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.