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Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister by Aphra Behn

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those garments whose loose negligence helped to betray me to my
shameful ruin, wounding my breast, but want the resolution to wound it
as I ought; which when I but propose, love stays the thought, raging
and wild as it is, the conqueror checks it, with whispering only
_Philander_ to my soul; the dear name calms me to an easiness, gives
me the pen into my trembling hand, and I pursue my silent soft
complaint: oh! shouldst thou see me thus, in all these sudden
different changes of passion, thou wouldst say, _Philander_, I were
mad indeed, madness itself can find no stranger motions: and I would
calmly ask thee, for I am calm again, how comes it, my adorable
_Philander_, that thou canst possess a maid with so much madness? Who
art thyself a miracle of softness, all sweet and all serene, the most
of angel in thy composition that ever mingled with humanity; the very
words fall so gently from thy tongue,--are uttered with a voice so
ravishingly soft, a tone so tender and so full of love, it would charm
even frenzy, calm rude distraction, and wildness would become a silent
listener; there's such a sweet serenity in thy face, such innocence
and softness in thy eyes, should desert savages but gaze on thee, sure
they would forget their native forest wildness, and be inspired with
easy gentleness: most certainly this god-like power thou hast. Why
then? Oh tell me in the agony of my soul, why must those charms that
bring tranquillity and peace to all, make me alone a wild, unseemly
raver? Why has it contrary effects on me? Oh! all I act and say is
perfect madness: yet this is the least unaccountable part of my most
wretched story;--oh! I must never behold thy lovely face again, for if
I should, sure I should blush my soul away; no, no, I must not, nor
ever more believe thy dear deluding vows; never thy charming perjured
oaths, after a violation like to this. Oh heaven, what have I done?
Yet by heaven I swear, I dare not ask my soul, lest it inform me how I
was to blame, unless that fatal minute would instruct me how to
revenge my wrongs upon my heart,----my fond betraying heart, despair
and madness seize me, darkness and horror hide me from human sight,
after an easiness like this;----what to yield,--to yield my honour?
Betray the secrets of my virgin wishes?--My new desires, my unknown
shameful flame.--Hell and Death! Where got I so much confidence? Where
learned I the hardened and unblushing folly? To wish was such a fault,
as is a crime unpardonable to own; to shew desire is such a sin in
virtue as must deserve reproach from all the world; but I, unlucky I,
have not only betrayed all these, but with a transport void of sense
and shame, I yield to thy arms----I'll not endure the thought----by
heaven! I cannot; there is something more than rage that animates that
thought: some magic spell, that in the midst of all my sense of shame
keeps me from true repentance; this angers me, and makes me know my
honour but a phantom: now I could curse again my youth and love; but
oh! When I have done, alas, _Philander_, I find myself as guilty as
before; I cannot make one firm resolve against thee, or if I do, when
I consider thee, they weigh not all one lovely hair of thine. It is
all in vain, the charming cause remains, _Philander's_ still as lovely
as before; it is him I must remove from my fond eyes and heart, him I
must banish from my touch, my smell, and every other sense; by heaven
I cannot bear the mighty pressure, I cannot see his eyes, and touch
his hands, smell the perfume every pore of his breathes forth, taste
thy soft kisses, hear thy charming voice, but I am all on a flame: no,
it is these I must exclaim on, not my youth, it is they debauch my
soul, no natural propensity in me to yield, or to admit of such
destructive fires. Fain I would put it off, but it will not do, I am
the aggressor still; else why is not every living maid undone that
does but touch or see thee? Tell me why? No, the fault is in me, and
thou art innocent.--Were but my soul less delicate, were it less
sensible of what it loves and likes in thee, I yet were dully happy;
but oh, there is a nicety there so charmed, so apprehensive of thy
beauties, as has betrayed me to unrest for ever:----yet something I
will do to tame this lewd betrayer of my right, and it shall plead no
more in thy behalf; no more, no more disperse the joys which it
conceives through every vein (cold and insensible by nature) to kindle
new desires there.--No more shall fill me with unknown curiosity; no,
I will in spite of all the perfumes that dwell about thee, in spite of
all the arts thou hast of looking, of speaking, and of touching, I
will, I say, assume my native temper, I will be calm, be cold and
unconcerned, as I have been to all the World,--but to _Philander_.--
The almighty power he has is unaccountable:--by yonder breaking day
that opens in the east, opens to see my shame--I swear--by that great
ruler of the day, the sun, by that Almighty Power that rules them
both, I swear--I swear, _Philander_, charming lovely youth! Thou art
the first e'er kindled soft desires about my soul, thou art the first
that ever did inform me that there was such a sort of wish about me.
I thought the vanity of being beloved made up the greatest part of the
satisfaction; it was joy to see my lovers sigh about me, adore and
praise me, and increase my pride by every look, by every word and
action; and him I fancied best I favoured most, and he past for the
happy fortune; him I have suffered too to kiss and press me, to tell
me all his tale of love, and sigh, which I would listen to with pride
and pleasure, permitted it, and smiled him kind returns; nay, by my
life, then thought I loved him too, thought I could have been content
to have passed my life at this gay rate, with this fond hoping lover,
and thought no farther than of being great, having rich coaches,
shewing equipage, to pass my hours in dressing, in going to the operas
and the tower, make visits where I list, be seen at balls; and having
still the vanity to think the men would gaze and languish where I
came, and all the women envy me; I thought no farther on--but thou,
_Philander_, hast made me take new measures, I now can think
of nothing but of thee, I loathe the sound of love from any other
voice, and conversation makes my soul impatient, and does not only
dull me into melancholy, but perplexes me out of all humour, out of
all patient sufferance, and I am never so well pleased when from
_Philander_, as when I am retired, and curse my character and figure
in the world, because it permits me not to prevent being visited; one
thought of thee is worth the world's enjoyment, I hate to dress, I
hate to be agreeable to any eyes but thine; I hate the noise of
equipage and crowds, and would be more content to live with thee in
some lone shaded cottage, than be a queen, and hindered by that
grandeur one moment's conversation with _Philander_: may'st thou
despise and loathe me, a curse the greatest that I can invent, if this
be any thing but real honest truth. No, no, _Philander_, I find I
never lov'd till now, I understood it not, nor knew what those sighs
and pressings meant which others gave me; yet every speaking glance
thy eyes put on, inform my soul what it is they plead and languish
for: if you but touch my hand, my breath grows faint and short, my
blood glows in my face, and runs with an unusual warmth through every
vein, and tells my heart what it is _Philander_ ails, when he falls
sighing on my bosom; oh then, I fear, I answer every look, and every
sigh and touch, in the same silent but intelligible language, and
understood, I fear, too well by thee: till now I never feared love as
a criminal. Oh tell me not, mistaken foolish maids, true love is
innocent, ye cold, ye dull, ye unconsidering lovers; though I have
often heard it from the grave and wise, and preached myself that
doctrine: I now renounce it all, it is false, by heaven! it is false,
for now I love, and know it all a fiction; yes, and love so, as never
any woman can equal me in love, my soul being all composed (as I have
often said) of softer materials. Nor is it fancy sets my rates on
beauty, there is an intrinsic value in thy charms, who surely none but
I am able to understand, and to those that view thee not with my
judging eyes, ugliness fancied would appear the same, and please as
well. If all could love or judge like me, why does _Philander_ pass so
unregarded by a thousand women, who never sighed for him? What makes
_Myrtilla_, who possesses all, looks on thee, feels thy kisses, hears
thee speak, and yet wants sense to know how blessed she is, it is want
of judgement all; and how, and how can she that judges ill, love well?

Granting my passion equal to its object, you must allow it infinite,
and more in me than any other woman, by how much more my soul is
composed of tenderness; and yet I say I own, for I may own it, now
heaven and you are witness of my shame, I own with all this love, with
all this passion, so vast, so true, and so unchangeable, that I have
wishes, new, unwonted wishes, at every thought of thee I find a
strange disorder in my blood, that pants and burns in every vein, and
makes me blush, and sigh, and grow impatient, ashamed and angry; but
when I know it the effects of love, I am reconciled, and wish and sigh
anew; for when I sit and gaze upon thy eyes, thy languishing, thy
lovely dying eyes, play with thy soft white hand, and lay my glowing
cheeks to thine----Oh God! What language can express my transport! All
that is tender, all that is soft desire, seizes every trembling limb,
and it is with pain concealed.--Yes, yes, _Philander_, it is the fatal
truth, since thou hast found it, I confess it too, and yet I love thee
dearly; long, long it was that I essayed to hide the guilty flame, if
love be guilt; for I confess I did dissemble a coldness which I was
not mistress of: there lies a woman's art, there all her boasted
virtue, it is but well dissembling, and no more--but mine, alas, is
gone, for ever fled; this, this feeble guard that should secure my
honour, thou hast betrayed, and left it quite defenceless. Ah, what's
a woman's honour when it is so poorly guarded! No wonder that you
conquer with such ease, when we are only safe by the mean arts of base
dissimulation, an ill as shameful as that to which we fall. Oh silly
refuge! What foolish nonsense fond custom can persuade: Yet so it is;
and she that breaks her laws, loses her fame, her honour and esteem.
Oh heavens! How quickly lost it is! Give me, ye powers, my fame, and
let me be a fool; let me retain my virtue and my honour, and be a dull
insensible--But, oh! Where is it? I have lost it all; it is
irrecoverably lost: yes, yes, ye charming perjured man, it is gone,
and thou hast quite undone me.--

What though I lay extended on my bed, undressed, unapprehensive of my
fate, my bosom loose and easy of access, my garments ready, thin and
wantonly put on, as if they would with little force submit to the fond
straying hand: what then, _Philander_, must you take the advantage?
Must you be perjured because I was tempting? It is true, I let you in
by stealth by night, whose silent darkness favoured your treachery;
but oh, _Philander_, were not your vows as binding by a glimmering
taper, as if the sun with all his awful light had been a looker on? I
urged your vows as you pressed on,--but oh, I fear it was in such a
way, so faintly and so feebly I upbraided you, as did but more advance
your perjuries. Your strength increas'd, but mine alas declin'd;'till
I quite fainted in your arms, left you triumphant lord of all: no more
my faint denials do persuade, no more my trembling hands resist your
force, unregarded lay the treasure which you toil'd for, betrayed and
yielded to the lovely conqueror--but oh tormenting,----when you saw
the store, and found the prize no richer, with what contempt, (yes
false, dear man) with what contempt you view'd the unvalu'd trophy:
what, despised! Was all you call a heaven of joy and beauty exposed to
view, and then neglected? Were all your prayers heard, your wishes
granted, and your toils rewarded, the trembling victim ready for the
sacrifice, and did you want devotion to perform it? And did you thus
receive the expected blessing?----Oh--by heaven I'll never see thee
more, and it will be charity to thee, for thou hast no excuse in store
that can convince my opinion that I am hated, loathed,--I cannot bear
that thought--or if I do, it shall only serve to fortify my fixed
resolve never to see thee more.--And yet I long to hear thy false
excuse, let it be quickly then; it is my disdain invites thee--to
strengthen which, there needs no more than that you let me hear your
poor defence.----But it is a tedious time to that slow hour wherein I
dare permit thee, but hope not to incline my soul to love: no, I am
yet safe if I can stop but here, but here be wise, resolve and be
myself.

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

As my page was coming with the enclosed, he met _Alexis_ at the gate
with yours, and who would not depart without an answer to it;--to go
or stay is the question. Ah, Philander! Why do you press a heart too
ready to yield to love and you! Alas, I fear you guess too well my
answer, and your own soul might save me the blushing trouble of a
reply. I am plunged in, past hope of a retreat; and since my fate has
pointed me out for ruin, I cannot fall more gloriously. Take then,
_Philander_, to your dear arms, a maid that can no longer resist, who
is disarmed of all defensive power: she yields, she yields, and does
confess it too; and sure she must be more than mortal, that can hold
out against thy charms and vows. Since I must be undone, and give all
away; I'll do it generously, and scorn all mean reserves: I will be
brave in love, and lavish all; nor shall _Philander_ think I love him
well, unless I do. Take, charming victor, then, what your own merits,
and what love has given you; take, take, at last, the dear reward of
all your sighs and tears, your vows and sufferings. But since,
_Philander_, it is an age to night, and till the approach of those
dear silent hours, thou knowest I dare not give thee admittance; I do
conjure thee, go to _Cesario_, whom I find too pressing, not to
believe the concerns great; and so jealous I am of thy dear safety,
that every thing alarms my fears: oh! satisfy them then and go, it is
early yet, and if you take horse immediately, you will be there by
eight this morning; go, I conjure you; for though it is an unspeakable
satisfaction to know you are so near me, yet I prefer your safety and
honour to all considerations else. You may soon dispatch your affair,
and render yourself time enough on the place appointed, which is where
you last night waited, and it will be at least eight at night before
it is possible to bring you to my arms. Come in your chariot, and do
not heat yourself with riding; have a care of me and my life, in the
preservation of all I love. Be sure you go, and do not, my
_Philander_, out of a punctilio of love, neglect your dear
safety----go then, _Philander_, and all the gods of love preserve and
attend thee on thy way, and bring thee safely back to

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

Oh thou most charming of thy sex! Thou lovely dear delight of my
transported soul! thou everlasting treasure of my heart! What hast
thou done? Given me an over-joy, that fails but very little of
performing what grief's excess had almost finished before: eternal
blessings on thee, for a goodness so divine, oh, thou most excellent,
and dearest of thy sex! I know not what to do, or what to say. I am
not what I was, I do not speak, nor walk, nor think as I was wont to
do; sure the excess of joy is far above dull sense, or formal
thinking, it cannot stay for ceremonious method. I rave with pleasure,
rage with the dear thought of coming ecstasy. Oh _Sylvia_, _Sylvia_,
_Sylvia_! My soul, my vital blood, and without which I could as well
subsist--oh, my adorable, my _Sylvia_! Methinks I press thee, kiss
thee, hear thee sigh, behold thy eyes, and all the wondrous beauty of
thy face; a solemn joy has spread itself through every vein, sensibly
through every artery of my heart, and I can think of nothing but of
_Sylvia_, the lovely _Sylvia_, the blooming flowing _Sylvta_! And
shall I see thee? Shall I touch thy hands, and press thy dear, thy
charming body in my arms, and taste a thousand joys, a thousand
ravishments? Oh God! shall I? Oh _Sylvia_, say; but thou hast said
enough to make me mad, and I, forgetful of thy safety and my own,
shall bring thy wild adoring slave to _Bellfont_, and throw him at thy
feet, to pay his humble gratitude for this great condescension, this
vast bounty.

Ah, _Sylvia_! How shall I live till night? And you impose too cruelly
upon me, in conjuring me to go to _Cesario_; alas! Does _Sylvia_ know
to what she exposes her _Philander_? Whose joy is so transporting,
great, that when he comes into the grave cabal, he must betray the
story of his heart, and, in lieu of the mighty business there in hand,
be raving still on _Sylvia_, telling his joy to all the amazed
listeners, and answering questions that concern our great affair, with
something of my love; all which will pass for madness, and undo me:
no, give me leave to rave in silence, and unseen among the trees,
they'll humour my disease, answer my murmuring joy, and echoes flatter
it, repeat thy name, repeat that _Sylvia_'s mine! and never hurt her
fame; while the cabals, business and noisy town will add confusion to
my present transport, and make me mad indeed: no, let me alone, thou
sacred lovely creature, let me be calm and quiet here, and tell all
the insensibles I meet in the woods what _Sylvia_ has this happy
minute destined me: oh, let me record it on every bark, on every oak
and beech, that all the world may wonder at my fortune, and bless the
generous maid; let it grow up to ages that shall come, that they may
know the story of our loves, and how a happy youth, they called
_Philander_, was once so blest by heaven as to possess the charming,
the adored and loved by all, the glorious _Sylvia_! a maid, the most
divine that ever graced a story; and when the nymphs would look for an
example of love and constancy, let them point out _Philander_ to their
doubted swains, and cry, 'Ah! love but as the young _Philander_ did,
and then be fortunate, and then reap all your wishes:' and when the
shepherd would upbraid his nymph, let him but cry,--'See here what
_Sylvia_ did to save the young _Philander_;' but oh! There never will
be such another nymph as _Sylvia_; heaven formed but one to shew the
world what angels are, and she was formed for me, yes she was--in whom
I would not quit my glorious interest to reign a monarch here, or any
boasted gilded thing above! Take all, take all, ye gods, and give me
but this happy coming night! Oh, _Sylvia, Sylvia_! By all thy promised
joys I am undone if any accident should ravish this night from me:
this night! No not for a lease of years to all eternity would I throw
thee away: oh! I am all flame, all joyful fire and softness; methinks
it is heaven where-ever I look round me, air where I tread, and
ravishing music when I speak, because it is all of _Sylvia_----let me
alone, oh let me cool a little, or I shall by an excess of joyful
thought lose all my hoped for bliss. Remove a little from me; go, my
_Sylvia_, you are so excessive sweet, so wondrous dazzling, you press
my senses even to pain--away--let me take air--let me recover breath:
oh let me lay me down beneath some cooling shade, near some refreshing
crystal murmuring spring, and fan the gentle air about me. I
suffocate, I faint with this close loving, I must allay my joy or be
undone--I will read thy cruel letters, or I will think of some sad
melancholy hour wherein thou hast dismissed me despairing from thy
presence: or while you press me now to be gone with so much
earnestness, you have some lover to receive and entertain; perhaps it
is only for the vanity to hear him tell his nauseous passion to you,
breathe on your lovely face, and daub your garments with his fulsome
embrace; but oh, by heaven, I cannot think that thought! And thou hast
sworn thou canst not suffer it--if I should find thee false--but it is
impossible.--Oh! Should I find _Foscario_ visit thee, him whom thy
parents favour, I should undo you all, by heaven I should--but thou
hast sworn, what need _Philander_ more? Yes, _Sylvia_, thou hast sworn
and called heaven's vengeance down whenever thou gavest a look, or a
dear smile in love to that pretending fop: yet from his mighty fortune
there is danger in him--What makes that thought torment me now?--Be
gone, for _Sylvia_ loves me, and will preserve my life----

I am not able, my adorable charmer, to obey your commands in going
from the sight of happy _Bellfont_; no, let the great wheel of the
vast design roll on----or for ever stand still, for I will not aid its
motion to leave the mightier business of my love unfinished; no, let
fortune and the duller fools toil on----for I'll not bate a minute of
my joys with thee to save the world, much less so poor a parcel of it;
and sure there is more solid pleasure even in these expecting hours I
wait to snatch my bliss, than to be lord of all the universe without
it: then let me wait, my _Sylvia_, in those melancholy shades that
part _Bellfont_ from _Dorillus_'s farm; perhaps my _Sylvia_ may walk
that way so unattended, that we might meet and lose ourselves for a
few moments in those intricate retreats: ah _Sylvia_! I am dying with
that thought----oh heavens! What cruel destiny is mine? Whose fatal
circumstances do not permit me to own my passion, and lay claim to
_Sylvia_, to take her without control to shades and palaces, to live
for ever with her, to gaze for ever on her, to eat, to loll, to rise,
to play, to sleep, to act over all the pleasures and the joys of life
with her--but it is in vain I rave, in vain employ myself in the
fool's barren business, wishing--this thought has made me sad as
death: oh, _Sylvia_! I can never be truly happy--adieu, employ thyself
in writing to me, and remember my life bears date but only with thy
faith and love.

PHILANDER.

_Try, my adorable, what you can do to meet me in the wood this
afternoon, for there I will live to-day._

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

Obstinate _Philander_, I conjure you by all your vows, by all your
sacred love, by those dear hours this happy night designed in favour
of you, to go without delay to _Cesario_; 'twill be unsafe to disobey
a prince in his jealous circumstances. The fatigue of the journey
cannot be great, and you well know the torment of my fears! Oh! I
shall never be happy, or think you safe, till you have quitted this
fatal interest: go, my _Philander_----and remember whatever toils you
take will be rewarded at night in the arms of

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

Whatever toils you take shall be rewarded in the arms of
_Sylvia_----by heaven, I am inspired to act wonders: yes, _Sylvia_,
yes, my adorable maid, I am gone, I fly as swift as lightning, or the
soft darts of love shot from thy charming eyes, and I can hardly stay
to say----adieu----

* * * * *

_To_ the Lady----

_Dear Child_,

Long foreseeing the misery whereto you must arrive, by this fatal
correspondence with my unhappy lord, I have often, with tears and
prayers, implored you to decline so dangerous a passion: I have never
yet acquainted our parents with your misfortunes, but I fear I must at
last make use of their authority for the prevention of your ruin. It
is not my dearest child, that part of this unhappy story that relates
to me, that grieves me, but purely that of thine.

Consider, oh young noble maid, the infamy of being a prostitute! And
yet the act itself in this fatal amour is not the greatest sin, but
the manner, which carries an unusual horror with it; for it is a
brother too, my child, as well as a lover, one that has lain by thy
unhappy sister's side so many tender years, by whom he has a dear and
lovely off-spring, by which he has more fixed himself to thee by
relation and blood: consider this, oh fond heedless girl! And suffer
not a momentary joy to rob thee of thy eternal fame, me of my eternal
repose, and fix a brand upon our noble house, and so undo us
all.----Alas, consider, after an action so shameful, thou must obscure
thyself in some remote corner of the world, where honesty and honour
never are heard of: no, thou canst not shew thy face, but it will be
pointed at for something monstrous; for a hundred ages may not produce
a story so lewdly infamous and loose as thine. Perhaps (fond as you
are) you imagine the sole joy of being beloved by him, will atone for
those affronts and reproaches you will meet with in the censuring
world: but, child, remember and believe me, there is no lasting faith
in sin; he that has broke his vows with heaven and me, will be again
perjured to heaven and thee, and all the world!----He once thought me
as lovely, lay at my feet, and sighed away his soul, and told such
piteous stories of his sufferings, such sad, such mournful tales of
his departed rest, his broken heart and everlasting love, that sure I
thought it had been a sin not to have credited his charming perjuries;
in such a way he swore, with such a grace he sighed, so artfully he
moved, so tenderly he looked. Alas, dear child, then all he said was
new, unusual with him, never told before, now it is a beaten road, it
is learned by heart, and easily addressed to any fond believing woman,
the tattered, worn out fragments of my trophies, the dregs of what I
long since drained from off his fickle heart; then it was fine, then
it was brisk and new, now palled and dull by being repeated often.
Think, my child, what your victorious beauty merits, the victim of a
heart unconquered by any but your eyes: alas, he has been my captive,
my humble whining slave, disdain to put him on your fetters now; alas,
he can say no new thing of his heart to thee, it is love at second
hand, worn out, and all its gaudy lustre tarnished; besides, my child,
if thou hadst no religion binding enough, no honour that could stay
thy fatal course, yet nature should oblige thee, and give a check to
the unreasonable enterprise. The griefs and dishonour of our noble
parents, who have been eminent for virtue and piety, oh suffer them
not to be regarded in this censuring world as the most unhappy of all
the race of old nobility; thou art the darling child, the joy of all,
the last hope left, the refuge of their sorrow, for they, alas, have
had but unkind stars to influence their unadvised off-spring; no want
of virtue in their education, but this last blow of fate must strike
them dead; think, think of this, my child, and yet retire from ruin;
haste, fly from destruction which pursues thee fast; haste, haste and
save thy parents and a sister, or what is more dear, thy fame; mine
has already received but too many desperate wounds, and all through my
unkind lord's growing passion for thee, which was most fatally founded
on my ruin, and nothing but my ruin could advance it; and when, my
sister, thou hast run thy race, made thyself loathed, undone and
infamous as hell, despis'd, scorn'd and abandon'd by all, lampoon'd,
perhaps diseas'd; this faithless man, this cause of all will leave
thee too, grow weary of thee, nauseated by use; he may perhaps
consider what sins, what evils, and what inconveniencies and shames
thou'st brought him to, and will not be the last shall loathe and hate
thee: for though youth fancy it have a mighty race to run of pleasing
vice and vanity, the course will end, the goal will be arrived to at
the last, where they will sighing stand, look back, and view the
length of precious time they've fool'd away; when traversed over with
honour and discretion, how glorious were the journey, and with what
joy the wearied traveller lies down and basks beneath the shades that
end the happy course.

Forgive, dear child, this advice, and pursue it; it is the effect of
my pity, not anger; nor could the name of rival ever yet have power to
banish that of sister from my soul----farewell, remember me; pray
heaven thou hast not this night made a forfeit of thy honour, and that
this which comes from a tender bleeding heart may have the fortune to
inspire thee with grace to avoid all temptations for the future, since
they must end in sorrows which is the eternal prayer of,

_Dearest child,_

_Your affectionate Sister._

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

Ask me not, my dearest brother, the reason of this sudden change, ask
me no more from whence proceeds this strange coldness, or why this
alteration; it is enough my destiny has not decreed me for
_Philander_: alas, I see my error, and looking round about me, find
nothing but approaching horror and confusion in my pursuit of love: oh
whither was I going, to what dark paths, to what everlasting shades
had smiling love betray'd me, had I pursued him farther? But I at last
have subdued his force, and the fond charmer shall no more renew his
arts and flatteries; for I'm resolv'd as heaven, as fix'd as fate and
death, and I conjure you trouble my repose no more; for if you do
(regardless of my honour, which if you loved you would preserve) I
will do a deed shall free me from your importunities, that shall amaze
and cool your vicious flame. No more--remember you have a noble wife,
companion of your vows, and I have honour, both which are worth
preserving, and for which, though you want generous love, you will
find neither that nor courage wanting in _Sylvia_.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

Yes, my adorable _Sylvia_, I will pursue you no farther; only for all
my pains, for all my sufferings, for my tormenting sleepless nights,
and thoughtful anxious days; for all my faithless hopes, my fears, my
sighs, my prayers and my tears, for my unequalled and unbounded
passion, and my unwearied pursuits in love, my never-dying flame, and
lastly, for my death; I only beg, in recompense for all, this last
favour from your pity; That you will deign to view the bleeding wound
that pierced the truest heart that ever fell a sacrifice to love; you
will find my body lying beneath that spreading oak, so sacred to
_Philander_, since it was there he first took into his greedy ravished
soul, the dear, the soft confession of thy passion, though now
forgotten and neglected all--make what haste you can, you will find
there stretched out the mangled carcase of the lost

PHILANDER.

_Ah_ Sylvia! _Was it for this that I was sent in such haste away this
morning to_ Cesario_? Did I for this neglect the world, our great
affair, and all that Prince's interest, and fly back to_ Bellfont _on
the wings of love? Where in lieu of receiving a dear blessing from thy
hand, do I find----never see me more--good heaven--but, with my life,
all my complaints are ended; only it would be, some ease, even in
death, to know what happy rival it is has armed thy cruel hand
against_ Philander's _heart_.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

Stay, I conjure thee, stay thy sacrilegious hand; for the least wound
it gives the lord of all my wishes, I'll double on my breast a
thousand fold; stay then, by all thy vows, thy love, and all thy
hopes, I swear thou hast this night a full recompense of all thy pains
from yielding _Sylvia_; I do conjure thee stay----for when the news
arrives thou art no more, this poor, this lost, abandoned heart of
mine shall fall a victim to thy cruelty: no, live, my _Philander_, I
conjure thee, and receive all thou canst ask, and all that can be
given by

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

Oh, my charming _Philander_! How very ill have you recompensed my last
lost commands? Which were that you should live; and yet at the same
moment, while you are reading of the dear obligation, and while my
page was waiting your kind return, you desperately exposed your life
to the mercy of this innocent rival, betraying unadvisedly at the same
time my honour, and the secret of your love, and where to kill or to
be killed, had been almost equally unhappy: it was well my page told
me you disarmed him in this rencounter; yet you, he says, are wounded,
some sacred drops of blood are fallen to the earth and lost, the least
of which is precious enough to ransom captive queens: oh! Haste
_Philander_, to my arms for cure, I die with fear there may be
danger----haste, and let me bathe, the dear, the wounded part in
floods of tears, lay to my warm lips, and bind it with my torn hair:
oh! _Philander_, I rave with my concern for thee, and am ready to
break all laws of decency and duty, and fly without considering, to
thy succour, but that I fear to injure thee much more by the
discovery, which such an unadvised absence would make. Pray heaven the
unlucky adventure reach not _Bellfont; Foscario_ has no reason to
proclaim it, and thou art too generous to boast the conquest, and my
page was the only witness, and he is as silent and as secret as the
grave: but why, _Philander_, was he sent me back without reply? What
meant that cruel silence----say, my _Philander_, will you not obey
me?----Will you abandon me? Can that dear tongue be perjured? And can
you this night disappoint your _Sylvia_? What have I done, oh
obstinately cruel, irreconcileable----what, for my first offence? A
little poor resentment and no more? A little faint care of my gasping
honour, could that displease so much? Besides I had a cause, which you
shall see; a letter that would cool love's hottest fires, and turn it
to devotion; by heaven it was such a check----such a surprise----but
you yourself shall judge, if after that I could say less, than bid
eternally farewell to love--at least to thee--but I recanted soon; one
sad dear word, one soft resenting line from thee, gained love the day
again, and I despised the censures of the duller world: yes, yes, and
I confessed you had overcome, and did this merit no reply? I asked the
boy a thousand times what you said, how and in what manner you
received it, chid him, and laid your silent fault on him, till he with
tears convinced me, and said he found you hastening to the grove,--and
when he gave you my commands----you looked upon him with such a wild
and fixed regard, surveying him all over while you were opening
it----as argued some unusual motion in you; then cried, 'Be gone--I
cannot answer flattery'----Good heaven, what can you mean? But 'ere he
got to the farther end of the grove, where still you walked a solemn
death-like pace, he saw _Foscario_ pass him unattended, and looking
back saw your rencounter, saw all that happened between you, then ran
to your assistance just as you parted; still you were roughly sullen,
and neither took notice of his proffered service, nor that you needed
it, although you bled apace; he offered you his aid to tie your wounds
up----but you replied--'Be gone, and do not trouble me'----Oh, could
you imagine I could live with this neglect? Could you, my _Philander_?
Oh what would you have me do! If nothing but my death or ruin can
suffice for my atonement, I will sacrifice either with joy; yes, I'll
proclaim my passion aloud, proclaim it at _Bellfont_, own the dear
criminal flame, fly to my Philander's aid and be undone; for thus I
cannot, no, I will not live, I rave, I languish, faint and die with
pain; say that you live, oh, say but that you live, say you are coming
to the meadow behind the garden-grove, in order to your approach to my
arms: oh, swear that all your vows are true; oh, swear that you are
_Sylvia's_; and in return, I will swear that I am yours without
reserve, whatever fate is destined for your

SYLVIA.

_I die with impatience, either to see or hear from you; I fear it is
yet too soon for the first----oh therefore save me with the last, or I
shall rave, and wildly betray all by coming to_ Dorillus _his farm, or
seeking you where-ever you cruelly have hid yourself from_

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

Ah, _Sylvia_, how have you in one day destroyed that repose I have
been designing so many years! Oh, thou false----but wondrous fair
creature! Why did heaven ordain so much beauty, and so much perfidy,
so much excellent wit, and so much cunning, (things inconsistent in
any but in _Sylvia_) in one divine frame, but to undo mankind: yes,
_Sylvia_, thou wert born to murder more believing men than the unhappy
and undone _Philander_. Tell me, thou charming hypocrite, why hast
thou thus deluded me? Why? oh, why was I made the miserable object of
thy fatal vow-breach? What have I done, thou lovely, fickle maid, that
thou shouldst be my murderer? And why dost thou call me from the grave
with such dear soft commands as would awake the very quiet dead, to
torture me anew, after my eyes (curse on their fatal sense) were too
sure witnesses of thy infidelity? Oh, fickle maid, how much more kind
it had been to have sent me down to earth, with plain heart-breaking
truth, than a mean subtle falsehood, that has undone thy credit in my
soul? Truth, though it were cruel, had been generous in thee; though
thou wert perjured, false, forsworn----thou shouldst not have added to
it that yet baser sin of treachery: you might have been provoked to
have killed your friend, but it were base to stab him unawares,
defenceless and unwarned; smile in my face, and strike me to the
heart; soothe me with all the tenderest marks of my passion----nay,
with an invitation too, that would have gained a credit in one that
had been jilted over the world, flattered and ruined by all thy
cozening sex, and all to send me vain and pleased away, only to gain a
day to entertain another lover in. Oh, fantastic woman! destructive
glorious thing, what needed this deceit? Hadst thou not with unwonted
industry persuaded me to have hasted to _Cesario_, by heaven, I had
dully lived the tedious day in traversing the flowery meads and silent
groves, laid by some murmuring spring, had sigh'd away the often
counted hours, and thought on _Sylvia_, till the blessed minute of my
ravishing approach to her; had been a fond, believing and imposed on
coxcomb, and never had dreamt the treachery, never seen the snake that
basked beneath the gay, the smiling flowers; securely thou hadst
cozened me, reaped the new joys, and made my rival sport at the
expense of all my happiness: yes, yes, your hasty importunity first
gave me jealousy, made me impatient with _Cesario_, and excuse myself
to him by a hundred inventions; neglected all to hasten back, where
all my joys, where all my killing fears and torments resided--but when
I came----how was I welcomed? With your confirming billet; yes,
_Sylvia_, how! Let _Dorillus_ inform you, between whose arms I fell
dead, shame on me, dead--and the first thought my soul conceived when
it returned, was, not to die in jest. I answered your commands, and
hastened to the grove, where----by all that is sacred, by thyself I
swear (a dearer oath than heaven and earth can furnish me with) I did
resolve to die; but oh, how soon my soft, my silent passion turned to
loud rage, rage easier to be borne, to dire despair, to fury and
revenge; for there I saw, _Foscario_, my young, my fair, my rich and
powerful rival, he hasted through the grove, all warm and glowing from
the fair false one's arms; the blushes which thy eyes had kindled were
fresh upon his cheeks, his looks were sparkling with the new-blown
fire, his heart so briskly burnt with a glad, peaceful smile dressed
all his face, tricked like a bridegroom, while he perfum'd the air as
he passed through it----none but the man that loves and dotes like me
is able to express my sense of rage: I quickly turned the sword from
my own heart to send it to his elevated one, giving him only time
to----draw--that was the word, and I confess your spark was wondrous
ready, brisk with success, vain with your new-given favours, he only
cried--'If _Sylvia_ be the quarrel--I am prepared----' And he
maintained your cause with admirable courage I confess, though chance
or fortune luckily gave me his sword, which I would fain have rendered
back, and that way would have died; but he refused to arm his hand
anew against the man that had not took advantage of him, and thus we
parted: then it was that malice supported me with life, and told me I
should scorn to die for so perfidious and so ruinous a creature; but
charming and bewitching still, it was then I borrowed so much calmness
of my lessening anger to read the billet over, your page had brought
me, which melted all the rough remaining part of rage away into tame
languishment: ah, _Sylvia_! This heart of mine was never formed by
nature to hold out long in stubborn sullenness; I am already on the
excusing part, and fain would think thee innocent and just; deceive me
prettily, I know thou canst soothe my fond heart, and ask how it could
harbour a faithless thought of _Sylvia_--do--flatter me, protest a
little, swear my rival saw thee not, say he was there by chance----say
any thing; or if thou sawest him, say with how cold a look he was
received----Oh, _Sylvia_, calm my soul, deceive it flatter it, and I
shall still believe and love thee on----yet shouldest thou tell me
truth, that thou art false, by heaven I do adore thee so, I still
should love thee on; should I have seen thee clasp him in thy arms,
print kisses on his cheeks and lips, and more----so fondly and so
dotingly I love, I think I should forgive thee; for I swear by all the
powers that pity frail mortality, there is no joy, no life, no heaven
without thee! Be false! Be cruel, perjured, infamous, yet still I must
adore thee; my soul was formed of nothing but of love, and all that
love, and all that soul is _Sylvia_'s; but yet, since thou hast framed
me an excuse, be kind and carry it on;----to be deluded well, as thou
canst do it, will be the same to innocence, as loving: I shall not
find the cheat: I will come then----and lay myself at thy feet, and
seek there that repose, that dear content, which is not to be found in
this vast world besides; though much of my heart's joy thou hast
abated; and fixed a sadness in my soul that will not easily
vanish----oh _Sylvia_, take care of me, for I am in thy power, my
life, my fame, my soul are all in thy hands, be tender of the victims,
and remember if any action of thy life should shew a fading love, that
very moment I perceive the change, you shall find dead at your feet
the abandoned

PHILANDER.

_Sad as death, I am going towards the meadow, in order to my approach
towards_ Sylvia, _the world affording no repose to me, but when I am
where the dear charmer is_.

* * * * *

_To_ Philander _in the Meadow_.

And can you be jealous of me, _Philander_? I mean so poorly jealous as
to believe me capable of falsehood, of vow-breach, and what is worse,
of loving any thing but the adorable _Philander_? I could not once
believe so cruel a thought could have entered into the imaginations of
a soul so entirely possessed with _Sylvia_, and so great a judge of
love. Abandon me, reproach me, hate me, scorn me, whenever I harbour
any thing in mind so destructive to my repose and thine. Can I
_Philander_, give you a greater proof of my passion; of my faithful,
never-dying passion, than being undone for you? Have I any other
prospect in all this soft adventure, but shame, dishonour, reproach,
eternal infamy and ever-lasting destruction, even of soul and body? I
tremble with fear of future punishment; but oh, love will have no
devotion (mixed with his ceremonies) to any other deity; and yet,
alas, I might have loved another, and have been saved, or any maid but
_Sylvia_ might have possessed without damnation. But it is a brother I
pursue, it is a sister gives her honour up, and none but _Canace_,
that ever I read in story, was ever found so wretched as to love a
brother with so criminal a flame, and possibly I may meet her fate. I
have a father too as great as _Aeolus_, as angry and revengeful where
his honour is concerned; and you found, my dearest brother, how near
you were last night to a discovery in the garden. I have some reason
too to fear this night's adventure, for as ill fate would have it
(loaded with other thoughts) I told not _Melinda_ of your adventure
last night with _Monsieur_ the Count, who meeting her early this
morning, had like to have made a discovery, if he have not really so
already; she strove to shun him, but he cried out--'_Melinda_, you
cannot fly me by light, as you did last night in the dark--'She turned
and begged his pardon, for neither coming nor designing to come, since
she had resolved never to violate her vows to _Alexis_: 'Not coming?'
cried he, 'not returning again, you meant, _Melinda_; secure of my
heart and my purse, you fled with both.' _Melinda_, whose honour was
now concerned, and not reminding your escape in her likeness,
blushing, she sharply denied the fact, and with a disdain that had
laid aside all respect, left him; nor can it be doubted, but he
fancied (if she spoke truth) there was some other intrigue of love
carried on at _Bellfont_. Judge, my charming _Philander_, if I have
not reason to be fearful of thy safety, and my fame; and to be jealous
that so wise a man as _Monsieur_ did not take that parly to be held
with a spirit last night, or that it was an apparition he courted: but
if there be no boldness like that of love, nor courage like that of a
lover; sure there never was so great a heroine as _Sylvia_. Undaunted,
I resolve to stand the shock of all, since it is impossible for me to
leave _Philander_ any doubt or jealousy that I can dissipate, and
heaven knows how far I was from any thought of seeing _Foscario_, when
I urged _Philander_ to depart. I have to clear my innocence, sent thee
the letter I received two hours after thy absence, which falling into
my mother's hands, whose favourite he is, he had permission to make
his visit, which within an hour he did; but how received by me, be
thou the judge, whenever it is thy fate to be obliged to entertain
some woman to whom thy soul has an entire aversion. I forced a
complaisance against my nature, endured his racking courtship with a
fortitude that became the great heart that bears thy sacred image; as
martyrs do, I suffered without murmuring, or the least sign of the
pain I endured--it is below the dignity of my mighty passion to
justify it farther, let it plead its own cause, it has a thousand ways
to do it, and those all such as cannot be resisted, cannot be doubted,
especially this last proof of sacrificing to your repose the never
more to be doubted

SYLVIA.

_About an hour hence I shall expect you to advance._

* * * * *

_To_ the Lady----

_Madam,_

'Tis not always the divine graces wherewith heaven has adorned your
resplendent beauties, that can maintain the innumerable conquests they
gain, without a noble goodness; which may make you sensibly
compassionate the poor and forlorn captives you have undone: but, most
fair of your sex, it is I alone that have a destiny more cruel and
severe, and find myself wounded from your very frowns, and secured a
slave as well as made one; the very scorn from those triumphant stars,
your eyes, have the same effects, as if they shined with the continual
splendour of ravishing smiles; and I can no more shun their killing
influence, than their all-saving aspects: and I shall expire
contentedly, since I fall by so glorious a fate, if you will vouchsafe
to pronounce my doom from that store-house of perfection, your mouth,
from lips that open like the blushing rose, strow'd over with morning
dew, and from a breath sweeter than holy incense; in order to which, I
approach you, most excellent beauty, with this most humble petition,
that you will deign to permit me to throw my unworthy self before the
throne of your mercy, there to receive the sentence of my life or
death; a happiness, though incomparably too great for so mean a
vassal, yet with that reverence and awe I shall receive it, as I would
the sentence of the gods, and which I will no more resist than I would
the thunderbolts of _Jove_, or the revenge of angry _Juno_: for,
madam, my immense passion knows no medium between life | and death,
and as I never had the presumption to aspire to the glory of the
first, I am not so abject as to fear I am wholly deprived of the glory
of the last: I have too long lain convicted, extend your mercy, and
put me now out of pain: you have often wrecked me to confess my
promethean sin; spare the cruel vulture of despair, take him from my
heart in pity, and either by killing words, or blasting lightning from
those refulgent eyes, pronounce the death of,

_Madam,_

_Your admiring slave_,

FOSCARIO.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

_My Everlasting Charmer_,

I am convinc'd and pleas'd, my fears are vanish'd, and a heaven of
solid joy is opened to my view, and I have nothing now in prospect but
angel-brightness, glittering youth, dazzling beauty, charming sounds,
and ravishing touches, and all around me ecstasies of pleasure,
inconceivable transports without conclusion; _Mahomet_ never fancied
such a heaven, not all his paradise promised such lasting felicity, or
ever provided there the recompense of such a maid as _Sylvia_, such a
bewitching form, such soft, such glorious eyes, where the soul speaks
and dances, and betrays love's secrets in every killing glance, a
face, where every motion, every feature sweetly languishes, a neck all
tempting--and her lovely breast inviting presses from the eager lips;
such hands, such clasping arms, so white, so soft and slender! No, nor
one of all his heavenly enjoyments, though promised years of fainting
in one continued ecstasy, can make one moment's joy with charming
_Sylvia_. Oh, I am wrapt (with bare imagination) with a much vaster
pleasure than any other dull appointment can dispense--oh, thou
blessing sent from heaven to ease my toils of life! Thou sacred dear
delight of my fond doting heart, oh, whither wilt thou lead me, to
what vast heights of love? Into extremes as fatal and as dangerous as
those excesses were that rendered me so cold in your opinion. Oh,
_Sylvia, Sylvia_, have a care of me, manage my overjoyed soul, and all
its eager passions, chide my fond heart, be angry if I faint upon thy
bosom, and do not with thy tender voice recall me, a voice that kills
out-right, and calls my fleeting soul out of its habitation: lay not
such charming lips to my cold cheeks, but let me lie extended at thy
feet untouched, unsighed upon, unpressed with kisses: oh, change those
tender, trembling words of love into rough sounds and noises
unconcerned, and when you see me dying, do not call my soul to mingle
with thy sighs; yet shouldst thou abate one word, one look or tear, by
heaven I should be mad; oh, never let me live to see declension in thy
love! No, no, my charmer, I cannot bear the least supposed decay in
those dear fondnesses of thine; and sure none ever became a maid so
well, nor ever were received with adorations, like to mine!

Pardon, my adorable _Sylvia_, the rashness of my passion in this
rencounter with _Foscario_; I am satisfied he is too unhappy in your
disfavour to merit the being so in mine; but it was sufficient I then
saw a joy in his face, a pleased gaiety in his ooks to make me think
my rage reasonable, and my quarrel ust; by the style he writes, I
dread his sense less than his person; but you, my lovely maid, have
said enough to quit me of my fears for both----the night comes on--I
cannot call it envious, though it rob me of the light that should
assist me to finish this, since it will more gloriously repay me in a
happier place--come on then, thou blest retreat of lovers, I forgive
by interruptions here, since thou wilt conduct to the arms of
_Sylvia_,--the adoring

PHILANDER.

_If you have any commands for me, this weeder of the gardens, whom I
met in going in thither, will bring it back; I wait in the meadow, and
date this from the dear primrose-bank, where I have sat with_ Sylvia.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

_After the happy night._

'Tis done, yes, _Philander_, it is done, and after that, what will not
love and grief oblige me to own to you? Oh, by what insensible degrees
a maid in love may arrive to say any thing to her lover without
blushing! I have known the time, the blest innocent time, when but to
think I loved _Philander_ would have covered my face with shame, and
to have spoke it would have filled me with confusion--have made me
tremble, blush, and bend my guilty eyes to earth, not daring to behold
my charming conqueror, while I made that bashful confession--though
now I am grown bold in love, yet I have known the time, when being at
Court, and coming from the Presence, being offered some officious hand
to lead me to my coach, I have shrunk back with my aversion to your
sex, and have concealed my hands in my pockets to prevent their being
touched;-a kiss would turn my stomach, and amorous looks (though they
would make me vain) gave me a hate to him that sent them, and never
any maid resolved so much as I to tread the paths of honour, and I had
many precedents before me to make me careful: thus I was armed with
resolution, pride and scorn, against all mankind; but alas, I made no
defence against a brother, but innocently lay exposed to all his
attacks of love, and never thought it criminal till it kindled a new
desire about me, oh, that I should not die with shame to own it----yet
see (I say) how from one soft degree to another, I do not onlyconfess
the shameful truth, but act it too; what with a brother--oh heavens! a
crime so monstrous and so new----but by all thy love, by those
surprising joys so lately experienced----I never will----no, no, I
never can----repent it: oh incorrigible passion! oh harden'd love! At
least I might have some remorse, some sighing after my poor departed
honour; but why should I dissemble with the powers divine; that know
the secrets of a soul doomed to eternal love? Yet I am mad, I rave and
tear myself, traverse my guilty chamber in a disordered, but a soft
confusion; and often opening the conscious curtains, survey the print
where thou and I were last night laid, surveying it with a thousand
tender sighs, and kiss and press thy dear forsaken side, imagine over
all our solemn joys, every dear transport, all our ravishing repeated
blisses; then almost fainting, languishing, cry--_Philander_, oh, my
charming little god! Then lay me down in the dear place you pressed,
still warm and fragrant with the sweet remains that thou hast left
behind thee on the pillow. Oh, my soul's joy! My dear, eternal
pleasure! What softness hast thou added to my heart within a few
hours! But oh, _Philander_--if (as I've oft been told) possession,
which makes women fond and doting, should make thee cold and grow
indifferent--if nauseated with repeated joy, and having made a full
discovery of all that was but once imaginary, when fancy rendered
every thing much finer than experience, oh, how were I undone! For me,
by all the inhabitants of heaven I swear, by thy dear charming self,
and by thy vows----thou so transcendest all fancy, all dull
imagination, all wondering ideas of what man was to me, that I believe
thee more than human! Some charm divine dwells in thy touches; besides
all these, thy charming look, thy love, the beauties that adorn thee,
and thy wit, I swear there is a secret in nature that renders thee
more dear, and fits thee to my soul; do not ask it me, let it suffice,
it is so, and is not to be told; yes, by it I know thou art the man
created for my soul, and he alone that has the power to touch it; my
eyes and fancy might have been diverted, I might have favoured this
above the other, preferred that face, that wit, or shape, or
air----but to concern my soul, to make that capable of something more
than love, it was only necessary that _Philander_ should be formed,
and formed just as he is; that shape, that face, that height, that
dear proportion; I would not have a feature, not a look, not a hair
altered, just as thou art, thou art an angel to me, and I, without
considering what I am, what I might be, or ought, without considering
the fatal circumstances of thy being married (a thought that shocks my
soul whenever it enters) or whatever other thought that does concern
my happiness or quiet, have fixed my soul to love and my _Philander_,
to love thee with all thy disadvantages, and glory in my ruin; these
are my firm resolves--these are my thoughts. But thou art gone, with
all the trophies of my love and honour, gay with the spoils, which now
perhaps are unregarded: the mystery is now revealed, the mighty secret
is known, and now will be no wonder or surprise: But hear my vows: by
all on which my life depends I swear----if ever I perceive the least
decay of love in thee, if ever thou breakest an oath, a vow, a word,
if ever I see repentance in thy face, a coldness in thy eyes (which
heaven divert) by that bright heaven I will die; you may believe me,
since I had the courage and durst love thee, and after that durst
sacrifice my fame, lose all to justify that love, will, when a change
so fatal shall arrive, find courage too to die; yes, die _Philander_,
assure thyself I will, and therefore have a care of

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

OH, where shall I find repose, where seek a silent quiet, but in my
last retreat, the grave! I say not this, my dearest _Philander_, that
I do or ever can repent my love, though the fatal source of all: for
already we are betrayed, our race of joys, our course of stolen
delight is ended 'ere begun. I chid, alas, at morning's dawn, I chid
you to be gone, and yet, heaven knows, I grasped you fast, and rather
would have died than parted with you; I saw the day come on, and
cursed its busy light, and still you cried, one blessed minute more,
before I part with all the joys of life! And hours were minutes then,
and day grew old upon us unawares, it was all abroad, and had called
up all the household spies to pry into the secrets of our loves, and
thou, by some tale-bearing flatterer, were seen in passing through the
garden; the news was carried to my father, and a mighty consult has
been held in my mother's apartment, who now refuses to see me; while
I, possessed with love, and full of wonder at my new change, lulled
with dear contemplation, (for I am altered much since yesterday,
however thou hast charmed me) imagining none knew our theft of love,
but only heaven and _Melinda_. But oh, alas, I had no sooner finished
this enclosed, but my father entered my cabinet, but it was with such
a look----as soon informed me all was betrayed to him; a while he
gazed on me with fierceness in his eyes, which so surprised and
frighted me, that I, all pale and trembling, threw myself at his feet;
he, seeing my disorder, took me up, and fixed so steadfast and so sad
a look upon me, as would have broken any heart but mine, supported
with _Philander_'s, image; I sighed and wept--and silently attended
when the storm should fall, which turned into a shower so soft and
piercing, I almost died to see it; at last delivering me a
paper--'Here,' (cried he, with a sigh and trembling-interrupted voice)
'read what I cannot tell thee. Oh, _Sylvia_,' cried he, '--thou joy
and hope of all my aged years, thou object of my dotage, how hast thou
brought me to my grave with sorrow!' So left me with the paper in my
hand: speechless, unmov'd a while I stood, till he awaked me by new
sighs and cries; for passing through my chamber, by chance, or by
design, he cast his melancholy eyes towards my bed, and saw the dear
disorder there, unusual--then cried--'Oh, wretched _Sylvia_, thou art
lost!' And left me almost fainting. The letter, I soon found, was one
you'd sent from _Dorillus_ his farm this morning, after you had parted
from me, which has betrayed us all, but how it came into their hands I
since have understood: for, as I said, you were seen passing through
the garden, from thence (to be confirmed) they dogged you to the farm,
and waiting there your motions, saw _Dorillus_ come forth with a
letter in his hand, which though he soon concealed, yet not so soon
but it was taken notice of, when hastening to _Bellfont_ the nearest
way, they gave an account to _Monsieur_, my father, who going out to
_Dorillus_, commanded him to deliver him the letter; his vassal durst
not disobey, but yielded it with such dispute and reluctancy, as he
durst maintain with a man so great and powerful; before _Dorillus_
returned you had taken horse, so that you are a stranger to our
misfortune--What shall I do? Where shall I seek a refuge from the
danger that threatens us? A sad and silent grief appears throughout
_Bellfont_, and the face of all things is changed, yet none knows the
unhappy cause but _Monsieur_ my father, and _Madam_ my mother,
_Melinda_ and myself. _Melinda_ and my page are both dismissed from
waiting on me, as supposed confidants of this dear secret, and
strangers, creatures of _Madam_ the Countess, put about me. Oh
_Philander_, what can I do? Thy advice, or I am lost: but how, alas,
shall I either convey these to thee, or receive any thing from thee,
unless some god of love, in pity of our miseries, should offer us his
aid? I will try to corrupt my new boy, I see good nature, pity and
generosity in his looks, he is well born too, and may be honest.

Thus far, _Philander_, I had writ when supper was brought me, for yet
my parents have not deigned to let me come into their presence; those
that serve me tell me _Myrtilla_ is this afternoon arrived at
_Bellfont_; all is mighty close carried in the Countess's apartment. I
tremble with the thought of what will be the result of the great
consultation: I have been tempting of the boy, but I perceive they
have strictly charged him not to obey me; he says, against his will he
shall betray me, for they will have him searched; but he has promised
me to see one of the weeders, who working in the garden, into which my
window opens, may from thence receive what I shall let down; if it be
true, I shall get this fatal knowledge to you, that you may not only
prepare for the worst, but contrive to set at liberty

_The unfortunate_ SYLVIA.

_My heart is ready to break, and my eyes are drowned in tears: oh_
Philander, _how much unlike the last will this fatal night prove!
Farewell, and think of_ Sylvia.

* * * * *

_This was writ in the cover to both the foregoing letters to_
Philander.

Philander, all that I dreaded, all that I feared is fallen upon me: I
have been arraigned, and convicted, three judges, severe as the three
infernal ones, sat in condemnation on me, a father, a mother, and a
sister; the fact, alas, was too clearly proved, and too many
circumstantial truths appeared against me, for me to plead not guilty.
But, oh heavens! Had you seen the tears, and heard the prayers,
threats, reproaches and upbraidings--these from an injured sister,
those my heartbroken parents; a tender mother here, a railing and
reviling sister there--an angry father, and a guilty conscience--thou
wouldst have wondered at my fortitude, my courage, and my resolution,
and all from love! For surely I had died, had not thy love, thy
powerful love supported me; through all the accidents of life and
fate, that can and will support me; in the midst of all their
clamours and their railings I had from that a secret and soft repose
within, that whispered me, _Philander_ loves me still; discarded and
renounced by my fond parents; love still replies, _Philander_ still
will own thee; thrown from thy mother's and thy sister's arms,
_Philander_'s still are open to receive thee: and though I rave and
almost die to see them grieve, to think that I am the fatal cause who
makes so sad confusion in our family; (for, oh, 'tis piteous to behold
my sister's sighs and tears, my mother's sad despair, my father's
raging and his weeping, by melancholy turns;) yet even these
deplorable objects, that would move the most obdurate, stubborn heart
to pity and repentance, render not mine relenting; and yet I am
wondrous pitiful by nature, and I can weep and faint to see the sad
effects of my loose, wanton love, yet cannot find repentance for the
dear charming sin; and yet, should'st thou behold my mother's
languishment, no bitter words proceeding from her lips, no tears fall
from her downcast eyes, but silent and sad as death she sits, and will
not view the light; should'st thou, I say, behold it, thou would'st,
if not repent, yet grieve that thou hadst loved me: sure love has
quite confounded nature in me, I could not else behold this fatal ruin
without revenging it upon my stubborn heart; a thousand times a day I
make new vows against the god of love, but it is too late, and I am as
often perjured----oh, should the gods revenge the broken vows of
lovers, what love-sick man, what maid betrayed like me, but would be
damned a thousand times? For every little love-quarrel, every kind
resentment makes us swear to love no more; and every smile, and every
flattering softness from the dear injurer, makes us perjured: let all
the force of virtue, honour, interest join with my suffering parents
to persuade me to cease to love _Philander_, yet let him but appear,
let him but look on me with those dear charming eyes, let him but
sigh, or press me to his fragrant cheek, fold me--and cry--'Ah,
_Sylvia_, can you quit me?--nay, you must not, you shall not, nay, I
know you cannot, remember you are mine--There is such eloquence in
those dear words, when uttered with a voice so tender and so
passionate, that I believe them irresistible--alas, I find them
so--and easily break all the feebler vows I make against thee; yes, I
must be undone, perjured, forsworn, incorrigible, unnatural,
disobedient, and any thing, rather than not _Philander_'s--Turn
then, my soul, from these domestic, melancholy objects, and look
abroad, look forward for a while on charming prospects; look on
_Philander_, the dear, the young, the amorous _Philander_, whose very
looks infuse a tender joy throughout the soul, and chase all cares,
all sorrows and anxious thoughts from thence, whose wanton play is
softer I than that of young-fledged angels, and when he looks, and
sighs, and speaks, and touches, he is a very god: where art thou, oh
miracle of youth, thou charming dear undoer! Now thou hast gained the
glory of the conquest, thou slightest the rifled captive: what, not a
line? Two tedious days are past, and no kind power relieves me with a
word, or any tidings of _Philander_--and yet thou mayest have
sent--but I shall never see it, till they raise up fresh witnesses
against me--I cannot think thee wavering or forgetful; for if I did,
surely thou knowest my heart so well, thou canst not think it would
live to think another thought. Confirm my kind belief, and send to
me----

There is a gate well known to thee through which thou passest to
_Bellfont_, it is in the road about half a league from hence, an old
man opens it, his daughter weeds in the garden, and will convey this
to thee as I have ordered her; by the same messenger thou mayest
return thine, and early as she comes I'll let her down a string, by
which way unperceived I shall receive them from her: I will say no
more, nor instruct you how you shall preserve your

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

_That which was left in her hands by_ Monsieur, _her father, in her
cabinet._

_My adorable_ Sylvia,

I can no more describe to thee the torment with which I part from
_Bellfont_, than I can that heaven of joy I was raised to last night
by the transporting effects of thy wondrous love; both are to excess,
and both killing, but in different kinds. Oh, _Sylvia_, by all my
unspeakable raptures in thy arms, by all thy charms of beauty, too
numerous and too ravishing for fancy to imagine--I swear----by this
last night, by this dear new discovery, thou hast increased my love to
that vast height, it has undone my peace--all my repose is gone--this
dear, dear night has ruined me, it has confirmed me now I must have
_Sylvia_, and cannot live without her, no not a day, an hour----to
save the world, unless I had the entire possession of my lovely maid:
ah, _Sylvia_, I am not that indifferent dull lover that can be raised
by one beauty to an appetite, and satisfy it with another; I cannot
carry the dear flame you kindle to quench it in the embraces of
_Myrtilla_; no, by the eternal powers, he that pretends to love, and
loves at that coarse rate, needs fear no danger from that passion, he
never was born to love, or die for love; _Sylvia_, _Myrtilla_ and a
thousand more were all the same to such a dull insensible; no,
_Sylvia_, when you find I can return back to the once left matrimonial
bed, despise me, scorn me: swear (as then thou justly may'st) I love
not _Sylvia_: let the hot brute drudge on (he who is fired by nature,
not by love, whom any body's kisses can inspire) and ease the
necessary heats of youth; love is a nobler fire, which nothing can
allay but the dear she that raised it; no, no, my purer stream shall
never run back to the fountain, whence it is parted, nay it cannot, it
were as possible to love again, where one has ceased to love, as carry
the desire and wishes back; by heaven, to me there is nothing so
unnatural; no, _Sylvia_, it is you I must possess, you have completed
my undoing now, and I must die unless you give me all----but oh, I am
going from thee----when are we like to meet----oh, how shall I support
my absent hours! Thought will destroy me, for it will be all on thee,
and those at such a distance will be insupportable.----What shall I do
without thee? If after all the toils of dull insipid life I could
return and lay me down by thee, _Herculean_ labours would be soft and
easy----the harsh fatigues of war, the dangerous hurries of affairs of
State, the business and the noise of life, I could support with
pleasure, with wondrous satisfaction, could treat _Myrtilla_ too with
that respect, that generous care, as would become a husband. I could
be easy every where, and every one should be at ease with me; now I
shall go and find no _Sylvia_ there, but sigh and wander like an
unknown thing, on some strange foreign shore; I shall grow peevish as
a new wean'd child, no toys, no bauble of the gaudy world will please
my wayward fancy: I shall be out of humour, rail at every thing, in
anger shall demand, and sullenly reply to every question asked and
answered, and when I think to ease my soul by a retreat, a thousand
soft desires, a thousand wishes wreck me, pain me to raving, till
beating the senseless floor with my feet----I cried aloud--'My
_Sylvia_!'--thus, thus, my charming dear, the poor _Philander_ is
employed when banished from his heaven! If thus it used to be when
only that bright outside was adored, judge now my pain, now thou hast
made known a thousand graces more--oh, pity me----for it is not in thy
power to guess what I shall now endure in absence of thee; for thou
hast charmed my soul to an excess too mighty for a patient suffering:
alas, I die already----

I am yet at _Dorillus_ his farm, lingering on from one swift minute to
the other, and have not power to go; a thousand looks all languishing
I've cast from eyes all drowned in tears towards _Bellfont_, have
sighed a thousand wishes to my angel, from a sad breaking heart--love
will not let me go--and honour calls me--alas, I must away; when shall
we meet again? Ah, when my _Sylvia_?--Oh charming maid--thou'lt see me
shortly dead, for thus I cannot live; thou must be mine, or I must be
no more--I must away--farewell--may all the softest joys of heaven
attend thee--adieu--fail not to send a hundred times a day, if
possible; I've ordered _Alexis_ to do nothing but wait for all that
comes, and post away with what thou sendest to me----again adieu,
think on me----and till thou callest me to thee, imagine nothing upon
earth so wretched as _Sylvia_'s own

PHILANDER.

_Know, my angel, that passing through the garden this morning, I met_
Erasto----_I fear he saw me near enough to know me, and will give an
account of it; let me know what happens----adieu half dead, just
taking horse to go from_ Sylvia.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

_Written in a leaf of a table-book_.

I have only time to say, on Thursday I am destined a sacrifice to
_Foscario_, which day finishes the life of

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To SYLVIA_.

_From_ Dorillus _his farm_.

Raving and mad at the news your billet brought me, I (without
considering the effects that would follow) am arrived at _Bellfont_; I
have yet so much patience about me, to suffer myself to be concealed
at _Dorillus_ his cottage; but if I see thee not to-night, or find no
hopes of it----by heaven I'll set Bellfont all in a flame but I will
have my _Sylvia_; be sure I'll do it--What? To be married--Sylvia to
be married--and given from _Philander_--Oh, never think it, forsworn
fair creature--What? Give _Foscario_ that dear charming body? Shall he
be grasped in those dear naked arms? Taste all thy kisses, press thy
snowy breasts, command thy joys, and rifle all thy heaven? Furies and
hell environ me if he do----Oh, Sylvia, faithless, perjured, charming
_Sylvia_--and canst thou suffer it--Hear my vows, oh fickle
angel--hear me, thou faithless ravisher! That fatal moment that the
daring priest offers to join your hands, and give thee from me, I will
sacrifice your lover; by heaven I will, before the altar, stab him at
your feet; the holy place, nor the numbers that attend ye, nor all
your prayers nor tears, shall save his heart; look to it, and be not
false----yet I'll trust not thy faith; no, she that can think but
falsely, and she that can so easily be perjured----for, but to suffer
it is such a sin--such an undoing sin--that thou art surely damned!
And yet, by heaven, that is not all the ruin shall attend thee; no,
lovely mischief, no----you shall not escape till the damnation day;
for I will rack thee, torture thee and plague thee, those few hours I
have to live, (if spiteful fate prevent my just revenge upon
_Foscario_) and when I am dead--as I shall quickly be killed by thy
cruelty--know, thou fair murderer, I will haunt thy sight, be ever
with thee, and surround thy bed, and fright thee from the ravisher;
fright all thy loose delights, and check thy joys----Oh, I am
mad!----I cannot think that thought, no, thou shalt never advance so
far in wickedness, I will save thee, if I can----Oh, my adorable, why
dost thou torture me? How hast thou sworn so often and so loud that
heaven I am sure has heard thee, and will punish thee? How didst thou
swear that happy blessed night, in which I saw thee last, clasped in
my arms, weeping with eager love, with melting softness on my
bosom----remember how thou swor'st----oh, that dear night,--let me
recover strength--and then I will tell thee more--I must repeat the
story of that night, which thou perhaps (oh faithless!) hast
forgot--that glorious night, when all the heavens were gay, and every
favouring power looked down and smiled upon our thefts of love, that
gloomy night, the first of all my joys, the blessedest of my
life--trembling and fainting I approach your chamber, and while you
met and grasped me at the door, taking my trembling body in your
arms-remember how I fainted at your feet, and what dear arts you used
to call me back to life--remember how you kissed and pressed my
face--Remember what dear charming words you spoke--and when I did
recover, how I asked you with a feeble doubtful voice--'Ah, _Sylvia_,
will you still continue thus, thus wondrous soft and fond? Will you be
ever mine, and ever true?'--What did you then reply, when kneeling on
the carpet where I lay, what _Sylvia_, did you vow? How invoke heaven?
How call its vengeance down if ever you loved another man again, if
ever you touched or smiled on any other, if ever you suffered words or
acts of love but from _Philander_? Both heaven and hell thou didst
awaken with thy oaths, one was an angry listener to what it knew
thou'dst break, the other laughed to know thou would'st be perjured,
while only I, poor I, was all the while a silent fond believer; your
vows stopped all my language, as your kisses did my lips, you swore
and kissed, and vowed and clasped my neck--Oh charming flatterer! Oh
artful, dear beguiler! Thus into life, and peace, and fond security,
you charmed my willing soul! It was then, my _Sylvia_, (certain of
your heart, and that it never could be given away to any other) I
pressed my eager joys, but with such tender caution--such fear and
fondness, such an awful passion, as overcame your faint resistance; my
reasons and my arguments were strong, for you were mine by love, by
sacred vows, and who could lay a better claim to _Sylvia_? How oft I
cried--'Why this resistance, _Sylvia_? My charming dear, whose are
you? Not _Philander_'s? And shall _Philander_ not command his
own----you must----ah cruel----' then a soft struggle followed, with
half-breathed words, with sighs and trembling hearts, and now and
then--'Ah cruel and unreasonable'--was softly said on both sides; thus
strove, thus argued--till both lay panting in each other's arms, not
with the toil, but rapture; I need not say what followed after
this--what tender showers of strange endearing mixtures 'twixt joy and
shame, 'twixt love and new surprise, and ever when I dried your eyes
with kisses, unable to repeat any other language than--'Oh my
_Sylvia_! Oh my charming angel!' While sighs of joy, and close
grasping thee--spoke all the rest--while every tender word, and every
sigh was echoed back by thee; you pressed me--and you vowed you loved
me more than ever yet you did; then swore anew, and in my bosom, hid
your charming blushing face, then with excess of love would call on
heaven, 'Be witness, oh ye powers' (a thousand times ye cried) 'if
ever maid e'er loved like _Sylvia_--punish me strangely, oh eternal
powers, if ever I leave _Philander_, if ever I cease to love him; no
force, no art, not interest, honour, wealth, convenience, duty, or
what other necessary cause--shall ever be of force to make me leave
thee----' Thus hast thou sworn, oh charming, faithless flatterer, thus
betwixt each ravishing minute thou would'st swear--and I as fast
believed--and loved thee more----Hast thou forgot it all, oh fickle
charmer, hast thou? Hast thou forgot between each awful ceremony of
love, how you cried out 'Farewell the world and mortal cares, give me
_Philander_, heaven, I ask no more'--Hast thou forgot all this? Did
all the live-long night hear any other sound but those our mutual
vows, of invocations, broken sighs, and soft and trembling whispers?
Say, had we any other business for the tender hours? Oh, all ye host
of heaven, ye stars that shone, and all ye powers the faithless lovely
maid has sworn by, be witness how she is perjur'd; revenge it all, ye
injured powers, revenge it, since by it she has undone the
faithfullest youth, and broke the tenderest heart--that ever fell a
sacrifice to love; and all ye little weeping gods of love, revenge
your murdered victim--your

PHILANDER.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

_In the leaves of a table-book_.

On, my _Philander_, how dearly welcome, and how needless were thy kind
reproaches! Which I will not endeavour to convince by argument, but
such a deed as shall at once secure thy fears now and for the future.
I have not a minute to write in; place, my dear _Philander_, your
chariot in St _Vincent's_ Wood, and since I am not able to fix the
hour of my flight, let it wait there my coming; it is but a little
mile from _Bellfont_, _Dorillus_ is suspected there, remove thyself to
the high-way-gate cottage--there I'll call on thee----'twas lucky,
that thy fears, or love, or jealousy brought thee so near me, since
I'd resolv'd before upon my flight. Parents and honour, interest and
fame, farewell--I leave you all to follow my _Philander_--Haste the
chariot to the thickest part of the wood, for I am impatient to be
gone, and shall take the first opportunity to fly to my
_Philander_----Oh, love me, love me, love me!

_Under pretence of reaching the jessamine which shades my window, I
unperceived let down and receive what letters you send by the honest
weeder; by her send your sense of my flight, or rather your direction,
for it is resolved already._

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

_My lovely Angel_,

So careful I will be of this dear mighty secret, that I will only say,
_Sylvia_ shall be obeyed; no more----nay, I'll not dare to think of
it, lest in my rapture I should name my joy aloud, and busy winds
should bear it to some officious listener, and undo me; no more, no
more, my _Sylvia_, extremes of joy (as grief) are ever dumb: let it
suffice, this blessing which you proffer I had designed to ask, as
soon as you'd convinced me of your faith; yes, _Sylvia_, I had asked
it though it was a bounty too great for any mortal to conceive heaven
should bestow upon him; but if it do, that very moment I'll resign the
world, and barter all for love and charming _Sylvia_. Haste, haste, my
life; my arms, my bosom and my soul are open to receive the lovely
fugitive; haste, for this moment I am going to plant myself where you
directed. _Adieu_.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

_After her flight_.

Ah, _Philander_, how have you undone a harmless poor unfortunate?
Alas, where are you? Why would you thus abandon me? Is this the soul,
the bosom, these the arms that should receive me? I'll not upbraid
thee with my love, or charge thee with my undoing; it was all my own,
and were it yet to do, I should again be ruined for _Philander_, and
never find repentance, no not for a thought, a word or deed of love,
to the dear false forsworn; but I can die, yes, hopeless,
friendless--left by all, even by _Philander_--all but resolution has
abandoned me, and that can lay me down, whenever I please, in safe
repose and peace: but oh, thou art not false, or if thou be'st, oh,
let me hear it from thy mouth, see thy repented love, that I may know
there is no such thing on earth, as faith, as honesty, as love or
truth; however, be thou true, or be thou false, be bold and let me
know it, for thus to doubt is torture worse than death. What accident,
thou dear, dear man, has happened to prevent thee from pursuing my
directions, and staying for me at the gate? Where have I missed thee,
thou joy of my soul? By what dire mistake have I lost thee? And where,
oh, where art thou, my charming lover? I sought thee every where, but
like the languishing abandoned mistress in the _Canticles_ I sought
thee, but I found thee not, no bed of roses would discover thee: I saw
no print of thy dear shape, nor heard no amorous sigh that could
direct me--I asked the wood and springs, complained and called on thee
through all the groves, but they confessed thee not; nothing but
echoes answered me, and when I cried _'Philander'_--cried--
_'Philander'_; thus searched I till the coming night, and my
increasing fears made me resolve for flight, which soon we did, and
soon arrived at _Paris_, but whither then to go, heaven knows, I
could not tell, for I was almost naked, friendless and forlorn; at
last, consulting _Brilliard_ what to do, after a thousand revolutions,
he concluded to trust me with a sister he had, who was married to a
_Guidon_ of the _Guard de Corps_; he changed my name, and made me
pass for a fortune he had stolen; but oh, no welcomes, nor my
safe retreat were sufficient to repose me all the ensuing night, for I
had no news of _Philander_, no, not a dream informed me; a thousand
fears and jealousies have kept me waking, and _Brilliard_, who has
been all night in pursuit of thee, is now returned successless and
distracted as thy _Sylvia_, for duty and generosity have almost the
same effects in him, with love and tenderness and jealousy in me; and
since _Paris_ affords no news of thee, (which sure it would if thou
wert in it, for oh, the sun might hide himself with as much ease as
great _Philander_) he is resolved to search St _Vincent_'s Wood, and
all the adjacent cottages and groves; he thinks that you, not knowing
of my escape, may yet be waiting thereabouts; since quitting the
chariot for fear of being seen, you might be so far advanced into the
wood, as not to find the way back to the thicket where the chariot
waited: it is thus he feeds my hope, and flatters my poor heart, that
fain would think thee true--or if thou be'st not--but cursed be all
such thoughts, and far from _Sylvia_'s soul; no, no, thou art not
false, it cannot be, thou art a god, and art unchangeable: I know, by
some mistake, thou art attending me, as wild and impatient as I;
perhaps you thinkest me false, and thinkest I have not courage to
pursue my love, and fly; and, thou perhaps art waiting for the hour
wherein thou thinkest I will give myself away to _Foscario_: oh cruel
and unkind! To think I loved so lightly, to think I would attend that
fatal hour; no, _Philander_, no faithless, dear enchanter: last night,
the eve to my intended wedding-day, having reposed my soul by my
resolves for flight, and only waiting the lucky minute for escape, I
set a willing hand to every thing that was preparing for the ceremony
of the ensuing morning; with that pretence I got me early to my
chamber, tried on a thousand dresses, and asked a thousand questions,
all impertinent, which would do best, which looked most gay and rich,
then dressed my gown with jewels, decked my apartment up, and left
nothing undone that might secure 'em both of my being pleased, and of
my stay; nay, and to give the less suspicion, I undressed myself even
to my under-petticoat and night-gown; I would not take a jewel, not a
pistole, but left my women finishing my work, and carelessly and thus
undressed, walked towards the garden, and while every one was busy in
their office, getting myself out of sight, posted over the meadow to
the wood as swift as _Daphne_ from the god of day, till I arrived most
luckily where I found the chariot waiting; attended by _Brilliard_; of
whom, when I (all fainting and breathless with my swift flight)
demanded his lord, he lifted me into the chariot, and cried, 'a little
farther, _Madam_, you will find him; for he, for fear of making a
discovery, took yonder shaded path'--towards which we went, but no
dear vision of my love appeared--And thus, my charming lover, you have
my kind adventure; send me some tidings back that you are found, that
you are well, and lastly that you are mine, or this, that should have
been my wedding-day, will see itself that of the death of

SYLVIA.

Paris, _Thursday, from my bed, for want of clothes, or rather news
from_ Philander.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

My life, my _Sylvia_, my eternal joy, art thou then safe! And art thou
reserved for _Philander_? Am I so blest by heaven, by love, and my
dear charming maid? Then let me die in peace, since I have lived to
see all that my soul desires in _Sylvia_'s being mine; perplex not thy
soft heart with fears or jealousies, nor think so basely, so poorly of
my love, to need more oaths or vows; yet to confirm thee, I would
swear my breath away; but oh, it needs not here;----take then no care,
my lovely dear, turn not thy charming eyes or thoughts on afflicting
objects; oh think not on what thou hast abandoned, but what thou art
arrived to; look forward on the joys of love and youth, for I will
dedicate all my remaining life to render thine serene and glad; and
yet, my _Sylvia_, thou art so dear to me, so wondrous precious to my
soul, that in my extravagance of love, I fear I shall grow a
troublesome and wearying coxcomb, shall dread every look thou givest
away from me--a smile will make me rave, a sigh or touch make me
commit a murder on the happy slave, or my own jealous heart, but all
the world besides is _Sylvia_'s, all but another lover; but I rave and
run too fast away; ages must pass a tedious term of years before I can
be jealous, or conceive thou can'st be weary of _Philander_--I will be
so fond, so doting, and so playing, thou shalt not have an idle minute
to throw away a look in, or a thought on any other; no, no, I have
thee now, and will maintain my right by dint and force of love--oh, I
am wild to see thee--but, _Sylvia_, I am wounded--do not be frighted
though, for it is not much or dangerous, but very troublesome, since
it permits me not to fly to _Sylvia_, but she must come to me in order
to it. _Brilliard_ has a bill on my goldsmith in _Paris_ for a
thousand pistoles to buy thee something to put on; any thing that is
ready, and he will conduct thee to me, for I shall rave myself into a
fever if I see thee not to-day--I cannot live without thee now, for
thou art my life, my everlasting charmer: I have ordered _Brilliard_
to get a chariot and some unknown livery for thee, and I think the
continuance of passing for what he has already rendered thee will do
very well, till I have taken farther care of thy dear safety, which
will be as soon as I am able to rise; for most unfortunately, my dear
_Sylvia_, quitting the chariot in the thicket for fear of being seen
with it, and walking down a shaded path that suited with the
melancholy and fears of unsuccess in thy adventure; I went so far, as
ere I could return to the place where I left the chariot it was
gone--it seems with thee; I know not how you missed me--but
possessed myself with a thousand false fears, sometimes that in thy
flight thou mightest be pursued and overtaken, seized in the chariot
and returned back to _Bellfont_; or that the chariot was found seized
on upon suspicion, though the coachman and _Brilliard_ were disguised
past knowledge----or if thou wert gone, alas I knew not whither; but
that was a thought my doubts and fears would not suffer me to ease my
soul with; no, I (as jealous lovers do) imagined the most tormenting
things for my own repose. I imagined the chariot taken, or at least so
discovered as to be forced away without thee: I imagined that thou
wert false----heaven forgive me, false, my _Sylvia_, and hadst changed
thy mind; mad with this thought (which I fancied most reasonable, and
fixt it in my soul) I raved about the wood, making a thousand vows to
be revenged on all; in order to it I left the thicket, and betook
myself to the high road of the wood, where I laid me down among the
fern, close hid, with sword ready, waiting for the happy bridegroom,
who I knew (it being the wedding eve) would that way pass that
evening; pleased with revenge, which now had got even the place of
love, I waited there not above a little hour but heard the trampling
of a horse, and looking up with mighty joy, I found it _Foscario_'s;
alone he was, and unattended, for he'd outstripped his equipage, and
with a lover's haste, and full of joy, was making towards _Bellfont_;
but I (now fired with rage) leaped from my cover, cried, 'Stay,
_Foscario_, ere you arrive to _Sylvia_, we must adjust an odd account
between us'----at which he stopping, as nimbly alighted;--in fine, we
fought, and many wounds were given and received on both sides, till
his people coming up, parted us, just as we were fainting with loss of
blood in each other's arms; his coach and chariot were amongst his
equipage; into the first his servants lifted him, when he cried out
with a feeble voice, to have me, who now lay bleeding on the ground,
put into the chariot, and to be safely conveyed where-ever I
commanded, and so in haste they drove him towards _Bellfont_, and me,
who was resolved not to stir far from it, to a village within a mile
of it; from whence I sent to _Paris_ for a surgeon, and dismissed the
chariot, ordering, in the hearing of the coachman, a litter to be
brought me immediately, to convey me that night to _Paris_; but the
surgeon coming, found it not safe for me to be removed, and I am now
willing to live, since _Sylvia_ is mine; haste to me then, my lovely
maid, and fear not being discovered, for I have given order here in
the _cabaret_ where I am, if any inquiry is made after me, to say, I
went last night to _Paris_. Haste, my love, haste to my arms, as
feeble as they are, they'll grasp thee a dear welcome: I will say no
more, nor prescribe rules to thy love, that can inform thee best what
thou must do to save the life of thy most passionate adorer,

PHILANDER.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

I have sent _Brilliard_ to see if the coast be clear, that we may come
with safety; he brings you, instead of _Sylvia_, a young cavalier that
will be altogether as welcome to _Philander_, and who impatiently
waits his return at a little cottage at the end of the village.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

_From the_ Bastille.

I know my _Sylvia_ expected me at home with her at dinner to-day, and
wonders how I could live so long as since morning without the eternal
joy of my soul; but know, my _Sylvia_, that a trivial misfortune is
now fallen upon me, which in the midst of all our heaven of joys, our
softest hours of life, has so often changed thy smiles into fears and
sighings, and ruffled thy calm soul with cares: nor let it now seem
strange or afflicting, since every day for these three months we have
been alarmed with new fears that have made thee uneasy even in
_Philander_'s arms; we knew some time or other the storm would fall on
us, though we had for three happy months sheltered ourselves from its
threatening rage; but love, I hope, has armed us both; for me--let me
be deprived of all joys, (but those my charmer can dispense) all the
false world's respect, the dull esteem of fools and formal coxcombs,
the grave advice of the censorious wise, the kind opinion of
ill-judging women, no matter, so my _Sylvia_ remain but mine.

I am, my _Sylvia_, arrested at the suit of _Monsieur_ the Count, your
father, for a rape on my lovely maid: I desire, my soul, you will
immediately take coach and go to the Prince _Cesario_, and he will
bail me out. I fear not a fair trial; and, _Sylvia_, thefts of mutual
love were never counted felony; I may die for love, my _Sylvia_, but
not for loving--go, haste, my _Sylvia_, that I may be no longer
detained from the solid pleasure and business of my soul--haste, my
loved dear--haste and relieve

PHILANDER.

_Come not to me, lest there should be an order to detain my dear_.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

I am not at all surprised, my _Philander_, at the accident that has
befallen thee, because so long expected, and love has so well
fortified my heart, that I support our misfortunes with a courage
worthy of her that loves and is beloved by the glorious _Philander_; I
am armed for the worst that can befall me, and that is my being
rendered a public shame, who have been so in the private whispers of
all the Court for near these happy three months, in which I have had
the wondrous satisfaction of being retired from the world with the
charming _Philander_; my father too knew it long since, at least he
could not hinder himself from guessing it, though his fond indulgence
suffered his justice and his anger to sleep, and possibly had still
slept, had not _Myrtilla_'s spite and rage (I should say just
resentment, but I cannot) roused up his drowsy vengeance: I know she
has plied him with her softening eloquence, her prayers and tears, to
win him to consent to make a public business of it; but I am entered,
love has armed my soul, and I'll pursue my fortune with that height of
fortitude as shall surprise the world; yes, _Philander_, since I have
lost my honour, fame and friends, my interest and my parents, and all
for mightier love, I'll stop at nothing now; if there be any hazards
more to run, I will thank the spiteful Fates that bring them on, and
will even tire them out with my unwearied passion. Love on,
_Philander_, if thou darest, like me; let 'em pursue me with their
hate and vengeance, let prisons, poverty and tortures seize me, it
shall not take one grain of love away from my resolved heart, nor make
me shed a tear of penitence for loving thee; no, _Philander_, since I
know what a ravishing pleasure it is to live thine, I will never quit
the glory of dying also thy

SYLVIA.

Cesario, _my dear, is coming to be your bail; with_ Monsieur _the
Count of----I die to see you after your suffering for_ Sylvia.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

BELIEVE me, charming _Sylvia_, I live not those hours I am absent from
thee, thou art my life, my soul, and my eternal felicity; while you
believe this truth, my _Sylvia_, you will not entertain a thousand
fears, if I but stay a moment beyond my appointed hour; especially
when _Philander_, who is not able to support the thought that any
thing should afflict his lovely baby, takes care from hour to hour to
satisfy her tender doubting heart. My dearest, I am gone into the city
to my advocate's, my trial with _Monsieur_ the Count, your father,
coming on to-morrow, and it will be at least two tedious hours ere I
can bring my adorable her

PHILANDER.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

I was called on, my dearest child, at my advocate's by _Cesario_;
there is some great business this evening debated in the cabal, which
is at _Monsieur----_ in the city; _Cesario_ tells me there is a very
diligent search made by _Monsieur_ the Count, your father, for my
_Sylvia_; I die if you are taken, lest the fright should hurt thee; if
possible, I would have thee remove this evening from those lodgings,
lest the people, who are of the royal party, should be induced through
malice or gain to discover thee; I dare not come myself to wait on
thee, lest my being seen should betray thee, but I have sent
_Brilliard_ (whose zeal for thee shall be rewarded) to conduct thee to
a little house in the _Faubourg St Germain_, where lives a pretty
woman, and mistress to _Chevalier Tomaso_, called _Belinda_, a woman
of wit, and discreet enough to understand what ought to be paid to a
maid of the quality and character of _Sylvia_; she already knows the
stories of our loves; thither I'll come to thee, and bring _Cesario_
to supper, as soon as the cabal breaks up. Oh, my _Sylvia_, I shall
one day recompense all thy goodness, all thy bravery, thy love and thy
suffering for thy eternal lover and slave,

PHILANDER.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

So hasty I was to obey _Philander_'s commands, that by the unwearied
care and industry of the faithful _Brilliard_, I went before three
o'clock disguised away to the place whither you ordered us, and was
well received by the very pretty young woman of the house, who has
sense and breeding as well as beauty: but oh, _Philander_, this flight
pleases me not; alas, what have I done? my fault is only love, and
that sure I should boast, as the most divine passion of the soul; no,
no, _Philander_, it is not my love's the criminal, no, not the placing
it on _Philander_ the crime, but it is thy most unhappy circumstances,
thy being married, and that was no crime to heaven till man made laws,
and can laws reach to damnation? If so, curse on the fatal hour that
thou wert married, curse on the priest that joined ye, and curst be
all that did contribute to the undoing ceremony----except
_Philander_'s tongue, that answered yes--oh, heavens! Was there but
one dear man of all your whole creation that could charm the soul of
_Sylvia_! And could ye--oh, ye wise all-seeing powers that knew my
soul, could ye give him away? How had my innocence offended ye? Our
hearts you did create for mutual love, how came the dire mistake?

Another would have pleased the indifferent _Myrtilla_'s soul as well,
but mine was fitted for no other man; only _Philander_, the adored
_Philander_, with that dear form, that shape, that charming face, that
hair, those lovely speaking eyes, that wounding softness in his tender
voice, had power to conquer _Sylvia_; and can this be a sin? Oh,
heavens, can it? Must laws, which man contrived for mere conveniency,
have power to alter the divine decrees at our creation?--Perhaps they
argue to-morrow at the bar, that _Myrtilla_ was ordained by heaven for
_Philander_; no, no, he mistook the sister, it was pretty near he
came, but by a fatal error was mistaken; his hasty youth made him too
negligently stop before his time at the wrong woman, he should have
gazed a little farther on--and then it had been _Sylvia_'s lot----It
is fine divinity they teach, that cry marriages are made in
heaven--folly and madness grown into grave custom; should an unheedy
youth in heat of blood take up with the first convenient she that
offers, though he be an heir to some grave politician, great and rich,
and she the outcast of the common stews, coupled in height of wine,
and sudden lust, which once allayed, and that the sober morning wakes
him to see his error, he quits with shame the jilt, and owns no more
the folly; shall this be called a heavenly conjunction? Were I in
height of youth, as now I am, forced by my parents, obliged by
interest and honour, to marry the old, deformed, diseased, decrepit
Count _Anthonio_, whose person, qualities and principles I loathe, and
rather than suffer him to consummate his nuptials, suppose I should
(as sure I should) kill myself, it were blasphemy to lay this fatal
marriage to heaven's charge----curse on your nonsense, ye imposing
gownmen, curse on your holy cant; you may as well call rapes and
murders, treason and robbery, the acts of heaven; because heaven
suffers them to be committed. Is it heaven's pleasure therefore,
heaven's decree? A trick, a wise device of priests, no more----to make
the nauseated, tired-out pair drag on the careful business of life,
drudge for the dull-got family with greater satisfaction, because they
are taught to think marriage was made in heaven; a mighty comfort
that, when all the joys of life are lost by it: were it not nobler far
that honour kept him just, and that good nature made him reasonable
provision? Daily experience proves to us, no couple live with less
content, less ease, than those who cry heaven joins? Who is it loves
less than those that marry? And where love is not, there is hate and
loathing at best, disgust, disquiet, noise and repentance: no,
_Philander_, that's a heavenly match when two souls touched with equal
passion meet, (which is but rarely seen)--when willing vows, with
serious considerations, are weighed and made, when a true view is
taken of the soul, when no base interest makes the hasty bargain, when
no conveniency or design, or drudge, or slave, shall find it
necessary, when equal judgements meet that can esteem the blessings
they possess, and distinguish the good of either's love, and set a
value on each other's merits, and where both understand to take and
pay; who find the beauty of each other's minds and rate them as they
ought; whom not a formal ceremony binds, (with which I've nought to
do, but dully give a cold consenting affirmative) but well considered
vows from soft inclining hearts, uttered with love, with joy, with
dear delight, when heaven is called to witness; she is thy wife,
_Philander_ he is my husband; this is the match, this heaven designs
and means; how then, oh how came I to miss _Philander_? Or he his

SYLVIA.

_Since I writ this, which I designed not an invective against
marriage, when I began, but to inform thee of my being where you
directed; but since I write this, I say, the house where I am is
broken open with warrants and officers for me, but being all undressed
and ill, the officer has taken my word for my appearance to-morrow, it
seems they saw me when I went from my lodgings, and pursued me; haste
to me, for I shall need your counsel_.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

My eternal joy, my affliction is inexpressible at the news you send me
of your being surprised; I am not able to wait on thee yet--not being
suffered to leave the cabal, I only borrow this minute to tell thee
the sense of my advocate in this case; which was, if thou should be
taken, there was no way, no law to save thee from being ravished from
my arms, but that of marrying thee to some body whom I can trust; this
we have often discoursed, and thou hast often vowed thou'lt do any
thing rather than kill me with a separation; resolve then, oh thou
charmer of my soul, to do a deed, that though the name would fright
thee, only can preserve both thee and me; it is--and though it have no
other terror in it than the name, I faint to speak it--to marry,
_Sylvia_; yes, thou must marry; though thou art mine as fast as heaven
can make us, yet thou must marry; I have pitched upon the property, it
is _Brilliard_, him I can only trust in this affair; it is but joining
hands--no more, my _Sylvia_,--_Brilliard_ is a gentleman, though a
_cadet_, and may be supposed to pretend to so great a happiness, and
whose only crime is want of fortune; he is handsome too, well made,
well bred, and so much real esteem he has for me, and I have so
obliged him, that I am confident he will pretend no farther than to
the honour of owning thee in Court; I'll time him from it, nay, he
dares not do it, I will trust him with my life--but oh, _Sylvia_ is
more--think of it, and this night we will perform it, there being no
other way to keep _Sylvia_ eternally

PHILANDER's.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

Now, my adorable _Sylvia_, you have truly need of all that heroic
bravery of mind I ever thought thee mistress of; for _Sylvia_, coming
from thee this morning, and riding full speed for _Paris_, I was met,
stopped, and seized for high-treason by the King's messengers, and
possibly may fall a sacrifice to the anger of an incensed monarch. My
_Sylvia_, bear this last shock of fate with a courage worthy thy great
and glorious soul; 'tis but a little separation, _Sylvia_, and we
shall one day meet again; by heaven, I find no other sting in death
but parting with my _Sylvia_, and every parting would have been the
same; I might have died by thy disdain, thou might'st have grown weary
of thy _Philander_, have loved another, and have broke thy vows, and
tortured me to death these crueller ways: but fate is kinder to me,
and I go blest with my _Sylvia_'s, love, for which heaven may do
much, for her dear sake, to recompense her faith, a maid so innocent
and true to sacred love; expect the best, my lovely dear, the worst
has this comfort in it, that I shall die my charming _Sylvia_'s

PHILANDER.

* * * * *

_To_ PHILANDER.

I'LL, only say, thou dear supporter of my soul, that if _Philander_
dies, he shall not go to heaven without his _Sylvia_--by heaven and
earth I swear it, I cannot live without thee, nor shall thou die
without thy

SYLVIA.

* * * * *

_To_ SYLVIA.

SEE, see my adorable angel, what care the powers above take of divine
innocence, true love and beauty; oh, see what they have done for their
darling _Sylvia_; could they do less?

Know, my dear maid, that after being examined before the King, I was
found guilty enough to be committed to the _Bastille_, (from whence,
if I had gone, I had never returned, but to my death;) but the
messenger, into whose hands I was committed, refusing other guards,
being alone with me in my own coach, I resolved to kill, if I could no
other way oblige him to favour my escape; I tried with gold before I
shewed my dagger, and that prevailed, a way less criminal, and I have
taken sanctuary in a small cottage near the sea-shore, where I wait
for _Sylvia_; and though my life depend upon my flight, nay, more, the
life of _Sylvia_, I cannot go without her; dress yourself then, my
dearest, in your boy's clothes, and haste with _Brilliant_, whither
this seaman will conduct thee, whom I have hired to set us on some
shore of safety; bring what news you can learn of _Cesario_; I would
not have him die poorly after all his mighty hopes, nor be conducted
to a scaffold with shouts of joys, by that uncertain beast the rabble,
who used to stop his chariot-wheels with fickle adorations whenever he
looked abroad--by heaven, I pity him; but _Sylvia_'s presence will
chase away all thoughts, but those of love, from

PHILANDER.

_I need not bid thee haste._

_The End of the first Part._

Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister

Part II.

At the end of the first part of these letters, we left _Philander_
impatiently waiting on the sea-shore for the approach of the lovely
_Sylvia_; who accordingly came to him dressed like a youth, to secure
herself from a discovery. They stayed not long to caress each other,
but he taking the welcome maid in his arms, with a transported joy
bore her to a small vessel, that lay ready near the beach; where, with
only _Brilliard_ and two men servants, they put to sea, and passed
into _Holland_, landing at the nearest port; where, after having
refreshed themselves for two or three days, they passed forwards
towards the _Brill_, _Sylvia_ still remaining under that amiable
disguise: but in their passage from town to town, which is sometimes
by coach, and other times by boat, they chanced one day to encounter a
young _Hollander_ of a more than ordinary gallantry for that country,
so degenerate from good manners, and almost common civility, and so
far short of all the good qualities that made themselves appear in
this young nobleman. He was very handsome, well made, well dressed,
and very well attended; and whom we will call _Octavio_, and who,
young as he was, was one of the _States_ of _Holland_; he spoke
admirable good _French_, and had a vivacity and quickness of wit
unusual with the natives of that part of the world, and almost above
all the rest of his sex: _Philander_ and _Sylvia_ having already
agreed for the cabin of the vessel that was to carry them to the next
stage, _Octavio_ came too late to have any place there but amongst the
common crowd; which the master of the vessel, who knew him, was much
troubled at, and addressed himself as civilly as he could to
_Philander_, to beg permission for one stranger of quality to dispose
of himself in the cabin for that day: _Philander_ being well enough
pleased, so to make an acquaintance with some of power of that
country, readily consented; and _Octavio_ entered with an address so
graceful and obliging, that at first sight he inclined _Philander_'s,
heart to a friendship with him; and on the other side the lovely
person of _Philander_, the quality that appeared in his face and mien,
obliged _Octavio_ to become no less his admirer. But when he saluted
_Sylvia_, who appeared to him a youth of quality, he was extremely
charmed with her pretty gaiety, and an unusual air and life in her
address and motion; he felt a secret joy and pleasure play about his
soul, he knew not why, and was almost angry, that he felt such an
emotion for a youth, though the most lovely that he ever saw. After
the first compliments, they fell into discourse of a thousand
indifferent things, and if he were pleased at first sight with the two
lovers, he was wholly charmed by their conversation, especially that
of the amiable youth; who well enough pleased with the young stranger,
or else hitherto having met nothing so accomplished in her short
travels; and indeed despairing to meet any such; she put on all her
gaiety and charms of wit, and made as absolute a conquest as it was
possible for her supposed sex to do over a man, who was a great
admirer of the other; and surely the lovely maid never appeared so
charming and desirable as that day; they dined together in the cabin;
and after dinner reposed on little mattresses by each other's side,
where every motion, every limb, as carelessly she lay, discovered a
thousand graces, and more and more enflamed the now beginning lover;
she could not move, nor smile, nor speak, nor order any charm about
her, but had some peculiar grace that began to make him uneasy; and
from a thousand little modesties, both in her blushes and motions, he
had a secret hope she was not what she seemed, but of that sex whereof
she discovered so many softnesses and beauties; though to what
advantage that hope would amount to his repose, was yet a disquiet he
had not considered nor felt: nor could he by any fondness between
them, or indiscretion of love, conceive how the lovely strangers were
allied; he only hoped, and had no thoughts of fear, or any thing that
could check his new beginning flame. While thus they passed the
afternoon, they asked a thousand questions, of lovers, of the country
and manners, and their security and civility to strangers; to all
which _Octavio_ answered as a man, who would recommend the place and
persons purely to oblige their stay; for now self-interest makes him
say all things in favour of it; and of his own friendship, offers them
all the service of a man in power, and who could make an interest in
those that had more than himself; much he protested, much he offered,
and yet no more than he designed to make good on all occasions, which
they received with an acknowledgement that plainly discovered a
generosity and quality above the common rate of men; so that finding
in each other occasions for love and friendship, they mutually
professed it, and nobly entertained it. _Octavio_ told his name and
quality, left nothing unsaid that might confirm the lovers of his
sincerity. This begot a confidence in _Philander_, who in return told
him so much of his circumstances, as sufficed to let him know he was a
person so unfortunate to have occasioned the displeasure of his king
against him, and that he could not continue with any repose in that
kingdom, whose monarch thought him no longer fit for those honours he
had before received: _Octavio_ renewed his protestations of serving
him with his interest and fortune, which the other receiving with all
the gallant modesty of an unfortunate man, they came ashore, where
_Octavio_'s coaches and equipage waiting his coming to conduct him to
his house, he offered his new friends the best of them to carry them
to their lodging, which he had often pressed might be his own palace;
but that being refused as too great an honour, he would himself see
them placed in some one, which he thought might be most suitable to
their quality; they excused the trouble, but he pressed too eagerly to
be denied, and he conducted them to a merchant's house not far from
his own, so love had contrived for the better management of this new
affair of his heart, which he resolved to pursue, be the fair object
of what sex soever: but after having well enough recommended them to
the care of the merchant, he thought it justice to leave them to their
rest, though with abundance of reluctancy; so took his leave of both
the lovely strangers, and went to his own home. And after a hasty
supper got himself up to bed: not to sleep; for now he had other
business: love took him now to task, and asked his heart a thousand
questions. Then it was he found the idea of that fair unknown had
absolute possession there: nor was he at all displeased to find he was
a captive; his youth and quality promise his hopes a thousand
advantages above all other men: but when he reflected on the beauty of
Philander, on his charming youth and conversation, and every grace
that adorns a conqueror, he grew inflamed, disordered, restless,
angry, and out of love with his own attractions; considered every
beauty of his own person, and found them, or at least thought them
infinitely short of those of his now fancied rival; yet it was a rival
that he could not hate, nor did his passion abate one thought of his
friendship for Philander, but rather more increased it, insomuch that
he once resolved it should surmount his love if possible, at least he
left it on the upper-hand, till time should make a better discovery.
When tired with thought we'll suppose him asleep, and see how our
lovers fared; who being lodged all on one stair-case (that is,
Philander, Sylvia, and Brilliard) it was not hard for the lover to
steal into the longing arms of the expecting _Sylvia_; no fatigues of
tedious journeys, and little voyages, had abated her fondness, or his
vigour; the night was like the first, all joy! All transport!
_Brilliard_ lay so near as to be a witness to all their sighs of love,
and little soft murmurs, who now began from a servant to be permitted

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