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Incognita by William Congreve

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by William Congreve



A Clear Wit, sound Judgment and a Merciful Disposition, are things so
rarely united, that it is almost inexcusable to entertain them with
any thing less excellent in its kind. My knowledge of you were a
sufficient Caution to me, to avoid your Censure of this Trifle, had I
not as intire a knowledge of your Goodness. Since I have drawn my
Pen for a Rencounter, I think it better to engage where, though there
be Skill enough to Disarm me, there is too much Generosity to Wound;
for so shall I have the saving Reputation of an unsuccessful Courage,
if I cannot make it a drawn Battle. But methinks the Comparison
intimates something of a Defiance, and savours of Arrogance;
wherefore since I am Conscious to my self of a Fear which I cannot
put off, let me use the Policy of Cowards and lay this Novel unarm'd,
naked and shivering at your Feet, so that if it should want Merit to
challenge Protection, yet, as an Object of Charity, it may move
Compassion. It has been some Diversion to me to Write it, I wish it
may prove such to you when you have an hour to throw away in Reading
of it: but this Satisfaction I have at least beforehand, that in its
greatest failings it may fly for Pardon to that Indulgence which you
owe to the weakness of your Friend; a Title which I am proud you have
thought me worthy of, and which I think can alone be superior to that

Your most Humble and
Obliged Servant



Some Authors are so fond of a Preface, that they will write one tho'
there be nothing more in it than an Apology for its self. But to
show thee that I am not one of those, I will make no Apology for
this, but do tell thee that I think it necessary to be prefix'd to
this Trifle, to prevent thy overlooking some little pains which I
have taken in the Composition of the following Story. Romances are
generally composed of the Constant Loves and invincible Courages of
Hero's, Heroins, Kings and Queens, Mortals of the first Rank, and so
forth; where lofty Language, miraculous Contingencies and impossible
Performances, elevate and surprize the Reader into a giddy Delight,
which leaves him flat upon the Ground whenever he gives of, and vexes
him to think how he has suffer'd himself to be pleased and
transported, concern'd and afflicted at the several Passages which he
has Read, viz. these Knights Success to their Damosels Misfortunes,
and such like, when he is forced to be very well convinced that 'tis
all a lye. Novels are of a more familiar nature; Come near us, and
represent to us Intrigues in practice, delight us with Accidents and
odd Events, but not such as are wholly unusual or unpresidented, such
which not being so distant from our Belief bring also the pleasure
nearer us. Romances give more of Wonder, Novels more Delight. And
with reverence be it spoken, and the Parallel kept at due distance,
there is something of equality in the Proportion which they bear in
reference to one another, with that betwen Comedy and Tragedy; but
the Drama is the long extracted from Romance and History: 'tis the
Midwife to Industry, and brings forth alive the Conceptions of the
Brain. Minerva walks upon the Stage before us, and we are more
assured of the real presence of Wit when it is delivered viva voce -

Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem,
Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, & quae
Ipse sibi tradit spectator.--Horace.

Since all Traditions must indisputably give place to the Drama, and
since there is no possibility of giving that life to the Writing or
Repetition of a Story which it has in the Action, I resolved in
another beauty to imitate Dramatick Writing, namely, in the Design,
Contexture and Result of the Plot. I have not observed it before in
a Novel. Some I have seen begin with an unexpected accident, which
has been the only surprizing part of the Story, cause enough to make
the Sequel look flat, tedious and insipid; for 'tis but reasonable
the Reader should expect it not to rise, at least to keep upon a
level in the entertainment; for so he may be kept on in hopes that at
some time or other it may mend; but the 'tother is such a balk to a
Man, 'tis carrying him up stairs to show him the Dining-Room, and
after forcing him to make a Meal in the Kitchin. This I have not
only endeavoured to avoid, but also have used a method for the
contrary purpose. The design of the Novel is obvious, after the
first meeting of Aurelian and Hippolito with Incognita and Leonora,
and the difficulty is in bringing it to pass, maugre all apparent
obstacles, within the compass of two days. How many probable
Casualties intervene in opposition to the main Design, viz. of
marrying two Couple so oddly engaged in an intricate Amour, I leave
the Reader at his leisure to consider: As also whether every
Obstacle does not in the progress of the Story act as subservient to
that purpose, which at first it seems to oppose. In a Comedy this
would be called the Unity of Action; here it may pretend to no more
than an Unity of Contrivance. The Scene is continued in Florence
from the commencement of the Amour; and the time from first to last
is but three days. If there be any thing more in particular
resembling the Copy which I imitate (as the Curious Reader will soon
perceive) I leave it to show it self, being very well satisfy'd how
much more proper it had been for him to have found out this himself,
than for me to prepossess him with an Opinion of something
extraordinary in an Essay began and finished in the idler hours of a
fortnight's time: for I can only esteem it a laborious idleness,
which is Parent to so inconsiderable a Birth. I have gratified the
Bookseller in pretending an occasion for a Preface; the other two
Persons concern'd are the Reader and my self, and if he be but
pleased with what was produced for that end, my satisfaction follows
of course, since it will be proportion'd to his Approbation or

Love & Duty

by William Congreve

Aurelian was the only Son to a Principal Gentleman of Florence. The
Indulgence of his Father prompted, and his Wealth enabled him, to
bestow a generous Education upon him, whom, he now began to look upon
as the Type of himself; an Impression he had made in the Gayety and
Vigour of his Youth, before the Rust of Age had debilitated and
obscur'd the Splendour of the Original: He was sensible, That he
ought not to be sparing in the Adornment of him, if he had Resolution
to beautifie his own Memory. Indeed Don Fabio (for so was the Old
Gentleman call'd) has been observ'd to have fix'd his Eyes upon
Aurelian, when much Company has been at Table, and have wept through
Earnestness of Intention, if nothing hapned to divert the Object;
whether it were for regret, at the Recollection of his former self,
or for the Joy he conceiv'd in being, as it were, reviv'd in the
Person of his Son, I never took upon me to enquire, but suppos'd it
might be sometimes one, and sometimes both together.

Aurelian, at the Age of Eighteen Years, wanted nothing (but a Beard)
that the most accomplished Cavalier in Florence could pretend to: he
had been Educated from Twelve Years old at Siena, where it seems his
Father kept a Receiver, having a large Income from the Rents of
several Houses in that Town. Don Fabio gave his Servant Orders, That
Aurelian should not be stinted in his Expences, when he came up to
Years of Discretion. By which means he was enabled, not only to keep
Company with, but also to confer many Obligations upon Strangers of
Quality, and Gentlemen who travelled from other Countries into Italy,
of which Siena never wanted store, being a Town most delightfully
Situate, upon a Noble Hill, and very well suiting with Strangers at
first, by reason of the agreeableness and purity of the Air: There
also is the quaintness and delicacy of the Italian Tongue most likely
to be learned, there being many publick Professors of it in that
place; and indeed the very Vulgar of Siena do express themselves with
an easiness and sweetness surprizing, and even grateful to their Ears
who understand not the Language.

Here Aurelian contracted an acquaintance with Persons of Worth of
several Countries, but among the rest an intimacy with a Gentleman of
Quality of Spain, and Nephew to the Archbishop of Toledo, who had so
wrought himself into the Affections of Aurelian, through a Conformity
of Temper, an Equality in Years, and something of resemblance in
Feature and Proportion, that he look'd upon him as his second self.
Hippolito, on the other hand, was not ungrateful in return of
Friendship, but thought himself either alone or in ill Company, if
Aurelian were absent: but his Uncle having sent him to travel, under
the Conduct of a Governour, and the two Years which limited his stay
at Siena being expired, he was put in mind of his departure. His
Friend grew melancholy at the News, but considering that Hippolito
had never seen Florence, he easily prevailed with him to make his
first journey thither, whither he would accompany him, and perhaps
prevail with his Father to do the like throughout his Travels.

They accordingly set out, but not being able easily to reach Florence
the same Night, they rested a League or two short, at a Villa of the
great Duke's called Poggio Imperiale, where they were informed by
some of his Highness's Servants, That the Nuptials of Donna Catharina
(near Kinswoman to the great Duke) and Don Ferdinand de Rovori, were
to be solemnized the next day, and that extraordinary Preparations
had been making for some time past, to illustrate the Solemnity with
Balls and Masques, and other Divertisements; that a Tilting had been
proclaimed, and to that purpose Scaffolds erected around the Spacious
Court, before the Church Di Santa Croce, where were usually seen all
Cavalcades and Shews, performed by Assemblies of the Young Nobility:
That all Mechanicks and Tradesmen were forbidden to work or expose
any Goods to Sale for the space of three days; during which time all
Persons should be entertain'd at the Great Duke's Cost; and publick
Provision was to be made for the setting forth and furnishing a
multitude of Tables, with Entertainment for all Comers and Goers, and
several Houses appointed for that use in all Streets.

This Account alarm'd the Spirits of our Young Travellers, and they
were overjoy'd at the prospect of Pleasures they foresaw. Aurelian
could not contain the satisfaction he conceiv'd in the welcome
Fortune had prepar'd for his dear Hippolito. In short, they both
remembred so much of the pleasing Relation had been made them, that
they forgot to sleep, and were up as soon as it was light, pounding
at poor Signior Claudio's Door (so was Hippolito's Governour call'd)
to rouse him, that no time might be lost till they were arriv'd at
Florence, where they would furnish themselves with Disguises and
other Accoutrements necessary for the Prosecution of their Design of
sharing in the publick Merriment; the rather were they for going so
early because Aurelian did not think fit to publish his being in Town
for a time, least his Father knowing of it, might give some restraint
to that loose they designed themselves.

Before Sun rise they entred Florence at Porta Romana, attended only
by two Servants, the rest being left behind to avoid notice; but,
alas! they needed not to have used half that caution; for early as it
was, the Streets were crowded with all sorts of People passing to and
fro, and every Man employ'd in something relating to the Diversions
to come; so that no notice was taken of any body; a Marquess and his
Train might have pass'd by as unregarded as a single Fachin or
Cobler. Not a Window in the Streets but echoed the tuning of a Lute
or thrumming of a Gitarr: for, by the way, the Inhabitants of
Florence are strangely addicted to the love of Musick, insomuch that
scarce their Children can go, before they can scratch some Instrument
or other. It was no unpleasing Spectacle to our Cavaliers (who,
seeing they were not observ'd, resolved to make Observations) to
behold the Diversity of Figures and Postures of many of these
Musicians. Here you should have an affected Vallet, who Mimick'd the
Behaviour of his Master, leaning carelessly against the Window, with
his Head on one side, in a languishing Posture, whining, in a low,
mournful Voice, some dismal Complaint; while, from his sympathizing
Theorbo, issued a Base no less doleful to the Hearers. In Opposition
to him was set up perhaps a Cobler, with the wretched Skeleton of a
Gitarr, battered and waxed together by his own Industry, and who with
three Strings out of Tune, and his own tearing hoarse Voice, would
rack attention from the Neighbourhood, to the great affliction of
many more moderate Practitioners, who, no doubt, were full as
desirous to be heard. By this time Aurelian's Servant had taken a
Lodging and was returned, to give his Master an Account of it. The
Cavaliers grown weary of that ridiculous Entertainment, which was
diverting at first sight, retired whither the Lacquey conducted them;
who, according to their Directions, had sought out one of the most
obscure Streets in the City. All that day, to the evening, was spent
in sending from one Brokers Shop to another, to furnish them with
Habits, since they had not time to make any new.

There was, it happened, but one to be got Rich enough to please our
young Gentlemen, so many were taken up upon this occasion. While
they were in Dispute and Complementing one another, (Aurelian
protesting that Hippolito should wear it, and he, on 'tother hand,
forswearing it as bitterly) a Servant of Hippolito's came up and
ended the Controversie; telling them, That he had met below with the
Vallet de Chambre of a Gentleman, who was one of the greatest
Gallants about the Town, but was at this time in such a condition he
could not possibly be at the Entertainment; whereupon the Vallet had
designed to dress himself up in his Master's Apparel, and try his
talent at Court; which he hearing, told him he would inform him how
he might bestow the Habit for some time much more to his profit if
not to his pleasure, so acquainted him with the occasion his Master
had for it. Hippolito sent for the Fellow up, who was not so fond of
his design as not to be bought off it, but upon having his own demand
granted for the use of it, brought it; it was very Rich, and upon
tryal, as fit for Hippolito as if it had been made for him. The
Ceremony was performed in the Morning, in the great Dome, with all
magnificence correspondent to the wealth of the great Duke, and the
esteem he had for the Noble Pair. The next Morning was to be a
Tilting, and the same Night a Masquing Ball at Court. To omit the
Description of the universal Joy, (that had diffus'd it self through
all the Conduits of Wine, which convey'd it in large measures to the
People) and only relate those effects of it which concern our present
Adventurers. You must know, that about the fall of the Evening, and
at that time when the aequilibrium of Day and Night, for some time,
holds the Air in a gloomy suspence between an unwillingness to leave
the light, and a natural impulse into the Dominion of darkness, about
this time our Hero's, shall I say, sally'd or slunk out of their
Lodgings, and steer'd toward the great Palace, whither, before they
were arrived, such a prodigious number of Torches were on fire, that
the day, by help of these Auxiliary Forces, seem'd to continue its
Dominion; the Owls and Bats apprehending their mistake, in counting
the hours, retir'd again to a convenient darkness; for Madam Night
was no more to be seen than she was to be heard; and the Chymists
were of Opinion, That her fuliginous Damps, rarefy'd by the abundance
of Flame, were evaporated.

Now the Reader I suppose to be upon Thorns at this and the like
impertinent Digressions, but let him alone and he'll come to himself;
at which time I think fit to acquaint him, that when I digress, I am
at that time writing to please my self, when I continue the Thread of
the Story, I write to please him; supposing him a reasonable Man, I
conclude him satisfied to allow me this liberty, and so I proceed.

If our Cavaliers were dazled at the splendour they beheld without
doors, what surprize, think you, must they be in, when entering the
Palace they found even the lights there to be but so many foils to
the bright eyes that flash'd upon 'em at every turn.

A more glorious Troop no occasion ever assembled; all the fair of
Florence, with the most accomplished Cavaliers, were present; and
however Nature had been partial in bestowing on some better Faces
than others, Art was alike indulgent to all, and industriously
supplyed those Defects she had left, giving some Addition also to her
greatest Excellencies. Every body appear'd well shap'd, as it is to
be suppos'd, none who were conscious to themselves of any visible
Deformity would presume to come thither. Their Apparel was equally
glorious, though each differing in fancy. In short, our Strangers
were so well bred, as to conclude from these apparent Perfections,
that there was not a Masque which did not at least hide the Face of a
Cherubim. Perhaps the Ladies were not behind hand in return of a
favourable Opinion of them: for they were both well dress'd, and had
something inexpressibly pleasing in their Air and Mien, different
from other People, and indeed differing from one another. They
fansy'd that while they stood together they were more particularly
taken notice of than any in the Room, and being unwilling to be taken
for Strangers, which they thought they were, by reason of some
whispering they observed near them, they agreed upon an hour of
meeting after the company should be broke up, and so separately
mingled with the thickest of the Assembly. Aurelian had fixed his
eye upon a Lady whom he had observ'd to have been a considerable time
in close whisper with another Woman; he expected with great
impatience the result of that private Conference, that he might have
an opportunity of engaging the Lady whose Person was so agreeable to
him. At last he perceived they were broke off, and the 'tother Lady
seem'd to have taken her leave. He had taken no small pains in the
mean time to put himself in a posture to accost the Lady, which, no
doubt, he had happily performed had he not been interrupted; but
scarce had he acquitted himself of a preliminary bow (and which, I
have heard him say, was the lowest that ever he made) and had just
opened his Lips to deliver himself of a small Complement, which,
nevertheless he was very big with, when he unluckily miscarried, by
the interposal of the same Lady, whose departure, not long before, he
had so zealously pray'd for: but, as Providence would have it, there
was only some very small matter forgot, which was recovered in a
short whisper. The Coast being again cleared, he took heart and bore
up, and, striking sail, repeated his Ceremony to the Lady; who,
having Obligingly returned it, he accosted her in these or the like

'If I do not usurp a priviledge reserved for some one more happy in
your acquaintance, may I presume, Madam, to entreat (for a while) the
favour of your Conversation, at least till the arrival of whom you
expect, provided you are not tired of me before; for then upon the
least intimation of uneasiness, I will not fail of doing my self the
violence to withdraw for your release. The Lady made him answer, she
did not expect any body; by which he might imagine her Conversation
not of value to be bespoke, and to afford it him, were but farther to
convince him to her own cost. He reply'd, 'She had already said
enough to convince him of something he heartily wished might not be
to his cost in the end. She pretended not to understand him; but
told him, 'If he already found himself grieved with her Conversation,
he would have sufficient reason to repent the rashness of his first
Demand before they had ended: for that now she intended to hold
discourse with him, on purpose to punish his unadvisedness, in
presuming upon a Person whose dress and mien might not (may be) be
disagreeable to have wit. 'I must confess (reply'd Aurelian) my self
guilty of a Presumption, and willingly submit to the punishment you
intend: and though it be an aggravation of a Crime to persevere in
its justification, yet I cannot help defending an Opinion in which
now I am more confirm'd, that probable conjectures may be made of the
ingenious Disposition of the Mind, from the fancy and choice of
Apparel. The humour I grant ye (said the Lady) or constitution of
the Person whether melancholick or brisk; but I should hardly pass my
censure upon so slight an indication of wit: for there is your brisk
fool as well as your brisk man of sense, and so of the melancholick.
I confess 'tis possible a fool may reveal himself by his Dress, in
wearing something extravagantly singular and ridiculous, or in
preposterous suiting of colours; but a decency of Habit (which is all
that Men of best sense pretend to) may be acquired by custom and
example, without putting the Person to a superfluous expence of wit
for the contrivance; and though there should be occasion for it, few
are so unfortunate in their Relations and Acquaintance not to have
some Friend capable of giving them advice, if they are not too
ignorantly conceited to ask it. Aurelian was so pleased with the
easiness and smartness of her Expostulation, that he forgot to make a
reply, when she seem'd to expect it; but being a Woman of a quick
Apprehension, and justly sensible of her own perfections, she soon
perceived he did not grudge his attention. However she had a mind to
put it upon him to turn the discourse, so went on upon the same
Subject. 'Signior (said she) I have been looking round me, and by
your Maxim I cannot discover one fool in the Company; for they are
all well drest. This was spoken with an Air of Rallery that awakened
the Cavalier, who immediately made answer: 'Tis true, Madam, we see
there may be as much variety of good fancies as of faces, yet there
may be many of both kinds borrowed and adulterate if inquired into;
and as you were pleased to observe, the invention may be Foreign to
the Person who puts it in practice; and as good an Opinion as I have
of an agreeable Dress, I should be loth to answer for the wit of all
about us. I believe you (says the Lady) and hope you are convinced
of your error, since you must allow it impossible to tell who of all
this Assembly did or did not make choice of their own Apparel. Not
all (said Aurelian) there is an ungainness in some which betrays
them. 'Look ye there (says he) pointing to a Lady who stood playing
with the Tassels of her Girdle, I dare answer for that Lady, though
she be very well dress'd, 'tis more than she knows. His fair unknown
could not forbear laughing at his particular distinction, and freely
told him, he had indeed light upon one who knew as little as any body
in the Room, her self excepted. Ah! Madam, (reply'd Aurelian) you
know every thing in the World but your own Perfections, and you only
know not those because 'tis the top of Perfection not to know them.
How? (reply'd the Lady) I thought it had been the extremity of
knowledge to know ones self. Aurelian had a little over-strain'd
himself in that Complement, and I am of Opinion would have been
puzzl'd to have brought himself off readily: but by good fortune the
Musick came into the Room and gave him an opportunity to seem to
decline an answer, because the company prepared to dance: he only
told her he was too mean a Conquest for her wit who was already a
Slave to the Charms of her Person. She thanked him for his
Complement, and briskly told him she ought to have made him a return
in praise of his wit, but she hoped he was a Man more happy than to
be dissatisfy'd with any of his own Endowments; and if it were so,
that he had not a just Opinion of himself, she knew her self
incapable of saying any thing to beget one. Aurelian did not know
well what to make of this last reply; for he always abhor'd any thing
that was conceited, with which this seem'd to reproach him. But
however modest he had been heretofore in his own thoughts, yet never
was he so distrustful of his good behaviour as now, being rally'd so
by a Person whom he took to be of judgment: Yet he resolved to take
no notice, but with an Air unconcerned and full of good humour
entreated her to Dance with him: She promised him to Dance with no
body else, nor I believe had she inclination; for notwithstanding her
tartness, she was upon equal terms with him as to the liking of each
others Person and Humour, and only gave those little hints to try his
Temper; there being certainly no greater sign of folly and ill
breeding, than to grow serious and concerned at any thing spoken in
rallery: for his part, he was strangely and insensibly fallen in
love with her Shape, Wit and Air; which, together with a white Hand,
he had seen (perhaps not accidentally) were enough to have subdued a
more stubborn Heart than ever he was master of; and for her Face,
which he had not seen, he bestowed upon her the best his Imagination
could furnish him with. I should by right now describe her Dress,
which was extreamly agreeable and rich, but 'tis possible I might err
in some material Pin or other, in the sticking of which may be the
whole grace of the Drapery depended. Well, they danced several times
together, and no less to the satisfaction of the whole Company, than
of themselves; for at the end of each Dance, some publick note of
Applause or other was given to the graceful Couple.

Aurelian was amaz'd, that among all that danced or stood in view he
could not see Hippolito; but concluding that he had met with some
pleasing Conversation, and was withdrawn to some retired part of the
Room, he forbore his search till the mirth of that Night should be
over, and the Company ready to break up, where we will leave him for
a while, to see what became of his adventurous Friend.

Hippolito, a little after he had parted with Aurelian, was got among
a knot of Ladies and Cavaliers, who were looking upon a large Gold
Cup set with Jewels, in which his Royal Highness had drank to the
prosperity of the new married Couple at Dinner, and which afterward
he presented to his Cousin Donna Catharina. He among the rest was
very intent, admiring the richness, workmanship and beauty of the
Cup, when a Lady came behind him and pulling him by the Elbow, made a
sign she would speak with him; Hippolito, who knew himself an utter
Stranger to Florence and every body in it, immediately guessed she
had mistaken him for her acquaintance, as indeed it happened; however
he resolved not to discover himself till he should be assured of it;
having followed her into a set Window remote from Company, she
address'd her self to him in this manner: 'Signior Don Lorenzo (said
she) I am overjoy'd to see you are so speedily recovered of your
Wounds, which by report were much more dangerous than to have
suffered your coming abroad so soon; but I must accuse you of great
indiscretion, in appearing in a Habit which so many must needs
remember you to have worn upon the like occasion not long ago, I mean
at the Marriage of Don Cynthio with your Sister Atalanta; I do assure
you, you were known by it, both to Juliana and my self, who was so
far concerned for you, as to desire me to tell you, that her Brother
Don Fabritio (who saw you when you came in with another Gentleman)
had eyed you very narrowly, and is since gone out of the Room, she
knows not upon what design; however she would have you, for your own
sake, be advised and circumspect when you depart this place, lest you
should be set upon unawares; you know the hatred Don Fabritio has
born you ever since you had the fortune to kill his Kinsman in a
Duel: Here she paused as if expecting his reply; but Hippolito was
so confounded, that he stood mute, and contemplating the hazard he
had ignorantly brought himself into, forgot his design of informing
the Lady of her mistake. She finding he made her no Answer, went on.
'I perceive (continued she) you are in some surprize at what I have
related, and may be, are doubtful of the Truth; but I thought you had
been better acquainted with your Cousin Leonora's Voice, than to have
forgot it so soon: Yet in Complaisance to your ill Memory, I will
put you past doubt, by shewing you my Face; with that she pulled off
her Mask, and discovered to Hippolito (now more amaz'd than ever) the
most Angelick Face that he had ever beheld. He was just about to
have made her some answer, when, clapping on her Mask again without
giving him time, she happily for him pursu'd her Discourse. (For
'tis odds but he had made some discovery of himself in the surprize
he was in.) Having taken him familiarly by the Hand, now she had
made her self known to him, 'Cousin Lorenzo (added she) you may
perhaps have taken it unkindly, that, during the time of your
indisposition by reason of your Wounds, I have not been to visit you;
I do assure you it was not for want of any Inclination I had both to
see and serve you to my power; but you are well acquainted with the
Severity of my Father, whom you know how lately you have disobliged.
I am mighty glad that I have met with you here, where I have had an
Opportunity to tell you what so much concerns your Safety, which I am
afraid you will not find in Florence; considering the great Power Don
Fabritio and his Father, the Marquess of Viterbo, have in this City.
I have another thing to inform you of, That whereas Don Fabio had
interested himself in your Cause, in Opposition to the Marquess of
Viterbo, by reason of the long Animosity between them, all hopes of
his Countenance and Assistance are defeated: For there has been a
Proposal of Reconciliation made to both Houses, and it is said it
will be confirm'd (as most such ancient Quarrels are at last) by the
Marriage of Juliana the Marquess's Daughter, with Aurelian, Son to
Don Fabio: to which effect the old Gentleman sent 'tother Day to
Siena, where Aurelian has been Educated, to hasten his coming to
Town; but the Messenger returning this Morning, brought word, That
the same day he arriv'd at Siena, Aurelian had set out for Florence,
in Company with a young Spanish Nobleman, his intimate Friend; so it
is believ'd, they are both in Town, and not unlikely in this Room in

Hippolito could not forbear smiling to himself, at these last words.
For ever since the naming of Don Fabio he had been very attentive;
but before, his Thoughts were wholly taken up with the Beauty of the
Face he had seen, and from the time she had taken him by the Hand, a
successive warmth and chillness had play'd about his Heart, and
surpriz'd him with an unusual Transport. He was in a hundred Minds,
whether he should make her sensible of her Error or no; but
considering he could expect no farther Conference with her after he
should discover himself, and that as yet he knew not of her place of
abode, he resolv'd to humour the mistake a little further. Having
her still by the Hand, which he squeez'd somewhat more eagerly than
is usual for Cousins to do, in a low and undistinguishable Voice, he
let her know how much he held himself obliged to her, and avoiding as
many words as handsomely he could, at the same time, entreated her to
give him her Advice, toward the management of himself in this Affair.
Leonora, who never from the beginning had entertain'd the least
Scruple of distrust, imagined he spoke faintly, as not being yet
perfectly recovered in his strength; and withal considering that the
heat of the Room, by reason of the Crowd, might be uneasie to a
Person in his Condition; she kindly told him, That if he were as
inclinable to dispense with the remainder of that Nights Diversion as
she was, and had no other engagement upon him, by her consent they
should both steal out of the Assembly, and go to her House, where
they might with more freedom discourse about a business of that
importance, and where he might take something to refresh himself if
he were (as she conceiv'd him to be) indisposed with his long
standing. Judge you whether the Proposal were acceptable to
Hippolito or no; he had been ruminating with himself how to bring
something like this about, and had almost despair'd of it; when of a
suddain he found the success of his design had prevented his own
endeavours. He told his Cousin in the same key as before, That he
was unwilling to be the occasion of her Divorce from so much good
Company; but for his own part, he was afraid he had presumed too much
upon his recovery in coming abroad so soon, and that he found himself
so unwell, he feared he should be quickly forc'd to retire. Leonora
stay'd not to make him any other reply, only tipp'd him upon the Arm,
and bid him follow her at a convenient distance to avoid Observation.

Whoever had seen the Joy that was in Hippolito's Countenance, and the
Sprightliness with which he follow'd his Beautiful Conductress, would
scarce have taken him for a Person griev'd with uncured Wounds. She
led him down a back pair of Stairs, into one of the Palace Gardens
which had a Door opening into the Piazza, not far from where Don
Mario her Father lived. They had little Discourse by the way, which
gave Hippolito time to consider of the best way of discovering
himself. A thousand things came into his Head in a minute, yet
nothing that pleased him: and after so many Contrivances as he had
formed for the discovery of himself, he found it more rational for
him not to reveal himself at all that Night, since he could not
foresee what effect the surprize would have, she must needs be in, at
the appearance of a Stranger, whom she had never seen before, yet
whom she had treated so familiarly. He knew Women were apt to shriek
or swoon upon such Occasions, and should she happen to do either, he
might be at a loss how to bring himself off. He thought he might
easily pretend to be indisposed somewhat more than ordinary, and so
make an excuse to go to his own Lodging. It came into his Head too,
that under pretence of giving her an account of his Health, he might
enquire of her the means how a Letter might be convey'd to her the
next morning, wherein he might inform her gently of her mistake, and
insinuate something of that Passion he had conceiv'd, which he was
sure he could not have opportunity to speak of if he bluntly revealed
himself. He had just resolv'd upon this Method, as they were come to
the great Gates of the Court, when Leonora stopping to let him go in
before her, he of a suddain fetch'd his Breath violently as if some
stitch or twinging smart had just then assaulted him. She enquired
the matter of him, and advised him to make haste into the House that
he might sit down and rest him. He told her he found himself so ill,
that he judged it more convenient for him to go home while he was in
a condition to move, for he fear'd if he should once settle himself
to rest he might not be able to stir. She was much troubled, and
would have had a Chair made ready and Servants to carry him home; but
he made answer, he would not have any of her Fathers Servants know of
his being abroad, and that just now he had an interval of ease, which
he hop'd would continue till he made a shift to reach his own
Lodgings. Yet if she pleased to inform him how he might give an
account of himself the next morning, in a line or two, he would not
fail to give her the thanks due to her great kindness; and withal,
would let her know something which would not a little surprize her,
though now he had not time to acquaint her with it. She show'd him a
little Window at the corner of the House, where one should wait to
receive his Letter, and was just taking her leave of him, when seeing
him search hastily in his Pocket, she ask'd him if he miss'd any
thing; he told her he thought a Wound which was not throughly heal'd
bled a little, and that he had lost his Handkerchief. His design
took; for she immediately gave him hers: which indeed accordingly he
apply'd to the only wound he was then griev'd with; which though it
went quite through his Heart, yet thank God was not Mortal. He was
not a little rejoyc'd at his good Fortune in getting so early a
Favour from his Mistress, and notwithstanding the violence he did
himself to personate a sick Man, he could not forbear giving some
Symptoms of an extraordinary content; and telling her that he did not
doubt to receive a considerable Proportion of ease from the
Application of what had so often kiss'd her fair Hand. Leonora who
did not suspect the Compliment, told him she should be heartily glad
if that or any thing in her power might contribute to his recovery;
and wishing him well home, went into her House, as much troubled for
her Cousin as he was joyful for his Mistress.

Hippolito as soon as she was gone in, began to make his Remarks about
the House, walking round the great Court, viewing the Gardens and all
the Passages leading to that side of the Piazza. Having sufficiently
informed himself, with a Heart full of Love, and a Head full of
Stratagem, he walked toward his Lodging, impatient till the arrival
of Aurelian that he might give himself vent. In which interim, let
me take the liberty to digress a little, and tell the Reader
something which I do not doubt he has apprehended himself long ago,
if he be not the dullest Reader in the World; yet only for orders
sake, let me tell him I say, That a young Gentleman (Cousin to the
aforesaid Don Fabritio) happened one night to have some words at a
Gameing House with one Lorenzo, which created a Quarrel of fatal
Consequence to the former, who was killed upon the Spot, and likely
to be so to the latter, who was very desperately wounded.

Fabritio being much concerned for his Kinsman, vow'd revenge
(according to the ancient and laudable custom of Italy) upon Lorenzo
if he surviv'd, or in case of his death (if it should happen to
anticipate that, much more swinging Death which he had in store for
him) upon his next of Kin, and so to descend Lineally like an English
Estate, to all the Heirs Males of this Family. This same Fabritio
had indeed (as Leonora told Hippolito) taken particular notice of him
from his first entrance into the Room, and was so far doubtful as to
go out immediately himself, and make enquiry concerning Lorenzo, but
was quickly inform'd of the greatness of his Error, in believing a
Man to be abroad, who was so ill of his Wounds, that they now
despair'd of his recovery; and thereupon return'd to the Ball very
well satisfied, but not before Leonora and Hippolito were departed.

So, Reader, having now discharg'd my Conscience of a small Discovery
which I thought my self obliged to make to Thee, I proceed to tell
thee, that our Friend Aurelian had by this time danced himself into a
Net which he neither could, nor which is worse desired to untangle.

His Soul was charm'd to the movement of her Body: an Air so
graceful, so sweet, so easie and so great, he had never seen. She
had something of Majesty in her, which appear'd to be born with her;
and though it struck an awe into the Beholders, yet was it sweetned
with a familiarity of Behaviour, which rendred it agreeable to every
Body. The grandeur of her Mien was not stiff, but unstudied and
unforced, mixed with a simplicity; free, yet not loose nor affected.
If the former seem'd to condescend, the latter seem'd to aspire; and
both to unite in the centre of Perfection. Every turn she gave in
dancing snatcht Aurelian into a Rapture, and he had like to have been
out two or three times with following his Eyes, which she led about
as Slaves to her Heels.

As soon as they had done dancing, he began to complain of his want of
Breath and Lungs, to speak sufficiently in her Commendation; She
smilingly told him, he did ill to dance so much then: Yet in
Consideration of the pains he had taken more than ordinary upon her
account she would bate him a great deal of Complement, but with this
Proviso, That he was to discover to her who he was. Aurelian was
unwilling for the present to own himself to be really the Man he was;
when a suddain thought came into his Head to take upon him the Name
and Character of Hippolito, who he was sure was not known in
Florence. He thereupon, after a little pause, pretended to recal
himself in this manner: 'Madam, it is no small demonstration of the
entire Resignation which I have made of my Heart to your Chains,
since the secrets of it are no longer in my power. I confess I only
took Florence in my way, not designing any longer Residence, than
should be requisite to inform the Curiosity of a Traveller, of the
rareties of the Place. Whether Happiness or Misery will be the
Consequence of that Curiosity, I am yet in fear, and submit to your
Determination; but sure I am, not to depart Florence till you have
made me the most miserable Man in it, and refuse me the fatal
Kindness of Dying at your Feet. I am by Birth a Spaniard, of the
City of Toledo; my name Hippolito di Saviolina: I was yesterday a
Man free, as Nature made the first; to day I am fallen into a
Captivity, which must continue with my Life, and which, it is in your
power, to make much dearer to me. Thus in obedience to your
Commands, and contrary to my Resolution of remaining unknown in this
place, I have inform'd you, Madam, what I am; what I shall be, I
desire to know from you; at least, I hope, the free discovery I have
made of my self, will encourage you to trust me with the knowledge of
your Person.

Here a low bow, and a deep sigh, put an end to his Discourse, and
signified his Expectation of her Reply, which was to this purpose--
(But I had forgot to tell you, That Aurelian kept off his Mask from
the time that he told her he was of Spain, till the period of his
Relation.) Had I thought (said she) that my Curiosity would have
brought me in debt, I should certainly have forborn it; or at least
have agreed with you before hand about the rate of your discovery,
then I had not brought my self to the Inconveniency of being
censur'd, either of too much easiness or reservedness; but to avoid,
as much as I can, the extreamity of either, I am resolv'd but to
discover my self in part, and will endeavour to give you as little
occasion as I can, either to boast of, or ridicule the Behaviour of
the Women of Florence in your Travels.

Aurelian interrupted her, and swore very solemnly (and the more
heartily, I believe, because he then indeed spoke truth) that he
would make Florence the place of his abode, whatever concerns he had
elsewhere. She advised him to be cautious how he swore to his
Expressions of Gallantry; and farther told him she now hoped she
should make him a return to all the Fine Things he had said, since
she gave him his choice whether he would know who she was, or see her

Aurelian who was really in Love, and in whom Consideration would have
been a Crime, greedily embrac'd the latter, since she assured him at
that time he should not know both. Well, what follow'd? Why, she
pull'd off her Mask, and appear'd to him at once in the Glory of
Beauty. But who can tell the astonishment Aurelian felt? He was for
a time senseless; Admiration had suppress'd his Speech, and his Eyes
were entangled in Light. I short, to be made sensible of his
condition, we must conceive some Idea of what he beheld, which is not
to imagined till seen, nor then to be express'd. Now see the
impertinence and conceitedness of an Author, who will have a fling at
a Description, which he has Prefaced with an impossibility. One
might have seen something in her Composition resembling the Formation
of Epicurus his World, as if every Atome of Beauty had concurr'd to
unite an excellency. Had that curious Painter lived in her days, he
might have avoided his painful search, when he collected from the
choicest pieces the most choice Features, and by a due Disposition
and Judicious Symmetry of those exquisite parts, made one whole and
perfect Venus. Nature seem'd here to have play'd the Plagiary, and
to have molded into Substance the most refined Thoughts of inspired
Poets. Her Eyes diffus'd Rays comfortable as warmth, and piercing as
the light; they would have worked a passage through the straightest
Pores, and with a delicious heat, have play'd about the most obdurate
frozen Heart, untill 'twere melted down to Love. Such Majesty and
Affability were in her Looks; so alluring, yet commanding was her
Presence, that it minged awe with love; kindling a Flame which
trembled to aspire. She had danced much, which, together with her
being close masked, gave her a tincture of Carnation more than
ordinary. But Aurelian (from whom I had every tittle of her
Description) fancy'd he saw a little Nest of Cupids break from the
Tresses of her Hair, and every one officiously betake himself to his
task. Some fann'd with their downy Wings, her glowing Cheeks; while
others brush'd the balmy Dew from off her Face, leaving alone a
heavenly Moisture blubbing on her Lips, on which they drank and
revell'd for their pains; Nay, so particular were their allotments in
her service, that Aurelian was very positive a young Cupid who was
but just Pen-feather'd, employ'd his naked Quills to pick her Teeth.
And a thousand other things his transport represented to him, which
none but Lovers who have experience of such Visions will believe.

As soon as he awaked and found his Speech come to him, he employ'd it
to this effect:

''Tis enough that I have seen a Divinity--Nothing but Mercy can
inhabit these Perfections--Their utmost rigour brings a Death
preferable to any Life, but what they give--Use me, Madam, as you
please; for by your fair self, I cannot think a Bliss beyond what now
I feel--You wound with Pleasure, and if you Kill it must be with
Transport--Ah! Yet methinks to live--O Heaven! to have Life
pronounced by those Bless'd Lips--Did they not inspire where they
command, it were an immediate Death of Joy.

Aurelian was growing a little too loud with his Admiration, had she
not just then interrupted him, by clapping on her Masque, and telling
him they should be observed, if he proceeded in his Extravagance; and
withal, that his Passion was too suddain to be real, and too violent
to be lasting. He replied, Indeed it might not be very lasting,
(with a submissive mournful Voice) but it would continue during his
Life. That it was suddain, he denied, for she had raised it by
degrees from his first sight of her, by a continued discovery of
Charms, in her Mien and Conversation, till she thought fit to set
Fire to the Train she had laid, by the Lightning of her Face; and
then he could not help it, if he were blown up.

He begg'd her to believe the Sincerity of his Passion, at least to
enjoin him something, which might tend to the Convincing of her
Incredulity. She said, she should find a time to make some Trials of
him; but for the first, she charged him not to follow or observe her,
after the Dissolution of the Assembly. He promised to obey, and
entreated her to tell him but her Name, that he might have Recourse
to that in his Affliction for her Absence, if he were able to survive
it. She desired him to live by all means; and if he must have a Name
to play with, to call her Incognita, till he were better informed.

The Company breaking up, she took her leave, and at his earnest
Entreaty, gave him a short Vision of her Face which, then dress'd in
an obliging smile, caused another fit of Transport, which lasted till
she was gone out of Sight. Aurelian gathered up his Spirits, and
walked slowly towards his Lodging, never remembring that he had lost
Hippolito, till upon turning the Corner of a Street, he heard a noise
of Fighting; and coming near, saw a Man make a vigorous Defence
against two, who pressed violently upon him. He then thought of
Hippolito, and fancying he saw the glimmering of Diamond Buttons,
such as Hippolito had upon the Sleeves of his Habit, immediately drew
to his Assistance; and with that Eagerness and Resolution, that the
Assailants, finding their unmanly odds defeated, took to their Heels.
The Person rescued by the Generous Help of Aurelian, came toward him;
but as he would have stoop'd to have saluted him, dropp'd, fainting
at his feet. Aurelian, now he was so near him, perceiv'd plainly
Hippolito's Habit, and step'd hastily to take him up. Just as some
of the Guards (who were going the Rounds, apprehensive of such
Disorders in an Universal Merriment) came up to him with Lights, and
had taken Prisoners the Two Men, whom they met with their Sword's
drawn; when looking in the Face of the Wounded Man, he found it was
not Hippolito, but his Governour Claudio, in the Habit he had worn at
the Ball. He was extreamly surpriz'd, as were the Prisoners, who
confess'd their Design to have been upon Lorenzo; grounding their
Mistake upon the Habit which was known to have been his. They were
Two Men who formerly had been Servants to him, whom Lorenzo had
unfortunately slain.

They made a shift to bring Claudio to himself; and part of the Guard
carrying off the Prisoners, whom Aurelian desired they would secure,
the rest accompanied him bearing Claudio in their Arms to his
Lodging. He had not patience to forbear asking for Hippolito by the
Way; whom Claudio assured him, he had left safe in his Chamber, above
Two Hours since. That his coming Home so long before the
Divertisements were ended, and Undressing himself, had given him the
Unhappy Curiosity, to put on his Habit, and go to the Pallace; in his
Return from whence, he was set upon in the Manner he found him, which
if he recovered, he must own his Life indebted to his timely

Being come to the House, they carried him to his Bed, and having sent
for Surgeons Aurelian rewarded and dismissed the Guard. He stay'd
the dressing of Claudio's Wounds, which were many, though they hop'd
none Mortal: and leaving him to his Rest, went to give Hippolito an
Account of what had happened, whom he found with a Table before him,
leaning upon both his Elbows, his Face covered with his Hands, and so
motionless, that Aurelian concluded he was asleep; seeing several
Papers lie before him, half written and blotted out again, he thought
to steal softly to the Table, and discover what he had been employed
about. Just as he reach'd forth his Hand to take up one of the
Papers, Hippolito started up so on the suddain, as surpriz'd Aurelian
and made him leap back; Hippolito, on the other hand, not supposing
that any Body had been near him, was so disordered with the
Appearance of a Man at his Elbow, (whom his Amazement did not permit
him to distinguish) that he leap'd hastily to his Sword, and in
turning him about, overthrew the Stand and Candles. Here were they
both left in the Dark, Hippolito groping about with his Sword, and
thrusting at every Chair that he felt oppose him. Aurelian was
scarce come to himself, when thinking to step back toward the Door
that he might inform his Friend of his Mistake, without exposing
himself to his blind Fury; Hippolito heard him stir, and made a full
thrust with such Violence, that the Hilt of the Sword meeting with
Aurelian's Breast beat him down, and Hippolito a top of him, as a
Servant alarm'd with the noise, came into the Chamber with a Light.
The Fellow trembled, and thought they were both Dead, till Hippolito
raising himself, to see whom he had got under him, swoon'd away upon
the discovery of his Friend. But such was the extraordinary Care of
Providence in directing the Sword, that it only past under his Arm,
giving no Wound to Aurelia, but a little Bruise between his Shoulder
and Breast with the Hilt. He got up, scarce recovered of his Fright,
and by the help of the Servant; laid Hippolito upon the Bed; who when
he was come to himself could hardly be perswaded, that his Friend was
before him and alive, till he shew'd him his Breast, where was
nothing of a Wound. Hippolito begg'd his Pardon a Thousand Times,
and curs'd himself as often, who was so near to committing the most
Execrable Act of Amicide.

They dismiss'd the Fellow, and with many Embraces, congratulated
their fortunate Delivery from the Mischief which came so near them,
each blaming himself as the Occasion: Aurelian accusing his own
unadvisedness in stealing upon Hippolito; Hippolito blaming his own
temerity and weakness, in being so easily frighted to Disorder; and
last of all, his blindness, in not knowing his dearest Friend. But
there he gave a Sigh, and passionately taking Aurelian by the Hand,
cry'd, Ah! my Friend, Love is indeed blind, when it would not suffer
me to see you--There arose another Sigh; a Sympathy seiz'd Aurelian
immediately: (For, by the Way, sighing is as catching among Lovers,
as yawning among the Vulgar.) Beside hearing the Name of Love, made
him fetch such a Sigh, that Hippolito's were but Fly-blows in
Comparison, that was answered with all the Might Hippolito had,
Aurelian ply'd him close till they were both out of Breath.

Thus not a Word pass'd, though each wondred why the t'other sigh'd,
at last concluded it to be only Complaisance to one another.

Aurelian broke the Silence, by telling him the Misfortune of his
Governour. Hippolito rejoic'd as at the luckiest Accident which
could have befall'n him. Aurelian wondred at his unseasonable Mirth,
and demanded the Cause of it; he answer'd, It would necessitate his
longer Stay in Florence, and for ought he knew be the Means of
bringing a happy Period to his Amour.

His Friend thought him to be little better than a Madman, when he
perceiv'd him of a suddain snatch out of his Bosom a Handkerchief,
which having kiss'd with a great deal of Ardour, he took Aurelian by
the Hand, and smiling at the Surprize he saw him in;

'Your Florentine Cupid is certainly (said he) 'the most Expert in the
World. I have since I saw you beheld the most Beautiful of Women. I
am faln desperately in Love with her, and those Papers which you see
so blotted and scattered, are but so many Essays which I have made to
the Declaration of my Passion. And this Handkerchief which I so
zealously Caress, is the Inestimable Token which I have to make my
self known to her. 'O Leonora! (continued he) 'how hast thou stamp'd
thine Image on my Soul! How much dearer am I to my self, since I
have had thy Heavenly Form in keeping! Now, my Aurelian, I am worthy
thee; my exalted Love has Dignified me, and rais'd me far above thy
poor former Despicable Hippolito.

Aurelian seeing the Rapture he was in, thought it in vain to expect a
settled Relation of the Adventure, so was reaching to the Table for
some of the Papers, but Hippolito told him, If he would have a little
patience he would acquaint him with the whole Matter; and thereupon
told him Word for Word how he was mistaken for Lorenzo, and his
Management of himself. Aurelian commended his Prudence, in not
discovering himself; and told him, If he could spare so much time
from the Contemplation of his Mistress, he would inform him of an
Adventure, though not so Accidental, yet of as great Concern to his
own future Happiness. So related all that had happened to him with
his Beautiful Incognita.

Having ended the Story, they began to consider of the Means they were
to use toward a Review of their Mistresses. Aurelian was Confounded
at the Difficulty he conceived on his Part. He understood from
Hippolito's Adventure, that his Father knew of his being in Town,
whom he must unavoidably Disoblige if he yet concealed himself, and
Disobey if he came into his Sight; for he had already entertain'd an
Aversion for Juliana, in apprehension of her being Imposed on him.
His Incognita was rooted in his Heart, yet could he not Comfort
himself with any Hopes when he should see her: He knew not where she
lived, and she had made him no Promise of a second Conference. Then
did he repent his inconsiderate Choice, in preferring the momentary
Vision of her Face, to a certain Intelligence of her Person. Every
thought that succeeded distracted him, and all the Hopes he could
presume upon, were within compass of the Two Days Merriment yet to
come; for which Space he hop'd he might excuse his remaining
conceal'd to his Father.

Hippolito on the other side (though Aurelian thought him in a much
better Way) was no less afflicted for himself. The Difficulties
which he saw in his Friend's Circumstances, put him upon finding out
a great many more in his own, than really there were. But what
terrified him most of all, was his being an utter Stranger to
Leonora; she had not the least knowledge of him but through mistake,
and consequently could form no Idea of him to his Advantage. He
look'd upon it as an unlucky thought in Aurelian to take upon him his
Name, since possibly the Two Ladies were acquainted, and should they
communicate to each other their Adventures; they might both
reasonably suffer in their Opinions, and be thought guilty of
Falshood, since it would appear to them as One Person pretending to
Two. Aurelian told him, there was but one Remedy for that, which was
for Hippolito, in the same Manner that he had done, to make use of
his Name, when he writ to Leonora, and use what arguments he could to
perswade her to Secrecy, least his Father should know of the Reason
which kept him concealed in Town. And it was likely, though perhaps
she might not immediately entertain his Passion; yet she would out of
Generosity conceal, what was hidden only for her sake.

Well this was concluded on, after a great many other Reasons used on
either Side, in favour of the Contrivance; they at last argued
themselves into a Belief, that Fortune had befriended them with a
better Plot, than their regular Thinking could have contriv'd. So
soon had they convinc'd themselves, in what they were willing to

Aurelian laid himself down to rest, that is, upon the Bed; for he was
a better Lover than to pretend to sleep that Night, while Hippolito
set himself again to frame his Letter design'd for Leonora. He writ
several, at last pitched upon one, and very probably the worst, as
you may guess when you read it in its proper Place.

It was break of Day when the Servant, who had been employed all the
foregoing Day in procuring Accoutrements for the Two Cavaliers, to
appear in at the Tilting, came into the Room, and told them all the
Young Gentlemen in the Town were trying their Equipage, and preparing
to be early in the Lists. They made themselves ready with all
Expedition at the Alarm: and Hippolito having made a Visit to his
Governour, dispatch'd a Messenger with the Letter and Directions to
Leonora. At the Signal agreed upon the Casement was opened and a
String let down, to which the Bearer having fastned the Letter, saw
it drawn up, and returned. It were a vain attempt to describe
Leonora's Surprize, when she read the Superscription.--The
Unfortunate Aurelian, to the Beautiful Leonora--After she was a
little recovered from her Amaze, she recollected to her self all the
Passages between her and her supposed Cousin, and immediately
concluded him to be Aurelian. Then several little Circumstances
which she thought might have been sufficient to have convinced her,
represented themselves to her; and she was in a strange Uneasiness to
think of her free Carriage to a Stranger.

She was once in a Mind to have burn'd the Letter, or to have stay'd
for an Opportunity to send it again. But she was a Woman, and her
Curiosity opposed it self to all thoughts of that Nature: at length
with a firm Resolution, she opened it, and found Word for Word, what
is underwritten.

The Letter.


If your fair Eyes, upon the breaking up of this, meet with somewhat
too quick a Surprize, make thence, I beseech you, some reflection
upon the Condition I must needs have been in, at the suddain
Appearance of that Sun of Beauty, which at once shone so full upon my
soul. I could not immediately disengage my self from that Maze of
Charms, to let you know how unworthy a Captive your Eyes had made
through mistake. Sure, Madam, you cannot but remember my Disorder,
of which your Innocent (Innocent, though perhaps to me Fatal) Error
made a Charitable (but wide) Construction. Your Tongue pursued the
Victory of your Eyes, and you did not give me time to rally my poor
Disordered Senses, so as to make a tolerable Retreat. Pardon, Madam,
the Continuation of the Deceipt, and call it not so, that I appear'd
to be other than my self; for Heaven knows I was not then my self,
nor am I now my own. You told me something that concern'd me nearly,
as to a Marriage my Father design'd me, and much more nearly in being
told by you. For Heaven's sake, disclose not to any Body your
Knowledge of me, that I may not be forced to an immediate Act of
Disobedience; for if my future Services and inviolate Love, cannot
recommend me to your Favour, I shall find more comfort in the cold
Embraces of a Grave, than in the Arms of the never so much admired
(but by me dreaded) Juliana. Think, Madam, of those severe
Circumstances I lie under; and withal I beg you, think it is in your
Power, and only in your Power, to make them happy as my Wishes, or
much more miserable than I am able to imagine. That dear,
inestimable (though undesign'd) Favour which I receiv'd from you,
shall this Day distinguish me from the Crowd of your Admirers; that
which I really applied to my inward bleeding Wound, the welcom Wound
which you have made, and which, unless from you, does wish no Cure;
then pardon and have pity on, O Adored Leonora, him, who is your's by
Creation as he is Heaven's, though never so unworthy. Have pity on


She read the Letter over and over, then flung it by, then read it
again; the Novelty of the Adventure made her repeat her Curiosity,
and take more than ordinary Pains to understand it. At last her
Familiarity with the Expressions grew to an Intimacy, and what she at
first permitted she now began to like. She thought there was
something in it a little more serious, than to be barely Gallantry.
She wondred at her own Blindness, and fancy'd she could remember
something of a more becoming Air in the Stranger than was usual to
Lorenzo. This thought was parent to another of the same kind, till a
long Chain successively had Birth, and every one somewhat more than
other, in Favour of the supposed Aurelian. She reflected upon his
Discretion, in deferring the Discovery of himself, till a little time
had, as it were, weaned her from her perswasion, and by removing her
farther from her Mistake, had prepared her for a full and determinate
Convincement. She thought his Behaviour, in personating a Sick Man
so readily, upon the first hint was not amiss, and smil'd to think of
his Excuse to procure her Handkerchief; and last of all, his sifting
out the Means to write to her, which he had done with that Modesty
and Respect, she could not tell how to find fault with it.

She had proceeded thus far in a maze of Thought, when she started to
find her self so lost to her Reason, and would have trod back again
that path of deluding Fancy; accusing her self of Fondness, and
inconsiderate Easiness, in giving Credit to the Letter of a Person
whose Face she never saw, and whose first Acquaintance with her was a
Treachery, and he who could so readily deliver his Tongue of a Lye
upon a Surprize, was scarce to be trusted when he had sufficient Time
allow'd him to beget a Fiction, and Means to perfect the Birth.

How did she know this to be Aurelian, if he were? Nay farther, put
it to the Extremity, What if she should upon farther Conversation
with him proceed to Love him? What Hopes were there for her? Or how
could she consent to Marry a Man already Destined for another Woman?
nay, a Woman that was her Friend, whose Marrying with him was to
compleat the happy Reconciliation of Two Noble Families, and which
might prevent the Effusion of much Blood likely to be shed in that
Quarrel: Besides, she should incurr share of the Guilt, which he
would draw upon him by Disobedience to his Father, whom she was sure
would not be consenting to it.

'Tis strange now, but all Accounts agree, that just here Leonora, who
had run like a violent Stream against Aurelian hitherto, now retorted
with as much precipitation in his Favour. I could never get any Body
to give me a satisfactory reason, for her suddain and dextrous Change
of Opinion just at that stop, which made me conclude she could not
help it; and that Nature boil'd over in her at that time when it had
so fair an Opportunity to show it self: For Leonora it seems was a
Woman Beautiful, and otherwise of an excellent Disposition; but in
the Bottom a very Woman. This last Objection, this Opportunity of
perswading Man to Disobedience, determined the Matter in Favour of
Aurelian, more than all his Excellencies and Qualifications, take him
as Aurelian, or Hippolito, or both together.

Well, the Spirit of Contradiction and of Eve was strong in her; and
she was in a fair Way to Love Aurelian, for she lik'd him already;
that it was Aurelian she no longer doubted, for had it been a
Villain, who had only taken his Name upon him for any ill Designs, he
would never have slip'd so favourable an Opportunity as when they
were alone and in the Night coming through the Garden and broad Space
before the Piazza. In short, thus much she resolv'd, at least to
conceal the Knowledge she had of him, as he had entreated her in his
Letter, and to make particular Remarks of his Behaviour that Day in
the Lists, which should it happen to Charm her with an absolute
liking of his Person, she resolv'd to dress her self to the best
Advantage, and mustering up all her Graces, out of pure Revenge to
kill him down right.

I would not have the Reader now be impertinent, and look upon this to
be force, or a whim of the Author's, that a Woman should proceed so
far in her Approbation of a Man whom she never saw, that it is
impossible, therefore ridiculous to suppose it. Let me tell such a
Critick, that he knows nothing of the Sex, if he does not know that
Woman may be taken with the Character and Description of a Man, when
general and extraordinary, that she may be prepossess'd with an
agreeable Idea of his Person and Conversation; and though she cannot
imagine his real Features, or manner of Wit, yet she has a general
Notion of what is call'd a fine Gentleman, and is prepar'd to like
such a one who does not disagree with that Character. Aurelian, as
he bore a very fair Character, so was he extreamly deserving to make
it good, which otherways might have been to his prejudice; for
oftentimes, through an imprudent Indulgence to our Friends merit, we
give so large a Description of his excellencies, that People make
more room in their Expectation, than the Intrinsick worth of the Man
will fill, which renders him so much the more despicable as there is
emptyness to spare. 'Tis certain, though the Women seldom find that
out; for though they do not see so much in a Man as was promised, yet
they will be so kind to imagine he has some hidden excellencies;
which time may discover to them, so are content to allow, him a
considerable share of their esteem, and take him into Favour upon
Tick. Aurelian as he had good Credit, so he had a good Stock to
support it, and his Person was a good promising Security for the
payment of any Obligation he could lie under to the Fair Sex.
Hippolito, who at this time was our Aurelian, did not at all lessen
him in appearing for him: So that although Leonora was indeed
mistaken, she could not be said to be much in the wrong. I could
find in my Heart to beg the Reader's pardon for this Digression, if I
thought he would be sensible of the Civility; for I promise him, I do
not intend to do it again throughout the Story, though I make never
so many, and though he take them never so ill. But because I began
this upon a bare Supposition of his Impertinence, which might be
somewhat impertinent in me to suppose, I do, and hope to make him
amends by telling him, that by the time Leonora was dress'd, several
Ladies of her acquaintance came to accompany her to the place
designed for the Tilting, where we will leave them drinking
Chocholate till 'tis time for them to go.

Our Cavaliers had by good Fortune provided themselves of two curious
Suits of light Armour, finely enammelled and gilt. Hippolito had
sent to Poggio Imperiale for a couple of fine led Horses which he had
left there with the rest of his Train at his entrance into Florence.
Mounted on these and every way well Equipt, they took their way,
attended only by two Lacqueys, toward the Church di Santa Croce,
before which they were to perform their Exercises of Chivalry.
Hippolito wore upon his Helm a large Plume of Crimson Feathers, in
the midst of which was artificially placed Leonora's Handkerchief.
His Armour was gilt, and enammell'd with Green and Crimson. Aurelian
was not so happy as to wear any token to recommend him to the notice
of his Mistress, so had only a Plume of Sky-colour and White
Feathers, suitable to his Armour, which was Silver enammelled with
Azure. I shall not describe the Habits of any other Cavaliers, or of
the Ladies; let it suffice to tell the Reader they were all very Fine
and very Glorious, and let him dress them in what is most agreeable
to his own Fancy.

Our Gallants entred the Lists, and having made their Obeysance to his
Highness, turned round to salute and view the Company. The Scaffold
was circular, so that there was no end of the Delightful Prospect.
It seem'd a Glory of Beauty which shone around the admiring
Beholders. Our Lovers soon perceived the Stars which were to Rule
their Destiny, which sparkled a lustre beyond all the inferiour
Constellations, and seem'd like two Suns to distribute Light to all
the Planets in that Heavenly Sphere. Leonora knew her Slave by his
Badge and blushed till the Lilies and Roses in her cheeks had
resemblance to the Plume of Crimson and White Handkerchief in
Hippolito's Crest. He made her a low bow, and reined his Horse back
with an extraordinary Grace, into a respectful retreat. Aurelian saw
his Angel, his beautiful Incognita, and had no other way to make
himself known to her, but by saluting and bowing to her after the
Spanish mode; she guess'd him by it to be her new Servant Hippolito,
and signified her apprehension, by making him a more particular and
obliging return, than to any of the Cavaliers who had saluted her

The Exercise that was to be perform'd was in general a running at the
Ring; and afterwards two Cavaliers undertook to defend the Beauty of
Donna Catharina, against all who would not allow her preheminence of
their Mistresses. This thing was only designed for show and form,
none presuming that any body would put so great an affront upon the
Bride and Duke's Kinswoman, as to dispute her pretentions to the
first place in the Court of Venus. But here our Cavaliers were under
a mistake; for seeing a large Shield carry'd before two Knights, with
a Lady painted upon it; not knowing who, but reading the Inscription
which was (in large Gold Letters) Above the Insolence of Competition.
They thought themselves obliged, especially in the presence of their
Mistresses, to vindicate their Beauty; and were just spurring on to
engage the Champions, when a Gentleman stopping them, told them their
mistake, that it was the Picture of Donna Catharina, and a particular
Honour done to her by his Highness's Commands, and not to be
disputed. Upon this they would have returned to their Post, much
concerned for their mistake; but notice being taken by Don Ferdinand
of some Show of Opposition that was made, he would have begged leave
of the Duke, to have maintained his Lady's Honour against the
Insolence of those Cavaliers; but the Duke would by no means permit
it. They were arguing about it when one of them came up, before whom
the Shield was born, and demanded his Highness's Permission, to
inform those Gentlemen better of their mistake, by giving them the
Foyl. By the Intercession of Don Ferdinand, leave was given them;
whereupon a Civil Challenge was sent to the two Strangers, informing
them of their Error, and withal telling them they must either
maintain it by force of Arms, or make a publick acknowledgment by
riding bare headed before the Picture once round the Lists. The
Stranger-Cavaliers remonstrated to the Duke how sensible they were of
their Error, and though they would not justifie it, yet they could
not decline the Combate, being pressed to it beyond an honourable
refusal. To the Bride they sent a Complement, wherein, having first
begg'd her pardon for not knowing her Picture, they gave her to
understand, that now they were not about to dispute her undoubted
right to the Crown of Beauty, but the honour of being her Champions
was the Prize they fought for, which they thought themselves as able
to maintain as any other Pretenders. Wherefore they pray'd her, that
if fortune so far befriended their endeavours as to make them
Victors, that they might receive no other Reward, but to be crown'd
with the Titles of their Adversaries, and be ever after esteem'd as
her most humble Servants. The excuse was so handsomely designed, and
much better express'd than it is here, that it took effect. The
Duke, Don Ferdinand and his Lady were so well satisfied with it as to
grant their Request.

While the running at the Ring lasted, our Cavaliers alternately bore
away great share of the Honour. That Sport ended, Marshals were
appointed for the Field, and every thing in great form settled for
the Combat. The Cavaliers were all in good earnest, but orders were
given to bring 'em blunted Lances, and to forbid the drawing of a
Sword upon pain of his Highness's Displeasure. The Trumpets sounded
and they began their Course: The Ladies' Hearts, particularly the
Incognita and Leonora's beat time to the Horses Hoofs, and hope and
fear made a mock Fight within their tender Breasts, each wishing and
doubting success where she lik'd: But as the generality of their
Prayers were for the graceful Strangers, they accordingly succeeded.
Aurelian's Adversary was unhorsed in the first Encounter, and
Hippolito's lost both Stirrups and dropt his Lance to save himself.
The Honour of the Field was immediately granted to them, and Don
Catharina sent them both Favours, which she pray'd them to wear as
her Knights. The Crowd breaking up, our Cavaliers made a shift to
steal off unmarked, save by the watchful Leonora and Incognita, whose
Eyes were never off from their respective Servants. There was
enquiry made for them, but to no purpose; for they to prevent their
being discovered had prepared another House, distant from their
Lodging, where a Servant attended to disarm them, and another carried
back their Horses to the Villa, while they walked unsuspected to
their Lodging; but Incognita had given command to a Page to dog 'em
till the Evening, at a distance, and bring her word where they were
latest housed.

While several Conjectures pass'd among the Company, who were all gone
to Dinner at the Palace, who those Cavaliers should be, Don Fabio
thought himself the only Man able to guess; for he knew for certain
that his Son and Hippolito were both in Town, and was well enough
pleased with his humour of remaining Incognito till the Diversions
should be over, believing then that the surprize of his Discovery
would add much to the Gallantry he had shown in Masquerade; but
hearing the extraordinary liking that every body express'd, and in a
particular manner, the great Duke himself, to the Persons and
Behaviour of the unknown Cavaliers, the Old Gentleman could not
forbear the Vanity to tell his Highness, that he believed he had an
interest in one of the Gentlemen, whom he was pleased to honour with
so favourable a Character; and told him what reason he had to believe
the one to be his Son, and the other a Spanish Nobleman, his Friend.

This discovery having thus got vent, was diffused like Air; every
body suck'd it in, and let it out again with their Breath to the next
they met withal; and in half an hours time it was talked of in the
House where our Adventurers were lodged. Aurelian was stark mad at
the News, and knew what search would be immediately made for him.
Hippolito, had he not been desperately in Love, would certainly have
taken Horse and rid out of Town just then, for he could make no
longer doubt of being discovered, and he was afraid of the just
Exceptions Leonora might make to a Person who had now deceived her
twice. Well, we will leave them both fretting and contriving to no
purpose, to look about and see what was done at the Palace, where
their doom was determined much quicker than they imagined.

Dinner ended, the Duke retired with some chosen Friends to a Glass of
Wine; among whom were the Marquess of Viterbo and Don Fabio. His
Highness was no Stranger to the long Fewd that had been between the
two Families, and also understood what Overtures of Reconciliation
had been lately made, with the Proposals of Marriage between Aurelian
and the Marquess's Daughter. Having waited till the Wine had taken
the effect proposed, and the Company were raised to an uncommon pitch
of Chearfulness, which he also encouraged by an Example of Freedom
and Good Humour, he took an opportunity of rallying the two grave
Signiors into an Accommodation: That was seconded with the praises
of the young Couple, and the whole Company joined in a large Encomium
upon the Graces of Aurelian and the Beauties of Juliana. The old
Fellows were tickled with Delight to hear their Darlings so admired,
which the Duke perceiving, out of a Principle of Generosity and
Friendship, urged the present Consummation of the Marriage; telling
them there was yet one day of publick Rejoycing to come, and how glad
he should be to have it improved by so acceptable an Alliance; and
what an honour it would be to have his Cousin's Marriage attended by
the Conjunction of so extraordinary a Pair, the performance of which
Ceremony would crown the Joy that was then in Agitation, and make the
last day vie for equal Glory and Happiness with the first. In short,
by the Complaisant and Perswasive Authority of the Duke, the Dons
were wrought into a Compliance, and accordingly embraced and shook
Hands upon the Matter. This News was dispersed like the former, and
Don Fabio gave orders for the enquiring out his Son's Lodging, that
the Marquess and he might make him a Visit, as soon as he had
acquainted Juliana with his purpose, that she might prepare her self.
He found her very chearful with Donna Catharina and several other
Ladies; whereupon the old Gentleman, pretty well warmed with the
Duke's Goodfellowship, told her aloud he was come to crown their
Mirth with another Wedding; that his Highness had been pleased to
provide a Husband for his Daughter, and he would have her provide her
self to receive him to-morrow. All the Company at first, as well as
Juliana her self, thought he had rally'd, till the Duke coming in
confirmed the serious part of his Discourse. Juliana was confounded
at the haste that was imposed on her, and desired a little time to
consider what she was about. But the Marquess told her, she should
have all the rest of her Life to consider in; that Aurelian should
come and consider with her in the Morning, if she pleased; but in the
mean time, he advised her to go home and call her Maids to Counsel.

Juliana took her leave of the Company very gravely, as if not much
delighted with her Father's Rallery. Leonora happened to be by, and
heard all that passed; she was ready to swoon, and found her self
seized with a more violent Passion than ever for Aurelian: Now upon
her apprehensions of losing him, her active fancy had brought him
before her with all the advantages imaginable, and though she had
before found great tenderness in her Inclination toward him, yet was
she somewhat surprized to find she really lov'd him. She was so
uneasie at what she had heard, that she thought it convenient to
steal out of the presence and retire to her Closet, to bemoan her
unhappy helpless Condition.

Our Two Cavalier-Lovers had rack'd their Invention till it was quite
disabled, and could not make discovery of one Contrivance more for
their Relief. Both sat silent, each depending upon his Friend, and
still expecting when t'other should speak. Night came upon them
while they sate thus thoughtless, or rather drowned in Thought; but a
Servant bringing Lights into the Room awakened them: And Hippolito's
Speech, usher'd by a profound Sigh, broke Silence.

'Well! (said he) what must we do, Aurelian? We must suffer, replied
Aurelian faintly. When immediately raising his Voice, he cry'd out,
'Oh ye unequal Powers, why do ye urge us to desire what ye doom us to
forbear; give us a Will to chuse, then curb us with a Duty to
restrain that Choice! Cruel Father, Will nothing else suffice! Am I
to be the Sacrifice to expiate your Offences past; past ere I was
born? Were I to lose my Life, I'd gladly Seal your Reconcilement
with my Blood. 'But Oh my Soul is free, you have no Title to my
Immortal Being, that has Existence independent of your Power; and
must I lose my Love, the Extract of that Being, the Joy, Light, Life,
and Darling of my Soul? No, I'll own my Flame, and plead my Title
too.--But hold, wretched Aurelian, hold, whither does thy Passion
hurry thee? Alas! the cruel fair Incognita Loves thee not! She
knows not of thy Love! If she did, what Merit hast thou to pretend?-
-Only Love.--Excess of Love. And all the World has that. All that
have seen her. Yet I had only seen her once, and in that once I
lov'd above the World; nay, lov'd beyond my self, such vigorous
Flame, so strong, so quick she darted at my Breast; it must rebound,
and by Reflection, warm her self. Ah! welcome Thought, lovely
deluding Fancy, hang still upon my Soul, let me but think, that once
she Loves and perish my Despair.

Here a suddain stop gave a Period also to Hippolito's Expectation,
and he hoped now that his Friend had given his Passion so free a
vent, he might recollect and bethink himself of what was convenient
to be done; but Aurelia, as if he had mustered up all his Spirits
purely to acquit himself of that passionate Harangue, stood mute and
insensible like an Alarum Clock, that had spent all its force in one
violent Emotion. Hippolito shook him by the Arm to rouze him from
his Lethargy, when his Lacquey coming into the Room, out of Breath,
told him there was a Coach just stopp'd at the Door, but he did not
take time to who came in it. Aurelian concluded immediately it was
his Father in quest of him; and without saying any more to Hippolito,
than that he was Ruined if discovered, took his Sword and slipp'd
down a back pair of Stairs into the Garden, from whence he conveyed
himself into the Street. Hippolito had not bethought himself what to
do, before he perceiv'd a Lady come into the Chamber close veil'd,
and make toward him. At the first Appearance of a Woman, his
Imagination flattered him with a Thought of Leonora; but that was
quickly over upon nearer Approach to the Lady, who had much the
Advantage in Stature of his Mistress. He very civilly accosted her,
and asked if he were the Person to whom the Honour of that Visit was
intended. She said, her Business was with Don Hippolito di
Saviolina, to whom she had Matter of Concern to import, and which
required haste. He had like to have told her, That he was the Man,
but by good Chance reflecting upon his Friend's Adventure, who had
taken his name, he made Answer, that he believed Don Hippolito not
far off, and if she had a Moments Patience he would enquire for him.

He went out, leaving the Lady in the Room, and made search all round
the House and Garden for Aurelian, but to no purpose. The Lady
impatient of his long stay took a Pen and Ink and some Paper which
she found upon the Table, and had just made an End of her Letter,
when hearing a Noise of more than one coming up Stairs, she concluded
his Friend had found him, and that her Letter would be to no purpose,
so tore it in pieces, which she repented; when turning about, she
found her Mistake, and beheld Don Fabio and the Marquess of Viterbo
just entring at the Door. She gave a Shriek at the Surprize of their
Appearance, which much troubled the Old Gentlemen, and made them
retire in Confusion for putting a Gentlewoman into such a Fright.
The Marquess thinking they had been misinformed, or had mistaken the
Lodgings, came forward again, and made an Apology to the Lady for
their Errour; but she making no reply, walk'd directly by him down
Stairs and went into her Coach, which hurried her away as speedily as
the Horses were able to draw.

The Dons were at a loss what to think, when, Hippolito coming into
the Room to give the Lady an Account of his Errant, was no less
astonished to find she was departed, and had left Two Old Signiors in
her stead. He knew Don Fabio's Face, for Aurelian had shewn him his
Father at the Tilting; but being confident he was not known to him,
he ventur'd to ask him concerning a Lady whom just now he had left in
that Chamber. Don Fabio told him, she was just gone down, and
doubted they had been Guilty of a Mistake, in coming to enquire for a
Couple of Gentlemen whom they were informed were Lodged in that
House; he begg'd his Pardon if he had any Relation to that Lady, and
desired to know if he could give them any Account of the Persons they
sought for. Hippolito made answer, He was a Stranger in the Place,
and only a Servant to that Lady whom they had disturb'd, and whom he
must go and seek out. And in this Perplexity he left them, going
again in Search of Aurelian, to inform him of what had passed.

The Old Gentlemen at last meeting with a Servant of the House, were
directed to Signior Claudio's Chamber, where they were no sooner
entered but Aurelian came into the House. A Servant who had skulk'd
for him by Hippolito's Order, followed him up into the Chamber, and
told him who was with Claudio then making Enquiry for him. He
thought that to be no Place for him, since Claudio must needs
discover all the Truth to his Father; wherefore he left Directions
with the Servant, where Hippolito should meet him in the Morning. As
he was going out of the Room he espied the torn Paper, which the Lady
had thrown upon the Floor: The first piece he took up had Incognita
written upon it; the sight of which so Alarum'd him, he scarce knew
what he was about; but hearing a Noise of a Door opening over Head,
with as much Care as was consistent with the haste he was then in, he
gathered up scattered pieces of Paper, and betook himself to a Ramble

Coming by a Light which hung at the Corner of a Street, he join'd the
torn Papers and collected thus much, that Incognita had Written the
Note, and earnestly desired (if there were any reality in what he
pretended to her) to meet her at Twelve a Clock that Night at a
Convent Gate; but unluckily the Bit of Paper which should have
mentioned what Convent, was broken off and lost.

Here was a large Subject for Aurelian's Passion, which he did not
spare to pour forth in Abundance of Curses on his Stars. So earnest
was he in the Contemplation of his Misfortunes, that he walk'd on
unwittingly; till at length Silence (and such as was only to be found
in that part the Town, whither his unguided Steps had carried him)
surpriz'd his Attention. I say, a profound Silence rouzed him from
his Thought; and a clap of Thunder could have done no more.

Now because it is possible this at some time or other may happen to
be read by some Malicious or Ignorant Person, (no Reflection upon the
present Reader) who will not admit, or does not understand that
Silence should make a Man start; and have the same Effect, in
provoking his Attention, with its opposite Noise; I will illustrate
this matter, to such a diminutive Critick, by a Parallel Instance of
Light; which though it does chiefly entertain the Eyes, and is indeed
the prime Object of the Sight, yet should it immediately cease, to
have a Man left in the Dark by a suddain deficiency of it, would make
him stare with his Eyes, and though he could not see, endeavour to
look about him. Why just thus did it fare with our Adventurer; who
seeming to have wandred both into the Dominions of Silence and of
Night, began to have some tender for his own Safety, and would
willingly have groped his Way back again; when he heard a Voice, as
from a Person whose Breath had been stopp'd by some forcible
Oppression, and just then, by a violent Effort, was broke through the
Restraint.--'Yet--Yet--(again reply'd the Voice, still struggling for
Air,) 'Forbear--and I'll forgive what's past--I have done nothing yet
that needs a Pardon, (says another) and what is to come, will admit
of none.

Here the Person who seemed to be the Oppressed, made several Attempts
to speak, but they were only inarticulate Sounds, being all
interrupted and choaked in their Passage.

Aurelian was sufficiently astonish'd, and would have crept nearer to
the Place whence he guessed the Voice to come; but he was got among
the Runes of an Old Monastery, and could not stir so silently, but
some loose Stones he met with made a rumbling. The Noise alarm'd
both Parties; and as it gave Comfort to the one, it so Terrified the
t'other, that he could not hinder the Oppressed from calling for
help. Aurelian fancy'd it was a Woman's Voice, and immediately
drawing his Sword, demanded what was the Matter; he was answered with
the Appearance of a Man, who had opened a Dark Lanthorn which he had
by him, and came toward him with a Pistol in his Hand ready cock'd.

Aurelian seeing the irresistable advantage his Adversary had over
him, would fain have retired; and, by the greatest Providence in the
World, going backwards fell down over some loose Stones that lay in
his Way, just in that Instant of Time when the Villain fired his
Pistol, who seeing him fall, concluded he had Shot him. The Crys of
the afflicted Person were redoubled at the Tragical Sight, which made
the Murderer, drawing a Poniard, to threaten him, that the next
Murmur should be his last. Aurelian, who was scarce assured that he
was unhurt, got softly up; and coming near enough to perceive the
Violence that was used to stop the Injured Man's Mouth; (for now he
saw plainly it was a Man) cry'd out,--Turn, Villain, and look upon
thy Death.--The Fellow amazed at the Voice, turn'd about to have
snatch'd up the Lanthorn from the Ground; either to have given Light
only to himself, or to have put out the Candle, that he might have
made his Escape; but which of the Two he designed, no Body could tell
but himself: and if the Reader have a Curiosity to know, he must
blame Aurelian; who thinking there could be no foul play offered to
such a Villain, ran him immediately through the Heart, so that he
drop'd down Dead at his Feet, without speaking a Word. He would have
seen who the Person was he had thus happily delivered, but the Dead
Body had fallen upon the Lanthorn, which put out the Candle: However
coming up toward him, he ask'd him how he did, and bid him be of good
Heart; he was answered with nothing but Prayers, Blessings and
Thanks, called a Thousand Deliverers, good Genius's and Guardian
Angels. And the Rescued would certainly have gone upon his Knees to
have worshipped him, had he not been bound Hand and Foot; which
Aurelian understanding, groped for the Knots, and either untied them
or cut them asunder; but 'tis more probable the latter, because more

They took little heed what became of the Body which they left behind
them, and Aurelian was conducted from out the Ruins by the Hand of
him he had delivered. By a faint light issuing from the just rising
Moon, he could discern that it was a Youth; but coming into a more
frequented part of the Town, where several Lights were hung out, he
was amaz'd at the extream Beauty which appeared in his Face, though a
little pale and disordered with his late fright. Aurelian longed to
hear the Story of so odd an adventure, and entreated his Charge to
tell it him by the way; but he desired him to forbear till they were
come into some House or other, where he might rest and recover his
tired Spirits, for yet he was so faint he was unable to look up.
Aurelian thought these last words were delivered in a Voice, whose
accent was not new to him. That thought made him look earnestly in
the Youth's Face, which he now was sure he had somewhere seen before,
and thereupon asked him if he had never been at Siena? That Question
made the young Gentleman look up, and something of a Joy appeared in
his Countenance, which yet he endeavoured to smother; so praying
Aurelian to conduct him to his Lodging, he promised him that as soon
as they should come thither, he would acquaint him with any thing he
desired to know. Aurelian would rather have gone any where else than
to his own Lodging; but being so very late he was at a loss, and so
forced to be contented.

As soon as they were come into his Chamber, and that Lights were
brought them and the Servant dismissed, the paleness which so visibly
before had usurped the sweet Countenance of the afflicted Youth
vanished, and gave place to a more lively Flood of Crimson, which
with a modest heat glow'd freshly on his Cheeks. Aurelian waited
with a pleasing Admiration the discovery promised him, when the Youth
still struggling with his Resolution, with a timorous haste, pulled
off a Peruke which had concealed the most beautiful abundance of Hair
that ever graced one Female Head; those dishevelled spreading
tresses, as at first they made a discovery of, so at last they served
for a veil to the modest lovely blushes of the fair Incognita; for
she it was and none other. But Oh! the inexpressible, inconceivable
joy and amazement of Aurelian! As soon as he durst venture to think,
he concluded it to be all Vision, and never doubted so much of any
thing in his Life as of his being then awake. But she taking him by
the Hand, and desiring him to sit down by her, partly convinced him
of the reality of her presence.

'This is the second time, Don Hippolito, (said she to him) 'that I
have been here this Night. What the occasion was of my seeking you
out, and how by miracle you preserved me, would add too much to the
surprize I perceive you to be already in should I tell you: Nor will
I make any further discovery, till I know what censure you pass upon
the confidence which I have put in you, and the strange Circumstances
in which you find me at this time. I am sensible they are such, that
I shall not blame your severest Conjectures; but I hope to convince
you, when you shall hear what I have to say in justification of my

'Justification! (cry'd Aurelian) what Infidel dares doubt it! Then
kneeling down, and taking her Hand, 'Ah Madam (says he) would Heaven
would no other ways look upon, than I behold your Perfections--Wrong
not your Creature with a Thought, he can be guilty of that horrid
Impiety as once to doubt your Vertue--Heavens! (cry'd he, starting
up) 'am I so really blessed to see you once again! May I trust my
Sight?--Or does my fancy now only more strongly work?--For still I
did preserve your Image in my Heart, and you were ever present to my
dearest Thoughts. -

'Enough Hippolito, enough of Rapture (said she) you cannot much
accuse me of Ingratitude; for you see I have not been unmindful of
you; but moderate your Joy till I have told you my Condition, and if
for my sake you are raised to this Delight, it is not of a long

At that (as Aurelian tells the Story) a Sigh diffused a mournful
sweetness through the Air, and liquid grief fell gently from her
Eyes, triumphant sadness sat upon her Brow, and even sorrow seem'd
delighted with the Conquest he had made. See what a change Aurelian
felt! His Heart bled Tears, and trembled in his Breast; Sighs
struggling for a vent had choaked each others passage up: His Floods
of Joys were all supprest; cold doubts and fears had chill'd 'em with
a sudden Frost, and he was troubled to excess; yet knew not why.
Well, the Learned say it was Sympathy; and I am always of the Opinion
with the Learned, if they speak first.

After a World of Condoleance had passed between them, he prevailed
with her to tell him her Story. So having put all her Sighs into one
great Sigh, she discharged her self of 'em all at once, and formed
the Relation you are just about to Read.

'Having been in my Infancy Contracted to a Man I could never endure,
and now by my Parents being likely to be forced to Marry him, is in
short, the great occasion of my grief. I fansy'd (continued she)
something so Generous in your Countenance, and uncommon in your
Behaviour, while you were diverting your self, and rallying me with
Expressions of Gallantry, at the Ball, as induced me to hold
Conference with you. I now freely confess to you, out of design,
That if things should happen as I then feared, and as now they are
come to pass, I might rely upon your assistance in a matter of
Concern; and in which I would sooner chuse to depend upon a generous
Stranger, than any Acquaintance I have. What Mirth and Freedom I
then put on, were, I can assure you, far distant from my Heart; but I
did violence to my self out of Complaisance to your Temper.--I knew
you at the Tilting, and wished you might come off as you did; though
I do not doubt, but you would have had as good Success had it been
opposite to my Inclinations.--Not to detain you by too tedious a
Relation, every day my Friends urged me to the Match they had agreed
upon for me, before I was capable of Consenting; at last their
importunities grew to that degree, that I found I must either
consent, which would make me miserable, or be miserable by
perpetually enduring to be baited by my Father, Brother and other
Relations. I resolved yesterday, on a suddain to give firm Faith to
the Opinion I had conceived of you; and accordingly came in the
Evening to request your assistance, in delivering me from my
Tormentors, by a safe and private conveyance of me to a Monastery
about four Leagues hence, where I have an Aunt who would receive me,
and is the only Relation I have averse to the Match. I was surprized
at the appearance of some Company I did not expect at your Lodgings;
which made me in haste tear a Paper which I had written to you with
Directions where to find me, and get speedily away in my Coach to an
old Servant's House, whom I acquainted with my purpose: By my Order
she provided me of this Habit which I now wear; I ventured to trust
my self with her Brother, and resolved to go under his Conduct to the
Monastery; he proved to be a Villain, and Pretending to take me a
short and private way to the place where he was to take up a Hackney
Coach (for that which I came in was broke some where or other with
the haste it made to carry me from your Lodging) led me into an old
ruined Monastery, where it pleased Heaven, by what Accident I know
not, to direct you. I need not tell you how you saved my Life and my
Honour, by revenging me with the Death of my Perfidious Guide. This
is the summ of my present Condition, bating the apprehensions I am in
of being taken by some of my Relations, and forced to a thing so
quite contrary to my Inclinations.

Aurelian was confounded at the Relation she had made, and began to
fear his own Estate to be more desperate than ever he had imagined.
He made her a very Passionate and Eloquent Speech in behalf of
himself (much better than I intend to insert here) and expressed a
mighty concern that she should look upon his ardent Affection to be
only Rallery or Gallantry. He was very free of his Oaths to confirm
the Truth of what he pretended, nor I believe did she doubt it, or at
least was unwilling so to do: For I would Caution the Reader by the
bye, not to believe every word which she told him, nor that admirable
sorrow which she counterfeited to be accurately true. It was indeed
truth so cunningly intermingled with Fiction, that it required no
less Wit and Presence of Mind than she was endowed with so to acquit
her self on the suddain. She had entrusted her self indeed with a
Fellow who proved a Villain, to conduct her to a Monastery; but one
which was in the Town, and where she intended only to lie concealed
for his sake; as the Reader shall understand ere long: For we have
another Discovery to make to him, if he have not found it out of
himself already.

After Aurelian had said what he was able upon the Subject in hand,
with a mournful tone and dejected look, he demanded his Doom. She
asked him if he would endeavour to convey her to the Monastery she
had told him of? 'Your commands, Madam, (replied he) 'are Sacred to
me; and were they to lay down my Life I would obey them. With that
he would have gone out of the Room, to have given order for his
Horses to be got ready immediately; but with a Countenance so full of
sorrow as moved Compassion in the tender hearted Incognita. 'Stay a
little Don Hippolito (said she) I fear I shall not be able to undergo
the Fatigue of a Journey this Night.--Stay and give me your Advice
how I shall conceal my self if I continue to morrow in this Town.
Aurelian could have satisfied her she was not then in a place to
avoid discovery: But he must also have told her then the reason of
it, viz. whom he was, and who were in quest of him, which he did not
think convenient to declare till necessity should urge him; for he
feared least her knowledge of those designs which were in agitation
between him and Juliana, might deter her more from giving her
consent. At last he resolved to try his utmost perswasions to gain
her, and told her accordingly, he was afraid she would be disturbed
there in the Morning, and he knew no other way (if she had not as
great an aversion for him as the Man whom she now endeavour'd to
avoid) than by making him happy to make her self secure. He
demonstrated to her, -that the disobligation to her Parents would be
greater by going to a Monastery, since it was only to avoid a choice
which they had made for her, and which she could not have so just a
pretence to do till she had made one for her self.

A World of other Arguments he used, which she contradicted as long as
she was able, or at least willing. At last she told him, she would
consult her Pillow, and in the Morning conclude what was fit to be
done. He thought it convenient to leave her to her rest, and having
lock'd her up in his Room, went himself to repose upon a Pallat by
Signior Claudio.

In the mean time, it may be convenient to enquire what became of
Hippolito. He had wandered much in pursuit of Aurelian, though
Leonora equally took up his Thoughts; He was reflecting upon the
oddness and extravagance of his Circumstances, the Continuation of
which had doubtless created in him a great uneasiness, when it was
interrupted with the noise of opening the Gates of the Convent of St.
Lawrence, whither he was arrived sooner than he thought for, being
the place Aurelian had appointed by the Lacquey to meet him in. He
wondered to see the Gates opened at so unseasonable an hour, and went
to enquire the reason of it from them who were employ'd; but they
proved to be Novices, and made him signs to go in, where he might
meet with some body allow'd to answer him. He found the Religious
Men all up, and Tapers lighting every where: at last he follow'd a
Friar who was going into the Garden, and asking him the cause of
these Preparations, he was answered, That they were entreated to pray
for the Soul of a Cavalier, who was just departing or departed this
Life, and whom upon farther talk with him, he found to be the same
Lorenzo so often mentioned. Don Mario, it seems Uncle to Lorenzo and
Father to Leonora, had a private Door out of the Garden belonging to
his House into that of the Convent, which Door this Father was now a
going to open, that he and his Family might come and offer up their
Oraisons for the Soul of their Kinsman. Hippolito having informed
himself of as much as he could ask without suspicion, took his leave
of the Friar, not a little joyful at the Hopes he had by such
unexpected Means, of seeing his Beautiful Leonora: As soon as he was
got at convenient Distance from the Friar, (who 'tis like thought he
had return'd into the Convent to his Devotion) he turned back through
a close Walk which led him with a little Compass, to the same private
Door, where just before he had left the Friar, who now he saw was
gone, and the Door open.

He went into Don Mario's Garden, and walk'd round with much Caution
and Circumspection; for the Moon was then about to rise, and had
already diffused a glimmering Light, sufficient to distinguish a Man
from a Tree. By Computation now (which is a very remarkable
Circumstance) Hippolito entred this Garden near upon the same
Instant, when Aurelian wandred into the Old Monastery and found his
Incognita in Distress. He was pretty well acquainted with the
Platform, and Sight of the Garden; for he had formerly surveyed the
Outside, and knew what part to make to if he should be surpriz'd and
driven to a precipitate Escape. He took his Stand behind a well
grown Bush of Myrtle, which, should the Moon shine brighter than was
required, had the Advantage to be shaded by the Indulgent Boughs of
an ancient Bay-Tree. He was delighted with the Choice he had made,
for he found a Hollow in the Myrtle, as if purposely contriv'd for
the Reception of one Person, who might undiscovered perceive all
about him. He looked upon it as a good Omen, that the Tree
Consecrated to Venus was so propitious to him in his Amorous
Distress. The Consideration of that, together with the Obligation he
lay under to the Muses, for sheltering him also with so large a Crown
of Bays, had like to have set him a Rhyming.

He was, to tell the Truth, naturally addicted to Madrigal, and we
should undoubtedly have had a small desert of Numbers to have pick'd
and Criticiz'd upon, had he not been interrupted just upon his
Delivery; nay, after the Preliminary Sigh had made Way for his
Utterance. But so was his Fortune, Don Mario was coming towards the
Door at that very nick of Time, where he met with a Priest just out
of Breath, who told him that Lorenzo was just breathing his last, and
desired to know if he would come and take his final Leave before they
were to administer the Extream Unction. Don Mario, who had been at
some Difference with his Nephew, now thought it his Duty to be
reconciled to him; so calling to Leonora, who was coming after him,
he bid her go to her Devotions in the Chappel, and told her where he
was going.

He went on with the Priest, while Hippolito saw Leonora come forward,
only accompanied by her Woman. She was in an undress, and by reason
of a Melancholy visible in her Face, more Careless than usual in her
Attire, which he thought added as much as was possible to the
abundance of her Charms. He had not much Time to Contemplate this
Beauteous Vision, for she soon passed into the Garden of the Convent,
leaving him Confounded with Love, Admiration, Joy, Hope, Fear, and
all the Train of Passions, which seize upon Men in his Condition, all
at once. He was so teazed with this Variety of Torment, that he
never missed the Two Hours that had slipped away during his Automachy
and Intestine Conflict. Leonora's Return settled his Spirits, at
least united them, and he had now no other Thought but how he should
present himself before her. When she calling her Woman, bid her bolt
the Garden Door on the Inside, that she might not be Surpriz'd by her
Father, if he returned through the Convent, which done, she ordered
her to bring down her Lute, and leave her to her self in the Garden.

All this Hippolito saw and heard to his inexpressible Content, yet
had he much to do to smother his Joy, and hinder it from taking a
Vent, which would have ruined the only Opportunity of his Life.
Leonora withdrew into an Arbour so near him, that he could distinctly
hear her if she Played or Sung: Having tuned her Lute, with a Voice
soft as the Breath of Angels, she flung to it this following Air:


Ah! Whither, whither shall I fly,
A poor unhappy Maid;
To hopeless Love and Misery
By my own Heart betray'd?
Not by Alexis Eyes undone,
Nor by his Charming Faithless Tongue,
Or any Practis'd Art;
Such real Ills may hope a Cure,
But the sad Pains which I endure
Proceed from fansied Smart.


'Twas Fancy gave Alexis Charms,
Ere I beheld his Face:
Kind Fancy (then) could fold our Arms,
And form a soft Embrace.
But since I've seen the real Swain,
And try'd to fancy him again,
I'm by my Fancy taught,
Though 'tis a Bliss no Tongue can tell,
To have Alexis, yet 'tis Hell
To have him but in Thought.

The Song ended grieved Hippolito that it was so soon ended; and in
the Ecstacy he was then rapt, I believe he would have been satisfied
to have expired with it. He could not help Flattering himself,
(though at the same Time he checked his own Vanity) that he was the
Person meant in the Song. While he was indulging which thought, to
his happy Astonishment, he heard it encouraged by these Words:

'Unhappy Leonora (said she) how is thy poor unwary Heart misled?
Whither am I come? The false deluding Lights of an imaginary Flame,
have led me, a poor benighted Victim, to a real Fire. I burn and am
consumed with hopeless Love; those Beams in whose soft temperate
warmth I wanton'd heretofore, now flash destruction to my Soul, my
Treacherous greedy Eyes have suck'd the glaring Light, they have
united all its Rays, and, like a burning-Glass, convey'd the pointed
Meteor to my Heart--Ah! Aurelian, how quickly hast thou Conquer'd,
and how quickly must thou Forsake. Oh Happy (to me unfortunately
Happy) Juliana! I am to be the subject of thy Triumph--To thee
Aurelian comes laden with the Tribute of my Heart and Glories in the
Oblation of his broken Vows.--What then, is Aurelian False! False!
alass, I know not what I say; How can he be False, or True, or any
Thing to me? What Promises did he ere make or I receive? Sure I
dream, or I am mad, and fansie it to be Love; Foolish Girl, recal thy
banish'd Reason.--Ah! would it were no more, would I could rave, sure
that would give me Ease, and rob me of the Sense of Pain; at least,
among my wandring Thoughts, I should at sometime light upon Aurelian,
and fansie him to be mine; kind Madness would flatter my poor feeble
Wishes, and sometimes tell me Aurelian is not lost--not
irrecoverably--not for ever lost.

Hippolito could hear no more, he had not Room for half his Transport.
When Leonora perceived a Man coming toward her, she fell a trembling,
and could not speak. Hippolito approached with Reverence, as to a
Sacred Shrine; when coming near enough to see her Consternation, he
fell upon his Knees.

'Behold, O Adored Leonora (said he) 'your ravished Aurelian, behold
at your Feet the Happiest of Men, be not disturb'd at my Appearance,
but think that Heaven conducted me to hear my Bliss pronounced by
that dear Mouth alone, whose breath could fill me with new Life.

Here he would have come nearer, but Leonora (scarce come to her self)
was getting up in haste to have gone away: he catch'd her Hand, and
with all the Endearments of Love and Transport pressed her stay; she
was a long time in great Confusion, at last, with many Blushes, she
entreated him to let her go where she might hide her Guilty Head, and
not expose her shame before his Eyes, since his Ears had been
sufficient Witnesses of her Crime. He begg'd pardon for his
Treachery in over-hearing, and confessed it to be a Crime he had now
repeated. With a Thousand Submissions, Entreaties, Prayers, Praises,
Blessings, and passionate Expressions he wrought upon her to stay and
hear him. Here Hippolito made use of his Rhetorick, and it proved
prevailing: 'Twere tedious to tell the many ingenious Arguments he
used, with all her Nice Distinctions and Objections. In short, he
convinced her of his Passion, represented to her the necessity they
were under, of being speedy in their Resolves: That his Father (for
still he was Aurelian) would undoubtedly find him in the Morning, and
then it would be too late to Repent. She on the other Hand, knew it
was in vain to deny a Passion, which he had heard her so frankly own;
(and no doubt was very glad it was past and done;) besides
apprehending the danger of delay, and having some little Jealousies
and Fears of what Effect might be produced between the Commands of
his Father and the Beauties of Juliana; after some decent Denials,
she consented to be Conducted by him through the Garden into the
Convent, where she would prevail with her Confessor to Marry them.
He was a scrupulous Old Father whom they had to deal withal, insomuch
that ere they had perswaded him, Don Mario was returned by the Way of
his own House, where missing his Daughter, and her Woman not being
able to give any farther Account of her, than that she left her in
the Garden; he concluded she was gone again to her Devotions, and
indeed he found her in the Chappel upon her Knees with Hippolito in
her hand, receiving the Father's Benediction upon Conclusion of the

It would have asked a very skilful Hand, to have depicted to the Life
the Faces of those Three Persons, at Don Mario's Appearance. He that
has seen some admirable Piece of Transmutation by a Gorgon's Head,
may form to himself the most probable Idea of the Prototype. The Old
Gentleman was himself in a sort of a Wood, to find his Daughter with
a Young Fellow and a Priest, but as yet he did not know the Worst,
till Hippolito and Leonora came, and kneeling at his Feet, begg'd his
Forgiveness and Blessing as his Son and Daughter. Don Mario, instead
of that, fell into a most violent Passion, and would undoubtedly have
committed some extravagant Action, had he not been restrained, more
by the Sanctity of the Place, than the Perswasions of all the
Religious, who were now come about him. Leonora stirr'd not off her
Knees all this time, but continued begging of him that he would hear

'Ah! Ungrateful and Undutiful Wretch (cry'd he) 'how hast thou
requited all my Care and Tenderness of thee? Now when I might have
expected some return of Comfort, to throw thy self away upon an
unknown Person, and, for ought I know, a Villain; to me I'm sure he
is a Villain, who has robb'd me of my Treasure, my Darling Joy, and
all the future Happiness of my Life prevented. Go--go, thou now-to-
be-forgotten Leonora, go and enjoy thy unprosperous Choice; you who
wanted not a Father's Counsel, cannot need, or else will slight his

These last Words were spoken with so much Passion and feeling
Concern, that Leonora, moved with Excess of Grief, fainted at his
Feet, just as she had caught hold to Embrace his Knees. The Old Man
would have shook her off, but Compassion and Fatherly Affection came
upon him in the midst of his Resolve, and melted him into Tears, he
Embraced his Daughter in his Arms, and wept over her, while they
endeavoured to restore her Senses.

Hippolito was in such Concern he could not speak, but was busily
employed in rubbing and chafing her Temples; when she opening her
Eyes laid hold of his Arm, and cry'd out--Oh my Aurelian--how unhappy
have you made me! With that she had again like to have fainted away,
but he took her in his Arms, and begg'd Don Mario to have some pity
on his Daughter, since by his Severity she was reduced to that
Condition. The Old Man hearing his Daughter name Aurelian, was a
little revived, and began to hope Things were in a pretty good
Condition; he was perswaded to comfort her, and having brought her
wholly to her self, was content to hear her Excuse, and in a little
time was so far wrought upon as to beg Hippolito's Pardon for the Ill
Opinion he had conceived of him, and not long after gave his Consent.

The Night was spent in this Conflict, and it was now clear Day, when
Don Mario Conducting his new Son and Daughter through the Garden, was
met by some Servants of the Marquess of Viterbo, who had been
enquiring for Donna Leonora, to know if Juliana had lately been with
her; for that she was missing from her Father's House, and no
conjectures could be made of what might become of her. Don Mario and
Leonora were surprized at the News, for he knew well enough of the
Match that was design'd for Juliana; and having enquired where the
Marquess was, it was told him, That he was gone with Don Fabio and
Fabritio toward Aurelian's Lodgings. Don Mario having assured the
Servants that Juliana had not been there, dismissed them, and advised
with his Son and Daughter how they should undeceive the Marquess and
Don Fabio in their Expectations of Aurelian. Hippolito could
oftentimes scarce forbear smiling at the old Man's Contrivances who
was most deceived himself; he at length advised them to go all down
together to his Lodging, where he would present himself before his
Father, and ingenuously confess to him the truth, and he did not
question his approving of his Choice.

This was agreed to, and the Coach made ready. While they were upon
their way, Hippolito pray'd heartily that his Friend Aurelian might
be at the Lodging, to satisfie Don Mario and Leonora of his
Circumstances and Quality, when he should be obliged to discover
himself. His Petitions were granted; for Don Fabio had beset the
House long before his Son was up or Incognita awake.

Upon the arrival of Don Mario and Hippolito, they heard a great Noise
and Hubbub above Stairs, which Don Mario concluded was occasioned by
their not finding Aurelian, whom he thought he could give the best
account of: So that it was not in Hippolito's power to disswade him
from going up before to prepare his Father to receive and forgive
him. While Hippolito and Leonora were left in the Coach at the Door,
he made himself known to her, and begg'd her pardon a thousand times
for continuing the deceit. She was under some concern at first to
find she was still mistaken; but his Behaviour, and the Reasons he
gave, soon reconciled him to her; his Person was altogether as
agreeable, his Estate and Quality not at all inferiour to Aurelian's;
in the mean time, the true Aurelian who had seen his Father, begg'd
leave of him to withdraw for a moment; in which time he went into the
Chamber where his Incognita was dressing her self, by his design, in
Woman's Apparel, while he was consulting with her how they should
break the matter to his Father; it happened that Don Mario came up
Stairs where the Marquess and Don Fabio were; they undoubtedly
concluded him Mad, to hear him making Apologies and Excuses for
Aurelian, whom he told them if they would promise to forgive he would
present before them immediately. The Marquess asked him if his
Daughter had lain with Leonora that Night; he answered him with
another question in behalf of Aurelian. In short, they could not
understand one another, but each thought 'tother beside himself. Don
Mario was so concern'd that they would not believe him, that he ran
down Stairs and came to the Door out of Breath, desiring Hippolito
that he would come into the House quickly, for that he could not
perswade his Father but that he had already seen and spoke to him.
Hippolito by that understood that Aurelian was in the House; so
taking Leonora by the Hand, he followed Don Mario, who led him up
into the Dining-Room, where they found Aurelian upon his Knees,
begging his Father to forgive him, that he could not agree to the
Choice he had made for him, since he had already disposed of himself,
and that before he understood the designs he had for him, which was
the reason that he had hitherto concealed himself. Don Fabio knew
not how to answer him, but look'd upon the Marquess, and the Marquess
upon him, as if the Cement had been cool'd which was to have united
their Families.

All was silent, and Don Mario for his part took it to be all
Conjuration; he was coming forward to present Hippolito to them, when
Aurelian spying his Friend, started from his Knees and ran to embrace
him--My dear Hippolito (said he) what happy chance has brought you
hither, just at my Necessity? Hippolito pointed to Don Mario and
Leonora, and told him upon what terms he came. Don Mario was ready
to run mad, hearing him called Hippolito, and went again to examine
his Daughter. While she was informing him of the truth, the
Marquess's Servants returned with the melancholy News that his
Daughter was no where to be found. While the Marquess and Don
Fabritio were wondering at, and lamenting the Misfortune of her loss,
Hippolito came towards Don Fabio and interceded for his Son, since
the Lady perhaps had withdrawn her self out of an Aversion to the
Match. Don Fabio, though very much incens'd, yet forgot not the
Respect due to Hippolito's Quality; and by his perswasion spoke to
Aurelian, though with a stern Look and angry Voice, and asked him
where he had disposed the cause of his Disobedience, if he were
worthy to see her or no; Aurelian made answer, That he desired no
more than for him to see her; and he did not doubt a Consequence of
his Approbation and Forgiveness--Well (said Don Fabio) you are very
conceited of your own Discretion, let us see this Rarety. While
Aurelian was gone in for Incognita, the Marquess of Viterbo and Don
Fabritio were taking their leaves in great disorder for their loss
and disappointment; but Don Fabio entreated their stay a moment
longer till the return of his Son. Aurelian led Incognita into the
Room veil'd, who seeing some Company there which he had not told her
of, would have gone back again. But Don Fabio came bluntly forwards,
and ere she was aware, lifted up her Veil and beheld the Fair
Incognita, differing nothing from Juliana, but in her Name. This
discovery was so extreamly surprizing and welcome, that either Joy or
Amazement had tied up the Tongues of the whole Company. Aurelian
here was most at a loss, for he knew not of his Happiness; and that
which all along prevented Juliana's confessing her self to him, was
her knowing Hippolito (for whom she took him) to be Aurelian's
Friend, and she feared if he had known her, that he would never have
consented to have deprived him of her. Juliana was the first that
spoke, falling upon her Knees to her Father, who was not enough
himself to take her up. Don Fabio ran to her, and awakened the
Marquess, who then embraced her, but could not yet speak. Fabritio
and Leonora strove who should first take her in their Arms; for
Aurelian he was out of his wits for Joy, and Juliana was not much
behind him, to see how happily their Loves and Duties were
reconciled. Don Fabio embraced his Son and forgave him. The
Marquess and Fabritio gave Juliana into his hands, he received the
Blessing upon his Knees; all were over-joy'd, and Don Mario not a
little proud at the discovery of his Son-in-Law, whom Aurelian did
not fail to set forth with all the ardent Zeal and Eloquence of
Friendship. Juliana and Leonora had pleasant Discourse about their
unknown and mistaken Rivalship, and it was the Subject of a great
deal of Mirth to hear Juliana relate the several Contrivances which
she had to avoid Aurelian for the sake of Hippolito.

Having diverted themselves with many Remarks upon the pleasing
surprize, they all thought it proper to attend upon the Great Duke
that Morning at the Palace, and to acquaint him with the Novelty of
what had pass'd; while, by the way, the two Young Couple entertained
the Company with the Relation of several Particulars of their Three
Days Adventures.

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