DIANA, Dutchess of MANTƲA: OR THE Persecuted Lover.


Written by R. C. Gent.

Praestat otiosum esse quam nihil agere.

LONDON, Printed by T. H. and are to be sold by Henry Brome at the Gun in St. Paul's Church Yard. 1679.

TO The Right Honourable the LADY ELIZABETH BRƲCE.


ALthough Ambition may not only be allowed, but applauded, when in pursuit of such designs as are re­ally worthy; and attempted by actions altogether Generous; Yet will as certainly be condemned, when by different ways it runs too far unreined, with­out so much as an endeavour to check it. How criminal then must that presumption appear, which is altogether unexcusable? And under no less a guilt he must certainly lye, dares make [Page] an approach to so Sacred a Shrine, with an of­fering so mean an unworthy.

But when I am most certain all that can be termed vertue is centred in your Ladyships Breast, I cannot despair of having that par­ticular one of mercy extended to a conscious Offender; Assured of which, I must not doubt a charitable construction from the world, con­fident none will wholly condemn what appears in it, sheltred under your Ladyships protecti­on.

However I must expect a just imputation on my ignorance, in describing no better the character of One endowed with all accomplish­ments, in the person of Frederick, and that of a Lady possest with equal perfections, in Diana; when I had so extraordinary Origi­nals to Coppy by, in your most Noble Lord, and Excellent Self. But were my capacity much beyond what I could presume to wish, it would be a vain attempt to pretend a descri­ption of what is so much beyond expression. For should I make the least offer at a Pane­gerick, how large a field must I wander in? since it would compose an entire History, to [Page] write the Greatness and Nobility of your own Descent, and the Family you are allied to by a happy Marriage; and how much more then would there be to add, in making the short­est Repetition of those for ever to be Recorded Actions, both of Your Own, and Your Lords truly Noble Ancestors; That it seems as if Heaven designed an Union of whatever may be called Worthy, in that joyful Affinity. For as on the one side your Ladyship is not only Heiress to the Fortunes, but Vertues of those from whom you are descended; so I dare pre­sume you think your self really happy, in that most indulgent Possessor of your Affection, who gives already sufficient Proof of inheriting that Great and True worth is Inherent to his Blood.

Nor could less be expected where he had such an Example in his Noblest Father to imitate, whose signal Loyalty to his Prince, Zeal to the true Protestant Religion, and intire Love to his Country, have ever been the Guides and Directors of all his Thoughts and Actions.

[Page]But unawares, (delighted with the Subject) I seem running into what my want of Ability for the performance, must make me avoid; since the only design of this humble Address, is to implore your Ladyships favourable acceptance of this small Trifle; which obtained, will make it as fortunate, as the Writer happy, if allowed the permission of owning himself.

Your Ladyships most humble, most obedient, and most dutiful Servant, ROWLAND CARLETON.

DIANA, Dutchess of MANTƲA: OR THE Persecuted Lover. PART I.

THE crimson blushes of Aurora had scarce gi­ven the world an intimation of that glori­ous Luminary's approach which was to en­lighten it, when there appear'd coming from a stately and magnificent Palace, so lovely a troop of Ladies, that had there yet wanted any thing of day, the Stars might in modesty have retired from a new sphear of brighter Constellations; among whom the Princess Diana's beauty had lustre enough to intimate the little want there was of a rising Sun. She advanced at the head of this charming company, toward the verdant banks of the celebrated Po, where a close walk of spread­ing limes seem'd by overshadowing the River where its motion was slowest, to convert the Crystal streams into a Looking-glass of Emrald. The agreeableness of the place so suitable to the Princesses melancholy, might have [Page 2] detained her longer in it, had not the Barges waited to convey them to a little Island in the middle of the River, which composed a Garden wherein Art and Nature had equally contributed to captivate the Senses. But the fair Princess giving too much way to a serious Reservedness, participated least of those delights that curious Para­dise of Flora was liberal in affording; making the earn­est Endeavours of all the Ladies fruitless, in seeking to re­move from her breast that oppressive Pensiveness she was ready to sink under. But that her contemplation might be the more undisturbed; withdrawing to a shady Grot­to watered with many artificial Springs, and in the most retired part of the Garden; keeping no body with her but one young Lady, who was happy in having merited her privacy; she commanded the rest to pursue those Di­versions her self desired to be a stranger to. They had scarce walked the length of the first Ally when they were met by several Lords and Gentlemen of the Court, who had followed in other Boats to the Island, attended by an excellent Consort of Musick, which they had brought to divert the Princess in her retirement. They were begin­ning at a convenient distance to make an essay of their skill, when they were interrupted by a confused noise from the farther side of the River, of people crying out, to seize, or kill the murderer. This unexpected distur­bance not only hasted the Ladies and Gentlemen toward that part from whence the noise came; but also drew the Princess from her solitude, to learn the occasion of so much insolence as they appeared guilty of who raised the disorder. And coming to the end of a spatious walk which bounded on the Rivers side, they beheld with sur­prize, a young man endeavouring with his utmost strength to force a swift Passage through the water, from those who hastily pursued his Swimming, in two little Barks; while a crowd of Peasants assaulted him from the land with showrs of stones. A Boat was im­mediately [Page 3] commanded from the Garden to his assistance; and the diligent Rowers so speedily obeyed the Princesse command, that he was soon rescued from the threatning danger, and brought to throw himself at Diana's feet; who was no less surprized than the rest of the company, when he was known to be Alexander, a noble Gentle­man of Mantua, and one that had not long before reti­red from her Court. Cesareo a principal Officer of her Houshold, and (long before) the unhappy fugitives friend, begging Leave that he might retire to put off his wet cloaths, besought the Princess for his satisfaction, that some of the Country men might appear before her to discover the cause of their pursuit, and receive the Pu­nishment due to the unworthy enemies of so considerable a person. While Alexander was gone to the Gardners with some of his friends to dry himself, a plain fellow was come over from the other side, who being brought before the Princess, and commanded to give an account of the Uproar, made this following relation:

If it shall please your Grace, I am an honest husband­man, and one of your Tenants in that Town upon the top of the Hill beyond the River, where in sober truth we work hard, and take pains for an indifferent livelyhood, and to pay our rent in good time. Now, and it like you, that Town does not all belong to our Lady Dutchess; for behind that Grove of Trees on the side of the Hill there is as neat a House as one would wish to set foot in, with the daintiest contrivances of Walks, and Arbours, and Gardens, that I had a hand in the ordering some years ago: Now as to what I am to tell you concerning Alexander; well he's a parless naughty man, 'tis now about a month ago that he came with his new Wife, to take his pleasure during the spring at that house, which, as I said, stands beyond the Grove, and he belike borrowed it of Lord Cesareo, who lives here at the Court, for it is Cesareo's own house, only he being much his friend was [Page 4] willing to lend it him for a while; and in verity the Lady Cynthia his Wife, was one of the finest, handsomest, best natured young Gentlewomen that e're was bred in Italy. Oh she was so courteous, as they say, to all us poor Coun­try folks, would so smile upon us, when we did any thing to make her merry, and would talk so kindly to our Wives and Daughters, as if she had been one of us her self. Now this good disposition among other things made Alexander so dote upon her, that the like was ne­ver seen; and who would think it, she was so well plea­sed with the recreations we made her, and with our way of living, that sometimes she has laid aside her rich silks and jewels, to appear among us in such plain russet as we make our apparel on: Well if I had not almost forgot to tell you, there was another young Gentlewoman of her acquaintance that kept her company e'ne as good natu­red as she her self; her name, as I remember, was Mi­stress Porcia: But to tell you all and make few words, Alexander seemed to love his Wife, as if she had been still to give her consent, and has been heard to say he could take no pleasure any where out of her sight. But last night put a sad end to all this joy; ay, last night, no longer ago, a little after it was dark, when all the people in the Village were going to Bed, we were called out into the street to hear the lamentablest Cries that ever pierced any Christians ears; this sad noise coming as we guessed from Alexanders Grange, every body made haste thither, to know what was the matter; and I my self being pretty nimble, got thither one of the first, where all the doors were wide open, and the ser­vants running about half scared out of their wits; whereupon asking one of them what ailed all that pud­der; he told me with blubbered eyes, that his Lady was dead, how that Alexander coming home when no body expected him, had killed his Wife and conveyed away her body that none of them could find it; I being wil­ling [Page 5] to learn the whole truth, followed the man to ano­ther room, where I saw, well it was a grievous spectacle, there lay Mistress Porcia as dead as a Red-herring upon the floor, all over grimed with her own natural blood, and hard by her a fine young Gentleman called Alfredo, shot into the head, with no more life in him than the other; and it seems Alexander himself had cruelly butche­red them all: in sober earnest it was one of the pitiful­lest nights that my eyes were ever open in: and to think that Alexander should do such a deed, to kill those he seemed the very day before to love so well. Presently some made haste to the City to acquaint the kindred of the poor dead creatures with the ill news. While I, as your Highness Bayliff this year of the Village, and as in duty bound by my place, raised the Towns folks, who were all got by that time to Alexanders Grange, and di­viding them into several companies, sent out to search for the man had done so much wickedness; but the night was spent to no purpose, and every body was about to go home again, when a workman going out at day­break about his business, had spied a gentleman-like-man going into a little Cottage hard by the River; who tel­ling me of it, I began to suspect somewhat of the truth, hearing of a Gentleman up at that hour; so away I hasted with my men to the place, and making no noise, beset the house. Alexander seeing himself betrayed, for it was he, and no hopes left of escaping (well it was a desperate thing) leapt out of a window, and without receiving any hurt, got clear away from us all, and ran as hard as he could drive towards the River; truly I think it was his best way to trust to his heels, for his hands would have done little good against all us: we fol­lowed him still so close that, would you think it, he threw himself into the River, and so escaped by your help.

There appeared too much horror in the Country mans story, not to produce a tender sense of grief in the breasts [Page 6] of all that heard it; every one bestowing a several con­jecture on what might induce the barbarous Alexander to commit so strange a piece of cruelty; that which might (to those of his country) seem the most proba­ble incitement, was jealousie, yet they found no cir­cumstance to perswade them his Anger proceeded from that fatal Passion. Although the incomparable Princess her self exprest a trouble not any thing inferiour to the rest for the unfortunate young womens severe destiny; however, before she would make too great ex­pressions of her resentment, desirous they might be just; she sent an ancient Gentleman to the place where this sad Tragedy had been acted, to inquire into all the particu­lars of it, and bring her a true account of what had past since the preceeding Evening; in the mean time com­mitting Alexander into streight custody, till he should be brought forth to stand or fall by a legal trial.

Although the morning was by this time so far advan­ced, that the approaching heat began to call Diana and her Retinue back again from the divertive garden to her Palace: Yet whether apprehensive of a renewed distur­bance from that company she believ'd attended her re­turn, of several Princes who had some time resided at her Court in hopes of advancing that Passion, either her Beauty or the greatness of her condition had made them discover the highest professions of, or that she was desirous a little to alleviate her Thoughts, and gratifie her fair favourite, as she had promised, by imparting to her the cause of that grief she thought impossible ever to be delivered from. She resolv'd a while longer to defer her removal from a place so suitable to her disposition; and leaving the rest of her train in the Walks, she re­turned with Nise to the Grotto, from whence Alexanders adventure had lately called her; where making the young Confident sit down by her, she resolv'd to endeavour the unloading her breast of those afflictions she laboured [Page 7] with, by letting Nise pertake the knowledge of her most secret Concerns, in relating those circumstances of her life, which till then she had been ignorant of.

The History of Diana, Dutchess of Mantua.

I Do believe, dear Nise, (said the melancholick Princess) 'tis not only thy admiration, but that of all people; To see me yield to a Grief must appear very unaccounta­ble, since the occasion of it is altogether unknown, even to those who think themselves best acquainted with all passages of my life; especially at a time when in all ap­pearance, fortune has nothing to add whereby my condi­tion might be more happy. But the assurance of thy af­fection and fidelity, removes those scruples I might ap­prehend against the revealing what I must needs allow a weakness; and incourages me with the less reluctance to make thee acquainted with the affliction I struggle with, occasion'd by an unfortunate passion. The very mention of that word oblig'd the Dutchess to turn her head aside to conceal the Blushes, and dry those Tears that Remembrance and the Confession of it had forced from her; but quickly recollecting her self, she gratifi­ed her beloved Nise with a short Narration of the most remarkable passages of her life. Although my Fathers Indulgence (proceeded the incomparable Lady) was much inferiour to his Severity, I am confident the whole world will grant my Sorrow for the loss of him, was ne­ver exceeded by those who bewailed the death of a most tender Parent. Yet two compleat years being expired [Page 8] since Heaven was pleased I should be deprived of him, the whole Province may have reason to believe 'tis some other cause prevents my receiving a full Satisfaction in the state Heaven has been pleased to allow me, so much above others. And I must confess, did Ambition or In­terest rule my mind, it were unreasonable to wish for more than I am already Mistress of. My Father left me not only to the possession of this flourishing Duke­dom of Mantua, but as great a Treasure to maintain my Royalty as any Prince in Italy can boast him self Master of. Were the enjoyment of liberty delightful to me, so generally sought after, and wished by those of our sex, above all other Blessings, how happy might I esteem my self in the difference there is between a recluse life, such as an awful Father confined me to, and that uncon­troul'd disposal of my self I now enjoy. But alas! how little is the benefit I reap from these advantages, while I lament the loss of what was justly much dearer to me than all the Glories of establisht Sovereignty. I suppose you are not ignorant of that disaster made such a noise in the Court about half a year before the death of my Father; and much about the time yours placed you here with me; I mean the murder of that most accom­plisht young Lord, Frederick of Bolonna; who was most barbarously assassinated and thrown into the River as he returned one Evening late from the Palace to his House.

That unhappy Gentlemans destiny (said the agreea­ble Nise, finding the Princess with no small disturbance pause of the mention of so bloody a deed) filled all the Court, not only with Pity but Astonishment, that a per­son admired and beloved by all who knew him, should fall under so cruel a fate, in a place where his obliging carriage and unequal vertues had procured him many friends, but thought to have no enemy.

Most certain, (continued the afflicted Lady, having re­covered her self a little) none more deserved an universal [Page 9] admiration, or lived freer from being hated by the most en­vious; but alas, had his Merits been less, his Life had never been sacrificed to the cruel resentment of an unjustly of­fended Prince. 'Tis now, Dear Nise, I must discover to you a Secret the whole world is to this moment ignorant of. This unfortunate man, (by birth inferiour to none, as des­cended from a Branch of that Family was once adorn'd with the Crown of Naples, and now enjoys the Throne of Sicily) Possessor of no inconsiderable Estate and Title, and one whose worth transcended all the advantages could be deduced from either; finding he was the free master of himself and fortune, resolved for some years by travel from his native Countrey, to improve those accomplish­ments, he thought he had only learnt the Theory of from his careful Tutors. After some months spent in seeing the most celebrated parts of Europe, he came into Italy, and vi­siting, (after a short abode at Rome,) the principal Cities of this Country, he came hither, with intent to reside a while at my Fathers Court. His excellent society, and generous behaviour, soon made him to be taken notice of, as the most considerable stranger had been seen at Mantua for many years; and if his great endowments of mind, with an unaffected gracefulness of carriage in all his actions, attended with a most complaisant humility, procured him the Esteem and Respect of all vertuous men: His youth adorned with a beauty more than natural to his sex, and his winning Conversation purchased him, if not the Affection, at least the favourable Opinion of all our Mantuan Ladies; and there were, (as I have been inform­ed,) very few, if any, whose affections were not preinga­ged, but would willingly have been content to make him the disposer of their liberty. He was very assiduous in attending at the Court, from the first night of his ap­pearance there, which chanc'd to be when my Father by a publick celebration of his birth-day, allowed a more than usual freedom in his Palace. He was permitted to [Page 10] daunce with me, being lookt upon as a stranger of quali­ty; and then (as he since told me,) he embraced those chains were relinquisht with his life: after some weeks stay with us, the high Character every one gave of him, and those Remarkes my Father himself had taken of his extraordi­nary parts, made him desirous to retain so eminent a per­son alwayes near him, by heaping continual honours dai­ly on him; insomuch that he was quickly beheld, not only one of the greatest Officers of the Court, but the Dukes peculiar Favourite: and to oblige him from any thoughts of returning to Sicily, the place of his Birth and Fortunes, my Father designed a match for him with Ro­selinda, the only Daughter of Count Theophilus, the most eminent man within his territories. But his humility, (as was then believed,) made him, though with great ac­knowledgements excuse the acceptance of what he de­clared himself too unworthy of deserving. But his mo­desty served only to incite my Father with greater ear­nestness to bring him to the acceptance of what he judg­ed so advantagious for him; and having acquainted the Old Count with his Desires, it was not only accepted of by him, but he seem'd overjoyed with the thoughts of having so accomplisht a Son-in-law, and one so highly in his Princes favour; so that all was in a manner conclu­ded before Frederick knew the Dukes resolutions of con­summating what he himself had very little inclination to. Roselinda had been bred up with me as a compani­on from our Childhood, but the reserv'dness of her disposition had kept me ignorant of those Concerns she was at last in gratitude obliged to give me the know­ledge of; which made me at first strangely wonder she could harbour an aversion against a person like Frederick, believing there was not a Lady about the Court did not envy her fortune. 'Tis true, when I first heard the Dukes resolutions, I was not unwilling to resign Roselinda to a Husband so well deserved her; though I must confess at [Page 11] that very time, whether (as I was willing to believe) the particular kindness I had for her, made me loth speedily to loose her; or whether it was the secret im­pulse of a growing Inclination for him, I could not consent to be pleased with an overhasty conclusion of their Marriage. But why should I endeavour to pro­long the declaration of what has occasion'd all my mi­sery; 'tis enough Dear Nise, that I have told how much Frederick deserved, for you to guess I was not the only unsensible person (of those had been strangers to Love untill his appearance) at Court; Alas I saw him, con­versed sometimes with him in publick, heard from eve­ry one the praises of him, and was apt enough to be­lieve what the most affected could say in his behalf, short of flattery; when I considered my Father a wise Prince gave that preference to him, a stranger and a youth, before his own Subjects, and whom years had made fitter by experience for a Princes Councel. This at first produced no other effect in me but a par­ticular Esteem, which (with blushes let me own it) insensibly increast to a violent passion; with what di­sturbance was my soul agitated when the day of his in­tended Wedding drew near; I sigh'd, lamented to my self, and by my own disorder, made a general one through the Court, although it was only attributed to a melancholy I was always inclinable to; ‘What shall I do miserable creature, (would I say to my self) shall I wrong my own thoughts with letting them be entertained with imaginations so unworthy of me; shall the Heiress to the Dukedom of Mantua con­ceive an opinion prejudicial to her own quiet, for one so much inferiour to her? shall Diana wrong her self by an injurious Kindness for a stranger; of whom she knows nothing more than what a partial report of his worth has aquainted her with? No, no, fond Maid, let him Marry her he is designed to, and ba­nish [Page 12] him for ever from thy mind and sight.—But a­las how can I do it, how can I tear from my breast an Inclination has taken so violent, and deep possession of it? Or if I could obtain though with never so much difficulty, a conquest over my self, why should I strive to do it? will I ever love, or can I think to be always free, no, 'tis impossible; I have already surrendred my heart to the most deserving man on earth. I do, I must love him, and he is altogether worthy of it, were I Mistress of the greatest Empire the Sun gives Light to. But Oh doting woman (would my tormenting thoughts reply) he is destined to another, nor does he know, nay dares not imagine himself esteem'd by thee, or if he did, perhaps his freedom is not now to be disposed of or were it resign'd to thee, he dares not declare, nor canst thou derogate so much either from the greatness of thy Birth, or modesty of thy Sex, to let him know it.’ With this perplexity was my mind tortured, during the preparation for his Nuptials. There was not a young Lord about Man­tua who did not more envy Fredericks fortune in being destined to so fair a Bride, than for the advantage he had over them in my Fathers Love; while he him­self seem'd least transported with the expectation of those joys he was ready to be possest of. I have con­fessed Dear Nise, the Passion I had for him, and with a grief equal to it, must let you know how it proved that gallant mans destruction. Finding it at last in vain to struggle with Fate, I wisht only an opportunity of letting him know he was more than indifferent to me, pleased with the imagination that Rosenlida had more of his Respect than Love. But my Fathers se­vere Caution kept me estranged from the conversation of any but those of my own Sex, who were kept near me either as Companions or Attendants, except at some peculiar times, (while he himself was by,) he [Page 13] admitted to my presence some of the most considera­ble persons about his Court, where I had permission to hear their discourse without liberty of answering to any of them, but himself; as what he thought be­came the modesty of a young Virgin, and his Daughter; only his new Favourite had the allowance of speaking in publick to me, and commanded to entertain his Mi­stress before my face; a freedom, I was not much de­lighted with, and what had never before been allow­ed to any one who received a Wife from his Court. However I had thereby an opportunity of observing his behaviour towards her, in which I was not griev­ed to find there was more of a profound Respect, than any appearance of a real Passion. I then began to use Roselinda with a seeming endearment more than I had formerly done, and attempting when we were alone to learn from her what progress Fredrick had made towards the gaining her affections; I was not dis­satisfied to understand neither the one nor the other wisht a Consummation of their Marriage, though nei­ther durst oppose the resolution of those that had an absolute Command over them: this discovery served but to kindle that into a flame, which before burnt secretly with a glowing fervour in my breast; I allowed Fre­derick altogether worthy of me, and was willing to guess from her discourse that he had used more than a common Respect in those occasions where my name had been mentioned between them, nor could I avoid being so partial to my self, as to believe I had many advantages besides that of my Birth over Roselinda, which might not have been lookt on with indifference by her intended Bridegroom. While I continued un­der this hidden oppression, without the least appear­ance of hope to find a remedy, and strove in vain to expel the thoughts of that bewitching man from my heart, the Day appeared which was to be the eye [Page 14] of his Wedding, when I perceived Roselinda grown more pensive than ever, as if she fear'd the approach of that hour I imagined would have been fatal only to me; and being earnest (if possible) to discover the cause of it, I took her apart with me into my Closet, and conjured her by the Love and Respect she had al­ways exprest to me, that the Secret of her grief might be entrusted to one vowed her all the friendship and kindness her condition was capable of receiving. My entreaties were so prevalent that at last she confest, (with a shower of tears,) the love of Astolfo (whom you knew) made her rather wish for death than an eternal loss of one so dear to her, and of whose affe­ction she wanted no assurance; she let me know the circumstances of her Passion with so much grief and tenderness, that had I been less concerned then I was to prevent what she so much feared, I should not have been able to deny her all the assistance possible in pro­longing her Marriage with Frederick, but when in vain we had consulted all ways that had the least appear­ance of proving successful in doing it, she declared her resolution of flying from her Father, and Countrey with Astolfo, rather than infringe the Vows she had made him, and be sacrificed to one she could never love; we both concluded no remedy could be expected any other way, although the dangers and difficulties of that were too great to be hastily resolved on; and though I cannot deny but I wisht it, yet I could never bring my self to encourage their being exposed either to the ill consequences of such a voluntary Banishment, or the rage of a Prince and Father who would be e­qually cruel in the punishment of them, should they ever again fall into his hands; and at last my Compas­sion wrought so far upon me, that I perswaded her to a resolution, (with anxiety enough,) that was to make us both miserable; to submit to that of our Fathers, [Page 15] letting her know withal that if she was given from one she so intirely loved, she at the same time rob'd me of a man, that were I at my own dispose, I should not think unworthy of my favour. She exprest great ac­knowledgements for the confidence I had reposed in her, and left me with a seeming resolution of sub­mitting to the councel I had given her of Obedience, and I remained all that day overwhelmed with the dis­quiet so unhappy a Resolve had thrown me into, with­out suffering my self to be seen by any body. That evening a while after it was dark, I was acquainted that Roselinda with a Kinswoman of hers, and stranger to the Court, beg'd admittance to me; with a desire of acquainting me in private with something that ve­ry nearly concern'd me as much as her self. I won­dred a little what should occasion so unexpected a Vi­sit from her, but more at the mention of that stranger was in her company, and ordering them to be brought into my Closet, you will believe I was strangely sur­prized to discover, notwithstanding the disguise, that Frederick was the pretended relation she brought with her. So extraordinary a presumption raised a disturbance in me, which she easily discovered by the frowns I welcomed her and her audacious guess with, who immediately threw himself at my feet, with all the languishing gestures of a violent Passion, but durst not speak a word in his own Excuse, of a good while, his Conductor as much silen­ced through the fear of having highly offended me. During his continuance in that posture, a violent Combat between Love and Respect, had disordered all the faculties of my soul; and had I given way to the first dictates of my Resentment, I had called for guards to seize him, and delivered him up a prey to the utmost rigour of my Father, who was but too nice in such circumstances of honour, which his rudeness had violated. But when I began to yield to more tender [Page 16] thoughts, I found it impossible for me to think of in­dangering the life of one Heaven had decreed I must ever Love; and withal, induced by a Curiosity not un­natural to our Sex, I was willing to understand the design of his appearing before me in such a Dress, espe­cially being brought in by one I believed was the next morning to be his Wife. While my heart was agita­ted with these considerations, still suspensive whether I should declare in favour of one I loved, or condemn his presumption with an immediate banishment for e­ver from my sight, he remained kneeling at my feet, not daring to speak a word, untill upon my making a sign to him to quit the posture he was in, not with­out a violent compulsion of himself he said trembling; ‘I acknowledge Divinest Princess, my offence has ju­stly merited death, and I am ready at your Command to resign that life must not be worth preserving if you sentence it to a dissolution.’ Whatever difficulty he found in uttering these words, mine would have pro­ved much greater in returning an answer, had not Roselinda prevented my doing of it, who undertaking to say something for both their vindications, after ha­ving a thousand times begg'd my forgiveness of a crime necessity had compell'd her to the commission of, finding I seemed attentive to what she was about to speak, acquainted me that after her leaving the Pa­lace in the morning, not being able to resolve on what she had seemingly promised, and Astolfo finding means to give her a private Visit, overcome by her Lovers tears and perswasions, she had determined rather to give her life an Oblation to her Fathers displeasure, than her hand to any one but him that had the engagement both of that and her heart. In the mean time Frede­rick having resolutions not much different from hers, sought to obtain a private conference with her, whose admittance met with little obstruction in the family, as [Page 17] knowing him to be very suddenly her Husband; and her own Maid ignorant of Astolpho's being there, waited on him to her Chamber; where they were all sufficiently amazed at so unexpected an Encounter of each other: And that finding it would be too dangerous for her to conceal her thoughts any longer, she confessed to Frede­rick the person he beheld there, was one to whom she af­forded too great proofs of her affection, ever to let it be bestowed upon any other; and that he appeared so far from being displeased with her frank declaration in fa­vour of his Rival, that after a long obliging discourse, he offer'd to contribute what lay in his power, towards the prevention of two Lovers being ruined, who were determined rather to dye than admit of a separation. That at last not being able to imagine any possibility of avoiding a forced marriage, if they continued in Mantua, Astolfo had prevailed so far with her, as she consented to fly with him both from her Friends and Country; but would not stir without my allowance of it, and 'till she had taken a long farewel of me; that her Lover be­ing gone to provide Horses, and what else was necessa­ry for their flight; Frederick remaining alone with her had owned, that the Adoration he had for me occasioned the indifference towards her, which appeared in his car­riage from the first mention of the Dukes intention to make her his Wife. And whether she imagined in her self after that discovery I had made her of my Love, that it might not be very displeasing to me, if I could dis­course with him unobserved by any Witnesses; or over­come, (as she endeavoured to pretend) by the earnest perswasions of that passionate man, she dressed him in some of her own Clothes, (his youth and the comliness of his person contributing to help the disguise,) and brought him, untaken notice of by any, to accompany her to my Appartment. It were needless for me to repeat the particulars of our Discourse, which perhaps were [Page 18] but too tender on my side; therefore let it suffice that you know Frederick having learned from her, as she own'd, that he was not indifferent to me; made so good Use of his discovery, and exprest his own Pas­sion with so endearing a tenderness, that I was induced to forgive Roselinda the betraying of my thoughts, and granted permission to that Insinuating Lover, once more in the like disguise to see me; after the disturbance was over, which we very well knew Roselindaes departure would make in the Court. So taking my last farewel of her, not without Tears at so fatal a departure, and my hearty Prayers for her success; while I retired to consi­der what had past, and recollect my self after so strange and bold an Adventure, they went back to her Fathers, that he might change his dress for one more suitable for him. Where, as he informed me afterwards, having put on his own Clothes, and hearing the Count was returned from the Court, he made him a Visit, as if newly come into the House for that purpose only, and to wait on his intended Bride. The good Old man receiving him with the welcome of a fond Father, sent for Roselinda to en­tertain him, and was sufficiently rejoyced to find such an alteration in his Daughters Countenance, as appearing more pleasant than he had observed her since the first proposal of their Marriage. After a convenient stay Frederick took his leave, and the fond Old-man retiring to Bed, Roselinda withdrew, to prepare for her intend­ed Journey. The next morning was attended with a Disorder not at all less than we had imagined, when those who entred the Brides Chamber to dress her for her Nuptials, found her missing, without any account to be learnt what was become of her, more, than that Astolfo, long suspected as her Lover, was supposed to have conveyed her away, having been seen on Horse-back the night be­fore about Theophilus's House: Posts were dispatched forthwith to all parts, and an Embargo laid on the [Page 19] Ships and Vessels in every Port within the Dukes Terri­tories: with large promises of Reward to whoever should discover them, and Death threatned to the con­cealers of the Fugitives. But their utmost Endeavours proved wholly unsuccessful, and those poor persecuted Lovers were never heard of to this day; which gives me too much cause of fear that they came to some un­happy end, since both her Father and mine (their only Enemies,) have been long dead. I must confess I could not but be pleased to understand how every considera­ble person about the Court came, as much to condole with Frederick for the loss of his Mistress, as with Count Theophilus for that of an only Daughter. The disappointed Bridegroom dissembling with so much cun­ning his satisfaction, that there was none but concluded the Ravisher, (for so Astolfo was termed,) would meet a rigorous destiny from his hands, if he ever fortuned to be discovered. If this accident transported my Fa­ther to the height of rage against Roselinda and her Lover, it contributed to settle Frederick more in his fa­vour than ever, using all the endearments imaginable to make him forget his Loss, with assurance he would lose no occasion of gaining a Wife for him, more rich and beautiful than her had been stole from him; little suspecting he had not been deficient in doing that for himself. When all things began to be a little quieted, Fredericks disturbance commenced in seeking wayes how he might privately see me, without being too much observed; His former disguise was shelter enough from being known to any body; but who to pretend himself, was a difficulty long a resolving, and two months past without his attainment of what he so much longed for; till in the end, grown impatient of delay, he found out Roselinda's Maid, who had been privy to her escape, and with large Gifts and Promises believed he had secured her to be faithful both in assisting him, and concealing his [Page 20] design. She, by his direction visiting one of my Wo­men who had not been long at Court, and scarce knew any body, told her a young Lady newly arrived at Man­tua in her way to Rome, was very ambitious of kissing my hand, but desired it might be when I was most pri­vate, urging it for her Modesty, and that being on a journey she was unprovided of those Ornaments a pub­lick Appearance required. The Innocent Woman having promised to comply with the Strangers request, came to beg my permission to introduce her, when I should be alone. The sudden apprehension I had that Frederick was the Visitant, put me into some disorder, considering the danger so rash a Venture exposed us both to; but part­ly of my self inclinable to hear the renewed Vows of that sincere Lover, and not willing to deny him a Favour he had my Promise of permitting, assured by those silent expressions he made me understand in publick, that the delay his Visit had met with was no small Torment to him; I gave permission, that in the Evening she should bring the Stranger Lady to me; which she did without the least suspition of his being other than what was pretended; while one or two of my Women waited at some distance in the Room, I only discoursed my pas­sionate Counterfeit about her Country, and the design of her Travel; who readily pretended a life not without some extraordinary adventures, but such as though she would not deny me the knowledge of, yet were of that consequence as not to be imparted to any one else. Whereupon willing to remove the restraint he was in, I retired to my Closet with a seeming design to learn her Story. Ah Nise! when he found himself at liberty to speak; had you beheld his joyfully transported carri­age, and heard those endearing supplications he made kneeling at my Feet, you would have allowed his Love too sincere and tender, to be rejected by one less partial than mine had made me, in what concerned that Gal­lant [Page 21] man. I must confess the declaration of his Love this second time was with that cautious respect and winning endearment, as made it impossible for me to keep him longer ignorant of the Place he had in my Af­fection. I am sensible the World would have condem­ned me for so hasty an owning my Inclination, though it had approved him worthy of me: but alas, my restraint was such, that I could never promise him nor my self a possibility of seeing him (where I might speak) again, without the hazard of both our safeties. It would be needless to repeat all he said to me in this Visit; and as to my self let it suffice I tell you, his Conquest over me was such, that he took his Leave with an Assurance from me that I would never yield my self a Wife to any but Frederick, though that could not possibly be hoped while my Father lived. He was very desirous of seeing me once more, in the same disguise, but there appeared so many dangerous inconveniencies in it, that we could not resolve when or how he might hope the Fortune of another such Meeting. After this a Month past in which he only could behold me in publick while my Fa­ther was present, none presuming to come near my Apartment but those my Father was pleased to bring with him when he came to me, where Frederick was ve­ry Assiduous to let his Eyes and Looks acquaint me with what his Tongue durst not mention. But both growing Impatient of brooking such a constrained reservedness, without the opportunity of sometimes a more free Con­verse, I took an occasion to let him know I would be the following Evening in this Island, whither if he could privately convey himself, he should meet me unat­tended in one of the Close Walks: you may be sure he was punctual to the Assignment, and in this very Ar­bour it was we took an Eternal Farewel of each other. While we were here he told me of Roselinda's Maids death, not without suspicion of Poyson, (the only per­son [Page 22] that knew he pretended to be favour'd by me) but then we were apt to imagine it the effect of Theophilus's Revenge, who might suspect her privy to the Escape of his Daughter; but that miserable Wretch received her death as a reward of her Treachery to us. We had not been here half an hour, when interrupted by more than an usual Noise, I went out to one of the Walks from whence I could see the River, where I was sufficiently affrighted to perceive my Father landing from his Barge at the Garden-stairs. His coming was a thing so unusual, that fearing something dangerous to us, I hast­ed to warn Frederick of concealing himself, while, in no little Disorder, I past through the Walks to meet my Father as far as I could from that part of the Gar­den; assoon as I came near him, methought there ap­peared a seriousness in his Looks more than at other times, but concluding my own fear raised that Imagi­nation, I walkt with him, endeavouring to behave my self with as much unconcern'dness as my Fears would let me, which increased to perceive his Curiosity carry him through every Walk in the Island, holding me still by the Hand, without so much as speaking one Word; when he had taken a full Survey of the Garden, he re­turned carrying me with him to the Palace, where he assumed again his wonted Temper, and I thought all things had been as secure as could be wished. But Oh Heavens! what was my Condition! what was my Grief and Despair the next Morning! when being about to rise, one of my Women told me, as a misfortune all were troubled at, that Frederick was the Night before murde­red, going from the Palace to his Lodgings; and that the Guard had seen his body thrown into the River, not knowing who it was, 'till going to seize the Quar­rellers, who all made their escape, they found a Sword which was known to be his, but himself could no where be heard of. I was immediately like one Thun­der-struck, [Page 23] and remained in my Bed with more appearance of having followed him to Eternity, than of any Life remaining in me. All my Women being sensibly afflict­ed at my Concern, began to blame her had so impru­dently told me what had occasioned it, concluding my Surprize and the Tenderness of my Nature the sole cause of that grief I had exprest for the lamentable death of one my Father so much valued; and coming a little to my self, I strove so far with my Sorrows to confirm them in their belief, that not one of them surmized any thing of the truth; and telling them I would not rise till my disturbance was a little remov'd, they left me alone, to renew that Grief I could not have supprest much longer. It would be too tedious for me to relate all that my Despair and Torment for his Loss made me utter. A thousand times I wisht my self his Compani­on in Death; But what gave me the most sensible distra­ction was, through whose hatred he should have been so barbarously destroy'd. He was generally beloved by all that knew him, neither could I imagine, had my Father been acquainted with his Love, he would have been so rigorous to a man he himself esteem'd above all others. But I will only let thee know, my sorrow grew so vio­lent by striving to suppress it, that it was attended with a Fever which confined me some weeks to my Bed; during which, my Fathers Grief was in appearance little inferiour to that I languished under, seeming to use his utmost en­deavours to discover the Murderers. Nor was his Concern less for my Indisposition, not owning that he was at all acquainted with the Cause of it. About five months were past before I began to appear abroad, when I was afresh assaulted by a fit of sickness which had seized on my Father, and which proved in the end fatal to him. Du­ring near a month that he lay ill, I continually attend­ed at his Bedside, and discovered by his frequent expressi­ons, though darkly uttered, that an inward Disquiet of [Page 24] mind hindred any good effects which Medicines might work toward the removing his distemper; and at last when he found his death near approaching, com­manding all to quit the Room but my self, taking and pressing my hand, while a flood of Tears issued from his weak eyes: Ah my Diana! (said he) with what com­fort might I now have died, had not the misery I am loaded with been procured by my own precipitated rage. Thou knowest how much I prized the unfortunate Fre­derick and perhaps in time might not have thought him unfit to be thy Husband. But oh dire discovery; Theo­philus examining his Daughters Maid about her flight, using both Promises and Threats, extorted a confession from her, that you and Frederick were both privy to it; and bringing her privately to me, I learnt, with sorrow, the Conferences that unhappy man had with you in dis­guise, which was aggravated with such undoubted cir­cumstances, that I had no reason to doubt the truth of what she related; but resolving to be throughly satisfied before I executed that rigor I thought to a sin of so high a Nature, was due; I imployed Theophilus to observe both your actions; who, I must tell you, though I had forgiven the Maids Offence in assisting Frederick to get to you, He would not that of aiding his Daughter in her running away, but by a lingring Poyson sent her to ano­ther world; and to be revenged of the injury he was sen­sible Frederick had done him, continually incited me to punish his insolence of pretending to your Love by such clandestine wayes as he had made use of; so that at last yielding to his perswasions, being overcome by too nice a sence of Honour, I resolved, if I ever discovered him to be again with you, that his Life should answer the pre­sumption; and that diligent man hearing of his going alone to the Island, incited me to follow and take him there with you; which though I mist of effecting, upon certain advice that he had m [...]t with you there, I was so [Page 25] exasperated, that (though I dissembled my anger) reso­lutions of ruining him began to possess my mind, and sending for Theophilus he so confirmed me in the displea­sure I had conceived against him, that I gave him leave to use him as an enemy to his Prince, and assaulter of his honour. What followed (said he weeping) thou too well knowest, and from the hour of his death I never re­ceived one of consolation, wishing the Sword that pierc'd his Breast had been levell'd at my own; nor could I ever brook the sight of Theophilus after that fatal night; which joyned to the loss of his Daughter, and a sense of Guilt for the innocent blood he had shed, struck him into so deep a Melancholy, that he outlived my Dear Frederick but a few Weeks. Here he ended his Discourse, accompanying that renewed Grief I was possest with, at the know­ledge of my Fathers being the Murderer (as I lookt on him) of the best man had ever lived. But if his remem­brance made me behold my Father with a growing dis­pleasure, the weakness of his Condition, and the real penitence he shewed for what had been allowed by him to be committed, made me turn all my Anger to a La­mentation, becoming a dutiful Child to a dying Parent: he continued two days after he had given me this ac­count of Fredericks death, and then resigned his Soul to Heaven, and his Dukedom to her who has enjoyed small satisfaction from that Dignity since deprived of what would have been a happiness much more considerable.

The afflicted Dutchess making this sad end of her Narration, perceived by the Tears of her beloved Nise that she had as equal a share in her Misfortunes as if they had been the circumstances of her own Life. But if the compassionate Nise accompanied the Conclusion of her Ladys History with the greatest expressions of a real Grief for her Misfortunes: the fair afflicted Dutchess could not resist an unbounded Sorrow, at the remem­brance of those disasters seemed to deny any future com­fort [Page 26] to her Life. They continued a great while with­out disturbing one another in their pitiful Lamentati­ons; and doubtless the whole day had been spent by the sorrowful Diana in that sad Contemplation, if her Favourite, recollecting her self, had not considered how late it was, and how much Company attended the Dutchesses return to her Palace; and withal to divert her thoughts from what she believed the remembrance of was so prejudicial to her: She at last with much intrea­ty perswaded her to go back from the Garden, endea­vouring to conceal, as much as possible, the disorder she was in, from all Beholders. At her arrival there, those Princes, who, attracted by her Beauty and the greatness of her Fortune, resided at her Court, in hopes that a happy Possessor of both, would be chose from among them; came to welcom her Return from a place they wished she would take less pleasure in, since she had required their desisting from following her thither at any time. Her obliging goodness was not wanting in ex­pressing a complaisance to them equal to their quality; though none could promise himself any advancement in his Love from one who desired to appear very averse from an intention of altering her condition: and while they studied to outvy one another in Grandeur and State, each striving to make himself more remarkable than the rest of his Rivals; the sorrowful Dutchess bestowed all the Leasure, business of her Government would allow, on the cruel remembrance of her unhappy Lover, who though she knew long since dead, had a share in her Breast much beyond what any Living One could ob­tain.

The Messenger that was sent by the Dutchess, to learn a more particular account of Alexanders Massacre than what the Countryman had related, being returned just as the Dutchess was retiring from those Crowds had fil­led her Palace upon her dining with the Princes in [Page 27] publick, which sometimes she knew not how to excuse, when requested by them; gave her an account of Alex­anders Cruelty, little different from what she had heard before; whose barbarous severity so much incensed her, that she was about to give immediate Order to have him committed to a publick Execution, as his wickedness had in all appearance justly deserved. But Cesario, his faithful Friend, being newly come from the Prison where he was confined, and at the same time She was going to pronounce Sentence; throwing himself at her Feet, he humbly besought her to respite his Doom till she heard what his Inducements were to commit that Fact he was to suffer for. But although he made Use of all the Arguments a generous Friendship could store him with, they were not prevalent enough to obtain the deferring that justice the Princess thought was not fit to be delaid, where the guilt appeared so notorious; until the Stranger Princes joyned their intercession, withal urging, that his Punishment a while suspended would satisfie her better than to wish it undone, if he should prove an object fitter for Her Mercy than the Laws Ri­gour; which Cesario affirmed to be most certain. So that at last her Compassion prevailing above her Severe Ju­stice, she returned with the Princes, and being seated with them on her sides, Cesario by her command related the particulars of Alexanders Life, to that fatal Accident had exposed it to so eminent danger.

The History of Alexander and Cynthia.

MAdam, what I shall acquaint your Highness with of that Unfortunate man is now a Delinquent to your Laws, will, I question not, make him appear to you more Unhappy than Wicked; especially if you will please to allow that one Nobly Born ought not to be without a sense of Honour, and endeavour the Vindica­tion of it, when assaulted in the highest nature; but that you may be more fully informed of it, and the real Worth of him I plead for, your Highness must give me permission to begin with the first passages of his Life, and I believe you will find something diverting and ex­traordinary in the Relation I shall make.

There are few can boast more advantages from a good Education than he is Master of, in which his Father took all imaginable care to have his Endowments equal to the considerable Rank his Birth had placed him in. After a convenient time employed at home in those Stu­dies were fit for him, he was sent abroad to learn those Accomplishments the Theory alone is to be had from Books; but after a few years employed in Travel, the Death of his Father called him Home, to the possession of a large Inheritance; where his obliging carriage soon procured the commendation of all the City, every one striving to be reckoned in the number of his Friends; but an unexpected accident quickly after his return, removed that tranquillity he had till then been attended with. A Formal young Gallant of the City, very well [Page 29] attended, by chance passing through a Principal Street, met Alexander at that time alone, who diverted by the sight of a Lady looking from a Window, took not so much notice of the Complement that Gentleman made him of his Hat in going by, as to return the like Ci­vility; which being lookt on as a slighting rudeness, made the Gentleman turn back and give him some up­braiding Language, which Alexander confident he had not deserved, returned him such sharp Replies, that from words they came to make Use of their Swords, whereby Alexander, being fallen upon by all that ac­companied his Opponent, received several wounds be­fore the Company in the Street could get in to part them; but at last a Croud getting together, his Enemies shift­ted for themselves, while he not able to go far, slipt into the Porch of an adjacent House, and so to the Yard, before those that were come in to separate them, had laid hold of him. As he stood there looking about whither to go for some help, finding his strength be­gin to fail by the loss of his blood, he perceived the door of a Hall open, and leaning on his Sword went toward it, to get some of the House to call a Chi­rurgeon to him; but he was scarce entred, when through weakness and pain, he fell down in a Swoon. There happened to sit in the Hall a young Lady, who shrieking at the sight of a man entring with a naked Sword, and all over bloody, brought in the Servants, whose coming was very opportune for the wounded stranger; soon after the Master of the House, and Fa­ther of the young Lady, being advertised of what had happened, came down, and seeing the condition he was in, Ordered him to be laid in a Bed, and sending for Chirurgeons, with much pains they brought him to himself, when searching his wounds, they judged his greatest danger was the loss of so much blood; how­ever he would have been carried home, but that the [Page 30] Chirurgeons said it might indanger his life, and Octavio generously declared, he should not leave his House, till he saw him in a better condition, since Providence had been pleased to direct him thither. And his Care and Kindness, with his Chirurgeons diligence, within few days raised him from his Bed, so that he resolved with great acknowledgements to Octavio, to return again to his own House, for the perfecting his Cure. But Octa­vio on the other side, persisted in his Noble humour of not letting him stir till he was perfectly well, so that he was compell'd to stay longer than he desired at that time, being withal not a little solicitous to hear what was become of his Adversary, whom he resolved to call to a severe account for his baseness, as soon as his strength would permit. One morning as he was busying himself with such Thoughts, his Meditations were interrupted by a Charming Voice he heard at some distance, accom­panied by the sound of a Lute, play'd on by no mean Ar­tist. His Curiosity presently made him desire to learn who it was had given him so pleasing a diversion. And leaving his own Chamber, he past through a large Gallery, at the end of which he heard the delightful Musick, as he guessed, from a Room that opened to the place where he was; the Voice he knew to be a Womans; and imagined, as it really was, That Porcia, Octavio's Daughter, had ignorantly given him that delightful entertainment; and being earnest, if possible, to have a sight of the Person had drawn him thither, he went softly to the door, which he saw was shut; and looking through the Key-hole, beheld a young Lady, whose beauty he thought much transcended all that e­ver he had seen of Lovely before, which was increased by the negligent posture he beheld her in, drying some tears seem'd to force a passage from her Languishing eyes. He had not long contemplated on this lovely Object when seeing a Maid come in to her, whom he [Page 31] knew to be the same assisted often near him during his sickness, and fearing either to be heard, or that the door where he stood should be opened; the caution of avoiding any thing might look like rudeness in a House where he was so much Respected, made him retire back to his own Chamber, though not without using a little compulsion to himself, in leaving a place he could have wished a longer continuance in. After he had some­time contemplated on the Charms of that fair Lady he had so unexpectedly seen, and who he was confident must be Porcia, his Friends Daughter. Octavio came in to Visit and Accompany him at his Dinner, it being a­bout that time of the day; at the end of which, Phillis, (the same who used to come to him, and her he had not long before seen in the Ladys Chamber) came in, and presented him a Basket of curious Flowers, desiring he would accept and value them as the first Fruits of the Spring in her Masters Garden. He received the gift at first as a Complement of the Maids, for which he thought the Return of a more considerable present would be ex­pected, which he could not then perform, Octavio being with him; but setting the Basket on a Table, and thank­ing the Maids kindness, he continued to entertain Octa­vio, being then less solicitous to leave him than before, which was not displeasing to the good old Gentleman, who after a convenient time from Dinner, leaving Alex­ander to repose himself he went to do the like in his own Chamber; as soon as he was gone Alexander looking by chance on the Flowers, found them placed in the Basket with so much Curiosity, as required him to look more attentively on them, when he was surprised to find in a mixture of Gilliflowers and Jessamine a Composition of these Words, It is enough to the Discreet. Although he concluded it came from Porcia, both by the person that brought it, and having seen in her Chamber, Flowers scattered on the Floor; yet he could not resolve to be­lieve [Page 32] himself so fortunate, to look on it as a Favour de­sign'd him, or an incouragement to that Love he found began to take possession of his Breast; However, willing to discover what the meaning might be, he resolved to return an answer the same way; so that taking out all the Flowers, he put in the bottom of the Basket a Let­ter filled with all the passionate Expressions a growing Love could dictate to him, and laying the Flowers on the top in the same order he received them, only alter­ing the words; and that Evening Phillis coming into his Chamber, after engaging her his by a considerable Pre­sent, he prevailed with her to carry the Basket to her young Lady, who she confess'd had sent it to him: which she immediately did, and delivering it to Porcia she read her own words varied to these, The Flowers conceal it; and meeting under them with his Letter, she found his declaration of Love discovered with the greatest re­spect and most aggravated endearment imaginable; which was not displeasing to her, when Phillis assured her it might be believed real, giving her an account of what she learnt from Alexander, of his having both seen and heard her at the Gallery door. Whether it was Porcia's restraint made her more ready to receive an im­pression of Love, or whether her own disposition was easily susceptible of that passion; but as Alexander learnt afterwards from her Maid, the Declaration of his Love made an entire Conquest over that too-easie woman, who after having several times read his Letter, said to her Confident, Phillis, Ah Heavens! what Guess did my mis­fortunes bring into my Fathers House! Ah what Charms hast thou returned me under those guilty Flowers! Ah Phillis, Alexander has conquered my Soul; I would fain be angry with my self for thinking on him, and with Him for owning that he loves me; but he has done it with so winning and so respectful a grace, that I must for­give him; Ay, to my perpetual Torment I must do more, [Page 33] I must love that bewitching man: and I cannot avoid conjuring thee by all the kindness thou hast for me, to find out some means for him to speak with me before he leaves our House. Her Maid promised her obedience to that difficult Command, though ignorant how to bring it to pass by reason of Octavio's cautious jealousie, who was a continual Centinel over his Daughters actions; but at last it was resolved, to bring him one Night to Por­cia's Chamber when the old Gentleman was a-bed, but the very day before, whether he had taken notice of the Maids too often being with Alexander, or whether he thought him now well enough to remove, he came to him, and told him a Chair was ready to carry him home, and that he must consent to that reconcilement he was newly come from concluding with his Enemy; the surprized Lo­ver knowing not how possibly to refuse either, was forced to go that afternoon from the House he then heartily wished a longer residence in, but not able to find out any tolerable Excuse, he obeyed Octavio's pleasure with all the acknowledgements could be expressed for the great Favours and Kindness he had received from him, and took his leave, disappointing both Porcia and him­self of a meeting would have been agreeable enough to them. Alexander remained some days after his remo­val from Octavio's with the satisfaction of knowing now and then by a Letter, his Affection was so far from being displeasing to her he had placed it on, that she delighted in nothing more than the Conquest she belie­ved she had made over him, and he has confess't to me that he wisht then for nothing more than the full pos­session of her, which he had almost fixt his resolution of demanding from her Father, not doubting of being approved by him for a Son-in-Law. But fortune had otherwise decreed to dispose of him, though not with­out the blemish of inconstancy. About that time Carlos returned from a long Travel, to settle with a Family in [Page 34] Mantua, called thither by the same occasion had brought Alexander some time before, upon the death of a Father. They having, when abroad, travelled several journeys of pleasure together, where so firm a friendship was con­tracted between them, that it was now an equal joy to both, that in a more setled condition they should injoy one anothers agreeable Conversation. At no time could one be seen without the other, and Carlos was alwayes to be found in Alexanders House, or Alexander at that of Carlos, at least that part of it he reserved for his own Apartment, there being some Rooms he gave ad­mittance to none into, where his fair Sister Cynthia was, by his severe nicety, kept almost from the conversation of humane kind, not allowing her to frequent so much as any place of Devotion, further than a little Oratory within the House, where from behind a Guilded Let­tice she heard a Priest, by her Brothers order, assisting as a Chaplain to her; yet, whether such a Restraint was na­tural to her, or that she would not oppose in any thing the pleasure of Carlos, whom she esteemed a Parent as well as a Brother, her hours met with Diversions among her Maids, which hindred them from being tedious to her, while Carlos and Alexander employ'd theirs in those Gallantries were suitable to their age, especially Alex­anders consisted in the favourable opportunity he had procured, by Phillis's contrivance, of Discoursing every Evening with his Beloved Porcia, Carlos seldom leaving him alone in the night exposed to those Dangers often attend Intrigues of that Nature; and he was at last ar­rived to so full a satisfaction through the winning car­riage of his Mistress, that he determined out of hand to compleat both their happinesses by demanding Octavio's permission for the Consummation of their Marriage; But having imparted the design to Carlos, whether up­on any other ground, or only not to be rob'd of a Friend by seeing him retired to the Conversation of a Wife, he [Page 35] endeavour'd to make him suspend the too hasty pursuit of what he was then so earnest for. One day as the two Friends were walking in a Gallery of Carlos, House, dis­coursing about Alexanders Concern, he cast his Eyes about the Walls to take a Survey of several curious pieces of Limning Carlos had brought with him from Rome, among which; he observed one Young Lady so beautiful, that at the first glance he rather attributed such perfections as appeared Painted there, to the goodness of the Work­mans fancy, than a possibility that Nature had, or could ever form an Original equal to it; but asking Carlos if there had ever lived any thing like it, he told him it was a lively Copy of a Lady called Laura, who was the ob­ject of his first Love in Rome. Such Beauty (replied Alexander) might rather become the Adoration of a Di­vinity, than any one that were Mortal, and I could almost accuse my Friend of Blasphemy if I thought he had ever presumed to acquaint her with his Love, at least in any other tearms than such as your Prayers are offered up to Heaven. Carlos smiled at his sudden Transport, telling him she was Mortal, and a Woman, and by conse­quence liable to take the Impression of Love, and to be overcome; but finding him to persist in an Extravagant admiration only of a Picture, he perswaded him into ano­ther Room to forget what he had seen; but from that time Alexanders thoughts were so wholly employed in contemplation of the Lovely Picture, that he was scarce ever out of Carlos's House, or the Gallery, where the two Friends being together one Afternoon, Alfredo, a near Relation of Porcia's came to visit them, his chief Design being to engage Alexanders Mediation with Carlos, that he would bestow his Sister Cynthia on him for a Wife, he having taken a deep Impression of Love, from a sight of her in her return with her Brother, not long before, to Mantua. Alexander would willingly have obliged Al­fredo for his Couzens sake, but knowing well the reser­ved [Page 36] temper of Carlos, he could not promise him any hopes of Success; for although the Friendship between them was very great, Carlos had never given him a sight of his Sister, or so much as mention'd her being in the House; however, he satisfied the Lover of Cynthia at pre­sent, by assuring him to employ all his Interest with her Brother to make him happy. But Alexander himself in the mean time had resign'd all his Tranquillity to the imagined Beauty of Laura, not only owning it to his Friend, but with Protestations, that if their Friendship did not with-hold him, he would immediately visit Rome in search of this Lovely Creature, begging Carlos with the greatest earnestness possible, to give him an hi­storical account of his Love, and the progression he had made with her. Carlos found himself at a loss what to say; but at last, a little to gratifie his perseverance to know something, he told him in general, that he had not been hated by her, that he had often found opportu­nities of seeing and Discoursing with her, but before he could perswade her to a Resolution of making him hap­py, the death of his Father had called him from Rome and the Person he loved; withal perswading Alexander to mention her no more to him, lest it should incite those Thoughts he would unwillingly harbour against a Friend; Alexander promised he would not, striving to put it off with a jeast, that what he had said was only to try the Constancy of his Friends Love; and Carlos smiling, seemed to believe he had no other design in it. So fall­ing from that to other Discourse, Alexander spoke to him in behalf of Alfredo for his Sister; but Carlos an­swered to that Demand, that although he was well sa­tisfied both of the Quality and Fortune of Alfredo, yet he would Impose no Husband upon his Sister, but one she should her self approve first, and that hearing Alfredo was then going a journey to Loretto, by the time of his return he would know his Sisters sense, and accordingly [Page 37] answer his Demand. This Journey of Alfredo's was to accompany his Unkle Octavio, and Porcia, who went thither in performance of a Vow Octavio had made, while Languishing under a Violent Distemper he had some time been recovered of. The Night before their Departure Alexander took his leave of Porcia at the Win­dow they used to meet at, with a real sorrow on her part to be absented from him, and a well expressed one on his, if the remembrance of Laura's Picture would allow it to be sincere. But when she had been a few days ab­sent, neither the consideration of displeasing Carlos, nor the unaccountableness of this new Passion, could deter him from resigning all his Fredom to the well-drawn Charms of Laura's Picture, watching all Opportunities of being in the Gallery to meditate on the Perfections appeared in that excellent Piece. One day, as he was re­tired to his Contemplation, a Servant brought him word that a Woman close Veiled desired to speak with him, who by his Command being brought up, delivered a note into his hand, and told him she must wait his An­swer to it; breaking off the Seal he found it contain'd a summons from an unknown Lady, to be directed by the Servant brought it to him, to a Window, at eight at Night, where she desired a short Discourse with him. He obliged the Maid to stay where she was, untill the hour appointed, at which time going out, his concealed Guide before, after having passed several Streets, she brought him to an Ally, whose narrowness added to the obscu­rity of the Night, and leaving him under a little Win­dow opened into it from a large House, she took her Leave of him, telling him she would let her Lady know that he attended her pleasure. He had waited a short while after the Maids departure, when he perceived the Win­dow open, and heard one call softly to him. After his first Complements were over, the person from the Win­dow said: Had I not been convinced that the Generosity [Page 38] of Alexander would not suffer him to disobey the assig­nation [...], I should scarce have made this Trial of your obliging Disposition, but since the repetition of many words [...]s needless to one must beg of you what she hopes you will not deny; the only inducement I can use to assure my self o [...] your compliance, is to let you know that your coming hither is to lay another Obligation on Laura▪ besides that of having a respect more than ordina­ry for her Picture, neither is it I alone am engaged to a favourable esteem for the Gallant Alexander, but my Fair Friend and Companion Cynthia has set so great a va­lue on your Merits, that I doubt she is not far from an In­clination to the worthy Master of them: and to acquaint you with the design of your being sent for hither, it is both from her and my self, (if our Intreaties can prevail) that you would be less Assiduous with Carlos in favour of your Friend Alfredo; for be confident, Cynthia's thoughts are so far from approving his pretentions, that if it be persisted in 'twill occasion that Difference be­tween her and her Brother, which she would most wil­lingly avoid, and be troubled your Intercession should oc­casion it; wherefore it lies upon you to deter Carlos from allowing it any further progress, and reduce Alfredo to a resolution of persisting no longer in a design will never prove successful. Alexander was so surprized to hear the name of Laura, and transported with the imagination of being so near her, that the pleasing disturbance it had put him in, would not suffer a passage to his Words whereby he might form an Answer to what she had re­quired of him, more than with broken expressions to as­sure her he should rejoyce in that Obedience she required of him. So that giving her leisure to recollect what she intended to a [...]quaint him with, she continued her Discourse, saying: Now Generous Alexander, that I have obeyed the injun [...]o [...] Cynthia laid on me; believing you will admire to find me in her Company, and her Bro­thers [Page 39] power, I must beg your patience to hear the occasi­on of it. Carlos has already told you my Inclination had preferred him above all others, my Quality and the place of my Birth you have learnt from him; but since his reservedness has kept you ignorant of the occasion brought me to Mantua, and into his House, relying on your secresie, you shall be informed of the cause of it from Laura her self. During the time of Carlos's abode in Rome, our Loves were grown reciprocal, when he took that Journey with you, (soon after your first acquain­tance) to visit the most remarkable Places in Italy, lea­ving his Sister in a Convent she had been bred in, until he should return; I heard afterward by him, that being called home by the death of your Father, you took your Leave of one another in Florence, he to come back to Rome, while you hasted to the City we are now in; Carlos was come within a league of Rome without meeting any thing remarkable after he left you, but then he saw com­ing towards him a Coach and six Horses, driving with an unusual Speed, and before it came near him, turned out of the High-Road, and stopt at a Wood-side, a con­venient distance from it; believing there was something extraordinary in what he had seen, his Curiosity made him ride to the other side of the Grove, and quitting his Horse, he made a passage through the Boughs till he came near the place where the Coach stood; from whence he saw there had alighted two Gentlemen, who entring the Wood made a stand in an open place ve­ry near that where the thickness of the Bushes had con­cealed him, and heard one of them, with a disturbed tone, accost the other. My Lord Albert, (said he) I have brought you hither to let you know you have failed in that respect is due to our Friendship, since you could so much forget my adoration was placed on that Lady, as to dare pursue the supplanting of it, to advance your own. I confess my Lord Duke (replied [Page 40] the other) you was before hand with me — Laura was come thus far with her Discourse, when one coming hastily to her from within, she started up, and only saying, farewell Alexander, till to morrow this time, when I shall expect you in the same place, She retired from the Window; and Alexander returned home strangely confused within himself at so unthought of an adventure as he had met with. The joy of having found a real Laura, quite banisht from his thoughts the remembrance of his once admirable Porcia, and if she did at any time possess them, he made himself believe her Beauty had never made any firm Impression in his Mind, at lest he allowed that Change excusable, he had not without some struggling submitted to, and forced by a Beauty much preferrable to what he forsook; con­fident she was not Mistress of less Charms than were gi­ven her by the Painter, but rather would have allow'd them excelling the Copy, if they should appear equal to her Wit. He wisht with a violent impatience the re­turn of the next Night, spending the remainder of that Night and the Day following in a serious contemplation of his Unfortunate, yet in some Considerations Happy Condition. What am I reduced to (would he say to himself) that I must either be miserable by my own obstinacy, or offend in the highest nature the best of Friends? shall I shun seeing her again, and learn to for­get my captivity, thereby confirming my constancy to Porcia, and fidelity to Carlos? No, no, 'tis no longer in my Power, nor did I ever love till I beheld the resem­blance of Laura; I never had, nor can have a Passion but for her; Yet shall I betray my Friend? yes, I must, I hope I have already supplanted him: nor can that be termed a Treason which Merit occasions; alas! if I sought; how can my Tongue be silent against the very impulse of my soul; I must rather perish fondly by seek­ing Laura, than let Carlos owe me a silent fidelity. [Page 41] Carlos is guilty in so far doubting my Loyalty to con­ceal her being here, but I will take him at his word, let him be delighted with the remembrance of that Laura he left at Rome, while I Triumph in the Love of Laura that is in Mantua. Fixt in this resolution, he waited the following Evenings Approach with the impatience of one that hopes a Blessing, which was no sooner come, but he made haste to the appointed Window, and at the prefixt time found it opened by his Beloved Laura, who told him he might now be secure from that Inter­ruption had forced her the night before to retire, which was the coming in of Carlos, who was now in Bed, and Cynthia in her own Chamber asleep. Alexander begin­ning from her discourse of Cynthia, took occasion high­ly to complain against the scrupulous humour of Carlos, for being so reserved in concealing his Sister, that all the Friendship between them had not made him deserve a sight of her: which restraint of his has now engaged me in such a desire of procuring it (added he,) that though only the gratifying my Curiosity is what I seek, yet unless you forbid it, it shall be accomplished, if to the endangering a breach in our Friendship. To assure you (answered Laura) I do not emulate the Merits of my Friend, you have permission to endeavour what you mention, though on your part, the sight of so many Charms may endanger the Constancy of the Firmest Lover; since there have been in Rome and Mantua, those who allowed her worthy the greatest admiration: Ma­dam (replied the Amorous Alexander) although there were as commanding a power in Cynthia's Beauty, as your Friendship affords it, that 'tis enough to see her and be conquered; yet They must be reckoned free from that danger, who have been blest in seeing Laura, though but shadowed. I shall believe you resolute (said she interrupting him) if you can behold her with indifference, whose Form perhaps has been the particular care of Heaven in [Page 42] moulding; and before you attempt seeing her, imagine you may incounter one much transcending whatever you can imagine in Laura, who may be flattered too much in the Copy you have seen: No, Fair Laura, (replyed he) if you had not a sufficient assurance of your own Charms, you would scarce have afforded those praises to your Friends, which indifferent Beauties are shy of men­tioning in anothers favour. Perhaps (said she) it would not be displeasing to me, if Alexander were as much captivated by Cynthia's Beauty, as he pretends to be by Laura's Picture. These last words of Hers made him so doubtful what might be meant by them, that not da­ring to attempt knowing more of her meaning, he changed his Discourse into a desire that she would oblige him with the Conclusion of what she was the Night before interrupted in. Which she seeming willing to do, being inminded by him where she left off, continued, saying: After the Lords had retorted a few more up­braiding Expressions on one another, they were both si­lent, to let their Swords end the Dispute; the Duke on­ly saying, since we both pretend our love to be so great, that neither can relinquish his Hopes but with his Life, let the survivor continue his, while the other's are buri­ed with him. Carlos finding himself so near, believed after he saw them both bleed, that he might without wrong to eithers Honour, endeavour the conclusion of the Combat; and throwing himself between them, not without much difficulty, he got them at such a distance from each other, that he might have time to speak to them. Why, my Lords (said he) should the Conquest of a Beauty cost the endangering two Lives so Conside­rable? If the Ladies pleasure be still undecided, is it not more conduceable to pretend in a way of Gallantry, whereby one may prove happy in her Esteem, while the other will suffer little by the loss of a Lady whose af­fections were not to be gained by him? I am satisfied [Page 43] replied Lord Albert (who knew Carlos very well) to conform to the Proposition has been made, and refer my Fortune to the Judgement of her I Adore, with promise to desist all future pretences, if rejected by her. The Duke at length was prevailed with, by Carlos's Perswasi­ons and Intreaties to do the like; so that having put a period to their Dispute, they returned back to the Coach which waited at the outside of the Wood, and took Carlos with them in it back to Rome. As they were in the Coach together, the Duke gave Carlos an account of their Love, saying it was placed on a Lady who was so nice and reserved, that neither of them had at any time been happy in receiving a Smile from her, where­by their Passion might have the incouragement of a bare hope, that they only had the equal satisfaction of seeing her in the Church she usually resorted to, and both the day before attempting to speak to her in her return, were prevented by one another, which occasioned that quarrel he had found them engaged in; and telling them the place of her Abode and Name, he was not a little distur­bed in himself to hear that it was I that had made them (though unknowingly) Enemies. That Evening Car­los made me a visit, and after having with satisfaction enough to him, welcomed his Return, he told me of the Adventure he had met with of the Duke and Marquiss upon my account; and in requital to him, withal to remove any growing jealousie he might conceive, I ac­quainted him with the troublesom assiduity they used to conquer me, each striving to outvy his Rival in Pro­mises equal to the greatness of their Quality, which I found in some Letters had been clandestinely conveyed to me much against my will. Carlos not overpleased that I should be exposed to the Courtship of two persons so eminent, and who had resolved to pursue their wishes with the utmost diligence, perswaded me, since I was with­out Parents, to be a Check to their Declaration of what [Page 44] would be very prejudicial to my Credit, that I would leave the Aunt I lived with, and consent to be a Com­panion of his Sister Cynthia's, and his Reasons I thought so weighty, that without giving any account of the place I retired to, his Counsel was followed by me; and in very few days after, Carlos resolving to return home with his Sister, hearing of his Fathers death, our intimacy was grown so great, that being too earnestly requested by her, I rather chose to visit Mantua than lose her Company, thereby securing my self from two dangerous and potent Pretenders against my Honour, for I could scarce believe either designed to make a Wife of one whose Birth was so much inferiour to their own; nor would I ever venture abroad, during our stay in Rome, for fear of being discovered by them, only once I was obliged to do it with Cynthia, when she went to take her Leave at the Convent she had been bred up in from a Child, until her Brothers coming took her from their Innocent Society; and then I narrowly mist being known by my vigilant Searchers. But to keep you no longer in suspence, I shall only tell you 'tis now three weeks since our arrival at Mantua, and hearing the di­vertive company used to visit Carlos, Cynthia and I desi­ring privately to hear how you men entertain one ano­ther, procured, under pretence of being lost, a Master-Key belonging to Carlos, which would at any time give us entrance where we might overhear your Discouse, which we did when you so undeservedly applauded my Picture, and urged Carlos his bestowing Cynthia on your Friend Alfredo, which she was so averse to, that want­ing the confidence her self, she prevailed with me in her name to entreat you would prevent her Brothers taking any such resolution, which since you have promised, I will endeavour to bring you where Cynthia her self shall return you the thanks are due to Alexanders generosity; And after she had perswaded him to forget Laura for [Page 45] one more worthy of his affection, she made him retire, with permission of visiting her another Night. As Alex­ander was happy in the conversation of his adored Laura every Evening; though he feared her too much enga­ged with his Friend, and that her permitting him to dis­course her was on Cynthia's account, he pleased himself enough with being near her, though on any occasion, hoping in time, she might be brought to approve that her self, she seemed then to pursue for another; and every day his entertainment was in Carlos Chamber be­holding her Picture. As he was one Afternoon alone in it, he heard himself softly called, and turning about could see no body, but at his Feet a Note; which at first he thought fallen from himself, but opening it he per­ceived these Words,

Leoninda will expect you this Evening at the Gar­den-gate, and conduct you to a Chamber in our Apart­ment, I have no time to add more. —

Alexander not doubting but the assignation was made by Laura, wished with impatience for the times ap­proach, more earnest to behold his Charming Laura, than Carlos's Sister, whom he believed she designed to shew him; and passing the day with his Friend Carlos, as soon as ever it was dark, he went to the Garden, where he found Leoninda ready to conduct him into the House, whither being brought, she left him in a dark Room, while she went to give notice of his being there: the Place was a good while silent, till at last hearing a Door unlock, he advanced to meet his adored Laura; But how was he amazed to behold entring, instead of her, Carlos, his injured Friend, with a Light in one Hand and a drawn Sword in the other.

Just as Cesario was come to this part of his Relation, the Princess was interrupted from farther Attention, by several Persons entring into the Presence, in a manner something unusual; among which there was one, who [Page 46] by the strangeness of his Dress appeared an African, who having been very earnest to speak with the Dutchess, was brought in by one of the Officers, upon his pretence of having something extraordinary to communicate to her, which she being acquainted with, commanded him, before Cesario proceeded in the story of Alexander, to inform her what had urged him to be so solicitous of speaking to her: who throwing himself at her feet told her that what he had to relate must be to her self alone, unless absolutely enjoyned the contrary by her: the meanness of his Garb, and disorder of his Looks made those who were with the Dutchess think it unsafe to trust him in what he requested, and besought her to let him be examined by some Officer who might give her an account of his business; and one being called to that purpose, the poor Stranger, pressing so near the Dutchess, that he could not be overheard unless by Nise who stood by her; Madam (said he) is it with your Highness permission that I must relate to the person appointed, what concerns my dear Lord Fredericks me­mory. He had no sooner mentioned that Name, but a sudden disorder appeared in the afflicted Princess's Face, surprized to think that a Stranger should be acquaint­ed with what she thought a Secret to the whole world: and finding her disturbance increase by her endeavours to suppress it, she rose hastily up, and taking Nise by the Arm to support her, retired to her Closet, leaving all the company amazed at her departure. She had not been long withdrawn, when a Lady came from her to bring in the poor Stranger, who as soon as he saw none with her but Nise, the rest having withdrawn to the further end of the Room, kneeling down at a little distance, and with tears in his eyes; said to her, Madam, it has pleased Providence at last to bring me where I can ful­fill the injunction of my unhappy Lord; who command­ed me if he ended his days in the captivity we were in, [Page 47] that if ever I should see Italy, I should acquaint your Highness with those misfortunes happened to him after his being believed dead, and thrown into the adjacent River. What, said the Dutchess interrupting him, was it not Frederick who was murdered and carried away by the Streams! Yes Madam (said he) it was my Dear Master received all those wounds were intended him; but at that time Heaven was pleased to spare his Life, though, as it has proved since, only to let him go with more misfortunes to his Grave. That joy which the Dutchess began to receive at the mention of his being alive, was soon turned to her wonted affliction at the Strangers last words; but a little recovering her self, and earnest to know the particulars of Frederick's second death, as she termed it, she desired him to give her an account of what she was ignorant of concerning that unhappy man.

The History of Frederick, Astolfo and Roselinda.

IN the Relation your Highness commands me to make of my Masters adventures, since you believed him kil­led at your Palace-Gates, I must necessarily acquaint you with those of two persons once not unknown to your Highness, I mean Astolfo and Roselinda, who fled from Mantua some time before my Master was forced from thence.

The Dutchess hearing their Names, desired him to omit nothing which might concern a person so much esteemed by her, as Roselinda; and Fredericks Loyal Ser­vant perceiving she expected to know what he had to inform her of, began his sad story.

Although it may seem presumptuous to say any thing to your Highness concerning a Person so inconsiderable as my self, yet it may not be unnecessary to own the par­ticular favours my Noble Master was pleased to bestow upon me, in not concealing his most secret thoughts from one he believed wholly devoted to his service; when he was at Rome he engaged my Father Julian, whose Name I bear, to let me attend him in those Tra­vels he designed to make through most parts of Europe, (which for my Improvement he yielded to) desiring I should learn what experience I could abroad, before he settled me at home, where his Fortune was considerable enough to bound a moderate Ambition, though much inferiour to what his Ancestors had enjoyed; but being forced to stay behind for the settlement of some Affairs, [Page 49] I did not overtake my Master till he had been some time here in Mantua, where I was overjoyed to find him in so high Favour with the Duke; and after a few days, (congratulating his happiness in being designed the Husband of Roselinda) he was pleased out of a confi­dence he had of my secresie, to tell me how little agree­able that match was to him. I need not repeat to your Highness any thing which past in Mantua till the fatal Night was designed for his destruction, when com­ing from the Palace, a little distance from whence I wait­ed his return, a sudden noise of Swords made me retire where I might be less taken notice of, without imagi­ning him concerned in that quarrel: till a while after believing by their silence, all was over, I drew near enough to hear one of the Guards say, although he be not wounded, his falling into the River must be his death; another replying, I have found his Sword, which by as much as I can discern in the dark, is rich enough to be owned by a Person of Quality; growing a little suspitious by their words, and frighted at their naming man thrown into the River, I adventured to ask the [...] what the disturbance was I had heard a little before which one of them telling me, and shewing me th [...] Sword, I was half dead at the knowledge that it wa [...] my Dear Masters; and crying out 'tis Lord Fredericks, Lord Frederick is slain, I ran to that part of the River where they told me he was thrown in, but being able to perceive nothing, I followed the Current all Night, making the Banks eccho to my Grief for the loss of him, and the best part of the next day was spent in the same manner, when towards Evening falling in among some Huts the Fishermen had set up upon the Banks, one of them hearing what I was in search of, told me, that being most of the Night Fishing upon the River, he had discerned something carried down by the Stream come very near his Boat, and making towards it, took up a [Page 50] man in a very rich Garb almost dead, which he thought had been occasioned by his being tired with Swimming; but bringing him ashore to his Hut, he found him all over bloody, and as he believed then quite dead: How­ever the charitable man, willing to give him what assi­stance he could, first rolling his body on a Tub, which brought a great quantity of Water from him, and then laying him wrapt in dry Woollen near a Fire, his heat began to return, and at length he opened his Eyes, though without any sense or knowledge of what was done to him; and removing him thence to a Bed, they bound up his wounds as well as they could, till a Chi­rurgeon could be brought from the next Town, which the careful Host went for, but at his return, he met some of his Comrades in a great Fright, saying the Corsairs of Tunis had landed and carried off with them several of their Companions Slaves, whom they had surprized in their Huts; that as soon as their fear would give them leave, returning to their Huts, he mist his wounded Guess, whom he imagined they had taken away in that condition, incouraged by the rich Cloaths lay by him, believing if he lived, such a booty would afford a Ran­som to requite the pains of curing him; but he was confident the condition he had left him in, would not bear a remove without the loss of his life, and he con­cluded him certainly dead. This second misfortune put me quite beyond my consideration of reason, and I stayed that Night with my Masters Host, consuming it in the consideration of what course I should take to know what was become of him, whom I could not but hope to be still alive, since he had escaped so miracu­lously from the River. I resolved to visit Tunis, al­though I exposed my self to a certain slavery, which in a few days I performed; having met with an English Ship was bound thither to Trade, I embarqued my self, and in less than a month after my Masters being carried [Page 51] away, I was landed in that considerable City of Affrick. It had been my Fathers mischance, when young, to be taken and kept six years a slave in Tripoli, during which time he had perfectly learnt the Arabick Language, and for a diversion had taught me so much of it, that I could discourse indifferently well in it, and it stood me so much in stead, that cloathing my self in the Moorish Garb, I was credited to be what I pretended my self, a Moor of Tetuan, taken a slave by the Christians so young, that I had almost forgot my own Language, and that ha­ving by my hard labour got enough to procure my ran­som, I was landed there in order to return to my own Country. So that being lookt on as an absolute Moor, I had as much opportunity as I could wish to inquire after my dear Master, though a great while without any effect; till one day hearing some Slaves talk of their Captivity, and inquiring from what part they had been taken, one of them told me he was a Mantuan, brought over much about the time I knew my Master was lost; and examining him more particularly of what other Slaves were taken with him, I learnt, not without a transport of joy, that he came thither in the same Ves­sel with my Master, that by the Moors care of his wounds, both during their Voyage and a-shore, he had been per­fectly recovered, and since was bought by the King of Tunis for a vast price: Upon this intelligence I was so continually about the Seraglio, that at last I discovered my dear Master in a Dress much different to what I was wont to behold him; he was pleased to tell me my presence was not a little welcome to him, though he lookt shyly on me, fearing by my wearing a Turkish Ha­bit, I had been turned Renegado; till giving him an ac­count of all I had done, his goodness but too much ac­knowledged my love to him. For the first time we durst not be too long together, lest my Disguise should grow suspected; and afterwards when we met, our Consulta­tion [Page 52] was how possibly to procure his enlargement from a Master never admitted a ransom for his Slaves: so that all our hopes must depend on the Kings being procured to give him to some Courtier who would be willing to see him exchanged for a considerable sum of money. During the time we were taken up with these Conside­rations, there happen'd an occasion which I was willing to lay hold of, as what might much conduce to my Lords enlargement. A Noble man of Tunis, called Mahomad Alli, having a young Son whom he desired to have in­structed in Musick, and hearing I had learnt a profici­ency in that used in Italy, during my Captivity, sent for m [...] making great offers of requital if I would take up­on me the teaching of his Son, which I willingly offer­ed, and in a few weeks gained the Fathers heart by the im­provement his Son had made in the Science I was thought a Master of. And being of himself a man more desirous of knowledge than the generality of his Country men are, he took a great delight in hearing me relate the Manners and Customs of Christendom; so that at last I was grown so much in his favour as to be intrusted with the management of his Affairs, and ordering his House in the City, when he went to divertise himself at a Seat he had some miles out of Town, where he used often to be, as I learnt, drawn thither by the love of a fair Christian Slave had been presented him; and finding his good opinion of me so great, that he exprest a willingness to do me any considerable kindness I could beg of him: One day when he was much delighted to hear me play on the Harp, I told him among the Kings Slaves I had met with a young man whom I knew in Italy, and whose Friends had been so particularly kind in conducing to my deliverance from a long Captivity, that the only thing I would beseech of him was, if pos­sible, to get that Slave out of the Kings hands, which he might beg for, not without hopes of success, and give [Page 53] me leave as a grateful requital to him and his Friends to set him at liberty; as soon as he heard what I desired of him, he blamed my modesty in asking so small a Boon, and promised that very day to procure what I sought, not doubting to speed in it. At the time he went to the Se­raglio to procure my Lords liberty, I went to acquaint him the good news of a freedom he might soon expect: but all our joy was dissipated at Mahomads return, who told me, that although my request was small, yet at that time impossible to be granted, for the King having news of a Rebellion in the farthest part of his Domini­ons; which being slighted at first, had given the Re­bels time to carry all before them; so that the King re­solving to go in person with an Army against them, all his Slaves were appointed for the journey, and that he himself being commanded to attend the King in the ex­pedition, resolved to intrust the Government and Order­ing of his Family to my care until his return. If I was grieved at the certain prolongation of my Masters capti­vity, that concern was doubly aggravated at the conside­ration of being separated from him so long a time as that was like to be, if he should ever return. I used all the arguments I could to perswade Mahomad I might accompany him, but in conclusion it was almost by a for­ced licence that I went, having declared, that if he thought me unworthy to be near him where he might be exposed to continual dangers, as soon as ever he was departed to the Army, I would return to my Native Country and Friends in Tetuan. A few days after the King began his journey, finding at the Randezvous he had appointed, a compleat Army of thirty five thousand men, all well appointed, besides the usual attendants on a Camp; he proceeded with short journeys n t to har­rase his men before they came up with the enemy, ha­ving heard by those he had sent out that they seemed to expect him, and it was believed would stand a Battel. [Page 54] I should pass over what concerns the Wars of Tunis, without troubling your Highness to hear any thing of them, but that my dear Master made a considerable cha­racter in that War; during our march I had all the op­portunity I could desire of seeing and discoursing with him; his resolutions were to attempt the doing some remarkable action which might incite the King to give him his liberty as a reward of it, and by his order I pre­vailed with my kind Patron Mahomad, that he should be allowed Arms when he came to the Battel, assuring him they would not be imployed to the Kings disad­vantage. We began after a months slow march to ap­proach so near the enemy, that our Outguards had of­ten Skirmishes; and we found their Army very strongly encampt, having a great River on one side, and a large Wood covering the other: the King setting down about a League from them, after a Nights refreshment of his men, drew up his whole Army in Battalia, and so marcht till we faced the Enemy, believing they would lye close within their Intrenchments, but Albazin the famous Re­bel who commanded them, was as forward and earnest to decide all by a Battel as the King could be: and be­fore half the Morning was spent, both Armys began to draw so near in a large Plain before Albazins Camp, that the Archers could no longer be hindred from begin­ning the fight, but receiving that word of command they were impatient for, a most bloody and obstinate fight commenced, which was not decided without the loss of many thousand lives. Albazins Army consisted of much an equal number with the Kings, but he had the advantage of at least eight thousand Horse, though fewer in Foot. The King behaved himself like a wise General and bold Souldier, charging where his men were most prest upon, but not being seconded by them with a like courage, his success not only grew doubt­ful, but the Enemy making a fresh charge with a strong [Page 55] body of Horse he kept in reserve from the beginning of the Battel; his Right Wing was forced to give ground, having the misfortune to behold his Left in a greater dis­order, the Main Body only standing obstinately to it, be­ing engaged in a close fight where all other Arms but their Swords were grown useless. Mahomad fighting near the King, I kept as close to my Master, who by my Patrons procurement was allowed a Horse, and to enter the Battel, where his great Actions were for some time obscured in the Croud he fought amongst; but upon Al­bazins fresh Charge, when our Horse began to give ground, he prest forward to the Front, and was got close up to the King, when he perceived him surround­ed by the Enemies Horse which Albazin led in Person; the Kings party made so weak a resistance, that he al­ready feared himself a Prisoner to his rebellious Vassal; and my Master believing then was his time to dye glori­ously or merit his freedom, turning about to me, said, Now Julian believe I fight to cut my self a passage into Ita­ly, I fight in hopes of seeing Diana again, and am as­sured of Victory in her Name. Ending those words he clapt Spurs to his Horse, having a strong Javelin in his Hand, and pressing close to the King; Sir, said he, you must still Conquer, Heaven cannot be propitious long to a Rebel, against a lawful Prince. As he uttered these words, a Horseman of the Enemy, whose Garb made him remarkable, had forced a way so near the King with a party which followed him, that he was just seizing his Bridle, having called to him to yield, when my Master clapt in between them, and thrust his Launce quite through his body, the King having the satisfacti­on of seeing his Enemy tumble from his Horse dead at his Feet; which action struck such a terror to his Foes, and gave such new life to our fainting men, seeing that blow seconded by two or three more which proved as fatal to those came in his reach, that as the one be­gan [Page 56] to take up from their eagerness of Victory, and the other rallied again, not only making good their ground, but prest after their Prince, who with my Master by his side began to recover fresh hopes of retrieving the Battel on that part. But if the face of Victory seemed to change where we were, it was much otherwise in other places; for one acquainted the King that his Left Wing was al­most totally routed, and the main body shrinking un­der the Enemies force, was likely soon to follow the ex­ample of their Companions. This sad intelligence drove him quite into despair, making him cry out, what, what can we do more, but save our selves by flight! Conquer, Conquer, said my Master; hast where your presence may reanimate your men, and be assured of Victory here. The King took his counsel, only saying as he drew off, Heaven preserve the life of my valiant Slave, and I shall not doubt of Victory. The King had scarce left us when Albazin, angry to find such a stop put to his proceedings, as my Master had given them, ad­vanced before the rest of his men, and coming near my Master; Slave, said he, since thy Courage is so great, be honoured in receiving thy death from Albazins hand; my Master replied not a word to him, but receiving the strong charge of his Launce upon a little Target he had on his left Arm, returned him such a thrust with his, as had almost thrown him quite out of his Saddle; and turning his Horse short upon his Enemies Crupper, made him feel the weight of his Scimitar before he had well recovered the shock of his Spear. Albazin was a man of extraordinary courage, and being quite Transported to meet such opposition from a Slave, flew at him with his Scimitar, designing his next blow should decide the controversie; but being intercepted by my Masters Shield, he only received a slight wound in his Arm, and requited it with a larger in Albazins Shoulder; while the Warri [...]rs were engaged in a single combate, all the [Page 57] Souldiers on both sides forbore Fighting, to be Specta­tors of what the Event of it would be; each side conje­cturing their Fortune to depend on the Success of their Champion; and after a sharp Dispute, both covered with Blood, and raised to the highest transports of Fury by the resistance they met with, weary of further delay, they closed, and grappled one another on Hors-back, each striving to pull his Adversary from his Saddle, and at once spurring their Horses, both came to the Ground to­gether, but my Master happily falling uppermost, before Albazin could recover himself from the disorder of a Fall with such a weight upon him, my Master drawing a short Puniard from his Side, stabb'd him to the Heart, and Leaping upon his Feet, as a Trophy of his Victory, he pulled Albazins Green Turbat from his Head and clapped it on his own; that Colour being worn by the Rebel, as a Note of the Sanctity he pretended to, having at first by a Religious Cheat, reduced all those who were of his Party from their Loyalty. The death of their Leader struck such a damp in the Hearts of our Enemies, that those who a little before thought themselves Con­querors, after a weak Opposition, betook them to their Heels; being pursued and slaughtered at Pleasure by our Men, who followed the renowned Frederick, with a full assurance of an intire Victory; for the Confirmation of which, meeting none in that part of the Field, but such as offered their Throats to our Swords; He called to those who were nearest him, telling them they had done nothing, till the day was as much secured in other places as where they had then fought; and being answered, That lead where he would, they were ready to dye by his Side, or Vanquish with him; having by this time drove the scattered Wing of the Enemy quite out of the Field, he wheeled about, and fell in upon the Rear of the main Body, finding them so much work where they least expected it, that they soon desisted from further [Page 58] pressing upon the King to defend themselves against the impetuosity of a fresh Charge; but the Shouts of our Men crying out, The Rebel Albazin is dead, and an Offi­cer of ours, having after my Master left the Place where he fell, cut off his Head and fixt it on the point of a Launce, brought it in sight of those were still Fighting; which Spectacle was so amazing to them, that now de­sperate either of success or safety, they were quickly re­duced to the same condition their Left-wing was in; and those of their Right, which had gained advantage enough before, endeavoured to save themselves by a hasty flight. There fell on the Kings Side, above eight thou­sand Men, and most of the Officers who fought near the King, had lost their Lives to secure his, which occasi­oned my Masters having the sole leading of those with whom he recovered a lost Battel; the Enemy left dead on the place near thirty thousand Men, the King putting all to the Sword after they had thrown down their Arms. As soon as my Master came where the King was alighting from his Horse, as he would have knelt down, he took him in his Arms, calling him his deliverer and preserver both of his Crown and Life, nor was there a Souldier in the Army, but attributed their Victory to my Masters Courage. It will not be to my purpose to trouble your Highness with any other circumstances past there, more than that all was reduced again to the Kings obedience; and after four months absence we arrived safe again at Tunis: my Master being recovered of his wounds, and grown in such esteem with the King, that he was by all termed the favourite-Slave. One thing I had like to have omit­ed, that my friend Mahomad who held a considerable Charge in the Army, was at the beginning of the Fight dangerously wounded and carried out of the Field; but afterwards he recovered, having been during his illness, so carefully attended by me, that at our coming back to [Page 59] Tunis, he used me with much greater kindness than be­fore; But a few days after, a sad misfortune which befell my Master, turned all our tranquility into grief: The King having seen the happy effects of his Valour, and keeping him continually near him, was grown so de­lighted with his Conversation, that desirous to add Fa­vours to those he had bestowed, and for the future to de­ter my Master from ever urging him again to restore him to his Liberty, set very earnestly upon him, to perswade the alteration of his Religion; thereby putting himself into a condition to be the Kings Son-in-Law, he having assured him, he desired no other Husband for his only Daughter. You may judg, Madam, how much he was surprized at so strange a Proposal; finding that as his own resolutions were sufficiently fixt, so the denial would much disturb the King: And his absolute refusal, though with modesty and acknowledgment enough, was so far from inducing the King to desist, that he not only prest it more and more every day, but set the Mufti upon him, to endeavour the bringing him to their Belief, pro­mising a vast reward to him that should prove succesfull in it: and when all their Arguments and promises could avail nothing, one of them found a way which had near ruined my Master; for the King growing at last almost angry, to be refused that by a Slave, which he thought deserved the Prayers of Princes to obtain, was satisfied with what one of the Priests told him, that Frederick when he had slain Albazin, put on his green Turbat, which colour being sacred to their Prophet, the Christi­an who is bold to prophane it by the wearing, ought by their Laws, either to change his Religion or expiate with his Blood the offence. The King by their means, though with some reluctance, was perswaded to attempt him in that matter, assured he would rather live the Son of a King, and Husband to a beautifull Lady, than ex­pose his Life for the sake of Religion: So that one morn­ing [Page 60] as he entred the Seraglio, a Guard seized him, and carried him away Prisoner to a private part of it, where the Mufti made him the Proposal either of Life or Death, which last, he firmly demanding, rather than his Belief should be so much as questioned; they so incensed the King against him by those reproaches he gave their Pro­phet, that at last his Life became in a great deal of dan­ger; and although the Execution was deferred, in hopes he might recant, yet he was made a close Prisoner, with the threat of never being releast but on the tearms were made him. He continued a Prisoner for several months, without my being able to see or send to him; having learn'd from Mahomad the condition he was in, who very much blamed the King's ingratitude, having nothing to alledg for his excuse, but that great influence the Mufti had over him, whom he knew to be violent in what concerns any matter of their Sect. While my dear Ma­ster remained in Prison, I was grown so melancholy, that Mahomad, who exprest much trouble for it, took me along with him to his Country-house to give me some diversion; telling me he had an Italian Slave whose con­versation he believed I should be much delighted with, and as the highest token of his favour, promised me a sight of his fair, but coy Mistriss; on the way he enter­tained me with his love of her, letting me know, that a Ship he sent out at his own charge, took her among se­veral other Captives on the Coast of Florence; and with her his Italian, who was brought to him desperately wounded, having resisted while he had strength to do it, those who assaulted him: that he kept his fair Slave there least the noise of her Beauty might by the Mariners dis­course of it, come to the Kings Ear, and he should de­mand her; purposing by having her concealed where no body knew of her, to tell the King, if he should ever in­quire after her, that she had been ransomed, resolving rather to part with his Life than Love, although her ob­stinacy [Page 61] was such, that he had never been able to over­come it, not having power to use force if she were possi­bly any other way to be won. As soon as we were al­lighted at his House, where his Servants were ready to receive him, I could scarce credit my Eyes, when I knew the Italian Slave he talked of, to be Astolfo; Mahomad left me with him, and hasted himself to visit his fair Mi­striss, (for so he always termed her.) Astolfo had seen me before in Italy, but the Turkish habit I was in, kept me from being known to him, till taking him aside from the other Slaves, I told him who I was, and how I came to be in that dress; he was much rejoyced to see me, but more afflicted at the knowledg of my Masters misfortunes. He told me how he came to fall into the Moors hands, that having embarqued on a Vessel bound for Tuscany, when he thought himself safe, being got out of the Duke of Mantua's reach, they were set upon by Pirates, when after the death of half their Men, and himself much wounded, they were Boarded and taken; that the Moors at the Prayers of Roselinda, whose Beauty they admired, dressed his wounds, and arriving at Tunis, delivered them to Mahomad; who falling in love with his Wife, (for he had married Roselinda in the Ship before they were taken) had kept them there in the Country since their first arrival, not knowing that he was her Husband, pretending he conducted her to Marry his Brother in Florence when they met his Ship: and he confirmed to me what Mahomad had said, that he was both very kind to him, and used Roselinda with much Respect. My Pa­tron was as good as his word, in shewing me the dispo­ser of his Liberty, whose Beauty was not at all diminish­ed since I saw her in Mantua, during my stay there. Astolfo and I had often consultations how to procure their Liberty; which was impossible to be attained any way, but by a private escape, and no hopes of doing that, while Mahomad kept them in the Country; so that one day dis­coursing [Page 62] with him about his Love, I said the only way to overcome her, was an assiduous perseverance, which he could effect with more convenience if she was always near him in the City, than by seeing her but seldome, which he did at that distance. My advice had the success I desired, and within two days he removed her privately to Tunis, taking Astolfo thither also; but not long after he quitted his Love with his Life, being seized by a vio­lent Feavour, which meeting with a corpulent Body as he was of, soon took him away. I must confess his kindness to me had been so particular, that I was sensibly concerned for the loss of him, and my trouble aggravated, by want­ing the only Friend I knew how to make any application to. His Estate and Tuition of his Son was immediately taken into the Kings dispose, Hamet his Brother being denied that Trust by the King; but as a part of recom­pence, he granted him all his Brothers Slaves; and to remove him further from him, where the Justice of his complaint for the wrong was done him, would make the King ill thought off: He told him he must prepare to go his Embassador to the King of Granada in Spain; Hamet seemed pretty well satisfied with so honourable an im­ployment, and hastned his Voyage all he could. He was not less taken with the Love of Roselinda than his Bro­ther had been, knowing she had never yielded to him, and resolved to take her, with the rest of his Slaves into Spain; Astolfo was overjoyed with the hopes of going into Europe, where he believed his escape more easie than from Tunis; but my Sorrow increas'd with the Apprehension of my Masters danger, of whom I could hear nothing more than that he was still alive un­der a strickt Confinement. But walking one Evening toward the Seraglio, I was surprised with Joy, at the sight of my dear Master, who met me a little distance from the Gate of it; we went both to Mahomad's House, where I was permitted to stay, having his Goods in [Page 63] Charge, till the King should remove them. My Master told me there, all that had happened to him since his being Confined; and that the King not being able to resolve the Death of one he loved so well, nor perceiving a possibi­lity of reducing him to what he wished, being in earnest solicited by the Mufti to take away his Life, had him self privately visited him, and bringing him out of the Prison, took his leave of him, bidding him go where he would, and telling him he must accuse his own Obsti­nacy that hindered him from being as great as himself. He told me he had newly left the King when I met him, and was resolved with the first opportunity to visit Man­tua, and throw himself at your Feet; withal, very de­sirous of learning if possible, from whose hands he re­ceived those wounds had occasioned all his future Misery. I told him of Hamets Voyage into Spain, and of Astolfo and Roselinda being in his power, withall that he had, earnestly desired me to accompany him in that Journey, which my Master was so much pleased with, that he com­manded me to look him out and accept of it, and that he would pass as my Slave, till our Arrival in Spain; which he might the better do, having never been seen by Hamet, who was newly come from a Government he had been some years in, and my Master had been little ac­quainted among the Mariners. At first, all things succeed­ed as well as we could wish, having so prosperous a Voyage, that in twelve days we landed at Malaga; but as soon as ever we came a-shore Hamet seized on my Master as having run away from the King, threatning me with Imprisonment for assisting him, but the true incite­ment he had to it, was only his Covetousness, having been told by me that my Slave was of a Noble Birth in his own Country. Hamet as soon as he had setled those Affairs were necessary upon his first Landing, being to abide in Malaga, till the King should send for his coming up to Granada, began to be as sollicitous in his Love to [Page 64] Roselinda as severe against Frederick and Astolfo; for my part, I had in a Disgust left him, and owning my self a Native of Tetuan, which was opposite to us, he durst not offer that Violence, which otherwise, I had doubtless felt at his hands. But we were all drove to the highest Consternation of ill, when Roselinda acquain­ted her Husband, by a Note she got conveighed to him, that Hamet no longer brooking her Denials, had deter­mined, if within two days, she did not resolve to comply with his Desires, he would at the end of them, satisfie his Love by Force. Astolfo when Hamet was gone to re­turn the Governor a Visit, slipt out, and finding me, acquainted me with it; telling me withal, that if in the Night there were any possibility of getting out of the City, he could from a Window lookt into the Garden of the House, let down himself, his Wife and Frede­rick; and so from the Garden, could easily get out into the Street; having won an Eunuch of Hamets, who had the Charge of his House, to fly with them, upon a desire he had of becoming a Christian. Although the diffi­culty of having a City Gate opened, was not easily to be removed, believing so fair an opportunity would scarce offer again, I was resolved to further it all I could. Al­stolfo having told me that both my Master and himself were resolved to expose their Lives to the utmost Peril, and rather kill Hamet in his House, than let Roselinda be Ravished by him. The City of Antiquera was at that time in the Power of the Spaniards, being but seven Leagues from the Place where we were; so that if we could get forth untaken notice of, having once entred the Mountains, the discovery of us (if pursued) would be difficult, but how to find the way, created us most trouble, all being Strangers in that Country; to which Astolfo answered, that Hamet having bought a Spanish Slave, since his Arrival, they might easily take him with them, who would doubtless serve as a Guide. I sent A­stolfo [Page 65] back, desiring him to provide all things ready against the next Night; and in the mean time I enqui­red out who had the Charge of that Gate we purposed to pass, and finding him a young Man, in whose Com­pany I had been, where most People used to resort and Converse together; as soon as I had found him, falling into Discourse of the difference between Spain and Africk, he seemed to like the former, chiefly for the Recreation he had in pursuing such Game as the Neigh­bouring Mountains were stored with; and hearing me declare my self a great lover of Hunting, he presently invited me to go along with him the next Morning; and that in order to it, we might go and lye the same Night at a House he had half a League out of Town. I ac­cepted the offer, for the Night following, saying I would bring a Friend or two with me, so we parted till the next day; in the mean time, having given notice to the rest to be ready two hours within Night. I would not be seen by the young Moor till toward the Evening, when I believed he would expect me ready to go; and then finding him at his Gate waiting only my coming to be gone, I told him an unlookt-for business would for­cibly detain me till some time within Night, but if he would order the Gate to be opened for me and my Friends, we would certainly be with him long before Morning; he was very desirous of staying for me, but I pretending to accept no such Compliment, perswaded him to set forward, first commanding the Guard to let me, and who ever came with me, through at any time of the Night. After he was gone, I waited at my Lodging till the time drew near, for my Master and his Compa­nies coming forth, and then finding the Back-door of the Garden to Hamets House, at the time I had appoint­ed, came forth my Master, Astolfo, Roselinda, the Eunuch, and the Slave, who had with Joy undertaken to be our Guide. As soon as I came to the Gate, according to the [Page 66] Order had been given, they let us all forth without ask­ing any Question; and taking the Way our Guide dire­cted, a little after Midnight we reached the Mountains; as we were on the way, the Eunuch told us, that Ha­met coming early home, and visiting Roselinda, stayed no longer, than to tell her, that the following Night she must either by force, or freely yield, and so leaving her went to Bed, whom he lockt in and then brought forth all his Companions to me, whose Design of flying to the Chri­stians he much wondred at, till acquainted with my dis­guise. All that night we travelled without meeting any Body, having reached about three Leagues, the ways be­ing so Rocky, that Roselinda could scarce climb the Hills with all the Assistance we afforded her; and though we had got the advantage of the Suns Light, yet our Jour­ney all day was as tedious, being perswaded by our Guide to leave the Road for fear of a pursuit; so that what with our going about, and making a way thorow the Sedge of the Mountains, it was within an hour of Sun­set when we came to the utmost of the Hills, from whence we could discern a spacious Plain, and a League from the Foot of the Mountain, on a rising Ground, that Christi­an City, grown famous by holding out so long against the Moors, that the Grandchildren of those who first shut up the Gates, at that time maintained the Walls against their Enemies, having been besieged and blocked up near seventy years. We made what possible hast we could down into the Plain, hoping before Night to enter our City of Refuge; but the difficulty of descending the crag­gy Cliffs where there was no Path, took us up so much time that it was quite dark when we recovered the bot­tome, of those asperous Mountains, and though we were got into a High-way which our Guide told us, Lead to the City, yet fearing to encounter any Party of Moors, who used to be abroad in the Night, we left the Tract, and by the direction of our Spanish Captive, going almost [Page 67] half a mile within the Plain, we came to the Foot of a large and steep Rock, which rose in the middle of the Valley, being to be got up but on one side, the other making a very high Precipice. At the bottom of this fa­tal Rock we thought it convenient to Repose our selves as in a place of security, till the days approach, when our Spaniard told us there would be no hazard of meeting any Enemies, the Christians using to be abroad every Morning, to scour the Coast of those Parties of Moors, who many times by the Nights shelter, have adventured under their very Walls, either to Alarm them, or take up any they could find stragling without their Lines. Fre­dericks loyal servant coming to this part of his Relation, was interrupted by a crowd of Sighs forced a passage from his Breast; but a little suppressing them, and dry­ing the Tears from his Eyes, I wish Madam (continued he) I might here conclude my Story, since what remains to acquaint you with, I am confident will occasion no less trouble to you, than pitty for those unfortunate people whose Adventures you have heard.

The fair Dutchess could not suppress her foreboding sorrow, to find how unwilling he was to let her know any more; but striving with her self, and in a manner expecting the worst, She desired he would leave nothing untold which concerned any of that miserable Company; and leaning on Nise, with a Handkerchief wet with Tears before her Eyes, she listened to the conclusion of his History.

Since you must not be disobeyed (said the sorrowful Roman) I am to acquaint your Highness, that we spent most part of the Night with satisfaction enough in re­peating our past Adventures, joyful that in a few hours we hoped to find our selves in a place of safety, and the first dawn of the Morning was welcomed by us all; at which time in a Road not far from the Rock, we heard the trampling of Horses, and soon after, discovered a Par­ty [Page 68] as we guessed, coming from the City; Our Guide told us there was no doubt to be made, but they were Christians come abroad to scoure the Valley, this being just their time of going out; and against the consent of us all, and before we were aware, he called out to them, who to our Astonishment answered in Arabick, They are Christians! Seize them, says a Moor, that at least I may have something to wreck my Revenge on; and say­ing so, they advanced towards us. Immediately, finding the Danger we had fallen into, by the unhappy Spaniards hasty speaking, he thought to make some part of amends by telling us, that if we could climb to the top of the Rock, our little Party would be sufficient to defend it against an Army for some time, and that after it was Day, the Moors would not venture to stay so near the Ci­ty; we followed his Advice with a Diligence equal to our threatned danger; and were ascended to a good height by that time our Enemies were got to that part of it we had quitted. But oh Heavens! How great was our asto­nishment, when not only by the Voice, but Day coming on, we knew the chief of our Enemies to be the enraged Hamet; who as soon as he discovered who we were, and finding us stand in a Posture to defend our selves with our Swords, and the loose Stones we had pick'd up on the top of the Rock; He called out, Yield your selves mi­serable Slaves, said he, and hope for the sake of that cru­el Beauty you would have robbed me of, to have your Lives spared; but if you offer at the least resistance, expect Death with the utmost aggravation of Torments: But all being resolved to defend our Lives to the last; he had no o­ther Answer, but by the Stones we threw at him; where­with enraged, he commanded all his Men to a light, who were about forty in number, and climb the Rock to take us; which they did, leaving only enow to hold their Horses; those who were most bold to get at us, were by the stones we threw, soon tumbled down again to their Master; [Page 69] my Valiant Lord, with the two first Stones went from his hand, depriving two of our Enemies of their Lives. This strange and unequal Combat lasted above an hour, in which time, Hamets Men were reduced to half their number; but on our side, the Eunuch and our Spanish Guide were both slain by the Arrows were shot at us, and not one but had received a wound, or more. When Hamet transported by the resistance we made, and at the loss of his Men; with those were left, he assault­ed us a-fresh, and when he had not above ten left with him alive, gained the height of the Rock. My Dear Master with Astolfo by his side, did Actions almost past belief; till wearied with so long a Dispute, and grown faint for want of that Blood had gone from them tho­row several wide Passages were made in their Bodies, they were just ready to sink under an unequal number of Ene­mies; when Astolfo despairing either of safety or Life, retired and left him. I had endeavoured from the begin­ing of the combat, to appear not less concerned for main­taining our Liberty, than the rest had been; but at that time weakened by the want of Blood had run from my several wounds, I was fallen down, unable to give any fur­ther Assistance to our almost vanquisht Party, having only Life enough left to keep my Eyes open, that I might see what would become of my dear Master; and I confess when I saw Astolfo had left him alone against all our Enemies, I began to doubt with my self whether his quitting the Combat was not an effect of fear; till I soon perceived it was despair had drove him before his Death, to take a last farwell of his Beloved Roselinda, who had remained offering up her Prayers for our safeties from the begining of the Fight. He ran to her with as much speed as his weakness would permit; and taking her in his Arms, I could hear him faintly say, farewell my most unfortunate Wife, since I cannot live for you, at least give me the satisfaction of dying in your Arms; to which she answe­red; [Page 70] Oh my Dearest Astolfo, be assured I can never quit thy Arms to be forced into those of a barbarous Infidel; but since it is the pleasure of Heaven, that we must dye, let it be in one anothers Arms, and let us thus entwined fly together to Eternity. I could not hear their last words, but saw them haste to the top of the Precipice, and embraced very close together, threw themselves down to the bottom, where they ended their unhappy lives. Then casting my eyes towards the place where my Master was fighting, I saw him fall dead in the midst of his Enemies, which dreadful spectacle took away the remainder of my Spirits, and I sunk down with some satisfaction that I should not outlive him. But how strangely was I surprized, when coming to my self again, I was lying in a fair Room, with two or three Servants waiting at the Bedside. I would gladly have asked where I was, admiring to hear they spoke Spanish, but did not recover my speech till the end of eight days. When I had got strength enough by their care of my wounds to inquire how I came into that place, and wherein I deserved to receive kindnesses, more than I could hope for among Strangers. One of them told me, that I was in the Governors House of Antiquera, who would let no means be omitted which might con­duce to my recovery: I exprest my thanks for their care of me with all the acknowledgment I could, but being more concern'd for my Master than my own wel­fare, I intreated them to let me know what happy acci­dent had brought me thither, and if they could, to inform me what was become of those remained in the same con­dition I was in on the Rock. One of those assisted near me was about satisfying my request, when he was in­terrupted by the Governours coming in to make me a Visit; and being informed who he was, I would have raised my self in the Bed to receive him, when he stept to the side of it, and hindred me, saying I was not in [Page 71] a Condition to use Ceremony, and that he had deferred till then coming to see, that I might not be disturbed of that Repose was so necessary for me; but that being told by the Chyrurgeons, I might with safety be dis­coursed with, he was come to give me an account how I fell into his hands; and setting down on a Chair by the Bed side he let me know, that himself going out with a Party the Morning of our Combate, at a good distance from the Rock he saw people on the top of it; but believing them some of the Garrison were got up thither to descry if the Country were free from those who almost every Night infested it, he kept on his way at an easie pace, when one of his Company told him, he could discover naked Swords in their Hands on the Rock, and guessed by their moving about, that it was a fight they were ingaged in; whereupon mending his pace, he came to the bottom of the Hill, just as a Man and Woman, arm in arm, had thrown themselves from the top, and were dashed in pieces almost hard by where he stood, and that while he was surveying the dead bo­dies, his men had perceived some Moors holding a good number of Horses on the other side of the Rock, and riding round, they saw those we had left alive coming down, who finding themselves discovered would have retreated up the Hill again, but were overtaken by his men, and incouraged by one who seemed their Master, suffered themselves all to be cut in pieces rather than he should be taken, himself ending his life in the same place amongst his men. He added to me, that having dispatched the Moors, he climbed up to the top of the Rock, to take a view of what had been done there, where he found a great many dead Moors whom he com­manded to be thrown into an adjacent Pit; but that upon search of the bodies, finding about two or three of us, Medals, which declared our profession to be Enemies of Mahomets Sect; he ordered our bodies to be remo­ved [Page 72] to the City, that we might receive the rites of Bu­rial; but being laid on a Table, I had been perceived to stir, so that they carried me to a Bed, and after seve­ral applications, brought me out of the swound, the want of blood had thrown me into; but that the rest had been interred together in the principal Church. This certainty of my dear Masters death, reduced me into as ill a condition as I had been found in on the Rock, so that it was the next Morning before I could be brought to my senses again, when I would have torn the Plaisters from my Wounds to follow my lost Lord; but the good Governour being in the Room, used so many perswasions to me, that at last I was satisfied to wait the pleasure of Heaven, either in my death or re­covery; which in a month after proved the latter, so that I was become able to walk abroad; And would have taken my leave of my Noble Host in order to return hither, resolving afterwards to retire into my own Country, that I might spend the rest of my days in be­wailing, without interruption, the loss of my unfortu­nate Master: but the Generous Governour not only refu­sed to let me stir, till I had recovered some more strength, but withal, after he had heard from me the quality and misfortunes of those he had interred, would have me stay to see their Obsequies celebrated in a more splen­did manner than what before had been done; so that the week following I was conducted to the great Church, where a very fair Monument was set up, with an In­scription relating the manner of their deaths; were to lye in a Vault under it, and towards the bottom was engraven on a fair Marble, these words, Let the White Rock in the [...] [...]st of the Tale of Antiquera, for ever after be called the Lovers Rock. After the Ceremonies ended, having burnt several Perfumes to hinder the ill smell of those had been so long dead; the bodys were taken up, and brought through the Church to be deposited in the [Page 73] New Vault. As soon as I saw them bringing towards me, I went forward, desiring their faces might be un­covered, that I might once more behold that of my Ma­ster; but a fresh disturbance seized me when I beheld those of Roselinda, Astolfo and the Spanish Slave, which were all that had been brought from the Rock, as the Governour assured me, but my Dear Master was mis­ing: so that concluding he had been left among the Moors in the Pit on the top of the Rock, I not only procured a Guard from the Governour to go thither in search of him, but he would accompany me himself to that fatal place. As soon as we came there he command­ed the bodies to be dragged out, but could find none but such as we knew to be Moors, both by their Cloaths, and having no Hair on their Heads: among the rest I found the wretched Eunuchs body, but not the least ap­pearance of any thing like my Masters: we searched eve­ry Corner both of the Rock and adjacent Fields; but not being able to make any discovery, I returned back with the Governour, though full of perplexity, yet not without some faint hopes, that Heaven might by some Miracle have preserved so considerable a Life.

The fair Dutchess who had listned to his Story more dead than alive, began a little to recover herself, at this part of his Relation, which he continued telling her, that after some few days longer abode at Antiquera, ac­quainting the Governour with his design, he betook himself to his former disguise of a Moors Habit, resol­ving to search all the Country under their jurisdiction, if possible, to learn something of what was become of his Master; but (continued he) after I had spent much time in a fruitless inquiry, concluding that Great Man cer­tainly lost, and that he might either be overlookt among the dead, or have received a charitable Interment from some unknown hand: I withdrew my self into the confines of Spain, and being come among the Christians again, I [Page 74] passed for a Captive newly escaped from Bondage, but wanting money to alter: my Guarb, and serve me for so long a journey, I was forced to remain in this Dress, in which I have appeared before your Highness, to give an account of the death of the best of men.

The sorrowful Julian made this sad end of his Rela­tion; which the Dutchess had not been able to hear concluded without an aggravated affliction, and wring­ing her Hands while a River of Tears flowed from her Eyes; Oh my Dear Nise (said she) could Heaven pre­serve the Life of that Worthy Man to bring him to so disaste­rous an end! Ye Gods, where was your justice! where was your care of distressed Vertue, when he was suffered to fall by the violence of a Barbarous Multitude! O Heaven! why did you not send the charitable Governour time enough to prevent the ruine of so many Innocents! Her afflicted Favourite endeavoured all she could to divert that vio­lent Grief she tormented her self with; but at last wanting strength to complain longer, she wrung her by the Hand, and saying with a faint Voice, ‘I must fol­low my unhappy Lover to the other World, since I am denied him in this; she sunk down in her Arms.’ Nise immediately called in the rest of her Women, and desi­ring Julian to retire, they removed her into her Bed-Chamber, and undrest her to give more freedom to her breath; but a great part of the day was spent before she came to her self, and several others before she would be seen by any one, but her Women and Julian, whom she sometimes sent for to hear that repeated, which as often renewed her sorrow. The faithful Roman, after some Weeks abode in her Court, where by her Order he was supplied with every thing he could want, desired leave to return to his Relations, whom he believed had concluded him dead, not having heard from him in so many months, but she would by no means suffer him to leave her Court, 'till she had found out some way to re­compence [Page 75] his Loyalty to his Master; so that he was for­ced to satisfie himself with writing to Rome, while he attended the Dutchess commands in Mantua; whose in­disposition and Melancholy had made the Court change all its former splendor into sorrow and disturbance, none knowing what had reduced her to that condition, but all looking on Julian with unpleasant eyes, as supposed the messenger who had brought her the information of what she was so greatly troubled at. Two months were passed in this sorrowful manner, when one day as Julian was discoursing with some of the Mantuan Lords, a foreign Merchant presented himself to them, desiring to know if the Dutchess would buy any choice Jewels, of which he had brought some store to the Court: although they knew she would not be disturbed on any such occasion, yet for the satisfaction of their own curiosity, they desired to see them; and opening a small Casket, he exposed to their view some of the fairest had ever been seen in those parts: Julian stand­ing by, and accidentally casting his eyes on them as the Merchant pulled them forth, perceiving among the rest a rose of Diamonds, which he was confident he had seen before; and knowing if it was the same, it would open in the middle, he inquired of the Merchant whe­ther it would or not, who affirmed the negative; but Ju­lian taking it in his hand, perceived the place where it was to part, and by the Merchants help, drawing out a small pin of Gold, it parted asunder, which confirm­ing him it was the same he imagined; he told the Mer­chant he would adventure to desire one of the Dutchesses women to shew it her; so going directly to Nises Chamber, he desired her to let him see the Dutchess, who going with him to her Presence, as she lay on her Bed, on his Knees he presented the Jewel to her: As soon as she had cast her Eyes on it, Oh Heaven, (said she) this is the same I gave the unhappy Frederick; and call­ing [Page 76] Nise to her, she opened it, and shewed her under the Gold the Diamonds were set in, her own Picture; and Julian assured her, that his Master had that Jewel hanging in his Bosome the day before he was slain. Immediately the Dutchess commanded the Merchant should be brought in, pretending she would divert her self with seeing his Jewels; but as soon as he was come, Julian by her command, required of him how he came by that in the Dutchesses hand; He with a great deal of plaineness and assurance told her, that he bought it for a great sum of money of a Jew at Rome, and that the Jew told him, he had it of a Moorish Pirate in Argiers, that he believed the Moor had gotten it in some Prize he had met with at Sea; the Dutchess seeming satisfied with the Merchants truth, paid him the Price he demanded for it and dismist him. After he was gone, as she was busied in looking on the Jewel she had once given as a Pledge of her Love to Frederick, turning it up­ward, her Picture which was drawn on a little Gold Plate, dropt out, and taking it up, she perceived on the backside of it some Letters as if scratched there by the point of a Needle, and perusing them heedfully, not without a Transport of Joy, she read these words, Fair Saint for thee I live, escapt the River and the fatal Rock.

How happy had Frederick been, could he have beheld the alteration there appeared in his adored Princesses face, at the imagination of his being still alive: She gave Julian the Plate to read, not daring to credit her own Eyes, who was not able to contain himself, but kneel­ing down by the Dutchesses Bed; ‘He lives, Madam, (said he,) my Dearest Lord has been preserved by the care of Heaven; I implore your permission, that I may go immediately in search of him, for I am resolved never to rest till I can find him, or learn some more certain news of him.’ The Dutchess approved very well of Julians forwardness; but when she began a lit­tle [Page 77] to recollect her self, new apprehensions assaulted her.

‘'Tis probable, (said she to him) Frederick might escape after the Combate on the Rock, since his bo­dy could no where be found, but if the Merchant spake true, is it not very likely he died by the hands of those Pirates who sold this Jewel, which I am confi­dent he would never part with, but with his life.’

Although Julian had the same fears, yet to keep the Dutchess from giving way to her melancholy, ‘Madam (said he) 'tis without doubt there is much appearance of my Masters being assaulted with fresh dangers, but since Heaven has been pleased to deliver him twice, where it was beyond a mortal imagination to think he did not perish; suffer us to hope the best, when we have cause to be assured he lives, and can but doubt of his danger. Give me leave to put to Sea, and I am almost confident, in a few months I shall be able to bring you some news of him.’

The Fair Diana, willing to comply with his desires, as he was to go, the next day ordered a strong Vessel, well manned, and provided for a long Voyage to be got ready, wherein such diligence was used, that in three dayes Julian took his leave of Her, having the Com­mand of the Ship given to him, and put to Sea with a fair wind.

DIANA, Dutchess of MANTƲA: OR THE Persecuted Lover. PART II.

THE Dutchess after this unexpected Intelli­gence, which Nise endeavoured to perswade her was more considerable than really it was, began to recover her wonted temper, and appear abroad again, to the unspeakable joy of the whole Court. One day when she seemed pleasanter than or­dinary, being gone over to the Island-Garden for her diversion, Cesario afflicted that his Friend Alexander had been so long a Prisoner, addressing himself to Her on his knees, begged she would give her self the trou­ble to know the conclusion of that story he had formerly began; and then according to her own justice, either re­lease or punish the severe Husband of Cynthia; which the Dutchess willing to hear, that by the knowledg of anothers [Page 80] misfortunes, she might give some diversion to those thoughts kept her own too fresh in her memory; she commanded him to rise and finish his relation.

The Continuation of the History of Alexander and Cynthia.

YOur Highness may please to Remember (said Ce­sario) that when my Friends story was interrupted by the coming of Julian, I had acquainted You, of his meeting, instead of the expected Laura, his Friend Car­los with a Light, and drawn Sword. Alexander was not less surprized at the encounter of his Friend, in­stead of Mistress, in that threatning poisture, than di­sturbed with the apprehension of being betrayed by those he thought he might with safety enough have re­lied on; however not to exasperate his fair Laura, by exclaiming against her treachery, (imagining she might be near enough to overhear him) nor to appear on the otherside with a guilty fear where he was threatned, see­ing Carlos set down the Light on a Table, and come to­wards him, he drew his Sword, and advancing to meet him; hold Carlos (said he, with a voice neither too mild, nor yet seeming transported) since you want not courage, and have time enough to receive Satisfaction for what you may imagine an Affront, or assault upon your Ho­nour; let me prevail with you before you proceed to the utmost pursuit of Revenge, to hear what I hope you will allow, is but necessary you should be acquainted with. At which words Carlos remaining in suspence, he said to him, I will not pretend, worthy Friend, to ex­cuse [Page 81] my self of a Crime I must needs appear guilty of, in that you find me in this place; but if the real Truth may deserve belief, do not out of a too nice sense of Ho­nour refuse to Credit me. I know my self a Criminal to come by a Clandestine way into your House, and to this Apartment, but upon the word of your Friend, and a Gentleman, it was only the effect of a Curiosity I could not resist, having prevailed with Leonida to afford me on­ly a sight of the Lovely Laura, she told me was here, but whom you would neither own nor allow me to behold; I saw her Picture, and admired her copied perfections, grown curious thereby, of obtaining the satisfaction to see whether the Original was equal to what represented her—Hold Alexander (said Carlos interrupting him) in vain you endeavour by a feigned Story to check that Revenge I am bound in Honour to pursue, against one I find concealed in my Sisters Chamber at these hours; I am abused by a pretended Friend attempting against Cynthia's Honour, nor shall the Evasion of an imagined Laura stop my hand; but though I might with Justice enough prosecute the Chastisement where the Crime was committed, yet that you may not com­plain of my wrong to Hospitality, in making my own Walls witnesses of my Resentment; follow me to the Park, and in the Field receive like what you are, the Punishment of your Insolence; and ending these words, without giving him time to reply, he quitted the Room. Alexander a while after, following, more desirous to re­cover his Friendship, than hazard the Effusion of his Blood, he had so particular an Esteem for; Carlos after he had left him, stayed so long in the House, that Alex­ander was not only got to the place before him, but with some impatience, waited near an hour, without percei­ving him coming; when, the Night being very dark, he discerned a Person draw towards him, without speaking a word, and suspecting he purposed to fall upon him, [Page 82] held out his Sword to keep him off; which not being per­ceived in the dark, his supposed Enemy run upon the point of it, and falling down at his Feet, cried out with a shrill voice, Oh, I am wounded! hold, hold Alexander, you have killed the unhappy Cynthia: At so mournful a Voice, and the mention of Cynthia's Name, Alexander remained like one Thunder-strook; but fearing every moment of his suspense hastened the wretched Ladies Death, he ran in to her, and kneeling down, was about to search where she had received the Wound; when by her want of Motion, he found her either really Dead al­ready, or in a Swoon through the want of Blood she had lost, and the violence of her Fear.

‘Oh unfortunate Cynthia, (said he, bathing her cold Face with his Tears) What severe impulse directed you hither, to dye by my accursed Hand? Oh Heavens! is it possible that Beauty should not deserve your Care? or the Fates be more propitious to an Excellence is only worthy of a Preeminence before all other things!’

His Affliction had drove him to the height of Excla­mation if he had not perceived her natural heat begin to possess the parts it had retired from; and found by her Sighs and the panting of her Breasts, that she had more Strength left than had her wound been Mortal she could have been Mistress of; but his Joy to find her Life restored, was immediately checkt by the consideration of what he should do in Order to her safety. If he suffered her to lie long in that Place, the continuance of her Bleeding and the cold serenes of the night must certainly kill her; and on the other side, if he should quit it to carry her to some House where she might receive help, Carlos missing him would impute to Cowardize what was the height of Charity; neither was he more unresolved, whether he should con­veigh her: to her Brothers was unsafe, and to his own House what would more highly irritate Carlos; but of a sudden, he took a resolution different from whatever he [Page 83] had thought of before; and as loud as ever he could force his Voice, called for Carlos to come to him; who had been a good while searching about, when his Calls dire­cted him to the place the Nights Obscurity had made dif­ficult for him to find. As soon as Alexander perceived him coming, he left Cynthia, and going a little forward to meet him; Carlos (said he) that bulk you see at the Foot of this spreading Oak, is the Body of an unfortu­nate young Man, lies there mortally wounded. As I was coming hither, I heard a noise of clashing Swords, and a Voice which cried out, Oh Heavens I am dead, and immediatly all was in its former silence! I came up to this place, and found him ready to expire, whom I knew to be Son of a Gentleman, whose quality is not inconsi­derable. Carlos you are Discreet and Generous, consider whether it were just to let him quite expire without af­fording what assistance Pitty demands, if he be yet capa­ble of it; therefore I resolve to conveigh him to the next House, and since I have now waited a while for you, it cannot seem a disrespect to you; that I desire you would stay my coming back while I am about an Act of so much Humanity (if you will not allow Piety) assuring you my Return shall be as sudden as you can possibly ex­pect. Carlos was too Compassionate to deny so reaso­nable a request, and offered to Accompany and Assist him in his Charitable Intention; which Alexander had much ado to prevent, though at last he prevailed with him to stay, and going to the Foot of the Tree, where it was too dark to know any Countenance, especially one Pale, and in a deep Swoon, which Cynthia was again fallen in­to; Carlos himself Assisted to Lift his own Sister into his Arms, he was come thither to Kill, for having found him in her Chamber. Oh well deceived, too jealous Carlos: who could have told thee what the Night con­cealed, how Fortune baffled thee, and a Fiction delu­ded thee; Little didst thou think thy Enemy Alexander [Page 84] was carrying away thy too strictly observed Cynthia. He, whether it was some sudden impulse of what was the Truth, or whether his noble Disposition would not suffer him to be left idle, while his Enemy was imployed in so pious an Action, followed him; and let Alexander use all the Arguments he could invent for his stay, they served but as so many perswasions to draw him forward, so that he, was forced to keep on his way with the Lady on his Shoulders, though with the greatest apprehensions of Disorder; he feared, what at another time he would with Prayers have wished, that her fainted Spirits would return; for not knowing who was near her, her Voice would have betrayed what Alexander endeavoured so much to conceal; but although there was little appea­rance of her coming to her self, he was in no less Con­cern, how to dispose of Carlos when they came where Lights would be produced. While his Mind was agita­ted with several considerations how to free himself of his Companion, they got to the Towns end, when Alexan­der pretending an adjacent House belonged to an acquain­tance of his, desired Carlos would seek for a Chirurgeon, while he disposed of the wounded Youth in his Friends House; and as soon as Carlos was gone, knocking at the next door he came at, having told his Assistant he should find him there; before any body came down to let him in, he parted with all the hast he could through two or three of the Streets, to secure himself from meeting again with Cynthia's already offended Brother; but then the fresh considerations how to dispose of her, began to afflict him; if he carried her to his own house, the keep­ing her there, would destroy his hopes of obtaining Lau­ra, since Carlos could be no way satisfied but by his mar­rying his Sister; and if he placed her at home, Carlos must discover what happened; but at last, to secure his Love, and relying on Laura's goodness, he determined to place her in her Brothers House, under Laura's Care, [Page 85] who he believed might have her Cured without Carlos dis­covering the real Cause of her indisposition; thus re­solved, he hasted to the Garden-door of Carlos's House; where a few hours before, he had entred to have a sight of Laura, and finding it open, passed on to the first Room, where he perceived his fair Charge begin to re­cover her Spirits, but not able to speak, he called aloud for Laura and Leonida; but none answered, nor could he hear any one stirring in the House; he soon imagined they were either fled from Carlos displeasure, or gone out to imploy some Friend to prevent the quarrel they knew him engaged in; but finding these delays would be dan­gerous for Cynthia, and accounting it barbarous to leave her there alone; he once more took her in his Arms, and going back the same way he had entred, went directly to the House of a discreet antient Woman, whom he had confidence to rely on, having been the Nurse of his ten­der Years; as soon as he came, he found a ready ad­mittance, and having acquainted the Charitable Ortensia in short, with the accident, he laid his fair burden on his Nurses Bed, and taking a Light to see what condition she was in; how was he surprized at the first glaunce he had of her Face; Oh Gods cried he out, transported with Grief! What has my Guilty hand done; Laura is dead, I have been the fatal Murderer of my adored Laura! But when he was going on with his exclamations, Ortensia minded him, that if he would preserve her Life he must hast for a Chirurgeon; immediately he obeyed her, and after half an hours Absence, returned with one whom he was acquainted with, and whose secresie he durst trust; by that time he came back, Ortensia and her Maid had un­dressed the wounded Lady, and got her to Bed, and with the help of Water and burning some things about her, brought her to her self; the Chirurgeon after some inqui­ry, found she had only received a wound in her Arm, but by the loss of Blood, through fear and the Violence she had [Page 86] undergone in being carried so farr, were the causes of her lying in so long a Swoon; as soon as her wound was drest, she was left to her Repose, Ortensia watching by her, and the skilful Chirurgeon rejoyced Alexander with the assurance that her health would be restored again in few days. The next Morning Alexander being permitted to Visit her, found her in a much better condition, than he could have hoped in so short a time; but his presence, and the consideration of where she was, made her discover by her Blushes, and shame, the confusion she was in; which her passionate Lover endeavoured with his ut­most perswasions to remove, assuring her of all the Respect she could command from one whose Life was dedicated to her Service; and after having at her re­quest informed her of all that had past since she received her unlucky wound, both of Carlos his accompanying Her to the Town, and of his own carrying her home where both Cynthia and Leonida were missing, he begged to learn from her why she had dissembled her own Name of Laura, and deceived him with that of Carlos's Sister; but just as she was about to speak, Ortensia came in, and told him, that his Servant Fabricio whom he had sent for, was come, and must needs speak with him; he went out and presently returned with a Letter in his hand, which having told his fair Mistriss, was sent by Carlos, at her entreaty he read it to her; wherein Carlos accused him for a Coward, and unwor­thy the name of a Gentleman, to hide himself from his just Resentment; telling him that after he could learn nothing of him at the house where he promised to stay, he had returned and waited all night in the Park; but since he did not appear, he summoned him to meet that Morning in the same Place, if he would prevent being Posted a Coward in the Afternoon; and that he might be satisfied with the wrongs were done by him, he had sent in the Letter, the same Note was thrown by Alex­ander [Page 87] the day before in Carlos's Chamber, which was the appointment of that Meeting he had interrupted by coming Armed to him, which Carlos declared was his Sisters Hand, and Alexander had unawares, given it him among other Papers he had of him; Alexander was afresh confused at the reading his Letter, admiring why he should declare that Cynthia's which he knew was thrown to him from Laura, but turning to the Charming Lady, and seeing her smile, he begged her if possible, to clear those Doubts and Mistakes he had so long lain under; which with a Charming sweetness she did; telling him that the occasion of Carlos denying the Picture to be hers, was an effect of his innate Jealousie, which she had con­tinued, thereby with more Caution being able to try the sincerity of his Love, and prevent her Brothers suspition of her; but that being assured of his worth, and the re­ality of his Passion, she designed the night before, when he came to her, to clear his Error, and give him leave to desire her Brothers approbation of their Marriage; but finding as she was coming to meet him, her brother there before her, and overhearing their appointment of a Duel in the Park, she had put on a Suit of Boys Cloaths lay by her, which her Maid had got, and wore sometimes to divert her in private; and followed him to the Park, with a Resolution of imploring him not to draw his Sword against her Brother, when by his unlucky mistake, she had met that welcome he designed for Carlos; That the Story of the Duke and Marquis in Rome, was what had in some part happened to her self, and occasioned her Brothers Return from thence sooner than he was expect­ed. Alexander was as much delighted with the know­ledge of his Beloved Laura's being Carlos's Sister, as be­fore he had been in disorder with the fear of her being so; But not to detain your Highness too long in this part of their Adventures, I shall only add, that in few days the careful Chirurgeon restored her to the Health he had pro­mised; [Page 88] and Alexander having gained her consent, procu­red a Priest, and was privately Married to her, before he stirred out of Ortensia's House, from the moment he had brought her thither. In the mean while, Carlos ignorant of all that had past, missing his Sister from Home, and being able to learn no News of his Enemy, whom he supposed had stole her; engaged all his Friends to joyn with him in the Revenge he resolved to take upon all Alexander's, and one Evening when I was there with ma­ny others, to consult what course was best, whereby to have his injuries satisfied, a Messenger came in and de­livering him a Letter, told him that Alexander and his Sister desired the Company of him and his Friends to Supper with them at Alexanders House; and opening the Letter, found they were Married, and wanted only his Approbation of what was done to compleat their happi­ness; at first he could scarce give way to his Resent­ment; but by his Friends perswasion, and the conside­ration both of his new Brothers Birth, Fortune, and their antient Friendship, we prevailed with him to go; where, before the Company broke up, I was a joyful Witness of their firm Reconcilement, each accusing and excusing one another, with mutual endearments of Love and affection.

For some days after their Marriage and this Fortunate Reconcilement, Alexanders Doors were continually crowded with Coaches of all the considerable people about the Court, to wish Joy to the new married Pair, in one of which Alfredo and Porcia being returned from Loretto, and coming by, inquired what was the occasion of so much Concourse in that place; and being informed of it by the first they examined, each looked on other, with no little disorder in their Countenances; Alfredo ex­claimed against Alexander as a false friend, who had be­trayed him for his own ends, and Porcia not without Tears, complained of his ingratitude, and counterfeit Love, neither dissembling their Resentment, nor the [Page 89] displeasure they had conceived against one they thought had equally injured them both. But after a little stay they went on, not desirous to hear a repetition of what created them so much trouble. Alfredo having left Porcia at her Fathers House, retired to his own, each spending that night with a sufficient inquietude, for what they had heard relating to Alexander; who the next day hearing of Alfredo's Return, made him a visit, and by a full recital of his adventures to him, endeavoured to sa­tisfie the former Lover of Cynthia, how far he was from being his designed Rival, and of the impossiblity of act­ing otherwise than he had done, when all circumstan­ces were considered; which Alfredo accepted of as an Ex­cuse, more than could be required from him, desiring only the continuance of his Friendship, which Alexander as willingly promised; but if Alfredo was in appearance satisfied, and strove to conceal that Love he could no longer publickly own, Porcia's thoughts were taken up with a more fatal Passion, resolving to disturb, if possi­ble, their tranquility who had deprived her of all she could expect or hope for. But as her resolutions were extra­ordinary, she was as cautious in working them to the event she designed; and having a ready and pleasing wit, besides several accomplishments which were generally ta­king, as well skilled both in Musick, Singing and Dan­cing, she purposed to imploy all her faculties to propo­gate her wicked plot; and, to conceal all her malice un­der a specious show of kindness, she daily visited the young Bride, and appearing reconciled to Alex­ander, who rejoyced in finding no worse effect, of her displeasure, she so ingratiated her self into the affe­ction of the innocent Cynthia, that she thought no time well spent when Alexander was absent, if it was not compensated by that of the insinuating Porcia; they continued some time in agreeable conversation, during which, Alfredo, both as a friend of Alexanders and Kins­man [Page 90] of Porcia's, came so often to the House, that Alex­ander (though not capable of jealousie) began to think his assiduity more than needful; but unwilling to take any notice of it, he borrowed my Country-House for a few days, and retired thither with his beloved Wife, pretending to be a little at rest from the disturbances of the Town, but indeed fairly to shake off Alfredo's com­pany: Cynthia was very joyful to be in any place where Alexander was with her, but imagining the Country sports would rob her of his Company, she invited Por­cia to be her Companion in that Retirement, who as wil­lingly accepted of it, having easily procured her Fathers licence to pass some days in so vertuous Company. But when they were there, Alfredo continuing to be much in the Country, as he had been before in the Town, under the notion of visiting his Couzen, Alexander was almost ready to desire both him and his Kinswoman to return home, which he had certainly done, if respect and fear of displeasing his Dear Cynthia had not with-held him; but as close as he carried his disturbance at Alfredo's be­ing there, the subtile Porcia soon perceived it, and ima­gining her purpose grown ripe for execution; one After­noon finding Alexander alone in the Garden, went to him, and appearing in a violent disorder, told him, she still continued that respect for one had once been her Lo­ver, that she could not brook his being injured without a sensible affliction to her self; and after obliging him by her interrupted expressions, to urge her the more ear­nestly to know what she had to say, dubiously hinted that she could give him reasons why he ought not to be too negligent of his reputation; Alexander at first believing she only intimated what he had before thought, not to permit Alfredo's too often visits, appeared sensible of her care in mentioning it to him; but pressing her to give him some reasons of what had induced her to speak on that Subject; after she had made him urge it several [Page 91] times, seeming with much reluctance to bring out her words, she told him that Cynthia, forgetful of what was most tender in the world, her Honour, had wronged him; Alexander enraged at so bold an accusation of one he could not admit of an ill thought against in his Breast, falling into a rage, drew his Dagger, as if resolved with her death, to expiate the Crime he held her guilty of, in profaning his Wives reputation, but the very sight of it was enough to make her fall spiritless at his Feet, and a little recollecting himself, going to take her up, as he laid hold of her Arm, a note fell from her Sleeve, which hastily taking up, he knew the hand had wrote it to be Cynthia's, so that leaving her as she lay, he opened the Paper, and read with no less disorder than he had put the Possessor of it into, these words:

Alexander goes to Morrow to Mantua for a day or two, so that you may safely meet me in the same disguise you have formerly done.

Alexander read it over several times, and being fully convinced it was his Wives writing, looking down on Porcia was sorry for the fright he had put her into, and raising her up, in a little space brought her to her self again; who seeming offended at his rashness, would have gone and left him, telling him his threats were an ill requital, for what she had done, to preserve his Honour, for which she was willing to expose her wicked Kins­man Alfredo to his resentment, without consideration of her near alliance to him; but Alexander holding her fast, begged a thousand pardons for what he had offered to do, desiring her to consider, that his Love and confidence of of his Wife were such, that he could not with patience hear she had injured him; and intreated her to let him par­take of all she knew concerning his then cruel Enemies; which she cunningly did, telling him his Wives Maid had told her of their meeting often in the disguise of Shep­heards Habits, which he knew his Wife had of late much [Page 92] affected to wear, and that he being to go to Mantua, she was employed to send Alfredo that Note, and desired her to inclose that in a Letter to him, but she abhorring to be assistant in so wicked and injurious a design, having found him out, was resolved to expose all their lives to his just anger, rather than his reputation should be ble­mished by their private wickedness. Alexanders misfor­tune was such, that, too easily overcome by her subtile insinuation, and looking on the Bill as a too evident proof of his Wives falshood, raised to the highest sense of indig­nation a man tender of his Honour could be, when he found it assaulted, and as he believed irreparably stain­ed, resolved their Lives should in part expiate the wrong they had done him; but to make his cruelty ap­pear more like an act of justice, than the effect of a mis­guided rage, by her councel he determined to send Al­fredo the Note; and pretending to prosecute his journey would return in private to an appointed place where Porcia should meet, and direct him where his Abusers were. With this resolution they departed from the Garden, Porcia to pursue the effecting of her plot, and Alexander to lament the misfortunes he was fallen into, Love, Grief, Rage and Jealousie combating in his Breast; what am I reduced to, did he say to himself? (having retired to give more scope to his grief, where there were no witnesses of it;) can I hate, can I punish Cynthia, can I believe her innocence ever imagined a thought that might wrong me? No, no, I love her, I adore her now she is my Wife more than ever; Porcia is false, and would abuse me, Alfredo a Villain that would seduce her, but cannot; I'le acquaint my Dear Cynthia with her accusati­on, and be delighted to see her without disturbance clear her self from so vile an imputation. But is not this Note her own writing? (would he say again,) does she not ap­point their meeting in a disguise, when I am absent? who knows, but she formerly loved that Traytor Alfre­do, [Page 93] when he sought to her Brother for her, but was de­nied; she is but too apparently false; and, like the rest of her dissembling Sex, under the greatest pretext of ver­tue, conceals most Devil: Base, Infamous Cynthia, thou hast wronged me, and shalt dye for it, thy own Hand con­demns thee; nor is it the effect of Jealousie, but apparent Wrong thou hast committed; Nay, had thy wickedness arrived no farther than the very writing such a Note to a man that is not thy Husband, it were a sin in him not to be forgiven by Heaven, should he let it remain un­punished. With this fatal determination he endeavou­red to strengthen himself against all the Approaches more tender Thoughts made upon him, and strove to pass the remainder of that tedious day, without the least appearance in his Countenance either of trouble or di­sturbance; and towards Evening taking his leave of Cyn­thia and her Companion, went away, as he pretended, to Mantua; but as soon as it was quite dark he returned alone, and going into the Garden by a private door, con­cealed himself in a little Summer-house till the time of executing his Revenge should come, being confirmed in it, by having met, as he went towards Mantua, Alfredo in the disguise was appointed him, walking towards his Lodge. Porcia in the mean time perceiving all things succeeded as she had desired, (for Alfredo, deceived by her, did really believe his hopes of overcoming Cynthia were near accomplished;) and having, after Alexanders departure, perswaded his Wife to walk out and enjoy the pleasure of a cool Evenings Air, both dressed them­selves in the Habit of Shepherdesses at Porcia's request, who told her, that Alfredo would be in the Field in the same Dress, and divert them with some Musick, which he did; and invited by his Couzen, waited on Cynthia back to her House when it began to grow dark; as soon as she came to the Garden, Cynthia taking her leave of him, with Excuses that she could not invite his stay all [Page 94] Night in her Lords absence, she went in, and Porcia staying behind, directed him to conceal himself in the Garden till it were time to carry him where he should be Master of his wishes; and having disposed of him, she went to the Summer-house to Alexander, having be­fore, to heighten his rage, so ordered it, that Alfredo led Cynthia just under the Window as they came in, her self and Leonida following at a distance, that Alexander might be more fully confirmed in the truth of what she had told him: whom she found in a disorder suitable to what she wished, telling him, that Cynthia was gone in to stay till all his Servants were in Bed, and then she would come down to bring Alfredo out of the Garden to her Chamber, but begged he would not shew himself till she came again to him, when she would carry him to the Room where he should catch them together; which he promised, and dismist her; but about half an hour af­ter, grown impatient of longer delay, he went out, and come almost to the Door of the House, just as he saw a man and woman going into it, so that assured it was Afredo and his Wife, not able longer to with-hold his fury, he run to them, and shot Alfredo with a Pistol he had provided, seconding his blow with stabbing a dag­ger into Cynthia's breast, whereby they both fell dead at his feet, without uttering a word or dying groan; and not satisfied therewith, he hasted into the House, and bestowed the same punishment on Leonida for her treachery; but neither designed nor imagined he had done any hurt to Porcia, and afterwards hearing of her being wounded, concluded he had in the dark mistaken her for Leonida. Thus far, continued Cesario, I have ac­quainted your Highness with the Adventures of my un­happy Friend, to the time he found shelter at your feet, from the pursuit of those Peasants would have appre­hended him; but in the time hath passed since, there have many things hapned, which I hope, will more in­courage [Page 95] your Highness to pardon him, and which Car­los his Wives Brother (who attends without) can give a better account of, than has yet come to my know­ledge.

The Dutchess being told it was late, deferred hear­ing the conclusion of Alexanders story till the next day; when she commanded he should be brought before her, promising to sentence him, either with rigour or favour, as Carlos's story should discover his guilt or innocence; and accordingly in the morning, as soon as the Dutchess appeared abroad, Cynthia's Brother was commanded to her presence, who led a Lady veiled by the hand, which being a thing not permitted in the Presence, it was com­manded to be taken off, and the Lady was known to be the supposed murdered Cynthia. As soon as the Dutchess was informed who she was, with a satisfaction to behold her living, whom she had with pity condoled as inno­cently slain, she received her with more than a common kindness; and being earnestly desirous to know how she had escaped her Husbands misguided rage, Carlos, being commanded to give her an account of it, after his duti­ful submission to her, continued where Cesario had broke off.

Your Highness (said he, addressing himself to the Dutchess) has been acquainted with the rigour Alexan­der used to those he thought guilty of blemishing his Honour. Porcias designs, and the circumstances I am now to acquaint your Highness with, were learned from Leonida my Sisters Maid, who so long survived the wound Alexander had given her, as to confess the wrong she had done her Mistess, and begging her pardon, to advise her she would for a while secure her self from an apparently well-grounded rage might prove fatal to her: my Brother in-law that Night believing he had suffici­ently chastised the ruiners of his Honour, left the House, and retired into the adjacent Fields, while my Sister, re­maining [Page 98] secure in her Chamber from any apprehensions of so bloody a Tragedy, hearing a Pistol go off, and the shrieks of her Maid, when stabbed by Alexander, was at first surprized with so much fear, that she had not boldness enough to stir from her Chamber; but at last venturing forth, protected by her innocence, the first ob­ject she met with was Leonida bleeding on the Floor; as soon as that unhappy Maid saw her Mistress with a Light in her Hand, raising her self a little; Ah Madam (said she with a feeble voice) beware of your incensed Husband, who designs your death for a crime you are most innocent of: my Sister surprized with what she said, without offering to retire, desired her to declare what had been the occasion of her lying in that dread­ful condition; Ah Madam! (said the dying Leonida) forgive my falshood, and let my crimes dye with me. You have formerly heard my Master had expressed some kindness to Porcia, and that Alfredo adored your Beauty. When she returned with her unhappy Couzen from Lo­retto, finding you were married to him she hoped would have been her Husband, resolving, if possible, to reco­ver him, she insinuated her self into your affection, and promising Alfredo should marry me if I would be assi­stant in propagating her design, she endeavoured to raise Alexanders jealousie to such a height, that sacri­ficing you to his resentment, as a reward of her care to preserve his Honour, as soon as you were dead he should in gratitude let her supply your place; and to effect it, she deceived the overfond Alfredo, with a belief, that by her means you should be reduced to gratifie his wicked desires, obliging him to come disguised to the Village, that malicious Peasants should not take notice of his as­siduity, at the same time deceiving you with a pretence that he came to court her, and me that all tended to your ruine, and the making him my Husband; but in a long time being able to ground no jealousie strong [Page 97] enough to possess Alexanders Breast with a prejudice against one he so intirely loved; she cut her right hand on purpose, and coming bleeding to you, as if done by mischance, she intreated you would write a Note to him as from her, desiring he would come the next Night disguised as he used to do; which as soon as you had done (as she her self told me) she shewed it to Alex­ander, and sent him another, by which means she belie­ved he had been instigated to so much cruelty, and had (mistaking her for my Sister) given her a just reward of her treachery. Then begging she would for a while se­cure her self from her Husbands fury, and grant her a remission of her offence, she resigned her life. My Sister terrified and amazed, ran immediately out, and wandring all Night in the Fields, came the next day to my House, giving me an account of what had passed; I was resolved to endeavour a sudden reconcile­ment, and to that purpose was sending in search of Alexander, when my Friend Cesario came to me, and told me he was made a Prisoner by your Highness order. My Sister, what with her grief and fright, was taken with so violent a Feavour, that for many days her life was despaired of: and if she had died I resolved to pro­secute Alexander as her Murderer; but Heaven having been pleased, after a tedious sickness to restore her health, and finding she lamented the imprisonment of her Hus­band; I had long since brought her to implore his life of your Highness, had not Cesario assured me your indis­position denied any access to be had to You; and wait­ing his Directions, I have now brought her to begg You would pardon his severity against those, who either had, or really designed to offend him, and make her happy in being restored to a Husband she so dotingly loves.

The Conclusion of Carlos story which was followed by Cynthia's begging for Alexanders Life on her Knees, so sensibly touched the compassionate Dutchess; that she [Page 98] commanded the Prisoner to be sent for, and making Cynthia retire, after the whole Story had been repeated to him, so as if his Wife were really dead, and he had with Tears lamented his mistaken cruelty she, was brought forth, and with an unexpressible joy received into his Arms, imploring a thousand times her Pardon for his unjust suspition, which she as easily granted to one so much beloved by her. The Dutchess delighted with their happy reconcilement, commanded Alexander should be discharged from his Imprisonment, allowing the Death of those he had slain, but a just punishment of their wickedness. But if the happy pair lived toge­ther with all the tranquility imaginable; after two Months were expired from the time of Julians depar­ture, the Dutchess began to entertain new fears of Fredericks being lost, and directed by a violent impati­ence, she went every day to the Sea side, hoping for a sight of the Vessel was to bring back the Messenger gone in search of her persecuted Lover; One Morning after the Sea had raged two days before with a vio­lent Storm, the impetuosity of its Fury being then aba­ted, as far as they could discern, a Ship appeared ma­king towards the Haven, and some hours after, being come up fair with the Shore, it was known to be the same which Julian had the command of. The Dutchess being told of it, was about to order a Boat on Board, when they discerned that of the Ship, put off to come to Land. If the Princess was delighted with the expectation of seeing Julian again, hoping he would be as good as his Word, never to return till he had learnt some News of his Master; on the other side she was assaulted with fears, that he had only sent back the Vessel, while he proceeded by Land in his earnest search; But that distur­bance was soon over, when she saw the Loyal Servant of Frederick come to throw himself at her Feet, and as she imagined, with a Countenance which fore-boded no­thing [Page 99] of ill; as soon as he had paid his Duty to her, and kissed her hand, having no longer patience to defer her in­quiry: leaning on Nise's Arm, she walked a little distance from the Company, and finding they were out of hear­ing; ‘What Julian (said she) have you been firm to your promise? Shall I hear that your Lord is safe? Madam, (said the faithful Roman) I had no more been happy in beholding your Highness and Mantua, if I could not tell you, that by the Providence of Heaven, my dear Master lives, encompassed with as much happiness as he is capable of while absented from your Presence, which you will find by this Letter he commanded me to deli­ver to your own hand.’ The Dutchess in a transport of delight to hear of His Safety, a few hours before she thought there was but too much cause to believe was dead; with an oblidging smile, received the Letter from Julian, and having opened it, read these words,

FREDERICK To his Divine Princess, The Dutchess of MANTƲA.


Amidst all the sufferings Heaven was pleased to destine me to, I found some Alliviation, with the thoughts that I was not hated by my adored Princess, untill I crea­ted my self new Afflictions, after my Stars seemed to cease their Persecutions. I own my self highly Guilty to suffer a Thought should enter my breast, that you had forgot how blest you had once made me; But I shall please my self with the Belief, that you have Goodness enough to forgive One, would not desire Life if denied the Title of your Servant; Julian will give you an Account of whatever has happened to me since our Separation, and the unavoidable necessity of my Stay [Page 100] here; but I hope Fortune will prove so propitious, that in a few days you will behold at your Feet, your Adorer,


If the Dutchess was not a little delighted with her Letter, she was as much concerned to know what Crime Frederick accused himself of; and being impatient to hear the Recital of his Adventures, she returned to the Palace, and retiring to her Closet with Nise, sent for Julian in, who in Obedience to her Command, made the following Relation of his Masters Life, from the time he was seperated from him in Spain.

The Continuation of the Histo­ry of FREDERICK.

YOur Highness may please to remember, I told you of my seing my master fall dead, as I thought, among his Enemies on the Lovers Rock; How long he continued deprived of his Sences, he could not well tell; But being in the ordinary dress of a Slave, by what we could since conjecture, it was his Chance to be thrown one of the Last into the Pitt among the dead Moors by the Governor of Antiquera's Order; and that by being taken up and stirred, his Spirits began to be agitated, so that he came to open his Eyes again; when having a lit­tle Recovered his Understanding, and hearing all quiet near him, he began to look about, and found himself lying upon a heap of dead Bodies; after a great deal of strugling, he made a shift to get out of the Pit, but not believing he had Strength to walk where he might [Page 101] get help, and his wounds bleeding a fresh by his strain­ing, he sat down, patiently to resign his Life, while his thoughts were imployed in the contemplation of your Beauty, which he beheld in the Picture, was brought hi­ther afterwards, by the stranger Merchant. But as he declared to me, the sight of your Image before his Eyes, made him offer up his Prayers to Heaven, that he might live once more to behold his adored Original, and belie­ving if his wounds were stopt from bleeding more, he might have Strength left to get down the Rock, where some Passenger might see him; he pulled the Wreath from a Turbant lay near him, and girt it about his wast as strait as he could, finding he lost most Blood from a wound on his Side. In that Posture he continued about an hour, when impatient of a hopeless delay, not able to rise, he crawled to the descent of the Rock, and from thence suffered himself to slide by degrees, till he was almost at the bottom; but then he grew so weak, that he was not able to move himself a step farther, and after he had remained so about half an hour, as the Sun was de­clining apace towards the West, he saw at a distance a Party of about forty Horse, who were Crossing about, as if they purposed to take a View of the Country, in Order to some Designe; he had not strength to call out, or if he had, they were at too great a distance to be heard; and withal, confident they were Moors, he imagined their discovery of him, would rather anticipate his Death, than be a means of preserving his Life; so that he continued sitting on the ground when he saw the Horsemen draw towards the Rock; and coming pretty near, one of the Company Alighted with a seeming pur­pose to climb up to the top of it; but as he looked about, seeing a Man all Bloody, he came to my Master, and asked him how he had fallen into that Condition: who with a true deceit, thereby to encourage their Assistance of him, answered with a faint Voice Arabick; in fighting with [Page 102] Christians; as soon as the Moor heard what he said, turning back, he went to the rest of the Company, and presently returned with two more; they asked him se­ral questions; but finding he had not strength to speak, they took him up in their Arms, and putting him upon a quiet Horse, with a Man behind to hold him up, carried him away to a little Town about a League off, where one of the Company, whose Profession it was, searched and dressed his wounds; telling him withal, he should not be discouraged, for that none of them were Mortal; he continued the next day and night in that little Village; but so weak that he could not utter a word loud enough to be heard; and the Moors who had taken care of him, being to depart, they procured a Cart to lay him on, and ordered it to follow softly after them to Cordova, he that was the Chirurgion staying with him: there had past a week from the time of his being hurt, to that of their Arrival at the City, and the next day after it, his wounds being in a fair way of Cure, and his Spirits so much reco­vered, that he could, and was by his Chirurgion allow­ed to speak; the Chief of those who had delivered him from the Rock, came to see him; and telling him he was Son to the General of Cordova, and sent out to make some Discovery, which way Antiquera might be assaulted, when he found him in that weak Condition at the Foot of the white Rock, believing it was an extraordinary in­counter had reduced him almost to his end; That both out of Charity, and a desire to know how he came by his wounds, he was induced to give Order that if possible, his Life should be preserved, and now that there was some appearance of it, he desired in requital of his kind­ness, that he would satisfy his Curiosity in what he de­manded to know of him. My Master was very willing to comply with his desire, having had time to consider what Account was properest to give of his Misfortunes, so that after returning him thanks with much acknow­ledgment [Page 103] of his kindness to him; I must confess, noble Deliverer (said my Master) that I am descended of Chri­stian Parents, but having spent much time in Africa a­bout Tunis, I may reckon my self indebted to the Moors for part of my Education. I served that King some time in his Wars with so much Success, that his goodness thought the greatest things he could do for me, such as he had no reason to wish unbestowed; and being young, and desirous to see a Country so much celebrated as this is, for the Wars between you and the Christians. I took my leave of him and accompanied Hamet, one of his principal Subjects, who came over hither on an Embassy from him. We arrived some time since at Malaga, and that Morning you met me, having travelled so far in to the Country, there was upon the Rock a sharp Dispute between some Christians and Hamets Party, and there after seve­ral wounds, I fell, remaining as dead for a long time; but coming to my self, I lay upon a Heap of dead Bodies all of Hamets Party, but how he happened to be over­come, I am able to give you no Account off. The Moor was much pleased with the short Narrative my Master gave, and conjectured what was really true, that a Party from Antiquera might have fallen on them, and either slain or made them all Captives. After this, if my Ma­ster was used with a Charitable Civility before, they now gave him Respect as the Favourite of a King, and great Souldier, being visited by most of the considerable Men in that Court. And after six weeks, his wounds being so well, that he was able to walk abroad, his Friend car­ried him to wait on the King, having provided him Rich Garments of the Moorish Fashion. He was very urgent to oblidge his continuance with him, and to have him ac­cept a Command in his Army against the Christians; which my Master not without difficulty was excused from, urging the necessity of his Removal, to inquire what was become of those he had accompanied from Tunis.

[Page 104]As soon as he was perfectly cured, though with regret of those he left, he took his leave of Cordova, and be­ing accommodated with Horses to Valencia, there upon pretence of security to Travel, he got a Pass from the Christian Garrisons, and being brought to the nearest, by Moors he had hired, making use of his Pass for their Return, as soon as they were without the Walls, he made the Governor a Visit, and discovered himself to be a Sicilian; and giving him a Relation of some of his Adventures he so much obliged him, that he not only made him his own Guess for some days he stayed there, (both to rest himself not yet able to endure a long Jour­ney and to change his Moorish Habit he then wore) but supplied him with all things necessary both for his Jour­ney and Voyage, which was succesful enough, not only while he Travelled by Land, but for some days after, he had put to Sea in a Vessel bound hither; one day as he was sitting on the Deck, pleased with the hopes of being soon at Mantua, which the Master promised him a sight of in two days, if the Wind continued fair; holding your Picture in his hand, He with the point of a Knife engraved those words, gave you the first Intelligence of his being alive. That Night the Wind was fair and fresh, but in the Morning a general Fright seized all the Mariners, when they beheld not a mile to windward of them, a large Ship, by whose Antiant they knew her to be a Turkish Pirate of Algier; in less than an hour she came close up with them, and commanding the Master to strike his sails and yield, No perswasions of my Lords could prevail with them to stand on their defence, not being above twenty in number, half Passengers, and in the Turks Ship near three hundred Men: only the Master advised all his Passengers to throw away their best Cloaths, that their Ransomes might be the more moderate; which they all did except my Lord, who though he stood with his Sword in his hand resolved to sell his Life at as dear a [Page 105] rate as he could; yet as soon as they were Boarded, over­powred with numbers, he was made a Captive among the rest, and stripped both of all his Cloaths, and what was dearest to him in the World, next your self, the Picture was taken from him; the Turks as soon as they had searched their Prize, taking all the Prisoners on Board their own Ship, sent the other with some of their own Men, home to Algier, laden with all the Booty they had taken; themselves keeping out at Sea for more pur­chase; ten days after their Captivity, about noon the Turks espied a Sail and giving her Chase, found in a short time, that she endeavoured as much to get up with them, so that preparing for a Fight, they shut up their Prisoners under Hatches, leaving only half a dozen of the Lustiest on the Deck, to help them at their work in ordering the Tackle, among which my Master happened to be one. The Ship which they had discovered making them to be Turks, about an hour before Sunset, was come up so near them, that on each side they began to make use of their great Shot, having put abroad the Colours of Sicily: for they durst not adventure on either part to Board, the Wind being very fresh and the Sea running as high. Now Madam, I must acquaint you with a desperate Attempt of my always undaunted Lord, who percieving a Ship of his own Country so near, and he engaged on the contrary part, resolving either on death or Liberty, snatching up a Headpiece lay on the Deck, he clapt it on, and half naked as the Turks had made him, leapt into the Sea; with an intent to get on Board the Ship of his Countrymen; the Pirates seeing him swiming in the Water, made severel Shots at him with their Arrows, some of which were directed so well, that the Helmet preserved his Life, the Waves being a sufficient Armour for the rest of his Body; and the Sicilians perceiving what passed, used so much diligence to recover him on Board them, that bearing up to him [Page 106] and throwing out a Rope, which he laid hold of, they got him safe into their Vessel; The Fight continued some time after, till the Wind increasing, and Night coming on, decided the Controversie; and the next Morning they were out of sight of their Enemies. When they were at quiet from the Turks, the Captain of the Sicilians hearing my Master was his Country-man, sent for him into his Cabbin, to examine who he was? but could learn nothing more, than that he was descended of honest Parents in Messina, and had spent most of his Time in Travel, having been several years in Captivity; but was in requital of what he said, informed by the Captain, that the King of Sicily dying about two Months before without Heirs, the Crown was descended to Count Frederick in the right of his Mother, who was Niece to the deceased King; and that He guided by a Youthful curiosity, had some years before left his Country to Travel, not being then so much as the presumptive Heir to the Crown, the King having a Son living who di­ed in the flower of his Youth, two years before his Fa­ther; and being further examined by my Master how the Government was at present managed, he told him that by the Kings will, the Councel had taken the Charge of all affairs, untill the Return of their Prince, having sent out several Ships to all Ports of the Continent therea­bouts to inquire if possible they could learn any News of him, and that himself was abroad upon that Account; If my Master was surprized with an unexpected Joy to find himself after being so happily restored to his free­dom, the expected Successor to a Crown, he declared to me that the delight he received from such an alteration of his Condition, was chiefly that he had a Present by it, not unworthy your Highness acceptance; but to pur­sue my Discourse continued Julian, (finding how plea­sing what he said was to the Dutchess) after the Captain [Page 107] of the Ship had fully satisfied him in all circumstances which so nearly concerned him; but how can you ex­pect (said my Master) to find the Prince you are in search of, when by a long absence his Contenance is not known to any of you; 'tis true, replied the Captain, nei­ther my self, nor any in this Ship know him, but should any but the true Prince declare himself such, when he arrived in Sicily, there are enew who are acquainted with him; then said my Master, as soon as you arrive in Sicily, be assured you shall have a certain intelligence where he is. The Captain and all his Company over­joyed at news so little expected, from that moment di­rected their Coarse homewards, and being favoured with a fair wind, in few days came to an Anchor under the Walls of Messina; my Master all that while keeping him­self concealed; and going a-shore with the Captain, they went together to the Councel, which upon their landing they heard was sitting; but before they entred into the Palace, some of my Masters former acquaintance, see­ing and knowing him, immediately the news ran through the whole City, that their King was returned; which being soon confirmed on all hands, never were acclamations greater than the Sicilians expressed at that time. The Counsel the next day resigned the Govern­ment into his hands, and not many after he was so­lemnly Crowned: But that his happiness might not be too compleat, while he was solicitous in setling the af­fairs of State, that he might hasten his Voyage hither to lay his Crown at your Feet; a sudden information de­prived him of all that joy he thought incapable of inter­ruption; for a Ship arriving in the Port from Mantua, the King commanded the Captain of her to attend him, that he might inquire some news of your Highness; the ignorant Seaman told him, the common Discourse of this place was, that your marriage would speedily be consummated with the Prince of Mayorca, who a few [Page 108] days before his departure was arrived there for the ef­fecting of it. The occasion of this report, I presume, your Highness knows was grounded upon the magnifi­cent appearance of that Prince in your Court, with hopes of accomplishing his design; but finding how averse you was to the alteration of your condition, soon re­turned with disappointment to his own Country. The information my Prince received from the deceived Cap­tain; was (as he told me) an affliction too sensible to be expressed; and he has since condemned himself for being so weak as to upbraid you of inconstancy, though he confessed, the reason you had to believe him long before dead, might be a sufficient excuse for your making choice of so considerable a Prince to be your Husband; however this disturbance, and the assu­rance of your being anothers, made him negligent of sending to acquaint you, either that he was living, or of the alteration Heaven was pleased to make in his condition; and in this State I found his affairs when I arrived at Sicily; having after I departed from your Highness spent a month at Sea, in a fruitless search; till coming in sight of that Island, more out of a desire to see the Country had given birth to my Lord, than any expectation of hearing any thing concerning him, I put into the Harbour, and going a-shore, I was informed by some persons I met on the strand, what a general joy the Islanders were filled with upon the return of their long absent King, who was Crowned a few days before; and being offered by them to be brought to his presence, which I accepted; your Highness may please to guess how much I was surprized to find my Master in the person of their King: his goodness was always too great to me, to be forgotten by him, so that I was scarce advanced half way in the presence, when he rose, and taking [...] from my knee, in which posture I had put [...] my return with a kindness much [Page 109] beyond what I could have expected for more eminent services than I had ever been able to do for him; he ask­ed of my deliverance from the Rock, and how I had spent my time since; which having told him in Man­tua for the most part, I was not a little amazed, to perceive he took no notice of my words, or so much as inquired whether you were living or no? And a while after taking me a-part from the Company; what, (Julian, said he,) is my misery amidst all this triumph, since the inconstant Diana could so soon forget me? And fetching a deep sigh, by his silence gave me leave to speak; which I did, telling him, how concerned you had been at the thoughts of his death, and that by a surmised probability that he might still be living, You had sent me in search of him; at which words he stopt my proceeding in what I would have said: How is it possible (said he) that you can pretend to deceive me with the imagination, that my life can be of any con­cern to her, who is now Wife to the Prince of Majorca? Sir, replied I, presuming to interrupt him; what unhap­py mistake has given you an unnecessary disturbance? for that Prince you name, though 'tis true he arrived at Mantua with hopes of being favoured by the Princess, he found her reception so cool, that after a short stay he returned disappointed of his pretences: she is still unmarried, and wishes nothing more than to hear of your safety. The effect my discourse wrought on him, is beyond my capacity to express. He took me in his Arms, embracing me a thousand times, and calling me his Genius, his Good Angel. Is it possible Dear Julian? said he, that my Princess is not married, and that she still retains a favourable thought of her faithful Frederick. Oh! I must fly to her, and throw my self at her feet, to beg pardon for my wicked suspition of her goodness. With such Transports he entertained himself for a long time; and in the conclusion, not able to brook any delay, [Page 110] the same Evening he gave me a letter to your Highness, with order that I should embarque that Night, and sail for Mantua, to assure you, that as soon as ever he could get his Navy to Sea, he would come with it hither to lay the Crown of Sicily at the Feet of his most adored Princess.

The satisfaction Julian gave the fair Dutchess by his relation, was greater than her modesty would express, even before those she had an entire confidence in. But that Frederick might be received with all the Grandeur and State imaginable, she suffered his coming to be pub­lished, and on what design; which soon produced as great a joy in Mantua, as the Sicilians had expressed at the arrival of their King. But amidst all these trium­phant preparations, a sudden accident, put all the Court into confusion. For Alvaro, the young Prince of Ma­jorca, being equally captivated with the Beauty and For­tune of Diana, and perceiving that his publick addresses were slighted by her, resolved to attempt that by a treacherous force, which he was perswaded no assiduity or respect would procure. So that although he appear­ed to take a solemn leave, both of the Dutchess and Mantua; yet having by considerable presents gain­ed some of the Court to assist him, he resolved to steal, and carry her forcibly with him to Majorca; in order to which, as soon as the Ships had attended him to Man­tua, with that himself was on board of, were out of sight of the Town, he commanded them to hover near the Coast without coming in sight, while himself stood in again for land; and four nights after his departure, concealing his Ship in a private Creek, he landed at a small Village about four Leagues from Mantua, with those in his Company he thought needful for his de­sign; and after having stayed there till he could conve­niently procure disguises for himself and those were with him; he came privately to a Country House, a [Page 111] League from the Town, which, a Mantuan, bribed by him, had procured for his concealment, resolving to wait there for an opportunity of putting his plot in ex­ecution; where he was detained much longer than he expected, being unable to offer at any thing so long as the Dutchess kept within her Palace, or seldom stirred out, and when she did, only to the Sea-side, with a re­tinue too great for him to attempt any thing against. Thus he continued from the Time of Julians departure, till after he was returned again; at last resolving to de­sist from his enterprize, especially when the Vessel wait­ed for him, not able to give any good account of her long stay in so private a place as she was laid up in, re­ceived a command to depart out of hand, unless she would be seized as being either a Spy or Pirate. But when he was almost ready to depart, one of his gained Friends assured him, that in one day more he might ef­fect his design; which he found as easie means for the execution of as he could wish; for the Dutchess, go­ing every day abroad after Julians return, spending no Evening out of the pleasant Island-Garden upon the River Po, where she usually retired with her Favourite Nise and the Sicilian Kings Loyal Servant, to hear him repeat the adventures of his Masters life. Alvaro having provided all things necessary for his purpose, landed from a small Barque on the back side of the Garden, with six men well armed in his Company, and wanting no di­rection, came to the very Arbour she was retired to, without being discovered by any of her Attendants who waited on the other side for her; and while two of his Servants assaulted Julian, who endeavoured to defend the Princess, himself with the rest carried her and Nise by force into the Boat, and Rowing away with all the speed they could, landed her where a Chariot waited their coming, and carrying them out of the Boat into it, himself bearing them Company to prevent their [Page 112] leaping forth, drove away with all the speed they could, for the Village near which the Ship lay. His two men that fell upon Julian being left behind, were by those who came running in, hearing the clashing of their Swords, and the Dutchess and Nises shrieks, cut to pieces; and although all possible dilligence was used to pursue them, he had got her aboard his Vessel, and was under sail by that time those who were come after him reach­ed the Village he had newly left; and immediately the Night coming on, now secure of his prize, he went into the Cabbin he had placed the Dutchess in, endeavouring to prevail with her for a pardon of that violence, the height of Passion, as he pretended, had prompted him to: but for almost a Week that they sailed, without meeting with any interruption in their Voyage, he could obtain nothing from the afflicted Princess, but that she would rather dye than yield to that compulsion he thought to establish his love by. During which time, that the amorous Prince had no other enemy to encoun­ter but Diana's obstinate disdain; Her loyal Subjects were not idle, but fitted out all the Ships were in the Port to pursue him; and the Sicilian King ignorant of this new misfortune, was got to Sea with a Royal Fleet; when coming within two days sail of Mantua, he met a Vessel was come out from thence, which gave him the sad account of his Princesses Rape; upon which fatal in­telligence, having lamented her misfortune and his own, with all the expressions of a violent grief: he altered his coarse, and stood away to Sea in chase of the detested Ravisher of the Dutchess, being assured by all circum­stances he was the Prince of Majorca. Who while the Seas were spread with Ships to discover him, imployed all his time in endeavouring to reconcile himself to the Dutchess; whose just indignation, she assured him could never be removed, but by his returning her back to her own Country▪ which he made as much haste from as [Page 113] the winds would give him leave; and nine days after his leaving Mantua, early in the Morning the Captain of the Vessel called him upon the Deck to see his own Island, promising to land him on it by Noon; but in less than an hour they were so becalmed, that the Ves­sel made no way; and when they had got out their great Oars, to supply with them the want of a Gale, at first an easie one began to blow, but so exactly off the shore, that it drove them faster to Sea than their Oars could work them towards the Land; and freshening upon them, before it was dark they had again lost sight of the place, the Prince hoped by that time to have been a-shore at: all Night it blew so fresh, that they were almost compelled to bear up before it; and the next day about Sunrise, they found themselves chased by two Vessels which seemed to gain upon them. Alvaro who feared all to be Enemies, to prevent their coming up with him, stood away with the Wind, the Ships following his coarse, which they continued to do all day, and a little before Night were come up so near, that they discovered them to be Man­tuans. The afflicted Dutchess, hoped from the first of their coming in sight, to find them her Delievers; but when she was told the Ships belonged to her, or her Sub­jects, and doubtless abroad in persuit of her Ravisher; she offered up her prayers to Heaven that they might reach the Ship she was in; but finding the Night would be a means to lose them again, seeing Alvaro come into the Cabbin, she turned from the Window she was look­ing out at, and throwing her self at his feet, with Tears implored him to restore her to her freedom, as­suring him she would forgive all he had hitherto done against her; But his love was too great to forego a prize he now began to hope would be again secured to him; and accordingly as soon as it was dark, commanding there should be no Lights in the Ship, he altered the coarse he had run all day: and as he expected, in the [Page 114] morning was out of sight of those had chased him the Day before; the Wind continuing so high, that it almost blew a Storm; and finding himself on the coast of Spain, near Alicant, both to wait the alteration of the Wind, and to suffer the Dutchess to refresh her self on shore, he stood in, and that Afternoon came to an Anchor about a League above the Town. He landed his fair Theft at a little Village, in a poor House he sent to provide for their reception; first having obliged the Dutchess and Nise to change their Cloaths for plainer ones he had provided formerly, himself in the habit of an ordinary Seaman, never stirring out of their sight, or from the Door of the Room he kept them shut up in, that they might not speak to any body. Alvaro had rested with impatience almost a Week in the Village, before the storm had drove him to land was over; when finding the Wind fair for his Voyage to Majorca, he brought the Dutchess towards Evening from the House he had concealed her in, to oblige her to a second imbarcation; but as he was crossing the street of the Village towards the Strand where his Boat was ready to receive them, he was obliged to stop a-while to let several Coaches and Horsemen pass by, who were going towards Alicant: and when he thought all gone, leading the Dutchess by force to the place where the Boat lay, just as he had lift­ed her into it, a Gentleman, mounted on a graceful Adaluzian Horse, and followed by half a dozen Ser­vants, came to the Boatside, and asked with courtesie enough, what ship that was lay off, whether they were going on board; but Alvaro, either disdaining an an­swer, or fearful of any delay, commanded his men to thrust out the Boat without taking any notice of the demand was made him; which incivility exasperating the Spanish Gentleman, he drew his Sword, and riding to his Saddle-skirts into the Water close to the Boat, he leapt from his Horse into it followed by his Servants, [Page 115] telling the Seamen he would by force know, what they denied to his civil request. The inraged Prince and his Company had put themselves in a posture of defence, when the afflicted Dutchess, whose violent grief had made her till then silent, rising from the seat she was placed on, Sir (said she to the injured Spaniard in Italian) if you will do a generous act, let your Sword not only be im­ployed to revenge the affront you have received, but to rescue a miserable woman from the hands of a wicked ravisher. The Spaniard hearing her speak, when he was ready to assault those were in the Boat, turned towards her before he prest any further; and as soon as she had desired his assistance, without giving any other answer than by a respectful bow, he turned towards Alvaro, saying to him; ‘If this Lady be willing to go with you, for her sake I shall forget the rudeness you have expres­sed towards me, but if it is by compulsion you would force her away, I will either redeem her from your vi­olence, or resign my life in the attempt of it;’ and ending these words, he stept forward towards the Dutchess, who incouraged by his generous declaration, cryed out, ‘'Tis by force, Noble Cavallier, I have been hurried from my own Country, and had rather here end my misera­ble life than remain longer in the power of that unwor­thy man, is now the disposer of my liberty;’ If her words were an incouragement to the Stranger to persist in his design of freeing her, they were no less an incite­ment to the violent Prince to get the Boat off by force, since he found it would no other way be done, so that assaulting the young Spaniard, who was prepared to re­ceive him, and seconded by his men, a fierce and unu­sual combate began in the Boat; the Fair Dutchess in the mean while, whether frighted by being so near the Combatants, or unwilling to lose so fair an opportuni­ty of escaping from Alvaro, leapt from the Boat, almost to the shoulders in water, and followed by Nise, had [Page 116] waded to the Shore before she was mist in the Boat by Alvaro; when calling aloud to her Deliverer to quit the dispute he was ingaged in, to prevent her being forced back by two Seamen followed her from the Boat, she saw him throw himself into the water; and a great crowd coming down to the shore from the Village; Alvaro to save himself from being taken by them, thrust out to Sea, leaving not only the Princess and Nise, but his two men for haste behind him. As soon as he was put off, and the Seamen secured by the Company was come in, the valiant Spaniard, neither minding, nor in a condi­tion to pursue him, no other Boat being near, he got safe on board, and soon after sailed to his own Coun­trey with discontent enough to be so unexpectedly de­prived of what he had adventured so much for the posses­sion of.

The Dutchess finding her self at liberty, was about to return thanks to the worthy procurer of it, when the young Spaniard addressing himself to Her and Nise; La­dyes (said he) I must needs account my self very hap­py if I have been so fortunate to prevent any violence was intended against so much beauty; and since your wet cloaths require you should be conveyed to some place where you may change them and repose your selves, I will adventure to request your acceptance of what convenience my House will afford. To which obliging invitation the Dutchess was able to return no answer, be­ing wholly ignorant of the Spanish Language, more than by the affinity it had with her own, partly understand­ing what he said; which being perceived by him, he re­peated the same words in Italian, and received an an­swer full of gratitude from the fairest Lips in the world. While he was in discourse with her, a Servant told him the Coaches had stopt, hearing of the quarrel he was fal­len in, upon which notice, taking the Dutchess by the hand, and another Gentleman doing the same by Nise, [Page 117] he desired they would make use of the convenience of them, to be carried to Alicant, where he lived. Although the Italian Princess might have made some scruples to commit her self to the Charge of a young Man and a Stranger, yet what he had done in her Service, and not knowing how at that time otherwise to dispose of her self, she accepted of his Invitation, and was much plea­sed with it; when coming to one of the Coaches, her Rescuer committed her to the care of three young La­dies were in it, one of which, he told her was his Wife, but they were prevented from those compliments would ne­cessarily have passed between them, by Reason they could not understand what one another said; and at that time he took no other Care, but to Order they should make what haste they could to the City, that the strange La­dies might be shifted from their wet Cloaths. As soon as they came to his house, he waited on them to a rich apartment, and committed the Care of them to several young Ladies who could scarce without Envy behold their Beauties Eclipsed by her who seemed the chief of the two Strangers; that night, being supplied with all things necessary, she was left with Nise to rest her self, which she had want enough of, after so many un­quiet ones as she had spent since the time she was forced from Mantua. The next Morning as soon as she was awake, the same Company came in to visit her, and bringing Cloaths for them to put on instead of their wet ones; as soon as she was ready, her deliverer came to enquire after their Healths; and being invited into her Chamber, after several Compliments, he begged the Knowledge from her of what Accidents had reduced them to the Restraint he found them in; and from the Dutchess received a true Account of all her Adventures, only disguising her Quality, by declaring her self the Daughter of a Rich Gentleman of Mantua, and her Ra­visher Son to one of equal Conditions. Felicius (which [Page 118] was the name of the Spanesh Gentleman) entertained her for several days with all the respect imaginable, till he could procure a safe passage for her into Italy; promi­sing, with her permission, not to leave her, till he had de­livered her safe to her Parents; and he was one After­noon sufficiently satisfied with the Respects he had shewn her, when a Vessel coming into the Harbour with the Antiant of Mantua, as the Dutchess with several La­dies were walking with him on the Tarras of his Gar­den, which overlookt the Road; She desired he would send a Servant to the Ship, to inquire what News from her Country; and the Person that was imployed, meet­ing the Boat just as it Landed; and falling into Discourse with him that seemed to Command the rest, and telling him that he was come from an Italian Lady, who desired to enquire after her Relations in Mantua, invited him to his Masters house, which being accepted by the Stranger, he was sufficiently transported with Joy, to find it was the Dutchess had sent for him; and by paying his Duty to her on his Knees, surprised all the Company was with her, by the consideration of the greatness of her Quality, whom they believed, and had respected as a pri­vate person.

The stranger who was a Nobleman of Mantua, by her Command let her know, the great trouble her Subjects were in, for the loss of her; that he was abroad in the Ship he landed from, to search for her; and that the King of Sicily had been at Majorca, but was certainly assured, that that Prince had never been in the Island since his Voyage to Mantua, although all the Fleet went with him was returned, except the Ship he was in, and that if the Dutchess would give him leave to return to Sea, he believed in a day or two he might fall in with the Sicili­an Fleet, and bring that King to attend her home. The Princess approved very well of his motion, and accor­dingly, after he had by her order reposed himself a while, [Page 119] he imbarqued and sailed again the same Evening.

Felicius as soon as the Dutchess had made an end of speaking with the Italian Lord, addressing himself to her, begged his own Pardon, and that of the rest of the Com­pany; thet she had not, through their Ignorance, of her Quality: been entertained with that observance was due to her Birth and Dignity; which the obliging Princess Answered, with assuring him that he had laid Engage­ments on her much greater than she should ever know how to requite; and which she should be forced to in­crease by troubling him a few days longer, till the Ar­rival of those Ships must convey her to Italy; Felicius not only assured her how highly he was honoured in the name of her Host, but having acquainted all his Relations, and the Magistrates of Alicant, Who resided in his House; She was visited, and received the Compli­ments of all the considerable persons in the City, having first by Felicius procurement been furnished with Rich Cloaths suitable to her State.

One Evening when most of the Company was reti­red having before observed the great affection of Felicius to his Wife, and heard that before his Marriage, many considerable Adventures had befallen him, and some of those Persons were in his House; She expressed a desire of being acquainted with them, whose Commands her generous Host not willing to disobey; though he could not hide his disturbance, at the very thoughts of being to repeat so many misfortunes as he had formerly under­gone; after himself, and all the Company had taken seats by her Order, making an humble Obeysance to the Dutchess, and directing his Discourse to her in a Lan­guage she understood, made this following Relation of his Life.

The History of FELICIƲS and NARCISSA.

SInce it is your Highnes's pleasure to adventure the Trial of your Patience, with the hearing those Troubles some part of my Life was attended with, I will begg leave to begin my Story, where I first began to feel the Persecutions of Fortune, which was by the Death of an Indulgent Father; whose loss was no ways compensated to me, by the enjoyment of a large Patri­mony, I succeeded him in the Possession of; insomuch that to give more freedome to my melancholy, I removed from the disturbing noise of the City, and retired to a little Country house not many Leagues from hence, with no other Company but one Friend called Alvaro, and such Servants as were necessary for our Attendance; there im­ploying our time, chiefly in the Woods and Fields, where our Guns proved the only Diversion we either had or sought after; my Friend indeed had before resigned his Liberty to the Charms of a young Lady in this City, cal­led Cassandra; but to that time, Beauty had rather been unregarded than the occasion of any disquiet to my Thoughts; till one day in pursuit of my Game, I hap­pened alone into a large Wood, some distance from my House, and quartering it from one side to another, I was brought by a Track to a Brook side, which run through the lower parts of it, where going to Refresh my self with a little water, I saw a Woman extended on the Grass asleep, whose Garb I thought declared her no In­habitant of the Woods and Fields, her Face being turned [Page 121] from me, I was about to retire without disturbing her Rest, but out of a Curiosity to see if her Face was equal to the Excellency of her Shape; I stept softly round, where I beheld a Beauty, whose Charms without a long Combate, became the full disposers of my Fredome; I stood a good while without Motion, contemplating those per­fections I beheld in her Person, till adventuring to kiss her Hand, as I stooped to do it, by Accident my Gun went off as I held it; which hastily awaking her, in a Fright she started up and was about to Retire; when ad­venturing to lay hold on her Cloaths to stop her, I im­plored her Pardon on my Knees, for the disturbance I had accidentally given her, and the presumption I seemed Guilty of in detaining her till I might hope her good­ness would forgive my Inadvertency; to which she re­turned an obliging Answer, and not able to perswade her from leaving the place so soon, she hasted out of the Wood, and following her at a little distance, I saw her enter a Garden belonging to a fair House, adjoyning to the Wood; the Door being immediately shut by a Wo­man who seemed to have waited her coming. I present­ly found my self too much Captivated, to retire with­out farther Knowledge of the Person had gained so in­tire a Conquest over me; so that walking round the Walls of the Garden, I saw a Man going towards the House, and asking him whose it was, he gave me no little Concern when I heard from him, that it was the Retreat of my greatest Enemy; for I must acquaint your Highness, that my Elder Brother in a Duel had Slain a Son of Don Fernando, the Father of my adored fair One, who resolving to admit no Satisfaction without a general Revenge, although my Brother died also of his wounds, had withdrawn himself and Family, to that solitude, till an oppertunity should offer of expressing his Resentment, having declared after he heard of my Fathers Death, that while I lived, there still remained [Page 122] an Object for his Vengeance, which could not be pacified by all the endeavours of the most considerable persons in this City. He had then only one Son living, who was ab­sent at the Court to receive the Order of Calatrava; and a Daughter named Narcissa, whom I immediately conclu­ded to be the Person I had lately met with. Full of disqui­et with the imagination of my perverse Fortune, I went back into the Wood, and not long after, meeting Alva­ro I gave him an account of my Adventure, and also of the irresistableness of the Passion she had inspired me with. He was so wise to perswade me with strong Ar­guments to desist from a pretension I could never hope to succeed in; and what would prove most dangerous to my Life if pursued. But I found Love had inflamed me with so violent a desire of obtaining what I wisht to en­joy, that all his perswasions to the contrary, were but as so many incouragements to me to proceed in the enter­prize; then it was I began to feel the effects my new Passion wrought in me: I found it work with a violent force on my Senses, sometimes flattering my Soul with imagined Transports; then growing more calm, it seem­ed to wrap me in a Lethergy of so much forgetfulness, that I ceased to be any longer Master of my Reason, but inclined to meet it as an easie Death, from an insinuating Tyrant; this unintelligable effect, which may be cal­led the distraction of the wisest; compelled me to disre­gard the Councel of my prudent Friend, who after some days finding my resolutions unalterable, promised me his utmost Assistance; and for several nights bore me Com­pany to the Walls of my Enemies house, which inclosed her to whom I was far from being one; where in a kind of Serenade, I sung my griefs under the Windows on that side of the House, I had learnt was her Apartment; this Course we followed several nights, till at last being taken notice of, I had a caution brought me as we stood under the window, by a Villager as I guest him, that one who [Page 123] did not hate me, advised, I should avoid the exposing my Life to so imminent danger, as that place threatned me with; although I could not guess from whom the Message should come, for that time I observed the dire­ction was given me, and retired, not being able to learn any thing more from the person had brought it. But a day or two after, resolving to find some way of letting Narcisa know more plainly my Love. In the disguise of a Peasant I came a little before Sunset to the Garden, where perceiving the Door half open, and adventuring to look in, I was so fortunate to behold my fair Mistriss sit­ting on the side of a Fountain with a Maid by her; and Leriano whom I knew to be her Kinsman; I had waited but a little while, delighted with the admiration of her Beau­ty, when I saw her rise, and walking alone through se­veral Allies in the Garden, came at last close to the Door where I stood, and adventuring within it, I gave her a Letter I had provided, telling her, it was from her Bro­ther Celauro. She had scarce taken the Paper from me, when I perceived by her Blushes, and the disorder she seemed to be in, that I was known to her; but just as I was about to speak, her Cousen coming that way after her, I was forced to retire from the Garden, and thence entring the Wood where Alauro had waited for my re­turn, I gave him an Account of my success. After that day I had the oportunity of seeing her several others at the Chappel of a Village not far from her Fathers house, always concealing my self in a rustick Disguise, however not unknown to her, from whom I seldome wanted the satisfaction of a smile, it being impossible for me to speak to her, Don Fernando being always in sight; but upon what occasion I could then by no means know, she was kept shut up within her house, for near two Months without my being able to see her; which afterwards I learnt was through her Fathers jealousie finding she took more freedome among the innocent Villagers than his [Page 124] scrupulous disposition would allow; upon so long a de­privation from her Sight, I grew so Melancholy that overperswaded by my friend, I removed to seek some Di­version in this City, whether I was no sooner come, but my Anxiety was increased, by an Information I received that Lariano, who as a Kinsman, was received in her Fathers house, had declared himself her Servant; and as was believed, would by her Father be admitted, to a nearer Alliance; and as an aggravation of this distur­bance, it was added to me that Celauro her Brother be­ing returned succesful from Court, resided in this City, not only enquiring after me, as an Enemy, but as was believed he had heard something of my assiduity about his Fathers Country-house in Disguise; these concerns joyned to the impossibility I thought there was of pro­ving succesful in my Love, had almost brought me to a resolution of quitting the City again, and spending some time in Travel, to seek by absence a Cure for my Distem­per, when Fortune was pleased strangely to confirm me in a Resolution of indulging my Passion.

My Friend Alvaro, for whose sake I was contented to stay some days in Town, at that time was happy in the Favours of his Mistriss Cassandra, whom sometimes visiting by night, I remained his Centinel in the Street either to prevent, or advise him of any approaching dan­ger; several nights I had observed a Man hid in his Cloak pass by me, with more Curiosity than I could well ap­prove of; though I still let him alone, to avoid the distur­bance a Street-quarrel might give my Friend and his Mistriss; till at last grown weary of the observance he took of me, I went towards him, who coming forwards to meet me; Cavalier (said he, without giving me time to speak) if you have no business in this Street where I see you often unimployed, you will do well not to be a hinderance of anothers Design, wherefore I desire you to quit it either in Curtesy, or by Necessity. Did not [Page 125] Necessity require my Presence (said I) in Curtesie I might perhaps be induced to Retire, but am not to be frighted from a place I have once fixt my self in; Then you must be beaten out, (replied he) at the same time directing his Sword to my Breast, but receiving his Thrust upon a Buckler I held out, mine proved so Fa [...] as to lay him dead at my Feet; whereupon finding the danger I was in, and seeing People approach from all Parts, upon hearing the Cries of my wounded Adver­sary before he Expired; I hasted as fast as I could, out of the Street, at the end of which, seeing some Officers enter, I was forced to turn, not able to imagine any way whereby I might escape; till coming close to the Wall of a Garden took up one part of the Street, not with­out some difficulty I climbed to the top of it, and Leaped down into the Garden, resolving to conceal my self there, till the Bustle in the Street was over; in the mean time, walking along one of the Allies, at the end of it I discovered a Light in a low Window, which coming nearer, I found was that of a small Summer-house, at the bottom of a Walk of Orange Trees; going softly toward it, and the Casement being open, I perceived a Woman leaning on the Table, with a written Paper be­fore her, which after fetching a Sigh or two she read so as I could overhear words to this effect:

This Morning, my Brother coming to our Lodg, prevailed with my Father to let me bear Estella Company, while the Solemnity lasts; She will deliver this Paper to you, and if possible, contrive some way for our having an Enterview, when you will have the satisfaction, if it prove one to you, to know you are not hated by me.

Just as she had made an end of Reading her Paper, rising up, by a glance of her Face, I was surprized, to see my self so near my adored Narcissa, but presently the Jealousie of thinking the Paper she had wrote, was de­signed for some more happy Lover than my Self, not able [Page 126] longer to be silent; Is it possible Madam (said I) that the sincerest Passion in the World is despised by you? She was too much surprised at the Sight of me in that place, to be able to return a word in Answer to my Complaint; but having recollected her self, after giving me leave to express my Love with all the endearment I could. Had my Thoughts (said she) been as indifferent towards you, as you imagine they are, I had perhaps been free from the disquiets I have but too often met with since I saw you in the Wood; yet do not presume too much upon the free­dome of my Confession, that I never beheld a Man I could allow more worthy than Felicius; the Restraint I live in, may partly excuse the owning what is no more than a just return to the firmness of your Love. And the Note you see here, was designed for no other but your self, to let you know of my being in the City: it is im­possible to express the Joy her words infused in me; but not giving me leave scarce to speak, she was earnest of knowing how I came into the Garden. I told her of the Accident had made me seek shelter there, so that unwil­ling to expose me to the danger, I was threatned with in the Street, She at last was perswaded to conceal me in a Closet near her Chamber; but as I was following her to it, we were suspended by a great Noise and Bustle in the House; and hearing it was made by the Officers who came in search of me, not adventuring to let me go far­ther into the House, by her direction I stept into a little Room near the Garden Door, which she Lock'd upon me and went away to learn the occasion of the Families be­ing up again. I continued there two hours without the return of my Mistriss, which began to Create new Fears in me. So that I resolved to go out and make my escape the way I had come in; but feeling in the dark for the Door, I met with one that had a Spring-Lock which opened in­to another Room of the House, and adventuring for­wards into it, seeing the Reflexion of a dim Light [Page 127] thorow the Crannies of another Door; I opened it soft­ly, and was amazed to behold in the middle of a large Hall, the Corps of a Man laid out, with the Mantle of the Order of Calatrava upon him. I was doubtful whe­ther it should be Celauro, or Estella's Brother (both being Knights of the same Habit) whose house I had learned from Narcissa, it was she resided then in. As I was stan­ding in that suspence, this strange Accident had put me in, I saw a Woman Lighting Narcissa and Estella into the Hall, so that fearful of being seen, I made a shift to get back to my Prison, and shut my self up, not being able to open the Door I came first in at, that I might have escaped thorow the garden. The remainder of the Night, and all the next Morning, I continued in my Confinement, more fearful of occasioning any Blemish to Narcissa's Honour, by my appearance, than out of any apprehension of the Danger my Life might be exposed to in the house of an Enemy; but about Noon all the Doubts my mind was Agitated with, were removed, by seeing my Mistriss enter the Room, and shutting the Door upon her, after having some time given way to her Tears. ‘Ah Felicius (said she to me) how unlucky has your Hand been, in proving the Occasion of that Grief fills the House we are in; Estela's Brother is dead, and was brought in last night from the place where you told me a Man had fallen by your Sword; the Officers of Justice have been ever since in Search of his Murderer, which as hitherto I must hope will continue unsucces­ful; for my Brother has so devoted himself to Revenge his Death, that should You be known for the Author of it, the Animosities of our Families would be renewed a­fresh, and I must certainly for ever loose one I cannot hate.’ Her grief would let her say no more, and I endea­voured to dispel it with all the Arguments I could, solemn­ly vowing, to imploy the Life she preserved from the Vio­lence of her Friends, in a perpetual Adoration of her; [Page 128] which Assurance she requited, in letting me know, Love had taken no weak possession of her Breast, and that I could no way oblige her more, than in being careful of a Life was more than indifferent to her; in Order to which she resolved I should continue where I was till Night, and then advised me for some time to leave the City, I having not appeared publickly in it for many days before; and having given me some Fruit she brought with her, left me till an hour within night, when bearing me Company to the farther side of the Garden, our separa­tion likely to be long, was sufficiently afflictive.

As soon as I found my self at Liberty, without farther delay, I left the City, and by Day-break reached my Country-house in Peniaflor, having walked five Leagues that Night; my Friend Alvaro was got thither before me, who told me, that hearing the noise in the street was made upon the unhappy young Mans Death, whom he concluded I had killed; and fearing if the adjacent houses should be search'd for the Murderer, his Mistris's Reputa­tion would be as much endangered as his own Person, he went out into the Street, and getting safe by the Crowd called at my house, but learning nothing of me, he took Horse and came to my Country-house hoping to find me, having left his Servant Lisardo behind to bring us word the next day what was discoursed in the City about the Nights Rancounter. But several days past without our receiving any considerable Information, and growing impatient, as Alvaro was to see Cassandra who had sent for him, he went back to Alicant to make her a Visit, and returning two days after, I learnt from him, that my Mistriss was with all her Fathers Family, at their Coun­try-House; but were very suddenly to remove to a house he had newly bought in the City. The same Evening, no longer able to brook my tedious deprivation from her, with Alvaro only in my Company we Rode to the Wood where I had first seen her, and having assumed my an­tient [Page 129] rustick Disguise; while my Friend stayed with our Horses, I went towards Don Fernando's Lodge, and a little from the Gate of it, saw her walking with her Brother and several other Gentlemen, leaning on the Arm of her beloved Cousin Estela. Although I was careful of ap­proaching too near them, my adored Narcissa soon knew me, and as I guessed by her Direction, Estela coming from her towards me; Shepheard (said she with a low Voice) the lost Lamb you seek may be found near the Garden-door about Midnight; and immediately turning back to her Company, I carelesly withdrew; and find­ing Alvaro in the Wood where I left him, gave him an Account of my Fortune. And resting our selves under a Tree, till the time was appointed by Estela, we went together towards the Lodg, leaving our Horses tied in a private place; as soon as I came to the Garden Door, finding it open, just as I stept in, my Mistriss and Estela met me; who withdrawing a little way from us, gave me all the freedome I could desire of assuring Narcissa, that nothing but an insupportable Absence from her, could be an affliction to me: her kindness I found was not at all lessened by it; and before we parted, I learn'd from her, that a Marriage was suddenly design'd between her Brother Celauro and Estela; in Order to which, her Father was removing to live in Alicant; and withal, that what I feared of her being designed for Leri­ano, was come to nothing, but that we were to expect more trouble how to disappoint Grotillus, a worthy young Gentleman, whose Addresses could not be more rejected by her, than they were approved of by old Fer­nando; however, to prevent so long an absence for the future, and that we might at leisure consult about the management of our Affairs, she promised me to enter­tain an acquaintance with Cassandra, Alvaro's Mistriss, and by her to let me know how I should come to the [Page 130] Speech of her when in Alicant; and telling me Estela was ignorant still of her Brothers Murderer, she brought me to her, who promised the utmost of her Assistance, to procure by our Marriage, the Conclusion of that Ani­mosity had so long continued between our Families; I expressed my Passion to One, and Acknowledgments to the Other, with all the endearment I could; when called away by the Mornings Approach, we took leave of one another, till we should meet the week following in Ali­cant; and finding my Friend a little without the Door, we returned to our Horses, and so back again to Peniaflor.

The week after, being removed to Town, I accompa­nied my Friend in a Visit he made to Cassandra, who had expressed to him in a Letter a desire of seeing me, and af­ter the necessary Compliments, she gave me an Account of her having visited Narcissa, who promised to return it in two days, when she desired me to come with Alvaro, that I might have the opportunity of seeing her; I was very punctual at the time, and enjoyed all the freedome of Discourse I could wish, having prevailed so far with my Charming Mistriss, that promising a second Visit the week following, she consented I should procure a Priest privatly to contract us, which I urged as the only secu­rity could be given me against Grotillus's Pretension; which accordingly being done, I received from her a Master-key, which gave me entrance, not only into her Fathers Garden, but to all parts of the House. I made Use of it several times, having learn'd the way to her Chamber, where our mutual Satisfaction was too great to last long undisturb'd; although to secure it, I had writ to the Countess Policena (a Widow, whose Title and Estate I was not only Heir to, but was always loved by her as an only Son) giving her an Account of my Amours, and that I resolved to shelter my self and Wife in Barcelona, under her Pro­tection, [Page 131] till a Reconcilement could be procured with Narcissa's Relations, which she so willingly consented to, that we had fixt a day for our departure, when the most unheard of accident in the world befell us.

Leriano, who once hoped to be the Husband of Narcissa finding himself neglected by Don Ferdinand, who preferred Grotillus before him, pretended out of discontent, a Voyage to Italy, which every one believed he had undertaken; while in reality he remained concealed in Alicant. But the Night before that of our intended flight, having conveigh'd my self privately to my Narcissa's Chamber, we were so long debating which way our Removal might be effected with most security, that at last tired with a discourse gave her so many apprehensions, she fell asleep on the Bed as I was sitting by her; but had reposed a very little while, when I heard the door of the Chamber softly opened; I started immediately up from the Bed, and stepping round it, placed my self at the Door I used to go down to the Garden by, resolving before I went away, to listen, if pos­sible I might learn, who visited my Wife at such unsea­sonable hours. I heard the steps move towards the Bed­side, just as Narcissa waking and missing me; where are you my Lord Felicius (said she?) I am not Felicius, in­grateful Maid, (answered the disturber of our quiet) I am none of that happy man, makes your very dreams delightful, but the most miserable one upon earth; one, your beauty has raised to so violent a Transport, that I have entred this Room with a determination of leaving you before I quit it, either enjoyed or dead. I am doubtful which of us was most amazed at the hearing such a vile declaration, but while my disorder kept me immoveable, who are you wicked Villain (replied Narcissa) that durst profane this place with your presence, or my Ears with the mention of such cursed resolutions; but retire quickly, or my Cries shall bring that death you threaten, on your own [Page 132] Head. Lovely Enemy (answered he, as I guessed lay­ing hold on her) in vain you deny that to my Entreaty, which my Force will accomplish. Loose me Traytor (said she aloud) and throwing her self from the Bed, past just by the place where I stood, my Enemy still ha­ving hold of her; whom discerning by that little light the Stars afforded through the Window, I broke his hold, by two or three stabs I gave him in the Breast with my Dagger, who falling at my feet, cried out, Oh Narcissa, You and my love have slain me. I called pre­sently to her, but received no Answer, and considering the danger would attend my stay till Don Fernando and his Family were up, I hasted down Stairs to the Gar­den, the way I had come in at; but to add to my distur­bance found the Door shut, and a Key left in the Lock on the other side, so that mine would stand me in no stead. I ran up Stairs again to find Narcissa, who I thought might convey me out another way, but could meet no­thing but fresh disorders; for by the Cries of the man I had wounded, the whole Family was alarmed, and I heard people hasting to the Room where I thought my self confined; believing then I must of necessity fall a Victim to the fury of Don Fernando, I grew to so high a pitch of Despair, that rather than fall into the hands of him and his Son, I stept to a Balcon Window of the Room, just as they were entring at the Door, with a re­solution of throwing my self precipitately from it; but as I laid hold of the Rail to leap over, I hapned to meet with the hook of a Silk-ladder hung down to the Garden; although I lost no time in making Use of so opportune a convenience to escape, I could not be so sudden but that Ferdinando entred the Room with his Son and Servants, and perceiving me, made several shots at me; however I reached safe to the ground, when I found my self assaulted by two men, from whom I was [Page 133] forced to retire, having no Sword to defend my self, on­ly a Buckler which received the thrusts were made at me, and a Pistol, which being perceived in my hand by a Dark-lanthorn one of them held, made them cautious in pressing too earnestly upon me; while I retired with all the hast I could to the Garden-door, by good for­tune I found it open, and as I went out, firing my Pi­stol, it gave them so much disturbance, that I had time to make a safe Retreat whither I would, though not without some wounds. I went directly to the House of Don Pedro, the Father of Cassandra, my Friend Alva­ro's Mistress, who received me with much kindness, and the assurance that I should remain safe and concealed while any danger threatned me; and during the time I continued so in Don Pedro's House, my wounds were per­fectly cured, and I learned that after Don Ferdinand had seen the desperate way I took for my escape, command­ing some of his Servants to go down and pursue me, he himself turned back into the room, called by the groans of the man I left wounded, whom he found to be Leri­ano my Wives Kinsman. Ferdinand perceiving him still able to speak, inquired how he came thither, and in that condition; to which he answered, that having been re­jected for a Husband to Narcissa, he pretended to tra­vel, but lying concealed still in Alicant, he procured such false Keys as gave him entrance to the Garden, from whence he had climbed up to her Chamber by a silk Ladder, fixt to the barrs of her Window, resolving ei­ther by Perswasion, or Force to enjoy her, thereby as­sured he should disappoint the hopes of his Rival Grotil­lus, but that surprizing her in her Bed and asleep, upon her waking she called out to Felicius, whom he was con­fident, being then with her, had given him those wounds would end his unfortunate life, and begging their for­giveness of a crime he must expiate with it, re­signed [Page 134] it with the blood issued from his wounds; and scarce had he breathed his last, when they were disturb­ed with a fresh aggravation to their trouble, which was, that Narcissa could not be found in the House: while they were in this confusion, Grotillus came in, who being informed of what Leriano had declared before his death, told them that himself had seen me several Nights about the House, and determining to find out the cause of my assiduity, was then in the street watching about the Gar­den-wall, and had a little before discovered some body come out, who fled with so much haste, that he could not possibly discover who it was; but returning to the Garden door, and finding it open, he heard a noise in the House, and at the same time discerned a man come­ing down (by a Ladder, as he guessed) from the Balcon, whom he purposed to apprehend, but pursuing him to the Street-door, his Man was shot by him, and he made his Escape. By what Grotillus declared, and my Cloak being found in the room, they were confirmed that I was the murderer of Leriano, but the next day, and several after, if they were busie in searching for me, assisted by the Officers of Justice: I was not less perplexed at the information I received, that Narcissa could no where be heard of, and all the diligence of a strict Search they made through the whole City proved ineffectual towards the finding of her. At the first hearing of it I was glad of her Escape, fearing her Fathers rigour; but when a careful and private inquiry I made my self for several days, gave me as little satisfaction as Don Fernando had received, It is not easie to express the sorrow I concei­ved for her absence; which, at that time (being desti­ned to troubles) was aggravated by the intelligence I had from Cassandra, that my Friend Alvaro had been mis­sing ever since the fatal night of our miseries; and that both his nearest Friends and Servants were wholly igno­rant [Page 135] of the Cause of his retirement, or the Place of it. I must confess that my first apprehensions were apt to impute his departure to cowardise; which his fair Mistress joyned with me also in, taxing him with want of affection, to leave her so abruptly without making her the confident of his design, or writing a word to ex­cuse it ever since his departure. But some days follow­ing, all our doubts were removed by a Letter Lisardo brought me from the Countess Policena, (to whom I had wrote an account of my cruel disaster,) by which I understood that my adored Narcissa, attended by Alva­ro, was arrived safe at her House; and the reason why I knew not of it sooner, was, that she was ignorant where I had concealed my self, to write with safety to me; but trusting to Lisardo's fidelity, had sent him to desire I would without delay hasten my journey thither. This joyful news was too pleasing to let me demur in the least what I should resolve on; so that however sa­tisfied with the diligence of revengeful Enemies to dis­cover me, I took leave of Cassandra the same Night, and in the disguise of a Peasant, (ordering Lisardo to re­main behind for an Intelligencer) I travelled by Night, lying private all day, without adventuring into any pub­lick house, to avoid discovery; and after having been three Nights on the road, grown weary with the tedi­ousness of so disorderly a journey, I went a little distance from the track, and tying my Horse to a Tree, laid my self down under another, to take some rest; where, wea­ried with the afflicting thoughts of the troubles had so lately assaulted me, I fell asleep, but was soon awake­ned by a sudden noise I heard just by me, and rising hasti­ly up, I perceived by my side, a man extended on the earth; but not finding him stir, I stooped to raise him up, when I soon discerned he had resigned his life to some wounds (as I judged by the heat was still in him) he had [Page 136] newly received. Immediately I listned to hear if there was any body thereabouts who had been the Author of so unexpected a Tragedy; but not perceiving any other noise than what the Wind made among the Leaves of the Trees, I walked softly a foot down towards the Road, where I discerned a Coach, and drawing near it, found the Horses hamstring'd, and no body in it, which made me apprehend there had been greater violences commit­ted, than that of the slain man under the Tree; and hearkning again with attention, I fancied to hear a noise like people discoursing a little distance from the High­way. I walked softly towards the place from whence the noise came, and sheltred by the Nights obscurity, got undiscerned so near as to hear one say; Alvaro Fe­lix must pardon this error of my choler, which I ima­gined was not without justice: but if apprehended otherwise, I am willing Isabella should determine con­cerning me, whose Beauty was the sole occasion of this misfortune. Your mistake Grotillus (answered one, who by the voice I knew to be a woman) was founded on the affinity of two names, and be assured the resentment I have exprest must needs cease to condemn you, when I am satisfied, that, not only the height of Love, but pursuit of a just Revenge made you act towards me what you did, believing your Cousin Narcissa was in the Coach, guarded by your Enemies Friends.’

When I had overheard thus much, believing it a foolish temerity to stay longer, so ill provided as I was, near a declared enemy, I returned softly back to the place where I had left my Horse; and prosecuting my journey, with­out any disturbance, arrived the following Evening safe at Valentia. The Noble and Charitable Countess recei­ved me with an affectionate Welcome, but when I inqui­red for Narcissa, she declared to know nothing more con­cerning her, than what my Letter had given intelligence [Page 137] of. At first, I believed she only denied her in jest, to give some allay to the joy I had exprest of being so near her; and to remove the doubt, I shewed her the Letter wherein she summoned me to Valentia, but she convinced me her character had been counterfeited in it, which so much afflicted me, that the very violence I did my self reduced me to a Fever, which I struggled with several days. On one when I began to mend, (during my ill­ness having been attended as if an only Son to the Countess) a Page acquainted me, that a young Gentle­man a stranger, desired to speak with me; I ordered him to be brought in, who after the usual complements, inquired of me what was become of Alvaro and Narcis­sa; and being informed that neither of them was, or had been in Valentia, fetching a deep sigh he swounded away by my Bedside: I called immediately for somebody to his assistance, and by that time they had brought him to himself again, looking heedfully on his face I knew the disguised Youth to be Cassandra, my Friends Mistress: and being perfectly recovered, when the Company was retired, after having given her an account of my Adven­tures since I left Alicant, she requited it by telling me; That the satisfaction she received by understanding from the Countesses Letter, of Alvaro's being safe at Valentia, was converted to the highest affliction, by a declaration she had from her Father, (instigated thereto by Estefa­nia her rigid Mother-in-Law) that in two days she must resolve to marry Mauritio, who had long pretended to her, or profess her self a Nun in what Covent she should make choice of. This resolution of her Parents obliged her to as hasty a determination to prevent it, which all other ways appearing impossible, and overcome by her love to Alvaro, she had in a disguise left both her Fa­thers House and Countrey; and believing to find Alva­ro with the Countess, had adventured in Boys Cloaths [Page 138] on so long a journey, to be protected by him from her Fathers threatned violence.

‘I had travelled (said she to me, in continuing her Dis­course) some days, when towards evening withdraw­ing to an Inn in a small Town to pass the Night, ha­ving got a Room the farthest from those were taken up by some Company in the House, there came to the same place a Coach and six Horses, out of which alighted a young Gentleman and two Women, one of which by the richness of her Garb seemed to be at­tended on by the other, and coming all up Stairs en­tred into the very Room I was retired to, the Gentle­man desiring me in courtesie to resign it to the Lady was with him, there being no other convenient one in the House empty, which I seemed very willing to do, but desired I might not be exposed to the notice of any body in the House, it importing me much to be con­cealed. And the Gentleman taking some perticular observation of me, after several discourses, having upon his Inquiry told him of what place I was, he asked me if I had any acquaintance with Alvaro Prada, I answered, that I not only knew him very well, but was his Servant, and then travelled towards Valentia to meet him. He was very glad at what I said, and assured me he was a most particular Friend to my Alvaro, both having been formerly Students to­gether in the University of Valliadolid; the intimacy being contracted first between them on occasion of the affinity of their Names, he being called Alvaro Felix; and then on a journey to Valentia with his Wife, who was the Lady I saw with him, called Isabella, the next day they obliged me to bear them company in their Coach to Valentia; I must confess to you, that not only the extraordinary Beauty but the shape and complection of the Lady were so conformable to that of Narcissa, I [Page 139] could scarce be satisfied within my self but she was the fair Companion I had met with, which Alvaro Felix half confirmed to me, by intimating that he was fully acquainted with the Adventures of Felicius. As we were travelling on the Road, they took more particu­lar notice of me than they had done before, observing, as I guessed, my complection to be fairer than is usual with men; but whose notice I perceived to be greatest, was that of Jacinto, a servant of Alvaro's, who pre­tending to be indisposed, they had taken into the Coach with us, to make his journey more easie than it would have been on his Horse. We travelled all day, resting only a little at Noon to refresh the Horses; and about Sunset, the evening being very clear, Alvaro and his Lady alighted out of the Coach, and we all refresh­ed our selves with what they had provided the Night before: after which Isabella and her Husband returning to the Coach, desired I would walk softly after it awhile with Jacinto, which we did till the Night began to grow upon us, her Woman remaining with them in the Coach. As we went softly on together Jacinto enter­tained me with a relation of the quality of his Master, who he told me was a Sevilian born, and then going with his Wife to visit her Friends in Valentia; but from that he fell into a Discourse much less agreeable to me, tell­ing me how like I was to a young Woman he had long since applied his Addresses to. While I was accompa­nied by him with the entertainment of hearing his Ad­ventures with his Mistress (which at length I began to be pleased with) supposing he did not in the least doubt but I was a man, we quite lost sight of the Coach, and soon after it was out of hearing, which be­ginning to disturb me, withal perceiving we had quite left the Road, I stopt, telling him I would go no farther that way he led me; but being deceived by his [Page 140] urging he knew where we were very well, and conti­nuing that little Track we were in, it would bring us before the Coach to a Country House they must of ne­cessity pass by; I not only yielded to his desire in go­ing forward, but having climbed with some difficulty up a rocky Hill, at his request sat down with him to rest our selves; when taking me fast by the hand he told me I must no longer deceive him with the suppo­sitious name of Leonardo, since he was fully convinced he had a Leonarda in his company; at first I endeavour­ed by smiling at his words to make a jest of the mistake I told him my tender Years had occasioned; but he not satisfied therewith, proceeding from Argument to Acti­on, attempting to discover by force what I was so cau­tious of concealing; at last in spight of my resistance, threw me all along on the ground, and as I was strug­ling with him, 'tis true said he, my conjecture is true, and now my Coy Mistriss is in the power of her Ado­rer; just as he uttered those words, and when I thought all my Resistance would prove ineffectual to the preservation of my Honour, by chance I laid my hand on the Hilt of a Dagger he had by his Side, and and having no other remedy to save my self by, I drew it, and with two Stabs in his Side, made him desist from his wicked Design; I got up immediately and fled from so fatal a place, leaving the rash young Man Groaning on the Earth, which by what you have related to me, I guess was at the same time you was retired into that Mountain; and he had strength enough to go so far as to die near the place you was re­posing in, which occasioned your meeting afterwards with Isabella's Coach, and learned abruptly the design of Grotillus, but how they were reduced to the condi­tion you found them in, I am wholly ignorant of; for, travelling alone all that night, without hearing more of them, I got safe hither.’

[Page 141]This Account I received from Cassandra of her Jour­ney, extolling her Courage in the safeguard of her Ho­nour. A day or two after Cassandra's coming to the Countesses house, I received News from Lisardo, that Nar­cissa was supposed to remain Concealed in her Fathers House; and soon after recovering perfectly my Health, I left Valentia, in search of my Friend Alvaro, whom I be­lieved to be the Author of that Counterfeit Letter had brought me thither, and hoping to find him somewhere about Alicant, I went directly to Denia where I heard some Spanish Gallies lay, which were to touch at that place in their Voyage thorow the Straits; but though my ill Fortune brought me thither two days after they Sailed; upon Inquiry in the Town I learned several Cir­cumstances which induced me to believe one of the Gallies carried my Friend and a Lady in his Company to Sevil. Upon this Intelligence, and being disappointed of a Pas­sage by Sea, I returned again to Valentia, and gave Cas­sandra an Account of what I had heard, who understan­ding my Resolution of going to Sevil, not only to find Alvaro, but to keep as far as I could from Alicant, where I was informed my Enemies lay, in continual watch to destroy me; contrary to the Intreaties and perswasions both of the Countess and my self, She would bear me Company in my Journey, which I feared to op­pose too much, lest as soon as I was gone, she should make such another Venture as she had from Alicant. And not long after, having word sent me that some Dutch Vessels were Arrived at Denia, bound to St. Lucar, I took my leave of the Noble Policena, and having Cas­sandra with me in her Boys Cloaths, we went on Board, and the Wind being fair, as soon as our Captain had ta­ken in some Fresh Water, which he chiefly stopt there for, we set Sail, making the best of our way towards the Straits Mouth. We had Sailed two days with an [Page 142] easie Gale, and on the third, my Captain out of a Com­pliment, the Sea being very smooth, would needs take me on Board with him to Dinner of another Ship in our Com­pany, which his Brother Commanded; I was not wil­ling to refuse the kindness, and leaving Cassandra in our Vessel was very handsomly Treated in the other, where we were very Pleasant together, till rising from Table, and going on the Deck, I perceived a strong North-East Wind which had risen since our coming into that Ship, had separated us a great distance from our Company and the Sea growing high, it was impossible for us to return on Board, where I had left Cassandra; I was sensi­bly afflicted with the thoughts of leaving her alone ex­posed to the rudeness of Seamen without a Captain, one night, fearing she might be discovered; but my di­sturbance was redoubled, with finding the Storm increase as the Night grew on, and the next Morning scarce sup­portable, when I could behold nothing but Waves which ran Mountain high, having lost sight of all the Ships were in our Company the day before. We con­tinued eight and forty hours struggling with the merciless Seas and Winds, at the end of which, no longer able to resist the impetuosity of the Storm, our Leaky Ship was dashed in pieces against a Rock not far from the Shore, when by the help of a broken planck, I swam to Land, but scarce had set footing on it, and a little recollected my self from the disturbance of having been so lately Shipwrackt; when looking hastily about to see from what part several Arquebusses were shot, which I heard, I saw a Man rolling down from the Top of a high Hill, whose Steepness made it want little of a Precipice; and going towards him, when he was quite at the Bottom, I found his Spirits dismaid, through the violent blows he had re­ceived in his Fall. The Compassion I took of him, per­ceiving by his Garb he was none of inferiour Rank, [Page 143] made me careful to find if he had any Life remaining; and unbuttoning his Coat to give more freedome to his Breath, in a short time he began to stir; but how much was I surprised upon opening his Bosome, to find hang­ing on a Scarlet Ribon the Order of Saint James, and with it the Picture of my adored Narcissa; what my di­sturbance was at so unexpected a Sight, may easily be guessed, and the weight of my Grief was so violent to find another possessed of any thing related to her, that (over-weak before with swimming, and wanting strength to resist that last Assault of Fortune,) I fell down in a Swoon, by his Side I had been endeavouring to re­duce from the same Condition. Some time after, coming to my self, I found the Stranger Recovered, from whom I received the Assistance I had before given him; and being invited to a House, he told me he had not many Furlongs from thence, I accepted of his kindness; and as we walked softly on together, gave him so fair an Ac­count of my Life, as to let him know, the Picture I found hanging on his Breast was more disturbing to me than what I had suffered by being Cast away at Sea; to which he was about to give me an Answer, when we were met by several of his Servants, who exprest a great Surprize to find him Bloody and on Foot; whereupon he told them a Company of Villains had assaulted him at unawares, and killing his Horse under him, he saved his Life, by falling from a Precipice must in all probability have ended it. We went softly after meeting them, to his Country-Lodg; and as soon as we came in sight of it, another servant meeting him delivered him a Letter, which after he had read, seeming pleased, he delivered it to me to peruse, which as near as I can remember was to this effect:

Niquea to Don Enriquez.

'TIs now, I hope, you will be satisfied how little reason there was for your Imagination that I could forget the promise was once made you, especially for a person so inconside­rable as Bernardo; But let it suffice, that his insolence is cha­stised, and my reputation cleared to the World; Menandro will acquaint you at large with all Circumstances, and I be­seech you never more doubt the firm constancy of

Yours, NIQUEA.

Having read the Letter, from what I gathered by it, I congratulated the reconcilement I supposed it would make between him and his before suspected Mistriss; by which time coming to the door of his House, he condu­cted me to repose, after so long a Fatigue as I had un­gone, to a very fair Room, where I passed the following night with disquiet enough; But the next Morning, as soon as he thought it seasonable, coming into the Cham­ber where I lay, after such Compliments as he thought due from the Master of a House to his Guess; he began a Discourse whereby I perceived him desirous of knowing what was the occasion of my being so much concerned at the sight of the Picture he wore on his Breast; which he owned himself fully satisfied in, as soon as I told him my Name was Felicius; and added, that he knew more of my Affairs, then perhaps had yet come to my own know­ledge; of which he promised to give me a full Account from the time of my killing Loriano; and afterwards [Page 145] would acquaint me how the Picture came into his Possession, and by what means he learnt all the Circumstances both of Narcissa's and Alvaro's Ad­ventures, but intreated me first to satisfy his Cu­riosity in hearing what had past with me since I left Alicant; which I not only did, but recited to him most of those Passages of my Life, which your Highness has had the trouble of hearing; and in Requital, received from him this following Relation.

As near as I can conjecture, Felicius (said he) by what you have repeated of the Adventure in Fernando's house, Narcissa escaped thorow the door you had just removed from, to Execute that Ju­stice on Leriano was due to his Insolence; and be­ing scarce awake, clapt it after her, which lock'd you in, leaving the Key on the other side with which Leriano must have opened it, whereby yours became useless; but by that time she got into the Garden hearing a noise thorow all the house, and believing you must of necessity fall under her Fa­thers Rage, with what Passion, Sighs and Tears did she lament the danger you was exposed to! and knowing her own would not be less after your discovery in the house, she ran to the Garden door, and got out in sight of Grotillus and his Man, who were Witnesses of the hast she made from a place of so many threatning Hazards. She took strait down the first Street, being in a Night dress and without a Veil; designing if possible, to find your House, which she was as ignorant of, as unacquainted with the Streets of Alicant, but though she soon went a contrary way to that she intended, her fortune was such that upon turn­ing [Page 146] into a narrow Street, a Man took notice of her Garb, and believing her a Woman in distress, made a generous offer of his Assistance to secure her; which she accepted of, desiring he would be her Guide to your house; the mention of which place, making him take more particular notice of her, not without the greatest amazement imagi­nable, he knew her to be Narcissa, and discovering himself to be Alvaro, learn'd abruptly from her some part of the nights Disaster; so that conside­ring the imminence of the danger, he conveigh­ed her to his own house, and having secured her in a Chamber unseen by any body, he went to look you out, first at your own house, but finding all quiet there, and that your servants knew nothing where you was, he went on to Fernando's, where all being in an uproar, and the Neighbours come in upon the noise of Leriano's Death, crowding among the Company, untaken notice of, he re­ceived a general Account of what had passed, and found you to be the person pitched upon for the Murderer; so that considering the danger Narcissa was in, while at his House, which he supposed would be one of the first searched for you, he being lookt on by the whole City as your most intimate Friend, hasting home as fast as he could, without making any Disturbance, he got a Horse Sadled, and taking Narcissa behind him, rode away directly to Peniaflor; but coming thither, and not be­ing able to raise any Body that might admit him into the House, and fearing any stay near Alicant, he de­termined at once to put her in a place of safety, which he thought Policena's House would be; from whence he determined either to acquaint you with [Page 147] the place he had retreated to, or return privately to Alicant in your search; so Riding out of the Vil­lage again, by day-light he had left it some Leagues behind him, but fearing the High-Road too pub­lick, he quitted it, and adventured to find the way thorow the great Forest; and at last having con­cealed himself, and taken up for several nights a­mong some Herds-men, whose habitations were on­ly little Huts, he reach'd Vanaroz a small Town on the Coast about tenn Leagues from Valentia, whence a Boat being, soon after his Arrival, ready to go off, his Horse quite tired out, and thinking the easiness of the Passage would be a refreshing to Narcissa, they both embarqued on it about Sun-set, with assu­rance from the Patron that they should Land next day before Noon at Valencia; But the dawn of the Morning scarce appeared, when they were board­ed by a Turks Pinnace, and unable to resist, were carried to their Ship which plyed farther off at Sea, having sent their Boat close into Shore for such Prize as they could Light on. It would be needless to repeat the afflictions of Narcissa and your Friend; therefore let it suffice that I tell you, the same day several Gallies coming in sight, Chased the Ship they were in, and by the help of their Oars, there being little Wind, gained so fast upon it, that the disconsolate Captives, perceiving by their Colours they belonged to Spain, conceived joyful hopes of deliverance, which after a small resistance of the Turks was accomplished. Alvaro presently removed his fair Charge on Board the Admiral-Gally where he met his antient Friend Alvaro Felix, who had embarqued with his Wife from Denia, and I guess occasioned your mistake in believing him the other [Page 148] Alvaro, at that time Felix design'd his Voyage for Valentia, but afterwards upon some advice he recei­ved altered it to Sevill. I cannot omit one Passage which was by the two friends observed with admi­ration, that Narcissa and Isabella were both in Shape and Feature so alike, that it was not over easie to distinguish one from the other. But to proceed, I will only tell you that they Landed at the first Port the Gallies touched at, unwilling to be exposed lon­ger at Sea; from whence Alvaro having writ to you, to the Countess Policenas, an Account of what I have now related, he proceeded in Company of Fe­lix and the two Ladies to end their Journey by Land.

But now for a while, to make all more plain to you, I must digress from their Story, to acquaint you with some Accidents relating to my self.

Enriquez in this part of his Discourse stopt a little, keeping me strangely suspended with the Ima­gination how so many particulars of my concerns should come to his Knowledge, till perceiving my impatience, and having told him nothing could ob­lige me more than the Recital of his own Life he said to me.

My Descent is from the Antient Family of Tortosa, by Birth a Sevilian, and the Order I wear, bestowed on me when a Child, by my Fathers procurement. Having spent some time at my Studies, I removed from the University to the Court; and some Months after was by the urgency of business called home again, where I did not long enjoy that Freedome I had preserved abroad, soon resigning all my thoughts to the Contemplation of Niquea's Beauty, a young Lady of our City whose perfections were not more [Page 149] Celebrated, than her disdainful Humour disagreeable to all those, would gladly have professed themselves her Servants. At first, unwilling to engage my self where I had small hopes of proving succesful, I en­deavoured to banish the growing Passion from my heart; but finding in a short time it had taken too deep Root to be removed, I gave way to it, and became very assiduous in passing often by her house, and being in those places, I had the least imagina­tion of seeing her in; which was as soon perceived by her, but my Respect procured only the advantage of finding her coyness increased every day to­wards me, to that degree, would have quenched a Flame had been less violent than mine. At length having by the power of large gifts won her Maid, I prevailed with her to deliver a Letter from me to her Lady, which was with so little success, that the presumption, as it was termed, had like to have cost the loss of her place. And Niquea to free her self from my farther importunity, soon after removed to a Country-house of her Fathers, some miles out of Town: resolving to wait there his return, from a Journey he had some time before undertaken; but I was resolved however, not to desist from my pretence, so that getting entertainment in a Far­mers house not far from hers, I spent many days in a Grove adjacent. seeking in vain for an opportuni­ty of seeing her or speaking with my confident Cla­vela; till one Evening I fortuned to see her enter in­to the Grove with her Maid and an antient Woman in her Company, and after having walked round it, she sat down near the place I had concealed my self in, least my sight should have made her return back; when believing I must never hope a fitter oppertu­nity [Page 150] to tell her my grief, though without much as­urance, I rose up and went towards her, who percei­ving me come, started from the place where she sat, and returned as fast as she could to her house; I be­gan to be transported with the height of her disdain, and would have overtaken her to complain of it, had not Clavela stept to me, and advised the contrary, withal telling me when it was dark she would speak with me from one of the ground Windows of the house, where she would wait my coming. Nei­ther being able nor daring to press farther, I depart­ed with satisfaction little enough, though not with­out some hopes of finding Clavela my assistant. I was punctual to the appointment she made me, but was scarce come within sight of the House, when I was alarmed with a confused noise of people, crying out, Fire, Fire! help Niquea, or she is lost! the flames have seized her Chamber! You may imagine I was not slow to offer my assistance, and commanding the Ser­vant I had with me to follow, I ran to the door of the house which I found open, and upon my first en­trance, an ancient Gentlewoman ran to me, and drowned in tears, begged I would afford my help to Niquea and her Maid who were encompassed by those flames had already possest most part of the House: I scarce had patience to ask which way led to her Chamber, but securing my face from the fire with my Cloak, I rushed into the middle of it, and gaining the foot of the Stairs, felt my way up, not daring to remove my covering, which was half burnt as well as my Cloaths before I got quite up, when turning once or twice as the walls guided me, I found my self got beyond the fire, and calling aloud to those had been shut up by it; Clavela open­ing [Page 151] a door came out to me, and following her back into her Ladies Chamber, I found her extended on the floor in a swound, through the fright she had been in; but then my apprehensions grew more violent than ever; to convey her forth by the way I came was impossible, the fire still increasing upon the stairs; and other way I could discern none, unless from the Window which was too high to let her down from; but my careful Servant, though not hardy enough to follow me through the House; being told where abouts her Chamber was, ran to the outside, and by that time I had taken her up in my arms, he called out and told me I might get back from the Window by a Ladder he had set up against it; so that breaking down the Casement, I recovered the Yard with my adored charge, and car­ried her to the little House had been my Habitation for some time: Clavela got her into my Bed and I was returned again to my room before she came to her self; which when she did, and was informed what I had done for her preservation, before I left her for the remainder of that Night, I had some hopes, my little service would turn all her former disdain into such favours as before I began wholly to despair of. The next day she removed back to the City, the House after we left it being wholly consumed by the fire; accepting of my Coach, I had sent for, to carry her thither with her Aunt, who was the ancient woman I met the Night before, and first desired my assistance for Niqueas preservation. I returned from the Country with them, and found so happy an alteration in my condition, that they both allowed of the daily visits I made them. Not long after her Father returned from his journey, [Page 152] and being acquainted with what I had done for his Daughters safety, treated me with all the endear­ment I could wish from my Mistresses Father; but what was more delightful to me, was the correspon­dence my Love received from one had heretofore been a stranger to all passions but that of hatred; permitting me to visit her on all occasions, whereby we soon came to a resolution of desiring her Father to permit the consummation of our wishes by Mar­riage.

About this time arrived in our parts Alvaro and Narcissa, Felix and his fair Wife, who being related to Niquea, we both had soon notice of their being near us; and continually visiting one another, I learned from them so much of your adventures as I have related to you, and Felix acquainting me with his late Travels, told me the passage you discovered in part, of Grotillus and the Coach, which was thus. ‘After Felix had spoken to Jacinto and Cassandra to walk softly after the Coath, it drove on near a League before he be­thought himself of taking them in, when perceiving the Night come on and very dark, he stopt till they should overtake him, but soon after was set upon by a Squadron of Horsemen, some presenting their charged Pistols at the doors of the Coach, while others bound the Coach man and hamstringed the Horses; one of them telling him as he tendred his life not to offer any resistance; to which he answe­red, however valuable life was, he would expose his single one in defence of the Lady was in his Company. But whatever he could do, over­powred by number, they forced him and Isabella out of the Coach, some distance from the Road, where they were met by a young Gentleman, who [Page 153] finding the mistake he owned his men had been guilty of, begged their pardon a thousand times for the rudeness they had received from them; endeavouring to excuse the usage they had met with, by telling them his name was Grotillus, that he was suddenly to be married to Narcissa, when you who was before a declared enemy of their Family had stole her away, and having armed his servants was abroad in pursuit of his Mistress, and her (termed) Ravisher, when one of his men told him, he had seen Narcissa in a Coach, with one called Alvaro on the Road, which error he found grounded on the likeness of two faces; what com­plements passed between them, (continued Enri­ques) you heard your self, what remains to add is, that Grotillus accompanying them to a neighbour Village, they stayed there that Night, and the next Day he supplyed them with Horses to pursue their journey, which they did to Denia, and there re­ceiving some unexpected news, Felix returned by Sea to Sevil, meeting with Alvaro and Narcissa in a Turks prize, as I have before told you. From Sevil they wrote you word again to Valentia of the place they were in, waiting several dayes for your answer, but receiving none, Isabella only staying be­hind, Felix Alvaro, and my self accompanied Nar­cissa from Sevil, the next day I returned back, leaving them to pursue their journey to Valentia.

Having proceeded thus far, at my request, Enriquez continued his own story; telling me, that upon his coming back from bringing Narcissa on her way, he received notice of the Duke of Medinas death at Saint Lucar, and being related to him, was obliged to be there in order to attend at his Funeral, where being [Page 154] detained some days, he was acquainted by a Letter from his Servant Menandro, that Niquea was forth­with to be married to one Bernardo, a Gentleman who had no other commendable quality but that of being very rich; and that not only the Father, but she her self approved very well of the match. This intelligence, (which I could not doubt being well assured both of the integrity and judgement of the Writer) made me immediately return back by post, and alighting at my own door without going in, hearing Menandro was abroad, I went directly to the street where Niquea's Father lived; and full of horror found it crowded with Coaches had brought Visitants, as I was told, to Alonso's House, to congra­tulate his conclusion of a Match between his Daughter and Bernardo, which was to be effected the next day. Transported with this advice, hiding my face with my Cloak, I went into the House and up into a large Room, where at a distance from the crowd I saw Niquea very richly drest, sitting with all appearance of mirth among her Relations, and soon after saw Bernardo brought in, as in triumph by his; I was at first about to stab him in the midst of them, overwhelmed with my choler, but believing the chastisement of her falshood would be greater to be sacrificed to such an inconsiderable wretch; I retired back to my own House, and the same Night took Horse without any Company, ordering my Servants to follow me to this place, with a resoluti­on of never more returning to Sevil: but before my departure I writ a Letter to Niquea, upbraiding her ingratitude and falshood. I have now been here three days, and a while before we met, having rode out to divert my thoughts in the fields, I saw a com­pany [Page 155] of Peasants, as they appeared by their dress, coming towards me; at first I took little notice of them, though they were all masqued, but as soon as they came within distance, they made a volley of Shot at me; one of which wounding my Horse, he sprung from the way and stumbling upon a small hillock, came down with me, and getting up before I could free my Feet from the Stirrups, drew me after him to the brow of the Hill, whence being in a maze, I fell, rolling to the bottom, and came to your Feet before I stopt.

What satisfaction I received by Niqueas Letter you have already perceived. I will conclude with informing you what I have since learnt from Menan­dro; A letter was sent to Saint Lucar after that he wrote, which had eased me of all the trouble I after­wards felt, if it had come to my hands, but my ill fortune brought me away before it came thither.

And now I must let you know, that before my going to Saint Lucar, Bernardo had declared himself a Servant to Niquea, but was so slighted by her, and so little taken notice of by me, looking on him to differ nothing from a Natural, that he publick­ly boasted his pretences; and one day after I was gone, being in company where Some in derision to him, asked if his Mistress was as disdainful as ever? he had the insolence to tell them, he had been pos­sest of as great favours from her as the most passi­onate Lover could hope from an obliging Mistress, of which, if need were, he could produce testimo­nies under her own hand; the impudence where­with he reported it, made some believe it was not altogether false, and his declaration being discove­red to Alonso, who was most desirous of chastising [Page 156] his insolence, but had so much wisdom not to fall to extremities, lest it might leave a blemish on his Daughters reputation; with intent to have the sa­tisfaction as publick as the slander, he sent for Bernar­do and required him to receed from what he had said, and salve his Daughters credit by Marriage; both which he joyfully offered, and made good the first, by owning in all company that what he had said of her was out of envy, that another should be more successful than himself, which he thought me; and Alonso, to clear all misapprehensions urged his Daugh­ter to conform with his desires of consummating the Wedding, which she not only seemed willing to do, having other designs of her own, but hastned the effecting of it; which was resolved on the day after I retired hither from Sevil; and accordingly she went to the Church in a Bridal dress, accompanied by all her Friends and Relations, whether he soon came with the like ceremony, but when all was ready to be consummated before the Principal of the whole City, she required he should again repeat what he had before owned, that the report of ha­ving received Favours from her, was a slander, which he repented of and begged her pardon for it; the joyful Lover willingly complied with her de­mand, and as soon as he had done, she told him, no inducement should ever perswade her to be his Wife, had used such dishonourable means to gain her; and immediately turning about, thanked him for so publick a discovery of his baseness, and fol­lowed by her Friends, went directly out of the Church; and he as sorrowfully home, after so no­torious a slight as she had put upon him, which gained her the general applause of the whole City. [Page 157] Manandro coming home after I was gone, and hear­ing I had been in Town, and was departed again with much disquiet, suspected his Letter to Saint Lucar had been the occasion of it, and having after he had writ, been informed by Clavela of her Ladys design, he found an opportunity of speaking with her that Evening, and letting her know of my hasty arrival and retreat out of Town, which both they and Niquea, when told of it, concluded to be occa­sioned by my not receiving her Letters; she obliged him not to follow me till the next day, when having compleated her design, she sent me that Letter I have read to you; and the Peasants who assaulted me, I am apt to think, were Bernardo and some of his Friends disguised, by whom I might have been discovered when I was in Alonso's House, and they at­tributing the cause of her severity to my sudden ap­pearing there, made them by so dishonourable an attempt seek to take away my life.

Here Enriquez concluded his relation to me of the adventures he had met with in his Love. And alto­gether impatient of visiting and reconciling himself to his Mistress, for the unjust suspition he had con­ceived of her falshood, desired I would excuse his immediate departure to Sevil, whither I prevailed with him to let me bear him company, intending from thence without delay to return back to Valen­tia, where I was once more confident of finding Narcissa and my faithful Friend; but the consi­deration I had of appearing before him till I could learn some news of his Dear Cassandra, made me re­solve by the way to spend some time in all the Sea­ports of the Andalusian Coast to inquire after her; I had begun my journey the same Afternoon we arri­ved [Page 158] at Sevil, but by the perswasion of Enriquez, de­ferred it till the next Morning, to walk then with him to an Orange-Garden without the City, whe­ther he was informed Niquea, with several other Ladies, were gone to recreate themselves. In our way passing by Saint Austins Covent, Enriquez knew a Coach that stood there to be Niqueas, and belie­ving her in the Church, hastned his pace thither; but as I followed him with more leisure, I heard one call me by my name, and turning about saw a man ad­vance towards me with his drawn Sword, who scarce giving me time to get my own in the same posture, fell upon me with a violent precipitation; and ha­ving luckily put by his first passes, I cut at his head, which lay open to me, with so much force, that meeting with the Hilt of his Sword which he hasti­ly held up to ward the blow, mine flew to pieces in my hand, but he was then so far from desisting from the combate, that my life was in eminent danger, when a Young man who was just come out of the Church, placed himself by my side, in a posture to defend me; at the same time two Gentlemen more newly alighted from a Coach, running in to part us; my adversary being ashamed of the advantage he had made use of against me by the breaking of my Sword, would have retired without being known, having till then his Face covered with his Hat pul­led down to his Eyes, and a part of his Cloak he held before it; but turning about and treading on it, which hung down to the ground, he stumbled and his Hat fell off, when I immediately knew him to be my mortal enemy Grotillus; it was then in vain for either of us to pursue our quarrel, and on the contrary I went towards him, and told him, I [Page 159] should never seek after, or wish any thing more, than his Friendship; at first his Choler would not suffer him to give me an Answer, and in the mean time about to speak to those had afforded me their Assistance, how joyfully was I surprized to find my self in the Arms of my dear Narcissa, and a little way from me, Alvaro with Cassandra by the hand, who was the Youth first came in to second me in the quarrel; while we were in this Posture, Enriquez ha­ving heard a noise, and missing Niquea in the Church, came out to us; and being informed of all that had past, he went to Grotillus, endeavouring to perswade him to the acceptance of that friendship I had offer­ed, but the sight of his Mistriss so far aggravated his disgust, that no Arguments could be used had any prevalence with him; till Alvaro giving a short truce to the Joy he had in Cassandra's being found; went to him, and as I remember, gave both him and the rest of us, an Account of the Alteration of our Condition in these words.

Grotillus you are Noble and Generous, and will I am confident forget your hatred, when you have heard what I shall now tell you; I went from this place towards Valencia with Narcissa designing to deposite her in the House of the Countess Poli­cena, till we could Learn some News of Felici­ms; and began my Journey from hence with her some days since, but after two that we had Tra­velled, finding her by a sudden indisposition unfit to go farther; we stopt at a Village twenty Leagues off, whether the same Evening a Stranger coming in to Lodge, and hearing he came from Valencia, I went to him to inquire out of Curiosity what News from those parts, who presently knew me, [Page 160] as I did him, to be Lisardo my Friends Servant; he inquired of me whether I knew where Felicius was? and having told him I was ignorant, but that Narcissa was in the house with me, he desired to wait on her, and coming into the Room told us that Felicius was now an Earle by the death of Policena, who had declared him her Heir; and ad­ded that during her sickness hearing Narcissa's Fa­ther was in Town, come thither in her search, she sent for him, and at last prevailed so far, that he de­clared himself reconciled; and the Countess dy­ing two days after, He assisted as chief Mourner at her Obsequies in behalf of Felicius whom he own­ed his Son; and the Ceremony being over, had sent him in search of those had been so long mis­sing, and under his displeasure; the Letters he brought delivering to Narcissa, she opened, (which are here to justifie the Truth of what I tell you.) Upon this Information, we returned to Sevill, with purpose to stay there till Fernando was ac­quainted where his daughter was; and having so luckily met; it must be hoped by all, Grotillus will not alone continue that Enmity is removed from the Breasts of all others.’

Upon these words of Alvaro's which were as sur­prizing to me as to Grotillus, he took Narcissa by the hand and delivered her to me with all wishes of hap­piness.

As to what concerns Cassandra, I need only ac­quaint your Highness the Ship she was on Board ar­riving safe at Cadiz, she came the same day to Sevill, and before entring into any house, met me at St. Austins engaged with Grotillus, one passage [Page 161] I must not omit, which was the Letter at first brought me to Valencia; Lisardo my Servant finding the grief I was in, by my ignorance of what was be­come of Narcissa, forged the Letter to give me a present satisfaction, and withal to hasten my depar­ture from Alicant, where he knew me in the midst of many Enemies, and afterwards hearing nothing of me, he went to Valencia, supposing it a place where he should soonest learn what was become of me.

I have nothing more now to trouble your High­ness with the hearing of, but to add, that at the En­treaty of Enriquez, Narcissa and Cassandra stayed with his Mistriss, and Alvaro, Grotillus and my self at his House till the Celebration of his Marriage; in the mean while, sending to Fernando to let him know where we were; and that Ceremony over, Grotillus undertook the Conduct of us all hither; where Alvaro's Marriage with Cassandra, and mine with Narcissa were publickly Consumated a few days before the Arrival of your Highness in these Parts.

The Dutchess was so well pleased with the Histo­ry of Felicius's Adventures, that in congratulating their happy Union after so much trouble, she could not be dissatisfied with the imagination, Her own Con­dition would soon in all appearance be as well setled as that of those fortunate Lovers she was a Guess to; but the fair young Countess finding her Lord had made an end of his Relation, desired he would ac­quaint the Dutchess and satisfy her self, in one cir­cumstance he had omitted, which she was concerned in; how Enriquez came by that Picture of hers he had mentioned? which Felicius excusing his forget­fulness of, did by telling them, it was not Narcissa's [Page 162] but a Picture of Isabella, he accidentally found in a rich Cabinet Felix had presented to him, and wore it that day to give a diversion to his thoughts from remembring any more his then supposed false Niquea; and afterwards meeting with Felix had restored it to him.

At another time the Princess would have found as much satisfaction among such obliging Company as she could have wished; But the impatience she was in for the Ships return had sailed in search of Frederick, and to see Mantua again, gave a great check to her present tranquility. But a few days after her trouble was removed by the Arrival not only of that but several other of her own Ships; and the person she had sent out coming ashore, ac­quainted her that meeting those Frigats were return­ed with him, he made the best of his way back, having sent a light Vessel to Majorca to acquaint the King of Sicily where the Dutchess was, who sailed thither with a Resolution of laying wast the whole Island, if that Prince did not deliver her back to him; she being generally believed there in his pow­er.

By that time the Dutchess had received this short Account of his Voyage, all the Principal Officers of the little Fleet were landed, and come to pay their Duty to their Princess, and congratulate her safe delivery from the hands of a violent Ravisher; whom she received with her accustomed goodness; and having told Felicius as much before, acquainted them with her resolution of Sailing the next day for Mantua, commanding to have all things ready for her departure against that time; But if the Man­tuan Princess was pleased with the suddenness of her [Page 163] departure towards Italy after so long an absence, the generous Spaniards who had enjoyed so much of her Company, could not but express themselves trou­bled at the thoughts of loosing it, and had she not absolutely refused their desire; Felicius and his Lady would have waited on her to Mantua.

The next morning having notice that all things were provided, and the Wind fair; with a gene­ral trouble, she took leave of her obliging Friends, having presented Narcissa with several rich Jewels, and accepted of a promise they made to visit Her in Italy.

Fortune now weary of persecuting Her, after tenn days being at Sea, the Fleet came in sight of Man­tua, discerning a greater at the same time making in for the Road, which they conjectured right to be the Sicilian Kings, and by that time the Dutchesses Ship was come to an Anchor, they discovered the Royal Standard of that King, displaid on the Topmast head of his Admiral-Frigat. The News of Diana's Arrival being soon carried ashore, what acclamati­ons of Joy were sent forth by her Loyal Subjects! and how was the Shore Crowded with people to see and welcome her home, after so unfortunate an absence! And while this happy News delighted all on the Land; King Frederick entring the Harbour with his Fleet, and knowing of the Dutchesses Ar­rival; hasted in a Barge on Board her Ship, with an earnestness the firmest Passion in the World inspired him with; as soon as ever he came into the Cabbin, he threw himself at the Feet of his Divine Princess, who no longer desirous to Conceal her Love; let him know the satisfaction she received in beholding him safe from all those dangers he had so long been [Page 164] Assaulted with. The happy Lovers, after a short stay on Board; going into Rich Barges, were come off for them, Landed, and taking Coach to the Pallace, were Ecchoed thither with the Shouts of of a People transported with the greatest satisfaction imaginable. But amidst this publick rejoycing, although the Sicilian King was happy not only in being near his Adored Princess, but assured their Nuptials were defer'd no longer than till all things were ready for their Solemnity; he was impatient of brooking so tedious, and as he thought unnecessary preparations; wishing the accomplishment of his Hopes might be effected with less Ceremony, rather than admit any delay; which was effected in so little a time as would have seemed long to none but a wishing Lover. But the appointed day being at last come; the Dut­chess and himself in a Garb suitable to the Eminence of their Degree, and the satisfaction of their Minds, both the Court and City expressing by theirs, the share they had in the Blessings of so happy a Union, atten­ded the Royal pair to the Temple, where the Blushing Dutchess was delivered to him she allowed the most deserving and constant Lover upon Earth.

The now truly happy King, staid some time after their Marriage in Mantua, where having setled the Go­vernment, he conveighed his Queen in a Royal Fleet to Sicily, being welcomed by his Subjects, not alone, with a Joy too great to be express'd, but with a Tri­umph beyond what Rome it self could ever boast off; where they both enjoyed a long and happy Sovereign­ty, leaving a Royal Succession behind them, and always living with such endearment that the last day of their Lives, seemed the first of their Loves.


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