THE Spanish Decameron: OR, TEN NOVELS.

VIZ.

  • The Rival Ladies.
  • The Mistakes.
  • The Generous Lover.
  • The Libertine.
  • The Virgin Captive.
  • The Perfidious Mistress.
  • The Metamorphos'd Lover.
  • The Impostour Out-Witted.
  • The Amorous Miser.
  • The Pretended Alchymist.

Made English by R. L.

Licensed, Febr. 17th. 1686. R. P.

LONDON, Printed for Simon Neale, in Angel-Court, in St. Martin's-Lane, near the Church. 1687.

THE PREFACE.

THE Age is grown so Critical, now a-days, that a Book dares not appear without a Preface, or an Epistle to it; for fear of being Cen­sur'd, which obliges me not to be singular. As to this Decameron of Novels; they are Spanish Relations, Written by a Fa­mous Author of that Kingdom. 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 Freedom of Alteration, and Addition, as my Fancy led me, to make it the most divertive I could in ours, which is the only Recommendation of things of this Nature. The Word Deca­meron is derived from the Greek; tho the Learned Boccace thought fit to make use of it, in his Book of Tales; which [Page] he divides into ten Days, of whom Count Balthazar in his Preface to his Courtier, makes mention, and affirms, that his Work of Recreation (meaning his De­cameron) brought him more Honour, than all those more Serious Pieces which he Compos'd. As to these Novels in the main, they are Concise, and carried on with much ease and freedom; whereby the Reader might be diverted, and not tir'd, and receive profitable Advice how to avoid those Dangers, and Inconve­niences others have run themselves into. As to the Plots, and Contrivances of these Stories, in the Original they have been so well approv'd of, by many of our Modern, and most Ingenious Poets, in­somuch, that many of their Plays have been built upon these Foundations. I have no more to satisfie the Reader in at the present, only, that the Englishing of them has been a Diversion to me, and I hope to others they will not be unplea­sant.

R. L.

THE Rival Ladies A NOVEL.

IN Spain, not far from Sevil, at a Town upon the Road, Commodious for the Reception of Travellers; a Stranger well mounted, without any Atten­dants, towards the Evening came to an Inn; who nimbly alighting from his Horse, be­took himself to a Bench; where hastily opening his Breast, he soon gave Evident Demonstrations of a Fainting Fit; with which Surprize of Nature, his whole Body grew motionless: Whereupon, the Mistress of the House immediately ran for Water, and throwing some of it on his Face, in a short time brought him again to himself.

[Page 2] The Stranger blushing to be seen in such disorder, desired presently to be shewed his Lodging; and if it were possible, that he might have a Chamber to himself; the Mistress of the House told him she had but one Chamber empty, which had two Beds in it, and was the only Accommodation she [...] left for the Entertainment of another [...]est.

[...]he Stranger reply'd, he would give [...]r any satisfaction, provided he might en­joy the Room to himself; thereupon the Landlady assured him, that none should disturb him; upon which the Stranger re­tiring to his Chamber, lock'd the Door fast after him; and to make the surer work, (by that which afterwards appear'd) he had set two Chairs against it; scarce had he thus fortified his Chamber Door, but the Ma­ster, Mistress, the Hostler, and two of their Neighbours, being there by chance, laid their Heads together, (as if they had been so many Grave Counsellours) and began to spend their Verdicts upon the Deport­ment of this new Guest; concluding, they never in their Lives saw a Fairer, or more Beautiful Young Gentleman; then exa­mining his Age, they judged it to be Six­teen, or Seventeen: Much Prate they had about it; and more particularly, what might [Page 3] be the cause of his Fainting upon the Bench; but that being beyond their reach they rested contented, being rapt up with Ad­miration, and Wonder, at the rare Pro­portion and Comeliness of the Person.

It was not long after, but another Stran­ger entred somewhat like the former, in Person, and no ways inferiour for Beauty in Shape, and Features; insomuch, that the Mistress cry'd out, Heavens bless me! Are Angels come to Lodge here? How so, said the Stranger? Sir, (said she) I speak for no harm, only I am sorry I have never a Bed to Entertain you, therefore you need not give your self that Trouble to alight; for I had but one Chamber vacant, wherein is two Beds, and a Gentleman has newly taken it up, and paid me for both alrea­dy; he is minded to be private, seems to be Melancholy, and shuns Company; it is not for me, Sir, (who you know must please all Gentlemen) to be so rude, as to enquire into the Reason of it; he is a very comely Person, and such a Beauty ought not to be concealed, but that all the World should both see and admire it.

Is he such a one as you proclaim him to be (replyed the Gentleman?) Yes, Sir, (an­swered the Woman) and when you see him, you'll be of the same Opinion as I am: If [Page 4] it be so as you say (said he) though I sit up this Night, I am resolved to view this curious piece of Nature you so highly ap­plaud; and presently alighting, gave or­der for his Supper, which was immediately got ready.

Now, whilst he was at Supper, in comes a Catchpole of the Town, (as com­monly they do in little Villages) and sits down by the Gentleman to keep him com­pany; he did not forget to throw down three or four full Glasses of Wine, neither was he backward in tasting of his fare, with a very little entreaty; a Kindness which the Catchpole thought he had deser­ved to the full, by telling him a thousand idle Stories.

Nor was the Master of the House less impertinent than the Catchpole; who hav­ing made an end of his other Affairs, comes and sets himself down, to make a third Man; he knew his Trade, and therefore, without a By your Leave, fell to tasting of the Gentleman's Wine very liberally: he did not spare to commend it; for after eve­ry Glass he took, he would wry his head, and then lay it on his left Shoulder, saying, This Wine (quoth he) would carry a Man into the Clouds, though he must not stay long there, least he should have too much [Page 5] Water in it. Ever, and anon he praised his Guest, that had lock'd up himself, Rela­ting, first, his Fainting, then his paying for two Beds, and how he would have no­thing for Supper, discoursing of several other things, as the Richness of his Appa­rel, and all Accoutrements fit for a Gen­tleman, only he wondred he had not any Attendance.

These Aggravations stirring up an eager desire in the new Guest to have a sight of him, he intreated the Inn-Keeper by one means or other, so to bring the business about, that he might get into the Cham­ber, and lie in the other Bed, promising him a good reward for his pains; but [...]hough the greediness of gain, had alrea­dy wrought the effect upon the Inn-Kee­per's Will, yet he found it was neither sea­sonable, by reason he had shut himself in, neither durst he wake him out of his Sleep: besides, he considered with himself that he was paid well for both the Beds al­ [...]eady.

But all these rubs, the Catchpole easily removed: For (said he) I will knock at [...]he Door, pretending to come from a Ju­ [...]tice of the Peace, and that by the com­mand of my Master, I had an Order to bring this Gentleman hither to Lodge, and [Page 6] finding one Bed empty, I should place him in it, and not suffer him to sit up all Night: Upon this, the Inn-keeper was to complain of the great Injury done the Gentleman that had hired the Chamber, and that there was no reason in the World, why he should not freely enjoy what he had paid so well for before hand; where­upon the Catchpole was to use his Autho­rity, and save the Inn-Keeper.

This Plot of the Catchpole's was very well liked, and the Gentleman who had a longing Desire to see this rare Jewel that was lockt up, gave the Catchpole a reward for his Contrivance, and presently puts his Plot in Execution: So that in Conclusion, the first Guest shewing great Resentment, remov'd the Chairs, unlock'd the Door to the suppos'd Justice; the second Guest, crav'd Pardon for the Disturbance he had given him, laid himself down in the spare Bed, the other returned him not so much as one Word in answer to his Comple­ment, much less would he suffer him to see his Face; for he had no sooner open­ed the Door, but he flew back to his Bed, and covered himself over Head and Ears, with his Face to the Wall; the other also be­took him to his rest, hoping in the Morn­ing he might satisfie his Curiosity.

[Page 7] The Nights were of the tedious Decem­ber Measure, and one would have thought the Coldness of the Weather, with the Weariness of their Journey might have in­forced Travellers to pass them over without breaking their repose; but in regard, the first Guest knew neither what ease, or rest was, no Satisfaction could Sleep procure him.

Presently after Midnight he began to sigh so grieviously, that with every sigh, he seem'd to send his Soul of an Errand out of his Body; and so deeply were they fetched from the Heart, that though the second Guest were fast asleep, the Lamen­tations of his Chamber-fellow waked him. So that wondring at the throbs, wherewith he accompanied those sighs, he attentively set himself to listen to the passionate Mur­murs of one that seem'd to be in the great­test distress in the World.

Nor could the other prevent his bursting forth into the following Lamentations. ‘Of all others, I the most unfortunate! Whi­ther does the irresistable force of thy De­stiny hurry thee? Or what hope have I to get out of this intricate Labyrinth wherein I am. I wander up and down, young in Years, void of Council, and know not where will be the end of all [Page 8] my Toyl? How light a value, O my Honour, have I set upon thee? How has my Love been ill requited! How have I trodden under Foot the Duty that I owed my Noble Parents! Faithless Don Manuel, ungrateful Man, where art thou? Whither, forgetful of me, art thou fled? Answer me, I conjure thee, for I direct my Discourse to thee alone; perform thy Vows to me, and relieve in this distress, her that has so many ways obliged thee.’

Having said this, the seeming Centleman was silent, manifesting by his sighs, that his Eyes were not sparing of their Tears, at the same time; all which the second Guest lay harkning, with a still and quiet Attention; Collecting by those Discourses, which he had heard, that without doubt it was a Woman, that uttered those sad Complaints, and bewailed her wretched Condition; which did but the more in­crease his Desire, to know who she was: So that he was thinking sometimes to call to her, and comfort her, being fully per­swaded it was a Female; and doubtless he had done it, if at that very instant, he had not heard him rise, and opening the Cham­ber Door, call to the Master of the House to get ready his Nag; but the old Tost not [Page 9] having so much sorrow at his Heart, after he had suffer'd himself a good while to be call'd upon, made answer, It was but a lit­tle past Midnight, and he had more need sleep, and take his Rest; and moreover, that it was so exceeding dark, that it would be a great piece of indiscretion to put him­self upon his Journey.

This the sorrowful Stranger took to be good Advice, and having shut the Door, threw himself upon the Bed, sending forth withal, a most Terrible Sigh: All which the second Guest observing, resolved to speak, and offer him all the kindness that lay in his power, if he might be so happy as to know the Cause of his Sufferings.

To this purpose (said he) ‘Certainly, Sir, should not your Sighs and Words move me to Compassionate the Torments of your Mind, I might well think my self void of common Pity. The Com­passion I resent of your Condition, and the Purpose I have to hazard my Life for your Redress, if it may merit any Re­quital, I beseech you (Sir) reject not my Friendship; for I will rather perish, than abandon your Relief, when once I understand the ground of your Trou­ble.’

[Page 10] ‘If Sorrow had not bereft me of my Sense, (answered he that complained) I might very well have bethought my self, that I was not alone in this Lodging, and and so ought to have put a Bridle to my Tongue, and made a longer Truce with my Sighs; and therefore to punish a Me­mory that has so much fail'd me, and in a place where it so much imported me to be more careful, I will grant your Re­quest; perhaps by renewing the sad Sto­ry of my Misfortunes, it may happen, that a fresh feeling of their Torments may put a Period to my Miserable Life.’

‘Sir, (then said she) you are to under­stand, that I who entred into this Lodg­ing (as no doubt you have been infor­med) in Man's Apparel, am an Unfortu­nate Maid; at least, one that was so, not full eight days ago; but now have lost that Noble Name, by my own Unadvi­sedness, and by giving Credit to the well Compos'd, but Counterfeit Words, of Faithless Man! My Name is Carola, my Country one of the Chiefest, and most De­lightful parts of all Andaluzia; the Name I silence, because it doth not so much import you to know it, as it does me to Conceal it; my Parents are Noble, and more than meanly Rich, who had be­tween [Page 11] them one Son, and one Daughter. My Brother who was to be the Comfort of their Old Age, and an Honour to their House, they sent to Salamanca to Study, and me they kept at home; where they bred me up with so much Circumspecti­on, as best became their Vertue, and No­bleness; and I, without the least repining, was always Obedient, and Conformable to their Wills, till either my Happiness, being in the Wain, or, my Misfortune growing towards the full, betrayed my Duty.’

‘A Gentleman of great Extraction, and more Endowed with Riches than I was, presented himself to my Eyes: The first time I saw him I was not sensible of any thing else, save only a Complacency, and kind of satisfaction in having seen him; nor was it in me a thing so inexcusable, that I should be somewhat taken with a Sight so Charming; his Gentile Carriage, his Countenance, and Meen, rendered him the most accomplisht of any; all which Perfections were much more height­ned by his rare Discretion and Affabi­lity.’

‘But what does it avail me to praise my Enemy? Or, to go about, by way of Discourse, to descant upon this my un­fortunate [Page 12] Success; or, (to say better) the beginning of my Folly: He saw me not once, but often from a Window that was over against mine. From thence, (as it seem'd then to me) he darted his Soul into my Breast, by his Eyes and mine; with another kind of Content than at first: I took Pleasure in beholding him, and did even inforce me to believe that they were pure Truths, which I read in his Face, and Behaviour: His Eyes were the Intercessors, and Dictators of Speech; his Speech the Interpreter of his Desire; and his Desire the Inflamer of mine. To these he added Promises, Oaths, Tears, Sighs, and all that a firm, and constant Lover could possibly do, to express the Integrity of his Affection, and the Since­rity of his Heart.’

As for me, Unhappy! Who had never purchas'd Experience at so dear a Rate be­fore; every Word was of that force, that part of my Honours Fort could not with­stand his Charms. At length, upon a Se­rious, and Solemn Vow of Marriage, I set all my Retiredness by, and usher'd in that Freedom which Love approves of, (my Parents unconsulted) never discovered any of my Folly, while Don Manuel's Page (for that's the Name of him that now di­sturbs [Page 13] my rest) brought me the unwelcom News of having lost his Master, when scarce had he taken possession of what he so much coveted, his Parents, nor any other per­son could imagine which way he took, or what was become of him.

Now in what a Disconsolate Condition was I then left in? Let him speak that is able to pronounce it, for it is past my skill ever to know more, save only to bewail and lament it. I tore my Hair as if that had been guilty of my Errors. I martyriz'd my Face, believing it had been the Occa­sion of all my Misery. I curs'd my Fate, accus'd my too quick Determination, and the Tears which I shed were numberless. I silently complain'd on Heav'n, then rea­son'd with my own thoughts, to see if I could discover any Path that might lead to my Relief. At last, the only Expedient I could find, was to Disguise my self in Mans Apparel, and go in search of this Defrauder of my Lawful and well grounded hopes; and so without any deeper Meditation, oc­casion offered me Accoutrements fit for my sorrowful Journey, and waiting my op­portunity in an exceeding dark Night, made my Escape. Now, Sir, I design my Jour­ney to Salamanca, in pursuit of this most Perfidious Man; for since my setting forth [Page 14] from my Father's House, I heard he is gone thither; all the care, and fear I have now upon my Spirits, is to keep my self undis­covered from any other Person, and that none of my Relations may pursue me and find me out.

But should this Cloud of Fear vanish, another may soon appear greater than the former, and prove a Storm; for should I meet with my Brother who is in Salamanca, oh! how his Wrath would boyl into a Tempest, and nothing can appease him, or expiate my Crime; but this wretched Life, which at this time seems very burthensome; if he should with patience hear me plead Excuses, yet the least point of his Honour, will over-poise the Balance, and over-sway the powerfullest Expressions I shall be able to utter.

Nevertheless, I am resolved, (though I lose my Life in the pursuit) to follow this false Man, my Husband, for so I dare call him; he in point of Honour can't de­ny it, unless the perjured Wretch will re­nounce those holy Vows which Heaven was witness to, and deny that Ring of Di­amonds which I joyfully receiv'd of him as a Matrimonial Pledge; the Posie of it is, Manuel is Carola's Husband, if I find him out I'll ask him mildly what moved him so [Page 15] quickly to leave me? But am fully pur­posed that if he disanuls his vow'd En­gagements to me, and denies me for his lawful Wife; Then shall this Dagger reach his perfidious Heart, and this Hand shall be the Executioner. I'll shew my self as rea­dy to take revenge, as I was facile in suf­fering him to wrong me; for that Noble Blood which my Parents gave me, rowses up my Spirits, and warms me with such a Courage, that they already promise me Sa­tisfaction for my received abuse, or full revenge of my offer'd Disgrace.

This (Noble Sir) is the true and unfor­tunate Story you so much desir'd to know, and which may sufficiently plead the ex­cuse of those Sighs and Words that distur­bed you of your rest: and now I beg of you (as you are a Gentleman) to assist a disconsolate Lady, or at least, to afford me your best advice, how I may avoid those dangers that seem to threaten me, and that my being found out may be prevented; and lastly, that which I so much desire may be obtained.

He who had attentively hearkened to the Story of the enamour'd Carola, conti­nued silent, and so long that she thought he had been asleep; and had heard nothing of what she had related; for her better sa­tisfaction, [Page 16] she called to know if he were awake. Indeed Sir (said she) you may well Sleep in the midst of a Repetition of Miseries, tedious to your Ears, and truly sensible to none but them that feel them.

I sleep not (dear Madam) reply'd the Gentleman, but rather am so far from it, and so sensible of your Misfortune, that I know not whether I may not be thought to have as deep a share in them as your self, and what advice I am Master of, you may command; for assure your self, I will assist you to the utmost of my Ability: Conside­ring the Management of your Story, you have declared so rare an understanding, that methinks your own Judgement should not have been so easily misguided; for I perceive (Madam) your own Inclination more deceived you, then Don Manuel's per­swasions; yet your few and tender years may be a sufficient Apology for your not having Experience in discerning the frauds of Men.

My advice (Madam) at this time is on­ly to be patient; and if you can to take your repose during this small remnant of Night, and to Morrow we will both con­trive what course is best to be steer'd. Ca­rola having expressed her thankfulness, ad­ [...]ddrest [Page 17] her self to the rest, more out of [...]omplaisance to the Gentleman, than any [...]tisfaction to her self; but he that gave that [...]dvice to the Lady, could take no rest him­ [...]lf, for he began to toss and tumble in the [...]ed, and fell to Sighing so loud, that Caro­ [...] was obliged to make the same enquiry af­ [...]er the cause of his Sighs, as he did after [...]er Lamentations; and in retaliation of his [...]indness, she utter'd many Protestations to [...]rve him to her utmost power.

To which the Gentleman reply'd, Sup­ [...]ose (Madam) you are the occasion of my [...]isquiet, yet you are not the Person that [...]an relieve me; for were it so, I should [...]ot be sensible of any pain. Carola could [...]ot well understand whither these confus'd [...]xpressions tended, yet she suspected some [...]morous Passion had surpriz'd him, and [...]hought within her self that she might be the [...]nstrument; concluding, that the Solitude [...]nd Darkness of the Room, and the Disco­ [...]ery she had made of her self might be no [...]mall Incentives to kindle heat in youth­ [...]ul Blood.

Fearing the worst, she made her self rea­ [...]y with all silence, and hast imaginable, [...]nd sat down upon her Bed expecting the [...]pproach of day, which within a while af­ [...]er appear'd. The Gentleman no sooner [Page 18] perceived day light at the Window, but leapt from his Bed, and call'd to Madam Ca­rola, to get her self ready; assuring her that the Protestations he had made to her last Night, he would begin to put in Execution this Morning; and that he would never leave her, till she had obtain'd Don Manuel for her lawful Husband: Which if he re­fus'd, he would vindicate her Honour with the point of his Sword, and the longest Liver gain the Victory, and by this (Ma­dam said he) you may know how deeply your Misfortunes have engag'd me.

Then opening the Windows, and the Chamber Door, which pleas'd Carola, who with a longing Expectation had a desire to see the Person whom she had held Discourse with all Night: But when she had view'd him, and knew him, then she wish'd it had never been Day, but that her Eyes had been closed up in perpetual Night; for he had scarce cast his Eyes upon her, but she presently perceiv'd he was her Brother, whom she so much dreaded. At the first sight of him, she had almost lost her Eyes, and remain'd Speechless; the Colour in her Cheeks was fled away, and in the place of Roses appear'd Paleness.

[Page 19] But re-assuming Courage from Fear, and Danger from Discretion, drawing out her Dagger, she took it by the Point, and ad­dress'd her self to her Brother upon her Knees, in these Words.

Take this, Dear Brother, (said she) and give me the Punishment of that Folly which I have committed. Satisfie your Displea­sure upon so great a Crime as mine is, for I can expect no Mercy to be extended to­wards me. I confess my Offence; and ac­knowledge my Guilt; but would not that my Repentance should serve to excuse my Fault; only, I beseech you, that the Tor­ment may be such, as may take away this Wretched Life, but not my Honour: For although I have forc'd it into apparent dan­ger, by absenting from my Fathers House; yet can it not escape a real Censure, should not the Punishment be secret.

Her Brother looking wishfully upon her, seeing her in Tears, rais'd her from the ground; telling her, that since he could not find out a convenient Punishment an­swerable to her Folly, he would suspend it for the present: And moreover told her, he did believe Fortune had not as yet shut the Doors against all Remedy; and that he had rather choose to procure it by the best means, than to take Revenge of that Wrong [Page 20] and Affront, which by her overmuch Cre­dulity reflected upon his own, as well as her Honour.

With these kind Expressions Carola be­gan to recover her lost Spirits, her Colour return'd to her Face, and her almost dead hopes were reviv'd. Don Sebastian, (for so was her Brother call'd) forbare after that to Nominate any thing of her Disaster, knowing how harsh that Note would sound in her Ears; but did advise her to change her Name of Carola, to Carlos, concluding both to go to Salamanca, to find out Don Manuel: Carola referred her self wholly to her Brother, and the Business to his Ma­nagement.

Then calling for the Master of the House, they desired somewhat might be got ready for Breakfast, intending presently to be gone: But in the Interim of time enters a Gentleman Traveller into the Inn, who was instantly known by Don Sebastian. Carlos likewise knew him, but durst not come out of the Room, for fear of being discover'd. Don Sebastian having embra­ced him, enquir'd what News was in those Parts from whence he came; he reply'd, that he came from the Port of Santa Maria, where he left four Gallies that were bound for Naples, and in one of them he saw a ve­ry [Page 21] good Friend of his Imbarqu'd; which was Don Manuel, the Son of Don Lopez. This News pleas'd Don Sebastian wondrous well, returning thanks to Fortune, that she had made so fine a Progress; after some Complements the Gentleman took his leave.

No sooner was the Stranger gone, but Don Sebastian and his Sister set forward for their Journey. Leaving those that were behind to descant upon 'em. As they Tra­velled together Don Sebastian acquainted his Sister with the News he had heard con­cerning Don Manuel, and that he thought it requisite with all speed, to hasten to Barcelona, where usually the Gallies which [...]re bound for Italy, or return for Spain, ride there a day or two, in one of which he did not question but to find Don Ma­nuel. Carola was very well pleased at the News and thanked him for his good Ad­vice.

Don Sebastian, by the way pickt up a Mule Driver, for a Guide to 'em, and told him he must have Patience, for his occasi­ons press'd him to go to Barcelona, and for his time he would give him a good Re­ward; the Muliteer being a good Jolly Fellow, believ'd, that Don Sebastian was a Noble, Free Gentleman, made answer, [Page 22] that he would do him what Service he could, and go with him to the end of the World.

Then Don Sebastian, like a Prudent Tra­veller, examin'd the Strength of his own, and his Sisters Stock; and finding it consi­derable, proceeded forward on their Jour­ney; and at length reach'd within Nine Miles of Barcelona: There they had notice that a Gentleman of Quality who was going to Rome, staid in Barcelona, expecting the Gallies. The News liked 'em so well, that they doubled their Speed, till entering in­to a little Wood, they espyed a Man come running out of it, and looking behind him as one that had been scar'd out of his Wits. Don Sebastian riding up to him ask'd him, What fears put such Wings to his Feet? 'Tis time to run, (quo' the Fellow) for a Man that has no mind to be Robb'd, or have his Throat Cut. For in short (said he) there is a Legion of Thieves in that Wood, and therefore I advise you to consider before you go forward; for as the Man said by his Wooden Gods, I don't like 'em. Robbers at this time of day, Quoth the Muliteer, I don't love to hear of? Pox on 'em, they'll never consider my Mules will be hungry at Night.

But as the Fellow had put them in a Fright, so he gave them some Consolation [Page 23] again, by telling the Muliteer they had done their business, and were newly gone; [...]aving Bound to the Trees no less than Thirty Passengers, Stripp'd even to their very Shirts; only they left one Man at li­berty to unbind the rest, so soon as they had recover'd a little Mountain, from whence they would give him a Signal to set the rest free. If this be so (reply'd the Muliteer) we may safely go on, there being no dan­ger after a Robbery Committed.

Then they resolved to advance, but they had not gone far, before they saw the Peo­ple Robb'd, and Bound, and the Fellow unbinding them as fast as he could, it was a strange Spectacle to behold, some stark naked, others cover'd with the Robbers tattered Rags, some weeping to see them­selves Robb'd, and Strip'd of all; others laughing to see the strange Habits of their Fellow Sufferers; one was reckoning up what he had lost; another was bewailing his Great Grandfathers Seal-Ring, that had serv'd his Family for many Descents; a third hoped they would drink his Health, or else, quo' he, they are a Company of ungrateful Rascals.

In Conclusion, every one had their se­veral Humours, though not without some Passion of Discontent. The whole Scene [Page 24] drew a Natural Pity from the two Bro­thers; but nothing was more worthy of their Compassion, than to see Bound to the Trunk of an Oak, a Youth about the Age of Sixteen Years, with a Shirt only on his Back, and a pair of Linen Breeches; but of so Fair, and Lovely a Countenance, that he moved all that beheld him, to pity. Carlos alighted to Unbind him, for which the Youth returned very Courteous, and Thankful Expressions, for the received kind­ness: Then Carlos desired the Muliteer to lend the Youth his Clo [...]k, which he accordingly did; then Carlos ask'd him whence he came, and whither he was Travelling.

The Youth answer'd he was of Andalu­zia, which Don Sebastian, and Carlos knew to be but two Leagues distant from their own Habitation, he moreover told them, that he came from Sevil, and that his design was to go for Italy, to try his Fortune in the Exercise of Arms. He confess'd he did not like his ill beginning, nor the rough usage of the Thieves, for they had taken from him in Money, and Cloths, a Sum not in every one's Pocket; yet however he would prosecute his Design, and not be discourag'd at the first ill Success that befel him: The Discreet Language of the Youth. begat such a strange Affection in the two [Page 25] Brothers, that they hired the Muliteers own Beast for him, and in a short space arriv'd at Yqualada, where they learn'd, that the Gallies had put into Barcelona the day be­fore; and that within two days they were to be gone, if foul Weather did not hin­der 'em.

This News made 'em rise early next Morning before Sun Rising, for little Sleep sufficed them. Now, as the two Brothers, and the Youth were sitting together, Carlos fix'd his Eyes very wishly on his Face, and viewing him very narrowly, his Mind prompted him that the Youth must needs be of the Female Sex; then Don Sebastian ask'd him whose Son he was, the Youth made answer, he was the Son of Don Fre­derique de Monasco; Don Sebastian reply'd, he very well knew the Gentleman, but ne­ver heard that he had a Son: (by which he perceiv'd, that he was loath to discover his Parents.) It is true, (answered the Youth) Don Frederique has no Sons, but Lorenzo his Brother has: Indeed (said Don Sebasti­an) you are under a Mistake, for he has never a Son, but one Daughter, who is reported to be the Fairest Virgin in all An­daluzia, though I never was so happy as to see her. What you say, Sir, is certainly true, (reply'd the Youth) Don Lorenzo [Page 26] has but one only Daughter, but not so Fair as Busie Fame reports her; and if I told you I was the Son of Don Frederique, it was only to be the higher in your Esteem.

But ingenuously to confess, I am not the Son of Don Frederique, but of Don Loren­zo's Steward, my Name is Leonardo, at length grown up to these Years, and ha­ving given my Father some disgust, I re­solv'd not to abide at home, but rather chose to try my Fortune in the Wars abroad, where I have heard of many of mean Birth, that have attain'd to high, and great Pre­ferments: To all this Relation Carlos atten­tively listned, yet it still more and more confirm'd the Suspicion he had entertained. Thereupon Carlos having given Don Seba­stian notice of his intent, took the Youth aside into another Room, and there began to take him into a kind Examination.

I could wish Senior Leonardo, it had been my happiness to have been owner of such Opportunities, wherein I might have serv'd you so far, as at this time I might raise from you an Obligation not to deny me some Request, which will be a great satisfaction to me; however, though you should deny me, yet will I never cease the Friendship I now profess to you. I must confess I have a Jealousie, you are not what your Habit [Page 27] proclaims you to be, but of the other Sex, and your Beauty publishes you to be born of Noble Blood; if then that which I sus­pect be true, deal plainly with me, for by the Faith of a Gentleman, I'l die to serve you.

With great attention, did this Youth hearken to what Carlos said, and continu­ed silent for a while; at last took hold of both his Hands, and bringing them with a kind force to his Lips, not only Kist, but likewise Bath'd 'em with his Tears. Carlos being surpriz'd at this sudden Passion, could not forbear Weeping for Company. At length, after a short Prologue of Sighs, and Tears; Sir, said the Disconsolate Youth, I neither will, nor can deny, but that your Suspicion has been true; I am a Woman, and of all Women the most Unfortunate, that ever saw the Suns bright Lustre: And since the Favours received, and the fair Of­fers you have made me, oblige me to Obe­dience, I shall declare to you my Name, and Family, if it may not be offensive to your Ears, to hear anothers Misfortunes. The pain that I shall suffer, will be that they are yours (reply'd Carlos) but the Pleasure will be greater when you have eased your Mind, perhaps some Refreshments may flow from one Breast to another.

[Page 28] What I told as to my Country was true, (said the Youth) but as to my Parents I made a Concealment. I am that unfortu­nate Daughter of Lorenzo, Don Frederique's Brother, who for her Beauty (as your Brother said) is so much prais'd and com­mended, though the mistake is easily dis­cern'd, in that little, or none at all, that poor Angelia is owner of.

Now, Sir, two Leagues from the place of my Birth, lives a Noble Gentleman, that has a Son, named Don Manuel; who if Fame be not overlavish in his Praises as she has been in mine, is in the Rank of those Gentlemen, which deserve no mean Com­mendation. This Gentleman, and my Fa­ther took great delight in Hunting, and he frequently came and staid at our House five or six days together. From this occasion, Fortune, or Love took their opportunity to throw me headlong from the Precipice of my Honour, to the bottom of his low Condition, wherein I now am; his Gentile­ness, and Discretion, Lineage, Beauty, and Wealth was such, that all the Happiness I did desire, was to obtain him for my Hus­band; many Hours, and Days were spent in Courtship, and after many Sollicitati­ons, having given me his Faith under the most binding, and Solemnest Oaths imagi­nable [Page 29] to Marry me, I resign'd my self whol­ly to his Will and Pleasure: besides all this, I obtain'd from him a Writing, sign'd with his own hand, and strengthened with so many powerful Circumstances, that I thought nothing could be more sure: thus relying upon a false security I contriv'd a way to convey him such a Night to my Lodging, where without any disturbance he might reap that Fruit, which for him alone I had reserv'd, and at last came that Night which by me was so much desired.

Till she came to this point Carlos had the patience to continue silent, having her Soul depending on Angelia's Words, whose Expressions pierc'd her to the very heart; especially when she heard the Name of Don Manuel, she beheld the rare Beauty of An­gelia, and considered the greatness of her Worth intermixt with such a singular Dis­cretion, as she had so well manifested in the repetition of her Story: But when she came to say, at last came that Night which by me was so much desired, she had like to have lost all her Patience; so that not be­ing able to contain her self any longer, breaks out, Very well, (said he) and when this happy Night was come, What did he then? Did he enjoy you? Did he anew confirm the Writing? Did he rest well [Page 30] pleased in taking that from you, which you say was only his? Did your Father know of it? Or, in what end, ended these wise Beginnings?

They ended (replyed Angelia) in put­ting me into this Condition; for I did nei­ther enjoy him, nor he me, nor came to any final agreement: With these Words Carlos began to recover a little Breath, and recall'd those Spirits, which by little and little were leaving her disorder'd Heart; such was that raging Pestilence of Jealou­sie, which began to spread, and diffuse it self into the most secret Retirements of the Vital Parts. Carola at last re-setled, though not without some Qualms, and inward Resentments, began again to hearken to the Fair Angelia, who thus proceeded.

About some eight days after, I was cre­dibly inform'd that he was gone from his House, and carried with him a Young La­dy, whose Name was Carola, a Virgin of extraordinary Beauty, and rare Endow­ments: This was soon spread abroad, and presently arriv'd to my Ears, and with it that fearful Lance of Jealousie, which peirc'd my Heart, and set my Soul on such a fla­ming fire, that turn'd my Honour into Ashes, consum'd my Credit, and wasted all my Patience to nothing.

[Page 31] Then most Unfortunate! Cry'd I, for I then began to figure in my Imagination, Ca­rola to be Fairer than the Sun, and more Happy than I am Miserable: Then I read over and over the Writing which I had, look'd how it was Sign'd, and presently my Hopes fled thither for shelter, as to a San­ctuary; but when I consider'd the Person that Don Manuel had carried along with him, then again all my Hopes fell immedi­ately to the Ground: I tore my Hair, and curs'd the Face that had betray'd me. At last, to finish all my Sorrows, I resolved to leave my Fathers House, and in Disguise, chosing a Night that had put on its blackest Mantle, I walk'd unto a little Town, where I found the Conveniency of a Waggon, and in two days after I arriv'd at Sevil: There I bought me some Apparel, and a Mule, and travelled along till Yesterday with some Gentlemen, that were with speed go­ing to Barcelona, to take the opportunities of the Gallies bound for Italy.

But falling unfortunately into the Hands of Thieves, and Robbers, I lost that Jewel which kept me alive, and lightned the bur­then of my Afflictions; it was the Writing I had from Don Manuel. But how easily would he deny Words written in Paper, who denies those Obligations which ought [Page 32] to be engraven in his Soul? besides, if he is accompanied with the unparrallel'd Carola, he will never vouchsafe to look upon wretched Angelia. However, I am resolv'd to die, or to find 'em both out, to the end the sight of me may disturb their quiet. Let not that Enemy of my rest think she shall enjoy at so cheap a rate, that which is mine; I'll seek her out, and if I can, will deprive her of that life, which she enjoys in those Embraces due to none but my self.

But what fault can you find with Carola, (said Carlos) if happily she were deceiv'd by Don Manuel, as well as you have been? That cannot be (reply'd Angelia) for if they live together, as Man and Wife, the Case is evident. But be they in the remo­ter Desarts of Lybia, or the furthermost parts of Frozen Scythia, She questionless enjoys him.

It may be (said Carlos) you are mistaken, and Jealousie hath misguided your thoughts, or blinded the Eyes of your Understand­ing, for I know her very well, whom you call your Enemy; and I am so privy to her Condition, and Retiredness, that she will never adventure to forego her Fathers House, nor yield to the Will of Don Ma­nuel: But admit she should, if she never knew you, nor knew any Contract be­tween [Page 33] you, she has done you no wrong at all; and where there is no Wrong offer'd, no Revenge ought to be taken: Of her Retiredness, (said Angelia) you may say your Pleasure; but, I think, I was as Re­tir'd as she: And whereas, you urge she did me no Wrong, should I look upon the Fact without Passion, I must confess, she did me Justice; but the Torment of my Jealousie makes her a Criminal to my Mis­fortune: This is that Sword which is Shea­thed in my Bowels, and none can blame me, if I pluck out that which wounds me.

I perceive (said Carlos) the Passion which at present possesses your Mind, will not permit you to judge of things aright; nor are you at this time in any fit posture to receive good Instructions; however, I will be ready to aid and assist you, accord­ing to my Ability, in what is requisite; and I am sure the Natural Inclination, and Generosity of my Brother, will not suffer him to do otherwise. Our Course is design'd for Italy, and if you resolve to go with us, your good Company will be very accepta­ble: You may guess at your Entertainment, by that little you have found already. An­gelia return'd him hearty thanks, and ear­nestly [Page 34] besought him to take her into his Protection; which Carlos faithfully promi­sed to do; so taking their Leaves of each other, they departed to their respective Lodgings, for their Repose.

Carola repeated all to her Brother, what Angelia had related; at which he was much surprized; but told her, were there a Con­firmation of what she had then spoke, she was for Beauty, and Riches, one of the Noblest Ladies in all Andaluzia; and now (said he) we must use our utmost skill, in preventing her speaking first to Don Manuel, for though the Writing may be lost, yet the remembrance of it will be found.

Carola having heard her Brothers Dis­course retir'd to her Bed, thinking to take her rest, but that raging Torment of Jea­lousie would not permit her the least Repose. Sometimes Angelia's Beauty, and the Perfi­diousness of Don Manuel appeared to her Imagination in the highest Magnitude; and then the Writing, that appeared so dreadful, that nothing but Blood was seen instead of Ink. Such Agonies as these perplext her dubious Thoughts, and hin­dred Sleep, which proves a Friend to Care.

[Page 35] Her Brother was kept waking, by Tor­ments of another Nature; for no sooner did he hear who Angelia was, but his Heart was all on Flame, such force has Beauty that it conquers Hearts, and never ceases but in a happy fruition: He did not imagine Angelia could be us'd so barbarously as to be tied to a Tree, or clad in a Tattered Habit, but in her Rich Apparel in her Father's House; and now wishing for the welcome day, that he might pursue his Journey, and find out Don Manuel, not so much to make him his Brother, as to prevent his Marrying Angelia; desiring rather to see his Sister Comfortless, and Don Manuel fairly Buried, than to see himself Hopeless.

Thus all with differing Thoughts, at the Approach of Day they all forsook their Beds; but Don Sebastian being first up, sent for a Habit to fit his dearest Angelia; she putting them on, Girded her Sword about her with that Lively Grace, and Vigour, as surpriz'd Don Sebastian's Admiration, and multiply'd a thousand Jealousies in Carola. About Eight in the Morning they departed their Inn, setting forward on their Journey for Barcelona; and here I want Words to express the Thoughts which the two Bro­thers entertain'd touching Angelia. Carola wishing her Death, and Don Sebastian desi­ring [Page 36] her Life; Carola seeking to find out Faults in her, that she might not despair of her Hopes, and Don Sebastian finding out those Perfections which more oblig'd him to love her: All these thoughts hindred not their Journey, for they reach'd Barcelona before Sun-set.

But as they entred into it, there was a Tumultuous Noise, and great Numbers of People were gathering together; but upon enquiry into the Cause of it, answer was made, it was a Quarrel between the Sea­men, and some of the Inhabitants of that City. Then riding up to the Sea-Shore, they saw several Weapons drawn, and Mul­titudes of People Hewing, and Hacking one another, and could distinctly discern the Faces of some that fought; all this while Don Sebastian beholding this Cruel Scuffle, observ'd amongst those that took part with the Seamen, a Young Gallant that laid about him like a Tyger; the Briskness, and Valour of this young Gen­tleman, together with the richness of his Cloths, caused all those that beheld the Fight to fix their Eyes upon him, and in such stedfast manner did Carola and Angelia behold him, that at one Instant both cry'd out, Heavens bless me! Either I have no Eyes, or that's Don Manuel: Then with great [Page 37] Nimbleness they alighted, and drawing their Swords, they cleared their way through the Croud, and placed themselves on each side of Don Manuel.

Fear nothing Don Manuel (cry'd Ange­lia) for you have one by your side, who with the loss of his own Life will rescue yours: Who doubts it (reply'd Carola) while I am here? Don Sebastian saw, and heard what had pass'd, but followed close, resolving to take his share. Don Manuel being busie in defending himself, took lit­tle notice of his two Seconds, but continu­ed still eager in Fighting, till at last he was forc'd to retreat, with his two Valiant Ama­zon [...] on each side: The Fray it seems was not ended, but Stones, the Instruments of Popularity, were thrown plentifully, where­of one very unluckily, with a well directed force hit Don Manuel full on the Breast, and struck him backwards, Angelia no soon­er saw him fall, but presently catch'd him in her Arms, and Carola did the like.

Don Sebastian was likewise defending himself from the Showres of Stones which rained about his Ears, yet saw the Accident which happened to Don Manuel; and de­sirous withal to approach to his Souls de­light, a certain Catalonian Knight of great Authority in the City, call'd to him, to [Page 38] keep along by his side, with a Promise to save him from the Insolency of the Unruly Rout: Don Sebastian returned the Knight hearty thanks for his friendly proffer, but besought him that he might pass forwards; telling him he saw that in great danger, which he valued more than his Life.

This stop was a great hinderance to Don Sebastian; for before he could reach to 'em, the Long-Boat belonging to the Admirals Galley, had taken in Don Manuel, and An­gelia, who would never let him go out of her Arms: But as for Carola, he arriv'd seasonably enough, she being either weary, or overcome with Grief to see Don Manuel Wounded; or else, inrag'd with Jealousie, to see her Rival gone along with him, had neither Power, nor Strength to get into the Boat; and doubtless had fallen into a Fit, and dropt into the Water, had not her Brother at that juncture of time appear'd to her Relief; who (indeed) himself felt no less Torment, than his Sister did Pain, to see that Angelia was gone away with her Lover Don Manuel.

The Catalonian Knight being very much taken with the goodly Presence of Don Se­bastian, and his Brother, call'd them from the Sea Shore, (where Multitudes were still thronging) and desired them to go [Page 39] with him, for he would Conduct them safe from the Rabble; thus forced by necessity, and being afraid of the People, not yet pa­cify'd, they willingly accepted of his friend­ly kindness: Thereupon, the Knight a­lighting from his Horse, with his Sword in his Hand, made way for 'em through the midst of that Tempestuous Croud.

The Knight having thus preserv'd the two Brothers, brought them to his own House, which was one of the chiefest in all the City. Then he enquir'd of Don Sebastian in which of the Gallies he came; who replying, that he was newly come in­to the City as the Hurly-Burly began, and espying in the Engagement, a Gentleman, who was wounded on the Breast with a Stone, but could not by any means come to his assistance: Moreover, (added he) this Gentleman is a Person on whom de­pends all my Felicity in this World; and therefore, if I might obtain that favour from a Person so obliging, I could wish he might be brought on Shore: Thereupon, the Knight freely told him, that he would go himself, and see him safe brought hither, which according to his Promise he perfor­med: He found Don Manuel in a Langui­shing Condition, and the Chyrurgeons dres­sing of his Wounds, gave their Opinion it [Page 40] was very dangerous, being near the Heart; which caused the Knight to be so urgent with the Admiral, that he gave him leave to take Don Manuel along with him, which was done with all the Care imaginable.

Being Landed, the Knight brought Don Manuel, and Angelia to his House, making them both welcome: At the same time Chy­rurgeons were sent for, all confirming the dangerous Condition wherein Don Manuel was. Angelia, and Carola heard it with that Grief of Heart, as if they had heard the Sentence of their own Deaths, but not willing to discover their Sorrow, they en­deavoured at that time to suppress it. An­gelia resolving with her self to lose no time, but to take the first opportunity of speaking to Don Manuel, no sooner were the Chyrurgeons gone, but she entred the Chamber were Don Manuel lay, where were present the Knight, Don Sebastian, Carola, and others: She sat by the Bed­side, and taking him fast by the Hand, Sir, (said she) it is now no seasonable time, con­sidering your Condition, to utter many Words, and therefore I shall only intreat you to lend your Ear to some few which are requisite; for it would prove ill in me, who never disoblig'd you, to be at this time the Cause of your Disturbance.

[Page 41] At these Words, Don Manuel lifting up his Eyes, look'd stedfastly on Angelia, ha­ving recollected himself, and in a manner taken her into his Memory, more by the Tone of her Voice, than by her Physio­g [...]omy, with a feeble Voice, as one that was full of Pain, Say on, Sir, (said he) what you please, for I am not yet so near my end, but I can listen to your Story, nor is that Voice of yours so harsh, and un­pleasing, that it should give me the least Disquier.

Carola hearkned most attentively, and every Word that Angelia spoke, pierc'd her to the Heart, and at the same time Wound­ed the Soul of Don Sebastian, who also heard her, then proceeding, Sir, (said she) if some strange Misfortune had not hurt your Memory; or rather, if some foul Blemish has not stain'd my Vertue, you cannot but remember her, who not long since, you were pleas'd to Honour with the Name of your Celestial Treasure; you would then remember who Angelia was, and your Pro­mise you gave her in Writing, Sign'd with your own Hand; neither can you forget the Worth of her Parents, her Fidelity, and the Obligations wherein you stand bound to her; for resigning up so easie a Victory to your Vows, and Protestations. [Page 42] If your Memory does not at this time fail you, (though thus Disguis'd) you may easily perceive I am your most Unfortunate Angelia. No sooner had you taken your speedy Flight, but I began my sorrowful Journey; despising the worst of Miseries that could happen to me, I was resolv'd to wander up and down, leaving no place un­search'd, till I had found you out; for if ever you felt the Power of true Love, or heard of the Rage of a Deceived Woman; you will not be Astonish'd, but rather Con­vert your Wonder into Pity. And now let me beg of you, for the Love you bear to Heaven, your own Honour, and for the sake of her, to whom you owe more than to all the World; only to be true to Ju­stice, let that be perfectly Consummated now in Publick, which you were so wil­ling to Contract in Private; for no fur­ther Delays can be allowed of, without the ruine of your Honour, and my eternal Shame. Here Angelia stopt: Now they that were in the Room, expected when Don Manuel; would give an Answer; who in a little while lifting up his Eyes, said to her,

Fair Angelia, I am not ignorant of any Obligations, wherein I stand engag'd, for those many Favours receiv'd from you; nei­ther [Page 43] do I forget the Worth of your Noble Parents, nor your own Unblemish'd Vertues; neither do I disesteem you for seeking me out in a Disguise so subject to Censure: But I must proclaim a truth, and if it prove un­pleasant to your Ears, I am an unwelcome Herauld. I confess, Fair Angelia, I lov'd you well, for which you conferr'd on me a Retribution: but yet the Writing which you are pleas'd to command, was given you more in Complaisance to your Request, than any Act of my own Inclination, for many days before I surrender'd up my Heart with as pure a Flame as was propor­tionable to the Beauty I so much admir'd. The Fair Carola, is the Object whom I must Adore, and to whom I will perform those Vows, in the Face of Heaven: There­fore, pray Madam, take it not for so high a Crime; for I left not only you, but her, in the same Suspence. I do acknowledge I am guilty of the Imprudent Proceedings of a rash Young Man, being void of Judg­ment, Meditation, or Consideration: And as for the Writing, I look upon it to be in­different; this I thought fit to impart be­fore my Death, that the Memory of this Truth may not be Buried in Obli­vion.

[Page 44] While Don Manuel, thus Discours'd with Angelia, his Arm was the Support on which his Head rested; but having made an end of speaking, he was ready to faint, and had not Don Sebastian ran immediately and catch'd him in his Arms, he had fallen into a Swoon. Recovering his Spirits, he cast his Eyes on Don Sebastian; then taking him by the Hand, he forced it to his Lips; mutually they Embraced, and Kissed each other, using many Complements, whereby they renewed their former Friendship: Then said Don Manuel, Sir, the great Joy I re­ceive in seeing you, renews my Sorrows, for you set before my Eyes my Ingratitude which I am guilty of, but since it cannot be remedied, whatever Misery now befals me, i'll receive it with pleasure, in exchange of this short Enjoyment of your Friendship. Sir, reply'd Don Sebastian, I have been an Ear Witness of your kind Expressions you were pleas'd to use, in acknowledging that Passion you have for my Sister Carola; (then taking her by the Hand, who was all this while weeping) and (Sir) to compleat that Happiness the more, I here present her to your Hand, who (I believe) at this time may effect upon your Wound an Ex­cellent Cure: They were both so transport­ed with Joy, that their Cheeks were Bath'd in Amorous Tears.

[Page 45] All that were in the Room were silent, being surprized with admiration to behold so strange an Accident: at the same time Angelia perceiving how things went, and what would be the Product in the end; that her Hopes were quite frustrated of e­ver obtaining Don Manuel, she stole out of the Company, and being got out of the Room, instantly made into the Street, in­tending to have wander'd where-ever De­spair would lead her; scarce had she got out of Doors, when Don Sebastian began to miss her, and as if he had lost his Soul, made strict enquiry after her; but no Body could give him intelligence which way she was gone: Like one almost distracted, he posted first to the Muliteers Inn; but find­ing her not there, he ran like a Mad Man through the Streets, searching all places as he went through; believing at length, she might design for the Sea side, whither he hastned with all Speed: As he drew near, he heard a Voice calling aloud for the Boat be­longing to the Admirals Galley, who pre­sently knew it to be Angelia; he flew to her as swift as an Eagle to his Prey: An­gelia stood at first upon her Guard with her Sword in her Hand, but perceiving it to be Don Sebastian, she was grieved at the Heart he should find her, especially in a [Page 46] place so remote from Company: She dis­cern'd that Don Sebastian had a real Passion for her, and could have wish'd that Don Manuel had lov'd her but half so well: Don Sebastian was glad he had so fortunate­ly Retriev'd her, and more pleased at the Opportunity of the Place, where he ap­ply'd himself to her, in these Words.

Since Fortune has prov'd thus kind to me, fair Angelia, shou'd I now want power to discover the Secrets of my Soul, there would lie concealed in this Bosom, the most Cordial Affection, that was ever harbour­ed in a Lover's Breast: Don Manuel, hath the Advantage of me only in this, that he is the first that had the Possession of your Heart; but since his Heart was not in his Power to give, nor your Happiness to re­ceive, may the Gods inspire you with that Love, that in Exchange for his you may take mine. My Extraction is not Ignoble, nor my Fortune much Inferiour, to Don Manuel; but what Heaven's Bounty (Ma­dam) hath opened her Hand to give, I will humbly prostrate at your Feet, to take: Angelia, continued silent, all the while; letting fall some Tears, and fetching some few Sighs; then taking her by the Hand, he kiss'd it very often; still kissing of it between whiles. Madam, (said he) re­move [Page 47] this pain which I endure; and speak that happy Word, that Angelia is Sebastian's? Let me beg of you to entertain so impor­tunate a Passion, that nothing but a suita­ble return, can be Satisfactory: pronounce, (Madam) that happy Sentence, and then may Torments equal to your Hate (if such could be found out) fall on me, if ever Passion was so pure as mine, or shall prove so constant.

Angelia, so soon as she had dry'd those Tears which had bedew'd her Cheeks, she said, Sir, I look upon you as a Gentleman, far above what I can pretend or lay claim to, but more than ever I can merit; yet if you think me worthy of your Marriage Bed, and what you utter with your Tongue, proceeds from a real Affection, I shall (said she with a little redness) surrender up my self, and consent if Heav'n has so decreed it; but if what you said should prove un­true; it will the more increase my Torment. Ah, Madam! (said Don Sebastian) may the brightest Luminary ever cease to display his Beams upon me, if ever Sebastian proves false unto Angelia. Then give me Sir, (said she) that Hand of yours, and in Exchange take mine, and let those Clouds, these Sands, and Seas, with the still silence of this place (only interrupted by my Sighs, [Page 48] and your Intreaties) be Witnesses of this Engagement. Having said this, she per­mitted Don Sebastian, to embrace her, and by Exchange of Hands, they solemnized their private Nuptials with the shedding of a few Tears, rejoycing at the flight of their past sorrow.

This Ceremony being ended, they pre­sently return'd to the Knight's House, where at the Entrance, they heard a noise of Musick, with great Expressions of Joy, not dreaming so suddain a performing of the Nuptials of Don Manuel, and Carola; which afterwards they were fully informed of, with the Reasons of so quick a dispatch. At their return they were received with great Joy, by the Catalonian Knight, Don Manuel, Carola, and the rest: Don Sebastian having informed them what passages had happened between him and Angelia, they were infinitely well pleased, embracing each other, the Priest being in the House gave order to have Angelia's Habit chang'd, which being done, he joined their Hands, as he had done Don Manuel's and Carola's, pronouncing them Husband and Wife, which gave Satisfaction to all that were present. After that the Knight desired their Companies in a Room, which he kept for publick Entertainment of Friends; where [Page 49] was a Table furnished with all Varieties, [...]hey all seating themselves, feasting very [...]lentifully, and closing with the Bride [...]nd Bridegrooms Health they departed the [...]oom.

Now all their Care and Diligence was [...]bout Don Manuel's recovery of his Wound; [...]ut the Chyrurgeons so applyed their ut­ [...]ost Skill that in Fourteen days he was per­ [...]ectly cured, and able to perform his Jour­ [...]ey; the day of departure being come they [...]ll took leave of that Liberal Knight, who [...]ad heaped on them so many Favours, and [...]iven them such noble Entertainment; his Name was Don Martin de Coligni, most Noble in his Blood, and as Famous in his [...]erson; thus making a thankful Acknow­ [...]edgment, Don Sebastian presented him with a Rich Diamond Ring, which he im­ [...]ortuned him to take, as a small remem­ [...]rance: Then they proceeded upon their [...]ourney, where in a few days from the top [...]f a high Hill, they could discern their re­ [...]pective Houses.

They discovered likewise from the same [...]art of the Hill, a large and spacious Val­ [...]ey, and under the shade of an Olive-Tree▪ [...] tall lusty Gentleman, upon a strong limb'd Horse, with a white Shield on his left Arm, [...]nd a very strong well pointed Launce in [Page 50] his right Hand; while they were observing him with a fixt Eye, they perceived two more among the Trees, well mounted, with the same Armes the other had: soon after, they all three met together, and having consulted a while, two of 'em went a part some few Paces, then putting Spurs to their Horses they encountred very furiously, and with such dexterity, as clearly prov'd they were Masters in that Exercise; the third Man stood as a Spectator, without moving from his place: Don Sebastian being very impatient to see so well a maintained Com­bat, and himself at so far a distance, he running withal that speed he could make, down the Hill (leaving Carola, Angelia, and Don Manuel to follow after) drew near the Combatants; just as they were both slightly wounded, one of their Hel­mets being fall'n off, in the turning of his Face, Don Sebastian knew it was his Father, and immediately flung himself among the Combatants, desiring to be inform'd of the Cause of this Engagement; by this time, Don Manuel, Carola, and Angelia, were come to 'em; Don Manuel, presently knew the other to be his Father: Angelia also ha­ving earnestly ey'd the Person who did not engage, knew him to be her Parent, with which sight all four were strangely [Page 51] surpriz'd. But this their suddain Passion not admitting the formalities of Discourse, they all fell down, and cried, stay your Hands, for we who beg this of you are your own Flesh and Blood; then said Don Manuel, my Honoured Father, I am he, for whom I Imagine these your Venerable Gray Hairs are in dispute; let me beseech you to lay aside your Anger, and those Wea­pons, or Exercise them upon me, who in­deed deserves to be the Object of your fu­ry; then perceiving that Don Frederick, Angelia's Father, was alighted, and embra­cing of her, she gave him a Relation of what had passed in all their Travels, and de­sired him to give his two Friends an account; which he presently did; and the other two immediately alighted, most lovingly em­bracing them, but not without the mixture of some Tears which sprang from the Foun­tains of Love and Joy.

Not long after, there appeared in the same Valley, several Gentlemen, compleat­ly armed, which were to be Seconds to these Noble Persons; but as they drew near, perceived they were embracing one another, but could not tell what to think of it, while Don Frederick went and infor­med them who they were, and what his Daughter Angelia had told him: then they [Page 52] immediately alighted, and payed them that respect which was due to their Quality. In the Conclusion, Don Manuel's Father pro­posed to have both the Weddings re-solem­nized at his own House, which being agreed upon, they departed home; as they went along, Don Sebastian, and Don Manuel, enquired into the Cause of this Combat, and found, that Carola, and Angelia's Fa­thers, had Challeng'd Don Manuel's suspect­ing him to Conceal his Sons Designs.

The next day after their return home, their Nuptials were Solemniz'd, with great Splendour, who lived many Years happy together, and left behind them a Noble Stock to Posterity: The Place in Andalu­zia I shall forbear to name, because I desire to keep up the Reputation of those two Ladies, whom peradventure, some Tongues, either Malicious, or Foolish, might be Cen­sorious, and tax of lightness in their Desires: But I shall intreat them not to blame the like Liberties, and Exercises, till they look back into themselves, and seriously call to account, whether they were never smitten with Cupidinian Fires, or felt the force of Love, which in Effect is unresistable.

As for the Mule-Driver, he never met with such Entertainment in his Life, he liv'd bravely all the time of the Weddings, and [Page 53] at last Don Sebastian, and Don Manuel, sent him away so well Contented, what with his Liberal Pay, and many Gifts bestow'd upon him, you may be sure he took care to avoid the Wood where Angelia was Rob­bed; and when he got Home, his Wife never made him so Welcome in all his Life; besides the many Flaggons of Wine his Neighbours bestowed on him for relating the Story of his Travels.

THE Mistakes: A NOVEL.

TWo Young Gentlemen, Fellow Students in Spain, were resolv'd to leave their Studies, and go for Flanders; led thither by the heat of their Youthful Blood, the desire they had to see the World, and to learn the Exercise of Arms: To this purpose they arriv'd there (but in a time of Peace and Quietness, contrary to their Expecta­tion, or else Articles of a Treaty suddenly to be Ratified) Coming to Antwerp they received Letters from their Fathers, which testified to 'em their Displeasure, for lea­ving their Studies without their Assent; and the not acquainting them with their [Page 55] intended Journey, whereby they might have appear'd in an Equipage suitable to their Birth, and Quality.

Don Bernardo, and Francisco, these two young Gentlemen, perceiving that what they had acted displeas'd their Parents, design'd to return back to Spain, since they saw there was nothing of Action in Flanders; yet before they returned, they would sa­tisfie their Curiosity in seeing all the most Famous Cities of Italy: Having view'd them all, with Delight, and Admiration, they setled themselves in Bologna; where highly applauding the Methods of Study in that Famous University, and earnestly desiring, that there they might accomplish their Education, they immediately Posted away Letters to their Friends, informing them of the great Advantage they could reap by their Studies, in that so much Fa­med University: Upon the Receipt of their Letters, their Friends were extraordinary glad, that they were so careful of their Learning, and sent them several Bills of Exchange, to receive Sums of Money, whereby they might furnish themselves with those Necessaries Equivalent to their Birth and Quality.

[Page 56] Don Francisco was about Twenty Six Years of Age, and Don Bernardo two Years younger; they visited the Schools often, and had attained to that great Skill in Mu­sick, and Poetry, with other extraordinary Endowments, that they were Admired, and Applauded by the whole University. They shewed themselves to all very Cour­teous, and Liberal, and were far from that Pride, and Arrogancy Spaniards are gene­rally tax'd withal.

But young Blood running in their Veins, and being full of Jollity, they were desi­rous of taking a Prospect of the Chief Beau­ties belonging to that City; and though there were many Gallant Ladies, Married, and Single, that were Extoll'd for Beauty, and Virtue; yet above all, the Lady Evadne was Fame's Jewel, and of a Noble Extra­ction.

Evadne, extreamly Fair, and Beautiful, Adorned with all the Excellencies Nature could design; that to do her Justice, she was indeed Nature's Master-piece; her Pa­rents both dying, she was left under the Guardianship of Marcellus her Brother, an Honourable, and Valiant Gentleman: They left behind them great Riches, which makes Orphanship the more pleasant, and easie. Her Retiredness was so strict, that [Page 57] she would not admit of any Visitants; and her Brother's Care was so great, and tender of her, that he permitted her to do what she pleased, without contradicting of her.

But the Fame, and Report of her Tran­scendent Charms rais'd an Ambition in Don Francisco, and Don Bernardo to view her; but all the Stratagems they could think of was in vain, for they could not once ob­tain the Sight of her. Seeing their Hopes frustrated, their Desires by degrees were wholly extinguished; and now wholly ap­plying themselves to Study, and the Diver­sion of some Innocent Recreations, they led a Facetious Life together, seldom ram­bling abroad in the Night, or when they did, they always went well Armed.

It happen'd, not long after, they had made an Agreement to walk abroad one Evening; but a Vagary came into Don Ber­nardo's Head, that he framed some Excuse to stay a while behind, but desired Don Francisco to go on before, and he would presently follow after. I am not in such Post hast (reply'd Don Francisco) but I can stay for you; or, if neither of us goes out this Night, the Matter's not great. Af­ter a few Intreaties, Don Bernardo perswa­ded him to go first, and he assured him he would follow him: Don Francisco told him, [Page 58] he thought it was some Maggot, and bid him use his own Pleasure; but if he did follow him, he should find him in the same Walk, they generally us'd.

The Night was somewhat Dark, and the Hour Eleven; Don Francisco having walk'd through two or three Streets, and finding none to Converse withal, resolv'd at last to return home; but passing through a Street, which had a Portico built on Pil­lars of Marble, he heard some Body Whist with a soft and low Voice; the Night be­ing dark, he could not imagine from whence it came; but Halting a little, and atten­tively list'ning, he perceived a Door open half way, drawing near to it, he heard a low, small Voice speak, Who's there, Giacomo? Yes, said Don Francisco: Then take this (re­ply'd they within) and be careful to have it safely kept, and return again hither im­mediately: Don Francisco putting forth his Hand felt something ponderous, but could not guess what it was; and thinking to take it with one Hand, he found there was occasion to use both: No sooner had he received it, but the Door was shut; then marching off, he found himself in the Street with his unknown Treasure; but by that time he had gone some few Paces, he heard a Child cry, which it seems was newly born: [Page 59] What to do in this Strange Case he was ig­norant, being full of Amazement: To re­turn back to the House, he consider'd with himself, might prove dangerous to the In­fant and himself; he having assumed the Person of him to whom it was intended; and to leave it in the Street, he look'd up­on it as Inhumanity; but remembring the Charge he had receiv'd, to be Careful, and have it safely kept, and to return immedi­ately, He resolv'd to carry it to his own House, and leave it in the Custody of an Elderly Woman, which was his House-Keeper, whose Name was Dorila, and then return back, to see what further occasion there was of his Service, or what more Mi­stakes there might be committed.

At length he brought it Home to his House, (Don Bernardo being gone to find him) and entring into a Room next at hand, called Dorila to him, and bid her Unswath the Infant. When she had open'd it, they both view'd it, and found it to be a Male Child, very Fair, and Beautiful; the Or­naments about it declared it was of no mean Parentage, or ordinary Extraction. Then Don Francisco desir'd her to procure a Nurse for it, but first to take of those rich Man­tles, and to put on meaner: And for the better Concealing my bringing it hither, [Page 60] you shall Convey it to a Midwife, who is seldom unprovided of necessary Expedients upon such Occasions; and for her Gratifi­cation, take Money with you to defray the Charge; you may nominate what Parents you shall think fit, and give it what Name the Midwife and you shall agree upon: All this Dorila promis'd should be faithfully perform'd according to his Order.

The Business being thus contriv'd, Don Francisco with all speed hastned back to the place, to hear whether they would Whist any more to him. But instead of that, a little before he came to the House where the Whisting came from, he heard a great Clashing of Swords, as if several had been Fighting: He listned a while but could hear no Words spoke, but by the Sparks which flew from their Weapons, he percei­ved by the Glimpse, that one was set upon by a great many; and had a Confirmation of it, by hearing one say, False Traytors, though you are many against one, yet shall not your Advantageous Number gain you the Victory.

Don Francisco at these Words, transpor­ted by his eager Courage, at two Leaps made to the side of the Gentleman assaulted, and drew out his Sword with so much Gal­lantry, saying, Sir, fear nothing, for such [Page 61] Aid is come to your Relief, as will not fail you, till his Sword or Life fail: And there­fore, fortifie your Strength and Resolution; for Traytors, though numerous, are not always successful. Immediately one of the Adverse Party reply'd, Villain thou Lyest, here's no Traytors: But where there is Ju­stice in a Cause, there's always hopes of Victory.

They had not time to use more Expres­sions, for the hast they were in to Con­quer each other, would not admit of a Par­ley; the unequal Party press'd very hard upon Don Francisco, and his Companion, that at two Thrusts they laid the Stranger on the Ground: Don Francisco believing he had received his Mortal Wound, reas­sumed to himself that Courage, seconding his Blows so powerfully, and with such nimbleness, that they were forc'd to re­treat.

But all his Magnanimity had not been able to have defended him against so Potent an Enemy, had not Dame Fortune stept in to his Protection; for the Inhabitants by this time were alarm'd, and open'd their Windows; others came forth with Lights, and to cry out for help, which the great­est Party perceiving, forsook the place, and made their Escape.

[Page 62] By this time the Stranger that was faln, had recover'd himself, for those Thrusts he receiv'd, lighted on some private Ar­mour he had on, which was as hard, as the very Adamant. Don Francisco in this Skirmish having lost his Hat, by chance took up another, which he put on, with­out looking whether it was his own.

The Gentleman rising up, said (to Don Francisco) Sir, that I am indebted to you for my Life, is not a greater truth, then that, I shall never scruple to lose it in your Service; and what Fortune has been pleased to bestow on me, I shall be very ready to lay at your Feet; but lest my Ig­norance might (when occasion serves) ren­der me uncapable of paying you that Debt, I shall beg to be acquainted with your Name, that by my future Gratitude I may express my thankfulness.

Sir, (reply'd Don Francisco) the Ser­vice I have paid you, is so much the Duty of one Gentleman to another, that it me­rits not an acknowledgment; but to com­ply with your Desires, I shall give you that satisfaction which is agreeable to your Demands. I am a Gentleman, a Spaniard, and a Student in this University, and if my Name can render you any Service, I am called Don Francisco de Bazola.

[Page 63] You have highly honour'd me (reply'd the Stranger) in every respect, but I dare not discover my Name to you, but am willing you should be inform'd from ano­ther, rather than my self; and I will take that care, you shall not remain long a Stran­ger to it. By this time they perceiv'd eight Persons, making towards 'em; Don Fran­cisco thinking them to be Enemies, desired the Stranger to be in a readiness to receive 'em, and he would not be wanting in his Duty to assist him: though their number be so unequal, I believe, Sir, (reply'd the Stranger) they are not Enemies, but Friends; the Words were no sooner spoke, but they surrounded him, Whispering some few Words to him, but so low, as Don Fran­cisco could not hear 'em.

Upon this, the Stranger turning aside from 'em to Don Francisco, he embrac'd him, saying, Sir, these Gentlemen are my Friends, and have promis'd me their assi­stance, else I should have created you far­ther trouble, by conducting me to some place of Safety; but since Fortune hath offer'd this means for my Preservation, I will resign my self up to their Protection. Having lost his Hat (as he pretended) he desir'd his Friends to get him another; scarce had he spoke the Word, when Don [Page 64] Francisco offer'd him the Hat which he had; the Stranger no sooner view'd it, but re­turn'd it to him again, saying, Sir, this is not mine, but I beseech you except of it, and wear it as a Trophy of this days Victo­ry: Moreover, (he added) I am sorry that Time Summons me away, which hin­ders me the paying you that further respect that is due to your Merits. Using some short Complements, the Stranger took his leave of Don Francisco; who was in a great Sur­mize, who this Person should be; but by the richness of the Hatband of Diamonds, which was on the Hat the Stranger gave him; he concluded, he must be some great person of Quality.

Don Francisco as he was returning home, met Don Bernardo his Companion, who told him he thought he had been lost; and withal desired him to turn back, and walk with him some few Paces, and he would give him a Relation of what had happen­ed to him in his Absence: Don Francisco, willing to hear his Story, return'd back with Don Bernardo, who gave him this fol­lowing Account.

A little more than an hour after you were gone, I went in order to find you out, and before I could reach thirty Paces, saw a Person coming in great hast, as it were [Page 65] to meet me, and approaching nearer to me, [...] perceiv'd it was a Woman, in a long Habit, who with a Voice, interrupted with Sighs, and Tears, said, Sir, are you a Stranger, or one of this City? Madam, (I [...]eply'd) I am a Stranger, and a Spaniard at [...]our Devotion, and am ready to assist any Lady in Distress: I see Amazement, Ma­dam, in your Face, 'Pray are you Wounded, or have you receiv'd any prejudice where­by your Life is in danger? Sir, (said she) the Injury I have receiv'd, may prove my Death, without some speedy Remedy: Therefore, I beseech you, by that Civility which is never wanting in any Gentleman of your Nation, to Conduct me safe to your Lodging with the greatest speed imagina­ble; there I will inform you of my Person, and the occasion of giving you, Sir, this trouble.

Seeing my assistance was desired with speed, without any reply, I led her through private ways to my Lodging; Roderigo my Page was ready, who when he had o­pened the Door, I order'd him to with­draw, and without his seeing her, conveyed her to my Chamber: She was no sooner en­tred, but she threw her self on the Bed, and fell into a Swoon; upon which, I unco­ver'd her Face, which was shaded with a [Page 66] Vail, and discover'd the greatest Beauty that ever Mortal Eyes beheld; her Age, I Conjectur'd, might be about Seventeen: I stood a while in admiration at such a rare Angelical Form, and Shape, but recover­ing of her self, she put me out of that deep Ecstasie I was in, but she continued sighing, and lamenting her Condition; lifting up her Eyes she look'd earnestly upon me, and said, Do you know me, Sir? No, Madam, (I reply'd) I never was so happy to be ac­quainted with so much Beauty.

O unhappy is that Beauty (said she) which Heaven bestows on many for their great Misfortune! But this, Gentle Sir, is no time to commend Beauty, but to remedy the Events of Future Mischiefs: Therefore I beseech you, by your Worth, and No­bleness, to leave me here lock'd up from all Humane Eyes, and presently return to that place, where I receiv'd from you that kind assistance: If there be any Persons engaged with one another, I entreat you, Sir, side not with any Party, but rather seek to re­concile their difference; for whatsoever Blood is spilt on either side, will be a new supply to my former Miseries. Having done speaking, I assured her those Com­mands she had laid upon me, should be obeyed, and punctually observed; so ha­ving [Page 67] left her to her self, I am now going to finish my Promise.

The Accident is very strange, (reply'd Don Francisco) and if you have done, I will give you an Account of my Adven­tures. So relating to him the whole Story of what had happened to him, but particu­larly of the Quarrel he engaged himself in, in rescuing a Gentleman who was defend­ing himself against a very unequal number; which he believ'd might be that Engage­ment he was going to inform himself of, and which the Lady would receive satis­faction from: Moreover, he told Don Ber­nardo, all things were now silent; and did believe that those Persons who were engaged, were Persons of great Quality. They both admir'd at each others Fortune, resolving now to hasten homewards to look after their Charge, and give their Atten­dance to the Lady.

As they were walking home, Don Ber­nardo acquainted Don Francisco of the Ob­ligation the Lady had laid on him, and of his Promise he made to her for performance of it; which was, That none should be ad­mitted into the Chamber, but himself. Don Francisco reply'd, I will devise some Stra­tagem or other to behold this Beauty you have so highly commended. In dis­coursing, [Page 68] Don Bernardo cast his Eyes on the Hatband Don Francisco had, which did sparkle, and shine with great lustre; so ta­king it from his Head, they both found it to be exceeding rich, and of great Value: This Hat (reply'd Don Francisco) was pre­sented to me by the Person whom I assisted, telling me, I should accept of it, because it was well known; and keep it as a remem­brance of that Days Victory.

Being arriv'd at home, Don Bernardo open'd his Chamber Door, and finding the Lady leaning her Cheek on her Hand, which she had bath'd with her tender Tears, Don Francisco having an earnest desire to see her, put his Head half way in; at which instant, the sparkling of the Diamond Hat­band shined in those Eyes which were full of Tears. Come in my Lord Duke (said she) come in, Why will you distribute to me with so sparing a Hand, the richness of your Presence.

Madam, (reply'd Don Bernardo) your Ladyship's mistaken, here's no Duke to ex­cuse himself; for not waiting on you. How, Sir, (said she) no Duke! Then have my Eyes deceiv'd me; for that Person that looked into the Room must needs be him, whom the richness of his Hat cannot con­ceal. Indeed Madam, I can assure you, [Page 69] (reply'd Don Bernardo) the Hat which you saw, no Duke wears it; and if you are wil­ling to be fully satisfied, by giving him ad­mittance into your Presence, the Person (Madam) shall attend you: Sir, if it will not be too great a trouble to you, (said she) to request that favour of him, I shall be more at ease; yet if my hopes are frustrated, and he prove not to be the Duke, it will make an Addition to my Affliction; Don Francisco heard what was said, and having leave granted for his Admittance, he made his Entry into the Chamber, and having paid those Respects due to her Person and Quality, she was soon convinc'd that he was not the Duke: then Blushing at the Mi­stake, with a discomposed Voice said to him,

Unhappy, and Miserable that I am! In­form me, Sir, I beseech you, without hol­ding me in Suspence, whether you know the Person that did own this Hat? Where you left him? And whether happily alive? or is it the unwelcome Messenger of his Death? Then Weeping (she said) And is it possible for me to behold those sparkling Diamonds here, and to behold my self thus clouded without thee, immur'd up in a Chamber under the Power of Strangers? Dear Madam, said Don Francisco, torment [Page 70] not your self, the Owner of this Hat is not dead, neither are you in such hands, that you will receive the least prejudice by; for our Lives and Fortunes are ready to protect you when ever any occasion shall require our Service; and be assured Ma­dam, that all the Respect shall be paid to you, which is due to your Birth, and Qua­lity. Then she desired him to give her an Account of what Passages happened in the Enterprize, for (said she) that Hat belongs to Cosmo de Medicis, Duke of Millain.

Don Francisco, not willing to hold her longer in Suspence, recounted to her the whole Relation. Madam, (said he) the Person who presented this Hat to me, I suppose is the Duke of Millain, I left him in very good health, and in the Company of some Friends that came to his assistance. This (Madam) that I have related to you is a certain Truth. Evadne returned him many Thanks, and told him her Mind was much eased for the present.

By this time Dorila had dressed the Child, and going to carry it out, as she pass'd by the Lady's Chamber, the Child cry'd so strongly, that it gave an Alarm to the La­dy, who enquiring of both the Gentlemen, desired to know what Child that was, which to her thi [...]king, was newly Born: Madam [Page 71] (reply'd Don Francisco) it is a Present was [...]aid at our Doors this Night, and Dorila our Woman is going to get a Nurse for it. [...] Pray, Sir, let her bring it to me (said the Lady) and i'll exercise that Charitable Act for others, since Fortune is not so kind to permit me to do it for my own. Then Don Francisco called Dorila, to bring the Child, which he presented to the Lady, saying, (Madam) you may behold the Gift which this Night has produced, and it is no sur­prize to us, for we often meet with such Ac­cidents. The Lady Evadne having the Child in her Arms, look'd as earnestly on the Face, as she did on the meanness of the Cloths it had on, and could not refrain from weeping; so covering her Breast, that she might with more Modesty give the Infant Suck, she apply'd it to her Nipple, and laid her Face to the Childs, bathing it with her Tears.

The Lady considering the Child received little or no Sustenance, she return'd it to Don Francisco, saying, In vain have I ex­ercised my Charity, I find I am not experi­enced in these Cases: Then she desired him to give order, that the Child might not be carried out into the Air at that time of Night, but be kept till the next day, and before it went she desired it might be [Page 72] brought to her, for she took great delight in viewing it.

Don Francisco returning the Child to Dorila, gave her order to take care of it till the next day, and then dress it up as handsomly as she could in those Rich Man­tles it was brought in, but not bring it till he call'd for it: Then returning to the La­dy's Chamber, where there was only Don Bernardo, with the Lady Evadne, who through grief being ready to faint, desired something to eat whereby she might support her Spirits, that she might be able to utter her intended Relation. Then Don Bernar­do went immediately to his Closet, and fetch'd thence some Conserves, and Sweet-Meats, wherewith she being refresh'd, she began her Account in these Words:

I am one of this City, (whom I doubt not but you have heard very often nomi­nated) the Unfortunate Evadne Barbarino; and by those which us'd to flatter me, was fam'd for Beauty; but such as it is, (Gentle­men) you may perceive that those which did applaud it, wanted Skill: Being a young Orphan, I was left under the Guardianship of Marcellus my Brother, who was indeed very Vigilant over me: Thus being confined to Solitude, only accompanied by my Woman, which Waited on me, grow­ing [Page 73] up in Years and Stature, Fame's Trum­pet blew aloud, by the Breath of those Persons who had privately visited me, and by a Picture which my Brother's Curiosity would have done by a Famous Painter of Italy. But all this would have been the least part of hastening my Misfortunes, had not the Duke of Millain done a Kinswo­man of mine the honour to give her in Marriage. My Brother, to add more Guests to it, desired my Company; there it was the Duke beheld me, and wrong'd his Judgement, in making me the Object of his Love; who now has brought me to endless Misery.

Gentlemen, I will not relate to you, the Devices, Plots, and Means, how the Duke at the end of two Years came to obtain his Desires, which had their Birth at this Wed­ding: For neither Guardings, Watchings, Brotherly Admonitions, nor any other Hu­mane Industry, were sufficient to hinder our private Assignations; but before I would surrender up my self into his close Embraces, he gave his faithful Promise up­on his Honour, to Marry me: I begg'd of him very often to inform my Brother of his Intentions; but to what I desired, he pleaded those Excuses, which he intreated me to approve of, to be requisite, and ne­cessary: [Page 74] In Obedience to his Commands, I did, as many other Lovers do, believe the best; within a few days I found an Alte­ration in my Self, and not willing to dis­cover my Condition, I feigned my self Sick, and Melancholy, desiring my Brother to remove me to that Kinswoman's House, where was the beginning of my Affliction.

There did I ease my Mind, and make known the present danger which seem'd to threaten me; for small Felicity did I take, when Jealousies and Fears were always tor­menting me, thinking that my Brother had suspected my Imprudence. But it being fully agreed upon between the Duke and my self, that when I was in my last Month, I should give him notice of it; and that he with some other Friends would make Provision for me to go to Millain, where those Matrimonial Rites should be solemni­zed.

This was the Night that was concluded on for his coming, and this very Night waiting and expecting of him, I heard my Brother pass by, with many other Per­sons, which seemed to be ready to engage, by the noise of their Armour; this suddain Fear, made Passion so prevalent, that in­stantly I was delivered of a Son, and this waiting Woman of mine, who was the [Page 75] Duke's Sollicitress, and privy to all my A­ctions; she seeing this suddain Alteration, wrapt the Child in other Clothes than this Infant has on, which was laid at your Lodg­ing, and going to the Street Door, she gave it (as she inform'd me) to a Servant of the Duke's. In a little while after, ac­commodating my self the best I could, an­swerable to my present Necessity, I left the House, thinking the Duke had been near at hand, which indeed I did contrary to his Orders; but the fear of my Brother's severity hindred room for better Conside­ration, and foolishly forced me forth, where I met with this Charitable Reception at your Hands.

Having ended her Discourse, her Head fell from her arm whereon it rested; the Gentlemen ran immediately to see whether a Fainting Fit had not seiz'd her; but per­ceiving she wept bitterly, Don Francisco applyed himself to her in these Words: Ma­dam, if my Self and Companion, when Ignorant of your Birth and Quality, have had that Commiseration of you as a Lady in Distress, we are now ready (Madam) being fully informed of your great Worth, to pay those double Obligations and Re­spects which are due to your Merits, and you may command (Madam) what ever [Page 76] Spanish Civility can lay claim to: Though you never were under the like Misfortune before; yet I beseech you, Madam, by your Nobleness, shew Patience an Exam­ple: Believe me (Madam) I am of that prophetick Spirit, that such strange begin­nings will terminate in a happy Conclusion: for the Gods will ne'er permit that so much Beauty should be Oppress'd, and such Ver­tuous Thoughts so ill rewarded: The best advice, (Madam) I now can Dictate to you, is to take your rest, and preserve your Spirits; Dorila our Servant shall at­tend you, whom you may place Confidence in, and knows as well how to silence your Misfortunes, as she does how to pay her Respects and Services; and will endeavour to wade through all difficulties to oblige you.

Sir since you will oblige me so far (said Evadne) let me see her; for being proffer­ed to me by so good a hand as yours, I shall think her very necessary in this present Occasion, but I desire that none else may be Eye-Witnesses of my Misfortunes. None Madam (reply'd Don Francisco,) shall dare to approach you or invade your privacy, without your Knowledge: so leaving her alone, they went out, and Don Francisco called to Dorila, and ordered her to carry [Page 77] in the Child dress'd up in its Rich Mantles; which she had done in the same manner he brought it home: Then Dorila went in with the Child, being inform'd before what she should answer to such questions as the Lady should ask her.

So soon as the Lady Evadne saw her, she bid her welcome, and said to her, prithee Dorila, give me that pretty Creature, and bring hither the light. Evadne taking the Child in her Arms, she seemed to be much concerned and look'd very earnestly upon it, saying, Dorila, tell me truly, Is not this the same Child you brought some few hours since? Yes, Madam, (she reply'd.) How comes this suddain Alteration in the Man­tles, (said Evadne?) Either these are other Garments, or else, this is not the same In­fant? then she fell a weeping, saying, tell me, I conjure thee, dear Dorila, by all which thou lovest best, and all that's near­est and dearest to thee, tell me, I say, where thou hadst this Babe and Mantles, for I am the unfortunate owner of 'em, if sense of Sight and Memory doth not fail me; for in this Garb, I delivered to my Maid, the most beloved of my Soul.

[Page 78] Don Francisco and Don Bernardo, hear­ing her in this Passion, were not willing she should be held any longer in Pain or Suspence, resolved to remove the Doubts and Scruples which at that time had got Possession of her: Then Don Fran­cisco said to her, these Mantles and this Child (Madam Evadne) are both yours; then he related to her by Degrees, that he was the Person whom the Maid delivered the Child to, how he brought it home, and order'd Dorila to change the Mantles, that the Child should not be known: However, after her Ladyship had acquainted him with her Delivery, he was certainly assu­red it must be her Son, and he had inform­ed her sooner, had he found out an oppor­tunity; but now seeing her suddain Passion, proceeding from misdoubt, it might be re­compensed with the supervening Joy of knowing her own. Infinite were the Tears of Joy shed by Evadne, endless were the Kisses she gave her Son, and many the thanks which she rendred to Don Fran­cisco and Don Bernardo, calling them her Guardian Angels, with many other Titles, in Expression of her Thankful­ness.

[Page 79] Thus leaving her with Dorila, to whose Care they recommended the Lady, with a strict Charge to let nothing be wanting that was necessary for a Person in her State and Condition; having so done, that little remnant of Night which was left, they had Occasion to use it for rest; the next Morning they enquired after Evadne, how she had slept that Night, Dorila told 'em pretty well, and that she was not yet a­wake; whereupon, they went to visit the Schools, and passed through that Street where the Duke was set upon, and by the House, which the Lady Evadne came from, to harken out, if any Discourse were concerning Evadne, or the Duke; but all was hush'd up and silent, perceiving no notice to be taken of either.

Having heard their Lectures they return­ed home. Evadne hearing of them come, sent Dorila immediately to desire their Company. Don Francisco, and his Compa­nion told Dorila, they were ready to at­tend her Pleasure. So entring her Cham­ber, having complemented Evadne, they told her they had waited upon her soon­er, but they were not willing to be so pre­sumptious as to press into her presence without Order: She desired them with Tears and Intreaties, not to use those Ce­remonies [Page 80] now to her, but to lay them by for a more fit opportunity. For she hav­ing the Happiness to see none but them­selves, and Dorila, she looked upon Free­dom to be the only Felicity could here be enjoyed; then she enquired of them whether they heard any reports concerning her escape: they informed her they had made enquiry with all the Curiosity they could devise, but not a word was to be heard concerning it.

Whilst they were Discoursing, one of the Pages came to the Chamber Door, and told Dorila there was a Gentleman below, attended by two Servants, whose name is Marcellus Barbarino, and desires earnestly to speak with Don Francisco de Bazola: Up­on the hearing of this Message, Evadne, with a low Voice, uttered these Words; My Brother! (Gentlemen) my Brother! it is he! Doubtless, he has had Intelligence of my being here, and is come with an in­tent to deprive me of my Life; therefore, I beseech you Noble Spaniards, succour and protect a poor Distress'd Woman, and suffer her not to be murthered in your presence.

Don Bernardo intreated her to have Pa­tience, and told her she needed not fear any danger would happen to her, so long as he [Page 81] had a Life to lose in her Defence, then [...]e desired Don Francisco to walk down, [...]nd hear what the Lady's Brother had to [...]ay; which accordingly he did: then Don Bernardo called for his brace of Pistols (which were ready charged) and laid [...]hem on the Table, commanding his Men to be ready with their Swords if there should be Occasion: Dorila seeing these Preparations, shaked like an Aspen-Leaf, and the Lady Evadne, fearful of some ill success, trembled much more; but Don Ber­nardo being of a chearful Courage, com­forted her up, with great Expressions of his Fidelity towards her.

In the mean time, Don Francisco, found Don Marcellus at the Door, who after hav­ing complemented one another, Marcellus said, Sir, I beseech you, (for this is the Custom of Italy,) to honour me with your Company to that Church over against us, for I have a Secret to impart to you, which my Life and honour depends upon; Sir, I am very ready to wait on you (reply'd Don Francisco:) so walking over to the Church, they chose out at a place where none could hear 'em, and Marcellus began his Relation in these Words:

[Page 82] Noble Spaniard, my Name is Marcellus Barbarino, so well known to others, that I need not sound a Trumpet in my own Praise; I have for some years since continu­ed an Orphan, and had left to my Care one only Sister, to whom for Beauty Nature has been so Bountiful, that it is be­yond the power of Art to delineate it; to deal ingeniously with you, there is not a Beauty, take it all together, that can equa­lize it; her youthful and tender years, made me careful in the keeping so rich a Jewel, but the imprudent will of my Si­ster Evadne (for that's her Name) hath defrauded all my Preventions.

The Duke of Millain, with Lynx's Eyes overcame those of Argos; outwatch'd my Vigilancy, and overpowr'd my Industry; for he not only enticed my Sister, tak­ing her out of a Kinswoman's House by Night, but is (as it's reported) newly delivered of a Child by him; it was late ere I had notice of it, and this very Night I went in search of him and found him out, but in the Battle some Angel stept in to As­sist him, and would not permit me to fetch out the stain of my Honour with his Blood. My Kinswoman inform'd me, that the Duke had deluded her under the promise of Marriage, and Allurements of the Sweet [Page 83] Name of Husband: Thus being bereav'd of a Sister, and my Honour, I have until how lock'd up my Bosom, and was not willing to declare my mind, till I could find but a speedy Remedy.

My Resolution is now to go to Millain, [...]nd require of the Duke full Satisfaction, [...]ither by Marrying my Sister, or dispute [...]t with his Sword. In which Journey and Enterprize, (Noble Sir) I would desire [...]our good Company, being so well assur'd [...]f your Courage, that good Fortune will [...]ot be wanting in any of your Proceed­ [...]ngs. I was unwilling to acquaint any Relations with this Design, least they [...]hould frustrate my Intentions; but from [...]ou (dear Sir) I have a greater Confi­ [...]ence of Encouragement in the pursuit [...]f it, then any Disswasion to the con­ [...]ary.

Sir (reply'd Don Francisco) I am sorry [...]or the Occasion, but am glad of having [...]he opportunity of serving one of so mag­ [...]animous a Soul; from this time I dignifie [...]y self your Defender; and take to my [...]harge, either the Satisfaction or Revenge [...]f your Honour, and since the Gods are [...]ur Judges we need not fear partiality, for [...]e Justest Sword will be the sharpest, and [...]d therefore the conquer'd will be esteem­ed [Page 84] Guilty. Now (Sir) all that remains, is, that you resolve upon the time, which, I think, the sooner the better, for the Iron is to be wrought while 'tis hot; the heat of Choler increases Courage, and an Injury whilst it is fresh, rouses up Revenge.

Don Marcellus hearing these Words, a­rose from his Seat, and imbrac'd Don Fran­cisco in his Arms: Sir, (said he) having so Generous a Breast as yours is, it will be needless to use Motives, by setting before you any other Interest, than that of Ho­nour; the gaining of which, in this Enter­prize, shall be wholly yours, if Fortune be not wanting to give us Success; and for our Journey, if it stands with your Con­veniency, to Morrow Morning will be a proper time, for I shall be able to day to provide all things necessary.

Your time shall be mine, (reply'd Don Francisco) only give me leave Seignior Marcellus, to Impart this to a Friend and Companion of mine, a Gentleman, whose Valour, and Silence, you may as well build upon as mine. Since you have taken my Honour to your charge, (reply'd Marcel­lus) I know you will Impart it to none, but what are as Judicious as your self; and this Gentleman being a Friend and Com­panion of yours, I should be much want­ing [Page 85] in my Respects, if I declined so great a Favour; for that Person must needs be happy, who is worthy of your Acquain­tance; and good Fortune must needs at­tend him, whom you are pleas'd to stile your Friend and Companion.

Then they imbrac'd each other, and took their leave, Marcellus telling him he would send one next Morning to call him, and so take Horse without the City, that there might be no notice taken of their Jour­ney: After this Don Francisco went home, and acquainted Don Bernardo, and the La­dy Evadne, of what had passed between Marcellus and himself, and of the Resolu­tion they had made of taking their Journey next Morning.

Dear Sir, (said Evadne) your kindness is very great, and as great your Confidence: How suddainly have you engaged yourself in an Affair so full of Inconveniences? How are you certain, Sir, whether my Brother will lead you to Millain, or convey you to some other place, the better to accomplish his Designs of Revenge? But wheresoever you go, you may be assured, my best Wishes go along with you; though I confess my self a Wretched, and Unfortunate Woman, which am afraid of every shadow; yet my Timorousness is the more excusable, since [Page 86] my Life, or Death depends upon the Duke's Resolution. Who knows but Fury in 'em both may rage to that height, that nothing but Blood can Expiate the Wrong? And Sir, you cannot chuse but think, that your Absence will create in me a strange Su­spence, expecting every hour between Hope, and Fear, either the welcome, or unwel­come News of your Success. Do I so lit­tle love the Duke, or my Brother, that I dread not the Misfortunes of 'em both, and feel the Anguish of a double Event lie heavy on my Mind?

Raise not your Fears (said Don Fran­cisco) Madam, to that pitch, but leave some place for hope: Trust to my Care and Conduct in this Affair, and I make no question, but all things will end in a happy Union; our going to Mill [...]n is not to be excus'd, neither can I decline assisting your Brother: We are yet ignorant of the Duke's Intentions, neither do we believe he knows of your Flight from your Kinswomans House: But perhaps, we may have a very fair Account from his own Mouth, and no Man can better give a Relation of it than himself; and (Madam) I must deal plainly with you, I have that equal Honour and Friendship for the Duke and your Brother, [Page 87] that Duty binds me to be Careful and Vigi­ [...]lant for both their Safeties.

The Gods protect you (said Evadne) and give you that good opportunity of bringing your Affairs to a happy Issue, and [...]me a thankful acknowledgment for all Fa­vours received from you in this my Extre­mity: For had I not been so fortunate as to have met with this high Civility at your Hands, I must have remained the most Un­fortunate; but Thanks to your Goodness, which led you to so much Charity and Pity, as to Relieve the Distressed: How­ever Fears may assault me in your Absence, or Hope hold me in Suspence, yet methinks [...] long now to see you gone, and as quick­ly to see you return; that I may receive the welcome News of your Prosperous Success.

Don Bernardo approved well of the De­sign, and thanked Don Francisco for re­commending of him to Don Marcellus; as­suring him he would accompany them in their Journey, not knowing what might happen, but perhaps they might have occa­sion for a third Person; so, for fear of the worst he would be ready to see how Affairs went, and to prevent all unjust Proceed­ings.

[Page 88] It is not requisite (said Don Francisco) the Lady Evadne should be left alone; no [...] to make Seignior Marcellus suspect, that I wanted Courage to perform my Promise, and Resolution: The Respect I have for the Lady's Safety (reply'd Don Bernardo) shall not be wanting; whatever Enterprize you engage in, you must allow me a Participa­tion; therefore abandon all Excuses, or else disanul our Friendship: My Intention is to follow you at a distance undiscovered by Don Marcellus; and (I presume) the Lady Evadne will not be displeased at it; and I am confident Dorila will be so care­ful, that there will be nothing wanting in our Absence towards her Accommoda­tion.

I shall be so far from resenting your De­parture, (said Evadne) that it will be ra­ther a satisfaction to me, that you accom­pany one another; and I should be guilty of breaking the Bonds of Friendship, if I should interceed to the contrary: Besides, Sir, (speaking to Don Francisco) who knows what danger you may be expos'd to, that may require Don Bernardo's Assistance. Then taking out of a little Cabinet which stood by, two rich Jewels, she presented one to Don Francisco, and one to Don Ber­nardo, desiring them to accept them as small [Page 89] Remembrances for those many Favours she had receiv'd at their Hands: but they modestly return'd them, and told her they would not hazard so great a Treasure in the Enterprize they were going to under­take: So recommending of her to the care of Dorila their Woman, they humbly took their leave.

Dorila used her Industry and Diligence in waiting on Evadne, wondering at her Master's Journey, but was ignorant where they went, and about what business; the next Morning Don Marcellus came betimes to the door, and found Francisco ready prepared for the Journey, handsomly Ac­coutred, with his rich Hat, but the Hat­band he covered with Cyprus, the better to conceal it: So walking out of the City into a Garden, a remote place, they took Horse, and taking Bye-Paths, they went to­wards Millain.

Don Bernardo upon a fine Nag, and in a good riding Suit followed after 'em at a distance; but he perceiving they espy'd him, especially Don Marcellus, resolv'd to take the direct way to Millain, not que­stioning but there he should meet with them: They had scarce gone out of the City, but Evadne had given Dorila an Ac­count of all Transactions, concerning the [Page 90] Duke and herself; not concealing the oc­casion of her Master's Journey, or her Bro­ther Don Marcellus his Resolution.

Dear Madam (said Dorila) I perceive the danger you are in is greater than you are sensible of, which if not speedily pre­vented may utterly prove your ruine: If you please (Madam) to receive my Senti­ments, I don't believe Seignior Marcellus your Brother is gone to Millain; but ra­ther that he has decoyed them from home, whereby he may accomplish his designs in taking away your life: Pray (Madam) consider how slightly we are guarded, if any such black design should evidently ap­pear, how weak and poor an Opposition could be made; we have only three raw Pages left behind, and what Courage, or Skill can they use in your defence? Indeed (Madam) I have too high a respect to de­lude you with Flattery, for my Heart Pro­phetically tells me of the ruine which threa­tens this House, and for a speedy Remedy I will employ my Life in your Preserva­tion.

Evadne hearing Dorila's Arguments which she utter'd with so much earnestness; and showed such Manifestations of Fear, that she was wholly possest, all she had spoke was certainly true; so contemplating with [Page 91] her self, that if Don Francisco, and Don Bernardo should be Slain, her Brother might be entring the Chamber, and execute his Revenge: Being thus perplexed, she ask'd Dorila what Counsel she could give her to prevent this Storm, which she perceived was coming.

Madam, (reply'd Dorila) there is an ho­nest Curate of a Country Village, two Miles from Millain, whom I once did serve; he will do any thing for me that I can require, or is in his power to perform: If you please I will take care to find one out to carry us safe thither; and as for the Nurse which Suckles the Child, she will go along with us to the Worlds end: And admit, (Ma­dam) that you should be found out it is more honourable for you to be in the House of an old Curate, than under the Roof of two Young Spanish Students. In Conclu­sion, she rendred such Reasons, that poor Evadne was willing to follow her Advice; and so in less than four hours, they had both of 'em got into a Waggon, together with the Nurse, and the Child; and without being heard of the Pages, set forwards of their Journey for the Village where the Curate dwelt; all which was done by the Perswasion of this foolish Woman Dorila.

[Page 92] To defray the Charges of this Journey, Evadne would have given Dorila a Jewel to have Pawn'd, but she inform'd her, she could furnish her; for her Master, not long before, had payed her a Years Wages. Evadne having heard Don Francisco dis­course, that he, and her Brother would not ride the direct Road to Millain, she gave order to the Waggoner to take the Common Road, the better to avoid 'em; bidding him drive leasurely, and she would reward him well for his pains.

We will now leave them on their Jour­ney, and return to Don Francisco and Don Marcellus, of whom it is reported, they had Information upon the way, that the Duke was not in Millain, but Bolognia: So leaving the Bye-Ways, they entred into the High Road, considering with themselves that the Duke must pass that way in his Return from Bolognia: They had not been long entred into the Road, but they espyed a Party of Horse marching towards them: upon this Don Francisco perswaded Seignior Marcel­lus to step aside out of the Road, for if the Duke should happen to be in the Com­pany, he would entertain him with some Discourse, before he entred into Millain, if he saw a fit Opportunity: Marcellus ap­proved of his Advice, and told him, he [Page 93] would leave the management of it to his Care.

So soon as Marcellus was gone aside, Don Francisco slipt off the Cyprus which co­ver'd his Hatband, for some Reasons he had, which he afterwards declar'd: By this time the Horse drew pretty near, amongst them was a Woman upon a Brown Nag, and in a fair riding Suit with a Mask on, either for the better concealing her self, or for a Preservative from the Sun and Air. Don Francisco made a Halt whilst the Horse came up to him; as they drew near him, they view'd his Lively, and Spriteful De­portment, his Physiognomy, the Gallantry of his Garb, and the rich lustre of his Dia­mond Hatband, together with the proud­ness of his Horse; more especially the Duke of Millain, who was in the Company: he no sooner espied the Hatband, but present­ly apprehended it must be Don Francisco de Bazola, who rescued him from that great danger wherein he was surprized; so entertaining the verity of it in his Thoughts, he made up to him, and said after this man­ner, Noble Sir, if I call you Don Francis­co, I hope I shall commit no Mistake, for your brave Deportment, and gentle Dis­position, together with that Hatband, con­firms me to be in the right.

[Page 94] Sir, (reply'd Don Francisco) you are under no Mistake, for I never was yet guilty of any dishonourable Practices, whereby the concealing of my Name was found necessary, and since my Name has receiv'd that Honour to be known by you, I hope (Sir) you will inform me of the oc­casion, and make me so happy that I may remain no longer ignorant of yours, but that I may pay those Respects due to your Person and Quality.

Seignior Francisco, (reply'd the Duke) I am one who stands indebted to you for my Life, and one whom your Victorious Arm so lately did protect; and had not the Gods design'd it, Death, at that time, had been my Portion: My Name is Alphonso, but more known by the Title of the Duke of Millain: The Duke had no sooner decla­red himself, but Don Francisco, with great Agility alighted from his Horse, the Duke with the same nimbleness, was as soon out of his Saddle, and took Don Francisco and imbraced him in his Arms. Seignior Mar­cellus from a far beholding these Ceremo­nies, dubious whether they were Actions of Kindness, or Anger, put immediately Spurs to his Horse, but in the midst of his Car­reer, he took him up gently by degrees, and made a Halt, seeing the Duke, and Don [Page 95] Francisco Complementing each other. The Duke espying Don Marcellus, knew him at the first Sight, but had not the least Cogi­tation of his being so near him: he was somewhat amazed at it, and enquired of Don Francisco, whether he was of his Com­pany: Yes, (said Don Francisco) and I will acquaint your Excellency with the occasion of it; so defiring the Duke to step a little aside out of the Road, he thus proceeded:

Don Marcellus, whom your Excellency sees there, has a great Accusation against you, concerning his Sister the Lady Evad­ne, and the Relation was to this effect: That four Nights since, you convey'd her from his Kinswomans House, and have de­luded, and dishonoured his Sister; for which now he is come to demand satisfacti­on from you: All he expects (Sir) from you is, either by performing your Promise to her of Marriage, or to end the Dispute with your Sword; he has desired me to accompany him, and to be an Umpire in this Affair, or else his Second, which I have freely undertaken: Now (Sir) under­standing from his own Words, the occasion of the late Animosity between you, I am well assured you were the Master of this Present you pleas'd to honour me withal, and to be the Donor of; and knowing [Page 96] likewise, that none could better be an Ar­bitrator in this Cause than my self, nor be more tender of your Excellencies Safety than I am, I was the more eager in the Prosecution of what I have undertaken: Now that (Sir) which I would desire of you is, That you would declare whether that be true which Don Marcellus alledges.

Dear Sir, (replyed the Duke) it is such an Invincible Truth, that I dare not deny it, though my Inclinations led me to it: But farther, I must speak in my own Vindi­cation, I have neither deceiv'd the Fair Evadne, nor conveyed her away; though I am not ignorant she is removed from her Kinswomans House, but whither, I remain a Stranger at this time: I do here Vow the Lady Evadne to be my Wife, and if I did not publickly Celebrate those Nupti­als, the Reason of it was, The Dutchess my Mother was desirous to Match me to the Lady Livia, Daughter to the Duke of Fer­rara; but my Mother being now more rea­dy for Deaths Arrest, than for Lifes Pro­tection, I can now the better perform my Duty to the last Period of her Life, and after her Death, keep that Fidelity and Con­stancy I ever had for dear Evadne.

[Page 97] I will instance to you some few Particu­lars of these grand Mistakes; the same Night you wrought my Deliverance, my Intenti­on was to have Conducted Evadne safe to Millain; she was in that Month, which she was to bring forth that happy Issue the Gods had ordained her to be Mother of; now whether it were by reason of the Rencounter, or my own Negligence, I am dubious for when I went to her Kins­womans House, I found at the Door Lau­rana her Maid, the Supervisor of our Con­tracts, Jocular Meetings, and Agreements: I enquired for her Lady, she answered me, she was newly gone, but had that very Night been delivered of a Son, one of the Fairest Creatures that ever Eyes beheld; and that she had given it to my Servant Giacomo. Laurana is here with me and Gia­como, but my Child and Evadne, are both missing. I have been two days in Bolognia [...]n search after 'em, but by all my inquiry I can receive no satisfactory account.

Now, Sir, (reply'd Don Francisco) when [...]he Lady Evadne and the Child shall appear, [...]ou will receive 'em both as yours, the one [...]or your Dutchess, the other as your Son? Most joyfully, (reply'd the Duke) as long [...]ched Ground receives the welcom Showres; for though I value my self as a [Page 98] Gentleman, yet I esteem my self more to be a Christian: The Lady Evadne's Ver­tues Merit a greater Title than I am able to dignifie her with; and should that Glori­ous Sun but once appear, or my Mother's Days be expired, the World shall then be certified, that if I understood what it was to be a Lover, I also knew how to finish those Vows in publick, which solemnly I made to her in Secret.

This will be joyful News to Don Mar­cellus, (said Don Francisco) if your Excel­lency will permit him to be a sharer in it, and not be held any longer in Suspence. I much resent it, (reply'd the Duke) he has remain'd unhappy so long under a Mistake. Don Francisco being infinitely well ple [...], made Signs to Don Marcellus to advance to­wards 'em, who immediately Dismounted himself, not thinking of the good Fortune which attended him: The Duke met him with open Arms imbracing him, and greet­ed him with the Name of dear Brother: Marcellus being surprized, scarce knew sud­denly how to return an Answer to so lo­ving a Salutation, and courteous a Recepti­on: Thus while he was standing in Su­spence, before he could recollect himself, Don Francisco applyed himself to him in this [...]anner:

[Page 99] The Duke (Seignior Marcellus) has been pleased, out of his own Generosity, to de­clare, that his Affections for your Sister are so great, that nothing but the making of her his Wife, he hopes, will give full satisfaction; and what he avers here in pri­vate, he is ready to avouch at any time in Publick; the Duke informs me, that four Nights since, he went to serch away the Lady Evadne from your Kinswomans House, to conduct her to Millain, and to wait for a Conjuncture in the cel [...]brating his Nuptials, which he had deferr'd upon very good Reasons which he has imparted to me; his Excellency hath likewise ac­quainted me with the Rencounter he had with you: and morever, when he went for your Sister (the Lady Evadne) he met with Laurana her Woman, which is here in Company, who inform'd him, that it was not above an hour since her Lady Evadne had been delivered, and that she gave the [...] to a Servant of the Duke's, that [...] believing the Duke was there, went [...]ily out of the House, imagining that yo [...], (Seignior Marcellus) had already [...] of her Proceedings: however Laurana [...] [...]ot the Child to the Duke's Servant, [...] to another by Mistake: Evadne is con­cealed, and you reprehend the Duke: [Page 100] Now he declares, that wheresoever the Lady Evadne shall appear, he will receive her as his true and lawful Wife: Now Seig­nior Marcellus, what can the Duke express more, or what more, in reason, can you desire, or wish for, than only the finding out of those two Rich, and Unfortunate Pledges?

Don Marcellus throwing himself at the Duke's Feet, who hastily took him up: to whom Marcellus apply'd himself, Of your Dignity and Magnificence, (most Noble Sir, and dear Brother) my Sister, nor my self could never expect more from you, than what you have declared; first in equa­lizing her with your self; and next, in ranking me in the number of your Friends and Alliance: With that the Tears fell from their Eyes; but considering it might portend weakness to manifest their Grief, they suppress'd and wip'd 'em away.

Thus things stood, when Don Bernardo discover'd himself; but drawing near he made a Halt for some little time; for though he knew Don Francisco, and Mar­cellus, he knew not the Duke; he could not tell what to do with himself, whether he should go on or retire: At last coming up to one of the Duke's Servants, he de­manded of him whether he knew that Gen­tleman, [Page 101] which was with the other two, pointing to the Duke? He answer'd, It was the Duke of Millain; at which he was a­maz'd, and knew now less what to do with himself than before; but Don Francisco put him out of this Perplexity by calling to him out of this Perplexity by calling to him by his Name; thereupon Don Bernar­do alighted, seeing they were on Foot, and approaching near the Duke, received him with much Amity, as being Don Francisco's Friend and Companion.

Then Don Francisco related to Bernardo, all which had passed between him, and the Duke; Don Bernardo was exceeding glad, and ask'd him, why he did not compleat the Joy and Happiness of these Gentlemen, by informing them where the Lady Evadne, and her Child was? The Duke and Marcel­lus hearing them speak of Evadne and the Child, enquir'd of them, what they dis­cours'd of: Gentlemen, not to hold you any longer in Suspence, (reply'd Don Ber­nardo) I am willing to be an Actor in this Tragick-Comedy, and to alter the Scene, by the Discovery of the Lady Evadne, and her Child, who are both safe at my Habita­tion▪ So they both repeated to them the [...]ole Story, of what has been before re­lated▪ which gave the Duke and Marcellus great satisfaction: Then Marcellus imbraced [Page 100] [...] [Page 101] [...] [Page 102] Francisco, and the Duke, Don Bernar­do, returning then thanks for this hap­py News, and relinquishing them of their Fe [...]rs.

Then calling to Laurana, Evadne's wait­ing Woman, that deliver'd the Child to Don Francisco; she having taken notice of Marcellus, stood trembling and quakirg for fear; they ask'd her if she knew the Person, to whom she delivered the Infant? She reply'd no; but ask'd him if he were Giacomo? And he answer'd, yes, and up­on that belief she gave it him: that's very true, said Don Francisco, and immediately you shut the Door, bidding me have a care of it, and see it safe kept, and return quick­ly back: I confess you are in the right, an­swered Laurana, shedding many a Tear; but the Duke bid her refrain, adding that now there was no Occasion of Mourning but Rejoycing; and since Fortune has been so favourable to us, I will not as yet enter Millain, but return back to Bolognia; for all these seeming Contentments are but as a shadow, till the seeing of Evadne, make them prove real; so unanimously they consented and presently turn'd about for Bolognia.

[Page 103] Don Bernardo rode away before, to pre­pare Evadne, that she might not be sur­priz'd, with any suddain Passion upon the unexpected coming of the Duke, and her Brother; but not finding of her he ap­pear'd the most dejected Man in the World; though when he saw that Dori­la was wanting, he imagined that by her Diligence and Perswasions Evadne was missing. The Pages inform'd him that Do­rila, was wanting the same day his Master Don Francisco, and he went; but as for the Lady he enquir'd for, they never saw her. Don Bernardo, was in great Distra­ction at this unexpected Accident, fearing the Duke would take them for great Lyars and Impostures; or perhaps, imagine some great abuse, which might redound much to the prejudice of their Honour, and E­vadne's Reputation.

Whilst he was thus pondering and cast­ing these doubts and scruples with himself, entred the Duke, Don Francisco and Mar­cellus, by Streets and Lanes unfrequented, having left the rest of their Equipage with­out the City, they at length came to Don Francisco's House, and found Don Bernar­do sitting in a Chair, in a posture altoge­ther Melancholy, and Pale as Death; what, are you not well? (cry'd Don Francisco) [Page 104] where's Evadne? How can it be expected I should be otherwise, (reply'd Don Ber­nardo) since Evadne is absent? Who with Dorila that we left to attend her, went a­way the same day which we did. Nor was Francisco the less surpriz'd, when he heard this unfortunate News.

In a word, they were all extreamly troubled, full of [...]ares and various Ima­ginations, not knowing what to think; but whilst they were thus in their Distra­ction, there came a Page to Don Bernardo, who whispering him in the Ear acquainted him that Diego, Don Francisco's Page, had conceal'd a very handsome Woman in his Chamber, ever since his Master went, and did believe her Name was Evad [...]e, for he had heard him call her so. Bernardo's trou­ble was now renewed afresh, and rather desired that Evadne should not be found at all, (knowing that she was one whom the Page had hid) than to find her in such a place; yet without being perceived, he went privately to the Pages Chamber, where finding the Door lock'd, and him gone out, with a low Voice he called, Lady Evadne, open the Door, and receive your Brother, and the Duke your Husband; to which, he heard a Voice from within answer, You need not jear me, I am not [Page 105] so ugly; but that Dukes and Earls may come after me; but this it is to have to do with lousie Pages. I deserve indeed no better a reward. By which Words, Don Bernardo saw he was mi­staken, and that she was not the Lady Evadne.

While this pass'd, came Diego the Page, who posted presently to his Chamber, and finding Don Bernardo at the Door, he commanded the Key from him to open it, then falling down upon his Knees, he be­seech'd him, if his Master had not heard of it, that he would be pleas'd not to ac­quaint him with it; for he did confess he had committed a fault, and was sorry for what he had done; that she had been there three Nights, and he would now in­stantly put her out of the House. And what is this Woman's Name? said Don Ber­nardo, Sir, (reply'd the Page) it is E­vadne.

The Page who made this discovery (and who envy'd, Diego) came down, where the Duke, Don Francisco, and Marcellus, were talking of Diego. That Page yonder, said he, has kept up Evadne as close, like a Hawk in a Mew, and could have wished his Master had not come home so soon, that he might have taken his Pleasure of [Page 106] her three or four days longer. Marcellus over-hearing this, ask'd him, what is that you say my Friend? Where is Evadne? Above (answered the Page.) The Duke had no sooner heard this, but like Lightning he flew up Stairs to see Evadne; so happen­ing to go to the Chamber, where Don Ber­nardo was, he cry'd out; where art thou Evadne? Where is my Dearest Life? She that was wrapt up in the Sheet, with a maundring Voice, said here's Evadne, there's not so much harm done as you think there is, nor such a strange thing for a Wo­man to Lye with a Page, that you need make such a wonder of it. Marcellus be­ing there, In a great fury took the Sheet by one of the Corners and pull'd it off; discovering a Woman of no ill Aspect; who being abash'd clapt her Hands before her Face, and made hast to reach her Cloths to her, which served her instead of a Pillow. They saw she was a common Hackney of the Town: then the Duke de­manded whether her Name was Evadne; she made him answer it was, and that she had Relations of very good Account, and Credit in the City, that would scorn to do what she did.

[Page 107] The Duke was so vext, that he almost imagin'd the Spaniards had put a trick upon him; but that he would not give way to the entertaining of so ill a Suspici­on, he turn'd his back, and without speak­ing one word, Marcellus following him, they got to their Horses, and went their way, leaving Don Francisco and Don Bernardo more vext than they; then they determined with all speed to use their ut­most Endeavours in the finding out Evad­ne, and in satisfying the Duke of their In­tegrity. They put Diego out of the House, and dismiss'd him their Service, as a bold impudent Fellow, and turned that shame­less Strumpet out of Doors.

They went to Marcellus's House, to en­quire after the Duke, who told them, that he made no stay at all but went directly for Millain, leaving order with him to make dilligent search for his Sister; more­over, telling them the Duke was very well satisfyed of their Fidelity, and that the Duke and himself did impute it only to Evadne's Timorousness; but they did hope in process of time she would be heard of.

Thus they comforted themselves, not being willing to make enquiry after her by publick Proclamation, but by some private [Page 108] means, in regard her being mist was known to none but her Kinswoman, and amongst those that did not know the Duke's Resolution, his Sister might run the hazard of her Reputation.

The Duke being now upon his return to Millain, as good Fortune would have it, or rather Divine Providence had so order'd it, that he came to that Village, which the Curate belong'd to, where was Evadne, the Child, the Nurse, and Dorila, the Plotter and Contriver of their Escape; they had given him an account of all the Proceedings, and desired his Advice and Counsel, what they were best to do.

The Curate was a great Lover of the Duke, to whose House fitted and accomo­dated like that of a Clergy-Man, well to pass, the Duke us'd oftentimes to visit from Millain, and from thence went a Hunting. For he took great delight in the Curates Gravity and Discourse, so that the Curate was not troubled to see him there; but to see him so Melancholy, presently percei­ving that his mind was over-whelm'd with some extraordinary Passion. Evadne hear­ing the Duke was there, extreamly resent­ed his coming, being ignorant of the Oc­casion; thus being perplexed, and in a great Agony, fain she would have spoke [Page 109] with the Curate, but he being busie enter­taining the Duke, he had not the leisure to Discourse with her.

At length, said the Duke to him, Father, I must confess my Spirit is very much op­pressed with Grief, and I do not intend this day for Millain, but will be your Guest; therefore, 'pray send one of your Servants to bid those which came with me, to make hast to Millain, this being done, there was immediately great Preparations made to entertain him. Evadne waiting for an op­portunity to speak with the Curate, at last she sent for him, and holding him fast by both hands; O Father! said she, 'pray what is the Duke's Occasion of coming hither? Inform me, I beseech you, and if you can by any means, raise some Discourse con­cerning me, by that means you may discov­er whether his Intentions be real or false; this I intreat you to do according to your own Sagacity.

The Curate replyed, the Duke was very sad and pensive, but had not as yet decla­red the Cause: My advice to you is this, That you presently dressed up the Child, as rich as you can, and adorn him with your own Jewels, and those which the Duke gave you, then leave the rest to me; Evadne thank'd him, and promised she [Page 110] would go immediately about what he had so well advised her. The Curate in the mean time, went forth, to entertain the Duke till Dinner was made ready, and as he was discoursing of divers things, the Curate humbly implor'd the Duke's Pardon, for taking that boldness upon him as to enquire into the Reason of his being so Melancholy; and with all, excusing it, that he had not assum'd that Liberty to himself, had it not been so apparent to be seen.

Father, (said the Duke) it is evidently to be seen that inward Passion will demon­strate it self in the Physiognomy of either Man or Woman, and the greatest of my Grief is that I cannot as yet Communicate it to any that can ease me of my pain; why (my Lord reply'd the Curate) were you in a Capacity to be merrily disposed, I could present to your Eyes one of the de­lightfullest Objects in the whole Universe, which is left to my Care and Conduct. That Man, (reply'd the Duke) would be very much void of Reason, who could have a Remedy apply'd to his Malady, and should refuse the taking of it; Therefore (Fa­ther) 'pray shew me this piece of Curiosi­ty you so much applaud, for I believe it must be some extraordinary Rarety.

[Page 111] The Curate presently went to the Lady Evadne's Chamber, to fetch the Child, who was just made an end of dressing, ve­ry finely adorn'd indeed, with her Jewels, and looked very sweetly; so taking the Child in his Arms, he went to the Duke, beseeching him to look upon it: The Duke viewing of it, said, indeed it was a fine Child, and took it out of the Curates Arms and kissed it; then looking stedfastly on the Jewels, he knew they were the same he gave to Evadne; being full of Admira­tion, he ask'd the Curate whose pretty Child it was? and told him it was as fine as a young Prince.

My Lord, (replyed the Curate) indeed I don't very well know, but some Months since, a Gentleman of Bolognia brought it to me, and charged me to be very careful of him, and breed him up, according to his Quality, for he was a Noble Man's Child; there came likewise a Nurse to at­tend him, of whom I have enquired seve­ral times, if she knew the Parents, but she told me, she could not satisfie me in that particular; but if the Mother be as Fair and as Beautiful as the Nurse, she must needs be the flower of all Italy; now I have seen the Child (reply'd the Duke) I hope, Father, I may have that Liberty, [Page 112] of seeing the Nurse: Yes, (reply'd the Curate) your Highness may command it, I will immediately attend you to the Cham­ber where she is, for if the Child hath thus transported you which is but a Copy, what will the Mother not do which is the Original? The Curate would have eased the Duke's Arms, and have taken the Child from him, but he would not part with it till he had given it many Kisses. In the mean while, the Curate stept a little before, to inform Evadne the Duke was coming to vi­sit her, and desired she would be ready to receive him.

Evadne being surpriz'd with a suddain Passion, that there arose such fresh Colours in her Face, which were mighty becoming, and rather prov'd a Friend then an Enemy to her Beauty. The Duke was intent, and astonish'd at the sight of her, and Evadne throwing her self immediately at his Feet, would have kiss'd them; but the Duke, without saying one Word, gave the Child to the Curate, and went with great hast out of the House; which Evadne seeing, she turned about to the Curate, and being much amazed at this suddain Mo­tion;

[Page 113] Alass, Sir, (said she) has the sight of me so scar'd the Duke, that he cannot en­dure me in his presence? Am I grown so Odious, and deform'd in his Eyes, that he Loaths and Abhors me? Hath he for­got those Obligations wherein he stands bound to me? Would he not vouchsafe to speak so much as one Word to me? Was his Son so Burthensom to him? Was he so weary with holding him, that he so quickly rather threw, than put him out of his Arms? To all which complaint, the Curate reply'd not a word, but wondring at the suddain flight of the Duke, for it seem'd to him to be rather a flight than any thing else.

But all this hast was made to no other end, save only to call Giacomo, whom he commanded to make all the hast he could to Bolognia, and bid Marcellus, and the two Spanish Gentlemen, Don Francisco, and Don [...]do, with all speed, and laying all Ex [...]s aside, to meet him at the Cu­rate's House. Giacomo was not slothful, but p [...]ly put his Lord's Command in Execution; who being thus dispatch'd, the D [...]ke presently return'd back again where Evadne was, but found her weeping, up­on which, the Duke took her in his Arms, and ad [...]ng Tears to Tears, exchang'd a [Page 114] Thousand Kisses on her Rosie Lips, but their Tongues were locked up in an Amo­rous silence.

The Nurse and Dorila observing these Amorous Passages, leapt for Joy, and were transported with the Pleasure of seeing it. The Curate also bestowed a Thousand Kis­ses on the pretty Infant, which he had in his Arms. By this time the Curate's Din­ner disturb'd their close Imbracements; but being at Dinner, Evadne gave th [...] Duke an account of all that had happened to her, since she left her Kinswoman's House, and that Dorila a Servant of Do [...] Francisco's perswaded her to come hither▪ and that she had serv'd her very faithfully, and with a great deal of Respect. The Duke likewise recounted to her all that which had befaln him to this present.

Some three days after came Marcellus, Don Francisco, and Don Bernardo, who were in great hopes the Duke had heard of the Lady Evadne: But Giacomo who was purposely sent for them, could not any ways acquaint them with the Business: the Duke went forth to receive them in a large Room, adjoining near to that where Evad­ne was: he did not shew a Countenance of any Satisfaction at all, which made these new Guests to remain still sad and pensive, [Page 115] looking dejectedly upon one another; however, he des [...]'d them to sit down: So [...]eating himself by them, he directed his Discourse to Marcellus.

You know well, Seignior Marcellus, that [...] never did delude your Sister, the fair Evadne, you are not unacquainted of the [...]illigence I have used, for the finding of [...] out, in order to the happy Union of [...] [...]oth, according to those Vows I have [...]ten made to her; neither are you a Stran­ [...], that she appears not, and my word [...]ught not to be Eternal. I am in my [...]thful Years, and not so well grounded [...]d experienced in the World, as to avoid [...]ose Delights and Pleasures, which offer [...]selves very often to me; the self same [...]ction which made me promise to be Evadne's Husband, led me likewise, before [...] p [...]st my Word unto her, to promise Mar­ [...]ge to a Country Girl, a Farmers Daugh­ [...] in this Village, whom I thought to [...] put off, that I might have applyed my [...] to Evadne's Worth, though not to [...] which my Conscience dictated to me, [...]ch was no small Manifestation of my [...] Love; but since no Man Marries a [...] which is Invinsible, and that it does [...] stand with reason, that a Man should [...] seek after a Wife that forsakes him, [Page 116] there is no reason I should stay for Evad­ne that flies me: I say this (Sir) that you may see how willing, and ready I am to give you satisfaction. And thus I have demonstrated to you, that I never did, o [...] had any intention of doing you the leas [...] Injustice, or Injury: And therefore, [...] would crave that leave of you, that [...] may comply with my first Promise to Mar­ry this Country Maid which is here in th [...] House.

Whilst the Duke was making this Speech Marcellus's Countenance chang'd very of­ten, and was very restless; which we [...] evident Proofs and Tokens of Passion, ta­king possession of his Senses: Don Fran­cisco, and Don Bernardo were much distur­bed: The Duke then reading their Mind in their Faces, he desir'd Marcellus to b [...] patient, and enjoyn'd him not to retur [...] him one word in answer; for (continue [...] he) I mean to shew you the beauty of tha [...] Person, whom I intend to make my Wife not doubting, but it will oblige you t [...] gratifie my desires, for it is such, and s [...] powerfully Charming, that it will easil [...] excuse me for far greater Errours: Whe [...] the Duke was risen, and gone from 'e [...] they all consulted together, and Don Fran­cisco [Page 117] told Marcellus, he thought the Duke's Request was very unreasonable, and that he ought to give some seasona­ble time for the finding out of the Lady Evadne.

While they were thus debating this bu­siness, from out of a Room just before 'em, came Evadne, led betwixt the Curate and the Duke; after them followed Laurana, Evadne's Woman (the Duke having sent for her to Millain); then the two Nurses, and Dorila, which belong'd to the two Spanish Gentlemen: When Marcellus saw his Sister, and had taken a full view of her, and knew that it was she, stumbling for ha [...], he went and threw himself at the Duke's Feet, who took him up, and pla­ced him in his Sisters Arms, who imbrac'd him with all possible Demonstrations of Joy. Then Don Francisco, and Don Bernardo, told the Duke, that he had put upon 'em the most discreet, and most pleasing deceit in the World.

The Duke took the Child which Lau­ [...]ana brought in her Arms, and giving it to Marcellus, Here Brother (said he) take your Nephew, and my Son, and see now whether you will give me leave to Marry this Country Lass, who is [Page 118] the first that ever I plighted my Faith to: It were endless to repeat Marcellus's Replys; what Don Francisco ask'd him, what Don Ber [...]rdo thought, the rejoycing of the Cu­rate, the Joy of Laurana, the Content of the Adviser, Dorila, the Admiration of Gi­acomo, and the Nurse: And in a Word, the general content of all.

The Curate forthwith Married them; Don Francisco was the Father that gave her; and amongst them all it was agreed upon, That those Nuptials should be con­cealed▪ till they had received the News of the Dutchess his Mother's Death, who was now almost spent, by reason of her long Sickness, that in the mean time Evad­ne should return with her Brother to Bo­lognia.

But the Dutchess shortly after dyed, and Evadne entred into Millain rejoycing the City with her Fair Presence; Mourning Weeds were turn'd into Gay and Rich Cloths; the Nurse, and Dorila were li­berally rewarded; Laurana was Married to Gi [...]como; Don Francisco, and Don Ber­nardo, were wonderfully well conte [...]ted, that it had been their good Fortune to have been any way serviceable to the Du [...], who offer'd them two of his near Ki [...]wo­men [Page 119] to be their Wives, with exceeding [...]ich Dowries. But they told him, the Gentlemen of Biscay, for the most part, Married in their own Country; and that not out of any scorn, but to comply with that commendable Custom, and the Will of their Parents, who had already provi­ded Wives for them, they could not ex­cept of this his most Noble Offer.

The Duke admitting of their Excuse, however sought all Generous Opportunities to send them Presents to Bolognia, which were very considerable. The Dutchess gave also one of her Jewels to Don Francis­co, and another to Don Bernardo; who when they saw all their Modest Refusals would not serve, they with unwilling wil­lingness received them. Evadne was visited very often at Millain, by most of the great Ladies; among whom her Transcendent Beauty, and Incomparable Vertues, made her shine with as much Superiority, as a Star of a greater Magnitude exceeds in Splendour the lesser Luminaries; and the Duke grew every day more Enamour'd of her than ever.

Sometime after, Don Francisco, and Don Bernardo, return'd into their own Coun­try, where they were Married to Rich, [Page 120] Noble, and Beautiful Young Ladies; con­tinuing still their Correspondence with the Duke, and the Dutchess, and with Seignior Marcellus Barbarino, with all the Love and Amity in the World.

THE Generous Lover A NOVEL.

OH the Lamentable Ruines of Un­happy Nicosia! The Blood of thy Valiant and Unfortunate Defen­ders, being yet scarce dry! if (as thou art insensible of it) thou hadst any feeling at all in this Disconsolate Condition wherein now we are, we might joyntly be­wail our Misfortunes: It would help to ease me in some manner of my torment, to find a Companion of my Sorrows, and make that burthen of my grief the lighter, which now I find so heavy (I had almost said insupportable) for me to bear: But however, there is some hope yet left thee, that these thy strong Towers demolished, [Page 122] and laid level with the ground; thou may­est one day behold them, (though not in so just a posture of defence, as when they were overthrown) erected to their former Beauty and Strength.

But I, of all Unfortunate, (the most unfortunate of Men.) What Felicity can I hope for in that▪ wretched Consternation wherein I now find my self? If I should return to the same Station wherein I was, before I fell into this, such is my Misfor­tunes, that when I was free, and at liberty, I knew not what Happiness was; and now in this my Captivity I neither have, nor can hope for it.

These Words did a Christian Captive utter, looking with a sad, and mournful Countenance from the rising of a Hill up­on the ruined Walls of lately lost Nicosia. Thus did he discourse with them, and compared his Miseries with theirs, as if they had been able to understand him: The common, and proper condition of afflicted Persons, who being violently carried away with their own Imaginary Conceptions, both do, and say those things which are beyond all Reason, without either Study or Consideration.

[Page 123] Whilst he was thus Complaining to him­self, from a Pavillion pitch'd in the Field, not much distance from him, came out a Sprightly Turk, a Young Man of a Noble Presence, and with an Ingenious Aspect, accompanied with Briskness and Courage, answerable to his Physiognomy; who drawing near to the Christian, without much Ceremony, yet in a kind, and civil manner; Sir, (said he) I durst lay a Wa­ger with you, that those Pensive Thoughts, which I read in your Face, have brought you hither: You read aright, answered Gasparino, (that was the Captives Name) such Thoughts as those have brought me hither indeed: But what does it advantage me? Since where-ever I go, I am so far from procuring any Peace, that I cannot obtain so much as a Truce, or the least Ces­sation of my Sorrows: Nay, rather these Ruines, which from hence discover them­selves, have rather increas'd my Pains. Those of Nicosia you mean, (reply'd the Turk?) I mean none else, (answer'd Gaspa­rino) but those which here offer themselves to my View. You have great occasion (quoth the Turk) to weep, if you enter­tain your Thoughts with such Contempla­tions; for they who but two years since had seen this famous and rich Island of Cy­prus [Page 124] in its Prosperity, and peaceable State; the Inhabitants thereof enjoying all that Humane Happiness and Felicity, Heaven could afford, or themselves desire, and now should behold them banish'd from it, or made miserable Slaves within it, could not have such Impenetrate Hearts, as to forbear bewailing their Calamity.

But let us leave discoursing of things, that are not to be remedy'd, and come to your own Bosom Sorrows, for I long to know if they be such as you express them to be; and therefore, I earnestly entreat, nay Conjure thee, by that which thou owest for those Services I have done thee, the good Will I bear, and the Love I have shewn thee, seeing we are both of the same Country, and bred up in our Childhood together, to deal freely with me, and ac­quaint me with the cause of this thy Me­lancholy: For though Captivity alone be sufficient to afflict the stoutest Heart in the World, yet I imagine the Current of your Disasters has a deeper Bottom.

For Generous Minds (such as thine is) do not use to render up themselves to com­mon Misfortunes, in such a measure, as to make shew of Sorrows so extraordinary; which I am the rather induced to believe, because I know that Poverty is not so [Page 125] much your Master, but you may pay your Ransom upon reasonable terms; nor are you immur'd up in the Towers of the Black Sea as a Prisoner of Note, or Captive of Consideration, who late, or never obtains his desired Liberty: For which Reason your ill Fortune has not yet depriv'd your hopes of seeing your self set free; and therefore when I see thee so much over­charg'd with Grief, and making such dole­ful Lamentations, I am forc'd to believe, that the pain proceeds from some other cause than thy lost Liberty, which I intreat thee to discover to me, upon the faithful promise of all the assistance I am able to af­ford thee. Who knows, but that Fortune in her Wheeling hath brought this about, that I should, Proteus like, be clad in this Habit, which I so much abhor, to the end I may be serviceable to thee?

Thou knowest already, Gasparino, that my Master is a chief Minister in this City; thou likewise knows the great Sway which he bears here, and how much Interest I have in him; together with this, thou art not ignorant of the servent desire I have not to die in this State, which I thus seem to profess; for my own Heart can testifie, if ever I should come to the Test, I am resol­ved openly to confess the Christian Faith, [Page 126] from which my few Years, and less under­standing, separated me: From all this that has been said, I leave it to thy self to infer the Conclusion, and to consider seriously, whether my proffered Friendship may be useful to thee.

Now, that I may know what Remedy thy Misfortune requires, it is requisite thou should'st recount it to me; the Relation of it being as necessary for me to hear, as the Rich Patient's mind to his Physician: And I assure thee by all the Fidelity that belongs to Friendship, to secure it in the deepest Silence. To all these Words of his, Gasparino gave an attentive Ear; though his Tongue was silent, and seeing himself obliged by those kind Expressions, and his own necessity, return'd this An­swer:

My dearest Pyrrhus, said he, (for so was this Turk called) if as thou hast conjectur'd aright at my Misfortunes, thou could'st prescribe as well the Remedy, I should think my self happy in my lost Liberty, and would not change my State for the greatest Felicity imaginable; but I understand well the Cause is such, that all the World may take notice whence it proceeds; though that Man is not to be found who dares un­dertake to find out a Remedy, much less to [Page 127] give me the least Relief; and that thou may'st be inform'd of the verity of my Discourse, I will relate as briefly as I can, the Cause of my Woes; but before I en­ter into this confused Labyrinth of my Mi­series, I would first desire thee to acquaint me with the Cause, why Bazon Bashaw hath pitch'd here in this Field these Tents and Pavillions, before he makes his entry into Nicosia, being deputed to be Vice-roy or Bashaw there.

I will, (said Pyrrhus,) answer your de­mands in a few Words; and therefore you must know, that it is a Custom among the Turks, that they who come to be Vice-roys of some Province, do not immediately en­ter into the City where their Predecessor resides, till he departs out of it, and leaves the Place free to his Successor. For when the new Bashaw has made his Entrance, the old one stays without in the Field, expe­cting what Accusations shall come against him, and what Misdemeanours (during his Government) they shall lay to his Charge; which being alledged and proved, are re­corded, and a note taken of them; now the other being setled in his Residence, he gives to him that leaves his Charge, a Scrole of Parchment seal'd up very close, and therewith he presents himself at the Gate [Page 128] of the Grand Seignior; which being seen and perused by the Visier Bashaw, and by those other inferiour Bashaws, they either reward or punish him according to the Re­lation that is made of his Behaviour. For this Reason, thy Master Bazon Bashaw has remained in this Field four days, but he of Nicosia is not as yet come forth, having been very sick; but being now upon the mending hand, he will without fail come forth, either to day or to morrow at the farthest, and is to lodge in certain Tents which are pitched behind this rising Hill, which as yet thou hast not seen, and thy Master is forthwith to enter the City. Thus much to your first Question; now in the Prosecution of my promised Relation.

But let me first ask you, whether you know in our Town of Trepana a Virgin, to whom Fame hath given the repute of be­ing the fairest in all Sicily; in whose praise the most transcendent Wits have expressed themselves, and of whom the most Judici­ous have concluded, that she was the per­fectest Pattern of Beauty, that the past Age had, the present has, and that which is to come, can hope to have. Na­ture indeed had bestowed on the whole composure, every thing so perfect, that en­vy it self could not tax her in any one par­ticular.

[Page 129] And it is possible (Pyrrhus) that all this while thou hast not told me, yet who she [...]s, nor her Name? I verily believe, either [...]ou dost not lend an Ear to me all this while, or when thou wast in Trepana thou [...]ert senceless. Pyrrhus replyed, That if she whom he had set forth, with such incom­ [...]arableness of Beauty, were not Graciana [...]e Daughter of Pisaura Sorescos, he knew [...]ot who she could be, for that she alone [...]ad all that fame to attend her he had spoke [...].

'Tis she, Pyrrhus, (reply'd Gasparino) 'tis [...]he (my dearest Friend) who is the princi­ [...]al cause of all my Felicity, and Misfortune. 'Tis she, and not my lost Liberty, for whom [...]y Eyes have shed so many numberless Tears. 'Tis she, for whom my Heart is ready to [...]urst with continual sighing. 'Tis she, for [...]hom my Complaints weary the Gods by [...]y Invocation, and the Ears of those which [...]e my Auditors. 'Tis she, for whom thou [...]ook'st me to be Distracted, or at least, for [...] man of low Esteem, and less Courage. 'Tis Graciana, to me a Tygress, but to ano­ [...]her, Affable, and Courteous: She it is [...]hat keeps me in this Wretched, and Mise­ [...]able Estate.

[Page 130] For you must understand, that from my Minor Years, or at least, ever since I gave place to Reason, I not only Lov'd▪ but did Adore her, and kneel'd to her De­votion as to a Deity; her Parents knew my Addresses were design'd to a Vertuo [...] Intent; for many a time have they acquain­ted Graciana with that Ardent Love, and Affection I bare to her, and have often i [...] ­portun'd her to grant me a kind Accep­tation.

But she who had placed her Eyes on Hip­polito the Son of Moronio de Corisea, (who [...] you know very well, a Young Spark, Ne [...] and Spruce, Lilly white Hands, and Cu [...] ­led Locks, a Charming Tongue, and Am [...] ­rous Expressions, composed of Civit, Mu [...] and Amber Grease, Gay Cloths, and a Plea­sant Deportment) would not so much [...] bestow one Glance of her Eyes on me, w [...] had not altogether so pleasant a Coun [...] ­nance as Hippolito; nor vouchsafe to ente [...] ­tain with the least Grain of Gratitude m [...] best Endeavours to please her, my man and continual Services, but still require them with Disdain and Hatred; and to su [...] Extreams did the Excess of my Love brin [...] me, that I should have rendred my s [...] happy, had her Disdains, and Crueltie put a Period to my Life, that I might no [...] [Page 131] have been Witness of her conferring such open, though truly modest Favours upon Hippolito. Consider now, being thus tor­mented with Disdain and Hatred, and al­most mad with Rage, and Jealousie, in what a miserable case my Soul was, while two such Mortal Plagues were reigning there! Graciana's Parents concealed those Favours she bestowed on Hippolito; think­ing that he, attracted by her most Exqui­site, and Incomparable Beauty, (which in­deed was matchless) would propose a Con­tract, and so in him acquire her a Richer Husband, and perhaps he might be so: But I dare be so presumptious to declare, (with­out any Ostentation) that my Birth, and Quality is no ways inferiour to his; and for his mind, it cannot be nobler furnish'd than mine; neither can his Valour, if once called in question, gain the Victory: But that indeed which over-balanc'd me, was Graciana's Favour, and her Parents pro­moting of the business, which only made the Scales uneven, by their inclining to Hippolito.

Now it so happened, that persisting in the pursuit of my Pretentions, I had in­telligence, that one day in the Month of May, last past; Graciana, her Parents, and Hippolito, accompanied with their Kindred, [Page 132] Friends, and Servants, to make merry in Moronio's Garden, near adjoyning to the Sea, towards the Salt Pits. I know the place well, (said Pyrrhus) go on Gaspa­rino, I was more than four days in one, but I could have wish'd I had not been there four Minutes. I knew that, (reply'd Ga­sparino) and at that very moment that I understood it, my Soul was possess'd with such a Fury, such a Hell of Jealousies, that it bereaved me of my Senses; as you may perceive by my following Relation.

I hasted to the Garden, where I was in­form'd they were, I found most of the Com­pany very pleasant, and Hippolito, and Gra­ciana sitting under a Wall-Nut Tree, at some distance from the rest: How pleasant an Object I was to 'em, I am yet to learn; but the sight of her wrought so upon me, that I stood like a Statue without either Sence, or Motion; but I continued not long in that Ecstasie, before my Anger rou­zed my Passion, and Rage gave Motion to my Hands and Tongue: I confess, my Hands at present were bound by the re­spect which was due to that fair Face, which I had in view, but my Tongue breaking Silence, I utter'd all that a Rejected Lo­ver, or Passion could invent.

[Page 133] But all I did say, could not move Hippo­lito to displace himself, but sate looking on me as one amaz'd, not offering once to rise; yet my Voice was so loud, and my Expressions so sharp, as occasioned those which were walking in the Garden to draw near; who hearing the revengeful Lan­guage I gave my Rival, came in to his assi­stance; and then all Drawing upon me, there began a most furious Combat between us: I valued not their number, but encountred them with such an Undaunted Courage, that I Wounded seven or eight, and put Hippolito to his Flight; at the same time Graciana affrighted at this Engagement, fell into a Swoon, which, as it reinforc'd my Courage, so it enrag'd my Enemies the more to Revenge, which it had been im­possible for me to escape, had not Fortune provided a Remedy worse than the Disease; for on a suddain there rush'd into the Gar­den a great number of Turks, Pirates of Viserta, who with two Galleys, had put in­to a little Creek of the Sea, between two Rocks hard by the Shore, where they Land­ed, without being heard, or seen by the Sentinels of the Watch-Towers, or disco­vered by those Scouts, whose daily office it was to scoure the Coasts, and see that all was clear. When my Antagonists espy'd 'em, [Page 134] leaving me alone, they swiftly ran away, and shifted so well for themselves, that they got safe out of their danger, so that of all the whole Company, the Turks took no more Captives, but only three Persons besides my Self and Graciana, who lay there still in a swoon. I defended my Self and Graciana, as long as strength would permit me, till at length being wounded in four places, and having kil­led four upon the place, I was constrain'd, as the stoutest Heart must to his Fortune yield.

The Turks with their accustomed Dili­gence, having got as much as they could, though not very well pleased with the Suc­cess, made hast to imbarque themselves, and presently put out to Sea, so that what with their Sails, and help of their Oars, in a short space they recovered Fabiana; where they muster'd their Men, and find­ing they had lost four of their best Souldi­ers, Levant-men (as they call them) they were the more willing to take their revenge of me; and therefore the Admiral of the Captain-Galley commanded them to hang me up at the Main-yard's Arm. Graciana beholding the speedy Preparations for my Death, gave the Captain of the Galley to understand that I was a Person of Quality; [Page 135] and that if he did not spare my Life, he would certainly lose a considerable ran­ [...]om, and therefore advised him to tack a­ [...]out again for Trepana, whence his ransom Money would soon be brought him aboard. This was the first and the last Kindness which Graciana shew'd me, and all for my greater Injury. The Turks hearing what Graciana had reported, easily believed her; and this their hope of profit turned the Course of their Malice. The next Morn­ing, hanging out a flag of Peace, they an­chor'd before Trepana; as for the Night before, how I imployed it, you may better conceive than I express; not so much for the care of my Wounds, but to think on the danger wherein my cruel Enemy was amongst those Barbarous People. Being come now well to the City, one of the Galleys entred the Haven, the other stood off. All the Citizens flock'd to the Sea side, and a­mongst the rest was Hippolito, who stood [...]far off observing what pass'd in the Galley, whilst my Steward was treating with the Turks; but I had given him order not to [...]eat about my Liberty, but of Graciana's: and for her freedom to offer all I was worth, either in Lands, Goods, or Chattels, com­manding him moreover to go on Shore, and acquaint Graciana's Parents, that they should [Page 136] leave it to him to treat about their Daugh­ter's Liberty.

The chief Captain who was a Grecian, but a Renegado, demanded for Graciana, six thousand Crowns, and for my self four thousand, declaring withal, he would not sell the one without the other. The setting so great a price, (as I understood after­wards) was, he was smitten with the Beau­ty of Graciana, and was therefore unwil­ling she should be redeemed. Graciana's Pa­rents offer'd him nothing on their part, re­lying on the promise my Steward had made them, by my order; neither did Hippolito, make any Propositions towards her ran­som. And so after many demands and Ca­pitulations, my Steward concluded the Bu­siness, giving for Graciana five thousand Crowns, and for my self three thousand; the Captain accepted this offer, forced thereunto by the Perswasions of his Com­panion, and all the rest of his Souldiers; but because my Steward had not so much Money in cash, he desired only three days time, intending to sell so much of my Goods, till he had made up the summ. Ro­zak, (so was the Captain call'd) was glad of this, thinking in the mean while, to find some Occasion to break off the Bargain, and so sail'd back again to Fabiana, with a [Page 137] promise to return at the end of three days, and to receive his Money according to A­greement. But it so unfortunately fell out at the same time the Turks discovered, from the main Top-Mast, six Italian Galleys, and guess'd them, (as it was true) to be ei­ther of Malta or Sicily; so that the Cap­tains immediately hoysting Sail, and turn­ing their Prowes towards Barbary; in less than two hours lost the sight of those Gal­leys, and by the help of approaching Night, secured themselves from the danger that threatned them.

Now I leave it to your good Conside­ration (Friend Pyrrhus) how much my mind was troubled in this Voyage, finding it to fall out so cross and contrary to that which I expected; and much more, when the next day the two Gallies reaching the Island of Pantanalea on the South part, the Turks went to get Wood, and fresh Vi­ctuals; but most of all, when I saw both the Captains Land, and share between them all those prizes they had taken, which was to me a lingring Death: Rozak, gave to Ledalbo, (for so was the other Captain call'd) six Christians, four for the Oar, and two very Beautiful Boys, both Born in Corso, together with my self, that he might have Graciana for his own: 'Tis [Page 138] true I could not understand what they said, though I was not Ignorant what they did; neither had I known then the manner of their sharings, if Ledalbo had not come to me and told me in Italian; Christian thou art now mine, (as my Captive) rated at two thousand Crowns; if thou wilt have thy Liberty, thou must give me four thou­sand, or resolve here to end thy days. I then demanded of him whether the Chri­stian Lady, were his? He told me, No, but that Rozak kept her for his own use, with Intention to make her turn Moore, and then marry her. Whereupon I promised him if he would bring the Business so about that the Christian Lady might become his Cap­tive, I would give him ten thousand Crowns in good Gold for her ransom. He reply'd, it was impossible, but he would acquaint Rozak, with the great Sum which I offer'd for her Freedom; perhaps, said he, consi­dering the profit he will reap by it, he may alter his purpose, and accept of the ran­som. He did so, and then presently com­manded all those of his own Galley to em­bark themselves as soon as possible they could, intending for Tripoli in Barbary, where he was born; Rozak likewise de­termined to go for Viserta; and so imbark­ed with the same hast they used to do when [Page 139] they discover any Galleys which they fear, or Vessels which they think to be a prize; besides they saw the weather begun to change, inclining to a Storm.

Graciana was on Land, but not where I might see her; save only at the time of her imbarking, where we both met at the Sea-side. This her new Lover led her by the hand, and setting her foot upon the Plank which reached from the Land to the Galley, she turned back to look upon me, though my Eyes were never off from her; looking upon her with so much tender Af­fection, and languishing so long, at length I was depriv'd of that little sence of seeing I had left, and fainted away; the like they afterwards told me befel Graciana, who dropt from the Plank into the Sea, where she had been drowned, but that Rozak leapt in after her, and brought her out in his Arms.

But when I came again to my Senses, and saw my self alone in one Galley, and the other steering a contrary Course, and sailed out of sight, carrying away with them the one half of my Soul, or (to speak truth) all of it; new Clouds hover­ed over my Heart, and I began again to curse my Misfortune, and called aloud for Death to seize me: such and so great was [Page 140] the Lamentation I made, that it proved so offensive to my Master's Ears, that he threatned if I did not hold my Peace, he would severely punish me. Whereupon I suppressed my Tears, and smother'd my Sighs: But froward Fortune, not content­ed to have brought me into this so narrow straight, took a course to overthrow all, by taking from me all hope of Remedy; for in an Instant, the storm we so much feared overtook us, and the Wind which blew strongly from the South, blew full in the Teeth of us; and began with such fury to re-inforce it self, that we were forced to tack about, and suffer our Galley to go which way the Wind would carry her.

Our Captain's Design was to have put into Some part of the Island for shelter, and more particularly, on the North part thereof; but it fell not out according to his Expecta­tion, but rather, quite contrary to what he had design'd; for the Wind blew so high, that within little more than Fourteen hours, we saw our selves within two Leagues, or thereabouts, of the same Island, from whence we had put forth; and now there was no remedy for hindring our being dri­ven upon it, amongst very high Rocks, [Page 141] which presented themselves to our view, threatning us with inevitable Death.

We saw on the one side of us, that other Galley wherein was Graciana, and all their Turks, and Captive-Rowers labouring hard with their Oars, to keep themselves off as well as they could from running upon the same dangers. We used the same means in ours, but with better success; for they being tyred out with their Voyage, and overcome by the stiffness of the Wind, and blustring storm, forsaking their Oars, and abandoning their own safety, suffer'd them­selves to fall amongst the Rocks, against which the Galley dashing it self, was split in a thousand pieces.

Night was then drawing on, and so great was the cry of those that gave themselves for lost; and the Consternation of those in our Vessel made aking Hearts, for that not any of those things our Captain com­manded was understood or done by them; only they ply'd their Oars, allowing it for their best remedy, to turn the Prow to the Wind, and cast two Anchors into the Sea, to keep off Death for a while, which they expected every moment: And although the terrour of dying was dreaded by all the rest, yet in me it was quite contrary; for flattering my self with the alluring [Page 142] hopes of having a prospect of her in the other World, who was so lately departed out of this; every minute that the Galley deferr'd its drowning, or splitting against the Rocks, seem'd to me an Age of Pain: and yet I could not forbear, but cast my Eyes sometimes, upon the insulting Waves, to see whether I could espy floating upon those proud Billows, the Body of unfortu­nate Graciana.

At length day appear'd, but with the Symptoms of a much greater Storm than the former, at which time, we found our Vessel riding out at Sea, some distance from the Rocks; but having discovered a point of the Island, which we perceived might easily be doubled, both Turks and Chri­stians, began to be chearful, and with new Hopes, and new Hearts, falling with Cou­rage to their work, in six hours we dou­bled the point, where we found the Sea more calm; insomuch that coming under the Lee of the Island, the Turks leapt out to Land, and went to see if there were any Relicks remaining of the Galley, which the Night before fell among the Rocks; but even then neither would Fortune be so Favourable to me, as to grant me that poor Enjoyment which I hop'd to have receiv'd, of having Graciana's Body in these my [Page 143] Arms; whom, though dead and bruis'd I should have thought my self happy to have imbrac'd, thinking thereby to have master'd Fate, and link'd my self to her though Dead, whose Life my Stars had utterly de­ny'd me. To which purpose, I intreated one of the Renegadoes to go on Shore, to view whether the rolling Sea had not cast her Body on the Land: But all in vain; for just at that very Instant the Wind be­gan to rise, and the Sea grew rough, so that the shelter of that Island, was of no benefit to us.

Ledalbo seeing this, would not struggle against Fortune, who before had so vio­lently persecuted him; and therefore com­manding his Men to fit the Galley, to bear little Sail, and to turn the Prow to the Sea­ward; while he himself took Charge of the Rudder, he suffer'd the Vessel to run through the wide-Sea; being well assur'd that no impediment would cross its Course; which made its way with that Swiftness, that in three Days and three Nights, passing in sight of Trepana, of Melazo and Paler­ [...]o, we arriv'd at Tripoli in Barbary, where my Master fell Sick of a Pleurisie, attend­ed with a burning Fever, in that violent manner, that in three days it sent him of an errand into the other World.

[Page 144] The king of Tripoli seiz'd presently up­on all his Wealth, and I fell into the Hands of his Vice-roy; and within fifteen days after he received his Commission for Cyprus, with whom I am here arriv'd, but do not intend to seek my Redemption, though he has often importuned me to it, (by Reason, Ledalbo's Soldiers had inform'd him of my Ability,) and wondring that a Person of my Quality should be so much wanting to my self, as not to entertain so good a motion. I gave him a slender an­swer, and only told him, that he had re­ceiv'd a wrong Information; but know assuredly (Pyrrhus) I will never return back to that place which will prove my torment, and where Graciana's Death will in part, if not be wholly imputed to me.

This (Pyrrhus) is my ill Fate, and the Occasion of these my Sighs and Tears. Graciana is dead, and with her are buryed all my hopes; and though that which I had (whilst she liv'd) hung but by a slender Thred; yet, yet,—and then his Speech forsook him, whilst his Tears, which were numerous had eased his Passion; but hav­ing vented his Grief, and recovering him­self, Pyrrhus promised him all the Kindness and Assistance that a true Friend could [Page 145] accomodate him withal. And to that end, assured him of his utmost endeavour so to contrive it, that they might be both Slaves to one Master; and that living both toge­ther, they might be the more serviceable one to another; for my Master (continu'd Pyrrhus) is Judge of this City, and none is his Superior in it; nor none more in his Esteem than my self.

While they were thus discoursing, as luck would have it, they saw a great throng of People coming out of the City, occasi­oned by the old Vice-roy's coming forth in­to the Field, to give place to Pyrrhus's Ma­ster. Here they left off any farther Commu­nication for that time, and went to the Tents, just at that very Instant, as the old Basha [...] came thither, and the new one came forth to receive him at the Tent door. Hattem Bashaw, (for so was he called, that left the Government) came attended with Ianizaries (being the ordinary Garrison Soldiers in Nicosia, ever since the Turks were Masters over it) to the number of five hundred. They marched in two Di­visions, the one with Muskets, and the o­ther with drawn Scymeters. When they came to the Tent of the new Bashaw, Hazen, they were drawn round it; and when Hat­tem Bashaw approached the Entrance of [Page 146] the Tent, he made a low Reverence to Hazen, who with a less bowing of his Bo­dy congyed to him again.

This being done, Hattem presently en­tred into Hazen's Pavillion: Then there was brought him a very stately Horse, richly Caparison'd, upon which he was mount­ed, and conducted round the Tents, and a great part of the Field, with loud Accla­mations in their own Language; Long live Solyman Sultan, and Hazen Bashaw, his Vice-roy; they repeated this very often, and then presently return'd back to the Tent, where Hattem Bashaw remained all the while; and then with the Cadi, or Iudge, Hazen and Hattem, shut themselves up close for the space of an hour, to treat of the Affairs of the City. Within a lit­tle while after, the Cadi, or Judge of Cau­ses, came forth to the Door of the Tent, and with a loud Voice in the Turkish, Ara­bick, and Greek Language: Declar'd, That all who had any thing to lay to the Charge of Hattem Bashaw, might have free [...]mit­tance: for there was Hazen Bashaw, whom the Grand Signior had sent his Vice-roy in­to Cyprus, would do them all Right and Justice. Some Greek Christians, and some Turks entred to crave Justice; but their Charge was so slender, that the Judge dis­patch'd [Page 147] them immediately, finding no grounds for their Complaints.

In this Interim entred in an Officer, who gave the Bashaw notice, that there was a Iew at the Tent Door, who had brought a most Fair and Beautiful Christian Virgin to be sold; the Iudge or Cadi com­manded that she should be brought in: Up­on which the Officer went forth, and pre­sently return'd, ushering in an Ancient Iew, who led by the hand a Woman in a Barbary Habit; so richly attir'd, that the wealthiest Moore in Fez or Morocco was not able to compare with her; for throughout her whole Dress, she surpassed all the Affrican Women, her Face was covered with a Sea [...] of Crimson Taffata: The small of her Legs, and her Arms, (which through thin Saroenet were easie to be seen) were adorn'd with Bracelets of Gold, wherein were set scatteringly, many fair Pearls and precious Stones. In Conclusion, the fashi­on of her Cloths, and all other her Furni­ture, were such, that the Cadi or Iudge, and the two Bashaws, upon the very first sight of so much Grandeur, being mighti­ly taken, before any other thing was said or questioned by them, desired the Iew to take the Sea [...]f from off the Christian's Face; But then such a splendour, such a Beauti­ful [Page 148] Countenance discovered it self, as dazl'd the Eyes of all the Beholders.

But he in whom this amazing Beauty, wrought the deepest Impression, was the sorrowful Gasparino, as one who better than any other knew her, she being his cruel and beloved Graciana, who so of­ten, and with so many Tears, had by him been reputed, and deplor'd for dead. No [...] was Gasparino the only Person that suffer'd Loves powerful Reign, but at the same time, the two Bashaws and the Cadi were equally smitten. And therefore, without questioning the Iew, where or how he came by her, they only asked him, what he would take for her? The Covetous Iew, replyed, Two thousand Crowns; he had scarce set the price, but Hattem Bashaw proffered to give him his Money down.

But Hazen Bashuw, who was resolv'd he should not have her though he ventured his Life; Well, (said he) and I will give the Iew two thousand Crowns, which he demands; not that I would either give so much, or go about to circumvent Hattem, did not that inforce me, which were he as sensible of it as my self, he would not be so unjust as to condemn me; for this lovely Slave belongs not to any of us, but to [Page 149] the Grand Signior; and therefore, say I, I buy her in his Name; now let me see who dare be so insolent as to offer to take her from me.

That dare I, replyed Hattem, because for the self same end and purpose do I buy her; and it belongs more especially to me, to tender this present to the Grand Signior, by reason, I am taking my Voyage for Constantinople, and am provided with that conveniency for her safe conduct. And by that means, I may the better obtain the favour of the Grand Signior. Nay, rather, it will be better received from my Hands, (reply'd Hazen) to take Care of sending her to the Grand Signior, since I do it with­out any respect to my own private Interest, or Expectation of profit. And whereas you alledge the conveniency of carrying her along with you; I will send her in a Gal­ley of my own, well armed, and provi­ded with a sufficient Convoy at my own Charges. At these Words, Hattem's Blood began to rise, so that laying his hand on his Scymeter, Hazen, said he, My Intenti­ons are the same with yours, and she is mine, for I was the first that purchased her; therefore if thou thinkest to circumvent me, this Scymeter shall defend my Right, and chastise thy Presumption.

[Page 150] The Cadi, who was attentive to all that had past between them, and burned no less in Loves Flames than either of the other, fearing least he should lose his Treasure; Hazen and Hattem, said he, let me intreat you both to lay aside these your differen­ces, which I doubt not but to compose in such a manner, that both of you may effect your intentions, and the Grand Signior be sensible of both your Services. To these words of the Iudge, they shewed them­selves obedient. Hattem, you would have this Christian, (said the Iudge) for the Grand Signior; and Hazen says the like: You alledge, That you were the first in of­fering the demanded price, Hazen contra­dicts you; and though he doth not inforce his Argument so home, yet I understand you both agree to buy the Slave for the same purpose; only you got the start of him, in declaring first; yet he ought not to be wholly defrauded of his intentions; and therefore in my opinion, let this busi­ness be thus accorded, Hazen shall pay two thousand Crowns, and Hattem shall lay down the other two thousand, and let the Captive remain in my power, to the end that I may send her in both your Names to Constantinople, that neither of you may re­main unrewarded; for (as an Eye witness) [Page 151] I can c [...]fie the forwardness of you both to gratifie the Grand Signior; to which purpose I will send her at my own cost and charge, with that Equipage and Atten­dance, which is due to him, to whom she is sent.

The two enamour'd Bashaws neither could nor would contradict him; each of them forming, and imagining in his mind a hope (though doubtful) of promising to themselves the attainment of the end of their inflamed desires; Hazen, who was to continue Vice-roy of Cyprus, thought to win the Judge by great Gifts, to deliver the Captive up to him, and Hattem having o­ther projects in his Head, and both con­ceiting his own design the surest, they ea­sily condescended to what the Judge pro­pounded, and with a Joint consent deliver­ed the Captive presently to him, and made present payment to the Jew of a thousand Crowns a piece; but then the Iew would not part with her upon those terms, unless they would likewise purchase her wearing Apparel, and Jewels, which he valued at a thousand Crowns more. Upon which the C [...]di or Iudge, that he might not shew him­self less Bountiful than the two Bashaws, promis'd to pay those thousand Crowns, thinking it proper to have her presented in [Page 152] the same dress (which she then wore) to the Grand Signior.

When Gasparino saw all this, and that it was no Dream, he came to Pyrrhus, and wispering him in the Ear; Friend (said he) dost not thou know her? Not I, said Pyr­rhus; then reply'd Gasparino, this is Gra­ciana. How (answered Pyrrhus?) 'Tis very certain (reply'd Gasparino.) Peace then, re­ply'd Pyrrhus, for Fortune is now so order­ing the business, that thou shalt find her Complaisant, since Graciana is in my Ma­sters power. Gasparino would have put himself into some place to have been seen by her, but Pyrrhus would by no means permit him, for fear some suddain passion should overthrow his present hopes.

Graciana being thus surrendred up to the Judge, he came to her and taking her by the Hand deliver'd her to Pyrrhus com­manding him to convey her to his Lady Rodula, with orders to use her kindly, as being the Grand Signior's Slave. Gasparino seeing Pyrrhus lead her away, all alone, fol­lowed her as far as he durst; but having lost her, he went to seek out the Iew; whom after he had found out, he civilly demand­ed of him where he had bought that Cap­tive Christian; and by what means she came to his Hands. The Jew made him an­swer [Page 153] that he met with her in the Island of Pantanalea; and that he bought her of certain Turks, whose Galley had been split against the Rocks of that Island. And as he was proceeding in his discourse he was interrupted by one which came from the Bashaws to inform the Jew, That he must come immediately to 'em.

Now as Pyrrhus waited on her between the Tents and the Town, he took occasion to ask Graciana, Whence she was, and where born; who made him answer, her Native place was in the City of Trepana: Then Pyrrhus question'd her whether she knew in that City, a Rich and Noble Gentle­man called Gasparino? At her hearing him named, Graciana fetching a deed sigh, Too well Sir (said she) to my prejudice: How to your prejudice, Madam (said he?) Be­cause he knew me (said Graciana) to his own, and my unhappiness. But I pray re­solve me (said Pyrrhus) did you know in the same City another Gentleman, a very worthy person called Hippolito? I like­wise knew him, reply'd Graciana, and I may say much more to my Grief than Gasparino.

But, pray Sir, if I may be so bold to ask you, where had you this Intelligence? I am (said Pyrrhus) of Palermo, and by vari­ous [Page 154] accidents in this Disguise; and for Gas­parino, and Hipollito, I know them well, in regard it is not many days, since they were both in my power; for certain Moors of Tripoli in Barbary had taken Hippolito Cap­tive and sold him to a Turk, who brought him to this Island.

But tell me Sir, how came Gasparino to this Island, he came (reply'd Pyrrhus) with a Pyrate who took him Prisoner in a Gar­den, near the Sea shore of Trepana and with him a certain Virgin, but I could ne­ver get him to tell me her name. He staid here some few days with his Master, who was to go and visit Mahomet's Sepulchre, but just at the time of his departure Gaspa­rino fell so extreamly Sick, that his Master left him with me, (as being his Country­man) that I might use all the best means I could for his Recovery, and take care of him till his return hither, and if he did not re­turn hither, that I should send him to him to Constantinople, according to the advice I should receive from him.

But the Gods had otherwise order'd it, since that, unfortunate Gasparino without any Symptom of a dangerous Sickness, within a few days ended his Life; making often mention of one Graciana, (whom as himself told me) he loved more than his [Page 155] own Life, and was as dear to him, if not dearer than his own Soul. Graciana (as he related to me) suffered Shipwrack at the Island of Pantanalea, the Galley where­in she was, being split upon the Rocks, and her self drown'd, whose Death he continu­ally lamented, till his mourning had brought him to breath his last.

Well (Sir) replyed Graciana; but as to that other young man Hippolito, whom you spoke of, in those his discourses which he had with you, did he not at any time speak of Graciana? Did he tell you how she and Gasparino were made Captives? Speak of her (said Pyrrhus!) yes a thou­sand and a thousand times; and en­quired of me very frequently, whether a­ny Female Christian of that name had of late been brought to this Island; telling me withal how joyful he would be to hear any Tydings of her, that he might ransom her; to which purpose he possess'd his Ma­ster with so much Credulity, that she was not so rich as he supposed her to be; and that having had the happiness of enjoying of her formerly, he needed not set so great a value upon her; however if three or four hundred Crowns would purchase her free­dom, he would willingly Disburse it for the kindness he had formerly received from her.

[Page 156] It seems, said Graciana, he valued her kindness but at a low rate that would not go beyond four hundred Crowns; but Gas­parino was more Noble, Valiant and Gene­rous, Fuller of Magnanimity than to make so poor an offer. O ye Gods forgive that inconsiderate wretch, who was the occasi­on of Generous Gasparino's death! for I am that unhappy woman, whose death he so much lamented. And Heaven knows were he now alive, how much I would repay his kindness! and should be witness how sensible I am of his misfortunes, who hath endured so much for mine! Having so said she besought Pyrrhus, (considering she knew not where she was, nor whither her Fates would hurry her) to assist her in her miseries.

Pyrrhus reply'd, he would perform to her all the service he was capable of, and advise her according to his best under­standing. With that he informed her of the Difference between the two Bashaws, upon her account; and how she now re­main'd in the power of the Iudge his Master, in order to convey and present her to the great Turk, Han the Fourth at Constantino­ple: But he hoped Heaven would other­wise dispose of her: how-ever he advis'd her in the mean time to use a fair deport­ment, [Page 157] and ingratiate her self into the favour and good opinion of Albuma his Master's wife, in whose Custody she is to remain till they send her to Constantinople, acquain­ting her withal, of Albuma's temper and qualities, with many other things which might redound to her benefit; at length they were arriv'd at his Master's house; Albuma seeing her so richly attir'd, and so lovely, gave her a very friendly and kind entertainment. Pyrrhus having rendred up his charge, returning back to the Tents, gave Gasparino an account of what had pas­sed between him and Graciana.

Gasparino having attentively heard the relation of his Friend: How must we (said he) proceed in this Affair, and imploy our time to the best advantage? that which is first of all to be done, (answer'd Pyrrhus) is for you to be entertain'd in my Master's Service, which being effected we will after­wards consult, what is in the next place most convenient. But whilst they were thus talking, came the Guardian of the Christian Captives belonging to Hazen, and took Gasparino along with him. The Iudge return'd with Hazen to the City, and Hattem taking his leave, prepared forthwith to set forward on his Journey, being very importunate with the Judge to hasten the [Page 158] sending of the Captive Virgin; and withal, to Write to the Grand Signior in his behalf, for the better promoting his Interest: All which the Iudge promis'd to perform, though he meant otherwise.

Hattem being gone full of false hopes, and Hazen abiding behind, not altogether in despair; Pyrrhus so brought the business about, that Gasparino was entertain'd into his Master's Service: But still Time's Hou [...]-Glass run on, and Gasparino burn'd so with desire to see Graciana, that he could not enjoy one Minute of rest: And now Ga­sparino was advis'd to change his Name, the better to conceal himself from Graciana's knowledge, before he had seen her, (So he gave himself the Name of Mauritinio,) but it was so difficult a Task to see her, that he could not as yet obtain it.

Yet one day it so happen'd, that the La­dy Albuma beh [...]ld her Slave Mauritinio, and took such an affection to him, that he made a deep impression in her Heart, and fix'd a stronger in her Memory, and per­haps taking little or no satisfaction in the cold Embraces of her Aged Husband, she easily gave way to this her Lustful Desire, and acquainted Graciana, (whom she now dearly loved) with her filthy wish'd-for Embraces: Gra [...]iana indeed was of an obli­ging [Page 159] Temper and Sweet Behaviour; her therefore Albuma inform'd, that the Iudge had received into his House a Christian Cap [...]ive, of a lovely Aspect, and fine De­portment; that in her Eye he was the Com­liest Person that ever she beheld, and that he was of the same Country with Pyrrhus, but could not contrive which way to bring it about, whereby he might understand her affection for him, and she fearing he should slight her Amours when he did know of it.

Graciana being willing to please her, ask'd what was the Captives Name? Albu­ma told her Mauritinio: to whom Graciana reply'd, if he be a Gentleman, and of that place you say he is, I must needs know him; but of the Name of Mauritinio, I don't re­member any such in Trepana; but if your Ladyship will permit me to see him, and Discourse with him, I shall be able to in­form you, both who he is, and what may be expected from him: It shall be done (said Albuma) with the first Opportunity; and according to your Discretion you may give him some light of my Affections, and in so doing this Friendly Office, I shall place the greater Esteem upon you.

[Page 160] As Albuma had thus declar'd her self to Graciana: within less than two hours after, the Iudge calling Pyrrhus, and Mauritinio to him; with no less Efficacy than Albuma his Wife had done to Graciana, did he dis­cover to them the Affections he had for the Virgin Captive, requiring their Privacy, and Advice, what course he should take to keep the Female Christian to himself, and yet comply with the Grand Signior whose she was; acquainting them withal, that he would rather die ten thousand Deaths than once resign her up to him. After several Consultations, among Persons aiming at contrary ends, it was at length concluded, that Mauritinio, as being a Person of her own Native Country, should undertake to Court her for his Master, and if he could not prevail by fair Means, he should then use Violence to force her; and that being done, they should then report abroad, she was Dead. The Iudge, or Cadi rested extreamly well satisfied with this Contri­vance of his Slaves, gave Pyrrhus his Liber­ty, and after his Death half of his Goods: He likewise promised Mauritinio, not only his Freedom, but good store of Crowns if he succeeded.

[Page 161] Now if he were so Generous and Noble [...] promising, his Captives were as Prodi­ [...]l in their Performances, offering to pul [...] [...]own the Moon to do him Service; much [...]ore easily to draw Graciana to his Imbra­ [...], so as Mauritinio might have the op­ [...]rtunity of discoursing with her. I will [...]ant him free access to her, said the Cadi, [...] Iudge, as often as need requires, if that [...]ill advance the business; and to that pur­ [...]se I will send away Albuma my Wife to [...]r Friends in the Country; and in the [...]ean time Graciana shall have all the Li­ [...]rty in the World to Discourse and Con­ [...]rse with her Countryman: This Agree­ [...]ent being made between these three, all [...]as husht.

The next day the Cadi, or Iudge came [...] Albuma, and in a pleasant Humour told [...]r, she might, when she pleas'd, visit her [...]ather and Mother, and stay in the Coun­ [...]y as long as she would, or till he sent for [...]er: But in regard her heart was overjoy'd [...]ith those fair hopes which Graciana had [...]en her, she had no inclination of go­ [...]g; and therefore told him, at this time [...]e had no great fancy to depart from home, [...]r to go thither; when she had, she would [...]quaint him with it, but whenever she [...]ent she did design to take the Captive [Page 162] Christian along with her: By no mea [...] (reply'd the Judge) for it is not requi [...] that the Grand Signior's Female Slav [...] should be seen by any person. That matter [...] not much, (reply'd Albuma) for she ma [...] be as private in my Father's House, as an [...] where else: Besides, the longest time [...] mean to spend with them, shall not be [...] bove four or five days; for that will see [...] an Age to me to be so long absent from you [...] The Judge made no reply, because h [...] would give her no occasion to suspect h [...] farther Intentions.

Whilst these Transactions were agit [...] ting, the Iudge had some Affairs to min [...] which Albuma his Wife, knew would d [...] tain him from home, for the space of fo [...] hours: He was no sooner gone, but sh [...] commanded Mauritinio to be called to he [...] No sooner was Mauritinio admitted, b [...] he walked through the whole House, g [...] zing about him, yet could he not perceiv [...] any thing, save a dumb, and still Silenc [...] till he cast his Eye aside, where Gracia [...] sate, at the foot of a curious Stair-case [...] polish'd Marble, which led up to a spa [...] ous Gallery that surrounded the who [...] House. Instantly so many Passions seiz' [...] the Enamour'd Gasparino, as wrought [...] him both Amazement, and Refreshment [...] [Page 163] be considered with himself, that he was a Cap­ [...], and [...] another's Power; but at length [...]ercoming with all Facility, those little [...]; with a Formidable Love, and [...]ilarating Sadness, and Pusillanimous [...]ourage, advanc'd to the place where she [...]e; at what time Graciana turning her [...]d aside, fixt her Eyes upon Mauritinio, [...] look'd no less stedfastly upon her.

But when both their Looks encountring [...]us each other, by different effects had [...]en evident signs of that which their se­ [...]eral Souls felt within: Gasparino was at a [...]d, and wanted motion to advance fur­ [...]; [...]nd Graciana, who upon Pyrrhus's [...]lation of Gasparino's Death, gave credit [...], [...] beholding him now so unexpect­ [...]y live, full of Fear and Amazement, [...] he [...] self, as if she had seen some Appa­ [...] Gasparino coming to himself, and [...]derstanding by her Gestures, the true [...] [...]f Graciana's Fears, assur'd her in the [...] passionate Expressions, that a Lover [...]ld [...]vent, that he was the same unfor­ [...] [...]parino, whom she had made so. [...] having dissipated her Fears, de­ [...] [...]im to speak lower, and not speak of [...] to what she should ask him: [...] you may be sure our Lady hath [...], and may over-hear our Dis­course; [Page 164] and (to deal plainly with you) has acquainted me, that she is a great Ad­mirer of you, and has employed me to in­terceed with you in her behalf: if you an­swer her Desires, your days here in Capti­vity may seem more easie to you, though in the end prove pernicious: However for the present you must counterfeit your Em­bracements, first for my desire, and next it is a piece of rudeness to despise any Lady's Addresses.

To this Gasparino reply'd, I never could harbour any such Thought, Fair Graciana, that any Service you should ever command me to undertake, should prove so hard a Task for me to perform, as this which you lay before me; neither is it agreeable to the Honour and Faith of a Gentleman, or the Reputation of a good man, to feign and dissemble in such weighty Consequences: However, because you shall not say I gave a refusal to your first Request, your Com­mands shall be obeyed; I'll Ianus like look two ways, pursue the ill, because it is for good to come of it. I will to satisfie your desire, and Albuma's Pleasure, (Lust I should have call'd it) comply as far as a counterfeit­ing yielding will permit, so that thereby I may gain the Happiness of seeing you; to which purpose do you study for my Answers [Page 165] to her, according to your Discretion, which having said he entreated her briefly to tell him how she escaped from the hands of the Pyrates, and how she came in [...]o those of the Iew, who so lately sold her.

The Story of my Misfortunes, (answered Graciana) require more leasure than time will now permit, yet will I not leave you wholly unsatisfied: Know then, that the very same Evening we parted, Rozak's Galley was carried with a strong Wind to the same Isles of Pantanalea, where we likewise saw your Vessel; but ours, we being not able to hinder it, ran unavoidably upon the Rocks▪ However Rozak foreseeing his own Dest [...]uction and mine before his Eyes, be­ [...]e the fatal ruine happen'd, took care to have [...]e rowed on Shore, between two C [...]ks fastened together, which was done at first by the Captain himself, who had ven­tur'd his Life to save mine, till an unfortu­nate Billow threw him upon the Rocks, and dash'd out his Brains. After which, two others which were endeavouring to save themselves, took hold of my Cable, and hall'd me to Land, where I lay in a Swoon for some time; but of this I know nothing my self, but by information. With me, eight other Persons sav'd themselves, who though Turks us'd me with as much [Page 166] respect, as if I had been related to them: We kept our selves close in a Cave for eight days, the Turks fearing the Christi­ans should espy 'em, which had command of the Fort in the Island; and all that time we fed upon nothing but the wet Bisket which the Sea had cast upon the Shore, from the broken Bins of the Galley, which the Turks gathered up by Night, that they might not be discover'd.

At the eight days end, there arrived up­on that Coast, a Vessel of the Moors, which came to an Anchor a little off the Land; upon which the Turks made such signs to the Vessel which lay not far off, that they which were in her perceiv'd they were Turks that call'd to 'em. Thereupon they sent out their Cock-Boat, and receiv'd them into their Bark, wherein was an exceeding rich Iew, a Merchant; all the Lading of the Vessel, or the most part of it was his, being Freighted with Carpets, and Hides, with other Commodities, which they carry from Barbary to the Levant. In that Vessel the Turks sail'd for Tripoli; and in that Voy­age they sold me to the Iew for two thou­sand Ducats, an Excessive Price, if his Love towards me had not made him so ge­nerous, as he afterwards declared to me.

[Page 167] Leaving the Turks after all this in Tripoli, the Vessel Tack'd about to perform her Voyage, and the Iew began to be very hot in his Sollicitations: At length despairing to obtain his lustful ends, he resolved to make the most of me, the first opportunity that should offer it self: At last he under­stood that the two Bashaws were in this Island, where he might sell and vend his Merchandize, as well as in Xio, whither he was bound; and intending to sell me to one of the Bashaws, he put me in this Ha­bit which I have on, to make me the more Sailable and Amiable to the Eyes of those that bought me.

And now I understand this Cadi, or Iudge has purchas'd me, with a design to send me as a Present to the Great Turk, of which I am not a little fearful: Here I heard of your supposed Death, and I must now declare to you, if you dare believe me, That it grieved me to the very Soul; though I ra­ther envied than pity'd your Misfortune; not out of any disrespect, but because I knew you were then happy, while I conti­nued still in misery.

Dear Graciana, (reply'd Gasparino) you judged aright, in what you have now spo­ken; only Death had deprived me of this Happiness which I now enjoy, in seeing of [Page 168] you once more; a Felicity which I esteem more dear than my Life: But Fairest of Creatures, I am now to acquaint you, the Iudge my Master, by no less various Acci­dents than yours, entertains the same Af­fection to you, as Albuma your Lady de­clares she has for me; and he has made choice of me to be the Interpreter of his Thoughts: I received the Motion, though not to do him that piece of Service, but to gain the happy opportunity of conversing with the Joy of my Life. Thus you may see (Dear Graciana) to what hard measure our Misfortunes have hurried us; you to be Agitator in working such Impossibili­ties; and me likewise to be Sollicitour in such a P [...]odigious Cause as this, which ra­ther than obtain, I would forfeit Life, and all I have, which now I value, since it has afforded me this great Happiness.

I am doubtful what to say, or imagine, (reply'd Graciana) how we shall be able to get out of this Labyrinth; but you see, what our Condition constrains us to make use of: I am sure our Inclinations never tended to Dissimulation, and Deceit; we must now make a Vertue of necessity; and therefore I will acquaint Albuma with some feeling Expressions pretended to be yours; that shall rather entertain her with Hopes, [Page 169] than drive her to Despair: You shall likewise report of me to the Iudge, what you think most convenient, that may not prove prejudicial to my Honour, but prevent his designs; and since I wholly in­trust you with it, you may assure your self it never was yet violated, though indeed those Difficulties I have endured might call it in question: As for our Conversing one with another, will (by their means) ap­pear very easie, provided you declare to none your Pretensions to me, for in that very hour, you do that, you must expect never to see me more; for I would not have you prize me at so low Rate, to think that Captivity can effect that, which Liberty could not attain to.

Madam, (reply'd Gasparino) as to that Particular you may at present easily com­mand my Obedience: I am willing, e'er I entertain such Thoughts, to give you far­ther Proofs of my Affection, in working your Deliverance, and mine: Now as to what concerns the Iudge, take you no care of that, but do you undertake the like with Albuma. With this they took their leaves of each other; Graciana remain'd very well satisfied with Gasparino's fair In­tentions, and he the most joyful man in [Page 170] the World that he had heard Graciana speak with so much sweetness.

Albuma, in this Interim of time, had shut her self up in her Oratory, praying to her Prophet Mahomet, that Graciana might bring her good Tydings of the Business re­commended to her Care. Nor was the Iudge less sollicitous than his Lady, as wholly depending upon a good successful Answer, which he hoped to receive from Mauritinio; to whose Charge he committed his discour­sing with Graciana.

Graciana greatly pleased Albuma, by gi­ving her very good hopes that Mauritinio would acquiesce to her Desires, but telling her withal, he must intreat her Patience while two Moons were first expired; be­fore which time, he could not answer that, which he much more desired than her self; and this forbearance was only desired, that he might finish his Vows, for his Delive­rance from Bondage. Albuma was not at all displeased with the excuse of her be­loved Mauritinio, but promised to obtain his Freedom, before the appointed time, provided he would answer her Expectation; and therefore entreated Graciana to inform him of it, and see what Operation she could make with him to dispence with the said time; engaging withal to furnish him [Page 171] with as much Money as the Iudge should require for his ransom.

As for Gasparino before he would return an answer to his Master, he consulted with Pyrrhus, what answer to make him, and the result of it was, that they should ac­quaint him, the Case was desperate, with­out any hopes of winning her; and there­fore, as soon as possible he could, he should carry her away to Constantinople; and that in the way thither, either by fair means or by force, he might obtain his Desires. Then to keep from the Grand Signior's Dis­pleasure, he should purchase for him ano­ther Slave, which in the Voyage should be thrown over-board, upon pretence that Graciana was fall'n Sick, and dead of her Distemper, which they said should be done in such a manner, as it should never be dis­covered; neither should he incur the Grand Signior's Displeasure, but fulfil his own Heart's Desire; afterwards, for the continuance of his Favour, they would in­vent some Stratagem, which should make all firm and secure.

This old Iudge, his strong Affections to Graciana had so blinded the Eyes of his un­derstanding; that had they told him a thou­sand greater unlikely hoods, he would have believed them all; only one more difficul­ty [Page 172] offer'd it self to the Iudge, which in his Opinion was greater than all the rest; which was, least his Lady should hinder him from going to Constantinople, without per­mitting her to go with him; but immedi­ately they removed that Obstacle, by in­forming him, that in the Room of the Chri­stian which they were to buy, and to throw over-Board instead of Graciana, Albuma would serve Excellent well for that pur­pose; and none better to please him, whom he earnestly desired to be freed from, more than Death.

This scruple being thus remov'd, that very day, the Judge Discourses with Albu­ma concerning the Voyage he intended to make to Constantinople, to transport the Christian to the Grand Signior; by whose Bounty, he hoped to receive some higher preferment. Albuma replyed, she approv­ed very well of his Design, thinking he would leave Gasparino at home. But when she found he was to go with him, she be­gan to change her Opinion, and to disswade him from that, which before she had advi­sed him to. In short, she concluded, That if he did not take her with him, she would [...] all the means that possibly could be fo [...] out to hinder his Voyage: that plea­sed [...] Iudge, who had before determin'd [Page 173] to shake off that Yoke, which was so unea­sie to him.

All this while, Hazen Bashaw was not negligent in solliciting the Iudge to resign up the Christian Slave to him, offering him Mountains of Gold; but all his Gifts and Promises wrought no effect upon him, but to forward him more in his departure. Within twenty days, he had fitted and rig­g'd up a Bregantine of fifteen Banks, Man­ning it with Voluntary Soldiers, lusty young able Men, partly Moors, and some Greek Christians. Therein he imbarked all his Wealth; neither did Albuma leave any thing in her House of any considerable Va­lue, for Albuma's Design was the same with that of Pyrrhus's, That when the Vessel was out at Sea, Gasparino and he should make themselves Masters of the Bregantine, and Sail away with it. But she thought not fit to declare her Intentions to them, till she saw her self imbarked, hoping there­by to gain Gasparino's Affection; being ve­rily perswaded, that carrying such store of Wealth along with her, he would not re­fuse her for his Wife.

But as private as Albuma kept her De­sign, Gasparino understood it from Gracia­na, whom Albuma had made acquainted with her Contrivance; and now the day [Page 174] of departure being come, Hazen went forth, accompanying them with all his Sol­diers to the Sea side; where he remained with his Eye fix'd upon the Bregantine, till he had quite lost the sight of it. But then as one who having long continued in such torment, oppress'd by Love which did di­sturb this quiet, being ready furnish'd with Intentions, without delay he put that presently in Execution, which with long Deliberation he had fore-casted; having therefore a Vessel for that purpose ready in another Port, he clapt into her fifty Sol­diers, with all his Friends and Acquain­tance, whom he had obliged by many Gifts and Promises, giving the strict Charge to put forth to Sea immediately, and reco­ver the Iudge's Bregantine, and to put to the Sword all that were in her except Gra­ciana the Captive; also he gave them order to sink the Vessel, that nothing might re­main, the better to prevent discovery.

Nor did they need many Arguments; for their Covetousness of the Plunder ad­ded Wings to their Feet, and Courage to their Hearts; considering the vastness of the Spoil, which was known to be in the Vessel. Two Days had the Bregantine Sail­ed in her intended Course, which to the Judge seemed two Ages; for the first day [Page 175] he greatly desired to have put his Design in Execution, but his Slaves advis'd him to the contrary, for the first Contrivance was that Graciana should fall sick, the better to shew a pretence to her Death, which would require a little longer time; he did not approve of so long a delay, but would have it reported she dyed suddainly; and so quickly make an end of what they had projected, by dispatching his Wife out of the way, that he might allay the heat of that Fire, which by degrees consumed his Bowels. But in Conclusion to what they proposed, he at length condescended.

In this space of time, Albuma had dis­cover'd her Design to Pyrrhus, and Gaspa­rino, and they were ready to put it in Exe­cution, as soon as they had doubled cer­tain points they were to Sail by; but the Judge was so hasty with them, and so sharp set, that they were forc'd to promise him to perform the task they undertook, upon the first opportunity that should offer it self. And now the day began to appear, where­in (according to the Contrivance of Pyr­rhus and Gasparino) they were to accom­plish their Desires, or to end their Days, when upon a suddain they descry'd a Ves­sel, which with Sails and Oars made brisk­ly after them; at first they were afraid, [Page 176] they had been Christian Pyrates, from whom neither the one nor the other could expect any Benefit.

Thereupon they prepar'd to defend themselves, and to do all that might be done in such a Case of Necessity, three hours afterwards they drew nearer to them, till they came within Cannon-Shot. Per­ceiving this, they immediately struck Sail, and loosed their Oars, and put themselves in a posture fit to receive them. But when the Vessel came within sight, the Judge bid them chear up and fear nothing, for the Vessel was Turkish, and would do them no prejudice; withal, he commanded a White Flag should presently be hung out, which they in the other Galley, already blinded with greediness of gain, took no no­tice of, but made up with greater fury to Board the Bregantine. At the approach of this danger, Pyrrhus, by chance, turning his Head aside, perceiv'd from another point of the Compass, another Galley bear­ing up with full Sails carrying Christian Colours.

Now I am apt to believe the Iudge would have given all the hopes of his Plea­sure, to have found himself again in Nicosia, so great was his Confusion and Amazement; more especially to see himself so fiercely [Page 177] attack'd by the first Vessel, that they want­ed very little of sinking his Brigantine. But when he saw them to be Soldiers of Nicosia, he soon guess'd the Cause of their coming, and by whom set on work, and gave himself for a lost Man: Indeed had it not been that the Soldiers more minded the Spoil than the Slaughter, not a Man had escap'd alive.

But by this time, when they were most busie about their Pillaging, the Vessel bearing Christian Colours, came up with the Victor Galley, and began to batter it very rudely; but before she came to grapple with her, the Captain demanded what Ves­sel that was, and from whence: They made answer that it belong'd to Hazen the Bashaw, Vice-roy of Cyprus. How comes it then to pass that you being Musselmen, have robb'd this Vessel, which carries the Iudge of Ni­cosia? To which they answer'd, that they were commanded to take her by their Su­periour, and therefore they were to obey, without asking any Questions.

The Captain of the last Vessel thus satis­fied with that which he desir'd to know, fell off from Hazen's, and made towards that of the Iudge, and with the very first Volley of Shot he kill'd him ten of his Men; and presently after entred her with great [Page 178] Courage and speed. But they had scarce set their Feet upon the Hatches, but the Iudge instantly knew Bazon, the Bashaw, who with the same Design as Hazen, had pursu'd him; and that he might not be known, had put forth Christian Co­lours.

The Iudge, understanding the Intenti­ons of both these Lovers, finding himself thus set upon, began to shew his Anger, reviling one, reproaching another, and threatning others, and so severely rebuk'd the Soldiers, for drawing their Swords against a Iudge and Minister of Mahomet, and their Natural Soveraign the Grand Signior, that the Seamen began to consider what they had done, and were about to put up their Scymeters, only Bazon shut his Eyes and Ears to all that he saw or heard; and falling upon the Iudge, gave him such a cut on the Head, that if the blow had not been born off by the thickness of his Tur­bant, he had cleft his Scull in sunder; for it came with such a force, that it strook him down between the Banks of the Ves­sel.

This Action caused Bazon's Soldiers to follow the Example of their General, so that all was now again in worse Confusion than before; Bazon's Men fell upon the [Page 179] Iudge; and Hazen's Soldiers fearing that Bazon's Men should get their Plunder from them, entred Bazon's Vessel, that in Con­clusion, the Slaughter was so great, that there was hardly a Turk left alive, but what was much wounded. Gasparino and Pyrrhus, observing that the Turks were in a manner all slain; and those which re­main'd alive, were sore wounded, now thought it their only opportunity; and therefore calling to their Assistance two Kinsmen of Albuma's, and being aided by the Volunteers, who were Venetians, with a great deal of ease, and without receiv­ing so much as one Wound, they cut the Throats of all the rest; and Boarding Ba­zon's Galley, which they found without Defence, they took it, with all that was in it. Of those that dyed in the second En­counter, was Bazon the Bashaw, whom a Turk in Revenge to the Iudge ran through the Body.

Being now Masters of all the three Ves­sels, by Pyrrhus's Advice they took out all things that were of any price or value, both in their own, and Hazen's Vessel, and stow'd them in Bazon's Galley, which was a Vessel of far greater Burthen, and fitter to take in the Lading; nor did they want Rowers, for they being most Veneti­an [Page 180] Slaves, were glad of the opportunity to return home, after they had carried the Vessel where Pyrrhus should require them. But before they set Sail, Pyrrhus and Gas­parino, full of Expressions of Joy, for their good Success, went to Albuma, and told her, that if she would return to Cyprus, they would man her own Vessel, and give her one half of the Goods, which she had imbark'd. But she having not yet lost that Amorous Affection, which she bare to Gas­parino, told him, she would go with him to Venice, or elsewhere.

The Iudge was by this time come to him­self, having drest and bound up his Wound, as well as the place would permit, they likewise inform'd him that he should take his choice, either to go with them, or to return in the same Vessel he set forth, to Nicosia. To which he replyed, that since his ill Fortune, had been so great, he would rather accept of his Liberty, and supplicate the Grand Signior to redress those Injuries▪ he had received from Bazon and Hazen, two of his Bashaws. In the end, they mann'd his own Vessel, and furnish'd him with all things necessary for his Voyage; they gave him some Chequins, of those which once had been his own; and so having taken his leave, he begg'd that Graciana would [Page 181] vouchsafe but only to imbrace him; which he would look upon as a great Kindness, and would of it self be sufficient to make him forget all his Misfortune; to which Graciana yielded, at the request of Pyrrhus and Gasparino; that done, the Iudge fur­ther begg'd her but to lay her Hands upon his Head, not doubting but her charming Hand would heal his Wound. Which Graciana did likewise perform according to his Desire; and now having bored many holes in Hazen's Vessel to sink it, a merry Eastern Gale seeming to court the Sails, they made such fresh way, that in a very few hours they lost the sight of the Iudges Brigantine, who with Tears in his Eyes, stood behold­ing how the Winds carried away his Wealth, his Wife, and Graciana his Souls De­light.

The Wind still favouring them, without touching any where, in a few days they got within sight of their beloved Country; which not a little augmented that Joy, which had already taken Possession of their Hearts; and no wonder their Spirits were transported with a new Contentment, which is one of the greatest that can be purcha­sed in this Life, to arrive after a long Cap­tivity, safe in their own Native Country, there being nothing can equalize it, but [Page 182] the Pleasure of Victory and Conquest. A­bout an hour after Day-break, they found themselves within less than a League of the City, at what time Gasparino gave Order to [...]m the Vessel with several Flags, Streamers, and Pendants, and row'd lea­surely into the Haven; which being dis­covered from the Port, an infinite num­ber of People presently shewed themselves upon the Sho [...]e.

In the mean time Gasparino entreated Graciana to cloath and dress her self in the same manner, as when she was conducted by the Iew into the Bashaw's Tent. Gaspa­ri [...]o and Pyrrhus also put themselves into Turkish Habit, as also did the Christians that ply'd the Oar; for the [...]e were Gar­ments enough of the slain Turks to serve them all. This occasion'd a pleasant delusi­on of the sight to those that were upon the Land; for the People that stood gazing to b [...]hold a stout Vessel so gayly trim'd with Streamers, and Pendants playing, and tri­umphing in the Air: But when they b [...] ­held the Turkish Habits and white Tur­bants, they began to grow fearful and jea­lous of Stratagems; thereupon they forth­with betook themselves to their Arms upon the Haven, while the Horse were sent out to s [...] the Coast.

[Page 183] But those fears were soon dispell'd, when Landing, they with Tears of joy saluted the ground, as an Evident sign they were Christians, who had made prize of the Ves­sel. The last that landed was the fair Gra­ciana, having a Veil cast over her Face of Crimson Taffety, led by Pyrrhus and Gas­parino: Which object drew after them the eyes of all that infinite multitude, who at their Landing kneeling as the rest did, Sa­luted the Earth with their prostrate Lips. By that time this was done, the Captain and Governor of the City were come up unto them, who presently knew Gaspa­rino, and ran with open Arms, and all the manifestations of exceeding joy to imbrace him. With the Governor came Hippolito, and his Parents, and the Parents of Gasparino and Graciana with all her Kindred and Ac­quaintance, who were the greatest Persons of Rank and Quality in the whole City; all whom Gasparino received with a Joy and Affection, equal to what they had shewed to him. Then taking Graciana in one hand and Hippolito in the other, whose Colour then began to change; but Gasparino sa­luted him with much respect according to his degree and quality, and then declared himself.

[Page 184] Gentlemen (said he) you may well re­member the misfortune which some Months since happen'd to me in Moronio's Garden, together with the loss of Gracia­na; nor can you forget the diligence which I used to procure her liberty, offer­ing my whole Estate for her ransome; which though to you it may seem a kind­ness, was to me none, it being to redeem what I priz'd above all the World. What from that time has happen'd to us both, will require long time and a seasonable op­portunity to relate; let it suffice for the pre­sent to tell you, That after many various and strange Accidents, and after a thousand lost hopes of remedying our misfortunes, the Gods have protected us and return'd us home to our Native Country, with Riches agreeable to our Contentment, and Compleated our Happiness; yet neither from this nor my procured liberty, is the end answerable to my desire, but in that great pleasure which I conceive my sweet Enemy takes as well to see her self Fre [...], as to see before her here the chief object of her affections.

In short I offer'd my whole Estate for her Ransom, resigned up my Heart only to her self, contriving the means for her Liberty, and adventur'd my Life for her [Page 185] safety; and though from all these may be raised engagements of moment, yet I will not impose any one thing upon her, ex­cept this one, which I presume she will a­gree to; and so saying he puts up his hand, and with a Grace full of humility, took a­way the Scarff from before Graciana's Face; which had the resemblance of the dissipa­ting of a Cloud which darkens the Sun's brightness; Here, Hippolito, (said he) I de­liver thee such a Jewel, which it behoves thee to esteem above all those things that are esteem'd worthy. In the same manner (fair Graciana) I freely give thee that which thou hast ever had in thy Memory; for this if you please you may call me Ge­nerous, since in comparison of this Gift, to give away my Life, Estate, my Honor, all is nothing. Take her most fortunate of Men; and if thy understanding can but soar so high as to value her worth, thou art the happiest of all mankind; and with such a Jewel as here, I give and allow thee as much Wealth as comes to my share in this adventure.

Having thus said he was silent, as if he had laid a charm upon his Tongue; but presently recollecting himself, What Juris­diction (said he) have I over Graciana, to give her to another? Or how can I dis­pose [Page 186] of that to another which is none of my own? Graciana is his, and so much his, that her affections to him can meet with no opposition; or if there may intervene those obligations which she may think she owes me, from this time forward I disclaim and cancel them; I give therefore to Hippolito nothing; because I neither can nor dare do otherwise; only I confirm the grant of my Goods made to Graciana, without desir­ing any other recompence, but only that she would be so credulous, and not think otherwise, but that my intentions were ho­nest and just, and never aim'd at any other design but what was agreeable to her infi­nite Beauty and Perfections.

Here Graciana, turning to Gasparino, If any favours (Sir said she) were by me shewed to Hippolito, you must believe them to be Vertuous, and to proceed more from duty than affection. But now if they will give me leave freely to dispose of that which your Valour and Generosity hath obliged me withal. Here her Parents interrupted her, telling her she had free liberty to do as her discretion should di­rect her. For, which when she had return'd [...] her humble thanks with all duty and [...], I had rather incurr, said she, the censure of inconstancy, than to be tax'd [Page 187] with ingratitude; and therefore Valiant Gasparino, my affection, hitherto so reserv'd and dubious, shall now declare it self, to be in your Favour; I am yours, Gasparino, and will be yours till death, if the know­ledge of some more deserving Beauty have not prevented my happiness.

Gasparino hearing these words was so transported with Joy, and in a manner in such an ecstasie that he knew not how pre­sently to return Graciana an answer in any other dialect than by prostrating himself on his Knees to her, and kissing her fair hands, which he held so fast, amd bath'd often with his tender and affectionate Tears. Hippolito likewise wept, but 'twas for Grief for the loss of Graciana. Gracia­na's Parents wept Tears of Joy and Glad­ness, while all the Standers bye were full of admiration and astonishment.

Gasparino having recovered himself out of that deep ecstasie of Joy wherein he was lost, they all seated themselves at a small Banquet which Graciana's Friends had prepared. They were full of Mirth, and Jollity, exchanging multiplicity of kisses with each other, and thinking of their past misfortunes; amongst the rest Graciana re­membred a Song which Gasparino's Boy Sung in the Garden, a little before the [Page 188] Turks came and surpriz'd them; which oc­casion'd her often to reflect upon her ingra­titude, in not making a Suitable return to his affections; but withal desired that his Boy might Sing it. He told her that Song was now quite out of date with him; but to satisfie her request it should not be want­ing; so calling his Boy he commanded him to Tune his Instrument, and Sing that last Song which he Sung in the Garden: He readily obeyed his order and began.

The SONG.
Go, Treacherous hopes, by whose uncertain Fire
I cherish my Tyrannical desire:
Love is a more uncertain Guest than Care,
And my Fate's such,
That it will cost as much
To Love as to Despair.
Tis true, our Lives are but a long disease,
Made up with real care and seeming ease.
Ye Gods that such uncertain Favours give,
Oh, tell me why,
It is so hard to dye,
And such a Task to live!

[Page 189] This being ended the Bishop of that Ci­ty was then present, who with his Benedicti­on and Licence conducted them to the Ca­thedral Church, and instantly Married them. Pyrrhus and Albuma were reconciled to the Church, who seeing it was imposible to be Gasparino's Wife, contented her self in matching with Pyrrhus, to whom Gasparino gave Generous and Noble Gifts: in conclu­sion all remain'd fully contented and satis­fied; and the fame of Gasparino spread it self through all Italy, and many other places under the name of, The Generous Lover.

THE Libertine: A NOVEL.

THe Sun having run his due Course in a hot Summers day, the Even­ing being approach'd, an Anci­ent Gentleman, accompanied with his Wife, his Son a little Youth, a Daughter about Seventeen Years of Age, with a Maid Servant, having been taking a Walk for their Recreation upon the Banks of the River of Toledo, and were return­ing home, the Night was clear, and bright, and the Hour Eleven, the High-way large, and their Paces slow, that they might not lose, through weariness, those Pleasures which the delightful Meadows, lying by the River side, afforded them, and de­pending [Page 191] on the security, which the strict course of Justice, and the well dispos'd Humour of the People of that City war­ranted, the good old Gentleman walk'd leasurely along with his small Family, not the least surmizing of being disturbed; but far from the thoughts of having any Disaster happening to 'em. But in regard Misfor­tunes commonly approach, when least thought of, contrary wholly to his Ex­pectation, and quite beyond all imaginary Conceptions, there happen'd one, who not only disturb'd their present Recreation, but gave them great cause to weep many Years after.

There was a Gentleman of that City a­bout the Age of two and twenty, whose great Wealth, his nobleness of Blood, but chiefly his depraved Disposition, and too much assum'd Liberty, together with the loose, Extravagant Libertines, like himself, which he kept Company withal, led him to commit such Obscene Actions, as ill be­came his Person and Quality, and entituled him only to Audaciousness and Insolency: This Gentleman, ( [...] Name, for Mo­desty sake we shall conceal, and call Octavio) with four other Frolicksome young Gen­tlemen full of Jollity, were upon the top of a Hill singing to their Instruments in a [Page 192] mad merry Humour, these following Ver­ses.

How Sweet, and how Free is the Plunder,
When we care not for Jove, nor his Thunder?
When we enter a Town,
Then the Lasses go down,
And to their Overcomers lie under.
Why then should we study to Love, and look Pale,
And make long Addresses to what will grow Stale?
If her Fingers be soft, long, and slender,
When once we have made her surrender,
She will handle a Flute,
Better far than a Lute,
And make what was hard to grow tender.
Why then, &c.
If her Hair of a dark Chest nut brown is,
And her Belly as soft as the Down is,
She will fire your Heart,
In performing her Part,
With a Flame, that more hot than the Town is.
Why then, &c.
When the Houses with Flashes do glitter,
And we sever the Sweet from the Bitter;
And in that bright Night
We can take our Delight,
No Damsel shall scape but we'll hit her.
Why then should we study to Love, and look Pale,
And make long Addresses to what will grow Stale?

As the old Gentleman had reach'd the Foot of the Hill, these Libertines were co­ming down; and meeting with this harm­less Family, they in a very rough manner, Vizarding their own Faces, threw up the Veils of the Mother, Daughter, and Maid: The old Gentleman was not a little offend­ed at the Action, and reprehended them exceedingly for it; telling them, they did not understand the Rules of Civility, nor indeed good Manners, to offer any such Abuse to Ladies, which were Modest, and not for their turn.

They minded not his Discourse, but in stead of giving him a suitable Answer, they Retorted upon him with Scoffs, and Scorns, repeating, If her Hair of a dark Chest-nut Brown is, &c. and without farther Misde­meanour, went forward on their way: But the great Beauty of Almeria, which Octavio [Page 194] had seen; (for that was the Name of this Gentleman's Daughter) began to rouse his unbridled Passion in such a manner, that he resolv'd to Enjoy her, in despight of all Inconveniences that might ensue; and to that purpose, consulting with his Compa­nions, they all return'd back immediately, with an Intention, and full Resolution, to force her from her Parents: They being willing to please Octavio; for in Spain, rich Men which are lewdly and Licenciously gi­ven, shall never want those that will Cano­nize their evil Actions; and therefore in their Communication, they approved of the design, and resolved to put it in Exe­cution after this manner.

They put on their Vizards, and with their Swords drawn, they faced about, and with a swiftness of foot, presently overtook those, who were rejoycing for their late Delivery: Octavio seiz'd upon Almeria, and taking her up in his Arms, ran away with her, with all the speed imaginable, she having no strength to defend her self from this Vio­lence; for the sudden Passion that possess'd her, was so prevalent, that it took away the use of her Voice, which Fear and Amaze­ment had rendred useless; and Swooning away, she was deprived of all her Senses: Her Father made what resistance he could, [Page 195] and called out as loud as his Voice would permit him, the Mother Shriek'd, her little Brother Cry'd, and the Maid Wept, and tore her Hair; but neither their Crys nor Shrieks were heard, nor could their Tears move Compassion, for the Solitariness of the place, the late Season of Night, and the Resolute Cruelty of those D [...]bauchees that assisted their wicked Design: So that the one went away Jocund and Merry, and the other went home Sad and Pensive.

Octavio return'd home to his House, re­joycing at his Adventure; but the Parents of Almeria with great Affliction, and full of Despair, were without Sight, and destitute of all the rest of their Senses, wanting their Daughter's Eyes, which were the Light of theirs; they were very melan­choly, lacking the Sweet, and Facetious Company of Almeria; they were in Con­fusion, and Amazement, not knowing which way to steer their Course; whether they should give timely notice of their Mis­fortune to the Ministers of Justice, or else conceal it: They were loth to be the principal Instrument of publishing their own Shame, and Dishonour; nor did they know on whom to complain, but their own hard Fortune. Octavio in the mean time, being Subtil, and Crafty, brought Almeria [Page 196] home to his Father's House, who having lock'd her up in his own private Lodging, while she was yet in a Swoon; and the better to keep her ignorant of the way he had brought her, he Blindfolded her with a Handkerchief, that she could not take notice of the Streets she had pass'd through, nor of the House, or Room whereunto he had brought her.

Before Almeria had recovered her Swoon­ing, Octavio had satisfied his Lustful Passion; for the unchast violence of Youth seldom or never, respect either time, or place, but runs on headlong, whither their un­bridled Lust leads 'em, letting loose the Reins to all Licenciousness: Having the light of his understanding thus blinded, he robb'd Almeria in the dark, of the best Jewel she had; for the Sins of Sensuality reach no farther for the most part than the accomplishing and fulfilling of them: Octa­vio presently resolv'd to turn the abus'd Al­meria out of doors; and it entred into his Imagination to lay her out in the Street, being thus in a Swoon as she was; but go­ing to execute this Villainous purpose, he perceived she was newly come to her self: At what time recovering her Voice; Hea­vens defend me, (said she) where am I! What Darkness is this? What Clouds have [Page 197] compassed me about? What ails me? How comes this to pass? Then calling out for her Father, and Mother, and neither an­swering, she repeated a thousand Lamen­tations in the dark; and calling to remem­brance how she was assaulted, and forced violently from her Parents, she at last took fast hold of Octavio's Hands: If thou art such a one (she cry'd) whose Soul will ad­mit of Entreaty, I earnestly beseech thee, since thou hast thus triumph'd over my Ho­nour, gain the Victory likewise over this wretched Life; Deprive me of it, I conjure thee immediately; for it is but requisite I should lose the one, since I cannot regain the other: And consider with thy self, that the rigour of that Cruelty which thou hast exercis'd upon my Weakness, will be tem­pered and mollified by the pity thou wilt extend towards me, by taking away the Life which thou hast now made so deplo­rable and miserable.

These mournful Arguments which Alme­ria alledg'd to Octavio left him so amazed, and confused, that the horridness of the Crime seemed to make him sensible of the wrong he had committed, that he knew neither what to say or do; so that his si­lence made Almeria think at first, it might be some Apparition that was with her; but [Page 198] when she found that she touched a real Bo­dy, and calling to remembrance the vio­lence used to her walking along with her Parents, and duly weighing the great­ness of her Misfortune, with the very Thoughts thereof, she return'd anew to vent those words which her many Sighs, and Tears had before interrupted.

‘Bold Ravisher, (she cry'd) thy Actions make me judge thee to be one of no great Years; I pardon thee the Violation thou hast offered me, and forgive thee that foul Offence thou hast committed, provided thou wilt here solemnly Swear to me, that as thou hast cover'd my Ho­nour with this Darkness, so likewise that you would bury it in perpetual Silence, never to acquaint any person with it: It is but a small satisfaction, I crave at your Hands, in comparison of so great an In­jury; yet to me, (considering this per­plex'd State I am now in) it will be the greatest that I can beg of you, or you can grant me: Consider besides, That I never beheld your Face, nor ever do de­sire to see it; for though I cannot but de­seant upon the offence, yet will I endea­vour to forget the Offender: Neither will I imprint in my Memory, the Image of the Author of my Woes, but pour forth [Page 199] my Complaints between my self and Hea­ven, without desiring the World to be my Auditours, for they are not Compe­tent Judges of such Cases, as to their real effects; but are rather Commentatours to cast ill Reflections upon 'em. I must con­fess my Passion has made me guilty of Ig­norance, in uttering these Verities to you, which indeed ought to be grounded up­on the experience of more Years, than e­ver I had the honour to arrive to; yet I may make that Interpretation, that Grief and Sorrow, doth with equality, fix, and dissolve the Tongue of the Afflicted; one while amplifying the received Injury, that others may be the more induced to believe it; another while burying it in the Grave of Silence, the better to hin­der the application of Remedies: So that whether I express my self in Words, or remain silent, I flatter my self with those Perswasions, that you cannot be wanting of Motives to believe me, or of Remedies to supply me; since that Incredulity in you, would but imply Ignorance, and to afford me Relief, be an Impossibility: yet may your Charity extend so far, as to grant me some ease in this my Affliction, whereby no place may be vacant to en­tertain Despair, since the expence of it [Page 200] will amount to so little a charge: Yet flat­ter not your self with vain, or false hopes, that Time shall allay, or pacfy that just Rage, which I shall ever bear towards thee; neither make farther Attempts up­on my lost Honour, since thy Designs in that Enterprize will be wholly frustrated; for having already satisfied thy base Lust, I should think thy evil Concupiscence might be less inflam'd: Impute this your Offence to heat of Passion, committed against Reason, by Accident; and I will pro­nounce that rash Judgment upon my self, that I was not Born, and brought forth into the World, but to prove Unfortu­nate; convey me therefore presently into the Street, or at least, near unto the great Church, from which place I can take Di­rections to my own Home: Promise me, and Swear likewise, not to pursue me, or be at all inquisitive after my Habitation, Name, or Parents; for I would not have them so unhappy as to bear a share in my Misfortunes: Return me a suitable an­swer, I beseech you, to these my Re­quests. If that fear doth possess thy Spi­rits, that thy Voice should discover thy self to me, then answer me in Silence.’

[Page 201] All the answer Octavio return'd to the long Discourse of the afflicted Almeria, was no other than a kind Embracing her, as if he intended to renew the Combats of his Amorous heat; which being perceived by Almeria, she us'd that force and resistance which her tender Years render'd her capa­ble of, and defended her self with that Courage, and Resolution, using her Feet, Hands, and Teeth; then with her Tongue broke out into these following Expressi­ons.

‘Know, Cowardly Traytor as thou art, and basest of all Humane Kind, without either Fear, or Shame, who ere thou art, those Wrongs which thou hast offer'd me, thou mightest have exercised upon a Stock, or Stone; for I was bereft of ei­ther Sence, or Motion; the Conquest, and Triumph of this Nights Victory can­not but redound to thy Reproach: As for thy second Ignoble, and Filthy At­tempt, thou shalt never obtain thy un­lawful Desires, unless thou takest away my Life: Though thou robbed'st me of that precious Jewel, when surprized by a Swooning Fit, and acted thy lewdness with Pleasure, and Delight; yet know that now my Spirits are return'd to my assistance, thou shalt sooner conquer my [Page 202] Life than gain the Victory over my Ho­nour; for if I, now being able to make resistance, should yield to thy abomina­ble Lust, thou mightest then very well conjecture, and boast, that the Ecstasie I was in, was only feigned, when thou wast so audacious and insolent in the ope­rating my utter ruine and destruction.’

But in conclusion, Almeria used so strong an opposition, and made such a manful re­sistance, that the Strength, and Courage, and with it, the vigorous Desires of Octavio, were weakened; for the Insolence he had us'd to Almeria, had no other rise, than from a violent Lascivious Impetuousness; from which root never springs that true Love which is permanent; but instead of that heat of Love, there remains only Re­pentance, and a coldness of Affection to se­cond it. Octavio, then waxing some de­grees cooler, but much more weary, with­out uttering a Word, left Almeria, to her self in his Chamber, and went to hunt out for his Libertinian Companions, to consult and advice with them, which Method he should take, both for his and Almeria's sa­tisfaction, and safety.

Almeria perceiving her self alone, and fast lock'd up, arose from the Bed, and went groping about the Room with her [Page 203] Hands, to search out for a Door to get out, or a Window to leap down. She first found the Door, but lock'd too strong for her to open it; then she found out the Window, which she unhaspt, and open'd the Wooden Shutters, and by the light of the Moon that shone so clear and bright, being in its ple­nitude, she perceived the Chamber richly Hung, the Bed gilded, and all the Fur­niture very magnificent; that it seem'd ra­ther the Apartment of a Prince, than of a private Gentleman; she summ'd up the num­ber of the Chairs, which were very rich, and the Escritores, and Cabinets which were very gay and stately: She took no­tice of the Door, and the Pictures which adorn'd the Room, though she could not well discern the Figures whereby to de­scribe 'em; the Window was very large, and strongly secured with Iron Bars, a de­fence against Banditties, and Robbers, which are there very frequent: The Pro­spect before the Window was a lovely Gar­den, with a pleasant Fountain in the mid­dle, adorn'd with all that Art and Nature was capable of: Near it was a little Wil­derness, in the center whereof was a Spring, whose Water was received in a Cistern of Alablaster, which was held by the Statue of a Nimph cut in White Marble: Near un­to [Page 204] it stood a row of Orange Trees, whose Fragrant smell was very comfortable: The Walls of the Garden which enclosed it were very high; many Difficulties stood in opposition to hinder her escape, and the view that she had taken of every thing induced her to believe, that the Owner thereof must needs be some Magnifico, and not one of an ordinary Extraction: Wan­dring some time round the Apartment, at length she spyed a Table Book, richly Bound in Seals Skin, neatly over-laid with Silver, and curiously wrought, and engra­ved, with a large Silver Pin belonging to it, which lay upon a Cabinet that stood near to the Window: She took it and put it up in her Pocket, not out of any ill de­sign of Robbery; but being inspired to promote a discreet Design, which her Thoughts prompted her to: Having secu­red it, she shut the Window, leaving it as she had found it, and returned back to the Bed, expecting what kind of end such a bad beginning would produce.

To her thinking, it was not much above half an hour after, that she heard a Door open, and some person coming to her, and without so much as speaking one Word, with an Handkerchief Blindfolded her; and taking her by the Arm, took her out of the [Page 205] Room, and shut fast the Door after him. This Person was Octavio, who though he had been upon the search for his fellow Li­bertines, yet he was not altogether willing to find them, or give them the least intelli­gence of that Nights Transactions; and therefore resolv'd to acquaint 'em, that re­penting himself of that ill Act, and being mov'd with the Virgin's Tears, left her in the Mid-way: Having thus recollected himself, he return'd back with all speed, to convey Almeria, near to the Great Church, according to her own Directions: Before the Morning was approach'd too far, and to avoid the inconveniency of detaining her till the Night following; in which Interval of time, he resolved to exercise no more Vio­lence, nor give any other occasion to disco­ver himself. Having conducted her to the place appointed, he told her in a kind of broken Language, and with a counterfeit Voice, She might then go securely to her own Habitation, and that none should follow her to espy where she went; so left her to untie the Handkerchief which he had bound about her Eyes; which before she could loosen, he was got far enough out of her sight.

[Page 206] Almeria being now at Liberty, she made all the hast she could, still looking behind her, at every step she fetch'd; going to her Father's House, she found her Parents amaz'd, and astonish'd, and so far from pre­paring themselves to go to Bed, that they had not so much as entertain'd the least thought of taking any Rest: When they saw her, they ran to her with open Arms, and Embrac'd her, and indulgently recei­ved her. Tears of Joy had furnish'd their Eyes, and their Tongues could not express their Gladness, for the present, their Hearts being so transported within them: But Almeria's Heart being loaded with Passion, and overwhelm'd with Grief, besought her Parents to withdraw into a private Room, and there, in a few Words she gave them an account of what had befaln her, and her unfortunate Success, with all other Cir­cumstances belonging to it, but could not by any means discover the person that rob­bed her of her Honour: She acquainted them with all she had beheld in that Fa­mous Theatre, wherein was Acted that Woful Tragedy of her Misery; the plea­sant Garden, and Fountains, the Cabinets, the Bed, and Hangings of rich Arras; and last of all, she shewed them the fine Table Book, which she had brought from thence [Page 207] with her: She likewise told 'em, though she did not desire to come to the know­ledge of him, who was the Offender; yet if thèy thought it convenient to have him discover'd by the means of that Table Book they might do it, by causing it to be publickly proclaim'd, that he who had lost such a Table Book might have it restor'd at such a place, as the Party that lost it should appoint: So by knowing the Own­er of it, they might both know the House, and likewise this Libertine. But (Almeria's Father reply'd) your Advice, Dear Child, is very pertinent, and would take good ef­fect, were it put in Execution, if the Sub­tilty, and Craftiness of the World, now in these days, did not make any opposition: For, in all probability, such a Trifle as that may not suddenly be miss'd; but, perhaps if it should, they would set no great value on it, especially such an Owner, as you describe this Libertine to be, and when he recollects himself, that the Person which was with him in his Apartment took it a­way, he will rather desire to have it Con­ceal'd than Divulg'd.

Her Father therefore advis'd her to keep it secure, for perhaps (said he) in process of time, thou may'st have occasion to make use of it; for as it has been a Wit­ness [Page 208] of thy Dishonour, it may at last be an Evidence to procure thee Justice, and revenge that Wrong which thou hast so lately received: I tell thee, Dear Child, that the least Grain of publick Dishonour lies heavier upon us, than a ponderous weight of secret Infamy; True Dishonour consists in Sin, and true Honour in Vertue: The Powers Divine, are offended with our Sayings, Doings, and Desires; and since that thou neither in Thought, Word, or Deed, hast provok'd the Divine Ven­geance, esteem thy self Vertuous; for I shall ever have that Charity for thee, and continue to thee still a Kind, and Indulgent Father. With these Prudential Reasons, did this old Gentleman comfort up his Daughter Almeria; and her Mother Embra­cing her, confirmed what her Father had cherish'd her withal; and desired her not to let any Sorrow, or Grief disturb her Mind, for she retain'd the same Affection for her now, as she had formerly: Where­upon, she burst forth into showres of Tears, and often did abscond her self, and through Modesty's Promptitude, she betook her self to a Private, and Retired Course of Life, under the Shelter, and Protection of her Parents.

[Page 209] Octavio in this Interval, being return'd home, and sitting down in his Chamber, as he cast his Eye upon the Cabinet, he mis­sed his Table Book, but presently he ima­gin'd, the Party that he brought home might take it away with her; he made slight of it, and never made any enquiry after it: Many days before, Octavio had determined to Travel into Italy, for his Father who had been there in his Minority, perswaded him to go, instructing him, that they could not attain to true Gentility, who had not gain'd it by Experience in Travel; Octavio [...]ut on that Resolution, to be Conforma­ [...]le to the Will of his Father, whom he knew would set him forth in a good Equi­ [...]age; he gave him Bills of Exchange pay­ [...]ble at Sight, for good round Sums of Mo­ney, for all those places, whether he inten­ded; so that he, and two of his Libertinian Companions, prepared for their Journey: They had taken up three Places in the Italy Coach, to go for Rome, Genoa, and Na­ [...]; there were three Persons in the Coach, besides themselves, which had taken Places in the Coach, a Lady, a Young Gentleman, and an University Scholar. Amongst all their Discourse Octavio enqui­red what Italy afforded for the satisfaction of Gentlemen? The Stranger that was in [Page 210] the Coach, told him it was a place very Plea­sant, Ingenious, and Witty, for he had been there, and could give a very good account of it: As for the People, many of 'em were of an Effeminate Disposition, he told him, for he had heard many Stories from them, which he could relate, if it would not tire out their Patience: Octavio, and the Lady told him, he would highly oblige them, and it would prove a very Diversitive Recreation: The Gentleman informed them, that he was willing to con­tribute any Discourse to the good Compa­nies Satisfaction, and should esteem it as a great Honour, if what he was to relate, should receive their kind Acceptance; so that not to hold them any longer in Suspence, he related the first that came in his Mind, and directed himself to 'em all.

In one of the Cities of Italy, there lived a Person, a Man, of whose Nature, if one might judge by the Complexion of his Face, that he was a greater Servant to Bacchus, than to the Priests of Diana; he had Mar­ried a Woman of a large Fortune, and good Reputation, and who govern'd her Fami­ly and Children very discreetly, at which her Husband was much satisfied: One day it was told him, that his Wife was fall'n very Sick, being taken suddenly, and was [Page 211] in very great danger of ending her days; whereat [...]e appear'd as sorrowful as a Man might be, and in great Diligence made haste to her relief. He found her in that de­sperate Condition, that she stood in more need of a Priest to absolve her, than of a Physician to cure her; and therefore he ex­pressed for her the greatest Lamentation in the World; and the better to dissemble his Grief, he spoke faintly, and with a hol­low accent in the Throat, in Imitation of his dying Wife; and that Painter must be a good Artist, that could lively represent the sadness of his Looks and Counte­nance.

After that he had paid all the Services to her that possibly he could, she then de­sired that a Crucifix should be brought her; which the good Man perceiving, he cast himself on the Bed, and thinking his Wife past all hopes of recovery, he cryed out, and fal [...]ering with his Tongue, did Expo­stulate, O Heavens! What shall I do, I shall lose my poor Wife, I shall become the most wretched, and most unhappy Man in the World! With divers other Com­plaints. At the last, when he perceived there was no Body in the Room but his dying Wife, and a young Chamber-Maid, Beautiful enough, and very amiable, he [Page 212] called her softly to him, and said to her, Sweet-heart, I am ready to die my self, to see thy Mistress in this Condition; I am so over-whelmed with Grief, I know neither what to say or do, but only to recommend my self to thee, and to Desire thee to take Care of my House and Children: Here take these Keys, and look well after what I commit to your Charge, for I shall not be able to look after them any more.

The poor Girl being mov'd with Com­passion to hear him express these Words, did endeavour to comfort him what she could, and did beseech him, that he would not enter into so great a Despair; for if she must lose her Mistress, she hoped she should not lose her good Master also. He reply­ed, Sweet-heart, it is impossible, for I find my self to be a dying Man, and not for this World, See how the cold Sweat stands up­on my Brow; put your Cheek unto mine, and your Lip unto my Lip; and speaking these Words, he forc'd his Hand into her Breast, whereat the Maid seem'd very Coy▪ but he desired her to let all Fears vanish, for if she had any hopes of his Recovery, she must approach nearer to him, and with those Words, he took her in his Arms, and threw her on the Bed. His Wife who had not spoken in two days before, did with [Page 213] her weak Voice, begin to cry out as loud as possible she could, Ah, ha! what are you a doing? I am not as yet Dead; and threatning them with her hand! O you wick­ed Creatures! I am alive still, and hope I shall not die yet.

Her Husband and the Chamber-maid hearing her Voice, did immediately rise; but she was so extreamly incensed against them, that her Anger consum'd all the moist­ure of her Catarrh, which was the load she was perplex'd withal before, & caus'd her to r [...]ttle in the Throat, and could not utter so much as one Word; but now she gave them all the Opprobrious Language she could imagine. And from that Minute she began to recover, and perpetually did reproach her Husband, for making so much of his Chamber-maid.

Having ended his Story, the Gentleman appl [...]ed himself to the Lady, Madam (said he) you may see the Hypocrisie of Men, that for a little pleasure, they forget all the Sorrows and Pains their poor Wives en­dure; but we must have so much Charity for him as to believe he thought it the on­ly. Remedy for her Recovery; for seeing all his Kindness and Affection could not raise her out of that languishing Condition, [Page 214] he was resolv'd to try this Experiment, which indeed proved a Catholicon. In­deed Sir, (replyed the Lady) I can't blame you for harbouring so much Charity for your own Sex; but had it been my Case, I should not have rise only out of my Bed, but out of my Grave also, to be revenged on such a Husband. What wrong (reply­ed the Gentleman) Madam did he do to comfort himself a little after he thought she was Dead; for I hope there is none of the Company here Ignorant, that the Bonds of Matrimony continue no longer than Life, and then the Knot is untyed. But how unty'd, (said the Lady?) 'Tis true, the Obligation of the Oath is of no effect any more; but a good Husband, would al­ways preserve the Obligation of Love; he had soon laid aside his Mourning, who could not have Patience, till Death had put a period to her Life.

By this time they were well forward on their Journey, and the Gentleman told them, he could relate to them a Story which was contrary to this, wherein the Woman was very Diligent to create a Kindness from him. After they had all re­turn'd their thanks, they earnestly intreat­ed him to furnish them with what he was pleas'd to relate: whereupon he proceeded as followeth.

[Page 215] In Spain there liv'd an A pothecary, whose Name I shall conceal, who had espoused a Vertuous Woman, a good House-wife, and Beautiful enough to give him content. But as he tasted of divers Druggs, so he did often times of divers Women, the better to enable himself to Discourse of all Com­plexions; whereat his Wife was so much tormented, that she lost all Patience; for he made slight of her, and lov'd her not so well, as she expected. One day this Apothe­cary being in the Shop, and his Wife near at hand, where she concealed her self, the better to listen to his Discourse, there came to him one of his Gossips, a Woman of the City, and troubled with the same Disease his Wife was, and sighing to the A­pothecary, O dear Sir! she said, I am the most fortunate Woman in the World: For I Love my Husband as well as I love my self, and perform whatever Obedience, or Du­ty binds me to to him; but all my Labour is but lost, for he loves the most wicked, the most deform'd, and the most nasty Slut in all the Town, better than he Loves me. I would therefore intreat you, good Neigh­bour, if you have in your Shop, any Drug that may serve to change his Complexion, that you would let me have it; for I am not well used by him; and I assure you, [Page 216] I will give you what ever it shall cost me.

The Apothecary having a great desire to Pleasure his Customer, said to her, that he had a Powder, which if she put it in something either boyled or roasted, and gave it to her Husband, it would make him give her the best and fullest Content­ment in the World; the Woman being ve­ry earnest to see that Miracle, desired to know what it was; he represented to her that it was only the Powder of Cantha­rides, of which he had great store in his Shop; and before she went away, she constrain'd him to prepare and weigh out some of that Powder for her; and she took with her so much as he knew would serve to do the Business; for which she afterwards pay'd him, and gave him many hearty thanks; her Husband being a strong bodied Man, and not taking too much of it, felt no great Alteration in himself, but she found the good effects of it.

The Wife of the Apothecary, under­standing all this Discourse, did think with her self, that she stood altogether in as much need of the receipt as her Compani­on. And observing the place, where her Husband did put the remainder of the Powder that was left, she resolv'd to make [Page 217] use of it her self, the first opportunity she could find; which within three or four days after wards she did, her Husband de­ [...]ng her to make him some good Pottage, (for he was troubled with a great cold in his Stomach.) She told him that something [...]ed would do better, and be more pro­fitable. wherefore he commanded her to go presently to the Market, and to buy some what to roast, and to take Cinnamon and Sugar out of the Shop to put in the Sauce: which she did accordingly, and did not forget the rest of the Powder, which he had given before part of it to her Companion; she put it in, without regard either of Weight or Measure. Her Husband eat heartily of the Meat she had prepar'd, and lik'd it very well, and not long afterwards found the Heat and Effects of it, which he thought to qualifie with his Wife, which was impossible for him to do, for the Heat within him, and the Insti­gation, was so extraordinary, that he did not know on which side to turn him. Whereupon he perswaded his Wife she had poyson'd him, and was very importunate to know of her what she had mixed with his Meat; she confessed the truth unto him, and withal assur'd him, that she had as much Occasion of that Receipt, as the [Page 218] Woman whom he prescrib'd it to for her Husband.

The poor Apothecary could not use any rigour to her, for the wrong she had done him, being at that time in so great an Extremity, but commanded her to go out of his sight, and send for his Brother Apothecary, in the same City, to desire him to take that Trouble upon him to give him a Visit, who administred to him all the cooling things that were effectual for his Recovery. In a short time he was well amended, and his Brother Apothecary did reprehend him very sharply for his rash­ness, that he should be guilty of so much folly, as to advise another to take those Drugs, which he would not make use of himself; and that the good Woman his Wife, had done no more, than what she ought to do, to procure to her self that Love from him, which she so much desir'd. At length, the poor Man was forced to overcome his folly with Patience, and to acknowledge it was but just to make that Ridiculous Experiment fall upon himself which he had prepared for ano­ther.

Now Madam, (said the Gentleman) in my opinion the Love of this Woman, was as indiscreet as it was great. Do you call [Page 219] that Love, Sir, to her Husband (reply'd the Lady) to make him suffer so much tor­ment, in a fond hope that she might re­ceive some pleasure from him? I do be­lieve Madam, (said the Gentleman) that she had no other intention than to recover her Husband's love, which she conceived, if not to be altogether lost, yet certainly to be gone astray; for to obtain so great a blessing, a Woman ought to leave no­thing undone to accomplish it; the Lady told him she thought it her Judgment, that no Woman ought to give her Hus­band any thing either to eat or drink, without advice from others or her own Ex­perience, whether it may prove hurtful; but ignorance ought to be excus'd, in re­gard it was a Woman, that was blinded with the passion of Love, and are allowed to be weaker Vessels; they all laugh'd heartily at the Repartees between 'em, and returned the Gentleman many thanks for his diverting of them; and now being ar­riv'd at their Journeys end, for that Stage, they allighted, and call'd for a Dinner, where we will now leave 'em, and return to Almeria.

Octavio had no resentments of what had past betwixt himself and Almeria but appear'd very Jocund and Merry, while she [Page 220] in the interim led a sedentary Life in the House of her Parents, with all possible re­tiredness, not permitting any person to vi­sit her, least any discovery should be made of her misfortunes; in this Solitari­ness within a few Months, she perceived, that she was oblig'd to confine her self, and to be obscure from all Eyes, except those which were continually with her. She saw it was convenient to live Cloyster­ed up, finding to her sorrow, her un­happy condition, in having an Infant, without any Husband, a misfortune which occasion'd those many Tears, which were before a little mitigated, but now sprung forth a fresh like running Fountains; those Sighs which for a while remain'd calm and quiet, rise again like fierce and tempestuous winds that blow against each other; her Mother us'd all the diligence, that her Maternal care could furnish her with to al­lay the violence of her passion, but all her gentle perswasions could not afford her sor­rows any relief.

Time fled away with a swift Wing, and the time of her Delivery was come; which was carry'd with that Secrecy, that she would not intrust any Midwife; but her Mother taking that Office upon her, soon performed it, and brought into the World, a little [Page 221] young Son, one of the loveliest and beau­tifullest Babes that Nature could produce; which as it was born with wariness and se­crecy, so it was conveyed with the like Circumspection to a Country Village, where he continued four years; at the end whereof under the denomination of Ne­phew, his Grand-father brought him home to his own house, where he was bred up very well, in that which his Minority ren­dr'd him capable of; Nicola (for so was the Child call'd) was of a fair Complexion, a delightful Countenance, and a sweet dis­position together with a quick Wit, that in all those Actions which he performed, in that tender age, he gave apparent de­monstrations, that his Extraction was of noble parentag [...]; so that his Wit, Beauty, and pretty Behaviour, Created so great an affection in his Grand-father and Grand-mother, that they esteem'd their Daugh­ters misfortune, to be a happiness; she having furnished them with such a Grand-child. As he went through the Streets, some praised his Beauty, others bless'd the Mother that bare him, some the Father that begat, and others those that had brought him up, and had bestow­ed upon him such good Education. With this applause of those that knew him and [Page 222] of those which were Strangers, the Child grew to be seven years of Age; in which time he had learn'd to read Spanish and Latin, and to write a very good hand; and made so great improvement at his years, that he was the admiration of all his instructours.

Now it happen'd one day that the Child was sent to visit a Kinswoman of his Grand-mothers, and it was his chance to pass through a Street where some Gentlemen were running Careers with their Horses, which the Child staying to look upon, and for his better conveniency of seeing them, ran cross the Street, from one side to the other, just in such an ill Con­juncture of time, that he could not avoid a Horses running over him; whose rider with all the strength he had, was not a­ble to stop in the Fury of his Career, so that he left him sprawling on the Ground for dead, much Blood issuing out of his Mouth.

This sad mischance had scarce happened, when an Ancient Gentleman, who was be­holding the Career, with extraordinary agility leapt from his Horse, and taking the Child out of the Arms of him that held him, into his own, neither considering his own Grey-hairs, nor regarding his Au­thority, which was great, he hastned home [Page 223] to his own House, and sent his Servants immediately for a Chirurgeon; many Gentlemen followed him grieving and la­menting at the sad accident that had be­faln so sweet and fair a Child. The ill news presently was dispers'd abroad, that the Child which had received the harm, was Nicola, the Nephew of such a Gentle­man, naming his Grand-father; this re­port went from one to another till it reach­ed at last the Ears of his Grand-father and Grand-mother, and his disconsolate retired Mother Almeria; who being fully and tru­ly inform'd of this unhappy Accident, ran immediately out of Doors, in great distracti­on, so see what was become of their only Darling.

They quickly understood, the Gentle­man that took care of him, was well known to be a person of great Quality in the City; therefore flying thither in a hurry betwixt love and fear, they arrived at the Gentlemans house, just at that instant when the Child was under the Chirurgeon's hands. The Gentleman and his Wife, who were the owners of the House, entreated those whom they supposed to be the Childs Parents, not to weep, which would do the Child no good but prejudice. They began to be a little chearful when the Chirurge­on, [Page 224] who was one Famous for his skill, hav­ing dressed him, inform'd 'em that the wound was not so Mortal, as at first he imagin'd it to have been.

When Nicola was dress'd and laid to sleep, his Grand-father began to give the Master of the house thanks, for the great Care and Charity he had extended towards his Nephew; to which the Gentleman reply'd that he had no occasion to thank him; intimating to him that when the child fell, he perceived somuch of his Son's Physiognomy in the Face of the Child, that it mov'd him to pity and Compassi­on, to take care for that which represented one that he lov'd so tenderly; moreover he told him he should be kindly entertain'd in his House till the Chirurgeon had fully compleated the Cure, and that he should not want whatever his house could afford him, that was needful and necessary for him; his Wife, who was a fine, noble and well accomplish'd Lady, repeated many words to the same effect, somewhat more enlarging and endearing her promises.

The Grand-father and Grand-mother of the Child did much admire at this their wonderful Charity and Love, but the Mo­ther much more, for her mournful Spirit being in some measure Comforted by the [Page 225] Chirurg [...]s reviving words, she diligent­ly observed the Lòdg [...]g where her Son lay, and by manifest signs and tokens clearly perceiv'd that it was the Room, which put a period to her Honour, and a beginning to her misfortunes. And tho it were not now so richly furnished as then it was, yet she remember'd the Figure and Form of it; she viewed the Windows which were strongly fortified, which looked into the Garden; but that which with the greatest Curiosity she observ'd, was the Bed, which gave her that assurance, that it was the same, which prov'd a Tomb to her Virginity, and moreover that the same Cabinet whereon lay the Table Book which she carryed away with her, remain­ed still [...]oved from that place where she left it; and lastly the number of the Stairs certified he [...] to be in the right by reason she had retained the account of them in her Memory, ever since she was led blind­folded out of the House into the Street.

When she return'd home, she gave a large account to her Mother of these pas­sages, who like a discreet Woman, inform­ed her self whether this Gentleman where her Neph [...]w lay, had any Son, or no? And she found that he, whom the Story calls Oct [...]io, was his Son, and at that time [Page 226] in Italy; and so summing up the time, that he had bin absent from Spain, they saw that it agreed with the age of the Child; the Grand-mother gave notice of all this to her Husband, and betwixt them two and Almeria their Daughter, they agreed to wait with Expectation, to see how the di­vine powers would be pleased to dispose of the Child, who within Fifteen days was out of danger of his received hurt, and at the end of thirty, was upon his Feet, and of ability to walk up and down the Chamber; in all which time, he was vi­sited by his Mother and Grand-mother, and was as indulgently made much of by the Gentleman and his Wife, the owners of the House, as if he had been their one Child.

Moreover, Dona Traciana (for so was the Gentleman's Wife call'd) Discour­sing with Almeria, told her this Child so much resembled a Son of her's who was in Italy, that she never looked upon him, but he put her in mind continually of him, that he was always harbour'd in her Thoughts; from which Words of hers, Almeria taking upon Occasion an opportu­nity, when she was alone, which in a little time after offer'd it self; Madam (said she) the day that my Parents heard of that sad Disaster their Nephew receiv'd, their credu­lity [Page 227] advanc'd to that pitch, they verily imagin'd that the Divinity had wholly ex­cluded them, and that all the orbicular Crosses had attended them; they conceiv'd that they had lost the light of their Eyes, whom they lov'd so dearly, and in such an extraordinary Passion of Love that by ma­ny degrees it exceeds that which Parents commonly bear to their own Children; but (as we usual say) that when Heaven decrees the Wound, it likewise prescribes for it a remedy. This Child has now tryed that Experiment, and hath found the Ex­pedient in this House; and I my self can recollect my Memory, to inform me of some Transactions which I shall never cease to forget the longest day I have to live, and the last hour that I retain my Senses. I must now acquaint you, (Dear Madam) I am not of Ignoble Extraction, by reason my Parentage proves it to the contrary, and so have been all my Ancestors, whose Progeny with a meaner benevolence of Fortune have still happily supported their Honour and Reputation wheresoever they inhabit, being our selves, though faln from their pristine Glory.

Dona Traciana was strucken both with wonder and suspence at Almeria's discourse, considering how feelingly her words came [Page 228] from her, and could not give Credit, though she was witness of it, that so much discre­tion could be Comprehended in so few years, not judging her to be above Twenty years of Age; so that without replying so much as one word, she stood expecting to hear what she would further express her self in, which was at length sufficient e­nough, to inform her of her Sons Lascivi­ousness, and Wantonness, and of her own dishonour, in the violation of her Virgini­ty, of his hurrying of her away by force and violence, of his tying a handkerchief over her eyes, and of his bringing her to that very room wherein she now was, and giving her many demonstrations, and signal tokens, whereby she certainly knew that it was the same Chamber, which so strongly confirm'd her suspicion; and furthermore, the better to confirm what she had related for truth, she pull'd out of her Pocket the Silver Table Book, which she had taken from off the top of the Cabinet: then she proceeded in this manner.

Madam, I hope the divine Powers, who were Eye-witnesses of the wrong which was offered to me, will in their due time revenge my cause, and afford me that relief and re­paration of my Honour, as in due satisfa­ction and right I may claim that interest, [Page 229] from the top of that Cabinet I took this Table Book, to reserve as a Mirror only to put me in mind of the injury I received, but not to imprecate a revenge for my misfortunes; only Madam, I beg of you to exercise your Charity towards me, by assisting me with your comfortable and pru­dent Councel, whereby I may the better be enabled to bear this my injured innocence with strength and patience, this Child (Madam) on whom you have extended the utmost of your Charity, may without a­ny imposturous design claim an alliance to you, it being the off spring of your own Son; and for the disaster which befell it, it was Heaven's decree it should be so order­ed, that by his being received into your House, his Mother might hope to find some redress in this her Calamity, if not the Remedy, which is most Convenient for the Curing of her misfortunes, yet at least the means in some measure to support and refresh her fainting Spirits.

Having said this, she fainted away in Dona Traciana's Arms, who like a noble Lady, in whom compassion and pity, flowed like a mighty stream, had scarce perceiv'd Almeria to faint, but she joyn'd her Cheeks to hers, bestowing so many Tears upon 'em, that there was no occasion [Page 230] of springling any Water on her Face to revive her; while they both thus remain'd in this kind of ecstasie, it was Dona Traci­ana's Husbands Fortune to enter into the Room, leading Nicola in his Hand, who beholding Traciana Weep and Almeria, lying in a Swoun by her, he was amazed, and with great earnestness hastily enquired into the occasson of such a Scene of astonishment. The Child Nicola imbrac­ed his Mother, as his Cozen, and his Grand-mother, as his Benefactress; and he like­wise asked the occasion of their Weeping. Great and Strange Transactions I have to relate to you, reply'd Traciana to her Hus­band; the ultimate of it is, I can assure you, this Lady, which remains in this ecstasie, is your Daughter, and this loving Boy, your Grand-Child; this truth which I in­form you of, was related to me by this young Lady, and the Physiognomy of this young-Child confirms it; having often both of us beheld in his Countenance the Lineaments of our own Son: If you give me intelligence of no more than this, Wife, (reply'd her Husband) I do not understand your meaning.

By this time Almeria had recovered her self, she lift up her Head, holding fast the Silver Table Book in her Hand, and seem­ed [Page 231] to be like Niobe turn'd into a Sea of Tears, all which put the Gentleman into a greater Confusion and Amazement than he was before, till Traciana had freed him from his surprize, by informing him what Alme­ria had imparted to her; so that at length he was as fully convinced, as if the whole had been proved, and attested by many substantial and credible witnesses; there­upon he comforted and imbraced Almeria, and kissed his Grand-child Nicola; and the same day dispatch'd a Post to Italy, requir­ing the immediate return of his Son home with all speed, intimating to him that he had concluded a Marriage for him, one that was Rich, Fair, and Beautiful; and such a Lady as was most proper and convenient for him, and very agreable and suitable to his Condition, Person, and Quality; nor would they by any means permit Almeria, or consent, that either she or her Child should return back to her Fathers house, who were indeed beyond measure satisfied with the News of this good Success of their Daugh­ter and only Child Almeria. They return'd very often infinite thanks to the divine Powers of granting them this opportuni­ty in receiving so seasonable and happy a redress.

[Page 232] Nor was it long ere the Post hasted speedily from Naples, and Octavio out of an eager, and fervent desire to enjoy so fair a Wife, with all those Accomplishments as his Father had represented to him; within two days after the receipt of his Father's Letters, occasion of passage being offer'd unto him for his return into Spain, taking hold of that opportunity he embark'd him­self, with two of his Libertinian Compani­ons, who had never left him; and with a prosperous Gale of Wind, in twelve days he safely arriv'd at Barcelona, and from thence (furnishing himself with good Post-Horses) in seven more he came to Toledo, and entred into his Father's House in such a brave, and gallant Equipage as did ex­ceed many in that Country; his Parents re­joyced in great Measure to see him, after so long an Abscence, and he was no less glad to find 'em in good health, after so long and tedious a Voyage and Journey.

Almeria, who kept himself in Obscurity, yet from a private Window had a full view, and prospect of him, that she might not transgress the Directions dictated to her by Traciana; she entred into a great Consternation with her self, being dubi­ous what Effects this business would pro­duce. Octavio's fellow Libertines were ve­ry [Page 233] willing, and defirous to return presently home to their respective Houses; but Tra­ciana would by no means permit 'em, they being in some measure to be instrumental in effecting of her design. The Evening was near approaching when Octavio arriv'd, and in the Interim of time that Supper was a providing, Traciana watch'd an oppor­tunity, to discourse with her Sons two Com­panions, alone by her self; for it entred into her thoughts, that these must needs be two of those three, whom Almeria inform'd her of, which accompanied her Son Octavio that Night when he carry'd her away; and with great, and earnest Intreaties she be­sought them to oblige her so far, and to give her that intelligence, Whether they did not remember, that her Son on such a Night, so many Years since, had carry'd away (by Violence) such a Virgin? For to be certain of the Verity of that Nights Transaction, so much concerned her, that upon it depended the Honour and Peace, not only of his Parents, but the whole Af­finity of Kindred.

This she requir'd with so many Endear­ments, engaging her self solemnly to them, that the Discovery of it should be no ways prejudicial, but should remain in her Breast as great a Secret, as though it never had [Page 234] been reveal'd. They were not a little sur­priz'd at her Words, and acquainted her that it was not customary for Associates to declare each others Proceedings, or make any Discovery likewise of their Frolicks: But seeing she was so urgent, and they ig­norant of the Emergency of the occasion, they thought fit to declare what their Me­mory could recollect; and were it not in so weighty a Cause, as she is pleas'd to ex­press her self, they were liable to be brand­ed for Betrayers of Secrets.

Then they acquainted her, that what she desir'd to be inform'd of, was of a cer­tain truth, that them two, and another of Octavio's Friends were upon the Ramble one Night, in the Summer time, with a Resolution to Debauch some young Vir­gin, the next that opportunely offer'd for their purpose; and they did not know but that it might be the same Night, which she had nominated to them: At last they met with their Prize, which was a Young La­dy, walking to take the Pleasure of the Evening, accompanied by her Father, Mo­ther, and Attendants; her they Assaulted, and Octavio took her up in his Arms, and posted away with her, whilst the other three detained the rest of the Company, that they might not obstruct his Enterprize, [Page 235] nor any ways rescue her from his intended Proceedings. The next day following, Octavio inform'd them, that he convey'd her to his Lodging: What farther Progress he made, they were not acquainted with, neither were they so inquisitive, as to press him to any other Confession, more than what his own Voluntary Inclination promp­ted him to. This being all which they could relate, they hoped, if it gave her sa­tisfaction, they had discharg'd their Duty, in Obedience to her Commands.

This Confession of theirs, was the Key which unlock'd the Door to all the Doubts and Scruples, which in such Cases offer themselves: And therefore, she put on that Resolution, to go on with the Design she had contriv'd, and to bring the Issue of it to a happy Conclusion: To effect it the better, a little before they went to Supper, Octavio's Mother went apart with her Son into another Chamber, and pulling a small Picture out of her Pocket very well drawn by a Curious Artist, put it into his Hands, saying withal, Son Octavio, I intend this Night to make you very welcome, and your Friends, with a very good Supper, and to entertain you with a very Pleasant, and Savory Dish, and for your Diversion, to propose to you a Bride; this is her true [Page 236] Effigies; but withal, I must tell you, that you may consider the better upon it, what Nature, by her Defects, has been wanting to her Beauty, is superabundantly supplied to her in Vertues and Graces. She is No­ble, Discreet, Worthy, and indifferently Rich; and since your Father, and my self have made choice of her for you, I hope you will place the greater esteem on her, and not be guilty of disobedience by your Refusal; for I can assure you, she is such an one, as is most proper, and worthy my Recommendation.

Octavio beheld the Picture with a search­ing, and judicious Eye; and after he had done viewing of it, If Painter's (said he) who commonly are us'd to be prodigal of their bestowing Beauty on those Faces which they deleneate, have been busie with Flattery in this Copy, I dare be confident to say, and may very well give Credit to it, that the Original must of necessity be made when Nature was in hast; and instead of perfe­ction, has made use of nothing but surpri­zing Deformity. In truth, Madam, it is but just, that Children should obey their Parents in all their lawful Commands; but withal, it is likewise requisite, and neces­sary, that Parents should in some measure condescend to what is most agreeable, and s [...]itable to their Childrens Dispositions; [Page 237] for since the Bonds of Matrimony are not to be loosed, but by each other's departure from this Life; nor the Cord, which, like the Gordian Knot, be untied, but by the cold Hand of Death; it were con­venient, and much to be desired of every Person, to have Wove in this Knot, where there is Nobleness, Vertue, Discretion, and Riches, to mix Beauty with it in stead of Deformity, which would make a com­pleat Composure, and make a more plea­sant Mansion for Love to seat it self. In­deed, Madam, in obedience to my Father's Commands, and yours, I can perform my Duty by my Acceptance; and should all those Gifts, and Graces, which you are pleas'd to mention, meet in a happy Union; yet if the Physiognomy is not attractive, it will rather extinguish the flame of Love, than kindle the Affections.

For if Beauty, and good Features be wanting, Matrimony will soon halt, and become lame, and contradict Love which is its second Intention: Therefore, Dear Madam, as you are my Mother, by the Decrees of Heaven, I humbly beseech and beg of you, that you would not let your Maternal care be wanting, in granting me an Object that may create an Affection, and not smother it; for Married Lives are of­ten accompanied with many Misfortunes, [Page 238] and Inconveniences which may usurp, and disturb their Quiet; and should De­formity then appear, all the little Pleasure, and Delight, which Mankind would enjoy, must immediately Vanish. If this Lady be Noble, Discreet, and Rich, she cannot want a Husband, that may happily be of a far more different temper than my self, and more suitable to her Humour, and Dispo­sition; for some seek after Honour, others Riches, others Wisdom, and some for Beauty, of which last property I am one of that number: As for Honour, and Riches, thanks to the Gods, my Ancestors, and Pa­rents, have furnish'd me with a good Com­petency of them, and it is only Beauty that can compleat my Felicity; one of a good Aspect, Brown Complexion, and well featu­red, and one on whom Nature has bestow'd some Pains, and Care in the Task she un­dertook: Such a one (Madam) I could freelier enjoy without Honour, or Wealth, than espouse those two chief Idols, which the World adores, than to let Beauty, and an entire Affection be wanting.

His Mother was very well satisfied with his earnest Motives, and strong convincing Arguments, which indeed carried on her Designs the better, and told him, since he was so much averse to the Match she had [Page 239] proposed, she would endeavour to pro­cure such a Marriage for him, as should be answerable to his Desire, and desir'd that what she had said might not prove a tor­ment to him, it being so easie to find out a Remedy, and disanul the former Con­tract and Agreement. Octavio rendred her many thanks for her Care, and the hour of Supper being come, they immediately pre­pared to sit down; at what time the Father and Mother, Octavio, and his two Friends, being already set at the Table, Traciana, after a Careless manner, as if her Memory had failed her, Bless me, quoth she! sure my mind is intoxicated, to place my self before all my Guests are seated? and one of my own Sex wanting, to whom I ought to be more obliging! go immediately, and desire Almeria to come and honour my Table, and to lay aside all Excuses, for here are none but Friends with me; thus far was her Designs carried on, and Alme­ria had receiv'd before of her, Instructions; a little space after, Almeria, with her Son in her Hand entred the Room, presenting on a suddain in her Person, all the Splen­dor and Beauty, that either Art or Nature could Contribute; she was very Rich atti­red, adorn'd with Pearls and Diamonds, on her Head a Coronet of Ribbands, Tufts [Page 240] of Feathers intermixed with Rubies, and other precious Stones which were interwo­ven, with them. They cast so great a Lustre that she dazl'd the Eyes of all that beheld her.

Almeria was of a Facetious Disposition, an affable Temper, and of a quick and lively Apprehension; two Maid Servants led the way, with two Wax Tapers in Sil­ver Candlesticks; when they beheld so rare a Master-piece of Nature, the more they look'd the more they were astonish'd, and all rose up to pay their Obedience, as if she had been some Deity sent from above. Almeria, with a pleasant Deportment, and a serene Carriage, Gracefully saluted, with Modesty, the whole Company, and Tracia­na taking her by the Hand, placed her by her; the Youth Nicola, was seated by his Grand-father. Octavio was strangely sur­priz'd at her transcendent Beauty, that he was even charm'd into a kind of Rapture; which gave Admittance to Almeria's Per­fections, to take Possession of his Soul; he often contemplated with himself, that had that been a fair Copy, which his Mother shewed him, of so blest an Original as Al­meria produced, he had been the most hap­py Man in the World. Nor did Alme­ria's Eyes, less discover her Passion than [Page 241] Octavio's, her Heart was so inflam'd, with Loves powerful Darts, perceiving him so near who had conquer'd her Affections, that she was even ravish'd at his presence. Sometimes she would re-call to mind what had formerly pass'd between her and Octa­vio, and then those hopes began to vanish which his Mother had given her of his being her Husband; being Timorous that the narrowness of her Fortune, would not be efficient to his Mothers Promises. She ponderously consider'd with her self, how near she was of being happy, or unhappy for ever. And so intense was this Conside­ration, and such the Violence and Strength of her Conceptions and Imaginations, that it infused such Perturbations upon her Heart, and on all her Vital Spirits, that she began to change her Complexion, and to look pale and wa [...] in an Instant; and presently fainted away; and in this Trance she fell into Traciana's Arms.

Upon this, they all rose from the Ta­ble, being so surpriz'd, and astonish'd with this so suddain Passion. They immediate­ly Address'd themselves to procure means for her Recovery out of this languishing Condition. But he who gave most De­monstrations of his Grief, was Octavio, who being in so extraordinary a Passion him­self, [Page 242] for meer hast received two falls upon the Ground; but neither the cutting her Laces of her Gown, nor sprinkling Water in her Face availed any thing, to bring her again to her Senses; but the Rising and Pa [...]pation of her Breast, and the faint bearing of her Pulse, discovered great symptoms of her approaching Death. So that all were in so great a Consternation, and over-whelm'd with Grief, that they were even [...]it for nothing but to entertain Despair. The Servants of the House more Passionate than Prudent, made loud and dolefu [...]l out cries that Death had seiz'd her, and that she was a dead Woman. They were altogether in so much Disorder, and Amazement, that they knew not what Methods to take, or Remedies to apply. Octavio [...]ag'd and storm'd like one that was Lun [...]tick, till his Mother Traciana endea­vour'd to chear up his Spirits, by telling him, (what indeed she was not certain of) there was hope of Life.

This sorrowful News, attended with such woful Lamentations, arriv'd, and soon gave the Alarm to the Ears of Almeria's Parents; whom for a more pleasing Occa­sional Scene, Traciana had kept close and Secret; till she found a fit opportunity, to make publick this her private Design. [Page 243] Now without Orders being given them by Traciana, Almeria's Parents hastily rush'd into the Room, where they were; but whereas they imagin'd to have found but one in a Swoon, contrary to their Expecta­tion, they perceiv'd two. For Octavio was become a Sympathizer, in the same Condition with Almeria, his Face leaning on Almeria's Breast, with a Countenance equalizing Death it self. His Mother not presently perceiving his Complexion, as she did the posture he was in, permitted him that Liberty, and was very willing he should be so near her, she being the just and only proper Object of his Love; but when she beheld her Son was likewise Mo­tionless, and lay prostrate for Dead, she was in a manner bereaved of her Senses, and had been overcome with Passion, had she not immediately perceived him Breath; Octavio having recovered himself, was not much out of Countenance, for having been seen in such an Extasie, since it proceeded from such a suddain Passion, as common­ly the Effects of Love produces.

But his Mother, as one that prophetical­ly knew her Sons Thoughts, address'd her self to him after this manner, Dear Octavio (said she) ne'ne let these transports trou­ble thee, for they are Natural, and it is [Page 244] usual for Lovers to be inclin'd to them; I am sorry I have concealed that from thee so long, but it was only out of a Design of a better opportunity; my Intention is now to put thee out of all suspence, and to declare to you the true purport of this Affair. You must know, dear Octavio, that this young Lady which lies there in­tranc'd, your Father and my Self have made choice of for your Wife; and that Picture which I shewed you, was only a Counterfeit; I hope you will have no Cause to repent of this our Care, but thank Heav'n, and us, for so happy a Union.

Octavio, at his Mothers Words, was tran­sported with his Amorous Passion, and inflam'd Desire; and the Name of Hus­band remov'd all those Obstacles, which the Respect and Decency of the place, seem'd to oppose to his Affection; he instantly ran to Almeria, and laying his Face close to hers, remain'd as one expecting his Soul should breath its last, and either to bring hers back again, or leave his with hers for ever.

But at length, when all their Expectati­ons were almost at a period, and that their Cries and Lamentations had almost weari­ed Grief it self. Almeria came again to [Page 245] her self; and with her returning to Life, return'd that pleasing Joy and Content, which for a time had absented it self from the Hearts of those that were about her. Opening her Eyes, she found her self fast in Octavio's Embraces, from whence by a Modest force, she sought to unloose her self. But he unwilling to let her go, told her it was not requisite she should depart his Arms, who held her already so fast in his Soul. With which kind Words, Almeria perfectly recovering her Strength, Tracia­na order'd the Priest forthwith to make an end of the Matrimonial Ceremony.

Which being now fully concluded, I leave it to some choicer Pen, to sum up the general rejoicing of all that were present; the Embraces and Congratulation which Almeria's Parents gave Octavio; the thanks which they return'd Heav'n, and to his Pa­rents; the Admiration and Wonder of Octavio's Friends and Companions, who so unexpectedly were Eye-Witnesses the same Night of their Arrival, of beholding so fair a Match concluded; and their greater wonder, when they knew by Traciana's Discourse, that Almeria was the Virgin, which her Son had violently carried away, that Night when they were in his Com­pany.

[Page 246] Octavio, not being willing to remain in Suspence, but for his better Certification, he entreated Almeria, that she would ac­quaint him with some Proceedings, where­by he might render himself, the more capa­ble of an Acknowledgment of his Crime, since he was no ways dubious of the verity of it, because his Parents had so well ap­proved of his choice. Whereunto Almeria reply'd, when I returned (Sir) out of that fainting fit I was in, I found my self in your Arms, bereaved of my Honour; but I think it now well bestow'd, since in this my latter Recovery, I find my self in the same Arms I did then, but with much more Honour and Reputation: and if this signal token be not proof sufficient, let the Table Book be an Evidence, which none could take from you but my self, which you could not chose but miss next Morn­ing; and if that be the very same which your Mother hath now in her Custody, you are the Image of my Soul which I high­ly. Esteem and Adore, and you shall ever remain still nearest and dearest to me, as long as Heaven shall permit us to live toge­ther. Then embracing her a new, ite­rating their Kisses over and over, they sa­luted all the Company there with them; they having now a little respite of time, [Page 247] Octavio's Father enquired of him concern­ing his Travels, how he had improved his time, and what Diversion he had met withal.

Whereupon, Octavio reply'd, he was ve­ry well received, and met with very face­tious Company; and that in the return of his Journey, they were much diverted with pleasant Stories. Supper being not yet rea­dy, Octavio desir'd his Friend Gregorius to furnish the Company with one of them. Gregorius willing to oblige them, told them any service they were pleas'd to command him, he was very ready to obey; whereupon he began:

There was a Gentleman in Italy, (whose Name I shall conceal,) and name Gallipus, who afterwards for rare Endowments was pre­ferred to Honour, and was highly esteem­ed by most Persons: he was often invited to Banquets where several Ladies met. One day being in a Mask, he led in the Dance one of the most Brave and Beautiful La­dies that was in that City; when the Mu­sick ceased, he always entertain'd her with a Discourse of Love, which was his chief Delight, but she would return him no an­swer; but oftentimes to interrupt his Dis­course, and to give a stop to his Desires, she would assure him, that she neither did, [Page 248] norever would Love any but her Husband, and would by no means seem to Counte­nance him. At this answer, the refused Gentleman would not desist, but vigorously prosecuted his Suit for some time.

But for all his Endeavours, he found her stedfast in her Resolutions, neither to love him, nor any else, which he could hardly believe, seeing the hard Favour, and course Deportment of her Husband, and the Ex­cellent Beauty of her self; he determin'd therefore with himself, since she used Dis­simulation, to practise the same Art him­self, and from that hour did forbear his Courtship, and so narrowly enquired after her Conversation, that he found at last she lov'd a Gentleman in the same City, who was Young, Handsome, and well Educated. Gallipus by Degrees, acquainted himself with this Gentleman, with such cunning and sweetness, that he mistrusted not in the least the Occasion; and the Gentleman lo­ved him so entirely, that next to his Mi­stress, who was this Lady, there was none in the World that he tendred more affecti­onately. Gallipus to pluck his Secret from his Heart, did Counterfeit to tell him all his own, and amongst other Affairs acquaint­ed him, that he loved such a Lady, when indeed he scaree ever thought of her, and [Page 249] desired him to keep it private, as he was not dubious at all of it, by Reason he pla­ced in him so great a Confidence. The poor Gentleman to shew him a Reciprocal Love, did declare unto him very often the Affection which he had for that Lady, on whose disdain, Gallipus would revenge himself; once a day they met together, to acquaint one another with the Fortunes which on that day they incountred, which the Gentleman did in Reality, and the o­ther in Dissimulation.

The Gentleman confessed to him, that he had loved this Lady three years, with­out receiving any thing but good Words from her, and an assurance to be beloved. Gallipus did Counsel and Instruct him in all the ways that possibly he could, by which he might arrive to the Fruition of his Desires, which the Gentleman found so Effectual, that in a few days she consent­ed to all he desired, and there remain'd no­thing but to find out the opportunity, which by the means of Gallipus was brought a­bout. One day a little before Supper, the Gentleman said to him, I am more obliged to you, than to all the Gentlemen in the World; for by your good Directions, I hope to enjoy that this Night, which so ma­ny years I have desired. 'Pray Sir, (said [Page 250] Gallipus) acquaint me with the manner of your Enterprise, to see if there be any De­ceit or Danger in it, that I may assist, and serve you, according to the Obligations of our Friendship.

Whereupon, the Gentleman did parti­cularly relate to him, that the Lady had got the opportunity to have the great Gate of her House left open, in pretense of an infirmity which one of her Brothers had, by reason whereof, every hour in the Night they must send into the City, to help him with some Remedy in his Necessity: She in­formed him that he might safely come into the Court, but advised him to have a Care how he went up the Stairs, and that he might more safely pass another way, and on less Stairs, which were on the right hand; and that being come into the first Gallery, where were the Chambers of her Father-in-Law, and her Brother-in-Law, he should come to the third Chamber, next the little Stairs, and (knocking at the Door gently) if he should find it to be locked, that then he should begon, for he might assure him­self, her Husband was come home, but if he found the Door open, that he should softly come in, and lock the Door fast, be­ing confident that there was none in the Chamber but her self; and above all things, [Page 251] that he should not forget to come to her with Shoes made of Felt, for fear of ma­king a noise, and withal, that he should have a great Care, that he came not till two of the Clock after Midnight, because her Brothers-in-Law, who were much given to play, did seldom go to Bed till after One.

The Gods protect thee, and Guard thee from all Inconveniences, (said Gallipus,) and if my Company may do you any Ser­vice, it shall not be wanting. The Gen­tleman thanked him very heartily, and told him, that in such an Affair he could not be too secure, and that he would go to pre­pare himself. But Gallipus would not hear of that Ear; and seeing it was the only time to revenge himself on that cruel La­dy, he retir'd to his own Lodging betimes, and had his Beard cut, after the same size of the Gentleman's, and his Hair cut after the same Fashion, that by her feeling she might not find any Difference. He re­membred likewise the Shooes of Felt, and did put on such Cloths as the Gentleman was accustomed to wear, when he ap­peared most Gallant, and because he was very well beloved by the Father-in-Law of the Lady, he fear'd not to go thither before the appointed hour; conceiving [Page 252] with himself, that if he was perceiv'd, he would go directly to his Chamber, with whom he had some Business.

About twelve of the Clock he entered the House, where he found many Servants, and some others coming and going, a­mongst whom he pass'd without being known, and came into the Gallery. And thrusting against the two first Doors, he found them shut, but the third not, hav­ing softly knock'd at it, he went in, and having lock'd the Door, he found all the Chamber hung in White, and a Bed of Needle Work excellently well wrought, all in White, that it was impossible to have it better, and the Lady alone within it, ha­ving on very rich Linen, Point of Venice, and Jewels, which he perceived through a corner of the Curtain, being not as yet seen by her, for there was burning in the Chamber a great Candle of White Wax, which made the Chamber as bright as Day. And for fear he should be known by her, he first of all put out the Light which was burning in the Chamber, afterwards he put off his Cloths and came into the Bed to her, who thinking it was he whom so long she lov'd, did receive him with all the love that possible she could.

[Page 253] But he who knew well enough, that it was in the Name of another, did not speak one Word, and thought on nothing but throughly to put his Revenge in Execution, which was to deprive her of her Honour, and Chastity against her Consent; but the Lady was so well taken with that Revenge, that she thought she had recompensed him for his long Sufferings. The Clock had now struck One, which was the time to bid her farewel; and speaking to her as softly as he could, he asked her, If she were as well pleased with him as he was with her? She thinking that it was her Friend, made answer, that she was not only pleased, but also marvell'd at the Greatness of his Love, which had held him a whole hour without speaking to her. At that he began to laugh out-right, and said to her, now Madam will you refuse me another time, as you have been accustomed to do, until this present? She knowing him too late, both by his Laughter, and his Voice, was struck into an Amazement with the Shame she had brought upon her self, and called him a thousand times wicked Traytor and Im­posture, and would have thrown her self out of the Bed, to have sought for a Knife to have killed her self, because she was so unfortunate to have lost her Honour, with [Page 254] one whom she loved not, and who, to be revenged of her, might divulge her shame throughout the World.

But he held her in his Arms, and by sweet words did assure her, that he loved her with a far greater passion, than the Gentleman whom she loved, and that he would conceal that which touched her Ho­nour, that she should never receive the least discredit: Which the poor Lady be­lieved, and understanding the invention which he contriv'd to obtain her, and the difficulties he went through to accomplish it, she did protest unto him, that she did love him better than the other, who knew not how to conceal a Secret: But she did heartily intreat him, that for a time he would forbear to appear at any Feast or Meeting where she was, unless it were a Mask only, for she knew well enough that she should have so many Blushes in her Cheeks, that her Countenance would declare it to all the World: This he pro­mised to proform, and also intreated her, that when his Friend should come about two hours hence, that she would make him welcom and by degrees withdraw her self from him; of which she made a great difficulty, but because it was his desire, she at last consented to it; and taking his Fare­well [Page 255] of her, he did leave her so satisfied, that she could have been well contented to have had him to have stayed longer.

After that he had rose, and dress'd him­self, he made hast out of the Chamber and left the Door half shut and half open, as he found it; and because it was almost two of the Clock after midnight, he entertain'd a fear that he should find the Gentleman in the way: he retir'd himself a little into a private corner on the top of the Stairs, where not long afterwards he observ'd the Gentleman to pass by, and to enter into the Lady's Chamber; whereupon he him­self repair'd directly to his own Lodging, to take some repose after his Nights Tra­vels, which he accordingly did, and rise not till Nine of the Clock, at what time the Gentleman came to him; who never fail'd to give him an account of his proceedings, which was not now so good as he hoped it would have pro­ved; for he told him, that when he came into the Lady's Chamber, contrary to his expectation, he found her out of Bed, and in her Night-Gown, having a great Fever upon her, her Pulse beating very violently, her Face all on Fire, and a great Sweat running down her Cheeks; wherefore she did immediately entreat him [Page 256] to return from whence he came, for fear she should be inforced to call unto her Maids to come to her Assistance, so violent was her Distemper, insomuch that she said that she had more need to think of Death, than Love, and to discourse rather of Heaven, than of Cupid.

However she was very sorry, for the hazzard into which he had put himself for the Love of her, because she had no power to make him in this World any requital for his true Love, being ready to be gone into another; at this he was so sad, and so a­stonished, that his Fire and his Joy were converted into I [...] and Sorrow, and so im­mediately he departed. In the Morning, on the break of day, he sent to be more surely inform'd of her Health, and found for certain, that she was in an extream In­disposition, and Multiplying his Complaints for her, he wept so abundantly, that it seemed as if his Soul was coming out with his Tears; Gallipus who had as great a a desire to laugh, as the other had to weep, did comfort him the best that possibly he could, and told him, that things of a long Continuance, did always meet with an un­toward beginning, and that love did a little draw back, but to come on with [Page 257] the greater force, and to make the delight more grateful; and upon these words they departed.

The Lady for a certain time kept her Bed, and upon the recovery of her Health, bid adieu to her first Servant, and ground­ed it on the fear she had of Death, and the remorse of her Conscience, and continued her Familiarities with Gallipus, the continu­ation of whose Love, (according to the old Custom) was as the Beauty of Flowers in the Feilds.

Gregorius having ended his Story, Supper not being yet ready, he inform'd the Com­pany that he had one more, if it would not tire their Patience, which was transacted when he was upon his Travels into France; the Company desiring much to hear it, intreated him very earnestly to relate it; whereupon he began as followeth:

In the Port of Cauloon, hard by Niort, there was a Ferry-mans Wife Indifferently handsome, who Night and Day did no­thing but Ferry over passengers; it fell out that two Students of Niort passed the River with her alone; and because it is one of the longest passages in all France (to keep themselves in Action) they Courted the Woman in the way of Love; she return'd them a very good answer, though not suit­able [Page 258] to their question; but they who were not tired with the Journey they had taken to the River side, nor cold by any Distemper of the Water, nor asham'd at the Denial of the Woman, they both re­solved to take her by force, and if she of­fer'd to cry out, they threatned to throw her into the River; the Woman being as Wise and Cunning as they were Foolish and Malicious, said to 'em, Gentlemen, I would not have you to think me so hard hearted as I have express'd my self, all I desire of you is, only to grant me two things, and you shall then understand that I have a greater desire to obey you than you have to entreat me. The Students Swore Solemnly to her, that she should not ask that thing of 'em, which they would not grant, provided she would perform what they so much desired.

Whereupon, she told 'em in the first place, that she required both of 'em to pro­mise and swear, not to declare to any per­son in the World, the kindness they should receive from her; to which they both very willingly consented. Secondly (said she) I require that but one at a time shall ca­ress with me, for I am not a Woman of that Impudence to have any Witness that may behold my Frolicks; therefore [Page 259] make your result which of you will engage first; they found this request very just, and reasonable, and the youngest of 'em gave consent to the Senior the privilege of exercising first; so drawing near to a small Island, she said to the youngest stay here, and have a little Patience, until I have carried your Friend into yonder Island; if at his return he recommends me to you, we will leave him here, and then you and I will go together.

Whereupon the youngest of the Stu­dents leaped into the Island where he at­tended the return of his Companion, whom the Ferry-woman was rowing to a­nother Island; when she came to it, she made a pretence to fasten her Boat, least the stream should drive it away; then she applyed her self to him and said, Sir pray find out the privatest place you possible can; whereupon the Senior Student en­tred upon the Island to find out some con­venient corner fit for their purpose; as soon as she saw him landed, with one of her Feet against a Tree she thrust back the Boot, which presently return'd into the River, and left both the Students in the two Deserts, and then cry'd out as loud, as she could to 'em, Sirs, pray wait there till I come to you, which I don't intend [Page 260] shall be this day, nor the next week. The two poor distressed Students finding the deceit, fell both on their knees upon the Banks of the River, begging and entreat­ing her, not to put them to that open dis­grace, and assured her, that if she would take 'em again into her Boat, and waft them to the place where they intended to Land, they would use no farther importu­nity with her.

But she minded her rowing, and cry'd out, Who'll be the Fool then! I am glad I have escaped a scowring and got so well rid of you; so returning to the Village, she called her Husband and many others to be­hold this Comical Scene, who attended her with a numerous train, that neither little nor great would stay behind, but would all be participators of this sight; the poor Students beholding so great a Company coming, went and hid themselves, but they were soon found out after some dili­gent search, and were forced to receive the Scoffs of the Multitude. Every one had their saying, especially the Waterman; who jeeringly said to 'em, What! did you want a fresh bit, Neighbour? Indeed I don't like you should have such an Extra­ordinary kindness for my Bed-fellow, but I'll pass it by this time provided you won't [Page 261] do so no more: the poor Students could not tell what to do or say, they were so out of Countenance at their Scoffs and Scorns; but they at last happen'd upon a­nother Ferry-boat, and so made their es­cape from the multitude; at last these Transactions reached their Governours ears, who severely reproved 'em for it; but ever afterwards they were free from those absurdities.

Having ended his Story, Supper imme­diately came in, and the Musicians were come which were before-hand provided for this purpose. Octavio beheld himself in the Mirror of his Son's Countenance; the Kindred on both sides wept for joy; nor was there any Corner in all the whole House which was not visited with rejoyceing; and although time flew away with its nimble Wings, yet it seem'd to Octavio not to fly, but to walk with Crutches; so earnest was his desire to be imbrac'd in the Arms of his dear Almeria. At last came that so much ex­pected hour, they all of them went to Bed to take their rest, and the whole House re­mained buried in Silence.

THE Uirgin Captive: A NOVEL.

AT what time the Queen of the Northern Island, won, and ran­sack'd the City of Cadiz, Prospero, Admiral of one of her Squadrons of Ships, upon his return home, carried a­long with him to Mundolin, the chief City of the Northern Isle, a young Virgin about seven Years of Age, contrary to the know­ledge of the General, who contenting him­self with the spoil of their Goods, left the Inhabitants free in their Persons: And therefore upon the complaint of her Pa­rents, he commanded diligent search to be made for the Child, to the end she might be restor'd to her Father, and Mother. It [Page 263] seems, she was one of the most lovely Children in all Cadiz; and therefore, not­withstanding all the General's Proclamati­ons, and Threats, Prospero had her kept close, and would by no means obey the Ge­neral's Command.

In short, her Parents were forc'd to sit down by the loss, afflicted, and disconso­late; and Prospero went away not a little satisfied with his Prize: Being arriv'd at Mundolin, he presented the fair young Vir­gin, as a rich Jewel to his Wife; but as her kind Stars did direct her, all they of Pro­spero's Houshold were Christians, though indeed outwardly they seem'd to profess the Religion of the Country. This Prospero at the same time had a Son call'd Philocles, a­bout twelve Years of Age, well Educated by his Parents; and Sabina, the Wife of Prospero, a Noble, and Prudent Lady, had such a great Love, and Affection for Aurelia, that had she been her own Daughter, she could not have been more careful of her Breeding; and the Child was so well En­dowed with Natural Abilities, that she ea­sily apprehended, and learn'd, whatever they taught her. So that what with time, and the kind usage she received, she at length forgot the Caresses of her true Parents.

[Page 264] She handled her Needle to Perfection, that few excell'd her, and play'd to a Mi­racle upon all those Instruments of Musick, which became the Decency of her Sex. All these acquir'd Graces, besides those that were natural to her, by degrees kindled the flames of Love in Philocles's Heart; to whom, as being her Master's Son, she car­ried her self with all fair respect, and Mo­desty. At first, Love prompted him on, with only a kind of liking, and Compla­cency, in beholding the matchless Beauty of Aurelia, and Contemplating upon her infi­nite Vertues, wherewith she was adorn'd; and then, within the Bounds of Modesty, he only lov'd her as a Sister: But when Aurelia began to grow towards Woman's Estate, his former Affection, and Pleasant­ness, chang'd themselves into most Ardent Desires, yet Vertuous, and Honourable, all Expectations else were in vain from the ver­tuous Aurelia, nor would the nobleness of his own Quality, nor the high esteem he had for so much Vertue, give place to any other Cogitations.

Many times he determin'd with himself to discover to his Parents, the affection he had for her; and then as oft did he retract his Determination, being assured they had design'd him for a higher Fortune; and [Page 265] therefore being much per plex'd, and pen­sive, is ignorant what course to steer. To attain the end of his happy wishes, he led such a Melancholy kind of life, as had al­most brought him to the point of losing it. All the whole Family was very much trou­bled for Philocles Sickness, but his Father and Mother more especially, considering he was their only Child, and had acquired to himself those great perfections that all per­sons did admire him. All this time the Phy­sicians upon their result could give no re­port of his Disease, and he being timerous would not discover his Malady: But in the end, being fully resolv'd to break through these Difficulties, one day amongst the rest, that Aurelia gave her attendance to him, seeing her alone, with a low Voice, but fainting utterance, express'd himself:

Fair Aurelia, thy great Vertue, and ex­celling Beauty, not to be parallel'd by any, hath reduc'd me to this Extremity, wherein I languish: And therefore, since my Life is in thy Power, oblige me so far as to pre­serve it by complying with my Vertuous Desires, and to receive me into thy Chast Embraces: My Designs are truly noble, and of no other ends, but what portend to Conjugality; but conceal this from my Parents, least they deny me that happiness [Page 166] which so much concerns me. Speak, dear Au­relia, am I that happy object that may seem worthy of thy Love, and be entertain'd thy affectionate admirer? and tho I should never arrive to that felicity of enjoyment, yet at the least approve of this my passion, since my Life depends upon it; for assure your self, dear Aurelia, never Breast did entertain a purer Flame than mine, or Lo­ver prove more constant.

To this, with a modest and sober look, Sir, said Aurelia, since the rigour or cle­mency of Heaven, has depriv'd me of my Parents, and wholly dispos'd of me unto yours, I have put on that resolution, that I will ever obey their Will and Pleasure; so that the inestimable Favour, which you are so much willing to confer upon me, without their approbation, will rather prove my Misery than happy Fortune; and if in reality you have given me so large an Empire over you, if they, being made acquainted with it, and shall deem me worthy to deserve you, I shall wholly resign that Will and Consent which they shall impower me; in the mean time your dependence may so far rely upon this, I shall remain yours, in wishing you all the happiness which Heaven can give you.

[Page 267] Thus these two modest Lovers took their leaves; he with Tears and she with Admiration, she being astonish'd, to see that Philocles should surrender up his Af­fection to hers. Being now raised from his Bed, (to his Parents seeming by a Mira­cle) he was resolv'd now no longer to con­ceal his thoughts, and therefore one day he discover'd them to his Mother, acquain­ting her in the end of his discourse, that to deny him Aurelia, and to give him his Death's wound, would prove alike in the experiment; his Mother was not Ignorant of Aurelia's Vertues, and well perceiving the reality of her Son's affection, put him first in hopes and then repeating to her Hus­band, all the particulars of her Sons desires and intententions, easily mov'd him to give way to what Philocles so earnestly required, to put off the other match, which was in a manner already concluded.

At that time was Aurelia Fourteen years of Age, and Philocles twenty. They were indeed the Miracle of their Age, being endued with so much prudence and discre­tion; and now there were but four days wanting to come before the Nuptials were to be Celebrated; his Parents esteeming more the Dowry of Aurelia's Virtues, than the vast Wealth which was offer'd with [Page 268] the other Match. The Wedding Cloths were already prepar'd, their Kindred and Friends invited; so that there was nothing wanting, but the Queen's Consent, which among those of Noble Blood, is requisite to make the Nuptials effectual. But when all things were brought to this Fortunate Period, one evening gave disturbance to all this their Joy; a Servant of the Queens brought a Message to Prospero, with an ex­press Command from her Majesty, that the next Morning he should bring to Court his Virgin Captive. Prospero being sur­prized at the news, made no delay, but dispatched the Messenger with an Answer that her Majesties Will and Pleasure should most willingly be obeyed.

After the Messengers departure, the whole House was in great disorder of Passion, at this unexpected news; which was the overcasting of their Joy, they ho­ped was so near. The Lady Sabina expres­sed her fear, least it should come to the Queens knowledge, that they were Chri­stians, and had bred her up to the same profession, but arguing backwards and for­wards, they did at last conjecture, that they did believe, that if the Queen had known, that they were Christians, she would not have sent them so mild a Mes­sage, [Page 269] from whence they might infer, that she was only desirous to see Aurelia, whose unequal Beauty and Vertues had come to her Ears, and those of the Court; but Prospero was fearful he had offended the Queen, by reason he had not present­ed his Prisoner to her Majesty, be fore she sent for her; but that offence they intended to excuse by declaring, that from the very moment he took possession of her, she was design'd for his Son Phi­locles; but in this too, they likewise found themselves amiss, for contracting such a Match without her Majesty's leave and ap­probation; however well understanding the utmost punishment of such an error, Prospero and Sabina agreed amongst them­selves, that Aurelia should go to Court in that Equipage Equivolent to his Son's Quality.

Being thus resolv'd, the next day they invested Aurelia very rich after the Spanish Mode, in a Garment of Green Sattin cut up­on Cloth of Gold, embroider'd with Esses of Pearls, round her Neck a Neck-lace of Orient Pearls, her Head adorn'd with a Lu­stre of Diamonds and other precious Stones, being compleatly drest to attract her be­holders; this being done in a fair Caroach he conducted her to Court, and so into [Page 270] the presence Chamber where the Queen was; Aurelia being entred into the Room; But, oh Gods! with so much Majesty and Humility together, that it was admir'd how two such distant Graces could meet in one Subject; her Eyes had antipathy to the Liberties of our Sex, destroying all those that beheld them; her shape and motion had peculiar Charms, and she had a cer­tain Air, and Vivacity in her Countenance, that might assure all her beholders, that her Wit was not inferiour to her Beauty, and might with great ease be perceiv'd, that time which is the ruin of all other Faces. would but improve hers, she being not then above Fourteen years old. She ad­vanc'd towards the Chair of State, and with a graceful Humility falling on her Knees before the Queen, besought her Majesty, that she might obtain the Honor of kissing her Royal Hand.

The Queen continued looking upon her a good while, not expecting so great a prospect to entertain her fight, (as after­wards she told one of her most Familiar Ladies) that she beheld some new Miracle of Beauty, that she had never seen in all her Court before, neither can be paral­lel'd: Some of the Ladies envy'd her Beau­ty, some admir'd her, but all confess'd her [Page 271] the Compleatest piece of Natures Work­manship, that [...]ver they beheld. Af­ter some time, the Queen commanded Aurelia to rise, and turning towards Pro­spero, said to him, Prospero, you have done us wrong, to keep so Rich a Treasure so long conceal'd from us; but I cannot blame your Covetousness in this particular; however you are bound to restore it us, for by right it is ours, and properly be­longs to us. Madam (replyed Prospero, with a great submission) what your Maje­sty has now Commanded, I am bound in Duty to obey; I confess my offence if it be one to have concealed this Treasure, that I might preserve it in that perfection, as was fitting to appear in your Majesties presence; I must humbly confess, I thought to have much improv'd it, by craving your Majesties leave in granting a contract be­tween Philocles and Aurelia, and so to have presented to your Majesty, at once, in these two, all that I am able to bequeath you in this World.

Her very Name gives us good content (reply'd the Queen) there could nothing have taken off from that perfection which is in her, but the want of that very name. But why! without our leave Prospero, have you propos'd the Marriage of your [Page 272] Son? May it please your Majesty, (ans­wer'd Prospero) I cannot deny but that I have made a Contract, but it was upon the Confidence that the many and noble Ser­vices which my self and my Ancestors have done this Crown, might obtain of your Majesty other more difficult Favours, and the rather for that my Son is not yet Married to her. Neither shall he (said the Queen) marry Aurelia, till he in his own propper person shall deserve her; our meaning is, that neither your own, or your Ancestors Services shall any way excuse him in this particular; but that he in his own person shall merit for himself, and acquire by his own Valour, this sweet pledge, whom we esteem, as if she were our own Daughter.

Aurelia had scarce heard this last word delivered, when humbling herself on her Knees before the Queen; Madam (said she) since your Majesty has been pleas'd to Honor me with the name of Daughter; upon so great a Favour, what ill Fate can attend me? Or what good Fortune may I not hope to find, since your Majesty has received me under your gracious protect­ion?

[Page 273] Now whatever Aurelia utter'd, came from her so gracefully, and so winningly, that the Queen was extreamly affected with her; and commanded that she should remain at Court in her Service; recommending her to the care of one of the chiefest Ladies of her Bed-chamber; the Enamour'd Philo­cles fearing to be bereft of what he loved more passionately than his Life, was almost overcome with grief; but recollecting himself, and falling upon his Knees before the Queen, Madam (said he) to incite me to serve your Majesty, there needs no other reward than that which always at­tends on Loyalty: And therefore since it is your Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure, that I should serve you more particularly, I most humbly beg that I may know in what capacity I may ten­der my Obedience to your Commands.

The Queen answer'd that she was then putting out to Sea Four Ships of her Navy Royal, of which she intended to make the Baron of Lansac Admiral, and him Vice-Admiral, assuring her self, that the Noble Blood which ran in his Veins, would supply the defect of his years. She [...]id him consider the Favour which she did him in giving him an opportunity to serve her, for which he should receive the great­est [Page 274] reward his heart could wish or desire; and then told him, that she her self would be Aurelia's Guard, till his return. Philo­cles kissed the Queens hand, and having returned her his most humble thanks, for the Favour she had done him, presently went from her to Aurelia, to whom he would feign have spoke, but could not; for Love and Grief had so tyed up his Tongue, that had his Life depended on it, he could not utter one word. However the Tears stood in his Eyes, and were so brim full, that they began to run over, which he endeavour'd to conceal as much as in him lay; but could not hide them from the Queens observance, who thereupon took an occasion, and said to him;

Think it no contemptable sight, Philo­cles, to weep, nor value your self the less, for having given at this your farewel such tender demonstrations of your Affections; for there is difference, betwixt encountring with the Enemy, and of taking your leave as a passionate Lover; then proceeding, Aurelia (said she) embrace your Philocles, and give him your best wishes, for his ge­nerous kindness well deserves them. Au­relia who stood amaz'd and astonish'd, to see Philocles's tender affection, and with [Page 275] what reality he grieved for her sake, whom she loved as dearly as her self, minded not what the Queen had commanded her, but melted into Tears, and stood as motionless as if she had been a mere Statue. Which wonderfull mutual Affection of these two, did not a little move the Compassion of the beholders; and so Philocles without speaking a word to Aurelia, or she to him they turned away one from the other, and so Prospero and his Friends, having made their obeysance to the Queen, departed her presence, variously distracted in their Thoughts and Imaginations.

Thus Aurelia now remain'd at Court, and within two days after Philocles put forth to Sea, resolv'd to do some extraor­dinary piece of Service, to win him the Title of Aurelia's Deserver. Six days this Na­vy Sail'd with a prosperous Gale of Wind, shaping their course for the Tercera Islands; a place where never are wanting, either Ships of Portugal, from the East-Indies, or others that come thither from the West-In­dies. At six days end there arose such a cross wind full in their Teeth, which con­tinued so long and so violent, that not be­ing able to reach the Islands, they were inforced to make for Spain; near unto whose Coast, at the Mouth of the Streight [Page 276] of Gibralter, they discry'd three Ships; one a very tall and goodly Vessel, the other two much less. Philocles made up to the Admiral for orders what to do; and at last coming so near he understood that the Admiral died suddenly the Night before of an Appoplexy.

Philocles by Vertue of the Queens Com­mission, being now Commander in chief, went aboard the Admirals Ship; and now being at his own Liberty, he resolv'd to speak with those Vessels, which they had so lately discovered; and which after a short chase they found to be Turkish Gal­leys; 'twas Philocles's Policy at that time to carry Spanish Colours, so that the Pyrates be­lieving they had been Spanish Vessels, spent and worn with a long tedious Voyage, came up briskly; which Philocles observing, suffer'd them to come nearer and nearer, till he had them close within the Com­mand of his Guns, and then letting fly a whole broad-side, discharg'd with so much Fury, Shot one of the Galleys thorough and thorough; upon which the other Gal­ley endeavour'd to fly, but Philocles soon fetch'd her up, then Boarded her, and put all the Turks to the Sword, and by that means set at liberty a great number of Chri­stians.

[Page 277] Having thus mastered both the Galleys, he made up to the great Vessel, which pro­ved to be a Portuguese Prize, which the Turks had taken two days before, very rich­ly laden, from the East-Indies; immediate­ly, Philocles sent fifty Sea-Men on Board to take Possession of her; and for more secu­rity, put into her six great Guns out of his own Vessels. As for the Christian Captives who were most of them Spaniards, he gave them one of the Galleys, with Provision and Money to carry them on Shore: but before they were discharged, Philocles re­solved to go on Board the Portuguese Prize himself, to see what Condition she was in, and to take Care for the safety of the Goods, and partly out of Curiosity to view the Christian Slaves, and to have the Honour of disposing of his own Liberali­ty. Of all which, when he had taken suf­ficient notice, the Christians were all put a-Board the Galley, with Provisions neces­sary for their Sustenance, and Money in their Pockets, saving only one, a Person somewhat Aged, and of a comely Aspect, who Addressed himself to Philocles in this manner:

Valiant Sir, (said he) I should Esteem it a Happiness for me, amidst my many Misfortunes, that you would rather carry [Page 278] me along with you to Mundolin, than send me into Spain: For though it is my Na­tive Country, and not above six days since I left it, yet can I find nothing there, but what is Instrumental to the reviving my former Sorrows and Afflictions. For know most (Noble Sir) that in the loss of Ca­diz, which is now some Fifteen years since, I lost a Daughter, which some of the Con­querors carried away into their own Coun­try; and with her, I lost the comfort of my Old Age, and the Light of my Eyes. And since that no Object yet, could be ever pleasing to them, she being gone, together with my Wealth, which was all at the same time taken from me; my self, and my Wife (which is that sorrowful Woman which sits there) resolved to go for the Indies, the common Refuge for decay'd Persons; to which purpose, having embark'd our selves but six days since in a Ship of Ad­vice, we had no sooner put out of Cadiz, but those Pyrates took our Vessel, and we became their Slaves, whereupon our Mise­ry was renewed, and our Misfortune cor­firm'd.

Here Philocles interrupting him, ask'd what his Daughter's Name was? he an­swered, Aurelia; this confirm'd Philocles in whatbefore he suspected; that he who [Page 279] told him the Story, was his belov'd Aure­lia's Father; and so without giving him any Tidings of her, he told him, that ve­ry willingly he would carry him and his Wife to Mundolin, where happily they might hear some News of what they so much desired; and having so said, he pre­sently convey'd them aboard his own Ship, and with a fair Gale of Wind, within nine days they came within sight of Mundolin; being entred the River, and being Land­ed, great Multitudes of People attended him; he went directly to the Court, where the Queen being in a Gallery, stood ex­pecting the News of her Ships. There was, besides many other Ladies with the Queen, the Fair Aurelia, who seeing Philocles, be­gan to change Colour, and look pale and wan; fear and hope of bad and good Suc­cess, distracting her Mind with various Thoughts.

Being come into the Queen's Presence, he fell upon his Knees, and having kiss'd her Majesty's Hand, he gave her an account of the General's Death, of his Engage­ment with the Turks, of his releasing so ma­ny Christian Slaves, to whom he had given one of the Gallies in her Majesties Name to carry them home, only that he had brought one Man and a Woman along with [Page 280] him, who chose rather to be conveyed in­to her Territories, that they might see the Grandeur of her Majesty's Court. And lastly, he gave her an Estimate of the Prize which he had taken, valued at a Million of Gold. Which done, he put her Maje­sty in mind of her Promise, in Reference to Aurelia.

Rise, Philocles, (reply'd the Queen) I will give her you, not only because of my Promise, but by Reason, she is worthy of you, and you of her; and as you have preserved this Rich Prize, you have taken, for me, so I have likewise kept this Jewel for you; Aurelia, is yours, and when you please your self may take Possession of her; and I dare say, you may have her Consent, for she is Prudent, and knows well how to value the Friendship which you have shewn her; to Morrow wait upon us, and I will more particularly hear you relate unto us what you did in this Voyage, and how Valourously you behaved your self; and bring those two Persons with you, who as you inform us, were so willing to come and behold our Court, that we may re­turn them our Thanks for their Visiting us.

[Page 281] Philocles in most humble manner return'd her Majesty his hearty thanks for all the Favours she had bestowed upon him. The Queen retir'd; and then after he had stay­ed a while, to satisfie the Curiosity of some of the Court Ladies, went home to his Fa­ther's House, whither he had sent Aurelia's Father and Mother before, with a Desire to Prospero, not to discover any thing to Aurelia, till he should disclose it himself. The next day after, Philocles went to Court, carrying with him the Father and Mother of Aurelia, both of them newly Apparell'd after the Fashion of Mundolin; they appear'd all, where the Queen was sitting in the midst of her Ladies, expect­ing Philocles, whom she was willing to Grace and Favour, by placing Aurelia next to her, having on the same Attire, and Ornaments, which she wore, when she came first to the Court, appearing no less Beautiful now, than she did then. The Parents of Aurelia, were strucken with Wonder and Admiration, to behold so much Greatness and Splendour met toge­ther; but their Eyes were chiefly fix'd up­on Aurelia, though they knew her not: However, their Hearts, (as Presagers of some good Fortune, being near at hand) began to leap in their Bosoms; not out of [Page 282] any suddain Passion, but of some Inspira­tion of Pleasure and Contentment, which they could not rightly be Apprehensive of.

And now it was, that the Queen to di­vert the Company, commanded Philocles to relate the particulars of his Adventure, and the manner of his Engagement with the Turkish Pyrates; which he did with that Prudence, that he gave to every one that had signaliz'd themselves in that Ser­vice, their particular due, to the end, the Queen might take particlar notice of their Duty and Services. But when he began to speak of the Liberty, which in her Ma­jesty's Name, he had given the Christians; Madam, (said he) those two Persons, a Gentleman and his Wife, which stand there (pointing to Aurelia's Parents) whom Yesterday I mention'd to your Ma­jesty; who out of the great Desire which they had, to see the Greatness and Magni­ficence of your Court, did so earnestly in­treat me, to bring them along with me. They are of Cadiz, and by their own In­formation, and my Observation of them, I know they are Persons of no ordinary Extraction, but of Worth and Quality.

[Page 283] The Queen then commanded them to approach nearer to her; at what time, Au­relia lifted up her Eyes to take a view of those Persons; who were reported to be Spaniards, and more particularly of Cadiz; out of a Desire she had to learn if happily they knew her Parents; which Aurelia had no sooner done, but her Mother look'd stedfastly upon her, and diligently observ­ed her Countenance: On the other side, Aurelia began to consider that certainly she had formerly known that Gentlewo­man which stood before her. Her Father was also in the like Confusion, yet durst not give Credit to the Truth, which his Eyes represented to him.

Philocles was very attentive to observe the Motions of all three, whom he saw strangely perplex'd, yet not able to disin­trigue their Understandings. Nor was the Queen insensible of their Behaviour, Natural to Persons in such an Astonish­ment. Aurelia thus confus'd, desired no­thing more than to hear the Gentlewoman speak, whom she imagined to be her Mo­ther, hoping that her Ears would put her out of doubt, of what her Eyes suspected; which fell out according to her wish, the Queen commanding Aurelia to speak to the ancient Lady in her own Language, and [Page 284] to ask them the Occasion, that mov'd them to refuse the Liberty, which Philocles had offer'd them? All which, no sooner Au­relia had demanded, but her Mother on a suddain, and ready to stumble for haste, without any regard to Place or Person, with her hand lifted up Aurelia's right Ear, and having there discover'd a black Mole; the Mark that confirm'd her Suspicion, and plainly perceiving that it was her Daugh­ter Aurelia, she could no longer contain her self, but embracing her, cry'd out ab­ruptly, Daughter! Daughter! and not being able to utter a word more, her Speech failing, fell into a Swoon in Aurelia's Arms.

Her Father no less Prudent than tender, gave manifest Signs how sensible he was of the Discovery; but with no other De­monstrations, than a silent shedding some few Tears, which were observed to trickle down his Cheeks, while Aurelia, who being busie in attending on her Mother, sup­porting her from falling, turning her Eyes towards him, gave him such an Affection­ate Look, that thereby he might easily un­derstand the Pleasure and Contentment her Soul took in seeing her Parents so near her. The Queen wondring at so rare and strange an Accident; this was some Con­trivance [Page 285] of your laying, (said she) turn­ing to Philocles: But I must tell you, I don't know whether it was so well done as you may imagine: For we find by Experience, that a suddain transport of Joy, as soon kills, as an overwhelming Grief. Soon af­ter Aurelia's Mother coming to her self, be­sought her Majesty's Pardon for commit­ting so much Rudeness in her Presence, but had not a suddain Passion of Ex­cessive Joy arrested her Vitals, she had not appeared Guilty of so great an Of­fence; to whom the Queen made Answer, that such Accidents as these none could withstand, neither would extraordinary Transports of that Nature admit of any Ceremonies; but withal, she was very glad to see her recovered out of that Ex­tasie.

And thus it was that Aurelia came to the Knowledge of her Parents, and her Parents of her; whom the Queen commanded to reside in the Court, for the better Satisfa­ction of each other; wherewith Philocles was wonderful well pleased: and now Phi­locles laden with the Queen's Favours, wanted nothing but the Enjoyment of his Aurelia, to which purpose he humbly put the Queen once more in mind of her Pro­mise; who being satisfied, that there need­ed [Page 286] no new Proofs of his Valour, told him, that after the Expiration of four days, she would deliver Aurelia to him, and confer upon them all the Honour, and Rewards she possibly could. Upon which, Philocles took his leave, being the most joyful Person in the World; for now he thought he had his Aurelia in his Power, without any fear of losing her, which is the last and utmost Desire of Lovers.

But when Love and Fortune are at Va­rience, the Craftiness of Fortune is too hard for Loves Innocency; as now it happened to Philocles's Sorrow; for it so fell out at that time, that a great Court Lady, and Favorite to the Queen, to whose Charge Aurelia was committed, had a Son of the Age of two and twenty years called Endymion, being of an Arrogant, Haugh­ty, and Extravagant Disposition; this En­dymion then was enamoured of Aurelia, and so vehemently, that his very Soul parch'd within him; and though in Philocles's Ab­sence, he had by some Signs discover'd his Desires; yet he received the least Incou­ragement from Aurelia, which disdain of hers the more encreast Endymion's Flame: in this Agony of Love he discovered his violent Affection to his Mother, acquaint­ing her withal, that unless he enjoyed Au­relia, [Page 287] she must not expect long to enjoy her Son. The Mother admired and won­dred to hear such Expressions fall from her Son; on the other side, well knowing the Obstinate Nature, and Eagerness of his Passion, she feared that Love once disap­pointed might produce some unhappy Ac­cident; yet notwithstanding, as an Indul­gent Mother, not willing to cross his Inten­tions, promised him to speak to the Queen about it; though not with any hopes of obtaining such an impossibility.

In the mean time, the Morning appoint­ed for solemnizing the Nuptials, being come, the Ladies were not a little busie in atti­ring Aurelia at Court, and Philocles no less Diligently employed to Adorn himself at home; when Endymion's Mother coming hastily into the Queen's Presence, and fal­ling upon her Knees, besought her to su­spend the Ceremony for two days longer; the Queen wondring at the reason of her demand; whereupon the Lady declared to her Majesty, her Son's Affections for Aure­lia, adding with the Fears she had, that if he did not obtain her, he would either grow desperate, or commit some unworthy Action to his own Destruction: The Queen made her this Answer, that she would nei­ther break her Promise made to Aurelia, [Page 288] nor defraud Philocles of his, for all the In­terest in the World. The Lady immedi­ately went and acquainted her Son, with the Queen's Answer, and positive Resolu­tion; Endymion flew instantly from his Mother, and in a fury heightned by Love and Jealousie, ran to Philocles's House, and there drest up as he was in all his Wedding Gallantry and Bravery, challeng'd him the Field, as one that neither did, nor could deserve so fair a Lady, as he was going to Marry. Philocles prefering his Honour be­fore his Love, accepted of the Challenge, very freely; and told him he had thought he would not have pass'd so harsh a Sentence upon him, as either to call his Affection or Courage in Question. Then he desired him to name his Place, (the time he supposed was present,) and he would readily attend him, with all the haste imaginable; so soon as he could privately withdraw himself from the Company.

But the noise of this Challenge soon flew to Court; which so highly incensed the Queen, that she presently commanded the Captain of her Guard to go instantly and apprehend Endymion, who being brought into her Presence, she order'd his Sword to be taken from him, and to be confin'd close Prisoner to his Chamber during Plea­sure. [Page 289] All these things tormented the Heart of Aurelia, and very much perplexed her Parents, who so suddainly saw the Sea of their quietness troubled: However this hurly burly occasion'd the Nuptials to be deferr'd till the next day; which being but a short time, Endymion's Mother resol­ved to improve it to the best Advantage; and thereupon advised the Queen, that to remove the Quarrel betwixt her House, and that of Philocles's, the only Remedy was to take away the Cause; which was Aurelia, by sending her into Spain, and so the Effects would cease; which now it was to be feared would not be easily sup­prest. To which the Queen answered, that for the sending of her into Spain, she would hear no more of it, as being a Person in whom she took so much Delight; and that Doubtless, if not that very day, the next following, without all fail she would Mar­ry her to Philocles according to the promise she had made him.

With this Resolution of the Queens, En­dymion's Mother was so disheartned, that she returned not so much as one Word in Answer; and therefore concluding there was no other way nor means left in the World to mollifie that rigorous Conditi­on of her Son, nor reduce Philocles to terms [Page 290] of Peace, but by taking away Aurelia, she determined to put in Practice one of the greatest Cruelties, that could ever enter in­to the thoughts of any Noble Lady, and especially so Principal a one as she was; which was to make away Aurelia by Poi­son. And because it is commonly the Con­dition, and Natural Inclination of Wo­men to be speedy, and resolute in what they intend to go about; she made so quick a dispatch, that the same Evening she gave the Innocent Lady her Dose, in a certain Conserve, forcing her in a manner to take it, telling her it was Excellent good against those Passions of the Heart, where­with she seemed to be troubled.

Within a little while after Aurelia had taken this Hellish Electuary; her Tongue, and her Throat began to swell, and her Lips to grow black, her Voice hoarse, her Eyes troubled, and her Stomach and Bow­els, tormented with Gripings, all manifest Symptoms that she was Poison'd. Present­ly the Ladies came to the Queen, and ac­quainted her Majesty, with Aurelia's Mis­fortune, and certified her that Endymion's Mother, was the Actress in this Scene of Cruelty. There did not need much pres­sing Arguments to induce the Queen to be­lieve the verity of it, and therefore she [Page 291] went immediately to see Aurelia, who was almost breathing her last. The Queen commanded her Physicians should be sent for in all hast, and in the mean while, be­fore they came, she caused a quantity of Unicorns-Horn to be given her, and some other Preservatives against Poison, which Great Princes have always ready at hand, upon the like Cases of Necessity. The Phy­sicians came and applied their best Reme­dies, and Antidotes, but withal, besought her Majesty, that she would be pleased to command the Lady to be examin'd, of what Nature the Poyson was she had given her; whereupon, she discovered her Infer­nal Secret, and the Physicians accordingly applied those Remedies pertinent to the Contagiousness of her Condition, that in few days there was hopes of Life left in her Recovery.

She also commanded this Lady, Endy­mions Mother to be apprehended, and confined to a Chamber in her Court, with an Intention to punish her, according to the Nature and Quality of her Crime. This sad News being brought to Philocles, made him almost in such a distracted Con­dition, that, he was ready to offer Vio­lence to himself. In Conclusion, Aurelia did not lose her Life, yet such was the force [Page 292] of the Poison, that she lost the Hair of her Head, and her Eye-Brows; her Face was strangely puft up, the Grain of her Skin spoil'd, her Complexion ruined, her whole Body mightily swell'd, and her Eyes Di­stilling, ran with Water: In a word, she was grown so foul and ill favoured; that she who till then seemed a Miracle of Beau­ty, now seemed to be a Monster of Defor­mity. And they who knew her before held it the greater Misfortune of the two, that she remained in this unfortunate Con­dition, than if she had dyed of the Poison. Notwithstanding Philocles made a new A­dress to the Queen, and besought her Ma­jesty, that he might obtain leave to convey Aurelia safe to his own House, supporting himself with this, that though Aurelia had lost her Beauty, yet could she not lose her infinite Vertues.

Thou Judgest right, (replyed the Queen,) your Request shall be granted, Philocles; and still make that Favourable Construction, that thou hast in thy Posses­sion a Rich Diamond unpolish'd; I would freely have resign'd her up as Beautiful to thee, as thou deliveredst her to me; but since it is impossible, and cannot be re­trieved; what was wanting by me in Fa­vour to you, in being overseen by dif­fering [Page 293] it so long, I will make up in Justice Happily the Punishment I shall inflict upon the Criminals, may in part satisfie thy De­sire of Revenge; Philocles did very often endeavour to enterceed with her Majesty to be graciously pleased to pardon Endymi­on's Mother, since the Reasons she alledg'd were sufficient Motives to embrace her Cle­mency; in Conclusion, Aurelia and her Parents, the Queen recommended to his Care, and Philocles immediately conducted them home to his Fathers House; many rich Presents the Queen sent along with Aurelia of Jewels and Diamonds, which manifested her great Affection, and Love she had for her; she remained for the space of two Months, without being of ability to be restor'd to her former Beauty. But time flying away, her Skin began to fall and to peel of, and a smooth Grain appea­red, and discovered it self.

In this interval, Philocles's Parents, pre­suming it was not possible, that Aurelia should become the same Woman, which heretofore she was; resolved to send for that Northern Lady, with whom Philocles, by Agreement was to marry, before they knew of his Affection to Aurelia, and this resolve they put in Execution, without acquainting him with their Design; not [Page 294] doubting but that the present Beauty of this new Bride, would withdraw his Af­fection from Aurelia, whom they purposed, with her Father and Mother to send into Spain, and to gratifie with such store of Wealth, as should fully recompense their former losses which they had received, and sustain'd.

There passed not above six Weeks, when without Philocles's Knowledge, the new Bride arrived at his Father's House, with great Attendance, which accompani­ed her in her Journey; she was indeed a fair, and Beautiful Person, that next to Aurelia, when she was in her primitive Per­fection; there was not her equal in all Mundolin. Philocles was infinitely amaz'd at the unexpected sight of the Lady, and so much fear immediately seiz'd upon his Spirits, least the suddainess of her coming, should surprize Aurelia, and create in her some violent Passion, and put a period to her Life; and therefore to remove this Ob­stacle of Fear by a timely Prevention, he went to the Bed-side, where Aurelia lay; and finding only his Father and Mother in the Room, he sate down by her, and tak­ing her by the hand.

[Page 295] Aurelia (said he) my visit to thee at this time is, to inform thee of a very pret­ty passage, which indeed has created in me a Wonder and an Admiration, and by Reason I would not have you surpriz'd, I come at this time to acquaint you with the pleasantness of the Intrigue; my Parents out of their great Love and tender Affecti­on towards me, remaining as yet without full Satisfaction of being inform'd, of that extraordinary Passion of Love, which I ever had, and ever continue for thee, have brought a Lady hither, with whom they Design I shall Marry, not in the least asking my Gonsent, or enquiring into my Resolutions, nor having that Patience to expect thy Recovery; but I am apt to think, that their Conceptions are such, they believe, the great Beauty of this La­dy, will induce me to relinquish you in this present Condition. But know, dear Aurelia, that your Perfections are so deep­ly imprinted in my Mind, that none but the Iron Teeth of time, with putting a pe­riod to my Life, can ever raze them out; from the first time I beheld thee, I admir'd and lov'd thee, and with so pure a flame, and free from all ends of sensuality, that I could have out-vied Plato, to enjoy thy Friendship. Though thy Beautious Aspect [Page 296] did Captivate my Senses, yet thy infinite Vertues took my Soul Prisoner: So that being Beautiful I lov'd thee, now thou art Deformed I adore thee; and for a farther Testimony of this my real Affection, by this, and this, and this, (imprinting seve­ral Kisses on her Lips) I for ever vow my self yours, from this very hour, and no­thing shall be wanting to compleat our Hap­piness.

Aurelia remained in some suspence upon these Words of Philocles; and knew not well what to say or do, but often kiss'd his Hand; till at last trembling, she told him with many Tears that she freely accep­ted of his Affection, and wholly resign'd her self up to his Disposal. Her Parents were amaz'd and astonish'd at the passio­nate Expressions of these two Lovers, that they could not refrain from Weeping; Phi­locles desired them not to put on Grief, but told them withal, that he had never a­ny Inclinations to the Northern Lady, nei­ther would he withdraw his Affections from their Daughter, and if his Parents accord­ing to their Design should desire Aurelia's and their departure to Spain, that he would not have them decline it, but by all means accept of their proffer, and take the Voy­age; and that they should certainly expect [Page 297] him within two years afterwards either at Cadiz or Sevil; assuring them upon the Word of a Gentleman, that e're that time was expir'd, he would not fail to be with them if Heaven permitted him so long Life; but if the time perfixed should be preterlapsed, they should then rest assur'd that some great Misfortune or Death which was the more certain, had crossed his inten­ded Journey.

Aurelia told him, she would not only wait two years for him, but as long as she lived, till she heard the sorrowful News of his Death; and when-ever that harsh Note should reach her Ears, it would prove Instrumental to finish her Days; with these kind Expressions fresh Tears sprung from the Fountains of all their Eyes; and Phi­locles went immediately to his Parents and inform'd them, that he could entertain no such thoughts as to accept of their Kind­ness, in Marrying the Northern Lady, till by a twelve months Travel, he had quali­fied himself fit for a Matrimonial Life, far­ther telling them, that considering the soli­dity which belongs to that State, he would willingly make these Preparations to it, that nothing hereafter might disturb his Happiness. He used such Arguments, and laid down so good Reasons for what he said, [Page 298] to the Parents of Livia, (for that was the Lady's Name) that they were all ve­ry well satisfied, and Livia was contented to remain in her Father-in-Law's House, till Philocles return'd after a year's Tra­vel.

This being thus concluded and agreed upon, Prospero told Philocles of his Reso­lution of sending Aurelia and her Parents to Spain, if the Queen would be pleased to grant him that Liberty to effect it, for (continued he) perhaps the Air of her own Country will hasten and facilitate her Health, which now she begins to recover. Philocles that he might not give the least Suspicion of his Design, answered (though but coldly) his Father, that he might use his own Discretion and Pleasure, only he besought him, not to take from Aurelia any of those Riches the Queen had bestowed upon her. Prospero did promise & engage to him, that he would not command any thing from her which was her own; the same day he went and waited upon the Queen, to ask her Majesties Consent, as well for the matching of his Son to Livia, as for the sending of Aurelia, with her Father and Mo­ther into Spain.

[Page 299] The Queen was well pleased at both his Requests, and approved of Prospero's De­termination; and the same day without cal­ling Endymion's Mother in Question, she dismiss'd her from her place in her Bed-Chamber, and Fin'd her ten Thousand Crowns to be paid to Aurelia. As for Endy­mion she banished him for six years. Four days were scarce past and gone, but that Endymion, began to take Order for his Banishment, having already given Directi­ons for the returning of his Money.

The Queen then sent and commanded a Rich Merchant that dwelt at Mundolin, to come to her, who had a very good Cor­respondency in France, Italy, and Spain; to whom she delivered ten thousand Crowns, and requir'd of him Bills of Exchange, for the returning of 'em to Aurelia's Father in Sevil, or any other part of Spain. The Merchant discounting his Interest and Pro­fit, told the Queen that he would make certain and sure Payment of them in Sevil, by Bills of Exchange upon another French Merchant, his Correspondent, in this man­ner and form, viz. That he would write to Paris, to the end, that the Bills might be made there by another Correspondent of his, because they would accept and al­low of those that came from France, but [Page 300] not from this Island; by reason of the Pro­hibition, betwixt those two Kingdoms; and that a Letter of Advice from him should serve turn, by a private mark that passed between them two; and that without any more ado, the Merchant of Sevil, should pay him the Money by the Letter of Ad­vice he would receive from Paris.

In fine, the Queen took such good secu­rity of the Merchant, that she made no doubt of the true payment of it. And not contenting her self with this, she sent for the Master of a Flemish Ship that lay in the River, and was to put forth the day following for France, only to take Testi­mony thereof in some Port, that he might be the better able to pass into Spain, un­der the Title of coming from France, and not from the Island; whom she earnestly entreated to carry with him in his Vessel Aurelia, and her Parents, and that he should use them well and kindly, and Land them in Spain, at the very first place he should come at on that Coast. The Master who desired to give the Queen Content, told her Majestv that he would do it, and that he would Land them either in Lisbon, Ca­diz, or Sevil; having taken sufficient secu­rity of the Merchant, and assurance from the Master, the Queen by way of Message, [Page 301] sent unto Prospero to forbid him the taking any thing away from Aurelia either of Jewels or Cloths which she had given her.

The next day Aurelia with her Father and Mother, went to Court to take their leaves of the Queen, who received them with a great deal of Love, and Favour: the Queen gave them the Merchants Letter, and many other Gifts, as well in Money, as other Curious things for their Voy­age. Aurelia with so much Elegancy ex­press'd her thankfulness to her Majesty, for all Honours, and Favours received from her, that she Created in the Queen, fresh Obligations from her, to continue her Favours still towards her. She took her leave likewise of the Ladies; who now that she was grown disfigured, was very sorry she should leave them, seeing themselves free from that envy they had a­gainst her Beauty, and would have been very well contented, to have enjoyed her Gifts of Wit and Discretion; the Queen embraced all three of them, and recom­mending them to their good Fortune, and to the Master of the Ship; and laid her commands upon Aurelia to Advertise her of her safe arrival in Spain, and from time to time, of her welfare by the way, of the [Page 302] French Merchant; she took her leave of Aurelia, and her Parents, who that very Evening imbarqued themselves; Prospero and his Wife, with the whole Family shed many Tears, extreamly troubled at her unfortunateness and departure.

At this their taking their leaves Philo­cles was not present, but procured some Friends to go abroad with him that day a Hunting; the better to divert him from expressing his Grief, and giving demonstra­tions of his Sorrow; the Gifts which the Lady Sabina gave Aurelia at her Voyage were many, her Embraces infinite, and her Tears plenty; her earnest entreaties that she would often write to her were nume­rous; and the thanks render'd by Aurelia and her Parents where answerable thereun­to; so that though weeping, they left each other very well satisfied.

That night the Ship hoisted Sail, and hav­ing with a prosperous Gale of Wind touched upon the Coast of France; and there ta­king in such fr [...]sh provisions as were neces­sary for their Voyage into Spain: within thirty days after they entred into the B [...]rr of Cadiz where Aurelia and her Parents dis­imbarqued themselves; and being known by all those of the City, they received them with Expressions of much joy; like­wise [Page 303] they received a thousand praises, and thanksgivings which was invocated to Heaven for the finding out of their Daugh­ter Aurelia and of their Liberty which they had obtain'd, being first Captivated by the Moors, and afterwards by the Northern Islanders; having been made acquainted with all the Transactions of their Affairs, by those Captives whom the liberality of Philocles had set free.

And now Aurelia in the mean time began to give great hopes of return­ing to a speedy recovery of her former Beauty; however they remained but a lit­tle more than a Month in Cadiz to refresh themselves of their weariness after their long and tedious Voyage; but went from thence to Sevil, for to see whether the payment would prove good of the ten thou­sand Crowns, which were to be placed to the Accompt of the French-Merchant, who had undertaken for to see it disbursed. Two days after their arrival at Sevil, they enquired after him, and found him out, and gave him the French Merchants Letter, upon which he excepted of the Bill; but told them, that until he had received Let­ters from Paris, and a Letter of Advice, he could not pay them the Money, but [Page 304] withal he expected every moment to re­ceive Advertisement of it.

Aurelia's Parents had hired a very fair House, over against Santa Paula for the Conveniency of being near a Kinswoman of theirs, which was a Nun in that Monaste­ry; and by reason Aurelia had inform'd Philocles, that if he made any enquiry af­ter her, he should find her in Sevil; and that her Kinswoman a Nun of Sancta Pau­la would direct him to her House; and that for his better Information, and Know­ledge; he needed give himself no farther trouble, than to enquire for that Nun which had the best voice in the Monaste­ry; this being a very good token, and not easily to be forgotten; for indeed she had the rarest and sweetest Voice in all Spain.

It was forty days, before Letters of Advice came from Paris, and within two days after they were come, the French Merchant payed the Ten thousand Crowns to Aurelia, and she delivered them to her Parents; and with them and some other which they had got together, with some of Aurelia's Jewels which they sold; her Father began again to follow his Trade of Merchandise, not without the admiration of those who knew his great losses. In short, [Page 305] within a few Months Aurelia's Father repay­ed his lost Credit, and Aurelia's Beauty re­turned to it's former perfection: Inso­much, that when any discourse arise con­cerning fair Women, all of them gave the Laurel to the Northern Spaniard, who was as well known by this Name, as she was for her Beauty throughout the whole City.

By the French Merchant of Sevil's Or­der, Aurelia and her Parents Writ Letters to the Queen of the Northern Isle, of their safe Arrival in Spain; but pen'd with such humble acknowledgements and sub­missions, as the many Favors receiv'd from her Majesty, did require; they likewise writ to Prospero and his Lady Sabina, Aure­lia Complementing them with the Title of Father and Mother; and her Parents Stile­ing them their dearest and best Friends: From the Queen they received no Answer, but from Prospero and his Lady Sabina, they had a return, wherein they Congra­tulated their safe Arrival, certifying them, that their Son Philocles, the next day after their departure went for France, with an intention to visit some other parts of Chri­stendom, being requisite and necessary for him to go, the better to ease his mind, which he confest to them was so much di­sturb'd; [Page 306] adding to these other discourses and Complements of much Love, and Af­fection, besides many other fair and Friend­ly protestations; to which Letters of their [...] they returned another in answer no less Courteous and Loving than Thankful.

Aurelia presently imagined, that Philo­cles leaving his Country, was upon his Voyage into Spain, to find her out, and flattering her self with this fond hope, she began to lead the most contented Life in the World, and studied to live in such a serious manner, that when Philocles should come to Sevil he might soon hear the good report that went of her Vertues, then come to the knowledge of her House. Sel­dom or never did she go out of Doors, unless it were to the Monastery, but spent all her whole time in retiredness, and good desires waiting with Expectation the welcom news of the Arrival of Philocles.

This her great retiredness did set on Fire and inflam'd the Hearts and desires not on­ly of the young Gallants of that Street where she dwelt, but of all those who but once had a sight of her; in the Night she was disturb'd often with Musick, serena­ding at her Window, and in the day ca­reering with their Jennets, and from this her not suffering her self to be seen, and [Page 307] from others much desiring to see her en­ [...]s'd, their finding out of cunning Bawds which were Mistresses in their Art, and promised no less to shew themselves so, in solliciting Aurelia; and there were not some wanting, who endeavour'd to bring this their wicked purpose to pass, by Witch­craft, Charms, Sorceries, Philters, and the like lewd Courses; but against all these Aurelia was like a Rock in the midst of the Sea, against which the Winds, and the Waves [...]eat, and dash against it to no pur­pose.

A year and a half was now fully past when the aproaching hope of those two yea [...]s promised by Philocles began with more earnestness than hitherto it had done, to vex and grieve the Heart of Aurelia; but whilst she was Contemplating with her self, that Philocles was come, and that she had her desired object before her eyes, parleying with, and questioning him of the occasion of delaying his coming, and of his keeping so long from her, and then imagining to her self the just excuses which Philocles pleaded for his long ab­sence, and how willingly she believed and received them, and how lovingly and af­fectionately she embraced him in her Arms and hugg'd him in her Bosom, as being [Page 308] part of her own Soul; then, even then when she was in the height of all her hopes, a Letter came to her Hands from the La­dy Sabina, baering date from Mundolin, some fifty days since, it was written in the Tongue of the Island, but she read it in Spanish as followeth.

Sabina to Aurelia.

DAughter of my Soul, Bilonio, Philocles's Page, accompanied his Master in his Iourney, and by a former Letter Iadvertized you, that Philocles made for France, the se­cond day after your Departure, and from thence was to Travel farther; we have re­ceived no News from him this Sixteen Months, but yesterday Bilonio the Page, came home, and brought with him these sorrowful tydings, That Endymion had by Treachery killed Philocles in France; therefore (Daugh­ter) Consider in what a Deplorable Condi­tion, his Father, my Self, and Livia his Bride are upon the Arrival of this hea­vy Intelligence; the portent of it is such, that it has left no room for hope, but to en­tertain dispair of ever overcomeing this our Misfortune. My earnest entreaties and best wishes are that you would still think of Philo­cles, who loved you with so real an Affecti­on, and for the Sake of him, to invocate [Page 309] the Divine Powers to assist us in this Ex­ [...]remity, and to grant us Patience, to our [...]ives end.

Your disconsolate Mother, SABINA.

By the Letter, Hand, and Seal, there [...]as not any the least doubt left to Aurelia [...]or not giving Credit to the Fatal News [...]f the Death of her dear Philocles. She [...]new very well his Page Bilonio was a [...] true and faithful Servant, and no way [...]endaciously given, and that he had no [...]eason to forge this, as an Experiment to [...]ry her affection, and as little his Mother Sa­ [...]ina; being it would import them nothing in [...]ending her news so sorrowful; in conclusion [...]he could no ways divert her imaginations, [...]r put out of her thoughts in the least, [...]he contradiction of this unfortunate News. After she had read the Letter, without shed­ding a Tear, and without shewing any sym­ [...]toms of Sorrow, with a Serene counte­ [...]ance, and to appearance a quiet and con­ [...]ented mind, she rose from the Couch where she sate, and kneeling down De­ [...]outly, made a Solemn Vow to live a single Life all her days, since the God's [...]ad depriv'd her of her dear Philocles, and left her a Widow.

[Page 310] Her Parents dissimulated their dolorous Grief, and covered their Sorrows with their discretion, which this sad news had occasion'd in 'em, that they might be the better enabled to comfort their Daughter Aurelia in the anguish of her Affliction, who being now as it were fully satisfied o [...] her Sorrow, moderating it with the reso­lution which she had put on, she fell to comforting of her Parents, to whom she dis­cover'd her intent; but they advised her that she should not put it in Excecution, but to stay till the two years were overpast which Philocles had limited for his coming; for thereupon much depended, the Confir­mation of the verity of Philocles's death, and she might then with more safety and security change this her Estate and Con­dition.

Aurelia followed their advice, and [...] the remaining Six Months she spent them in the exercises of a Religious Virgin; and for the better preparing and fitting of her self, for her entring into the Monastery, having made choice of that of Sancta Pau­la where her Cousin resided; but now the term of the two years where expired, and the day approached wherein she was to take upon her the Religious Habit; the news whereof was soon spread throughout [Page 311] the whole City, not only amongst those who knew her by sight, but among those [...]lso that knew her only by report; now [...]n regard the Monastery stood not far off [...]rom Aurelia's House, and her Father invi­ [...]ing his Friends, and Acquaintance, Aurelia [...]ad one of the noblest and most honoura­ [...]le Trains to accompany her thither, as upon such occasions was ever seen in Sevil.

Thus has the Story brought this poor di­stressed Lady to the very brink of thepreci­pice; she that thought she had a loving Hus­band alive, being now deceived and frustra­ted of all her hopes, is now going to renounce the World, and dedicate her self to a retir­ed Life remote from those pleasures which she thought to have enjoyed. Now in the manner of the Ceremony, there accompa­nied her the Assistant, the Dean of the Church, and the Vicar-General to the Arch-Bishop, with all the Ladies and Gentlemen of Title, and Quality, or Eminent Note that were in the City; so great was the desire which all of 'em had to behold the resplendent rayes of Aurelia's Beauty, which had so many Months suffer'd an Eclipse; and by reason it is the Custom, and fashi­on of those Virgins, which take upon 'em the religious Habit, to deck and adorn them [Page 312] selves, as bravely and as gallantly as they possibly can devise, who as one, that ever after, from that instant, sets up her rest, and takes her leave and farwel of all bravery, and wholly discards it. Aurelia was willing (that she might not break so Ancient a Custom) to attire and set forth her self in the best and most curious man­ner, that possibly she could invent; and therefore she arrayed her self in the same Gown and Girdle, and those rich dressings which she had on when she went to Court, with all those other ornaments of Pearls and Diamonds which the Northern Queen be­stowed upon her.

Aurelia went out of her House on Foot; for her being so near unto the Monastery excus'd Coaches, though they repented af­terwards they did not take them; for the concourse of the People was so great, that they would scarce give them way to get to the Monastery. Some showred Blessings on her Parents, others thanked Heaven for enriching her with so much Beauty, some stood on tip-toe for to view her, o­thers having had a Prospect of her, ran to get before that they might satisfie the curiosity of their Eyes to see her again; but he that shewed himself most sollicitous in this Multitude, and in so extraordinary [Page 313] a manner, that many took great notice of him; was a person clad in a Slaves Habit, which they commonly wear, when they are redeemed and return home from their Captivity; this Captive then at that very juncture of time that Aurelia had set one Foot within the porch of the Covent, as the Prioress and the Nuns were come forth to receive her; with a loud Voice, he cry'd out, Stay, Aurelia, stay; for whil'st I am a live thou canst not enter into any Religious Order; at the hearing of these words, Au­relia and her Parents looked back, and es­pyed a Person forcing his way through the thickest of the throng; which was the Cap­tive making towards them; in the croud his Furr Cap which he wore, was lost off his Head, which made a discovery of a confus'd and intangled skein of Golden wi­red Hairs, curling themselves into Rings, and a Countenance intermix'd with Snow and a Vermillion Colour, so pure Red and White was his Complexion, having withal a curious Aspect; all which gave them such assured signal demonstrations, that induced them to believe he was a Stranger.

In short by pressing through the people with such hast, he received many falls by the way; but having as nimbly recover­ed himself, he came at last where Aurelia [Page 314] was, and taking her by the Hand, Dost thou not know me Aurelia, (said he?) Behold, and view me well! I am thy dear Philo­cles. Yes I know thee (reply'd Aurelia) if thou art not a walking Spirit, or some false assumed Apparition, that is come to disturb my repose. With that Philocles with Tears in his Eyes, besought her that the strange­ness of that Garb, wherein she now beheld him; might not prove any barr or hinder­ance to her better knowledge of him, and that this his mean and dejected Condition might not be any stop to the fulfilling of those Vows and faithful Promises, which they had so solemnly given to each other. Her Parents drew by degrees nearer to him, and viewing him very narrowly, in conclusion came certainly to know him: Aurelia notwithstanding the news of his death, chose rather to give more Credit to her Eyes, by the object which she had present before her, than to trouble her self to make any further needless enqui­ry, and therefore kindly Embracing the Captive; You are doubtless (said she) the person who can only hinder my deter­mination, as being really my Husband, and can be no less than the better part of my Soul; and though thou hast been absent from thy Aurelia so long, yet I [Page 315] have thee Imprinted in my Memory, and have fix'd thee so firm in my Heart, by so true an Affection, that no Object in this World can undermine it. Turn there­fore, dear Philocles, to my Fathers House, which is wholly at your Command, and there take possession of your faithful Au­relia.

At the hearing whereof the standers by, where all of 'em struck with admiration, and stood amaz'd as people astonish'd; and nothing would serve them but a pre­sent satisfaction of their Curiosities, by hearing a relation of the whole Trasacti­ons: Whereupon Aurelia's Father told them, that the History required another place, and more time, to unfold it in, than opportunity at that present offer'd it self; and therefore besought them, since they were so willing and eager to understand it, that they would be pleas'd to return back with him to his House, and there he would give them a true and perfect Account, to their full satisfaction. This was no sooner said, to appease the People, but a blunt Fellow among the Croud cry'd out, Gen­tlemen this man is a great Pyrate, for I know him well enough, though he it may be thinks I don't; this is he whom some two years since, and somewhat more; took [Page 316] from the Pyrates of Argiers, a Portugal Ship, which came from the Indies: Ye need not doubt, but that this is the same Man, for I confidently tell you that I know him; for he gave me my Liberty, and Money to bring me home to Spain; therefore Neigh­bours I tell you, I know him: And at that time, he did not only free me, but three hundred Captives more besides, furnishing them with Victuals, and Money. With these Words the Vulgar were in an up­roar, and the desire afresh revived, which all of them were possess'd of, to know, and see such Intricate Riddles as these to be clearly Explained.

In short, the Persons of more especial Rank, and Quality, returned back to ac­company Aurelia to her House, leaving the Nuns sorrowsul, and weeping, that they had lost so fair a Sister, and Companion, as Aurelia; who arriving at home, she brought the Gentlemen into a spacious large Hall, and entreated them to sit down; and al­though Philocles was willing enough to take upon him to give the Relation, yet not­withstanding, he chose rather to trust Au­relia's Tongue, and Discretion with it, than his own: All that were present were in a still silence, and having their Ears, and Hearts ready prepared to be Aurelia's Audi­tors, [Page 317] she began to relate the Story, which I abbreviate to this: She deliver'd an ac­count of all that had happen'd from the very day that Prospero, by Stealth, carried her away from Cadiz, till her return thi­ther again; not omitting the Battel which Philocles fought with the Turks, and the Liberality, and Bounty which he had used towards the Christians; and the Solemn Vows which both of them had engaged each to other, to be Husband and Wife; the Promise of two Years, the News which she had received of his Death, and that so certain, as she apparently thought, that as a Motive it induced her to that Estate which so lately they had seen her, of pro­fessing her self a Nun: She likewise ac­quainted them with the Northern Queens Bounty towards her; also of Philocles, and his Parents Affection towards her: So end­ing her Relation, she desired Philocles that he would relate what had befallen him from the time that he left Mundolin, until this very present.

Which done, Philocles likewise made a short Relation of what had happened to him since Aurelia's Voyage for Spain, telling them how he had been pursued by his Ri­val Endymion; who with four others, set upon him, and Shot him into the Body [Page 318] with four Pistols, leaving him for dead; and that his Servant, awakened with the Noise, out of fear, leap'd down from a Window, and hied him out of the Inn with such fear, and haste, that he did not so much as look back, or make any stay till he came to Mundolin; so that he might well bring the News of his Death; and that it was two Months, and better, before he was able to Travel; at the end of which he came to Genoa, where he found no other Passage, save two small Boats, which he, and two other principal Spaniards hired; that as they were coming for Spain, they were taken by the Turks, and stript of all that they had, even to their naked Skins; and that the Turks carried him to Algiers, where he found the Fathers of the Order of the Blessed Trinity, treating about the redeeming of Christian Captives, with whom he discours'd; and that they, mov'd out of Charity, though he was a Stranger to them, redeemed him for three hundred Ducats.

In conclusion, (said he) I came to Spain, with fifty redeemed Captives: In Valen [...]ia, we made a general Procession, and from thence, every one went his own way which he liked best, with these Ensigns, and To­kens of their Liberty, which are these poor [Page 319] kind of Habits. This day I entred this City, with so great, and earnest a desire to see my Dear Aurelia, to whom I was enga­ged; that without any other things de­taining me, I enquir'd for this Monastery, where I was to receive intelligence of her; for further Confirmation of what Philocles had already said, Heaven had so ordained it, that a Florentine Merchant was present at all this, who was to pay him ten thou­sand Ducats, upon a Bill of Exchange, which escaped the Turks Hands, which he presently shewed, to the Admiration, and Amazement of them all.

Supper time being not yet come, Philo­cles told Aurelia, that he had heard a Story, coming home from his Captivity, which made him Weep, and think of his poor Aurelia, calling often to remembrance her languishing at his Fathers House in that Deplorable Condition, the Poyson had brought her to. Aurelia desired him to re­late it; but Philocles being somewhat wea­ry, desired Brisac, his Companion which came with him, to relate the Story of the Platonick Lover, whereupon, the Compa­ny being all silent, he began.

In Florence, there lived a Gentleman more rich in Vertue, Beauty, and in Cour­tesie, than in the Goods of Fortune, who [Page 320] most intirely loved a Young Gentlewoman, whose Name I will not rehearse, in respect unto her Kindred, who are descended of good, and great Families; but you may assure your selves, that the Story is most true; and because he was not descended of as great a House as she was, he durst not discover his Affection to her; for the ex­tream Love he had for her, was so absolute, and perfect, that he chose rather to imbrace Death, than the Entertainments of any thing that might prejudice her Honour; and seeing himself in so low a Condition, in comparison of her, he could not enter­tain the least hopes to espouse her; where­fore his Love was grounded on no other end, but only with all his power, to love her as perfectly as possibly he could, of which at last she received some Intelligence; and seeing the honest Affection, which he had for her, was so full of Vertue, and Ci­vility, she thought her self happy to be esteemed, and beloved by so worthy a Person, and made so much of him, that he who could not have wished for more, was greatly contented at it.

But Malice, the Enemy to all quiet, could not long suffer the continuance of a Life so happy, for some Informers whisper'd in the Mother's Ear, that they much won­dred, [Page 321] that this Gentleman was of such pow­er in her House, and that they suspected, the Beauty of her Daughter to be the only occasion of it, with whom they oftentimes observed him to be very Conversant. The Mother, who no ways doubted the Ho­nesty of the Gentleman, but assum'd to her self as much assurance of him, as she did of any of her own Children, was very sorry that there was spread abroad such an un­charitable Opinion of him; but fearing that some Scandal might arise, by the ma­lice of bad Tongues, she intreated him at last, that for a certain time he would not come so frequently to her House, as he was accustomed to do. This was hard of di­gestion to him, knowing that the civil Dis­course which he had always with her Daughter, did not deserve that restraint. Nevertheless, to stop the Report of all ill Tongues, he retir'd for a time, until that Report was silenc'd, and afterwards re­turned, as he had been accustomed to do.

His Absence had no ways diminished his Affection; being in the House, he under­stood the young Lady was to be Married to a Gentleman, who in his Opinion was not of that great Estate, but that his own Service might be as well entertained, and be as acceptable as his: He therefore be­gan [Page 322] to reassume Courage, and imploy his Friends to speak on his behalf, supposing that if the Choice were offered to the young Lady, that she would prefer him before the other. Nevertheless, her Mo­ther, and her Kindred, did make choice of the other Person, because he was far more rich; whereat the Gentleman was extreamly melancholy, knowing that his Mistress would lose in that Enterprize as much Contentment as himself. Whereup­on, by degrees, without any other Sick­ness, he began to consume away, and in a short time, was so much changed, that it had clouded the Beauty of his Counte­nance, with the shadow of Death, to which, day succeeding day, and hour fol­lowing hour, he did joyfully repair.

In this Extremity he could not forbear, sometimes for speaking to her whom he lov'd so entirely: But at last his Strength failed him, and he was reduced to keep his Bed, of which he would not advise her whom he loved so entirely, because he was unwilling, that she should partake in his Affliction: And suffering himself to sink into despair, he at last could neither Eat, Drink, Sleep, or take any rest; insomuch, that it was impossible to know him, by rea­son of his Leanness, and the strange, and [Page 323] sharp Countenance which he had. Some there were who advertised the Mother of his Mistress, of it, who was a Woman full of Pity, and loved the Gentleman so well, that if all her Kindred, and Confidents had been of the same Opinion as her self was, and her Daughter, they had preferr'd his Vertue, and fair Deportment, above all the others Wealth, and Riches; but the Kindred, who were on the Father's side, would not adhere to it: Nevertheless, she resorted with her Daughter to visit the poor Gentleman, whom they found rather dead, than alive; and perceiving the end of his Life did approach, he endeavoured to put himself in a posture to bid adieu to the World, thinking to have died without fee­ing any one.

But being ready to obey Deaths Sum­mons, and descend into his last Sleep, un­expectedly beholding her, who was both his Life and Resurrection, he found him­self so fortified, that he arise up in his Bed, and directed himself unto the old Lady; Madam (said he) some Occasion I presume hath brought you hither, to give a visit unto him who hath already one Foot in his Grave, and of whose Death you are the Occasion. The Lady made answer, how can that possible be; that he whom we [Page 324] love so well can receive his Death by our neglect? Pray, inform me, Sir, upon what grounds of Reason you pronounce so hard a Sentence? Madam, (said he) although as much as it was possible for me, I have concealed that Love which I most faithful­ly have born unto Mademoiselle your Daughter, until my Friends (have mo­tion'd the Marriage between her and my self) have been more Zealous upon it than I desired, perceiving thereby I have receiv'd the Misfortune of having all my hopes frustrated; neither doth it so much afflict me for my own particular, but my prophetick Spirit tells me with an assu­rance, she can never be so well respected by any other, nor will be so well beloved as by me. The Observation which I make, that she shall lose the best, and most affe­ctionate Friend and Servant that she hath in the World, doth more afflict me than the loss of my own Life, which only for her alone I would preserve; but because I find it cannot be serviceable any ways to her, it is an Advantage to me to lose it.

The Mother and the Daughter hearing these Words, did do the best they could to comfort him; Sir, said the Mother to him, take Courage I beseech you, and [Page 325] I here solemnly promise to you, that if the Divine Powers restore you to your former Health, my Daughter shall have no other Husband but your self. She is now here present before you, and I command her upon the Obligation of her Duty to make the same promise to you. Her Daughter melting into Tears, did the best that she could to give him an assurance of that which her Mother had promised; but he appre­hending, that if he were recovered he should not enjoy his Mistress, and that the good Words that were given him were on­ly by Degrees to restore him unto his lost Health, did say to them, That if these Words had been spoken to him but three Months ago, he had been the most Health­ful, and the most Happy Man in the World, but this relief came so late to him, that it could neither be believ'd, nor ho­ped. And when he observed that, they did endeavour to inforce a belief into him of what they promised, he said to them since so faithfully you have promised that great Happiness which can never arrive unto me, (though now you both consent to it) by reason of the great weakness which is upon me, I shall crave a far less Favour, which as yet I have not had the boldness to demand. Immediately, they [Page 326] both solemnly made Protestations, that it should be perform'd, and desired him with Confidence to demand it; whereupon, he said unto the young Lady's Mother, I ear­nestly beseech you that you would place her in my Arms, whom you promise shall be my Wife, and that you command her to imbrace and kiss me.

The young Lady, who was not accusto­med to such familiarities, made some diffi­culty of it, but her Mother expresly did command her, seeing that he had lost both the understanding and force of a living Man. On that command the Daughter did advance her self upon the Bed of the poor sick Gentleman, and said to him, Sir, 'pray be Amorous; the poor Gentleman, languishing in his extream weakness, stretch'd forth his Arms, which were only Skin and Bones, and withal the force of his Body embrac'd the Cause of his Death, and kissing her with his pale and cold Lips, held her close to him as long as possible he could, and said to her, the Love which I have ever had for you hath been so great and vertuous, that Marriage excepted. I never desired of you any other Happiness than what I now enjoy, for the event where­of, and in this Possession of it, I with Joy shall entertain Death as the most welco [...] ­est [Page 327] Friend, after receiving so great a Satis­faction of having now my Desires in my Arms.

And having spoke those Words he took her again into his Arms, and with so much vehemence, that his weak Heart could not endure the strength of his Love, which was immediately abandoned of all the Fa­culties of Life, for his Joy was so much di­lated, that the seat of the Soul failed, and although the poor Body continued a long time without Life, and therefore could no longer possess the rich Prize it so lately gain'd, yet the Love which the young La­dy had till then concealed, did now so vi­olently declare it self, that the Mother of the Living, and the Servants of the Dead had much to do to separate the Union, and were at last enforc'd, to pull the Living almost Dead, from him who was already Dead, whom they did honourably interr; but the greatest Triumph of his Obsequies, were the Tears, the Sighs, and the Com­plaints of this poor young Lady, who de­clared her self as much after his Death, as she concealed her self in his Life, and now as it were satisfied for the Injury she had done him. And since (as I have heard it reported) the Husband she was married to (to take off from himself thoughts [Page 328] of Melancholy) could never be enter­tained with any true Joy or Comfort of Heart.

Brisac having ended his Story, Supper came in, and several sorts of Instruments played the while, several Healths went round, especially the Northern Queen's, Philocles and Aurelia's; they earnestly be­sought the Assistant, that he would honour their Wedding, which some eight Days hence they did purpose to Celebrate. The Assistant was very well pleased with the Motion, and within eight days after, ac­companied with all the Highest and Prin­cipal Persons of the City, he waited on them to the Church. By these turnings and windings, and by these Circumstances, Aurelia's Parents recovered their Daughter, and were restored to their former Wealth; and she assisted by her many Vertues, in despight of so many Inconveniences light­ed on a Husband, of such especial Rank and Quality as Philocles, in whose Company she lived many years in great Amity and Splendour, leaving behind them Heirs to uphold the Names of Philocles and Aurelia.

THE Perfidious Mistress: A NOVEL.

VAlentia, one of the most Eminent Cities of Spain, the Nurse of so many Families, the Centre of In­genious Spirits, and the sacred Receptacle of the Bodies of divers Saints, gave Birth unto Don Principio, a Person of Noble Extraction, Young, and Master of all those Excellent Qualities, for which Men are either lov'd or admired. Having 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 [Page 330] his Uncle, who dying, he supply'd his place, and so continued twelve years in the Service of his Catholick Majesty, Phil­lip the Third, against the revolted Pro­vinces of the Low-Countries. He was at last in Compensation of his Services, Honoured with the Order of St. Iames, 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 Antwerp, 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 pursued 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 suddain Ex­change of Enjoyments, blast his Reputati­on, and incur the Reproach of a Person impatient of hardship, and guilty of effe­minacy. This Consideration discovers him to be much more stay'd than those young Gentlemen, who prefer whole Skins, [Page 331] 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 Principio 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 obliged him to make the more earnest Promises to come back into Flanders, contrary to the Pre­sumptions of many, who immagin'd 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 entertain'd 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 Soldier, yet was he no Lover of gaming, a Disposition for which he was [Page 332] much to be commended, considering his Age and Quality: inasmuch as gaming Oc­casions a thousand Misfortunes, and unhap­py Accidents, whereof there had happen'd not a few at Valentia. Nor was Don Prin­cipio 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 Andalu­zia, and one which he rode a hunting the Bulls, according to the Custom of the Coun­try, shewing himself, at that sport, more dextrous than all those, who were accoun­ted the Bravo's of the City.

'Tis a Custom in Valentia, that in 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 Principio rid abroad into the Country, through that De­lightful plain, which is near a Garden not far from Valentia, known by the Name of [Page 333] 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 Orange-Trees, whereof there is good store there abouts, (the Sun being so far decli­n'd, that it seem'd to be equally divided between us and our Antipodes) he passed 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 Musicia­ness putting the Instrument into several dif­ferent Tunes, did not what he so much de­sir'd, which was, to hear her Voice. In the mean time Night came on, and Don Principio extreamly delighted with the place he was in, gave his Horse to his Lacquey, and commanding him 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 the Moon, that it was a Lady, who being got into that Balcony to take the Advantage of [Page 334] a gentle Wind then blowing, began a-fresh her delightful Musick on the Lute, where­to she joined 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 ravished 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 charm'd so long his Ears; who also perceiving her, would needs make his Ad­vantage of so blest an opportunity. So that getting as near 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 [Page 335] should be extreamly glad of his Acquain­tance, that I might give him that Account of this good News, that he is so obligingly bemoaned 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, yet she gave him this answer. As to the Song you heard, Sir, you 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 that trouble of mak­ing any enquiry who it is, and conse­quently of informing him how highly he is in my Favour, as you imagine. What Assurance can I have of that, (says Princi­pio) 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, (reply'd 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.

[Page 336] She could not forbear laughing at this Discourse of Don Principio's, and telling him withal, 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 beseech you, (says Principio) do you think, Madam, that I have told you any thing short of truth? Mistake me not, (reply'd she,) I don't charge you with a coming short, but going much beyond it, for you are so Prodigal of your Commen­dations of a Person you are very little ac­quainted with, nay, have not so much as well viewed, 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 only give you this one Instance, that, when I my self, and others whose Judgements I dare trust, think I do not sing tolerably well, you would make me believe, that my Voice hath raised you into Extasies, when another would not have a Minutes Patience to hear me. Nay, Madam, (re­plies Principio) take heed your Reproaches rebound not upon your self, disparage not [Page 337] 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 only 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 Principio, (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 [Page 338] be very great in that, (reply'd she)? Very little, (said he) considering the ac­count upon which I proffer it; but I should say no less, were I possess'd of all the World, and think it well bestow'd. I am extream­ly 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, perhaps, be so resolute. My hearing cannot deceive me; (replys he) and I presume, that the Person, who is so excellent to satisfie that auricular part, may be the like in other Curiosities, 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 Splendour, 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 [Page 339] 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 satisfied, (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 Principio) to give me leave to wait on you here to Morrow at 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, (re­plys the Enamour'd Gallant) more fix'd in my Resolution, than the Stars, you see, are in the Firmament. Your last Words, (re­ply'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, methinks they grate the Ear, and I think all that use them great Flatter­ers, and consequently, no great Honourers [Page 340] 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 Principio in a little disturbance, to see that she left him so soon, for he was ex­treamly 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 from thence, he saw him get up on Horse-back, and knew him, and pre­sently return'd with News to his Mistress, who was over-joy'd to hear it was Don Principio; of whom she had heard such noble things, and seen behave himself so gallantly, at the Hunting of the Bulls.

Don Principio being come home, enqui­red of a Neighbour of his, who that Lady might be, to whom he had spoken and describing to him the place where she liv'd, he understood, her Name was Donna Iu­lietta, (the Sir-name for some reason I shall omit) a Lady of great repute in the City, and of extraordinary Endowments, whose Understanding was equal to her Beauty, [Page 341] Daughter to one Don Speranza Lopez, 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 Principio fully inform'd of all he desir'd to know; though he had a par­ticular account 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 Property very recom­mendable in a Person of her Sex, and Qua­lity. Principio had never seen her, and understanding she liv'd at that Country-House, his desire was the more inflam'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, [Page 142] 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 a little recover'd, she had the liberty to go and see the Processio [...] 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 Iulietta came thither also, but having her Face covered with her Mantle, and at­tended only by one of her Women, she got into a little obscure Chappel.

Principio 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 the Chappel, and had their Faces cover­ed 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, where they cannot see those Ceremonies which all the rest are so desirous to behold: But I at­tribute this indifference to the little incli­nation they have to become Nuns. Iuli [...] was not a little pleas'd to see [...], [Page 143] 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 Festival, we cannot expect the same welcome as those that are; and for the little Curiosity we discover to see the Ceremonies us'd, 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 Prin­cipio's Friends) you are not one of their number, who have a desire to enter into that Profession. I have no answer to make to you as to that, (reply'd she) only to give you my Sentiments; that a Person cannot enter into this State of Life, unless they are qualified for it; a Favour I do not yet find in my self to be worthy of. We may then (replies Principio) 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 an account, 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 satisfy [Page 344] us so far, Madam, (says Principio) 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 Principio.) What, Whether I have the Accommodations re­quisite to enter into that State, or not, (reply'd s [...]e)? 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 Neu­ter, as being uncapable of both. I could very well follow that advice, (said she.) But if you please, Madam, (says Principio) to discover what your Mantle permits us not to see, I will give you better Advice.

Coming up nearer to 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 Principio's two Friends also took notice of; if the advice you intend to give me, (said she) should 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 Principio to her) in regard we have observ'd some things which assure us, that you ought to choose the State of Matrimony, in which [Page 345] 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 satisfied 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 Judgment, 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 the Lady having had the Pa­tience to hear what every one had to say on his own behalf; she answered them all together, thus: I am fully inform'd of the [Page 146] Qualities, and Deserts of Persons every way so excellent: I am now to advise with my Pillow, 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,

Principio 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: Principio purposely staying to be the last, only to whisper these Words to her. 'Tis too great a Tyranny, Madam, towards a Servant so passionately yours, in so long a time, not to vouchsafe him a full sight of you. I beseech you, be more kind to him hereafter, least your further disdain [Page 147] 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, when, pos­sibly, y [...]u least expect it; Principio had not the time to return 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 perceiv­ed Principio, she came down, and they discours'd a long time together, without a­ny Interruption. The Effect of this inter­view and long Conference, upon Princi­pio, was, that his Love, which before was little better than kindled, now broke forth into a Flame. Iulietta 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 only reflection, that to have done it, at the first interview, would have [Page 348] argu'd such a Compliance and easiness of Nature as no violence of affection should ever be able to excuse.

Principio, being now fully satisfyed that Iulietta 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. Iulietta knew, that Principio a­mong so many other qualities he had ac­quir'd, was also skillful in Poetry, and con­sequently was the more surpriz'd and satis­fy'd therewith: Some of his missives she ve­ry modestly answer'd in these terms.

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 Iudgment of the giver, in­asmuch 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 [Page 349] 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 only in the power of time to discover, and withal to assure me, whether I am to acknowledge your Civilities, or resent the injuries you have done me.

The Fair Iulietta found out an expedi­ent to convey this Letter into the Hands of Don Principio, her newly caught Gallant, who, desirous to set himself right in the opinion of his Mistress, and assure her of the Fluency of his Style in things of this kind, caus'd the Messenger to stay, and take along with him this Answer.

The Answer.

I See then, Madam, so that you procure your own satisfaction, you care not what incon­veniencies I may run into; since that to be more moderate in your praises (as you seem to [Page 150] 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 will find it no great difficulty to believe me, if you were sen­sible what I feel; nay though out of modestly you pretend to be Ignorant of it, I de [...]ie 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 Hearts, subdu'd by the Charms of your Beau­ty, mine perhaps may 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 a 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 Soveraign Mistress and Directress of my Inclinations; and then perhaps good Nature, Gratitude, and Generosity will rather advise you to acknow­ledgements of the Love I bear you, than a re­sentment [Page 151] of the injuries you charge me withal.

This Letter gave Iulietta that satisfacti­on concerning her new Gallant, which she expected; the frequent Visits where continu­ed on Principio'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 perticular, 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. Principio clear'd himself the best he could, still assuring her of the contrary; and inflam'd with Love and Indignation, all he could do was to dispel that diffidence, which troubled him extream­ly; but the sameLove, which is wont to re­concile the lesser differences and dissatisfa­ctions, that happen between Lovers, helps them also out of the greatest and most diffi­cult; [Page 352] 'twas Principio's design to marry this Lady, though her Fortunes were very low: but he delay'd the doing of it, till he had affected 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.

Iulietta 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 puctually observ'd by Principio, who was not known to have given her a meeting any where; but she her self was the first that forgot what she had enjoyn'd; it happen'd thus: During the time of the Carnival, which in Valentia, is Celebrated with Masquerades, Balls, Tiltings and Disguises, Principio 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 [Page 353] Iulietta's, to which she with some others had been invited: Principio and some other Friends of his were to be there, not in or­der to any Ball, but only to discourse; Iu­lietta 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 order'd to wait on her to that Neighbour's House, who was very much her Friend. Principio 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 rose from her Seat to go and look upon a piece of Tapstry, that was in the Room, wherein there were represented lighted Torches; the Admirati­on she express'd at the Excellency of the Work-man-ship, oblig'd Principio to come al­so to see it; there was Pen, Ink, and Paper upon the Table; Lucretia (so was the Lady called) took the Pen in her Hand, and drew several strokes upon the Paper; Principio 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 [Page 354] only his own diversion in all he did, took no notice of it; nay on the contrary, being acquainted with Lucretia, 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 than it did then; she pre­tending to be displeas'd at that Freedom gave him a clap upon his Shoulder with he [...] Hand, to get off the Ink; but perceiving h [...] laugh'd at the revenge she had taken, sh [...] gave him another harder than the for­mer. Iulietta who minded their Jesting mor [...] than what was said to her by the Mistress o [...] the House, (with whom she was then dis­coursing) starts like a Fury from her seat, and not considering what she was doing▪ gave Principio such a blow over the Face▪ that his Nose bled; the poor Gentleman wa [...] extreamly startled at it, and all he could do was to take a Handkerchief out of his Poc­ket, to receive the Blood; telling his Mi­stress, very Coldly, Well, Madam you see [...] have kept the Secret Committed to my trust▪ you have first reveal'd it and transgress'd th [...] Law you have made your self; concluding [Page 355] this reproach with a low Congy, he quitted the Room, and went home.

Iulietta 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 account this meeting had been ap­pointed, coming into the House, Iulietta had the opportunity to retire with her Friends into another Room.

Being got together, only they two, my dearest Iulietta, (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 have done, assures me, without your speak­ing, what, in many Words, you should hard­ly have perswaded 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. Principio is a per­son of Worth and Quality; I am very glad he is your Servant, you may henceforward publickly own him, for it is to no purpose to dissemble.

[Page 356] Iulietta was at such a loss, that she knew not what to answer; but having a little reco­ver'd herself, I must acknowledge, dear Ma­dam, (reply'd she) since this Eruption of my Jealousie and Indignation hath betray'd me, that Principio is my humble Servant; my inconsiderate Passion, hath, to my Shame, discovered what I kept not only from your knowledge, but that of all others. I must ac­knowledge, I say, that Principio serves me with a violent Passion, which yet exceeds not the Affection I have for him. I never saw him so indifferent, as he discovered himself in this last Action; his familiarity with Lu­cretia touch'd me to the quick. That short fury, which we commonly call Jealousie, for­ced me to that extravagant discovery of my Love. Since what is past cannot be recall'd, (said 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 Princi­pio's good Company, nor he of the Pleasure of this meeting. Besides, we should not give Lucretia the time to make any Reflection on this Accident, or conceive Apprehensions which would prove Disadvantageous to you. What is to be done in this Conjuncture, (re­ply'd the Jealous Lady?) The only way I can think of, (says her Friend) is, immediately to write to him. She followed her Advice, and sent him these Lines.

The Letter.

JEalousies, when they are really the Effects of Love, though expressed with some harshness, are rather to be accounted Favours than Af­ronts, by a Lover, whose Soul exhales a sincere Passion towards his Mistress. The Injury I have done my self in wounding my Reservedness, 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 farther Occasion, if the loss of my Favour may give you any.

A Messenger was immediately sent with this Letter to Principio, who exprest much gladness at the Receipt of it; and, without any Recollection, obey'd his Mistress, as be­ing satisfied in Mind, that nothing discovers a real Passion, more than Jealousie. He comes very gayly into the Room where the Ladies were, which [...]cretia perceiving was not a little troubled, for she doubted not of his being in Love with Iulietta, though she thought so well of him as to wish he had ra­ther [...]ddress'd his Affections to her self.

[Page 358] Principio finding himself in the presence of Iulietta, thought it not requisite to speak to any other, ere he had first assur'd her of his Compliance with her Desires. Approach­ing her with a Graceful Smile, he made her this Complement, Madam, 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 only kept me from profaning the one, and offering any violence to the other, but also from revenging by that kind of Du­el, which the Law permits between Gallants and their Mistresses. (Iulietta reply'd) be­ing so much, as I am, a Servant to Madam Lucretia, I have taken upon my Account the Affront you have done her, when she would have shown you a Kindness, never thinking of any Law that permits a Man to revenge himself of a Lady by way of duelling.

Lucretia knowing that that indiscreet Acti­on of Iulietta's proceeded meerly from her Jealousie, would not be engaged 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 sho [...] oblige me to Jealousie, and thinking not the affront [Page 359] done to me so great as you would perswade 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 an easie Solution, such as none in the Company can be ignorant of. Iulietta, not a little mov'd at the freedom of that Dis­course, would have reply'd; but the Gen­tlewoman of the House unwilling the Diffe­rence should go any further, interrupted them, and obliged them to sit down, for se­veral other Ladies were coming into the Room.

Principio was, that Night, not only very sumptuous in his Apparel, but also full of Ex­cellent Discourses, insomuch that there were few Ladies in the Company, who were not much taken with him, among whom Lucre­tia was the most concern'd of any. Her thoughts were full of what had happen'd be­tween her and Iulietta, and she 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 the Story hereafter mentions.

All the Favours which Principio receiv'd of his Mistress, were pay'd by her with extraor­dinary Demonstrations of Affection; for in­deed [Page 360] 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 Principio's. For the Gallant then absent had receiv'd of her by way of Kind­ness, what in Matrimony is called due 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 Frederick Dorella, had made a Journey to Madrid, to prosecute a Suit at Law against the Count of Boceyna, his Uncle, for a con­siderable Estate in Lands, which at last was decided in a Sovereign Councel of Arragon. He was return'd to Valentia, with a Decree to put him into Possession of the said Estate which amounted to two Thousand Crowns per Annum. Iulietta was extreamly put to her Shifts, not knowing how she should keep in with both these Gallants, and satisfie them at the same time. She considered that her Honour was engag'd with Don Frederick, and her Love with Principio: Her Affections being so much the more heightned towards the latter in requital of his assiduou [...] Att [...]n­dances, as it was remitted towards the f [...] ­er, [Page 361] 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 their sight) and mind only 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 Secrecy 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 Frederick 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 desired, as well to add fuel to his Love, as that the other, whom she was more obli­ged to favour, might have the freer Access. Her excuse to Principio was, that she wanted not Over-seers, that her Friends were very shie in point of Honour, that one of them watched her Day and Night, and that the greatest Pleasure he could do her, was, to forbear passing through the Street where she [Page 360] [...] [Page 361] [...] [Page 362] liv'd, till she had assured him that the Coast was clear. Principio who had really lov'd her, and suspected nothing of the Imposture, easily credited all she said and punctually o­beyed her.

Don Frederick was willing to requite the Kindness he had receiv'd from her, by mar­rying her; but having a Mother alive, who would not have been well pleased with that Marriage, he took Occasion to put it off, ho­ping it would not be long ere she were re­moved out of the way, as being very anci­ent. So that he passed away the time very jocundly with his Mistress, whilst she by her cunning Insinuation and Artifices, endeav­our'd to bring Principio into a Fool's Paradise, and make him believe all proceeded from Af­fection.

There happened about this time a Differ­ence between Principio, and another Gentle­man, of the most eminent about the City, whose Name was Don Renatus, as they were playing at Tennis. Some Friends interposed between them, and 'twas conceiv'd they were made Friends; but the Reconciliation pro­ved such as neither was satisfied. Principio was a Person of a Generous open Nature, grounding his Gallantry on the Employments he had in Flanders, and imagining that no Man, having any thing to say to him, would [Page 363] 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 expressed so much Resentment, smo­ther'd his Malice, in hopes of an opportunity, wherein he might revenge himself with Ad­vantage.

Don Frederick was gone to a certain place in the Country, where he stayed three or four days. Iulietta who had a great Kindness for Principio, 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, concer­ned 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 this Deceitful 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 Principio for her Husband. But Frederick being afore-hand with her, she could do no less, though 'twere only out of a fear to lose him, and prevent [Page 364] 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 mar­ched off. But out of an Apprehension that even then he might possibly break his Word with her, she thought it Prudence to give Principio also a little more Line. Upon these Considerations, she suffered her self to be Courted by both.

Principio being now more kindly entertain­ed 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 reckon'd with­out his Hostess; for it was her fear, that if she obliged him in what he so much desired, he might become absolute Master of those Inclinations, which she had so dexterously divided between them both. However, Principio pass'd away the time pleasantly e­nough, during the absence of Frederick; but as soon as he was return'd to Valentia, Iuli­etta began to put on a greater Reservedness, and would not be so much as seen by Prin­cipio. She made him such plausible Excuses for it, that he, loving her as he did, belie­ved all she said, though not without some Suspicion, that there might be something else in the Wind: Upon which account he oft­en [Page 365] disguised himself, that he might, undis­covered, 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 escaped be­ing discovered by the Cavalier who sought to be reveng'd of him. That he met not with Frederick in that Street, proceeded hence, that Iulietta, fore-seeing all Inconve­niences, had order'd, that Frederick should come to her House, through that of a She-Friends of hers, which was another Street, and had a back-Door, leading into a Garden joyning unto Iulietta's, in whose Embraces she spent the whole Night.

It happen'd, one Night, that Principio be­ing in the Street where his Mistress liv'd, his Adversary, Don Renatus, attended by two of his Servants, comes into it by another way, being not well assured it was he, they fol­low'd him at a Distance, being loth to do a­nother that Mischief which they only intend­ed him. Principio at last observ'd them, and finding himself unfurnished with Pistols, to deal with Persons who never went without them, as having only his Sword to defend himself, he besought him to make the Sig­nal he was wont at Iulietta's Door, who as good luck would have it, was come down [Page 366] Stairs, after she had put Frederick into Bed. She looks out at the Window, to see what her second Gallant would have, who, as soon as he perceived her, desir'd her imme­diately to open the Door, otherwise he was a dead Man, in regard Renatus his Enemy followed him, and he was destitute of Wea­pons to defend himself. The Lady imagin'd that Principio would only have put a trick upon her, and only said so, that he might be the sooner admitted in: But Principio, with many Oaths, affirm'd he said nothing but the truth, and that Renatus, with two others, were comi [...]g upon him.

Iulietta was extreamly 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 Bed-fel­low that Night, and that she durst not open the Door, least she should see him. Princi­pio pressed her the more to do it, aggravating the danger he was in, and charging her that she had little love for him, when she deny'd him entrance into her House in so great an Extremity, which the greatest Stranger in the World would not have deny'd him. Iulietta told him again, that she could not do it without prejudice to her Reputation. That as to the love she bore him, he needed not doubt of it, since it could not be greater [Page 367] than it was, and call'd Heaven to Witness, that she was extreamly perplexed, that she could not satisfie his Desires. Principio told her, that since her Friend was in a Room above-Stairs, she might without any scruple open the Door, and let him stay below, till such time as he might retire with safety.

Iulietta seeing him so importunate, imagi­ned it proceeded from some Suspicion he had conceiv'd of her, and that he had seen Fre­derick coming into the House. To be assu­red whether it were so or no, she look'd into the Street, and saw the three Men who pur­sued him, and whispering one to another, as being in some uncertainty whether it were the Person they looked for. These Circum­stances fully satisfied her, that Principio was in very great danger; and to find some Expedient to give him entrance, she bid him expect a little with Patience, and she would see whether she could open the Door. She went up Stairs to see Frederick, who, won­dering at her stay, ask'd her what occasion'd her going down. She told him her Aunt was not fall'n a Sleep, and that she could not come to Bed, till she were. Desiring him to have a little Patience.

[Page 368] Having thus satisfied 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 Frederick posses [...]'d of her Bed, a Person of a Fantastick Humor, yet one whom she was engaged to, and had made Master of the most precious thing she had, and still humoured 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 Principio would have prevailed with her, not to suffer him to be assassinated by his Enemies, which he must run the hazard of, if she relieved him not, it being in her power to do it: So that she was strangely distracted, not knowing whether she should follow the Dictates of Honour, or those of Love. At last, after divers Considerations, that of Honour prevailed with her, and oblig'd her not to receive Principio 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 Fredericks's hearing of it, who would thence take Occa­sion to break his Promise; another that if Princi [...]io were pursued 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 Fre­derick, even though he saw him not.

[Page 369] Having thus resolv'd to stick to the surer [...]ide, she went down stairs, and finding Prin­cipio still at the Door, my dearest Love, (said [...]he to him) Heaven's my Witness, how wil­ [...]ing I am to satisfie your Desires, by giving [...]ou Entrance, not only into my House, but even into my Heart, which is absolutely at [...]our Disposal. I see you are pursu'd, as you [...]old me, but it would be too great an Incon­ [...]enience to me, that you should be seen co­ [...]ing into my House at such an unseasonable [...]our, being a Person yet so unblemish'd in my [...]eputation as I am. I beseech you consider with your self what Discourses it might Oc­ [...]asion; besides my Friend, who is my Bed­ [...]ellow this Night, is awake, and, as Women [...]re extreamly inquisitive, she will be desirous [...]o know the Occasion of my stay, and who [...]ath kept me so long from her, for there is a [...]ery great familiarity between us. Pardon [...]e therefore, that I cannot grant your de­ [...]ire; it is the greatest Affliction imaginable [...]o me, that I must leave you in such a dan­ [...]er, but reflecting on that of my Reputa­ [...]ion, I know you would not have me to ha­ [...]ard it, since I doubt not but you are so ge­ [...]erous, as to prefer my Honour before your own Life.

[Page 370] This unworthy Treatment of his Mistress, in so pressing an Extremity, went to the ve­ry Heart of Principio; nay he was so startled to find himself thus deceived, that it would not have troubled him much if Renatus had set upon him, that he might be reveng'd of the affront done him by Iulietta, 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. If you ever 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 account only I made my Addresses to you: upon which if you, ungrateful Woman, had entertained me, and not insisted on frivolous Respect 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 Courtship [...] 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.

[Page 371] Iulietta 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 she went to call him, he was got a great way down-the Street, pur­sued by Renatus, who being assured 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 quarrell'd at Heaven, which in the mean time secur'd her Lover from Danger, and resérv'd him for happier Adventures. Renatus coming within Pistol-Shot of Prin­cipio, perceiv'd that he had met with his Friend Don Alonzo, who with his Servant, was going home to his Lodging, which pre­vented him from executing his Design. For Renatus being, in appearance, and that be­fore several Persons, reconciled with him, all would have blam'd him, had he assaulted him upon the old account, 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 discove­red. Principio related the whole Story to his Friend, and how he had been pursued thither; which he much wo [...]dred at, seeing [Page 372] Renatus 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 satisfied of what he suspected, Principio being near to Don Alon­zo'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 passed Principio opened himself to Don Alonzo, and acquainted him how Affairs stood between him and Iulietta. Don Alonzo had heard somewhat of the mutual Love there was be­tween her and Frederick, and was vexed to see his Friend had so far mis-placed his Affe­ctions, and particularly at the Resolution he had made to marry her: whereupon he could not forbear telling him what he heard of her and Frederick; which Principio 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 only since Frederick's return from Madrid: upon which communicating his Thoughts to [Page 373] his Friend, they jointly concluded, that Fre­derick must needs be in the House with her. To be fully assured of it, they ordered a Ser­vant of Don Alonzo'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 Frederick was wont to get in at a Back Door. With this Precaution they went to Bed together; but Principio 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 Frederick going out of the House belonging to Iulietta's Friend, and that about the same time, he had seen Iulietta in one of the Windows that looked into that Street, looking on him as he went out, and that he was sure it was no other than she her self. This Account satisfied Principio so ful­ly, that all the Love he formerly bore that impudent Woman, immediately vanish'd. 'Twas not imaginable, that Frederick fre­quented that House upon the account 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 [Page 374] how they might most Cautiously ac­complish their Desires.

The Night following, Principio would himself, from the House of a certain Friend of his, see Frederick getting into the Sanctu­ary of that Charitable Sollicitress; and for his further Assurance, he lay perdue upon the Roof, whence he discovered. That that favoured Gallant continued there, till word was brought him that he might make his En­trance into Iulietta'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 withal, she sent Principio a Let­ter by her 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 called her up, and receiv'd from her a Paper contain­ing these Words.

Iulietta to Principio.

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 [Page 375] Occasion of it. That I have not been so Com­passionate, as the Exigency required, be pleased 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 pard [...]n'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 denied 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 acknowledged the Indulgence of those higher Powers, who rescued 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 which I should prefer before two things I account 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 [Page 376] to preserve yours, as she wishes it may her's, who loves you with all her Soul.

JULIETTA.

Principio 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.

To Julietta.

YOur Satisfactions, hitherto, have ever heightned my Love, but this last has 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 entertained only to pass away the tedious In­terval of another Man's Absence, nor to act the ridiculous part you have put me upon, only to come upon the Stage, between the several Acts of your Secret Prostitutions. If it be any Satisfa­ction to you, know, I have disengaged all Re­sentments of your Hypocrisie, and shall never complain of the frivolous Elusions, wherein y [...]u suffered my Love to Languish: No, I am more obliged to your Denials, than ever I should have been to your Caresses. My Life indeed would [Page 377] have been secured, if you had received me into your House; but my Honour would have been irrevocably lost, if, without my Discovery of it, you could have exercised your Charity on two se­veral Persons, the sanie Night. 'Tis very pro­bable you loved me beyond your own Life, when, being so closly engaged to another, you thought me the fittest Person in the World to make your Diversion. I am really obliged 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 only for him. Live as happily with him as the Conscience of your in­humanity towards me will permit, and never think more of Principio, who for his part, disclaims all future thoughts of you.

It was not long ere this Letter came to the hands of Iulietta, whom the Maid found in that Neighbour's House of hers, through which Frederick 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 Kindness he was wont to do at [Page 378] other times. Iulietta 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 opened and read it, she was like one put into a fright, not able to speak. Her Friend ask'd her what it contained? 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 disturbed than the young Mistress, found, that Frederick's Love was discover'd, to the great Disadvantage of her Reputation, inasmuch as it clearly express'd, that it was through her House, Frederick made his Ap­proaches to her Friend, whereat she was ex­treamly afflicted. Iulietta was so troubled at the Contents of that Letter, that she cur­sed the day and hour she had suffered Prin­cipio to Court her; the only 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 incensed against her, yet would he conceal her weak­ness, and not publish the Correspondence there had been between them.

But Iulietta's Unhappiness was not come to its full height, and the Malice of her ill For­tune thought not this Affliction heavy enough. When the Wheel of that Vagabund-Goddess begins to turn, every Spoak of it brings anew

[Page 379] Misfortune, one Disgrace coming still on the Neck of another. It happen'd then, that as the Maid was coming out of Principio's Lodg­ing, to bring the Letter to her Mistress, Fre­derick saw her with it in her Hand, she hav­ing been careless to hide it, because she was dis-satisfied with Principio, who had only that time omitted to make her some Present. Fre­derick immediately began to suspect some­what, and, undiscovered, followed her to the House where Iulietta was, and got into one of the upper Rooms, without any one's taking notice of it; the Maid by a second over-sight, having left the Door open: He easily saw what past, he heard the Letter read from one end to the other, and withal, 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 expressed 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, con­ceived them a very fair pretence to dis-engage himself. He therefore goes very confidently into the Room where they were, and addres­sing [Page 380] himself to Iulietta, 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 suitable to my Desires, which aimed only at this, to see us one day united 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 tye, presum'd to anticipate. But since, ungrateful Crea­ture, I find you lost to all Modesty, and have entertained 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 Distrust. Having so said, he left the Room, a little troubled at the Distraction of the Woman; but well satisfied in his own thoughts, that he had drawn his Neck out of the [...]ollar, 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. Iulietta fell [Page 381] into a Swoon between the Arms of her Friend, and continued in it a long time; but at last being come to her self again, she spoke such things as raised a great Compassion in her who heard them. She sought for Remedies to her Misery, and not finding any strong e­nough to re-engage Principio, who was ac­quainted with her former Engagement, nor yet to bring back Frederick, whom she 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 Misgovernment 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 passed away the rest of the Afternoon in continual disquiet, not finding any Com­fort in either her Friends 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 imagined but the Night prov'd as Restless, as the Day had been Unfortunate. Let us a while leave her in her Bed, formerly the Receptacle, but now the secret Remembrancer of her former Miscarria­ges, in the midst of her Troubles and Tran­sportations, and give an Account what be­came of Principio.

[Page 382] As soon as he had dispatch'd away the Maid with his Letter to Iulietta, he sat 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 Lucretia, ever since she had oc­casion'd Iulietta 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 Principio was a person generally belov'd in his Country, as being endu'd with 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 Iulietta, imagine whether she were not extreamly 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 [Page 383] 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 on­ly one she had to Curse; for the very same day it was seconded by another, yet greater, inasmuch as Fredrick 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 Iulietta. She still retain'd a slender sha­dow of confidence in the Love of Fredrick, 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, by seeing his Marriage concluded, and her self absolutely forsaken; but reflecting on the other side, what an unworthy breach of trust she was Guilty of, towards him, to [Page 384] whom she had devoted her Honour, how could she imagine he should not leave her in the lurch? How could she expect, if they Inter-married, 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 only pro­ceed from Madness and Dispair; her fair Eyes became two Fountains, perpetually running; and when her Sighs 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 required 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 seest, he denies the debt; thou see'st, he pays it with in­constancy and oblivion; let all easie-natur'd, and inconsiderate Women take example by me; let those, who, deluded by Flatteries and fair Caresses, are drawn in to lose what they shall never recover again, cast their eyes on my Misery, and then consider whether [Page 385] 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 Trouble.

Having thus bemoan'd her self into some Remission of her Grief, she went to see her Friend, through whose House Frederick came into her's; 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 only 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? 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 Z [...]ida, three days after the Marriage of Frederick had been fully con­cluded.

This sudden change occasion'd a great deal of noise and discourse in Valentia; all won­dred [Page 386] 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 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 elsewhere, 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 enjoyed; she frequent­ly us'd this Expression, that in that House wherein there are many mansions, she hoped there was one for such penitent Magdalens a [...] she, who by timely Repentance, expiate [Page 387] 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 Love-Misfortunes reduced 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. 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.

Frederick, had a Wife, but Heaven was pleased 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 Baggs, full of Law-Sutes, Troubles, and Differences with other People, and not a few Discontents with his Wife. He wished, but too late that he had chose rather to have entred into a Monastery, than into Matrimony, the Inconveniences whereof sufficiently convinced him, that Iu­lietta had made the better choice. He visi­ted her often, and was obliged to her for her Prudent and Pious Admonitions.

[Page 388] On the contrary, Principio was the hap­piest Man in the World in his disposal of himself; his Lucretia 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 Iulietta, who receiv'd 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.

THE Metamorphos'd Lover: A NOVEL.

DON Philip, a Gentleman of very high Quality, was Born at Ville­franche, 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 Lodwick, and a Sister called Donna Cornelia: 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, [Page 390] 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, he Atchieved at length, the Order of the Knights of Alcantara, with an assurance of the first Commandry, 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 received 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 Philip arriv'd at Ville-franche, fifteen days after his Sisters departure to Vil­ladolid, where the Court was then, with an Aunt of his, a Widow, his Father's Sister, who would needs have her along with her; this old Lady, who had a great kindness for her, having resolv'd to leave her all she had at her Death, in hopes she might, with [Page 391] those Advantages, meet with a better Match.

As soon as Don Philip 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 Ancient Kinsman of his, whom having entrusted with the care of their Education and Maintenance, he resolv'd to go and Visit his Sister at Villa­dolid. As he was setting things in order for his 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, ravish'd the Eyes, and Hearts of all that beheld her, but above all those of Don Philip; 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 Apparel, and [Page 392] 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.

He was soon satisfi'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 Grimani, a Person of the high­est Rank next to Soveraign Princes, who comes into Spain, an ordinary Embassadour, from the Emperour of Germany, to his most Catholick Majesty: He brings along with him his Beautiful Daughter, the Lady Elea­nora, to be Married to Henricus, his Excel­lency's Nephew, who is at the present at Vil­ladolid, a Gentleman of extraordinary worth, who in the Flower of his Youth left Germany to go and see Foreign Countries. He has travell'd all over Europe, and is now resolv'd to make his Abode in Spain, having already [Page 393] continued some time at Court, with a very great Train, 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 Signior Henrick had been treated of in Ger­many with this Lady Eleanora, the only Daughter of my Master, who leaving his Country upon the being Honoured by the Emperor with the present Embassy, hath sol­licited the Business with greater 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, he would visit the place where his sa­cred Body lies buryed, so well known all o­ver the World, for the great Miracles dayly done there. Being come to Villadolid, my Master continued 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 Iames's. His Nephew [Page 394] Henrick is not come along with him, but stays at Villadolid, to send to Rome for the Dispensation, for the Lady Eleanora, and Signior Henrick are Cousin-Germans, thus Sir, I think I have satisfied your Desire, as to the Question you put to me.

Don Philip 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 walked over the Market-place, it being so dark as that the Marquess's Servant could not take any particular notice of Don Philip, who did all he could to avoid being discovered. The account he had receiv'd, that the Beauty, which had stollen away his Heart at the first sight, was already engaged, and, within a short time to be Married, cau­sed 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 he might not be per­ceived by them. The Master of the House plac'd him so as that he 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 [Page 395] that Don Philip saw not the Lady Eleanorae 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 disquiet, 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 only Love could inspire him withal.

The Kingdom of Galicia is very full of Mountains, and consequently the way to St. Iames's must be troublesome to Travel, so that the Marquess could make but short Jour­neys, whence Don Philip infer'd, that he could not be back in less than twenty days, presuming he would make some abode at Compostella, to do his Devotions, and refresh himself, ere he set out for his return. Accor­dingly, he 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 only took the Air a little in the Night, yet with such a Caution not to be known to any, he discovered himself to none of the Inhabi­tants; but only his Land-lord, whom he ac­quainted [Page 396] with his Quality, and the Design had brought him thither. He was attended only 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. Marco (so was this faithful Servant nam'd) 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 Pont-Ferrada, inasmuch as if it had been, he would not have failed, 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, Marco, could not guess 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 [Page 397] Life. You have heretofore thought me wor­thy the Knowledge of your most importu­nate 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 Crime, whereof I have not my self the least Apprehension; Wherein, I pray, Sir, have I offended you? You must needs harbour some ill thoughts of me, since you conceal from me the Disquiets which deprive you of all Appetite 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 extreamly 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: Pardon my Curiosity, Sir, which however impertinent, is an Argument of my Fidelity, and Readiness to serve you. I know it is the Duty of a good and faithful Servant, pun­ctually and implicitely to obey the Com­mands of his Master, without insinuating himself further into his Secrets, than he is [Page 398] willing he should be acquainted therewith. I have hitherto kept my self within those bounds, and have so lived 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 this four days, than of an old Servant, of whose Zeal and Fidelity you have had so ma­ny Experiences? You have hitherto thought my Advice worth the asking, nay have fol­low'd it, in things, for ought I know, of as great importance as this.

Marco having thus ended his Complaint, his Master conceiv'd himself oblig'd to make him some answer, which was this: Marco, 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 [Page 399] 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 withal 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 carried 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 Afflictions, 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 which destroys my Enjoyments, 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 Grimani: The excellent En­dowments she is Mistress of, and, which thou may'st have admir'd as well as my self, are all the Excuses I can alledge for the blindness of [Page 400] 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-German, named Henrick; and methinks, I see her rea­dy to joyn 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 disingag'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 Blood, 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, whence I derive my Extraction, are not inferiour to those of Grimani and Henrick; 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 re­turns from her Pilgrimage; I have but three [Page 401] 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 Extravagances, as that the Father, pleas'd with my Humour, may perhaps carry me a­long with him to the Court. This certainly, is a design Fantastick enough, and not only contrary to my Quality, but absolutely op­posite to the Opinion I should endeavour to raise my self in the World. I have a great 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 satisfied 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 only out of obedience to her Father. I have commu­nicated [Page 402] my design to the Master of the House, as being a discreet Person, who may serve me, and puts me in hopes to get me into the Marquess's Service, when he comes to give him an account of my pleasant Extravagan­ces, as we have already agreed together. Thus my dear Marco, have I given thee a faithful Character 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.

Marco 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 Cloths made for Don Philip, suitable to his Extravagance. He put him into a Cassock after the old Fashion, with puffs at the Sleeves of Green Sattin, and large Skirts, a Cloak somewhat like a Rocket, very short, and a Milan Cap, of green Plush. Being thus disguised, he changed his Quarters, and went to the Host's Brother's House, who al­so [Page 403] 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 Pont-Ferrada, 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 Philip had lodged, as being the best in the Town. The Host being taught what he had to say to the Marquess, for the furtherance of Don Philip'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 Remark­ [...]ble at the places through which they pass, [...]he Marquess Desirous to hear what there [...]ight be at Pont-Ferrada, called 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.

[Page 404] The Host being come into the Room, he began to ask him concerning the Antiquities of the Town, the Illustrious Families that had liv'd in it, the Disposition of the Inha­bitants, the Beauty of the Ladies, and such Particulars: Wherein the Host satisfied 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 Philip, 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 green Stuff; but there is a greater Extravagance in his Beha­viour than there is in his Cloths, and yet in the heighth of his Distraction, there may be observ'd certain Shadows of Understanding and Staidness, which renders him excellent good Company. Being ask'd by some o [...] our Inhabitants, who he was, I am (said he) Son to the River Sill, which passes by th [...] Walls of this Town, and descended from one of the most Illustrious Families of Gal [...] ­cia. He expects to be Treated with you [...] Honour, and your Lordship, in Discourse though he is known by the Title of Knig [...] of the Noble Order of Prim roses.

The Fooleries he tells to make good th [...] Title he assumes, are so ridiculous, that the [...] [Page 405] force Laughter from the most Melancholy. He seldom 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 else he has a soft place in his Head, as well as his Master; and I think 'em both very well worth your Observation. 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 Eleanora express'd also a de­sire to see him, for she had been present at the Host's Discourse. He gladly satisfi'd them, being overjoy'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 entertain­ed with any dis-respect, or indifference.

[Page 406] The Marquess, who was a Person natu­rally inclin'd to Mirth and Civility, promi­sed him he would observe his Directions. Whereupon, the Host marches away for Don Philip, who came into the Room very humorously in his Fools Coat, making wry Mouths, and some Fantastick Gestures, the Introduction to his future 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 Marco, who, on the other side, acted very well the Part that 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, (replys Don Philip) deserv [...] not the reward that may be expected for it▪ You are extreamly mistaken, if you think your self the first of those who have admi­red Natures Prodigality towards me in Ex­cellent Parts and Endowments. Give me th [...] favour at least, (answers the Marquess) to b [...] one of the most faithful Witnesses thereof, which no doubt I shall, [...]f you please but to honour me a while with your sweet Com­pany. [Page 407] For, as a rich Diamond pleases all the World, so the Attractions of your Coun­tenance, and the Transcendent Infinuation of your Behaviour forces the Admiration of all that see you.

Don Philip was by this time got near the fair Lady Eleanora, 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 pleased 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 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 Knighthood 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 bereav'd of all freedom; 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 [Page 408] 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 flattery, 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 perswade 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 suspicion of imperfections; and to be forc'd to the belief of falsehood brings truth into question. The truth I tell you, (replies the Amorous Extravagant) is such, so pure, so clear, and so far from all suspicion 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 pleased to take a Chair, for we desire to discourse with you at leisure: were it Hea­vens pleasure, Madam, (says Don Philip, as soon as he was sate) that I might ever conti­nue near you! But I see the Honour you are pleased to do me will be but short, and my Joy soon be over, for I understand, that [Page 409] 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 Imperial 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 disguis'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 to you the perfect History of my Life hitherto; be pleased to afford your Attention to what I shall say.

The Kingdom of Galicia was heretofore Govern'd by Counts, and afterwards by Kings. Gondamor Reign'd in that time, and continued a Widower 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 Wenching-Queen; she fell in Love with the Gallant Cialto, one of the richest and prope­rest Persons in the Kingdom; he ever kept about the Court, and was a Kinsman, tho' somewhat a far off to the King, but his prin­cipal Favourite, by which means he had ac­cess [Page 410] into the Queen's Chamber, and got of her that Favour whereby mankind 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 Daughters 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 Women help'd her to Bed, not knowing the Disease that troubl'd her; but not long after I came into the World, it seems, to run through all the misfor­tunes that have happen'd to me since.

Being received into the World by a faithful Servant, who knew of my Mothers Amours, 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 Lodging, she meets with the King, going to visit his Daughter. She was afraid his Curiosity would have promp­ted him 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 of me into a little Wicker Basket, she put me into the Ri­ver Sill, which ran by the Wall thereof, and [Page 411] told the Infanta that she had deliver'd me to her Brother, as they had resolv'd. I was car­ried awhile on the Chrystal Waves of that clear River; but at last, the Water grow­ing somewhat rough, I sunk, and was recei­ved 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 perhaps imagine this Discourse a feign'd Story taken out of the Inventions of the Poets; but give 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 caused 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 Latine 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; [Page 412] 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 played excellently well on all kinds of Instruments; to summ 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 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 only for my sake, than which I could not have expected [Page 413] a kinder Complement from one of her Sex. I went to her Chamber, and found her care­lesly laid on a Bed of Moss, exceeding in Whiteness the fine Sheets she lay on, and dis­puting as to Splendour 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 lo [...]ing all Sentiments, an Effect Natural enough in those who are truly tou­ched with Love. But recovering my self a while, though still much troubled, and my Tongue but as it were newly loosened, 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 disposed to serve you; I have no power over her, she is wholly yours, and glories in her Slavery. Treat her as a thing belongs to you, and as I have vowed 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 allay it, and if I should be admit­ted to that Degree of Felicity, should I not be the Happiest and most Glorious of all Men?

[Page 414] The fair Anacarsia, infinitely pleased with so obliging a Discourse, and the Worth she observ'd in me, highly honour'd me with her Affection, and complied 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 incensed 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, take that which is observ'd in this Kingdom, under which liv'd thy Illustrious Ancestors. I have justly ba­nish'd thee out of my Dominions, because it was not fit I should suffer profane Love to [Page 415] be made to a Nymph who had vowed her Chastity to me as I had mine to her. I have promised her my Protection and Assistance in all things. Keep henceforward within thy Kingdom, and assure thy self I wish thy good and advancement, so far am I from doing thee any prejudice. 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 pleasant Garden, in the midst of a Bed of fine Prim-roses, which I looked 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 Blasco of Galicia, taking the sur­name from the Kingdom which had been heretofore in the Possession of my Predeces­sors, who have been dead this four hundred years, as I have found in History. Besides that Name, I have taken an Additional Title, that of Knight of the noble Order of Prim-roses. I have assum'd it my self; for an Illustrious He­ro, as I am, may be his own Herauld, and by what Appellations he pleases raise himself a­bove the sphere of the common sort of Peo­ple.

[Page 416] Thus have I given your Excellency an ac­count 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-Coelestial 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 only expect your good Will, give it 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 satisfied, that the World, losing in me, the most Renowned Knight it ever had, must withal lose the worthiest Kinsman of his Catholick Majesty.

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. Marco 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, into a Coun­terfeit [Page 417] 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. Seignior Don Pedro Blasco, the most Illustrious, and only Knight of the most No­ble Order of Prim-roses, I am extreamly plea­sed with the knowledge you have given me of your Person, and the account you have entertain'd me with of your Miraculous Birth, [...]nd 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 [...] Person of your Worth and Quality ought to be credited in all things. What further confirms me in the truth thereof, is, that he is no less than a Prince who speaks to me. Believe me, I have a great respect for your [...]are Qualities, and such an Honour for your Person, that I would assure you my own is wholly at your Service. I have that esteem [...]or 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 [...]o further your satisfaction. I shall stay here [Page 418] 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 that 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 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 [Page 419] strange kind of Distraction. It pitied them to see a Gentleman every way so Accompli­shed, fallen into such unheard of Extrava­gances, 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 endeavour­ed to give them satisfaction. The Marquess acquainted his Daughter with a design that came into his mind, which was to carry Don Pedro along with him 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 Eleanora was very well content, leaving it to some other time to acquaint him there­with. Don Pedro Blasco 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, by reason he had somewhat to Communicate unto him. [Page 420] Don Philip gladly excepted the Proffer, and thereupon they parted.

The Marquess and his Company talked ve­ry much of Don Pedro, wondring at the strange kind of Madness he was fallen into. He acquainted them with the design he had to take him along with him 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 Blasco would hardly be perswaded 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'll 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 a weary of the Litter.

Don Philip, 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 [Page 421] 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 he 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 Philip. 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 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 suitably 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 Seig­nory. I shall take it for a very great favour, if you will be pleas'd to go along with me to Villadolid, 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. [Page 422] 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 Philip was extreamly satisfied, 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 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 resol­ved 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 [Page 423] to some Place, where he is not much known, and so avoid the charge of Servants and Cloths. But the Respects you are plea­sed 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 pleased to make me.

The Marquess finding him willing to go along with them, all that remain'd to be done was to perswade him to do it on Horse­back, which he was content to do, that he might the better entertain his Mistress at the side of the Litter. Don Philip 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 [Page 424] from their departure from Pont-Ferrada, till they came to Villadolid. 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 with Don Philip.

The last day of their Journey, Don Philip would needs feel the Pulse of his Mistress as to her intended Marriage, and endeavoured to discover how she was inclined 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 Philip, she made him this answer. Worthy Knight of the most Honourable Order of Prim-roses, I must needs acknowledge, that my Cousin Henrick is a Person endow'd with all the Qualities, capable to raise a Woman's Love to the highest pitch, but I have withal discovered him to be so fickle, and one so naturally inclined 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 [Page 425] 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 as ever; and Heaven knows with what apprehensions I am induc'd to condescend to this match; for if I am now frightned at the thoughts of his miscarriages, what must I not fear, when he obtains the Superiority? the obedience I ow 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 Philip 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 Henrick may become another Man, and that if he be such as you describe him now, that volatile Humour will be fix'd in [Page 426] him, when he comes 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 terms; and to make a full discovery of himself to his Mistress.

They came that day to Villadolid, and Hen­rick met them half a days Journey short of it; he was very kindly receiv'd, both of the Marquess and his Daughter, whereat the dis­guised Don Philip was not a little troubled; for finding Don Henrick a very graceful Per­son, he began to entertain some doubts of the success of his enterprize; the Marquess thought to make him acquainted with Don Philip, 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 Honour'd 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 only 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 Prim­roses: He pretends a Jurisdiction over all those places where ever any of that Flower grows, [Page 427] and never sees it, but he thinks of the Com­plexion of a Mistress he once had, who spent most of her time in Gardens, in one whereof it was Love's Pleasure to make him a Captive to her Beauty, as she was gathering some Prim-roses.

This Description made Don Henrick take a particular notice of Don Philip, 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 Philip, Most Ho­nourable Knight of the Order of Prim-roses, 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 obliged to you, that, being a Person of such extraordinary Parts, you were pleased to honour the Marquess my Uncle, and my Cousin, with your Company so far out of your own Territories. In Acknow­ledgment of that Noble Favour, be pleased 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 pleased to give you.

[Page 428] Don Philip return'd him most humble thanks, and said to him, I have so high an e­steem for whatsoever this fair Lady is concern­ed 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 Henrick) may we expect that farther 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 must know, that Don Peter Blasco 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 pleased to take my further Assurance of it, says Don Philip, 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 compared to me either as to Gracefulness of Body, or Accomplishments of Mind. I am sufficiently convinced of the Truth of [Page 429] what you say, (says Henrick) though I have not known you long: And therefore whol­ly relying on the promise you make me, I shall fear nothing as to your Pretentions, which were they any other Persons, I should not be guilty of so great an Indifference.

With these Discourses, they got to the Court, and the Ambassador being alighted at his House, he there found many Ladies, impatiently expecting the Arrival of the fair Lady Eleanora, who was receiv'd out of her Litter into the Arms of her design'd Hus­band, whereat Don Philip could do no less than conceive a little Jealousie. Henrick, to begin the Demonstrations of his Love, had prepared a magnificent Supper, to which were invited all those, of both Sexes, who were come thither to receive the Ambassadour and his Daughter.

Don Philip 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 that 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 Henrick, though he had [Page 430] been acquainted, as well as she, with his Mis­carriages. Marco could not forbear grumb­ling at the Resolution of his Master, which must have ended amidst those Difficulties. He exposed himself as an Extravagant Person in a Court where he might have raised himself into Esteem, and out of a hope not likely to be brought to any Effect, he ran himself day­ly into new Inconveniences. The Master and Servant spent some part of the Night in discoursing about the Business, till at last Don Philip fell a sleep, 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, con­tinued 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 Philip, who acted the part he had undertaken so admirably well, that his Extravagances 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 advised the Ambassadour to bring him to the Palace, assuring him the King would be much pleased with his Behaviour. Don Philip coming to hear of it, seemed to be very angry, and excused himself, out of [Page 431] 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 liked not the Proposal, and put it off to some other time, when perhaps he might find him more inclin'd to Com­pliance.

Henrick, who was also lodg'd in the Am­bassadour's House, had only two Servants to wait on him, whom he trusted with the Know­ledge of all his Love Adventures. It hap­pen'd that both these fell sick at the same time, a time when he should have shewn more Re­servedness 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 continued 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 upon a fitter Person to accompany him than Marco, who, with the leave of his Ma­ster Don Philip, went along with him, find­ing him a subtle Fellow, and experienced [Page 432] 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 Marco 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 accompanied him thither; and then being alone with the Servant-Maid (who taking Example by her Mistress began to express some Kindness towards Marco) he asked her whose House that was, and to whom Henrick made his Visits.

Love and Secrecy are seldom found in the same Lodging. She was a Servant, and in Love with Marco; there needs no more to be said, to make it appear, that she satisfied him in whatever he desir'd to know. Marco un­derstood from her, that that House belong'd to his Master Don Philip's Aunt, and that his own Sister was the Person whom Henrick had at rack and manger, upon a Promise of Mar­riage, she 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 Eleanora.

[Page 433] Marco having pump'd out all these parti­culars, fail'd not to give his Master an account thereof the next day. Don Philip was ex­treamly surpriz'd thereat; not without In­dignation against his Sister, though that pro­cedure of Henrick raised him into some hopes of effecting his Design, presuming the more upon it, in that being equal, as to Birth, to Henrick, he was resolv'd he should never Mar­ry any other, than her whom he had so high­ly dishonour'd. He thereupon commanded Marco to acquaint the Maid who had made those discoveries to him, that the Marriage of Henrick and his Cousin was agreed upon, and that a Messenger was sent to Rome for the Dispensation, not forgetting the rare ac­complishments of the Lady Eleanora; 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 received from Don Philip, so that the Night following Donna Cornelia (so was Don Phi­lip's Sister call'd) was acquainted with the whole Business. She thereupon had a great Contestation with Don Henrick, who impu­dently denyed that he had any thing to do, as to Marriage, with his Cousin. In fi [...]e, ha­ving done all he could to vindicate himself, [Page 434] and appease Donna Cornelia, she pretended to be satisfied with him, provided he more fully justified his Innocence the next Morn­ing. So she dismissed Henrick, who went a­way well satisfied, imagining her to be so too, but resolving with himself not to give her a­ny Visit awhile, he pretended some Indispo­sition. Don Philip understood that Night from Marco all that had passed between Don Henrick and his Sister, and was extreamly in­censed 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 Marco to prosecute his Discoveries.

The next day, Don Henrick not coming to clear himself, as he had promised, Donna Cornelia was so enraged, that she would stay no longer, but resolv'd to be satisfied from the Mouth of the Ambassadour, 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 Henrick 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 Ambassadour how he was engag'd to her, and to shew him that promise of Marriage. Don Henrick receiv'd [Page 435] her with extraordinary Kindness, which she [...]aking otherwise than he expected, added the more to his Suspicion. He told her, he had something particular to acquaint her with, [...]nd entreated her to go along with him to a Room at some distance from his Uncle's Lodg­ [...]ngs. Donna Cornelia would not be perswa­ded a good while to give him that Satisfacti­on, telling him, that she must first speak with the Ambassadour, and that afterwards he should talk with her as long as he pleased. That Don Henrick endeavoured to prevent, [...]ssuring her, that he was at that time, very [...]usie, looking over a pacquet of Letters he had received from the Emperour. He was [...]o importunate with her, that she would hear him before she spoke with the Ambassadour, [...]hat at last he prevailed. Whereupon con­ducting her to Don Philip's Chamber, he en­ [...]reated him to bear her Company, till he came back to speak with her.

Cornelia having her Face veil'd all this time, Don Philip knew her not, but by the disco­veries he had receiv'd, he suspected her to [...]e his Sister; on the other side, he was so transform'd by the Extravagance of his Cloths, 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 Philip kept her Company [Page 436] 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 Henrick; to know how he would have him dispose of her; he was then busie with his Uncle, but sent one to desire Don Philip, to entertain that Lady a while, with this excuse, that, as soon as he could, he would come and dispatch her, Don Phi­lip returning to his Chamber, immediately lock'd the door.

In the mean time the Lady Eleanora had understood, that her Cousin had spoken to a Woman with her Face Veil'd, in one of the walks leading to the Ambassadour's house, and desir'd Don Philip 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 Philip'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 perceiv'd, and that just as Don Philip, com­ing into the Room, found his Sister with her Face Unveil'd, expecting to be seen only by Don Henrick, whom only she staid for; as soon as he had taken a slight view of her, he apply'd this discourse to her.

[Page 437] Ungracious and unhappy Woman, unwor­thy of the House out of which thou are de­scended, and that I should call thee my Sister! is it possible thou should'st 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 only should'st 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 Gull's as thou art; hast thou so far forgotten the respect due to thy Aunt, as to profane her house, by assigning Henrick his Nocturnal meetings in it? Thou should'st have bethought thy self who thou [Page 438] art, that he is of no better house than thy [...]elf, and that thy quality is as high as his. 'Tis 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, Henrick's fur­ther abuse of thee; which I will do with the hazzard 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 Cornelia 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 justy grounded, she told him in few words, how Henrick 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 continued 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 happen'd between them; whereupon he, to add no [Page 439] more to her affliction, put her in some hope' that Henrick should be forc'd to perform the promise he had made to her.

The fair Lady Eleanora had heard all this discourse at the Door, which was between her Lodgings and Don Philip's Chamber, ex­treamly astonish'd how a Person of Quality (such as she found Don Philip to be by his discourse) and one of such an excellent Wit, could put on a Fool's Coat, and behave him­self as an Extravagant in their House, and all about the Court. She was ignorant of the cause 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 Henrick, in treating of a Marriage with her, having given a promise of the same thing to another, and to a person so high­ly qualified as Dona Cornelia seem'd to be.

Being fully satisfied 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, So­veraign Princess of my Soul, and absolute Di­rectress of my Inclinations? Do you use such [Page 440] 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 Fortunes 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 Extra­vagances. My Curiosity heightned by a lit­tle Jealousie, procured me the Discovery of more than you imagine, I have found the Perfidiousness of my Cousin Don Henrick; greater towards me than I could have expect­ed, considering his pretended Kindnesses. I would fain be delivered out of the Confusion I am in, and I earnestly entreat 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 displeased at his long stay, and leave the rest to me.

[Page 441] Having so said, she took Donna Cornelia 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 Henrick's Treachery. The Lady Eleanora left Donna Cornelia among her Women, and returns to Don Philip; who though at first surpriz'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 discovered his Transformation, and the unhandsome Carriage of her Cousin. Don Philip 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 opened 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 Henrick, 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 satisfied in some things, whereof I must yet Acknowledge my self Ignorant. One is, and that much raises my wonder, to see you counterfeiting the Fool and Extravagant, in a Court, where [Page 442] 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 Cornelia, 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 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 delivered this with the best grace in the World, the fair Lady was silent, and left Don Philip the Liberty to make 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; [Page 443] no Intrigues but he is Author of; no Diffi­culties but he overcomes, to compass his De­signs. This premised, I am in the next place freely to acknowledge, that the day you pas­sed 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 proved predominant, and the En­gagement I knew there was between you and your Cousin Don Henrick could not a­bate on tittle of it. Nay, though I knew all the particulars of that Engagement, where­in you rather complied with the Commands of a Father than your own Inclinations, in­asmuch as you looked 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 Design.

I am not therefore, Madam, to repent me of the slur I may have put upon my Blood, 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 [Page 444] 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 crossed by after Applications. In fine, it was Hea­ven's Pleasure, that a strange Conjunction of my Sister's Misfortune, and your own just Jea­lousies, should give you a discovery of what, perhaps, I should yet a while have kept from your Knowledge. My true Name is Don Philip de Gamboa and Toledo, and consequent­ly I may affirm my self to be of the most e­minent Families of Spain, since I am descen­ded from the Seigniors of Ville-Franche and Astorga. I have the Honour to be Knight of the Order of Alcantara, and I have acqui­red it by some years Services done his Maje­sty in Flanders, with hopes, ere long, to be gratified with an Advantageous Commandry. I have given you an Account of my Quality, and have not concealed from you my Presum­ption. All I have 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 [Page 445] 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 infinitly exceeds the Shame, for it is in your power to restore me the Ho­nour I have depriv'd my self of, only 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 disguised Lover, and thought her self oblig'd to make an extraordinary re­turn to so extraordinàry a demonstration of Af­fection; and being now fully undeceiv'd as to the Sycophancy of her Cousin Don Henrick, she made him this answer. Seignior Don Philip that you have, upon so slight a gound 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 [Page 446] 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 only death can dissolve: I am satisfied 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 Amourous Cavalier would have cast himself at her Feet, would she have permitted it; he returned 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 Cornelia was left in the Lady Eleanora's Lodgings, whose return she expected, and Don Philip look'd for Don Henrick, to enquire after the Lady he had recommended to his Custody; the Lady Elea­nora went to comfort her whom she had left among her Women, and to put in Excecu­tion, what had been resolv'd, between her and Don Philip. About half an hour after her departure thence, comes Don Henrick to his Chamber, to look after the Lady he had left there: Don Philip told him, that he [Page 447] 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 Henrick) 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 Philip ask'd him some odd questions, as he was wont to do, to sift something further out of him; but Don Henrick 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 Eleanora had vi­sited Donna Cornelia, of whom she had re­ceiv'd a punctual Relation of her Amours, 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 Henrick, she sent to desire her Fa­ther to come to her, who being alone with her, she entertain'd him, with this following Dis­course.

[Page 448] Sir, it hath ever been a laudable Custom, that Fathers should dispose of their Daugh­ters in Marriage, as they either pleased 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 seldom found to work that effect: Those therefore may be said to do well, who, refer­ing the Success to the higher Powers, by an implicite obedience, comply with the dispo­sal of their Parents; but those in my Judg­ment do better, who use some precaution, and endeavour to prevent the inconvenien­cies, 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 Henrick 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 endeavoured to obey you, tho' 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 [Page 449] 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, for he hath given a promise of Marriage to ano­ther Lady, whom you shall presently see.

She thereupon call'd for Donna Cornelia, whom she had left in her own Chamber, and who immediatly came before the Ambassa­dour; having dispos'd her into a Chair, the Lady Eleanora 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 words, lock'd her into Don Philip's Chamber, under pretence that you were busie, and that it would require some time to stay ere she could see you; some little curiosity occasion'd my 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; [Page 450] her quality is great, since she is of the House of Gamboa and Toledo, two of the most Illu­strious Families in Spain: She is resolved 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 my Judge, and I beseech you discharge me of so unjust an obedience for the future; for I am resolv'd rather to confine my self the re­mainder 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 extremely astonish­ed at both what he saw, and what he had heard; he examin'd the promise made to Donna Cornelia, and found that that discove­ry alone was sufficient to prevent his Daugh­ters Marriage with Henrick; 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 caused the Ladies to withdraw, and sent for his Nephew, whom he shew'd the Schedule he had made to Donna Cornelia, 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 unhandsom­ly [Page 451] proffer'd, since the truth would be prov'd by several of his Letters written with the same hand; at last Don Henrick, not without extreme Confusion, acknowledg'd, that blinded by Love, he had indeed made that promise, but he would lose his Life ere he performed it.

Don Philip having quitted his Fool's Coat, and put on a very rich suit, with the Cross of Alcantara on his Coat, and Cloak, heard this Discourse from a corner of the Room, where he was dispos'd, and not able to con­tain himself any longer; Seignior Henrick, (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 too, as to that point, (replies Don Henrick) and no Man shall force me, by menaces, to do any thing against my Will: This so en­rag'd Don Philip, that he gave Don Henrick a Challenge; the Dispute grew higher and higher, which oblig'd the Ladies to come in between them, and to give orders the doors should be shut, least they should put the Chal­lenge in Execution.

[Page 452] While these things pass'd, the Ambassa­dour minded not the Person of Don Philip, but imagin'd him some other Person come thither after his Sister; for, seeing him so well habited 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 Extravagances, had found him so much sport; the Lady Eleanora 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 Philip de Gamboa 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 per­swade his Nephew, not to contest in a busi­ness, which was not to his advantage; that if he satisfi'd not the injur'd Cavalier, mis­chief [Page 453] would attend it; that he should not re­ly on any protection he might hope for from him, inasmuch as seeing the little reason he had on his side, and the affront he intended that Lady, he should rather be against him, by assisting his adversary, than countenance him in so unjust a Cause; 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 he had so unworthily treated her.

Don Henrick, finding himself press'd, with reproaches on all sides, and withal harkning to the Advice of his Conscience, thought it best to follow his Vncle'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 Eleanora thought it a good opportunity, be­fore the whole Company, to give her Father an Account, how Don Philip had fallen in Love with her, how he got into his retinue in the Quality of a Jester; that she conceiv­ed her self oblig'd to requite the Extraordi­nary demonstration of his Affection to her, by an Exchange of hers to him, if her Father approv'd of it; the Old Gentleman had so [Page 454] much Mettle left, as to admire the strange Conducts of Love in all its Operations; and particularly, how it made the wisest Man Mad, and the Mad Wise, making its Advan­tages of Extravagance it self, to compass its design; without any further demurring, he gave his Consent. Whereupon the Lady Ele­anora took him by the hand, and Don Philip was so happy, as, by odd and unlikely means to see all his desires accomplished.

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, and the Tiltings were Extraordina­ry; but what more nearly touches the Sto­ry, is, that the King Honor'd these two Ca­valiers with great advantages, wherewith Don Philip had also those of a numerous Issue; for which Don Henrick needed not much to have envi'd him, being the most satisfi'd man in the World with his choice, whom he infinit­ly Lov'd, and thereby made it appear, that the inclinations of two person, 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 Impostour Out-Witted: A NOVEL.

IN the great and famous City of Sevil, the Metropolis of Andaluzia, 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 Antonio de Mendoza, a very Accomplish'd Cavalier, of the Illustrious Fa­mily of the Dukes of Alcala, so highly estee­med all over the Kingdom. 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 lived 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 followed the Spanish Court, and [Page 456] was gone thither about some Affairs of great Importance, which he had brought to a hap­py Issue. Having liv'd there awhile, 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 Alonzo de Castiza, a Person who had raised 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 Widower, ha­ving but one only Daughter, to whom all his vast Estate was to fall at his Death. Na­ture it seems had made it her particular con­cern to enrich this young Lady, with all the Graces and Perfections to be wished 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 Alonzo, wished her well Married to his Mind, that is, one equal to her, in Estate and Ex­traction. Don Martinio de Mendoza (so was called Don Antonio's Cousin whom I spoke of first) might have aspir'd to the Honour [Page 457] of making his Addresses to her, as well upon accompt of the House, from which he was descended, as the Familiar Acquaintance there was between him and her Father Don Alonzo.

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 Proposals to the Old Gentleman, on the behalf of his Cou­sin Don Antonio, 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 only Son of a Noble House. Don Alonzo took it very kindly from him, but thought it withal, 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 Alonzo, immediately writ to a particular Friend at Sevil, earnestly desiring him to give him an account of the Person and Estate of Don Antonio de Mendoza, inasmuch as it high­ly concerned the Honour of his House, to meet with a Cavalier Worthy his Alliance, to be Husband to his only Daughter, Donna Ca­tharina.

[Page 458] 'Twas not long ere he received an answer, wherein his Friend confirm'd all that Don Martinio 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 Martinio, 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 Alonzo, as a further Ob­ligation, would have his Daughter's Picture, 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 Antonio, the Painter had not flattered her, and that the Copy was below the Original.

Don Martinio 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 Antonio was extreamly satisfied therewith, and referr'd 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.

[Page 459] In the mean time, Don Antonio was prepa­ring for his Journey to Madrid, to wait on his Mistress, who, having received 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, was finish'd, he began his Journey, having only one Per­son to wait on him, and a Groom to look to their Mules, who followed them at a little di­stance. Don Antonio carried always about him his Mistress's Picture inclosed 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 en­tertained at a 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 Money, and was vex'd, which occasion'd their playing on till he had recovered his Losses, and by that time it was grown later than he could have wished. Being horsed, he and his Man put forward, but ere they had rode a League, Night surprized them, so that they made a­shift 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, [Page 460] 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 dream­ed 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 been upon a Design which had not taken, and so they were re­turning very disconsolate with empty Pockets to Toledo.

Coming up to them, and finding them both asleep, they tied their Hands behind them, and took away all they had, but their Wast­coats and Drawers, and, to get off with more speed and safety, they made use of their Mules. Don Antonio, being thus basely sur­prized, 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 discour­sed 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 called to him that looked after them, ve­ry much bemoaning the Condition they were [Page 461] in. They asked him, how far it was to To­ledo, and he told them it was not quite half a League, but if they would go along with him to a Country-House hard by, he would gladly shew them the way, and that he doubt­ed not, but the Lady, who liv'd in it, would relieve them in that extremity.

They took his Advice, and he brought them to a very fair House. Having knock'd at the Gate, it was immediately opened by an old Man, who was Steward to the La­dy, and had the over-sight 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 that happen'd to those Strangers, and the Condition he had found them in, whereupon she ordered them to be brought up to her Chamber. Don An­tonio presented himself to her, very much out of Countenance to see himself almost naked, having upon him only 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 only that he was a Gentleman of Sevil, named Don Torpino de Hezzo. The Lady whose Name was Donna Olivia, was much troubled to see him in that deplorable Condition. There were in the [Page 462] House two Chests full of Cloths, which had been a Brother's of hers, who dyed not long before. She ordered two Suites to be brought out, which they put on, that which Don An­tonio had proving so fit, that the Lady was much taken with his Person, and had her Eyes always fastened on him. She invited Don Antonio to Dine with her, which he did, taking Occasion ever and anon, to make ex­traordinary Acknowledgements of the Fav­ours he had received from her.

They continued two days in that Country-House, ere the Lady made any discovery of the Affections she had for Don Antonio, save only what she did with her Eyes, which were the silent Interpreters of the Trouble she was in. Don Antonio 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 advised 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 obliged them. The Solitude of the place, the Beauty of the Lady, and the silent Discoveries she made him by her Gestures, ob­liged Don Antonio to answer her Affection. He entred into some Love Discourses with [Page 463] her; but though she were really in Love with him, yet would she not grant him any particular Favour, unless he first assured her she should be his Wife, and that she had a Pro­mise of it under his hand.

Don Antonio, on the other side, had so great a Kindness for her, that he had in a manner forgot the Mistress, whose Picture he had car­ried about him, and advising with his Servant, (who was a dangerous Confident, and a sub­tle 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, fince she knew neither his Country nor Extraction. Don Antonio followed his Advice, and thereupon had his Desires of Donna Olivia, who having made the Blot, could do no less than give him leave to enter. He continued there four days, at the end whereof, acquainting the Lady that his Business at Madrid was of such Importance as required his Personal Attendance there, she consented to his departure, on Condition he would return again as soon as he could; which he with Oaths, promised to do.

[Page 464] 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 furnished him with all things necessary, he put forward; but ere he had gone far, he receiv'd some part of the Chastisement which he deserved 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 confined to his Cham­ber for some days; let us return to Donna Oli­via, who very much bewailed the absence of her Gallant, the very thought of whom cau­sed her no small Affliction. A Servant of hers who had made the Bed where he lay, found, under the Bolster, a Picture of the Lady whom Don Antonio was to be married to, fol­ded up in a Letter which his Cousin had writ to him from Madrid, which she delivered to her Mistress, who opening the Paper, saw the Picture, whereat she was much disquietted; but she was much more astonished, when she cast her Eye on the ensuing Letter, which contained these Words:

Dearest Cousin,

YOU will receive herein inclosed the Pi­cture of the Lady Donna Catharina de Castiza, which is very exactly taken from the Original; I doubt not but the charms of her Beauty will oblige you to hasten your Iourney. Her Father, Don Alonza de Castiza, 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 extreamly satisfied, that you have found so Excellent a Wife. I am

Your Affectionate Cousin, Don Martinio de Mendoza.

Donna Olivia had scarcely come to the pe­riod of this Letter, but, through the Trouble she received at the reading of it, she fell in­to a Swoon, and continued therein above half an hour, in the Arms of her Maid. At last she came to her self, bursting into Sighs and Tears; she railed at the Sevillian Impo­stour, 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 wholeday in weeping and bemoan­ing her Misfortune: But considering with­al, what hazard her Reputation was in, she [Page 466] resolv'd it 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 Dilario, 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 caused two Waggons 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 Dilario, to enquire where a­bouts liv'd Don Alonzo de Castiza, 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 Alonzo de Castiza, and ordered Dilario [Page 467] to live in it as Master thereof, that done, she sent him to Don Alonzo's, to enquire whether she wanted a waiting-Gentlewoman, for she would disguise her self, that she might not be known by Don Antonio. The Business had the effect she desired, for Donna Catharina was then enquiring for a Widow to wait on her, a Custom much practised in Spain, where Ladies of Quality have several of them, whom, being Widows, they call Duenna's. When this was proposed by Dilario, who went un­der the Name of Father to his Mistress, Don­na Catharina not only receiv'd her into her Service, but her Father, Dilario, was enter­tain'd into Don Alonzo's. Dilario gave his Mistress an account of his Negotiation, where­at she was extreamly satisfied: So that having put her self into the habit of a Duenna, she went the next day to present her self to Don­na Catharina, conducted by her pretended Father, Dilario. They were both very kind­ly entertained by Don Alonzo de Castiza and his Daughter. Donna Olivia wished she had not been so handsome, that the Suitor she ex­pected might be the less taken with her; how­ever, she Couragiously resolv'd to prosecute the Impostour she was engaged in. Donna Catharina asked Dilario what Country-Man he was. He told her that he was born at a place called Utrera, near Sevil; that his [Page 468] Name was Iacob de Granatus (by which we shall hence-forth call him) that his Daughter had been Married to a Merchant of that Ci­ty, who died as he was going for the West-Indies, leaving so great Debts behind him, that all his Estate went to satisfie his Credi­tors.

Don Alonzo hearing that Granatus was of Andaluzia, asked 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 Alonzo would not at that time enquire any farther, nor enter in­to any Discourse with him concerning Don Antonio de Mendoza. Donna Olivia was en­tertained as Duenna to Donna Catharina, 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 lived with her many years. Granatus told them that he had a House of his own, not far from Don Alonzo's, and a Wife (for Flora an an­cient Maid of Donna Catharina's, was to act that part) whereupon he had no Lodgings assigned him in Don Alonzo's.

It is now time we return to Don Antonio de Mendoza, who being recovered of his fall, came to Madrid, and lighted at the House of his Cousin Martinio, who was much troubled that he had not been there sooner. He told [Page 469] him the Cause of it, and gave him a particu­lar account of all had past in Donna Olivia's Country-House, even to the promise he had made her, under a feign'd Name. Don Mar­tinio asked him, what Quality the Lady was of: whereto he answered, that her Name was Donna Olivia de Priola, and that she was of one of the most Noble Families of Toledo. Don Martinio, was very much dissatisfied with his procedure, reprehending him with the unworthy Action he had committed in abusing and dishonouring that Lady, and that it was to be feared, she might hear of his coming to Madrid, in order to a Marriage to another, and find means to be revenged for that affront.

They afterwards fell into Discourse con­cerning Donna Catharina, and Don Antonio told him, he extreamly fancied the Picture he had seen of her, but that, with the other things he had been robbed of, he had lost it: though he knew well enough, he had left it under the Beds-Head at Donna Olivia's, which troubled him not a little, however he dis­sembled it. Don Martinio told Don Antonio, that it were requisite he put himself into o­ther Apparel, before he waited on his Mistress, and that he must keep within Doors till they were ready. Within two days a very fair Riding-Suit was brought him, wherein; pre­tending [Page 470] he was but newly come to Town, he goes to the House of Don Alonzo de Ca­stiza, by whom he was received with great Demonstrations of Kindness. Notice was immediately carried up to Donna Catharina 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 Antonio coming in, conducted by Don Alonzo and Do [...] Martinio, was infinitely satisfied 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 Catharina, that the Painter had done his Work very faithfully, a Virtue not much practised by Painters, especially upon such Occasions as that was. He was ravished to see so great a Beauty, and she on the other side was wel [...] satisfied with the handsom Per­sonage of Don Antonio.

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 Antonio's Presence; whereupon he, Don A­lonzo and Don Martinio 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. [Page 471] Donna Catharina continued all that time in her Chamber, with her Servants talk­ing of Don Antonio, her Husband to be, e­very one congratulating her good Fortune, save only Donna Olivia, who saying nothing at all, her Mistress observed it, and being all alone with her, Donna Artimisa, (said she to her, for that was the Name she had assu­med) whence comes it, that, while all the rest celebrate the Happiness of my choice, you only are silent? Methinks you might have contributed somewhat to the publick Congratulation, though you had done it on­ly out of Complaisance. I pray give me some Reason for it. Donna Olivia had done it pur­posely, in Prosecution of her Design, and this Question came as seasonably as she could have wished it, so that she made her this an­swer. As to the Person of Don Antonio, 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 wished in him, which he is not already possess'd of. My silence proceeds hence, that I had a particular Knowledge of him at Sevil, for I lived 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 [Page 472] your quiet, so as that you may not live in a perpetual dis-enjoynment of your self all the rest of your days; know then, Madam, that if you Match your self with Don Antonio you will be brought to a kind of Civil death, instead of receiving the satisfa­ction of Wedlock. Donna Catharina was much astonish'd at this discourse, and press­ed her Duenna, to discover to her more clear­ly, what she had but too great a desire to tell her: Whereupon intreating her to re­tire into a more secret place, where they might not be observ'd by her other Women, Donna Olivia gave her this Malicious account of the perfidious Don Antonio.

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 An­tonio 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 Antonio, satisfy'd his desires, upon [Page 473] 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 Antonio's Father was then a live, who, having receiv'd some Intelligence of that Love, endeavour'd all he could to prevent Don An­tonio's Marriage with Donna Marcellina de Loprezza; (so was the Lady called.) The con­tinuance of his Visits to her produc'd living proofs, which were two Son's and a Daugh­ter, who were at that time with the Mother; when Don Antonio's Father was remov'd out of the way, (which happen'd not long after) Donna Marcellina 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 Hou [...]e.

Being now convinc'd that he intended to leave her in the Lurch, she discover'd the bu­siness to two Cousin-Germans of hers, who were so [...]nrag'd thereat, that they immedi­ately resolv'd to oblige Don Antonio, by force, to perform the promise he had made to their Kinswoman. Don Antonio went to a certain Farm he had, not far from Sevil, to avoid his adversaries, who, knowing he went out [Page 474] of the way purposely because he would not satifie 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 this six Weeks; this is the Account I can give you of Don An­tonio, 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 aff [...]ont done to their Cousin; nay it will be easier for them to do it here than at Sevil.

DonnaCatharina heard very attentively the Story told her by the Duenna, and was ex­tremely troubled, to find Don Antonio 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 Marcellina was very handsome, &c. Whereto she made such Answers as were suitable to her design, which was to put Don Antonio clearly out of her favour. Donna Catharina 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 Olivia was left in [Page 475] the outer-room, where the Women and Du­enna's are wont to wait, there came in to them a Servant of Don Antonio's, whom he had sent to the Post for Letters from Sevil; enquir­ing for his Master, to give him the Pacquet. Donna Olivia told him, that he was within, but that as soon as he came out, she would deliver it to him; having open'd the Pac­quet; she put into it a Letter, which she im­mediatly writ, and, Sealing it up again, came where her Mistress was; she asked her whi­ther she was going with those Letters? The other answer'd without the least discovery of any Malice, that they were directed to Seignior Don Antonio, 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 Catharina shew'd her self not 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 Olivia) she could do no less than open it, and directing her Eye down to the bottom of it found it subscribed by one Donna Marcellina de Loprezza; 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 an 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 en­gaged 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 Deity, who sees our most secret Thoughts, and passes a just Iudgement 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 obliged to do things suitably to the Nobleness of your Birth, and to Acknowledge, as you ought, her, whom, while we, both Live, you must look on, as

Your Lawful Wife, Donna Marcellina de Loprezza.

[Page 477] This Letter fully satisfi'd Donna Catharina, 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 An­tonio, shewing him the Letter from Donna Marcellina; he was extremely 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 forbare 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 Alonzo was hardly got out of doors, but Don Antonio and his man came in, for his man having told him that he had de­liver'd the Pacquet to one of DonnaCatharina'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 Catharina 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 deliver'd to one of your Women. She thought (says Donna Catharina) that you had been [Page 478] still with my Father: I casually meeting her as she was coming into the Room, asked 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 liv'd 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 satisfi'd me in some things which before I only 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 ruined: Here's a Letter from a Person you should be well ac­quainted with; this would have been enough to undeceive me, but it only 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. Farewel, my presence will but trou­ble you, this Letter will acquaint you with what you are not Ignorant of.

Don Antonio receiving the Letter out of her hand was not a little surpriz'd, not ima­gining what might have happen'd to him. He read it, and presently inferr'd, that it [Page 479] was a trick put upon him by some envious Person, who was desirous to obstruct his hap­piness. Meeting with Donna Olivia, (whom, as we said before, he knew not in her Wi­dow's Habit) ah Madam, (said he to her) what Forgeries are these? I a Mistress at Se­vil, and of this Name? I Children by her, and that upon a Promise of Marriage? If it be not the greatest Untruth 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 incli­ned to believe, that what you say may be true; but your main Concernment is to bring my Lady to that Perswasion. 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 with all, 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 Antonio) for he will find it to be an absolute Impostour, and that there is not any Lady in Sevil that goes under the Name of Donna Marcellina de Loprezza.

But I beseech you tell me, Madam, whe­ther your intimacy be very great with the La­dy Donna Catharina; so great (replied she) [Page 480] that I am the only person in her favour, and to whom she is pleas'd to communitate her thoughts; if it be so, (says Don Antonio) 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 extremely 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 have for 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 favourable Audience from her? any thing you can desire, (said he to her) if you mind only matter of advantage. You see I am ve­ry young, (said she) and consequently may hope to be Married again, Money is the on­ly principal Verb, which I have occasion for; if I answer your Expectation, may I rely on your Liberality for my Reward. That you may know how earnestly I desire it, (says, he) do what I require, and I will make your Fortune heavier 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 [Page 481] have reason to mistrust whatever is promised, [...]f I have it not in writing; you will be pleas­ [...]d to excuse me, Sir, if my Fear to be de­ [...]eiv'd as I have been, force me to these Pre­ [...]autions, and to assure your self, that those [...]atisfied, I will indeavour to serve you to the [...]tmost of my Power. To give you absolute [...]atisfaction, as to that point, Madam, (said [...]e) help me with Pen, Ink and Paper, and [...]ou shall have what security you Desire your [...]elf.

Donna Olivia would see the Issue of it, and [...]o brought him what he desir'd. Don Anto­ [...]io kept his Word with her; nay, either out [...]f Ignorance, of the Form of such Obliga­ [...]ions, or to make a greater Expression of his Earnestness that she should assist him, he pro­ [...]ed so Liberal, as to give her a Blank Sign'd [...]nd Sealed, not mentioning the Summ where­ [...]o he obliged himself, telling her he had not [...]pecified it, out of a Design to requite her [...]eyond his Promises, proportionably to the Service she should do him, in the Recovery of his Mistress's Favour. She saw this hap­pened according to her Wishes, so that ac­knowledging the Favour Don Antonio had done her, she promised him her utmost en­deavours to deserve it, by recovering him in­to the Favour of his Mistress. The Amorous Cavalier believed her, and took his leave. [Page 482] Dilario, coming in soon after, Olivia gave him an account of what Progress she had made, and putting into his Hands the Blank Sign'd by Don Antonio, bid him write abov [...] 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 Dilario did, imitating as near as he coul [...] Don Antonio's Hand.

That day, Don Alonzo fail'd to meet the Gentleman of Sevil, and put of the visit he intended him till the next. In the mean time, Donna Olivia understood from Donna Catha­rina, that she was resolved to lead Apes i [...] Hell, rather than have Don Antonio to he [...] Husband. Having already trusted her Du­enna with some of her Secrets, she though [...] 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 Antonio, she had been Courted by a Person of Honour, named Don Valerio de Merdea, that she had some Inclina­tion towards him; and that the Perswasions of her Father, had prevailed with her to en­tertain the Applications of Don Antonio; but having discovered his Unworthiness, she was resolved to re-address her Affection to Don Valerio.

[Page 483] Donna Olivia was almost out of her self for Joy to hear that News, for it put her into a Confidence, that her Design would take; [...]nd the more to promote it, she disposed Donna Catharina as much as lay in her Power [...]o favour Don Valerio. He must needs be dis­ [...]leased with me, (says she to her) yet I [...]oubt not but a Letter from me will re-in­gage him my humble Servant. The crafty [...]uenna, proffered to be the Bearer of it, on Condition she might do it by Coach. Don­ [...]a Catharina was very glad to find her Wo­ [...]an so ready to serve her, especially in a Bu­ [...]ness which she was so much pleased with; [...]nd so she commanded a Coach to be made [...]eady, and that she should go immediately to [...]e Don Valerio, to whom she writ a Letter. Donna Olivia took Coach, pretending to go to Don Valerio's House, but she went to her own, [...]nd bid the Coach-Man return to Donna Ca­ [...]arina, and tell her, that for fear notice [...]ight be taken of the Coach, she would go [...]foot to the Place where she had sent her, [...]onducted by Granatus her pretended Father. [...]rom that House, she writ two Letters, one, [...]o Don Alonzo, desiring him to come to her; [...]he other to Don Valerio, to the same Effect, with Directions to find the House.

[Page 484] 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 Valerio de Merde [...] 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 Olivia, but word wa [...] brought her that Don Alonzo de Castiza was a­lighted out of his Coach, and was coming in­to the House. Sir, (said she to Don Valerio) I am obliged 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 entreat you to stand behind this Curtain, whence you will hear all we say, for it concerns you more than you imagine, and will prove to your Ad­vantage. Don Valerio complied, not know­ing what might be the issue of this Pre­caution.

Don Alonzo came in, and having taken a Seat, Donna Olivia (whom he knew not as she was then dressed) Addressed 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 [Page 485] of my self. I was Born in the Imperi­al City of Toledo, the only Daughter of the House from which I am descended, and Heir thereof. I am of the Family of Priola, 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. Iames, and my Brother of that of Alcantara, with the Command of a Troop of Horse under his Majesty in Flanders, upon his Death I re­tired to a Country-House I have near Toledo, where I lived 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-way-Men. I took Compassion of them, especially him who by his Demeanour seem'd to be the Master, and out of two Chests of Cloths my Brother had left, I furnished them with two Suites, wherewith they covered their Nakedness. They seemed to be very thankful for so sea­sonable a Favour; but the more considerable of the two hath treated me very ungratefully, which is the ordinary stile of Courtiers, and hath requited my Charitable Offices only with Flatteries and Deceit.

[...]
[...]

[Page 486] 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 prevailed so far with me, that I was no longer at my own Disposal. The re-iterated Oaths and Protestations of a Person of that Worth, raised me into a Perswasion that he really lo­ved me, and that induced me to love him a­gain; to be short, upon a Promise he made me of Marriage, he got me in a 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 concerned him very highly. He desired my leave to go to Madrid, promising to return again in a short time, but with such Demon­strations of Love as might easily have pre­vailed with one who had not fancied him so affectionately as I had done. I supplied him with all things necessary, and he left me ex­treamly 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 Catharina, your Daughter. Now, our Honour being the most considerable thing we ought to be tender of, I could do no less, upon the procedure of Don Antonio, than resolve to come to this Court, and to apply [Page 487] 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 conceived my first overture should be to acquaint you with my Disgrace, the Disho­nour I have run into by the Acquaintance of Don Antonio, and his Treachery towards me, that receiving it from my own Mouth, you may not be too forward to conclude what is already resolved 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 pleased, 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 Alonzo was astonished at this Relation of Donna Olivia's, and, by what was put in­to his Hands, found out the Disposition of Don Antonio, and concluded him a fickle im­prudent Person, who pursued his Enjoyments, without any thought of the Consequences thereof, and thereupon he resolved there should be no farther talk of any Marriage be­tween him and his Daughter. Opening the Paper which Donna Olivia had given him, he found in it these Words.

THis present Writing, written with my own Hind, and Sealed with my Seal, Witnes­seth, that I, Don Antonio de Mendoza, an Inha­bitant of Sevil, acknowledge my self to be the Lawful Husband of Donna Olivia de Priola, an Inhabitant of Toledo, and that I will per­form the present Promise I make her of Marri­age whensoever I shall be, by her, thereto requi­red. Sign'd and Sealed in the presence of Di­lario and Flora, Servants to the said Donna Olivia.

Don Antonio de Mendoza.

Having read this promise, and knowing the Hand and Seal of Don Antonio, Don Alonzo said to her, Madam, I am very much trou­bled, that Don Antonio (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 will 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 obtained your Desires, and be assured I shall assist you to the utmost of my Power, since I find your Honour so highly concerned in it. I have [Page 489] 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 Olivia 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 Alonzo took along with him the Wri­ting which Donna Olivia had shewn him, that he might thereby induce Don Antonio to an Acknowledgment of his Fault. With those Protestations he took leave of Donna Olivia, promising to see her again within a short time, and to return the promise of Marriage, rei­terating the Desires he had to serve her. He thereupon left her, giving Don Valerio the Liberty to come upon the Stage. As soon as he had taken his seat, you have understood, (says Donna Olivia, to him) if so be you have heard the Discourse between Don Alon­zo and my self, what hath passed between me and Don Antonio. Upon which account, (as you have heard from her Father) you find he is never like to be Husband to the fair Donna Catharina. She sent me hither to acquaint you, that what hath been done on her part in order to the Marriage between her and Don Antonio was purely out of Com­pliance with the Commands of her Father, [Page 490] 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 perused this Letter. Don Valerio having read it, was the most sa­tisfied Man in the World, to find his blasted hopes now beginning to spring again.

Donna Olivia perceiving it, to confirm his Satisfaction, continued her Discourse to him thus: I know Signior Don Valerio, you will be astonished in your self, how this Letter should fall into my Hands, it is my self only 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 Catharina, and have effected it. 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 Antonio, and to do all [Page 491] lay 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 inclined 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 Widow's Habit, and I must return presently, and am afraid she will think I have stayed too long. If you will return her an answer, you have here all things re­quisit to do it. I think it necessary you should, that Donna Catharina 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 discover­ed 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 surprised Don Valerio, 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 requite so great an Obligation. He promised her not to discover any thing till she commanded him to do it; and thereupon, seeing her in hast [Page 492] to be gone, he writ a Letter in answer to what he had received from his Mistress, full of Amorous Complements, and Protestations of Fidelity to the last gasp. While he was Writing Donna Catharina put on her Widow's Habit, and made all the hast she could to Don Alonzo's.

In the mean time Don Antonio, extreamly resenting the Impostour put upon him, ac­quainted his Cousin, Don Martinio with it, whereupon they went both together to Don Alonzo's. He not being within, they asked for Donna Catharina, 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 Antonio. The poor Gentle­man endeavour'd to vindicate himself, swear­ing a thousand Oaths, that he never heard of any Lady in Sevil, of the name mention'd in the Letter, and that no doubt some envious Person had put this trick upon him; and that if Don Alonzo should upon enquiry find it to be true, he would be content to loose his Honour and Life, nay more, the hopes of ever enjoying her.

The earnestness of his Discourse put Donna Catharina into some doubt, that what she had heard was some Impostour advanced purpose­ly to obstruct his Pretentions, and referred it to her Father to make a full discovery there­of. [Page 493] 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 Antonio, till she were better inform'd of the truth; that her Father would come in ere long, and she could take no resolution without his Orders, in a business of so great importance.

While they were engag'd in this discourse, Don Alonzo comes in from the visit he had made to Donna Olivia. Don Martinio 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 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 Anto­nio 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 Anto­nio [Page 494] hath made a promise of Marriage to a La­dy of Toledo, who entertain'd him at a Coun­try-House of her's, 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 Honor. 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 both the Cousins, who were both at such a loss that they knew not what to say, especially Don Antonio, who sufficiently betray'd his guilt by his astonish­ment, but swore withal that he had not made that promise under his own Name, but under a feigned. But Don Martinio know­ing all the Circumstance of the business, was most Liberal of his reproaches to his Cousin, which raising a certain compassion in Don A­lonzo, forc'd this Discourse from him.

Signior Don Antonio, 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 of the Qua­lity, this Lady is of, and dishonour her, with­out ever considering, that, in time, she might [Page 495] 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 to 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 Honor, I doubt not but you will make it appear in you Actions, and that is, that you stand to the Promise you made to the Lady Olivia, though it were only out of this Confideration, 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 perhaps imagin; she is now at Madrid, come expressly 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 Cloyster, for the remainder of [Page 496] her Life, rather than she shall ever be your Wife.

With that he rose up, and, without any Complements, went into another Room. Donna Catharina follow'd him, and the two Cousins, without so much as a word exchang­ed, went home, where Don Martinio fell in­to bitter expostulations with his Cousin, for his engaging himself in so unworthy an Acti­on. Don Antonio 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 only out of 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 Alonzo's, and had deli­ver'd Don Valerio's Letter to Donna Catharina. She was infinitely satisfy'd with it, as fearing he would not have been so easily retriv'd in­to her Service. Donna Catharina acquainted her, how that Don Antonio 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 Antonio 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 Olivia pretended the greatest astonish­ment [Page 497] in the World, and burst forth into im­precations against Don Antonio.

In the mean time there came a Message to Donna Catharina from a She-Cousin of hers, [...]nviting her to a Comedy which was to be [...]epresented at her House, that Night, where­ [...]o she sent Answer, that she would come; Donna Olivia having made so successful a pro­gress in her business, bethought her self of an [...]nvention that should bring it to an absolute Period, for she had the Management of all. She told Donna Catharina, that if she pleas'd [...]o wave her going to the Comedy she might [...]ave a meeting that Night with Don Valerio [...]n a secure place, to wit at her Father's House [...]here she might do what she pleas'd her self; [...]he Lady had a great kindness for Don Vale­ [...]io, and was desirous to prevent the reproa­ches he might make upon her former discard­ [...]ng of him, and so she accepted the proffer made by her Woman. She immediately sent for Granatus, and gave him a Letter for Don Valerio, whereby he was desired to come that Night at Eight to Donna Olivia's House. He was sent with another to Don Antonio de Mendoza acquainting him that Donna Catha­ [...]ina, notwithstanding the Indignation of her Father, and what she her self had said, was re­solved secretly to Marry him, and desir'd to meet him that Night, at a house, whither the [Page 498] 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 Antonio, who being but a little be­fore dismiss'd, was recall'd to joyn Hands with Donna Catharina, and imagin'd it done by the intercession of the Waiting-Gentlewoman, to whom he thought himself infinitely oblig­ed, 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 Donna Catharina and her Woman took Coach, leaving Don Alonzo at home, ready to go to Bed; they went to Donna Olivia's House, which seem'd to be that of Granatus, where they were receiv'd by Flora, Olivia's Maid, who went under the name of her Step-mo­ther; while Donna Catharina was expecting the Arrival of Don Valerio, she sent Dilario with a Letter to Don Alonzo containing these words.

To Don Alonzo de Castiza.

SIR,

MY Lady Donna Catharina, 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 An­tonio, notwithstanding your prohibition to the contrary, I conceiv'd it my duty to give you no­tice [Page 499] 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 intentions.

Donna Artimiza.

Granatus 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 Valerio 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. Olivia left them together in a Room, where she lock'd them in; not long after came Don Antonio, accor­ding to the time appointed him, and was re­ceiv'd by Olivia, 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 as that Olivia might shift her self into Cloths 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 Antonio, and to make him believe he was very much in his Mistress's Favour.

[Page 500] Leaving these young People thus match'd, let us return to Don Alonzo, who receiv'd the Letter from the Duenna just as he was getting into Bed; the Old Gentleman was extremely surpriz'd thereat, and going out of doors, attended by Dilario, 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 Dilario's house, where, after some knocking, they were let in; they had luckily a Lanthorn 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 Valerio and Donna Catharina, the Com­missary ask'd them, what they did there? Don Valerio told him he was there with his Wife, which was confirm'd by Donna Catha­rina. Don Alonzo would have run him through; but the Commissary telling him she was not with the Person he imagin'd, that that Gentleman was DonValerio de Merdea, a Person of great Quality and well known a­bout the Court, Don Alonzo could do no less than approve of their Marriage, though 'twere only out of a satisfaction, that she was not fal­len into the hands of Don Antonio, whom he hated extremely, for the strange Pranks he had plaid.

[Page 501] They went thence unto another Room, which they found lock'd, and thereupon threatning to break open the Door. Don Antonio open'd it within, and comes out tel­ling them that he was there with Donna Ca­tharina his Wife, and that it was with her Consent, he was come into that House to Marry her. Upon that discourse Donna Oli­via came out of the Room and said to him, you are deceiv'd, sweet Seignior Don Antonio, I am not the Woman you think me, but Donna Olivia de Priolo, who expects from you the Reparation of her Honour; the re­covery whereof oblig'd me to enter into the Service of Donna Catharina, serving her in the Quality of a Waiting-woman. Don A­lonzo de Castiza looking on her a little more attentively than he had done, knew her, as also did the fair Lady Donna Catharina; 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 blam'd Don Antonio, who finding himself Convinc'd, and Condemn'd of all, ratified once more the promise he had made her. Don Valerio and his Mistress were ensur'd one to the other, and the solemnity of their Marriage order'd to be Eight days after; they prov'd both very happy in their Wives, of whom they had many Children, [Page 502] who were the Comfort and Felicity of their Parents; but particularly for Don An­tonio, when he reflected on the strange Ad­ventures whereby Donna Olivia, 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 inflamer of Love, espe­cially that Woman's Wit which is ever best at a dead lift.

THE Amorous Miser: A NOVEL.

AT Sevil in Spain, a Lady, being young, and having lately buried her Husband; resolv'd to remove into another quarter of the City: and being sumptuous in Cloths, 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 op­portunity 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 resolved to play a game and that no small one.

[Page 504] There was come into 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 in few Years, he was accounted one of the ablest Merchants that traded to Peru. He makes another Voyage thither, being advanced 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.

Mercator (so was this lucky Merchant cal­led) was a Person of about fifty years of Age; the most Covetous and wretchedst na­tured Fellow that ever was. He grudged 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 looked to his Mule, and a Maid to dress his pitiful Commons. He kept his Family so [...]ort in point of Victuals, that it was wondred any one would serve him; his Miserly Disposi [...] found the whole City [Page 505] Discourse; another would have been asha­med of it, but he only laugh'd at it, applau­ding himself, and making it his whole Busi­ness to heap up Wealth, whereof he had a­bundance.

Corrina (so was this Designess call'd) hea­ring this account of him, began to consider, and weigh 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. Mercator liv'd without the City, in a little Tenement he had purchased of one who owed him some Money, 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 dept; it stood near St. Bernard's Monastery, in the midst of a pleasant Valley. He liv'd there to spare the Rent of a House in the City; he had so fortified 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 secured the place within with many Fire-Arms, which he always kept Charged, and [Page 506] many Halbards and Partisans which were dis­posed of 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 carry the Fruits and other things to the Market to make the best of them, so vigilant was his Avarice. His Treasure was disposed 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, searched all the Rooms in the House. Thus did this wretch'd 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 dayly prof­fered him.

Corrina 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; this Man had played some pranks at Madrid, which had occasioned his Removal thence to Cadiz, and his Atchievements there, his departure thence to Sevil, where he went lurking up and down, and spending some Money, which it cost him more hazard than pains to get. He was one of the most Accomplished Men in point of Thievery of his time, but very fear­ful [Page 507] 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 preferred him to the Galleys. This Person (whose Name was Vasquez,) Cor­rina took to assist her in the compassing her Design. Having given him Instructions what he was to do, and told him, that Mercator re­turn'd not to his House, till about Sun-set, as he was wont to do, they both passed by Mercator's Garden, he on a Mule, and she on a good Horse. She had put off her Mourn­ing, 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 passed by the Garden, just as the Gardener was opening the Door. Vasquez, 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 ex­traordinary Kindness, for you will thereby prevent a great Misfortune, which she can­not otherwise avoid. The Gardener, who was afraid of his Masters 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 for­bid him the doing of any such thing. But [Page 508] Vasquez, who knew the Vertue and Power of many, took a considerable Summ 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, being certain, that that Night he would not search the whole House, as many times a toy took him in the Head to do.

In short the Wifes Arguments prevailed, so that the Gardener was content the Gentle­woman should Lodge secretly that Night at his House, upon the receipt of six Royals which Vasquez gave him as an earnest of a greater Summ promised him. He thereup­on took Corrina off the Horse, and brought her into the Garden, where she took leave of Vasquez, who had already received the Orders whereof we shall give an account hereafter.

[Page 509] Being come into the Gardener's Room, she took off what cover'd her Face, and a­stonished the Gardener and his Wife at the sight of her Beauty, though she seemed to be very Melancholy, as if some great Misfortune had happened to her, to wit, that which she had ready to relate to Mercator, in Case she might come to Discourse 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 locked on the inside, and carried the Key a­long with him. He chanced to be that Night a little more weary than ordinary, which occasioned his going to Bed very betimes, af­ter he had eaten a piece of Bread, and some of his own Garden-Fruits, and washed them down with a Glass of Spring-Water. He only visited that part of the House where he lodg­ed himself, and came not down to the Gar­deners, which never escaped his privy-search, when he thought of. 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.

Mercator gets up the next Morning betimes, and gives the Slave Money, to go to the Market, while, he went about his Affairs in the City, with order to have Dinner ready [Page 510] against his return. Corrina 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 extreamly troubled at her Uncle's stay (so she call'd Vasquez) and that all her sadness proceeded thence. The Gar­dener's Wife, who was a good hearty Wo­man, found her all the Diversion she could.

Mercator 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 observed 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 Corrina into a little back Room, where she was wont to lie: But in regard it could not be done so sud­denly, but that Mercator coming in might hear the ruffling of the Silks, and see Corri­na's shadow, he steps into the Room where she was retired, and having found her, he led her out by the Hand and bringing her out to the Light, he found her so Beautiful, that he was astonished thereat. The Garde­ner's Wife wondred, that her Master, instead of chiding her, as she expected, only asked [Page 511] 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 lodged there but that Night, to avoid a great Misfortune, which would have happen'd to them, if they had gone any further.

While the Gardener's Wife was giving Mer­cator this account, he very attentively consi­der'd the strange Lady, who seem'd to be ex­treamly troubled in mind, which added to the attractions of her Beauty. Mercator was so taken with her, that discharging his unsociable and Covetous Humor, 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 obser­ved, 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 sound in your poor Lodgings, I heartily proffer her my House, if she will but honour it with her presence. Cor­rina thank'd him very civilly for his obliging proffers, and entreated him to allow her the privacy of some other Lodging, for the lit­tle time she had to stay there, in regard she expected an Vncle of hers to come and fetch her away that Night.

[Page 512] Mercator, 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 lue 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 Merca­tor'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 Humor; as she pass'd through the Rooms, she took particular notice of all things; for though Mercator, were Natural­ly a very covetous Person; yet, as to the Furniture of his House, he was otherwise, he had very rich Tapstry, Chairs suitable thereto, and Cabinets of Ivory, and Ebony; nay indeed many things brought out of the Indies, which though they 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 reap some advantage of that ex­traordinary Liberality of his Master. Corri­na din'd with him, who treated her still with [Page 513] 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 curious Pictures, and also a sump­tuous Bed of China-Work, where he entrea­ted her to repose her self on it, a Custom the Spaniards have in Summer, as soon as they have dined, by reason of the Sultriness of the Country. He entreated her 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 which 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 Mercator 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 desired 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, and what might occasion her stopping at his Garden, and thereby find whether there were any [Page 514] Obstruction that might oppose his Desires to serve her. To be satisfied in this, it was re­quisite he staid till she awoke; 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.

Mercator thinking it now high 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 thanked him for the Tenderness he had for her Health, and assured him, that she had not refreshed 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 renewed 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 Ancient and most Noble Families of any in all the Mountains of old Casteel, and the whole Issue [Page 515] of their Matrimony was only 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 obliged him, for fear of falling into the Hands of Justice, to absent himself from Granada; and for my part, I made it my on­ly Business to serve and humour those who had brought me into the World. I spent whole days at my Needle, not taking Exam­ple from my Companions, who only minded their Divertisements; nay, I was so Ignorant what love meant, that I laughed at what ever 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; and looked 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 Heaven's Pleasure I might have shunned it then, I should not now be telling you my [Page 516] 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 only made his party good along time against so many Enemies, but also hurt two of them in the Head, he himself having re­ceived only a slight Wound. These three Hectors finding themselves so worsted by one Person, resolved to do their utmost to take away his Life; so that exasperated by their Wounds, they pressed upon him so much, that he was forc'd to retreat within our Gates where they gave him two several thrusts in­to the Breast, upon which he fell, and was left for dead. Moved with Compassion to see so proper a young Man so disadvantage­ously engaged, I came down to the Gate, 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 unarmed, that they were not able to part them. We locked 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.

[Page 517] The young Man hanked me very civilly for the Favour he received from me; but a­lass! that good Office began with Compassion, but ended in Love. The Chirurgeon view­ed his Wounds, but could not presently give any certain Judgment of them, though he whispered 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 sight so gallantly, I must needs ac­knowledge, that I had even then conceived an Inclination for him. But his kind Expres­sion afterwards, and his thanking me so gen­teelly for the Obligations he said I had put upon him, raised it into a perfect Love. My Father and Mother returned 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 killed; whereat they were well satisfied, and commended the Charitable Office I had done in such an Ex­tremity; for they were Persons who gladly embraced any opportunity to Exercise their Charity. They visited the wounded, encou­raged him to take Heart, assuring him he should want nothing, their House could af­ford, [Page 518] and acknowledg'd it well done by me, that I had so rescued 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 lie so heavy upon me. At the second dressing, the Chirurgeon assur'd us that his Wounds were not Mortal; which caused 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 sight, I went to pass away the time in his Chamber, for which Kindness he made me extraordinary Ac­knowledgements.

This young Cavalier was Born at Barcelo­na, 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, and 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 slipped away, [...]ere Calphorus (so was the wounded Person named) got out of his Bed having all that time been attended with as [Page 519] 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 accompanied her not, because I had a greater mind to be alone with my young Gallant. He discovered himself to me so opportunely, and gave me such sensi­ble Assurances of his Affection that it raised 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 satisfied, with the choice I had made my self. Calphorus, coming to hear of the other's Pretensions to me, was not a little troubled at it; but the only 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 Perswasions, that he would not be over-hasty in conclu­ding my Marriage with the Granadine.

Calphorus, being perfectly cured, and re­quiting the Kindness and Noble Entertain­ment he had receiv'd at our House, with ma­ny considerable presents, returned to his own quarters, to bring his Business to a final end. [Page 520] For my part, my Troubles increased 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 passed his Word he should have me; which when I came to understand, I was so surpriz'd, 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 sa­tisfied him, that he had reckoned without his Hostess, for whereas he had flattered himself 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, then any Indifference I had for him. In a word, being not one of Fortunes Favourites, who promise themselves the At­tainment of things impossible, he easily dis­covered, that my Refusal was the effect of some other Cause, than the Modesty, which a young Maid ought at least to pretend, up­on such Occasions: and knowing withal that the wounded Calphorus had lodged sometime in our House, he presum'd, that my disdain towards him was occasion'd by the Love I had for the other, and thence inferred, that hav­ing not been so happy as to prevent him in the Acquisition of my Favour, he had, at best, [Page 521] but a hazardous after-game to recover it. The Jealousie he conceived upon this Pre­sumption, oblig'd him to make tryal of all the ways he could imagine, to be assured of it, so as that he might not do any thing, that should cause him afterwards to repent of.

I was in an extraordinary Confusion du­ring these overtures; I acquainted Calphorus 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 assured of his Suspicion, which he now found to be too true) presently knew us, and, attended by two Servants, he set upon Calphorus, who never thought of any such surprize; so that ere he had the time to draw his Sword, he received three Mortal Wounds, and fell down dead, without uttering 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 discovered. [Page 522] By this time there was a great uproar 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 recover­ed my self, I considered it was to little Pur­pose for me to stay in the Street, after such an Accident, so that gathering up my Cloths, I hasted away as fast as I could, to a Friend's House of my Father's, an aged Person and very Poor, to 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 ac­companied 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 concealed 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.

Thus Sir, have you the story of a wretch­ed Maid, (if there were ever any such) whose only Comfort now is in the good Enter­tainment you are pleased to afford her. May [Page 523] Heaven requite your Charity, since there cannot be a greater than to relieve such as are afflicted and persecuted to that extremity as I am.

The Conclusion of this dismal story, which Corrina had had the time to invent and stu­dy so well, was a showr of Crocodile-Tears, which raised such a Compassion in Mercator, that he could not forbear them himself. The cunning Gipsie, who notwithstanding her Counterfeit-Tears, observed all the Actions of Mercator, perceived 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 encouraged Corrina to prosecute her Impostour, being now in a manner Confident to bring it to some effect. They continued a good while together, she weeping as if she had done it for a Wager, and he endeavouring all that he could do to Comfort her: but that Comfort came not up to the height of offering her the Remedy she could have wished, for he had not yet over­come his Covetous Humor.

Having with great Attention considered the great Beauty of Corrina, her Affliction, and strange Adventures, and that his Happiness was as it were fallen into his Mouth, he in­ferred that Heaven, as a signal Addition to his former Happiness, had directed her to his [Page 524] House. This was the first Love that had e­ver moved Mercator's Heart, and, in all sorts of Persons that first Passion ever acts violent­ly. Is Mercator fallen in Love? He must needs then be Liberal. Hath he entertained Corrina into his House? That Kindness will be the dearest to him that ever he expressed. O Love! O insinuating Passion, who dost bewitch the World, who dost ruin and be­set Men! what Metamorphoses in them dost thou not Operate? 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 changed; so that he hath trans­form'd a Covetous and Sordid Person into a Liberal and Magnificent. He is extreamly taken with Corrina; 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 betrayed her, had not the Affection, wherewith Mercator hearkened to her, closed both his Eyes and Ears: Nay, he was so prepossessed with his Passion that he would have believed many other things from her, though they had been more improbable than they were.

[Page 525] The effect of this sad Narration of Corri­na, was, that Mercator 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 whatever she desir'd, her orders should be obey'd, as far as it lay in his Power; Corri­na very kindly thank'd him for so many ge­nerous proffers, concluding her Complement with a fresh shower of Tears, a kind of Tempest she could raise, when-ever she ei­ther pleas'd, or had occasion.

With this Artifice, she became Mistress of Mercator, 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 resolved 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 shiest of that delud­ed Sex; but when they are so taken, he that does it is commonly snapp'd himself; for Cor­rina [Page 526] 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 she had heard that many of her calling had been shown slippery Tricks, which made her extremely Distrustful.

Mercator 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 Artemiza thither, for that was the name the dissembling Corri­na went by.

That done he went about his Business, at­tended by the little Negro, whom he gave Money to Buy Provisions for a good Din­ner. Corrina got up and the Gardeners Wife punctually obey'd the Orders she had receiv­ed from her Master, treating her the best she could, out of this respect, that all the Do­mesticks made their advantage of those magni­ficences. Corrina comes down into the Garden [Page 527] 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 Mercator's Factor was wont to play, she set it in Tune, and made her entertainment, till such time as Mercator 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 Mercator hearkned to her Musick, she joyned her Voice to the In­strument, to breed one Maggot more in his Brain than he had already; and so Sung these following Stanza's.

While on those lovely looks I gaze,
To see a Wretch pursuing;
In Raptures of a blest amaze,
And pleasing Happy ruin.
'Tis not for pity that I move,
His Fate is too aspering;
Whose Heart, broke with a Load of Love,
Dyes, Wishing and Admiring.
But if this Murder you'd forego,
Your Slave from Death removing;
[Page 528] Let me your Art of Charming know,
Or learn you mine of Loving.
But whether Life or Death betide,
In Love, 'tis equal Measure;
The Victor Lives with empty Pride,
The Vanquish'd dye with Pleasure.

She Sung so excellently, that Mercator was ravish'd at the Melody, and acknowledg'd that it was not a 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 Artemiza? What hap­piness did the Hour of your Arrival here, bring me, who never had known any be­fore? What Honor have I received in be­holding your transcendent Beauty, and to obscure in you from time to 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 Honors it with her divine presence; what I say, Madam, is but little, in Comparison of the passion I [Page 529] have for your worth, which were it to be [...]ommended proportionably to the appre­ [...]ension I have of it, I think the most Elo­ [...]uent Persons that ever were, would be at [...] loss for expressions suitable to so adorable a [...]ubject.

You press too hard upon me, Dear Sir, (re­ [...]lies the Counterfeit Artemiza, seeming to [...]lush at those excessive praises) I am not such [...] stranger to my self, but that I know it ar­ [...]ues excess in the highest degree to bestow [...]uch extraordinary Commendations, on a [...]erson that deserves so little; had I mistrust­ [...]d your being within hearing, I would have [...]ut 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 Edowments are greater than indeed they are. No more Complements, I beseech you, (replies Mercator, rais'd up to the highest pitch of [...]esotted Love,) my words come short of my Faith, and I am to assure you withal, 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, [Page 530] (says Corrina) your Commendations, are in­finitely beyond my deserts, and the Honor you do me can do no less then 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 satisfied therewith; but my troubles are so great and pressing, that in what I did, I mended only my own. I must see them at an end, ere you leave this House, (says Mercator 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 extremely oblige me, (replies Corrina) and consequently force me to a grateful 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 Miser) but rather imagin there may be some Cause for his neglect. I have some apprehensions, (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 [Page 531] prove the greatest of my misfortunes, for if he be gone, he hath carried all I had along with him. Never fear it, (says Mercator) 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 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, Mercator made an abso­lute discovery of his Love; the cunning Gip­sie pretending she understood not his mean­ing, return'd civil answers to the proffers he made her, acknowledging her self extreme­ly 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.

[Page 532] Corrina and Vasquez 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 suspicion be conceiv'd of him; she had studied seve­ral ways to chouse the Miser of some part of his Treasure, but could not fix on any one she thought might prove effectual, the Cham­ber where it was lock'd being extremely for­tify'd; she had continu'd there 3 days ere she had either seen or heard from Vasquez, and during the time, she express'd so great a dis­content, as put Mercator 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 Corri­na, who watch'd all occasions, cunningly dis­cover'd the place where the old Man hid the Keys of his Iron-Chests.

Mercator went, according to his Custom, into the City, which being observ'd by Vas­quez, he comes to his House in Beggars weeds, as they had agreed together, with two Crut­ches; being got under the Window, at which Corrina was looking out, he Begg'd an Alms of her; she threw him down something, and ask'd him whence he came, whereto Vas­quez answering that he was of Granada, she seem'd to be extremely glad, and thereupon [Page 533] turning to the Gardeners 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. Corrina ask'd him how long it was since he had left Granada, whereto he answering about nine or ten days, she continued 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 Mercator's Treasure.

That done, Vasquez departed, and Corrina 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 Maid were little pleas'd to hear that News, as fearing their Master would, upon her departure, re-assume his niggardly Humor, and keep as miserable a House as he had done before, nay perhaps put himself and all the Servants to a greater pennance in [Page 534] [...] [Page 535] [...] [Page 534] their Diet, to get up what had been squan­der'd away, during her aboad there.

Mercator being come home found Corrina 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. Corrina seem­ed not to take it amiss, nay by a greater Fa­miliarity than she had express'd towards him before, she raised in him some hopes of see­ing his desires satisfied. Whence the Old Dotard began to presume, that the Fort would in a short time be taken, upon reason­able terms; 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. Mercator promis'd her a better the next day; they parted for that time, but with differ­rent thoughts, Mercator desirous to obtain those Favours he expected from Corrina, and to oblige her thereto by presents, which o­vercome the greatest difficulties; and Corri­na contriving how to compass the Robbery she intended.

[Page 535] The next day, Vasquez (a Person of great experience in such designs) got some others of the same profession to carry on the Work; and having observ'd Mercator going into his House, they staid till he were gone to Bed, which was somewhat late; for Corrina, who held a Correspondence with them, had pur­posely kept him up. About midnight, Vas­quez and his Comrades 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 o­ver against the principal Window towards the Garden, which was that part of the House where Mercator Lodg'd, and left it there fast­ned to a S [...]ake 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. Mercator awaken'd thereby leaps out of [...] Bed, it being so 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 called 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? [Page 536] but no Body answering, and he not mind­ing the Figure that stood in the Garden, told his Master that there was not any body.

Mercator upon that got into Bed again and compos'd himself to rest, but it was soon Interrupted, for Vasquez knock'd more vio­lently then he had done before, which asto­nish'd him the more, and oblig'd him to send down his Man 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? Where to no 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. Mercator was extremely affraid, at the sight of a Per­son, who, as he thought, knockt 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 you'r invulnerable, and that a brace of good Bullets will make no impressi­on in your enchanted Skin.

[Page 537] 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 obliged him to take a Fire-Lock, which he always kept ready charged for the secu­rity of his Money. Opening the Window, he found him still in the same posture, who would not have stirred out of it, had he not been forc'd out of it by some other means. What obstinacy of Impudence is it in you (said he to him, very much incensed) to Authorize a Mischief, you are nothing the better for, in thus disturbing my Rest? 'Tis impardonable, and deserves an Exemplary Chastisement; be 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 believing he had not any Fire-Arms, whereby he might make good his Threats, he gave him notice the third time, that he would not oblige him to offer a Violence which he was very unwilling to do. At last perceiving he minded not any thing, he said, but as it were defi'd him, he resolv'd to give Fire, not only to fright him, but if he could, to hurt him. He discharged off his Piece and shot the Figure, which fell to the Ground; [Page 538] upon which Vasquez, who was not far off, cries out with a doleful tone, O God I am killed, and immediately he and his Comrades made a great noise at the sight of a Man so un­fortunately Murthered.

Mercator was extreamly troubled at what he had done, it being observed, that Cove­tous Persons are for the most part Cowardly, and very much fear whatever may Occasion their Losses. He shut the Window, and in a great fright awaking Corrina (who had grea­ter things to mind than Sleeping) told her what he had done. She seemed to be ex­treamly troubled at it, and much blamed 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 suffered them to knock at his Door, till they had been weary; that he had better have indured that Noise, and lost a little of his Rest, than be in the Trouble he was in, to be the Occa­sion of a Man's Death. She added several o­ther Reasons, which so confounded poor Mercator, that he knew not what to do. She advised 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 Mur­thered so near his House.

[Page 539] Mercator was so perplexed, that he wished he had never been born; and it is to be i­magined, that if Corrina had not been very highly concerned to Dissemble upon this Oc­casion, she would have dyed with laughing. He raised up all his People, and told them what had happened, 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 Money carried away, and but a small matter between him and Hanging, at least if he were obliged 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 Saint Bernard's Monastery; but knew not how to dispose of his Money. 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 Hu­mor have very few) he had not time. In this Distraction he desired Corrina 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 prepa­red long before, and he followed it. She as­ked him what Money he might have in the House? He ingeniously confessed that he [Page 540] had about four thousand Crowns in Gold, and somewhat better than half the said Summ in Silver.

I tell you what I would do, were I in your Case, (says the cunning Gipsie) (since it cannot be carried to a Friend's House without being seen) I would bury 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 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 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 loth to run my self into that hazard, ha­ving but just escaped those I have acquainted you with. In the midst of his Affliction, Mercator 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 forced from him not only Tears, but also bitter Exclamations, against the Malici­ous Crossness of his Fortune. Corrina desi­red him to be of good Courage, perswading [Page 541] him to do as she advised 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 Corrina, whom on­ly he durst trust, went to the place where the Money 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 subtle 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 place again. Mercator took along with him two hundred Crowns in Gold, and gave Corrina fifty, to shift for her self, till the Business were over.

That done, they went up into the House, whence they might see several Persons walk­ing with a Light; 'twas Vasquez and his Com­rades, who represented the Magistrate, which Corrina shewing him, advised him to make all the hast he could to Saint Bernard's. To do that, they got over the Garden-Wall, as be­ing afraid to open the Door, for they percei­ved the Actors of this Comedy kept a Watch [Page 542] there, with such Authority, as if they had been really the Officers of Justice. All Mer­cator's Family followed him over the Wall, fearing they might come into Trouble for their Master's Fault. Mercator and his Mi­stress lurk'd somewhere there abouts, till it was day, that they might have the Church-Door open, to get into the Monastery. Vas­quez was hard by, to see what became of Mer­cator, and his People. Finding he had left his House, and got into the Monastery with Corrina, he went about an hour after Sun­rising to Saint Bernard's in the Habit of a Secular Priest, that he might the better speak to Corrina. She told him how things stood, and how they had buried the Money in the Garden, and that it was all in Silver, intend­ing to reserve all the Gold for her self.

About Mid-night, Vasquez and one of his Comrades went along with Corrina, disgui­zed in Man's Cloths to the Garden. They helped her over first, to go and see whether there might be any Body in the House, but all were vanished as if the House had been visited. She thereupon called Vasquez and his Companions, and, having taken up the Money, they carried 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 [Page 543] good Success of their future Designs, they went all to Bed, the two Men together, and Corrina by her self. As soon as she found they were asleep, she puts on the same Habit, and returns to the Garden. Where, being come, 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 Vasquez had the best part, and sowed up the Gold in her Cloths, she left Sevil, taking Vasquez along with her, who, finding what Advantages he might make of her Company, resolved to run Fortunes with her. They took their way towards Ma­drid, to which place they will not be long a going, and now let us see what is become of Mercator, whom we lest in Saint Bernard's Monastery.

Having continued there four days after Corrina's departure from him, he knew not what to think of her that she came not again, as she had promised. He addressed 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 promised him an account of it; but having enquired at those places where he thought he might most [Page 544] probably hear, but no body could give him any Satisfaction. He thereupon told Merca­tor, that he might safely go abroad, and needed not to fear any thing. He went out one Night to a Friends 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 Mistriss-Key. At his Request he went, and found it without any Body in it, and his Mule being Dead for want of Meat, and Attendance. His Friend returned to him with this News, and advised 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 only thing gave him any Disquiet, was, that his Artemiza (under which Name Corrina went) came not to see him. But he imagined the Occasion of it might be, that being a young Maid, she had sheltered her self somewhere, to keep out of the hands of Justice, or that perhaps she might have been met with by her Father, who, [Page 545] as she had told him, sought after her. He went to his House, whither, soon after, came the Gardener and his Wife, and his 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 Money, and was not a little glad to find the Mark where he had set it; so that before he went to Bed, he resolved 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, Mercator was ex­treamly surprized. He went thence to the place where they had laid the Gold, and there they found as little, only Corrina knew what was become of all. He walked several turns about the Garden, with much Vexation, i­magining the marks might be misplaced; but what in looking after the marks, and what in digging, the Night slipped away, so that at last dispairing to find any thing that Night, he behaved himself like a Person distracted. The Gardener knew not what he looked for, nor for what Reason he had brought him thi­ther. The poor Man resolved to have a lit­tle Patience till the next Morning, being still in some hopes to find what he had hidden.

[Page 546] He went to Bed, or rather to spend the Night in insufferrable Torments; but as soon as it began to dawn, he got up, and having called up the Gardener, they returned to the work they had been at the Night be­fore. Having digged 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 Money or something else had been hidden there, but all was removed. This Assurance made him run stark mad, throwing himself on the Ground, running his Head against the Wall, and doing such things as raised a Com­passion in his Servants, who thence concluded that he had lost his Money, and suspected the feign'd Artemiza, 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 well secured his Money, that it was not likely it would come into his Chests any more. He kept his Bed a good while, out 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 pleased to find him so justly punished.

THE Pretended Alchymist: A NOVEL.

AS soon as Corrina had done her Work at Mercator'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 stay, for fear of falling into the Hands of Justice, whose Officer's would be abroad, upon the Sollicitations of the Party robb'd. She was gone 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 Vasquez 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 the Madrid-Coach, which was to pass through that City, and take them [Page 548] up as it went. They alighted, at Carmona, at one of the best Inns, where Corrina, keep­ing out of sight, was resolved to expect the Coach, considering with her self, what she might come to in time, seeing, she was now 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 Climates. And herein, you may behold, 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 entertain 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 some what [Page 549] extraordinary for the best Places: They ac­cordingly Resign'd them, as soon as they per­ceiv'd their coming towards the Coach: But Vasquez, 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 lift side of Corrina, and sat himself in the fore-part of the Coach with her Husband.

All being plac'd to their Content, they left Carmona on the Monday Morning, it being in September, when most Fruits are ripe. All thought it a great happiness, that they had met so good Company; but Corrina, and Vasquez 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 mispent their time at the University, every one being desirous to make the best discove­ry he could of his Abilities. The Priest took occasion to inform them that he was going to Court, to get a Privilege, 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 sat next [Page 550] him, was a Person acquainted with Letters, and express'd a great Curiosity to know what they might treat of. Doctor Berilliere (so was the Priest call'd) 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 contain'd several Novels, and the other a Collection of Poems Written by him, du­ring his Residence at Salamanca. He told them withal, that, if they thought it not tedious, he would entertain them with some­what out of the former, whenever they should be at leisure to give him Attention.

Corrina, 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 Authour. 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 Conceits 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 [Page 551] 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 only Men, who profess Letters, but also some Women. 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.

There was an Ancient Gentleman, who had lost one of his Eyes; and was Married to a Wife far younger than himself: His Bu­siness lay much abroad, which was the occa­sion that he could not see his Wife so often as he would. She in his Absence did so much forget her Honour, and her Conscience, that she fell in Love with a young Gentleman: In Process of time, which brings all things to Maturity, and Perfection, the Report was so hot, and so current, that her Husband was Advertis'd of it, who could not be induc'd to believe it, by reason of the great Affe­ction she always express'd towards him. Ne­vertheless, [Page 552] one day he determin'd with him­self to make Experience of it, and, if he could, to revenge himself upon that Person who had thus dishonour'd him.

To accomplish his Design, he pretended Business to a certain place, not far from home, for three or four days. He was no sooner departed, but his Wife sent to her Friend to acquaint him with it, whereupon he imme­diately came to pay those Assignations of Love which she expected. He had not been with her above half an Hour, but, behold! her Husband was return'd, and knock'd a­loud at the Gate. She who knew him, told her Gallant of it, who was so amaz'd, and put into such a Fright, that he wish'd him­self safe at home, and Imprecated both her, and her Love, who had brought him into so much danger; but she assur'd him, that he need not perplex himself, for she would con­trive [...] means to convey him safe forth with­out being discover'd, and desir'd him to put on his Cloths with what speed he could, Dur [...]g this Interval, her Husband continu'd knocking at the Gate, and call'd upon his Wife as loud as he could, but she seem'd not to take notice that it was he, but spake aloud to a Servant that lay above Stairs, Why don't you Rise, and Answer that rude Person, who­ever it is, which makes such a Noise at the [Page 553] Gate? Is this a seasonable Hour of the Night for any one to come into a Civil House? If my Husband were at Home, I'm sure you du [...]st not do so.

The Husband hearing the Voice of his Wife, call'd to her as loud as he could, Wife open the Door, will you have me stay here until Morning? When she perceiv'd her Gal­lant dress'd, and ready to go, she open'd the Door, and ran to Embrace her Husband, saying to him, Dear Husband, How glad am I of your coming? For I was in a Curious Dream, and was so well pleas'd, better than ever I was in my Life before: For methought, you had recover'd the Sight of your other Eye; whereupon, Kissing of him, she clapt her Hand upon the Speculative Eye, and ask'd him whether he did not see much better than he us'd to do? In the mean time, whilst she had blinded him, her Friend slipt out of Doors, of which her Husband immediately mistrusted, and told her, By Heavens, Wife, i'le never Watch you any more; for thinking to Catch you, I have had the finest Trick put upon me by you, that I think ever was invented: I see it is not in the power of any Man to put any Stop to a Womans Proceed­ings, unless he should Kill her, or Burn her; for a Lewd Woman nothing can Refine, or Purge her, but Fire: Therefore, since the [Page 554] good Entertainment, I have given you, cannot conduce to reclaim you, I shall henceforth study for some Chastisement, whereby you may be better Disciplin'd. This said, he de­parted from her into another Room, leaving her perplex'd, and Disconsolate enough, who by the means of her Friends, and Kindred, and by her Tears, and Excuses, was afterwards reconcil'd to him.

This Pleasant Novel entertain'd the Com­pany till they came to their Inn that Night. Every one took occasion to commend Doctor Berilliere, 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 Journeys end, provided they [Page 555] thought them not Tedious. They all, with much Gladness and Thanks, accepted of his proffer.

Being come within a Musquet-shot of the Ancient City of Corduba, heretofore the chiefest of the Kingdom, while the Moors were possessed 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 Berilliere, who was a Priest, and a Confessour, could do no less than get out, accompanied by Vasquez, and Mistress Corrina, 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 Vasquez. The Doctor return'd to the Coach, and having called several times upon Corrina, who pretended she could not get a­way Vasquez, the Coachman perceiving it be­gan to grow Dark, put on the Horses, having [Page 556] sent them Word what Inn they should take up. Corrina was much troubled to see the Coach gone, having left her, and Vasquez behind, Charitably Exhorting the Dying Person to recommend himself as much to the Mercy of Heaven; 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 Vasquez, 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 Vasquez was one of them, and consequently the Murtherer of the other; upon which Presumption, he was sent to Prison, and order given to the Jaylor to put him fast enough. Corrina had more favour, being confin'd in the House of one of the Officers, who was to have a care of 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, the Duel had been upon the account of Corrina. The Judge order'd her to be brought to his own [Page 557] 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 Florentine, a very Rich Merchant, whom some business of his own had brought thither: They had no sooner seen Corrina, but they all admir'd her Beauty, and the Majesty of her Air, but the most sa­tisfied of any was the Florentine, who, to give him his due, was of a very Amorous Constitution. Corrina 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, and 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 order'd, in regard it was grown [Page 558] 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, Corrina was brought back to the Offi­cer's House, where she was to continue that Night. The Florentine, 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 thank'd 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 Fever, 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 Corrina had done before; where­upon, Vasquez was set at Liberty. Other Witnesses also, who knew somewhat con­cerning the Duel, were heard, and gave the Judges a perf [...]ct knowledge of the Murther. Vasquez went immediately to visit Corrina, expressing himself extreamly troubled at her Indisposition; he did all he could to cheer [Page 559] her up, that they might prosecute their Journey: But the Physician, who had visi­ted her, advis'd her not to remove thence, till she had recover'd her Fever, and told her, that she could not Travel any further, without hazard of her Life; which being so, the Coachman 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 Florentine 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 Mercator; but Love, though but a small Deity, yet many times does very great Miracles, turning Ava­rice into Prodigality, and Cowardice into Courage.

Corrina kept her Bed fifteen days, during which time, she was constantly visited by Signior Nicola (so was called the Amorous Florentine) 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 Florentine continuing his Civilities, proffer'd her a House with a Fair [Page 560] Garden, which he had on the side of a plea­sant River. Vasquez, whom she call'd 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 Florentine, as they had out of the Covetous Mercator. Corrina accepted the proffer, and set things in order to go to the Florentine's, and to continue there till she had recover'd her self so well, as that she might prosecute her Journey. The Florentine 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 Corrina, he gave out, that she had left the City in order to the Prosecution of her Journey. Accordingly there were two Mules brought for her, and Vasquez, 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 about half a League, they turn'd back again, and took up their Quarters at Signior Nicola's, which was not above two slight Shots from the City. There he expected her, with a Magnificent Supper, which he had provided. Here the Florentine discover'd his Love to [Page 561] her more freely than he had done be­fore.

As to his Person, his Age was about Forty and of a good manly Countenance, having Buried his Wife some two years before, by whom he had no Children; he was a whole­sale Merchant, and traded in all sorts of Com­modities, insomuch that all the other Mer­chants, not only of the City, but also of o­ther places there abouts came to him, for he held Correspondences in all parts; he was a very thrif [...]y 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 Corrina, that he used all the ways he could imagine to insinuate himself into her Favor. Upon that account 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 [Page 562] told by Vasquez, 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.

That night they only Supp'd, and every one went to his rest, for it was very late; the Florentine made as if he would have re­turn'd to the City, and lye there; but his Servants, whom he had before instructed, perswaded 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, where many young men presum'd to do mischief in the Night, and Robbed all they met: At last, being perswaded not to stir out, he was glad to pass away some part of the Night in discour­sing with Corrina, 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 Humor, 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 command'd somewhat should be made ready for her Break-fast, not Imagining she was up: but when word was brought him that she was out of Bed, the [Page 563] Florentine would needs go into her Chamber, to chide her for rising so soon, and by that means to see whether Corrina's Beauty were any way oblig'd to Artifice; he found her a Combing her Head, and so he had a full sight of her Hair, which was of a great length, and of a Chest-nut Colour; the Florentine gave Heaven 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 it into two parts, to make him an answer, he saw her Face, as Beautiful as it had ap­pear'd to him when she went to Bed; a thing able to enflame a Person less inclin'd to Love and more to avarice then he was, inasmuch as there is not a greater Charm, to secure a Lovers Heart, that to see than the Beauty of his Mistress is Natural, and scorns to borrow any thing of Art. Corrina 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 only washed her self in fair Wa­ter, and needed no other Vermillion to heigh­ten the Beauty of her Face, than that of her own lively Complexion; the Merchant ask­ed whether she would be pleased to see the [Page 564] Garden? She made answer, that she was extremely oblig'd to him for the trouble he gave himself to divert her; and to satisfie him how kindly she took that Favor 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 began to be somewhat hot, she re­turn'd into the House, and broke her Fast, after which, having discoursed of several things, she desir'd to see the whole House. The Amorous Florentine desiring nothing so much as that she might see his Wealth, shews her a great number of excellent Pictures, done by the best 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 any of those things requisite for the furnishing of a House fit for a Noble-man. Having seen all the Rooms, he open'd a curious Closet, near [Page 565] 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 disposed into Gilt Drawers. Vasquez 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. Vas­quez 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, Raymond Lullius, Cornelius Agrippa, and Doctor Dee's Actions with Spirits.

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 Vasquez,) 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 Florentine,) I have spent some time in the Perusal of those Au­thors; but how far, I pray, are you acquain­ted with them? Only so far, (replies the [Page 566] other) that I have spent the best part of my Life in that Study. Nay then, (says the Floren­tine) you must needs be a very great Chy­mist. I am not to acknowledge what I am, (replies Vasquez,) we will discourse another time of these things more at large; for the present, I shall only tell you, that, besides these Authors, I have read all I could ever meet with that treated of this Science; I have turn­ed over the Works of Avicenna, Albertus Mag­nus, Terno, Pythagorus; the Secrets of Cal­lidus, 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 Floren­tine was almost out 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 Vasquez,) (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 astonished at; it is this (whispering him in the Ear) that my Neece 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 [Page 567] would not take it well. Vasquez could not have pitch'd upon a more likely way to bring the Florentine into the Gin; for his avarice was such, that he would, have parted with his Soul to find out the Philosophers Stone, hoping, if he once got that Secret, ever af­terwards to swim in Gold.

Corrina busied her self at the other end of the Closet, while Vasquez made this Discourse to the Florentine, 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 Vasquez's Discourse concerning Chymistry, and per­ceiv'd the Merchant was much taken with it; the Truth is Vasquez had some knowledge in that Science, and had spent a considerable Sum of Money, 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 only satisfi­ed him of their folly, who spent their time and Estates in so ridiculous a disquisition, and he was glad to meet with so good an opportuni­ty, to recover some part of the Money he had squander'd away in the search after it: for the Florentine, crediting what was told him by Vasquez, imagin'd himself somewhat above a Prince; he told him, that, in that very House, he had all things requisite [Page 568] 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. Vasquez 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 Vasquez was satisfi'd he knew only 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 Florentine was unwilling to quit the discourse; they went down thence into a Ground-Room, the Windows whereof looked into the Fairest part of the Garden, where Dinner expected them. After Dinner, Vasquez pretending it was his Custom to take a Nap, left the Merchant alone with Corrina, 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 only rais­ed him into a slight 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, [Page 569] and contributed much to 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 Deceas'd Wife plaid excellently well upon it, and that about a Seven-night before, having entertain'd some of his Friends with a Colla­tion, they had set it in Tune. The Lute be­ing come, Corrina began to play, and made it appear, that there were very few that could excel her at that Instrument: the Florentine 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, tho' never acquainted with shame) she seem'd to express a certain bashfulness, and ere it was quite dispell'd, Signior Nicola, (said she to him) What I have done was only for your diversion, be pleas'd to receive it with some regard to the desire I had to endeavour your satisfaction; which yet I have not done with­out [Page 570] much temerity, before a Person of so de­licate an Ear as you are Master of, and one, no doubt, wont to hear the best Voices in the World. I never heard any, (replies Nicola) that came near yours, and therefore I be­seech you, let not your Modesty occasion 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 perswade me that my time was well bestow­ed in it. I must confess the Spanish Tongue comes not so natural 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 I may satisfie the Hearer. Whereupon perceiving that Cor­rina 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.

Nicola took occasion to give his dear Cor­rina 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 [Page 571] give her leave to take a little rest, and he went himself into another Room to do the like. Vasquez on the other side, instead o [...] Sleeping, was contriving how to get the Phi­losopher's Stone, not for the Credulous Flo­rentine, but out of him; he had so perswad­ed him of his abilities, in that Science, that 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 be as Rich as Croesus, and that the Wealthiest about the City, compar'd to him, would be little better than Beggars.

Vasquez had also along discourse with Cor­rina, about the means how they should get the Gudgeon into the Net; he gave her some instructions in Writing, that the Florentine might find she knew something of the Science, at least the Terms of it: Corrina got them by Heart, and, to begin the Cheat, Vasquez 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 into [Page 572] an Ingot, which he brought back to the House, and communicated his Design to Cor­rina.

Nicola, 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 Vasquez 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. Vasquez discoursed of it after the rate of a Man that had spent his whole Estate in the Work; insomuch that Ni­cola was astonished thereat, for though he pre­tended much skill in the Science, yet could he not but acknowledge himself much infe­riour to the other. Vasquez Desirous to give the Merchant all the Satisfaction he could De­sire, told him, that he could turn what Me­tal he pleased into Gold. The Florentine was ravish'd at the proposal, and earnestly entrea­ted him that he might see it done. Vasquez ask'd him whether there were any Char-Coal in the House; the Florentine 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 [Page 573] Chymical Instruments, Vasquez said to him, Here we have all things requisite for the pre­sent. He caused some Fire to be brought, and having put a little Copper into a Creuset to melt, the Florentine saw it melting: Vas­quez 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 cleverly as he could to the Window, he poured out the melted Copper, and put in the Ingot of Gold into its place, and when he had covered it, he told the Florentine, that it should not be stir­red thence for half an hour. That time they spent in Discoursing of several things in Chy­mistry, wherein Nicola desired to make some further Progress. At last, Vasquez thought it time to shew him what he had done, and so open­ing the Creuset, he took out the Ingot and shewed it him. The Covetous Miser was transported with Joy to see it, though he were not fully satisfied of its being perfect Gold. Vasquez wished him to have it tryed by a Gold-Smith; which trouble he would needs take upon himself, and having found that it was very fine Gold, of twenty two Carats, he returns extraordinarily well satis­fied. While he was gone out, Vasquez in­structed Corrina, how to effect their Design [Page 574] upon Nicola, who being more Covetous than Amorous, would have them immediately to begin the great Work of finding the Philo­sopher's Stone. He promised Vasquez extra­ordinary Recompences, and told him, that he would be at the whole Charge, though it should amount to twenty thousand Crowns.

Vasquez, who had contrived how he inten­ded to gull the Merchant, returned this an­swer to the great proffers he had made him. Signior Nicola (said he,) I am now gone al­most seven years beyond the grand Climacte­rical Year of my Life, which is as much as to tell you, that I have passed 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 observed yourself. 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 Neece. 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, [Page 575] had she a mind to it, be as Nobly Married as she was before, for her late Husband was de­scended from the Noblest Houses in Andalu­zia. Nor were it hard for me to add to 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 employed to find me out, having spread a report, that I was gone for 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 enjoined 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 on 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 hard [Page 576] 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, and 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 height, that they are not satis­fied with abundance, if they have the least Apprehension, that the source of it may ever be dried up. This is the true Reason, Sig­nior Nicola, 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.

Nicola return'd Vasquez his most affection­ate thanks for the great Trust he reposed in him, and thought himself so happy in the dis­covery he had made to him, that he concei­ved 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 [Page 577] 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 obliged to him, and wish'd it were in his pow­er to serve him; but having only the Wealth he was possessed 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, would give him such further Instructions, as, being ob­serv'd, he should not miscarry in the great Work. Vasquez promised 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 pains; that if he weer 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 Florentine, ravished at that Proposal, proffer'd to spend all he was worth upon that Account. Corrina promised to assist them. Nay, (says Vasquez to her,) there is such a [Page 578] Necessity of your Assistance; that we shall not be able to do so well without it. They thereupon resolved, that within two days they should begin the great Work. Vasquez told him, that the Principal of the Divine Elixir, (so the Chymists call the Perfection of their Work) was formed out 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 ho­ped to do it chiefly with the Urine, and Ex­crements aforesaid, which he ordered Nicola by all means to procure, as being the most necessary ingredient of all.

He promised to find it; and, to begin the Work, the Merchant delivered him five hun­dred Crowns in Gold, to buy certain precious Drugs, which he said were necessary; and this the Florentine did the more willingly, as well out of the Confidence he had to receive them multiplied into so many thousands, as o [...]t of a Design he had thought on the Night before, of making Corrina his Wife, and by that means assuring himself of Vasquez. Where­upon that very Evening after Supper, he took Occasion to carry Vasquez along with him in­to the Garden, and acquainted him with his [Page 579] Resolution. The Alchymist thought it a good way to further his Work, and accordingly he approved of his Intention, and acknow­ledged 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?) Vas­quez 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 conceived 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 Arrearages 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 Room, they would conclude the Marriage, which he doubted not but she would accept, not only out of the Compliance she had ever express'd to­wards him, but also out of this Confideration, 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. Nicola was the most satisfied Man in the World to have such a parcel of good Words given him, insomuch that from that very hour, Vasquez became absolute Master of all he was possess'd of,

[Page 580] Vasquez and Corrina having conferred Notes upon this new overture, were more Confident then ever to Compass their Design. He freely laid out the Money received of Ni­cola, in Druggs, perswading him they were not to be had under such and such Rates. He also furnished himself with new Furnaces, Creusets and Alembicks, pretending that 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 Mo­ther's fearing it was to be used in some Ope­ration of Witch-craft, would not easily let him have it; but Money is Omnipotent, and can do any thing. Vasquez could have done as much in one day as in a hundred, as to the performance of what he had promised, but the poor Merchant must be fool'd some way or an other, till he met with an opportunity to smite him, and take a Dogg's leave of Cor­duba, with as much as he could shift away on two good Horses, which lay leager in a secret place for that Purpose.

He disposed all the Destillations into the Furnaces, in the presence of Nicola; 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, [Page 581] they destilled what had been put in­to them, but contributing nothing to the Business, and only to abuse him, who was the Charge of all the Foolery. As to Nicola's Love, he was much better treated than he was before; inasmuch as since the Proposal of Marriage, Corrina, the better to carry on the main Design, grew more kind to him, especially in Vasquez's Absence, which the be­sotted Coxcomb was so transported with, that he knew not whether his Head or his Heels were on the Ground.

About this time Nicola receiv'd a Bill of Exchange of a considerable Sum, to be paid within twenty days after sight. This, with the breaking of 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 Vasquez, and Corrina, whom he truly acquain­ted how Affairs stood with him, as if they [Page 582] had been his most Faithful Relations. Vasquez had left in the Custody of a certain Friend of the Merchant's, a good Sum of Money, and some Jewels of great Value, with order they should not be deliver'd to any, but to one of them two. Besides which, he brought some to his Country-House, and hid them in a se­cret place, in the presence of Corrina, of whom he had a Confidence, as if she had real­ly been his Wife, Vasquez, who was still bu­sie about his Destillations, 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 the Merchant to take a Jour­ney, to advise with a Correspondent of his, how to prevent the misfortune he saw coming upon him. Vasquez, and Corrina 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 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. [Page 583] Having therefore loaden themselves with what was most precious, they left the Fur­naces, and the Alembicks, which 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 satisfied 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, Vasquez, imagin­ing, by his means, he should yet be able to shew his Head, and not only 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 Vasquez and Corrina, 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 [Page 584] no account, as having not seen them when they went out, and could only say, That two Nights before, they had Lock'd him in at two Room where he lay, which he had been for­ced to break open, because he could no 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 Sums of Mo­ney, and the most precious 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 Vasquez, which having opened, he found in it these Lines.

Signior Nicola,

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 [Page 585] 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 Temptations, take 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 only 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 [...]ide to another, not out of any di­sturbance, occasion'd by his Love to the Craf­ty Corrina, (for that was absolutely lost with his Money) but that he had been so basely trapann'd by a Beggarly Rascal. Then did he begin to Curse Chymistry, and all the Au­thours [Page 586] that ever Writ of it, whereas he should rather have given Heaven 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 Vasquez had been with him? The other answer'd that he had, and had taken away whatever he had in his Cu­stody, and that therein he had follow'd his own Orders. The 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 only 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 Vasquez and Corrina 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 this Affliction.

[Page 587] This Adventure was soon known all over the City; and the Florentine, not able to ex­cept of another Bill of Exchange that had been sent him, was forc'd to absent himself, and to return to Florence, with what he could make by the Sale of his Goods. By this means he turn'd Bankrupt, and defy'd his Creditours, who could not find any thing he had left behind him. The same things 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.

FINIS.

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