THE FRUITLESS PRECAUTION.
The First Novel.
A Gentleman of Granada, whose true name I shall for∣bear to discover, and on whom I will bestow that of Don Pedro of Casteel, Ara∣gon, and Toledo, or what you please, since that a glorious name in a Romance costs no more than another, (which is haply the reason that the Spaniards, not content with their own, ever give themselves of the most illustrious, nay hardly Page 2 sit down with one:) this Gentleman, I say, (now Don Pedro) being arriv'd at the twentieth year of his age, lost both Father and Mother, and by their death came to a very great estare: all which hap∣ning to the same person contributes very much to his miscarriage if he be born a fool; but, if nature hath been more indulgent to him, puts him int•• capacity of improving himself to some esteem in the world. During the year of his mourning, he ve∣ry prudently wean'd himself from most part of the divertisements, which persons of his age are ordi∣narily addicted to, and busied himself in looking into the posture of his estate, and putting his affairs into a good order. He was a very graceful person, of an excellent wit, and behav'd himself, in his youth, with a prudence and conduct such as might have become grey hairs. There was not in Granada any Lady who would not gladly have had him to her husband, nor any Father so prepossess'd with the deserts of his daughter, as not to wish him his Son-in-law. Of the Beauties in Granada, which stood in competition for the Monarchy of hearts, one onely there was able to captivate that of Don Pedro. Her name was Seraphina, beautiful indeed as a Seraphin, young, rich, well descended, and, in a word, though of a fortune somewhat below that of Don Pedro's, yet a person as well accomplish'd to make a wife, as he a husband. He made no que∣stion, but that upon the first proposal of marriage made to her Friends, he should obtain their consent to become her Servant: but he chose rather to gain her by his own worth and desert, than their com∣pliance, and resolv'd to court her with all the passion, submissions, and services imaginable, so to Page 3 make a conquest of her heart, before he became possessor of her person.
His design was noble, and might accordingly have prov'd more successful, if Fortune, who is, many times, maliciously pleas'd to disturb things manag'd with the greatest conduct and circumspe∣ction, had not rais'd him a Rival, who was be∣come Master of the place he would have taken, while he was but yet making his first approaches. His name we have here little to do with, he was much about the age of Don Pedro, perhaps as lovely as he, and without doubt much more belov'd.
It was not long ere Don Pedro perceiv'd he had a Competitor, and was not much troubled at it, as having the advantage of him in point of estate. He was at the charge of Musick in the street where his Mistress liv'd; his Rival had the pleasure of it in her Chamber, and haply receiv'd more than ordi∣nary kindnesses from her, while poor Don Pedro's teeth shatter'd in his head. At last he grew weary of hunting the bats, I mean, of the charge and inconveniences of that kind of Courtship, without making any progress in his business: Yet so as this ill success caus'd not any remission of his Love, but onely made him quit the design he had to be too prodigal of his addresses to his Mistress, before he had obtain'd her of her Friends. He therefore went and demanded her of them, and they very liberally g•ve their consent he should have her, without ever advising with, or communicating the business to, their daughter; out of an excess of joy, to be in∣treated, to do what they earnestly desir'd, and in∣deed durst hardly hope. They soon after acquain∣ted Seraphina with the good fortune that came to Page 4 court her, and prepar'd her to entertain the ad∣dresses of Don Pedro, and; within a few days, to marry him. The news, which she should have re∣ceiv'd with joy, rais'd in her no small disturbance; insomuch, that, not able to smother the loss she was at, she hardly made a shift to conceal the oc∣casion thereof from them, by persuading them it proceeded from the affliction, it would be to her, to part with those, for whom she had so dutiful an affection. She acted her part so handsomely, that, out of pure tenderness, the old people could not forbear tears, nor commending the good nature of their daughter. She us'd all the intreaties she could to persuade them to put off the marriage for four or five months, representing to them, that the decay of her health was visible in her countenance; and pressing, that, if ever she married, it might not be till she had recover'd her perfect health, to the end she might be in a better disposition to please her husband, lest he might take any occasion to be dissatisfi'd with her, in the dawning of their mar∣riage, and repent of his choice.
Now whereas it was indeed true, that for some time before she seem'd not to have her health as she was wont, her Friends were well satisfi'd with what she had said to them, and gave an account of it to Don Pedro, who also had nothing to except against it, as conceiving it argu'd the discretion of his Mistress. Nevertheless, they thought it not amiss to put things in order, as to the contract of marriage, and the settlement to be made there∣upon.
But though things were brought to this pass, the amoro•s Don Pedro omitted not any of those Page 5 Expressions of Gallantry and Courtship, expect•d in the carrying on of a Match with consent of all parties. He sent his Mistress many presents, and writ to her every day. She on the other side re∣turn'd him such answers as were at least very civil, thouh they betrai'd much less of passion than was visible in his Letters. But she would not by any means be seen in the day time, excusing her self by reason of her indisposition; nay in the evenings was seldom seen at her window, which rais'd in Don Pedro a great admiration of her reserv'dness. He was better conceited of his own worth than any way to question the success of his applications, or doubt his being deeply in the favour of his Mi∣stress, when he should be better known to her than he was, even though she might have had an aver∣sion for him before she knew him.
His affairs hitherto went on smoothly without any rub; but, on a suddain, it happen'd that he could not get a sight of his Mistress in four or five days. He was extremely troubled at it, or at le•st preten∣ded it; he writ verses upon that occasion, or, it may be, hired, or bought some, and caus'd them to be sung under her window: but notwithstanding these great attempts of a most passionate Love•, all he could do was to speak with one of the Chamber-maids, who told him, that his Mistress was much sicker than she had been. His Poetick vein swell'd at this account of h•r, or, if not his, that of his mercenary Poet must breathe and bleed for it: for I could never be truly inform'd whether he himself had any gift in rhiming. Having got what he had, set to some doleful tune, and loaden, besides his offensive and defensive arms, with a Page 6 Guitarrhe, (which I am apt to believe was the best the City could afford) he took his way very boiste∣rously towards his Mistress's, either to move her to compassion, or to set the dogs thereabouts a barking. 'Tis not unlikely he should have done one of the two, or both together, and yet it so happen'd he did neither.
Being come within fifty paces short of the bles∣sed mansion of his Divinity, he perceives the door open, and a woman coming out, who seem'd much like his almost-invisible Angel. He could not imagine what should oblige a Woman, all alone, and at such a time of the night, to enter, of set purpose, into a great desolate building, de∣stroy'd not long before by a fire that had happen'd. To find out what the matter should be, he walk'd round about those ruins, into which there were several ways to get in, so, with as much conveni∣ence as he could, to get near the person whom he had follow'd in thither. It came into his imaginati∣on, that it might be his Mistress who had appointed his Rival a meeting in that strange place, as not daring to be seen at her house, and haply unwilling to have any third person privy to an action, which it concern'd him so much to be kept secret; and if what he did as yet but onely suspect, should prove tru•, his inviolable resolution was to be the death of his Rival, and to be reveng'd of Seraphina, by loading her with the greatest reproaches he could think on. He thereupon crawl'd along with as little noise as he could, till he came to a place whence he saw her (for it was she) sitting upon the ground, bemoaning her self, as a person ready to give up the ghost, or what signifies little less (to give it you Page 7 in a word) in Labour, and with inexpressible pain, upon the delivery of a little creature, in the making whereof she had haply taken a great deal of plea∣sure. She no sooner saw her self disburthen'd, but deriving strength from her courage, she return'd the same way she came, without taking any further thought, what should become of the Child she had brought into the world.
I leave you to judge what astonishment Don Pe∣dro was in at this strange accident. Now was he satisfi'd what was the true cause of his Mistress's sickness: he was a little frighted at the danger he was likely to have fallen into, and made his ac∣knowledgment to Heaven, that he had escap'd it. And being of a noble and generous disposition, he would not be reveng'd of one that had put such a treacherous trick upon him, to the dishonour of an illustrious Family, nor in his just resentment suffer the innocent little creature to perish, which he saw at his feet expos'd to the mercy of the first dog or swine that had come that way. He took it up in his handkerchief, for want of something else to wrap it in, and, with as much haste as he could, went to a Midwife of his acquaintance, to whose care he recommended the Child he put into her hands, and gave her mony to buy all things ne∣cessary for it. The Midwife, well paid, did what might have been expected from her, insomuch that the very next day, the Child was put out to nurse, christned, and (proving a girl) named Laura.
In the interim, Don Pedro went to see a certain Kinswoman of his, one in whom he repos'd very much confidence: he told her that he had chang'd Page 8 the design he had of marrying so young into that of travelling, entreated her to take upon her the management of his estate, and to entertain into her house a little Girl, whom he made her believe was his own, to be very liberal in what concern'd her education, and, for certain reasons, which she should one day know, as soon as she were three years old, to put her into a Nunnery, and above all things to take order that she should have no ac∣quaintance with the things of this world. He gave his kinswoman Letters of Atturney, and what else was necessary for her management of his estate, furnish'd himself with mony and jewels; got a trusty servant; and, before he left Granada, writ a Letter to Seraphina. She receiv'd it much about the time that she was acquainting her Friends, that her sickness would not any longer delay her mar∣riage: but Don Pedro's Letter, wherein he disco∣ver'd what he knew of her condition, fill'd her with other thoughts. And those were wholly di∣rected towards God, insomuch that, not long af∣ter, she went into a Nunnery, never to come out again, it being not in the power of her Friends, with all their entreaties and tears, to divert her from that resolution, which they thought so much the more strange, the more they were to seek what the motives of it should be.
But we will leave them bewailing their daugh∣ter, now turn'd Nun: Her, on the other side, bewail∣ing her own miscarriage; the little Laura g•owing up, and blooming forth; and overtake Don Pedro up∣on his way to Sevil, not able to divert his thoughts from running upon the adventure that had happen'd to him, and thereupon entertaining a cruel Page 9 aversion against marriage, after his having so great a desire to taste of it. All the women he meets he is frightned at, and without any reflection that, as well as men, there are some good, some bad among them, he concludes with himself, that a man must ever be distrustful of them, and much more of those who pretend to wit, than the simple; being apt enough to embrace their opinion, who hold that a woman knows more than she ought, if she knows any thing beyond what belongs to House-keeping, and the bringing up of her Children.
Embracing these Heresies with some persuasion, he enters Sevil, and went to the house of Don John— (His name is quite out of my head) a rich man, and a person of quality, who was not onely his Kinsman, but much his Friend, and so kind as that he would not suffer him to lodge any where else. The pleasantness of Sevil raised in him an inclination to make a longer stay there than he thought to have done: which his Cousin Don John perceiving, and wishing his divertisement yet greater than it was, spent some time in shewing him whatever that place afforded that were any thing rare or considerable.
One day, as they were riding through one of the principal Streets of the City, they saw, in a Coach that went into a great persons house, a young La∣dy, habited like a Widow; but so handsome, so attractive, that Don Pedro was surprized at her beauty, and made Don John laugh to hear the ex∣clamations and oaths he made, that he had never seen any thing comparable to her in his Life. This angelical Widow reconciled to his favour all those of the female Sex, whom Seraphina had Page 10 made abominable in his apprehension. He in∣treated Don John to ride once more through the same Street, and acknowledg'd to him, that ever so little more sight of her had really wounded him.
With which words both the Cavaliers made Page 11 each of them an obeisance to the Spanish Lady, which it cost them no small pains to acquit them∣selves well of. But particularly Don Pedro did his with such contorsion and violence to his whole bo∣dy, that a little more he had injur'd his reins. The Lady in the Balcony return'd them one not much to be found fault with, which engag'd Don Pedro and his companion to revy it with two others;
Don Pedro was so over head and ears in love, that he could not speak of any thing else, in so much, that his Cousin perceiv'd the greatest kindness he could do him, was, to speak with the soonest to Elvira. He did it, and that with good success. The fair Widow entertain'd so kindly the Proposi∣tion he made on the behalf of his Friend, that she Page 12 discover'd rather a satisfaction, than any displea∣sure thereat. But, in Answer thereto, she told him, that having made a vow she would not hear of any addresses in order to a second Marriage till three years were expired after her former Husband's death, no consideration in the world should prevail with her to break it. She added further, that out of an exact observance of what she had promised the memory of her late Husband, she had till then behaved her self inflexibly towards all those that had made their addresses to her; and that if Don Pedro had so much command of himself as to continue his devotions to her for the space of one whole year, during which time they might become better acquainted one with another, she would promise never to be any man's Wife but his.
Don John, upon his return, gave Don Pedro an account of his negotiation, and render'd him the most satisfied and most amorous man in the world. The long time he was to expect troubled him not at all, resolving to employ it in all manner of courtships, worthy atchievments, and adventures, befitting a spruce Lover. He bought a Coach and Horses, took a House, and entertain'd Servants, set the Embroiderers and Tailors of Sevil a sew∣ing, and the Musicians a singing. He would have presented Elvira with some things; but she would by no means permit it. Her Maids were much more easily intreated, and received his Presents as willingly as he bestow'd them. In a short time, Elvira's Servants were more at his devotion than at hers, they causing her to shew her self in the Balcony, though much against her humour, as Page 13 often as Don Pedro was singing in the Street; in which employment, as I have been told, he was grown to be a Crafts-master, not making use of his lips and tongue to quaver out the notes as many good Singers do.
Six Moneths were already past since Don Pedro had laid a Siege to the affections of Elvira, yet had not the least private Parley with her; which added daily more and more to the esteem and de∣votion he had for her. At last, upon an importu∣nity of Prayers and Presents, one of her Gentle∣women, better stored with confidence than any of the rest, or rather better brib'd, promised to bring him in the night-time to her Lady's Lodgings, and so to dispose of him as that he should see her put off her cloaths before she went to bed, walking in her Smock about the chamber for coolness, and singing and playing upon the Lute, which she did admirably well.
This took Don Pedro so highly, that he gave his Intelligencer much beyond what he had promised her; so that, night being come, the bold Granadine, according to the Gentlewoman's directions, comes into Elvira's house, slunk into her lodgings, and there, from a little ascent, which was over against her chamber-door, he saw her sitting on a couch, reading in a Prayer-book, how attentively I know not, while her women were undressing her. She had onely a thin loose coat about her, and was up∣on getting into bed when Don Pedro's Pension-Gentlewoman, desirous to give him cause to be as much satisfied with her as she with him, entreats her Mistress to sing. To her's, her Companions added their intreaties; yet Elvira put them off a Page 14 long time, telling them, she was melancholy, nay, assuring them she had some reason to be so: but the Gentlewoman who was so much at the devoti∣on of Don Pedro, having put a Lute into her Mi∣stress's hands, Elvira had the compliance to sing, and did it with so much excellency and delight, that Don Pedro could hardly forbear casting himself at her feet, there to act the part of the ecstatick Lover. She sung not long, but went to bed: her Women withdrew into their chambers, and Don Pedro, who would gladly have gotten into the Street, was at a cruel loss what to do when he found the great Gate fast. There was no other course to be taken, than to expect till it were day. He sate down on the brink of a Well which was at one corner of the Court, in no small disturbance, by reason of the fear he was in of being discovered, and to incur the displeasure of his Mistress, for his presumption.
While he was thus engaged, his thoughts run∣ning upon thousands of designs, and those attend∣ed by so many fruitless wishes, he perceives a Door opening that belonged to some part of Elvira's Lodgings. He turn'd toward that side on which he heard the noise, and was much at a loss to see coming into the Court the fair Widow whom he thought fast asleep. By the light of a small Wax-candle she had in her hand, he perceiv'd her night-cloaths were very neat about her head; that she was bare-neck'd, had an excellent Neck-lace of Pearl on, and that upon her Smock, about which was abundance of Lace, she had onely a long rich Mantle. She had in her hand a Silver-plate co∣ver'd with Jelly, Sweet-meats, and Conserves; and Page 15 in that strange posture she was so full of charm and attraction, that Don Pedro was once in a mind to satisfie himself with the enjoyment of looking on her, though he should thereby draw on himself all the displeasure, which a presumption so great might justly deserve. But upon better thoughts he hid himself behind the Well, yet so as that he still observ'd his Mistress, flattering himself some∣times with an imagination, that he was the person she sought after. She went on towards the Stable, whither Don Pedro, at a distance, follow'd her, and saw her go into a little Chamber. The first appre∣hension he had, was, that his Mistress, out of an ex∣cess of pious charity, went to visit some servant of the House that was sick, though, without any prejudice to her charitable inclinations, she might have put that employment upon some one of her women. He hid himself behind a horse, which stood not far from the door of the Chamber, and thence observing his dear Widow, he saw her set down, on a little Table, the Candlestick, the Plate, and whatever else she had brought that was burthen∣some to her Ivory hands; and perceiv'd, in a bed which took up almost all the Chamber, a Blacka∣more that was sick, who seem'd to be about thirty years of age, but so deformed, and of so dreadful a look, that he was in a manner frightned at the sight of him. His meagre countenance, and the painful emission of his breath argu'd him very sick and much spent. Don Pedro could not but admire the unparallel'd goodness of the fair Elvira, who took up the Negro's coverlet, and having thrust up his head, sate down by the sick person, and put her hand on his fore-head, all wet, haply with Page 16 the sweats and pains of approaching death. The Negro beheld, with a gastly look, the charitable Angel that came to comfort him, and who still view'd him with tears in her eyes. Don Pedro knew not what he should think of a charity so transcendent, and having for a while admir'd it, he began to think it excessive: but as yet he had not seen any thing.
At last, the fair Widow breaking forth into discourse, yet weeping as if it had been at the taking of a final farewel, she ask'd the Negro, How he did▪
To this effect were her expostulations, joyning her angelical face to the diabolical countenance of the Moor, which she bedew'd with her tears. I am apt to imagine that who ever had seen such a Vi∣sion, would have taken it for an Angel embracing a Devil. As for our Don Pedro, he began to think his fair Elvira as ugly as her Negro, who at last casting his eyes on his importunate Mistress, whom he had not till then vouchsaf'd a look, and with his scraggy hand removing her face from his own, said to her, with a hollow voice;
Having so said, he slunk down into the bed, so suddenly, that the unfortunate Elvira could not get a word from him by way of return, notwithstand∣ing all the kindnesses both of words and gestures she us'd towards him; whether it were that he was already dead, or obstinately resolv'd, not to speak to a person whom he thought the occasion of his death. Elvira, melted into tears, and in a manner out of her self, to see what a sad condition she left her dear Negro in, and most of all to consider his inhumanity towards her, took up all she had brought with her, and return'd to her chamber, with so much sadness and affliction in her countenance, that it was much to her loss, she had not been seen in that posture by her apostate Lover, Don Pedro.
He in the mean time lay close and undisco∣ver'd, in the most obscure part of the stable, so astonish'd as that he had not been half as much, when he was present at the happy delivery of Sera∣phina. He saw the counterfeit Matron returning to her chamber, disconsolate as a Widow at the Fune∣ral of a Husband she dearly lov'd; and, not long after, finding the great gate open, he got into the Page 18 street, not much sollicitous whether he were seen or not, as not esteeming the reputation of Elvira wor∣thy the least tenderness or respect. Yet even in that did he follow the dictates of his own vertue, so far as that he discover'd not what he had seen even to his Friend. He pass'd by Elvira's door the next day just as the Moor was carried out to his burial. Her Woman told him, that she was sick, and for the space of four or five days that he pass'd to and fro that way, she was not to be seen at her window, so incapable was she of any consolation upon the death of the African. Don Pedro was much desirous to hear from her. One day as he was in discourse with Don John, a slave of Elvira's brought him a Letter from her Mistress. He open'd it with some impatience, and read in it what you are like to do, if you please.
TWo persons, between whom there is a mu∣tual affection in order to marriage, need no third person to sollicite the business between them. You would have me believe, that you think me not unhandsome, and I cannot but ac∣knowledge I am so far taken with you, as that I am willing to grant you immediately, what I had not promis'd till a year were expir'd. My Person and Estate are at your disposal, when you please to command them; and I am to desire you to believe, that though I cannot be too circum∣spect in a business of this nature, yet your merit Page 19 and my own affection shall be my security, and enable me to overcome what difficulties soever I may meet with therein.
Don Pedro read over the Letter twice or thrice, so much ado had he to believe what he read. He consider'd with himself that he had been twice in danger to have been as unfortunately married as any man in Spain, and sent up his hearty thanks to Heaven which had enabled him to escape it, by dis∣covering to him two secrets of so great importance. The resolution of marrying suddenly, which the Negro's death had put Elvira upon, rais'd in Don Pedro a quite contrary, which was, that of getting from her as soon as he could. He therefore told Don John, that it concern'd both his life and honour, that he should be out of Sevil within an hour, and that he would take along with him onely that ser∣vant whom he had brought from Granada. He in∣treated him to sell his Coach and Horses, and with the mony to discharge his Servants; but above all things he desir'd him not to make any enquiry after the occasion of so sudden a change, and so unex∣pected a departure, promising to give him an ac∣count in writing from the first place he should make any stay at. He writ to Elvira, while some were gone to take up two Mules for him; he deli∣ver'd his Letter to the slave, and, the Mules being come, took his way towards Madrid, confirm'd, more than ever, in his former opinion, of being dis∣trustful of all women of more than ordinary wit, nay indeed to have a horrour of them. While he is Page 20 spurring on his Mule, Elvira opens his Letter, and finds in it these words.
HOw violent soever the affection I had for you might have been, yet have I ever pre∣ferr'd the desire of preserving your honour, be∣fore the pleasure of enjoying your person. Thence you might have perceiv'd with what discretion all my Courtships and addresses were attended. I am naturally a person of a very nice conscience, and therefore cannot without some remorse an∣swer your proposal of marriage, you being a Widow but since yesterday. You are much more oblig'd to the memory of the poor Negro, who hath lost his life in your service, and can bestow no less than a year in bewailing the miscarriage of a person, whose performances you thought so extraordinary. In the interim, we shall both of us have time to consider what we have to do.
Elvira was almost out of her self at the reading of this Letter; the affliction she conceiv'd thereat made her more sick, than she had been upon the loss of her Lover of Guinny. But bethinking her self that Don Pedro had left Sevil, and another per∣son, whom she thought furnish'd for her turn, mak∣ing his addresses to her in order to marriage, she took him at his word, and entertain'd him, to sup∣ply Page 21 the place of the Negro. Not but that there were other Negroes choice enough; but she had heard say that there were several sorts of Negroes, and that they are not so far Devils as they seem black.
By this time was Don Pedro got to Madrid, where he alighted at an Uncle's of his, who enter∣tain'd him very kindly. This Uncle was a Gentle∣man of a very great estate, had onely one son, de∣stin'd in marriage for a Cousin of his, an Heiress, one that being but ten years of age was kept in a Monastery, till such time as she were ripe for the enjoyments of her Cousin. This Cousin's name was Don Rodrigues, a person as lovely as could be look'd on, every way so accomplish'd, that Don Pedro entred into a friendship with him much be∣yond what a man hath for a kinsman, whom yet he may love very well; for they are not always of his kindred that a man loves best.
Don Rodrigues had many times his thoughts so taken up with some reflections unknown to any but himself, that he minded not much what he did, or what company he was in, and these fits were often accompani'd with certain agitations and di∣sturbances. Don Pedro, having observ'd it, ac∣quainted him with his adventures, to oblige him, by th•t confidence, to give him an account of his, and, in case there were any thing wherein he might serve him, to assure him of his being much more his Friend than his Kinsman. Whereupon he to•d him how he h•d taken notice of his sadness and disquiet, and intreated him to discover the occasion of it; or otherwise, that he should think his friend∣ship not answerable to his own.
Page 22Don Rodrigues desired nothing so much, hoping to be disburthen'd of his grief, when he had com∣municated it. He thereupon told Don Pedro, that he was passionately fallen in love with a Gentle∣woman at Madrid, design'd in marriage to a Cou∣sin of hers whom she expected from the Indies, and whom she had never seen, much after the same manner as he was made sure to a Cousin of his whom he staid for till she were of age to be married, and whom he had but little acquaintance with.
But not unwilling to make a full discovery of himself;
Hereupon the two men-Cousins went to see the two women-Cousins; and the fair Virginia permit∣ted Don Rodrigues to vindicate himself, which he found it no hard matter to do. Don Pedro thought them both handsomer than any he had seen of the sex before, not excepting the imprudent Seraphina, nor the counterfeit Matron Elvira. Violanta, who had dress'd her self that day richer than or∣dinary, in order to have her Picture drawn, daz∣zled the eyes of Don Pedro so far, that he immediate∣ly broke the resolution he had taken, never to love Page 25 any Woman unless she were a Fool. For his part, Violanta was no less taken with him, it being his fortune to speak things so obliging upon her Pi∣cture, among which some infinitely witty and smart, that they wrought in her an admiration of his excellent parts, and no small satisfaction at the first sallies of his courtships.
But here I cannot avoid making a little digression, though it be onely to tell those who know not so much, that your set-speeches to Gentlewomen, and your serious Students in the Academy of Comple∣ments, are a sort of people that would be good at the putting off of whipp'd Cream and Syllibubs, and are charg'd with, nay, convicted of, an aery fl•tuous eloquence by persons of good understand∣ing and judgment. If this word of advertisement be well consider'd by the publick, some would find the conveniences of it equal to those of a good receipt against the Flies in Summer, and a∣g•inst stinking Breaths all the year long. Don Pe∣dro, who had solemnly sworn never to marry unless he met with a Woman the next degree remov'd from an Ideot, made it appear that the Oaths of Gamesters and Lovers are not obligatory, though the late Casuists had not been so indulgent as to dispense with them. He was so infinitely taken, as with the beauty, so with the wit of Violanta, that despairing to obtain any favour of her but what might be granted without any prejudice to her honour, he was resolv'd to marry her, if she had no aversion for that kind of life. He many times gave her occasion to make some dis∣covery of her thoughts, as to that particular; but either she understood him not, or at least would Page 26 not, whether it were that she lov'd her freedom, or could not entertain any thoughts of Marriage.
All went hitherto very prosperously on with these four Lovers; but misfortune comes ever when 'tis least expected. One day it happened, that the two young Gentlemen having tyred their Tailors, Barbers, Millaners, Shoomakers, Sempsters, and all those other Trades which young Gallants put upon the rack when they would dazle their eys whom they pretend to adore, or to say all in a word, made themselves as fine as Castor and Pollux, and not making the least doubt to become Masters of the out-works at least of the places they be∣sieg'd, there comes an unlucky Scrich-owl, I mean an old Servant-maid, to acquaint the two Cou∣sins, that the Indian Spark, Husband to the fair Castilian, was come to Madrid, without so much as sending a Letter before him from Sevil, where the Ship came in; that the two fair Cousins knew not what he meant by his surprising them in that manner, and intreated the Gallants to have pa∣tience till such time as Virginia had made such discovery of the humours of her Indian, as to know how to deal with him, and that they should not onely forbear visiting them, but even appearing before their Windows, till further order.
Thus was all the trimming, scouring and pou∣dring of that day clearly lost, nay, as if upon this account of their Mistresses they had a remorse for their vanity, for two days after, they had no more care of themselves than if they had been ir∣reprievable Malefactors. They understood from common report about the Town, that the IndianPage 27•nd Virginia had been privately married; that he •as naturally jealous, a person of experience, as being turn'd of forty years of age, and had taken such order in his house, and was so vigilant over the actions of his Wife, that her Gallants, if she had any, could not hope so much as a sight of her at her Window. The further order they had been promised came not, and they thought long to ex∣pect it. They made their appearance in the Street where their Mistresses liv'd, and rode up and down, as they were wont, before their doors, yet could never see, either going in or coming out, any face they knew, or meet with any Boy or Maid they had any acquaintance with. They one day saw the Hus∣band go in accompanied by his Brother, a person handsome enough, and so young that he was then a young Student in the University. All this did but add to their affliction, and heighten the trouble they were in. They went forth betimes in the morn∣ing, they came not home till 'twere very late, and spent both time and pains to no purpose. At last one Holiday, being upon the Sentry, they saw coming out, at the Break of Day, one of Violenta's Maids to go to Mass. They made her stand at the Church-door, and through the persuasion of a many Presents Don Rodrigues prevailed with her to carry a Letter to her Mistress. The business of it was this.
I Find a greater unkindness in your oblivion of me, than I feel torment in my own jealousie, since there is no remedy for this latter, now that you are at the disposal of a Husband. How∣ever you are not to think your self beyond the reach of my importunities, though you have discharged me your remembrance. I beg of you, as the last favour I am to expect, to let me know whether I have yet any ground to hope, or must resolve not to live any longer,
Yours, &c. DON RODRIGUES.
They followed the Maid at a distance; she de∣livered the Letter as she had promised them, and having made a sign to them to come near the house, she dropped out at the Window the Answer you are like to read.
A Jealous man, that hath not been married long, is but little from his Wife, and can∣not so soon think himself dispensed from the Page 29 duty he conceives lies upon him, to express his tenderness over her and observe her actions. There is some talk of taking a journey to Vailla∣dolid, without my company, which if it happen, I shall vindicate my self, satisfie my engage∣ments, and pay my debts.
This Letter, which they both with a certain emu∣lation kiss'd a hundred and a hundred times, re∣viv'd their decaying hopes, and nourish'd them for some days: but at last, not hearing any thing from their forgetful Mistresses, they renew'd their marches and countermarches before their win∣dows, spent whole nights there; and could not see any going to and fro, no more than if the house had been haunted and no body liv'd in it.
But one day it happen'd, that, these two despair∣ing Lovers being in the Church, comes in Mistress Bride; Don Rodrigues went and kneel'd down close by her, as t'were to outface an old Gentleman-Usher that had brought her thither. He in few words made his complaints to her; she in as few excus'd her self, and at last she told Don Rodrigues, that her husband was not yet gone to Vailladolid, though he talk'd of going every day: that her im∣patience to have a private meeting with him was no less than his; and that she knew but one way to satisfie his desires, which absolutely depended on Don Pedro.
This happy stratageme of Love, which Do• Rodrigues was so hot to understand, upon the first proposal of it, prov'd a cooler to his desires when he had heard it; for he was not onely in doubt whether his Cousin would act the dangerous part which was impos'd upon him in that extravagant adventure, but was in suspence, whether he should so much as propose it to him. His Mistress continu'd firm to her resolution, and, as she parted with her dissatisfy'd Gallant, assur'd him, that if the propo∣sition she made to him were not well entertain'd and put in execution, as she had directed, there were never any thing to be hoped from her, nay she gave him leave to forget her, though a time had been she would sooner have sign'd the sentence of her own death.
The time and place broke off the discourse be∣tween Page 31Don Rodrigues and his Lady; she return'd home, he to his Camrade, who could not get a word from him, so much was he troubled that he must either make a request to him which he thought so unreasonable, or live without a happiness which is ever much more valued before the enjoyment than afterwards. At last, being gotten together into a private Chamber, Don Rodrigues having done himself all possible violence, made the extravagant proposition to Don Pedro, allaying it what he could with those circumstances which might render it the more entertainable. Don Pedro could not at first imagine but all was in jest, but his Cousin on the contrary protesting he spoke seriously, so far as to confirm it with such Oaths as convinc'd him he was in earnest, he would needs make some sport at it, telling him, he was very much oblig'd to his Mi∣stress, for providing him an entertainment with so sweet a Gentlewoman, and that no doubt it was an expression of Violanta's gratitude towards him, who being not, by reason of her indisposition, in a capacity to requite the services he had done her, and thinking her engagement a burthen, turn'd him o∣ver for the payment of it to her Cousin's husband, with whom he must expect a very pleasant night's lodging.
Thus did he endeavour to divert both his Friend and himselfe with witty descants on so odde an adventure, but Don Rodrigues was in such a distraction of thought as that he minded them but little, and was so cast down, that his Cousin could no less than pitty him, and was somewhat in fear how dangerous the consequences of his des∣pair might be. Don Pedro was a person naturally Page 32 daring enough, one that had run through many ad∣ventures, and durst undertake any thing thoug• never so extravagant; he had also a great love for Don Rodrigues, so that, all put together, he was con∣tent to supply the place of the fair Virginia, thoug• with the hazard of what mischief he might receive from an exasperated and jealous husband. Being therefore fixt in his resolution, he embrac'd his Cousin, and rais'd him to Life again by telling him what hazard he would run, to procure him the en∣joyment of his Mistress.
Things thus concluded, word was sent to Vir∣ginia, that her proposition was accepted; she ap∣pointed the time that very night; the two Cousins came according to appointment, were conducted into the house with as little noise as might be; and Don Pedro was forc'd, in the presence of the fair Lady, to put off his cloaths, as being desirous her orders should be observ'd with the greatest exact∣ness. Don Pedro being thus stript to his linnen, she brought him, as softly as if his way had been pav'd with eggs, and with the greatest caution imagina∣ble, to the dangerous bed-side, and, having drawn the curtains, and turn'd down the cloaths as easily as might be, held the daring Don Pedro by the arms, while he gingerly laid himself down in the bed, who haply now began to repent him of his con∣fidence, and no doubt contented himself with such Page 33 a part of the bed as that he came not near the middle.
Having thus dispos'd of him, she went her ways, lock'd the chamber door without ever minding the noise she made in doing it, which Don Pedro was troubled most of all at. Her business now was to get to Don Rodrigues, whom I am apt to believe she paid, like a gallant good natur'd wo∣man, what ever she was in his debt, at least as much as he would take of it.
Don Pedro in the mean time was in a condition much different from that of his Cousin's, who no doubt was over head and ears in the embraces of a fair Lady that was a bed with him, while this over∣charitable Kinsman lay in fear of nothing so much as of those of a sordid man, who, to his great mis∣fortune, was a very troublesome bed-fellow. Then did he begin to reflect, but too late, on his foolish presumption, that being what he should have done before he engag'd himself in such a design; he blam'd himself, call'd himself fool, and acknow∣ledg'd that the injury he did a husband was one of those that are unpardonable, if he himself were to pass his sentence upon it.
But it was not long ere these sad reflections were interrupted, and his just fears heightned by his Bed-fellow's turning to him, and casting his bur∣densome arm about his neck, as if he would have embrac'd his wife. Don Pedro somewhat frighten'd at those unwelcome caresses, the more haply be∣cause accompani'd with certain words imperfectly uttered, made a shift to disburthen himself of the arm which he thought more weighty than a far heavier burthen, and slipp'd his neck from under it, Page 34 taking great care not to do him any hurt; and hav∣ing so done, he got to the bed-side, with his body so far over, that he had much ado to keep in the bed, wishing his life fairly at an end, and blaming onely himself for running so great a hazard to comply with the passion of two indiscreet Lovers. He had hardly time to breathe, and recover his spi∣rits ever so little, ere the unquiet Bed-fellow thrust in his legs between his; which last action, added to the foregoing persecutions, made him look pale as death it self. At last, whil'st one came still nearer, and the other remov'd, day comes on, very ex∣pectedly to Don Pedro, who was not able to stand out any longer against his Adversary, who had thrust him as far as he could go.
He got out of bed as gently as he could, and went to open the door, which he found very care∣fully double lock'd, a misfortune as indigestible as any of the precedent. As he was trying, to little purpose, to thrust back the lock, it flew open of a sudden, and the door had almost taken him over the face. Virginia comes into the room as it were in much haste, and ask'd him loud enough, Whither he made such haste? Don Pedro entreat∣ing her with a low voice to speak more gently, ask'd her whether she were mad to hazard in that manner the waking of her husband, and desir'd her she would let him out.
Having so said, bold as a Lioness she took Don Pedro by the arm; then, in such disturbance as that Page 35 he had not the strength to get from her, open'd the shutters of the windows, without letting go her prize, and dragging him to the bed-side, drew the curtains, saying aloud,
This baiting put Don Pedro, who was still in his shirt, almost out of countenance; so that it was a long time ere he could recover himself out of the confusion he was in. At last Virginia took pity of him, and left him and her Cousin to themselves, to make up the accounts that were between them, which were of some consequence, for it took up their time from morning till it was noon. From that time, while the Husband was in the Country, the two he-Cousins and the two she-Cousins had frequent meetings, and made their advantages of the opportunity. The Indian being return'd, onely Don Rodrigues far'd the worse for it; for Don Pe∣dro, by the assistance of the Servants whom his Pre∣sents had brought to his Lure, made a shift, for two Page 36 or three months, to spend most flights with Vio∣lanta, who was at her own disposal, and, since her Cousin's marriage, lodg'd in a part of the house whereof she had the command, and which had a back-door that opened into another street. He was so deeply in love with her, that he earnestly wish'd himself married to her, but when he made any Pro∣posal of that nature to her, she so handsomely put off the discourse, that he knew not whether it were out of design, or that she minded not much what he said to her. At last, to confirm the general opinion, that this world is a Stage of perpetual changes, Violanta began to remit much of her passion, and by little and little grew to that coldness towards Don Pedro, that he could not forbear complaining of it, and, not knowing what to quarrel at, charg'd her with infidelity, reproaching her, that she had entertain'd some other Gallant into her favour.
But instead of recovering himself by this means into that place in her affections which he had for∣merly possessed, it made him so insupportable to Violanta, that she did not onely forbear the kind∣nesses she did him in the night, but could not en∣dure his company in the day time. Yet was he not a jot cast down at it. He, by the charms of a many Presents, prevail'd so far with one of the Gentle∣women, treacherous enough of her own inclina∣tion, as that she discover'd to him, that her Mistress was extremely taken with her Cousin's Brother-in-law, who was then just come from the University; that he was a very handsome young man, and no less in love with Violanta, than Violanta was with him. To act something notorious for the perfidi∣ousness of it, this wicked Wench advised him to Page 37 pretend himself sick, to send his Mistress notice of it, complaining as if she were the cause of his indis∣position, which, by reason of the likelihood of it, might be credited; and, in a word, to pretend it so seriously, that her Mistress might not be so vigilant, nor stand so much upon her guard, as she had ever done, since she broke off her correspondence with him. Don Pedro plaid his part as well as if he had been an old Actor at it. Violanta perceiv'd not the Mist that was cast before her eyes, and the perfidious Author of the Plot, had no sooner brought her Mistress's new Adonis into that chamber, but she went to open the gate to the jealous Don Pedro.
He comes all fury into Violanta's chamber, and surprises her already in bed, and her young Exer∣ciser putting off his cloaths to lay himself by her. He went with his sword drawn streight to his Ri∣val, haply to frighten him a little. The young man had his wits about him, so that taking up one of his shoes, and holding it out as one would do a pocket-pistol, aim'd at Don Pedro's face, so confi∣dently, that Don Pedro, who mistrusted no such thing, and doubted not but that he would have shot at him, slunk down and turn'd of one side, in which interval the young man got out at the door. Violanta, who was resolv'd to make an ab∣solute rupture with Don Pedro, broke out into a laughter, and jear'd at his fear of being pistoll'd with a shoe. He took her abuses so heinously, that he fell a boxing of her; she had him by the hair; it came to a bloudy scuffle, insomuch, that at last, the hard-hearted Granadin, having used her so unmercifully, that she was forced to cry out Page 38 Murder, made his escape into the street, just as Vir∣ginia, her husband, and all the servants, arm'd, as it were to engage an enemy, that had beat up their quarters, came into Violanta's chamber.
In the mean time Don Pedro gave Don Rodri∣gues an account of what had passed, and, not losing any time, went and proffer'd his service to the Duke of Ossonne, who was to depart the next day to be Vice-Roy of Naples. Don Pedro expected him at the Port, where they were to embark, leaving his dear Cousin extremely troubled both at his depar∣ture and the occasion of it. He continued six or seven years at Naples, much respected by the Vice-Roy, who allow'd him very considerable pensions. He receiv'd also no small summs out of Spain, so that there was not any person in Naples liv'd at • higher rate than he did, which made him more considerable in Italy than most of your Spaniards, who go thither as much out of a design to grow rich, as the French do to spend their mony. He tra∣vell'd to Sicily, made some stay in the more emi∣nent Cities, and, being return'd into Italy, spent two or three years at Rome, as many at Venice, vi∣sited all the places he thought worth it; and, at last, having been fourteen or fifteen years out of Spain, ever in love, or, if you will, ever making it his main business to satisfie his lust, still engag'd in some adventure or other, and more and more con∣firm'd in his opinion, that a man could not be safely married to a witty woman, an humour took him to put a period to all his extravagant courses, and to return to GRANADA, to see all the friends he had left there.
But the greatest motive of his departure out of Page 39Italy, was, that his returns of mony fail'd him, through the disappointment of his correspondents; or, at least, his Exchequer was grown so low, that he had hardly so much as carri'd him to Barcelona. There he sold what cloaths he could spare, to buy him a Mule, and keeping onely the best he had for his journey, he took his way towards his dear Country, without any retinue at all, the servant whom he had brought with him out of Spain be∣ing, in all probability, dead of the Neapolitan dis∣ease, and his stock so small, as would not haply de∣fray the charges of another.
He left Barcelona at the break of day, to avoid the heat, and the importunity of the flies, which in August are very troublesome, so that by nine of the clock he was gotten four or five leagues in his way. He rode through the middle of a pretty large country village, where a certain Duke of Ca∣taloniae pass'd away part of the Summer, as having in that place a fair Castle that stood upon the road. The Duke was an antient man, and had to his La∣dy a woman of an excellent humour, a great both lover and maker of sport, and about twenty years of age. He was that day gone abroad upon some hunting-meeting, and was not to return till the next. The young Dutchess standing in a Balcony of the Castle cast her eye on our Adventurer of Granada. His goodly presence and the state of his riding rais'd in her a desire to have a sight of him nearer hand; besides, that she was of an inquisitive nature, and suffer'd few strangers to pass through the Town without sending for them. Though he had resolv'd to bait some leagues off the place where he then was, yet could he not civilly answer a re∣quest Page 40 made to him from the Dutchess with a de∣nial, amounting to no more than his waiting on her onely as long as the urgency of his occasions would permit. She was beautiful as an Angel, and the Granadin was one that felt a certain warmth diffuse it self through his whole body, at the sight of such beauties, though they were not Dutchesses. He, on the other side, was a person every way graceful, and the Dutchess took much pleasure to see men of his making; to redeem, in some measure, the time she mis-spent with her husband, who, to her great misfortune, thought her so handsome, and was so infinitely taken with the pleasantness of her behaviour, that he imagin'd he never saw her enough, though she were seldome out of his sight.
Don Pedro, being a person of excellent parts and good judgment, found the Dutchess much diver∣sion by giving her a relation of his Travels, and soon observ'd her to be of a nature much inclin'd to mirth and a pleasant passing away of the time. She inquir'd particularly concerning the Gallantry at Naples, would needs know whether the Women there have much freedom, and whether the Gal∣lants of Italy were comparable to those of Spain. In fine, Don Pedro was confirm'd by the questions she put to him, that if she were not very well read in the business of Courtship and Gallantry, it was not for want of good-will. She would needs enter∣tain him at dinner to both their mutual satisfacti∣on: soon after dinner he would have taken his leave of her, but she would not by any means permit it telling him her Lord would not return that day, that he must needs be her guest, and very obligingly ado∣ing, that persons of his worth being very rare in Page 41Catalonia, they were not to be parted with till some extraordinary necessity forc'd them away, and con∣sequently the happiness of their company was to be improv'd to the utmost.
She thereupon led him into a Closet, which by reason of its spaciousness was very cool, adorn'd with Pictures, Porcelane, and other Rarities, and furnish'd, besides all things suitable to the greatness of the person, with a sumptuous Couch, cover'd with a Satin quilt. Having seated him on it, he re∣lated to her his adventures at Granada, Sevil, and Madrid, as also those he had met with in Italy, which are not come to my knowledge. The Dutchess heard him with much attention, and he told her at last, that he was resolv'd to marry, if he could but meet with a woman simple enough to secure him, as to those inconveniences which witty women run their husbands into.
Their contestation took up much longer time, th•Granadine maintaining, that a woman should aspire to no greater knowledg than that of loving her hus∣band, being faithful to him, and careful of the go∣vernment of her house and children; and the Dutch∣ess on the other side desirous to convince him, that a simple woman was not able to do any thing of all this; nay that, though she were handsome, it would not be long e'r she would be thought troublesome▪ They were both satisfi'd of one another's wit and judgment, and the mutual good opinion they had conceiv'd one of another was soon heightned into an affection, nay, I may say, something yet greater. There was not onely a difference between the Gra∣nadine and the Duke, as to age, understanding, and person, but the former was of such an exact com∣posure as the world haply afforded but few like him; and if he was thought such by his Dutchess, he in requital thought her the handsomest woman he had ever seen. He was bold as a Lyon, and ne∣ver had the opportunity to be alone with a woman, but he made proffer of his service to her. If it were accepted, he did the best he could; if offence were taken, he cast himself on his knees, and calling him∣self first the presumptuous Ixion, he crav'd pardon so ingenuously and with such exquisite hypocrisie, that either his offence was pardon'd, or haply it would not have been taken amiss if he offended Page 43 again.
I have now forgot what other hyperboles he drew up together, to engage the Dutchess's virtu∣ous inclinations; as also what reserves of pathe∣tical impertinences he was forc'd to make use of; for, he was upon a very hot and dangerous service of Courtship. Nor could I ever learn with what countenance the Dutchess entertain'd a Forlorn of Love and Gallantry so confidently brought up; whether she receiv'd the amorous charge suitably to the fierceness of it; or made the weaker resist∣ance out of hope of better quarter. These particu∣lars, though much desirous of it, I could never have any account of, and onely have it from one of the Dutchess's Gentlewomen, since dead in France of the King's Evil, that the Closet-door was lock'd upon them at two of the Clock, and that they were there together till Supper-time; and besides Page 44 what the Gentlewoman said, I know my self by experience, that Opportunity makes the Thief. Night came on, the indulgent Deity of stollen Loves▪ but Don Pedro and the Dutchess were pre∣judic'd rather than oblig'd by it, for out of a re∣gard to Civility, and to keep the Servants from talking, (whose jealousies ever magnifie things to the great prejudice of Truth, a Virtue they are pro∣fess'd enemies to) they call'd for lights, which, be∣ing brought, were darkned by the two bright eyes Heaven had bestow'd on the Dutchess, and which then out-vy'd the Stars with their lively sparkling. Her complexion, which now had doubled the hue of its native carnation, appear'd brighter to Don Pedro than the Sun in a Summers day, and his face too had a little touch of the violent inclining to red.
But as they were beholding one another with much confidence and satisfaction, an alarm came to the Dutchess, that the Duke her husband was come into the Court. All she could do upon so sudden notice, was, to dispose her much astonish'd Gallant into a Closet where she kept her perfum'd waters, and, having lock'd him in, to cast her self on a Bed. The Duke, who was a man of threescore years of age at least, comes into his Lady's Closet, and finds her fresh as a rose upon the bush. He told her, that a Letter he had receiv'd from the Vice-roy had occasion'd his return sooner than he expected. He was grown very hungry, ordered to be brought him into the Closet what there was rea∣dy, and the Dutchess, though she had no great sto∣mach to eat any thing with him, while her Gal∣lant shook, or haply did something else, for fear, Page 45 yet took a Chair and sat near the Table. She was of a disposition extreamly inclin'd to make sport, and so divertive, as that it, in a manner, retriv'd her old husband into youth again, so much was he pleas'd at every thing she did. It was an ordinary thing between them to lay extravagant wagers, and that most commonly when she had some occa∣sion or humour to get money out of him, which the simple man took great delight to loose, as one that inexpressibly doted on so excellent a woman.
He never admir'd her so much as at this time; She, to heighten his admiration, told him a hun∣dred pleasant stories; at which the good Duke was ready to burst with Laughing; for eating with a good stomack, and at the same time laughing very heartily, he was two or three times so near choak∣ing, that they were forc'd to give him such thumps in the back, as he would have taken very unkind∣ly at another time: but through God's mercy, he got no hurt, onely a crum or two miss'd their way down his throat. At last, the Dutchess, who had a malicious humour to make sport at any thing, would needs divert her self at the cost of her im∣prison'd Gallant. She told the Duke, that it seem'd a long time to her since they had laid any wager; and that she would gladly lay a hundred Pistols with him, upon such a match and tearms as they should agree upon. The Duke told her he was at her service, and expected what she would propose. The Dutchess made many proposals to him, which she was confident he would not accept; and at last she ask'd him, whether he would lay any wager, that he nam'd all those things, requisite a∣bout a house, that were made of iron. The Duke Page 46 took her up, though he thought the wager very extravagant, and having call'd for pen, ink, and paper, as soon as they had taken away, and his Al∣moner said Grace (for the Duke was a man of good example) he writ down the names of all the Iron things he could think on; But such was the Dutch∣ess's good fortune, as that he forgot to set down Keys. She caus'd him divers times to read over what he had writ, and having ask'd him whether he had any thing to add, she folded up the paper, and told him she would take time to examine it, and in the interim acquaint him with an adventure had happened to her, one of the most pleasant he had ever heard of.
She thereupon acquainted the Duke what had happen'd to Don Pedro at Granada, Sevil, and Madrid, whereat the good man, who made as much sport at a foolish story as any Duke within a hundred miles of him, spent his spleen in such violent and immoderate Laughters, as occasion'd those as well of the Dutchess, as the chiefest of the Duke's Menial Servants, with whom he in∣nocently liv'd in great intimacy and familiarity. She afterwards acquainted him what had hap∣pen'd to her Gallant in Italy, which was also very pleasant, as I have been told, but the particulars I could never learn. Onely this I know, that the Duke laughed so heartily thereat, that Don Pedro himself, lock'd up as he was, could hardly forbear. She told him what an ill opinion he had of all women that pretended to any thing of wit, the reasons which he alledg'd to maintain it, and those which she had urg'd in opposition there∣to.
At last, having found her husband, and all that were present, nay Don Pedro himself so much sport that they were weary of it, she told the Duke, that the Gallant of Granada, after the relation of his adventures, grew so presumptuous as to make his applications to her, and had done it with so much Page 48 address, that, not knowing how to take it am• from a stranger, that he was so confident in • Courtship, as to aim at her enjoyments, she • so taken with him that it was no hard matter w•• him to perceive it.
The Dutchess accompany'd her relation with so much ingenuity, freedome, and likelihood, that the Duke began to quit his mirth and to take things in good earnest. He grew pale; was afraid his Lady had said no more than what was true; nay, could not forbear asking her for the Key of the Closet, where she said the Granadine was lock'd Page 49 up. She fell to some other discourse, and thereby heightned both his jealousies and his fear; he ask'd her a second time for the key of the closet; she deni'd to give it him. He would needs have it, and started out of his chair in a great fury.
The Dutchess spoke this with such a confident indifference, that the Duke was more easily in∣duc'd to believe all she had said was fabulous, than he had been to think it true. He laugh'd at all, as if he had been little better than out of his wits; he admir'd the miraculous ingenuity of his wife, and oblig'd all his domesticks that were present to a like admiration, who were haply as credulous fools as their Master.
In the mean time, the Dutchess being paid the hundred Pistols by the Steward, caus'd the chamber-door to be lock'd; and having brought Don Pedro out of his imprisonment, not fully recover'd of the fear she had put him into, she press'd him to acknowledge, that a witty and discreet woman may, without prejudice to her honour, salve a misfortune, whereof the very thought would make a simple one die for fear. She would needs have him eat of what her Women had brought up for her self. He intreated her to excuse him, and to dismiss him as soon as might be. She gave him the hundred Pistols she had got of her Husband, with a Gold-chain, and her own Picture, which amount∣ed to as much, and desir'd him to remember her, and to give her an account of his further Adven∣tures.
Having thereupon embrac'd him with much af∣fection, Page 51 she recommended him to the conduct of her Women, who put him and his Mule secretly out at a back-door. He thought it no prudence to lodge in that place, but to ride forward two Leagues, to the Town where he thought to have din'd the day before, when the Dutchess retain'd him.
As he rid along, what had hapned to him with the amorous Dutchess was perpetually pre∣sent to his thoughts. He could not sufficiently ad∣mire, at least as he then thought, the readiness wherewith at first sight she entertain'd his affection, even before she knew him; her confidence to make so strange and pleasant a story to the Duke, which yet was but too true; and lastly, her subtilty in salving all by applying it to the Wager. He could not also but admire the easie nature and simplicity of the Duke; he pitied him, and, after all accidents and circumstances weigh'd, was confirm'd more than ever in the opinion, that a witty Woman was of a difficult keeping; and thence inferr'd, that, if the Dutchess had not been over-confident of her own wit, she would not so easily have executed what she had been so desirous to do, nor have been guilty of a presumption so incredible as to declare it to her Husband.
In fine, from all the Adventures he had run through, and all the experiences he had of man∣kind, he deriv'd a certain confidence, that he should never run the hazard of being unfortunately married, either by not taking any Wife at all, or marrying one so simple, as knew no difference be∣tween love and aversion.
Amidst these reflections he arriv'd at Madrid,Page 52 where he found his Cousin Don Rodrigues possess'd of his Father's estate, and married to his Cousin. He understood from him, that Violanta was mar∣ried; and that the fair Virginia was gone to the In∣dies with her Husband. From Madrid he took his journey for Granada. He alighted at his Aunt's, who entertain'd him with inexpressible kindness, and acquainted him that Seraphina led a Saint's life in the Nunnery, and that her beloved Servant was dead, out of pure grief and indignation that he had not prevail'd with her, to quit the holy life she had oblig'd her self to, and marry him.
The next day he went along with his Aunt to see young Laura, Seraphina's daughter, she had been put into a Convent at four years of age, and might then be about sixteen or seventeen. He thought her beautiful as all the Angels together, and withal simple beyond all the Nuns that came into the wo•ld without wit, and were taken out of it ere they got any. He view'd her very seriously, and w•s extremely taken with her beauty. He ob∣lig'd her to speak, and could not but admire her simplicity and her innocence. He doubted not but that he had found out what he sought; and what made him have a greater inclination for Laura, was, that he had had a great love for Seraphina, and perceiv'd her daughter to be much like her, though incomparably more handsome. He ac∣quainted his Aunt that she was not his daughter, and how that he had some intentions to marry her: His Aunt encourag'd him in his design, and acquainted Laura therewith, who expressed not any either satisfaction or dissatisfaction thereat. Don Pedro took order for the furnishing of his Page 53 house, hearkned out for such Men-servants as were in some measure remarkable for their sottish∣ness, laid out for Maids as simple as the Mistress that was to govern them, and had much ado to find any. He made her cloaths as rich and sumptuous as any could be had in Granada. All the persons of quality about the City were at the Wedding, and were no less satisfi'd with Laura's beauty, than dissatisfi'd with her want of understanding. The ceremonies of the wedding were over in very good time, so that the new married couple were left alone. Don Pedro order'd his Servants to go to their beds, and having sent away his wife's maids, after they had undress'd her, lock'd the chamber door.
Having thus order'd things, Don Pedro, out of a transcendency of prudence, which was the great∣est madness in the world, put in execution the most fantastick design that could fall into the imagination of a man, who had all his life been accounted a person of understanding. Being more fool than his wife was simple, he would needs try how far he might trust her simplicity. He set him∣self in a chair, caus'd his wife to stand before him, and said these words to her, or others haply no less impertinent;
The most prudent and most circumspect of all the Husbands that ever were, at least who thought Page 55 himself no less, got up, put on his cloaths, dis∣arm'd his wife, help'd her to put off her cloaths, and having dispos'd her into the bed out of which he rose, kiss'd her over and over, and wept out of pure joy that he had found, as he thought, what he look'd for. He order'd her to lie a bed till it were very late, and having commanded the Maids not to disturb her, he went to Mass, and thence about his occasions; for I had forgot to tell you, that he had bought an Office at Granada, such as might be that of a perpetual Major or Sheriff.
The first night of the Nuptials was spent in the manner you heard, and the Husband was such a Coxcomb as to make no better use of the se∣cond. But Heaven punish'd him according to the use he made of his Talent. There happen'd a bu∣siness, which oblig'd him, all excuses laid aside, to take post the same day, and make all the expedi∣tion he could to Court. He had no more time al∣low'd him than to shift himself, to put on other cloaths, and to take leave of his wife, whom he commanded, upon pain of God's displeasure and his own, exactly to observe, in his absence, the life that married women were to lead.
Those who have any thing to do at Court, are uncertain how long it may be, ere they are dis∣patch'd. Don Pedro thought not to have staid abroad above five or six days, but his business kept him there like a Burre, now sticking to one Courtier, anon to another, for four or five months; in the mean time, the simple Laura neglected not her duty, spent the nights according to her Hus∣band's order, in armour, and the days that suc∣ceeded Page 56 them in such works as she had learn'd among the Nuns.
Much about this time came a Gentleman of Corduba to prosecute a Law-suit at Granada. He was, as to his internals, no fool; as to his externals, handsome enough. He often saw Laura in her Bal∣cony, and thought her very handsome: he often pass'd and repass'd by her windows, a kind of Courtship ordinary in Spain: and Laura, on the other side, so let him go to and fro, without either knowing what it meant, or indeed having any de∣sire to know. A Citizen's wife, of mean qua∣lity, who liv'd over against Don Pedro's house, be∣ing of a nature extremely charitable, and concern∣ing her self much in the exigencies of any she saw distress'd, soon took notice both of the affection of the Stranger, and the insensibility of her fair Neighbour thereof. She was a woman could ma∣nage a business with abundance of conduct and circumspection, and the principal quality she pro∣fess'd, was that of making Matches, and solliciting venereal causes, whether they were just or unjust it matter'd not, so they brought in something to make the pot boil. And this employment Nature seem'd to have design'd her for, as having fur∣nish'd her with all the accomplishments requisite in such as would be eminent therein; for she had some skill in making of Periwigs, she had a pen∣sion from all Chamber-maids, and Waiting-Gentle∣women, to sell their Lady's cast cloaths and their own, and other things which your meaner sort of Gentlewomen make a great show with; she distill'd several sorts of Waters, she had some secrets for the beautifying of the body, and above Page 57 all, she had confidence enough to pretend to some skil in Chiromancy and Astrology, and upon that account, lay under some suspition of being a Witch. She so constantly saluted the Gentleman of Corduba every time he pass'd by her Neighbour's door, that he could not but imagine it done out of some design. He return'd her Salutation, went to her, and with the fame labour became acquainted with her, and improv'd that acquaintance into Friendship; he made her privy to his Love, and promis'd her a very good reward if she prov'd a successful sollicitress on his behalf to her Neigh∣bour.
Upon this encouragement (instructions she need∣ed not any) the old piece of Brokery bestirs her self immediately; she soon prevail'd with the sim∣ple Servants to let her in to the Mistress, under pre∣tence of shewing her some rarities which she had to sell; She commended her beauty, bemoan'd her being depriv'd so soon of her Husband's com∣pany; and, being left alone with her, brought in some discourse of the gallant Gentleman who pass'd by her doors so often. She told her that he lov'd her beyond his own life, and was p•ssionately desirous to become her servant, if so be she would permit him.
Page 58The tempting Gipsie needed not so great a dis∣covery to be satisfi'd, that Laura was little re∣mov'd from simplicity it self. She therfore made her apprehend, as well as she could, after what man∣ner the Gentleman was desirous to serve her; told her he was a person of as great an estate as her hus∣band, and that if she were desirous to make any trial of it, she would bring her, as a present from him, Jewels of great value, and what else she should desire.
The old Crone upon that took her by the hands, and kiss'd them over and over, telling her she would go and revive that poor Gentleman, whom she had left half dead.
It may be well imagin'd she was not so neglect∣ful as to leave behind her that miraculous Key, which open'd all doors. There may haply be some body, who▪ upon reading what is here said of that Key, will think he hath play'd the Critick rarely, when he shall say, that it was enchanted, and that this passage betrays something of fable: but who∣ever he be, let him know thus much from his most humble Servant, that the M•sters of Families in Spain have such Keys, which they call Mistress-keys, and accordingly take heed another time, how he carps at what he understands not. But now I think on't, let him take what falls within his narrow apprehension which way he pleases: may I be thought as impertinent as he, if ever I trouble my head with it.
Nor shall I care a jot if he think this very di∣gression impertinent; let him make a Parenthesis of it if he will. I know he is impatient to know what the old woman does. She is just gone to the amorous Gentleman, who is at her house entertain∣ing a Daughter of hers; one her Mother designs to be her successor in the Discipline of advancing the enjoyments and accommodations of Mankind. Knocking as hard as she could at the door, the Gentleman began to suspect he might be betray'd; but the Daughter understood it to signifie the hap∣py success of her Mother's intercession, as having learnt from her, and she from the common proverb, Page 60 that, Who brings good news is not afraid to knock at the door. She comes into the room with an in∣fernal smile in her countenance, and gave him that account of her furtherance of the business, as made him ready to leap out at the windows for joy. He rewarded her very liberally, and expected night with much impatience. It comes at l•st, though never the sooner for his expectation. He gets into the Garden, and with as little noise as might be to Laura's Chamber-door, while she was walking very seriously up and down the Chamber, all in Armour and a Lance in her hand, according to the wise instructions of her extravagant Husband▪ There was one small light, and that plac'd in a remote corner of the Chamber, the Door being wide open to receive the Gallant she expected; but he seeing the glimpse of a person all in Ar∣mour, made no doubt but there was some treachery in the business. His fear at that time over-master'd his love, how violent soever it might be, so that h• made more haste to be gone than he had to come thither, imagining he could hardly get soon enough into the Street. He went to his Proxey, and ac∣quainted her what danger he had been in. She, to vindicate the sincerity of her procedure, went the next day to Laura, who presently ask'd her, Whe∣ther the Gentleman were still sick, and why he came not according to appointment? He is nei∣ther sick, nor hath fail'd to come, repli'd Satan, but finding a man all in Armour walking up and down your Chamber, it frightned him away▪ Laura at this burst out into a laughter, she could not recover her self out of for a good while, which the Old one knew not how to interpret. At last, Page 61 not able to laugh any longer, and making a shift to speak, she told her Neighbour, that it must needs be the Gentleman was never married, and that it was she her self who walk'd up and down the Chamber in Armour.
The old woman was still to seek what Laura should mean by that, and for a good while could not believe she was well in her wits; but after abundance of questions and answers, she appre∣hended what she could never have believ'd, as well, of the simplicity of a young Maid of sixteen years of age, that should know any thing almost; as the extravagant precaution her Husband had bethought him of to secure his Wives honour. She thought it her best course to let Laura continue in her error till she were undeceiv'd by her expected Gallant, and so, in stead of betraying her surprize at the strangeness of the thing, she joyn'd with Laura in laughing at the fright she had put the Gentleman into. Another appointment was made that he should give his personal appearance at her Cham∣ber that night. The old woman satisfied the Gal∣lant, and both admir'd the sottishness as well of the Husband as the Wife.
Night came on, he gets into the Garden, thence up the private stairs, and found his Lady all in Ar∣mour, upon duty, as she us'd to be. He embrac'd her though all clad in Iron, and she entertain'd him, as if she had known him from the longest day she could remember. At last he ask'd her, Why she was all in Armour? She made answer, smiling, that she might not put them off, nor pass away the night in any other posture, and told him, since he seem'd not to know so much, that it was the life of Page 62 married women, and that to fail in the observance thereof was a very great sin. The crafty Cordu•se had all the trouble in the world to undeceive her, and to persuade her that she was abus'd, and that the Life of married persons was quite another thing.
At last he prevail'd with her so far as that she was content he should disarm her, and to learn of him another way of exercising Marriage much more commodious and pleasant than that which her Husband made her practise, which Laura ac∣knowledg'd to be very inconvenient and weari∣some. He was not sloathful in disarming her, he help'd also to undress her, as not finding her ready enough at it, and having soon put off his own Cloaths he laid himself by her, and made her con∣fess there was a vast difference between his Pre∣cepts of Marriage and those her Husband had given her; he read her all the Lectures he could upon that subject, and she was so far apprehensive of hi• instructions, as that she grew not weary of learn∣ing, plying it very hard as long as her Husband continu'd at the Court. At last she receiv'd a Let∣ter from him, which acquainted her that he was upon his return, and that he had dispatch'd his business at Court, and the Corduba-blade having also dispatch'd his at Granada, the crafty Com∣panion return'd home, without so much as taking his leave of Laura, and I think without the least regret for the loss of her company, nothing being so frail as the Love a Man hath for a Woman that's little better than a natural Fool.
Nor was Laura on the other side less indiffe∣rent, but receiv'd her Husband with so much satis∣faction, Page 63 and betray'd so little resentment for the loss of her Gallant, as if she had never seen him. Don Pedro and his Wife supp'd together to the great satisfaction of both. Bed-time came on. Don Pedro went into Bed as he was wont to do, and was much astonish'd to see his Wife in her Smock coming to ly down by him. He ask'd her in a great fury, why she was not in Armour?
Don Pedro, smothering the trouble of his thoughts, ask'd her, Who it was? She could not give any further account concerning him, but in requital proffer'd Don Pedro to shew him what the other Husband had taught her. The unhappy man pretended himself sick, and it's not unlikely he was so, at least in his mind. He thereupon turn'd from her, and bethinking himself that he had made choice of an Idiot to his Wife, who had not onely done what blemish'd his Reputation, but thought her self not oblig'd to conceal it, he call'd to mind the wholesome advice of the Dutchess, who no doubt would have been pleas'd with the account of this last Adventure of his. He thereupon detested his Error, and was satisfied, though too late; That a virtuous and discreet Woman knows how to ob∣serve Page 64 the Laws of Honour; and if, out of frailty, she chance to break them, that she can conceal her miscarriage.
At last, taking heart, he resolv'd to submit with patience to a misfortune that was not to be remedi∣ed. He continued for a time his pretence of being indisposed, to see whether the Lectures of his Lieu∣tenant had done any thing besides reaching his Wife what he had done better to have taught her himself. They lived together some years after∣wards; he had always an eye over her Actions, and, before he died, (having had no Children by her) he left her his whole Estate, upon condition she would become a Nun, and go into the same Con∣vent where Seraphina was, whom he acquainted that Laura was her Daughter. He writ to Madrid, to his Cousin Don Rodrigues, and sent him the History of his Life and Adventures, and acknowledged that his embracing of so erroneous an opinion had re∣duced him to that misfortune which he feared most of any, and against which he thought he had used the greatest precaution.
He died; Laura was neither troubled at it, not glad of it; she went into the Nunnery where her Mother was, who finding the Estate left by Don Pedro to her Daughter to be very great, founded a Convent, and became the first Abbess of it. The History of Don Pedro was divulged after his death, and served to satisfie those that made any doubt of it. That, without wit, Virtue cannot be perfect; That a witty Woman may be Virtuous of her self; And that a simple Woman cannot be such, without the assistance and good directions of some other.
The Second Novel.
THE most delightful season of the year was putting the Fields and Trees into a ver∣dant Livery, when a certain Woman came into Toledo; a City, which, as well for its antiquity, as its eminence, takes place of any in Spain. The woman was handsome, young, subtil, and such a profess'd enemy to Truth, that for whole years together, that Vertue came not so much as once into her mouth, and what is yet much more to be admir'd, is, that Truth was never the worse for't, at least never complain'd of it. She had either the artifice, or the good fortune to be ever very successful in her lies; and there is not any thing Page 66 more certain, than that a fiction of her dressing hath sometimes met with approbation of the severest enemies of Falshood. This was a S•••nce she was so great a professor in, as that her Dictates would have furnish'd the best custom'd Astrolog•rs, the Poets, and the Mountebanks: in a word, this natural endowment was such in her, that the con∣junction of it with the beauty of her countenance, in a short time, got her pieces of Gold answerably to her insinuations and the crafty designs she car∣ried on. Her eyes were black, sweet, sprightly, full of gallantry, and yet unmerciful Hectors, that had been convicted of four or five murthers, and stood charg'd with the suspition of above fifty, which could not be fully prov'd against them; but as for the unfortunate wretches whom they had woun∣ded, it is hard to ghess, nay indeed to imagine, the number of them. For matter of dressing, she had an excellency and happiness in it beyond any of her sex, insomuch that the least pin fasten'd by her hand wanted not its particular grace. For what especially related to her head, she never troubled any for either advice or assistance; as making her Looking-glass, at the same time, her Councel of State, her Councel of War, and her Exchequer. How fatal must it be for any man to see such a Woman! since that if he saw her, he could not forbear falling in love with her, and if he lov'd her he could not do it long, and be withal long without trouble.
This Lady, accomplish'd as I have describ'd her, came into Toledo just in the close of the evening, much about the time that all the young Gentle∣men of quality in the City were preparing for a Page 67 Mask to be represented at the Nuptial solemnity of a strange Lord, who was to be married to a Lady of one of the best Families in the Country. The Windows were become a kind of Firmament, by reason of the Torches which were placed in them, but much more in respect of the Ladies who look'd out at them; the great number of lights having restor'd to the streets that day which the night had depriv'd them of. The Ladies of meaner quality clad in their mantles, discover'd to those who be∣held them, no more than what they thought most worth the looking on. Many Bravoes, or rather (to use the modern word) Trapanners, Blades, and Hectors, were hunting after some prize, a sort of people that great Cities ever were and will be pester'd with, who trouble themselves not much whether their good fortunes be real, provided they be thought such, or at least doubted of; who never set upon any, but in considerable numbers, and that with insolence enough; and who, upon their good faces and a short hanger within their bree∣ches, assume to themselves a jurisdiction over the lives of others, and think to make all the women die for love, and the men for fear. O what work would this day have found the soft-headed Complementers and Cajollers of Woman-kind, and what low and pitiful equivocations were there us'd!
But among the rest, a young man, who, of a Schol∣lar, was not long before turn'd Page, was so pro∣digal of his Rhetorical fooleries before our La∣dy errant, as if he had thought beyond all lan∣guage to express how highly he admir'd her. He had seen her alight out of the Hackney Coach that Page 68 brought her, and was so dazled at the sight of her, that, not content with that, he had follow'd her to the house where she had taken a chamber, and thence up and down to all those places whither she went out of a desire to see something. At last the strange Lady, having seated her self in a place she thought convenient to see the Maskers go by, the eloquent Page, dress'd that day all in linnen, much finer than ordinary, had soon fastned on some dis∣course with her, he being not the first man she had ever seen. Of all the women in the world, she had the best faculty to engage a young conceited fool upon many impertinencies, and that with the greatest insinuation and most unsuspected malice that could be. Imagine then, if finding this Page a Talker beyond all confidence, whether she en∣gag'd him not to speak much more than he knew. She besotted him with flatteries and commenda∣tions, and afterwards did what she would with him. She learn'd of him, that he serv'd an old Gen∣tleman of Andaluzia, Uncle to him who was up∣on marriage, and upon whose account the whole City was in solemnity; that he was one of the wealthiest men there of his quality; and that he h•d not any to make his heir but that Nephew, whom he had a great tenderness for, though he were one of the most dissolute young men in all Spain, one that fell in love with all the women he saw, and, besides the common Slugs, and such as he could command upon the account of his Gal∣lantry or his Presents, had sometimes exercis'd his satyrical violences upon Maids, without any re∣gard of their qualities and conditions. To this he added, that his riots and extravagances had made Page 69 him a dear Nephew to his Uncle, and out of that reflection was he the more inclin'd to see him mar∣ried, to try, if upon a change of his condition there would ensue a change of manners.
While the Page was revealing all the secrets and concernments of his Master to her, she still by her soothing and admiring interruptions egg'd him on to further di•coveries, making her remarks to those of her company, with what grace and plea∣singness he spoke handsome things: and, in fine, omitting nothing that might contribute ought to the undoing of a young man, who had already conceiv'd but too good an opinion of himself. Commendations and applauses coming from a handsome woman that hath some design in it, are dangerous and much to be fear'd. The poor Page had no sooner acquainted Helenilla that he was born at Vailladolid, but she presently breaks forth into praises of th•t City and the Inhabi∣tants of it, insomuch that having run her self out of breath in the commendations of them, even to hyperboles, she told the befool'd Page, that of all she had known of that Country, she had not seen any so handsome and accomplish'd as himself. After this last touch of her flattery there needed no more to make an absolute fool of him. She invited him to see her at her lodging, and it is not to be question'd, whether she gave him her hand rather than any other. He felt in himself such agitations of joy, as made him ever and anon do such thing• as some would have thought him a little crack-brain'd, and he was fully satisfi'd, that a man should never despair of a good fortune how mise∣rable soever he were.
Page 70The Lady being come to her chamber caus'd the best Chair to be presented to the Page. He was so besotted with his imaginary happiness, that go∣ing to sit down before he had well look'd about him, he fell short of the Chair, his britch took ac∣quaintance with the ground, he scatter'd his cloak, hat, and gloves about the room, and had like to have fallen upon a dagger he had, which in his fall got out of the sheath. Helenilla run to help him up, making as much stir as a Tygress robb'd of her young ones: She took up the dagger, and told him, that she could not endure he should wear it any more that day, after the mischief it was like to have done him. The Page got up all he had let fall, and made many pitiful complements sutable to the occasion and the accident.
In the mean time, Helenilla made as if she could not recover her self out of the fright she had been put into, and began to admire the neatness of the dagger. The Page told her it came from his old Master, who had sometimes given it to his Ne∣phew, together with a sword and all things be∣longing thereto, and that he had made choice of it that day before many others that were in his Master's wardrobe, to wear upon some extraordina∣ry occasion. Helenilla propos'd to the Page whe∣ther she might not go disguis'd to see after what manner persons of quality were married at Toledo. The Page told her, the ceremony would not be till midnight, and invited her to a Collation in the Steward's chamber, who was very much his friend. He thereupon took occasion to curse his misfortune, and that he was oblig'd to exchange the most pleasant company in the world for that Page 71 of his old Master, whom the indisposition inci∣dent to age confin'd to his bed. He added that be∣ing extremely troubled with the Gout he would not be at the wedding, which was kept at a house in the City far from that of the Count of Fuen•a∣lide where the old Marquess his Master liv'd. Be∣ing upon taking his leave, he was pumping for some handsome complement, when some body knock'd at the door in as much haste as if they had come for a Midwife. Helenilla seem'd a little trou∣bled thereat, and desit'd the Page to go into a lit∣tle closet, where she lock'd him up for a longer time than he thought of. He who knock'd so con∣fidently at the door was a Gallant of Helenilla's, who to blind the world she made people believe was her Brother. He was privy to all her leud∣nesses, and the ordinary instrument of her sleigh∣ter pleasures. She immediately gave him an ac∣count of the Page who was lock'd up in the clo∣set, and the design she had conceiv'd within her self to squeeze some pieces of Gold out of his old Master, such a design as whereof the execution re∣quir'd no less diligence than subtilty.
Having resolv'd how all things should be car∣ried, the Coach-man was call'd and order'd with all expedition to make ready his Coach, though the poor Beasts which had brought them thither from Madrid were sufficiently tir'd. All being in readiness, Helenilla and her retinue (which con∣sisted of the dreadful Montufar, an old woman called Mendez, venerable for a weighty pair of Beads, and a Matronlike carriage and countenance, and a little pigmey of a Lacquey) embark'd them∣selves in that shatter'd Vessel, and gave command Page 72 to drive into the street, where live the Modern Christians, whose Faith is of a newer fashion than the cloaths they sell. The Maskers were still about the streets, insomuch that it happen'd the Bride-groom, disguis'd as the rest, met the Coach wherein Helenilla was, and saw that dangerous Stranger, who seem'd to him a Venus in triumph▪ or, to speak a little more hyperbolically, the Sun it self in a Progress. He had such a temptation to her, that a small matter would have put all thoughts of his wedding out of his head, to go and endea∣vour the conquest of that unknown Beauty; but for that time he had so much command of himself, as that he smoothe•'d a desire violent enough though it were but just sprung in him. He fol∣low'd the Maskers, and the Hackney-Coach kept on its way towards the Brokery, where in a trice, and without two words to the bargain, Helenilla bought her a suit of Mourning from head to foot, and put the old woman Mendez, her Gallant Montufar, and her little Lacquey into the like, and taking Coach again alighted at the house of the Count of Fuensalide. The little Lacquey went in, enquir'd out the lodgings of the Marquess of Villefagnan, and demanded audience of him for a strange Lady come from the Mountains of Leon, who had some business with him of great conse∣quence. The good man was much surpriz'd at the visit of such a Lady, and at such an unseasonable hour. He setled himself in the bed the best he could; order'd his rumpled band, and caus'd to be thrust under his back two cushions more than he had before, to receive so important a visit with greater ceremony.
Page 73This posture was he in, having his Eyes fastened on the Chamber-door, when he perceives, not without the great admitation of his eyes, nor less disturbance of his heart, the disconsolate Montu∣far, in Mourning down to the ground, accompa∣nied by two Women in the same dress, whereof the younger, whom he led by the hand, and who had some part of her face covered by a thin Hood, seemed to be the most sad, and the more conside∣rable of the two. A Lacquey bore up her Train after her, which had so much stuff in it, as that be∣ing held out with advantage, it took up the best part of the Chamber. As soon as they were come within the Chamber-door, they saluted the old Marquess who lay sick a-bed, and gave him a volley of three low reverences, not counting that of the little Lacquey, whose congey was not worth the remembring. Being come to the midst of the Chamber they made three reverences more, all at the same time, and afterwards three more ere they took seats, which were brought them by a young Page, Camerade to him whom Helenilla had locked up in her Chamber: but these three last re∣verences were such, as if the former had been for∣gotten. The softer, I mean the kinder, part of the old Man's soul was strangely moved there it; the Ladies sate down, and Montufar and the little Lacquey withdrew, bare-headed, to the Chamber-door.
The old Man all this while put himself to no small torment to requite their complements, and was much troubled for their being in Mourning, before he knew the occasion of it, which he in∣treated them to acquaint him with, as also upon Page 74 what account they honoured him with a visit at a time so unseasonable for persons of their quality. Helenilla, who but too well knew, what compassi∣on a weeping Beauty raises in the beholders, opens the sluces of her fair eyes to let out the tears they seemed to be burdened with, and accompanied them with sighs sometimes loud, sometimes low, as she thought fit, taking occasion ever and anon to put out her Ivory hand to wipe her face, which she also thought it not amiss to discover, to shew it was as troubled, as beautiful.
The old Man expected with much impatience that she should speak, and began to conceive some hopes of it; for the torrent of tears which had broke forth at her eyes, was already so far fallen and dried up, that the Lillies and Roses it had oreflown were to be seen, when the old Mendez, who thought it became her to go on with the doleful part where the other had left, beset her self to weep and sob with so much earnestness, that it was some shame to Helenilla to be out-done by a thing that seemed not to have so much moisture in her as the tears she spilt amounted to. Nay, the old Woman thought not that enough, but to have the advan∣tage of Helenilla, beyond all dispute, she conceived a handful or two of hair might do well, and pre∣vail much upon the Auditory. No sooner thought than done; she made a fearful devastation upon her head; but the troth on't is, she spoiled nothing of her own, nor medled with so much as a hair that ever grew there.
Helenilla and Mendez were lamenting in this manner, as if it had been upon a wager, when Montufar and the Lacquey, upon a signal agreed Page 75 betwixt them, were heard at the Chamber-door sighing and weeping, though not so violently as those by the Bed-side, who yet upon that new Consort, took occasion to renew their Lamenta∣tions. The old Marquess was out of himself to see so much weeping, and not know the occasion of it. He wept too, as well as he could make a shift to do it; sobb'd as vigorously as any in the com∣pany, and intreated the distressed Ladies, for Hea∣ven's sake, and all in it, to moderate their affliction, and to acquaint him with the occasion thereof, as∣suring them his life should be the least thing he would hazard and sacrifice to serve them, and re∣gretting his past youth, as being now uncapable to give them effectual demonstrations of the sincerity of his good intentions.
They were a little appeased at these words, their countenances appear'd more pleasant, and they thought they had wept enough, because they could not, without some violence to themselves, weep any more. Besides, they were thrifty of their time, as knowing they had not any to lose. So that the old Woman uncovering her Head, to the end her vene∣rable and Matron-like countenance might give her all the credit she stood in need of, began her decla∣mation in this manner.
Having given over speaking, she beset her self to weeping afresh. Mendez kept still a note above her, and the musical consort at the door, whereof the little Lacquey made the treble and Montufar the base, was no less ambitious to be heard.
The old Marquess, who had already given but too much credit to what had been said to him, by the craftiest of all Woman-kind, no sooner cast his Eye on the Dagger, but he immediately knew it to be the same he had sometime given his Nephew. Page 79 All therefore his thoughts ran upon was to pre∣vent the disturbance which might happen at his Nephew's wedding. He would gladly have sent for him, but he was afraid some body might be so in∣quisitive as to ask what should be the occasion of his so doing; and, as it happens our fears are extra∣ordinary when our desires are such, he no sooner perceiv'd the afflicted Ladies making as if they would go and break off the match, which it had cost him abundance of trouble to bring to the po∣sture it was in, but he commands one of the Pages to bring a certain Cabinet, and to take out of it two thousand Crowns in pieces of Gold of four Pistols. Montufar receiv'd them, and told them very exactly one after another; whereupon the old Mar∣quess, having made them promise to give him a visit the next day, made a thousand excuses to the Ladies, that he was not in a condition to wait on them to their Coach. They got into it very well satisfi'd with their visit, and made the Coach-man drive back again towards Madrid, bethinking themselves that if they were pursu'd, it would be towards Leon. Their Hostess in the mean time, seeing her guests were vanish'd, goes into the Chamber: She finds the Page in the Closet, who could not ima∣gine what reason they had to lock him in there; she suffer'd him to go his ways because she knew him, or rather because she found all things as should be in the Chamber. Those, who make it their profession to steal, and think of no other way of livelihood, stand in little fear of God, and there∣fore are so much the more afraid of Men. They are of all Countries, and yet are not of any, and never have any setled habitation. As soon as they Page 80 have set foot in a place, they make their advan∣tages, and then shift into another. This unhappy profession, which is learnt with so much pains and diligence is different from others: for people quit those out of age, or for want of strength; but a man seldome quits that of stelling unless it be in his youth, and for want of longer life. It must needs be that those, who follow it so closely, find a strange pleasure in it, since, for that, they hazard a great number of years, which, sooner or later, the Exe∣cutioner cuts them short of.
But alas! Helenilla, Mendez, and Montufar, were little troubled with such reflections as these their thoughts were wholly set upon the cruel fear they were in of being pursu'd. They gave the Coach-man double the rate he demanded, that he might make the greater haste; which he honestly did, answerably to his hire; so that it may be ima∣gin'd that never did hackney Coach make such speed upon the Road to Madrid. They had no in∣clination to sleep, though the night were far spent▪ Montufar was much troubled in mind, and, by his frequent sighing, discover'd more remorse than sa∣tisfaction. Helenilla, who saw into his very thoughts, would needs divert him with a relation of the particulars of her life, which till then she had kept from him as a great secret.
Montufar fell asleep, and the morning broke forth so pleasant and gay, that the birds, the flow∣ers, and the fountains saluted her, each according to their mode; the birds in singing, the flowers in perfuming the air, and the fountains in laughing or making a noise, which you please; one's as good as the other.
In the mean time the Marquess of Villefagnan's Nephew, the sensual Don Sancho, was thinking to get up from his new Bride, much wearied, and hap∣ly already cloy'd with the enjoyments of marriage. His imagination was full of the beautiful stranger, the dangerous Helenilla, whom he had seen in the Hackney-coach; and represented her to him wholly admirable: doing thereby a very great injustice to his Wife who was a Lady so handsome and so ac∣complish'd, that there were not a few in Toledo that sigh'd for her, while she sigh'd to think on the un∣kindness of her Husband; and he, fickle Man as he was, wish'd himself in the embraces of an infamous Strumpet, who communicated her self for a small matter to any that had a mind to her. What a Page 88 strange irregularity is this of our Appetite! A man that hath a handsome wife of his own, hath a greater inclination to one of his maids. A Noble man, who hath his Table ordinarily furnish'd with Bisques and Pheasants, looks on them with dis∣dain, and calls for a mess of Broath, and the plain Piece of Beef provided for the Servants. Most People are deprav'd in their taste as to many things, and your great Lords more than any. For having greater Estates than they know what to do withall, and being inclin'd still to seek after what they have not, they are drawn in, to do that which is evil, purely out of diversion: and, to compass their en∣joyments, they care not much what pains they are at, nor what time and money they spend, nor think it much to be guilty of base importunities to some scornful Wench to obtain that of her, which she sometimes bestows on others without so much as being intreated to do it.
All this happens through the just permission of Heaven, to punish Men's inclinations to evil by the very inconveniences of the evil. Ah unfortunate Don Sancho! Heaven hath been pleas'd to bless thee with those two things, which, of ought this world affords, can most contribute to thy felicity, wealth in abundance, and a lovely person to thy wife; wealth, to supply those who deserve, yet have it not; and, because they have it not, are many times engag'd in those unworthy courses to which pover∣ty reduces the most generous spirits: and a wife, equal to thee as to quality and estate, accom∣plish'd as to both mind and body, beautiful even in thy eyes, and much more in those of others, who see more clearly in the affairs of other people than Page 89 they do in their own, and, in a word, reserv'd, mo∣dest, and virtuous. What dost thou look for a∣broad? Hast thou not in thy own house thy se∣cond self, a Woman, whose ingenious conversati∣on will delight thee, whose body is absolutely at thy devotion, who is tender of thy honour, care∣ful in manageing thy house, prudent to improve thy estate, furnishes thee with Children, who di∣vert thee in their youth, and will relieve thee in thy age? What, I say, canst thou look for abroad? I'l tell thee in few words, what will be thy fortune; thou wilt ruine thy self, both as to estate and repu∣tation, thou wilt lose the respect of thy friends, and wilt raise thy self many powerful enemies. Dost thou think thy honour secure because thou hast a virtuous woman to thy wife? Alas! what little experience hast thou of the things of this world, and how little reflect on humane frailty? The surest horse of his feet in the world, and the most at command, slips under an unskilful Ri∣der, and haply gives him a fall. A woman may re∣sist such and such a temptation to do something that's unhandsome; and haply transgress in the highest degree, when she thinks her self most secure. One miscarriage is a trap-door to let in several others after it; and the distance which is between Vertue and Vice, is sometimes but a short day's journey.
But to what end are we troubled with all these moral truths, and of what benefit are they, will some body say? And why does that some body trouble his head so much? let him make use of them or let them alone, as his convenience shall advise him, however, he may think himself Page 90 oblig'd to the person who gives them for no∣thing.
Don Sancho was thinking to get up from his wife, when his Uncle's steward brought him a Let∣ter, giving him an account of the strange Lady, who he could not but think had trapann'd him, be∣cause she was not to be heard of in any of the Inns about Toledo, where he had caus'd inquiry to be made after her, and in the same Letter intreating him to let him have one of his men to send after the Slut towards Madrid, which way he thought she might be gone, for that he had sent people to all the other great Roads that went to the Towns about Toledo, that onely to Madrid excepted. Don Sancho was out of all patience at this news: he found himself assaulted in that part of his soul which was least able to resist, and was elevated to a strange heighth, to find himself unjustly charg'd with one weakness, though he had been convicted of many. The loss of the mony, and the cheat put upon his Uncle, he was equally enraged at. He made a relation of the business to his wife, and some of his kindred, who were come to visit him the next morning after his marriage; and persisting in the resolution he had taken to do what he in∣tended, notwithstanding the intreaties of his wife and friends, he slips on his cloaths, eats some∣thing, then runs to his Uncle's, and thence after he had learn'd of the Page who had brought the La∣dies into the old Marquess's chamber, what kind of Coach they were in, how many in com∣pany, and by what marks they might be known, he took post for Madrid, attended by two ser∣vants, in whose courage he repos'd much confi∣dence. Page 91 He rode on four or five Stages with so much speed, that he had not the least thought of the beautiful stranger: but his choler being a lit∣tle evaporated by so violent agitation of his body, Helenilla reassumed her former place in his ima∣gination, so beautiful, and attractive, that he was several times in a mind to return to Toledo, to find her out. He was a hundred times angry with himself that he had been so far transported upon the trick put upon his Uncle, and often call'd him∣self an undiscreet person, and an enemy to his own enjoyments, for bruising his body in that manner by riding poste, instead of bestowing his time bet∣ter in seeking after a happiness, the possession whereof would, in his opinion, raise him to the highest pitch of felicity.
While he was in his amorous reflections, he often spoke to himself, as one distracted, and that so loud, that his servants, who were a pretty di∣stance before him, making a sudden stop, would turn about, and in much haste ride back to know what he would have.
The dissolute young Spark was thus ballancing of things, when, coming near Xetaffa, his ser∣vants discover'd Helenilla's Coach by the marks that had been given thereof. They presently cri'd out to their Master, that they had taken the Thieves, and not staying till he came up to them, rode full speed after the Coach with their swords drawn. The Coach-man stopp'd extremely frightned; Montufar was no less. Helenilla caus'd him to remove out of the Boot, and sate there her self, to see what might be done to reme∣dy so great a misfortune. She saw Don Sancho coming towards her with his sword drawn, and could perceive nothing in his countenance whence she might promise her self any favour: but the amorous Gentleman had no sooner fasten'd his eyes on her who had already so deeply wounded him, but he was immediately persuaded that his servants were mistaken: For it is natural for a man to have a good opinion of what he loves, and there∣upon, as if he had known Helenilla from his in∣fancy for a Lady not to be charg'd with any thing unhandsome, he run upon his servants striking at them as hard as he could with the flat of his sword.
Don Sancho, having thus disengag'd his ser∣vants, crav'd pardon of Helenilla, and told her upon what ground his presumptuous servants were like to have done her some violence, which she knew as well as himself. He intreated her to consider how apt a person blinded with choler is to be mistaken.
This slight expression of confidence rais'd in Don Sancho an imagination that she had some kindness for him. He took leave of her, and, car∣ryed more upon his own hopes than the Post-horse he had under him, (if I may so say) he set forward towards Madrid. He was no sooner ar∣riv'd but he made enquiry after Helenilla and her habitation, according to the directions she had given him. His servants were tir'd to find her out, and the endeavours of his friends were not spar'd, yet all to no purpose. Helenilla, Montu∣far, and the venerable Mendez, were no sooner got to Madrid but they were thinking which Page 95 way to get out of it. They were sensible they could not avoid the Cavalier of Toledo, if they staid there, and that if they gave him a more par∣ticular account of their persons and quality, they should find him as dangerous an Enemy, as they thought him then their passionate Servant. Hele∣nilla put all the goods she had into a sure hand, and the very next day after her arrival, putting her self and her train into the habit of Pilgrims, she took her way towards Burgos, the place where Mendez was born, and where she had still a sister living, of the same profession with her self.
In the mean time, Don Sancho out of all hopes of meeting with Helenilla, returns to Toledo, with so much shame and confusion, that from his de∣parture out of Madrid till he came to his own house, he was not heard to speak one word. After he had saluted his wife, who entertain'd him with thousands of caresses and kindnesses, she gave him some Letters from his Brother, wherein he found that he lay very sick at one of the chiefest Cities of Spain, where he possess'd the greatest dignities of the Cathedral Church, and was one of the rich∣est Clergy-men in that Country. He stai'd but one night at Toledo, and the next morning took Poste, to go and see his Brother recover'd, or possess himself of what he left if he di'd.
While Don Sancho is upon his way to his Bro∣ther, Helenilla is upon hers to Burgos, having con∣ceiv'd a dissatisfaction of Montufar greater than the love she had sometimes born him. He had express'd so little resolution, when Don Sancho and his servants stopp'd the Coach, that she made Page 96 no doubt but he was an arrant coward. Out of this reflection was he become so odious to her, that it was with some violence to her self that she could endure the sight of him, insomuch that her thoughts were wholly taken up to find out some way to be rid of this domestick Tyrant: and till it were done comforted her self with the hope of seeing her self ere long at liberty and her own disposal. This advice was given her by Mendez, which prevail'd the more upon her, for that it was fortifi'd with all the reasons which her prudence could suggest. She could not endure, that in a house, where she was to live, there should be any Montufar to command her, who should have the Mistress of it, at his devotion; and, not doing any thing towards it, spend what they both had much ado to get. She perpetually represented to Helenilla the wretchedness of her condition, comparing it to that of the Slaves emploi'd in the Mines, who to enrich their Masters with the Gold which they take so much pains to force out of the earth, and instead of being better treated for their endeavours, are many times rewarded with blows. She would be always telling her, that Beauty is a flower, and consequently of no long continuance, and that her Looking-glass, which then represented to her but what was most amia∣ble, and ever spoke to her advantage, would soon, entertain her with objects she should be little sa∣tisfi'd with, and tell her such news as she should not be well pleas'd at.
With these and the like arguments did the ju∣dicious Mendez, who was much better at speak∣ing than doing, endeavour to exasperate Helenilla against Montufar, whom she still lov'd, though ra∣ther because she was accustom'd to it than that she could give any reason for it; as indeed having too long experience of his manners, not to have found out of her self all the specious inducements laid down to her by her old Remembrancer. Yet did Page 98 they not prove ineffectual. Helenilla took them in very good part, and the more readily for that Mendez advis'd her to things which she her self would be not a little the better for, if she should put them in execution; so that perceiving Montufar coming up to them, being to go together to Guadarrama, where they were to dine that day, they put it off to another time to consider of the course they should take to be rid of him, so as never to have a sight of him again.
All Dinner-time he seemed to be indispos'd, having no stomach at all to any thing, and as he rose from table, he was taken with a shivering, and not long after with a violent feaver, which stuck close to him the rest of that day and all night; and the violence of it being augmented towards the morning, put Helenilla and Mendez into good hope• the feaver would do them a courtesie, though 'twere onely to free them from further trouble how to shake him off. Montufar finding himself so weak as that he was not able to stand, told the Ladies they must not stir from Guadar∣rama; that a Physitian must be had, what ever it cost; and that all imaginable care should be taken of him. This was said with so much imperious∣ness and authority, as if he had spoken to Slaves, and that their Lives and all things else were abso∣lutely at his disposal. His Body in the mean time became more and more weak of the Feavour, which had reduc'd him to such a condition, as that, had it not been for his often calling for drink, he might have been given over for a Dead man.
There was no small stir about the Inn, that a Confessor was not all this while brought to him, Page 99 that he might, as a good Christian, discharge his Conscience in this world, before he took his jour∣ney for the next. At last, while the Good man was gone for, Helenilla and Mendez, making no doubt but the Feavour would carry him away, came to him, and sitting down on both sides of his bed, Helenilla broke her mind to him in these tearms.
While Helenilla was making this Funeral Ser∣mon to her once much beloved Montufar, the charitable Mendez ever and anon felt his Pulse, and laid her hand on his forehead; and perceiving Page 101 her Mistress had given over speaking, she would needs also give him a departing Lecture.
Montufar, who was us'd to their Abuses, who had also the faculty to return them as good as they brought, and who fondly imagin'd all they had said to him, was onely for his diversion, look'd on them as they departed from him, without the least suspition, more inclin'd to conceive they went to give order for his Broths. He soon after, out of pure security, fell into a little Drowsiness, which held him so long as that the two Gentlewomen Page 103 might well be gotten a League or better in their way, before he was perfectly awake. He ask'd the Hostess for them, who told him they were gone abroad, and had given order he should not be disturb'd, for that he wanted sleep very much, having not clos'd his Eyes all the night be∣fore.
Upon this account of them, Montufar be∣gan to believe, the Ladies had spoken to him in good earnest. He swore at such a rate as would have made some think the Earth might open and swallow down the Inn and all in it; he threatned even to the very way they travell'd on, and the Sun that lighted them. He would needs get up to put on his Cloaths, and had almost broke his Neck in attempting it, such was his weakness. The Hostess endeavour'd to excuse the Ladies, and did it the best she could, but with such impertinent Reasons that the sick man was the more enrag'd, and fell out with her. He was so incens'd that for four and twenty hours nothing went down his throat, and that diet with abundance of rage and fury prov'd so effectual, that after the taking of a certain Broath, he found himself strong enough to pursue his fugitive Slaves. They were got as far be∣fore him as they were able to travel in two days; but two Hackney Mules, he fortunately met with upon their return to Burgos, contributed as much to his design as it prov'd fatal to that of the two counterfeit Pilgrims. He overtook them within six or seven Leagues of Burgos. They grew pale, and then blush'd when they saw him, and excus'd themselves, if any such thing could be done. Montufar smother'd his anger, for very joy that Page 104 he had found them, which he could not forbear expressing in his very countenance. He first broke forth into a Laughter at the trick they had put up∣on him, and rais'd them to such security, that they thought him the veriest Sot they had ever met with. He thereupon made them believe they were out of the way to Burgos, and having (to bring them into it) led them among Rocks and Precipices, such places as he knew no man travell'd through, he drew a long Dagger, an Instrument for which they had ever had a great respect; and commanded them very imperiously to make pre∣sent delivery of what Gold, Silver, and Jewels they had. They thought at first with their tears to have pacifi'd him so far as to bring the business to some composition. Helenilla was very prodi∣gal of them for her part, casting withall her arms about his Neck; but the unmerciful Hector grew so insolent upon their submissions, that he would not hear of any thing by way of treaty, and once more gave them the peremptory word of com∣mand, allowing them but half a quarter of an hour to resolve whether they would deliver or no. There was no way but to sacrifice their Purses to the safety of their Persons, so that with much re∣gret they parted with what was dearer to them than their very entrails. Yet was not Montufar's revenge satisfi'd with that. He pull'd out of his Pocket a parcel of Whip-cord which he had bought on purpose for such an execution, and ha∣ving ty'd them to several Trees one against the other, he told them, with a treacherous smile, that, out of a certain knowledge he had of their negli∣gence in doing Penance from time to time for their Page 105 sins, he would, for the good of their souls, give them a little discipline with his own hands, that they might remember him in their Prayers. The Sentence pronounc'd was immediately put in exe∣cution, with branches of green Broom that grew thereabouts in abundance, he having so much mercy in his justice as not to do it with the Whip-cord, whereof he had had himself experience both of the weight and smart, notwithstanding the grave reproaches of Mendez not long before to that purpose.
Having disciplin'd them till he grew weary, at the cost of their poor skins, he sate him down be∣tween the two Patients, and turning himself to Helenilla, entertain'd her somewhat to this effect.
Having thus had the satisfaction to return their abuses, he went his ways, and left them rather dead than living, not so much through the grie∣vousness of the chastisement they had receiv'd, as that he had carried with him all they had, and left them alone, bound to their good behaviour in a place, where, for ought they knew, they might become food for the Wolves.
They were very mournfully looking one upon the other, without saying any thing, when there passes by between them a Hare, which had not gone far ere they perceiv'd a Dog in pursuit of her, and at some distance after the Dog, a Gentle∣man on Horse-back, and that no other than Don Sancho of Villefagnan, who was come to Burgos, to see his Brother, whom he heard to have lien sick, and with whom he then sojourn'd at a Country house he had not far off thence, whither he was come to take the air. He thought it a strange spe∣ctacle to see two Women bound in that manner to Trees, and was much surpriz'd when he finds in the countenance of one of them, that of the beautiful Stranger he had seen at Toledo, whom he had made so much enquiry after at Madrid, and who was perpetually present to his imagina∣tion. But whereas he had, upon the first sight of her, conceiv'd a strong impression that she was a Woman of quality and married, he continu'd for a while in some doubt whether it were she, as finding it a hard matter to be convinc'd, that she Page 109 durst presume to come so far in so poor an equi∣page, as he might perceive by her cloaths: but the countenance of Helenilla, which, though cast down and betraying a certain fright, had lost no∣thing of its beauty, satisfi'd him at length that he had found what had cost him so many desires and disturbances. He lifted himself up upon the stir∣rups, and look'd all about him to see if he were all alone, and he was simple enough to fear it was some diabolical illusion (God so permitting it) sent to punish him for his debauches and sensua∣lity. Helenilla for her part had a reflection that was not much better, and was no less in fear, that Heaven had made choice of that day, to bring about her all those who had any thing to call her to an account for. Don Sancho beheld Helenilla with much astonishment; she him with much di∣straction, each of them expecting the other should first speak; and Don Sancho was at last going to fall into some discourse with her, when he perceives one of the Pages coming in full speed towards him, whereupon advancing to know what the matter was, the other told him, that the young Gentlemen, his Cousins, were together by the ears ready to kill one another. He made all the haste he could, follow'd by the Page, to the place where he had left his company, and finds four or five of them in the heat of their drink railing one at an∣other with their swords drawn, and, at some di∣stance, employing their drunken valour in cuts and slashes, which cost some of the adjacent Trees the loss of many a fair and hopeful branch.
Don Sancho, enrag'd at his being depriv'd the Page 110 pleasant vision he had lost, upon so frivolous an occasion, did what he could to appease those irre∣concileable, yet not very dreadful, enemies; but his arguments, his intreaties, and his menaces had prevail'd but little with them, if the weariness they were in, and the wine which disturb'd their brains had not laid them so often on the ground, as at last to fasten them to it, and set them a snoring as peaceably as they had at first with too much violence fallen out.
Leaving them so quieted of themselves, Don Sancho took his way back again towards the hap∣py Tree, unto which he had left the Idol of his heart in a manner metamorphos'd; but his asto∣nishment not to find there what he sought for, was greater than it had been upon the sight of her be∣fore. He rode about it several times to see if with earnest looking he might find what was not there; and not satisfi'd with that, look'd all about him, yet could discover nothing but a sad Wilderness▪ he rode up and down to all the places thereabouts, and returns again to the Tree, which, dull Plant as it was, never stirr'd for all the trouble he put him∣self to.
Don Sancho, as I told you, had such a devotion for the female sex, that he could love any Woman at the first sight: but to compass his desires, if mo∣ny would not do, he would spare no courtship, no addresses, no submissions, no services, no importu∣nity to do it. This you'l say was the onely way to make a man a Poet, if he were capable of it. Don Sancho indeed could do pretty well at it, and was very happy in the humouring of any accident good or bad: and whereas the odness of the sub∣ject Page 111 given a Poet heightens his fancy, if he have it any thing strong, he thought the adventure had happen'd to him so strange, that it would have been insensibility in him, great as that of the Tree it self, not to say something to it. Having there∣fore alighted, he discover'd his Poetry to it in these words, if it be true at least, that he was as great a Fool as I am told he was.
While the vertuous Gentleman was exhausting himself in fruitless regrets, or, if you will, in be∣moaning Po•tical ejaculations, which are of greater impo••ance th•n any other, and which it is too violent 〈◊〉••••cise for a man to make use of every day; his •••••nts, who knew not what was become of him, after a good while's search, found him, and came about him. He return'd to his Brother's very melancholly, and, if I am not mista∣ken in wh•• I have been told, he went to bed suppe•less.
But 'tis not easily credible, how many irons one that tells a story, or writes a Novel, may have in the fire at once. He that tells the story, it being sup∣pos'd Page 112 he speaks to more than one, is troubled many times to ghess at what circumstances of it the great∣est part of his Auditory sticks, and is impatient to have it prosecuted: the other, though it may happen he hath to do but with one at a time (for, now the world grows more and more learned, people think it more edifying to read things of that nature themselves) is subject to the same inconveniences, not knowing where the Reader would have the design prosecuted, where inter∣rupted by some unthought-of accident. This brought into my thoughts, that the Reader I have now to do with, may think I leave him too long in suspence, as being haply impatient to know, by what enchantment Helenilla and Mendez had been snatch'd away from the sight of the amo∣rous DON SANCHO. Let him have but ever so little patience; I am just going to tell him.
Montufar upon his departure from them was much pleas'd in himself at the piece of justice he had done; but as soon as the fury of his re∣venge began to admit remission, his Love was pro∣portionably re-inflam'd, and represented Helenilla to his imagination more beautiful than ever he had seen her. He concluded from her great pa∣tience in receiving so cruel a chastisement (when she saw there was no remedy but to endure it) that she must needs be of an excellent and tractable disposition, and much inclin'd to forget and for∣give injuries. He consider'd with himself, that what he had taken away from them would be soon spent, and that her Beauty was a setled and con∣stant revenue to him, while he continu'd in her Page 113 favour, the want of whose company he already thought insupportable. Upon these considera∣tions, he made all the haste he could back, and the same barbarous hands which had with so little remorse fasten'd to the Trees the two Fugitives, and had afterwards so unmercifully swept their back-sides with good green Broom, knock'd off their Chains, I would say, cut asunder, or unty'd their Cords, and se• them at liberty, while Don Sancho was Christianly employ'd in reconciling those of his Drunken company who were fallen out.
Montufar, Helenilla, and Mendez, became good Friends again as they went along, and having re∣ciprocally promis'd to forget all dissatisfactions and differences, embrac'd one another with as much tenderness for their reconciliation, as regret for what was past; doing just as the Great ones do, who neither love nor hate any thing, and who accommodate those two contrary passions to their advantages, and the present state of their affairs. They held a Council concerning the way they should take. Their Politicks advis'd them to for∣bear going to Burgos, where they might be in dan∣ger to meet with the Gentleman of Toledo: They therefore made choice of Sevil for their retreat, and it seem'd to them that fortune seconded their design, since that, as they came into Madrid-Road, they met with a Mule-driver, who had three return'd Mules he could dispose of, and which he was glad to let them have to carry them to Sevil, upon the first proposition made by Montu∣far to that purpose. He treated the Ladies upon Page 114 the way very civilly, to make them forget the ill treatment they had receiv'd from him. They at first were somewhat distrustful of his insinuati∣ons, and resolv'd to be reveng'd on him upon the first opportunity: but at last, more out of policy than any consideration of virtue, they became grea∣ter friends than ever. They bethought themselves, that Discord had ruin'd the greatest Empires, and were convinc'd, that, in all appearance, they were born one for another. They play'd not any trick of their Profession in their journey to Se∣vil; for having their thoughts sufficiently taken up with their removal out of a Country where enquiry might be made after them, they were a∣fraid to run themselves into new inconveniences, which might hinder their going to Sevil, where they had great designs to carry on.
They alighted a League short of the City, and having satisfi'd the Mule-driver, made their en∣trance into it at the close of the Evening, and took up their Lodging in the first Inn they came to. Montufar took a House, furnish'd it, but meanly enough, and put himself into a black Suit, a Cas∣sock, and a long Clo•k. Helenilla put her self into the habit of a Religious woman, having her hair so closely imprison'd, as there was not ought to be seen; and Mendez, clad like a devout Matron, got her a pair of Beads, of such bigness as might well serve as Case-shot for a small piece of Ord∣nance. For some days immediately after their arrival, Montufar walk'd up and down the Streets, habited, as I have describ'd him, with his Arms a-cross, and casting down his Eyes when Page 115 ever he met with any of the female Sex. He cry'd out ever and anon, with a voice that would break the very stones: Blessed be the most blessed Sacra∣ment of the Altar, and the ever-happy Conception of the immaculate Virgin, with several other exclama∣tions of the same kind. He caus'd the same things to be repeated by the Children he met with in the Streets▪ and got them together many times to make them sing Hymns and godly Songs, and to teach them their Catechism. He often visited the Prisons, preach'd to the Prisoners, comforted some, mini∣stred to others, bringing them Victuals, and many times carrying from the Market a heavy Basket fill'd with such things as he had either begg'd or provided for them. Oh detestable Rogue! it seems there wanted onely thy turring Hypocrite, to make thee the most accomplish'd Villain the Earth ever groan'd under!
These virtuous actions, done by the greatest ene∣my to Virtue of all mankind, in a short time rais'd him into the reputation of a Saint. Helenilla and Mendez, for their parts, did such things as made people begin to talk of their Canonization. One pretended to be Mother, the other, Sister of the blessed Brother Martin. They went every day to the Hospitals; waited on the sick, made their beds, wash'd their Linnen, and, if they wanted, accom∣modated them at their own charge.
Thus were the three most vicious Persons in all Spain become the admiration of Sevil. Much about this time there happen'd to come thither a Gentleman of Madrid, about some occasions of his own. He had been one of the acquaintances of Page 116Helenilla; for such Women as turn common, sup∣ply many in their time: he knew Mendez to be no better than she should be, and had so much expe∣rience of Montufar, as to take him for no other th•n a dangerous cheat and a Pandar. One day, as they were coming all three together from Church, follow'd by a great number of persons, who kiss'd their Vestments, and intreated them to be mindful of them in their Prayers, they were discover'd by the Gentleman I spoke of; who, upon sight of them being enflam'd with a Christian zeal, and not a∣ble to endure that three persons so transcendently wicked should abuse the credulity of a whole City, broke through the multitude, and coming up to Montufar gave him a hearty blow over the face. Abhominable cheats! cries he to them! Do you neither fear God nor Man? He would have said something else: but his good intention met not with the success it deserv'd, it being not onely imprudent, but dangerous, to be over-precipitate in the discovery of any thing. All the people fell upon him, looking on him as one that h•d com∣mitted Sacriledge in his incivility towards their Saint. He was soon lay'd on the ground, loaden with blows and kicks, and no doubt had lost his Life among them, if Montufar, through a miracu∣lous readiness of wit, had not taken him into his protection, covering him with his body, thrusting away the most earnest to beat him, nay, exposing himself to their fury and blows.
Page 117These few words lay'd that great Tempest; and the people, as easily quieted as they had been stirr'd up, made way for B. Martin, who came up to the unfortunate Gentleman, glad in his Soul to see him so treated, but discovering in his countenance a great trouble thereat. He rais'd him up from the ground where he tumbled over and over, embrac'd him, and kiss'd him, though all blood and dirt, and reproved the people very sharply for their rude∣ness.
Having said these words with a personated mildness, and thereby absolutely quieted the peo∣ple, he went, with a zeal yet more counterfeit, and cast himself at the feet of his Enemy, and kissing them, he not onely ask'd him pardon, but got him again his Sword, Cloak, and Hat, which had been lost in the Tumult. He put them about him, and having led him by the hand to the end of the Street parted from him, after he had bestow'd on him many embraces, and as many benedictions.
The poor Man was all this while as if he had been inchanted, so astonished was he at what he h•d seen, and what had been done to him, and conceiv'd so much shame at the sadness of the adventure, Page 118 that he was never seen in the Streets afterwards, though his business detain'd him in the City some time longer.
In the mean time, Montufar, by this act of coun∣terfeit humility had gain'd the hearts of the whole City. The people look'd on him with admi∣ration, many came the oftner to Church purpose∣ly to see him, and the Children cry'd after him a Saint, a Saint, as they would a Fox, a Fox, had they met his Enemy in the Streets. From this time he began to live the happiest Life of any Man alive. The great Lord, the Gentleman, the Magistrate, the Prelate courted him every day to their Tables, and, happy thought he himself, whom he honour'd with an acceptance of his enter∣tainment. If any one ask'd his Name, he made answer, that he was the Animal, the Beast, fit onely to carry Burthens, the Common-shore of filthiness, the Vessel of iniquity, and such other attributes as his studied Devotion furnish'd him withall. He spent the day in some publick places with the Ladies of the City, importuning them with perpetual complaints of his own luke-warm∣ness: telling them that he was not sufficiently annihilated in Spirit, that he was guilty of too much Self-centreity, and wanted those recollecti∣ons which should confine his thoughts to celestial contemplations, and divert them from being dis∣order'd by the vanities of this World; in a word, never entertaining them with any thing but what was wrapt up in this fustian Language: So great a Proficient had a short time made him in Sycophan∣cy and Hyprocrisie!
Page 119Of the great Alms daily bestow'd in Sevil, there past most through his hands, or through those of Helenilla, and Mendez; who, as to what might be expected from them, acted their parts to the heighth, and whose names made no less haste to get into the Calender, than did that of Montufar. A certain Widow, a Lady of quality, and inexpressibly besotted with Devotion, sent them every day two dishes of Meat for their Din∣ner, and as many for their Supper, and those such as had been ordered by one of the best Cooks a∣bout the City. At last, the House they liv'd in grew too little for the great number of presents that were brought in from all parts, and to enter∣tain the Ladies that came to visit them. If a Wo∣man was desirous to be with Child, her onely way was to put her Petition into their hands, that they might present it at the Tribunal of God, and bring her a speedy and satisfactory answer of it. She that had a Son in the Indies, took the same course; and so did she also who had a Brother, Friend, or Cousin, in Slavery at Algiers. And the poor Widow, who had a cause depending before an ignorant Judge, against a powerful Adversa∣ry, doubted not of its going with her, since she had made them a present according to her ability. Some presented them with Sweet-meats, others with Pictures and Ornaments for their Oratory. Sometimes there were sent them in, all sorts of clean Linnen and Cloaths for poor people that were asham'd of their necessities, and often, considera∣ble summs of Money, to be distributed as they should think fitting. No body came empty han∣ded Page 120 to them, nor did any body doubt of their fu∣ture Canonization. Nay it grew to that heighth, that some desir'd their advice in things doubtful, and to come. Helenilla, who had a Diabolical wit, manag'd the business of Answers; and the cun∣ning Gipsie would be sure to deliver her Oracles, in few words, and in tearms ambiguous and capa∣ble of several interpretations. Their Beds, simple in appearance were all the day cover'd with Mats, but at night with good Down-beds and Quilts, and good Coverlets; the House being full of all man∣ner of Houshold-stuff, sent in by some or other, for a charitable supply of some Widow, whose Goods had been taken in Execution, or to furnish the House of a young Maid married without any Portion. Their doors, in Winter, were shut up at five of the clock, in Summer, at seven, as pun∣ctually as if their House had been a well regulated Convent; and then the Spits went, the House was perfum'd, the Fowls went to the fire, the Tables were neatly cover'd, and the Hypocritical Tri∣umvirate, fed without any remorse, and valiant∣ly drank to their own good Healths, and some∣times remembred theirs whom they made such Fools. Montufar and Helenilla lay together, for fear of the Spirits; and their Man and their Maid, who were of the same Constitution, imitated them in their manner of passing away the night. But for the Matron Mendez, she always lay alone, and was more contemplative than active, e∣ver since she had given her mind to the black Art.
Thus did they spend their time, when the be∣sotted Page 121 Inhabitants of Sevil thought they were at their mental prayers, or disciplining themselves. It is not to be ask'd, whether they were in good case, as to the body, living at this rate. Every one bless'd God for it, and it was in a manner the ge∣neral wonder, that a sort of people who exercis'd so great austerities, were of a better complexion, than those who liv'd in the heighth of luxury and abundance. During the space of three years that they led all the people of Sevil by the noses, receiving presents from all parts, and converting most of the alms that past through their hands to their own use, what a number of good yellow pieces they got together, will not easily be credited. What ever happen'd successfully, was attributed to the effect of their prayers. They stood for all the Children that were christned, they were the ma∣kers up of all Matches, and the adbitrators of all differences. At last, God grew weary of suffering their wicked kind of living. Montufar, who was much inclin'd to choler, us'd often to beat his man; he, on the other side, being high fed, and living at ease, receiv'd his chastisement with a great deal of indignation, and would many times have left his service upon it, if Helenilla, much more politick in that than her Gallant, h•d not ever and anon appeas'd him with kindnesses and presents. He one day corrected him a little too severely for a trivial fault. The young fellow got out of doors, and, blinded by his passion, went and gave notice to the Magistrates of Sevil of the hypocrisie of these three blessed persons. Some evil spirit suggested it into Helenilla, that the Page 122 fellow would do the mischief she fear'd. She ad∣vis'd Montufar to take all the Gold, whereof they had a considerable quantity, and to avoid the tem∣pest she was afraid would fall upon them. No sooner said than done. They took about them what they had of greatest value, and putting a good face on't in the streets, went out at one of the City gates, and came in again at another, to blind those that might follow them.
Montufar had insinuated himself into the fa∣vour of a certain Widow, as leud, and as very a hypocrite, as himself; He had made Helenilla ac∣quainted with all that pass'd between them, who took not any thing amiss, no more than Montufar would have done at her familiarity with a Gallant that had been profitable to the Community. To her house they made their retreat, and there they were secretly kept, and entertain'd to their own wishes; the Widow having an affection for Mon∣tufar, for his own sake, and for Helenilla upon Montufar's account.
In the mean time, the Magistrate, conducted by Montufar's revengeful servant, was gotten into the house of our Hypocrites, and made search for the blessed Children and their glorious Mother, and neither meeting with them nor any tidings of them, the servant-maid not knowing where they were nor whither they were gone, had c•us'd all the trunks to be sealed up, and an Inventory to he taken of all that was in the house. The officers found in the Kitchin what to entertain themselves withal for above one day, and left not in danger to be lost any thing they could handsomely make Page 123 their own. While things were in this posture comes the old Mendez into the house, having not the least imagination of what they were doing there. The Officers laid hold on her, and hurried her to prison with a great concourse of people at her heels. The man and the maid were sent thi∣ther also to keep her company, and having spoke somewhat too much as well as she, where con∣demn'd as she was, to the embraces of the Whip∣ping-post, and there to receive two hundred lashes. Mendez dies of it within three days after, as being too old to overcome so rigorous a chastisement, and the man and the maid were banish'd Sevil for their lives; so that the pru∣dent Helenilla, by her foresight, kept her dear Montufar and her self out of the hands of the Magistrate, who sought after them, but in vain, both within and without the City. The people were asham'd they had been so abus'd; and the Ballad-singers, who were grown hoarse in cele∣brating their commendations at all corners of the streets, set their muddy Poets at work to write as much in dispraise of the counterfeit Saints. These Insects of Parnassus, exhausted, upon this occa∣sion, their satyrical vein; and the songs they made, to cry down those whom not long before the peo∣ple had made their Idols, are to this day sung up and down at Sevil.
Montufar and Helenilla reflecting on the sad Tragedy of Mendez, thought it their best course to take a counter-march to Madrid, which they did as soon as they durst venture with safety, bring∣ing thither with them much wealth, and being Page 124 also married together. They immediately made enquiry after what news there might be of Don Sancho o•Villefagnan, and having understood that he was not at Madrid, they appear'd pub∣lickly; he, as well cloath'd as as any Gentleman about the Court, and she, after the rate of a Lady of quality, and beautiful as an Angel. Before the treaty of marriage was concluded between them, there were certain Articles drawn up, with a mutual promise for the punctual observance thereof; among others, these; That Montufar as a husband of much discretion and great pa∣tience, should not be any way troubled at such vi∣sits as upon the account of her beauty should be made to her; she on the other side being oblig'd not to entertain any but what were bene∣ficial.
They had not been there long, ere those Wo∣men, who between the sexes of Mankind are much of the same predicament with Horse-coursers in matter of Horses, such as many otherwise be cal∣led the Publick Intelligencers in the affairs of Pleasure; otherwise, Haglers, and Caterers in hu∣man flesh; in the vulgar language, Bauds; or, to speak more honourably of them, Women of De∣signs, began to beat the market about Helenilla. They made her appear one day at a Play, another in the Park, and sometimes in the great Street of Madrid, seated in the boot of a Coach, whence, looking on some, smiling on others, taking notice of all, she could on a sudden muster such a number of transported Lovers as might pass for a conside∣rable Regiment. Her dear husband very punctually Page 125 observ'd the articles agreed on at the Contract; such as were bashful in their addresses he, by his insinuating behaviour, incourag'd into greater confidence, and did in a manner lead them by the hand to his wife, being so full of compliance and so ready to further their enjoyment, as never to want some urgent occasions, purposely to afford them the freedom of her company alone. He made acquaintances with none but such as had money enough, and car'd as little how they spent it, and never came into his own house ere he had been assur'd by a signal that appear'd in the win∣dow, when the Mistress of the house was busie, that he might come in without hindring any sport; and, if the signal were such as for•ad him entrance, he went his way as well satisfi'd as a person whose business is done in his absence, and pass'd away an hour or two in some Gaming-house, where all were glad to entertain him for his wife's sake.
Among those whom Helenilla had made her tributary vassals, there was a certain Gentleman of Granada, who surpass'd all his competitors both in the excess of his love and his expence. He was descended out of so noble a House, that the titles of his Nobility might be found among the Antiquities of the capital City of Judaea, and those who had a particular knowledge of his race, affirm'd, that his Ancestors had kept the Books for arraignment of Malefactors at Hierusalem before and after the time of Caiaphas. The love he had to Helenilla made him in a short time release a great number of good Pieces which he had im∣prison'd Page 126 haply one by one. By this means came Helenilla's house to be one of the best furnish'd about Madrid. A Coach, whereof she knew neither the price, nor was at the charge of main∣taining the Horses that drew it, waited every morn∣ing at the door, to receive her commands, and roll'd up and down till night, as she was pleas'd to order it. This prodigal Lover took a box for her at the Play-house by the year, and there hardly pass'd a day but he entertain'd, with some magni∣ficent Collation, her and some others of the sex, in the houses of recreation that are about the City. These entertainments were a certain Para∣dise to Montufar, who accordingly satiated his natural gluttony thereat; and being cloath'd like a Prince, and as full of c•sh as if he had been a Treasurer, he fed every day like a French-wan, and drank like a German. He had very great compliances for the liberal Granadine, and was not sparing of his acknowledgments to Fortune her self.
But the wind turns of a sudden, and brings with it a horrible storm. Helenilla entertain'd the visits of a certain young Hector, one of the Danger-fields of the City; who never durst shew their faces in the field; who live at the charge of some wretched Curtezan whom they tyrannize over; who go every day to Plays to make tu∣mults and defeat poor Citizens of hats and cloaks; and who every night beat their innocent swords against the walls, that they may have some colour to swear in the morning, that they had a furious encounter with some enemies. Montufar▪ had ma∣ny Page 127 times given Helenilla notice, that he was not pleas'd with that unprofitable acquaintance of hers. Notwithstanding all his remonstrances, she still kept him company. Montufar was incens'd thereat, insomuch that, to satisfie himself, he gave Helenilla the same chastisement, as the deceas'd Mendez, and she, had sometimes receiv'd from him in the mountains of Burgos. Helenilla pre∣tended her self reconcil'd to him upon the first acknowledgments of his passion [but was re∣solv'd to be reveng'd.] The better to compass her design, she for eight days together treated him with such unusual kindnesses, that Montufar was absolutely satisfi'd: she was one of those Wo∣men, who adore their Tyrants, and exercise their cruelty on their adorers. One day, the Gentleman of Granada had order'd an excellent Supper to be provided, intending to make the third person at it himself; but some business so fell out, that he could not come. Montufar and Helenilla drank hand to hand to the health of their Benefactor. Montufar, according to his ordinary course, made a shift to get drunk, and as they were taking away the cloth would needs taste of a Bottle of per∣fum'd Hypocras, which the Granadine had sent in, as a thing extraordinary. It was never disco∣ver'd, whether Helenilla, who had open'd it be∣fore supper, had put into the bottle a dram of something more than should be: This is certain, that not long after Montufar had taken it off, he felt a strange heat in his intrails, and, presently af∣ter, insupportable pains and gripings. He had some suspition of his being poison'd, and ran to Page 128 get his sword, which Helenilla perceiving, got in that interval out of the room to avoid his fury. Montufar went to her chamber whither he thought she had been gone to hide her self, and searching after her in the heighth of his fury, he discovers, as he took up a piece of Tapistry, Helenilla's young Gallant, who immediately run him with his sword through the body. Montufar, though half-dead, made a shift to get him by the throa•. Up∣on the shrieks of the servants, who made a hellish noise, the Magistrate comes into the house, just as the Murtherer was in hopes to make his escape, having put Montufar out of all pain with a sharp dagger he had.
In the mean time Helenilla, who was got into the street, and knew not whether she went, enters the first door she met with open. She perceiv'd a light in a low room, and a Gentleman walking up and down in it. She went and cast her self at his feet imploring his assistance and protection, and was much astonish'd to find him to be Don Sancho, of Villefagnan, who was no less sur∣priz'd to meet with, in her, the Idol of his heart, which now appear'd to him the fourth time. Don Sancho had, some time before, had some diffe∣rences with his wife, and those were come to such heighth, as that they were thereupon absolutely parted, she finding it impossible to live with him, by reason of his ill treatments of her, and his de∣bauches. He had procur'd from the Court a Com∣mission to plant a new Colony in the Indies, and was within a short time to take shipping at Se∣vil. While Helenilla entertains him with a thou∣sand Page 129 forg'd stories, and that he is over-joy'd to find her willing to accompany him in his voyage; the Magistrate condemns the young Gallant to be hang'd for the murthering of Montufar, makes a search after Helenilla all over Madrid, and seiz'd of all that was in the house. Don Sancho and He∣lenilla had a prosperous voiage to the Indies, where there have happen'd to them stranger ad∣ventures than any have been related yet. Some particulars have been brought over, but more are still expected. Those that are lately come out of those parts give an account of Helenilla as being yet alive, in great prosperity, and Governess of a vast Country; She and Don Sancho living as hap∣pily and as lovingly as any couple in the world. She engag'd him to marry her ere he could have his desires of her; which when he made some difficulty to do; she satisfi'd him with this, that, in several worlds, it was lawful for a man to have several wives. There are several Booksellers, who with the last Ship that went into those parts, sent over a young man to get the Copy of her and her Indian husband's adventure, before it comes to my per∣usal; but though they do, I do hereby let them know, they must have my hand in it before it be printed, because I have all the stories wherewith she entertain'd Don Sancho at her so sudden meet∣ing with him at Madrid ready for the Press, which, considering the surprize and confusion she mu•t needs be in at so fatal an accident, and the pre∣sence of spirit she had to invent them, will accor∣dingly be thought the greatest miracle of female invention that ever was. I intend to put out all Page 130 together, (not including what is already pub∣lish'd) under the Title of THE COMPLEAT CURTEZAN, or THE MODERN LAIS, In the mean time, forbidding all manner of per∣sons to trouble either Book-sellers or Friends to send them Books under such names, till they find these Titles at the beginning of the Book which they now meet with at the end, or hear further from their humble Servant.
THE INNOCENT ADULTERY.
The Third Novel.
THE Court of Spain was at Vailladolid, and conse∣quently the inconveniences of those that were oblig'd to attend it, were the greater, (it being a place as famous for the dirtiness of it as Paris, if we may believe an emi∣nent Spanish Poet, who hath given us that ac∣count thereof) when in one of the coldest Nights of a Winter that had been more sharp than ordi∣nary, Page 132 and about the hour that most of the Mona∣steries toll their Bell to Ma•ins, a young Gentle∣man, named Don Garcias, slip'd out of a House where he had spent the day in some Company, or h•ply at Gaming, which, however we may be sen∣sible of the other losses consequent thereto, makes us little mind th•t of our Time, though haply the greatest. Though the night were dark, yet had he not any light with him; whether his Lacquey had through sleepiness lost his Link, or that his Master car'd not much whether he had any; and was just passing into the street where his lodging was, when, at a door, opened of a sudden, a certain person was thrust out with such rudeness and violence, that the party fell at his feet, on the other side of the way, as he walk'd along.
He was much startled at the strangeness of the adventure; much more, when going to give his hand to the person he thought so unworthily treat∣ed, he perceiv'd, he was strip't to the Shirt, and heard him sighing and bemoaning himself, with∣out endeavouring in the least to get up. Thence he inferr'd, he had hurt himself in his fall, and thereupon, having, with the help of his Lacquey which was come up to him, set him on his feet, he ask'd him, Wherein he might do him any service.
Don Garcias put his cloak about her, and com∣manding his Lacquey to hold her by the arm on one side as he did on the other, he soon brought her to his Lodging, where all were in their Beds, but one Maid, who opened the door, cursing and bit∣terly railing at those who made her sit up so late. The Lacquey, whether upon the directions of his Master, or the pleasure those of his quality take in the doing of mischief, made her no other answer than that of blowing out her candle, and while she was gone to light it again, calling him a hundred Rogues and Skip-kennels, Don Garcias, conduct∣ed, or indeed rather carried to his Chamber, (which was but one pair of Stairs) the distressed Lady, who with much ado kept on her feet.
The Lacquey having brought up a light, Don Garcias perceived he had met with a very extra∣ordinary adventure, having brought into his Lodg∣ing one of the handsomest Women in all Spain, and one who immediately rais'd in him both Love and Compassion. Her hair was black, but withall of a brightness out-vying that of Jet; her Com∣plexion, a miraculous mixture of Lillies and Roses; her Eyes, to speak mo•estly of them, so many Suns; her Breast lovely, beyond all comparison; her Arms admirable; her Hands yet much more to be admired; and her Stature such as a Man that were a great Monarch should wish in her whom he Page 134 call'd his Queen! But that delicate black Hair was all in disorder; that attractive Complexion was pale and discolour'd; those sparkling Eyes were full of tears; that incomparable Breast all bruis'd; those Arms and Hands were not in a much better condition; in a word, that lovely Body, of so graceful a proportion, was full of black and bloody places, as if the owner had been beaten with Stir∣rup-leathers, a Girdle, or something else, no less unfit to be employed on so much tenderness and delicacy. If Don Garcias were infinitely pleas'd to look on so beautiful a person, the same beautiful person was no less troubled to see her self reduc'd to the condition she was in; at the disposal of a Man, she had not the least knowledge of, and one that seem'd not to be five and twenty years of age. He took notice of her disturbance, and did all he could to persuade her, that she should be far from fearing any thing unhandsome from a Gentleman, who would think himself happy to serve her, though with the hazard of his Life.
In the mean time, his Lacquey kindled a little Char-coal fire; for in Spain there's but little other Fuel; but for that, all Countries must be content with what provision Nature hath been pleas'd to make them; though she be ever so much a Step∣mother, there's no repining at her disposal of things. He also laid clean sheets, or should have done if he had any, on his Master's bed, who, having bidden the Lady good-night, left her in possession of his Chamber, double-locking the door upon her, and went to Bed, I know not upon what pretence, to a Gentleman of his acquaintance that had a Cham∣ber Page 135 in the same House. He slept in all likelihood better in his Friend's, than the Lady he had re∣commended to his own Bed did in his; he never drew bit, till the cries about the Streets awoke him; she ceas'd not weeping and bewailing her self all night long. Don Garcias got up, rubb'd and powder'd, and made himself as spruce and as youthful as he could. Being come to his own Chamber-door, he lay'd his Ear to the Key-hole, and having heard the poor Lady still bemoaning her self, he made no difficulty to go in to her. His presence heightened the violence of her affliction, and not able to look on him with any command of her grief;
Page 136Don Garcias proffer'd himself to go where ever she pleas'd to desire him, and receiv'd her com∣mands, with that earnestness and alacrity, as a per∣son newly fallen in Love, would do those of the Beauty he was become an adorer of. She gave him such directions, as were necessary; he left her, upon engagement to make a speedy return, and she immediately fell to such lamentations, as if she had but newly begun. It was not an hour ere Don Gar∣cias return'd; and upon his coming into the room, perceiv•ng his fair Guest much alarm'd, as if she had had a presentiment of the ill news he brought her;
Her tears, which thereupon broke their way with too much violence, and her sobbs admitting very little intermission, suffer'd her not to speak any more; and I think Don Garcias was not in the mean time a little troubled to compose himself to sadness, and to express how sensible he was of her affliction. At last, as we find that violent things are seldome of long continuance, Eugenias's grief admitted some moderation; she wip'd her eyes and face, and went on with the discourse, which, as I said, her tears and sighs had interrupt∣ed.
With those words he violently tore off my cloaths, and, with a cruelty, which rais'd horrour even in his own servants, gave me a hundred blows, naked as I was, and having satiated his rage, till that he was grown weary, he thrust me out into the street, where if you had not fortunate∣ly lighted upon me, I should either have been dead, or in their hands who haply are searching after me.
Having given over speaking, she shew'd Don Garcias her arms all black and blew, as also her breast, and what other parts of her body civility permitted her to discover, which were in the same condition. Whereupon re-assuming her discourse:
Don Garcias said this to her, with an earnest∣ness, which satisfi'd Eugenia, that the Compassion was not so great as the Love he seem'd to have for Page 167 her. She made the most obliging acknowledgements of his kindnesses which her civility and gratitude could inspire her with: and further intreated him to take the pains to go once more to her house to be more particularly inform'd of what was said con∣cerning her departure and the death of Don Lewis.
He got thither, as they were carrying to prison Don Sancho, his servants, and those of Don Lewis, who had taken their oaths that their Master had been in love with Eugenia. The common door, which was found open, and Don Sancho's dagger still bloudy, gave much suspition of his being guil∣ty of his brother's death, whereof he was no less innocent than troubled at it. The sudden departure of his wife, and her taking away her Jewels and mony, put him into such an amazement, as out of which he could not recover himself, and troubled him more than his imprisonment and the procee∣dings of Justice against him. Don Garcias was in much impatience to give Eugenia an account of these things: but it so happened he could not do it so soon as he wish'd. Meeting in the street with a friend who had some business with him, he kept him a good while in discourse not far from his own lodging: and, as unlucky fortune would have it, over against that of Andrado, whence he saw coming out a servant, booted, carrying a Port∣mantue. He follow'd him at a distance accompa∣ni'd by his friend; and having observ'd his going to the Post-house, he went in after him, and found him taking up three horses, to be made ready with∣in half an hour. Don Garcias suffer'd him to go Page 168 his ways, and bespoke the same number of horses to be ready at the same time. His friend ask'd him what he meant to do with them? he promis'd to tell him if he would go along with him: where∣to the other consented, without troubling himself any further what his design might be. Don Garcias entreated him to go and put on his Boots, and ex∣pect him at the Post-house, while he took a turn to his lodging.
They thereupon parted, and Don Garcias went to Eugenia, to acquaint her with what he knew of her affairs, and to give his Landlady, a woman that might safely be trusted with a secret of that importance, order to get Eugenia cloaths and all things necessary, that she might be convey'd that very night into a Convent, whereof the Abbess was her kinswoman and very much her friend. Having so done, he whisper'd his Lacquey in the ear, and bid him carry to that friend's lodging whom he a little before parted with, his riding suit and boots: and having entreated his Landlady to be very careful of Eugenia, and to keep her from the sight of all people, he went to his friend, and soon after along with him to the Post-house, where they had not been long ere Andrado came also. Don Garcias ask'd him which way he travell'd? he made answer, to Sevil. Then one Post-boy will serve us both, says Don Garcias to him. Andrado was content, and haply look'd on Don Garcias and his friend, no otherwise th•n as two simple Cullies, whose mony he thought so far due to him, as that he would not have given much to ensure it. They Page 169 left Vailladolid all together, and ro•e on a good while not thinking of any thing but riding, there being indeed but little conversation between people that ride Post. At last coming into a Cham∣pian far from any Houses, Don Garcias thought it a place fit for his Design. He rid a little before, and turning about of a sudden, he bid Andrado stand. Andrado asked him his meaning.
Don Garcias and his Friend made all the speed they could to Vailladolid. They alighted at an Embassadours of the Emperour, where they had Friends, and continued there till after night. Don Garcias sent for his man, who told him that Euge∣nia was much troubled she could not see him. The Horses were sent to the Post-house by an unknown person, who having deliver'd them to one that be∣long'd to the Stable, immediately slunk away. There was no more talk in Vailladolid of the death of Andr•do than as of a thing which it was un∣certain whether it were so or not; or if any spoke of him, 'twas onely as of a Gentleman kill'd by some secret Enemy, or by High-way-men. Don Garcias went to his Lodging, where he found Eugenia put into such cloaths as his Landlady had provided for her; such I believe as were taken up at the Brokers; for in Spain persons of very good quality think it no disparagement to take up cloaths, and to furnish their Houses that way, no more than other people of less account. He secret∣ly return'd Eugenia her own Cloaths and Jewels, and gave her an account after what manner he was reveng'd of Andrado. The Relation he made to her wrought in her a compassion for the unfortu∣nate end of a person whom she had dearly lov'd; and, the thought of her being the occasion of so many Tragical accidents, causing in her no less affliction than the remembrance of her own mis∣fortunes, Page 172 she fell a weeping as bitterly as at any time before.
But what added not a little to her affliction, was, that Proclamation had been made that day all over Vailladolid, prohibiting all persons to en∣tertain Eugenia, and that whoever brought tidings of her should have two hundred Crowns. This made her resolve to get into a Convent so soon as she could. She pass'd away that night in Don Gar∣cia's Chamber with as little tranquillity as the precedent. The next morning at break of day he went to that Superiour of the Covenant, who was a Kinswoman of Eugenia's: who, notwithstand∣ing the Proclamation, promis'd to receive her, and to keep her undiscover'd as much as lay in her power. Having left her, he went and took up a Coach, and order'd it to wait for him at a place not much frequented near his Lodging, whither he conducted Eugenia, accompanied by his Landla∣dy. The Coach brought them to a place they had appointed the Coach-man to stop at, where they alighted, that he might have no knowledge of the Convent, whither Eugenia was to retire. She was kindly entertain'd by the Kinswoman; Don Gar∣cias's Landlady took leave of her, and went to inform her self what posture the affairs of Don Sancho were in. She understood it went hard with him, and that there was some talk of putting him to the Rack. Don Garcias gave an account of all passages to Eugenia, who was so troubled to see her Husband in danger to suffer for a crime he had not committed, that she took a resolution to cast Page 173 her self into the hands of Justice. Don Garcias persuaded her to forbear a while, and advis'd her rather to write to the Judge, to acquaint him that she onely could give an account of the murther of Don Lewis. The Judge, by good fortune chanc'd to be of some Kin to her, came to speak with her, together with others that were to be his Assistants in the trial of Don Sancho. Eugenia confess'd that she had kill'd Don Lewis: gave them a particular relation of the just motive she had to engage her self in an action that seem'd so violent in a Wo∣man, omitting nothing of what had pass'd between Don Lewis and her self; what concern'd the love of Andrado, onely excepted. Her confession was written down, and a report thereof was made to his Catholick Majesty; who, taking into considera∣tion the greatness of Don Lewis's crime, the just resentment of Eugenia, her courage and procedure thereupon, the innocence of Don Sancho and his Servants, set them at liberty; and, upon the in∣treaties of the whole Court mediating on her be∣half, granted Eugenia her pardon. Her Husband was not displeas'd at her for the death of his Bro∣ther, and, it may be, lov'd her the better for what she had done. He went to see her as soon as he got out of Prison, and us'd all the entreaties and per∣suasions he could to get her home again; but all prov'd ineffectual. She doubted not but that he had conceiv'd such a resentment for the death of Don Lewis as he ought to have done; that he had made some discoveries of what had past between her and the Portugueze; and thence concluded, Page 174 that the least suspition a Woman gives in point of honour may soon be heightened into a jealousie in the apprehensions of a Husband, and will soon∣er or later dissolve the strictest ties of conjugal Love.
While things stood thus, poor Don Sancho vi∣sited her often: and, by the tenderest demonstra∣tions of an excessive Love, endeavour'd to get her out of the Convent, to be once more the absolute Mistress of his estate and himself. But she on the other side continu'd constant to her resolution. She got him to allow her a Pension proportionable to her quality, and the fortune she brought; and, abating onely her obstinacy in denying to live with him, she behav'd her self so obl•gingly towards that kind Husband, that he had all the reason in the world to be satisfi'd with her.
But all she did in the Convent to please and hu∣mour him, heightned the regret he conceiv'd that he could not get her thence. He at last took it so much to heart that it brought him into a Sickness, and that sickness prov'd such, as more than threa∣tened the shortning of his days. He sent to Eugenia, begging the satisfaction to see her once at his House before he took his final leave of her. She could not deny that fatal kindness to a Hus∣band that had been so dear to her, and whose affection towards her was then no less violent than it had ever been. She went to see him expire, and had almost, out of very grief, died with him, see∣ing him discover no less satisfaction that he had had but a sight of her, than if she had restor'd him Page 175 the Life he was upon the point to quit: Nor did this goodness of Eugenia go unrewarded; he left her his whole Estate, and consequently, one of the most beautiful and richest Widdows in Spain, after her so near being one of the most un∣fortunate Women in the World. The affliction she conceiv'd at the death of her Husband, was great, and not personated: She gave order for his Fu∣neral Solemnities, possess'd her self of his Estate, and return'd to her Convent, resolv'd to spend the remainder of her Life there. Her Friends propos'd to her the best matches in all Spain: She preferr'd her own quiet before their ambition, and troubled no less at their importunate remonstrances than persecuted with the addresses of no small number of Pretenders, which her Beauty and Wealth drew daily to the outer-room of the Convent where she was; She at last would not be seen, nor speak with any but Don Garcias. This young Gentle∣man had done her so seasonable a service, in an emergency so important, and with such earnestness, that she could not see him, without bethinking her self, that she ought him somewhat beyond civili∣ties and acknowledgements. She had observ'd by his Retinue and Equipage, that he was not rich, and she was generous enough to proffer him the assistances which a necessitous person may without shame receive from another that is more wealthy: but in that small time she had spent in his Lodg∣ing, and by the frequent discourses he had with her, he had discovered a Noble soul elevated above the common, and absolutely dis-engag'd from all Page 176 manner of Interests, those only of honour excepted. This rais'd a fear in her he might take it unkindly, if she made him a Present not suitable to the great∣ness of her estate and mind; and she was afraid, on the other side, he should think her wanting in point of gratitude, if she made not some discoveries of her liberality.
But if her thoughts were in this distraction for Don Garcias, his were in no less, as to what con∣cern'd her. He was insensibly fallen in love with her; but though the respect he had for her, and the lowness of his Fortunes should not have de∣terr'd him from making any such proposal; what presumption would it have been in him to speak of love to a Woman, whom onely Love had ex∣pos'd to so great misfortunes? and that while the sadness of her countenance, and her frequent weep∣ing, argu'd her soul too full of grief to be capable of any other passion.
Among those who visited Eugenia, as her most humble Slaves, with design to become afterwards her Masters, and those not easie to please, among those, I mean, who made their addresses to her, and whom she shook off with absolute denial, one Don Diego was remarkable for his obstinacy, as having not any thing else in him worth notice. He was as arrant a Coxcomb, as it was possible a young man could be; and, what is consequent to that, fantastick, and, what to that, insufferably humoursome. Besides all this, the imperfections of his body were suitable to those of his mind; and as to the goods of fortune, he was as poor, as Page 177 greedy of them: but descending out of one of the best Houses in Spain, and being of near Kin to one of the principal Ministers of State, which one∣ly made him so much the more insolent, there was a certain compliance had for him where ever he came, upon the account of his quality, though it had not the least recommendation of any thing of worth.
This same Don Diego, such as I have described him, thought he had found in Eugenia, all he could have wished in a Wife, and imagin'd it no hard matter to obtain her, by the assistances of his Friends at Court, whose encouragements put him into great hopes of it. But Eugenia was not so easily persuaded to a business of that importance, as they had flattered themselves she would have been, and the Court would not, to favour a private person, do a violence that should be of ill exam∣ple to the publick. Eugenia's retiring into a Con∣vent, her resolution to continue there, her avoid∣ing of all visits, and the backwardness of those who had encourag'd Don Diego in his applica∣tions to her, blasted the hopes he had conceiv'd of obtaining her without trouble. He therefore resolv'd to force the Convent, and to carry her away, an attempt the most highly criminal in Spain, and such as wherein onely an extravagant fool, such as he was, would engage himself in. He found, for money, people as mad as himself; he gave order for the laying of Horses at several pla∣ces, between Vailladolid and a certain Sea-port, where a Vessel was to expect him ready to set Sail. Page 178 He forc'd the Convent; carried away Eugenia; and that unfortunate Lady was to become the prey of the most worthless person in the World, if Heaven had not strangely reliev'd her, when she l•ast look'd for it. One single person, who, upon the cries of Eugenia, met the Ravishers, forc'd them to a sudden halt, and charg'd with so much valour, that, upon the first meeting, he wounded Don Die∣go and divers of his Complices, and kept them in •otion till the Citizens making head, and seconded by the Officers of publick Justice, had reduc'd Don Diego and his party to those extremities, that they must either be kill'd or taken.
Thus was Eugenia rescu'd; but before she would be conducted back to her Convent, she would needs know who that gallant Person was, who had so generously expos'd his Life to serve her. He was found, wounded in several places, and, through loss of abundance of blood, in a manner Dead. Eugenia desir'd to see him, and had no sooner cast her eyes on his countenance, but she knew him to be Don Garcias. Her compassion was great as her astonishment, and she made such passionate discoveries thereof as might have been interpreted to her disadvantage, if there had not been other∣wise a just ground of her affliction. She pre∣vail'd so far, with much intreaty, as that they would n•• carry to Prison her generous Reliever, whom Don Diego expiring, and his complices, acknow∣ledg'd not to be of their party, but the person who had oppos'd their design. He was carried to the next House, which by good fortune happen'd Page 179 to be that which had some time been Don Sancho's was now Eugenia's, and where she had left all her Houshold-stuff and some Servants. He was re∣commended to the care of the best Surgeons of both Court and City. Eugenia return'd into the Convent, and the next day was forc'd to leave it; and come to her own House, upon the publishing of a Proclamation, that no secular persons should be entertain'd into Nunneries. The next day Don Diego dyes, and his Friends had much ado to hinder a Trial to pass upon him, though Dead▪ but his Complices were punish'd according to their deserts. Eugenia in the mean time was al∣most out of her self to see so little hopes of Don Garcias's recovery; she implor'd the assistances of Heaven; She profer'd the Surgeons to reward them beyond what they would have ask'd her; but their Art was at a loss, and all their hope was in God and the Youthful constitution of the sick person. Eugenia stirr'd not from his Bed-side, and her attendances on him day and night were so assiduous, that they might at last have reduc'd her to a necessity of having others besides her self. She often heard him pronounce her name in the transportations of his Feaver, and among things incoherent, which his distracted imagination made him speak, he was often heard talking of Love, and discoursing with himself, as one that were fighting or quarrelling. At last, Nature, for∣tifi'd by remedies, overcame the violence of his disease; his Feaver remitted; his wounds appeared in a better condition; and the Surgeons as••r'd Page 180Eugenia of his recovery, provided no other acci∣dent happen'd to him. She made them very great presents, and caused him to be pray'd for, in all the Churches of Vailladolid. Then was it that Don Garcias understood from Eugenia, that it was she whom he had rescu'd, and she was told by him how it came to pass, that he happened to relieve her so seasonably, being upon his return into the City after he had been to see a friend of his out of Town. She could not, even in his presence, forbear acknowledging how highly she thought her self oblig'd to him; and he could as little smother the extraordinary satisfaction he con∣ceiv'd to have done her so considerable a service: but there was yet another thing of greater impor∣tance he had to acquaint her withal.
One day, she being alone with him, and intreating him not to suffer her to be any longer ungrate∣ful, but to make use of her in something of con∣sequence, he took that opportunity to discover to her the true sentiments he had for her. The very thought of what he was about to do, made him sign; he grew pale; and the disturbance of his mind was so visible in his countenance, that Eu∣genia was afraid he was in some great torment. She ask'd him what posture his Wounds were in.
She stai'd not to hear what Reply he would make, and by that means spared him abundance of com∣plements, which haply he would but poorly have acquitted himself of, because he would have over∣strain'd himself to make them very good ones. Page 182 She call'd those Servants of hers who were to attend him, and went out of the room just as the Surgeons were coming in to visit him. The sa∣tisfaction of the mind is the soveraign remedy to recover a sick body. Don Garcias deriv'd such hopes of the advancement of his Love, from what Eugenia had said to him, that his soul, which be∣fore, as that of a Lover without hope, was ore∣press'd with sadness, dilated it self for the enter∣tainment of joy, and that joy contributed more to his recovery than all the remedies of Chirur∣gery. He came to perfect health. He out of civi∣lity went from Eugenia's house, but carried with him, and continu'd, the pretensions he had to her affection. She had promis'd to love him, provided he made no publick discoveries thereof, and it may be she lov'd him no less than he lov'd her: but having so lately lost a Husband, and been engag'd in adventures, which had made her the Table-talk of all Companies in Court and City, she thought it no prudence so soon to expose her self to rash censures, by running upon a marriage with too much precipitation. At last Don Garcias, by the excess of his merit and constancy, overcame all these difficulties. He was, as to his person, so ac∣complish'd, as might make a Rival run mad to think on't. He was a younger Brother of one of the best Houses of Arragon, and though he had done no great things in the Wars, he might justly, from the long services his Father had done Spain, derive some hopes of a recompence from the Court, as advantageous as honourable. EugeniaPage 183 could no longer hold out against so many excel∣lent qualities, nor be longer oblig'd to him for all he had done and suffered upon her account. She was married to him. Court and City approved her choice; and that she might not have the least occasion to repent her of it, it happened, that, not long after their marriage, the King of Spain be∣stowed on Don Garcias one of the Commande∣ries of St. James. Another thing which had already happened, was, that he had satisfied his dear Eu∣genia the very first night of their marriage, that he was much another Bed-fellow than Don Sancho, and that she had found in him, what she would not have met with in the Portuguez Andrado. Children they had many, because they took more than ordinary pains to get them; and the History of their Loves and Adventures is to this day rela∣ted at Vailladolid, not only among those that knew them, but to Strangers who occasionally Travel that way. For my part, I travelled not thither for it, but finding it Printed, made no doubt of the Truth of it, and expect the same con∣fidence in those who shall re∣ceive it from me.
The Judge in his own Cause.
The Fourth Novel.
PRince Mulei, son to the King of Morocco, having lost the company with whom he had spent the day in hunting, was got alone, and that in the night-time, among cer∣tain rocks on the Sea-side, not above an hours gentle walking from the City of Fez. The sky was not over-cast with the least cloud; the Sea glaz'd up Page 186 in an undisturbed calm, and so might serve for a Mirrour to the Moon and Stars, which 〈◊〉 to sparkle no less there, than in their proper Elem•nt: in fine, it was one of the pleasantest nights of those warmer Countries, which exceed the fairest days of our colder Regions. The Prince galloping gently along the River side, diverted himself in considering the emulation between the Constel∣lations above in the Firmament, and those which seem'd to be on the surface of the Water, when the sad accents of some doleful shrieking piercing his ears, rais'd in him a curiosity to go to the place whence he conceiv'd it might proceed. After a little riding, he found, among the rocks, a woman, who, as much as her strength would permit, made her party good against a man, who violently endea∣vour'd to bind her hands, while another woman was emploi'd to stop her mouth with a linnen cloath.
The arrival of the young Prince prevented the Actors of that violence to proceed any further therein, and gave her a little respit, whom they intended to treat so unworthily. Mulei ask'd her, what might occasion her crying out, and the others, what they would have done to her? But in∣stead of any reply, the man comes up to him with his Cimitar drawn, and would have dangerously wounded him, had he not, by the nimbleness of his •orse, avoided the blow. How now, impious •retch, says Mulei to him, darest thou offer vio∣••nce to the Prince of Fez? I knew thee very well to be my Prince, replies the Moor: nay it is because thou art my Prince, and that it is in thy power to punish me, that I must either have thy life, or lose my own.
Page 187With those words he made at Mulei with such a desperate fury, that the Prince, though much fam'd for his valour, was reduc'd to a necessity not so much of assaulting, as securing himself against so dangerous an enemy. The two women in the mean time were very seriously engag'd, and she who a little before gave her self over for lost, kept the other from running away, as if she doubted not but her Champion would obtain the victory. De∣spair sometimes heightens a man's courage, nay sometimes derives it to those who have least of it. Though the Prince's valour was incomparably be∣yond that of his Adversary, and maintain'd by a more than ordinary skill and vigour; yet the pu∣nishment, which the Moor's crime deserv'd, made him hazard all, and gave him so much courage and force, that the victory was a great while in suspence between the Prince and him: but Heaven, which commonly protects those it raises above others, fortunately directed the Prince's retinue, which he had lost the evening before, to pass so near the place, as to hear the noise of the Combatants, and the cries of the women. They make all the speed they could thither, and came in just as their Ma∣ster having worsted his bold Adversary, had laid him on the ground, where he would not kill him, but reserve him for a more exemplary punishment. He thereupon order'd some of his people to bind him to a horse-tail, so as that he might not attempt ought against himself or any other. Two Gentle∣men took up the two women behind them, and so Mulei and his retinue got to Fez, just with the break of day. This young Prince gover•'d as absolutely in Fez, as if he had been already King Page 188 of it. He order'd the Moor to be brought before him, his name was Amet, and he was son to one of the wealthiest Inhabitants of Fez. The two women were not known by any, in regard the Moors, the most jealous of all mankind, are ex∣tremely careful in keeping their wives and slaves from the sight of all others.
The woman, whom the Prince had reliev'd, surpriz'd both him and all his Court with the tran∣scendency of her beauty, which was such as had not been seen before in Africk, and also with a Ma∣jestick air, which the wretched habit of a slave could not hide from their eyes who admir'd her. The other was clad as those women of the country are, whose quality is somewhat above the ordinary rate, and might pass for handsome, though much less than the former. But though she might enter into competition with her as to beauty, yet the paleness which through a certain Fear had setled in her countenance depriv'd it of so much of its lustre, as that of the former receiv'd advantage from that lively redness, which a modest blush had gently spread over it. The Moor appear'd before Mulei with the countenance and deportment of a Criminal, having his eyes continually fasten'd on the ground. Mulei commanded him to ac∣knowledge his crime, or expect to die in the great∣est torments.
This was all could be gotten out of him. Mulei order'd him to be put into a Dungeon loaden with chains; The Renegado wife of Zaides was dis∣pos'd into another prison, and the beautiful Slave was conducted to a Moor's house named Zulema, a person of quality, originally a Spaniard, who had left Spain, because he could not find in his con∣science to embrace the Christian Religion. He was descended of the illustrious House of Zegris, heretofore so famous in Granada, and his wife Zo∣raida, who was of the same House, had the repu∣tation to be the fairest, and withal, the wittiest woman in Fez. She was immediately taken with the beauty of the Christian Slave, and, upon the first conversation they had together, was no less with her ingenuity. Had this fair Christian been capable of consolation, she would have found it in the caresses of Zoraida; but as if she purposely avoided whatever might alleviate her grief, she en∣deavour'd as much as she could to be alone, that she might afflict her self the more, insomuch that, when she was in company with Zoraida, she did her self no small violence, to smother her sighs, and keep in her tears before her.
Prince Mulie in the mean time was extremely Page 190 desirous to have an account of her adventures. He had discover'd so much to Zulema, who being a person he much confided in, he withal acknow∣ledg'd, that he had some inclinations for that fair Christian, and that he had made a discovery thereof to her, had he not inferr'd, from her extraordinary affliction, that he might have an unknown Rival in Spain, who, though at a great distance, might prevent his being happy, even in that Country where he was an absolute Prince. Zulema there∣upon gave his wife order to enquire of the Chri∣stian the particulars of her life, and by what ac∣cident she came to be Slave to Amet. Zoraida was as desirous to do it as the Prince, and found it no hard matter to induce the Spanish Slave to sa∣tisfie her; the other not knowing how to refuse any thing to a person, from whom she had receiv'd so many assurances of tenderness and friendship. She told Zoraida, that she would satisfie her curio∣sity when she pleas'd, but that, having onely mis∣fortunes to acquaint her with, she fear'd the ac∣count thereof would be very tedious to her.
Thus did Sophia conclude the relation of her ad∣ventures, and the amiable Zoraida encourag'd her to expect from the generosity of the Prince, that some course would be taken for her return into Spain; whereupon she acquainted her Hus∣band with all she had heard from Sophia, whereof he afterwards gave Prince Mulei an account. Though all that had been related to him of the fortunes of the fair Christian, flatter'd not the passion he had for her, yet was he glad, being a person nobly inclin'd to vertue, to receive some knowledge thereof, and find that her affection was engag'd in her own Country, that so he might not attempt a censurable action out of a vain hope of finding it easily compass'd. He had an esteem for the vertue of Sophia, and was inclin'd, by his own, to endeavour a remission of her misfortune. He sent her word by Zoraida, that he would give or∣der for her return into Spain, when she pleas'd, and, having once taken that resolution, he forbore to visit her, out of a distrust of his own vertue, and the beauty of that amiable person. She was not a little troubled to find out a secure way for her re∣turn. 'Twas somewhat a tedious voiage into Spain, whose Merchants traded not to Fez, and though she might have met with a Christian vessel, yet Page 209 being fair and young, as she was, she might find, among those of her own Religion, what she had been afraid to meet with among the Moors. Ho∣nesty is not often found aboard a Ship; sincerity is as little observ'd there as in War, and where∣ever beauty and innocence are at the weakest, the insolence of the wicked will not fail to take its advantage to thrust them to the wall. Zaraida advis'd Sophia to put on Man's cloaths, since her advantageous Stature, beyond that of other Wo∣men much further'd her disguise. She told her it was the advice of Prince Mulei, who knew not any person at Fez, to whom he might safely trust her, and she told her withall, that he had had the goodness to provide for the safety of her Sex, by assigning her a companion of the same, of her own faith, and disguis'd as her self, and that so she might avoid the disquiet it would be to her, to see her self alone, aboard a Vessel, among Souldiers and Mariners.
Prince Mulei had bought of a Pyrat a Prize which he had taken at Sea; 'twas a Vessel belong∣ing to the Governour of Oran, which had aboard her the whole family of a Spanish Gentleman, whom the Governour, upon some disgust, sent over a Prisoner into Spain. Mulei had heard that the said Gentleman was one of the best Huntsmen in the world, and Hunting being an exercise the Prince was most of any inclin'd to, he would needs have him to be his Slave, and to make the more sure of him, would not have him separated from his Wife, his Son, and Daughter. In the space of two years that he liv'd at Fez, in the Prince's service, he taught him how he might take any thing Page 210 with a Gun, whether it were on the Earth, or in the Air, and shew'd him several other Games un∣known to the Moors. By these ways, he had so insinuated himself into the Prince's favour, and was become so necessary in his divertisements, that he would not hear of any Ransome for him, but endeavour'd by all the obligations he could lay on him, to make him forget his own Country. But the regret he conceiv'd, that he should not once more see it, put him into a melancholy, which soon after ended in his Death, to which it was not long ere his Wife follow'd him. Mulei felt a certain remorse, that he had not set him at Liberty, toge∣ther with his relations, since they had by their Ser∣vices deserv'd it, and so resolv'd to repair, towards their Children, the injury he thought he had done the Parents. The Daughter was named Dorotea, much about the same Age with Sophia, handsome and witty. Her Brother was not above fifteen years of Age, and his name Sancho. Mulei pitch'd on them to accompany Sophia, and took that opportunity to send them together into Spain. The business was kept very secret. Men's cloaths, according to the Spanish mode were made for the two Gentlewomen, and little Sancho. Mulei shew'd his magnificence in the great quantity of Jewels he bestow'd on Sophia. He also bestow'd very noble Presents on Dorotea, which, added to those her Father had receiv'd from the Prince's liberality, made her a very considerable fortune.
About this time, Charls the Fift was engag'd in a war in Africk, and had besieg'd the City of Tunis. He had sent an Ambassadour to Mulei to treat about the ransome of certain Spaniards, per∣sons Page 211 of Quality, who had been cast away on the Coast of Morocco. To this Ambassadour did Mulei recommend Sophia, under the name of Don Fernand, a Gentleman of quality, who de∣sir'd not to be known by his own name; and Do∣rotea and her Brother were to be his retinue, one as a Gentleman waiting on him, the other as Page. Sophia and Zoraida could not part without re∣gret, and many tears were shed on both sides. Zoraida bestow'd on the fair Christian a Neck∣lace of Pearl, so rich, that she would not have receiv'd it, if the obliging Moor, and her Hus∣band Zulema, who had as great a kindness for Sophia as his Wife, had not assur'd her, that she could not disoblige them in any thing so much, as the refusal of that pledge of their friendship. Zoraida made Sophia promise, that she should hear from her, by the way of Tangiers, Oran, or some other places which the Emperour was pos∣sess'd of in Africk.
The Christian Ambassadour took Shipping at Salley, having along with him Sophia, whom we must henceforth call Don Fernand. He came to the Emperour's Army, while it was yet before Tunis. Our disguis'd Spanish Lady was presented to him as a Gentleman of Andalusia, who had some time been a Slave to the Prince of Fez. She had no great reason to be so fond of her Life, as to be afraid of engaging in the War, and being now to act the part of a Cavalier, she could not, in honour, avoid the performance of duty, as other gallant Persons did, whereof the Emperour's army was full. She thereupon listed her self a∣mong the Volunteers, miss'd no design that was Page 212 undertaken, and signaliz'd her self upon all occa∣sions, so as the Emperour came to hear much of the counterfeit Don Fernand. Nay, such was her good Fortune, that she happen'd to be near him, when, in the heat of an engagement, wherein the disadvantage was on the Christian side, he fell into an ambuscado of Moors, was forsaken by his party, and encompass'd by the Infidels, and in all probability he had been kill'd there, his Horse having already receiv'd that fate under him, if our Amazon had not mounted him on hers, and, se∣conding his Valour with unexpressible efforts, given the Christians time to see their error, and to come into the relief of the Valiant Emperour. So signal an action was not unrecompensed; the Emperour bestow'd on the unknown Don Fernand a Commandery of Saint James, of a vast Revenue, and the Regiment of Horse of a certain Spanish Lord, who had been kill'd in the last engagement. He also bestow'd on him the equipage of a person of Quality, and from thenceforward, there was not a Person in the whole Army more highly e∣steem'd or more considerable than this Valiant Virago. All the actions of Man were so natural to her; her Countenance was so fair, and made her seem so young; her Valour was so admirable, considering her youth; and her Prudence and Conduct so remarkable, that there was not any Person of quality or command in the Army, but courted her Friendship. It is not therefore much to be admir'd, if, all pleading for her, but espe∣cially her noble and heroick Actions, she came in a short time to be her Master's greatest Favou∣rite.
Page 213About this time, there came over some Re∣cruits from Spain, in those Vessels which brought over Money and Ammunition for the Army. The Emperour would needs see them himself in their Arms, accompany'd by the chiefest Commanders, among whom was our Amazon. Looking very earnestly on these Recruits, she imagin'd that she had seen Don Carlos, nor was she mistaken. She could not be at rest all that day; she sent to find him out among the new Levies, but he could not be found, in regard he had chang'd his name. She slept not all night, got up with the Sun, to find out, her self, that dear Lover which had cost her so many tears. She found him, and was not known by him, she being grown somewhat Taller, and the sultry heat of Africk having a little chang'd the Complexion of her Countenance. She pre∣tended to take him for another of her acquaint∣ance, and ask'd him what news from Sevil, and how such a person did, naming the first came into her mind. Don Carlos told her she had mistaken him, that he had never been at Sevil, and that he was of Valentia.
At the hearing of that, Don Carlos was afraid he had not render'd him the re∣spect due to his Quality. He had already heard what esteem he was in with the Emperour, and that he was as much in favour with him as any about the Court. He soon found out his Quarter and Tent, which any one could direct him to, and he was as well receiv'd by him, as a simple Cava∣lier could expect to be, by one of the chiefest Field-Officers. He again imagin'd he discover'd Sophia's countenance, in that of Don Fernand; was more astonish'd at it, than he had been before, and that much more at the sound of his Voice, which entred into his very Soul, and there renew'd the remembrance of that person, for whom, of all the world, he had had the greatest affection.
In the mean time, Sophia, undiscover'd by her Lover, entertains him at dinner, which done, she commands all the Servants to with-draw, and, ha∣ving given order that none should visit her, was told a second time, by that Gentleman, that he was of Valentia, and afterwards very patiently heard him relate what she knew as well as himself Page 215 of their common adventures, to the day that he intended to have carried her away.
YOu should not have forbidden me to love Don Carlos, after you had once laid your commands on me to do it. A merit so great as his must needs have rais'd in me an affection for him proportionable thereto, and when the mind of a young Person is pre∣possess'd with such a passion, it is so fill'd, that there is no place for interest. Know then, that I go hence with him, whom you were pleas'd I should affect, even from my Infancy, and with∣out whom it were as impossible for me to live, as it would be, not to dye a thousand times a day, with a Stranger, whom I cannot any way fancy, even though he were much richer than he is. Our offence, if it be any, deserves your pardon; which if you grant us, we will re∣turn Page 217 to receive it, with greater speed, then we are now forc'd to, to avoid the unjust violence you would do us.
Sophia, undiscover'd, took the part of Sophia unjustly accused, and omitted nothing that might induce her Lover to forbear judging his Mistress so rigorously, till he were more fully satisfi'd of her offence. She told the unfortunate Cavalier, that she concern'd her self very much in his misfortunes; that she wish'd it in her power to alleviate them, and to give greater expressions thereof than words; that she desir'd him to accept of a relation to her, and when occasion serv'd, she would employ all the credit she had with the Emperour, and the in∣terest of all her friends, to rescue him from the prosecution of Sophia's, and the Vice-roy of Valentia.
Don Carlos would not admit of any thing urg'd by the counterfeit Don Fernand, in the vindica∣tion of Sophia, but accepted of the entertainment he proferr'd him. That very day, that constant Mistress spoke to the Commander, under whom Don Carlos was, that, being a kinsman of hers, he might be under her command. Thus is our unfor∣tunate Lover receiv'd into the service of his Mi∣stress, whom he thought, either dead, or had for∣saken him. He finds himself, as soon as entertain'd, very highly in his favour whom he thought his Ma∣ster, and wonders how he comes, so suddenly, to be so much lov'd. He is immediately made his Page 220 Treasurer, Secretary, and Confident. The rest of the servants respect him little less than Don Fer∣nand himself, and no doubt he might be happy, in the love of a Master that seems so amiable to him, and whom a secret instinct forces him to love, if lost Sophia, if unconstant Sophia, did not perpetu∣ally present her self to his imagination, and gave him a sadness, which the caresses of so dear a Ma∣ster and his better'd fortune were not able to smother. Though Sophia had a tenderness for him, yet was she not displeas'd to see him troubled, not doubting but she was the cause of his affliction. She often discours'd with him concerning Sophia, and sometimes with so much earnestness, nay in∣dignation and bitterness, vindicated her whom Don Carlos charg'd with no less a crime than a forfeiture of faith and honour, that at last he imagin'd, that Don Fernand, who would be still harping on the same string, had sometime been a Servant to Sophia, and haply was still.
The war in Africk came to the period men∣tion'd in the History thereof. The Emperour car∣ri'd it on afterwards in Germany, Italy, Flanders, and other places. Our Female Warriour, under the name of Don Fernand, added to the reputation she had before of a valiant and experienc'd Com∣mander, by many gallant encounters, wherein she shew'd no less valour than conduct, though the latter of those qualities be seldom found in a person so young, as her sex made her appear. The Em∣perour was oblig'd to go into Flanders, and, to that end, to desire the King of France to give him passage through his Countries. The great Monarch who then reign'd, would needs, in generosity and Page 221 confidence, surpass a mortal enemy, who had ever surpass'd him in good fortune, whereof he had not at all times made good use. Charls the Fifth was receiv'd into Paris, as if he had been King of France. The fair Don Fernand w•s one of the small number of persons of quality, who accompa∣ni'd him; and if his Master had made a longer stay in that gallant Court, the beautiful Spanish Lady, taken for a man, had rais'd love in many of the French Ladies, and jealousie in some of the most accomplish'd Courtiers.
In the mean time, the Vice-roy of Valentia dies in Spain. Don Fernand, encourag'd by the af∣fection his Master bore him, and the services he had done, presum'd to demand that important charge, and obtain'd it, without much envy. He soon acquainted Don Carlos with the good success, and put him in hopes, that, as soon as he had taken possession of the Government of Valentia, he would accommodate the difference between him and the Relations of Sophia; procure his pardon from the Emperour for having been chief Com∣mander among the Bandits, and endeavour to put him into possession of his Estate.
Don Carlos might have deriv'd some comfort from all these noble promises, had not the mis∣fortune of his Love made him absolutely disconso∣late. The Emperour came into Spain, and went streight to Madrid, and Don Fernand went to take possession of his Government. The next day after his arrival at Valentia, Sophia's Relations presented a Petition against Don Carlos, who was Steward and Secretary to the Vice-Roy. The Vice-Roy promis'd them justice, and Don Carlos,Page 222 that he would protect his innocence. A new In∣dictment was put in against him; the Witnesses were examin'd a second time, and, in fine, So∣phia' Relations, exasperated at the loss of her, and out of a desire of revenge, which they conceiv'd just, solicited the business so earnestly, that, in five or six days, it was ready for judgment. They de∣sir'd that the person indicted might be sent to pri∣son; the Vice-roy gave them his word, that he should not stir out of his house, and set down a day to pass judgment on him.
The eve of that fatal day, which held the whole City of Valentia in suspence, Don Carlos desir'd a private audience of the Vice-Roy, which was granted him. Casting himself at his feet,
Don Carlos, half dead at these words of the Vice-Roy's, would have made some reply there∣to, but he would by no means permit him,
Page 225Immediately Don Carlos's Sword was taken from him, which rais'd a great compassion in all those who saw him encompass'd by the Guards, cast down and discourag'd, and having much ado to keep in his tears. While the poor Gentleman was repenting himself, that he had not been suf∣ficiently distrustful of the unconstant humour of Grandees: the Judges, before whom he was to be tried, entred the room, and took their places, after the Vice-roy had taken his. The Italian Count, who had continu'd all this time at Valentia, and the Father and Mother of Sophia appear'd, and produc'd their witnesses against the Prisoner, who was now at such a loss, that he hardly had the courage to plead for himself. They shew'd him the Letters which he had sometimes written to Sophia; the Neighbours were brought in, and the Domesticks of Sophia's house, and at last there was produc'd against him the Letter she had left in her Chamber, the day he had design'd to carry her away. The Prisoner brought in his Dome∣sticks, who depos'd, that they had seen their Ma∣ster in Bed; but he might have got up after he had made them believe he was asleep. For his own part, he swore very liberally, that he had not carried away Sophia, and represented it to the Judges, that it was the most improbable thing in the world, that he should carry her away, soon after to be separated from her: but a further charge against him was, that he had murther'd her, and also the Page, the confident of his Loves. There remain'd only to pass the Sentence, and no doubt it would have been that of death, when the Vice-roy order'd him to approach, and spoke to him in these words.
Don Carlos, at this, despairing of all safety, cast himself at the Vice-roy's feet, and said to him,
Sophia could say no more, her Father, who knew her, took her into his arms. Her Mother fell into a swound, on the one side; and Don CarlosPage 228 on the other. Sophia dis-engag'd her self from her Father, to go to the relief of the two per∣sons who had swounded, but soon recover'd them∣selves, while she was in suspence to whether of the two she should run. Her Mother wept over her, she did the like over her Mother. She em∣brac'd, with all the tenderness imaginable, her dear Don Carlos, who had almost fallen into another swound. But with much •do he kept upon his feet, and not presuming yet to kiss Sophia's lips, as he could have wish'd, he reveng'd himself on her hands, which h• kiss'd a thousand times one after another. Sophia was hardly able to return all the embraces she receiv'd, and all the comple∣ments that were made to her. The Italian Count, making his among the rest, would have entertain'd her with the pretensions he had to her, as having been promis'd him by her Father and Mother. Don Carlos, who heard him, quitted one of So∣phia's hands, which he was then greedily kissing, and drawing his Sword, which had been deliver'd to him, set himself into such a posture, as put the whole assembly into a fright, and swearing after the rate of millions, made it appear, that no hu∣man force should deprive him of Sophia, if she her self forbad him not to think of her. But she declar'd, that she would never have any other Hus∣band than her dear Don Carlos, and entreated her Father and Mother to consent thereto, or resolve to see her shut up in a Monastery for the remain∣der of her Life. Her Parents gave her liberty to make her own choice, and the Italian Count took Post that very day, for Italy, or some other place where he had a mind to go.
Page 229Sophia dismiss'd not the Assembly, till she had g••••hem a relation of her adventure•, which w••••dmir'd by all. A person was dispatch'd awa• express to carry the news of this miracle to the •mperour, who continu'd to Don Carlos, after he • married. Sophia, the Vice-ro•alty and Go∣vernment of Valentia, and all the kindnesses which that Virago had deserv'd under the name of Don Fernand, and bestow'd on that happy Lover a Principality, which his Posterity enjoys to this day. The solemnities of the Nuptials were extra∣ordinary, discharg'd by the City of Valentia; and D•rotea, who put on Man's cloaths at the same time as Sophia, was also, at the same time, mar∣ried, to a Cavalier, a near Kinsman to Don Carlos.
The Fifth Novel.
DOrothea and Feliciana were the two most beautiful and most amiable Ladies of any about the famous City of Sevil; but though they had not been such, their quality and great fortunes were so considerable as might well engage all those, who were desirous to be advan∣tageously m•tch'd, to make their addresses to Page 231 them. It is not then to be doubted, but that, of Sutors, there was a pretty Catalogue, yet had not Don Manuel, their Father, declar'd himself in fa∣vour of any man's pretensions, and Dorothea, who, being the elder, should, by the course of the Cards, be married first, had, as well as her sister, been so reserv'd in her demeanour and actions, that the most presumptuous of her humble Servants were in some doubt, whether their services were kindly or unkindly received. These two Beauties never went publickly to Mass, but they were attended by a number of the greatest Gallants about the Ci∣ty, wherein the Miracle was, that so many diffe∣rent pretensions should agree so well, and that in a superstitious Country young Gentlemen should be guilty of any devotion, besides what they have for their Mistresses. Before they could get off their gloves to take a little Holy-water, other hands, some fair, some otherwise, bestow'd on them more than they needed. Their fair eyes were no sooner off their Prayer-books, but they were the centre of I know not how many immodest looks: and every step, as they went out of the Church, they had salutations to return.
But if they were thus importun'd with court∣ship in Churches, and publick places, where peo∣ple conceive themselves oblig'd to observe some reserv'dness, they wanted it not at home. For, their Father's house being in the midst of a spacious plain, there pass'd not a day without some of those divertisements, whereby Lovers would insinuate themselves into the favour of their Mistresses. And these our young Ladies took the more kindly, in that they made that restraint, which the tyran∣nical Page 232 custom of the Country imposes on their sex, the more supportable to them. In the day time, Cavalcades, Tilting, and such exercises were their entertainment, every night several sorts of Mu∣sick. One d•y above the rest, there came in an un∣known Person who did such things as astonish'd all the beholders, and had been particularly ob∣serv'd by the two fair Sisters, to be one so neatly made, as if nature had intended him for a pattern. Several Gentlemen of Sevil, who had known him in Flanders, where he had the command of a Re∣giment of Horse, invited him to make one at their sport of Tilting, which he did, habited as a Sol∣dier.
Not long after, there happened to be at Sevil, the ceremony of the Consecration of a Bishop. The Stranger we spoke of before, who went under the name of Don Sancho de Sylva, came into that Church where it was to be performed, with seve∣ral others the greatest Gallants about the City, and the two fair Sisters Dorothea and Feliciana de Monsalvo were also there among divers Ladies, all disguis'd, according to the mode of Sevil, with mantles of a thick stuff, and hats with plumes of feathers in them. It was Don Sancho's fortune to stand between the two Sisters, and another Lady, with whom he would have enter'd into some dis∣course, but she civilly intreated him, to forbear speaking to her, and to resign the place he was in, to a person she expected, to meet her there. Don Sancho compli'd with her desires, and thereupon turning about, he makes towards Dorothea d• Monsalvo▪ who stood nearer him than her Sister; and had observ'd what complements had pass'd Page 133 between him and the other Lady.
Don Sancho was satisfy'd, and having, with a low Congee, taken his leave of her, he thrust him∣self in among a great number of fine Gallants, who were very seriously discoursing together. There are a sort of severe Ladies, who may be more particularly known by the character I shall here give of them, to wit, such as extremely con∣cern themselves in the conduct and demeanour of others, and are very secure as to their own; who imagine themselves the onely fit Judges of what is well or ill done, though there may be good wa∣gers laid of their virtue, as a thing whereof there is no great certainty, and think that upon the dis∣covery of a little brutish rudeness, they m•y pre∣tend to supererogation in point of Honour, though the miscarriages of their greener years gave more Page 238 scandal, than their wrinkles will ever good exam∣ple; these Ladies, I say, who are very short-sighted in the ordinary occurrences of humane Life, will take occasion to quarrel at the Author, and affirm, that Madam Dorothea was guilty of a great want of reserv'dness, and indiscretion, not onely in being so over-free to favour a person whom she onely knew by sight, but also in per∣mitting him to speak to her of Love, and that if a young Gentlewoman, over whom they had any power, had done as much, she should make no long aboad in this world. But let these yet-to-be-taught Ladies learn from me, that every Country hath its particular customs, and that if in France, England, and some other parts, married Women and Maids, who are trusted to go any where upon the security of their own good behaviour, are of∣fended, or at least should be so, at any the least expression of Love; in Spain, where they are kept in as Nuns, they take it not amiss that any one should tell them they love them, though the person that should tell them so, had not any thing for which he might expect a return of his Love. Nay, they do much more, they are the Ladies com∣monly that make the first overtures, and are first taken, inasmuch as they are the last seen, by their Gallants, whom they have the advantage to see daily, in Churches, and other publick places, and sometimes from their Balconies and Chamber-windows.
Dorothea acquainted her Sister Feliciana with the discourse had pass'd between her and Don Sancho, and made no difficulty to tell her, that she was more taken with that Stranger, than with all Page 239 the Gallants of Sevil, and her Sister approv'd the design she had upon her Liberty. Thereupon the two fair Sisters had a great deal of serious discourse together, concerning the advantageous priviledges which the Men have above the Women, who were seldome married without the consent of their Friends, which many times happen'd contrary to their liking, whereas the Men were at liberty to make choice, where they best fancied.
While Dorothea, with the assistance of her Sister, was contriving how to compass this amo∣rous interview; while she was disposing her Kins∣woman to serve her, and preparing Instructions for Marina, Don Sancho's thoughts were wholly taken up with the unknown Lady. One while he is in suspence whether the promise she had made him, that he should hear from her, were not an abuse; another, he imagin'd, that there was some∣what in her last words which discover'd a certain kindness towards him. He saw her every day, though he knew her not, in the Churches or some other publick places, receiving the adorations of her Gallants, who were all his intimate acquaint∣ance•, and the greatest friends he had in Sevil. He was one morning putting on his cloaths, his thoughts full of his unknown Mistress, when a mess•ge was brought, that there was a woman de∣sir'd to speak with him. Being conducted to his chamber, he receiv'd from her, this
THat you heard not sooner from me, attri∣bute not to any remission of that kindness I express'd to you at our first meeting, but purely to want of convenience. If you still persist in a desire to be better known to me, re∣ceive directions from the Bearer, where you are to meet her in the evening, and she will conduct you to the place, where I shall be ready to re∣ceive you.
It may be easily imagin'd how gladly he enter∣tain'd this message, His transportation was such, that he could not forbear embracing that happy Ambassadress, and he presented her with a Gold chain, which, after some ceremony, she receiv'd from him. She appointed him to meet her at a certain place in the dusk of the Evening, leaving him the most satisfy'd, but withall the most im∣patient man in the world. At last night came; he went to the place where the morning Ambassa∣dress expected him, trick'd up and perfum'd as if he had spent the whole day about it. He was con∣ducted by her to a little obscure House, which look'd somewhat suspitiously, and thence into a noble large Room, where he found three Ladies, all veil'd. He discover'd his unknown Mistress by her Stature, and immediately broke forth into complaints, that she would not vouchsafe to un∣veil her self. She staid not for any further intrea∣ties, Page 242 whereupon she and her Sister uncovering their faces, Don Sancho knew them to be the fair Sisters, Dorothea and Feliciana de Monsalvo.
This sharp onset was as eagerly pursu'd on both sides, to the mutual satisfaction of the two Lo∣vers; which the Mistress of the house and Feli∣ciana perceiving, took occasion to stand at a con∣siderable distance from them, and so they had all the convenience they could have wish'd, to coun∣ter-charge one the other with amorous comple∣ments, and heighten the flames they had already rais'd in each other; nay, though the Love there was between them, might be accounted, consider∣ing the little time of their acquaintance, very great, yet would they appoint another day, to make some additionals thereto, if any might be admit∣ted. Page 243Dorothea promis'd Don Sancho that she would endeavour to see him as often as she could: he return'd her his most humble thanks, with all the Rhetorick he was master of.
Upon this cessation of discourse, the two other Ladies came up to them, and they fell into it a∣fresh, and continu'd the kind engagement, so long, that Marina thought it time to mind them of their departure. Dorothea was troubled at that alarm, and Don Sancho grew pale and silent; but there was a necessity of parting. The transported Cavalier took occasion the next day, to write a Letter to his Mistress, and sent it by the common Ambassadress Marina, and she return'd him such an Answer thereto, as he could have wish'd. I shall forbear inserting their amorous Epistles here, because there never came any of them to my hands, and I am loath to foist in any of my own dressing, out of a fear they might not prove as good as theirs. They had many interviews after∣wards at the same place, and they spent the time, as they had done at the first, and so by a continu'd progress, their Loves came up to that fervency, that, abating their not shedding their blood as Pyramus and Thisbe are recorded to have done, they were not behind them▪ as to a violent tender∣ness one for another. 'Tis commonly said, that Love, Fire, and Money cannot be long conceal'd. Dorothea, who was in a manner transported with continual thoughts of her lovely Stranger, could not speak of him with any moderation, nay, she commended him so highly beyond all the Gentle∣men of Sevil, that some Ladies, who would have carried on their designs secretly as she did, hearing Page 144 her incessantly speaking of Don Sancho, and pre∣ferring him so as to cast a certain contempt on those they fancied, took-notice of it, and were offended. Feliciana had often privately advis'd her, to speak of him with more caution and re∣serv'dness; nay, many times, in company, when she saw her transported with the pleasure she took in discoursing of her Gallant, had trod on her foot so hard as to make her cry out, and find somewhat else to talk of.
These discoveries were at last so observ'd, that a certain Cavalier, a Suitor of Dorothea's, had notice given him thereof, by a Lady he was inti∣mately acquainted with. He was the more easily induc'd to believe, that Dorothea had a more than ordinary kindness for Don Sancho, when he con∣sider'd, that ever since the coming of that Stranger to the City, those who accounted themselves the Slaves of that fair Lady, of which number he thought himself the most heavily chain'd, had not receiv'd the least favourable look from her. This Rival of Don Sancho's was a person of great wealth, descended of a noble House, and much in favour with Don Manuel, who yet was the more backward to press his Daughter to m•rry him, in regard that when ever he spoke to her of it, her answer was, that she wanted two or three years of being ripe for that state.
This same young Gentleman (now his name comes into my head, Don Diego) before he en∣gag'd himself in an action which might be charg'd with imprudence, thought it requisite to be fully assur'd of a thing, which yet he did onely suspect. He had a very spruce fellow that waited on him in Page 145 his Chamber, one of those insolent attendants who think it is for their Master's credit that they wear as good Linnen as themselves, or at least wear theirs; and all, that they may be the more gracious in the eyes of the waiting women. This Servant's name was Guzman; he pretended much to ingenuity, out of a conceit that it had been de∣riv'd to him from that Country-man of his, whose adventures are so famous; but having, among other endowments, a smattering in Poetry, he employ'd his Talent in composing such Romances as in other Countries are known by the name of Ballads. He sung them playing on his Gitthar, but so wretchedly, that his wry mouths and the stretching out of his tongue, spoil'd the discord, at least to those that look'd on him. He had also the graceful knack of dancing a Saraband, and never went without his Castagnets. He had once some intentions to turn Comedian, but some∣what in his humour was not lik'd, for he was very much addicted to Vapouring and Hectorship, and to give you a true character of him, there was some suspition of his nocturnal atchievements, as being one who would bid people stand with as much confidence as a Constable, but with this greater civility, that he would dismiss their persons, and secure onely what he found about them.
All these excellent Talents, heighten'd by a little eloquence, which reach'd onely so far as he had read, and what he heard from his Master, made all the Waiting-women, even those who pretended to somewhat of Beauty, look on him as the blank (if I may make that comparison) of their amo∣rous desires. Don Diego gave him instructions to Page 246 go and court Isabella, a young Maid who waited on the two beautiful Sisters. He went, and in∣sinuated himself so far into Isabella's favour, that she thought her self the happiest creature in the world, to be lov'd by Guzman, nay, the kindness they had one for another grew to such a degree, that he became very earnest in the continuance of what he had begun onely to obey his Master. I∣sabella had so well feather'd her Nest in her ser∣vice, that she might well be accounted a good fortune, for the proudest attendant of any in Spain. Her Mistresses treated her very kindly, and were very liberal to her, besides somewhat she had to expect from her Father, who was an honest Tradesman. In fine, Guzman thought it his best course to make sure of her, by proposing a match; she was as willing as he was, and took him at his word; they made one another mutual promises of marriage, and ever after liv'd together as if the ceremonies had pass'd between them.
Things standing thus, Isabella began to con∣ceive an extream indignation against Marina, the Surgeon's wife, at whose house Don Sancho and Dorothea had their private meetings, and it trou∣bled her much, that though she had liv'd with her Mistress before her, she should still be her Confi∣dent in a business of that nature, wherein the li∣berality of a favour'd Lover is very considerable. She had heard of the Gold chain which Don San∣cho had bestow'd on Marina, as also of several other presents he had made her, and imagin'd she might have receiv'd many more, which she knew nothing of. This rais'd a deadly hatred in her against Marina, which makes me think, that the Page 247 pretty Gentlewoman was not a little troubled. It is not therefore to be wondred, if, upon the first Interrogatories which Guzman made to her, and particularly this, whether it were true that Dorothea was in love with any one, she should dis∣cover the secrets of her Mistress, to a person, whom she look'd on as part of her self. She ac∣quainted him with all she knew of the designs of our young Lovers, Don Sancho's liberality to Ma∣rina, whom he enrich'd by his continual presents, till at last she broke forth into down-right railing at her, as one that made those advantages, which should rather have been receiv'd by a Servant that liv'd in the house. Guzman intreated her to give him notice of the next meeting they were to have there. She did so, and he fail'd not to give his Master an account of it, as also of all had been told him by the perfidious Isabella.
Upon this intelligence Don Diego put himself into the habit of a Beggar, and laid himself down in the street not far from Marina's door, into which he saw his Rival enter, and not long after came a Coach, out of which alighted Dorothea and her Sister, and went into the same House, leaving Don Diego in a great rage, to see what he could not then remedy. He went home, and re∣solv'd to rid himself of so formidable a Rival. Having hir'd some of those, whose profession it is to murther any they are set upon, (a sort of peo∣ple may be as easily procur'd in Spain, as Porters in other places) he expected Don Sancho several nights together, and at last meeting with him, he set upon him, seconded by two of those mer∣cenary Hectors, as well arm'd as himself. Don Page 148 Sancho, on the other side, was reasonably well provided for them, as having about him, besides Sword and Poniard, a case of Pistols charg'd. He defended himself at first as a Lion, and found that his enemies had this advantage of him, that they defi'd any thing he could do with his Sword. Don Diego press'd upon him more than the others, who, being hir'd men, behav'd themselves accordingly. He retreated still all he could, to remove the noise of the engagement farther from the house where his Dorothea was: but at last fearing to endanger himself too far, and finding Don Diego still vio∣lently pursuing him, he discharg'd one of his Pi∣stols, upon which he fell down half dead, and call'd as loud as he could for a Confessor, and the two Hectors immediately vanish'd. Don Sancho got to his own lodging, and the neighbours came out into the street and found Don Diego, whom they knew, ready to depart this life, and charging Don Sancho with his death. He had soon notice of it by his friends, who told him, that though he might clear himself upon the judicial proceedings which might be brought against him, yet Don Diego's friends would be sure to revenge his death, and find out some way or other to kill him. He retir'd into a Monastery, whence he gave his Mistress an account how his affairs stood, and set all things in order to his departure from Sevil, as soon as he might do it safely. A strict search was made for Don Sancho, but he could not be found. The heat of it being over, and all persuaded that he had made an escape, Dorothea and her Sister, under pretence of some Devotion, were conducted by their Kinswoman, at whose house they had met, to Page 249 the Monastery, where Don Sancho was, and there, by the means of one of the Religious men, the two Lovers had an enterview in a private Chapel. Af∣ter some discourse, they made mutual promises one to the other of a constant fidelity, and parted with so much regret, and such melting expressions, that her Sister, her Kinswoman, and the Religious man, who were witnesses thereof, not onely wept then, but could never since think of it without tears.
Having deliver'd certain Letters to his Father's factor, to be sent to him to the Indies, he left Se∣vil, in a disguise. In those Letters he acquainted him with the accident, which had occasion'd his departure from Sevil, and that he intended for Naples. He got well thither, and was nobly en∣tertain'd by the Vice-Roy, who, among the many favours he did him, honour'd him with a near re∣lation to his person. But the main satisfaction was wanting, that of hearing from his dear Dorothea, so that within a year he grew weary of the kindness of his entertainment, and wish'd for some oppo∣tunity to leave Naples. He expected not long; for the Vice-Roy being to send out a small Squadron of six Gallies against the Turk, Don Sancho's cou∣rage would not let slip so fair an occasion to exercise it self. He was receiv'd, to the great satis∣faction of the Commander, who was glad to have a person of his worth and quality abo•rd him. This Squadron of Naples met with eight Turkish G•l∣lies, almost in sight of Messina, and eng•g'd them. After a long sight, the Christian Gallies took three of the enemies, and sunk two. The Admiral of the Christian Gallies was engag'd against that of Page 250 the Turks, which being better arm'd and mann'd t•an any of the rest, had accordingly made the greater resistance. In the mean time, the wind began •o rise, and the sea to grow rough, so that both Christians and Turks thought it concern'd them more to secure themselves against the Tem∣pest, than any further to prosecute the Engage∣ment. They jointly loos'd the Grapling-irons, whereby the two Gallies were fastned together, and the Turk•sh Admiral parted from the Chri∣stian, j•st •s Don Sancho had cast himself into it, no• follow'd by any body. Finding himself all alone amongst his enemies, he thought death to be preferr'd before slavery, and, what ever might be the consequence of it, cast himself into the Sea, hoping to recover the Christian Gallies by swim∣ming. But the weather prov'd such, that he could not be perceiv'd, though the Christian General, who had been witness of Don Sancho's action, and was extremely enrag'd at his loss, which he thought unavoidable, caus'd the Gallie to tack about to∣wards the place where he had cast himself over∣board. In the mean time Don Sancho made his way through the waves, and having swum a good way towards the shore, assisted by the wind and tide, he fortunately lighted on a plank of one of the Turkish Gallies, and with the help of it got to land on the co•st of Sicily. Having return'd God his humble thanks for so great a deliverance, he made towards a little hamlet inhabited by some poor Fisher-men, who gave him the best enter∣t•inment they could. The extraordinary actions he had done in the engagement, what he •ad suffer'd in the Sea, and the cold he endur'd, and his walk∣ing Page 251 afterwards in his wet cloaths, brought him into a violent feaver, which forc'd him to keep his bed for many days; yet at last, without any trouble of Physicians he recover'd his former health. During his sickness, he made a resolution to continue the world in the persuasion of his death; as well that he might be in less fear of his enemies, the Relations of Don Diego, as make a further trial of the fidelity of his Dorothea.
During the time of his aboad in Flanders, he had contracted an intimate friendship with a Si∣cilian Marquess, of the house of Montalto, whose name was Fabiano. He sent one of the Fishermen to Messina, where he liv'd, to enquire whether he were then in the Country; and answer being brought him, that he was there, he went thither, habited as a Fisher-man, and, in the night, goes to the Marquess's house, who, with all others to whom he was known, bewail'd his death. The Marquess was over-joy'd to meet with a friend, whom he had given over for lost. Don Sancho gave him an account how miraculously he had escaped, as also of his adventures at Sevil, and particularly the violent passion he had for the Lady Dorothea de Monsalvo. The Sicilian Marquess proffer'd to go along with him into Spain, and to bring away Dorothea, if she would consent, into Sicily. Don Sancho was extremely well pleased with the proposal, yet would not receive from his friend so dangerous demonstrations of his friendship, telling him, that he would be infinitely glad of his com∣pany into Spain, but for what might be the conse∣quence of it, he would remit all to fortune.
Don Sancho had a servant, of whose fidelity he Page 252•ad had many years experience. This fellow, whose name was Sanchez, took his Master's loss so heavily, that when the Christian Gallies, which had been in the former Engagement against the Turks, put in at Messina, to refresh themselves, he came asho•e and got into a Monastery, with a resolution to s•end the rem•inder of his days there. The Marque•Fabiano h•ving heard of the relation 〈◊〉•••mes had to Don Sancho, sent to the Su∣periour of the Monastery, (who indeed had en∣tert•in'd him upon the recommendation of that Sicilian Lord) desiring he might be dismiss'd, which was easily granted, in regard he had not yet put on the habit of the Religion▪ Sanchez not knowing what might be the occasion of his dis∣mission, made some difficulty to come out; but when he was brought into the presence of his dear Master, his soul was too narrow for his joy, for having cast himself at his feet, there was a ne∣cessity of some assistance to help him up again.
Some days after, he was sent by Don Sancho into Spain, to make preparations for his coming thi∣ther, and particularly to give him an account of Doro•hea, who, in the mean time, was persuaded, with all others, that Don Sancho was dead. Nay the report of his death soon flew into the Indies. Don Sancho's father di'd out of grief, not long af∣ter he had receiv'd that sad news, and left another Son he had four hundred thousand Crowns, con∣ditionally, that his Brother should have the one moiety of that summe, in case the news of his death should prove false. This Brother of Don Sancho's was called Don Juhan de Peralto. He took shipping for Spain, with this vast sum of Page 253 mony, besides abundance of rare Indian commo∣dities, sutable to the magnificence of a person, who had been Governour of a considerable place in those parts, and arrived safely at Sevil, about a year after the accident, which had happened to Don Sancho. Going under a name much different from his Brother's, it was easie for him to conceal the relation he had to him, besides the particula• concernment he had to keep it secret, by reason of the long stay his occasions might oblige him to make in a City, where his Brother had so many enemies. He chanc'd to have a sight of Dorothea, and fell in love with her, as his Brother had done, but with this difference, that she made him no re∣turn of his love. That afflicted Beauty could fancy nothing after the loss of her dear Don Sancho: whatever was done by Don Juhan de Peralto, instead of pleasing, was the greatest trouble in the wo•ld to her, nay she daily refus'd the best Matches about Sevil, which were earnestly propos'd to her by her Father Don Manuel.
Much about that time Sanchez comes to Sevil, and, according to the instructions he h•d re∣ceiv'd from his Master, secre•ly made the best en∣quiry he could, how the Lady Dorothea had be∣hav'd her self, since their departure thence. He was soon inform'd by common report, that a young Gentleman, of very great wealth, l•tely come from the Indies, was fallen in love with her, and made the most magnificent discoveries of his af∣fection that a passionate Sutor could imagine. He writ to his Master, representing things much worse than they were, and his Master imagin'd them yet worse than his Man had represented them. He Page 254 communicated the whole business to the Marquess, expressing so great a distraction at the account he receiv'd of his Mistress, that he was in some suspence whether he should see her any more. His friend comforted him the best he could, telling him, that it was not impossible but his man might be mis-inform'd, and that the affairs of his love might be in a much better posture than he expected. The reasons urg'd by the Marquess, together with his own reflections on the mutual promises of fidelity that had pass'd between them, especially the en∣dearing expressions at their parting, dispell'd those clouds of suspition, and represented his Dorothea as faithful and constant to him as she had engag'd to be. They thereupon resolv'd for Spain, and embark'd themselves at Messina in some Spanish Gallies, and in a short time happily arrived at St. Lucar's whence they took post for Sevil. They came into the City after night, and alighted at the house which Sanchez had taken for them. They stirr'd not out all the next day, but as soon as it was night, Don Sancho and the Marquess went their rounds, about the place where Don Manuel liv'd. They heard some people setting their Instruments in tune, under Dorothea's win∣dows, and soon after very excellent Musick, and that having ceas'd, a single Voice join'd to a Theorboe, made heavy complaints of the cruelty of a Tygress disguis'd into an Angel. Don Sancho felt some temptations within himself to spoil all the harmony of the Serenade, and to send away the Musicians with fleas in their ears: but the Marquess prevail'd with him to forbear, repre∣senting to him that he could have done no more, Page 255 if his Mistress had appear'd in the Balcony, to as∣sure his Rival, that she was not displeas'd with his Courtship; or the words of the Air, which had been sung, were acknowledgments of kindnesses receiv'd, rather than complaints of a dis-satisfi'd Lover. The Author of the Serenade, and his Company, went away, in all probability, not over-satisfi'd with what they had done, as having not so much as the stirring of a dog, to assure them that any body regarded their Musick: and Don Sancho and the Marquess, finding the coast clear, return'd to their quarters, where they had a long debate what construction they should make of the preten∣sions of this new Sutor. Don Sancho was inclin'd to a persuasion, that his Dorothea might have some secret kindness for him, though, for some reasons which hindred her from making any shew of it at that time, she seem'd to take no notice of his Courtship, especially when he consider'd, that she might, with all the others, be assur'd of his death. On the contrary, the Marquess entreated him to suspend his belief of her being engag'd to any other, till he had made some fuller discoveries thereof.
Don Sancho submitted to the remonstrances of his friend, and that the rather, when it came into his mind, that the greatest expressions of cou•tship made by one, whose person is not affected, are so much the more importunate. And indeed so were those of the Indian Cavalier, to the fair Dorothea, who was so far from giving him any encourage∣ment by her acceptance, that he could not but per∣ceive they were more and more troublesome to her. Her Father Don Manuel was extremely de∣sirous Page 256 to see her disposed in marriage, and she doubted not, but that if the Indian Cavalier, Don Juhan de Peralto, being a person so well descended, and so wealthy, should proffer himself for a Son-in-law, he would be preferr'd before all others, and she more earnestly press'd by her Father to accept of him than she had been.
The next day after the Serenade, whereof the Marquess Fabiano and Don Sancho had had their part, Dorothea took occasion to confer notes with her Sister, concerning Don Juhan, and his court∣ship, and told her, that she could not brook the gallantries of that conceited Indian, and thought it the strangest thing in the world, he should make such publick demonstrations of his love to her, be∣fore he had made any overtures thereof of her Father.
This was partly the character she gave Don Juhan de Peralto, which she deliver'd with such bitterness and derision, that Dorothea could do no less than wonder at it. It seems the scornful young Lady had clearly forgotten, that upon his first appearance at Sevil, she had confess'd to her Sister, that she lik'd him well enough, and when ever she had occasion to speak of him, she was as liberal of her commendations, as she was now of her reproaches. Dorothea observing her Sister so much chang'd, or at least seeming to be, as to the sentiments she sometimes had for the Indian Cavalier, immediately imagin'd, that her inclina∣tion towards him might be the greater, the more earnest she seem'd to have it thought, that she had not any. To be more fully assur'd of it, she told Feliciana, that she was not displeas'd with the gallantries of Don Juhan, out of any aversion she had for his person, nay, on the contrary, observing in his countenance somewhat of the air of Don Sancho's, she might prefer him before any other Page 258 Cavalier about Sevil; besides she doubted not, but that, having all the advantages of birth and for∣tune, he would easily get her Father's consent.
Feliciana blush'd at these last words of her Si∣ster, and was vex'd to the heart. Her thoughts were in such a distraction, that she spoke abun∣dance of things, which rather betrai'd her guilt, then contributed ought to her vindication; so that at last she was forc'd to confess, that she had a more than ordinary kindness for Don Juhan. Doro∣rothea encourag'd her to continue it, and promis'd to assist her all she could in the prosecution of her love. Having thus brought her to acknowledge what she before but suspected, she took compassi∣on of her, and forbore all further reproaches.
That very day, Isabella, who had discarded her beloved Guzman, ever since the unhappy accident Page 260 that had happen'd to Don Sancho, receiv'd orders from her Mistress Dorothea, to go to Don Juhan de Peralto, deliver him the key of one of the garden doors of Don Manuel, to tell him, that she and her Sister would expect him there, with a charge, that he should not fail to be at the place appoint∣ed, at mid-night, before which time, it was likely their Father would be abed. Isabella, who had been already corrupted by Don Juhan, and done all lay in her power, to bring him into her Mi∣stress's favour, but to no purpose, was extremely surpriz'd to see her humour so chang'd, and not a little glad, to be the messenger of such good news to a person, of whom, though she had not brought him any before, she had yet receiv'd many great presents. No doubt then but she made all the haste she could to the lodgings of the amorous Ca∣valier, who had receiv'd so little encouragement before, that he could hardly have believ'd his own good fortune, had it not been for the convincing assurance of the key, which she deliver'd him. That key open'd a place it was never intended it should, I mean the breast of the amorous Gallant, who presented his faithful Sollicitress with a perfum'd purse lin'd with a hundred good yellow pieces, which glorious sight rais'd in her as much fatisfa∣ction as she had brought him.
Were there a constant current of good fortune, that is, no vicissitude in humane affairs, and that what ever were fortunately begun might, without any rub or disaster, be brought to its period of happiness, there should be much less work for those who write Romances and Novels, and so the world would be depriv'd of a great deal of that Page 261 pleasure which is deriv'd from endeavors of that kind. But their delight wholly consisting in a certain conflict, and interfering of unexpected accidents, 'tis likely there will be a constant supply of such things, as long as mortals shall walk on this Mole-hill, as on a Chess-board, perpetually contriving how to cross the designs of one ano∣ther.
Whoever shall seriously consider this grave ad∣vertisement, will not think it strange, that, the very same night, Don Juhan was to come into Don Manuel's Garden, to meet with the two Sisters, Don Sancho, accompany'd by his friend, the Mar∣quess, should be walking their rounds about Doro∣thea's Lodgings, to be more fully satisfy'd of the designs of his Rival. It was no otherwise, and it will ever be a maxim, That one man's misfortune makes another man's sport. About eleven that night, the Marquess and he being gotten into that street, where Dorothea liv'd, four men well arm'd came up and posted themselves close by them. The jealous Don Sancho presently imagin'd it was his Rival, whereupon coming nearer them, he told them that the Post they had taken up, was very convenient for him, in order to the compassing of a design he was then engag'd in, and so desir'd them to quit it.
Don Sancho was as much enrag'd at this, as if Page 262 it had been the most uncivil answer that could have been given upon such an occasion: to draw there∣fore, and to charge persons, whom he thought so disobliging, was the same thing with him. That unexpected assault of Don Sancho's, surpris'd and put them into disorder, and the Marquess beha∣ving himself no less gallantly than his Friend had done, they defended themselves so poorly, that they were in a trice beaten out of the street. Don Sancho receiv'd a slight wound in his arm, and run him who had given it him so heartily through the body, that it was a good while ere he could get out his Sword again, and doubted not but he had dispatch'd him. The Marquess in the mean time was in pursuit of the others, who ran away as fast as they could, as soon as they saw their Camerade laid on the ground.
Having rid themselves of those spies, Don San∣cho look'd about him, and perceiv'd at one end of the street some people with a Light, coming up towards them, upon the noise of their engage∣ment. He was afraid it might be the Magistrate with his Officers, and it was no other. He made all the haste he could into the street, where they began to fight, and thence into another, in the midst whereof he met full but with an old Gentle∣man, who had a Lantern with him, and had drawn his Sword upon the noise which Don Sancho made by running towards him. The old Gentleman was Don Manuel, who had been at a Neighbour's house at play, as he was wont to do every day, and was then going to his own, by the Garden-door, which was not far from the place where he met Don Sancho. He call'd out to the amorous Cava∣lier, Page 263 Who goes there?
They were by this time come to the Garden-door; Don Manuel open'd it with a Key he had about him, and having brought in Don Sancho, he dispos'd him into a close Arbour, while he went into the House to take order for his more secret retirement, so as that none might know of his being there. Don Sancho had not been long in the Arbour, when he perceives coming towards him a Woman, who approaching spoke softly to him,
In the mean time Don Juhan came, according to his appointment, precisely at the hour assign'd him, opened the Garden-door with the Key he had receiv'd from Isabella, and went into the same Arbour, out of which Don Sancho was but newly gone. He had not been there long, ere he per∣ceives a Man coming streight towards him; he put himself into a posture of defence, for fear he might be assaulted, and was not a little surpris'd, when he found that Man to be Don Manuel, who bid him follow him, assuring him he should be so dispos'd of, as that he need not fear being disco∣ver'd. Don Juhan concluded from Don Manuel's words, that he might possibly have receiv'd into his Garden some Gentleman pursu'd by the Offi∣cers of Justice. He could do no less than follow him, giving him thanks all along as they went for the favour he shew'd him: but it may be withall conjectur'd, that he was not so much troubled, at the hazard he was running into, as the obstruction whereby his amorous design was disappointed. Don Manuel brought him into his own Chamber, and, having left him there, went out, and or∣dered a Bed to be made for himself, in another room.
We will leave him lock'd up where he is, ex∣tremely troubled, yet not daring to make the least discovery of it, and see, what is become of his Brother Don Sancho de Sylva. Isabella brought him into a Ground-room, which look'd into the Garden, where the two Sisters Dorothea and Fe∣liciana expected Don Juhan de Peralto; one, as a Page 265 Lover, whom she was very desirous to please; the other, to assure him that she could not have any kindness for him, and to persuade him he would do better to make his applications to her Sister. Don Sancho enters the room where the two fair Sisters were; they were frightned at his appearance. Dorothea stood like a statue, as if she had not been able to stir from the place; but her Sister fearing she could not continue long in that posture, dispos'd her into a Chair, lest she might have fallen down all along. Don Sancho after he had fix'd his Eyes on them, stuck to the place he was in: Isabella was ready to sink into the ground for fear, and imagin'd it might be the Ghost of Don Sancho, that appear'd to them, to revenge the injury his Mistress did him. Feli∣ciana, though much startled to see him risen from the dead, was yet more troubled at what had hap∣pened to her Sister, who being come to her self, Don Sancho took her by the hand, and made this discourse to her.
With these words Don Sancho would have quitted the room: but Dorothea stays him, and was going to vindicate her self, when Isabella comes running in to tell her, that her Master, Don Manuel, was coming after her. Don Sancho had onely time enough to get behind the door, and, while the Old man was chiding his Daughters that they had not been a-bed, and had his back towards the Chamber-door, made a shift to get out, and going back the same way into the Garden, went into the same Arbour where he had been before, and were preparing himself for what ever might happen, he expected a favourable opportunity to make his escape thence.
There are, no doubt, those, who think Love the Page 267 pleasantest thing in the world. But far is it from their imagination, that a Lover's constant court∣ships and adorations may at last be requited with contempt, scorns, frowns, and elusions, which require an extraordinary measure of patience and good nature to endure them. Little do they ap∣prehend, that a young Spark, after many years con∣tinu'd addresses, even when he thinks himself as it were within a barrs length of felicity, may, by some unexpected obstructions and disappoint∣ments, be tumbled into eternal disgrace, and all this occasion'd, not so much by any backwardness of his Mistress, as his own unhappy misappre∣hensions.
These were the reflections of the unfortunate Don Sancho, while Don Manuel was gone into his Daughter's chamber to fetch a Light, to bring in the Officers who were imperiously knocking at the Garden-door, upon the information they had re∣ceiv'd, that Don Manuel had entertain'd into his House one of those who had been fighting in the street. Don Manuel made no difficulty to let them in, to search his House, out of an assurance they would be so civil as not to look into his own Chamber, and that the Gentleman whom they expected to find, was safely lock'd in there. Don Sancho perceiving out of the Arbour, that it was impossible for him to escape the search of so many Officers as were scatter'd up and down the Gar∣den, comes out to Don Manuel, and whispers him in the ear, that a person of Honour would be more tender of his promise then to abandon one whom he had taken into his protection. Don Manuel, who was much surpris'd to find him there, entrea∣ted Page 268 the chief Officer, to leave Don Sancho, in his custody, till the next morning; which request was soon granted him, as well out of a respect to his quality, as for that the party, whom Don Sancho imagin'd he had kill'd, was not very dangerously wounded.
The Officers, having receiv'd somewhat to∣wards a morning's draught, took their leave, and departed; and Don Manuel, having discover'd by the same discourse which had pass'd between him and Don Sancho, when he first met him, that he must needs be the person whom he had receiv'd into his Garden, doubted not, but that the other was some Gallant, brought into the House, either by Isabella, or his Daughters. To be more fully satisfy'd of it, he conducted Don Sancho de Sylva into a room by himself, and desir'd him to stay there till he return'd again. He went to that place where he had left Don Juhan de Peralto, to whom he told a feign'd story, that his man was come into the House along with the Officers, and waited be∣low to speak with him. Don Juhan knew that his man lay very sick at that time, and not in a con∣dition to come to him, though he had known where he was, which he did not. He was therefore somewhat troubled at what Don Manuel had said to him, and so he had no other answer to make him, than that his m•n should go and stay for him at his Lodging.
By this discourse and some others Don Manuel found him to be that young Gentleman lately come from the Indies, who was so much talk'd of about Sevil, and, being sufficiently inform'd as to his quality and estate, resolv'd, he should not go Page 269 out of the House ere he had married that Daugh∣ter of his, to whom he had ever so little address'd himself. He spent some further time in discourse with him, to be more fully satisfy'd as to some doubts, which then burthen'd his mind. Isabella stood all the while at the door, and over-heard them, and gave an account of all to her Mistresses. Don Manuel had a glimpse of her, and imagin'd she was come with some message to Don Juhan, from one of his Daughters. He left him, to run after her, just as the Wax-light, which was in the room, being at an end, went out of it self. While the Old man is groping to find out Isabella, she acquaints Dorothea and Feliciana, that Don Sancho was in their Father's chamber, and that she had seen them talking together. The two Sisters ran thither upon her word, Dorothea being not afraid to find her dear Don Sancho with her Father, re∣solv'd, as she was, to acknowledge, that she lov'd him, and that she had been lov'd by him, and withall to tell him, upon what motives she had appointed Don Juhan to come thither that night. She therefore goes into the room, which was with∣out any light, and having met with Don Juhan, just as he was coming out, she took him for Don Sancho, and having him fast by the arm, she thus expostulated with him.
Don Juhan had the patience to suffer Dorothea to speak, without offering to interrupt her, that he might learn somewhat more than she had yet Page 271 discover'd to him. But perceiving she had given over, and expected some return from him, he was going to give her a sharp answer, when Don San∣cho, who was looking for the way into the Garden, and heard Dorothea speaking to Don Juhan, comes up close to her, making the least noise he could, yet not so as but that he was perceiv'd by Don Juhan and the two Sisters. They had not the time to speak one to another, ere Don Manuel comes into the room with a Light, which some of his Servants carried before him. The two Rival-Brothers look'd one on the other, and were ob∣serv'd to be in a posture ready to fall one upon the other, as having their hands on the hilts of their Swords. Don Manuel steps in between them, and commanded his Daughter to make choice of one of them for her Husband, that he might fight with the other. Don Juhan told him, that for his part he was ready to quit all manner of preten∣sions, if he might have any, and submitted him∣self to the Cavalier he saw before him. Don Sancho said the same thing, with this addition, that since Don Juhan had been brought into Don Ma∣nuel's house by one of his Daughters, it was pro∣bable they had a mutual affection one for the other, and that for his part, he would rather dye a thousand times, than enter into the state of Ma∣trimony with the least scruple. Dorothea cast her self at her Father's feet, beseeching him to give her audience, and he should know how all things stood. She related to him all that past between her and Don Sancho de Sylva, before he had, in her quarrel, kill'd Don Diego. She acquainted him that Don Juhan de Peralto fell afterwards in love Page 272 with her; as also with the design she had engag'd her self in, to undeceive him, and to advise him to demand her Sister in marriage, and at last con∣cluded her discourse with this protestation, that if she could not satisfie Don Sancho her inno∣cency, and the continuance of her affection to him, she would that very day enter into a Mona∣stery, whence no persuasions in the world should ever get her out again.
Don Sancho was soon satisfy'd with the account Dorothea had given of her fidelity towards him, and immediately demanded her in marriage of Don Manuel. By some passages of her discourse concerning Don Juhan, particularly by the time of his first appearance at Sevil, the place whence he came in the Indies, and the Relations he had there, the two Rival-Brothers came to know one the other. Don Juhan finding also by some cir∣cumstances of Dorothea's discourse, the affection which her Sister Feliciana had for him, humbly address'd himself to her, assuring her that if she still persisted in the same sentiments, he should think himself the happiest man in the world. He thereupon demanded her in marriage of Don Manuel, who receiv'd them both for his Sons-in-law, with a satisfaction that cannot well be ex∣press'd.
As soon as it was day, Don Sancho sent for the Marquess Fabiano, who came to participate of his friend's joy, after he had spent the night in di∣stracted thoughts what should have become of him. The whole business was kept secret, till Don Manuel and the Marquess had dispos'd a Cousin of Don Diego, to whom his Estate, upon Page 273 the other's Death, had faln, to forget his Kins∣man's misfortune, and accommodate himself with Don Sancho. During this negotiation, the Mar∣quess fell in love with a Sister of that Gentleman's, and demanded her of him in marriage. He gladly entertain'd a proposal so advantageous to his Sister, and thereupon was content to accept of any thing they could offer on the behalf of Don Sancho. The three marriages were solemnized the same day, with so great content of all parties, as was not onely remarkable at that time, but continu'd many years after.
The Invisible Mistress.
The Sixth Novel.
DON Carlos of Arragon was a young Gentleman of an illustrious Family, well known in Spain under that name; his person such, that a curious eye might have observ'd somewhat in him transcending all descriptions of the most elaborate Romances, yet not compa∣rable to the noble accomplishments of his mind. Page 275 But what comes more particular to the character we have to give of him, is, that, at certain Showes, wherewith the Vice-Roy of Naples entertain'd the populace, upon accasion of the Nuptial so∣lemnities of Philip, the second, third, or fourth, of Spain, (I cannot now well call to mind) he did things beyond their belief, who onely receiv'd them by relation. The next day after a famous Tilting, at which he had behav'd himself with such gallantry, as rais'd no less astonishment in the beholders, than indignation and shame in those who ventur'd at a trial of their address in the same exercise, the Ladies obtain'd a permission of the Vice-Roy, to go about the City disguis'd, and mask'd after the French mode, for the convenience of such Strangers as those magnificencies had brought thither from all parts of the Kingdom. That day, Don Carlos put on the richest cloaths he had, and went, among many others, who, as so many Cockatrices, intended to murther all the Ladies they look'd on, to a Church, where most of the Gallantry were to meet. Where be it observ'd by the way, that Christian Churches may be pro∣phan'd, as well in those Countries which profess most obedience to the holy See, as in others, and in stead of being us'd as the Temples of God, be∣come a Rendezvous for those who have not the opportunities so well to meet else-where. The onely remedy I can at present think of to prevent this scandal, is, that there be a new Officer cre∣ated in every Parish, whose charge it shall be, to mark what persons come to those Sacred places upon Love-appointments, and if they will not de∣part the place by fair means, to drive them thence Page 276 with as little regard, as they would do those snarl∣ing creatures, which many times stick not to quar∣rel there, to the great distraction of people's de∣votion.
But some busie-body will haply be so imperti∣nent as to ask, why I should trouble my head with these abuses, as if I were some Master of a Parish, or Lay-Elder, that had a Maid who should exer∣cise his dog at home? I would have the fool that is scandaliz'd at it, know, that in this lower part of the world, all men are fools, as well as liars, some more, some less, and perhaps I who now speak a greater fool than any, though it might abate some∣what of my folly, that I am so free to acknowledge it, and withal that this Book of mine, and all others of this kind, being but so many collections of fooleries, I hope, every fool in his quality and degree, will some-where or other light upon a lit∣tle description of himself, if he be not too much besotted with self-conceit.
But let the Reader take it as he will. Let me go on with my story. Don Carlos, as I told you, was gotten into a Church, with divers other Gentle∣men, Italians and Spaniards, who were strutting up and down in their feathers, like so many Pea∣cocks, and making reverences to more persons than they were known to, (a vanity practis'd some∣times in Churches as well as Hide-Parks) when three Ladies, all close mask'd, singl'd him out from among the rest, and having led him a little aside, one of them address'd her self to him either in these words, or others to the same effect.
The young Gallant was a little surpriz'd at the strangeness of the adventure; but having recover'd himself, he made this Reply.
The disguis'd Lady told him, that he had not omitted any thing which might render him, even in the judgment of persons less prejudic'd by kind∣ness than that Lady, one of the most accomplish'd men in the world. But another thing she had ta∣ken particular notice of, was, that it might be presum'd, by his Liveries of black and white, his affection was not any where engag'd.
There pass'd abundance of other ingenuous complements between them, for their discourse continu'd a long time; but I shall forbear the com∣munication of them, not onely because they never came to my knowledge, and that I am loath to make others out of a fear it might be to the dis∣advantage of Don Carlos and the unknown Lady, who were infinitely more witty than I am, as I have been since inform'd by an honest Gentleman of Naples, who was intimately acquainted with them both. The result was this, that the mask'd Lady declar'd her self thus far to Don Carlos, that she her self was the person who had that inclina∣tion for him. He desir'd to see her; She desir'd him to excuse her for the present, telling him she would endeavour to satisfie him some other time, and to assure him that she was not afraid to give him a meeting, at which there should be none but themselves, she would give him a pledge. With that she discover'd to the gentile Spaniard, the fairest hand he had ever seen, and presented him with a Ring, which he made no difficulty to re∣ceive, but with such distracted reflections on the odness of the accident, that he had almost for∣gotten to make her a congey, when she took leave of him.
The other Gentlemen, who had, at a distance, observ'd what had pass'd between Don Carlos and Page 279 the Lady, though not over-heard their discourse, seeing they were parted, came up to him, very desirous to know what might occasion so long a converse in so publick a place. He freely told them what had happen'd, and shew'd them the Ring, wherein was a Diamond of very great price. Whereupon every one pass'd his judgment on the adventure, and the result of the whole debate was, that Don Carlos found himself seiz'd by as violent a passion for the unknown Lady, as if he had seen her face, such an inevitable influence hath Wit over those that have any. Eight tedious days, and those attended by ten times more tedious nights, pass'd away ere he heard any further account of the Lady; which that he was extremely troubled at, I should easily have believ'd, though I had never been told so much.
During that time, his divertisement was to go every day to an acquaintance of his, a Captain of Foot, at whose house several persons of quality met to spend some few hours and pieces at play. One night, that Don Carlos was not in an humour to venture any thing, but was going home much sooner than he was wont, he was call'd by his name, from a ground-room belonging to a house, which seem'd to be some persons of great qua∣lity. He comes up close to the window, which had a grate before it, and presently sound by her voice, that she was his invisible Mistress, who presently said to him;
The invisible Lady suffer'd him to go on in his discourse, out of an expectation, that, among the many things he said, he might let fall somewhat, which might contribute to the further discovery she was desirous to make of him. But at last find∣ing nothing to fasten on but his distrust of her, she made him this Reply;
With these words she shut to the window, leav∣ing Don Carlos with his mouth open, ready to make her some Answer, so surpriz'd at the smart∣ness of her expressions, so passionately in love with a person he had never seen, and so distracted at the strangeness of the procedure, that, not able to stir from the place, he stood still for a good quar∣ter of an hour, making several reflections on so ex∣traordinary an adventure. He knew there were many Princesses and Ladies of great quality then at Naples; but he knew withal, that there were many subtil Curtezans, eagerly bent to trapan Strangers, greet cajollers of such as were ignorant of their impostures, and so much the more dange∣rous, by how much they were the more beautiful.
Having recover'd his astonishment, he went ve∣ry disconsolately to his lodging, but resolv'd to prosecute the design wherein he was engag'd, with all the caution he could, out of a fear it might prove a cheat put upon him. I shall not tell you Page 283 exactly whether he supp'd, or not, nor yet whether, in case he went to bed supperless, he slept, or not, and yet there might be much probability of the latter. These considerable circumstances of a He∣ro's life, I seldom trouble my self or my Reader with, though it be very much practis'd by the Au∣thors of much greater Romances, than the world is ever like to have from me. For those Gentlemen give such a punctual account of all their Hero's do, and regulate their employments according to the several parts of the day, appointing them to do such a thing first, and then some other, as if they were shut up in some place of spiritual Retreat. For example, they must rise betimes in the morn∣ing, and having met with some-body, though they had never seen the party before, entertain him or her, with the History of their adventures, till they be call'd in to dinner: dine very lightly, and, as soon as they have din'd, retire into some arbour, to proceed in the continuation of it, or spend the afternoon in reading some Romance; when-ever they drink, take as many go-downs as there are letters in their Mistress's names, in commemora∣tion of them; and if the clock strikes, make so many ejaculations for the good success of their Loves. If the weather be inviting to go abroad, they are led into some Grove, where they are to acquaint the Trees and Stones with their misfor∣tunes, till their supper-time calls them home, at which having, instead of eating, spent the time in sighes and reveries, go and build Castles in the air upon some Turret, that looks towards the Sea, while some Squire or Servant discovers that his Master is such a one, the Son of such a King, and Page 284 that there is not a better natur'd Prince in the world; and though he be then one of the hand∣somest men in the world, that he was quite ano∣ther person, before Love had disfigur'd him. And thus they make those whom they would represent for exemplars of all the great and heroick Ver∣tues, in many things no better than so many Extra∣vagant Shepherds and Don Quixots.
But to return to my Story. Don Carlos came the night following to the same post, where he found his invisible Mistress ready to entertain him. She ask'd him whether he had not been much troubled at the former converse they had together, and whe∣ther it were not true, that he had entertain'd some distrust of what she had told him. Don Carlos, without answering her question, entreated her to satisfie him, what danger or inconvenience there might be, in discovering her self, since things were upon eaven terms on both sides, and that they pro∣pos'd to themselves no other ends in their gallan∣tries, than such as might be approv'd by all.
The next day, there was to be an extraordinary Ball at the Vice-Roy's Palace. Don Carlos was in hopes to make a discovery there of the person, who Page 285 would be invisible to him in all other places. In the mean time he made enquiry, whose house that was, where he had receiv'd such favourable audi∣ences. He was told by the neighbours, that there liv'd in it an antient Lady, the Relict of a certain Spanish Captain, that she liv'd very private, and had neither Daughters nor Nieces. He knock'd at the door, and desir'd to see the old Lady; answer was brought him, that since the death of her Hus∣band, she admitted no visits from any person what∣soever; which added not a little to the disturbance of his thoughts.
Don Carlos went at night to the Vice-Roy's, where you may imagine there was a noble Assem∣bly of Gallants. He very exactly observ'd all the Ladies, to find out her whom he so much desir'd to know. He fell into discourse with those he met; but without any satisfaction. At last he singl'd out the Daughter of a certain Marquess, where his Ti∣tle lay I know not, nor care much, especially now we are come to an age wherein people are too for∣ward to assume Titles of Honour to themselves. The Lady was young and beautiful enough, and her voice came somewhat near hers whom he look'd for: but after much observation, he found such a distance between her intellectu•ls and those of his invisible Deity, that it r•pented him he had in so short a time made such a progress in his courtship to that Beauty, as whence he might pre∣sume that she had a more than ceremonious kind∣ness for him. They danc'd together several times, and the Ball being done, little to the satisfaction of Don Carlos, he took leave of his Captive, whom he left highly conceited of her self, that she alone, in Page 286 so noble an Assembly, had receiv'd the gallantries of a Cavalier, who was no less esteem'd by all the women, than envi'd by all the men.
From the Vice-Roy's, he immediately went to his lodging, and thence, having taken such arms as he thought requisite, to the fatal Grate, which was not far from it. The Lady, who was already got to her post, ask'd him what news he brought from the Ball, though she had been there her self. He in∣genuously told her, that he had danc'd several times with a very beautiful person, and had entertain'd her with discourse as long as the Ball lasted. This confession gave her occasion to put divers questions to him, whereby he might easily have perceiv'd that she was jealous. Don Carlos on the other side discover'd the trouble of his mind, that she had not been at the Ball, and that it gave him some cause to mistrust her quality. She soon observ'd what he would have been at, and to prevent the disturbance such a doubt might raise in him, she us'd all the wit and Rhetorick she had, and shew'd him all the kindness could be expected between two persons separated by an iron-grate, which concluded with a promise, that she would be vi∣sible within a very short time. They thereupon took leave one of the other, he very doubtful whe∣ther he should believe her, and she a little jea∣lous of the beautiful Lady, whom he had enter∣tain'd all the time of the Ball.
The next day, Don Carlos going into a Church, to hear Mass, and meeting just at the door with two Ladies mask'd, presented them with holy water, to sp•re them the trouble of taking it themselves. The better clad of the two told him, that in requital of Page 287 that civility she had somewhat to acquaint him with, wherein he might be highly concern'd.
Having shut themselves into the Chapel, she made him this discourse.
With these last words she went out of the Chapel, not staying for the Answer, which Don Carlos was ready to make her. He would have fol∣low'd her, but he found at the Church-door a person of quality, who presently fell into discourse, Page 289 with her, and continu'd it so long, that he grew weary of staying to see her dis-engag'd. All the remainder of the day, his thoughts were wholly taken up with this adventure, and he suspected, at first, that the Gentlewoman he had met with at the Ball, might be the last mask'd Lady, that had appear'd to him: but considering with himself, that she seem'd to be much more ingenuous, than the other had discover'd her self, he was at a loss what to think of it, and began to wish he had not en∣gag'd himself so far to his obscure Mistress, that he might have address'd his devotions to her whom he had last parted with. But at last, reflecting that she was no more known to him than his former invisible Lady, whose wit had charm'd him in the conversation he had had with her, he resolv'd what course he should take, and little regarded the me∣naces which had been made him, as being a person not to be frighten'd with great words.
In pursuance of this resolution, he went that very night to his iron-grate at the hour appointed. The two Lovers spent their time, much after the same rate as they had at their former meetings. But being come near the height of their amorous discourse, it was unexpectedly interrupted by a strange accident. Don Carlos was of a sudden sur∣priz'd by four men in vizards, who having dis∣arm'd him, carri'd him away by main force into a Coach, which waited at the lower end of the street. I leave the Reader to imagine how heartily he rail'd on them, and the reproaches he made them, that they had taken him so much at their advantage. Nay, he tri'd what fair words and pro∣mises might do; but instead of prevailing ought Page 290 upon them, it onely oblig'd them to look more narrowly to him, and deprive him of all hope to help himself either by his strength or courage.
In the mean time, the Coach went forward as fast as four good Horses could draw it, and about an hour after they had left the City, he was brought into a magnificent Palace, the great Gate whereof stood open, as if it had been purposely for his reception. The four disguis'd persons receiv'd Don Carlos out of the Coach, holding him fast under the arms, as if he had been some Ambassa∣dour conducted to the Grand Signor, or the King of Persia. He was brought up the first Story with the same ceremony, and there, two Gentlewomen mask'd receiv'd him, at the entrance of a spacious Hall, having each of them Torches in their hands. The disguis'd men took leave of him, and with∣drew, after they had made him a most low congey. 'Tis very probable, they left him neither Sword nor Pistol, nor that he return'd them any thanks for the care they had of him, and their trouble to bring him thither. Not but that he was a person of as much civility as any man in the world, but one surpris'd may well be pardon'd the backward∣ness of expressing it so much as another.
I shall not tell you whether those great Wax∣lights which the Gentlewoman held, were in Silver Candlesticks, but this I am sure of, that they were carv'd and emboss'd work, and the Hall was one of the most sumptuous in the world, and, if you please, the furniture of it, without disparagement, comparable to some Appartments of our late Romances, as for example Zelmana's Ship in Polexander, Ibrahim's Palace in the Illustrious Page 291 Bassa; or the Room, in which the King of Assy∣ria entertain'd Mandana, in the Grand Cyrus, which, not to disparage those other I nam'd, is, one of the most magnificently furnish'd Books of any in the world. Imagine then how much our cajoll'd Lover was astonish'd to find himself in so sumptuous an appartment, attended onely by two Gentlewomen mask'd, who spoke not at all, and conducted him thence into another room, more nobly furnish'd than the Hall, where they left him all alone. Had he been of the humour of Don Quixote, he would have been transported into some extravagance befitting so great an Ad∣venturer, and he would have conceited himself at least Esplandian or Amadis; but our grave Spa∣niard was no more troubled at it, than if he had been in some Inn, or Country-house of his own. True it is, he was much troubled for his Invisible Mistress, and having his thoughts continually fixt on her, he thought that room sadder than any Prison, which is neve• accounted handsome, but on the out-side. He was confident they intended him no hurt who had Lodg'd him so nobly, and wanted not much of being satisfy'd, that the Lady, who had spoken to him the day before in the Church, was the Sorceress, who had wrought all these enchantments. He admis'd in himself the fantastick humours of Women; and with what expedition they execute what they have once re∣solv'd; and thereupon he concluded it his best course patiently to expect the period of the adven∣ture, and to continue faithful to his Mistress at the Grate, what promises or menaces whatsoever might be made to him.
Page 292Some time after, certain Officers belonging to the House, all in Vizards, but very richly clad, came in to lay the cloath, which done, Supper was brought up. All was very magnificent; Musick and Perfumes were not wanting, and our Don Carlos, besides the senses of Smelling, and Hear∣ing, satisfy'd also that of the Taste, much beyond what I should have imagin'd, the condition he was in consider'd; my meaning is, that he made a good Supper, for, as I told you, he could not live on the airy entertainments of sighs, and amorous imaginations. I forgot to tell you, that I think he wash'd his mouth before he sate down, for I have heard, that he had an extraordinary care of his teeth. The Musick continu'd playing a good while after Supper, and all having left him, Don Carlos walk'd up and down the room a good while, ruminating on all these enchantments, or some∣what else, it m•tters not much. At last two Gen∣tlewomen mask'd, and a little Dwarf of a Page mask'd also, after they had laid a rich cloath on a Side-table, came to help him off with his cloaths, without any previous question, whether he had any mind to go to Bed or not. He suffer'd them to do what they pleas'd; the Gentlewomen order'd his Bed, and march'd away; the Page help'd him off with his boots or shooes, and afterwards with his cloaths. Don Carlos got into Bed, and all this was done with as strict an observation of silence of all sides, as if he had been in some Monastery of Carthusians. He rested well enough for an amo∣rous person; the Birds of an adjoyning aviary awak'd him at the break of Day; the mask'd Dwarf was ready to wait on him, and brought Page 293 him the finest Linnen, the whitest, and best per∣fum'd that he had ever seen.
'Twere too hard a task to give an account how he pass'd away the time from Morning till Noon, let those who feel the gripings of a passionate love imagine it, as for other people, it matters not what they think. The silence, which had hitherto been exactly observ'd of all sides, was broken at last, by another mask'd Gentlewoman, who came to ask him, whether he would be pleas'd to see the Princess of that enchanted Palace. He told her, it was his desire, and that she should be very welcome. Not long after, she comes into the room, attended by four Gentlewomen very richly clad, and with that lustre and attraction, as if the Graces had bestow'd the whole morning in dressing her. Never had our Spaniard seen a greater con∣junction of Love and Majesty in one countenance, than he now saw in that of this unmask'd Ur∣ganda. He was so ravish'd and astonish'd toge∣ther, that all the Congees he made, and the several postures he put himself into, while he led her by the hand into an adjoyning room, were little bet∣ter than so many stumblings. What he had thought so sumptuous in the Hall, and the other room, whereof I told you before, were nothing in com∣parison of what he found in this, and yet as mag∣nificent as all things were, they receiv'd some ad∣dition of lustre from the mask'd Lady, who ho∣nour'd the place with her divine presence. They sate down on a sumptuous Couch, the most sump∣tuous that had ever been made, since the first in∣vention of Couches. Having view'd him a while, to see how he kept his countenance, she at last Page 294 spoke to him, with a Voice as sweet as a Virginal, discovering her mind in a discourse, not much dif∣ferent from that I am now going to give you.
With those words she took off her mask, and gave Don Carlos a full discovery of Heaven, or, if you please, a small draught of it, the loveliest Head in the world, sustein'd by a Body of the noblest-stature he had ever admir'd, in a word, both together making up a person wholly divine. By the fresh complexion of her countenance, a Man would have guess'd her not to exceed sixteen years of age; but a certain mixture, of majesty and gallantry in the air of it, such as young persons Page 295 are not arriv'd to, gave a greater assurance of her being four years elder.
Don Carlos stood mute a while, as being unre∣solv'd what answer he should make her, not a little incens'd against his invisible Lady, who hin∣dred him from making an absolute disposal of himself to the most beautiful person he had ever seen, and at a perfect loss, both as to what he should say, or what he should do. At last, after an interiour conflict, which lasted long enough to raise some doubts in the Lady of the enchanted Palace, he took a firm resolution, to make her a clear discovery of his soul, and it prov'd (such is commonly the reward of sincerity) one of the no∣blest and most advantageous actions he ever did. But you expect his answer. Many persons, who have heard of it, have been of opinion he might have done better, and declar'd his mind a little more smartly, when he had once resolv'd which game he would be at. But I am onely his Secre∣tary, and think my self concern'd in point of con∣science, to lay down the very words he deliver'd, which were these, as near as I can remember.
He deliver'd this with so sad an accent, that the Lady might easily observe he made a sincere discovery of his thoughts. She omitted nothing which she conceiv'd might persuade him, to fall off from his former love; he was deaf to all, her entreaties, nay was little mov'd at her tears, though the greatest Rhetorick a Woman can use. She renew'd the charge several times; he as obsti∣nately kept his ground. At last she fell to bitter railings and reproaches, and having vented on him all the injurious expressions, that could proceed from exasperated rage, and that a woman's, she left him, not so much to consider what he had to do, as to curse his misfortune. A Gentlewoman came in a while after, to tell him, that, if he pleas'd, he might take a turn or two in the Gar∣den. He went, not meeting with any body in his way, till he came to the bottom of the stairs, where he found ten men with vizards on, who waited at the door, arm'd with Partizans and Carbines. As he pass'd through the Court, to go towards the Garden, which was in all things an∣swerable to the Palace, one of those men, who stood Centrie at the gate, comes up to him, and whispers him in the ear (as if he had been much Page 297 afraid to be over-heard) That he had receiv'd from an antient Gentleman a Letter directed to him, and that he had promis'd the delivery of it into his own hands, though it might hazard his life, if it were discover'd: but a present of twenty pieces, and a promise of a like summe afterwards, had pre∣vail'd with him to venture the doing of that dan∣gerous kindness. Don Carlos promis'd secresie, and made all the haste he could into the Garden to read what he had receiv'd from him.
Signor Don Carlos,
YOu may easily imagine what trouble I have been in, ever since I lost you, by that you are in your self, if so your love be as violent as mine. My affliction was not capable of any abatement, till I had discover'd the place where you are, and that's the onely comfort I have. The Lady, who contriv'd your surprize and carry∣ing away, from the place where we thought our selves secure from such ambushes, is the Princess Porcia. To satisfie her own humour, she slights all other considerations, and you are not the first Reynaldo that hath fall'n into the hands of that dangerous Armida. But I shall break all her enchantments, and it shall not be long ere I force you, out of her embraces, into my own, a happiness you will deserve, if you are as con∣stant as I wish you should be, to
Your invisible Mistress.
Page 298Don Carlos was ravish'd to receive this account of his Lady, for whom he had a real and violent af∣fection. He kiss'd the Letter till he grew weary of that divertisement, and return'd to the gate, to find out him from whom he had receiv'd it, and to require his kindness with a rich Diamond-ring, off his finger. He walk'd a good while longer in the Garden, wondring extremely at the strange hu∣mour of that Princess Porcia, of whom he had heard much, as of a young Lady of a very great for∣tune, and descended of one of the noblest Houses in the Kingdom; and being a person of great vertue, he conceiv'd such an aversion for her, that he re∣solv'd, though with the hazard of his life, to do all he could to get out of that restraint wherein she kept him.
As he was coming out of the Garden, he met with a young Gentlewoman, unmask'd (for upon the Ladie's discovery of her self, orders were given there should be no more masks seen about the Palace) who ask'd him, whether he would be pleas'd to admit of her Ladie's company, to dine with him that day. I leave you to judge, whether he return'd, She should be welcome, or With all his heart, or, That it was an honour he could not have aspir'd to. Soon after, dinner was brought in; the Princess appear'd fairer than the Day, and her con∣versation took the amorous Spaniard so highly, that it bred in him a secret trouble to see, in a person of so great quality, such excellent endowments so strangely misemploi'd. He endeavour'd all he could to put himself into a pleasant humour, though his thoughts were continually fix'd on his unknown Mistress, whom he was impatiently de∣sirous Page 299 to meet with once more at the grate.
As soon as they had taken away, and all the at∣tendants had quitted the room, the Lady assaulted his constancy one more, in these words.
Don Carlos paus'd a while, to see whether she would have gone on with the discourse, but per∣ceiving she had given over, and that, with her eyes fasten'd on the ground, she expected the sen∣tence he was to pronounce, he persisted in the resolution he had taken to deal freely with her, and put her out of all hope that he could ever be her Page 300 Servant, and so made her this cold and comfortless Answer.
He would have proceeded with this and other formal arguments, to satisfie her, but she gave him not the time.
Being one of the kindest Masters in the world, his Servants were over-joy'd to see him again; but they enjoy'd him not long. He put on armour, and accompani'd by two of them, whose courage he had former experience of, he made all the haste he could to the Grate, nay his haste was such, that those who attended him, had much ado to follow him. He had no sooner made the accustom'd signal, but the invisible Deitie answer'd him. They had a long discourse, and that so full of affectionate tenderness, on both sides, that I never think on it, without tears. At last, she told him, that, having receiv'd some affront in the house where she then was, she had sent for her Coach, to remove thence; but in regard it would be long ere it came, and that his might be sooner got ready, she entreated him to send for it, to conduct her to a place, where Page 302 he should not any longer complain of her invisi∣bility. The amorous Gallant staid not for a longer entreaty, he ran to his Servants, whom he had left at the end of the street, and sent them for his Coach, which being come, the invisible Lady kept her promise, and went along with him into it. She gave the Coach-man directions which way he should go, and bid him stop at a great house, into which he drove, by the light of many torches, which met them at the gate. Don Carlos con∣ducted the Lady as she directed him, up a large pair of stairs, into a spatious Hall, where he con∣tinu'd somewhat troubled to find her still mask'd. At last, several Gentlewomen richly apparrell'd, coming to receive them, every one with a great wax candle in her hand, the invisible Lady dis∣cover'd her self, and taking off her mask, satisfi'd Don Carlos, that the Lady at the grate and the Princess Porcia were but one and the same person.
It were no easie matter for me to tell you, how strangely the Spaniard was surpriz'd. The beautiful Neapolitan told him, that she had brought him away a second time, to know his final resolution; that what pretensions soever the Lady at the grate had to him, were now become hers, with a thousand other things highly amorous and witty. Don Carlos cast himself at her feet, embrac'd her knees, and kiss'd her hands, and so avoided the uttering of many impertinences, which people overjoy'd are apt to be guilty of. When these first transporta∣tions were over, he rallied together all his wit and gallantry, to celebrate the pleasant humour of his Mistress, and acquitted himself in expressions so advantageous to her, that she was further assur'd Page 303 of her not being mistaken in her choice. She told him, that she was unwilling to trust any but her self in a trial, without which, she could never have lov'd him, and that she would never have been any man's less constant than he had shewn himself.
Upon this, the Relations of the Princess Porcia being acquainted with her design, came in to them. She being one of the most considerable persons in the Kingdom, and Don Carlos of great quality, it prov'd no hard matter to get a Dispensation from the Arch-bishop, for their marriage. They were married that very night, by the Parson of the Pa∣rish, who being an eminent Preacher, 'tis likely, there wanted not a very good Exhortation. Some reported, that it was very late ere they were stir∣ring the next day, which I am apt enough to be∣lieve. The News was soon divulg'd, whereat the Vice-Roy, who was nearly related to Don Carlos, was so glad, that the publick divertisements began afresh in Naples, where they still talk of the Loves of Don Carlos and his INVISIBLE MI∣STRESS.
The Chastisement of Avarice.
The Seventh Novel.
NOT many years since, a young Lad, poor, to the very low∣est degree of poverty, yet of an ambition exceeding it, and infinitely more de∣sirous to be thought a Gen∣tleman, than to be account∣ed, either a rational Crea∣ture or a Christian, came along with his Father out Page 305 of the Mountains of Navarr, with a resolution (whether guided by instinct, or encourag'd by the directions of some others of his friends, I could never learn) to plant themselves at Madrid. They had heard much of the gallantry of that place, and were put in hopes, that they should meet with those thing• there, which they could not find in their own Country, I mean the favours and indulgences of Fortune, which are to be had at the Court, rather than any where else, yet are seldom obtain'd, without much courtship, and excessive importunities. It was the young Lad's good luck, though I know not by what charms procur'd, to be entertain'd a Page by some Grandee, or rather Prince, (for they have the vanity to think them∣selves such) a condition, not thought very honou∣rable in Spain, that is, much at the same rate as that of Lacqueys in France or England. He was put into the Livery about twelve years of age, and, no doubt, he look'd very prettily in it, such an al∣teration is the first smile of good fortune able to make, in one who, till then, had liv'd no otherwise than as an unciviliz'd Highlander. 'Tis possible, some other person would have grown insolent upon so strange a Metamorphosis; but he was of a quite different temper, and withal the most frugal Page that ever was, nay, what is the greatest commenda∣tion of a person of his quality, the least addicted to an Art call'd the Lightness of the Fingers, as haply having not yet been long enough in the City, to understand the advantages of his profession.
Having sold his former rags to the Brokers, he began to think himself a rich man; yet did not his wealth consist so much in the gaudiness of his ac∣coutrements, Page 306 as in the greatness of his hopes, and a wretched Bed, dispos'd into a small partition of a Garret, which he had taken, not far from his Ma∣ster's house, and there he retir'd in the night, with his Father, rich in years, since he liv'd, and, upon that account, raising a compassion in all he met, some were so charitable as to relieve him. Those charities were his daily revenue, but so small, that, many times, he went to his Cell, not onely supper∣less, but hungry. At last the old Man dyes, and his Son was glad to see him so well provided for, out of this reflection, that being disburthen'd of that charge, he was in a fair way to become a rich man. From the hour of his Father's interrment, he im∣pos'd upon himself so great a frugality, and enter'd into so strict and austere a kind of Life, that he spent in a manner nothing, of that little, which was allow'd him every day for his subsistance. 'Tis true, it was not without the grumbling and barking of his Stomach, and to the cost of all those, with whom he could make any acquaintance.
Don Marcos (so was called this remarkable example of penury) was a person of a stature somewhat below the middle size, and, through pure want of seasonable nourishment, he, in a short time, became the slenderest, and driest per∣son in the world. When he waited on his Master at table (which, it seems, was not so often as he could have wish'd) he never chang'd his plate, but that, if there were any thing left on it, he had the admirable sleight of conveying somewhat into his pocket, whether it were dry or liquid he matter'd not much. But finding by experience, that, when he secur'd any thing of the latter kind, it could not Page 307 be done without offence, he found out an expe∣dient to prevent that inconvenience, for having converted into mony the wax of a great number of Torches ends, which he had very carefully kept to∣gether, he bought him a pair of pockets of your Latten-ware, wherewith he afterwards did miracles, in order to the advancement of his fortune.
Most covetous persons are commonly vigilant and careful, and these two qualities, heightned by the insatiable passion, which Dom Marcos had, to become a rich Man, rais'd in his Master such an extraordinary kindness towards him, that he would not, by any means in the world, have parted with so excellent a Page. He continu'd him in his Li∣very, from the twelfth, as I told you, to the thir∣tieth year of his Age, so that, upon the account of his Seniority, he might have taken place of all the Pages in Spain. But there happen'd an inconve∣nience, which prevail'd with his Master to change that resolution, and that was, that this over-grown Page was oblig'd to shave himself every day; whereupon being transform'd from a Page into a Gentleman, he was made by his Master what Hea∣ven would never have made him.
The advantage of this transformation was, that his allowance was advanc'd, by a daily addition of some few Ryals; but he, instead of adding any thing to his expence, rein'd his Purse-strings the more, not regarding how much his new employ∣ment oblig'd him to betray a proportionable libe∣rality. He had heard indeed, that some of his Profession, instead of a Boy, to wait them, in the morning, made use of such as sold Aquavitae, to make clean their rooms, into which they got them, Page 308 pretending that they would have drunk of their Water, and sometimes in the Winter-time, they call'd up those that sold Wafers and Jumbals (a sort of people that walk as late as the Bak'd-pipin wenches do about London) to get off their Cloaths; but in regard this could not be done without a kind of violence, and that our Dom Marcos was of an humour, not to be unjust to any but himself, he conceiv'd it his best course not to be troubled with any Servant. Never was there a Candle's end burnt in his Chamber, but he came to it by slight of hand, and to make it last as long as might be, he began to undress himself in the street, from the very place where he had lighted it, so that by that time he was come to his Chamber, he was in a manner ready to get into his Bed. But considering with himself, that it was possible a Man might go to his rest with less charge, his inventive imagina∣tion found out another expedient, which was, to make a little hole in the partition, which separated his room from his next Neighbours, so as that, as soon as he had lighted his Candle, Dom Marcos opened the hole, and so had light enough to do any thing he had to do at that time of the Night.
That one side of his Body should not laugh at the other, nor either of them at the middle of his haunches, he wore his Sword one day on the right side, the next day, on the left, the third hanging perpendicularly down his back, and all this, that his Cloaths might be equally worn out of all sides, and that the D•mmage should be the less, being equally divided. Upon the very break of Day, he stood at his door, with a little Earthen pitcher in his hand, begging a little water of all the Water-bearers Page 309 that pass'd by, and so he suppli'd himself with water for many days together. He went many times into a little Buttery, just at the time that the other Servants belonging to his Master, who had their Diet in the House, were at Meals, and there he would take occasion to commend what they had before them, that some body might invite him to taste of it. He never bought any Wine, yet drunk of it every day, either by tasting what the publick Criers carri'd about, or staying in the streets those, who had been buying at the Ca∣barets, of whom he begg'd a taste, as if he inten∣ded to buy himself of the same. Coming to Madrid upon a Mule, he cast such a mist before the eyes of his Hosts, that he kept the poor Beast onely with pieces of the Bed-mats on which he lay, and what other remnants of old Mats he could meet with.
There happen'd a necessity, one time, that he must take a Servant along with him, upon a Jour∣ney he had to make; but growing weary of him the first day of his service, he bethought himself of a pretty device to put him off. Pretending that he could not drink the Wine at the Inn where he then was, he sent the poor fellow to another, a good League distant, where he said there was much better. There was no way but to obey the com∣mands of his new Master; but, before his return, he was gone away, and had left false directions, where to find him, and so the poor Boy was forc'd to get back again to Madrid with a weeping-cross, as being reduc'd to play the Pilgrim, and beg all the way, for the Mony he had given him to buy the Wine prov'd naught. In fine, Dom Page 310 Marcos became the living pourtraiture of base thrift and avarice, and was so well known to be the most covetous Man that ever Spain bred, that, in Madrid, they had no other name for a miserable fellow, than Dom Marcos.
His Master, and all his Friends, told a thousand pleasant stories of him, and that even in his pre∣sence, for he never troubled himself at their dis∣course, as minding his own advantage more than their raillery, though he understood it well enough, and would put in ever and anon some grave saying or Apothegm. One of them was, that a Woman could never be handsome, if she lov'd to receive; nor ever deformed if she had any thing to give: And that a prudent and thrifty Man should never go to Bed, till he had made some advantage or other. This excellent Theory, seconded by as exact a Practice, had brought him in, by that time he was arriv'd to forty years of Age, ten thousand Crowns in ready mony, a vast sum for a Gentle∣man, waiting on a Grandee, especially one of Spain. But what will not a long process of time bring a Man to, when he robs himself of all he can, as well as other people.
Dom Marcos having thus acquir'd the reputa∣tion of being rich, without that of following any evil course or gaming, was soon look'd upon as an advantageous Match, by several Women, who, above all things, and with all the artifices imagi∣nable, prosecute their own concernments. A∣mong the many who proffer'd him their enjoy∣ments and liberty, (for Women in Spain are but a small degree above Slaves) there was one I∣sidora, a Woman that went for a Widdow, though Page 311 she had never been married, and that it was at least forty years since she had been a Maid. She seem'd to be much younger than she was, so well was she vers'd in the disguises and artifices, which Women sometimes use, to bely their Age and Wrinkles. Her fortune was measur'd according to her ex∣pence, which was very high for a Woman of her condition; insomuch that the common report, which is ever rash and apt to lye, gave her out to be worth, besides what she might have in Mony and Jewels, three hundred Pounds sterling per ann. and at least ten thousand Crowns in Houshold-stuff. He who propos'd the match between Dom Marcos and this Isidora, was a famous Trapanner, one that traded in all sorts of Commodities, and a Hole-sale-Marchant in the common Druggs of the female Sex. He gave Dom Marcos such an advan∣tageous account of the Lady Isidora, that it made his teeth water to be acquainted with her, a curio∣sity he had never had for any person before. Nay, he persuaded him so far that she was rich, and the Widdow of a Cavalier, of one of the best Houses of Andalusia, that, upon the first proposals, he accounted himself as good as married to her. That very day, this subtle Sollicitor of Venereal Causes, whose name was Gamara, prevail'd with Dom Marcos to go along with him to visit Isidora at her house. The covetous wretch was ravish'd at the neatness and magnificence of the House, into which Gamara brought him, but much better pleas'd, when he conductor assur'd him, that both it, and all within it belong'd to Isidora. He found therein such Houshold-stuff, such Alcoves, Couches, and a profusion of Perfumes, as might become a Page 312 Lady of the greatest quality, rather than the future Spouse of a simple Gentleman, that waited on a Grand Signor of Spain; and for her own part, he thought her at least a Goddess. Dom Marcos found her very busie, about some extraordinary Works, sitting between two of her Waiting-women, both so highly clad, and so handsome, that, notwithstanding the natural aversion he had for expence, and especially that occasion'd by a super∣fluous number of Domesticks, he would have mar∣ried Isidora, though 'twere onely out of an ambition he then had, to have, at his command, such beauti∣ful young Maids, as he took them to be. Isidora's discourse was so excellent, that it not onely pleas'd, but in a manner enchanted, Dom Marcos; and what made an absolute conquest of his heart, was a magnificent Collation, at which the fineness of the Linnen, and the sumptuousness of the Plate were answerable to the other rich Houshold-stuff of the Lady, at whose charge it was. There was present at this Collation a proper young Lad, named Au∣gustine, well cloath'd, whom Isidora said was her Nephew, and whom his good Aunt, to shew her fondness of him, diminutively called Augustinetto, though he were above twenty years of Age. I∣sidora and Augustinetto out-vy'd one the other in their treatment of Dom Marcos, and were ever presenting him with what they thought best in the Collation; and while our up-start Gentleman satisfi'd his half-starv'd Stomach with provisions for at least one week, at the charge of another, his ears were charm'd by the sweet Voice of the Waiting-woman Marcella, who, to the sound of a Virginal, sung certain passionate Airs. Dom Page 313 Marcos forgot his Gentility, and fed like a Farmer, and the Collation ended with the day, the light whereof growing deficient was suppli'd by that of four great wax-candles, in candlesticks of massie sil∣ver exquisitely wrought, which Dom Marcos imme∣diately resolv'd within himself to reform into one single Lamp, as soon as ever he were married to Isidora. Augustinetto took a Gitthar, and plaid several Sarabands, which the crafty Marcella, and the other Waiting-gentlewoman Inez, danc'd ad∣mirably well, exactly answering the sound of the Gitthar with their Castagnets. The discreet Gama∣ra whisper'd Dom Marcos in the ear, that the Lady Isidora went to bed betimes. The civil Gentleman staid not for a second advertisement, and there∣upon addressing himself to Isidora, with such extra∣ordinary complements, and so great protestations of love and service, as he had never made to any before, he took leave both of her, and her Nephew Signor Augustinetto, leaving them at liberty to say what they thought of him.
Dom Marcos being thus deeply fallen in love with Isidora, but much more with her mony, ac∣knowledg'd to Gamara, who accompani'd him to his own lodging, that the beautiful Widow had smitten him in the more amorous part of his soul, and that he would have parted with a finger, on condition he were already marri'd to her; inasmuch as he had never met with any woman that pleas'd his fancy better than she did, telling him withall, that after their marriage, she should not live at such an extravagant rate.
Dom Marcos entertain'd Gamara with these discourses, or others to the same effect, walking still on, till he found himself just at the door of his lodging. Gamara took his leave of him, after he had promised, that the next day he would conclude his marriage with Isidora, and given him this rea∣son for his expedition therein, That affairs of that nature, many times, miscarried as much by delay as by the death of either of the parties. Dom Marcos kindly embrac'd the dear carrier on of his designs, and dismiss'd him. He went immediately back to Isidora, to give her an account in what posture he had left her humble Servant, and in the mean time our amorous Gentleman taking out of his pocket the end of a wax-candle, he fasten'd it to the point of his sword, and having lighted it at a lamp, which burn'd before a publick Crucifix, in a place hard by, not without making a kind of ejaculatory prayer, for the good success of his marriage, he open'd, with a Mistress-key, the door of the house where he lay, and laid himself down in his wretch∣ed bed, rather to pass away the night in reflecting on his Loves, than in sleeping.
Page 315The next morning Gamara comes to him, and acquainted him with the good news of the con∣clusion of his marrirge with Isidora, who referred it to Dom Marcos, to appoint the day, on which it should be solemnized. The amorous Miser told Gamara, that though he were married that very day, yet would it not be as soon as he wish'd it. Gamara repli'd, that it depended wholly on him∣self to consummate his own happiness: whereupon Dom Marcos, embracing him, desir'd the contract might be drawn up that very day. He appointed Gamara to meet him in the afternoon, as soon as he pleas'd, after he had waited on his Master at dinner. They both punctually met at the time and place appointed. They went to Isidora's house, where Dom Marcos was more nobly entertain'd than he had been the time before. Marcella sung; Inez danc'd; Augustinetto plai'd on the Gitthar; and Isidora, the principal Actress, gave her future husband an extraordinary Treatment, whereof she knew who should defray the charge at last. He de∣vour'd all was presented to him with as little re∣morse as a Wolf half-starv'd; and yet he could not forbear censuring the superfluity of the expence in his soul. Gamara was sent for a publick Notary; he brought one to act that part. The Articles of the Treaty of Marriage were soon set down, and as soon signed on both sides.
There was a motion made to Dom Marcos, that he would play a game at Primero, to pass away the time.
While Augustinetto was gone down to call up the Maids, Dom Marcos, addressing himself to Isi∣dora, acquainted her with his mind in these terms.
The cholerick Signor spoke these last words with so much transportation, that it cost Isidora a great many intreaties and submissions, to lay his great spirit, and reduce him to his ordinary tranquility. She did as good as fall on her knees, to desire Dom Marcos, that he would be no longer angry, assuring him, that her Nephew should give him all the satis∣faction he could expect, for he was but young, and of the most docile and compliant nature of any she had ever known.
They fell into some other discourse, upon the coming in of Augustine and the Dancing-women, and they spent some part of the night in dancing and singing. Dom Marcos, to spare himself the trouble of returning to his own lodging, would have persuaded Isidora, to condescend, that they might, from that time, live together, as man and wife, or that at least he might lie in her house, in regard it was grown later than he had imagin'd. But she put on a severe countenance, and earnestly pro∣tested, that ever since the unhappy day that had re∣duc'd her to the condition of Widdow-hood, never had any man set his foot into the chast bed which had sometime been her dear Lord's, nor should any, till the Church had interpos'd her authority, and Page 318 that, while she were a widow, no person should ever lie under her roof, but her Nephew Augustine.
Dom Marcos was much pleas'd with her resolu∣tion, notwithstanding his amorous impatience. He bid her good-night, return'd to his lodging, accom∣pani'd by Gamara, took out of his pocket the can∣dle's end, stuck it to the point of his sword, lighted it at the Lamp before the Crucifix, in a word, did all he had done the night before, so punctual was he in all things, unless it were that he said not his prayers, as he had done, haply because he thought his business effected, and that he stood not in any need of Hea∣ven's further assistance. The Banes of Matrimony were soon ask'd out, for there happen'd to come two or three holy-days together. At last, the marriage, so much desir'd on both sides, was consummated, and the solemnity thereof occasion'd a greater ex∣pence then was expected from the penuriousness of the Bride-groom, who, out of a fear of making any breach in his ten thousand Crowns, borrow'd mony of his friends. The chiefest of his Master's servants were at the wedding, and took occasion ever and anon to commend the good choice he had made. The cheer was extraordinary, though at the charge of Dom Marcos, who for that time was con∣tent to defray all, and, by a prodigy of affection, had caus'd very rich cloaths to be made for Isidora and himself.
The Guests departed in good time, and, the coast being clear, Dom Marcos went himself and lock'd the doors, and shut to and barr'd the windows, not so much for the security of his wife, as that of the Trunks, wherein his mony lay, which he order'd to be brought into his own room and set close by the Page 319 nuptial bed. The young couple went to bed, and while Dom Marcos was groping for what he could not find, Marcella and Inez were grumbling in their own chamber, at the strange humour of their Master, and blaming the forwardness of their Mi∣stress, in taking a husband. Inez burst forth into down-right swearing, and said she had rather be a Lay-Sister in a Monastery, than Servant in a house, whereof the doors were lock'd up at nine of the clock.
In these discourses did the two Waiting-women spend the time, after they were got into bed, and such were their comments on the marriage of their Master. Honest Inez fell asleep, but Marcella had somewhat else to do. As soon as she perceiv'd that her companion was asleep, she puts on her own cloaths, and made up a great bundle of those of Isi∣dora's, and some of Dom Marcos's, which she had slily got out of their chamber, before the over-cau∣tious Signor had lock'd the door. Having dispatch'd her business, she went her ways, and, because she had no intention to return ag••n, she left open the doors of that part of the house where Isidora liv'd. A while after, Inez awakes, and not finding her companion a-bed with her, she was very desirous to know what should become of her at that time of the night. She hearken'd a while at Augustine's chamber-door, not without some distrust and jea∣lousie: but not hearing any noise within, she went to search for her in all those places where she con∣ceiv'd she might be, and found her not, but all the doors, through which she had pass'd, wide open. She went and knock'd at that of the new-married couple, and did it with so much noise as put them into a fright. She told them that Marcella was run Page 321 away, that she had left the doors open, and she was afraid, that she had carried somewhat with her, whereof she intended not ever to make any resti∣tution. Dom Marcos starts out of bed, as a person out of his wits, ran to look for his cloaths, but could not find them, nor Isidora's wedding-gown. But what compleated his distraction, was, that, after a light was brought into the room, he found, what he least suspected, his dear spouse of a far different figure, from that, under which he had been so much taken with her; nay, so dreadful was the spe∣ctacle, that the narrow-hearted fellow was ready to swound. The poor Lady sitting up half-asleep, half-awake in her bed, never minded, that her periwig was fallen off. At last, she sees it on the ground, fallen down by the bed-side, and, taking it up, would have put it on; but a thing is never well, when it is done with too much precipitation. She put on the dress with that part before which should have been behind, so that her face, which, so betimes in the morning, had not receiv'd all its diurnal orna∣ments, appear'd in a very odd posture, and painted as it was, seem'd so dreadful to Dom Marcos, that he was afraid it might be some apparition. If he cast his eyes on her, he saw an uncouth monster, and if he look'd about the room, he could not see his cloaths. Isidora, extremely at a loss, made a shift to perceive that some of her counterfeit teeth were entangled in the long, brushy, and well-bristled mu∣stachoes of her husband. She went to retrive them thence with much confusion; but the poor man, whom she had frighten'd almost out of himself, imagining she had no reason to put her hands so near his face, out of any other design, than to take Page 322 him by the throat, or scratch out his eyes, retrea∣ted, and shunn'd her approaches, with so much nimbleness, that she, not admitted to close with him, was at last forc'd to acknowledge, that his Mustachoes had got away some of her teeth. Dom Marcos, upon that, began to stroak them up, and having met with his Wives teeth, which had some∣time been those of an Elephant, an original Inha∣bitant of Africk, or the East-Indies, he flung them at her head with much indignation. She gather'd them together, as well those scatter'd in the Bed, as those about the Room, and made her escape into a little Closet, with that exquisite treasure, and some head-brushes, which she took out of the Bag, where her Night-cloaths were.
In the mean time, Dom Marcos having suffici∣ently renounc'd his Christianity, set himself down in a chair, where he made most sad reflections on the misfortune had befallen him, in marrying a woman, who, by the snows of at least sixty winters, that powder'd her shav'd pate, had discover'd her self to be older than he was, by twenty years, yet not so well stricken in them, but that she might spend the other score in his company, nay, haply more. Augustinetto, who was awak'd by the noise, came into the room, with his cloaths half off, half on, and did all lay in his power to appease the Hus∣band of his Aunt by adoption: but all the Answer the poor Man could make to his remonstrances, was, to sigh, and sometimes smite his thighs, some∣times his face, with his bare hand. Then was it, that he bethought him of a noble Gold chain he had borrow'd, to adorn himself withal on his Wed∣ding-day; but all he had left of it, was that sad Page 323 remembrance. Marcella had got it in the bundle of cloaths, which she had carried away. He look'd up and down for it, with some patience and tran∣quility, very diligently searching every crany about the Chamber: but when he had wearied himself with searching, and was convinc'd, that it was lost, together with all the pains he had taken to look for it, never was there such a conflict of rage and af∣fliction, as then distracted the poor Dom Marcos. His sighs were so loud, that, if people had been awake, they might have been heard over the whole quarter. Upon those doleful lamentations, Isidora comes out of the closet, but so chang'd, and so beautiful, that he thought his Wife now the third time metamorphos'd. He look'd on her with a certain astonishment, and spoke not to her with any indignation. He took out of one of his Trunks the cloaths he wore every day, put them on, and, follow'd by Augustinetto, went out to weary him∣self in running up and down the streets, after the mischievous Marcella. They sought, and search'd, and enquir'd, but all to no purpose, till the clock striking twelve minded them of their Dinner, which was made up of what had been left of the Wedding-feast. Dom Marcos and Isidora fell a quarrelling, as people that were desirous to eat, and fed as heartily as people inclining to quarrel. Yet would Isidora now and then put in a word, to pa∣cifie Dom Marcos, and to bring him into his for∣mer peaceable humour, speaking to him with the greatest humility and mildness imaginable, and Augustinetto did all he could to make an accom∣modation between them: but the loss of the Chain of Gold was as great a torment to Dom Page 324 Marcos, as if he had been run through the Body with a Dagger.
They were ready to rise from the Table, and onely staid for Augustinetto to make an end, who minded his belly more than their difference, when there came into the room two men, from the Ad∣miral of Casteel's Steward, to entreat Madam I∣sidora, that she would return the Plate he had lent her for fifteen days, and which she had now kept a month. Isidora knew not any other Answer to make them, than that it should be forth-coming. Dom Marcos told them that it was now his, and that he would keep it. One of the men staid in the room, to be in sight of what they made so much difficulty to restore, while the other went to the Steward, who immediately came, and reproach'd Isidora with her unhandsome carriage, made little account of the opposition of Dom Marcos, and all he had to say for himself, carried away the Plate, and left the Man and Wife ready to quarrel, upon this new occasion of quarreling. Their contest was almost brought to an accommodation, when a Broker, accompanied by his Servants, and some Porters, came into the room, and told Isidora, that, since she was richly match'd, he came for the Houshold-stuff she had taken upon hire, together with the Brokage-mony, unless she had a mind to buy them out-right, and so spare him the trouble of taking them down.
This unexpected accident put Dom Marcos out of all patience; he would have beaten the Broker; the Broker made it appear that he was a man as able to return as to receive, and fell a railing at Isidora, who return'd him as good as he brought. Page 325 He beat her; she reveng'd her self as well as she could, the consequence whereof was, that, in a short time, the floor was strew'd with the teeth and hair of Isidora, and the cloak, hat, and gloves of Dom Marcos, who, though he had little reason for it, would needs take his Wife's part.
While the Combatants gather up the broken pieces of their harness, and the Broker carries away the goods, and is paid for the use of them, as a Bro∣ker, and that all together make a noise as if Hell were broke loose, the Landlord of the House, who had Lodgings in some part of it, comes into Isi∣dora's room, and told her, that he would not have such a stir kept in his House, and that if they re∣solv'd to continue it, they should look out for ano∣ther Lodging.
He was once more appeas'd, and bethought himself, that a new Lodging must be taken, the old one being grown too hot for them. Dom Marcos and the Nephew went out to take one, and so I∣sidora had a little relaxation. These unexpected accidents rais'd a little commotion within her, but when she look'd about the room, and saw, not the Hangings, for those were gone, but the Trunks well lin'd with Silver, she took heart, and bore the more patiently the testy disposition of the Husband which brought them thither.
Dom Marcos took some convenient Lodgings in the same Quarter, where his Master liv'd, and sent back Augustinetto to dine with his Aunt, being him∣self, as he said, too much press'd with grief, to eat out of the same Dish with that transcendent Cheat. But in the evening he came to her, with all the day's vexation, and cruel as a Tygre; not so much out of kindness to the Woman, as to visit his Trunks, and, by his presence, to secure them. I∣sidora entertain'd him with all the submissions and complacency imaginable; insomuch that they lay together, and pass'd away the night without any alarms. In the morning, as soon as she was dress'd, she had the confidence to desire him, to go to the new Lodgings, there to receive the Goods, which she Page 327 would order her Nephew and Inez to see brought thither in a Waggon. Dom Marcos went thither, and, while he was contriving how to dispose of them into several rooms, the ungrateful Isidora, the young Rogue Augustine, and the perfidious Inez plotted together, and pack'd up all the best things in a Wagon, got into it themselves, leave Madrid, and take their way towards Barcelona. Dom Marcos grew weary of staying for them, and went back to his old quarters, where he found the Doors lock'd, and was told by the Neighbours, that they were gone away with the Goods many hours since. He return'd to the place from whence he came, imagining he had miss'd the Wagon by the way, but found no more than what he had left there. He immediately marches back again, mistrusting what misfortune might have happened to him; he breaks open the Door, and found there, onely some old Bed-steeds, Stools, Tables, and Fire-irons, which it seems they thought either too troublesome, or not worth the carrying away. There was no body to be reveng'd on but himself; his venerable Beard and Hair were the first sufferers for his folly; then his Eyes; he bit his Fingers till the blood gush'd out, and had a great temptation to make away with himself; but the hour was not yet come.
There are not any so unfortunate, but they flat∣ter themselves with some hope: he ran up and down to all the Inns about Madrid, to find out those, who had left him so basely in the lurch, but could not meet with any tidings of them. Isidora had not been so simple as to hire a Wagon that should return thither any more; she had taken it up at a Village not far from Madrid, and, to a∣void Page 328 pursuit, had agreed with the Wagoner, that he should make no longer stay in the City, than were requisite to take in her self, her company, and her goods. Wea•ier than a Dog, that had run all day after a Hare and mist her, the poor Gentleman was returning from his searching the Inns about the City and Suburbs, when it was his chance, to meet Marcella full-but in the streets. He laid hold of her,
Page 329Dom Marcos was a person guilty of as little malice as any other; the tears and eloquence of the crafty Marcella prevail'd with him, not onely to hearken to her, but also to believe what she said to him. He went therefore along with her into the en∣try of a great house, where she told him, that Isidora was an old decai'd Curtezan, who had ruin'd all those who were so unh•ppy as to fall in love with her, yet had not much advantag'd her self thereby, by reason of the vast expences she was at. She fur∣ther acquainted him with what she had understood from her companion Inez, that Augustin•tto was not Isidora's Nephew, but a kind Night-bird, the Bastard of another Curtezan, of her acquaintance, and that she maintain'd him, under the notion o• her Nephew, to gain her self the greater authority among those of her own profession, and to revenge her quarrels. She told him, that she had deliver'd th• gold-chain & the other things she had carri'd away, to that young Hector, & that it was by his order, she had gone away in the night, and without taking her leave, which was a pure trick put upon her, that she onely might be thought guilty of so l•ud an action.
This plausible story Marcella told Dom Marcos, out of a hope it might procure her escape out of his hands, or at least to observe the good custom, which most Servants have, to be very apt to lie, and to tell of their Masters, as well what they do not, as wh•t they do, know. She concluded her vindication, with a promise that all things should •e return'd him when he least expected it, exhorting him in the me•n time to exercise his patience.
The credulous Dom Marcos entreated her, of all love, that she would bring him to the sight of Page 331 this miracle of the Black Art; which Marcella pro∣mis'd she would do, and appointed him to meet her, the next day, at the same place. Dom Marcos came, and had not been there long, ere Marcella came also, who immediately told the besotted man, that the Magician, of whom she had spoken to him the day before, had already taken some pains, in order to the finding out of what had been stollen from him, and that, to carry on his work, he want∣ed onely a certain quantity of Amber, Musk, and some other Perfumes, to entertain the Spirits he was to invoke, who were all of the first order, and of the best Houses in Hell. Dom Marcos, without any deliberation, carri'd Marcella to the Drug∣sters, and bought what quantities thereof she ap∣pointed him, so infinitely did he think himself oblig'd to her, that she had found him out a Magici∣an. She afterwards conducted him to an obscure house, which look'd very suspitiously, where, in a ground-room, or rather a Cellar, wretchedly matted about, he was receiv'd, by a man in a long Cassock, with a huge bushy beard, who spoke to him with a great deal of gravity.
After a little discourse, the Student of the infernal Sciences, whom Dom Marcos look'd on with abun∣dance of respect and fear, lighted two black wax-candles, and gave them the frighten'd fellow to hold, in each hand one; caus'd him to sit down in a very low chair, and exhorted him, but too late, not to fear any thing. He put afterwards several que∣stions to him, as to his age, course of l•fe, and the goods which had been taken away from him; and after he had look'd into a Gl•ss that stood by, and read some time in a certain book, he told Dom Page 332 Marcos, who was ready to▪— for fear, that he had found out where the things were, and thereupon describ'd them, one after another, so exactly, accor∣ding to the instructions he had receiv'd from Mar∣cella, that Dom Marcos let the candles fall out of his hands, to go and embrace him about the neck. The grave Magician blam'd him very much for his impatience, and told him, that the operations of his infallible Art requir'd a serious and reserv'd composure of the body, adding withal, that, for acti∣ons, of a lower degree of confidence & familiarity, the Spirits had sometimes beaten, nay strangled some men. Dom Marcos grew pale at those words, and setled himself again in his chair, after he had taken up the candles.
The Magician ask'd for the perfumes, which Dom Marcos had bought, and the counterfeit Mar∣cella deliver'd them to him. Till then, she had been a de•out spectator of the Ceremonies; but, being now upon the point of Invocation, he order'd her to quit the room, pretending that the Spirits could not endure the company of woman-kind, especially if there were any mistrust of the dilapidation of t•eir Virginity. Marcella, making a low curtzy, went out of the room, and the Magician taking a copper chaffing-dish, full of coals, made as if he c•st on them the perfumes, which Dom Marcos had brought, but he had mix'd among them a good quantity of stinking sulphur, which made such a thick smo•k, that the Magician himself, who had unadv•s•dly bow'd down his head too near the co•ls, was almost choak'd by it. He cough'd as vio∣l•n•ly as if he had had a burr in his throat, and so o•ten, that his bushy beard, which was not of the Page 333 growth of the Country where it was then planted, and it seems had not been well fasten'd, fell down, and discover'd the Magician, to be the same pernicious Ga∣mara, who had trapann'd him into all his misfortunes.
Upon this discovery, Dom Marcos made no difficulty to fling away his magical candles and to take the Im∣postor by the throat, which he grasp'd as hard as he could, crying out, with a dreadful voice, Thieves, Thieves. The Magistrate, attended by some Officers, chanc'd to pass by just at that time; They came into the house, where they imagin'd the noise was made, which was the greater, in regard Gamara, whom Dom Marcos still had by the throat, cri'd out as loud as the other. The Officers, at their entrance into the house, met with Marcella, whom they secur'd, and, after∣wards, having broke open the door of the Necroman∣tical chamber, they found Dom Marcos and Gamara grapled together, and tumbling up and down the floor. The Magistrate knew Gamara for a person, he had look'd after a long time, and one he had order to ap∣prehend as a notorious Night-walker, a Pandar, and a searcher of other mens houses without any Commissi∣on. He commanded them all three to prison, and caus'd an inventory to be taken of all things found in the room. Dom Marcos was set at liberty the next day, up∣on his Master's engagement for him. He was brought in as a witness against Gamara and Marcella, who were found guilty of having stollen those goods of his which were named in the Inventory. There were many other things found, some whereof they had stollen, some taken in, as Pawns, for Gamara was a Jew, and consequently a Broker, and an Usurer. When he was taken, he was upon the point of marriage with Mar∣cella, who brought him, as a portion, besides what Page 334 she had stoll'n from Dom Marcos, an inclination to steal, not inferiour to that of her future husband; an aptitude to learn any thing he would have taught her, nay to exceed her Tutor, and a body handsome, whole∣some, and young enough, to be often bought, often seal'd and deliver'd, and likely to weather out, a long time, all the services and inconveniences of Curteza∣nism.
The justness of Dom Marcos's cause, supported by the mediation of his Master, procur'd him the restitu∣tion of all had been stollen from him. Gamara was condemn'd to the Gallies for the remainder of his life, unless he should out-live ninety-nine years; and Mar∣cella was order'd to be severely whipp'd, and banish'd; and the common opinion was, that they were both very favourably dealt with. As for Dom Marcos, he was not so glad of having recover'd some of his things, and being reveng'd of Gamara and Marcella, as trou∣bled, that the cheating Rogue was no real Magician. The loss of his ten thousand Crowns made him in a manner distracted. He went every day to visit all the Inns about Madrid, till, at last, he met with certain Mule-drivers, who, returning from Barcelona, told him, that they had met, within four or five days jour∣ny of Madrid, a Wagon, loaden with houshold-stuff, in which there were two women and a young man, and that they were forc'd to make some stay at an Inn, be∣cause two of their Mules had di'd by the way, through over-driving. They describ'd the man and the two women, so as that Dom Marcos presum'd they could be no other than Isidora, Inez, and Augustine. Upon this advertisement, without any further deliberation, he put himself into a Pilgrim's habit, and having got Letters of recommendation from his Master, to the Page 335 Vice-Roy of Catalonia, and a Decree out of the Court against his fugitive wife, he took his way towards Bar∣celona, sometimes a foot, sometimes on Mules, and got thither in a few days.
He went immediately to the Port, to take up his lodging, and the first thing he saw, as he came into it, was his own Trunks, carried by Porters into a Shallop, and Isidora, Inez, and Augustine marching after them, as a Convoy, to be thence convey'd into a Vessel that lay in the Haven, wherein they were to embark for Naples. Dom Marcos follow'd his enemies, and went along with them into the Shallop, as fierce as a Lion. They knew him not, by reason of his broad-brimm'd Pilgrim's hat, and took him for one going to our Lady's of Loretto, whereas the Mariners receiv'd him as one of the same company, because he came in so confidently along with them.
Dom Marcos, being thus got into the Shallop, could not sit still, by reason of the distraction of his thoughts, not so much out of any reflection what should become of himself, as what should become of his Trunks. In the mean time, the Shallop made to∣wards the Vessel, and with such speed, or rather Dom Marcos was so taken up with what run in his mind, that he was got under the Vessel, ere he thought him∣self near her. They began to get up the things; which action awaken'd Dom Marcos out of the Lethargy he was in, which yet was not such, but that he still had his eye on the dearest of his Trunks wherein all his mony wa•▪ One of the Marriner• came to fasten that Trunk, with •ome others, to the pully, to be drawn up into the Vessel. Then it w•s, that Dom Marcos forgot him•elf; he saw •he Trunk fasten'd; though he sate close by, yet was not mov'd; but seeing it lifted up in Page 336 the air, he laid hold on it with both hands, by the iron rings, whereby it was remov'd from one place to another, resolv'd never to part with it any more. 'Tis possible, he might have had his desire; for what will not a covetous person do, to preserve his mony? But, as ill fortune would have it, that Trunk got loose from the other two, which were fasten'd with it, and falling just upon the head of the unfortunate Miser, who yet would not let go his hold, tumbled him into the Sea, and thence into another place ten times deeper than it. Isidora, Inez, and Augustine knew him, just as he and the Trunk were falling into the water: but the loss of the one put them into a grea∣ter trouble, than the revenge they fear'd from the other. Augustine, enrag'd to see such a vast summe of mony lost, and not able to smother the first eruptions of his fury, gave the Mariner, who had been so negli∣gent in the fastning of the Trunks, a hearty blow over the face. The Mrriner return'd it with interest, and prosecuted his revenge so far, till, at l•st, he turn'd him over-board. As he was falling into the water, he laid hold on the unfortunate Isidora, who could not lay hold on any thing, and so was forc'd to accompany her dear Nephew, who, much against his will, went to see what was become of Dom Marcos. Inez made a shift to get up into the Vessel, with what was re∣maining of the goods, which she squander'd away in a short time at Naples; and, after she had traded, and liv'd many years, a Curtezan, she at last di'd like a Curtezan, that is, in the Hospital.