Scarron's novels ... rendred into English, with some additions, by John Davies ...
Scarron, Monsieur, 1610-1660., Davies, John, 1625-1693.
Page  [unnumbered]Page  185

SCARRON's NOVELS.

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 Elemnt: 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.

I know well enough what is pre∣par'd for me, and what I have deserv'd, replies the undaunted Moor, and as it will be of little advantage to me to confess any thing, so are there not any torments that shall make me do it. I cannot avoid death, since I would have given it thee, I would have thee know, that the Page  189 rage I am in, that I could not dispatch thee, tor∣ments me beyond all that can be inflicted on me by the most inventive executioners. These wo∣men, Spaniards by descent, were my Slaves; one of them hath done as I wish'd her, and compli'd with her fortune, by marrying my Brother Zaides; the other would never change her Re∣ligion, nor make the least kind return to the love I had for her.

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.

You will find it otherwise, replies Zoraida, by the attention I shall give you, and my concerns therein will satisfie you, that you may safely en∣trust the secret thereof to a person who infi∣nitely loves you.
Embracing her with these words, she entreated her not to put off any longer the satisfaction she desir'd of her. They were all alone, and the fair Slave, having wip'd off the tears which the memory of her misfortunes drew into her eyes, she thus begn he relation thereof.

My name is Sophia, said she, I am a Spaniard, born at Valentia, and brought up with all the Page  191 care and tenderness which persons of quality, such as were my Father and Mother, could ex∣press towards a Daughter who was the first fruits of their marriage, and soon appear'd wor∣thy of their affection. I had a Brother, younger than my self by a year, as lovely a child as could be seen; he lov'd me as much as I lov'd him, and our mutual friendship grew up to such a height, that when we were not together, there might be observ'd in our countenances, such a sadness and disquiet, as the most pleasant divertisements of persons of our age were not able to disperse. Order was thereupon taken that we should not be asunder: we learn'd together whatever is commonly taught children, well descended, of both sexes, nd so it happen'd, to the great asto∣nishment of all, that I came to be as skilful and dextrous as he, in all the violent exercises of a Cavalier, and he as ingenious in whatever is per∣formed by young Gentlewomen. This extra∣ordinary kind of education took so much with a Gentleman, an intimate acquaintance of my Fa∣ther's, that he desir'd his children might be brought up with us. The business was propos'd to my Friends, who approved thereof, and the nearness of their houses promoted the design of both parties. That Gentleman was not inferiour to my Father, either as to quality or wealth. He had also onely a Son and a Daughter, much about my Brother's age and mine, insomuch that it was not doubted, but the two Houses would be united one day by a double marriage. Don Carlos and Lucia (so were the Brother and Si∣ster call'd) were equally amiable: my Brother Page  192 lov'd Lucia, and she him; Don Carlos lov'd me; I, him, as much. Our Parents knew it, and were so far from being displeas'd thereat, that had we not been too young, they would then have seen us married together.

But the happy state of our innocent Loves was disturb'd by the death of my lovely Brother; a violent Feaver snatch'd him from hence in eight days, and this was the first of my misfortunes. Lucia was so troubled thereat, that no per∣suasions could keep her from embracing a Reli∣gious life. I was sick to death, and Don Carlos was so far given over, as that his Father began to fear he should see himself without issue, so great a grief did he conceive, at the loss of my Brother, whom he lov'd, the danger I was in, and his Sister's resolution. Don Carlos's Father di'd soon after, leaving his Son a vast estate. Now was he in a condition to discover the nobleness of his nature; the gallantries he invented to please me prevail'd on my vanity, made his love more publick, and added much to mine. Don Carlos often addres'd himself to my Pa∣rents, desiring them to consummate his happi∣ness by bestowing their Daughter on him. He in the mean time continu'd his extraordinary expences, which my Father perceiving, and considering his estate could not hold out long at that rate, resolv'd we should be married. He therefore put Don Carlos in hope, that he should ere long be his Son-in-law, at which News he discover'd such an extraordinary joy, as would have persuaded me that he lov'd me above his own life, though I had not been so fully assur'd of Page  193 it as I was. He appointed a Ball for me, and invited all the Gallantry of the City to it: but to his misfortune and mine, there happen'd to be at it a Neapolitan Count, whom some affairs of importance had brought into Spain. He thought me handsome enough to fall in love with, and having enquired what quality my Fa∣ther was of, he went, and, without any other ceremony, demanded me of him in marriage. My Father, dazled at the wealth and quality of this Stranger, promis'd him what he desir'd, and that very day sent Don Carlos word, that he might forbear all further addresses to his Daughter, forbad me to receive his visits, and commanded me to look on the Italian Count, as the person I should be married to, as soon as he wee return'd from Madrid. I dissembled my affliction before my Father; but as soon as I was got alone, Don Carlos presented himself to my imagination, as the most aimable person in the world. I reflected on all could be quar∣rel'd at in the Italian Count; I conceiv'd an implacable aversion against him, and I felt my self so possess'd with the love of Don Carlos, that it was equally impossible for me to live with∣out him, and to be happy with his Rival. My recourse was to my tears, but what remedy were they in so great a misfortune.

While I was in this distraction, Don Carlos comes into my chamber, without first demand∣ing my permission, as he was wont to do. He found me as it were dissolv'd into tears, nor could he forbear his, though he seem'd willing to conceal what lay heavy on his soul, till he had Page  194 discovered the true sentiments of mine. He cast himself at my feet, and taking me by the hands, which he bedew'd with his tears, I must then loose you Sophia! and a stranger, whom you hardly know, shall be happier than I, because he is somewhat richer. He will be possess'd of you, Sophia! and you consent thereto; you, whom I have so infinitely lov'd; you, who would persuade me that you lov'd me, and were promis'd me by a Father, but alas! an unjust Father, an interess'd Father, and one that hath basely recoyl'd from his word! If you are, continu'd he, a Jewel that may be set at any price, 'tis onely my fidelity that can purchase you, and it is upon the account of that, you should be yet mine rather than any Man's; if you have not forgotten that you have promised me the like. But, cries he, do you imagine that a person who had the courage to raise his desires to you, wants it to be reveng'd of one you prefer before him; or will you think it strange, that a Wretch who hath lost all should not un∣dertake any thing? If you are content that I alone should perish, this fortunate Rival shall live, since he is so happy as to please you, and you think him worthy your protection: but Don Carlos, who is now become odious to you, and whom you have given over to his despair, will dye of a Death cruel enough, to satiate the hatred you have for him.

Don Carlos, reply'd I, do you joyn forces with an unjust Father, and a person whom I never could fancy, to persecute me, and im∣pute o me, as a particular crime, a misfortune Page  195 which is common to us both? You may rather bemoan than accuse me, and bethink your self of the means to preserve me yours, than pierce my soul with undeserv'd reproaches. I could make more just ones to you, and force you to acknowledge, that you never sufficiently lov'd me, since you never sufficiently knew me. But we have no time to loose in fruitless remon∣stances. Carry me where you please, I'l fol∣low you, and therefore I give you leave to at∣tempt any thing, and promise to second you in it, so that I may ever be yours.

Don Carlos was so reviv'd at these words, that he was as much transported with joy, as he had been before with grief. He begg'd a thou∣sand pardons for his having charg'd me with the injustice he thought done him, and having sa∣tisfy'd me, that unless I were remov'd thence, it was impossible I should avoid complying with my Father's will, I referr'd my self wholly to his disposal, and promis'd him, that the second night after, I would be ready to go along with him. Don Carlos spent the next day in setting his affairs in order, made provision of Money, and a Bark, which was to set sail, whenever he sent orders to that purpose. In the mean time I made up all my Jewels, and what Money I had, and, being a person so young as I was, so well dissembled my design, that no body had the least suspition of it. I was not observ'd by any, so that I might safely take my way out at the Garden-door, where I found Claudio, a Page, whom Don Carlos had a kind of fondness for, upon the account of his skill in Singing, Page  196 which was as excellent as his Voice, and that in his manner of speaking, and all his actions, he discover'd a greater pitch of ingenuity, under∣standing, and gentileness of carriage, than the condition of a Page is commonly observ'd to have. He told me, that his Master had sent him before, to conduct me to the Bark, and that he could not come himself, for some reasons I should know when I saw him. A Slave of Don Carlos, whom I also knew very well, soon after came to us. We got out of the City without any trouble, and were not gone far from it ere we perceiv'd a Vessel in the Road, and soon after a Shallop that waited for us at the Water∣side. They told me, that my dear Don Carlos would come very suddenly, and that in the mean time, I should go to the Vessel. The Slave carry'd me into the Shallop, and several Men, whom I had observ'd on the shore, and took for Mariners, forc'd Claudio also to get into the Shallop, who seem'd to make some resistance, to avoid coming into it. This added to the trouble I was already in, for the absence of Don Carlos. I ask'd the Slave where he was; he roundly answer'd, I was not to expect any Don Carlos there.

In the mean time, I could hear Claudio cry∣ing out as loud as he could, and bursting forth into tears, saying to the Slave, Treacherous Amet! is it thus thou keep'st thy promise with me, and, by removing my Rival out of the way, leav'st me with my Lover? Imprudent Claudio! replies the Slave, is a Man oblig'd to keep his word with a perfidious person, or could I expect, Page  197 that one that hath betray'd his own Master, should not serve me the like trick, by giving notice to those who have the over-sight of the Coasts, to make out after me, and deprive me of Sophia, whom I love beyond my own Life?

These words spoken to a Woman, whom I took all the while to be a Man, and whereof I could not understand the meaning, caus'd me so great an affliction, that, I fell down in a manner dead in the arms of the perfidious Moor, who had not stirr'd from me. I continu'd a good while in the swound, which, when I had reco∣ver'd, I found my self in one of the Cabbins of the Vessel, which was now got a good way to Sea. Imagine to your self what despair I must be in, finding my self without my Don Carlos, and among the professed enemies of my Reli∣gion, for I soon perceiv'd that I was in the power of the Moors; that the Slave Amet had absolute power over them, and that his Brother Zaides was Master of the Vessel. The insolent Villain no sooner saw me in a condition to hear what he might say, but, in few words he told me, that he had a long time had an affection for me, and that his passion forc'd him to carry me thus away by violence, and to bring me to Fez, where it should be my own fault, if I were not as happy as I might be in Spain, as it should be his, if I there had any occasion to regret the loss of Don Carlos. I made a shift to close with him, notwithstanding the weakness I was in by reason of my former swounding, and, by a vi∣gorous attempt, which he thought not off, and which, as I told you before, I had learnt when I Page  198 was a child, I drew out his Cymitar, and had punish'd him for his perfidiousness, if his Bro∣ther Zaides had not seasonably laid hold on my arm, and so sav'd his Life. It was no hard mat∣ter to disarm me, for, having miss'd my blow, I forbore making any further vain attempts, against so great a number of enemies. Amet, who had been frightned at my resolution, or∣der'd all to withdraw out of the room where he had dispos'd me, and left me in an affliction not easily to be imagined, after the cruel change which had happened in my fortunes. I spent the whose night in bemoaning my self, nor did the next day bring any remission of my grief. Time, which mny times alleviates such trou∣bles, could do nothing on mine, insomuch that the second day after our setting out to Sea, I was in a greater distraction, than I had been that unlucky night, when, with my liberty, I lost the hope of ever seeing Don Carlos again, and ever having a minute of enjoyment while I liv'd. Amet had found me so terrible, when ever he presum'd to appear before me, that he came no more into my sight. At certain times, some∣what ws brought me to eat, but I so obstinate∣ly refus'd it, that the barbarous Moor began to fear he had brought me away to no purpose.

In the interim, the Vessel had pass'd the Streight, and was not far from the Coast of Fez when Claudio comes into my Cabbin. As soon as I perceiv'd him, unhappy miscreant, who hast thus betray'd me, said I to him, what had I done to thee, that thou should'st make me the most wretched person in the world, and deprive Page  199 me of Don Carlos? You were too much belov'd of him, replies he, and since I lov'd him as well as you did, I have committed no great crime, in endeavouring to remove a Rival, as far as I could from him: but if I have be∣tray'd you, Amet hath also betray'd me, and I should haply be no less troubled than you are, did I not find some comfort in this considera∣tion, that I am not miserable alone. Prethee, let me understand these riddles, said I to him, and know who thou art, and, consequently, whether I have, in thee, a Friend or an Ene∣my.

Know then, Sophia, said he to me, that I am of the same Sex as your self, and, as well as you, I have also been in love with Don Carlos; but if we have suffer'd by the same flame, it hath not been with the same success. Don Carlos hath ever lov'd you, and hath ever be∣liev'd, that you lov'd him; whereas, on the con∣trary, he never lov'd me, nor could ever ima∣gine that I should love him, as having not known me to be what I truly was. I am of Valentia, as you are, and my quality and fortunes are such, that if Don Carlos had married me, he needed not to have fear'd the reproaches made to those who under-ally themselves. But the affection he had for you wholly took him up, and it seems he had eyes onely for you. Not but that mine did what they could, to save my mouth the labour of making a shameful dis∣covery of my weakness. I went to all places where I thought to meet him; I plac'd my self where he might see me, and I did all things for Page  200 him, which he should have done for me, had he lov'd me, as I lov'd him. I had the disposal of my self and estate, as having been left an Or∣phan while I was yet very young; and there were often propos'd to me matches equal to my condition, but the hope I still cherish'd, that I might at length engage Don Carlos to love me, hindred me from complying with any. Instead of being discourag'd by the unhappy fate of my love, as any other would, who, as I, had suffi∣cient perfections not to be slighted, I was the rather excited to the Love of Don Carlos, by the difficulty I found to insinuate my self into his affections. In fine, to avoid the self-re∣proach, that I should neglect any thing which might promote my design, I caus'd my hair to be cut, and having disguis'd my self in Man's cloaths, I got my self presented to Don Carlos by an old menial Servant of my own, who went under the name of my Father, a poor Gentle∣man of the Mountains of Toledo. My coun∣tenance and Meen your Lover lik'd so well, that he was soon induc'd to take me into his service. He knew me not again, though he had seen me so many times, and he was as soon satisfy'd with my ingenuity as taken with my voice, and my skil in singing, and playing on all those instruments, on which persons of Quality may, without disparagement, divert themselves. He soon found in me those endowments which are not commonly seen in Pages, and I gave him so many demonstrations of my fidelity and discretion, that he treated me rather as a Con∣fident, than a Domestick servant. You know Page  201 best of any, whether I am to be credited in what I say. You have a hundred times commended me to Don Carlos, even in my presence, and done many good offices, but what vex'd me to the heart, was, that I receiv'd them from a Ri∣val, and while they made me more acceptable to Don Carlos, they render'd you the more hate∣ful to the unhappy Claudia, (for so I am called.) In the mean time, the treaty of your marriage went forward, my hopes backward; that was concluded, these were lost. The Italian Count, who, about that time, fell in love with you, and whose Titles and Estate as much dazled your Father's eyes, as his warp'd countenance and his imperfections gave you occasion to slight him, procur'd me at least the pleasure, to see you a little travers'd in your loves, and my soul began to flatter it self with those fond hopes, which the unfortunate are over-apt to derive from vi∣cissitude. In fine, your Father preferr'd the Stranger, whom you fanci'd not, before Don Carlos whom you did. So I saw her, who caus'd my unhappiness, in her turn, unhappy her self, and a Rival whom I hated, more unfortunate than my self, since I lost nothing in a man, who had never been mine, whereas you lost Don Car∣los, who was wholly yours, and yet that loss, how great soever it might be, was haply to you a les∣ser misfortune, than to have, for your perpetual Tyrant, a man, whom you could not love.

But my prosperity, or, to say better, my hope, prov'd not long-liv'd. I understood from Don Carlos, that you were resolv'd to follow him, and I was employ'd to set things in order to Page  202 the design he had to carry you to Barcelona, and thence to cross over into some part of France or Italy. All the force I had had till then to endure my cross fortune, left me upon this so sharp an assault, it being a resolution I was the more sur∣priz'd with, the less I had apprehended ny such misfortune. The trouble I conceiv'd thereat cast me into a sickness, and that confin'd me to my bed. One day, as I was bemoaning my sad des∣tiny, and that my presumption of not being overheard by any made me break forth into as loud expostulations, as if I had spoken to some Confident, who knew the secret of my loves, I perceiv'd standing before me the Moor, Amet, who had heard me. Having recover'd the trouble his unexpected presence had put me into, head-dress'd himself to me in these words.

I know thee very well, Claudia, and that even before thou hadst disguis'd thy sex, to be∣come a Page to Don Carlos; and that I never discover'd this my knowledge of thee, proceeded hence, that I had a design as well as thou hadst. I have heard what desperate resolutions thou art ready to take; thou wilt discover thy self to thy Master to be young Maid deeply in love with him, and yet hopest not any from him, and then thou wilt kill thy self in his presence, so to de∣serve the regrets of him, whose love thou couldst not gain. Wretched Lass! what will be the effect of thy own self-murther, but to give So∣phia a further assurance of her Don Carlos? I have a better advice for thee, if thou art able to to take it. Deprive thy Rival of her Servant; it may easily be done, if thou credit me, and though Page  203 it requires much resolution, yet no more than thou hast already express'd, in putting on man's habit, and hazarding thy honour, to satisfie thy love. Hear me then attentively, continu'd the Moor, I will acquaint thee with a secret, which I never discover'd to any, and if thou likest not what I shall propose to thee, it will be at thy own choice, whether thou follow it or not. I am of Fez, a person of quality in my Country; my misfortune made me slave to Don Carlos, and Sophia's beauty, hers. I have told thee much in few words. Thou think'st thy misery remediless, because thy Lover carries away his Mistress, and is bound for Barcelona. 'Tis both thy happiness and mine, if thou canst make thy advantage of the opportunity. I have treated about my ransome, and paid it. A Galeot of Africk waits for me in the road, not far from the place where Don Carlos hath one ready for the execution of his design. He hath put it off for one day; let us prevent him with as much diligence as subtilty. Go and tell Sophia from thy Master, that she should make ready to come away this night, at the time thou shalt come for her; conduct her to my Vessel; I will carry her into Africk, and thou shalt continue alone at Valentia, to enjoy thy Lover, who haply would have lov'd thee as soon as Sophia, had he but known that thou hadst lov'd him.

At these last words of Claudia, I was so over∣come with grief, that with a deep sigh, I fell in∣to another swound, without any signs of life. The out-cries of Claudia, who haply then began to repent her that she had made me so unfortu∣nate, Page  204 yet was nevertheless such, brought Amet and his Brother into the room where I was. They appli'd all the remedies they could, till at last I recover'd, and might hear Claudia still reproaching the Moor with his perfidiousness. Infidel Dog! said she to him, why hast thou ad∣vis'd me to reduce this Beauty to the deplorable condition thou see'st her in, if thou hadst no mind to leave me with the person I lov'd? And why hast thou caus'd me to commit against a person so dear to me, a treachery which proves as hurtful to me as to him? How dar'st thou say thou art of noble birth in thy Country, when thou art the most perfidious and basest of all men? Hold thy peace, simple Maid, replies Amet, reproach me not with a crime, wherein thou art my Complice. I have already told thee, that he, who could betray a Master as thou hast done, very well deserv'd to be betrai'd, and that taking thee along with me, I onely secure my own life, and haply Sophia's, since she might have di'd of pure grief, upon the knowledge of thy staying behind with Don Carlos.

At these words, the noise made by the Mar∣riners, who were ready to enter into the Port of Salley, and the shooting off of some Guns, which were answered by the Artillery of the Port, interrupted the reproaches reciprocally made to one the other, by Amet and Claudia, and for a while eas'd me of the sight of those two odious persons. We got a-shore; Claudia and I had veils put over our faces, and we were lodg'd with the perfidious Amet, at a Moor's, one of his kindred. The next day, we were Page  205 dispos'd into a close Chariot, and conducted to Fez, where, if Amet were receiv'd by his Fa∣ther with much joy, I came in, the most afflict∣ed and most desperate person in the world. For Claudia, she soon provided for her self, re∣nouncing Christianity, and marrying Zaides, brother to the treacherous Amet. The wicked woman us'd all the artifices imaginable to induce me to change my Religion, and to marry Amet, as she had done Zaides, and so she became the most cruel of my Tyrants, even while, after they had in vain tri'd to draw me in by kindness, fair promises, and treatments, Amet and all his people exercis'd on me all the barbarism they could. My constancy was suffi∣ciently exercis'd against so many enemies, and I was more able to endure my troubles than I could have wish'd my self, when I began to ima∣gine that Claudia repented her, that she had been so wicked. Before others she seem'd to persecute me with greater animosity than any, but privately she did me some good offices, which made me look on her as a person who might have been virtuous, had her education been accordingly.

For one day, while all the rest of the women were gone to the publick Baths, as you Mahu∣metans are wont to do, she came to me, and finding me very sad, she spoke to me to this purpose. Fairest Sophia! I have heretofore thought I had some reason to hate you, but now that hatred is at an end, since I have lost the hope of ever enjoying him, who lov'd not me enough, because he lov'd you too much. It Page  206 grieves me to the soul, that I have occasion'd your misfortune, and forsaken my God, for fear of men. The least of these stings were enough to make me undertake things beyond my sex. I can no longer live at this distance from Spain, and all the Christian part of the world, with these Infidels, among whom I know it is im∣possible I should ever work out my salvation either here or hereafter. You may assure your self of my repentance by the secret I shall ac∣quaint you with, which putting my life at your disposal, you may revenge your self of all the mischiefs I have been forc'd to do you. I have corrupted fifty Christian Slaves, most Spaniards, and all persons fit to undertake some great en∣terprise. With the mony I have secretly given them, they have secur'd a Bark ready to waft us over into Spain, if it please God to favour so so good a design. All you have to do is to joyn fortunes with me, and so escape if I do, or, pe∣rishing with me, get out of the hands of your cruel enemies, and put a period to so unfortu∣nate a life as yours is. Resolve therefore, Sophia, and while we cannot be suspected guilty of any design, let us, without loss of any time, consider of the most important action of your life and mine.

I cast my self at Claudia's feet, and mea∣suring her by my self, I never question'd her sincerity. I was at a little loss to give her suf∣ficient thanks, and assure her of the great resent∣ments I had of the favour which I conceiv'd she would do me. We appointed a day for our escape, towards a place on the Sea-side, where Page  207 she told me that our Bark lay, under certain Rocks. The day, which I thought would prove so happy, came; we very happily got out of the house and City. I admir'd the goodness of Hea∣ven in the easiness we found in compassing our design, and I incessantly bless'd God for it. But the end of my misfortunes was not so near as I thought it. Claudia did all this by order from the perfidious Amet; nay, exceeding him in perfidiousness, the end of her bringing me to such a solitary place, and that in the night time, was onely to leave me to the violence of the Moor, who durst not have attempted ought against my chastity in his Father's house, who, though a Mahometan, was yet a morally honest man. I innocently follow'd her, who led me to destruction, and I thought I should never be sufficiently thankful to her, for the liberty I was in hope ere long to obtain by her means. I could not be weary of giving her thanks, not yet of going a good pace, in rough ways encompass'd with rocks, where she told me that her people expected her, when hearing a certain noise be∣hind me, and turning my head, I perceiv'd Amet with his Cymitar drawn. You infamous Slaves, said he, is it thus you run away from your Ma∣ster? I had not the leisure to answer him. Clau∣dia held my hands fast behind, and Amet letting fall his Cymitar, came up to the Renegado, and both of them together did what they could to bind my hands with cords, which they had pro∣vided for that purpose. Having a greater strength and activity than women commonly have, I a good while resisted the attempts of those two Page  208 wicked persons: but at length I grew weak, and my onely recourse was to my cries, which might draw some passenger into that solitary place, where I rather hoped not for any relief, when Prince Mulei came in to my rescue. You have heard how he sav'd my honour, nay I may say my life, since I had assuredly died of grief, if the de∣testable Amet had had his desires on me.

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.

You are extremely like a person I lov'd very well, says Sophia, I would say Don Fernand, and for that resemblance I will be your friend, if you find in your self no aversion to become mine. The same reason, replies Don Carlos, which obliges you to proffer me your friendship, had already ensur'd mine to you, if it be worth your acceptance. You are somewhat like a person I have a long time been in love with; you have her Countenance and Voice, but you are not of the same Sex, and certainly, added he, with a deep sigh, you are Page  214 not of her Humour.
Sophia could not forbear blushing at those words of Don Carlos, which he took no notice of, haply by reason his eyes, which began to be moistened with tears, could not well perceive the alterations of Sophia's countenance. She was troubled, and not able at the present to dissemble it, she desir'd Don Carlos to come to her Tent, where she would expect him, and so left him, after he had describ'd his Quarter, and told him that he was known in the Army by the name of Don Fernand, one of the

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.

Could you imagine, Sir, said Don Carlos to her, that a Gentlewoman of such Quality, who had re∣ceiv'd so many assurances of my Love, and had given me as many of hers, should be wanting in point of fidelity and honour; should have the subtilty to smother such great failings, and be so blinded in her choice, as to prefer, before me, a young Page I had, who carried her away from me, the day before I should have done it. But are you fully convinc'd it is so, says Sophia to him. All things are in the disposal of Chance, which sometimes is in an humour to confound our ratiocinations, by such effects, as we least expect. 'Tis possible, your Mistress may have been forc'd to that separation from you, and, it may be, is rather unfortunate, than chargeable with any miscarriage. O that it were the pleasure of the Gods, replies Don Carlos, I could make the least question of it, I should comfortably endure all the losses and misfor∣tunes it hath caus'd me; nay, I should not think my self unfortunate, could I but imagine that she were still faithful to me; but she is onely such to the perfidious Claudio, and never pre∣tended love to the wretched Don Carlos, but to ruine him. Me-thinks, it may be inferr'd from what you say, replies Sophia, that you never had any great affection for her, when your charge against her is without your hearing what she may have to alledge for her self, and you repre∣sent her, not onely as an unconstant, but also as a wicked person. And could any one have been Page  216 more wicked than she hath prov'd, cries Don Carlos, when, to elude the suspition of having been carried away by the Page, she left in her Chamber, the very night she vanish'd from her Father's, a Letter, writ with the greatest malice imaginable, which hath reduc'd me to more sensible miseries, than that it should ever get out of my memory. When you have heard it, you will haply be able to judge what Sycophancy so young a Thing could be guilty of.

THE LETTER.

Sir,

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.

You may easily imagine, continu'd Don Carlos, the extreme grief which Sophia's Parents con∣ceiv'd at the reading of this Letter. They were in hopes I might be still with their Daughter, either in Valentia, or not far from it. They discover'd not their loss to any but the Vice-roy, who was their kinsman, and it was hardly light the next morning, when some Officers coming into my room found me asleep. I was, as well I might, very much startled at such a visit, and when, af∣ter they had ask'd me where Sophia was, I also made the same question to them, my adversaries were incens'd, and violently dragg'd me to pri∣son. I was examin'd, and could make no plea for my self against Sophia's Letter. It was clear, that I had a design to have carried her away; but it appear'd withal, that my Page had vanish'd at the same time with her. Sophia's Parents sent people to find her out, and my friends, on the other side, made diligent search where the Page might dispose of her. This was the onely means to clear me; but we never could hear any thing of these fugitive Lovers, whereupon my enemies charg'd me with the death of them both. At last, injustice, back'd with power, carri'd it against oppress'd innocence. Notice was given me that I should soon receive my sentence, and that it would be that of death. I hoped not that Page  218 Heaven would do any miracles on my ccount, and so I thought it my best way to endeavour the recovery of my liberty by an act of despair. I join'd my self to certain Bandits, who were prisoners as well as my self, and all persons of resolution. We forc'd the Prison-doors, and, assisted by our friends, got into the Mountains about Valentia, ere the Vice-roy had any notice of our escape. We continu'd a long time Masters of the Field. Sophia's inconstancy, the prose∣cution of her friends, the injustice I thought done me by the Vice-roy, and, in fine, the loss of my estate, put me into such despair, that I hazarded my life in all the engagements wherein my Ca∣merades and my self met with any resistance, and by that means I got into such reputation with them, that they made me their Chief. I behav'd my self in that charge so successfully, that our Party became dreadful to the Kingdoms of Arragon and Valentia, and we grew so insolent, as to impose a Contribution on those Countries. I here make a dangerous discovery to you, but the honour you do me, and my own inclination do so far enslave me to you, that I am willing to put my life into your hands, by acquainting you with the greatest secrets of it. At last, I grew weary of that leud course of life; I got away from my Camerades, when they least sus∣pected I should, and took my way to Barcelona, where I was entertain'd onely as a private Gen∣tleman, in the Recruits ready to be transported into Africk, which have since joyn'd with the Army. I have no great reason to be in love with my life, and having been guilty of such a mis∣expence Page  219 thereof, I cannot employ it better than against the enemies of my Religion, and to serve you, since the goodness you are pleas'd to express towards me, hath given me the onely joy, my soul hath been capable of, ever since the most ungrateful woman in the world hath made me the most unhappy of all men.

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 ws 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,

May it please your Highness, said he to him, to morrow is the time, that you are to satisfie all the world of my innocency. Though the witnesses I have produc'd absolutely clear me of the crime laid to my charge, yet I now come to assure your Highness with as much sincerity, as if I were in the presence of God, that I had not onely no hand in the carrying away of Sophia, but withal, that, the day before she was carried away, I did not so much as see her, nor ever heard of her since. True it is, that I should have carried her away, but a misfortune, to me yet unknown, re∣mov'd her hence, either to my ruine, or her own.

No more, no more, Don Carlos, says the Vice-Roy to him, go thy ways, and take thy rest securely; I am thy Master and Friend, and better inform'd of thy innocence than thou dost ima∣gine; nay, though I might doubt of it, yet should Page  223 I not be oblig'd to be too exact to satisfie my self, since thou art in my house, and of my house, and that thou camest not hither with me, but upon the promise I made to protect thee.
Don Carlos rendred his thanks to so obliging a Master with all the eloquence he was master of. He went to bed, and the impatience he was in to see him∣self clear'd, would not suffer him to sleep. He got up at the break of day, and having dress'd himself somewhat above his ordinary gath, waited at the rising of his Master. But hold a little, I am mi∣staken, he went not into his chamber till all his cloaths were on; for from the time that Sophia had disguis'd her sex, onely Dorotea, the confident of her disguise, lay in her chamber, and did all those services, which done by another might have discover'd what she would have kept conceal'd. Don Carlos therefore entred into the Vice-Roy's chamber, as soon as Dorotea had open'd it for all visitants; and the Vice-Roy no sooner saw him, but he reproach'd him with his early rising, being a person accus'd, who would have himself thought innocent, and told him, that a person who could not sleep betrai'd something that lay heavy on his conscience. Don Carlos a little troubled, made him answer, that it was not so much the fear of being found guilty, as the hope of defying the fur∣ther prosecutions of his enemies, by the justice he expected from his Highness, that had hindred him from sleeping.
But you are very nearly dress'd, and gallant, says the Vice-Roy to him, and I find you very calm, considering your life is in so great a hazard. I am now at a loss what to think of the crime wherewith you stand Page  224 charg'd. As often as we fall into discourse con∣cerning Sophia, you speak of her with less ear∣nestness and more indifference than I do; and yet I am not charg'd, as you are, to have ever been lov'd by her, and to have murther'd her, and possibly young Claudio too, on whom you would cast the charge of her conveyance away. You affirm'd that you have lov'd her, continu'd the Vice-Roy, and yet you live after you had lost her, and you have omitted nothing that could be done in order to your discharge and quiet, you, who should rather be weary of your life, and hate whatever might tend to the preserva∣tion of it. Ah! unconstant Don Carlos, it must needs be that some other Love hath induc'd you to forget the inclinations you had for lost So∣phia, if so be you ever truly lov'd her, when she was wholly yours, and durst do any thing for your ske.

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,

Come, come, hold your peace, said he to him, with a severe countenance, and reserve your eloquence for your Judges; for my part, I shall not be surpriz'd therewith, nor, on the account of one of my menial servants, raise in the Em∣perour an ill opinion of my integrity. And there∣fore in the mean time, added the Vice-Roy, turning to the Captain of the Guard, let him be secur'd; he, who broke prison, may much rather his promise, when he finds there are no other hopes of impunity, than what may be had by an escap.

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.

Page  226

Unfortunate Don Carlos! Thou maist well conclude, after all the demonstrations of affe∣ction thou hast received from me, that, if I could have but suspected thee guilty of the crime laid to thy charge, I should not have brought thee to Valentia. There's no way for me but to condemn thee, unless I would begin the exercise of my charge by an Injustice, and thou maist judge how much I am troubled at thy misfortune, by the tears I shed for thee. 'Twere possible thy adversaries might be satisfy'd, were they of a lower quality, or less resolv'd upon thy destruction. In a word, if Sophia appears not her self to vindicate thee, prepare thy self for death.

Don Carlos, at this, despairing of all safety, cast himself at the Vice-roy's feet, and said to him,

Your Highness may be pleas'd to remember, that, in Africk, even from the first time I had the honour to be entertain'd into your service, and whenever your Highness engag'd me in the tedious relation of my misfortunes, I ever re∣lated them in the same manner, and you might presume, that, in those Countries, and all other places, I should not have affirm'd to a Master, who so highly honour'd me with his affection, what I should here deny before a Judge. I ever told your Highness the naked Truth, as sincerely as to my God, and I tell you still, that I lov'd, that I ador'd Sophia; How! say that thou ador'st her, ungrateful Man? says the Vice-roy to him, surprising all the Assembly by his Action. Yes, I do adore her, replies Don Carlos, very much astonish'd at what the Vice-roy had Page  227 spoken. I promis'd to marry her, continu'd he, and we agreed together, that I should carry her away to Barcelona. But if I did effectually convey her hence, if I know where she is, let me be put to the most cruel death can be ima∣gin'd. I cannot avoid it; but I shall dye in∣nocently, unless it may be said I have deserv'd death, for loving, even beyond my own Life, an unconstant and perfidious creature. But what is become of this perfidious Creature and thy Page, cries the Vice-roy, with a furious countenance? Are they gone up into Heaven? Are they sunk down under the Earth? The Page was a Gallant; replies Don Carlos, she was handsome; he was a Man, she was a Woman. Ah Traitor! said the Vice-roy to him, how hast thou now discover'd thy base suspitions, and the little esteem thou hadst for the unfortunate Sophia! Cursed be the Woman that suffers her self to be cajoll'd by the promises of Men, and comes afterwards to be slighted for her cre∣dulity! Neither was Sophia a Woman of ordi∣nary virtue, wicked Man! nor thy Page Claudio a Man. Sophia was constant to thee; and thy Page was a distracted Woman in love with thee, and robb'd thee of Sophia, whom she betray'd as a Rival. I am Sophia, unworthy, ungrateful Lover! I am Sophia, who have suffer'd unima∣ginable miseries, for a Man, that deserv'd not to be lov'd, and one who thought me guilty of the greatest infamy I could fall into.

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-roalty 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 Drotea, 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.