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

Part 6 out of 8

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both sides, and all their wishes. But now by this last banishment from
the house where she was, to lose that only pleasure of beholding the
adorable maid, gave him all the pains, without the hope of one
pleasure; and he began to fear he should have a world of difficulty to
secure the dear object of his continual thoughts: he found no way to
send to her, and dreads all his malicious uncle and rival may say to
his disadvantage: he dreads even that infinite tenderness and esteem
he had for the good old man, who had been so fond a parent to him;
lest even that should make him unwilling to use that extremity against
him in regaining _Sylvia_, which he could use to any other man. Oh,
how he curses the fatal hour that ever he implored his aid for her
release; and having overcome all difficulties, even that of his fears
of _Philander_, (from whom they had received no letter in two months)
and that of _Sylvia's_ disdain, and had established himself in her
soul and her arms; he should, by employing his uncle's authority for
_Sylvia's_ service, be so unfortunate to involve them into new dangers
and difficulties, of which he could foresee no other end, than that
which must be fatal to some of them. But he believed half his torture
would be eased, could he but write to _Sylvia_, for see her he could
not hope: he bethought himself of a way at last.

His uncle had belonging to his house the most fine garden of any in
that province, where those things are not much esteemed; in which the
old gentleman took wonderful delight, and kept a gardener and his
family in a little house at the farther end of the garden, on purpose
to look to it and dress it. This man had a very great veneration for
_Octavio_, whom he called his young lord. Sure of the fidelity of this
gardener, when it was dark enough to conceal him, he wrapped himself
in his cloak, and got him thither by a back way, where with presents,
he soon won those to his interest, who would before have been
commanded by him in any service. He had a little clean room, and some
little _French_ novels which he brought; and there he was as well
concealed as if he had been in the _Indies_; he left word at home,
that he was gone out of the town. He knew well enough that _Sylvia_'s,
lodgings looked that way; and when it was dark enough, he walked under
her window, till he saw a candle lighted in _Sylvia_'s bed-chamber,
which was as great a joy to him as the star that guides the traveller,
or wandering seaman, or the lamp at _Sestos_, that guided the ravished
lover over the _Hellespont_. And by that time he could imagine all in
bed, he made a little noise with a key on the pummel of his sword; but
whether _Sylvia_ heard it or not, I cannot tell, but she anon came to
the window, and putting up the sash, leaned on her arms and looked
into the garden. Oh! Who but he himself that loved so well as
_Octavio_, can express the transports he was in, at the sight? Which,
more from the sight within than that without, he saw was the lovely
_Sylvia_; whom calling softly by her name, answered him, as if she
knew the welcome voice, and cried--'Who is there, _Octavio_? She was
soon answered you may imagine. And they began the most endearing
conversation that ever love could dictate. He complains on his fate
that sets them at that distance, and she pities him. He makes a
thousand doubts, and she undeceives them all. He fears, and she
convinces his error, and is impatient at his suspicions. She will not
endure him to question a heart that has given him so many proofs of
its tenderness and gratitude; she tells him her own wishes, how soft
and fervent they are; and assures him, he is extremely obliged to
her----'Since for you--my charming friend,' said she to _Octavio_, 'I
have refused this night to marry your uncle; have a care,' said she,
smiling, 'how you treat me, lest I revenge myself on you; become your
aunt, and bring heirs to the estate you have a right to: the writings
of all which I have now in my chamber, and which were but just now
laid at my feet, and which I cannot yet get him to receive back. And
to oblige me to a compliance, has told me how you have deceived me, by
giving yourself to another, and exposing me in lampoons.'--To this
_Octavio_ would have replied, but she assured him she needed no
argument to convince her of the falsehood of all. He sighs, and told
her, all she said, though dear and charming, was not sufficient to
ease his heart; for he foresaw a world of hazard to get her from
thence, and mischiefs if she remained; insomuch that he caused the
tears to flow from the fair eyes of _Sylvia_, with her reflections on
her rigid fortune. And she cried, 'Oh, my _Octavio_! What strange fate
or stars ruled my birth, that I should be born to the ruin of what I
love, or those that love me!' At this rate they passed the night,
sometimes more soft, sometimes encouraging one another; but the last
result was to contrive the means of escaping. He fancied she might
easily do it by the garden from the window: but that he was not sure
he could trust the gardener so far, who in all things would serve him,
in which his lord and master was not injured; and he, amongst the rest
of the servants, had orders not to suffer _Sylvia_ out of the garden,
for which reason he kept a guard on that back-door. Some way must be
found out which yet was not, and was left to time. He told her whence
he was, and that he would not stir from thence, till he was secured of
her flight: and day coming on, though loath, yet for fear of eyes and
ears that might spy upon them, he retired to his little lodging, and
_Sylvia_ to bed; after giving and receiving a thousand vows and
farewells. The next night he came to the same place, but instead of
entertaining her--he only saw her softly put up the sash a little, and
throw something white out of the window and retire. He was wondering
at the meaning, but taking up what was thrown down, he found and smelt
it was _Sylvia_'s handkerchief, in which was tied up a billet: he went
to his little lodging, and read it.


Go from my window, my adorable friend, and be not afflicted that I do
not entertain you as I had the joy to do last night; for both our
voices were heard by some one that lodges below; and though your uncle
could not tell me any part of our conversation, yet he heard I talked
to some body: I have persuaded him the fellow dreamed who gave him
this intelligence, and he is almost satisfied he did so; however,
hazard not thy dear-self any more so, but let me lose for a while the
greatest happiness this earth can afford me, (in the circumstances of
our fortunes) rather than expose what is dearer to me than life or
honour: pity the fate I was born to, and expect all things from

_Your_ SYLVIA.

_I will wait at the window for your answer, and let you down a
ribband, by which I will draw it up: but as you love me do not speak._

He had no sooner read this, but he went to write an answer, which was


Complain not, thou goddess of my vows, on the fate thou wert born to
procure to all mankind; but thank heaven for having received ten
thousand charms that can recompense all the injuries you so
unwillingly do us: and who would not implore his ruin from all the
angry powers, if in return they would give him so glorious a reward?
Who would not be undone to all the trifling honours of the mistaken
world, to find himself, in lieu of all, possessed of the ravishing
_Sylvia_? But oh! Where is that presumptuous man, that can at the
price of all lay claim to so vast a blessing? Alas, my _Sylvia_, even
while I dare call you mine, I am not that hoping slave; no, not after
all the valued dear things you have said and vowed to me last night in
the garden, welcome to my soul as life after a sentence of death, or
heaven after life is ended. But, oh _Sylvia_! all this, even all you
uttered from your dear mouth is not sufficient to support me: alas, I
die for _Sylvia_! I am not able to bear the cruel absence longer,
therefore without delay assist me to contrive your escape, or I shall
die, and leave you to the ravage of his love who holds thee from me;
the very thoughts of that is worse than death. I die, alas, I die, for
an entire possession of thee: oh let me grasp my treasure, let me
engross it all, here in my longing arms. I can no longer languish at
this distance from my cruel joy, my life, my soul! But oh I rave, and
while I should be speaking a thousand useful things, I am telling you
my pain, a pain that you may guess; and confounding myself between
those and their remedies, am able to fix on nothing. Help me to think,
oh my dear charming creature, help me to think how I shall bear thee
off! Take your own measures, flatter him with love, soothe him to
faith and confidence, and then--oh pardon me, if there be baseness in
the action--then--cozen him--deceive him--any thing--for he deserves
it all, that thinks that lovely body was formed for his embraces, whom
age has rendered fitter for a grave. Form any plots, use every
stratagem to save the life of


* * * * *

He wrote this in haste and disorder, as you may plainly see by the
style, and went to the window with it, where he found _Sylvia_ leaning
expecting him: the sashes were up, and he tossed it in the
handkerchief into her window: she read it, and wrote an answer back as
soft as love could form, to send him pleased to bed; wherein she
commanded him to hope all things from her wit and industrious love.

This had partly the effects she wished, and after kissing his hand,
and throwing it up towards _Sylvia_, they parted as silent as the
night from day, which was now just dividing--so long they stayed,
though but to look at each other; so that all the morning was passed
in bed to make the day seem shorter, which was too tedious to both:
this pleasure he had after noon, towards the evening, that when
_Sylvia_ walked, as she always did in the garden, he could see her
through the glass of his window, but durst not open it; for the old
gentleman was ever with her. In this time _Octavio_ failed not however
to essay the good nature of the gardener in order to _Sylvia_'s
flight, but found there was no dealing with him in this affair; and
therefore durst not come right down to the point: the next night he
came under the beloved window again, and found the sacred object of
his wishes leaning in the window expecting him: to whom, as soon as
she heard his tread on the gravel, she threw down a handkerchief
again, which he took up, and tossed his own with a soft complaining
letter to entertain her till his return; for he hasted to read hers,
and swept the garden as he passed as swift as wind; so impatient he
was to see the inside--which he found thus:


I beg, my charming friend, you will be assured of all I have promised
you; and to believe that but for the pleasure of those dear billets I
receive from you, I could as little support this cruel confinement as
you my absence. I have but one game to play, and I beseech you not to
be surprised at it, it is to promise to marry _Sebastian_: he is
eternally at my feet, and either I must give him my vow to become his
wife, or give him hope of other favours. I am so entirely yours, that
I will be guided by you, which I shall flatter him in to gain my
liberty; for if I grant either, he has proposed to carry me to his
country-house, two leagues from the town, and there consummate
whatever I design to bless him with; and this is it that has wrought
my consent, that we being to go alone, only my own servants, you may
easily take me thence by force upon the road, or after our arrival,
where he will not guard me perhaps so strictly as he does here: for
that, I leave it to your conduct, and expect your answer to your


* * * * *

He immediately sat down, and wrote this:

* * * * *


Have a care, my charming fair, how you play with vows; and however you
are forced, for that religious end of saving your honour, to deceive
the poor old lover, whom, by heaven I pity; yet rather let me die than
know you can be guilty of vow-breach, though made in jest. I am well
pleased at the glimpse of hope you give me, that I shall see you at
his _villa_; and doubt not but to find a way to secure you to myself:
say any thing, promise to sacrifice all to his desire; but oh, do not
give away thy dear, thy precious self by vow, to any but the


* * * * *

After he had wrote this, he hasted, and throws it into her window, and
returned to bed without seeing her, which was no small affliction to
his soul: he had an ill night of it, and fancied a thousand tormenting
things; that the old gentleman might then be with her; and if alone,
what might he not persuade, by force of rich presents, of which his
uncle was well stored; and so he guessed, and as he guessed it proved,
as by his next night's letter he was informed, that the old lover no
sooner saw _Sylvia_ retire, but having in mind to try his fortune in
some critical minute--for such a minute he had heard there was that
favoured lovers; but he goes to his closet, and taking out some jewels
of great value, to make himself the more welcome, he goes directly to
_Sylvia_'s chamber, and entered just as she had taken up _Octavio_'s
letter, and clapped it in her bosom as she heard some body at the
door; but was not in a little confusion, when she saw who it was,
which she excused, by telling him she was surprised to find herself
with a man in her chamber. That there he fell to pleading his cause of
love, and offered her again to settle his estate upon her, and
implored she would be his wife. After a thousand faint denials, she
told him she could not possibly receive that honour, but if she could,
she would have looked upon it as a great favour from heaven; at that
he was thunder-struck, and looked as ghastly as if his mother's ghost
had frightened him; and after much debate, love and grief on his side,
design and dissimulation on hers, she gave him hopes that atoned for
all she had before said; insomuch that, before they parted, an
absolute bargain was struck up, and he was to settle part of his
estate upon her, as also that _villa_, to which he had resolved in two
days to carry her; in earnest of this, he presents her with a necklace
of pearl of good value, and other jewels, which was the best rhetoric
he had yet spoke to her; and now she had appeared the most complaisant
lady in the world, she suffers him to talk wantonly to her, nay, even
to kiss her, and rub his grizzly beard on her divine face, grasp her
hands, and touch her breast; a blessing he had never before arrived
to, above the quality of his own servant-maid. To all which she makes
the best resistance she can, under the circumstances of one who was to
deceive well; and while she loathes, she seems well pleased, while the
gay jewels sparkled in her eyes, and _Octavio_ in her heart; so fond
is youth of vanities, and to purchase an addition of beauty at any
price. Thus with her pretty flatteries she wrought upon his soul, and
smiled and looked him into faith; loath to depart, she sends him
pleased away, and having her heart the more inclined to _Octavio_, by
being persecuted with his uncle's love, (for by comparison she finds
the mighty difference) she sets herself to write him the account of
what I have related; this night's adventure, and agreement between his
uncle and herself. She tells him that to-morrow, (for now it was
almost day,) she had promised him to go to his _villa_: she tells him
at what rate she has purchased the blessing expected; and lastly,
leaves the management of the rest to him, who needs not to be
instructed. This letter he received the next night at the old place,
and _Sylvia_ with it lets down a velvet night-bag, which contained all
the jewels and things of value she had received of himself, his uncle,
or any other: after which he retired, and was pretty well at ease,
with the imagination he should 'ere long be made happy in the
possession of _Sylvia_: in order to it, the next morning he was early
up, and dressing himself in a great coarse campaign-coat of the
gardener's, putting up his hair as well as he could, under a country
hat, he got on a horse that suited his habit, and rides to the
_villa_, whither they were to come, and which he knew perfectly well
every room of; for there our hero was born. He went to a little
_cabaret_ in the village, from whence he could survey all the great
house, and see every body that passed in and out: he remained fixed at
the window, filled with a thousand agitations; this he had resolved,
not to set upon the old man as a thief, or robber; nor could he find
in his heart or nature, to injure him, though but in a little
affrighting him, who had given him so many anxious hours, and who had
been so unjust to desire that blessing himself he would not allow him;
and to believe that virtue in himself, which he exclaims against as so
great a vice in his nephew; nevertheless he resolved to deceive him,
to save his own life. And he wanted that nice part of generosity, as
to satisfy a little unnecessary lust in an old man, to ruin the
eternal content of a young one, so nearly allied to his soul, as was
his own dear proper person. While he was thus considering, he saw his
uncle's coach coming, and _Sylvia_ with that doting lover in it, who
was that day dressed in all the fopperies of youth, and every thing
was young and gay about him but his person; that was winter itself,
disguised in artificial spring; and he was altogether a mere
contradiction: but who can guess the disorders and pantings of
_Octavio_'s heart at the sight? And though he had resolved before, he
would not to save his life, lay violent hands upon his old parent; yet
at their approach, at their presenting themselves together before his
eyes as two lovers, going to betray him to all the miseries, pangs and
confusions of love; going to possess--her, the dear object and certain
life of his soul, and he the parent of him, to whom she had disposed
of herself, so entirely already, he was provoked to break from all his
resolutions, and with one of those pistols he had in his pockets, to
have sent unerring death to his old amorous heart; but that thought
was no sooner born than stifled in his soul, where it met with all the
sense of gratitude, that ever could present the tender love and dear
care of a parent there; and the coach passing into the gate put him
upon new designs, and before they were finished he saw _Sylvia_'s page
coming from the house, after seeing his lady to her apartment, and
being shewed his own, where he laid his valise and riding things, and
was now come out to look about a country, where he had never been
before. _Octavio_ goes down and meets him, and ventures to make
himself known to him: and so infinitely glad was the youth to have an
opportunity to serve him, that he vowed he would not only do it with
his life, on occasion, but believed he could do it effectually, since
the old gentleman had no sort of jealousy now; especially, since they
had so prudently managed matters in this time of his lady's remaining
at _Sebastian_'s house. 'So that, sir, it will not be difficult,' says
the generous boy, 'for me to convey you to my lodging, when it is
dark.' He told him his lady cast many a longing look out towards the
road, as she passed, 'for you, I am sure, my lord;--for she had told
both myself and _Antonet_ of her design before, lest our surprise or
resistance should prevent any force you might use on the road, to take
her from my lord _Sebastian_: she sighed, and looked on me as she
alighted, with eyes, my lord, that told me her grief, for your

You may easily imagine how transported the poor _Octavio_ was; he
kissed and embraced the amiable boy a thousand times; and taking a
ring from his finger of considerable value, gave it the dear reviver
of his hopes. _Octavio_ already knew the strength of the house, which
consisted but of a gardener, whose wife was house-keeper, and their
son who was his father's servant in the garden, and their daughter,
who was a sort of maid-servant: and they had brought only the
coachman, and one footman, who were likely to be merrily employed in
the kitchen at night when all got to supper together. I say, _Octavio_
already knew this, and there was now nothing that opposed his wishes:
so that dismissing the dear boy, he remained the rest of the tedious
day at the _cabaret_, the most impatient of night of any man on earth;
and when the boy appeared, it was like the approach of an angel. He
told him, his lady was the most melancholy creature that ever eyes
beheld, and that to conceal the cause, she had feigned herself ill,
and had not stirred from her chamber all the day: that the old lover
was perpetually with her, and the most concerned dotard that ever
_Cupid_ enslaved: that he had so wholly taken up his lady with his
disagreeable entertainment, that it was impossible either by a look or
note to inform her of his being so near her, whom she considered as
her present defender, and her future happiness. 'But this evening,'
continued the youth, 'as I was waiting on her at supper, she spied the
ring on my finger, which, my lord, your bounty made me master of this
morning. She blushed a thousand times, and fixed her eyes upon it for
she knew it, and was impatient to have asked me some questions, but
contained her words: and after that, I saw a joy dance in her lovely
eyes, that told me she divined you were not far from thence. Therefore
I beseech your lordship let us haste.' So both went out together, and
the page conducted him into a chamber he better knew than the boy,
while every moment he receives intelligence, how affairs went in that
of _Sylvia_'s by the page, who leaving _Octavio_ there went out as a
spy for him. In fine, with much ado, _Sylvia_ persuaded her old lover
to urge her for no favours that night, for she was indisposed and
unfit for love; yet she persuades with such an air, so smiling, and
insinuating, that she increases the fire, she endeavoured to allay:
but he, who was all obedience, as well as new desire, resolves to
humour her, and shew the perfect gallantry of his love; he promises
her she shall command: and after that never was the old gentleman seen
in so excellent a humour before in the whole course of his life; a
certain lightning against a storm that must be fatal to him.

He was no sooner gone from her, with a promise to go to bed and sleep,
that he might be the earlier up to shew her the fine gardens, which
she loved, but she sends _Antonet_ to call the page, from whom she
longed to know something of _Octavio_, and was sure he could inform
her. But she was undressing while she spoke, and got into her bed
before she left her: but _Antonet_, instead of bringing the sighing
youth, brought the transported and ravished _Octavio_, who had by this
time pulled his coarse campaign, and put down his hair. He fell
breathless with joy on her bed-side; when _Antonet_, who knew that
love desired no lookers-on, retired, and left _Octavio_ almost dead
with joy, in the clasping arms of the trembling maid, the lovely
_Sylvia_. Oh, who can guess their satisfaction? Who can guess their
sighs and love, their tender words, half stifled in kisses? Lovers!
fond lovers! only can imagine; to all besides, this tale will be
insipid. He now forgets where he is, that not far off lay his amorous
uncle, that to be found there was death, and something worse; but
wholly ravished with the languishing beauty, taking his pistols out of
either pocket, he lays them on a dressing-table, near the bed-side,
and in a moment throws off his clothes, and gives himself up to all
the heaven of love, that lay ready to receive him there, without
thinking of any thing, but the vast power of either's charms. They lay
and forgot the hasty hours, but old _Sebastian_ did not. They were all
counted by him with the impatience of a lover: he burnt, he raged with
fierce desire, and tossed from side to side, and found no ease;
_Sylvia_ was present in imagination, and he like _Tantalus_ reaches at
the food, which, though in view, is not within his reach: he would
have prayed, but he had no devotion for any deity but _Sylvia_; he
rose and walked and went to bed again, and found himself uneasy every
way. A thousand times he was about to go, and try what opportunity
would do, in the dark silent night--but fears her rage--he fears she
will chide at least; then he resolves, and unresolves as fast: unhappy
lover--thus to blow the fire when there was no materials to supply it;
at last, overcome with fierce desire too violent to be withstood, or
rather fate would have it so ordained, he ventures all, and steals to
_Sylvia_'s chamber, believing, when she found him in her arms, she
could not be displeased; or if she were, that was the surest place of
reconciliation: so that only putting his night-gown about him, he went
softly to her chamber for fear of waking her: the unthinking lovers
had left open the door, so that it was hardly put to; and the first
alarm was _Octavio_'s hand being seized, which was clasping his
treasure. He starts from the frighted arms of _Sylvia_, and leaping
from the bed would have escaped; for he knew too well the touch of
that old hand; but _Sebastian_, wholly surprised at so robust a
repulse, took most unfortunately a stronger hold, and laying both his
hands roughly upon him, with a resolution to know who he was, for he
felt his hair; and _Octavio_ struggling at the same minute to get from
him, they both fell against the dressing-table, and threw down the
pistols; in their fall, one of which going off, shot the unfortunate
old lover into the head, so that he never spoke word more: at the
going off of the pistol, _Sylvia_, who had not minded those _Octavio_
laid on the table, cried out--'Oh my _Octavio_!' 'My dearest charmer,'
replied he, 'I am well----'and feeling on the dead body, which he
wondered had no longer motion, he felt blood flowing round it, and
sighing cried--'Ah _Sylvia_! I am undone--my uncle--oh my
parent----speak, dear sir! what unlucky accident has done this fatal
deed?' _Sylvia_, who was very soft by nature, was extremely surprised,
and frightened at the news of a dead man in her chamber, so that she
was ready to run mad with the apprehension of it: she raved and tore
herself, and expressed her fright in cries and distraction; so that
_Octavio_ was compelled from one charitable grief to another. He goes
to her and comforts her, and tells, since it is by no design of either
of them, their innocence will be their guardian angel. He tells her,
all their fault was love, which made him so heedlessly fond of joys
with her, he stayed to reap those when he should have secured them by
flight. He tells her this is now no place to stay in, and that he
would put on her clothes, and fly with her to some secure part of the
world; 'For who,' said he,'that finds this poor unfortunate here, will
not charge his death on me, or thee?----Haste then, my dearest maid,
haste, haste, and let us fly----' So dressing her, he led her into
_Antonet_'s chamber, while he went to see which way they could get
out. So locking the chamber-door where the dead body lay, which by
this time was stiff and cold, he locked that also of his uncle's
chamber, and calling the page, they all got themselves ready; and
putting two horses in the coach, they unseen and unperceived got
themselves all out: the servants having drank hard at their meeting in
the country last night, were all too sound asleep to understand any
thing of what passed. It being now about the break of day, _Octavio_
was the coachman, and the page riding by the coach-side, while
_Sylvia_ and _Antonet_ were in it, they in an hour's time reached the
town, where _Octavio_ packed up all that was carriageable; took his
own coach and six horses; left his affairs to the management of a
kinsman, that dwelt with him, took bills to the value of two thousand
pounds, and immediately left the town, after receiving some letters
that came last night by the post, one of which was from _Philander_;
and indeed, this new grief upon _Octavio_'s soul, made him the most
dejected and melancholy man in the world, insomuch that he, who never
wept for any thing but for love, was often found with tears rolling
down his cheeks, at the remembrance of an accident so deplorable, and
of which, he and his unhappy passion was the cause, though innocently:
yet could not the dire reflection of that, nor the loss of so tender a
parent as was _Sebastian_, lessen one spark of that fire for _Sylvia_,
whose unfortunate flame had been so fatal. While they were safe out of
danger, the servants of _Sebastian_ admired when ten, eleven and
twelve o'clock was come, they saw neither the old lord, nor any of the
new guests. But when the coachman missed his coach and horses, he was
in a greater maze, and thought some body had stolen them, and accusing
himself of sluggishness and debauchery, that made him not able to
hear, when the coach went out, he forswore all drinking: but when the
house-keeper and he met, and discoursed about the lady and the rest,
they concluded, that the old gentleman and she were agreed upon the
matter; and being got to bed together had quite forgot themselves; and
made a thousand roguish remarks upon them. They believed the maid and
the page too, were as well employed, since they saw neither. But when
dinner was ready, she went up to the maid's chamber and found it
empty, as also that of the page; her heart then presaging something,
she ventures to knock at her lord's chamber-door, but finding it
locked, and none answer, they broke it open; and after doing the same
by that of _Sylvia_, they found the poor _Sebastian_ stretched on the
floor, and shot in the head, the toilet pulled almost down, and the
lock of the pistol hanging in the point of the toilet entangled, and
the muzzle of it just against the wound. At first, when they saw him,
they fancied _Sylvia_ might kill him, for either offering to come to
bed to her in the night, or some other malicious end. But when they
saw how the pistol lay, they fancied it accident in the dark; 'For,'
said the woman--'I and my daughter have been up ever since day-break,
and I am sure no such thing happened then, nor could they since
escape:' and it being natural in _Holland_ to cry, 'Loop Schellum',
that is, 'Run rogue', to him that is alive, and who has killed
another; and for every man to set a helping hand to bear him out of
danger, thinking it too much that one is already dead: I say, this
being the nature of the people, they never pursued the murderers, or
fled persons, but suffered _Sebastian_ to lie till the coroner sat
upon him, who found it, or at least thought it accident; and there was
all for that time. But this, with all the reasonable circumstances,
did not satisfy the _States_. Here is one of their high and mighties
killed, a fair lady fled, and upon inquiry a fine young fellow too,
the nephew: all knew they were rivals in this fair lady; all knew
there were animosities between them; all knew _Octavio_ was absconded
some days before; so that, upon consideration, they concluded he was
murdered by compact; and the rather, because they wished it so in
spite of _Octavio_; and because both he and _Sylvia_ were fled like
guilty persons. Upon this they made a seizure of both his, and his
uncle's estate, to the use of the _States_. Thus the best and most
glorious man, that ever graced that part of the world, was undone by
love. While _Sylvia_ with sighs and tears would often say that sure
she was born the fate of all that adored her, and no man ever thrived
that had a design upon her, or a pretension to her.

Thus between excess of grief and excess of love, which indeed lay
veiled in the first, they arrived at _Brussels_; where _Octavio_,
having news of the proceedings of the _States_ against him, resolving
rather to lose his life, than tamely to surrender his right, he went
forth in order to take some care about it: and in these extremes of a
troubled mind, he had forgot to read _Philander_'s letters, but gave
them to _Sylvia_ to peruse, till he returned, beseeching and conjuring
her, by all the charms of love, not to suffer herself to be afflicted,
but now to consider she was wholly his; and she could not, and ought
not to rob him of a sigh, or tear for any other man. For they had
concluded to marry, as soon as _Sylvia_ should be delivered from that
part of _Philander_, of which she was possessed. Therefore beholding
her entirely his own, of whom he was so fondly tender, he could not
endure the wind should blow on her, and kiss her lovely face: jealous
of even the air she breathed, he was ever putting her in mind, of
whose and what she was; and she ever giving him new assurances, that
she was only _Octavio_'s. The last part of his ill news he concealed
from her; that of the usage of the _States_. He was so entirely
careful of her fame, that he had two lodgings, one most magnificent
for her, another for himself; and only visited her all the live-long
day. And being now retired from her, she whose love and curiosity grew
less every day, for the false _Philander_, opened his letter with a
sigh of departed love, and read this.

Philander _to_ Octavio.

Sure of your friendship, my dear _Octavio_, I venture to lay before
you the history of my misfortunes, as well as those of my joys,
equally extreme.

In my last, I gave you an account how triumphing a lover I was, in the
possession of the adorable _Calista_; and how very near I was being
surprised in the fountain, where I had hid myself from the rage of old
_Clarinau_; and escaped wet and cold to my lodging: and though indeed
I escaped, it was not without giving the old husband a jealousy, which
put him upon inquiry, after a stricter manner, as I heard the next day
from _Calista_; but with as ill success as the night before;
notwithstanding it appears, by what after happened, that he still
retained his jealousy, and that of me, from a thousand little
inquiries I had from time to time made, from my being now absent, and
most of all from my being, (as now he fancied) that vision, which
_Calista_ saw in the garden. All these circumstances wrought a
thousand _conundrums_, in his _Spanish_ politic noddle: and he
resolves that _Calista_'s actions should be more narrowly watched.
This I can only guess from what ensued. I am not able to say, by what
good fortune, I escaped several happy nights after the first, but it
is certain I did so; for the old man carrying all things fair to the
lovely Countess, she thought herself secure in her joys hitherto, as
to any discovery: however, I never went on this dear adventure but I
was well armed against any mishaps, of poniard, sword, and pistol,
that garb of a right _Spaniard_. _Calista_ had been married above two
years, before I beheld her, and had never been with child: but it so
chanced, that she conceived the very first night of our happiness;
since which time, not all her flatteries and charms, could prevail for
one night with the old Count: for, whether from her seeming fondness
he imagined the cause, or what other reason he had to withstand her
desire and caresses, I know not: but still he found, or feigned some
excuses to put her off: so that _Calista_'s pleas and love increased
with her growing belly. And though almost every night I had the fair,
young charmer in bed with me, (without the least suspicion on
_Dormina_'s side) or, else in the arbours, or on flowery banks in the
garden; till I am confident there was not a walk, a grove, an arbour,
or bed of sweets, that was not conscious of our stolen delights; nay,
we grew so very bold in love, that we often suffered the day to break
upon us; and still escaped his spies, who by either watching at the
wrong door, or part of the vast garden, or by sleepiness, or
carelessness, still let us pass their view. Four happy months, thus
blessed, and thus secured, we lived, when _Calista_ could no longer
conceal her growing shame, from the jealous _Clarinau_, or _Dormina_.
She feared, with too much reason, that it was jealousy, which made him
refrain her bed, though he dissembled well all day; and one night,
weeping in my bosom, with all the tenderness of love, she said, that
if I loved her, as she hoped I did, I should be shortly very
miserable: 'For oh,' cries she, 'I can no longer hide this----dear
effect of my stolen happiness----and _Clarinau_ will no sooner
perceive my condition, but he will use his utmost rigour against me; I
know his jealous nature, and find I am undone----' With that she told
me how he had killed his first wife; for which he was obliged to fly
from the Court, and country of _Spain_: and that she found from all
his severity, he was not changed from his nature. In fine, she said
and loved so much, that I was wholly charmed, and vowed myself her
slave, or sacrifice, either to follow what she could propose, or fall
a victim with her to my love. After which it was concluded, (neither
having a mind to leave the world, when we both knew so well how to
make ourselves happy in it) that the next night I should bring her a
suit of men's clothes; and she would in that disguise fly with me to
any part of the world. For she vowed, if this unlucky force of flying
had not happened to her, she had not been longer able to endure his
tyranny and slavery; but had resolved to break her chain, and put
herself upon any fortune. So that after the usual endearments on both
sides, I left her, resolved to follow my fortune, and she me, to
sacrifice all to her repose. That night, and all next day, she was not
idle; but put up all her jewels, of which she had the richest of any
lady in all those parts; for in that the old Count was over-lavish:
and the next night I brought her a suit, which I had made that day on
purpose, as gay as could be made in so short a time; and scaling my
wall, well armed, I found her ready at the door to receive me; and
going into an arbour, by the aid of a dark-lanthorn I carried, she
dressed her in a laced shirt of mine, and this suit I had brought her,
of blue velvet, trimmed with rich loops and buttons of gold; a white
hat, and white feather; a fair peruke, and scarlet breeches, the rest
suitable. And I must confess to you, my dear _Octavio_, that never any
thing appeared so ravishing, and yet I have seen _Sylvia_! But even
she a baby to this more noble figure. _Calista_ is tall, and fashioned
the most divinely--the most proper for that dress of any of her sex:
and I own I never saw any thing so beautiful all over, from head to
foot: and viewing her thus, (carrying my lanthorn all about her) but
more especially her face, her wondrous, charming face--(pardon me, if
I say, what does but look like flattery)--I never saw any thing more
resembling my dear _Octavio_, than the lovely _Calista_, Your very
feature, your very smile and air; so that, if possible, that increased
my adoration and esteem for her: thus completed, I armed her, and
buckled on her sword, and she would needs have one of my pistols too,
that stuck in my belt; and now she appeared all lovely man. It was so
late by that time we had done, that the moon, which began to shine
very bright, gave us a thousand little fears, and disposing her jewels
all about us safe, we began our adventure, with a thousand dreadful
apprehensions on _Calista_'s side. And going up the walk, towards the
place where we were to mount the wall, just at the end of it, turning
a corner, we encountered two men, who were too near us to be
prevented. 'Oh,' cried _Calista_ to me, who saw them first,--'My dear
_Philander_, we are undone!' I looked and saw them, and replied, 'My
charmer, do not fear, they are but two to two, whoever they be; for
love and I shall be of force enough to encounter them.' 'No, my
_Philander_,' replied she briskly, 'it is I will be your second in
this rencounter.' At this approaching them more near, (for they hasted
to us, nor could we fly from them,) we soon found by his hobbling,
that old _Clarinau_ was one, and the other a tall _Spaniard_, his
nephew. I clapped my hair under my hat, and both of us making a stand,
we resolved, if they durst not venture on us, to let them pass----but
_Clarinau_, who was on that side which faced _Calista_, cried, 'Ah
villain, have I caught thee!' and at the same instant with a poniard
stabbed her into the arm; for with a sudden turn she evaded it from
her heart, to which it was designed. At which, repaying his
compliment, she shot off her pistol, and down he fell, crying out for
a priest; while I, at the same time, laid my tall boy at his feet. I
caught my dear _virago_ in my arms, and hasted through the garden with
her, and was very hasty in mounting the ladder, putting my fair second
before me, without so much as daring yet to ask her, if she were
wounded, lest it should have hindered our flight, if I had found her
hurt: nor knew I she was so, till I felt her warm precious blood,
streaming on my face, as I lifted her over the wall; but I soon
conveyed her into my new lodgings, yet not soon enough to secure her
from those that pursued us. For with their bawling they alarmed some
of the servants, who looking narrowly for the murderers, tracked us by
_Calista_'s, blood, which they saw with their flambeaus, from the
place where _Clarinau_, and his nephew lay, to the very wall; and
thinking from our wounds we could not escape far, they searching the
houses, found me dressing _Calista_'s wound, which I kissed a thousand
times. But the matchless courage of the fair _virago_! the magnanimity
of _Calista_'s soul! Nothing of foolish woman harboured there, nothing
but softest love; for whilst I was raving mad, tearing my hair and
cursing my fate in vain, she had no concern but for me; no pain but
that of her fear of being taken from me, and being delivered to old
_Clarinau_, whom I feared was not dead; nor could the very seizing
her, daunt her spirits, but with an unmatched fortitude she bore it
all; she only wished she could have escaped without bloodshed. We were
both led to prison, but none knew who we were; for those that seized
us, had by chance never seen me, and _Calista_'s habit secured the
discovery. While we both remained there, we had this comfort of being
well lodged together; for they did not go about to part us, being in
for one crime. And all the satisfaction she had, was, that she should,
she hoped, die concealed, if she must die for the crime; and that was
much a greater joy, than to think she should be rendered back to
_Clarinau_, who in a few days we heard was upon his recovery. This
gave her new fears; but I confess to you, I was not afflicted at it;
nor did I think it hard for me to bribe _Calista_ off; for the master
of the prison was very civil and poor, so that with the help of some
few of _Calista_'s, jewels, he was wrought upon to let her escape, I
offering to remain, and bear all the brunt of the business, and to pay
whatever he could be fined for it. These reasons, with the ready
jewels, mollified the needy rascal; and though loath she were to leave
me, yet she being assured that all they could do was but to fine me,
and her stay she knew was her inevitable ruin, at last submitted,
leaving me sufficient in jewels to satisfy for all that could happen,
which were the value of a hundred thousand crowns. She is fled to
_Brussels_, to a nunnery of _Augustines_, where the Lady Abbess is her
aunt, and where for a little time she is secure, till I can follow

I beg of you my dear _Octavio_, write to me, and write me a letter of
recommendation to the magistrates here, who all being concerned when
any one of them is a cuckold, are very severe upon criminals in those
cases. I tire you with my melancholy adventure--but it is some ease in
the extremes of grief, to receive the tender pity of a friend, and
that I am sure _Octavio_ will afford his unhappy


As cold and as unconcerned as _Sylvia_ imagined she had found her
heart to _Philander_'s, memory, at the reading of this letter, in
spite of all the tenderness she had for _Octavio_, she was possessed
with all those pains of love and jealousy, which heretofore tormented
her, when love was young, and _Philander_ appeared with all those
charms, with which he first conquered; she found the fire was but hid
under those embers, which every little blast blows off, and makes it
flame anew. It was now that she, forgetting all the past obligations
of _Octavio_, all his vast presents, his vows, his sufferings, his
passion and his youth, abandoned herself wholly to her tenderness for
_Philander_, and drowns her fair cheeks in a shower of tears: and
having eased her heart a little by this natural relief of her sex, she
opened the letter that was designed for herself, and read this.


I know, my lovely _Sylvia_, I am accused of a thousand barbarities for
unkindly detaining your lover, who long ere this ought to have thrown
himself at your feet, imploring a thousand pardons for his tedious six
months' absence, though the affliction of it, is all my own, and I am
afraid all the punishment; but when, my dearest _Sylvia_, I reflect
again, it is in order to our future tranquillity, I depend on your
love and reason for my excuse. I know my absence has procured me a
thousand rivals, and you as many adorers, and fear _Philander_ appears
grown old in love, and worn out with sorrow and care, unfit for the
soft play of the young and delicate _Sylvia_; new lovers have new vows
and new presents, and your fickle sex stoop to the lavish prostrate.
Ill luck--unkind fate has rifled me, and of a shining fortune left me
even to the charity of a stingy world; and I have now no compliment to
maintain the esteem in so great a soul as that of _Sylvia_, but that
old repeated one, of telling her my dull, my trifling heart is still
her own: but, oh! I want the presenting eloquence that so persuades
and charms the fair, and am reduced to that fatal torment of a
generous mind, rather to ask and take, than to bestow. Yet out of my
contemptible stock, I have sent my _Sylvia_ something towards that
dangerous, unavoidable hour, which will declare me, however, a happy
father of what my _Sylvia_ bears about her; it is a bill for a
thousand pattacoons. I am at present under an easy restraint about a
little dispute between a man of quality here and myself; I had also
been at _Brussels_ to have provided all things for your coming
illness, but every day expect my liberty, and then without delay I
will take post, and bring _Philander_ to your arms. I have news that
_Cesario_ is arrived at _Brussels_. I am at present a stranger to all
that passes, and having a double obligation to haste, you need not
fear but I shall do so.

This letter raised in her a different sentiment, from that of the
story of his misfortune; and that taught her to know, that this he had
writ to her was all false, and dissembled; which made her, in
concluding the letter, cry out with a vehement scorn and
indignation.--'Oh how I hate thee, traitor! who hast the impudence to
continue thus to impose upon me, as if I wanted common sense to see
thy baseness: for what can be more base and cowardly than lies, that
poor plebeian shift, condemned by men of honour or of wit.'

Thus she spoke, without reminding that this most contemptible quality
she herself was equally guilty of, though infinitely more excusable in
her sex, there being a thousand little actions of their lives, liable
to censure and reproach, which they would willingly excuse and colour
over with little falsities; but in a man, whose most inconstant
actions pass oftentimes for innocent gallantries, and to whom it is no
infamy to own a thousand amours, but rather a glory to his fame and
merit; I say, in him, (whom custom has favoured with an allowance to
commit any vices and boast it) it is not so brave. And this fault of
_Philander_'s cured _Sylvia_ of her disease of love, and chased from
her heart all that softness, which once had so much favoured him.
Nevertheless she was filled with thoughts that failed not to make her
extremely melancholy: and it was in this humour _Octavio_ found her;
who, forgetting all his own griefs to lessen hers, (for his love was
arrived to a degree of madness) he caresses her with all the eloquence
his passion could pour out; he falls at her feet, and pleads with such
a look and voice as could not be resisted; nor ceased he till he had
talked her into ease, till he had looked and loved her into a perfect
calm: it was then he urged her to a new confirmation of her heart to
him, and took hold of every yielding softness in her to improve his
advantage. He pressed her to all he wished, but by such tender
degrees, by arts so fond and endearing, that she could deny nothing.
In this humour, she makes a thousand vows against _Philander_, to hate
him as a man, that had first ruined her honour, and then abandoned her
to all the ills that attend ungovern'd youth, and unguarded beauty:
she makes _Octavio_ swear as often to be revenged on him for the
dishonour of his sister: which being performed, they re-assumed all
the satisfaction which had seemed almost destroyed by adverse fate,
and for a little space lived in great tranquillity; or if _Octavio_
had sentiments that represented past unhappinesses, and a future
prospect of ill consequences, he strove with all the power of love to
hide them from _Sylvia_. In this time, they often sent to the nunnery
of the _Augustines_, to inquire of the Countess of _Clarinau_; and at
last, hearing she was arrived, no force of persuasion or reason could
hinder _Sylvia_ from going to make her a visit. _Octavio_ pleads in
vain the overthrow of all his revenge, by his sister's knowledge that
her intrigue was found out: but in an undress--for her condition
permitted no other, she is carried to the monastery, and asks for the
Mother Prioress, who came to the grate; where, after the first
compliments over, she tells her she is a relation to that lady, who
such a day came to the house. _Sylvia_, by her habit and equipage,
appearing of quality, was answered, that though the lady were very
much indisposed, and unfit to appear at the grate, she would
nevertheless endeavour to serve her, since she was so earnest; and
commanding one of the nuns to call down Madam the Countess, she
immediately came; but though in a dress all negligent, and a face
where languishment appeared, she at first sight surprised our fair
one, with a certain majesty in her mien and motion, and an air of
greatness in her face, which resembled that of _Octavio_: so that not
being able to sustain herself on her trembling supporters, she was
ready to faint at a sight so charming, and a form so angelic. She saw
her all that _Philander_ had described; nor could the partiality of
his passion render her more lovely than she appeared this instant to
_Sylvia_. She came to reproach her----but she found a majesty in her
looks above all censure, that awed the jealous upbraider, and almost
put her out of countenance; and with a rising blush she seemed ashamed
of her errand. At this silence the lovely _Calista_, a little
surprised, demanded of an attending nun if that lady would speak with
her? This awaked _Sylvia_ into an address, and she replied, 'Yes,
madam, I am the unfortunate, who am compelled by my hard fate to
complain of the most charming woman that ever nature made: I thought,
in my coming hither, I should have had no other business but to have
told you how false, how perjured a lover I had had; but at a sight so
wondrous, I blame him no more, (whom I find now compelled to love) but
you, who have taken from me, by your charms, the only blessing heaven
had lent me.' This she ended with a sigh; and Madam the Countess, who
from the beginning of her speaking, guessed, from a certain trembling
at her heart, who it was she spoke of, resolved to shew no signs of a
womanish fear or jealousy, but with an unalterable air and courage,
replied, 'Madam, if my charms were so powerful, as you are pleased to
tell me they are, they sure have attracted too many lovers for me to
understand which it is I have been so unhappy to rob you of. If he be
a gallant man, I shall neither deny him, nor repent my loving him the
more for his having been a lover before.' To which _Sylvia_, who
expected not so brisk an answer, replied; 'She makes such a confession
with so much generosity, I know she cannot be insensible of the
injuries she does, but will have a consideration and pity for those
wretches at least, who are undone to establish her satisfaction.'
'Madam,' replied the Countess, (a little touched with the tenderness
and sadness with which she spoke) 'you have so just a character of my
soul, that I assure you I would not for any pleasure in the world do
an action should render it less worthy of your good thoughts. Name me
the man--and if I find him such as I may return you with honour, he
shall find my friendship no more.' 'Ah, madam, it is impossible,'
cried _Sylvia_,'that he can ever be mine, that has once had the glory
of being conquered by you; and what is yet more, of having conquered
you.' 'Nay, madam,' replied _Calista_, 'if your loss be irrecoverable,
I have no more to do but to sigh with you, and join our hard fates;
but I am not so vain of my own beauty, nor have so little admiration
for that of yours, to imagine I can retain any thing you have a claim
to; for me, I am not fond of admirers, if heaven be pleased to give me
one, I ask no more. I will leave the world to you, so it allow me my
_Philander_.' This she spoke with a little malice, which called up all
the blushes in the fair face of _Sylvia_; who a little nettled at the
word _Philander_, replied; 'Go, take the perjured man, and see how
long you can maintain your empire over his fickle heart, who has
already betrayed you to all the reproach an incensed rival and an
injured brother can load you with: see where he has exposed you to
_Octavio_; and after that tell me what you can hope from such a
perjured villain----' At these words, she gave her the letter
_Philander_ had writ to _Octavio_, with that he had writ to
herself--and without taking leave, or speaking any more, she left her
thoughtful rival: who after pausing a moment on what should be writ
there, and what the angry lady meant, she silently passed on to her
chamber. But if she were surprised with her visitor, she was much
more, when opening the letters she found one to her brother, filled
with the history of her infamy, and what pressed her soul more
sensibly, the other filled with passion and softness to a mistress.
She had scarcely read them out, but a young nun, her kinswoman, came
into her chamber; whom I have since heard protest, she scarce saw in
that moment any alteration in her, but that she rose and received her,
with her wonted grace and sweetness; and but for some answers that she
made _mal a propos_, and sighs, that against her will broke from her
heart, she should not have found an alteration; but this being
unusual, made her inquisitive; and the faint denial she met with made
her importune, and that so earnestly, and with so many vows of
fidelity and secrecy, that _Calista_'s heart, even breaking within,
poured itself for ease, into the faithful bosom of this young devotee;
and having told her all the story of her misfortune, she began with so
much courage and bravery of mind, to make vows against the charming
betrayer of her fame, and with him all mankind, and this with such
consideration and repentance, as left no room for reproach, or
persuasion; and from this moment resolved never to quit the solitude
of the cloisters. She had all her life, before her marriage, lived in
one, and wished now, she had never seen the world, or departed from a
life so pure and innocent. She looked upon this fatal accident, now a
blessing, to bring her back to a life of devotion and tranquillity:
and indeed is a miracle of piety. Some time after this, she was
brought to bed, but commanded the child should be removed, where she
might never see it, which accordingly was done; after which, in due
time, she took the habit, and remains a rare example of repentance and
holy-living. This new penitent became the news of the whole town; and
it was not without some pleasure, that _Octavio_ heard it, as the only
action she could do, that could reconcile him to her; the knowledge of
which, and some few soft days with _Sylvia_, made him chase away all
those shiverings, that had seized him upon several occasions: but
_Sylvia_ was all sweetness, all love and good humour, and made his
days easy, and his nights entirely happy. While, on the other side,
there was no satisfaction, no pleasure, that the fond lavish lover did
not, at any price, purchase for her repose; for it was the whole
business of his life, to study what would charm and please her: and
being assured by so many vows of her heart, there was nothing rested,
to make him perfectly happy, but her being delivered of what belonged
to his rival, and in which he had no part, he was at perfect ease.
This she wishes with an impatience equal to his; whose love and
fondness for _Octavio_ appeared to be arrived to the highest degree,
and she every minute expected to be free from the only thing, that
hindered her from giving herself entirely to her impatient love.

In the midst of this serenity of affairs, _Sylvia_'s page one day
brings them news his lord was arrived, and that he saw him in the park
walking with some _French_ gentlemen, and undiscovered to him came to
give her notice, that she might take her measures accordingly. In
spite of all her love to _Octavio_, her blushes flew to her cheeks at
the news, and her heart panted with unusual motion; she wonders at
herself, and fears and doubts her own resolution; she till now
believed him wholly indifferent to her, but she knows not what
construction this new disorder will bear; and what confounded and
perplexed her more, was, that _Octavio_ beheld all these emotions,
with unconceivable resentment; he swells with pride and anger, and
even bursts with grief, and not able longer to contain his complaint,
he reproaches her in the softest language that ever love and grief
invented; while she weeps with shame and divided love, and demands of
him a thousand pardons; she deals thus kindly at least with him, to
confess this truth; that it was impossible, but at the approach of a
man, who taught her first to love, and for which knowledge she had
paid so infinitely dear, she could not but feel unusual motions; that
that tenderness and infant flame, he once inspired, could not but have
left some warmth about her heart, and that _Philander_, the once
charming dear _Philander_, could never be absolutely to her as a
common man, and begged that he would give some grains of allowance to
a maid, so soft by nature, and who had once loved so well, to be
undone by the dear object; and though every kind word she gave his
rival was a dagger at his heart, nevertheless, he found, or would
think he found, some reason in what she said; at least he seemed more
appeased, while she, on the other side, dissembled all the ease, and
repose of mind, that could flatter him to calmness.

You must know, that for _Sylvia_'s, honour, she had lodgings by
herself, and _Octavio_ had his in another house, at an aunt's of his,
a widow, and a woman of great quality; and _Sylvia_ being near her
lying-in, had provided all things, with the greatest magnificence
imaginable, and passed for a young widow, whose husband died, at the
Siege of----_Octavio_ only visited her daily, and all the nights she
had to herself. For he treated her as one whom he designed to make his
wife, and one whose honour was his own; but that night the news of
_Philander_'s, arrival was told her, she was more than ordinary
impatient to have him gone, pretending illness, and yet seemed loath
to let him go, and lovers (the greatest cullies in nature, and the
aptest to be deceived, though the most quick-sighted)--do the soonest
believe; and finding it the more necessary he should depart, the more
ill she feigned to be, he took his leave, and left her to repose,
after taking all care necessary, for one in her circumstances. But
she, to make his absence more sure, and fearing lest he should suspect
something of her design, being herself guilty, she orders him to be
called back, and caresses him anew, tells him she was never more
unwilling to part with him, and all the while is complaining and
wishing to be in bed; and says he must not stir till he sees her laid.
This obliges and cajoles him anew, and he will not suffer her women to
undress her, but does the grateful business himself, and reaps some
dear recompense by every service, and pleases his eyes and lips, with
the ravishing beauties, of the loose unguarded, suffering fair one.
She permits him any thing to have him gone, which was not till he saw
her laid, as if to her rest: but he was no sooner got into his coach,
but she rose, and slipped on her night-gown, and some other loose
thingss and got into a chair, commanding her page to conduct the
chairmen to all the great _cabarets_, where she believed it most
likely to find _Philander_; which was accordingly done; and the page
entering, inquires for such a _cavalier_, describing his person, his
fine remarkable black hair of his own: but the first he entered into,
he saw _Brilliard_ bespeaking supper: for you must know that, that
husband-lover being left, as I have said, in prison in _Holland_, for
the accusation of _Octavio_; the unhappy young nobleman was no sooner
fled upon the unlucky death of his uncle, but the _States_ set
_Brilliard_ at liberty; who took his journey immediately to
_Philander_, whom he found just released from his troublesome affair,
and designed for _Brussels_, where they arrived that very morning:
where the first thing he did, was to go to the nunnery of St _Austin_,
to inquire for the fair _Calista_; but instead of encountering the
kind, the impatient, the brave _Calista_, he was addressed to, by the
old Lady Abbess, in so rough a manner, that he no longer doubted, upon
what terms he stood there, though he wondered how they should know his
story with _Calista_: when to put him out of doubt, she assured him,
he should never more behold the face of her injured niece; for whose
revenge she left him to heaven. It was in vain he kneeled and
implored; he was confirmed again and again, she should never come from
out the confines of those walls; and that her whole remaining life
spent in penitence, was too little to wash away her sins with him: and
giving him the letter he sent to _Octavio_, (which _Sylvia_ had given
_Calista_, and she the Lady Abbess, with a full confession of her
fault) she cried; 'See there, sir, the treachery you have committed
against a woman of quality--whom your criminal love has rendered the
most miserable of her sex.' At the ending of which, she drew the
curtain over the grate, and left him, wholly amazed and confounded,
finding it to be the same he had writ to _Octavio_, and in it, that he
had writ to _Sylvia_: by the sight of which, he no longer doubted, but
that confidante had betrayed him every way. He rails on his false
friendship, curses the Lady Abbess, himself, his fortune, and his
birth; but finds it all in vain: nor was he so infinitely afflicted
with the thought of the eternal loss of _Calista_, (because he had
possessed her) as he was to find himself betrayed to her, and
doubtless to _Sylvia_, by _Octavio_; and nothing but _Calista_'s being
confined from him, (though she were very dear and charming to his
thought) could have made him rave so extremely for a sight of her: he
loves her the more, by how much the more it was impossible for him to
see her; and that difficulty and his despair increased his flame. In
this humour he went to his lodging, the most undone extravagant that
ever raged with love. He considers her in a place, where no art, or
force of love, or human wit, can retrieve her; no nor so much as send
her a letter. This added to his fury, and in his first wild
imaginations, he resolves nothing less than firing the monastery, that
in that confusion he might seize his right of love, and do a deed,
that would render his name famous as the _Athenian_ youth, who to get
a fame, though an inglorious one, fired the temple of their gods. But
his rage abating by consideration, that impiety dwelt not long with
him: and he ran over a number more, till from one to another, he
reduced himself, to a degree of moderation, which presenting him with
some flattering hope, that give him a little ease: it was then that
_Chevalier Tomaso_, and another _French_ gentleman of _Cesario_'s
faction, (who were newly arrived at _Brussels_) came to pay him their
respects: and after a while carried him into the park to walk, where
_Sylvia_'s page had seen him; and from whence they sent _Brilliard_ to
bespeak supper at this _cabaret_, where _Sylvia_'s chair and herself
waited, and where the page found _Brilliard_, of whom he asked for his
lord; but understanding he could not possibly come in some hours,
being designed for Court that evening, whither he was obliged to go
and kiss the Governor's hands, he went to the lady, who was almost
dead with impatience, and told her, what he had learned: upon which
she ordered her chairmen to carry her back to her lodgings, for she
would not be persuaded to ask any questions of _Brilliard_, for whom
she had a mortal hate: however, she resolved to send her page back
with a billet, to wait _Philander_'s coming, which was not long; for
having sooner dispatched their compliment at Court than they believed
they should, they went all to supper together, where _Brilliard_ had
bespoke it; where being impatient to learn all the adventures of
_Cesario_, since his departure from him, and of which no person could
give so good an account as _Chevalier Tomaso_, _Philander_ gave order
that no body whomsoever should disturb them, and sat himself down to
listen to the fortune of the Prince.

'You know, my lord,' said _Tomaso_,'the state of things at your
departure; and that all our glorious designs, for the liberty of all
_France_ were discovered, and betrayed by some of those little
rascals, that great men are obliged to make use of in the greatest
designs: upon whose confession you were proscribed, myself, this
gentleman, and several others: it was our good fortunes to escape
untaken, and yours to fall first in the messenger's hands, and carried
to the _Bastille_, even from whence you had the luck to escape: but it
was not so with _Cesario_.' 'Heavens,' cried _Philander_, 'the Prince,
I hope is not taken.' 'Not so neither,' replied _Tomaso_, 'nor should
you wonder you have received no news of him, in a long time, since
forty thousand crowns being offered for his head, or to any thing that
could discover him, it would have exposed him to have written to any
body, he being beset on all sides with spies from the King; so that it
was impossible to venture a letter, without very great hazard of his
life. Besides all these hindrances, _Cesario_, who, you know, was ever
a great admirer of the fair sex, happened in this his retreat to fall
most desperately in love: nor could the fears of death, which alarmed
him on all sides, deter him from his new amour: which, because it has
relation to some part of his adventures, I cannot omit, especially to
your lordship, his friend, to whom every circumstance of that Prince's
fate and fortune will be of concern.

'You must imagine, my lord, that your seizure and escape was enough to
alarm the whole party; and there was not a man of the League who did
not think it high time to look about him, when one, so considerable as
your lordship, was surprised. Nor did the Prince himself any longer
believe himself safe, but retired himself under the darkness of the
following night: he went only accompanied with his page to a lady's
house, a widow of quality at _Paris_, that populous city being, as he
conceived, the securest place to conceal himself in. This lady was
Madam the Countess of----who had, as you know, my lord, one only
daughter, _Mademoiselle Hermione_, the heiress of her family. The
Prince knew this young lady had a tenderness for him ever since they
were both very young, which first took beginning in a masque at Court,
where she then acted _Mercury_, and danced so exceedingly finely, that
she gave our young hero new desire, if not absolute love, and charmed
him at least into wishes. She was not then old enough to perceive she
conquered, as well as to make a conquest: and she was capable of
receiving impressions as well as to give them: and it was believed by
some who were very near the Prince, and knew all his secrets then,
that this young lady pitied the sighs of the royal lover, and even
then rewarded them: and though this were most credibly whispered, yet
methinks it seems impossible he should then have been happy; and after
so many years, after the possession of so many other beauties, should
return to her again, and find all the passions and pains of a
beginning flame. But there is nothing to be wondered at in the
contradictions and humours of human nature. But however inconstant and
wavering he had been, _Hermione_ retained her first passion for him;
and that I less wonder at, since you know the Prince has the most
charming person in the world, and is the most perfectly beautiful of
all his sex: to this his youth and quality add no little lustre; and I
should not wonder, if all the softer sex should languish for him, nor
that any one should love on--who hath once been touched with love for

'It was his last assurance the Prince so absolutely depended on, that
(notwithstanding she was far from the opinion of his party) made him
resolve to take sanctuary in those arms he was sure would receive him
in any condition and circumstances. But now he makes her new vows,
which possibly at first his safety obliged him to, while she returned
them with all the passion of love. He made a thousand submissions to
Madam the Countess, who he knew was fond of her daughter to that
degree, that for her repose she was even willing to behold the
sacrifice of her honour to this Prince, whom she knew _Hermione_ loved
even to death; so fond, so blindly fond is nature: and indeed after a
little time that he lay there concealed, he reaped all the
satisfaction that love could give him, or his youth could wish, with
all the freedom imaginable. He only made vows of renouncing all other
women, what ties or obligations soever he had upon him, and to resign
himself entirely up to _Hermione_. I know not what new charms he had
found by frequent conversation with her, and being uninterrupted by
the sight of any other ladies; but it is most certain, my lord, that
he grew to that excess of love, or rather dotage, (if love in one so
young can be called so) that he languished for her, even while he
possessed her all: he died, if obliged by company to retire from her
an hour, at the end of which, being again brought to her, he would
fall at her feet, and sigh, and weep, and make the most piteous moan
that ever love inspired. He would complain upon the cruelty of a
moment's absence, and vow he would not live where she was not. All
that disturbed his happiness he reproached as enemies to his repose,
and at last made her feign an illness, that no visits might be made
her, and that he might possess all her hours. Nor did _Hermione_
perceive all this without making her advantages of so glorious an
opportunity; but, with the usual cunning of her sex, improved every
minute she gave him: she now found herself sure of the heart of the
finest man in the world; and of one she believed would prove the
greatest, being the head of a most powerful faction, who were
resolved, the first opportunity, to order affairs so as to come to an
open rebellion, and to make him a king. All these things, how unlikely
soever in reason, her love and ambition suggested to her; so that she
believed she had but one game more to play, to establish herself the
greatest and most happy woman in the world. She consults in this
weighty affair, with her mother, who had a share of cunning that could
carry on a design as well as any of her sex. They found but one
obstacle to all _Hermione_'s rising greatness; and that was the
Prince's being married; and that to a lady of so considerable birth
and fortune, so eminent for her virtue, and all perfections of
womankind, and withal so excellent for wit and beauty, that it was
impossible to find any cause of a separation between them. So that
finding it improbable to remove that let to her glories, she grew very
melancholy, which was soon perceived by the too amorous Prince, who
pleads, and sighs, and weeps on her bosom day and night to find the
cause: but she, who found she had a difficult game to play, and that
she had need of all her little aids, pretends a thousand little
frivolous reasons before she discovers the true one; which served but
to oblige him to ask anew, as she designed he should----At last, one
morning, finding him in the softest fit in the world, and ready to
give her whatever she could ask in return for the secret of her
disquiet, she told him with a sigh, how unhappy she was in loving so
violently a man who could never be any thing to her more than the
robber of her honour: and at last, with abundance of sighs and tears,
bewailed his marriage----He taking her with all the joy imaginable in
his arms, thanked her for speaking of the only thing he had a thousand
times been going to offer to her, but durst not for fear she should
reproach him. He told her he looked upon himself as married to no
woman but herself, to whom by a thousand solemn vows he had contracted
himself, and that he would never own any other while he lived, let
fortune do what she pleased with him. _Hermione_, thriving hitherto so
well, urged his easy heart yet farther, and told him, though she had
left no doubt remaining in her of his love and virtue, no suspicion of
his vows, yet the world would still esteem the Princess his wife, and
herself only as a prostitute to his youthful pleasure; and as she
conceived her birth and fortune not to be much inferior to that of the
Princess, she should die with indignation and shame, to bear all the
reproach of his wantonness, while his now wife would live esteemed and
pitied as an injured innocent. To all which he replied, as mad in
love, that the Princess, he confessed, was a lady to whom he had
obligations, but that he esteemed her no more his wife, since he was
married to her at the age of twelve years; an age, wherein he was not
capacitated to choose good or evil, or to answer for himself, or his
inclinations: and though she were a lady of absolute virtue, of youth,
wit and beauty; yet fate had so ordained it, that he had reserved his
heart to this moment entirely for herself; and that he renounced all
pretenders to him except herself; that he had now possessed the
Princess for the space of twenty years; that youth had a long race to
run, and could not take up at those years with one single beauty: that
hitherto ravage and destruction of hearts had been his province and
glory, and that he thought he never lost time but when he was a little
while constant: but now he was fixed to all he would ever possess
whilst he had breath; and that she was both his mistress and his wife;
his eternal happiness, and the end of all his loving. It is there he
said he would remain as in his first state of innocence: that hitherto
his ambition had been above his passion, but that now his heart was so
entirely subdued to this fair charmer (for so he call'd and thought
her) that he could be content to live and die in the glory of being
hers alone, without wishing for liberty or empire, but to render her
more glorious. A thousand things tender and fond he said to this
purpose, and the result of all ended in most solemn vows, that if ever
fortune favoured him with a crown, he would fix it on her head, and
make her in spite of all former ties and obligations, Queen of
_France_. This was sufficient to appease her sighs and tears, and she
remained entirely satisfied of his vows, which were exchanged before
Madam the Countess, and confirmed by all the binding obligations, love
on his side could invent, and ambition and subtlety on hers. When I
came at any time to visit him, which by stealth a-nights sometimes I
did, to take orders from him how I should act in all things, (though I
lay concealed like himself) he would tell me all that had passed
between him and _Hermione_. I suppose, not so much for the reposing
the secret in my breast, as out of a fond pleasure to be repeating
passages of his dotage, and repeating her name, which was ever in his
mouth: I saw she had reduced him to a great degree of slavery, and
could not look tamely on, while a hero so young, so gay, so great, and
so hopeful, lay idling away his precious time, without doing any
thing, either in order for his own safety or ambition. It was, my
lord, a great pity to see how his noble resolution was changed, and
how he was perfectly effeminated into soft woman. I endeavoured at
first to rouse him from this lethargy of love; and argued with him the
little reason, that in my opinion he had to be so charmed. I told him,
_Hermione_, of all the beauties of _France_, was esteemed one of the
meanest, and that if ever she had gained a conquest (as many she was
infamously famed for) it was purely the force of her youth and
quality; but that now that bloom was past, and she was one of those,
which in less quality we called old. At these reproaches of his
judgement, I often perceived him to blush, but more with anger than
shame. Yet because, according to the vogue of the town, he found there
was reason in what I said, and which he could only contradict by
saying, however she was, she appeared all otherwise to him: he blamed
me a little kindly for my hard words against her, and began to swear
to me, that he thought her all over charm. He vowed there was absolute
fascination in her eyes and tongue. "It is confessed," said he, "she
has not much of youth, nor of that which we agree to call beauty: but
she has a grace so masculine, an air so ravishing, a wit and humour so
absolutely made to charm, that they all together sufficiently
recompense for her want of delicacy in complexion and feature: and in
a word, my _Tomaso_," cries he, embracing me, "she is, though I know
not what, or how, a maid that compels me to adore her; she has a
natural power to please above the rest of her dull sex; and I can
abate her a face and shape, and yet vie her for beauty, with any of
the celebrated ones of _France_."

'I found, by the manner of his saying this, that he was really
charmed, and past all retrieve, bewitched to this lady. I found it
vain therefore to press him to a separation, or to lessen his passion,
but on the contrary told him, there was a time for all things; if fate
had so ordained it that he must love. But I besought him, with all the
eloquence of perfect duty and friendship, not to suffer his passion to
surmount his ambition and his reason, so far as to neglect his
interest and safety; and for a little pleasure with a woman, suffer
all his friends to perish, that had woven their fortunes with his, and
must stand or fall, as he thrived: I implored him not to cast away the
_good cause_, which was so far advanced, and that yet, notwithstanding
this discourse, might all be retrieved by his conduct, and good
management, that I knew however the King appeared in outward shew to
be offended, that it was yet in his power to calm the greatest tempest
this discovery had raised: that it was but casting himself at His
Majesty's feet, and begging his mercy, by a confession of the truth of
some part of the matter; and that it was impossible he could fail of a
pardon, from so indulgent a monarch, as he had offended: that there
was no action could wholly rase out of the King's heart, that
tenderness and passion he had ever expressed towards him; and his
peace might be made with all the facility imaginable. To this he urged
a very great reluctancy, and cried, he would sooner die, than by a
confession expose the lives of his friends, and let the world see
their whole design before they had power to effect it: and not only
so, but put it past all their industry, ever to bring so hopeful a
plot about again. At this I smiled, and asked His Highness's pardon,
told him I was of another opinion, as most of the heads of the
_Huguenots_ were, that what he said to His Majesty in private could
never possibly be made public: that His Majesty would content himself
with the knowledge of the truth, without caring to satisfy the world,
so greatly to the prejudice of a prince of the blood, and a man so
very dear to him as himself. He urged the fears this would give those
of the Reformed Religion, and alarm them with a thousand
apprehensions, that it would discover every man of them, by
unravelling the intrigue. To this I replied, that their fears would be
very short-lived; for as soon as he had, by his submission and
confession, gained his pardon, he had no more to do, but to renounce
all he had said, leave the Court, and put himself into the protection
of his friends, who were ready to receive him. That he need but appear
abroad a little time, and he would see himself addressed to again, by
all the _Huguenot_ party, who would quickly put him into a condition
of fearing nothing.

'My counsel, with the same persuasion from all of quality of the
party, who came to see him, was at last approved of by him, and he
began to say a thousand things to assure me of his fidelity to his
friends, and the faction, which he vowed never to forsake, for any
other interest, but to stand or fall in its defence, and that he was
resolved to be a king, or nothing; and that he would put in practice
all the arts and stratagems of cunning, as well as force, to attain to
this glorious end, however crooked and indirect they might appear to
fools. However, he conceived the first necessary step to this, was the
getting his pardon, to gain a little time, to manage things anew to
the best advantage: that at present all things were at a stand without
life or motion, wanting the sight of himself, who was the very life
and soul of motion, the axle-tree that could turn the wheel of fortune
round about again.

'And now he had talked himself in to sense again; he cried--"Oh my
_Tomaso_! I long to be in action, my soul is on the wing, and ready to
take its flight through any hazard----" but sighing on a sudden, again
he cried: "But oh, my friend, my wings are impt by love, I cannot
mount the regions of the air, and thence survey the world; but still,
as I would rise to mightier glory, they flag to humble love, and fix
me there. Here I am charmed to lazy, soft repose, here it is I smile
and play, and love away my hours: but I will rouse, I will, my dear
_Tomaso_; nor shall the winged boy hold me enslaved: believe me,
friend, he shall not." He sent me away pleased with this, and I left
him to his repose.'

Supper being ready to come upon the table; though _Philander_ were
impatient to hear the story out, yet he would not press _Tomaso_, till
after supper; in which time, they discoursed of nothing but of the
miracles of _Cesario_'s love to _Hermione_. He could not but wonder a
prince so young, so amorous, and so gay, should return again, after
almost fifteen years, to an old mistress, and who had never been in
her youth a celebrated beauty: one, whom it was imagined the King, and
several after him at Court, had made a gallantry with----On this he
paused for some time, and reflected on his passion for _Sylvia_; and
this fantastic intrigue of the Prince's inspired him with a kind of
curiosity to try, whether fleeting love, would carry him back again to
this abandoned maid. In these thoughts, and such discourse, they
passed away the time during supper; which ended, and a fresh bottle
brought to the table, with a new command that none should interrupt
them, the impatient _Philander_ obliged _Tomaso_ to give him a farther
account of the Prince's proceedings; which he did in this manner.

'My lord, having left the Prince, as I imagined very well resolved, I
spoke of it to as many of our party, as I could conveniently meet
with, to prepare them for the discovery, I believed the Prince would
pretend to make, that they should not by being alarmed at the first
news of it, put themselves into fears, that might indeed discover
them: nor would I suffer _Cesario_ to rest, but daily saw him, or
rather nightly stole to him, to keep up his resolution: and indeed, in
spite of love, to which he had made himself so entire a slave, I
brought him to his own house, to visit Madam his wife, who was very
well at Court, maugre her husband's ill conduct, as they called it;
the King being, as you know, my lord, extremely kind to that deserving
lady, often made her visits, and would without very great impatiency
hear her plead for her husband, the Prince; and possibly it was not
ungrateful to him: all this we daily learned from a page, who secretly
brought intelligence from Madam the Princess: so that we conceived it
wholly necessary for the interest of the Prince, that he should live
in a good understanding with this prudent lady. To this end, he
feigned more respect than usual to her, and as soon as it was dark,
every evening made her his visits. One evening, amongst the rest, he
happened to be there, just as the proclamation came forth, of four
thousand crowns to any that could discover him; and within half an
hour after came the King, to visit the Princess, as every night he
did; her lodging being in the Court: the King came without giving any
notice, and with a very slender train that night; so that he was
almost in the Princess's bed-chamber before any body informed her he
was there; so that the Prince had no time to retire but into Madam the
Princess's cabaret, the door of which she immediately locking, made
such a noise and bustle, that it was heard by His Majesty, who
nevertheless had passed it by, if her confusion and blushes had not
farther betrayed her, with the unusual address she made to the King:
who therefore asked her, who she had concealed in her closet. She
endeavoured to put him off with some feigned replies, but it would not
do; the more her confusion, the more the King was inquisitive, and
urged her to give him the key of her _cabaret_: but she, who knew the
life of the Prince would be in very great danger, should he be taken
so, and knew on the other side, that to deny it, would betray the
truth as much as his discovery would, and cause him either to force
the key, or the door, fell down at his feet, and wetting his shoes
with her tears, and grasping his knees with her trembling arms,
implored that mercy and pity, for the Prince her husband, whom her
virtue had rendered dear to her, however criminal he appeared to His
Majesty: she told him, His Majesty had more peculiarly the attributes
of a god, than any other monarch upon earth, and never heard the
wretched or the innocent plead in vain. She told him, that herself,
and her children, who were dearer to her than life, should all be as
hostages for the good conduct and duty of the Prince's future life and
actions: and they would all be obliged to suffer any death, though
ever so ignominious, upon the least breaking out of her lord: that he
should utterly abandon those of the Reformed Religion, and yield to
what articles His Majesty would graciously be pleased to impose,
quitting all his false and unreasonable pretensions to the crown,
which was only the effects of the flattery of the _Huguenot_ party,
and the _malcontents_. Thus with the virtue and goodness of an angel,
she pleaded with such moving eloquence, mixed with tears from
beautiful eyes, that she failed not to soften the royal heart, who
knew not how to be deaf when beauty pleaded: yet he would not seem to
yield so suddenly, lest it should be imagined he had too light a sense
of his treasons, which, in any other great man, would have been
punished with no less than death: yet, as she pleaded, he grew calmer,
and suffered it without interruption, till she waited for his reply;
and obliged him by her silence to speak. He numbers up the obligations
he had heaped on her husband; how he had, by putting all places of
great command and interest into his hands, made him the greatest
prince, and favourite of a subject, in the world; and infinitely
happier than a monarch: that he had all the glory and power of one,
and wanted but the care: all the sweets of empire, while all that was
disagreeable and toilsome, remained with the title alone. He therefore
upbraided him with infinite ingratitude, and want of honour; with all
the folly of ambitious youth: and left nothing unsaid that might make
the Princess sensible it was too late to hide any of his treasons from
him, since they were all but too apparent to His Majesty. It was
therefore that she urged nothing but his royal mercy, and forgiveness,
without endeavouring to lessen his guilt, or enlarge on his innocency.
In fine, my lord, so well she spoke, that at last, she had the joy to
perceive the happy effects of her wit and goodness, which had moved
tears of pity and compassion from His Majesty's eyes; which was
_Cesario_'s cue to come forth, as immediately he did, (having heard
all that had passed) and threw himself at His Majesty's feet: and this
was the critical minute he was to snatch for the gaining of his point,
and of which he made a most admirable use. He called up all the force
of necessary dissimulation, tenderness to his voice, tears to his
eyes, and trembling to his hands, that stayed the too willing and
melting monarch by his robe, till he had heard him implore, and
granted him his pity: nor did he quit his hold, till the King cried,
with a soft voice--"Rise"--at which he was assured of what he asked.
He refused however to rise, till the pardon was pronounced. He owned
himself the greatest criminal in nature; that he was drawn from his
allegiance by the most subtle artifices of his enemies, who under
false friendships had allured his hopes with gilded promises; and
which he now too plainly saw were designed to propagate their own
private interests, and not his glory. He humbly besought His Majesty
to make some gracious allowances for his vanities of youth, and to
believe now he had so dearly bought discretion, at almost the price of
His Majesty's eternal displeasure, that he would reform, and lead so
good a life, so absolutely free from any appearance of ambition, that
His Majesty should see he had not a more faithful subject than
himself. In fine, he found himself, by this acknowledgement he had
begun with, to advance yet further: nor would His Majesty be satisfied
without the whole scene of the matter; and how they were to have
surprised and seized him; where, and by what numbers. All which he was
forced to give an account of; since now to have fallen back, when he
was in their hands, had been his infallible ruin. All which he
performed with as much tenderness and respect to his friends
concerned, as if his own life had been depending: and though he were
extremely pressed to discover some of the great ones of the party, he
would never give his consent to an action so mean, as to be an
evidence. All that could be got from him farther, was to promise His
Majesty, to give under his hand, what he had in private confessed to
him; with which the King remained very well satisfied, and ordered him
to come to Court the next day. Thus for that night they parted with
infinite caresses on the King's part, and no little joy on his. His
Majesty was no sooner gone, but he gave immediate order to the
Secretaries of State, to draw up his pardon, which was done with so
good speed, that he had it in his hands the next day. When he came to
Court, it is not to be imagined the surprise it was to all, to behold
the man, in the greatest state imaginable, who but yesterday was to
have been crucified at any price: and those who most exclaimed against
him, were the first that paid him homage, and caressed him at the
highest rate; only the most wise and judicious prophesied his glories
were not of long continuation. The King made no visits where the
Prince did not publicly appear: he told all the people, with infinite
joy, that the Prince had confessed the whole plot, and that he would
give it, under his hand and seal, in order to have it published
throughout all _France_, for the satisfaction of all those who had
been deluded and deceived by our specious pretences; and for the
terror of those, who had any ways adhered to so pernicious a villainy:
so that he met with nothing but reproaches from those of our own party
at Court: for there were many, who hitherto were unsuspected, and who
now, out of fear of being betrayed by the Prince, were ready to fall
at the King's feet and confess all: others there were, that left the
Court and town upon it. In fine, the face of things seemed extremely
altered, while the Prince bore himself like a person who had the
misfortune justly to lie beneath the exclamations of a disobliged
multitude, as they at least imagined and bore all, as if their fears
had been true, without so much as offering at his justification, to
confirm His Majesty's good opinion of him: he added to his pardon, a
present of twenty thousand crowns, half of it being paid the next day
after his coming to Court. And in short, my lord, His Majesty grew so
fond of the Prince, he could not endure to suffer him out of his
presence, and was never satisfied with seeing him: he carried him the
next day to the public _theatre_ with him, to shew the world he was
reconciled. But by this time he had all confirmed, and grew impatient
to declare himself to his friends, whom he would not have remain long
in their ill opinion of him. It happened the third day of his coming
to Court, (in returning some of those visits he had received from all
the great persons) he went to wait upon the Duchess of ---- a lady,
who had ever had a tender respect for the Prince: in the time of this
visit, a young lady of quality happened to come in; one whom your
lordship knows, a great wit, and much esteemed at Court, _Mademoiselle
Mariana_: by this lady he found himself welcomed to Court, with all
the demonstrations of joy; as also by the old Duchess, who had divers
times heretofore persuaded the Prince to leave the _Huguenots_, and
return to the King and Court: she used to tell him he was a handsome
youth, and she loved his mother well; that he danced finely, and she
had rather see him in a ball at Court, than in rebellion in the field;
and often to this purpose her love would rally him; and now shewed no
less concern of joy for his reconciliation; and looking on him as a
true convert, fell a railing, with all the malice and wit she could
invent, at those public-spirited knaves who had seduced him. She
railed on, and cursed those politics which had betrayed him to almost
ruin itself.

'The Prince heard her with all the patience he could for some time,
but when he found her touch him so tenderly, and name his friends as
if he had owned any such ill counsellors, his colour came in his face,
and he could not forbear defending us with all the force of
friendship. He told her, he knew of no such seducers, no villains of
the party, nor of any traitorous design, that either himself, or any
man in _France_, had ever harboured: at which, she going to upbraid
him in a manner too passionate, he thought it decent to end his visit,
and left her very abruptly. At his going out, he met with the Duke of
---- brother to the Duchess, going to visit her: _en passant_, a very
indifferent ceremony passed on both sides, for this Duke never had
entertained a friendship, or scarce a respect for _Cesario_; but going
into his sister's the Duchess, her chamber, he found her all in a rage
at the Prince's so public defence of the _Huguenots_ and their allies;
and the Duke entering, they told him what had passed. This was a very
great pleasure to him, who had a mortal hate at this time to the
Prince. He made his visit very short, hastens to Court, and went
directly to the King, and told him how infinitely he found His Majesty
mistaken in the imagined penitence of the Prince; and then told him
what he had said at the Duchess of ---- lodgings, and had disowned, he
ever confessed any treasonable design against His Majesty, and gave
them the lie, who durst charge him with any such villainy. The King,
who was unwilling to credit what he wished not true, plainly told the
Duke he could not believe it, but that it was the malice of his
enemies, who had forged this: the Duke replied, he would bring those
to His Majesty that heard the words: immediately thereupon dispatched
away his page to beg the Duchess would come to Court, with
_Mademoiselle Mariana_. The Duchess suspecting the truth of the
business, and unwilling to do the Prince an ill office, excused
herself by sending word she was ill of the colic. But _Mariana_, who
loved the King's interest, and found the ingratitude, as she called
it, of the Prince, hastened in her chair to Court, and justified all
the Duke had said; who being a woman of great wit and honour, found
that credit which the Duke failed of, as an open enemy to the Prince.
About an hour after, the Prince appeared at Court, and found the face
of things changed extremely; and those, who before had kissed his
hand, and were proud of every smile from him, now beheld him with
coldness, and scarce made way as he passed. However, he went to the
Presence, and found the King, whose looks were also very much changed;
who taking him into the bed-chamber, shewed him his whole confession,
drawn up ready for him to sign, as he had promised, though he never
intended any such thing; and now resolved to die rather than do it, he
took it in his hand, while the King cried--"Here keep your word, and
sign your narrative--" "Stay, sir," replied the Prince, "I have the
counsel of my friends to ask in so weighty an affair." The King,
confirmed in all he had heard, no longer doubted but he had been too
cunning for him; and going out in a very great discontent, he only
cried--"Sir, if you have any better friends than myself, I leave you
to them;----" and with this left him. The Prince was very glad he had
got the confession-paper, hoping it would never come to light again;
the King was the only person to whom he had made the confession, and
he was but one accuser; and him he thought the party could at any time
be too powerful to oppose, all being easily believed on their side,
and nothing on that of the Court. After this, in the evening, the King
going to visit Madam the Duchess of----for whom he had a very great
esteem, and whither every day the whole Court followed him; the
Prince, with all the assurance imaginable, made his Court there also;
but he was no sooner come into the Presence, but he perceived anger in
the eyes of that monarch, who had indeed a peculiar greatness and
fierceness there, when angry: a minute after, he sent Monsieur----to
the Prince, with a command to leave the Court; and without much
ceremony he accordingly departed, and went directly to _Hermione_, who
with all the impatience of love expected him; nor was much surprised
to find him banished the Court: for he made her acquainted with his
most secret designs; who having made all his interests her own,
espoused whatever related to him, and was capable of retaining all
with great fidelity: nor had he quitted her one night, since his
coming to Court; and he hath often with rapture told me, _Hermione_
was a friend, as well as a mistress, and one with whom, when the first
play was ended, he could discourse with of useful things of State as
well as love; and improve in both the noble mysteries by her charming
conversation. The night of this second disgrace I went to _Hermione_'s
to visit him, where we discoursed what was next to be done. He did not
think his pardon was sufficient to secure him, and he was not willing
to trust a King who might be convinced, that that tenderness he had
for him, was absolutely against the peace and quiet of all _France_. I
was of this opinion, so that upon farther debate, we thought it
absolutely necessary to quit _France_, till the Court's heat should be
a little abated; and that the King might imagine himself by his
absence, in more tranquillity than he really is. In order to this, he
made me take my flight into _Flanders_, here to provide all things
necessary against his coming, and I received his command to seek you
out, and beg you would attend his coming hither. I expect him every
day. He told me at parting, he longed to consult with you, how next to
play this mighty game, on which so many kingdoms are staked, and which
he is resolved to win, or be nothing.' 'An imperfect relation,'
replied _Philander_, 'we had of this affair, but I never could learn
by what artifice the Prince brought about his good fortune at Court;
but of your own escape I have heard nothing, pray oblige me with the
relation of it.' 'Sir,' said _Tomaso_, 'there is so little worthy the
trouble you will take in hearing it, that you may spare yourself the
curiosity.' 'Sir,' replied Philander, 'I always had too great a share
in what concerned you, not to be curious of the story.' 'In which,'
replied _Tomaso_, 'though there be nothing novel, I will satisfy you.'

'Be pleased to know, my lord, that about a week before our design was
fully discovered by some of our own under-rogues, I had taken a great
house in _Faubourg St Germain_, for my mistress, whom you know, my
lord, I had lived with the space of a year. She was gone to drink the
waters of _Bourbon_, for some indisposition, and I had promised her
all things should be fitted against her return, agreeable to her
humour and desire; and indeed, I spared no cost to make her apartment
magnificent: and I believe few women of quality could purchase one so
rich; for I loved the young woman, who had beauty and discretion
enough to charm, though the _Parisians_ of the royal party called her
_Nicky Nacky_, which was given her in derision to me, not to her, for
whom every body, for her own sake, had a considerable esteem. Besides,
my lord, I had taken up money out of the Orphans' and Widows' Bank,
from the Chamber of _Paris_, and could very well afford to be lavish,
when I spent upon the public stock. While I was thus ordering all
things, my valet came running out of breath, to tell me, that being at
the _Louvre_, he saw several persons carried to the secretary's
office, with messengers; and that inquiring who they might be, he
found they were two _Parisians_, who had offered themselves to the
messengers to be carried to be examined about a plot, the Prince
_Cesario_ and those of the Reformed Religion, had to surprise His
Majesty, kill Monsieur his brother, and set all _Paris_ in a flame:
and as to what particularly related to myself, he said, that I was
named as the person designed to seize upon the King's guards, and
dispatch Monsieur. This my own conscience told me was too true, for me
to make any doubt but I was discovered: I therefore left a servant in
the house, and in a hackney-coach took my flight. I drove a little out
of _Paris_ till night, and then returned again, as the surest part of
the world where I could conceal myself: I was not long in studying who
I should trust with my life and safety, but went directly to the
palace of Madam, the Countess of----who you know, my lord, was a
widow, and a woman who had, for a year past, a most violent passion
for me; but she being a lady, who had made many such gallantries, and
past her youth, I had only a very great respect and acknowledgement
for her, and her quality, and being obliged to her, for the effects of
her tenderness, shewn upon several occasions, I could not but acquit
myself like a _cavalier_ to her, whenever I could possibly; and which,
though I have a thousand times feigned great business to prevent, yet
I could not always be ungrateful; and when I paid her my services, it
was ever extremely well received, and because of her quality, and
setting up for a second marriage, she always took care to make my
approaches to her, in as concealed a manner as possible; and only her
porter, one page, and one woman, knew this secret amour; and for the
better carrying it on, I ever went in a hackney-coach, lest my livery
should be seen at her gate: and as it was my custom at other times,
so I now sent the porter, (who, by my bounty, and his lady's, was
entirely my own creature) for the page to come to me, who immediately
did, and I desired him to let his lady know, I waited her commands;
that was the word: he immediately brought me answer, that by good
fortune his lady was all alone, and infinitely wishing she knew
where to send him for me: and I immediately, at that good news, ran
up to her chamber; where I was no sooner come, but desiring me to
sit, she ordered her porter to be called, and gave orders, upon pain
of life, not to tell of my being in the house, whatever inquiry
should be made after me; and having given the same command to her
page, she dismissed them, and came to me with all the fear and
trembling imaginable. "Ah Monsieur," cried she, falling on my
neck, "we are undone--" I, not imagining she had heard the news
already, cried, "Why, is my passion discovered?" "Ah," replied she in
tears, "I would to heaven it were no worse! would all the earth had
discovered that, which I should esteem my glory--But it is, my
charming monsieur," continued she, "your treasons and not amour, whose
discovery will be so fatal to me." At this I seemed amazed, and begged
her, to let me understand her: she told me what I have said before;
and moreover, that the Council had that very evening issued out
warrants for me, and she admired how I escaped. After a little
discourse of this kind, I asked her, what she would advise me to do?
for I was very well assured, the violent hate the King had
particularly for me, would make him never consent I should live on any
terms: and therefore it was determined I should not surrender myself;
and she resolved to run the risk of concealing me; which, in fine, she
did three days, furnishing me with money and necessaries for my
flight. In this time a proclamation came forth, and offered five
hundred crowns for my head, or to seize me alive, or dead. This sum so
wrought with the slavish minds of men, that no art was left unassayed
to take me: they searched all houses, all hackney-coaches that passed
by night; and did all that avarice could inspire to take me, but all
in vain: at last, this glorious sum so dazzled the mind of Madam the
Countess's porter, that he went to a captain of the Musketeers, and
assured him, if the King would give him the aforesaid sum, he would
betray me, and bring him the following night to surprise me, without
any resistance: the captain, who thought, if the porter should have
all the sum, he should get none; and every one hoping to be the happy
man, that should take me, and win the prize, could not endure another
should have the glory of both, and so never told the King of the offer
the porter had made. But however secret, one may imagine an amour to
be kept, yet in so busy a place as _Paris_ and the apartments of the
Court-coquets, this of ours had been discoursed, and the intrigue more
than suspected: whether this, or the captain, before named, imagined
to find me at the house of the Countess, because the porter had made
such an offer; I say, however it was, the next morning, upon a
_Sunday_, the guards broke into several chambers, and missing me, had
the insolence to come to the door of that of the Countess; and she had
only time to slip on her night-gown, and running to the door besought
them to have respect to her sex and quality, while I started from my
bed, which was the same from whence the Countess rose; and not knowing
where to hide, or what to do, concealing my clothes between the
sheets, I mounted from the table to a great silver sconce that was
fastened to the wall by the bed-side, and from thence made but one
spring up to the tester of the bed; which being one of those raised
with strong wood-work and japan, I could easily do; or, rather it was
by miracle I did it; and laid myself along the top, while my back
touched the ceiling of the chamber; by this time, when no entreaties
could prevail, they had burst open the chamber-door, and running
directly to the bed, they could not believe their eyes: they saw no
person there, but the plain print of two, with the pillows for two
persons. This gave them the curiosity to search farther, which they
did, with their swords, under the bed, in every corner, behind every
curtain, up the chimney, felt all about the wainscot and hangings for
false doors or closets; surveyed the floor for a trap-door: at last
they found my fringed gloves at the window, and the sash a little up,
and then they concluded I had made my escape out at that window: this
thought they seemed confirmed in, and therefore ran to the garden,
where they thought I had descended, and with my gloves, which they
bore away as the trophies of their almost gained victory, they
searched every hedge and bush, arbour, grotto, and tree; but not being
able to find what they sought, they concluded me gone, and told all
the town, how very near they were to seizing me. After this, the very
porter and page believed me escaped out of that window, and there was
no farther search made after me: but the Countess was amazed, as much
as any of the soldiers, to find which way I had conveyed myself, when
I came down and undeceived her; but when she saw from whence I came,
she wondered more than before how I could get up so high; when trying
the trick again, I could not do it, if I might have won never so
considerable a wager upon it, without pulling down the sconce, and the
tester also.

'After this, I remained there undiscovered the whole time the Prince
was at _Hermione_'s, till his coming to Court, when I verily believed
he would have gained me my pardon, with his own; but the King had
sworn my final destruction, if he ever got me in his power; and
proclaiming me a traitor, seized all they could find of mine. It was
then that I believed it high time to take my flight; which, as soon as
I heard the Prince again in disgrace, I did, and got safely into
_Holland_, where I remained about six weeks. But, oh! what is woman!
The first news I heard, and that was while I remained at the
Countess's that my mistress, for whom I had taken such cares and who
had professed to love me above all things, no sooner heard I was fled
and proscribed, but retiring to a friend's house, (for her own was
seized for mine) and the officers imagining me there too, they came to
search; and a young _cavalier_, of a noble aspect, great wit and
courage, and indeed a very fine gentleman, was the officer that
entered her chamber, to search for me; who, being at first sight
surprised with her beauty, and melting with her tears, fell most
desperately in love with her, and after hearing how she had lost all
her money, plate, and jewels, and rich furniture, offered her his
service to retrieve them, and did do it; and from one favour to
another, continued so to oblige the fair fickle creature, that he won,
with that and his handsome mien, a possession of her heart, and she
yielded in a week's time to my most mortal enemy. And the Countess,
who at my going from her, swooned, and bathed me all in tears, making
a thousand vows of fidelity, and never to favour mankind more: this
very woman, sir, as soon as my back was turned, made new advances to a
young lord, who, believing her to be none of the most faithful, would
not trust her under matrimony: he being a man of no great fortune, and
she a mistress of a very considerable one, his standing off on these
terms inflames her the more; and I have advice, that she is very much
in love with him, and it is believed will do what he desires of her:
so that I was no sooner abandoned by fortune, but fickle woman
followed her example, and fled me too. Thus, my lord, you have the
history of my double unhappiness: and I am waiting here a fate which
no human wit can guess at: the arrival of the Prince will give a
little life to our affair; and I yet have hope to see him in _Paris_,
at the head of forty thousand _Huguenots_, to revenge all the
insolences we have suffered.'

After discoursing of several things, and of the fate of several
persons, it was bed-time; and they taking leave, each man departed to
his chamber.

_Philander_, while he was undressing, being alone with _Brilliard_,
began to discourse of _Sylvia_, and to take some care of letting her
know, he was arrived at _Brussels_; and for her convoy thither.
_Brilliard_, who even yet retained some unaccountable hope, as lovers
do, of one day being happy with that fair one; and believing he could
not be so, with so much felicity, while she was in the hands of
_Octavio_ as those of _Philander_, would never tell his lord his
sentiments of her conduct, nor of her love to _Octavio_, and those
other passages that had occurred in _Holland_: he only cried, he
believed she might be overcome, being left to herself and by the
merits and good fashion of _Octavio_; but would not give his master an
absolute fear, or any account of truth, that he might live with her
again, if possible, as before; and that she might hold herself so
obliged to him for silence in these affairs, as might one day render
him happy. These were the unweighed reasons he gave for deluding his
lord into a kind opinion to the fickle maid: but ever when he named
_Sylvia_, _Philander_ could perceive his blushes rise, and from them
believed there was something behind in his thought, which he had a
mind to know: he therefore pressed him to the last degree,--and
cried--'Come--confess to me, _Brilliard_, the reason of your blushes:
I know you are a lover, and I was content to suffer you my rival,
knowing your respect to me.' This, though he spoke smiling, raised a
greater confusion in _Brilliard_'s heart. 'I own, my lord,' said he,
'that I have, in spite of that respect, and all the force of my soul,
had the daring to love her whom you loved; but still the consideration
of my obligations to your lordship surmounted that saucy flame,
notwithstanding all the encouragement of your inconstancy, and the
advantage of the rage it put Sylvia in against you.' 'How,' cried
_Philander_, 'does _Sylvia_ know then of my falseness, and is it
certain that _Octavio_ has betrayed me to her?' With that _Brilliard_
was forced to advance, and with a design of some revenge upon
_Octavio_, (who, he hoped, would be challenged by his lord, where one,
or both might fall in the rencounter, and leave him master of his
hopes) he told him all that had passed between them, all but real
possession, which he only imagined, but laid the whole weight on
_Octavio_, making _Sylvia_ act but as an incensed woman, purely out of
high revenge and resentment of so great an injury as was done her
love. He farther told him, how, in the extravagancy of her rage, she
had resolved to marry _Octavio_, and how he prevented it by making a
public declaration she was his wife already; and for which _Octavio_
procured the _States_ to put him in prison; but by an accident that
happened to the uncle of _Octavio_, for which he was forced to fly,
the _States_ released him, when he came to his lord: 'How,' cried
_Philander_, 'and is the traitor _Octavio_ fled from _Holland_, and
from the reach of my chastisement?' 'Yes,' replied _Brilliard_; 'and
not to hold you longer from the truth, has forced _Sylvia_ away with
him.' At this _Philander_ grew into a violent rage, sometimes against
_Octavio_ for his treasons against friendship; sometimes he felt the
old flame revive, raised and blown jealousy, and was raving to imagine
any other should possess the lovely _Sylvia_. He now beholds her with
all those charms that first fired him, and thinks, if she be criminal,
it was only the effects of the greatest love, which always hurries
women on to the highest revenges. In vain he seeks to extinguish his
returning flame by the thought of _Calista_; yet, at that thought, he
starts like one awakened from a dream of honour, to fall asleep again,
and dream of love. Before it was rage and pride, but now it was
tenderness and grief, softer passions, and more insupportable. New
wounds smart most, but old ones are most dangerous. While he was thus
raging, walking, pausing, and loving, one knocked at his chamber-door.
It was _Sylvia_'s page, who had waited all the evening to speak to
him, and could not till now be admitted. _Brilliard_ was just going to
tell him he was there before, when he arrived now again: _Philander_
was all unbuttoned, his stockings down, and his hair under his cap,
when the page, being let in by _Brilliard_, ran to his lord, who knew
him and embraced him: and it was a pretty while they thus caressed
each other, without the power of speaking; he of asking a question,
and the boy of delivering his message; at last, he gave him _Sylvia_'s
billet, which was thus--


False and perjured as you are, I languish for a sight of you, and
conjure you to give it me, as soon as this comes to your hands.
Imagine not, that I have prepared those instruments of revenge that
are so justly due to your perfidy; but rather, that I have yet too
tender sentiments for you, in spite of the outrage you have done my
heart; and that for all the ruin you have made, I still adore you: and
though I know you now another's slave, yet I beg you would vouchsafe
to behold the spoils you have made, and allow me this recompense for
all, to say--Here was the beauty I once esteemed, though now she is no
more _Philander_'s


'How,' cried he out, 'No more _Philander_'s _Sylvia_! By heaven, I had
rather be no more _Philander_!' And at that word, without considering
whether he were in order for a visit or not, he advancing his joyful
voice, cried out to the page, 'Lead on, my faithful boy, lead on to
_Sylvia_.' In vain _Brilliard_ beseeches him to put himself into a
better equipage; in vain he urges to him, the indecency of making a
visit in that posture; he thought of nothing but _Sylvia_; however he
ran after him with his hat, cloak, and comb, and as he was in the
chair dressed his hair, and suffered the page to conduct him where he
pleased: which being to _Sylvia_'s, lodgings, he ran up stairs, and
into her chamber, as by instinct of love, and found her laid on her
bed, to which he made but one step from the door; and catching her in
his arms, as he kneeled upon the carpet, they both remained unable to
utter any thing but sighs: and surely _Sylvia_ never appeared more
charming; she had for a month or two lived at her ease, and had
besides all the advantage of fine dressing which she had purposely put
on, in the most tempting fashion, on purpose to engage him, or rather
to make him see how fine a creature his perfidy had lost him: she
first broke silence, and with a thousand violent reproaches, seemed as
if she would fain break from those arms, which she wished might be too
strong for her force; while he endeavours to appease her as lovers do,
protesting a thousand times that there was nothing in that history of
his amour with _Calista_, but revenge on _Octavio_, who he knew was
making an interest in her heart, contrary to all the laws of honour
and friendship, (for he had learned, by the reproaches of the Lady
Abbess, that _Calista_ was sister to _Octavio_). 'He has had the
daring to confess to me his passion,' said he, 'for you, and could I
do less in revenge, than to tell him I had one for his sister? I knew
by the violent reproaches I ever met with in your letters, though they
were not plainly confessed, that he had played me foul, and discovered
my feigned intrigue to you; and even this I suffered, to see how far
you could be prevailed with against me. I knew _Octavio_ had charms of
youth and wit, and that you had too much the ascendant over him, to be
denied any secret you had a mind to draw from him; I knew your nature
too curious, and your love too inquisitive, not to press him to a
sight of my letters, which seen must incense you; and this trial I
designedly made of your faith, and as a return to _Octavio_.' Thus he
flatters, and she believes, because she has a mind to believe; and
thus by degrees he softens the listening _Sylvia_; swears his faith
with sighs, and confirms it with his tears, which bedewed her fair
bosom, as they fell from his bright dissembling eyes; and yet so well
he dissembled, that he scarce knew himself that he did so: and such
effects it wrought on _Sylvia_, that in spite of all her honour and
vows engaged to _Octavio_, and horrid protestations never to receive
again the fugitive to her arms, she suffers all he asks, gives herself
up again to love, and is a second time undone. She regards him as one
to whom she had a peculiar right as the first lover: she was married
to his love, to his heart; and _Octavio_ appeared the intruding
gallant, that would, and ought to be content with the gleanings of the
harvest, _Philander_ should give him the opportunity to take up: and
though, if she had at this very time been put to her sober choice,
which she would have abandoned, it would have been _Philander_, as not
in so good circumstances at that time to gratify all her extravagances
of expense; but she would not endure to think of losing either: she
was for two reasons covetous of both, and swore fidelity to both,
protesting each the only man; and she was now contriving in her
thoughts, how to play the jilt most artificially; a help-meet, though
natural enough to her sex, she had not yet much essayed, and never to
this purpose: she knew well she should have need of all her cunning in
this affair; for she had to do with men of quality and honour, and too
much wit to be grossly imposed upon. She knew _Octavio_ loved so well,
it would either make her lose him by death, or resenting pride, if she
should ever be discovered to him to be untrue; and she knew she should
lose _Philander_ to some new mistress, if he once perceived her false.
He asked her a thousand questions concerning _Octavio_, and she seemed
to lavish every secret of her soul to her lover; but like a right
woman, so ordered her discourse, as all that made for her advantage
she declared, and all the rest she concealed. She told him, that those
hopes which her revenge had made her give _Octavio_, had obliged him
to present her with such and such fine jewels, such plate, such sums;
and in fine, made him understand that all her trophies from the
believing lover should be laid at his feet, who had conquered her
heart: and that now, having enriched herself, she would abandon him
wholly to despair. This did not so well satisfy Philander, but that he
needed some greater proofs of her fidelity, fearing all these rich
presents were not for a little hope alone; and she failed not giving
what protestations he desired.

Thus the night passed away, and in the morning, she knowing he was not
very well furnished with money, gave him the key of her cabinet, where
she bid him furnish himself with all he wanted; which he did, and left
her, to go take orders about his horses, and other affairs, not so
absolutely satisfied of her virtue, but he feared himself put upon,
which the advantage he was likely to reap by the deceit, made him less
consider, than he would perhaps otherwise have done. He had all the
night a full possession of _Sylvia_, and found in the morning he was
not so violently concerned as he was over night: it was but a
repetition of what he had been feasted with before; it was no new
treat, but, like matrimony, went dully down: and now he found his
heart warm a little more for _Calista_, with which little impatience
he left _Sylvia_.

That morning a lady having sent to _Octavio_, to give her an
assignation in the park; though he were not curious after beauty, yet
believing there might be something more in it than merely a lady, he
dressed himself and went, which was the reason he made not his visit
that morning, as he used to do, to _Sylvia_, and so was yet ignorant
of her ingratitude; while she, on the other side, finding herself more
possessed with vanity than love; for having gained her end, as she
imagined, and a second victory over his heart, in spite of all
_Calista_'s charms, she did not so much consider him as before; nor
was he so dear to her as she fancied he would have been, before she
believed it possible to get him any more to her arms; and she found it
was pride and revenge to _Calista_, that made her so fond of endearing
him, and that she should thereby triumph over that haughty rival, who
pretended to be so sure of the heart of her hero: and having satisfied
her ambition in that point, she was more pleased than she imagined she
should be, and could now turn her thoughts again to _Octavio_, whose
charms, whose endearments, and lavish obligations, came anew to her
memory, and made him appear the most agreeable to her genius and
humour, which now leaned to interest more than love; and now she
fancies she found _Philander_ duller in her arms than _Octavio_; that
he tasted of _Calista_, while _Octavio_ was all her own entirely,
adoring and ever presenting; two excellencies, of which _Philander_
now had but part of one. She found _Philander_ now in a condition to
be ever taking from her, while _Octavio_'s was still to be giving;
which was a great weight in the scale of love, when a fair woman
guides the balance: and now she begins to distrust all that
_Philander_ had said of his innocence, from what she now remembers she
heard from _Calista_ herself, and reproaches her own weakness for
believing: while her penitent thoughts were thus wandering in favour
of _Octavio_, that lover arrived, and approached her with all the joy
in his soul and eyes that either could express. 'It is now, my fair
charmer,' said he, 'that I am come to offer you what alone can make me
more worthy of you----' And pulling from his pocket the writings and
inventories of all his own and his uncle's estate--'See here,' said
he, 'what those mighty powers that favour love have done for _Sylvia_.
It is not,' continued he, 'the trifle of a million of money, (which
these amount to) that has pleased me, but because I am now able to lay
it without control at your feet.' If she were before inclined to
receive him well, what was she now, when a million of money rendered
him so charming? She embraced his neck with her snowy arms, laid her
cheeks to his ravished face, and kissed him a thousand welcomes; so
well she knew how to make herself mistress of all this vast fortune.
And I suppose he never appeared so fine, as at this moment. While she
thus caressed him, he could not forbear sighing, as if there were yet
something behind to complete his happiness: for though Octavio were
extremely blinded with love, he had abundance of wit, and a great many
doubts, (which were augmented by the arrival of _Philander_) and he
was, too wise and too haughty, to be imposed upon, at least as he
believed: and yet he had so very good an opinion of _Sylvia_'s honour
and vows, which she had engaged to him, that he durst hardly name his
fears, when by his sighs she found them: and willing to leave no
obstacle unremoved, that might hinder her possessing this fortune, she
told him; 'My dear _Octavio_--I am sensible these sighs proceed from
some fears you have of _Philander_'s being in _Brussels_, and
consequently that I will see him, as heretofore; but be assured, that
that false man shall no more dare to pretend to me; but, on the
contrary, I will behold him as my mortal enemy, the murderer of my
fame and innocence, and as the most ungrateful and perfidious man that
ever lived.' This she confirmed with oaths and tears, and a thousand
endearing expressions. So that establishing his heart in a perfect
tranquillity, and he leaving his writings and accounts with her, he
told her he was obliged to dine with the advocates, who had acted for
him in _Holland_, and could not stay to dine with her.

You must know, that as soon as the noise of old _Sebastian_,
_Octavio_'s uncle's death was noised about, and that he was thereupon
fled, they seized all the estates, both that of the uncle, and that of
_Octavio_, as belonging to him by right of law; but looking upon him
as his uncle's murderer, they were forfeited to the _States_. This
part of ill news _Octavio_ kept from _Sylvia_, but took order, that
such a process might be begun in his name with the _States_ that might
retrieve it; and sent word, if it could not be carried on by attornies
(for he was not, he said, in health) that nevertheless he would come
into _Holland_ himself. But they being not able to prove, by the
witness of any of _Octavio_'s or _Sebastian_'s servants, that
_Octavio_ had any hand in his death; but, on the contrary all
circumstances, and the coroner's verdict, brought it in as a thing
done by accident, and through his own fault, they were obliged to
release to _Octavio_ all his fortune, with that of his uncle, which
was this day brought to him, by those he was obliged to dine, and make
up some accounts withal: he therefore told her, he feared he should be
absent all that afternoon; which she was the more pleased at, because
if _Philander_ should return before she had ordered the method of
their visit, so as not to meet with each other (which was her only
contrivance now) she should be sure he would not see or be seen by
_Octavio_; who had no sooner taken his leave, but _Philander_ returns;
who being now fully bent upon some adventure to see _Calista_, if
possible, and which intrigue would take up his whole time; to excuse

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