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

Part 8 out of 8

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some sea-port town in _France_, which the Council shall think most
proper to receive us.' _Sylvia_ laughed, and said, she prophesied
another end of this high design than they imagined; but desperate
fortunes must take their chance. 'What,' continued she, 'does not
_Hermione_ speak of me, and inquire of me?' 'Yes,' replied
_Brilliard_; 'but in such a way, as if she looked on you as a lost
creature, and one of such a reputation, she would not receive a visit
from for all the world.' At this _Sylvia_ laughed extremely, and
cried, '_Hermione_ would be very well content to be so mean a sinner
as myself, to be so young and so handsome a one. However,' said she,
'to be serious, I would be glad to know what real probability there is
in advancing and succeeding in this design, for I would take my
measures accordingly, and keep _Philander_, whose wavering, or rather
lost fortune, is the greatest motive of my resolves to part with him,
and that have made me so uneasy to him.' _Brilliard_ told her, he was
very confident of the design, and that it was almost impossible to
miscarry in the discontent all _France_ was in at this juncture; and
they feared nothing but the Prince's relapsing, who, now, most
certainly preferred love to glory. He farther told her, that as they
were in Council, one deputed from the _Parisians_ arrived with new
offers, and to know the last result of the Prince, whether he would
espouse their interest or not, as they were with life and fortune
ready to espouse his glory. 'They sent him word, it was from him they
expected liberty, and him whom they looked upon as their tutelar
deity. Old _Fergusano_ was then in Council, that _Highland_ wizard
that manages all, and who is ever at hand to awaken mischief, alarmed
the Prince to new glories, reproaching his scandalous life, withal
telling him, there were measures to be taken to reconcile love and
fame; and which he was to discourse to him about in his closet only;
but as things were, he bid him look into the story of _Armida_ and
_Renaldo_, and compare his own with it, and he doubted not, but he
would return blushing at his remissness and sloth: not that he would
exempt his youth from the pleasures of love, but he would not have
love hinder his glory: this bold speech before _Hermione_ had like to
have begot an ill understanding; but she was as much for the Prince's
glory as _Fergusano_, and therefore could not be angry, when she
considered the elevation of the Prince would be her own also: at this
necessary reproach the Prince blushed; the board seconding the wizard,
had this good effect to draw this assurance from him, that they should
see he was not so attached to love, but he could for some time give a
cessation to his heart, and that the envoy from the _Parisians_ might
return assured, that he would, as soon as he could put his affairs in
good order, come to their relief, and bring arms for those that had
none, with such friends as he could get together; he could not promise
numbers, lest by leading so many here, their design should take air,
but would wholly trust to fortune, and their good resolutions: he
demanded a sum of money of them for the buying these arms, and they
have promised him all aids. This is the last result of Council, which
broke immediately up; and the Prince retired to his closet, where he
was no sooner come, but reflecting on the necessity of leaving
_Hermione_, he fell into the most profound melancholy and musing that
could seize a man; while he sat thus, _Hermione_ (who had schooled
_Fergusano_ for his rough speech in Council, and desired he would now
take the opportunity to repair that want of respect, while the Prince
was to be spoken to alone) sent him into the closet to him; where he
found him walking with his arms a-cross, not minding the bard who
stood gazing on him, and at last called to him; and finding no reply,
he advanced, and pulling him gently by the arm, cried,--"Awake royal
young man, awake! and look up to coming greatness"--"I was
reflecting," replied _Cesario_, "on all the various fortunes I have
passed, from the time of my birth to this present hapless day, and
would be glad to know if any supernatural means can tell me what
future events will befall me? If I believed I should not gain a crown
by this great enterprise I am undertaking, here I would lay me down in
silent ease, give up my toils and restless soul to love, and never
think on vain ambition more: ease thou my troubled mind, if thou hast
any friend among the Infernals, and they dare utter truth." "My
gracious Prince," replied the fawning wizard, "this night, if you dare
loose yourself from love, and come unattended to my apartment, I will
undertake to shew you all the future fortune you are to run, the
hazards, dangers, and escapes that attend your mighty race of life; I
will lay the adamantine Book before you, where all the destinies of
princes are hieroglyphick'd. I will shew you more, if hell can furnish
objects, and you dare stand untrembling at the terror of them."
"Enough," replied _Cesario_, "name me the hour." "Betwixt twelve and
one," said he; "for that is the sacred dismal time of night for fiends
to come, tombs to open and let loose their dead.--We shall have use of
both----" "No more," replied _Cesario_, "I will attend them." The
Prince was going out, when _Fergusano_ recalled him, and cried, "One
thing, sir, I must caution you, that from this minute to that, wherein
I shall shew you your destiny, you commit nothing unlawful with
women-kind." "Away," replied the Prince, smiling, "and leave your
canting." The wizard, putting on a more grave countenance,
replied--"By all the Infernals, sir, if you commit unlawful things I
cannot serve you." "If your devils," replied the Prince, laughing, "be
so nice, I doubt I shall find them too honest for my purpose." "Sir,"
said the subtle old fiend, "such conscientious devils Your Highness is
to converse with to-night; and if you discover the secret, it will I
not prove so lucky." "Since they are so humorous," cried _Cesario_, "I
will give them way for once." And going out of the room, he went
directly to _Hermione_'s apartment; where, it being late, she is
preparing for bed, and with a thousand kisses, and hanging on his
neck, she asked him why he is so slow, and why he suffers not himself
to be undressed? He feigns a thousand excuses, at which she seems
extremely amazed; she complains, reproaches, and commands----He tells
her, he was to wait on the Governor about his most urgent affairs, and
was (late as it was) to consult with him: she asked him what affairs
he was to negotiate, of which she was not to bear her part? He refuses
to tell her, and she replied she had sense and courage for any
enterprise, and should resent it very ill, if she were not made
acquainted with it: but he swore I to her she should know all the
truth, as soon as he returned.

'This pacified her in some measure, and at the hour appointed she
suffered him to go; and in a chair was carried to a little house
_Fergusano_ had taken without the town, to which belonged a large
garden, at the farther end of which was a thicket of unordered trees,
that surrounded the grotto, which I passed a good way under the
ground. It had had some rarities of water-work formerly belonging to
it, but now they were decayed; only here and there a broken rock let
out a little stream, that murmured and dashed upon the earth below,
and ran away in a little rivulet, which served to add a melancholy to
the dismal place: into this the Prince was conducted by the old
_German_, who assisted in the charm; they had only one torch to light
the way, which at the entrance of the cave they put out, and within
was only one glimmering lamp, that rather served to add to the horror
of the vault, discovering its hollowness and ruins. At his entrance,
he was saluted with a noise like the rushing of wind, which whizzed
and whistled in the mighty concave. Anon a more silent whispering
surrounded him, without being able to behold any creature save the old
_German_. Anon came in old _Fergusano_, who rolling a great stone,
that lay at one corner of the cave, he desired the Prince to place
himself on it, and not be surprised at any thing he should behold, nor
to stir from that enchanted ground; he, nodding, assented to obey,
while _Fergusano_ and the _German_, with each a wand in their hands,
struck against the unformed rocks that finished the end of the cave,
muttering a thousand incantations, with voices dreadful, and motions
antic; and, after a mighty stroke of thunder that shook the earth, the
rude rock divided, and opened a space that discovered a most
magnificent apartment; in which was presented a young hero, attended
with military officers; his pages dressing him for the field all in
gilded armour. The Prince began to doubt himself, and to swear in his
thought, that the apparition was himself, so very like he was to
himself, as if he had seen his proper figure in a glass. After this,
several persons seemed to address to this great man, of all sorts and
conditions, from the Prince to the peasant, with whom he seemed to
discourse with great confidence and affability; they offered him the
League, which he took and signed, and gave them back; they attend him
to the door with great joy and respect; but as soon as he was gone,
they laughed and pointed at him; at which the Prince infinitely
incensed, rose, and cried out, "What means all this; s'death, am I
become the scorn and mockery of the crowd?" _Fergusano_ besought him
to sit and have patience, and he obeyed, and checked himself. The
scene of the apartment being changed to an arbour of flowers, and the
prospect of a noble and ravishing garden, the hero is presented armed
as he was, only without his plume head-piece, kneeling at the feet of
a fair woman, in loose robes and hair, and attended with abundance of
little Loves, who disarm him by degrees of those ornaments of war.
While she caresses him with all the signs of love, the _Cupids_ made
garlands of flowers, and wreath round his arms and neck, crowning his
head, and fettering him all over in these sweet soft chains. They curl
his hair, and adorn him with all effeminacy while he lies smiling and
pleased,--the wanton boys disposing of his instruments of war as they
think fit, putting them to ridiculous uses, and laughing at them.
While thus he lay, there enter to him a great many statesmen, and
politicians; grave men in furs and chains, attended by the common
crowd; and opening a scene farther off in prospect, shew him crowns,
sceptres, globes, ensigns, arms, and trophies, promiscuously shuffled
together, with heaps of gold, jewels, parchments, records, charters
and seals; at which sight, he starts from the arms of the fair
_Medea_, and strove to have approached those who waited for him; but
she held him fast, and with abundance of tears and sighs of moving
flattery, brought him back to her arms again, and all dissatisfied the
promiscuous crowd depart, some looking back with scorn, others with
signs of rage: and all the scene of glory, of arms and crowns,
disappeared with the crowd. _Cesario_ wholly forgetting, cried out
again, "Ha! lost all for a trifling woman! Lost all those trophies of
thy conquest for a mistress! By heaven I will shake the charmer from
my soul, if both I cannot have." When _Fergusano_ advancing to him,
cried--"See, sir, how supinely the young hero's laid upon her downy
breast," and smiled as he spoke, which angered the Prince, who replied
with scorn, "Now, by my life, a plot upon my love;" but they protested
it was not so, and begged he would be silent. While thus the hero lay,
regardless of his glory, all decked with flowers and bracelets, the
drums beat, and the trumpets were heard, or seemed to be heard to
sound, and a vast opening space was filled with armed warriors, who
offer him their swords, and seem to point at crowns that were borne
behind them; a while they plead in vain, and point to crowns in vain,
at which he only casts a scornful smile, and lays him down in the soft
arms of love. They urge again, but with one amorous look the _Circe_
more prevails than all their reasonings. At last, by force they
divested him of his rosy garlands, in which there lay a charm, and he
assumes new life, while others bore the enchantress out of his sight;
and then he suffered himself to be conducted where they pleased, who
led him forth, shewing him all the way a prospect of crowns. At this
_Cesario_ sighed, and the ceremony continued.

'The scene changed, discovering a sea-shore, where the _hero_ is
represented landed, but with a very melancholy air, attended with
several officers and gentlemen; the earth seems to ring with joy and
loud acclamations at his approach; vast multitudes thronging to behold
him, and striving who first should kiss his hand; and bearing him
aloft in the air, carry him out of sight with peals of welcome and

'He is represented next in Council and deep debate, and so disappears:
then soft music is heard, and he enters in the royal robe, with a
crown presented him on the knee, which he receives, and bows to all
the rabble and the numbers to give them thanks: he having in his hand
blue garters, with the order of St _Esprit_, which he distributes to
several persons on either hand; throwing ducal crowns and coronets
among the rabble, who scuffle and strive to catch at them: after a
great shout of joy, thunder and lightning again shook the earth; at
which they seemed all amazed, when a thick black cloud descended, and
covered the whole scene, and the rock closed again, and _Fergusano_
let fall his wand.

'The Prince, seeing the ceremony end here, rises in a rage, and cries
out, "I charge you to go on----remove the veil, and let the sun
appear; advance your mystic wand, and shew what follows next." "I
cannot, sir," replied the trembling wizard, "the Fates have closed the
everlasting Book, forbidding farther search." "Then damn your scanted
art," replied the Prince, "a petty juggler could have done as much."
"Is it not enough," replied the _German_ rabbi, "that we have shewed
you crowned, and crowned in _France_ itself? I find the Infernals
themselves are bounded here, and can declare no more." "Oh, they are
petty powers that can be bounded," replied the Prince with scorn. They
strove with all their art to reconcile him, laying the fault on some
mistake of theirs, in the ingredients of the charm, which at another
time they would strive to prevent: they soothe him with all the hope
in the world, that what was left unrevealed must needs be as glorious
and fortunate to him, as what he had seen already, which was
absolutely to be depended on: thus they brought him to the open garden
again, where they continued their instructions to him, telling him,
that now was the time to arrive at all the glories he had seen; they
presented to him the state of affairs in _France_, and how much a
greater interest he had in the hearts of the people than their proper
monarch, arguing a thousand fallacies to the deluded hero, who blind
and mad with his dreams of glory, his visions and prospects, listened
with reverence and attention to all their false persuasions. I call
them false, madam, for I never had faith in those sort of people, and
am sorry so many great men and ladies of our time are so bewitched to
their prophecies. They there presented him with a list of all the
considerable of the Reformed Religion in _Paris_, who had assured him
aids of men and money in this expedition; merchants, rich tradesmen,
magistrates and gownmen of the Reformed Church and the law. Next to
this, another of the contribution of pious ladies; all which sums
being named, amounted to a considerable supply; so that they assured
him hell itself could not with these aids obstruct his glory, but on
the contrary, should be compelled to render him assistance, by the
help of charms, to make him invincible; so that wholly overcome by
them, he has given order that all preparations be forthwith made for
the most secret and speedy conveyance of himself and friends to some
sea-port in _France_; he has ordered abundance of letters to be writ
to those of the _Huguenot_ party in all parts of _France_; all which
will be ready to assist him at his landing. _Fergusano_ undertakes for
the management of the whole affair, to write, to speak, and to
persuade; and you know, madam, he is the most subtle and insinuating
of all his non-conforming race, and the most malignant of all our
party, and sainted by them for the most pious and industrious labourer
in the _Cause_; all that he says is oracle to the crowd, and all he
says authentic; and it is he alone is that great engine that sets the
great work a turning.' 'Yes,' replied _Sylvia_, 'and makes the giddy
world mad with his damnable notions.' 'Pernicious as he is,' replied
_Brilliard_, 'he has the sole management of affairs under _Hermione_;
he has power to treat, to advise, to raise money, to make and name
officers, and lastly, to draw out a scene of fair pretences for
_Cesario_ to the Crown of _France_, and the lawfulness of his claim;
for let the conquest be never so sure, the people require it, and the
conqueror is obliged to give some better reason than that of the
strength of his sword, for his dominion over them. This pretension is
a declaration, or rather a most scandalous, pernicious and treasonable
libel, if I may say so, who have so great an interest in it, penned
with all the malice envy can invent; the most unbred, rude piece of
stuff, as makes it apparent the author had neither wit nor common good
manners; besides the hellish principles he has made evident there. My
lord would have no hand in the approbation of this gross piece of
villainous scandal, which has more unfastened him from their interest,
than any other designs, and from which he daily more and more
declines, or seems disgusted with, though he does not wholly intend to
quit the interest; having no other probable means to make good that
fortune, which has been so evidently and wholly destroyed by it.' 'I
am extremely glad,' said _Sylvia_,'that _Philander's_ sentiments are
so generous, and am at nothing so much amazed, as to hear the Prince
could suffer so gross a thing to pass in his name.' 'I must,' said
_Brilliard_,'do the Prince right in this point, to assure you when the
thing was first in the rough draught shewed him, he told _Fergusano_,
that those accusations of a crowned head, were too villainous for the
thoughts of a gentleman; and giving it him again--cried--"No--let it
never be said, that the royal blood that runs in my veins, could
dictate to me no more noble ways for its defence and pretensions, than
the mean cowardice of lies; and that to attain to empire, I should
have recourse to the most detestable of all shifts. No, no, my too
zealous friend," continued he, "I will, with only my sword in my hand,
at the head of my army proclaim my right, and demand a crown, which if
I win is mine; if not, it is his whose sword is better or luckier; and
though the future world may call this unjust, at least they will say
it was brave." At this the wizard smiled, and replied, "Alas, sir, had
we hitherto acted by rules of generosity only, we had not brought so
great advantages to our interest. You tell me, sir, of a speech you
will make, with your sword in your hand, that will do very well at the
head of an army, and a handsome declaration would be proper for men of
sense; but this is not to the wise, but to the fools, on whom nothing
will pass, but what is penned to their capacity, and who will not be
able to hear the speeches you shall make to an army: this is to rouse
them, and find them wherever they are, how far remote soever from you,
that at once they may be incited to assist you, and espouse your
interest: this is the sort of gospel they believe; all other is too
fine: believe me, sir, it is by these gross devices you are to
persuade those sons of earth, whose spirits never mounted above the
dunghill, whence they grew like over-ripe pumpkins. Lies are the
spirit that inspires them, they are the very brandy that makes them
valiant; and you may as soon beat sense into their brains, as the very
appearance of truth; it is the very language of the scarlet beast to
them. They understand no other than their own, and he that does, knows
to what ends we aim. No matter, sir, what tools you work withal, so
the finished piece be fine at last. Look forward to the goal, a crown
attends it! and never mind the dirty road that leads to it." 'With
such false arguments as these, he wrought upon the easy nature of the
Prince, who ordered some thousands of them to be printed for their
being dispersed all over France, as soon as they should be landed:
especially among the _Parisians_, too apt to take any impressions that
bore the stamp and pretence of religion and liberty.

'While these and all other things necessary were preparing, _Cesario_,
wholly given over to love, being urged by _Hermione_ to know the
occasion of his last night's absence, unravels all the secret, and
told my lord and her, one night at supper, the whole scene of the
_grotto_; so that _Hermione_, more than ever being puffed up with
ambitious thoughts, hastened to have the Prince pressed to marry her;
and consulting with the counsellor of her closest secrets, sets him
anew to work; swearing violently, that if he did not bring that design
about, she should be able, by her ascendancy over _Cesario_, to ruin
all those they had undertaken, and yet turn the Prince from the
enterprise; and that it was more to satisfy her ambition (to which
they were obliged for all the Prince had promised) that he had
undertaken to head an army, and put himself again into the hands of
the _Huguenots_, and forsake all the soft repose of love and life,
than for any inclination or ambition of his own; and that she who had
power to animate him one way, he might be assured had the same power
another. This she ended in very high language, with a look too fierce
and fiery to leave him any doubt of; and he promised all things should
be done as she desired, and that he would overcome the Prince, and
bring him absolutely under her power. "Not," said she, with a scornful
look, "that I need your aid in this affair, or want of power of my own
to command it; but I will not have him look upon it as my act alone,
or a thing of my seeking, but by your advice shall be made to
understand it is for the good of the public; that having to do with a
sort of people of the Reformed Religion, whose pretences were more
nice than wise, more seemingly zealous than reasonable or just, they
might look upon the life she led the Prince as scandalous, that was
not justified by form, though never so unlawful." A thousand things
she urged to him, who needed no instruction how to make that appear
authentic and just, however contrary to religion and sense: but, so
informed, he parted from her, and told her the event should declare
his zeal for her service, and so it did; for he no sooner spoke of it
to the Prince, but he took the hint as a divine voice; his very soul
flushed in his lovely cheeks, and all the fire of love was dancing in
his eyes: yet, as if he had feared what he wished could not handsomely
and lawfully be brought to pass, he asked a thousand questions
concerning it, all which the subtle wizard so well resolved, at least
in his judgement, who easily was convinced of what he wished, that he
no longer deferred his happiness, but that very night, in the visit he
made _Hermione_, fell at her feet, and implored her consent of what he
told her _Fergusano_ had fully convinced him was necessary for his
interest and glory, neither of which he could enjoy or regard, if she
was not the partner of them; and that when he should go to _France_,
and put himself in the field to demand a crown, he should do it with
absolute vigour and resolution, if she were to be seated as queen on
the same throne with him, without whom a cottage would be more
pleasant; and he could relish no joys that were not as entirely and
immediately hers as his own: he pleaded impatiently for what she
longed, and would have made her petition for, and all the while she
makes a thousand doubts and scruples only to be convinced and
confirmed by him; and after seeming fully satisfied, he led her into a
chamber (where _Fergusano_ waited, and only her woman, and his
faithful confidant _Tomaso_) and married her: since which, she has
wholly managed him with greater power than before; takes abundance of
state, is extremely elevated, I will not say insolent; and though they
do not make a public declaration of this, yet she owns it to all her
intimates; and is ever reproaching my lord with his lewd course of
life, wholly forgetting her own; crying out upon infamous women, as if
she had been all the course of her life an innocent.'

By this time dinner was ended, and _Sylvia_ urged _Brilliard_ to
depart with her letter; but he was extremely surprised to find it to
be to the Governor's nephew _Don Alonzo_, who was his lord's friend,
and who would doubtless give him an account of all, if he did not shew
him the billet: all these reasons could not dissuade this fickle
wanderer, whose heart was at that time set on this young inconstant,
at least her inclinations: he tells her that her life would be really
in danger, if _Philander_ comes to the knowledge of such an intrigue,
which could not possibly be carried on in that town without noise; she
tells him she is resolved to quit that false injurer of her fame and
beauty; who had basely abandoned her for other women of less merit,
even since she had pardoned him the crimes of love he committed at
_Cologne_; that while he was in the country with her during the time
of her lying-in, he had given himself to all that would receive him
there; that, since he came away, he had left no beauty unattempted;
and could he possibly imagine her of a spirit to bow beneath such
injuries? No, she would on to all the revenges her youth and beauty
were capable of taking, and stick at nothing that led to that
interest; and that if he did not join with her in her noble design she
would abandon him, and put herself wholly out of his protection: this
she spoke with a fierceness that made the lover tremble with fear of
losing her: he therefore told her she had reason; and that since she
was resolved, he would confess to her that _Philander_ was the most
perfidious creature in the world; and that _Hermione_, the haughty
_Hermione_, who hated naughty women, invited and treated all the
handsome ladies of the Court to balls, and to the Basset-table, and
made very great entertainments, only to draw to her interest all the
brave and the young men; and that she daily gained abundance by these
arts to _Cesario_, and above all strove by these amusements to engage
_Philander_, whom she perceived to grow cold in the great concern;
daily treating him with variety of beauty; so that there was no
gaiety, no gallantry, or play, but at _Hermione_'s, whither all the
youth of both qualities repaired; and it was there the Governor's
nephew was every evening to be found. 'Possibly, madam, I had not told
you this, if the Prince's bounty had not taken me totally off from
_Philander_; so that I have no other dependence on him, but that of my
respect and duty, out of perfect gratitude.' After this, to gain
_Brilliard_ entirely, she assured him if his fortune were suitable to
her quality, and her way of life, she believed she should devote
herself to him; and though what she said were the least of her
thoughts, it failed not to flatter him agreeably, and he sighed with
grief that he could not engage her; all he could get was little enough
to support him fine, which he was always as any person of quality at
Court, and appeared as graceful, and might have had some happy minutes
with very fine ladies, who thought well of him. To salve this defect
of want of fortune, he told her he had received a command from
_Octavio_ to come to him about settling of a very considerable pension
upon her, and that he had at his investing put money into his aunt's
hands, who was a woman of considerable quality, to be disposed of to
that charitable use; and that if she pleased to maintain her rest of
fame, and live without receiving love-visits from men, she might now
command that, which would be a much better and nobler support than
that from a lover, which would be transitory, and last but as long as
her beauty, or a less time, his love. To this she knew not what to
answer, but ready money being the joy of her heart, and the support of
her vanity, she seems to yield to this, having said so much before;
and she considered she wanted a thousand things to adorn her beauty,
being very expensive; she was impatient till this was performed, and
deferred the sending to _Don Alonzo_, though her thoughts were
perpetually on him. She, by the advice of _Brilliard_, writes a letter
to _Octavio_; which was not like those she had before written, but as
an humble penitent would write to a ghostly Father, treating him with
all the respect that was possible; and if ever she mentioned love, it
was as if her heart had violently, and against her will, burst out
into softness, as still she retained there; and then she would take up
again, and ask pardon for that transgression; she told him it was a
passion, which, though she could never extinguish for him, yet that it
should never warm her for another, but she would leave _Philander_ to
the world, and retire where she was not known, and try to make up her
broken fortunes; with abundance of things to this purpose, which he
carried to _Octavio_: he said he could have wished she would have
retired to a monastery, as all the first part of her letter had given
him hope; and resolved, and retired as he was, he could not read this
without extreme confusion and change of countenance. He asked
_Brilliard_ a thousand times whether he believed he might trust her,
or if she would abandon those ways of shame, that at last lost all: he
answered, he verily believed she would. 'However,' said _Octavio_, 'it
is not my business to capitulate, but to believe and act all things,
for the interest and satisfaction of her whom I yet adore;' and
without further delay, writ to his aunt, to present _Sylvia_ with
those sums he had left for her; and which had been sufficient to have
made her happy all the rest of her life, if her sins of love had not
obstructed it. However, she no sooner found herself mistress of so
considerable a sum, but in lieu of retiring, and ordering her affairs
so as to render it for ever serviceable to her, the first thing she
does, is to furnish herself with new coach and equipage, and to lavish
out in clothes and jewels a great part of it immediately; and was
impatient to be seen on the _Tour_, and in all public places; nor
could _Brilliard_ persuade the contrary, but against all good manners
and reason, she flew into most violent passions with him, till he had
resolved to give her her way; it happened that the first day she
shewed on the _Tour_, neither _Philander_, _Cesario_ nor _Hermione_
chanced to be there; so that at supper it was all the news, how
glorious a young creature was seen only with one lady, which was
_Antonet_, very well dressed, in the coach with her: every body that
made their court that night to _Hermione_ spoke of this new vision, as
the most extraordinary charmer that had ever been seen; all were that
day undone with love, and none could learn who this fair destroyer
was; for all the time of _Sylvia_'s being at _Brussels_ before, her
being big with child had kept her from appearing in all public places;
so that she was wholly a new face to all that saw her; and it is easy
to be imagined what charms that delicate person appeared with to all,
when dressed to such advantage, who naturally was the most beautiful
creature in the world, with all the bloom of youth that could add to
beauty. Among the rest that day that lost their hearts, was the
Governor's nephew, who came into the Presence that night wholly
transported, and told _Hermione_ he died for the lovely charmer he had
that day seen; so that she, who was the most curious to gain all the
beauties to her side, that the men might be so too, endeavoured all
she could to find out where this beauty dwelt. _Philander_, now grown
the most amorous and gallant in the world, grew passionately in love
with the very description of her, not imagining it had been _Sylvia_,
because of her equipage: he knew she loved him, at least he thought
she loved him too well to conceal herself from him, or be in
_Brussels_, and not let him know it; so that wholly ravished with the
description of the imagined new fair one, he burnt with desire of
seeing her; and all this night was passed in discourse of this
stranger alone; the next day her livery being described to _Hermione_,
she sent two pages all about the town, to see if they could discover a
livery so remarkable; and that if they did, they should inquire of
them who they belonged to, and where that person's lodging was. This
was not a very difficult matter to perform: _Brussels_ is not a large
place, and it was soon surveyed from one end to the other: at last
they met with two of her footmen, whom they saluted, and taking notice
of their livery, asked them who they belonged to? These lads were
strangers to the lady they served, and newly taken; and _Sylvia_ at
first coming, resolved to change her name, and was called Madame
de----, a name very considerable in _France_, which they told the
pages, and that she lived in such a place: this news _Hermione_ no
sooner heard, but she sends a gentleman in the name of the Prince and
herself to compliment her, and tell her she had the honour to know
some great persons of that name in _France_, and did not doubt but she
was related to them: she therefore sent to offer her her friendship,
which possibly in a strange place might not be unserviceable to her,
and that she should be extreme glad to see her at Court, that is, at
_Cesario_'s palace. The gentleman who delivered this message, being
surprised at the dazzling beauty of the fair stranger, was almost
unassured in his address, and the manner of it surprised _Sylvia_ no
less, to be invited as a strange lady by one that hated her; she could
not tell whether it were real, or a plot upon her; however she made
answer, and bid him tell Madam the Princess, which title she gave her,
that she received her compliment as the greatest honour that could
arrive to her, and that she would wait upon Her Highness, and let her
know from her own mouth the sense she had of the obligation. The
gentleman returned and delivered his message to _Hermione_; but so
altered in his look, so sad and unusual, that she took notice of it,
and asked him how he liked the new beauty: he blushed and bowed, and
told her she was a wonder----This made _Hermione_'s colour rise, it
being spoke before _Cesario_; for though she was assured of the hero's
heart, she hated he should believe there was a greater beauty in the
world, and one universally adored. She knew not how so great a miracle
might work upon him, and began to repent she had invited her to Court.

In the mean time _Sylvia_, after debating what to do in this affair,
whether to visit _Hermione_ and discover herself, or to remove from
_Brussels_, resolved rather upon the last; but she had fixed her
design as to _Don Alonzo_, and would not depart the town. To her
former beginning flame for him was added more fuel; she had seen him
the day before on the _Tour_; she had seen him gaze at her with all
the impatience of love, with madness of passion in his eyes, ready to
fling himself out of the coach every time she passed by: and if he
appeared beautiful before, when in his riding dress, and harassed for
four nights together with love and want of sleep; what did he now
appear to her amorous eyes and heart? She had wholly forgot _Octavio_,
_Philander_ and all, and made a sacrifice of both to this new young
lover: she saw him with all the advantages of dress, magnificent as
youth and fortune could invent; and above all, his beauty and his
quality warmed her heart anew; and what advanced her flame yet
farther, was a vanity she had of fixing the dear wanderer, and making
him find there was a beauty yet in the world, that could put an end to
his inconstancy, and make him languish at her feet as long as she
pleased. Resolved on this new design, she defers it no longer; but as
soon as the persons of quality, who used to walk every evening in the
park, were got together, she accompanied with _Antonet_, and three or
four strange pages and footmen, went into the park, and dressed in
perfect glory. She had not walked long there before she saw _Don
Alonzo_, richer than ever in his habit, and more beautiful to her eyes
than any thing she had ever seen; he was gotten among the young and
fair, caressing, laughing, playing, and acting all the little
wantonnesses of youth. _Sylvia_'s blood grew disordered at this, and
she found she loved by her jealousy, and longs more than ever to have
the glory of vanquishing that heart, that so boasted of never having
yet been conquered. She therefore uses all her art to get him to look
at her; she passed by him often, and as often as she did so he viewed
her with pleasure; her shape, her air, her mien, had something so
charming, as, without the assistance of her face, she gained that
evening a thousand conquests; but those were not the trophies she
aimed at, it was _Alonzo_ was the marked-out victim, that she
destined for the sacrifice of love. She found him so engaged with
women of great quality, she almost despaired to get to speak to
him; her equipage which stood at the entrance of the park, not
being by her, he did not imagine this fine lady to be her he saw
on the _Tour_ last night; yet he looked at her so much, as gave
occasion to those he was with to rally him extremely, and tell him he
was in love with what he had not seen, and who might, notwithstanding
all that delicate appearance, be ugly when her mask was off. _Sylvia_,
however, still passed on with abundance of sighing lovers after her,
some daring to speak, others only languishing; to all she would
vouchsafe no word, but made signs, as if she were a stranger, and
understood them not; at last _Alonzo_, wholly impatient, breaks from
these ralliers, and gets into the crowd that pursued this lovely
unknown: her heart leaped when he approached her, and the first thing
she did was to pull off her glove, and not only shew the fairest hand
that ever nature made, but that ring on her finger _Alonzo_ gave her
when they parted at the village. The hand alone was enough to invite
all eyes with pleasure to look that way; but _Alonzo_ had a double
motive, he saw the hand with love, and the ring with jealousy and
surprise; and as it is natural in such cases, the very first thought
that possessed him was, that the young _Bellumere_ (for so _Sylvia_
had called herself at the village) was a lover of this lady, and had
presented her this ring. And after his sighings and little pantings,
that seized him at this thought, would give him leave, he bowing and
blushing cried--'Madam, the whole piece must be excellent, when the
pattern is so very fine.' And humbly begging the favour of a nearer
view, he took her hand and kissed it with a passionate eagerness,
which possibly did not so well please _Sylvia_, because she did not
think he took her for the same person, to whom he shewed such signs of
love last night. In taking her hand he surveyed the ring, and
cried,--'Madam, would to heaven I could lay so good a claim to this
fair hand, as I think I once could to this ring, which this hand
adorns and honours.' 'How, sir,' replied _Sylvia_, 'I hope you will
not charge me with felony?' 'I am afraid I shall,' replied he sighing,
'for you have attacked me on the King's high-way, and have robbed me
of a heart:' 'I could never have robbed a person,' said _Sylvia_, 'who
could more easily have parted with that trifle; the next fair object
will redeem it, and it will be very little the worse for my using.'
'Ah Madam,' replied he sighing, 'that will be according as you will
treat it; for I find already you have done it more damage, than it
ever sustained in all the rencounters it has had with love and
beauty.' 'You complain too soon,' replied _Sylvia_, smiling, 'and you
ought to make a trial of my good nature, before you reproach me with
harming you.' 'I know not,' replied _Alonzo_ sighing, 'what I may
venture to hope from that; but I am afraid, from your inclinations, I
ought to hope for nothing, since a thousand reasonable jealousies
already possess me, from the sight of that ring; and I more than doubt
I have a powerful rival, a youth of the most divine form, I ever met
with of his sex; if from him you received it, I guess my fate.' 'I
perceive, stranger,' said _Sylvia_, 'you begin to be inconstant
already, and find excuses to complain on your fate before you have
tried your fortune. I persuade myself that fine person you speak of,
and to whom you gave this ring, has so great a value for you, that to
leave you no excuse, I assure you, he will not be displeased to find
you a rival, provided you prove a very constant lover.' 'I confess,'
said _Alonzo_, 'constancy is an imposition I never yet had the
confidence and ill nature to impose on the fair; and indeed I never
found that woman yet, of youth and beauty, that ever set so small a
value on her own charms, to be much in love with that dull virtue, and
require it of my heart; but, upon occasion, madam, if such an
unreasonable fair one be found'----'I am extremely sorry' (interrupted
_Sylvia_) 'to find you have no better way of recommending yourself;
this will be no great encouragement to a person of my humour to
receive your address.' 'Madam, I do not tell you that I am not in my
nature wondrous constant,' replied he; 'I tell you only what has
hitherto happened to me, not what will; that I have yet never been so,
is no fault of mine, but power or truth in those beauties, to whom I
have given my heart; rather believe they wanted charms to hold me,
than that I, (where wit and beauty engaged me) should prove so false
to my own pleasure. I am very much afraid, madam, if I find my eyes as
agreeably entertained when I shall have the honour to see your face,
as my ears are with your excellent wit, I shall be reduced to that
very whining, sighing coxcomb, you like so well in a lover, and be
ever dying at your feet. I have but one hope left to preserve myself
from this wretched thing you women love; that is, that I shall not
find you so all over charming, as what I have hitherto found presents
itself to be. You have already created love enough in me for any
reasonable woman, but I find you are not to be approached with the
common devotions we pay your sex; but, like your beauty, the passion
too must be great, and you are not content unless you see your lovers
die; this is that fatal proof alone that can satisfy you of their
passion. And though you laugh to see a Sir _Courtly Nice_, a fop in
fashion acted on the stage; in your hearts that foolish thing, that
fine neat pasquil, is your darling, your fine gentleman, your
well-bred person.'

Thus sometimes in jest, and sometimes in earnest, they recommended
themselves to each other, and to so great a degree, that it was
impossible for them to be more charmed on either side, which lasted
'till it was time to depart; but he besought her not to do so, 'till
she had informed him where he might wait on her, and most passionately
solicit, what she as passionately desired: 'To tell you truth,' said
she, 'I cannot permit you that freedom without you ask it of
_Bellumere_.' He replied, 'Next to waiting on her, he should be the
most overjoyed in the world, to pay his respects to that young
gentleman.' However, to name him, gave him a thousand fears; which
when he would have urged, she bid him trust to the generosity of that
man, who was of quality, and loved him; she then told him his lodgings
(which were her own): _Alonzo_, infinitely overjoyed, resolved to lose
no time, but promised that evening to visit him: and at their parting,
he treated her with so much passionate respect, that she was vexed to
see it paid to one he yet knew not. However, she verily believed her
conquest was certain: he having seen her three times, and all those
times for a several person, and yet was still in love with her; and
she doubted not, when all three were joined in one, he would be much
more in love than yet he had been; with this assurance they parted.

_Sylvia_ was no sooner got home, but she resolved to receive _Alonzo_,
who she was assured would come: she hasted to dress herself in a very
rich suit of man's clothes, to receive him as the young _French_
gentleman. She believed _Brilliard_ would not come 'till late, as was
his use, now being at play at _Hermione_'s. She looked extreme pretty
when she was dressed, and had all the charms that heaven could adorn a
face and shape withal: her apartment was very magnificent, and all
looked very great. She was no sooner dressed, but the young lover
came. _Sylvia_ received him on the stair-case with open arms, and all
the signs of joy that could be expressed, and led him to a rich
drawing-room, where she began to entertain him with that happy night's
adventure; when they both lay together at the village; while _Alonzo_
makes imperfect replies, wholly charmed with the look of the young
cavalier, which so resembled what he had seen the day before in
another garb on the _Tour_. He is wholly ravished with his voice, it
being absolutely the same, that had charmed him that day in the park;
the more he gazed and listened, the more he was confirmed in his
opinion, that he was the same, and he had the music of that dear
accent still in his ears, and could not be deceived. A thousand times
he is about to kneel before her, and ask her pardon, but still is
checked by doubt: he sees, he hears, this is the same lovely youth,
who lay in bed with him at the village _cabaret_; and then no longer
thinks her woman: he hears and sees it is the same face, and voice,
and hands he saw on the _Tour_, and in the park, and then believes her
woman: while he is in these perplexities, _Sylvia_, who with vanity
and pride perceived his disorder, taking him in her arms, cried,
'Come, my _Alonzo_, that you shall no longer doubt but I am perfectly
your friend, I will shew you a sister of mine, whom you will say is a
beauty, or I am too partial, and I will have your judgement of her.'
With that she called to _Antonet_ to beg her lady would permit her to
bring a young stranger to kiss her hand. The maid, instructed,
retires, and _Alonzo_ stood gazing on _Sylvia_ as one confounded and
amazed, not knowing yet how to determine; he now begins to think
himself mistaken in the fair youth, and is ready to ask his pardon for
a fault but imagined, suffering by his silence the little prattler to
discourse and laugh at him at his pleasure. 'Come,' said _Sylvia_
smiling, 'I find the naming a beauty to you has made you melancholy;
possibly when you see her she will not appear so to you; we do not
always agree in one object.' 'Your judgement,' replied _Alonzo_, 'is
too good to leave me any hope of liberty at the sight of a fine woman;
if she be like yourself I read my destiny in your charming face.'
_Sylvia_ answered only with a smile--and calling again for _Antonet_,
she asked if her sister were in a condition of being seen; she told
her she was not, but all undressed and in her night-clothes; 'Nay
then,' said _Sylvia_, 'I must use my authority with her:' and leaving
_Alonzo_ trembling with expectation, she ran to her dressing-room,
where all things were ready, and slipping off her coat put on a rich
night-gown, and instead of her peruke, fine night-clothes, and came
forth to the charmed _Alonzo_, who was not able to approach her, she
looked with such a majesty, and so much dazzling beauty; he knew her
to be the same he had seen on the _Tour_. She, (seeing he only gazed
without life or motion) approaching him, gave him her hand, and
cried--'Sir, possibly this is a more old acquaintance of yours than my
face.' At which he blushed and bowed, but could not speak: at last
_Sylvia_, laughing out-right, cried--'Here, _Antonet_, bring me again
my peruke, for I find I shall never be acquainted with _Don Alonzo_ in
petticoats.' At this he blushed a thousand times more than before, and
no longer doubted but this charmer, and the lovely youth were one; he
fell at her feet, and told her he was undone, for she had made him
give her so indisputable proofs of his dullness, he could never hope
she should allow him capable of eternally adoring her. 'Rise,' cried
_Sylvia_ smiling, 'and believe you have not committed so great an
error, as you imagine; the mistake has been often made, and persons of
a great deal of wit have been deceived.' 'You may say what you
please,' replied _Alonzo_, 'to put me in countenance; but I shall
never forgive myself the stupidity of that happy night, that laid me
by the most glorious beauty of the world, and yet afforded me no kind
instinct to inform my soul how much I was blest: oh pity a
wretchedness, divine maid, that has no other excuse but that of
infatuation; a thousand times my greedy ravished eyes wandered over
the dazzling brightness of yours; a thousand times I wished that
heaven had made you woman! and when I looked, I burnt; but, when I
kissed those soft, those lovely lips, I durst not trust my heart; for
every touch begot wild thoughts about it; which yet the course of all
my fiery youth, through all the wild debauches I had wandered, had
never yet betrayed me to; and going to bed with all this love and fear
about me, I made a solemn oath not to approach you, lest so much
beauty had overcome my virtue. But by this new discovery, you have
given me a flame, I have no power nor virtue to oppose: it is just, it
is natural to adore you; and not to do it, were a greater than my sin
of dullness; and since you have made me lose a charming friend, it is
but just I find a mistress; give me but your permission to love, and I
will give you all my life in service, and wait the rest: I will watch
and pray for coming happiness; which I will buy at any price of life
or fortune.' 'Well, sir,' replied our easy fair one; 'if you believe
me worth a conquest over you, convince me you can love; for I am no
common beauty to be won with petty sudden services; and could you lay
an empire at my feet, I should despise it where the heart were
wanting.' You may believe the amorous youth left no argument to
convince her in that point unsaid; and it is most certain they came to
so good an understanding, that he was not seen in _Brussels_ for eight
days and nights after, nor this rare beauty, for so long a time, seen
on the _Tour_ or any public place. _Brilliard_ came every day to visit
her, and receive her commands, as he used to do, but was answered
still that _Sylvia_ was ill, and kept her chamber, not suffering even
her domestics to approach her: this did not so well satisfy the
jealous lover, but he soon imagined the cause, and was very much
displeased at the ill treatment; if such a design had been carried on,
he desired to have the management of it, and was angry that _Sylvia_
had not only deceived him in the promise he had made for her to
_Octavio_, but had done her own business without him: he spoke some
hard words; so that to undeceive him she was forced to oblige _Alonzo_
to appear at Court again; which she had much ado to incline him to, so
absolutely she had charmed him; however he went, and she suffered
_Brilliard_ to visit her, persuading that easy lover (as all lovers
are easy) that it was only indisposition, that hindered her of the
happiness of seeing him; and after having perfectly reconciled herself
to him, she asked him the news at _Hermione_'s, to whom, I had forgot
to tell you, she sent every day a page with a compliment, and to let
her know she was ill, or she should have waited on her: she every day
received the compliment from her again, as an unknown lady.
_Brilliard_ told her that all things were now prepared, and in a very
short time they should go for _France_; but that whatever the matter
was, _Philander_ almost publicly disowned the Prince's interest, and
to some very considerable of the party has given out, he does not like
the proceedings, and that he verily believed they would find
themselves all mistaken; and that instead of a throne the Prince would
meet a scaffold; 'so bold and open he has been. Something of it has
arrived to the Prince's ear, who was so far from believing it, that he
could hardly be persuaded to speak of it to him; and when he did, it
was with an assurance before-hand, that he did not credit such
reports. So that he gives him not the pain to deny them: for my part I
am infinitely afraid he will disoblige the Prince one day; for last
night, when the Prince desired him to get his equipage ready, and to
make such provision for you as was necessary, he coldly told him he
had a mind to go to _Vienna_, which at that time was besieged by
_Solyman_ the Magnificent, and that he had no inclination of returning
to _France_. This surprised and angered the Prince; but they parted
good friends at last, and he has promised him all things: so that I am
very well assured he will send me where he supposes you still are; and
how shall we manage that affair?'

_Sylvia_, who had more cunning and subtleness than all the rest of her
sex, thought it best to see _Philander_, and part with him on as good
terms as she could, and that it was better he should think he yet had
the absolute possession of her, than that he should return to _France_
with an ill opinion of her virtue; as yet he had known no guilt of
that kind, nor did he ever more than fear it with _Octavio_; so that
it would be easy for her to cajole him yet a little longer, and when
he was gone, she should have the world to range in, and possess this
new lover, to whom she had promised all things, and received from him
all assurances imaginable of inviolable love: in order to this then
she consulted with _Brilliard_; and they resolved she should for a few
days leave _Antonet_ with her equipage, at that house where she was,
and retire herself to the village where _Philander_ had left her, and
where he still imagined she was: she desired _Brilliard_ to give her a
day's time for this preparation, and it should be so. He left her, and
going to _Hermione_'s, meets _Philander_, who immediately gave him
orders to go to _Sylvia_ the next morning, and let her know how all
things went, and tell her, he would be with her in two days. In the
mean time _Sylvia_ sent for _Alonzo_, who was but that evening gone
from her. He flies on the wings of love, and she tells him, she is
obliged to go to a place six or seven days' journey off, whither he
could not conduct her, for reasons she would tell him at her return:
whatever he could plead with all the force of love to the contrary,
she gets his consent, with a promise wholly to devote herself to him
at her return, and pleased she sent him from her, when _Brilliard_
returning told her the commands he had; and it was concluded they
should both depart next morning, accompanied only by her page. I am
well assured she was very kind to _Brilliard_ all that journey, and
which was but too visible to the amorous youth who attended them; so
absolutely had she depraved her reason, from one degree of sin and
shame to another; and he was happy above any imagination, while even
her heart was given to another, and when she could propose no other
interest in this looseness, but security, that _Philander_ should not
know how ill she had treated him. In four days _Philander_ came, and
finding _Sylvia_ more fair than ever, was anew pleased; for she
pretended to receive him with all the joy imaginable, and the deceived
lover believed, and expressed abundance of grief at the being obliged
to part from her; a great many vows and tears were lost on both sides,
and both believed true: but the grief of _Brilliard_ was not to be
conceived; he could not persuade himself he could live, when absent
from her: some bills _Philander_ left her, and was so plain with her,
and open-hearted, he told her that he went indeed with _Cesario_, but
it was in order to serve the King; that he was weary of their actions,
and foresaw nothing but ruin would attend them; that he never repented
him of any thing so much, as his being drawn in to that faction; in
which he found himself so greatly involved, he could not retire with
any credit; but since self-preservation was the first principle of
nature, he had resolved to make that his aim, and rather prove false
to a party, who had no justice and honour on their side, than to a
King, whom all the laws of heaven and earth obliged him to serve;
however, he was so far in the power of these people, that he could not
disengage himself without utter ruin to himself; but that as soon as
he was got into _France_, he would abandon their interest, let the
censuring world say what it would, who never had right notions of
things, or ever made true judgements of men's actions.

He lived five or six days with _Sylvia_ there; in which time she
failed not to assure him of her constant fidelity a thousand ways,
especially by vows that left no doubt upon his heart; and it was now
that they both indeed found there was a very great friendship still
remaining at the bottom of their hearts for each other, nor did they
part without manifold proofs of it. _Brilliard_ took a sad and
melancholy leave of her, and had not the freedom to tell her aloud,
but obliged to depart with his lord, they left _Sylvia_, and posted to
_Brussels_, where they found the Prince ready to depart, having left
_Hermione_ to her women more than half dead. I have heard there never
was so sad a parting between two lovers; a hundred times they swooned
with the apprehension of the separation in each other's arms, and at
last the Prince was forced from her while he left her dead, and was
little better himself: he would have returned, but the officers and
people about him, who had espoused his quarrel, would by no means
suffer him: and he has a thousand times told a person very near him,
that he had rather have forfeited all his hoped-for glory, than have
left that charmer of his soul. After he had taken all care imaginable
for _Hermione_, for that name so dear to him was scarce ever out of
his mouth, he suffered himself with a heavy heart and pace to be
conducted to the vessel: and I have heard he was hardly seen to smile
all the little voyage, or his whole life after, or do any thing but
sigh, and sometimes weep, which was a very great discouragement to all
that followed him; they were a great while at sea, tossed to and fro
by stress of weather, and often driven back to the shore where they
first took shipping; and not being able to land where they first
designed, they got ashore in a little harbour, where no ship of any
bigness could anchor; so that with much ado, getting all their arms
and men on shore, they sunk the ship, both to secure any from flying,
and that it might not fall into the hands of the _French_. _Cesario_
was no sooner on the _French_ shore, but numbers came to him of the
_Huguenot_ party, for whom he had arms, and who wanted them he
furnished as far as he could, and immediately proclaimed himself King
of _France_ and _Navarre_, while the dirty crowd rang him peals of
joy. But though the under world came in great crowds to his aid, he
wanted still the main supporters of his cause, the men of substantial
quality: if the ladies could have composed an army, he would not have
wanted one, for his beauty had got them all on his side, and he
charmed the fair wheresoever he rode.

He marched from town to town without any opposition, proclaiming
himself king in all the places he came to; still gathering as he
marched, till he had composed a very formidable army. He made officers
of the kingdom--_Fergusano_ was to have been a cardinal, and several
lords and dukes were nominated; and he found no opposition in all his
prosperous course.--In the mean time the royal army was not idle,
which was composed of men very well disciplined, and conducted by
several princes and men of great quality and conduct. But as it is not
the business of this little history to treat of war, but altogether
love; leaving those rougher relations to the chronicles and
historiographers of those times, I will only hint on such things in
this enterprise, as are most proper for my purpose, and tell you, that
_Cesario_ omitted nothing for the carrying on his great design; he
dispersed his scandals all over _France_, though they met with an
obstruction at _Paris_, and were immediately suppressed, it being
proclaimed death for any person to keep one in their houses; and if
any should by chance come to their hands, they were on this penalty to
carry them to the Secretary of State; and after the punishment had
passed on two or three offenders, it deterred the rest from meddling
with those edge tools: I must tell you also, that the title of king,
which _Cesario_ had taken so early upon him, was much against his
inclinations; and he desired to see himself at the head of a more
satisfiable army, before he would take on him a title he found (in the
condition he was in) he should not defend; but those about him
insinuated to him, that it was the title that would not only make him
more venerable, but would make his cause appear more just and lawful;
and beget him a perfect adoration with those people who lived remote
from Courts, and had never seen that glorious thing called a king. So
that believing it would give nerves to the cause, he unhappily took
upon him that which ruined him; for he had often sworn to the greatest
part of those of any quality, of his interest, that his design was
liberty only, and that his end was the public good, so infinitely
above his own private interest, that he desired only the honour of
being the champion for the oppressed _Parisians_, and people of
_France_; that if they would allow him to lead their armies, to fight
and spend his dearest blood for them, it was all the glory he aimed
at: it was this pretended humility in a person of his high rank that
cajoled the _mobile_, who looked on him as their god, their deliverer,
and all that was sacred and dear to them; but the wiser sort regarded
him only as one that had most power and pretension to turn the whole
affairs of _France_, which they disliking, were willing at any price,
to reduce to their own conditions, and to what they desired; not
imagining he would have laid a claim to the Crown, which many of them
fancied themselves as capable of as himself, rather that he would
perhaps have set up the King of _Navarre_. This _Cesario_ knew; and
understanding their sentiments, was unwilling to hinder their joining
with him, by such a declaration, which he knew would be a means to
turn abundance of hearts against him, as indeed it fell out; and he
found himself master of some few towns, only with an army of fifteen
or sixteen thousand peasants, ill armed, unused to war, watchings, and
very ill lodging in the field, very badly victualled, and worse paid.
For, from _Paris_ no aids of any kind could be brought him; the roads
all along being so well guarded and secured by the royal forces, and
wanting some great persons to espouse his quarrel, made him not only
despair of success, but highly resent it of those, who had given him
so large promises of aid. Many, as I said, and most were disgusted
with his title of king; but some waited the success of his first
battle; which was every day expected, though _Cesario_ kept himself as
clear of the royal army as he could a long time, marching away as soon
as they drew near, hoping by these means, not only to tire them out,
and watch an advantage when to engage, but gather still more numbers.
So that the greatest mischief he did was teasing the royal army, who
could never tell where to have him, so dexterous he was in marching
off. They often came so near, as to have skirmishes with one another
by small parties, where some few men would fall on both sides: and to
say truth, _Cesario_ in this expedition shewed much more of a soldier
than the politician: his skill was great, his conduct good, expert in
advantages, and indefatigable in toils. And I have heard it from the
mouth of a gentleman, who in all that undertaking never was from him,
that in seven or eight weeks that he was in arms, he never absolutely
undressed himself, and hardly slept an hour in the four and twenty;
and that sometimes he was on his horse's back, in a chariot, or on the
ground, suffering even with the meanest of his soldiers all the
fatigues of the enterprise: this gentleman told me he would, in those
hours he should sleep, and wherein he was not taking measures and
councils, (which were always held in the night) that he would be
eternally speaking to him of _Hermione_; and that with the softest
concern, it was possible for love and tenderest passion to express.
That he being the only friend he could repose so great a weakness in,
and who soothed him to the degree he wished, the Prince was so well
pleased with him, as to establish him a colonel of horse, for no other
merit than that of having once served _Hermione_, and now would
flatter his disease agreeably: and though he did so, he protested he
was ashamed to hear how this poor fond concern rendered this great
man, and he has often pitied what should have been else admired; but
who can tell the force of love, backed by charms supernatural? And who
is it that will not sigh, at the fate of so illustrious a young man,
whom love had rendered the most miserable of all those numbers he led?

But now the royal army, as if they had purposely suffered him to take
his tour about the country, to ensnare him with the more facility, had
at last, by new forces that came to their assistance daily, so
encompassed him, that it was impossible for him to avoid any longer
giving them battle; however, he had the benefit of posting himself the
most advantageously that he could wish; he had the rising grounds to
place his cannon, and all things concurred to give him success; his
numbers exceeding those of the royal army: not but he would have
avoided a set battle, if it had been possible, till he had made
himself master of some places of stronger hold; for yet, as I said, he
had only subdued some inconsiderable places which were not able to
make defence; and which as soon as he was marched out, surrendered
again to their lawful prince; and pulling down his proclamation, put
up those of the King: but he was on all sides so embarrassed, he could
not come even to parly with any town of note; so that, as I said, at
last, being as it were blocked up, though the royal army did not offer
him battle: three nights they lay thus in view of each other; the
first night the Prince sent out his scouts, who brought him
intelligence, that the enemy was not so well prepared for battle, as
they feared they might be, if they imagined the Prince would engage
them, but he had so often given them the slip, that they believed he
had no mind to put the fortune of the day to the push; and they were
glad of these delays, that new forces might advance. When the scouts
returned with this news, the Prince was impatient to fall upon the
enemy, but _Fergusano_, who was continually taking counsel of his
charms, and looking into his black Book of Fate, for every sally and
step they made, persuaded His Highness to have a little patience;
positively assuring him his fortune depended on a critical minute,
which was not yet come; and that if he offered to give battle before
the change of the moon, he was inevitably lost, and that the
attendance of that fortunate moment would be the beginning of those of
his whole life: with such like positive persuasions he gained upon the
Prince, and overcame his impatience of engaging for that night, all
which he passed in counsel, without being persuaded to take any rest,
often blaming the nicety of their art, and his stars; and often
asking, if they lost that opportunity that fortune had now given them,
whether all their arts, or stars, or devils, could retrieve it? And
nothing would that night appease him, or dispossess the sorcerers of
this opinion.

The next day they received certain intelligence, that a considerable
supply would reinforce the royal army under the conduct of a Prince of
the Blood; which were every moment expected: this news made the Prince
rave, and he broke out into all the rage imaginable against the
wizards, who defended themselves with all the reasons of their art,
but it was all in vain, and he vowed he would that night engage the
enemy, if he found but one faithful friend to second him, though he
died in the attempt; that he was worn out with the toils he had
undergone; harassed almost to death, and would wait no longer the
approach of his lazy fate, but boldly advancing, meet it, what face so
ever it bore. They besought him on their knees, he would not overthrow
the glorious design, so long in bringing to perfection, just in the
very minute of happy projection; but to wait those certain Fates, that
would bring him glory and honour on their wings; and who, if slighted,
would abandon him to destruction; it was but some few hours more, and
then they were his own, to be commanded by him: it was thus they
drilled and delayed him on till night; when again he sent out his
scouts to discover the posture of the enemy; and himself in the mean
time went to Council. _Philander_ failed not to be sent for thither,
who sometimes feigned excuses to keep away, and when he did come, he
sat unconcerned, neither giving or receiving any advice. This was
taken notice of by all, but _Cesario_, who looked upon it as being
overwatched, and fatigued with the toils of the day; his sullenness
did not pass so in the opinion of the rest; they saw, or at least
thought they saw, some other marks of discontent in his fine eyes,
which love so much better became. One of the Prince's officers, and
Captain of his Guard, who was an old hereditary rogue, and whose
father had suffered in rebellion before, a fellow rough and daring,
comes boldly to the Prince when the Council rose, and asked him, if he
were resolved to engage? He told him, he was. 'Then,' said he, 'give
me leave to shoot _Philander_ in the head.' This blunt proposition
given, without any manner of reason or circumstance, made the Prince
start back a step or two, and ask him his meaning of what he said.
'Sir,' replied the Captain, 'if you will be safe, _Philander_ must
die; for however it appear to Your Highness, to all the camp he shows
the traitor, and it is more than doubted, he and the King of _France_,
understand one another but too well: therefore, if you would be
victor, let him be dispatched, and I myself will undertake it.'
'Hold,' said the Prince, 'if I could believe what you say to be true,
I should not take so base a revenge; I would fight like a soldier, and
he should be treated like a man of honour.' 'Sir,' said _Vaneur_, for
that was the Captain's name; 'do not, in the circumstances we are now
in, talk of treating (with those that would betray us) like men of
honour; we cannot stand upon decency in killing, who have so many to
dispatch; we came not into _France_ to fight duels, and stand on nice
punctilios: I say, we must make quick work, and I have a good pistol,
charged with two handsome bullets, that shall, as soon as he appears
amongst us on horseback, do his business as genteelly as can be, and
rid you of one of the most powerful of your enemies.' To this the
Prince would by no means agree; not believing one syllable of the
accusation. _Vaneur_ swore then that he would not draw a sword for his
service, while _Philander_ was suffered to live; and he was as good as
his word. He said, in going out, that he would obey the Prince, but he
begged his pardon, if he did not lift a hand on his side; and in an
hour after sent him his commission, and waited on him, and was with
him almost till the last, in all the danger, but would not fight,
having made a solemn vow. Several others were of _Vaneur_'s opinion,
but the Prince believed nothing of it; _Philander_ being indeed, as he
said, weary of the design and party, and regarded them as his ruiners,
who with fair pretences drew him into a bad cause; which his youth had
not then considered, and from which he could not untangle himself.

By this time, the scout was come back, who informed the Prince that
now was the best time in the world to attack the enemy, who all lay
supinely in their tents, and did not expect a surprise: that the very
out-guards were slender, and that it would not be hard to put them to
a great deal of confusion. The Prince, who was enough impatient
before, now was all fire and spirit, and it was not in the power of
magic to withhold him; but hasting immediately to horse, with as much
speed as possible, he got at the head of his men; and marching on
directly to the enemy, put them into so great a surprise, that it may
be admired how they got themselves into a condition of defence; and,
to make short of a business that was not long in acting, I may avow,
nothing but the immediate hand of the Almighty, (who favours the
juster side, and is always ready for the support of those, who
approach so near his own divinity; sacred and anointed heads) could
have turned the fortune of the battle to the royal side: it was
prodigious to consider the unequal numbers, and the advantage all on
the Prince's part; it was miraculous to behold the order on his side,
and surprise on the other, which of itself had been sufficient to have
confounded them; yet notwithstanding all this unpreparedness on this
side, and the watchfulness and care on the other; so well the general
and officers of the royal army managed their scanted time, so bravely
disciplined and experienced the soldiers were, so resolute and brave,
and all so well mounted and armed, that, as I said, to a miracle they
fought, and it was a miracle they won the field: though that fatal
night _Cesario_ did in his own person wonders; and when his horse was
killed under him, he took a partisan, and as a common soldier, at the
head of his foot, acted the _hero_ with as much courage and bravery,
as ever _Caesar_ himself could boast; yet all this availed him
nothing: he saw himself abandoned on all sides, and then under the
covert of the night, he retired from the battle, with his sword in his
hand, with only one page, who fought by his side: a thousand times he
was about to fall on his own sword, and like _Brutus_ have finished a
life he could no longer sustain with glory: but love, that coward of
the mind, and the image of divine _Hermione_, as he esteemed her,
still gave him love to life; and while he could remember she yet lived
to charm him, he could even look with contempt on the loss of all his
glory; at which, if he repined, it was for her sake, who expected to
behold him return covered over with laurels. In these sad thoughts he
wandered as long as his wearied legs would bear him, into a low
forest, far from the camp; where, over-pressed with toil, all over
pain, and a royal heart even breaking with anxiety, he laid him down
under the shelter of a tree, and found but his length of earth left to
support him now, who, not many hours before, beheld himself the
greatest monarch, as he imagined, in the world. Oh who, that had seen
him thus; which of his most mortal enemies, that had viewed the royal
youth, adorned with all the charms of beauty, heaven ever distributed
to man; born great, and but now adored by all the crowding world with
hat and knee; now abandoned by all, but one kind trembling boy weeping
by his side, while the illustrious _hero_ lay gazing with melancholy
weeping eyes, at those stars that had lately been so cruel to him;
sighing out his great soul to the winds, that whistled round his
uncovered head; breathing his griefs as silently as the sad fatal
night passed away; where nothing in nature seemed to pity him, but the
poor wretched youth that kneeled by him, and the sighing air: I say,
who that beheld this, would not have scorned the world, and all its
fickle worshippers? Have cursed the flatteries of vain ambition, and
prized a cottage far above a throne? A garland wreathed by some fair
innocent hand, before the restless glories of a crown?

Some authors, in the relation of this battle, affirm, that _Philander_
quitted his post as soon as the charge was given, and sheered off from
that wing he commanded; but all historians agree in this point, that
if he did, it was not for want of courage; for in a thousand
encounters he has given sufficient proofs of as much bravery as a man
can be capable of: but he disliked the cause, disapproved of all their
pretensions, and looked upon the whole affair and proceeding to be
most unjust and ungenerous; and all the fault his greatest enemies
could charge him with was, that he did not deal so gratefully with a
prince that loved him and trusted him; and that he ought frankly to
have told him, he would not serve him in this design; and that it had
been more gallant to have quitted him that way, than this; but there
are so many reasons to be given for this more politic and safe deceit,
than are needful in this place, and it is most certain, as it is the
most justifiable to heaven and man, to one born a subject of _France_,
and having sworn allegiance to his proper king, to abandon any other
interest; so let the enemies of this great man say what they please,
if a man be obliged to be false to this or that interest, I think no
body of common honesty, sense and honour, will dispute which he ought
to abandon; and this is most certain, that he did not forsake him
because fortune did so, as this one instance may make appear. When
_Cesario_ was first proclaimed king, and had all the reason in the
world to believe that fortune would have been wholly partial to him,
he offered _Philander_ his choice of any principality and government
in _France_, and to have made him of the Order of _Saint Esprit_: all
which he refused, though he knew his great fortune was lost, and
already distributed to favourites at Court, and himself proscribed and
convicted as a traitor to _France_. Yet all these refusals did not
open the eyes of this credulous great young man, who still believed it
the sullenness and generosity of his temper.

No sooner did the day discover to the world the horrid business of the
preceding night, but a diligent search was made among the infinite
number of dead that covered the face of the earth, for the body of the
Prince, or new King, as they called him: but when they could not find
him among the dead, they sent out parties all ways to search the
woods, the forests and the plains; nor was it long they sought in
vain; for he who had laid himself, as I said, under the shelter of a
tree, had not for any consideration removed him; but finding himself
seized by a common hand, suffered himself, without resistance, to be
detained by one single man 'till more advanced, when he could as
easily have killed the rustic as speak or move; an action so below the
character of this truly brave man, that there is no reason to be given
to excuse his easy submission but this, that he was stupefied with
long watching, grief, and the fatigues of his daily toil for so many
weeks before: for it is not to be imagined it was carelessness, or
little regard for life; for if it had been so, he would doubtless have
lost it nobly with the victory, and never have retreated while there
had been one sword left advanced against him; or if he had disdained
the enemy should have had the advantage and glory of so great a
conquest, at least when his sword had been yet left him, he should
have died like a _Roman_, and have scorned to have added to the
triumph of the enemy. But love had unmanned his great soul, and
_Hermione_ pleaded within for life at any price, even that of all his
glory; the thought of her alone blackened this last scene of his life,
and for which all his past triumphs could never atone nor excuse.

Thus taken, he suffered himself to be led away tamely by common hands
without resistance: a victim now even fallen to the pity of the
_mobile_ as he passed, and so little imagined by the better sort who
saw him not, they would not give a credit to it, every one affirming
and laying wagers he would die like a hero, and never surrender with
life to the conqueror. But this submission was but too true for the
repose of all his abettors; nor was his mean surrender all, but he
shewed a dejection all the way they were bringing him to _Paris_, so
extremely unworthy of his character, that it is hardly to be credited
so great a change could have been possible. And to shew that he had
lost all his spirit and courage with the victory, and that the great
strings of his heart were broke, the Captain who had the charge of
him, and commanded that little squadron that conducted him to _Paris_,
related to me this remarkable passage in the journey; he said, that
they lodged in an inn, where he believed both the master, and a great
many strangers who that night lodged there, were _Huguenots_, and
great lovers of the Prince, which the Captain did not know, till after
the lodgings were taken: however, he ordered a file of Musketeers to
guard the door; and himself only remaining in the chamber with the
Prince, while supper was getting ready: the Captain being extremely
weary with watching and toiling for a long time together, laid himself
down on a bench behind a great long table, that was fastened to the
floor, and had unadvisedly laid his pistols on the table; and though
he durst not sleep, he thought there to stretch himself into a little
ease, who had not quitted his horseback in a great while: the Prince,
who was walking with his arms a-cross about the room, musing in a very
dejected posture, often casting his eyes to the door, at last advances
to the table, and takes up the Captain's pistols; the while he who saw
him advance, feared in that moment, what the Prince was going to do;
he thought, if he should rise and snatch at the pistols, and miss of
them, it would express so great a distrust of the Prince, it might
provoke him to do, what by his generous submitting of them, might make
him escape; and therefore, since it was too late, he suffered the
Prince to arm himself with two pistols, who before was disarmed of
even his little penknife. He was, he said, a thousand times about to
call out to the guards; but then he thought before they could enter to
his relief, he was sure to be shot dead, and it was possible the
Prince might make his party good with four or five common soldiers,
who perhaps loved the Prince as well as any, and might rather assist
than hinder his flight; all this he thought in an instant, and at the
same time, seeing the Prince stand still, in a kind of consideration
what to do, looking, turning, and viewing of the pistols, he doubted
not but his thoughts would determine with his life, and though he had
been in the heat of all the battle, and had looked death in the face,
when it appeared most horrid, he protested he knew not how to fear
till this moment, and that now he trembled with the apprehension of
unavoidable ruin; he cursed a thousand times his unadvisedness, now it
was too late; he saw the Prince, after he had viewed and reviewed the
pistols, walk in a great thoughtfulness again about the chamber, and
at last, as if he had determined what to do, came back and laid them
again on the table; at which the Captain snatched them up, resolving
never to commit so great an over-sight more. He did not doubt, he
said, but the Prince, in taking them up, had some design of making his
escape; and most certainly, if he had but had courage to have
attempted it, it had not been hard to have been accomplished: at
worst, he could but have died: but there is a fate, that over-rules
the most lucky minutes of the greatest men in the world, and turns
even all advantages offered to misfortunes, when it designs their

While they were on their way to _Paris_, he gave some more signs, that
the misfortunes he had suffered, had lessened his heart and courage:
he writ several the most submissive letters in the world to the King,
and to the Queen-Mother of _France_; wherein he strove to mitigate his
treason, with the poorest arguments imaginable, and, as if his good
sense had declined with his fortune, his style was altered, and
debased to that of a common man, or rather a schoolboy, filled with
tautologies and stuff of no coherence; in which he neither shewed the
majesty of a prince, nor sense of a gentleman; as I could make appear
by exposing those copies, which I leave to history; all which must be
imputed to the disorder his head and heart were in, for want of that
natural rest, he never after found. When he came to _Paris_, he fell
at the feet of His Majesty, to whom they brought him, and with a
shower of tears bedewing his shoes, as he lay prostrate, besought his
pardon, and asked his life; perhaps one of his greatest weaknesses, to
imagine he could hope for mercy, after so many pardons for the same
fault; and which, if he had had but one grain of that bravery left
him, he was wont to be master of, he could not have expected, nor have
had the confidence to have implored; and he was a poor spectacle of
pity to all that once adored him, to see how he petitioned in vain for
life; which if it had been granted, had been of no other use to him,
but to have passed in some corner of the earth, with _Hermione_,
despised by all the rest: and, though he fetched tears of pity from
the eyes of the best and most merciful of kings, he could not gain on
his first resolution; which was never to forgive him that scurrilous
Declaration he had dispersed at his first landing in _France_; that he
took upon him the title of king, he could forgive; that he had been
the cause of so much bloodshed, he could forgive; but never that
unworthy scandal on his unspotted fame, of which he was much more
nice, than of his crown or life; and left him (as he told him this)
prostrate on the earth, when the guards took him up, and conveyed him
to the _Bastille_: as he came out of the _Louvre_, it is said, he
looked with his wonted grace, only a languishment sat there in greater
beauty, than possibly all his gayer looks ever put on, at least in his
circumstances all that beheld him imagined so; all the _Parisians_
were crowded in vast numbers to see him: and oh, see what fortune is!
Those that had vowed him allegiance in their hearts, and were upon all
occasions ready to rise in mutiny for his least interest, now saw him,
and suffered him to be carried to the _Bastille_ with a small company
of guards, and never offered to rescue the royal unfortunate from the
hands of justice, while he viewed them all around with scorning, dying

While he remained in the _Bastille_, he was visited by several of the
ministers of State, and cardinals, and men of the Church, who urged
him to some discoveries, but could not prevail with him: he spoke, he
thought, he dreamed of nothing but _Hermione_; and when they talked of
heaven, he ran on some discourse of that beauty, something of her
praise; and so continued to his last moment, even on the scaffold,
where, when he was urged to excuse, as a good Christian ought, his
invasion, his bloodshed, and his unnatural war, he set himself to
justify his passion to _Hermione_, endeavouring to render the life he
had led with her, innocent and blameless in the sight of heaven; and
all the churchmen could persuade could make him speak of very little
else. Just before he laid himself down on the block, he called to one
of the gentlemen of his chamber, and taking out the enchanted
tooth-pick-case, he whispered him in the ear, and commanded him to
bear it from him to _Hermione_; and laying himself down, suffered the
justice of the law, and died more pitied than lamented; so that it
became a proverb, 'If I have an enemy, I wish he may live like----,
and die like _Cesario_': so ended the race of this glorious youth, who
was in his time the greatest man of a subject in the world, and the
greatest favourite of his prince, happy indeed above a monarch, if
ambition and the inspiration of knaves and fools, had not led him to
destruction, and from a glorious life, brought him to a shameful

This deplorable news was not long in coming to _Hermione_, who must
receive this due, that when she heard her _hero_ was dead, (and with
him all her dearer greatness gone) she betook herself to her bed, and
made a vow she would never rise nor eat more; and she was as good as
her word, she lay in that melancholy estate about ten days, making the
most piteous moan for her dead lover that ever was heard, drowning her
pillow in tears, and sighing out her soul. She called on him in vain
as long as she could speak; at last she fell into a lethargy, and
dreamed of him, till she could dream no more; an everlasting sleep

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