have ventur'd to receive you into my house, and that in the night: but to secure a person of worth, there may be a little breach made of the rules of modesty. I have thought it most convenient, that, as I have been a means of your avoiding the eyes of Justice, so you should also keep out of my Fathers, to the end you may be here in all safety. Be pleas'd to think your self oblig'd to me for this little service; but I render it you very heartily, nay I think it necessary, in or­der to your safety.’

Jaimo, who perceiv'd this fish would come into the Weel, multiplies his acknowledgments by thou­sands for this new favour. That begat abundance of pleasant discourses between them, whereof the issue was, that he heightning his flattery by his eloquence, insinuated himself more and more into her good opi­nion; & celebrating, one after another, all the perfe­ctions and accomplishments of Rufina, he got the ab­solute disposal of her heart. Yet would she have a little further trial of his sincerity, to see whether it were onely her beauty that drew him in, and whe­ther it were true that the charms of it had so suddenly transform'd a person, who fearfully fled into her house for shelter, into a confident Lover.

Upon this the Slave coming in, and giving her Mi­stress [Page 234] an account that she had obey'd her commands, she took Jaimo by the hand, and led him to the room prepar'd for him. He found it light enough, as having in the midst of it a Branch, of Crystal, where­in were many wax-candles, and a magnificent Col­lation staying for him. He was a little surpriz'd to see she left him alone, but her excuse satisfi'd him, that she would be with him again, as soon as she had seen her Father in bed. At her departure out of the room, she beheld him with eyes so full of love and tenderness, that that new demonstration heightned the Gallant into an absolute confidence of the good success of his enterprise. Garay was not so far stricken in years, but that he had the courage left to pretend to the possession of Rufina; he acted the part of her Gallant, and had he not been already married, he would have treated of a marriage with her. He kept his wife at Madrid, who, as many others do that are cast off, and slighted, bestow'd the time of her Husband's absence on such as would accept of her kindness. Some years had past since he had heard from her, whereupon imagining she might be dead, he had resolv'd upon a journey to Madrid, to make a secret enquiry after her, that, in case she were re­mov'd out of the world, he might prosecute his inten­tions to marry Rufina, who was infinitely oblig'd to him. Upon this account it was that he resolv'd his de­parture within two days.

Leaving him in those thoughts, let us return to Rufina, who set him to supper as soon as he was come in, and, pretending some indisposition, excus'd her self that she could not bear him company. It being his custom to go to bed as soon as he had supp'd, [Page 235] Rufina staid, till word was brought her, that he was fast asleep, and then went to her Gallant, causing her own supper, which was that night somewhat more than ordinary, to be carried along with her. As soon as the cloth was taken away, during the interval which the servants had to sup, Rufina, who was more and more in love with her new Guest, entreated him to give her an account of his life, and sincerely to ac­quaint her with his name, his country, and the occa­sion of his coming to Toledo. Jaimo, whose design it was onely to abuse her, entertain'd her with this Ro­mance, whereto she gave very earnest audience.

‘My Country, Madam, is Valentia, one of the most eminent Provinces of Spain; you know it well enough by name, and haply are not to learn, that it hath a great advantage over several others, as well in regard of Nobility and wealth, as the tem­perature of its climate, and the delightful fertility of its soil. I am of the noble and antient Family of Pertusa, well known all over that Kingdom. My name is Don Jaimo de Pertusa, and the King, for the many good services done him by my Ancestors, hath honour'd me with the Order of Knight of Montesa, and the Commanderie of Silla, which is the best of any belonging to that Order. Besides what that brings me in, I have in other estate as much as may amount to three thousand Crowns per annum. I am the onely Son of the Family, and I made my addresses to a noble Lady of the City I was born in, named Donna Blanca Ceintillas, of one of the most illustrious Families of Valentia, a Lady of excellent endowments. I have serv'd her with all the affection imaginable, whereto she gave [Page 236] me no return, as being pre-ingag'd to another Ca­valier, who was also a Servant of hers, named Don Vincent Poiadas; whereupon seeing my Rival pre­ferred before me, I was exasperated beyond mea­sure. Don Vincent was a person of such an humour, as that nothing would satisfie him, less than to rid out of the way whatever might obstruct his amorous pretensions. Accordingly, one night, meeting with me in the street where my Mistress liv'd, at­tended by three servants, he set upon me, though I had but one with me. I defended my self as well as I could, but at last came off with such wound; as it was conceiv'd I must have di'd of them. There could never be any perfect discovery made of him who had hurt me, though every one suspected who it might be: but the common report coming in to the Magistrate that Don Vincent was my Corrival, he was imprison'd; but, having clear'd himself either by favour or mony, he was set at liberty. Being recover'd of my wounds, and reflecting on the advantage, wherewith my Rival had engag'd me, I thought it but a just requital to fall on him, upon the same unequal terms. I therefore surpriz'd him in the same manner as he had done me, and the result was, that he got off much more wounded than I had been. There happen'd to be some in the street, who knew me, and took their oaths against me, a thing not much practis'd at Valentia, in re­gard the truth is seldom discover'd by that means. Upon this accident it is, that I came thence, for Don Vincent was so dangerously wounded, that the Chirurgeons gave but little hopes of his recovery. I saw his Friends were resolv'd to revenge his [Page 237] death, and was afraid to fall into the hands of Ju­stice. This oblig'd me to leave Valentia, and to come to this City, where I have now been about a month. I have understood by a person of this City, who hath correspondents in several others, that he whom I had hurt is out of all danger, nay in perfect health, and that the treaty of marriage between him and Donna Blanca is concluded, whereof I have a greater resentment, then of having this day met with two men, who hir'd by Don Vincent came hither purposely to murther me. They set upon me in this street, one I have mortally wound­ed, as I think, and by that means made a shift to escape out of their hands, with the assistance of those who came in to part us. I found your house open, and being come into it for refuge, I find my self secure, and that all I have to fear now, is, your fair eyes. Avoiding one prison, I am fallen into an­other; but I think my imprisonment so pleasant, that, if you discharge me not, I shall continue it as long as I live.’

Thus did the counterfeit Don Jaimo conclude his relation, leaving Rufina extremely satisfi'd, to see in that Cavalier, not onely those endowments which might deserve love, but also such initiations of affe­ction, as rais'd in her a certain hope she might one day be his wife: which having discours'd within her self, she immediately made him this Answer. ‘Signor Don Jaimo Pertusa, I am very much trou­bled, that you should come to the knowledge of me at Toledo, upon so sad an occasion to your self; but it abates much of it, that you intend not to re­turn so soon into your Country, for I could wish [Page 238] your residence in this City, and assure you, for my own particular, that if I could oblige your stay, I would endeavour it by all means possible, nay though it were fatal to my liberty. The advantages you would make of it might not haply amount to much, yet can you no less than think your sel [...] oblig'd to me, for the good will I bear you, con­sidering the little time I have had the honour to know you. Such as it is, if it oblige you to any reciprocation, I shall think my self but too too happy, and that I have attain'd the greatest of my wishes. In order to such a design, Heaven hath not haply made me handsome enough; but I dare stand on my good nature, and withal that I have other­wise wherewith to satisfie a person of your worth and quality.’ ‘Madam, replies Don Jaimo, I kiss the very dust you tread on, though I think not my self worthy enough it should be touch'd by my mouth, when I consider the favour I receive from you. Yet can I not but think I have fully satisfi'd whatever I ought you, since I have resign'd up to you my heart and soul, and so I fear not any Action you may have against me, as to that particular. As to your forcing of my will, you may spare your fur­ther trouble, I am already sensible, Madam, that it is at your devotion, and therefore you may forbear ineffectual remedies, where there needs onely that Sovereign one of your Beauty, which is so full of vertue, that it hath transported me out of my self, that I might be absolutely at your disposal. 'Twas a happy day to me, that I was set upon by those Assassins of my Country, since the mischief they in­tended me hath procur'd me the favours I have re­ceiv'd [Page 239] from you. Now I wish Heaven would prolong my Life; for if you approve of the affe­ction I have for you, as you are pleas'd to assure me, in spight of all the storms of my ill fortune, I shall get into a haven where I may defie all dan­gers, I mean that of your good inclinations to­wards me. The thought of them gives me respit, and fills me with an absolute oblivion of my Country, since I must look on a place, where such happiness is prepar'd for me, as my Para­dice.’

These discourses, and others yet more amorous, pass'd between Don Jaimo and Donna Emerentiana; and the crafty Youth had the length of her Foot so rightly, that she was easily ensnar'd in the subtle Webb of his cunning insinuations, and made it her main business to ingratiate her self more and more with him. The time insensibly pass'd away in these amorous conferences, insomuch that it was two in the morning ere Rufina retir'd to her own Chamber, yet troubled, that she was forc'd to do it so soon; and the Impostor Jaimo presently went to Bed, extreamly pleas'd, that his Camerade's plot had taken so well. Crispin was extreamly perplex'd, that all that Day and the next, he had receiv'd no news of what pass'd, by reason of Garay's being in the House: but as soon as he was gone, for Madrid, the amorous Rufina gave her self more liberty, be­ing still more and more deeply in Love with her Guest. Jaimo acquainted Crispin, by a Letter brought him by the Slave, how he was favour'd by Rufina. Crispin answer'd him by the same hand, and withall sent him a Purse with a hundred pieces, [Page 240] to get her in to Play, and to make presents to the Servants, that he might be sure of them when occasion serv'd.

The day of Garay's departure for Madrid, Rufina was taken up with the reception of two Gentle­women of her Neighbour-hood, an employment she was not at all pleas'd with, for she wish'd them far enough, and her self in her Gallant's company. As soon as they were gone, she went to her beloved Jaimo, whom we shall Don—as long as this Scene of the imposture lasts. She found him tuning a Lute, which her Slave had brought him; for he was an ex­cellent Musician, and had a smack of Poetry, an accomplishment not extraordinary in the Natives of Valentia, where there are also admirable Musicians. Rufina, hearing him at a distance, came softly into his Chamber, charm'd with the sweet harmony of his Lute, which he touch'd with a miraculous dexterity, and being not seen by the young Man, she hearkned to him a good while, perceiving he intended to sing a Song, as he afterwards did with an admirable grace, and he had made the Verses, which were upon the occasion of his Love. This added to the flames of her affection, which were before grown too violent for to keep within the bounds of modesty: but what most ravish'd her, was, that the Verses he had Sung were made for her, and upon the accident which had happened to him. VVhereupon the Love-stung VViddow coming up to him, ‘What, said she, Signor Don Jaimo, you are Master of those excel­lencies which I little imagin'd? I am extreamly glad of it, yet wonder not much thereat, as know­ing Valentia to be famous for excellent Voices.’ [Page 241] Mine is but ordinary, said he, and it is rather the words, than the goodness of the Voice that induc'd me to Sing.’ ‘I find, said she, this Song is very new, and that it was not made two days since.’ ‘'Tis very true, says Don Jaimo, yet is it not to be much wondred at, since the subject, upon which it is made, hath such an influence over me, as would make me undertake things impossible, as transcend­ing whatever yet I thought worth my admiration.’ ‘No flattery, I pray you, said she to him, for though I know that what you say is not true, and that you Men allow a distance between your words and thoughts, and, when you do not love, most pretend it, yet I cannot but take all kindly from you. You may be deceiv'd in both,’ ‘Madam, said he [...], and therefore be pleas'd to believe me, that I think my self extreamly happy in that unhappy adven­ture, which procur'd me the glory of your acquaint­ance. All I have to beg of you is, that you take a more particular notice of my freedome, and thence infer, that my Soul cannot be fuller of affection towards you than it is.’

In fine, these and other insinuating discourses screw'd up the feign'd Widdow to such a height of kindness, that the crafty companion began to desist from the enterprize which had occasion'd his coming to her, and seriously dispose himself to assure her more and more of his love. And thinking her fully satisfy'd with the relation he had made her of him­self, he became so familiar, as to desire her to give him the like accompt of her extraction▪ She thought fit to make her condition equal with his, and accor­dingly, [Page 242] she acquainted him in a short discourse, how she was descended from the illustrious Counts of Menezez in Portugal, though she had been born in the City of Badajos. The crafty companion im­mediately apprehended what Game she would be at, and that her design was to oblige him to Marry her. This was directly contrary to the sentiments of Crispin, who would not by any means that he should think of any such thing, but continually reflect on the dangers they are apt to run into, who following the profession he was engag'd in, are concern'd to be ex­peditious in the execution of their enterprises, lest being, by some unexpected accident, prevented, they come to make their last Wills on a Gibbet, before they are willing to remove into the other World.

The young Gallant grew more and more warm in his love towards Rufina, particularly upon this ac­compt, that, according to her relation, she was nobly descended. He thereupon did all lay in his power to heighten her affection towards him. She on the other side, had the same thoughts, so that concurring in the same desires, as Lovers mutually passionate, Rufina behav'd her self so freely and familiarly towards him, that he might easily perceive she had discarded all modesty: insomuch that, upon little intreaty, she permitted him to invert the order of the Alphabet, and to put Q. before P. But in the midst of her enjoyments, she remembred her old Acquaintance Garay; she reflected on the familiarites had pass'd between them; she consider'd how much she was oblig'd to him; and that he was look'd on all over [Page 243] the City as her Father. She imagin'd to her self the resentment he must needs have at his arrival, when he found that she had basely forsaken him. She be­thought her self to give him a sum of Money pri­vately, and to dismiss him: but thinking more seri­ously of it, she thought it a better course to leave Toledo before his return, and to persuade Don Jaimo to carry her into his Country, Valentia. She resolv'd within two or three days to declare her mind to him, for Garay was not expected home till fifteen days after.

In the mean time Rufina and her Gallant pass'd away the time very jocundly, and he, being very heartily in love with her, was fully resolv'd to give Crispin the bag, and not to proceed any further in his first design. 'Twas in the Winter-time, when the Nights are longest, that these Lovers deceiv'd the slow-pac'd Season with an intermixture of Caresses, Songs, and amorous Discourses, nay many times, they sung together, their several parts, to a Musical Instru­ment, which he play'd on. One night, after they had Sung and Talk'd of several things, Rufina en­treated her Gallant to entertain her and her Maids with some pleasant Story, or Novel, if he knew any. The young Man, who was Vers'd in all things, and of an excellent Wit, was content to answer the de­sires of his Mistress, to give her a new demonstra­tion of his further perfections, and said to her▪ ‘Though to such a Person as you are, divine Eme­rentiana▪ and my dearest Mistress, my discourse will seem very ordinary, yet so punctually would I obey your Commands, as if I knew what you im­pos'd [Page 244] on me were onely for a trial of my compli­ance: And in regard I do it, in this, so much of a sudden, I hope to find you the more ready to excuse my failings. The Novel I intend to tell you, I heard from an accomplish'd Cavalier of Valentia; I thought it not unpleasant, and shall endeavour to present it to you as well dress'd as I receiv'd it.’ Whereupon having recollected himself a little, he began his discourse thus.

THE THIRD NOVEL.
The Trapanner Trapann'd.

IN the great and famous City of Sevil, the Metropolis of Anda­lusia, Mother of so many noble Families, and excellent Wits, the Treasury of all the Wealth, which flows into Spain from the West-Indies, was born Don Pedro de Ribera, a very accomplish'd Cavalier, of the illustrious Family of the Dukes of Alcala, so highly [Page 246] esteem'd all over the Kingdome. By their death, from whom he deriv'd his being in this world, there fell to him an estate of four thousand Crowns annual rent, upon which he liv'd very nobly at Sevil, being the most remarkable Person at all publick actions done about the City. He had at Madrid a Cousin-german, who follow'd the Spanish Court, and was gone thither about some affairs of great importance, which he had brought to a happy issue. Having liv'd there a while, he lik'd it, and the conversation of the Cavaliers inhabiting it, so well, that he exchang'd the place of his birth for that illustrious City. He there became intimately acquainted with an old Cavalier, whose name was Don Juan de la Cerda, a person who had rais'd himself into a general esteem, by the excellent endowments he had. Besides which he was honour'd with the illustrious Order of the Patron of Spain, with a Commandery of two thou­sand Ducats of annual rent. This old Gentleman was a Widdower, having but one onely Daughter, to whom all his vast Estate was to fall at his Death. Nature it seems had made it her particular business to enrich this young Lady, with all the graces and per­fections to be wish'd in one of her Sex. Which oc­casion'd the envy of all the Ladies about the Court towards her, since she had, in point of Beauty, the same advantages over them, as the Sun hath over all the rest of the Planets. Her Father, Don Juan, wish'd her married with a person to his mind, that is, one equal to her, in estate and extraction. Don Ro­drigo de Ribera (so was called Don Pedro's Cousin whom I spoke of first) might have aspir'd to the honour of making his Addresses to her, as well upon [Page 247] accompt of the House, from which he was descen­ded, as the familiar acquaintance there was between him and her Father, Don Juan. But being a younger Brother, he thought himself too low, in point of estate, to pretend to so advantageous a match. How­ever he thought fit to make some proposal to the old Gentleman, on the behalf of his Cousin Don Pedro, who liv'd at Sevil, whom he highly recommended to him for his excellent Qualities, and the greatness of his Estate; for he was the onely Son of a Noble house. Don Juan took it very kindly from him, but thought it withall prudence, to make further enquiry into the business, knowing that persons speaking for their own Relations are commonly very partial, and think it no mortal sin to exceed the truth. So that Don Juan, immediately writ to a particular friend at Sevil, earnestly desiring him to give him an ac­count of the Person and Estate of Don Pedro de Ribera, inasmuch as it highly concern'd the honour of his House, to meet with a Cavalier worthy his alliance, to be Husband to his onely Daughter Donna Brianda.

'Twas not long ere he receiv'd an Answer, where­in his friend confirm'd all that Don Rodrigo had said of his Kinsman, with somewhat more, protesting in the conclusion, that he was so far from being partial or insincere, in the accompt he had sent him, that he rather told less than truth. He thereupon went to Don Rodrigo, and told him, that he might write to his Cousin, and assure him he should be very wel­come, if he had any inclinations for his Daughter. He made him Answer, that he would, and Don Juan, as a further obligation, would have his Daughter's Pi­cture [Page 248] sent him, that he might therein find some of the rare qualities that were in her, permitting his Cousin to be present at the taking of it, that he might assure Don Pedro, the Painter had not flatter'd her, and that the Copy was below the Original.

Don Rodrigo fail'd not to write to his Cousin, to whom he also sent the Picture, celebrating the ver­tues of that amiable person, which the Painter could not represent, as he had done the lineaments of her beautiful countenance. His Cousin Don Pedro was extremely satisfi'd therewith, and referr'd it to him to make some overtures in the treaty of Marriage, till he came thither himself, for the further prosecu­tion whereof, he sent him a full procuration.

In the mean time Don Pedro was preparing for his journey to Madrid, to wait on his Mistress, who, having receiv'd his Picture, was as much taken with it, as he had been with hers. Leaving his retinue at Sevil, till a rich Livery, then making, were finish'd, he began his journey, having onely one person to wait on him, and a Groom to look to their Mules, who follow'd them at a little distance. Don Pedro carri'd always about him his Mistress's picture inclos'd in the same Letter, wherein his Cousin had sent it him. Be­ing come within half a days journey of Toledo, he sent away the Groom, to provide Lodgings for them in the City. He had entertain'd at dinner some of the In­habitants of Orgaz, which was the place where they had baited. The cloth being taken away, they fell to Cards; he lost his mony, and was vex'd, which oc­casion'd their playing on till he had recover'd his losses, and by that time it was grown later than he could have wish'd. Being hors'd, he and his man put [Page 249] forward, but ere they had rode a League, night sur­priz'd them, so that they made a shift to lose their way, and got in among certain Olive-trees, about half a League short of Toledo. Not knowing where they were, and fearing to go too far out of their way, they thought it their best course to alight, and rest themselves under one of the Olive-trees, till it were day. They accommodated themselves the best they could, and weariness soon laid them asleep, yet little dream'd of the misfortune which was to happen to them. Being in their first sleep, which is commonly the soundest, four men came to the place, very softly, for the noise of their Mules brought them thither; and these were of a profession, which for the most part finds those that are of it more work by night than by day. They had then been upon a design which had not taken, and so they were returning somewhat dis­consolately with empty pockets to Toledo.

Coming up to them, and finding them both asleep, they ty'd their hands behind them, and took away all they had, but their Doublets and Drawers, and, to get off with more speed and safety, they made use of their Mules. Don Pedro, being thus basely sur­priz'd, was exasperated at the misfortune, but his Man told him that it had happened to them through his fault, because he had not given over playing sooner. They discours'd of it, till the Birds gave them notice of the approach of Aurora. Soon after, hearing the noise of some cattle not far from them, they call'd to him that look'd after them, who came up to them, and unbound them, very much bemoaning the con­dition they were in. They ask'd him, how far it was to Toledo, and he told them it was not quite half a [Page 250] league, but if they would go along with him to a Country House hard by, he would gladly shew the [...] the way, and that he doubted not the Lady, w [...] liv'd in it, would relieve them in that extremity. They took his advice, and he brought them to a very fai [...] house. Having knock'd at the Gate, it was imme­diately open'd by an old man, who was Steward to the Lady, and had the oversight of the Shepherds and the profits arising from the Sheep. The Shepherd who brought them thither went in to the Lady, and in few words gave her an account of the misfortune had hapned to those Strangers, and the condition he had found them in, whereupon she order'd them to be brought up to her chamber. Don Pedro presented himself to her, very much abash'd to see himself al­most naked, as having about him onely an old Coat, which the Shepherd had lent him. He told her that his journey was for Madrid, about a Law-suit of great importance, not discovering who he was, but onely that he was a Gentleman of Sevil, named, Don Ferdinand Sanchez de Trivegno. The Lady, whose name was Donna Victoria, was much troubled to see him in that deplorable condition. There were in the house two chests full of cloaths, which had been a Brother's of hers, who died not long before. She order'd two sutes to be brought out, which they put on, that which Don Pedro had proving so fit, that the Lady was much taken with his person, and had her eyes always fastned on him. She invited Don Pedro to dine with her, which he did, taking occasion ever and anon, to make extraordinary acknowledgments of the favours he receiv'd from her.

They continu'd two days in that Country house, [Page 251] ere the Lady made any discovery of the affection she had for Don Pedro, save onely what she did with her eyes, which were the silent interpreters of the trouble she was in. Don Pedro was not insensible of it, and had some discourse concerning it with his Man; yet had he not the confidence to tell him what he really thought of it, being (as he was) upon the point of disposing himself otherwise. The Servant advis'd him not to let slip so fair an opportunity, and told him he should not be so hard-hearted, to­wards a Lady of so great worth, and one that had so highly oblig'd them. The solitude of the place, the beauty of the Lady, and the silent discoveries she made him by her gestures, oblig'd Don Pedro to answer her affection. He entred into some Love­discourses with her; but though she were really in love with him, yet would she not grant him any par­ticular favour, unless he first assur'd her she should be his wife, and that she had a promise of it under his hand.

Don Pedro, on the other side, had so great a kind­ness for her, that he had in a manner forgot the Mi­stress, whose Picture he carri'd about him, and ad­vising with his Servant, (who was a dangerous Con­fident, and a subtil fellow) what he should do, he told him very roundly, that he ought not to let slip so sweet and favourable an opportunity; that he might easily have the enjoyment of her, and withal give her the promise of marriage she desired, provided he put not into it his own name, but fill'd it with the suppo­sititious name he had assum'd, since she knew neither his Country nor extraction. Don Pedro follow'd his advice, and thereupon had his desires of Donna Vi­ctoria, [Page 252] who having made the blot, could do no les [...] than give him leave to enter. He continu'd there four days, at the end whereof, acquainting the Lady that his business at Madrid was of such importance as requir'd his personal attendance there, she consented to his departure, on condition he would return again as soon as he could; which he, with oaths, promis'd to do.

The next morning betimes, he departed, leaving the Lady o're-flown with tears; he was somewhat troubled, or at least pretended it. The Lady having furnish'd him with all things necessary, he put for­ward; but ere he had gone far, he receiv'd some part of the chastisement which he deserv'd for his perfidi­ousness, for the Mule he was mounted on being apt to start gave him a fall, whereby he so sprain'd one foot, that he was forc'd to make some stay at Illes­cas, a place half way between Toledo and Madrid, and to send for Chirurgeons to set all things right again.

Leaving him there confin'd to his chamber for some days, let us return to Donna Victoria, who very much bewail'd the absence of her Gallant, the very thought of whom caus'd her no small affliction. A Servant of hers who had made the bed where he lay, sound, under the bolster, a Picture of the Lady whom Don Pedro was to be married to, folded up in a Let­ter which his Cousin had writ to him from Madrid, which she deliver'd to her Mistress, who opening the Paper, saw the Picture, whereat she was much dis­quieted; but she was much more astonish'd, when she cast her eye on the ensuing

LETTER.

Dearest Cousin,

YOu will receive herein inclosed the Picture of the Lady Donna Brianda de la Cerda, which is very exactly taken from the Original; I doubt not but the charms of her Beauty will oblige you to hasten your departure. Her Father, Don Juan de la Cerda, expects you with great impa­tience. In the mean time the Contract of Marriage is a drawing up, and will be ready, before you be here to sign it. Assure your self you will be ex­tremely satisfi'd, that you have found so excellent a wife. I am

Your affectionate Cousin, Don Rodrigo de Ribera.

Donna Victoria had scarcely come to the period of this Letter, but, through the trouble she receiv'd at the reading of it, she fell into a swound, and conti­nu'd therein above half an hour, in the arms of her Maid. At last she came to her self, bursting into sighs and tears; she rail'd at the Sevillian Impostor, but much more at her own simplicity, that she had so lightly prostituted her honour to an unknown person, whom so strange an adventure had brought to her house. She spent that whole day in weeping and be­moaning her misfortune: but considering withal, what hazard her reputation was in, she resolv'd it [Page 254] should not be said of her, that she had been so basely affronted by any man. Whereupon with the light she receiv'd from the Letter, of the occasion of his jour­ney, and the person to whom he was to be married, she put things in order to her removal to Madrid; which she might better do than any other, in regard she had not any Kinsman near enough to whom she might communicate her intention. She communi­cated her design to Albert, an old Servant of hers, who had brought her up from the cradle, and was very glad to wait on her.

Upon this resolution, she caus'd two Wagons to be loaden with all things necessary to furnish a house fit to receive a person of Quality, and took her way towards Madrid. Being come thither, she com­manded her Servant Albert, to enquire whereabouts lived Don Juan de la Cerda, and whether the young Cavalier, whom he intended to make his Son-in-law, were come from Sevil. She understood by him, that he was not yet come, but that they expected him, which much troubled the Lady, who knew nothing of the accident had happen'd to him near Illescas.

The first thing this affronted Lady did, was to take a house for her self, near that of Don Juan de la Cer­da, and order'd Albert to live in it as Master thereof. That done, she sent him to Don Juan's, to enquire whether she wanted a waiting-Gentlewoman, for she would disguise her self, that she might not be known by Don Pedro. The business had the effect she desired, for Donna Brianda was then enquiring for a widow to wait on her, a custom much practis'd in Spain, where Ladies of quality have several of them, whom, being Widows, they call Duennas. [Page 255] When this was proposed by Albert, who went un­der the name of Father to his Mistress, Donna Bri­anda not onely receiv'd her into her service, but her Father, Albert, was also entertain'd into Don Juan's. Albert gave his Mistress an account of his Negotia­tion, whereat she was extremely satisfi'd: so that having put her self into the habit of a Duenna, she went the next day to present her self to Donna Brianda, conducted by her pretended Father, Albert. They were both very kindly entertained by Don Juan de la Cerda and his Daughter. Donna Victoria wish'd she had not been so handsom, that the Sutor she ex­pected might be the less taken with her; however, she couragiously resolv'd to prosecute the imposture she was ingag'd in. Donna Brianda ask'd Albert, what Country-man he was. He told her that he was born at a place called Utrera, near Sevil; that his name was Stephen de Santillana (by which we shall henceforth call him) that his Daughter had been married to a Merchant of that City, who di'd as he was going for the West-Indies, leaving so great Debts behind him, that all his Estate went to satisfie his Creditors. Don Juan hearing that Santillana was of Andalusia, ask'd him, whether he had liv'd any time at Sevil. He told him, that he had often been in that City, but that his Daughter had liv'd there. Don Juan would not at that time enquire any farther, nor enter into any discourse with him concerning Don Pedro de Ribera. Donna Victoria was entertain'd as Duenna to Donna Brianda, who took such an affe­ction to her, that she trusted her with all her Keys, to the great discontent of her other Servants, who had liv'd with her many years. Santillana told them [Page 256] that he had a House of his own, not far from Don Juan's, and a Wife (for Marcella an ancient Maid of Donna Victoria's was to act that part) whereupon he had no Lodgings assign'd him in Don Juan's.

It is now time we return to Don Pedro de Ribera, who being recover'd of his fall, came to Madrid, and lighted at the House of his Cousin Don Rodrigo, who was much troubled that he had not been there sooner. He told him the cause of it, and gave him a particular account of all had pass'd in Donna Vi­ctoria's Country-house, even to the promise he had made her, under a feign'd name. Don Rodrigo ask'd him, what quality the Lady was of, whereto be answer'd, that her name was Donna Victoria de Sylva, and that she was of one of the most noble Families of Toledo. Don Rodrigo was very much dissatisfy'd with his procedure, reproaching him with the unworthy action he had done, in abusing and dishonouring that Lady, and that it was to be fear'd, she might hear of his coming to Madrid in order to a Marriage with another, and find means to be re­veng'd for that affront.

They afterwards fell into discourse concerning Donna Brianda, and Don Pedro told him, he ex­treamly fancied the Picture he had seen of her, but that, with the other things he had been robb'd of, he had lost it: though he knew well enough, he had left it under the beds head at Donna Victoria's, which troubled him not a little, however he dissembled it. Don Rodrigo told Don Pedro, that it were fit he put himself into other Cloaths, before he waited on his Mistress, and that he must keep within doors till they [Page 257] were ready. Within two days a very fair riding Suit was brought him, wherein pretending he was but newly come to Town, he goes to the House of Don Juan de la Cerda, by whom he was receiv'd with great demonstrations of kindness. Notice was im­mediately carry'd up to Donna Brianda, that the person design'd to be her Husband was coming up to her Chamber, where she was with her Maids about her, who had just made an end of Dressing her. Don Pedro coming in, conducted by Don Juan and Don Rodrigo, was infinitely satisfy'd at the sight of his Mistress, whom he very civilly and discreetly saluted, for he was a person of an excellent wit and a con­fident carriage and demeanour. He found by the original of Donna Brianda, that the Painter had done his work very faithfully, a virtue not much practis'd by Painters, especially upon such occasions as that was. He was ravish'd, to see so great a Beauty, and she on the other side was well satisfy'd with the handsome personage of Don Pedro.

There were yet some things to be done in order to the absolute conclusion of the Marriage, at which there was a necessity of Don Pedro's presence; whereupon he, Don Juan, and Don Rodrigo with­drew into another room, where they lock'd them­selves in with a Notary, and some Friends, who were to be witnesses at the Articles of the agreement. Donna Brianda continu'd all that time in her Cham­ber, with her Servants, talking of Don Pedro, her Husband-to-be, every one congratulating her good fortune, save onely Donna Victoria, who saying no­thing at all, her Mistress observ'd it, and being all alone with her, Donna Theodorn, said she to her, [Page 258] (that was the name she had assum'd) whence comes it, that, while all the rest celebrate the hap­piness of my choice, you onely are silent? Me-thinks you might have contributed somewhat to the publick congratulation, though you had done it onely out of complaisance. I pray give me some reason for it.’ Donna Victoria had done it purposely, in prosecution of her design, and this question came as seasonably as she could have wish'd it, so that she made her this Answer. ‘As to the person of Don Pedro, Madam, there is not any thing to be said against it, nay he is so accomplish'd, that there is not any thing to be wish'd in him which he hath not already. My silence proceeds hence, that I had a particular knowledge of him at Sevil, for I liv'd in a Quarter of the City, which he much frequented. I neither will, nor ought to conceal from you the occasion of his so often com­ing thither, for it is my duty to be faithful to you, as having no other design than to serve you, and endeavour your quiet, so as that you may not live in a perpetual dis-enjoyment of your self all the rest of your days. Know then, Madam, that if you match your self with Don Pedro, you will be brought to a kind of civil death, instead of recei­ving the satisfactions of wedlock.’ Donna Brianda was much astonish'd at this discourse, and press'd her Duenna, to discover to her more clearly, what she had but too great a desire to tell her. Whereupon en­treating her to retire into a more secret place, where they might not be observ'd by her other Women, Donna Victoria gave her this malicious account of the perfidious Don Pedro.

[Page 259] ‘I should not live with the respect and duty I owe you as my Mistress, nor according to the af­fection I bear you, if I express'd not my self clearly to you, in a business wherein you are so highly concern'd, and on which depends your greatest felicity in this world. Know then, Madam, that Don Pedro fell in love with a Lady at Sevil, one very handsome and well descended, in a word wanting nothing but a fortune suitable to her quality. He courted her so earnestly, that she, finding her self oblig'd by so great demonstrations of Affection, Letters, and continual Embassies, attended with presents, from Don Pedro, satisfy'd his desires, upon a promise that he would make her his Wife, whereof there are many witnesses. But the business was to be kept secret for a time; for Don Pedro's Father was then alive, who, having receiv'd some intelligence of that Love, endea­vour'd all he could to prevent Don Pedro's mar­riage with Donna Elvira de Monsalvo; so was the Lady called. The continuance of his visits to her produc'd living proofs, which were two Sons and a Daughter, who are at this time with the Mother. When Don Pedro's Father was remov'd out of the way, (which happen'd not long after) Donna Elvira expected he should make good his pro­mise, and marry her, but he, for some time, came not so much as to see her. What inconveniences she was put to from the time of their acquaintance she knows to her sorrow, and I am not ignorant thereof, for I Liv'd near her, and went often to her House. Being now convinc'd that he intended to leave her in the Lerch, she discover'd the business [Page 260] to two Cousin-Germans of hers, who were so en­rag'd thereat, that they immediately resolv'd to oblige Don Pedro, by force, to perform the pro­mise he had made to their Kinswoman. Don Pedro went to a certain Farm he had, not far from Sevil, to avoid his Adversaries, who, knowing he went out of the way purposely because he would not satisfie their Cousin, resolv'd to be the death of him. Things were in this posture when my Father brought me to Madrid, where I have been about these six weeks. This is the accompt I can give you of Don Pedro, who must not think him­self secure in this Court, for the Lady's Kinsmen, whom I know to be gallant and stout Persons, as soon as they hear of his being here, will be sure to attend his motion, and revenge the affront done to their Cousin; nay it will be easier for them to do it here than at Sevil.

Donna Brianda heard very attentively the story told her by the Duenna, and was extreamly troubled, to find Don Pedro so far engag'd with another. She ask'd her a thousand questions, among others, whe­ther he was much in love with that Mistress, whe­ther that Donna Elvira was very handsome, &c. whereto she made such Answers as were suitable to her design, which was to put Don Pedro clearly out of her favour. Donna Brianda resolv'd to give her Father an account of all, and leave it to him to in­form himself more fully of the business. She im­mediately went to the Room where he was to speak to him, for all things were concluded as to the Mar­riage.

In the mean time, Donna Victoria was left in the [Page 261] outer-room, where the Women and Duennas are wont to wait. There came in to them a Servant of Don Pedro's whom he had sent to the Post for Let­ters from Sevil. Enquiring for his Master, to give him the pacquet, Donna Victoria told him, that he was within, but that as soon as he came out she would deliver it to him. Having opened the pac­quet, she put into it a Letter she immediately writ, and, sealing it up again, came where her Mistress was. She ask'd her whither she was going with those Letters? The other answered without the least dis­covery of any malice, that they were directed to Signor Don Pedro, and had been brought thither a little before by one of his Servants from the Sevil-Post. Curiosity was an ingredient of the first Wo­man, and it is very fruitfully spread through the whole Sex. Donna Brianda shew'd her self nor free from it on this occasion, and she was the more excu­sable considering the story had been told her by the subtle Duenna. She was tempted to open the pac­quet, wherein finding one Letter written with a Woman's hand (which was that written by Donna Victoria) she could do no less than open it, and directing her Eye down to the bottom of it, found it subscribed by one Donna Elvira de Monsalvo. She read it, and was confirm'd in what before she not fully credited.

THE LETTER.

My dearest,

YOur absence and my indisposition have reduc'd me to such extremity, that I can­not imagine I have any long time to live, it being impossible I should hold out, after the news I have heard of your resolution to be married at Madrid, which cannot easily be done, without a transcend­ent baseness, by a person so nearly engag'd to me as you are. You know that you cannot bestow on another what is so lawfully due to me, especially if you make the least reflection on the precious pledges there are between us thereof. I have no other advice to give you, as things now stand, but that, if you are at such a loss of all shame and con­science, there is a God in Heaven, who sees our most secret thoughts, and passes a just judgement on them; and that I have many noble friends, who measuring the small account you make of them by your slighting of me, will not fail to revenge the affront done to us all. I hope we shall not be forc'd to those extremities, considering how highly you are oblig'd to do things suitably to the nobleness of your Birth, and to acknowledge, as you ought, [Page 263] her, whom, while we both Live, you must look on, as

Your lawful Wife Donna Elvira de Monsalvo.

This Letter fully satisfy'd Donna Brianda that all she had heard from the malicious Duenna was true. Her Father coming into the room as she had done reading it, she acquainted him with all that concern'd Don Pedro, shewing him the Letter from Donna Elvira. He was extreamly astonish'd, to find that a Cavalier of so noble a Family, had abus'd a Lady of such quality, and that, having Children by her, he should be so impudent as to make his addresses to his Daughter. He forbore reproaching him therewith, till he had better inform'd himself from a Friend of his of Sevil, then at Madrid, whom he immediately went to look for.

Don Juan was but hardly got out of doors, but Don Pedro and his Man came in, for his man having told him that he had deliver'd the pacquet to one of Donna Brianda's Women, he was come to receive it from her, since it was not brought to his Cousin's, whither all his Letters were directed. It was his fortune to meet with Donna Brianda in the outer-room, where her Father had left her. ‘I should not have return'd so soon, my dearest Lady, said he to her, had not somewhat extraordinary oblig'd me thereto; it is to receive some Letters, which my Man tells me he delivered to one of your Women.’ [Page 264] She thought, says Donna Brianda, that you had been still with my Father. I casually meeting her as she was coming into the room, ask'd her what she came for. She answering, it was to deliver you the pacquet, I took it from her, and (presu­ming that a Cavalier of your age and complexion could not have lived to this time in Sevil, and not have an inclination for some Lady) a certain con­junction of curiosity and jealousie persuaded me to open it. That curiosity hath done me a courtesie, and hath satisfy'd me in some things, which before I onely suspected: and therefore I forbear de­siring your excuse, since I have receiv'd so good an information, before I was any further engag'd with you; for had it come too late, I had been ruin'd. Here's a Letter from a person you should be well acquainted with; this would have been enough to undeceive me, but it onely confirms a relation I had receiv'd before, upon which I was almost re­solv'd to put such a check to your pretensions to me, as that you should have but little encourage­ment to continue them. Farewell, my presence will but trouble you, this Letter will acquaint you with what you are not ignorant of.’

Don Pedro receiving the Letter out of her hand was not a little surpris'd, not imagining what might have happen'd to him. He read it, and presently in­ferr'd, that it was a trick put upon him by some en­vious person, who was desirous to obstruct his happi­ness. Meeting with Donna Victoria (whom, as we said before, he knew not in her Widdow's habit) ‘Ah Madam, said he to her, what forgeries are these? I a Mistress at Sevil, and of this name? [Page 265] I children by her, and that upon a promise of mar­riage? If it be not the greatest lye that ever hu­mane malice invented, let me never look Man in the face again.’ ‘For my part, replies the subtle Duenna, I find my self inclin'd to believe, that what you say may be true; but your main con­cernment is to bring my Lady to that persuasion. I know her to be of such an humour as not easily to quit a resentment, which she entertains upon just grounds, and I much question whether she will admit your addresses any further, for I know she hath acquainted her Father withall, and he is gone to a Gentleman of Sevil, an intimate friend of his, who is now in this City.’ ‘I am very glad of it, says Don Pedro, for he will find it to be an absolute imposture, and that there is not any Lady in Sevil that goes under the name of Donna Elvira de Monsalvo. But I beseech you tell me, Madam, whether your intimacy be very great with the Lady Donna Brianda. ‘So great repli'd she, that I am the onely person in her favour, and to whom she is pleas'd to communicate her thoughts.’ ‘If it be so, says Don Pedro, it's possible you may procure me the favour from her, that I may vindicate my self.’ ‘I much question whether she will ever speak to you again, said she, for she is extreamly incens'd against you, and when once angry, if justly, she is the hardest to be appeas'd that ever I knew.’ ‘But, said he, if you are so much in her favour, you may prevail somewhat with her, by representing to her the extraordinary affection I bear her. ’ ‘It is in my power, said she, to do with her what you desire; but what will you give me if I can procure you a [Page 266] favourable audience from her?’ ‘Any thing you can desire, said he to her, if you mind onely matter of advantage.’ ‘You see I am very young, says she, and consequently may hope to be married again, mony is the onely thing I want; if I do what you wish, may I rely on your liberality for my reward.’ ‘That you may know how earnestly I desire it, says he, do what I desire, and I will make your fortune he [...] ­vier by five hundred Crowns than it is.’ ‘I most humbly thank you, replies she, but I must tell you, Sir, that I have been so deluded by the verbal pro­mises sometimes made me by a person of your qua­lity, that I have reason to mistrust what-ever is promis'd, if I have it not in writing. You will be pleas'd to excuse me, Sir, if my fear to be deceiv'd as I have been force me to these precautions, and to assure your self, that those satisfi'd, I will endea­vour to serve you to the utmost of my power.’ ‘To give you absolute satisfaction, as to that point, Ma­dam, said he, help me with pen, ink and paper, and you shall have the security you desire your self.’

Donna Victoria would see the issue of it, and so brought him what he desired. Don Pedro kept his word with her; nay either out of ignorance of the form of such obligations, or to make a greater ex­pression of his earnestness that she should assist him, he prov'd so liberal, as to give her a Blank sign'd and seal'd, not mentioning the summe whereto he oblig'd himself, telling her he had not specifi'd it, out of a design to requite her beyond his promises, propor­tionably to the service she should do him, in the re­covery of his Mistress's favour. She saw this happen'd according to her wishes, so that acknowledging the [Page 267] favour Don Pedro had done her, she promis'd him her utmost endeavours to deserve it, by recovering him into the favour of his Mistress. The amorous Cava­lier believ'd her, and took his leave. Albert coming in soon after, Victoria gave him an account of what progress she had made, and putting into his hands the Blank sign'd by Don Pedro, bid him write above his name a formal promise of marriage, dating it about the time of his being at her Country house near To­ledo, with two witnesses: which Albert did, imitating as near as he could Don Pedro's hand.

That day, Don Juan fail'd to meet the Gentleman of Sevil, and put off the visit he intended him till the next. In the mean time, Donna Victoria under­stood from Donna Brianda, that she was resolv'd to lead Apes in hell, rather than have Don Pedro to her husband. Having already trusted her Duenna with some of her secrets, she thought she might make an absolute discovery of her self to her, and thereupon told her, how that before her Father had treated of a marriage between her and Don Pedro, she had been courted by a person of Honour, named Don Sancho de Leyba; that she had some inclination towards him; and that the persuasions of her Father had prevail'd with her to entertain the applications of Don Pedro; but having discover'd his unworthiness, she was re­solv'd to re-address her affection to Don Sancho.

Donna Victoria was almost out of her self for joy to hear that news, for it put her into a confidence that her design would take: and the more to promote it, she dispos'd Donna Brianda as much as lay in her power to favour Don Sancho. ‘He must needs be displeas'd with me, says she to her, yet I doubt not [Page 268] but a Letter from me will re-engage him my hum­ble Servant.’ The crafty Duenna proffer'd to be the bearer of it, on condition she might do it by Coach. Donna Brianda was very glad to find her Woman so ready to serve her, especially in a business which she was so much pleas'd with; and so she commanded a Coach to be made ready, and that she should go im­mediately to see Don Sancho, to whom she writ a Letter. Donna Victoria took Coach, pretending to go to Don Sancho's house, but she went to her own, and bid the Coach-man return to Donna Brianda, and tell her, that for fear notice might be taken of the Coach, she would go afoot to the place where she had sent her, conducted by Santillana her pre­tended Father. From that house, she writ two Let­ters, one, to Don Juan, desiring him to come to her; the other to Don Sancho, to the same effect, with di­rections to find the house.

While the Letters were carried abroad, she put off her Widows habit, and put on that of a person of the highest quality, expecting these two visits with the accustomed ceremonies of Spain. Don Sancho de Leyba was not long a coming, though he knew no­thing of the person who had written to him. There had not past many complements between him and Donna Victoria, but word was brought her, that Don Juan de la Cerda was alighted out of his Coach, and was coming into the house. Sir, said she to Don San­cho, I am oblig'd to speak with the person who is coming up all alone. Not but that you may hear the discourse we shall have together; and therefore let me intreat you to stand behind this Curtain, whence you will hear all we say, for it concerns you more [Page 269] than you imagine, and will prove to your advantage. Don Sancho compli'd, not knowing what might be the issue of this precaution.

Don Juan came in, and having taken a seat, Donna Victoria (whom he knew not as she was then dress'd) address'd her self to him with this discourse. ‘I doubt not, Sir, but you somewhat wonder, you should be intreated hither by a Letter, and that from a person not known to you. To recover you from that confusion, I will give you an account of my self. I was born in the Imperial City of Toledo, the onely Daughter of the House from which I am descended, and Heir thereof. I am of the Family of Sylva, so well known all over Spain, that I need say nothing of it. As to my quality, I am to tell you farther, that my Father was, in his time, ho­nour'd with the Order of St. James, and my Bro­ther, of that of Alcantara, with the command of a Troop of Horse under his Majesty in Flanders. Upon his death, I retir'd to a Country-house I have near Toledo, where I liv'd privately, contenting my self with the innocent enjoyments of a Country life, without the least acquaintance of any thing of Love, till that, one morning a Shepherd of mine brought to my house, two men, who had been robb'd and stripp'd the night before by certain High-way­men. I took compassion on them, especially him, who by his demeanor seem'd to be the Master, and out of two chests of cloaths my Brother had left, I furnish'd them with two sutes, wherewith they co­ver'd their nakedness. They seem'd to be very thankful for so seasonable a favour; but the more considerable of the two hath treated me very un­gratefully, [Page 270] which is the ordinary style of Courtiers, and hath required my charitable offices onely with flatteries and deceit. I was so simple as to be ca­joll'd, by the caresses he made me, during four days that I kept him at my house, and he prevail'd so far with me, that I was no longer at my own disposal. The reiterated oaths and protestations of a person of that worth, rais'd me into a persuasion that he really lov'd me, and that induc'd me to love him again; to be short, upon a promise he made me of marriage, he got me in an humour to grant him the greatest of favours. He made me believe that his going to Court was for the prosecution of some Law-business that concern'd him very highly. He desir'd my leave to go to Madrid, promising to return again in a short time, but with such demon­strations of love as might easily have prevail'd with one who had not fanci'd him so affectionately as I had done. I suppli'd him with all things necessary, and he left me extremely troubled at his departure. Now, by a Picture and Letter he left behind him under the bolster, I found that the occasion of his coming to this Court was in order to a marriage be­tween him, and that miracle of Beauty, Donna Brianda, your Daughter. Now our Honour being the most considerable thing we ought to be tender of, I could do no less, upon this procedure of Don Pedro, than resolve to come to this Court, and to apply my self to my friends, that, by their favour, I might cross the marriage he is about, and you will find, that I may easily do it, if you but see what Cards I have to play. I conceiv'd my first overture should be to acquaint you with my dis­grace, [Page 271] the dishonour I have run into by the ac­quaintance of Don Pedro, and his treachery towards me, that receiving it from my own mouth, you may not bee too forward to conclude what is al­ready resolv'd between you, as I have understood. With the Paper I have here in my hand, I will pro­secute him to the utmost; it is under his own hand and seal, and witnesses to it: be pleas'd, Sir, to per­use it, and see whether I have not reason to pro­secute this ungrateful and perjur'd man, and to force him to a performance of the promise he hath made me.’

Don Juan was astonish'd at this relation of Donna Victoria's, and, by what was put into his hands, found out the disposition of Don Pedro, and concluded him a fickle imprudent person, who pursu'd his enjoy­ments, without any thought of the consequences thereof, and thereupon he resolv'd there should be no further talk of any marriage between him and his Daughter. Opening the Paper which Donna Victoria had given him, he found in it these words.

THis present writing, written with my own hand, and sealed with my Seal, witnesseth, that I, Don Pedro de Ribera, an Inhabitant of Sevil, acknowledge my self to be the lawful hus­band of Donna Victoria de Sylva, an Inhabitant of Toledo, and that I will perform the present promise I make her of marriage whensoever I shall be, by her, thereto requir'd. Signed and Sealed [Page 272] in the presence of Albert and Marcella, Servants to the said Donna Victoria.

Don Pedro de Ribera.

Having read this promise, and knowing the h [...]nd and seal of Don Pedro, Don Juan said to her, ‘Ma­dam, I am very much troubled, that Don Pedro (a person so well descended as he is) should be guilty of so unworthy an action, and a demeanour so full of treachery; for at the time when he gave you this writing, he was coming hither purposely to be mar­ried to my Daughter. But the account you have given me of him is such, that I assure you, I wil [...] have no more to do with him, since you have so much reason to oppose it. Prosecute your own right, and leave him not till you have obtain'd your de­sires, and be assar'd, I shall assist you to the utmost of my power, since I find your honour so highly concern'd in it▪ I have some friends here, and those powerful, I will engage them all to serve you, that you may find I am a person, who prefers a just cause before all self-interest.’

Donna Victoria gave him very humble thanks for so great a favour, and the tears that fell from her at the close of her discourse, heightned his zeal and ten­derness towards her. Don Juan took along with him the writing which Donna Victoria had shewn him, that he might thereby induce Don Pedro to an acknow­ledgment of his fault. With those protestations he took leave of Donna Victoria, promising to see her again within a short time, and to return the promise of marriage, reiterating the desires he had to serve [Page 273] her. He thereupon left her, giving Don Sancho the liberty to come upon the stage. As soon as he had ta­ken a seat, ‘You have understood, says Donna Victo­ria to him, if so be you have heard the discourse be­tween Don Juan and my self, what hath pass'd be­tween me and Don Pedro. Upon which account (as you have heard from her Father) you find he is ne­ver like to be husband to the fair Donna Brianda. She sent me hither to acquaint you, that what hath been done on her part in order to the marriage be­tween her and Don Pedro was purely out of com­pliance with the commands of her Father, and that she is glad of the occasion she now hath to quit him, and re-assume that kindness and affection she ever had for you. What I say, you will find in writing under her hand, when you have perus'd this Letter.’ Don Sancho, having read it, was the most satisfi'd man in the world, to find his blasted hopes now beginning to spring again.

Donna Victoria perceiving it, to consirm his satis­faction, continu'd her discourse to him thus. ‘I know, Seignor Don Sancho, you will be astonish'd in your self, how this Letter should fall into my hands. It is my self onely can unriddle it. Being in love, as you are, you know that that little Divinity is the Au­thor of many disguises and transformations, as you are taught by Ovid in his Metamorphosis, and con­sequently you doubt not, but that I, loving an un­constant person, who had had such precious pledges of my affection, should leave nothing unattempted to recover my honour, and oblige him to the sa­tisfaction of what he owes me. I am come to this Court, with a design, being what I am, to get into the service of Donna Brianda, and have effected it. [Page 274] For though you see me in this house, (which was taken upon my account) I live in hers, waiting on her in the quality of a Duenna, a part I have as­sum'd, the better to elude Don Pedro, and to do all say in my power to put him out of my Mistress's fa­vour: and I have also brought that so far about, that I am confident there will never be any marriage be­tween them, and she is wholly inclin'd to favour you. Now consider with your self what you would have me to say to your Mistress, for I am just going to put on my Widows habit, and I must return pre­sently, and am afraid she will think I have staid too long. If you will return her an Answer, you have here all things requisite to do it. I think it were fit you should, that Donna Brianda may see, I have punctually obey'd her commands. As to the secret of my disguise, I pray keep it such, for it concerns me, that it should not be discover'd a while. I rely on your discretion, and, knowing you to be a person of Honour and worth, I presume you will not discover it.’

This discourse very much surpriz'd Don Sancho, who took occasion to commend her courage and ge­nerosity, and return'd her his most humble thanks, for the favour she had done him, in entrusting him with the secret of her Love, and prayed Heaven to give him life to acknowledge and require so great an ob­ligation. He promis'd her not to discover any thing till she commanded him to do it; and thereupon, see­ing her in haste to be gone, he writ a Letter in An­swer to what he had receiv'd from his Mistress, full of amorous complements, and pro [...]estations of fidelity to the last gasp. While he was writing, Donna Victo­ria but on her Widow's habit, and made all the haste she could to Don Juan's.

[Page 275] In the mean time Don Pedro, extremely resenting the imposture put upon him, acquainted his Cousin Don Rodrigo with it, whereupon they went both to­gether to Don Juan's. He not being within, they ask'd for Donna Brianda, who came out without any cere­mony to receive their visit, that it might be the shorter; for she had no great mind to see Don Pedro. The poor Gentleman endeavour'd to vindicate him­self, swearing a thousand oaths, that he never heard of any Lady in Sevil, of the name mentioned in the Letter, and that no doubt some envious person had put this trick upon him: and that if Don Juan should upon enquiry find it to be true, he would be content to lose his honour and life, nay more, the hopes of ever enjoying her.

The earnestness of his discourse put Donna Bri­anda into some doubt, that what she had heard was some imposture advanc'd purposely to obstruct his pretensions, and referr'd it to her Father to make a full discovery thereof. Her Answer to them was, that she was not at her own disposal, that it was her duty, to comply with that of her Father, and conse­quently, she could not quit the ill-impression she had receiv'd of Don Pedro, till she were better in­form'd of the Truth: that her Father would come in ere long, and that she could take no resolution with­out his orders, in a business of so great importance.

While they were engag'd in this discourse, Don Juan comes in from the visit▪ he had made to Donna Victoria. Don Rodrigo made him a short relation of what had happen'd, and renew'd to him the just com­plaint which his Cousin had reason to make of the crime laid to his charge. Whereupon both desiring him to hold his hand, at least till there were an exact [Page 276] enquiry made into the business, he desir'd them to sit down, and gave them this Answer.

‘Gentlemen, I went out in hopes to be inform'd by some friends of Sevil, now here, whether that which is imputed to Don Pedro were true, and I could not meet with them: but if I had found them, it's possible they might know nothing of the business, for Sevil is a great City, and some parts of it lye at such a distance from others, that they may well be accounted different places. What I found most certain is, that Don Pedro hath made a promise of Marriage to a Lady of Toledo, who en­tertain'd him at a Country-house of hers, after he had been robb'd by certain Thieves; and what is yet more to be consider'd, she thought it not much to secure his affection by the forfeiture of her Ho­nour. I have it from the Lady her self, who sent for me, and shew'd me the promise under his hand, which since we all know, there can be no evasion.’

He thereupon shew'd it to both the Cousins, who were both at such a loss that they knew not what to say, especially Don Pedro, who sufficiently betray'd his guilt by his astonishment, but swore withall that he had not made that promise under his own name, but under a feigned. But Don Rodrigo knowing all the circumstances of the business, was most liberal of his reproaches to his Cousin, which raising a certain compassion in Don Juan, forc'd this discourse from him. Signor Don Pedro, ‘We find by many expe­riences, that a young Man, once fallen in Love, will do any thing to obtain his desires. That Love should overcome you, I wonder not at all; but what occasions my astonishment, is, that you should have the confidence to address your self to a person [Page 277] of the quality this Lady is of, and dishonour her, without ever considering, that, in time, she might acquaint her friends therewith, who would be sure to revenge the affront. And what adds to this astonishment, is, that you durst do such an action when you were coming hither purposely in order to your matching with my Daughter, for whom, if any credit may be given your Letters, you preten­ded to have a passionate affection. I see not how your heart could be capable of such a competition of passions, that you should pretend the greatest inclinations imaginable for one, and treat of a marriage with another. Being a person of Honour, I doubt not but you will make it appear in your actions, and that is, that you stand to the promise you made to the Lady Victoria, though it were onely out of this consideration, that it argues a more generous nature to do that willingly, which must otherwise unwillingly be done. The Lady is not so destitute of Friends as you haply imagine; she is now at Madrid, come expresly to recover her debt, which no doubt she will; and her cause being so just, 'tis not likely she will want assistance. My advice is, that you endeavour to prevent the ill reports which the business must raise of you; perform what you have promis'd, and let not your Love to my Daughter blind you any further, for I am resolv'd to shut her up in a Cloister, for the re­mainder of her Life, rather than she shall ever be your Wife.’

With that he rose up, and, without any comple­ment, went into another room. Donna Brianda fol­low'd him, and the two Cousins, without so much as a word exchang'd, went home, where Don Rodrigo [Page 278] fell into bitter expostulations with his Cousin, for his engaging himself in so unworthy an action. Don Pedro had nothing to reply, but that he was astonish'd how that promise came to be sign'd with his own name, having made it onely under a supposititious.

Leaving them in that confusion, making several reflections on the adventure, let us return to the feign'd Waiting-woman, who was got back to Don Juan's, and had deliver'd Don Sancho's Letter to Donna Brianda. She was infinitely satisfy'd with it, as fearing he would not have been so easily retriv'd into her service. Donna Brianda acquainted her, how that Don Pedro and his Cousin had been there; what had pass'd between them and her Father; and that he had absolutely dismiss'd them, it being discover'd, that Don Pedro had committed another impertinence, and had made a promise of Marriage to a Lady of Toledo, who was come express to Madrid, to ob­struct his pretensions to her. Donna Victoria preten­ded the greatest astonishment in the world, and burst forth into imprecations against Don Pedro.

In the mean time there came a message to Donna Brianda from a She-Cousin of hers, inviting her to a Comedy which was to be represented at her House, that night, whereto she sent Answer, that she would come. Donna Victoria having made so successful a progress in her business, bethought her self of an in­vention that should bring it to an absolute period, for she had the management of all. She told Donna Brianda, that if she pleas'd to wave her going to the Comedy she might have a meeting that night with Don Sancho, in a secure place, to wit at her Father's house, where she might do what she pleas'd her self. The Lady had a great kindness for Don Sancho, and [Page 279] was desirous to prevent the reproaches he might make upon her former discarding of him, and so she ac­cepted the proffer made by her Woman. She im­mediately sent for Santillana, and gave him a Letter for Don Sancho, whereby he was desir'd to come that night at eight to Donna Victoria's house. He was sent with another to Don Pedro de Ribera, acquaint­ing him that Donna Brianda, notwithstanding the in­dignation of her Father, and what she her self had said, was resolv'd secretly to marry him, and desir'd to meet him that night, at a House, whither the Bearer would bring him, and that he should not fail to be there at nine. The two Cavaliers kindly receiv'd their Letters, especially Don Pedro, who being but a little before dismiss'd, was re-call'd to joyn hands with Donna Brianda, and imagin'd it done by the in­tercession of the Waiting-Gentlewoman, to whom he thought himself infinitely oblig'd, and the present he had made her well bestow'd. The two Gallants fail'd not to be there at the time appointed, and in the mean time Donna Brianda and her Woman took Coach, leaving Don Juan at home, ready to go to bed. They went to Donna Victoria's house, which seem'd to be that of Santillana, where they were re­ceiv'd by Marcella, Victoria's maid, who went under the name of her Step-mother. While Donna Bri­anda was expecting the arrival of Don Sancho, she sent Albert with a Letter to Don Juan, which con­tained these words.

THE LETTER.

Sir,

MY Lady Donna Brianda, instead of going to see the Comedy, whereto she had been invited, is come to my Father's house, with a re­solution to be secretly married to Don Pedro, notwithstanding your prohibitions to the contrary. I conceiv'd it my duty to give you notice thereof, it is your work to take what course you think fit to prevent it; for my part I have done what lay in me, and I shall not need to fear any reproach from you, since I have sent you timely notice of her in­tention.

Donna Theodora.

Santillana was dispatch'd away with this Letter, and order'd not to deliver it till half an hour after nine, which he did. In the mean time Don Sancho fail'd not to come, precisely at his time, and was di­rected to his Mistress, who gave him such satisfaction as silenc'd all his complaints. Victoria left them together in a room, where she lock'd them in. Not long after came Don Pedro, according to the time appointed him, and was receiv'd by Victoria, who dispos'd him into a room, without light, alledging it concern'd him, that he were not seen; that he should forbear making any noise, and that it would not be long ere his Mistress came to him. He pro­mis'd to obey her in all things, and staid there so long [Page 281] as that Victoria might shift her self into Cloaths suitable to her quality. That done, she went into the room, and speaking very low, it was no hard matter for her to deceive Don Pedro, and to make him be­lieve he was very much in his Mistress's favour.

Leaving these young people thus match'd let us return to Don Juan, who receiv'd the Letter from the Duenna just as he was getting into bed. The old Gentleman was extreamly surpris'd thereat, and going out of doors, attended by Albert, he went to the Commissary's house, which was hard by. The afflicted Man acquainted him what posture things were in; whereupon the Commissary taking some of his people about him, they went to Albert's house, where, after some knocking, they were let in. They happily had a Lantern with them, and it did them good service, for they found the House without any light. They lighted a Torch, and went into several rooms, in one whereof finding Don Sancho and Donna Brianda, the Commissary ask'd them what they did there? Don Sancho told him he was there with his Wife, which was confirm'd by Donna Bri­anda. Don Juan would have run him through; but the Commissary telling him she was not with the person he imagin'd, that that Gentleman was Don Sancho de Leyba, a person of great quality and well known about the Court, Don Juan could do no less than approve of their Marriage, though 'twere onely out of a satisfaction, that she was not fallen into the hands of Don Pedro, whom he hated extreamly, for the strange pranks he had plaid.

They went thence into another room, which they found lock'd, and thereupon threatning to break open the door, Don Pedro open'd it within, and comes out [Page 282] telling them he was there with Donna Brianda his wife, and that it was with her consent, he was come into that house to marry her. Upon that discourse Donna Victoria came out of the room and said to him, ‘You are deceiv'd, sweet Seignor Don Pedro, I a [...] not the woman you think me, but Donna Victori [...] de Sylva, who expects from you the reparation o [...] her honour; the recovery whereof oblig'd me t [...] enter into the service of Donna Brianda, serving he [...] in the quality of a Waiting-woman.’ Don Juan de [...] Cerda looking on her a little more attentively that he had done, knew her, as also did the fair Lad [...] Donna Brianda. Both of them reflecting on the dis­guises she had run through to retrive her Honour, ve­ry seriously commended her courage and contri­vances, and as much blamed Don Pedro, who finding himself convinc'd, and condemn'd of all, ratifi [...] once more the promise he had made her. Don Sanch [...] and his Mistress were ensur'd one to the other, an [...] the solemnity of their marriage ordered to be eigh [...] days after. They prov'd both very happy in thei [...] wives, of whom they had many children, who were the comfort and felicity of their Parents. But parti­cularly for Don Pedro, when he reflected on the strange adventures whereby Donna Victoria engag'd him to his duty, he look'd on all as so many extraor­dinary demonstrations of her affection, towards him, which occasion'd his to be multipli'd towards her, be­sides the kindness he had for her upon the account of her ingenuity. For wit in a Woman is a great en­flamer of Love, especially that Woman's wit whic [...] is ever best at a dead lift.

[Page 283] RUfina and her Maids were extremely pleas'd with this Novel of Don faimo's; that eloquence which was so natural in him, added as so many pre­cious grains to the perfect metall of his other excel­lent qualities, rendred him of so good weight in her esteem, that she could no longer forbear expressing it in her words and actions. On the other side, the Gal­lant, finding her so tractable, resolv'd to desist from the intention he had to rob her, and wish'd for a handsome opportunity to acquaint her therewith, which soon happened. For Rufina persuading her self that Don Jaimo was the same person he had describ'd himself in his relation, told him, that she had some intentions, before her Father were return'd from Madrid, to leave the house she was in, to carry along with her all the best houshold-stuff, and to go with him into Valentia, since he was so powerful in those parts, and descended from so illustrious a Family, and that her Father would not be dis-satisfi'd with her marriage, when he should come to hear of it.

The disguis'd Cavalier was forc'd, upon this occa­sion, to discover how it had been resolv'd that he should trapan her, and not desirous she should conti­nue any longer ignorant of the imposture, ‘My dear heart, said he to her, having experienc'd the kind­ness and affection wherewith you have been pleas'd to honour me, I were the most ingrateful person in the world, if I should keep you in darkness any longer. No, I will make an absolute and full dis­covery of my self to you, and tell you such things as have hitherto not so much as entred your imagi­nation; and certainly I were not pardonable, if the sincere affection I bear you did not somewhat alle­viate my crime. I do not say it consists in my lov­ing [Page 284] of you, for it is impossible, that those who have once a sight of your divine beauty should not love you: I have seen it, and, subdu'd by your charms, am become a captive thereto, my liberty and all the powers and faculties of my soul being absolutely at your disposal. 'Tis a Victory, Madam, which you might easily obtain over hearts much more re­bellious against Love than mine is, which became your slave, upon the first sight of those two Suns; and this is a truth I shall never recant while I live.’

‘The meaning of this Preamble is, to induce you to pardon me the offence I have committed against you. I now ingeniously acknowledge, that I am not the person I describ'd in the account you oblig'd me to give me of my extraction, though it be true I was born in Valentia; but one meanly descended, yet of people of good repute. My Father got his livelihood by the labour of his hands, and the sweat of his brows, being by profession a Rope-maker. Me-thought I had some apprehensions above my condition; and therefore unwilling to fall to my Fa­ther's laborious trade, I went into Casteel, having before been in Andalusia, and I made those ad­vantages of my Travel and the conversation I met with, and improv'd the natural Talent I had so well, that I never wanted either friends or mony. I came to this City in the company of a man na­med Crispin, who had been a prisoner some time at Malaga, for some crime he would by no means acknowledge to me. The person hath oblig'd me, having born my charges all the way; nay more, he hath lent me mony, out of a confidence of the reality I had to serve him, in the secret trade we drove together. He declar'd his mind to me one [Page 285] day, and advis'd me, by some pretence or other, to get into your house, for he knew you had good store of mony, and was desirous to disburthen you of some part of it. From the discourse he made, I inferr'd, that he had been a prisoner at Malaga for some robbery. Now to compass our design, we pretended a quarrel, which should oblige me to take refuge in your house: and in the mean time, you have entertain'd me with such extraordinary kindness, and have so nobly oblig'd me, that I find the favours you have done me will frustrate Crispin's intention. And therefore now that I acquaint you with the trick we design'd to put upon you, assure your self I will endeavour to retort it upon himself, and get out of him what mony he hath, to chastise him for his folly. For heaven forbid I should prove in­grateful to a person who hath oblig'd me so highly as you have done. I have discover'd my Soul to you, dispose of me now as you think fit, for I am resolv'd to perish, ere I ever consent you shall receive any injury, though I have disclaim'd the quality, I had unjustly assum'd.’

Rufina was extremely exasperated against Crispin, not so much for his design to be reveng'd on her for the prank she plaid him at Malaga, but upon an apprehension that he might have acquainted Jaimo what kind of person she was, and what trade she drove. Whereupon consdering that he had so inge­nuously discover'd himself to her, and acknowledg'd even to the meanness of his birth, she thought her self oblig'd to do the like, and to give him a sincere ac­count of her descent, course of life, friends, in a word, all her adventures, to her arrival at Toledo. But Love and Wine make people talk more than they should. [Page 286] Jaimo was glad that Rufina was no better descended than himself: that equality of condition not onely oc­casion'd a greater kindness, but begat thoughts of a match, between them. They resolv'd to leave Toledo, and to take up their habitation at Madrid; but Rufina told him, she would first be reveng'd of Crispin, who intended to serve her such a base trick. Jaimo under­took it, telling her, that under pretence of their ac­quaintance and friendship, he might easily bring him into the noose, and not onely leave him mony-less, but also find him a good secure lodging, lest he should at­tempt to revenge himself.

With this resolution, leaving Rufina's he went to Crispin, whom he found at his lodging, not expecting to have seen him so soon. He was over-joy'd to heat how his Companion had insinuated himself into Ru­fina's favour, whereupon the other telling him, that to make sure work of her, he wanted a summe of mony, as well for expence, as to gain rhe Servants, the Apo­state Hermite answered he should not want it. By this means Jaimo thought to oblige him to a greater confidence of him, heightning the intended cheat with a thousand oaths of an inviolable Friendship. Thus was that old experienc'd Turn-key of villany brought into a Fool's paradise; for, that Jaimo might live sutably to the relation he had made of himself, he gave him a hundred pieces in gold, to be dispos'd of as he pleas'd, hoping to have them return'd, attended with six times as many. He took them out of a bag where were five or six hundred more, some part of his former atchievments. Jaimo observ'd the place, where he put up that treasure, and swore to himself, that he would not sleep heartily till be had alter'd the property of that bag. While Crispin was gone out [Page 287] to give the Hostess order for a brace of Partridges and a Rabet for his, and his Camerade's supper, he went to the port-manteu, wherein the mony was garison'd, and opening the chain (a thing he could do as clea­verly as any of his profession) took out the bag, and dispos'd it into a place, whence he might easily re­move it at his departure. They supp'd very merrily, which ended, Jaimo tooke leave of Crispin, putting him over head and ears in hope, that he would bring his design to a period.

He went straight to Rufina's, who it may well be presum'd, receiv'd him very kindly. He gave her an account what had pass'd between him and Crispin, and how he had with his own mony promoted the design he had to chouse him. Being alone with her, he shew'd her the goodly pieces, for she had a great affection to mony of that colour. Jaimo represented to her, how much it concern'd them to leave Toledo, before Cri­spin should take notice of the loss of his mony. Rufina told him, that she knew an expedient for that, which was, to serve Crispin such a trick at Toledo, as she had done at Malaga. Having thereupon writ a large Letter to the Magistrate, whose province it is to per­secute such people, they set things in order for their departure, and met with two Wagons, then going for Madrid, wherein they put their goods, taking onely the She-slave to wait on them. They went to the Court, where, as in a Sea, so many Rivers meet, having resolv'd that Rufina should not appear, till they had some news of Garay.

Leaving them there, let us see what was the effect of the Letter sent to the Provost. As soon as he had read it, he went, according to the directions therein receiv'd, attended by some of his Officers, to Crispin's [Page 288] lodging, who, impatiently expecting, that Jaim [...] should make his way into Rufina's house, and thereby put him into possession of all her mony, was taken in his chamber, and thence conducted to prison. Not long before, one of the Judges of Malaga, had been at Toledo, to look for him, and not finding him, had left with the Provost some observations on his Phy­siognomy, by which, though the habit he then was in disguiz'd him very much, it was more then presum'd, that he was the person. They seiz'd on what he had in the house, among which he thought the Gold, which Jaimo had eas'd him of, had been, for he knew nothing of its departure, which happen'd well for the two Lovers, who were already dislodg'd. The issue of his imprisonment, was, that, being put to the Torture, he could not keep his own counsel, and so was sentenc'd to receive the reward of his confessions, Hanging. 'Twas Heaven's kindness towards him, that he should end his days with some remorse for his sins, for though that be the ordinary exit of such as engage themselves in that wretched kind of life, yet are there many of them whose guilty souls, are, by sword and pistol, dispatch'd into the other world, without the least act of contrition. This was the end of poor Crispin, who made a publick acknowledgment of all the robberies and villanies he had committed, while he was a Hermit, to the great edification of the peo­ple. He was also observ'd to have this generosity, that he named not any person who had been engag'd with him in his designs; nay though he knew, the present misfortune had been procur'd him by his Friend Jai­mo, yet he Christianly forgave him and all the world at his death.

In the mean time Rufina and Jaimo were married [Page 289] as soon as they came to Madrid, but kept out of Garay's fight. He went soon after to Alcala, where he had been told his Wife was, but finding her not, he struck in with some of his own Profession, and the result was, that being surpris'd in a Robbery, they were all condemn'd to the lash, and six years recrea­tion in the Galleys. He was brought to the chain at Toledo, which eas'd his mind a little, for, thinking Rufina had been there still, he writ a Letter to her, desiring her, in regard she had gotten all she was worth by his co-operation and assistance, that she would have compassion on him, and exempt him from that penance, by buying a Slave in his stead, a thing commonly practis'd. The Beater enquires for Ru­fina, where he had directed, but the Neighbours told him, that she had left Toledo; so that honest Garay, burthen'd with Iron, Years, and Hardship, came to have that relation to his Catholick Majesty, which he and many others, though they justly deserv'd it, little expected to be preferr'd to.

On the contrary Don Jaimo liv'd like a Prince at Madrid, where he soon met with some of his own Constitution, a sort of people, who, like Foxes, never fare better than when they are most curst. They committed some secret Robberies, with such caution and industry, that the Authors thereof could never be discover'd, whereby they were so flesh'd and encou­rag'd, that they daily found out new designs. There was started up about this time at Madrid an excellent Company of Players, brought together by the ex­cessive charge and liberality of a Grandee of Spain, a person of vast Wealth. What his design was in it, I know not, whether he did it out of charity, or for his particular divertisement, or upon some other account [Page 290] to me unknown; but he made it his business to see it furnish'd with all things requisite. He was desirous they might have the advantages of the Feast of the B. Sacrament, at which time, the Players of the City may, during all the days of the Octave, represent their Plays in the open streets, where all are welcome without paying; and this is done every year at Ma­drid, at the time of that Feast. To effectuate his design, he bought them some new Plays of the best Poets in Spain, whom he paid well, and put upon some other pieces, for the accomplishment of that famous Company. So that another Company, which was then at Madrid, being too weak to stand in competition with this, was forc'd to leave the City, and go to Toledo, where they had, from that Imperial City, the ordinary Salary for representing the best pieces they had, at the same Feast. This new Com­pany had the whole Court to it self, and the said Grandee gave them by way of advance four thousand Crowns, to provide Cloaths suitable to the Pieces they intended to represent. This sum of money was brought into the House of one of the Players, an in­genious and understanding person, for whom the rest had such respect, that all things pass'd through his hands; he also took care for all things, and gave a very faithful account thereof. He dispos'd this money in­to a great Chest, whereof he always carried the Key about him. Jaimo's company soon had an inkling of it, and thinking it a noble prize to hook in that money, they propos'd several ways to compass it, but at last referr'd all their deliberations to Jaimo, whose advice they had, upon other occasions, found the best. He desir'd time to consider till the next day. That night he spent in communicating the business to his Wife, [Page 291] whom he acquainted with the several proposals of his Camerades. She gave him infallible directions how the business should be effected. Jaimo had the repu­tation of being able to do somewhat in Poetry, upon which they laid the Plot, and it was approv'd by his Companions.

The next day, Jaimo was clad like a Scholar newly come from the University, in a Cassock and long Cloak very bare, and spotted in many places. Thus accoutred, he smelt as strongly of the Poet as if he had fed on nothing but Verses from his Mother's milk. They fitted his Nose with a good large pair of Spectacles, which were fasten'd to his Ears with a Lute-string, a thing very common in Spain, and fur­nish'd him with a huge broad-brimm'd Hat; in fine he had all things requisite, to act the part of a ridicu­lous and extravagant Poet, which was the way they conceiv'd most likely to compass their design.

He went thus to the Comedians, who were met at their Theatre, and upon the rehearsal of a piece, which was to be represented within three days. He address'd himself to the person who had the over­sight of the Company, for he had enquir'd out his name, and coming to him with a great many con­gees, (after he had ask'd him how he did.) ‘I am a Poet, Sir, said he to him, so you take it not ill.’ The Comedian, as we told you, was a very appre­hensive person, and often had to do with such phan­tasms of extravagant Men, such as Jaimo seem'd to be by that abrupt introduction. ‘Many years may you be so, Sir, repli'd he, assure your self, it shall not trouble me at all. The design of my studies, says the other, was to become eminent in Divinity, that so I might be capable of a good Benefice, in order [Page 292] to which I have already taken the degree of Batche­lour of Divinity, in the University of Iracha, with the great applause of all my Country-men; for I am a Biscayan, to serve God, and your illustrious Company. I was born at the Town of Ordugna, and I have the advantage to be alli'd to the most honourable families of that ancient place. I am known by the name of the Batchelour Dominico Joancho, and my fame is great in my own Country, which I told you is Biscay. There it was (not slighting the Talent, which it hath pleas'd Heaven to give me gratis, by causing me to be born a Poet) that I addicted my self to the study of Poetry, wherein I have been wonderfully fortunate; and finding that all people admir'd my works, and many were importunate with me to publish them, I would needs make a trial what kind of fancy I might have in the writing of Plays. Those I have made are not such as are now in Vogue, written by some Novice Poets as I may call them; No, I thank Mercury and the Muses, mine are of a kind of extraordinary stile, and I can furnish you with a dozen at least ready for the Stage. I am come to this Court, where there are excellent Wits, and I have had the honour to be esteem'd here according to my worth, and I may without vanity affirm it, that the most humorous Judgements have acknow­ledg'd that my perfections are more than ordinary. But I think it my greatest happiness, Sir, that I flourish in the same Age with so noble and illu­strious a Company, which may be called the Flower of all those that ever were in Spain, in whose service I would employ the Talent God hath bestow'd on me, if your self, and the rest of your honourable [Page 293] Company be so pleas'd. What number of Plays I have promis'd you, all of my own Writing, you need but call for. As to the price, you are so rea­sonable, that we shall not disagree: Be pleas'd, Sir, to honour me so far, as to make me acquainted with the rest of your Company, that they may give me their sence, as to what I propose.’

This Comedian was of an humour much different from many others of that Quality, who, when a Poet, whom they know not, comes to present them with a Comedy, slight him so far as that they will not so much as give him audience, as if that Divine Power, which hath inspir'd those that are in Vogue, had confin'd his gifts to them, and had nothing left to bestow on o­thers. But this Comedian, I say, was of a very jovial and pleasant humour, and was glad of any such occasion to divert himself. So that measuring the inside of the person by his out-side and discourse, he told him, that he did them a transcendent honour, and that he gave him thanks in the name of the whole company. Then turning about to his Companions, ‘Gentlemen, said he to them, be pleas'd to take notice of the re­nowned Batchelor Dominico Joancho, a Nobleman of Biscay and most excellent Poet, whose produ­ctions for the Theatre are beyond all admiration, and who proffers to exhaust his precious vein for our's, having already finish'd at least a dozen pieces, which he hath a desire to shew us.’ The other Co­medians, by the discourse of their Camerade, and by the ill equipage, and worse looks of the person, easily discover'd, that he and his wits were at a little distance, which oblig'd them to pretend, that they were ex­treamly engag'd to him, and so they all gave him, one after another, a very civil salute, which he very un­handsomely [Page 294] return'd. He who had first spoken to him, ask'd him, whether he would have the patience till they had done rehearsing, which would not be long, in regard they had gone over it three or four times be­fore, and had now but some particular Scenes to look over, and then they would see some of his Pieces, if he would be pleas'd to communicate them; which he promis'd to do. He took a chair and sate very quietly till the Rehearsal was over. By that time they had made an end, it was so near night, that they could not well do any thing without candles. They call'd for some, and sitting all about him, they desir'd him to read the titles of the twelve Comedies, which he said were ready for the Stage. The counterfeit Author, who acted his part very pleasantly, took a Paper out of his Pocket, and read to them, as followeth.

A Catalogue of Plays written this present year, by the Batchelour Dominico Joancho, a Biscayan Poet.
  • 1. The Extravagant Infanta.
  • 2. The Lucifer of Yepes.
  • 3. Gandaya.
  • 4. The Creation of the World.
  • 5. Noah's Ark.
  • 6. The French-Pox.
  • 7. Almonds for such as have no Teeth.
  • 8. The scorching Summer.
  • 9. Between two Stools the—comes to the ground.
  • 10. The Pilgrimage of St. James.
  • 11. The Good Thief on the Cross.
  • 12. The Seignoress of Biscay.

[Page 295] ‘These, says he, are the twelve Comedies I have already finish'd: I would not willingly have any of them represented before the last, because the Ad­venture is of my own Country, and it is a most ex­cellent Comedy, the contrivances of it are admira­ble, and I need give you no further commendation of it, than that it hath cost me abundance of oil and time, and that I bit my nails above a hundred times at the writing of it.’

The Comedians had much ado to keep their coun­tenances, for they could hardly forbear laughing at extravagant Titles of the Comedies, and wish'd they had had more time to enjoy the conversation of the Biscain Poet. He who had spoken to him first, giv­ing him thanks in the name of the whole company; ‘I am infinitely glad, Sir, said he to him, that I have had the honour of coming to the knowledge of you, from your own self, for till now, I must, to my shame, acknowledge, that I had not so much as heard of your illustrious name: you will injure your self extremely, if you do not make the Court of Spain sensible of your excellent parts. I am there­fore to intreat you, in the name of our whole Com­pany, that you will be pleas'd to honour us with that Piece of yours, which you conceive most likely to take, though we question not but your reputation is even beyond your own expressions of it. You know the custom of Poets, when they are first to appear on the Stage, which is, to present it with the first Piece gratis; for what we shall receive from you afterwards, you shall be satisfi'd according to our agreement, and it is possible, they may please so well, that we shall act onely yours, for one year at least; and rather than we shall be behind-hand [Page 296] with you, we shall not stick to borrow mony, though at ever so great interest. 'Tis now late, and supper-time calls us away, which ended, we shall have more leisure to discourse further, if you please to give me and my Companions the meeting at my chamber. There we hope you will communicate to us your thoughts of that Comedy, which you shall be pleas'd to recommend to us. If you leave it to my choice, as it is fit you should, repli'd he, the Seignoress of Biscay shall be the first I will read to you, for I have a confidence, by that, to raise my self into the reputation of a good Author, and to acquire the esteem of this Court.’ He who was the Speaker of the Company, said to him, ‘Will you be pleas'd, Sir, to give me a little satisfaction as to the Title of that Comedy; you call it, The Seignoress, whereby me-thinks it should rather have been The Lady of Biscay, that being a more usual tearm.’ ‘You are very much in the right, replies the feign'd Poet; but I do it purposely, for the King entitles himself onely Seignor of Biscay, and not Prince, Duke, Earl, or Marquess: besides I have another reason, why I do not call her Lady, but Seignoress, which is, that it rhimes with Princess, and all other words of the like termination. To this I may adde, that the word is new, and you know the times are such now, that all the world runs after Novelties, even to the very lowest sort of people, who express a certain dis­gust towards things common and trivial.’

‘Your reasons are beyond all expectation, replies the Commedian, and therefore I shall not trouble you much with further demands.’ ‘No trouble at all, says the counterfeit Poet, you oblige me, for though you your self may be satisfi'd as to my worth, yet [Page 297] some others here present may be glad of such dire­ctions, as I onely am able to give them.’ ‘Your most humble Servant, says the Comedian, then for their better information who you conceive may want it, give me leave to tell you, that I am not satisfi'd as to the title of one of your Plays, I mean that which you call Noah's Ark, I cannot imagine how you can accommodate that Piece to the Theatre, nor who can be the Actors, for I see but very few can be brought to speak in it.’ ‘I must pardon your ig­norance of my design, replies the Poet, for if you knew it, you would admire the invention, which is wholly new. I bring in as Actors in that Piece all those Creatures that are taught to speak, as Parrats, Mag-pies, Jays, Starlings, Daws, and others, a thing never seen before, and which, for its novelty, must needs be admir'd.’

They could hardly forbear laughing at his former discourses, but this humour was so pleasant, that it was impossible to hold, which oblig'd the Author to ask them very seriously what they laugh'd at. ‘You see, Sir, says the Speaker, how likely this Novelty is to take with the people, since it makes us so merry, out of a conceit, that we shall make a great advan­tage thereby.’ ‘No doubt of it, says the Poet. But no more, of the titles of my other Pieces, let us talk onely of that which I would have represented first. I shall hereafter, at more leisure, satisfie the diffi­culties you have to propose concerning the other titles, whereof I shall give you the explication.’ ‘It shall be so, said he who had spoken to him; to which purpose, we shall desire your company at my house anon after supper, where we shall all be ready to entertain you.’Whereupon he took his leave, pro­mising he would not fail to be with them.

[Page 298] Having made this progress in his business, he went and gave his Camerades an account thereof, and ap­pointed them to wait about his house where the mo­ny was. He undertook to keep the Company in play, while they should do their work, which they would not be long about, having all the implements re­quisite for men of their profession. The Comedians, on the other side, prepar'd all things to shew him such a trick, as his extravagance deserv'd, getting some squibs and crackers made, to frighten him, if 'twere possible, out of the little wit he had.

His hour being come, he went to his house who had invited him, to read the Seignoress. He who expe­cted him had provided what he thought requisite to make sport enough that night for the whole Compa­ny. The chief Comedian, seeing they were all met, told them that the Room was too narrow for the whole Company, and that they were better to ap­point their meeting at the Theatre, where they should not be disturb'd. The feign'd Poet was glad to hear the proposition, and seconded it, inasmuch as, the coast being clear, his Camerades might the more ea­sily dispatch their business. It happen'd according to his wishes, for the Mistress of the house, who had heard her husband and others of the Company talk of the extravagant Poet, and how they intended to serve him, would needs see the sport, and lest it might be late ere they return'd home, she took all the servants, both men and maids, along with her; so that the Gar­rison was clearly dismantled. They brought the Poet to the Theatre with a great deal of ceremony, and plac'd him at the end of a Table, on which there were two candles. Having taken the Comedy out of his pocket, and the Company silently expecting, after [Page 299] two or three grave Hems, he began to read thus.

THE SEIGNORESS OF BISCAY, A NEW COMEDY.

The Actors Names.
  • DON OCHOA, A young Cavalier.
  • DON GARNICA, A young Cavalier.
  • GOZENEGO, Tom-Ladle, the Fool in the Play.

Hold a little, I pray, Sir, says the principal Co­median, why do you give the Fool two names, would not one serve? No, Sir, says the Poet; for the former is his name, as he is a Christian, or his Christian name, and the other he hath in relation to the part he acts. For as the Ladle stirs the meat which is in the Pot, so he is the person which tum­bles, and turns upside down the several parts of the Plot, and shuffles all the contrivances and intrigues of the Comedy. You shall find nothing but I can give you a very good reason for it, and therefore you may spare your self the trouble of raising any further objections. Excellent! I am satisfi'd, Sir, says the other, pray go on.

  • GRACE GELINDA, Seignoress of Biscay, a name very pertinent to signifie the Graces that are in her.
  • [Page 300]
    • GARIBAYA
    • GAMBOINA
    Her Waiting-woman.
  • L'ORDOVY, an old Gentleman-Usher be­longing to the Seignoress.
  • ARANELBIA, Steward to the Seignoress.
  • A SMITH'S FORGE.

Your patience, a little, Sir, says the principal Comedian, is that Forge to speak any thing in the Play? No, Sir, says the Poet; but there is a necessity of it in this Piece, in regard there is frequent men­tion made of it, as being the most considerable re­venue of our Country, that is, of her Highness the Seignoress. Very well, very well, replies the other; but however put it not among the Actors. That's easily mended, says the Batchelor.

  • Item, THIRTEEN VESSELS, belonging to the Seignoress.

How Thirteen! says the Comedian, can they not be reduc'd to lesser number? No, Sir, says the Poet, because they represent Thirteen of the most emi­nent Families of Biscay, and every one, in the name of its whole House, hath a Voice in the Ge­neral Assembly, to consent to the marriage of the Seignoress; and if there were any one wanting, 'twould argue a certain contempt of an illustrious Family. I am very punctual and exact, as to what concerns the History of Biscay, and I would not miss an atome of it. But it will be hard for us to represent it, says the Comedian, for we are not so many Actors in our whole Company. Take some at hire out of some other, replies the Poet, for upon such an accompt as this is you must spare for no cost. Have you any more Actors, says the Comedian? Yes, replies the Poet.

  • [Page 301] SEVEN YOVNG MAIDS, between 15 and 20 years of age, who dance a Ball, before their Mistress, at her enrrance into Biscay.

Well, Sir, says the Comedian, I have seen many Comedies in my time, but never any that had such extraordinary particulars as yours. How do you imagine I should find seven young Maids, especi­ally so near the Court? Sir, says the Poet, no pro­fit comes in without charge; but you need not be so scrupulous, they will not be search'd, to try, whe­ther they really be such or not, though 'twere more convenient they should. Nay there is yet another expedient, which is, to have them in Perspective, or in Scenes, and artificially mov'd to dance the Ball; but to do well, they should be alive. There you give us some comfort, says the Comedian, for we may make up that number out of our Company, if those will serve who appear not upon the Stage: but I shall not undertake they will be such as you would have them. Now, Sir, if you please, let's have a little of your way in carrying on the design of this Piece.

In the first Scene, said he, comes out Don Ochoa, Sutor to the Seignoress, and Gozenego, Tom-Ladle, his man, in country cloaths, with each of them a good thick riding hood, or Capouche, and an In­dian Umbrello. How, says the Comedian, what need is there of the Parasol, or Umbrello, if they have Capouches? I see, says the Poet, you are not much acquainted with the temperature of the climate of Biscay. In summer, Sir, there are such furious deluges of waters, as if the sky were broken to pieces; presently after, there comes such a scorching Sun, as will set a man's brains a boiling in [Page 302] his head. I cannot disprove you, says the Comedian; pray go on.

He then began to read the verses, but after such a ridiculous and extravagant manner, that when he had gone over about an hundred of them, the Players per­ceiving that the Piece contain'd many sheets, close written, and tir'd with the impertinence of what they had already heard, and withall that they had spent most part of the night so trivially, interrupted the Reciter with a kind of a buzzing noise. That was the Cue which the feign'd Batchelor expected, yet seeming to be angry at it, he clapp'd both hands on the Table with such violence, that he shook the two Candlesticks, and cri'd out with a loud voice, Tacete, Tacete. But the Players and others that were present, not understanding the Latine, the noise increas'd, the table was over-turn'd, and the Candles were put out, and then all retiring from him, they set fire to the train they had laid for the poor Poet. He found himself encompass'd by a number of squibs and crackers, and long bags full of sand like snakes, all in open hostility against him. He was in a very sad pickle, for there was nothing but confusion on the Theatre, besides the flames of rosin which came up from beneath the Stage, and were ready to choke him, insomuch that to cure him of all future thoughts of Poetry, there needed onely a gentle tossing in a blanket. He seem'd to take it very unkindly, that he had been brought thither, to receive such an affront, for besides the danger his tinder Cloak and Cassock had been in of a general conflagration, he lost the Comedy, than whichthere could not a greater loss happen to him. The Epilogue of the Piece was, that Jaimo's companions, while the Company was thus [Page 303] entertain'd at the Theatre, had found a way into the Comedian's house, and plaid the Ferrets in all the rooms, and examin'd the chests and trunks that stood in their way, in one whereof they found the mony they look'd for, which they cleaverly carried to Jaimo's house, where it was very fairly divided; and in regard Jaimo's wife had been the inventress of the Plot, she had an equal share with those who had been emploi'd in the execution of it.

The next day, the Comedian going to take up certain stuffs for cloaths, was not a little astonish'd to find the chest open, and the mony fled. He was for a while at such a loss, that he knew not where he was. At last, he ask'd his wife who had been in the house? whereto she could give him no account at all. He sent people to abroad to search, and acquainted the Magistrate with what had happen'd. The nearest streets to the house were visited, but to no purpose. The poor Comedian went to relate his misfortune to the Grandee, of whom he had receiv'd that present. But he thinking it a cheat of the Comedians, would not believe him. He fell sick out of pure discontent, and kept his bed, and then began to doubt it was a trick put upon him by that feign'd Poet, for whom he immediately caus'd a search to be made; but he could never be found, for he and his Companions had taken a course for that. These things being repre­sented to the Lord, who had bestow'd the mony on them, he was so generous as to supply them with the like sum.

In the mean time, the Officers were still upon duty, to see, whether, searching for the Poet, they should meet with the Author of the Robbery. The indispos'd Comedian recover'd upon the sight of the [Page 304] Mony's return into the chest. Jaimo and his Compa­nions had a consultation how they might trapan the Comedian of that recrute, but when it was propos'd to Rufina, who had always a voice in the Conclave, 'twas immediately quash'd, and she prevail'd with her Husband to leave Madrid, since they had mony enough to retire else-where, and drive some trade therewith. Jaimo took her advice, and so leaving Madrid, they went into Arragon, and planted them­selves at Saragossa, the Metropolis of that King­dom. They took a House, and kept a Silk-shop, spending some time in that employment. What de­signs they were engag'd in during their abode their, and upon what account they were forc'd to remove thence shall be the subject of a Second Part of this work; wherein the Reader shall find Rufina, im­prov'd in subtilty by experience, contriving and com­passing cheats much more pleasant and more inge­nious, than any she hath been hitherto concern'd in, with a little assistance from her Husband Don Jaimo.

FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.