Books Sold by A. Stephens, at the Bible, in, Butcher-Row, without Temple-Bar.
The Fruitless Enquiry: Containing ten, pleaſant and diverting Novels. By Mrs. Elizabeth Haywood. Price bound 2s. 6d.
A Master-Key to Popery: Containing,
- I. A Diſcovery of the moſt ſecret Practices of the Secular and Regular Romiſh Prieſts, in their Auricular Confeſſion.
- II. A true Copy of the Pope’s yearly Bull of Indulgencies, and Pardon of Sins, to all thoſe that ſerve in the War againſt the Enemies of the Romiſh Religion. The Explianation of the Bull, with ſome Remarks upon it.
- III. An Account of their Maſſes, priviledged Altars, Tranſubſtantiation and Purgatory; and of the Means the Prieſts make Uſe of to delude the People.
- IV. Of the Inquiſitors, and their Practices in ſeveral Inſtances.
- V. Of their Prayers, Adoration of Images and Relicks, &c.
By the Reverend Mr. Gavin, Chaplain of his Majeſty’s Regiment, commanded by ii π1v by the Honourable Col. Charles Catchart. tThe Third Edition, corrected. To which is added, the Spaniſh Bull of Pope Clement XI. omitted in the ſecond Edition, with the Engliſh Tranſlation, in two Columns; and alſo the Remarks of a Popiſh Prieſt, in this Volume.
Volume the Second, containing,
I.The Lives and Tranſactions of ſeveral Biſhops of Rome, their Doctrine and Authority.
II.The Lives and abominable Intrigues of ſeveral Prieſts and Friars of the Church of Rome.
Volume the Third, containing,
I.The Damages which the Maſs cauſeth.
II.A Catalogue of Miracles wrought by the conſecrated Wafer.
III.The Miracles of many living Perſons.
IV.The Revelations of three Nuns.
V.The Life of the good Primate and Metropolitan of Aragon, &c. omitted in the ſecond Volume.
Author of The Humours of York .
Printed for A. Stephens, at the Bible, in
the Butcher-Row, without Temple-Bar.
To the Ladies of Great Britain.
At a Time when the Town is ſo full of Maſquerades, Operas, new Plays, Conjurors, Monsters, and feigned Devils; how can I, Ladies, expect you to throw away an Hour upon the leſs agreeable Amuſement my Coquet can give you? But ſhe who has Aſſurance to Write, has certainly the Vanity of expecting A2 to iv A2v iv to be Read. All Authors ſee a Beauty in their own Compoſitions, which perhaps nobody elſe can find; as Mothers think their own Offspring amiable, how deficient ſoever Nature has been to them. But whatever my Faults may be, my deſign is good, and hope you Britiſh Ladies will accordingly encourage it.
If I have here touch’d a young Lady’s Vanity and Levity, it was to ſhew her how beautiful ſhe is without thoſe Blots, which certainly ſtain the Mind, and ſtamp Deformity where the greateſt Beauties would ſhine, were they baniſh’d. I believe every body will join with my Opinion, that the Engliſh Ladies are the moſt accompliſh’d Women in the World; that generally ſpeaking, their Behaviour is ſo exact, that even Envy itſelf cannot ſtrike at their Conduct: But even you yourſelves muſt own, that there are ſome few among you of a different Stamp, who change their Gold for Droſs, and barter the higheſt Perfections for the loweſt Weakneſſes. Would but this v A3r v this latter Sort endeavour as much to act like Angels, as they do to look like them, the Men inſtead of Reproaches, would heap them with Praiſes, and their cold Indifference would be turn’d to Idolatry,. But who can forſake a Fault till they are convinc’d they are guilty; Vanity is a lurking ſubtile Thief that works itſelf inſenſibly into our Boſoms, and while we declare our Diſlike to it, know not ’tis ſo near us; every Body being (as a witty Gentleman has ſomewhere ſaid) provided with a Racket to ſtrike it from themſelves.
The Heroine of the following Sheets will tell you the Advantages of a kind friendly Admonition, and when the little Lightneſſes of her Mind were removed, ſhe became worthy of Imitation. One little Word of Advice, Ladies, and I have done: When you grow weary of Flattery, and begin to liſten to matrimonial Addreſſes, chuſe a Man of fine Senſe, as well as a fine Wig, and let him have ſome Merit, as well as much Embroidery: This A3 will vi A3v vi will make Coxcombs give Ground, and Men of Senſe will equally admire your Conduct with your Beauty. I am,
Ladies, Your moſt Devoted, And moſt Obedient Humble Servant,
Idleness has ſo long been an Excuſe for Writing, that I am almoſt aſham’d to tell the World it was that, and that only, which produc’d the following Sheets. Few People are ſo inconſiderable in Life, but they may at ſome time do good; and though I muſt own my Purſe is (by a thouſand Misfortunes) grown wholly uſeleſs to every Body, my Pen is at the Service of the Publick; and if it can but make ſome Impreſſion upon the young unthinking Minds of ſome of my own Sex, I ſhall bleſs my Labour, and reap an unſpeakableſpeakable viii A4v viii ſpeakable Satisfaction: But as I have addreſſed them in another Place, I ſhall ſay no more of them here.
I come now to the worthy Gentlemen of Cambridge, from whom I have receiv’d ſo many Marks of Favour on a thouſand Occaſions, that my gratitude is highly concern’d how to make a due Acknowledgement; and I own their civil, generous, good-natur’d Behaviour towards me, is the only thing I have now left worth boaſting of. When I had written a Sheet or two of this Novel, I communicated my Deſign to a couple of young Gentlemen, whom I knew to be Men of Taſte, and both my Friends, they approved of what I had done, adviſed me to proceed, then print it by Subſcription; into which Propoſal many of the Gentlemen entered, among whom were a good Number of both the grave and the young Clergy, who the World will eaſily believe had a greater View to Charity than Novelty; and it was not to the Book, but the Author, they Subſcribed. tThey knew her to be a Relict of one of their Brotherhood, and one, who (unleſs Poverty be a Sin) ix A5r ix Sin) never did any thing to diſgrace the Gown; and for thoſe Reaſons encouraged all her Undertakings.
But as this Book was writ at Cambridge, I am a little apprehenſive ſome may imagine the Gentlemen had a Hand in it. It would be very hard, if their Humanity to me, ſhould bring an Imputation upon themſelves, ſo greatly below their Merit, which I can by no Means conſent to; and do therefore aſſure the World, I am not acquainted with one Member of that worthy and learned Society of Men, whoſe Pens are employed in Things infinitely above any Thing I can pretend to be the Author of: So that I only am accountable for every Fault of my Book; and if it has any Beauties, I claim the Merit of them too. Though I cannot but ſay, I did once apply myſelf to a young Genius for a Preface, which he ſeem’d to decline, and I ſoon conſidered the brightneſs of his Pen would only eclipſe the glimmering Light of my own; ſo called back my Requeſt, and reſolved to entertain my Readers with a Pattern, in the Preface, of the ſame Stuff x A5v x Stuff the following Sheets are made of; which will, I hope, give them an Hour or two of agreeable Amuſement. And if they will but be as kind to me, as they have been to many before, they will overlook one little Improbability, becauſe ſuch are to be met with in moſt Novels, many Plays, and even in Travels themſelves. There is a little Story in the beginning of the Book, of the Courtſhip of a Boy, which the Reader may, perhaps, think very trifling; but as it is not two Pages long, I beg he will paſs it by; and my Excuſe for it is, I could not ſo well ſhew the early Coquetry of the Lady without it.
The Reform’d Coquet;
or, Memoirs of Amoranda.
The moſt avaricious Scribler that ever took Pen in Hand, had doubtleſs a View to his Reputation, ſeperate from his Intereſt. I confeſs myſelf a Lover of Money, and yet have the greateſt Inclination to pleaſe my Readers; but how to do ſo is a very critical Point, and what more correct Pens than mine have miſſed of. If we divide Mankind into ſeveral Claſſes, we ſhall meet with as many different Tempers as Faces, only we have the Art of diſguiſing one better than the other.
The Pedant deſpiſes the moſt elaborate Undertaking, unleſs it appears in the World with Greek 002 A6v 2 Greek and Latin Mottos; a Man that would pleaſe him, muſt pore an Age over muſty Authors, till his Brains are as worm-eaten as the Books he reads, and his converſation fit for no-body elſe: I have neither Inclination nor Learning enough to hope for his Favour, ſo lay him aſide.
The next I can never hope to pleaſe, is the Dogmatical Puppy, who, like a Hedgehog, is wrapt up in his own Opinions, and deſpiſes all who want Extravagancies to enter into them; but a Man muſt have a ſuperior Share of Pride, who can expect his ſingle Opinion ſhould byaſs the reſt of the Creation: I leave him therefore to pine at his Diſappointment, and call upon the buſy Part of our Species, who are ſo very intent upon getting Money, that they loſe the Pleaſure of ſpending it. I confeſs, the Royal Exchange, South-Sea with a P---x, Exchange-Alley, and all Trade in general, are ſo foreign to my Underſtanding, that I leave them where I found them, and caſt an oblique Glance at the Philoſopher, who I took to be a good clever Fellow in his way: But as I am again forced to betray my Ignorance, I know ſo little of him, that I leave him to his No Pleaſure, no Pain; and a thouſand other Chimeras, while I face about to the Man of Gallantry. Love is a very common Topic, but ’tis withal a very copious one; and would 003 B1r 3 would the Poets, Printers and Bookſellers but ſpeak Truth of it, they would own themſelves more oblig’d to that one Subject for their Bread, than all the reſt put together. ’Tis there I fix, and the following Sheets are to be fill’d with the Tale of a fine young Lady.
A certain Knight who lives pretty deep in the Country, had a Father whoſe vicious Inclinations led him into a thouſand Extravagancies; Whoring and Drinking took up a great part of his Time, and the reſt was ſpent in Gameing, which was his darling Diverſion. We have had ſo many melancholy Inſtances of the ſad Effects of this Vice that I dare ſay the Reader will not be ſurpriz’d, if I tell him this Gentleman in a little Time died a Beggar by it, and left the young Baronet no more than his Honour to live upon. Some Years before the old Gentleman died, the young one married a Lady clandeſtinely, whoſe Fortune was then all their Support; and by whom he had one Daughter, now ſeven Years of Age, and for whom I will borrow the Name of Amoranda. Sir John S—d, her Father, had a younger Brother bred an Eaſt-India Merchant; his Succeſs abroad was ſo very great, that it qualified him for ſhewing large Bounty at home; and as he thought nothing ſo deſpicable as Honour and Poverty join’d, he was reſolved to ſet his elder Brother above Contempt,B tempt, 004 B1v 4 tempt, and make him ſhine like the Head of ſo antient a Family: In order to which, he firſt redeem’d all the Land his Father had mortgag’d for Money to fling away, then re-purchas’d all he had ſold, till at laſt he had ſettled the Knight in a quiet Poſſeſſion of that Eſtate, which had for many Ages devolved from Father to Son; but, as he was exceeding fond of his young Niece, ſettled the Whole upon her, in caſe her Father died without a Son, not making the leaſt Reſerve in favour of himſelf. When he had, with the higheſt Satisfaction, done a Deed of ſo much Goodneſs and Generoſity, he left the Family he had juſt made happy, and went again in Purſuit of his Merchandize; in the mean time Amoranda, who was a little Angel for Beauty, was extremely admired, no leſs for that than for a ſprightly Wit, which her younger Years promis’d. If we trace human Nature through all the Stages of Life, we ſhall find thoſe Dawnings of the Paſſions in Children, which riper Years bring to the higheſt Perfection; and a Child, rightly conſidered, may give us a very great Gueſs at his Temper, when he comes to be a Man. An Inſtance of this we have in the young Creature already named, who had, ’tis true, all the Beauties of her Sex; but then ſhe had the Seed of their Pride and Vanity too. Amoranda was no ſooner told ſhe was pretty, than ſhe believ’d it, and liſtened with 005 B2r 5 with Pleaſure to thoſe who ſaid her Eyes were Diamonds, her Cheeks Roſes, her Skin Alablaſter, her Lips Coral, and her Hair Cupid’s Nets which were to enſnare and catch all Mankind.
This made an early Impreſſion upon the Mind of young Amoranda, and ſhe now began to think as much in Favour of herſelf as it was poſſible for others to do. Her Babies were thrown by with Scorn, and the Time that ſhould have dreſs’d them was ſpent at the Lookinglaſs, dreſſing herſelf, admiring all thoſe Graces with which ſhe was now ſure ſhe was ſurrounded; her Father’s Viſitors were no longer to uſe her with their wonted Freedom, but ſhe told them with an Air of growing Pride, ſhe expected to be call’d Madam as well as her Mamma, and that ſhe was not ſo much a Child as the World made her. Whilſt ſhe was in the Midſt of her grand Airs, a little Boy came in who us’d to call her Wife, and running to her, got his little Arms about her Neck to kiſs her, as he us’d to do. But Amoranda, who was now reſolv’d to be a Woman, thurſt him from her with the utmoſt Contempt, and bid him ſee her no more. The poor Boy, not us’d to ſuch Behaviour, ſtood ſtaring at her in great Surprize at the Occaſion of all this; but being a Boy of ſome Spirit, tho’ not capable of a real Paſſion, he ſaid Madam, you need not be ſo proud, I B2 have 006 B2v 6 have got a Prettier thean you for my Wife, and I love her better than you by half, and I will never come near you again, Saying thus, away he went to make his Complaints at home. When Amoranda ſaw him gone, and with a Deſign to go to another, the whole Woman gather’d in her Soul, and ſhe fell into a violent Paſſion of Tears; the Thoughts of having another preferr’d to her was intolerable, and ſeeing the Boy go off with Inſults, gave her a very ſenſible Mortification: Reſentment flaſh’d in her Eyes, and her Breaſt heav’d with ſuch Agonies as the whole Sex feel when they meet with Contempt from a ſlighting Lover. Her Mother, who was as full of Mirth as ſhe was of Grief upon this cutting Occaſion, ſaid to her Why, Amoranda, did you ſend away your Spouſe, if you are angry now he is gone? My Spouſe! cry’d the young Incenſed, I ſcorn the little unmannerly Brat, he ſhall never be my Spouſe; what! tell me to my Face he lik’d another better! but I know who the ſaucy Jacanapes meant, and if ever ſhe comes here again I’ll ſend her to him: I hate them both, and ſo I’ll tell ’em; who can bear ſuch an Affront? I ſhall never be eaſy till I am Reveng’d of ’em. Here was Pride, Jealouſy, and Revenge, kindled in the Breaſt of a Child; and as Princes love the Treaſon, tho’ they hate the Traytor, ſo Women like the Love, though they deſpiſe the Lover. Poor 007 B3r 7 Poor Amoranda! what will be thy Fate?So ſoon to like the Love, the Lover hate! Her Behaviour, however, gave good Diverſion to her Father and Mother; and under that miſtaken Notion, of every thing looking well in a Child, ſhe was encouraged in many Things, which ſhe herſelf would probably have been aſham’d of, had there been Time given for Reaſon to play its Part, and help to guard her Actions: Moſt Mothers are fond of ſeeing their Children Women before their Time, but forget it makes themſelves look old.
Vanity, which is moſt Womens Foible, might be overlook’d or wink’d at, would it live alone; but a lack! it loves a long Train of Attendants, and calls in Pride, Affectation, Ill- nature, and often Ill-manners too, for its Companions. A Woman thus ſurrounded, ſhould be avoided with the ſame care a Man would ſhun his evil Genius; ’tis marrying a Complication of the worſt Diſeaſes.
I remember, when I was a Child, a Gentleman came to make Love to a Siſter I had, who was a good clever Girl both in Senſe and Perſon; but as Women are never perfect, ſhe had her Failings among the reſt, and mightily affected a ſcornfull Toſs with her Head, which was ſo diſagreeable, after a few 008 B3v 8 few Viſits, to her Lover, that he came no more. My Father, a little ſurpris’d at his going ſo abruptly off, and being loth to loſe ſo advantageous a Match for his Daughter, went to enquire after his Reaſons, which, when he heard, he told the Gentleman he thought ’em very trifling. No Sir, ſaid he, a Woman who will throw up her Head at me before Marriage, will, ten to one, break mine after it. I know, continued he, if a Woman be diſhonourably attack’d, her ſcorn is needful, her Pride requiſite; but a Man of equal or ſuperior Fortune, who has no Views but hers and his own Happineſs, ought to be receiv’d with another Air; and If ever I marry, I will have at leaſt a Proſpect of good Uſage. Thus the fooliſh Girl loſt a much better Huſband than ſhe got, by thinking her Pride added to her Charms, and gave new Graces to her Behaviour.
Amoranda was now in the ninth Year of her Age, ſix more I leap over, and take her again in her fifteenth; during which Time her Father died, and left her a finiſh’d Beauty and Coquet; I might here have ſaid Fortune too, being ſole Heireſs to three Thouſand Pounds a year: Her Mother and Uncle were left her Guardians; but the former being a Lady of an infirm Conſtitution, the Grief of loſing a tender good Huſband made ſuch conſiderable Additions to her former Weakneſs, thant in leſs than 009 B4r 9 than half a Year ſhe died too, and left poor Amoranda open to all the Temptations that Youth, Beauty, Fortune, and a flaſhy Wit could expoſe her to. Her Uncle but juſt come from the Indies, and whoſe Buſineſs would not admit of his going into the Country, had once a mind to ſend for her up to Town, but he conſidered London a Place of too many Temptations; and ſince ſhe was willing to ſtay in the Country, he was reſolv’d ſhe ſhould; but deſir’d ſhe would let him ſend down one to ſupply his Place, and take care of her in his ſtead. During this Interregnum Amoranda was addreſs’d by all the Country round, from the old Juſtice to the young Rake; and I dare ſay, my Reader will believe ſhe was a Toaſt in every Houſe for ten Pariſhes round. The very Excreſcences of her Temper were now become Graces, and it was not poſſible for one ſingle Fault to be join’d to Three Thouſand Pounds a Year; her Levee was daily crouded with almoſt all Sorts, and ſhe, pleas’d to be admir’d, though ſhe lov’d none, was complaiſant to all. Among a conſiderable Number of Admirers, Lord Lofty was one, who had ſo great a Value for his dear Self, that he could hardly be perſuaded any Women had Merit enough to deſerve the ſmalleſt of his Favours, much leſs the great one of being his Partner for Life: However, he thought Amoranda a pretty Play-thing, a young unthinkinging 010 B4v 10 ing Girl, left at preſent to her own Conduct; and if he could draw her in to give him an Hour’s Diverſion now and then, he ſhould meet her with ſome Pleaſure; if not, though he did not deſpair, he was her humble Servant, and had no farther Deſign upon her. One Day he came to ſee her ſo early in the Morning, that ſhe was hardly up when he came; but ſent down Word, as ſoon as ſhe could get herſelf into a Dreſs fit to appear before his Lordſhip ſhe would wait upon him. While Amoranda was dreſſing, my Lord took a Walk into the Garden, either to amuſe himſelf with Variety of pleaſing Objects, or to meditate afreſh upon his preſent Undertaking. He walk’d with the utmoſt Pleaſure among the Jeſſamine and Orange Trees: At the end of the Walk was a Set, over which was a fine painted Roof, repreſenting the Rape of Hellen, on which he gaz’d with ſome Admiration, and could not forbear comparing Amoranda to her, not thinking the whole Scene unlike his own Deſign. After he had view’d this fine Piece, he happen’d to caſt his Eye a little forward, and ſaw a Paper lye on the Ground, which he went and took up, finding it directed to Amoranda in a Woman’s Hand; he was not long perſuaded himſelf to open it; by which you will believe my Lord, a Man of none of the ſtricteſt Honour; however, he read it, and found it thus:If 011 B5r 11
If the Advice of a Stranger can be of any Import, I beg of you, good Madam, to take Care of Lord Lofty, who carries nothing but Ruin to our whole Sex: Believe me, who have too fatally experienced him, his whole Deſign upon you is to make you miſerable, and if you fall into his Snare after ſo fair a Warning, no-body but yourſelf deſerves the Blame.
This Letter put my Lord into a very thoughtful Poſture, and he now began to fear his Hopes of Amoranda were at an End; the Hand he knew, and acknowledged the Perſon who writ it a much better Painter than him he had been ſo lately admiring, ſince ſhe had drawn him ſo much to the Life. My Lord was a Man of the beſt Aſſurance in England, yet he began to fear his Courage would not hold out to face Amoranda any more, and was juſt reſolving to leave the Garden, and go home, when he ſaw her coming towards him; he ſhuffl’d the Letter into his Pocket, and with a Countenance half confounded went to meet her. Good morrow, my Lord, ſaid Amoranda, with the gayeſt Air, how are we to conſtrue theſe early Sallies of yours? not to Love, I ſuppoſe; becauſe Mr. Congreve tells us, A contemplative Lover can no more leave his Bed in a Morning, than he can ſleep in it.Madam, 012 B5v 12
Madam, ſaid my Lord, who began to gather Courage from her Behaviour, a contemplative Lover has ſome Reſpite from his Pain, but a reſtleſs one has none; I hope you will believe I am one of this laſt Sort, and am come to look for my Repoſe where I loſt it. Fye, fye! my Lord, how you talk! ſaid Amoranda, you’re a Man of ſo much Gallantry, there’s no dealing with you. Come, ſaid ſhe, take my Hand, and let us go to the Fiſh- Ponds, I have order’d the Tackling to be carry’d down before us, we’ll try if we can find any Sport this Morning. Madam, ſaid my Lord, every thing is Diverſion in your Company, and if you can captivate your Fiſh as faſt as you can do thoſe of your own Species, your Ponds will be in a little time quite ruin’d.
O! my Lord, ſaid Amoranda, if I catch too many of either Sort, I have a very good way of diſpoſing of them.
After what manner? ſaid my Lord. Why, ſaid ſhe, one I throw into the Water again, and t’other may conſume in his own Flames. Madam, ſaid my Lord, he’s a cruel Deity who is pleas’d with nothing but the Life of his Worſhipers.
Nay, ſaid Amoranda, ſo he is; I own I pity the poor Fellows ſometimes, but you know, my Lord, we can’t love every-body, they ſhould ev’n keep out of Harm’s way.By 013 B6r 13
By this time they were come to the Pond, and the Anglers fell to work; but before they had catch’d any thing to ſpeak of, a Footman came to tell his Lady, Mr. Pert was come to wait upon her. Fly, ſaid Amoranda, and tell him I come. My Lord, ſaid ſhe, you will pleaſe to pardon me a Moment, I’ll go and try if I can engage Mr. Pert in our Diverſion, and bring him with me. Without ſtaying for my Lord’s Anſwer, ſhe ran towards the Houſe, and left him with the Angle in his Hand: He had now a little Time to conſider the Lady, but what to make of her he knew not; he took the Letter out of his Pocket, and read it over again, then ſaid to himſelf,――’Twas loſt Labour in the Lady who wrote it, for Amoranda takes no Notice of it; her Behaviour is open and free as ever, I ſhall certainly meet with a critical Minute, and then adieu to Gallantry on this Side the Country. Before he had ended his Soliloquies he ſaw the Lady coming back alone, and went to meet her; What, Madam, ſaid he, are you without an Attendant? Yes, my Lord, ſaid Amoranda, I could not perſuade Mr. Pert to venture this Way, he ſaid the Sun always put out the Stars, and he ſhould give but a glimmering Light where there was ſuch a ſuperior Brightneſs.
Madam, ſaid my Lord, I once thought Mr. Pert ſo full of himſelf that he ſcorn’d Improvement;provement; 014 B6v 14 provement; but I find your Ladyſhip’s Converſation has made a conſiderable Alteration.
Pray, my Lord, have done, ſaid Amoranda, for I freely own, I am not Proof againſt Flattery, there is ſomething ſo inexpreſſibly pleaſing in it――Lard you Men――Come, let us catch ſome Fiſh, and divert the Subject. Hang the Fiſh, ſaid my Lord, Aye, ſaid Amoranda, for we ſhall never drown them. But how comes it, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, you are ſo indifferent to ſuch a fine Diverſion? Becauſe, Madam, ſaid he, I have finer in view; ’tis to affront the Heart I am ſo eager in Purſuit of, to give way to any other Diverſion. Come, Madam, ſaid he, let us leave this Drudgery to our Servants, and take a Walk in yonder pleaſant Grove, where I may have an Opportunity of laying open to you a Heart ready to burſt with Love. Here he took her Hand, and led her towards the Garden, when Jenny, Amoranda’s Maid, met them, and told my Lord, a Servant was juſt come to tell his Lordſhip, his Brother was newly alighted. Never any News was more unwelcome than this to my Lord, who made himſelf now ſure of Amoranda’s Conſent to any thing he ſhould requeſt of her; and he thought a very few Minutes would have compleated his Happineſs. He ſtamp’d, and curs’d his Diſappointment, and with Vexation and Madneſs in his Looks, took his Leave for that 015 C1r 15 that Time. He was no ſooner gone, than Jenny (who was all poor Amoranda had now to adviſe her) began to talk to her Lady about Lord Lofty. I am no leſs concern’d than ſurpris’d, Madam, ſaid ſhe, to ſee you ſo free in this Gentleman’s Company, after the Account you have had of his Temper in general, and his particular Behaviour to the poor Lady who wrote to you. I wiſh it were in my Power, ſaid ſhe, to prevail with you to ſee him no more; I read his Deſigns in his Looks, and am ſatisfy’d his Intentions are diſhonourable. At this Amoranda burſt out a laughing. The poor Lady that wrote to me, ſaid ſhe, in a jeering Tone, is one of his Tenant’s Daughters, I ſuppoſe, whom he for a Night’s Lodging promis’d Marriage to, perhaps; and the Creature thinks, becauſe he made a Fool of her, he has and muſt do ſo by all the Sex: No, no Jenny, ſome People, when they are gaul’d themſelves, would feign make other Folks ſmart too; but I love to diſappoint their Spite, and will, for that Reaſon, take no Notice on’t.
Madam, ſaid Jenny, that Letter looks as if it came from a finer Hand than you ſeem to think it does; look it over once more, and —Aye, ſaid Amoranda, feeling in her Pocket, but where is it? I had it laſt Night in the Orange-walk, and have certainly drop’d it there, let us go and look for it. No, Madam, ſaid Jenny, we need not if you dropt it C there 016 C1v 16 there, my Lord has found it, for there he walk’d all the while you were dreſſing. That can never be, ſaid Amoranda, he is a Man of too much Honour to open a Letter directed to me; I am ſure, ſaid ſhe, had he found it, I ſhould have had it again, therefore go and look for it. While Jenny was gone in queſt of the Letter, Amoranda began to recollect herſelf, and remember’d ſhe ſaw my Lord at a diſtant putting a Paper into his Pocket, and, when ſhe came nearer to him, look’d confus’d; however, ſhe had ſaid ſo much already in Vindication of his Honour, that ſhe was reſolv’d to conceal her own Thoughts; and Jenny returning without it, they both went in.
As ſoon as Dinner was over, Amoranda’s Viſitors began to flock about her, while ſhe, pleas’d with a Crowd of Admirers, received them all with equal Complacency, and Singing, Dancing, Muſick and Flattery took up her whole Time. Her Heart was like a great Inn, which finds Room for all that come, and ſhe could not but think it very fooliſh to be beloved by five hundred, and return it only to one; ſhe found herſelf inclin’d to pleaſe them all, and took no ſmall Pains to do ſo; yet had ſhe been brought to the Teſt, and forced to chuſe a Huſband among them, her particular Inclinations were ſo very weak, that ſhe would have been at the greateſt Loſs where 017 C2r 17 where to fix, tho’ her general Favours gave every Man Hopes, becauſe ſhe artfully hid from one what ſhe beſtowed upon another. Among the reſt, ſhe had two Lovers, who would very fain have brought her to a Concluſion; I ſhall call one Froth, and the other Callid. The latter, though he had no Cauſe to deſpair, grew weary of Expectation, and was reſolved to have recourſe to other Meaſures; but Froth puſh’d his Fortune forward, and, from an inward Opinion of his own Merit, did not doubt but he ſhould bring Amoranda to crown his Wiſhes, and in a few Days beſtow herſelf upon him for Life. One Day Amoranda and Froth were ſate in a beautiful Summer-houſe in the Garden, which had Saſhes to the High-way, and here they ſate when Froth thus accoſted her; Madam, ſaid he, it is now ſix Weeks ſince I firſt broke my Mind to you; and if I am ſix more in Suſpence it will break my Heart too. I am not unſenſible of, or unthankful for the Favours you have ſhown to me; I know I am the happy Man who ſtands faireſt in your Eſteem, and ſince your Eyes declare your Heart is won, why do you retard my Joys? You are a very pretty Fellow, ſaid Amoranda laughing, to make yourſelf ſo ſure of a body! how can you believe I ſhall be ſo ſilly, as to think of marrying, while I have ſo freſh a Bloom upon my Cheeks? No, Mr. Froth, ſaid ſhe, it will be C2 Time 018 C2v 18 Time enough for me to be a Wife when that dreadful Thing Decay gets hold of me; but, if it will be any Satisfaction to you, I don’t care if I tell you, I have not a leſs Value for you than for the reſt of my Lovers. Madam, ſaid he, my Extacy would have been more compleat, had you ſaid a greater. Oh! ſaid ſhe, that’s enough for once, but I don’t bid you deſpair. As ſhe ſpoke theſe Words, ſhe turn’d her Head, and ſaw Callid coming, and having a mind for a little Variety of Courtſhip, deſir’d Froth to go and pull a few Nectarines; which he readily did, laughing in his Sleve at poor Callid, who he was very ſure would meet with a cold Reception. As ſoon as Callid had reach’d Amoranda, he began with a very ſubmiſſive Air, and ſaid, Madam, I am now ſo far from coming to repeat my preſumptive Love, that I come in the higheſt Deſpair to reſign it; I am too ſenſible how little I have deſerved a Return from you, and ſince my Eſtate is too ſmall for you――Your Eſtate, ſaid Amoranda, interrupting him, I wonder Mr. Callid, you ſhould name it; ’tis trifling indeed compar’d to your Merits; I would have you believe I have ſo good a Taſte, as to ſet the higheſt Value upon the richeſt Gem, and I am ſorry my Behaviour has given you any deſpairing Thoughts. Madam, ſaid he, I have no Cauſe to complain of your Behaviour, but Hope is a moſt tireſome Thing when it 019 C3r 19 it hangs too long upon our Hands; but here comes One to whom I muſt give Place.
Believe me, ſaid Amoranda, you miſtake, and I will comply ſo far with your Satisfaction, as to ſay, you ſtand as fair in my Eſteem as he does. By this time Froth came to them, and complain’d of Heat, threw up the Saſh. Some little Time after, a Gentleman rid by and threw a Glove at the Window; Amoranda, at whoſe Foot it fell, took it up, and found there was ſomething in it, which ſhe conceal’d, but was much ſurpris’d at the Action. As ſhe was putting it into her Pocket, ſhe ſaw Lord Lofty coming, and leaving Froth and Callid in the Summer-houſe went to meet him. What an Age, ſaid he, have I been detain’d from my charming Amoranda? Oh! come down this Walk, and let me tell you how Abſence has tortur’d me ever ſince I left you.
While my Lord and Amoranda were walking in the other Part of the Garden, Froth and Callid began to compare Notes, and talk of the weighty Affair in which they were both concern’d. Mr. Callid, ſaid Froth, you and I come here upon the ſame Errand, and in regard to our former Friendſhip, I muſt tell you Amoranda is partly diſpoſed of, and for that Reaſon I would adviſe you to deſiſt; a Man’s Diſcretion is greatly to be call’d in queſtion, who, after ſo many Repulſes, as doubtleſs you C3 have 020 C3v 20 have met with, will ſtill go on in a fruitleſs Attempt; it is true we are both Men of Merit, but Love you know is blind; and if ſhe finds juſt Difference enough to turn the Scale to my Advantage, I think you ought to drop your Amour, and leave the Lady and I to our happy Inclinations. Hum,—ſaid Callid, You are, I muſt own, a Man of a ſanguine Complexion, but a little too much upon the volatile; your Underſtanding evaporates, and you never had a ſolid Thought in your Life, otherwiſe you would tell yourſelf, this Woman has no more Regard to you than to all Mankind in general; perhaps ſhe has given you ſome Cauſe to hope; why, ſhe has done the ſame by me, and is this Minute doing the ſame by yonder Nobleman, and tomorrow five hundred more ſhall meet with the ſame Encouragement, if they attack her. No, Froth, ſaid he, this way will never do; but if you will give into my Meaſures, we may find out one that will. You and I have been long Friends and old Acquaintance, our Eſtates are ſunk to a low Ebb, though we have hitherto made that a Secret to the World; Amoranda is not the Prize we ſeek after; it is her Fortune we want, and Part of it, at leaſt, we will have, if you will cloſe with my Deſign. Well, ſaid Froth, I never ſign blank Bonds, let me know what your Deſign is, and as I like it I will comply with it; but why the Devil 021 C4r 21 Devil, ſaid he, ſhould I loſe the Subſtance for the Shadow; I am ſure ſhe bid me not deſpair, an Hour ago, and who would deſire more Encouragement?
I find, ſaid Callid, you are running away with the old Bait that has catch’d ſo many Fools already; for my Part, I nibbled at it too, but it ſmell’d ſo ſtale I did not like it; and if you will be advisd by a Friend, who can ſee as far into a Mill-ſtone as you can do, you will ſhun the Trap as well as I. Come then, ſaid Froth, let us hear this Scheme of yours. I know, ſaid Callid, it will at the firſt Hearing ſeem a little impracticable, but I do not doubt of convincing you, in a ſmall Time, of its Poſſibility. I have often heard Amoranda ſay, ſhe paſs’d her whole Evenings in this Summer-houſe when the Weather is hot; now where would be the Difficulty of whipping her out of this low Window into a Coach provided ready, and carrying her to a Houſe, which I have taken care of, keeping her with the utmoſt Privacy till ſhe reſolves to marry one of us, and the other ſhall ſhare the Eſtate.
Aye, ſaid Froth, if this was but as ſoon done as ſaid, I ſhould like the Contrivance well enough; but pray, ſaid he, don’t you think her Maid and She would make a damn’d Noiſe when they were carry’d off? Yes ſaid the other, I believe they would; but we might eaſily prevent it, by a pretty little Gagg for a Minute or 022 C4v 22 or two, till we get them into the Coach. Well ſaid Froth, but when we have taken all theſe Pains, what if ſhe will marry neither of us, and the Hue and Cry catch us, as to be ſure it will ſoon be after us; then, inſtead of a fine Lady with a fine Eſtate, we ſhall each of us get a fine Halter. Thou art a cowardly Puppy, ſaid Callid, and I am ſorry I have laid my ſelf ſo open to you; do you think I do my Buſineſs by Halves? or, that an Affair of ſuch Conſequence is to be neglected in any Part? No, the Devil himſelf can’t find her where I intend to carry her; and if ſhe will not immediately comply to marry one of us, ſhe will at leaſt come to Terms for her Liberty; you know we cannot ſtay long in England, unleſs we have a mind to rot in a Jayl? and if we can but ſcrew out each of us a Thouſand Pounds we will away to the Czar, and let the Law hang us when it can catch us.
Why Faith, ſaid Froth, I believe ſuch a Project might be brought to bear; but how ſhall we get the Money brought to us? She ſhall draw a Bill upon her Banker, ſaid Callid, for as much as we can get out of her, then we will ride Poſt to London and receive it. And when, ſaid Froth, are we to go about this Work? for methinks I would feign have it over; I have ſtill a Fancy Amoranda will be mine, and if ſhe be willing to marry me, will you promiſe not to oppoſe it? Nay ſaid Callid, if 023 C5r 23 if ſhe ſhall marry either of us, I do not ſee why it may not be me as well as you; I will not make a Deed of Gift of the Lady neither; but if it come to that, ſhe ſhall e’en draw Cuts for us, and the lucky Loon take her.
What an unhappy Creature is a beautiful young Girl left to her own Management! who is ſo fond of Adoration, that Reaſon and Prudence are thurſt out to make way for it, till ſhe becomes a Prey to every deſigning Raſcal, and her own ridiculous Qualities are her greateſt Enemies! Thus it might have fared with poor Amoranda, had not a lucky Hit prevented it, which the Reader ſhall know by and by. While this Contrivance was carrying on in the Summer-houſe, my Lord was employ’d in another of a different Kind; he thought his Quality ſufficient to juſtify all his Actions, and never fear’d a Conqueſt whereever he vouchſafed an Attempt. Madam, ſaid he, why are we to ſpend our Time in this Garden, where ſo many Interruptions may break in upon our Privacies? I deſire an Audience where none but Love may be admitted.
My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, did you ever ſee a finer Goldfinch in your Life than that Cock in the Pear Tree? That very Cock, my Lord, is Grandſire to all my little warbling Company within doors; I remember him, and know him by a little uncommon Spot over his Eye: Oh! it is a charming Bird, I have ſet a Trap- Cage 024 C5v 24 Cage for him a thouſand Times, but the dear Creature is ſo cunning――Well, every thing loves Liberty, and ſo do I; don’t you, my Lord? Yes, Madam, ſaid he, I lov’d it, and always had it till I knew you; but I am ſo intangled now in your Charms, I never expect to diſengage myſelf again.
Well, I’ll ſwear my Lord, ſaid Amoranda that is a Pity; methinks a Man of your Gallantry ſhould never marry. Marry! ſaid my Lord, in great Surprize, no, I hope I ſhall never have ſo little Love for any Lady as to marry her; Oons! the very Word has put me into a Sweat; the Marriage-Bed is to Love, what a cold Bed is to Melon-Seed, it ſtarves it to death infallibly. Aye, I believe it does, my Lord, ſaid Amoranda; however, one Thing I have often obſerv’d, when once a Woman is marry’d, nobody cares for her but her Huſband; and if your Lordſhip’s Remarks be true, not he neither; ſo that, my Lord, I think we muſt live ſingle in our own Defence. But, my Lord, ſaid ſhe―― what was I going to ſay—Oh! pray give me a Pinch of Snuff; Nay, Madam, ſaid my Lord, this is trifling with my Paſſion, I cannot live upon ſuch Uſage; either eaſe my Sufferings, or take my Life. I’ll ſwear, my Lord, ſaid Amoranda, you are a bewitching Man; what a Breach have I made in good Manners by your agreeable Converſation! I left 025 C6r 25 left poor Mr. Froth and Mr. Callid in the Summer-houſe two Hours ago, and had quite forgot they were there; ſure the poor Toads are not there ſtill. Damn the Toads, ſaid Lord Lofty, are they a Subject fit for your Thoughts? No, my Lord ſaid ſhe, you ſee I forget ’em; but pray let us go in, we ſhall have the Owls about our Ears, if we ſtay here any longer, it is juſt dark. Lord Lofty was ſtrangely ruffled at this Behaviour; and though he ſtill hoped for a pleaſing End of his Amour, he plainly ſaw it would not be ſo eaſily attain’d as he at firſt vainly imagin’d; he therefore took his Leave for that Night, and hop’d the next Interview would prove more favourable. Amoranda was very glad when ſhe found herſelf alone, that ſhe might have Time to examine the Glove, which came ſo odly into the Summer-houſe Window. Jenny, ſaid ſhe, call for Candles, and come here. When ſhe was ſate, and had got Lights, ſhe took out the Glove; Oh? Jenny, ſaid ſhe, what a ſad Afternoon has my Curioſity had, and how much have I long’d to ſee what I have got here; ſhe open’d the Top of it, and found a Letter: So, ſaid ſhe, here is ſome new Conqueſt, but the ſtrangeſt way of letting me know it that ever was invented. She open’d it, and found theſe Words.This 026 C6v 26
This Letter, Madam, does not come to tell you I Love you, ſince that would only increaſe the Surfeit you muſt have taken with ſo many hundred Declarations of that kind already; but if I tell you I am in pain for your Conduct, and ſpend ſome Hours in pitying your preſent Condition, it will, I dare ſay, be entirely new to you; ſince (though many have the ſame Opinion of your Behaviour) none have Courage or Honeſty enough to tell you ſo. Conſider, Madam, how unhappy that Woman is, who finds herſelf daily hedg’d in with ſelf-ended Flatterers, who make it their Buſineſs to keep up a Vanity in you, which may one Day prove your Ruin. Is it poſſible for any Fop to tell you more than you know already? Or, does not your Looking-glaſs diſplay every one of your fine Features with much more Exactneſs, than the baſe, the fawning Raſcal, who pretends to dye at your Feet? Spurn him from you, Amoranda, as you would the worſt Infection, and believe me rather than him, when I tell you. You are neither Angel nor Goddeſs, but a Woman, a fine Woman, and there are in this Nation ten Thouſand ſuch. If this little Admonition meets with a favourable Reception, you will, upon the firſt Reading of it, diſcard three fourths of your daily Attendants, who, like ſo many Locuſts, are ſtriving to devour you.
Why, Jenny, ſaid Amoranda, did you ever hear any thing ſo impudent in your Life? Oh! Lud! 027 D1r 27 Lud! I have not Patience with the familiar Brute, I would give a thouſand Pounds to know the Author? what ſhall I do to be reveng’d? Truly Madam, ſaid Jenny, I muſt own, if this be a Conqueſt, it is made upon a very inſulting ſaucy Lover; and yet I believe he means well too.
Mean well, ſaid Amoranda; what good Meaning can he have, who perſuades me to baniſh the Bees, and live in the Hive by myſelf? No Madam, ſaid Jenny, your Ladyſhip miſtakes him, it is the Waſps he would have you diſcard, who come to ſting and ſteal from thoſe who have a better Title to the Sweets of your Favours; but, Madam, continued ſhe, do you think you ſhould know him again, if you ſaw him?
Not I, ſaid Amoranda, I never ſaw his Face, he flung in the Glove before I knew any body was near; and had he not rid away in a Cloud of Duſt, I ſhould have thought it had been a Challenge to ſome of the Gentlemen in the Summer-houſe; but what vexes me moſt, ſaid ſhe, is his Pity; I always thought a Woman of Youth, Beauty, and ſuch a Fortune as mine is, might raiſe Envy in many, but Pity in none.
Here the Houſe-keeper came in to ſpeak with her Lady, and put a Stop to their preſent Diſcourſe, by making way for ſomething of greater Moment. Madam, ſaid ſhe, if your Ladyſhip be at leiſure, I have a Secret of D great 028 D1v 28 great Importance to communicate to you. Pr’ythee then, ſaid Amoranda, let us have it, perhaps it may put ſomething elſe out of my Head. Madam, ſaid ſhe, I went this Afternoon into my little Room over the Summer- houſe, where you know I dry my Winter- Herbs, and while I was turning them, your Ladyſhip came in with Mr. Froth, and Callid came to you; you may pleaſe to remember, Lord Lofty gave you an Opportunity of leaving them, which you had no ſooner done, than they began to lay a moſt dangerous Plot againſt you;――ſo told her Lady what the Reader has heard already. But, continued ſhe, as ſoon as they had laid their Scheme Mr. Callid ſaid he would go and provide a Coach, and two or three Villains, like himſelf, to aſſiſt. As ſoon as he was gone, Mr. Froth began to conſider with himſelf what was beſt to do, ſtick to the firſt Deſign, or diſcover all to your Ladyſhip. Now, ſaid he, have I a fair Opportunity of turning Callid’s Knavery to my own Advantage, by diſcovering all to Amoranda; ſo ſignal a Service can be attended with nothing leſs than her dear Self, and then I have her without any Hazard or Partner. But then, ſaid he again, as my Friend has well obſerved, the Devil cannot fix a Woman of her Levity; perhaps, when I have ruined his Deſign, by telling her the Danger ſhe is in, my Reward may be a Court’ſy, and I thank 029 D2r 29 thank you, Mr. Froth, and when it lies in my Power I will ſerve you again; there is an End of his Hopes, and my own too: No, ſaid he, without I were ſure of making Sport, I am reſolved I will ſpoil none, and good Luck aſſiſt our Undertaking; while yonder Lord is ſo much at her Service, we need expect no Favours but what we force, ſo Callid, I follow thee to provide for them. Saying thus, he went out of the Garden through the Back-door. Oh! the impudent Rogues! ſaid Amoranda: Well, and when, Brown, (for that was the Houſe-keeper’s Name) is this fine Project to to be put in Execution? To-morrow-night Madam, ſaid ſhe; What, ſaid Amoranda, whether I am there or no? though I ſpend a good deal of Time there, I am not always there. No, Madam, ſaid Brown, I forgot to tell your Ladyſhip that Part of the Contrivance; you are to be entertained with a Dance of Shepherds and Shepherdeſſes in the Highway, by Moonlight, juſt at the Summer-houſe-Window, and if you happen to have any Company, it is to be put off till next Night, under Pretence of one of the Dancer’s being not well. Very fine, ſaid Amoranda; well, ſince the worthy Gentlemen have begun a Scheme, I will throw in my Counter-Plot among them, and ſee who will come beſt off.
Amoranda made her Houſe-keeper a Preſent of ſome Guineas, and diſmiſs’d her. As D2 ſhe 030 D2v 30 ſhe went out, a Footman came in and told his Lady, an old Gentleman was juſt alighted at the Gate, who brought her a Letter, but muſt deliver it into her own Hands. An old Gentleman! ſaid Amoranda; I will wait upon him however. The Stranger enter’d, and gave the young Lady a Letter from her Uncle, in which, when ſhe had open’d it, ſhe found the following Words,
Ihave, at laſt, my deareſt Amoranda, fixed upon ſuch a Perſon as I think fit to entruſt you with; he is One for whom I have the greateſt Value, or, to ſum up all in a Word, he is my Friend, and as ſuch I deſire you would uſe him; let him in my Stead intereſt himſelf in all your Affairs. I have ſo good an Opinion of your Prudence, as to believe you will not often want his Advice; neither will he offer it, unleſs he finds it neceſſary: For, though he is an old Man, he is neither impertinent, poſitive, or ſour. You will, I hope, from my paſt Behaviour towards you, believe you are very dear to me; and I have no better Way of ſhewing it for the future, than by putting you into ſuch Hands as Formator’s, which is the Name of the Bearer; and if you would oblige me, ſhew it by your Eſteem to him, which will confirm me Your moſt Affectionate Uncle, E. Traffick.When 031 D3r 31
When Amoranda had read the Letter, ſhe looked a little earneſtly at Formator, poſſibly not very well pleaſed with a Guardian of ſuch an Age; but ſhe conſidered ſhe had a Father and Mother to pleaſe, in the Perſon of her Uncle, and he ſuch a One as made up the Loſs of both to her; for which Reaſon ſhe reſolved to uſe him, as directed in that Letter, and ſaid to him with a Smile, I find, Sir I am no longer my own Miſtreſs, but am now to live under your Reſtrictions; I promiſe you, I will always liſten to your Advice, and take it as often as I can; but I hope, Sir, you will remember I am gay and young, you grave and old, and that the Diſparity in our Years may make as great a one in our Tempers; I will therefore make a Bargain with you, if you will bear with a little of my youthful Folly, I will bear with a great deal of your aged Sagacity; and we will be as agreeable to one another, as it is poſſible for Age and Youth to be.
Madam, ſaid Formator, I agree to all your Propoſals, and ſhall be very cautious how I preſume to adviſe; and if I ever do ſo, it ſhall be when your own Reaſon muſt ſide with me; and I ſee already you have too much Senſe to act againſt that, unleſs by Inadvertency. All young People, Madam, are fond of Pleaſure, and every Thought that oppoſes it is thruſt out with Diſgrace; but—; O Lud! ſaid Amoranda, I believe you are to D3 be 032 D3v 32 be the Chaplain too; if you talk thus much longer, you will argue me out of my Senſes; I told you, I would not come into your grave Meaſures of a ſudden. Come, Sir, there is nothing in it, an innocent Chearfulneſs is much more acceptable both to God and Man, than a crabbed ſour Temper, that gives everybody the Gripes that looks at it. Madam, ſaid Formator, you quite miſtake me, I am not of that diſagreeable Temper you have deſcribed, I would have both Young and Old act with that very innocent Freedom you ſpeak of; but what I inveigh againſt, is an immoderate Love of Pleaſure, which generally follows the Young, and too often leads them to Deſtruction.
Pray, Sir, ſaid Amoranda, what is it you call Pleaſure.
Madam, ſaid he, I call every thing Pleaſure that pleaſes us; and I dare ſay, you will own a great many Things may, and do pleaſe us, which are in themſelves very faulty: As for Example, ſuppoſe a fine young Lady of ſuperior Beauty, ſhould ſpread Purlieus to catch all Mankind, I doubt not but it would give ſuch a one exquiſite Pleaſure; but it is at the ſame Time a great Fault to give other People exquiſite Pain, as the reſt of the Sex muſt certainly feel, when they ſee one Monopoliſer engroſs the whole Male World to herſelf. Nay, ſaid Amoranda, there never was any ſuch Thing 033 D4r 33 Thing in Nature, as one Woman engroſſing the whole contrary Sex; believe me, Sir, ye all love Variety too well for that, and your Affections, like your Money, circulates all the Nation over; ſo that it is only who can keep their Lovers longeſt we ſtrive for, not who can keep them always, for that we none of us expect; but come, Formator, ſaid ſhe I muſt own, you are come at a very critical Juncture, and ſince my Uncle has enjoined me to uſe you as I would him, after Supper, I will give you an early Proof of my Duty to him, and my Confidence in you.
Supper ended, Amoranda told Formator the whole Story of Froth and Callid, their baſe Deſigns, as well as beggarly Circumſtances. Formator’s Cheeks glowed with Anger, and in the higheſt Tranſport of Rage cried out, how can ſuch a Woman, ſuch a lovely Woman as you are, ſubject yourſelf to ſuch Company? Is it poſſible that fine Senſe, which breaks from thoſe lovely Lips with every Word you ſpeak, can find agreeable Returns from ſuch Vermin? Can a Man mingle his Wine with Mud, then drink it with Pleaſure!
Pardon me, dear Madam, continued he, if my Zeal for ſo good an Uncle to you, and ſo good a Friend to me, hurries me a little too far; it is not poſſible for me to ſee any thing, ſo deſervedly beloved by him, run into the leaſt Weakneſs; beſide, you ſeem to have too true 034 D4v 34 true a Notion of our Sex to be ſo groſly impoſed upon by them. Say no more, good Formator, ſaid Amoranda, I now promiſe to be governed in a great meaſure by you; and ſince my Uncle has ſent you to ſupply his Place, I will uſe you with Deference, and bring myſelf to comply with your Deſires as far as poſſible. This Promiſe gave the old Gentleman ten thouſand Joys, which ſat triumphant on his pleaſed Countenance, and Amoranda could not forbear being pleaſed herſelf, to ſee how much he was ſo. But, Madam, ſaid Formator, methinks I long to know how you intend to uſe thoſe Villains. That, ſaid ſhe, you ſhall do preſently. When the Hour is come for the Execution of their intended Project, I deſign to place two ſturdy Footmen, dreſſed in mine and Jenny’s Cloaths, in the Summer-houſe; the Hour they have appointed, will favour my Deſign as well as theirs, for ten o’Clock’s the Time, and the Moon to be our Light; ſo that they will not eaſily diſtinguiſh betwixt the Fellows and us, till their Senſe of Feeling lets them into the Secret; for the Footmen don’t want Courage, and I hope my deſign’d Injuries will give them Reſentment to it; I dare ſay they will give them Love for Love, and pay them in their own Coin. What do you think, Formator, ſaid ſhe, will not my Contrivance do better than theirs? I hope ſo, Madam, ſaid he, but I have 035 D5r 35 have one earneſt Requeſt to make you, and as it is the firſt, I hope you will not deny me. No, ſaid Amoranda, I am ſure you will aſk nothing I ought to refuſe, and therefore I promiſe. Then Madam, ſaid he, give me leave to perſonate you in the Summer-houſe Tomorrow-night.
Alas! ſaid ſhe, what can your feeble Arm do with ſuch robuſt Raſcals? they will make no more of you than they would of me myſelf, and methinks I would not have them go off without a good Drubbing. Fear not Madam, ſaid Formator, this Arm can ſtill do Wonders in ſo good a Cauſe; a Vindication of Amoranda’s Honour fills my Veins with young Blood, that glows to revenge her Wrongs. Well, ſaid Amoranda, I find I have the Remains of a brave Man to take my Part, and ſince you have ſo great a Mind to ſhew your Proweſs, pray do; if you happen to be worſted, we will invert the Cuſtom, and inſtead of your delivering the diſtreſſed Damſel, ſhe ſhall come and reſcue you. This made Formator very merry, in ſpite of all his Gravity; but it was now Bed-time, and he was conducted to his Chamber by the Servants, who were ordered to uſe him with great Reſpect. The next Morning Jenny came to her Lady’s Bed-ſide, and told her ſhe had been in the Garden, and had found a Silver Box; I fancy by the Bigneſs of it, it is Lord Lofty’s Snuff-Box, ſaid ſhe, but 036 D5v 36 but theirre is nothing in it but a Paper. Draw the Curtains, ſaid Amoranda, and let me ſee it; Jenny gave her the Box, and when ſhe had opened the Paper, ſhe found it was a Contract betwixt Lord Lofty, and a Lady of whom ſhe had often heard, but never ſaw; and if Lord Lofty receded from his Promiſe of marrying the Lady, he ſhould then forfeit Ten Thouſand Pounds, as an Addition to her Fortune. This Contract nettled Amoranda to the very Heart: How! ſaid ſhe, does my Lord come here to affront me with his Declarations againſt Marriage, and at the ſame time is going to engage himſelf ſo firmly to another? Baſe as he is, ſaid ſhe, am I a Perſon fit only to divert thoſe Hours, in which he cannot gain Admittance to one he likes better? Give me my Clothes, ſaid ſhe, I will be revenged of him, or loſe my Life in the Attempt.
Poor Jenny, who never ſaw her Lady angry in her Life before, began to repent ſhe had ſaid any thing of the Box, and was now afraid her Lady lov’d Lord Lofty; Madam, ſaid ſhe, I would not have your Ladyſhip in ſuch a Paſſion, for by the Date of this Contract, one would believe my Lord never intended to give it the Lady at all; it has been ſign’d and ſealed above a Month, if it was dated at the ſame Time. Jenny, ſaid Amoranda, recovering herſelf, and ſmilling; I fancy by your Looks you are afraid I have an inward private Inclination for 037 D6r 37 for this worthleſs Peer; but as thou haſt always been a faithful honeſt Servant, I will contribute ſo far towards thy Eaſe, as to aſſure thee, he is upon the ſame Foot with the reſt of his Sex, and I know none upon Earth I have a ſuperior Value for; but I own, I have ſo juſt a Reſentment againſt his Behaviour to me, that if the Lady this Paper was deſigned for will accept of it, I will certainly make her a Preſent of it to-morrow. But Madam, ſaid Jenny, may-be my Lord may come and enquire for it. If he comes to-day, ſaid Amoranda, tell him I ſee no company, and to-morrow I will put it out of his Reach,—if my Mind does not alter, Jenny, as I believe it will; for, upon ſecond Thoughts, it is a Matter of very great Conſequence, and I would not contribute to a Man’s continual Uneaſineſs neither; however, I am reſolved to ſee no Company to day, except Callid and Froth, ſo pray give Orders accordingly below-ſtairs.
Jenny was very glad to ſee her Lady recover her Temper ſo ſoon, and when ſhe had obey’d her Commands, ſhe returned to dreſs her, and then Amoranda went down to Formator; they paid each other the common Compliment of a Good-morrow, and then went to Breakfaſt in Amoranda’s Cloſet, for fear of a Viſit from Lord Lofty, who came before they had well begun. But his Errand was different from what they expected, for he neither enquired for, nor had miſſed 038 D6v 38 miſſed his Box; but when they told him Amoranda ſaw no Company that Day; I know it, Child, ſaid he, ſhe told me Yeſterday ſhe would ſee no-body but me; Where is ſhe? then without ſtaying for an Anſwer, he ran from Room to Room till he found her. Amoranda thought his ill-manner’d Freedom proceeded from his Concern for his Box, and was once going to return it, in order to get rid of him, but a better Genius twitched her by the Ear, and bid her keep it. Madam, ſaid he, with his wonted Aſſurance, how will you anſwer this Behaviour to Good-nature? and what have I done to deſerve Baniſhment.
My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, I retire ſometimes from Company, to make it more acceptable to me when I come into it again; and this, I think, I may do as often as I pleaſe, without a Breach in either Good-nature or Good-manners. True, Madam, ſaid my Lord, but I would feign be acceptable always. Amoranda found by this Anſwer he had not miſſed his Box, or at leaſt did not ſuſpect ſhe had it; and therefore told him, ſhe was ſurpriſed to hear him ſay he would be always acceptable, after having declared ſo heartily againſt Matrimony. I fancy, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, you will find a Miſtreſs a little given to Variety, and will hardly like you always as much as you think you deſerve. Formator, who colour’d at this Diſcourſe, began to take up the Cudgels; My Lord, 039 E1r 39 Lord, ſaid he, I am ſent here by very good Authority, and have a Commiſſion to enquire every Man’s Buſineſs that comes into this Houſe; I therefore deſire to know if, as the Lady ſays, you declare againſt Matrimony, what your Deſigns are in coming here? Pr’ythee Child, ſaid my Lord, to Amoranda, What queer old Prig is this? Hark-ye, Friend, ſaid he to Formator, your Buſineſs now is in the other World, and you would do well to go and prepare for it, without envying us the Pleaſures you are paſt yourſelf. My Lord, ſaid Formator, I am ſtill very capable of Pleaſure, and the greateſt I can poſſibly have, is to preſerve the lovely Charge committed to my Care, which I will do to the utmoſt Extremity of my Power; and do here promiſe you, till you give a better Account of your Intentions, you ſhall never ſee her more. Amoranda was not very well pleaſed with what Formator ſaid; for tho’ ſhe was perfectly inſenſible of any Paſſion for my Lord, and knew his diſhonourable Deſigns, ſhe could not think of looſing a Lover of his Title and Figure, without ſome Emotion, and ſaid to Formator, with a little Warmth, I think Sir, you aſſume a Power too great for ſo ſhort a Time, and I ſhould take it kindly if you would give me leave to diſmiſs my Viſitors myſelf. This gave my Lord a new Supply of Hopes, and he aſked Amoranda, Leave to pull him by the Noſe. No, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, whoever E lays 040 E1v 40 lays a Finger upon him has ſeen his laſt of me. Madam, ſaid Formator, if I have been ſo unhappy as to ſay any thing to diſoblige you, I do here in the humbleſt manner ask your Pardon; but if I am not to take Notice of ſuch Behaviour as Lord Lofty’s, I have no Buſineſs here, but may forthwith return to him that ſent me: For your Part, my Lord, you dare not pull me by the Noſe. Saying thus, he left the Cloſet, but ſent Jenny directly up to her Lady, with a Charge to ſtay with her till my Lord was gone, unleſs ſhe commanded her otherwiſe, and then he knew what he had to fear.
Amoranda, on the other Hand, found ſhe had vexed Formator, which ſhe began to be ſorry for, becauſe ſhe knew it would highly diſoblige one of the beſt Uncles in the World, and therefore begg’d my Lord to leave her for that Time. He told her he would do ten thouſand Things to oblige her, and deſir’d but one in return of all. When I underſtand you, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, I ſhall know what Anſwer to make; in the mean time, I repeat the Requeſt I have already made you, to leave me now. My Lord, with a little too much Freedom ſnatch’d her to his Arms, took a Kiſs, and vaniſh’d. As ſoon as he was gone, ſhe went down to Formator, and found him in the Parlour, in a very thoughtful melancholy Poſture; Formator, ſaid ſhe, I am come to tell you, I am under ſome Concern for what has happened to-day: I have, to oblige you, ſent my Lord 041 E2r 41 Lord away, and do here faithfully promiſe you, I will never come into his Company more without your Approbation. I own, I have the greateſt Inclination in the World to pleaſe you; and as I believe you ſincerely to be my Friend, as ſuch I will always uſe you, and let this little early Quarrel rivet our future Amity. Formator was ſo tranſported at her good-natur’d Condeſcenſion, that he could hardly forbear throwing himſelf at her Feet; but he conſidered, Raptures were unſuitable to his Age, ſo contented himſelf with ſaying, Madam, of what Uſe is our Reaſon, if we chain it up when we moſt want it? had yours had its Liberty, it would have ſhewn you the villainous Deſigns of your Noble Lover, it would have told you how much he deſires your Ruin, that all the Love he has for you is to ſatisfy his own beſtial Deſires, rob you of your Innocence and Honour, then leave you to the World to finiſh the Miſery he began, by being pity’d and deſpiſ’d, as long as you live: It is true, Madam, continued he, you have a Fortune that ſets you above the World; but when I was a young Fellow, we uſed to value a Lady for Virtue, Modeſty, and innate Love to Honour. I confeſs, Madam, ſaid he, thoſe are unfaſhionable Qualities, but they are ſtill the chief Ornaments of your Sex, and ours never think a Woman compleat without them. Give me leave, Madam, ſaid he, to go a little farther, and tell you how great your MiſfortuneE2 fortune 042 E2v 42 fortune has been, in being left ſo long to the Choice of your own Company; your Good- nature, and want of Experience, together with a greedy Deſire of Flattery, which (pardon me, Madam) is a Weakneſs attending the whole Sex, has encouraged ſuch a Heap of Vermin about you, as Providence would not ſuffer to live, were it not to give us a better Taſte for the brave, the juſt, the honourable and the honeſt Man.
Amoranda was ſo touch’d with what Formator ſaid that the Tears ſtood in her Eyes; and ſhe was juſt going to beg he would have done, when the Bell rung for Dinner, and put a Stop to what remain’d; ſhe was never ſo lectur’d in her Life before; however, ſhe was convinc’d in her own Breaſt, that every Word was true. As ſoon as Dinner was over my Friend Froth came in, with a Deſign to ſift Amoranda’s Inclinations once more; and if he found her leaning to his Side as much as he deſir’d, then to diſcover all; if not, ſtay till Callid came, and join with him in the Invitation at Night. Formator, who was told before he came in who he was, left Amoranda and him together; and having a fair Opportunity of trying his Fortune once more, he thus began; Madam, I have often look’d with envious Eyes on the Favours you confer on Mr. Callid; but Madam, as you can’t have us both, I wiſh you would (for the Eaſe of one of us at leaſt) declare in favour of him you like, and 043 E3r 43 and let the other travel. Mr. Froth, ſaid ſhe, your Friend and you are endowed with ſuch equal Merit, it is hardly poſſible to ſay which I like beſt; beſide, if I ſhould declare in Favour of you, Mr. Callid would not believe I was in earneſt; and if I ſhould ſay I like him beſt, you are too conſcious of your own Worth to think I ſpeak from my Heart: In ſhort, every thinkg we do you conſtrue to your own Advantage; if we look eaſy and pleas’d in your Company, we are certainly in Love, if grave and reſerv’d ’tis to hide our Love; thus you all imagine we are fond of gaining a Conqueſt over a Heart which when we have got it is perhaps ſo very trifling that we diſpoſe of it at laſt as we do of our old Gowns, give it away to our Chamber-maid. But Madam, ſaid Froth, if you pleaſe, we will lay by general Compariſons, and come to Particulars betwixt Callid and myſelf; and if I from undeniable Reaſons prove I deſerve beſt from you, will you promiſe accordingly to reward me?
I faithfully promiſe, ſaid Amoranda, to reward ye both as ye deſerve; but here is Mr. Callid coming, I’ll warrant he has as much to ſay for himſelf as you have. Mr. Callid came to ’em, and ſaid to Amoranda I have provided a little Country Entertainment for you, Madam, if you will do me the Honour to ſee it anon. You are always ſo very obliging, ſaid Amoranda,―― but you know, Mr. Callid, I never go far from home. No farther than your E3 own 044 E3v 44 own Summer-houſe, Madam, ſaid he, I have engaged a few of my Tenants to appear in a rural Dreſs, and give you a Shepherd’s Dance; they have been practiſing this Fortnight, and I am in Hopes they may prove perfect enough to give you ſome Diverſion; I have ordered them to be there exactly at Ten o’Clock, by which time the Road will be quiet, and the Moon up: And Madam, ſaid Froth, a Dance of Shepherds and Shepherdeſſes looks ſo natural by Moon-light.――Yes, ſaid Amoranda, ſo it does; and I promiſe myſelf already a great deal of Pleaſure from the Hour ye ſpeak of; but I wiſh I had known it in the Morning, I would have engaged Lord Lofty to come himſelf, and have brought ſome Ladies with him. No matter, ſaid ſhe, we will have it to ourſelves; and Gentlemen, I deſire you will not ſup before ye come; for I ſhall take care of a ſmall Repaſt for you, and we will ſup in the Summer-houſe, that we may be near our Diverſion. Come then, Froth, ſaid Callid, we will go and ſee them do it once more before they perform in the Lady’s view; for nothing could be ſo great a Baulk to me, as to have any thing wrong where ſhe is to be a Spectator. As ſoon as they were gone, Amoranda called Formator, and bid him chuſe a Companion for the Exploit in hand; for ſhe had promiſed the two Gentlemen a Supper in the Summer-houſe, and ſhe would feign have them have a Belly-full.For- 045 E4r 45
Formator took the young Lady’s Advice, and went to chuſe a good Sturdy Fellow, to perſonate Jenny, while he did as much by Amoranda; and when the appointed Time was come, they took their Places in the Summerhouſe, with each a good Crab-tree Cudgel by him; and after a little Expectation, the two impudent Varlets came, aſk’d for Amoranda with their wonted Saucineſs; and being told ſhe was in the Garden, flew to their hop’d-for Prize. Callid ran as he thought to Amoranda, and catching her in his Arms, cryed, No Reſiſtance Madam, by Jove you muſt along with me: Froth did the ſame by the ſuppoſed Jenny; and juſt as they were going to gag them, and call their Aſſociates (who waited in the Lane for the Sign) to their Aſſiſtance, the two Ladies began to handle their Cudgels, and laid about them with ſuch Dexterity, that the Raviſhers were almoſt knock’d o’ the Head before they could believe they were beaten; ſo great was their Surprize, and ſo little did they expect to meet with ſuch Reſiſtance: But when they found the Blows come faſter on, without regard to either Sex or Quality, they began to draw their Swords; Formator ſtruck Callid’s out of his Hand, and the Foot-man tripp’d up Froth’s Heels, before he could get his out of the Scabberd; which he would not have attempted to do, but that he thought his Antagoniſt a Woman. All this while the two Ladies laid on 046 E4v 46 on ſo unmercifully, that they began to cry Quarter and beg for Mercy, when the Noiſe reached the Houſe, and they ſaw Amoranda, with Lights before her, coming in a great Surprize, to ſee what the matter was. Callid, when he ſaw her and Jenny, could hardly believe his half beaten-out Eyes, but ſtood ſtaring, firſt at the real Lady, and then at the feign’d one; but when he found how Matters went, he cry’d Froth thou Villain, thou haſt betray’d me. If I have, ſaid Froth, I am ill rewarded for it, and believe I ſhall never ſtir either Hand or Foot again. Well Gentlemen, ſaid Amoroanda, are the Shepherds come? when does the Dance begin? It is over, Madam, ſaid Formator, theſe Gentlemen have been cutting Capers this half Hour to a ſorrowful new Tune. Why, what is the matter? ſaid ſhe, I hope you have not hurt them.
Nothing Madam, ſaid Formator, but Harry and I took a Frolick to ſit here this Evening in Maſquerade, and theſe two Beaus had a mind to Raviſh us, I think, for they were going to gag us. I am ſorry Sir, ſaid he to Callid, that I was forced to exerciſe my Cudgel upon you, I hope you will excuſe it; had I been in another Dreſs I would have uſed another Weapon. I think, ſaid Amoranda, he did not ſtand upon ſo much Ceremony with you, for I ſee he has drawn his Sword, though he took you for a Woman. Yes, ſaid Callid ready 047 E5r 47 ready to choak with Rage, Deſpair, and Diſappointment, I took him for you, on whom I would have had a glorious Revenge, had it prov’d ſo. Oh! Death and Fury, ſaid he, what malicious Devil interpos’d? but it is ſome Satisfaction to tell you how I would have uſed you, had Fortune been ſo kind as to have put you in my Power; know then, proud Beauty, I would―― I know already, ſaid Amoranda interrupting him, as much of your Deſigns as you can tell me; but Gentlemen, ſaid ſhe, if the Czar ſhould not take ye into his Service, when ye have received the Money from my Banker, pray let me know, and I will make a better Proviſion for you; I have an Uncle going to the Indies who wants Slaves, and I believe, at my Requeſt he would take ye into his Service; in the mean Time, do me the Favour to leave this Place; for I have had juſt as much of your Company as I can diſpence with. I hope Madam, ſaid Froth, whoſe Tongue was the only Part about him he could ſtir without Pain, you have more Hoſpitality in you, than to turn us out of your Houſe in this Condition; you had more need ſend for a Surgeon to ſet our diſlocated Joints in order, and wrap us up in Sear-cloth, I don’t believe I ſhall live a Week. That, ſaid Amoranda, would be a great Pity, the World would have a ſad Loſs of ſo worthy a Man; but I hear you have a Coach hard by; I ſhall order two of my Servantsvants 048 E5v 48 vants to load each of them with a Knave, and convey ye both to it: I hope ye will own I have been as good as my Word; I promiſed ye a Supper and Deſert, and I believe ye have had both. Upon which ſhe and her Retinue went away, leaving the two batter’d Beaus in the Summer- houſe, till a Couple of luſty Fellows came to take them up and ſhoot the Rubbiſh into the Coach. The Servants who carried them away, left them and returned home; and as ſoon as they were gone Callid accuſed Froth of Treachery, and laid the whole Diſcovery to his Charge. Froth declared his Innocence, and urged his own Share of the Suffering as a Proof he was ſo; but Callid’s Diſappointment had ſour’d his Temper, as well as made him deſperate; and he was reſolved to be deaf to all Froth could ſay in his own Vindication; and though they were both ſo bruiſed they could hardly ſtand, he made the other draw, who was innoecent in Fact, tho’ not in Intention; and though they lived like Scoundrels, they went off like Gentlemen; and the firſt Paſs they made took away each other’s Life.
This News ſoon reached Amoranda’s Ear, whoſe tender Heart felt a great deal of Pity for the tragical Cataſtrophe; but Formator told her, he thought ſhe ought rather to rejoice, if ſhe had a true Senſe of a Fellow Creature’s Sufferings; for, ſaid he, when once a Man has outlived his Fortune and his Friends, his 049 E6r 49 his next Relief is the Grave. He had now pretty well cleared the Houſe of the Caterpillers that infeſted it; and began to take the greateſt Delight in his Charge; his conſtant Care was to divert her from all the Follies of Life, and as ſhe had a Soul capable of Improvement, and a flexible good Temper to be delt with, he made no doubt but one Day he ſhould ſee her the moſt accompliſh’d of her Sex; in order to which he provided a choice Collection of Books for her, ſpent moſt of his Time with her, diverted her with a thouſand pleaſant Stories, poſſibly of his own making; and every Moment was loſt to Formator that was not ſpent with Amoranda.
Lord Lofty had made two Viſits during this Time, but Formator would not admit him; and by Amoranda’s Conſent, told him ſhe was engaged; which nettled the Peer ſo much, that he writ to her in the Bitterneſs of his Soul, the following Words;
Madam, If it was poſſible for me to unriddle a Woman’s Behaviour, I ſhould immediately try my Skill upon yours; but as I believe Men of deeper Penetration than I have been baffled, I muſt even, with the reſt, leave you to your own wild Mazes: One Day careſs’d, the next caſhier’d a third receiv’d again, and a fourth quite baniſh’d. However, though this be a common Treatment from moſt of your Sex, I never had Cauſe to mind it ſo much in 050 E6v 50 in you, till this old whimſical Fellow came to give you ridiculous Advice, and your Adorers endleſs Torment: What the Devil have our Years to do with his? Or why muſt his pernicious Counſel diſturb our Pleaſure? If you have that Value for me ſtill which you once gave me Reaſon to hope you had, you will meet me in the little Grove at the End of your own Garden, about Nine o’Clock, where I will acquaint you with ſome Secrets you never knew before: I have contrived a Way to it without coming near the Houſe, and your old Argus will never ſuſpect you, if you come alone to the Arms of Your Faithful Admirer, Lofty.
Before Amoranda had done reading this Letter, a Servant came and told her, a Gentleman on Horſeback at the Gate deſir’d to know if he might be admitted to her Preſence, for a quarter of an Hour; his Buſineſs was a little urgent, but it would be ſoon over.
Poor Amoranda had been ſo lately in Jeopardy that ſhe was now afraid of every-body, and durſt do nothing without Formator, who went to know the Gentleman’s Name; but when he came to the Gate, he ſaw a poor, thin, pale, meagre young Creature, hardly able to ſit his Horſe; who looked as if he wanted a Doctor more than a Miſtreſs. When he had 051 F1r 51 had viewed him well, he was aſhamed to ask him any Queſtions, thinking he might as well be afraid of a Shadow as ſuch a Skeleton as he was; and therefore deſired him to alight, which, with the Help of two Servants he had with him, he did. Formator conducted him in, and left him with Amoranda; when the Stranger was ſate (for he was very ill able to ſtand) he firſt begg’d Amoranda to ſhut the Door, that none might be Witneſs to his wretched Tale but herſelf; and then with a Flood of Tears began thus:
It is the Way of the Damn’d, Madam, to deſire all Mankind ſhould be in their own miſerable State; but though I am as wretched as they, I am not ſo envious: And it is to prevent your Fate, and receive your Pity, that I am come at this time to you. Sir, ſaid Amoranda, your Looks without your Tale call for Pity; and I intreat you to drink a Glaſs of ſomething to comfort you, before you ſpend the few remaining Spirits you have left, in a Story which I foreſee will give you Pain in the repeating. Alas! Madam, ſaid he, Food and I are become Strangers to each other; but it is all the Pleaſure I have to repeat my Wrongs, and my tortured Heart is never capable of a Moment’s Eaſe, but when I am complaining. Amoranda was in the utmoſt Perplexity to find out what whining romantick Lover ſhe had got; and could not imagine where the AdventureF ture 052 F1v 52 ture would end, or how her Fate came to be concerned in the Matter: But the poor Afflicted ſoon let her into the Secret, which ſhe began to be impatient to know. Madam, ſaid the Stranger, I am now going to tell you a Story, which will melt you into the greateſt Pity; but before I proceed, intreat you will not be too ſevere upon my Conduct; or ſay when I have done, I have reaped the Deſert of my own Folly. Amoranda promiſed her beſt Attention, without any Reflection at all; and the Stranger thus began.
The firſt Thing I am to inform you of, Madam, is my Sex, which is not what it appears to be; I am a Woman, a wretched, miſerable, unhappy Woman! My Father was the eldeſt Son of an ancient Family, born to a very plentiful Eſtate; and when he died left only one Son and myſelf, my Mother died ſoon after I was born, and my Father left me wholly to the Care of my Brother, who was at Age when he died; and my Fortune, which was Five Thouſand Pounds, was to be paid me, when I married, or was of Age, and to be kept in my Brother’s Hands till then. I was then about fourteen Years old, and my Brother, who was my Father too, uſed me with all the Tenderneſs that coud be expected from ſo near a Relation; and had he kept within the Bounds of Honour, and loved me only as a Siſter, I might have reckoned myſelf in the Number 053 F2r 53 Number of the Happy. A whole Year paſſed over with the greateſt Innocence; and my Brother’s Love ſeemed faultleſs and natural; but when I was turned of Fifteen, in the Height of my Bloom and Pride of Beauty, I was one Day dreſſed to moſt Advantage, for a Ball in the Neighbourhood, when my Brother came in, and looking ſteadfaſtly at me, Altemira! ſaid he, O Altemira! you are too lovely. Then ſnatching me to his Boſom, preſſed me with a Warmth, which a little ſurpriſed me. I broke looſe from his Embraces, and asked him what he meant; he ſeem’d a little confounded, and left the Room. I confeſs, I was under ſome Apprehenſion of an approaching Misfortune, but was loth to harbour any Thought to the Diſadvantage of ſo dear a Brother; and therefore imputed the Action rather to Chance than Deſign. He came to the Ball, but would neither dance nor ſpeak; nay, nor ſo much as look at any thing but me, which only I took Notice of. When the Company broke up, he convey’d me home; and as we were going, he ſigh’d, and ſaid, I had made him very wretched. How! Brother, ſaid I, not willing to underſtand him, by what Behaviour am I ſo wretched to make you ſo? Oh! Altemira! ſaid he, ceaſe to talk, your Actions had been better had they been worſe; for who can ſee ſo much Perfection without Love, without Adoration? Oh! Altemira! I muſt, I will enjoy F2 you, 054 F2v 54 you. It is not poſſible for me to tell you, Madam, how ſhocking this was to me; I could hardly keep from ſwooning in the Coach; but my Paſſion found Vent at my Eyes; and with ten thouſand Tears, I begg’d him to recal his ſcattered Senſes, to arm his Reaſon for his own Defence, to conſider, I was a Siſter; nay, a Siſter, who was left wholly to his Care; and One who had none to fly to for Redreſs of Injuries, but him; and am I ſo entirely miſerable, as to find my Ruin where I ſeek my Sanctuary? ſaid I, O! by the Aſhes of our dead Father and Mother, by all the Ties of natural Affection, of Honour, Virtue, and every Thing we hold dear in this Life; if you have any Regard to my Welfare or your own, ſtifle this guilty Flame, and let me quench it with my Tears.
I wiſh, Altemira, ſaid he, I could quench it with my own; but it is grown too fierce to be extinguiſh’d; I have keep it under a great while, and with my utmoſt Care endeavoured to ſupreſs it; but alas! my Attempts were vain, it was too powerful for me, and is now broken out with ſuch Violence, that unleſs you ſtop its Force, I muſt conſume to Aſhes in the midſt on’t. My Heart at thoſe Words ſunk both with Horror and Pity; I ſaw an only Brother, whom I dearly and tenderly loved, a black Criminal, entangled in a guilty lawleſs Love, while I, who only had the Power of relieving 055 F3r 55 relieving him, lay under an indiſpenſible Duty of refuſing to do ſo. As ſoon as we alighted out of the Coach, we went to our different Apartments; how my poor Brother ſpent his Night, I know not, but mine went on with a heavy Pace; I counted every dull Hour as it came, and bathed in Tears, lay thinking how to extricate myſelf from the miſerable Condition I was in. I found my unfortunate Brother was too far gone to be brought to Reaſon; and had often heard, a deſperate Deſeaſe muſt have a deſperate Cure; I therefore reſolved to end his Pain, by Abſence, and go where he ſhould never ſee me, till I was ſatisfied he had got the better of his own Folly.
In order to this, I got up when the Clock ſtruck Four, and calling my Maid, who lay in a Cloſet juſt by me, I made her pack up ſome Cloaths for me and herſelf; and taking all my Mother’s Jewels, which were now mine, and what ready Money I had, we went down unheard or obſerved by any-body, and took the Road to a Wood hard by: I well knew as ſoon as my Brother were up, he would, as uſual, come to enquire after my Health, and when he miſſed me, make ſtrict Enquiry after me; I therefore thought it moſt adviſable to ſtay a Day or two where we were, till the Search was a little over, and then purſue my intended Journey. My Maid favour’d my Deſign, though ſhe knew it not, by ſtepping into the Buttery beforeF3 fore 056 F3v 56 fore ſhe came out, and filling her Pocket with ſomething for her Breakfaſt, which we lived on two Days. In a Thicket in the Wood we found a Shepherd’s Hut deſerted by the Owner, where we lay that Night; and the next Day towards Evening we ventur’d to a Farmer’s Houſe, where for a Guinea to the Man, who was newly come, and knew neither of us, he undertook to carry us both where I directed him. When I was about eleven Years of Age, we had a Female Servant who was Cook, and had lived in the Family many Years. She juſt then married away, and to her I went; ſhe was exceedingly ſurpris’d to ſee me at ſuch an early Hour, (for we rid all Night,) and no better attended. Here, ſaid I to the Man that brought us, there is your Hire, and a Crown to drink, make the beſt of your Way home again. I now thought myſelf the happieſt Creature upon Earth, for I ſaw myſelf ſafe, and had one to whom I durſt intruſt my Secret, which I never did to my Maid Kitty, becauſe I would not expoſe my Brother, and for which ſhe ow’d me, and paid me a Grudge. The Woman to whoſe Houſe we were come, was always call’d, when ſhe liv’d with my Father, by the Name of her Place, Cook; and ſo I ſhall call her for the future: She married a Gardiner, who liv’d for ſome time with Lord Lofty; I preſume, Madam, ſaid ſhe, you know the Man, and ſo do I too well. It was, no doubt 057 F4r 57 doubt decreed that I ſhould never have Reſt, otherwiſe I ſhould have miſs’d his fatal Acquaintance. Pray, Madam, ſaid Amoranda, give me Leave to interrupt you ſo long, as while I aſk you, Whether you ever favour’d me with a Letter in your Life? That, Madam, ſaid Altemira, you ſhall know preſently. I had not been three Days at Cook’s before my Lord came that way a hunting; and juſt at Dinner-time, being very hungry, he popp’d in upon us before we were aware of him. It is poſſible you will not readily believe I ever had a Face worth looking at, while you ſee no Remains of a good one; but――there I interrupt you again, ſaid Amoranda, for though you have now a livid, pale Complection, your Features are ſtill fine; and a little Quiet of Mind would raiſe thoſe fallen Cheeks to their uſual Plumpneſs. Be that as it will, ſaid Altemira, Lord Lofty ſaw ſomething in it which he thought worth his Notice; and he no ſooner caſt an Eye upon me than he vow’d an everlaſting Love; he took Cook aſide, and found out who I was, but not the Occaſion which brought me there. He ſpent the remaining Part of the Day with us, and moſt of the Night, before he could be perſuaded to leave us; and next Day he came again, and ſaid ten thouſand Things to win a fooliſh Heart: And I muſt own, I began to be too well pleaſed with every Word that fell from his 058 F4v 58 his bewitching Tongue; he ſoon perceiv’d it, and as ſoon took the Advantage of my Weakneſs. One Day as we were alone, he began to take ſome Liberty, which I was not very well pleas’d with, and ſaid, my Lord, you abuſe the Freedom I have given you; I have hitherto believed your Intentions honourable; you know beſt whether they are ſo or no; if they are not, be aſſured your Quality will ſtand for very little in my Eſteem; and till I am better ſatisfied in that Point, your Lordſhip will excuſe me if I ſee you no more. Saying thus, I left the Room, and went to my own, where I lock’d myſelf up, and came no more out while my Lord ſtay’d, which was ſome Hours. The next Morning, before my Eyes were well open’d to read it, a Letter came from him fill’d with ten thouſand Proteſtations of his Sincerity; and if I would but give him Leave once more to throw himſelf at my Feet, he would ſoon convince me of his Reality. I have already own’d, his oily Tongue had made an Impreſſion on my Heart; and I took a ſecret Pleaſure in hoping all he ſaid was true: I ſent no anſwer back by the Meſſenger, which was giving a tacit Conſent to another Interview; and I ſaw him at my Feet before I thought the Meſſenger could have return’d. Oh! what an aſſiduous Creature is Man before Enjoyment! and what a careleſs, negligent Wretch after it! Dear Altemira, ſaid my Lord, Why do 059 F5r 59 do you uſe me with ſuch Contempt? What ſhall I do to convince you of the real Value I have for you? Is there one Oath left I have not ſworn to confirm my Love to you? Or can my Actions diſplay themſelves with greater Ardency than I have already ſhewn? Yes, my Lord, ſaid I, there is one Action yet remains which muſt authorize all the reſt, that once done I am yours for ever; but till then you know what you have to truſt to. I underſtand you Madam, ſaid the baſe Deceiver, and I greatly approve your cautious Proceedings; you ſhall ſoon be ſatisfy’d in every Point, and I will break through all my own Meaſures to make you eaſy; To -morrow’s Sun ſhall ſee us one. After this Promiſe he ſtaid not long, but left me in the greateſt, the higheſt Tranquility I ever knew. When my Lord was gone, Cook came to me, and told me, ſhe was afraid there was ſome Juggle betwixt Lord and Kitty; for I have ſeen him whiſpering with her twice, ſaid ſhe; and beg you will have a care what you do, and how you truſt her; ſhe is very ſullen at ſomething, and has been out of Humour ever ſince ſhe came here.
I know it, ſaid I, and the Reaſon is, becauſe I have not let her into the Secret of leaving my Brother’s Houſe. I wiſh, ſaid Cook, you would part with her, I do not like her; I can recommend one to you juſt now, who will, I am ſure, be very juſt to you.No 060 F5v 60
No, ſaid I, I will firſt be convinc’d of her Behaviour, I hate a ſtrange Face. Well Madam, ſaid Cook, I wiſh you may not repent it. For my Part, I was ſo full of Satisfaction at the Promiſe my Lord had made me, that I could find Room for no other Thought and went to Bed two Hours ſooner than uſual, that I might indulge it without Interruption. As ſoon as Day appear’d, my poor unwary Heart gave a freſh Alarm to Love and Joy; and when I heard the Family ſtirring I got up and dreſſed me to the beſt Advantage, expecting every Hour to ſee my Lord, attended by his Chaplain. At laſt I ſaw my Lord enter, but no Chaplain; he came to me and ſaid, My Altemira, I am now come to remove all your Doubts; take this, ſaid he, pulling out a Paper, and let it convince you how much I love. I open’d the Paper, and found it a Promiſe to marry me, with a Bond of ten thouſand Pounds, if ever he receded from his Word. I own, I was much pleaſed with the Paper, which he gave me in great Form, as his Act and Deed, before Cook and her Huſband, who were both Witneſſes to it; but I could not find out the Meaning of it, and ſaid, my Lord, if you deſign to marry me, what Occaſion is there for all this Formality and Stuff? I preſume you are your own Maſter; what then retards your Deſign? I will tell you, my deareſt Altemira, ſaid he when you and I are alone.lone. 061 F6r 61 lone. Well, ſaid I, let me go and lay by this Paper, and I’ll wait upon you again: I went up to my Chamber, and lock’d it up in a Scrutore which ſtood in the Room, and of which I had the Key, and then return’d to my Lord, whom I found all alone; Well my Lord, ſaid I, with a much freer Air than uſual, now we are alone, pray let me hear this Secret. Altemira, ſaid this baſe Impoſtor, I now look upon you with a Huſband’s Eyes; you are in foro Conſcientia my Wife, and as ſuch I will entruſt you with all I know: About nine Months ago, I ſaw the Lady whom I admired then, as I do you now; and after I had made my Addreſſes to her ſome time, ſhe conſented to crown my wiſhes, and we were to be marrried in a Month’s time, but before it was expir’d, with the true Spirit of Inconſtancy, which reigns in moſt of your Sex, ſhe jilted me, and admitted another, to whom ſhe is to be married next Week. Now my Dear, ſaid he ſhould I marry firſt, I fling all her own Levity at my Door, and ſay the Falſhood was mine; for which Reaſon, ſince ſhe is ſo near Marriage I will deny myſelf the Pleaſure of thy dear Arms a few Days, rather than undergo the Scandal of doing an ill Action to a fine Woman. Here was a Gloſs ſet upon as baſe a Deſign as ever Villain invented; and I, who look’d upon all he ſaid as from an Oracle, gave a pleaſing Ear to it. He ſtay’d not late at Night, but came again early next Day; for he lived within three little 062 F6v 62 little Miles of Cook’s Houſe, and every Time he came grew more familiar with me: I muſt confeſs to you, good Madam, I loved this Ingrate to Diſtraction; and after ſuch a firm ſubſtantial Proof of his, as I had lock’d up, I thought myſelf exceedingly ſecure; my Fear and Caution which uſed to attend me conſtantly now left me, and I had no other Deſires than to pleaſe my Undoer. Three or four Days after he had given me the above- mentioned Paper, he came and ſaid, my Altemira, you have never ſeen my Houſe, I deſire you will go with me to-day, and dine there; I hope I have given you too many Demonſtrations of Love, to leave you any Room for Fear. My Lord, ſaid I, it is now my Intereſt to believe every thing that is good of you, and I have no Fear of any thing but a want of Power to pleaſe you always. After ſome other Diſcourſe I went up to dreſs, and you may be ſure I left no Charm behind me, which I could poſſib!ly take with me; Cook was not willing I ſhould go, but durſt not be known to perſuade me from it, becauſe my Lord was a good Friend to her Huſband; however, I ventured to go, and met with all the civil Treatment in the World. I now thought myſelf at home, and was pleaſed to think how ſoon I ſhould give my Brother an Account of my good Fortune from thence? But alas! my Doom was near, my eternal Deſtruction juſt at 063 G1r 63 at hand. When we were at Dinner a Letter came for my Lord, which he read, and gave it to me; it was an Account of the Lady’s being marry’d, whom he had ſome Days before told me of. Now Altemira, ſaid he, it is our Turn, To-morrow you and I will join our Hands. When Dinner was over he ſent his Chaplain for a Licence, who accordingly brought one, which he ſhewed me. The Afternoon we ſpent in different Diverſions; and at Night, when I would have gone to Cook’s, my Lord ſaid I ſhould never leave the Houſe till it was my own, and begg’d I would be ſatisfy’d to ſtay all Night; he told me that I ſhould have a Room to myſelf and Maid, and in the Morning Hymen would crown our Wiſhes. I own, I was not long perſuading to comply; but ſoon conſented to my own Undoing; for about One o’Clock, when all the Houſe was gone to Bed, I heard a little Knocking at my Chamber-door; Kitty immediately roſe, without ſaying any thing to me, and open’d the Door; my Lord enter’d, and came to my Bed-ſide. Kitty, the treacherous Kitty, put on her Clothes, and left the Room, as ſhe had been inſtructed. My deareſt Altemira, ſaid my Lord, it is impoſſible for me to reſt while you are ſo near me; give me a Bridegroom’s Privilege, and let me lie down by you. I found myſelf under ſome Concern at his Propoſal, but conſider’d, a few Hours would give him a juſt Title to all I had G in 064 G1v 64 in Poſſeſſion; I called every Circumſtance to my Memory; the firm Engagement I had under his Hand; the Letter from London of the Lady’s Marriage; the Licence, and Preparations which were made, and the Millions of Oaths and Vows which I had received from a perjur’d Tongue of an eternal Love; all theſe in Conjunction with an unguarded Hour, made me a Prey to the baſeſt of Men. In ſhort, Madam, he gained his Ends; and after ſome Hours Enjoyment got up, and left me. Kitty, when he went out, came in again, but I was ſo little apprehenſive of my own Fate, that I ſaid not much to her, but got up and re-aſſumed all my Charms. When we were at Breakfaſt, my Lord ſaid with a ſort of Raillery; It ſhall never be ſaid, Madam, that you come to me to be married; if you think fit, we’ll confirm our Vows at Cook’s as you call her. With all my Heart, my Lord, ſaid I, ſhe is Witneſs to our Contract, let her alſo ſee our Nuptials. When we had done, the Coach was order’d to the Door, and Lord Lofty put me into it, and accompanied me to Cook’s: Now, Madam, ſaid he, I will leave you for an Hour, and then return with my Chaplain: In the mean time, ſaid he to Cook, ſend for what Proviſions you think fit for Dinner to my Houſe, and do you dreſs it well, and I will help to eat it. This was no ſooner ſaid, than my Lord whipt into the Coach and drove away. As ſoon as he 065 G2r 65 he was gone my Maid came to me, and ſaid, Madam, I have heard by Chance my Mother is not well; I beg you will give me Leave to go and ſee her; if ſhe recovers I will return; if not you may be pleaſed to provide yourſelf of another, I ſhall give you an early Account. Kitty, ſaid I, it falls out unluckily for you; but who can help Misfortunes? I am not willing to part with you; and if you can return in a Month’s time, ſo long I will ſtay for you. The Jade thank’d me, and went away.
I was now left alone with honeſt Cook; then ſhe asked me, if I was married? I told her, No, but very near it. She ſhaked her Head, and ſaid, ſhe hoped I had brought the ſame Treaſure back with me which I took to my Lord’s, for he was going this Morning to London. How do you know, ſaid I, in a diſtracted Tone, I went, ſaid ſhe to enquire for you laſt Night, when I found you came not back, but was not admitted to ſee you; and I then heard Orders given, for the beſt Horſes to be got ready for London in the Morning. Good Heaven! ſaid I, can this be true? Is there no ſuch thing as Juſtice in Man? No Faith in their Oaths and Vows? Oh Cook! ſaid I, if you are ſtill my Friend, as I hope you are, ſend thither this Minute to know the Truth of what you tell me; but I fear, continued I, there is too much in it, both by his bringing me here again, and by Kitty’s going away; that Wench has G2 certainly 066 G2v 66 certainly ſold me to him, and I am undone; for Oh! ſaid I, all is gone. While Cook was preparing to ſend to my Lord’s, a Footman came with a Letter for me; he juſt deliver’d it, and went off, which I open’d and read, as follows.
Madam, An Unlucky Accident has forced me away to London; it is ſo very ſudden, that I have not Time to excuſe my going. I hope, at my Return, I ſhall find you where I left you; and you ſhall find me, Your moſt Obedient, Lofty.
As ſoon as I had read this Letter my Spirits ſunk, and I remained breathleſs in my Chair; when Cook came in to know what News, ſhe ſaw the Paper dropt at my Foot, and gueſſed ſomething of the Contents. I was conveyed to my Bed, where I lay for ſome Days in a moſt miſerable Condition; though in the Midſt of all my cruel Reflections, I found my Conſcience clear’d myſelf, and I was in hopes my Lord’s Bond would in ſome meaſure, juſtify my Actions to the World. With this little Satisfaction I got up, and went to the Scrutore, to take out and look at all the Hopes I had left; I fully deſign’d, if he refuſed to marry me at his Return, to ſue his Bond, recover the Ten Thouſand Pounds, and chuſe a quiet Retirementment 067 G3r 67 ment from the World, where I might end my Days in Peace: But Oh! what Tongue can tell my Surpriſe, Confuſion and Deſpair, when I miſs’d the Paper, which I had put into a Silver Box, and both were gone together.
I called Cook with a feeble Voice, who came to me, to hear my new Complaints. O Cook! ſaid I, my Miſery is now compleat, I have loſt my Lord’s Bond and Promiſe of Marriage; it was in a Silver Box in this Scrutore. A Silver Box! ſaid Cook, I ſaw Kitty put one in her Pocket the fatal Day you went to my Lord’s, and aſk’d her what was in it? ſhe ſaid, her Lady’s Patches: You muſt truſt that wicked Quean, ſaid ſhe, whom I always diſliked, and now—Aye, ſaid I, and now ſhe has undone me for ever; may her Perfidy to me meet with a juſt Reward. Nature was ſo far ſpent in me by my previous Trouble, that I ſunk under this new Addition, paſt all Hope of ever riſing more: I was ſome Weeks before I had the Uſe of my Reaſon, but lay like a ſtupid Log, taking what Suſtenance they gave me, becauſe I knew not what I did. At laſt, by Degrees I recovered my Senſes, but was infinitely leſs happy than when I had none, becauſe I was then free from Reflection; my cruel Diſquiet of Mind made ſo great an Alteration in my Face, that when I came to look at it, I could not believe I was Altemira. After I had been in this Condition four Months., I heard LordG3Lofty068G3v68 Lofty was returned from London; I immediately writ to him in the moſt ſupplicating Terms, but he would not vouchſafe me a Anſwer; I writ again, and he ſent it back unopened. I had once a Mind to go to him, but I thought his Behaviour to myſelf would be of a Piece with that of my Letters, and I ſhould only expoſe myſelf to his Servants, and pick up new matter for freſh Grief: But I ſoon found why I was uſed with ſo much Contempt, and heard he made his Addreſſes to the Rich, Young, Beauteous Amoranda. I own, Madam, your Perſon and Fortune have an infinite Advantage over mine; but a Man, who is reſolved to be a Libertine, has no true Value for a Woman’s good Qualities; the beſt ſhe can ſhew to pleaſe him, is to give into all his brutal Pleaſures: And as I was ſure you would ſhun ſuch a Lover, I own I did write a Line to let you into the Temper of the Man. But now, Madam, ſince I have told you my Wrongs, I hope I have engaged your Juſtice, Goodneſs and Pity; and you will no longer encourage his Addreſſes, but look upon them with the ſame Contempt as from a married Man. Madam, ſaid Amoranda, your Caſe I own is very deplorable, and what would give me a ſenſible Affliction, were it not in my Power to do you ſome Service; but I believe I can make you a very acceptable Preſent, and will contrive a Way of ſerving you beſides. At thoſe Words Amo- 069 G4r 69 Amoranda left Altemira, and returned with the Box and Bond; This, Madam, ſaid ſhe, is, I preſume, the Loſs you have ſo much lamented; and I do aſſure you, Lord Lofty has not been at London ſince his Injuries to you, but at a Seat he has juſt by this Houſe, and there he is now: That Box I have now given you, he accidentally dropt in the Garden, nor does he know I have it; and till I ſee you as firmly his, as he has promiſed you ſhould be, I will never leave contriving.
The Sight of Lord Lofty’s Bond gave poor Altemira a Satisfaction not to be expreſſed; the Blood which had ſo long forſook her Cheeks, began to run again in its wonted Channels, and Joy diffuſed itſelf in every Feature of her Face: Is it poſſible, ſaid ſhe, that I am ſo happy as to recover this Teſtimony of his Villainy! It is ſome little Satisfaction for my loſt Honour, that I have this ſmall Juſtification of myſelf. It is a very great one to me, ſaid Amoranda, that I can contribute towards it; and if I can but gain one Point I have in my Head, I hope I ſhall ſee you perfectly eaſy; but I have an old Gentleman in the Houſe, who muſt be let into the Secret, or nothing can be done.
Madam, ſaid Altemira, my Secrets are too well known to the World; engage who you will in the Secret, but ſpare me the Confuſion of hearing it. Then, ſaid Amoranda, I will leave 070 G4v 70 leave you employed, while I go to my Guardian, and deſire you will write a Letter to Lord Lofty, to let him know you have recovered the Bond and Contract, which your perfidious Servant returned to him, and that you expect all the Satisfaction the Law can give you; then leave the reſt to me. Here ſhe left Altemira, and ſent Jenny with Pen and Ink to her, while ſhe told Formator the whole Story; he needed no Addition to Lord Lofty’s Character, to confirm him it was a very bad one; however, his Indignation was ready to boil over, and he expreſſed himſelf, as every Man of Honour would do upon ſuch an Occaſion. Formator, ſaid Amoranda, I have this poor Creature’s Wrongs ſo much at Heart, that I ſhall never reſt till I recover her Quiet; but you muſt give me leave; becauſe I have promiſed never to ſee Lord Lofty more, unleſs I have your Conſent for it; and without ſeeing him nothing can be done.
Madam, ſaid Formator, I applaud your juſt and generous Deſign, and am ſo far from deſiring to hinder it, that I will be your Aſſiſtant to the utmoſt of my Power. Then, ſaid Amoranda, give me leave to ſend for my Lord this Minute, and do you abſcond. Formator conſented to her Propoſal; and ſhe writ the following Lines to my Lord, and ſent them by a Footman juſt then.My 071 G5r 71
Ido not want Inclination to meet you where you deſired at Night; but my Argus, as you have ſome time called him, is gone abroad for this Night, ſo that we may have an Interview within doors. You know the Hand ſo well, that this Paper needs no other Subſcription, but that I am Yours.
As ſoon as ſhe had diſpatched this Letter, ſhe went to ſee how Altemira went on with hers, and found ſhe had juſt finiſhed it. I am beforehand with you, ſaid Amoranda, for I have writ to my Lord ſince I ſaw you, and ſent it. It is an Invitation to a Man I now hate, and if I can but gain my Ends upon him—Come, let me ſee what you have writ. She took the Letter from her trembling Hand, and read
If Prayers and Tears could mollify an unrelenting obdurate Heart, yours had long ago been ſoftened into Juſtice and Pity; but as they have failed me ſo often, I think it needleſs to try them any more. To tell you, my Lord, of Heaven and Conſcience, would only ſerve to make you Sport; but methinks, you ſhould have ſome little Regard to your bleeding Honour, which lies ſtabb’d and mangled in a thouſand Places, by your own Barbarities. However, my Lord, I am now to tell you, a fortunate Hit has put you into my Power; and the Contract you gave me, and corrupted my Servantvant 072 G5v 72 vant to ſteal from me, is once more fallen into my Hands. I dare ſay, you will eaſily believe I intend to carry it as far as the Law will bear, but am ſtill forced to wiſh you would do a voluntary Piece of Juſtice to, Your Injured Altemira.
This Letter was ſealed, and directed for Lord Lofty; and the Summons Amoranda had ſent him ſoon brought him to receive her Commands. In the mean time, neither Altemira nor Formator knew any thing of her Deſign; but as ſhe hoped it would be attended with good Succeſs, ſhe was reſolved to have the Merit of it wholly to herſelf.
Altemira’s Letter ſhe gave to one of her Footmen, with an Order to bring it in when ſhe called for Tea; and to ſay, if any Queſtions were asked, a Man on Horſeback enquired for my Lord, deſir’d that it might be delivered to him, and rode away.
Amoranda deſired Formator and Altemira to go up into the Room over the Summer-houſe, where Brown heard all Callid and Froth’s Contrivance, and where they might hear what ſhe ſaid to my Lord; for in the Summer-houſe ſhe intended to entertain him. They were no ſooner placed in their different Poſts, than they heard the Viſiting-Knock, and my Lord enter’d, and enquired for Amoranda, whom he found in the Summer-houſe; he ran to her with eager 073 G6r 73 eager Tranſport, and finding her alone, thought Opportunity had join’d itſelf to his Deſires, and he had nothing to do but reap a Crop he never intended to make a Title to. My deareſt Amoranda, ſaid he, how ſhall I return this Favour? With what Joy did I receive your obliging Letter! And with what Delight am I come to die at your Feet? My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, you ſeemed ſo very earneſt in your Letter for an Interview, I was reſolved to give you an Opportunity, and ſhall now be glad to hear what you have to ſay. To ſay, my Angel! ſaid he, Can any Man want a Theme, that has ſo glorious a Subject as Amoranda? Come to my Arms my lovely Charmer, and let me whiſper out my very Soul upon thy lovely Boſom. Hold, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, before you run into thoſe violent Raptures, let me know your Deſigns a little; I confeſs you have often rallied a marry’d State, but that I rather take to be a ſort of a Compliance to a debauched wicked Age, than any real Inclination of your own; come my Lord, confeſs you have a Mind to marry. To tell you Madam, I have a Mind to marry, is to tell you, I have not a Mind to love you; why ſhould you deſire to ſubject yourſelf to one, whom you may for ever make your Slave? The very Thoughts of being bound to love would make me hate; and take it from me, as a very great Truth, every Man breathing makes a 074 G6v 74 a better Lover than a Huſband. Pray, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, from whence do you prove your Aſſertion? I muſt own, my Experience and Obſervations are but young, and yet I know ſeveral marry’d People who in all Appearance love one another exceedingly well.
Yes Madam, ſaid he, in all Appearance, I grant you; but Appearances are often falſe. Why then, ſaid Amoranda, by the ſame Rule, we may believe the love of one of you to your Miſtreſs, as forced and empty, as that of a marry’d Man to his Wife; we have no way to know either but by their Words and Actions, and thoſe that think contrary to both, we look upon them with ſo much Contempt, that we ſhun their Converſation, and think it a Fault to be ſeen in their Company.
What a Pity it is, ſaid my Lord, ſo many good things ſhould be ſaid upon ſo bad a Subject. I wonder, ſaid Amoranda, your Lordſhip does not get the Houſe of Lords to endeavour to repeal the Law of Marriage? Why ſhould you Lawgivers impoſe upon other People what you think improper to follow yourſelves? Oh! Madam, ſaid the Peer, there are politick Reaſons for what we do; but if ever you would oblige me in any thing, let us have no more of Marriage. Why really my Lord, ſaid Amoranda, I am not yet at my laſt Prayers, ſo that I hope, you will not think Deſpair has any Hand in what I have ſaid; and 075 H1r 75 and to divert the Diſcourſe, we will have a Diſh of Tea. Here ſhe rung a Bell, and called for the Tea-Table, which was immediately brought, and followed by a Servant with a Letter for Lord Lofty; who no ſooner caſt an Eye upon the Superſcription, than he knew the Hand to be Altemira’s. The Effects of a conſcious Guilt immediately ſeized the whole Man, his Tongue faultered, his Cheeks glow’d, his Hand trembled, and his Eyes darted a wild Horror; when ſtriving to recover himſelf, he put the Letter into his Pocket, and with a forced Smile ſaid, a Man had better have a Wife itſelf than a troubleſome Miſtreſs. Nay, my Lord, ſaid Amoranda, if that Letter be from a Miſtreſs I am ſure you are impatient to read it, I will readily diſpence with all Ceremony, and beg you will do ſo. Madam, ſaid he, the fooliſh Girl from whom this comes, I own, I once had an Intrigue with, but—I don’t know how it was, ſhe had a better Knack at getting a Heart than keeping it; beſides, ſhe gave me ſuch a conſumed deal of Trouble, that I was almoſt weary of her before I had her. No my Charmer, ſaid he, Amoranda, and only Amoranda commands my Heart; I own no Miſtreſs but her, nor will I ever wear any other Fetters than thoſe ſhe puts me on. Now do I moſt ſtedfaſtly believe, ſaid ſhe, that you have ſaid as much a thouſand Times to the very Lady whoſe Letter you have in your Pocket: H Come 076 H1v 76 Come, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, either read it while I am by, or I will go away to give you an Opportunity.
Madam, ſaid he, rather than loſe one Minute of your Company, I will do Penance for three or four; but be aſſured, I intended to have return’d it unopen’d, as I have done ſeveral from the ſame Hand, but to oblige you I’ll read it. While he was doing ſo, Amoranda watch’d his Looks, and found a freſh Alteration in his Face at every Line he read; but when he came to that Part which told him, Altemira had recovered his Contract, he turned pale as Death, ſtamp’d and cry’d—Zouns— Bleſs me, ſaid Amoranda, What is the Matter my Lord? Is the Lady not well? My Lord, after he had pauſed a while ſaid, he was miſtaken in the Hand, that Letter came from his Steward, with an Account of a very conſiderable Loſs he had.
Pugh! ſaid Amoranda, Is that all? You know, my Lord there are Miſfortunes in all Families, as Sir Roger de Coverly ſays; come, come my Lord, drink a diſh of Tea, and waſh away Sorrow. My Lord ſate very moody for ſome time, conſidering that ſince Altemira had recovered his Bond and Contract ſhe would, if only to revenge his ill Uſage of her, be very troubleſome, and again he thought, if once the World ſhould come to ſee them, every body would ſay, he was a Villain if he did not marry 077 H2r 77 marry her. He therefore reſolved to put a Stop to her Expectations, by marrying Amoranda, and then ſhe would be glad to come to his Terms, and for her own Credit ſmother the Matter. This was juſt as Amoranda expected, and hoped for; ſhe wiſely imagined, that if my Lord once ſaw himſelf under a sort of Neceſſity of Marrying, he would be for chuſing the leaſt Evil, as he thought all Wives were, and rather marry a Woman he had not enjoy’d with as fine an Eſtate as he could expect, than take one with an inferior Fortune, and of whom he could expect no more than what he had had already. Amoranda ſaw the Struggles of his Soul in his Looks, how unwilling he was to come to a Reſolution ſo much againſt his Inclinations; but he had juſt promiſed her he would wear no Fetters but what ſhe put him on, and ſhe was as firmly reſolved to fit him with a Pair.
My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, your Tea will be cold; I wiſh I were worthy to know what weighty Affair employs your Thoughts?
A weighty Affair indeed Madam, ſaid he, for I am now bringing myſelf to a Reſolution of doing what I have often thought no Woman upon Earth could have had the Power of perſuading me to; but your Charms have diſſolved every Deſign, and I now offer you a Heart for Life. My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, a Man of your Eſtate and Quality leaves a Woman no H2 Room 078 H2v 78 Room for Objection; but if I ſhould comply too ſoon, you will think I am too cheaply won, and value me accordingly. Madam, ſaid he, I am one of thoſe who hate Trouble, and the leſs you give me, infinitely the more you will engage me to you: Come my Amoranda, ſaid he, your old crabbed Guardian is now from home, and there is no Time like that preſent; I will ſend juſt now for my Chaplain, and we will do in half an Hour what I hope we ſhal!l never repent of. But my Lord, ſaid ſhe, the canonical Hour is paſt, and you have no Licence. The canonical Hours, Madam, ſaid he, are betwixt Eight and Twelve, and not a Farthing matter whether Morning or Night; and for a Licence, I will ſtep home myſelf, and take Care of one. My Lord juſt remember’d he had one by him, which he had purchaſed to bamboozle poor Altemira, and ſince he was in ſuch Haſte, it was no more than ſcratching out one Name, and interlining another; whipt into his Coach, bid his Coachman be at home in half an Hour, and told the Lady, in another he would be back. Amoranda called down her two Priſoners, who had been within hearing all this while, and leaving them in the Summer-houſe, ſhe ran in, called for a Pen and Ink, and wrote thus to my Lord:
Iam, my Lord, in ſuch Confuſion, I have hardly Time to Write to you: Formator is juſt come home; I know he hates you, and will 079 H3r 79 will certainly prevent our Deſigns, till he has Wrote to my Uncle. I therefore deſire you will, with your Chaplain, come, as you once propoſed, into the Grove your own Way; and when it is dark I will come to you: I doubt not but your Chaplain has the Matrimony by Heart; if not, pray let him con his Leſſon before he comes,
Yours, in great Haſte,
When ſhe had ſent this Letter Whip and Spur after my Lord, ſhe returned to the Summer- houſe, and deſired Altemira to come in, and dreſs her in the ſame Gown ſhe had on; for though it was now paſt Nine o’Clock, it was light enough to diſtinguiſh Colours. As ſoon as they had got ready they went to the Grove, and Amoranda placed Altemira juſt where my Lord was to enter, and bid her whiſper, under Pretence of Formator’s being in the Garden, as well to diſguiſe her Voice, as to pronounce her own Name without being fairly heard; and when you are marryed, ſaid Amoranda, tell my Lord, you will go in and go to Supper, and as ſoon as you can conveniently get to Bed, ſend Jenny to conduct him to you. She here told them, ſhe had writ to retard his Return till it was dark; and now Altemira, ſaid ſhe, I hope you are near that Happineſs you have ſo long wiſh’d for; I think I hear the Coach. Formator (who was all this While with them) and I, will place Ourſelves where we ſhall hear you, if you ſpeak ever ſo low; but you ſhall ſee H3 no 080 H3v 80 no more of us till my Lord is in Bed with you, and then we will come in, and wiſh you Joy. As ſoon as Amoranda had done ſpeaking, my Lord came, and found Altemira ready, whom he took for Amoranda; the Chaplain ſoon did the Work, and made them One, to the unſpeakable Joy of the Bride. She obſerved all Amoranda’s Orders, and whiſpering told him, ſhe would go in, and ſend Jenny for him as ſoon as ſhe had an Opportunity. My Lord ſent away his Coach and Chaplain, and waited with the greateſt Impatience for Jenny, who came after ſome time, and conveyed him in the dark to Altemira. As ſoon as my Lord was gone out of the Grove, Formator and Amoranda came out too, who durſt not ſtir till he was gone, for fear of being heard; when they thought he was in Bed, they went into the Chamber with each of them a Light in their Hand, to wiſh the Bride and Bridegroom Joy. Formator went in firſt; and when my Lord ſaw him, he thought he was come to take away his Spouſe, and cried out, Be gone Sir, ſhe is my Wife. Fear not my Lord (ſaid Amoranda, behind) nobody ſhall diſturb you, only we are come to wiſh you Joy. How! Madam, ſaid my Lord, (when he ſaw and heard Amoranda) Are you there? To whom have you diſpoſed of me? To your Chamber-Maid! No my Lord, ſaid Amoranda; I ſcorn ſo baſe an Action, but I have given you to one who has the beſt Right to you; come Altemira, ſaid ſhe, ſit up, and let us throw the Stocking; beſides, 081 H4r 81 beſides, your are both gone Supperleſs to Bed, and I have a Sack-Poſſet coming up-ſtairs.
When my Lord had look’d ſufficiently round, and ſaw how Matters went, he found it was a Folly to complain, and was reſolved to turn the Scale, and ſhew himſelf a Man of Honour at laſt; in Order to which, he turned to Altemira, and ſaid, Can you forget the Injuries I have done you, Madam? My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, I dare anſwer for Altemira’s Pardon; but who muſt anſwer for Yours? Madam, ſaid my Lord, I am at Age, and will anſwer for myſelf, and do, upon Honour, declare, I am pleaſed with what you have done: There is certainly a ſecret Pleaſure in doing Juſtice, tho’ we often evade it, and a ſecret Horror in doing Ill, though we often comply with the Temptation: I own, my Deſign was to wrong this innocent Lady, but I had an inward Remorſe for what I was about; and I would not part with the preſent Quiet and Satisfaction that fills my Breaſt, to be Lord of the whole Creation. How great a Truth is it, ſaid Formator, that Virtue is its own Reward; and who that knows the Pleaſure of a good Action, would ever torment himſelf with doing an ill one? My Lord, ſaid he, this happy Turn of Temper has made you a Friend, which you may one Day think worth your Notice: And now, Madam, ſaid he to Amoranda, let us leave the Happy Pair, and Altemira to tell her Lord every Incidentcident 082 H4v 82 cident that help’d to bring her wretched Circumſtances to ſuch a joyful Concluſion.
The next Morning my Lord ſent for his whole Equipage, and carry’d his Lady home as became his Wife. Formator and Amoranda accompanied them to the Houſe where my Lord had firſt decoyed his Altemira; and as they went by called at Cook’s, who was ſoon informed of all the good Fortune that attended her young Lady, and told her, ſhe had a Letter for her from her Brother, which ſhe gave her. Amoranda told her Ladyſhip, There was no-body in Company but who knew the Story of her Brother; and deſired ſhe would read it, which ſhe did thus:
If I burnt in an unlawful Flame for my deareſt Siſter, I have quenched it with my Blood; I no ſooner miſs’d you, than Ten Thouſand Torments ſeized my guilty Mind; I ſent three Days in ſearch of you, but every Meſſenger return’d without any News: I feared the Worſt, and fell into the higheſt Deſpair. What have I done! ſaid I, ruined an only Siſter, left to my Care, who is now, if alive, deſtitute, and a Wanderer, and all this by an unlawful Love! Thoſe Thoughts diſtracted me ſo, that I took up a Sword which lay by me, and ſtruck it into my Breaſt; my Wound proved not mortal, and a few Days brought me an healing Balſam, for I was told where you were: I was reſolved to drive out one Extream by another,ther, 083 H5r 83 ther, and ſee you no more, till I had tried my Succeſs on a Lady ſuperior in every Charm to her whole Sex; ſhe liſtened to my Love, and I purſued it till I made the Fair One mine. And if Altemira will but forgive what is paſt, I may call myſelf the happieſt Man in the World. You will, doubtleſs, be deſirous to know my Choice; and to let you ſee I have not leſſend my Family by it, know the Lady is Siſter to Lord Lofty, who lives ſo near Cook, that you muſt have heard of him, I hope you will now return to the Arms of Your Repenting, Happy Brother.
Here was a new Occaſion of Joy for Lady Lofty, and my Lord was very well ſatisfied: They went all together to his Houſe, and ſpent a few Days with them, till Col. Charge ’em came from London to viſit his Lordſhip, who no ſooner ſaw Amoranda than he began to attack; nor ſhe him than ſhe began to parly: Which when Formator ſaw (whoſe Eyes were always open to Amoranda’s Actions) he told her, If ſhe pleaſed they would go home in the Morning. She conſented, becauſe ſhe thought it in vain to deny; otherwiſe ſhe had no Diſlike to a Feather, nor did ſhe think a lac’d Coat a diſagreeable Dreſs, and ſhe could have diſpenced with a little more of the Man of War’s Company; but her truſty Guardian put a Stop to all farther Commerce betwixt them, by ordering the Coach to be ready early in the Morning, ſo that they were almoſt half-way home before the 084 H5v 84 the Colonel was up, who very probably would have been for waiting on the young Lady home. Lady Lofty and Amoranda, after a mutual Promiſe of an everlaſting Friendſhip, parted with much Unwillingneſs, but with a Deſign to ſee one another often. As they were going home their Way lay between two ſteep Hills, where they met a Couple of Men maſqued. Amoranda was exceedingly frighted, and ſaid, ſhe was ſure they ſhould be robb’d; but Formator bid her have a good Heart, and called to the Coachman to ſtop. He got out of the Coach, and taking a Piſtol from one of the Footmen, ſtood at the Coach Door on one Side, while two of the Servants, by his Order, did the ſame at the other, and waited till the two Maſques came to them. But they ſoon found Money was not their Errand, it was the Lady they wanted, who had no other Guard than Formator, her Coachman, and two Footmen. One of them rid up, and ſhot the poor Coachman, who fell off the Coach-Box wounded, but not dead; the ſame reſolute Rogue rode up to the two Footmen on one Side of the Coach, while the other engaged Formator, who hid his Piſtol till he had his Enemy pretty near him, and then let fly a Brace of Bullets at him, which kindly ſaluted his Brain, and down he dropt. The other, who had beat back the Footman, ſeeing Formator an old Man, rid round to diſpatch him, and then get into the Coach-Box, and away 085 H6r 85 away with the Lady; but he found the old Man pretty tough, for before the Servants could come to him, who were both diſarm’d, he had clos’d with the Rogue, wrenched an empty Piſtol out of his Hand, which he had diſcharged at one of the Servants, but miſſed him, and with it knock’d him down; he was only ſtunn’d with the Blow, but Formator ſtay’d not for his Recovery; he ordered the two Footmen to get the wounded Coachman into the Coach, and one of them to get into the Coach- Box, and drive home with all Speed. Amoranda, when the Coachman was ſhot, fell into a Swoon, and continued in it till Formator got into the Coach; he laid her Head in his Boſom, and chafed her Temples till ſhe recover’d. Her Reaſon no ſooner returned, than ſhe enquired after his Safety. Do you live, Formator, ſaid ſhe, and have you no Wounds? No my lovely Charge, ſaid he, tranſported beyond himſelf that he had her ſafe, I have no Wounds but what the Fear of loſing you gave me; the dreadful Apprehenſion of ſuch a Misfortune ſtabb’d me in a thouſand Places. Well, ſaid ſhe, I am glad you are not hurt, but I wiſh we were at home.
That, Madam, ſaid he, we ſhall be preſently; we have not above three Miles to your own Houſe. As ſoon as they got home a Surgeon was ſent for to dreſs the Coachman’s Wounds, who was ſhot through the Arm; and Amoranda was ſome Days before ſhe recover’d her 086 H6v 86 her Fright. Three Weeks were now paſt ſince ſhe left Lord Lofty’s, in which time, Formator had by a daily Application, endeavoured to form Amoranda’s Mind to his own Liking; he tried to bring her to a true Taſte of that Behaviour, which makes every Woman agreeable to every Man of Senſe. A Man, ſaid he, of true Judgment and good Underſtanding has the greateſt Contempt in the World for one of thoſe Creatures we commonly call a Coquet; Levity and a light Carriage is ſo very deſpicable in a Woman, that it is not poſſible for the reſt of her Qualities, though ever ſo good, to attone for them; how much more does it raiſe a young Lady’s Character, to have one Man of Senſe vindicate her Conduct, than to hear a thouſand Coxcombs cry――Gad, ſhe is a fine Woman, ſhe is a Woman of Fire and Spirit? The Commendations of ſuch Men, Madam, ſaid he, are like the Compliment of a Dog juſt come out of the Dirt, while he fawns upon you, he defiles your Clothes. Nature, when it formed you, ſhew’d its greateſt Skill, and ſent you into the World ſo very compleat, that even Envy itſelf cannot charge you with one ſingle Blemiſh; your beauteous Form is all Angelick, and your Underſtanding no way inferior to it; a Temper mild and eaſy, and a Fortune great enough to ſatiſfy the Avarice of the greateſt Miſer; And why, lovely Amoranda, muſt all theſe fine Accompliſhments be eclips’d 087 I1r 87 eclips’d by that Foible of your Sex, Vanity? Why have you ſuch a greedy Thirſt after that Praiſe, which every Man that has his Eyes and Ears muſt give you of courſe? For Heaven’s Sake dear Madam, ſaid he, diſguiſe at leaſt the Pleaſure you take in it, and receive it with a modeſt, careleſs Indifference: A Man who once ſees a Woman pleaſed with Flattery has gain’d more than half his Point, and can never deſpair of Succeſs while he has ſo good, ſo powerful an Advocate about the Heart he aims at. Formator, ſaid Amoranda, Were you never flattered when you were a young Man? I fancy you don’t know the Pleaſure of it; but I am reſolved I will never think it a Pleaſure again, becauſe you diſlike it in me; for it muſt be a diſagreeable Quality, or you would never argue ſo ſtrenuouſly againſt it. Nay, and there is another thing which will make me leave it, and that is—Huſh, ſaid ſhe, I hear a Coach ſtop at the Door, let us go and ſee who is come. She ran into the Entry, and was moſt agreeably ſurpriſed, to ſee two young Ladies alighting, one of whom was a particular Favourite, and had been her Companion when a Child; the other young Lady was a perfect Stranger, but ſhe came with Amoranda’s Friend, and for that Reaſon was equally welcome: They came in a little before Supper, and Amoranda was exceedingly pleaſed ſhe had got a Female Companion or two. I When 088 I1v 88 When they were at Supper, and ſaw Formator ſit at Table; Arentia, for that was the young Lady’s Name, ask’d, If he was a Relation of Amoranda’s? She ſaid he was better than a Relation, he was a Friend, and One to whoſe Care her Uncle had committed her. As ſoon as Supper was over Formator left the Ladies to themſelves; and he was no ſooner gone than Arentia ask’d how long he had been in the Family; Amoranda ſaid about ſix Months: He is, ſaid ſhe, a very good ſort of an old Man, if he were not ſo very wiſe; but the Truth is, we fooliſh Girls are not to be truſted with Ourſelves, and he has taught me to believe we are the worſt Guardians we can poſſibly have. Madam, ſaid the ſtrange Lady, whom we muſt call Berintha, if we young People give into all the Whims of the Old, we ſhall be ſo too before we have lived out half our Days; I hope Madam, we ſhall not have much of his Company, for of all Things I hate an old Man. Oh! ſaid Amoranda, you will like him better when you are acquainted with him, and will find him a very agreeable Companion; for all his Age, Formator has a Sprightlineſs in his Converſation, which Men of younger Years might be proud of. This Encomium of Amoranda’s rais’d a Bluſh in Berintha’s Cheeks, which ſhe took Notice of, and laughing ſaid, If you had not juſt now Madam declared your Averſion to old Men, I ſhould be half afraid you had a Mind to rob me of my Guardian. After ſome 089 I2r 89 ſome Diſcourſe it grew late, and Amoranda aſk’d the Ladies, If they would lie together, or have ſeperate Beds? Berintha ſaid ſhe always lay alone, which accordingly ſhe did. Next Morning, after Breakfaſt, Amoranda took them into the Garden, and there entertain’d them with the Story of Froth and Callid’s Contrivance, with every thing elſe which ſhe thought would divert them; but while they were in the Midſt of Mirth and Gaiety Formator came into the Dining-Room, and with diſcompoſed Looks, walked a few Turns about it, ſaying to himſelf, From whence proceeds this ſtrange Uneaſineſs? Why is my Heart and Spirits in ſuch an Agitation? I never was ſuperſtitious, and yet I cannot forbear thinking Amoranda in ſome new Danger; there muſt be ſomething in it, and Heaven, in Pity to her, gives me Warning: Then after a little Pauſe —I’ll take it, ſaid he, and watch the lovely Charmer: I know not why, but methinks I tremble at the Thoughts of thoſe two Women, and fancy I ſee her more expoſed to Ruin now than when ſhe was ſurrrounded with Fools and Fops. Saying thus, he went into the Garden, and walked at a Diſtance from the Ladies, but kept his Eye upon them; he perceived the new- come Berintha cloſe to Amoranda, one Hand lock’d in hers, and t’other round her Waiſt: This Sight increaſed his Doubt, and raiſed his Indignation. At Dinner he watched her Looks, and found her Eyes almoſt continually I2 upon 090 I2v 90 upon Amoranda; the Sight was Death to him, his Soul was rack’d and tortured, and while he flung diſſatisfy’d Looks at Berintha, ſhe darted hoſtile Glances at him; his Suſpicions grew every Day ſtronger, yet was he in ſuch a State of Uncertainty, that he thought it not convenient to ſay any thing to Amoranda, till one Morning ſhe came down before the two Ladies were ſtiring, and ſaw Formator walking in the Hall. She was glad of ſo good an Opportunity, for ſhe had for ſeveral Days taken Notice of an unuſual Melancholy in his Looks. Formator ſaid ſhe, What is the Matter with you? What new Troubles have taken Poſſeſſion of your Breaſt? I ſee a Cloud upon your Brow, and cannot be eaſy till I know the Occaſion of it. Madam, ſaid he, the Source of my Trouble proceeds from the real Concern I have for your Welfare, which I have ſo much at Heart, that the leaſt Appearance of Danger gives it a freſh Alarm. I confeſs myſelf extreamly uneaſy, but fear you will think me a very whimſical old Fellow, if I tell you, I ſuſpect Berintha’s Sex, and cannot but fancy ſhe is a Man.
I ſhall always, ſaid Amoranda, acknowledge myſelf obliged to you for your great Care and Caution, but beg, my good Formator, that you will not carry it too far: What in the Name of Wonder could put ſuch a Thought into your Head?
Madam, ſaid he, Obſervation puts a great many Things in our Heads; you may pleaſe to 091 I3r 91 to remember, firſt, ſhe would lie alone. Paugh! ſaid Amoranda, that is what I love myſelf, and ſo may Ten Thouſand more. True Madam, ſaid he, and had my Reaſons ſtopped there that would have dropped of courſe; but why ſo many kind Glances? ſo many rapturous Embraces? ſuch loving Squeezes by the Hand, and eager Deſire to pleaſe you? Eyes ready to run over with Pleaſure at every word you ſpeak? Are theſe the common Marks of Reſpect betwixt one Lady and another?
Conſider, Madam, you have Youth, Beauty, Senſe, and Fortune enough to bring our Sex to you in as many Shapes as ever Jove himſelf aſſumed, and we are always ſooneſt ſurpriſed, when we are leaſt apprehenſive of Danger.
Formator, ſaid ſhe, every thing you ſay pleaſes me, becauſe I know it comes from an honeſt Heart; but you are too full of Fears, and your Zeal and Care for my Safety makes you look at Things in a falſe Light, I cannot give into your Opinion, for ſeveral Reaſons; firſt, I think it highly improbable, a Perſon of Berintha’s Senſe ſhould undertake ſo ridiculous a Project; next, I can never believe Arentia, who muſt be privy to it, would be ſo baſe as to betray me: No, no, Formator, ſaid ſhe, there can be nothing in it, and I beg you will lay by your Fears. Saying thus, ſhe left him, and went away to the Ladies, who, ſhe heard, were both up. Berintha met her with an Air of Gallantry, and led her a Minute; then catchingI3 ing 092 I3v 92 ing her in her Arms, kiſs’d her with ſome Eagerneſs. Hold, Berintha, ſaid Amoranda, Kiſſes from our own Sex and other Women’s Huſbands are the moſt inſipid Things in Nature; I had rather ſee you dance, I fancy you do it very well, but can’t be ſo good a judge while I dance with you myſelf; you will oblige me, if you take a Turn or two about the Room. This ſhe propoſed on purpoſe to mind her Step, which ſhe found ſomewhat maſculine, and began to fear Formator was in the right. Good Heaven, ſaid ſhe to herſelf, can this be true? Is it poſſible Arentia can be ſo treacherous? Is there no Juſtice, no Honour, no Friendſhip to be depended on in this vile World? Methinks I could almoſt hate it, and every Thing in it, unleſs honeſt Formator. While ſhe was thus muſing, Berintha ran to her, and taking her again in her Arms, ſaid, My dear Amoranda, What are you thinking of? Her dear Amoranda, began now to diſreliſh her Embraces, and breaking from her a little abruptly ſaid, Madam, I was thinking of Treachery, Falſhood, broken Friendſhip, and a Thouſand other Things, which this bad World can furniſh us with. This Anſwer made both the Ladies colour, and they looked at one another with the utmoſt Confuſion; which Amoranda took Notice of, and applying herſelf to Arentia ſaid, Why Madam do you bluſh? Your Youth and Innocence are doubtleſs Strangers to all thoſe black Things I accidentally named. Arentia 093 I4r 93 Arentia, willing to extricate herſelf from her Confuſion, ſaid it was a Vapour. Oh! ſaid Amoranda, Is that all? then here is my Bottle of Salts for you; and yours, Madam, ſaid ſhe to Berintha, is a Vapour too I preſume; I will call for another for you, ſince your Diſtemper is the ſame, your Cure ought to be ſo too. But come Ladies (ſaid ſhe, being reſolved to try them a little farther) I will divert your Spleen with a Sight I have not yet ſhewn you. She then led them up two Pair of Stairs, where there was a large old-faſhion’d wrought Bed. This Bed, Ladies, ſaid ſhe, was the Work of my Grandmother, and I dare ſay you will believe there was no Want of either Time or Stuff when it was made. No, ſaid Arentia, they had doubtleſs Plenty of both, or it had never got to ſuch a Size; I don’t believe it wants much of the great Bed of Ware. Methinks, ſaid Amoranda, they ſhould bring up this Faſhion again, now that Men and their Wives keep ſo great a Diſtance, they might lie in ſuch a One with ſo much Good-manners. I dare ſay, continued ſhe, we Three might lie in it, and never touch one another. What think ye Ladies; ſhall we try To-night? No, ſaid Berintha, for my part, I never loved one Bed- fellow, much leſs two; beſides, I never ſleep well in a ſtrange Bed. The Propoſal however took off ſome Apprehenſions from the two Ladies, but confirmed the third in her Fears.Madam, 094 I4v 94
Madam, ſaid Arentia, I ventured to promiſe my Friend here, before we came from home, a great deal of Pleaſure upon your fine River; here is a cool Day, and if it be conſiſtent with your Inclination, we will take a Turn upon the Water this Afternoon, for To-morrow we muſt think of going home. Amoranda was not ſorry to hear that, but told them ſhe could not anſwer them of a ſudden; for ſhe knew they did not care to have Formator’s Company, and whether he would conſent ſhe ſhould go without him ſhe knew not.
I confeſs to you, Madam, ſaid Berintha, I had much rather want the Pleaſure of the Water, than have the Plague of the Man; but hope you will prevail with him to ſtay at home, and let us go without him. Come, Madam, ſaid Arentia, it is our laſt Requeſt, gratify us in this ſmall Matter, and compleat the Favours we have already received. Well, Ladies, ſaid Amoranda, if you will excuſe the Rudeneſs of leaving you a Minute, I will go and try my Guardian’s Good-nature. She conducted the Ladies down again, and went to Formator. I am come, ſaid ſhe, to tell you ſomething, which will I dare ſay be very grateful to your Ears; my two Ladies talk of going home To-morrow, but they have a great Mind to take a little Recreation this Afternoon in the Barge, and I deſire your Opinion of the Matter. Madam, ſaid he, I am ſtrangely ſurpriſed at 095 I5r 95 at your having an Inclination to go Abroad with a Perſon you are utterly a Stranger to; you know, the Water for ſome Miles runs by nothing on one Side but Woods and Deſarts, and has on the other but one ſmall Town; ſuppoſe there ſhould be a Trap laid for you, and you ſhould fall into it, what Account can I give your Uncle, either of your ſafety, or my own Care? I am ſure, Formator, ſaid ſhe, you do not think ſo indifferently of me, as to believe I have a Mind to be trapan’d, or that I would not carefully avoid all Danger; but I cannot ſee how it is poſſible for me to be in any at this Time, becauſe I ſhall have all my own Servants about me, and if a Hundred Baits were laid, they could not reach me unleſs I were to land; which I faithfully promiſe you I will not do: And ſuppoſing the very worſt you fear to be true, and Berintha ſhould prove a Man, he is neither a Devil nor a Monſter to devour all before him; I wiſh you were to go with us yourſelf. No, Madam, ſaid he, I perceive myſelf a perfect Bugbear to them both, and would not make your Company uneaſy: May Heaven have you always under its kind Protection; I ſhall be tranſported a Night, when I ſee you ſafe home again. Fear not, Formator, ſaid ſhe, that Providence which knows my innocent Intentions will I hope conduct me back again. Here ſhe left Formator, and went to order the Barge to be got ready, and then returned to the 096 I5v 96 the Ladies. Well, ſaid ſhe, I have order’d all Things for our long Voyage, and as ſoon as we have dined we will embark. Nay, ſaid Berintha, let us take a Bit of any Thing along with us, and not ſtay for Dinner, we ſhall not have half Pleaſure enough before Night elſe. Amoranda willing to gratify them, this Once ſent freſh Orders to the Barge-men, who were ready in half an Hour; and when Jenny, by her Lady’s Command, had laid in Wine and cold Viands, they ſailed down the Water with a pleaſant Gale. The three Ladies were ſet at one End of the Barge, and Amoranda’s Servants, ſix in Number, at the other; ſhe herſelf was ſate between Berintha and Arentia; when Arentia thus began, Madam, ſaid ſhe, Fortune did me an early Piece of Service, in making me your Acquaintance when I was yet but a Child; I have ever ſince done my Endeavour to keep up Amity and a good Underſtanding betwixt us, and it ſhall be wholly your Fault if ever there be a Breach in our Friendſhip; but Madam, our Time is ſhort, and there is a Story ripe for your Ear, which I muſt beg you will liſten to, and hope you will contribute ſo much to your own Happineſs, as to comply with the Propoſals we are about to make to you; it is neither my Couſin’s Inclination nor mine to uſe Force, but ſomething muſt be reſolved upon in a very ſhort Space: Nay, Madam, continued ſhe, don’t look ſurpris’d,pris’d, 097 I6r 97 pris’d, what I ſay is Fact, and ſo you’ll find it. Amoranda gave a ſcornful Smile at what Arentia ſaid, and aſk’d her, if ſhe thought her a Woman of ſo little Courage, as to be bullied into any Compliance in the Midſt of her own Servants. No Madam, ſaid Berintha, Arentia has gone a little too far, give me leave to tell the ungrateful Tale, for ſo I fear it will prove. Why then ſaid Amoranda, do you tell it; Fault committed by Chance or Miſtake ought to be forgiven, but a wilful one we cannot ſo eaſily overlook. The poor Lady began now to wiſh ſhe had taken Formator’s Advice, and had ſtaid at home, for ſhe ſaw nothing, either on her right-hand or left, but a reſolute Arrogance in both their Countenances; however, they kept within the Bounds of Civility, and Arentia once more began: Know, Madam, ſaid ſhe, I am not going to tell you any thing but what you might be very well pleaſed to hear; I have a near Relation, who is a Man of the greateſt Merit, a Man of Fortune and Honour, he had the Misfortune, as I fear I may call it, of ſeeing you once at the Bath, and though it be more than a Twelve-month ſince, he ſtill ſtruggles with a Paſſion that will maſter him, in ſpite of all Oppoſition: Oh! turn to your left Shoulder Amoranda and behold the Wretch.
Amoranda, who gueſſed where it would end look’d very ſerene and unſurpriſed, ſaying, Arentia, if your Friend Berintha be a Man of Fortune 098 I6v 98 Fortune and Honour, as you ſay he is, why has he uſed clandeſtine Means to get into my Company? Do you think, Sir, ſaid ſhe, turning to him, I am ſo fond of my own Sex, that I can like nothing but what appears in Petticoats? Had you come like a Gentleman, as ſuch I would have received you; but a diſguiſed Lover is always conſcious of ſome Demerit, and dares not truſt to his right Form, till by a falſe Appearance he tries the Lady; if he finds her weak and yielding the Day is his own, and he goes off in Triumph; but if ſhe has Courage to baffle the Fool, he ſneakes away with his Diſappointment, and thinks no-body will know any thing of the Matter. Biranthus, for that was his true Nature, was ſtung to the very Soul to hear Amoranda ſo ſmart upon him: but was yet reſolved to diſguiſe his Mind as well as his Body, and ſaid, You are very ſevere, Madam, upon a Slave who dies for you; but if I have done fooliſhly in this Action, Arentia ſhould anſwer for it, the Frolick was her’s, and it was deſigned for nothing elſe: But Madam, ſaid he, Time flies away, and every Minute is precious to a Man whoſe Life lies at Stake; it is now Time to know my Doom, ſhall I live or die? Believe me, Sir, ſaid Amoranda, it is perfectly indifferent to me which you do; and if nothing will ſave your Life but my Ruin, you will not find me very ready to preſerve it at ſo dear a Price. If, ſaid Biranthus, you give 099 K1r 99 give me Cauſe to accuſe you of Ill nature, you half juſtify my Deſign upon you. Pray, ſaid Amoranda, What is your Deſign? To force a Compliance with my Wiſhes, ſaid he, if you refuſe a voluntary one. How, ſaid Amoranda, with a ſcornful Laugh, Will you pretend to Force, while I am in the Midſt of my own Servants?
Biranthus now grown deſperate, told her ſhe was too merry, and too ſecure; for know, Madam, ſaid he, thoſe Servants, of whom you boaſt, are moſt of them my Creatures; the Slaves have ſold that Duty to me which they owed to you, and therefore Compliance will be your wiſeſt Courſe. Nay then, ſaid Amoranda, I am wretched indeed: Oh, Formator! —Formator, ſaid Biranthus, is not ſo near you now as he was when you were attacked in your Coach ſome Weeks ago: I owe the old Dog a Grudge for his Uſage of me then, and would have paid him now, but I had try’d the Strength of his Arm, and found it too powerful for me, otherwiſe you had had his Company this once, in order to ſee him no more; but you have taken your Leave of him as it is. And are you, ſaid Amoranda, one of the Villains that—Here ſhe fainted away; Biranthus was glad of ſo good an Opportunity of getting her aſhore; and calling ſome of the Men to his Aſſiſtance, they clapped Piſtols to the Breaſts of the two Barge- K men, 100 K1v 100 men, who were all Amoranda had on her Side, and made them row to Land, juſt at the Side of a great thick Wood. Biranthus and one of the Men took Amoranda up betwixt them, and carried her into it; which the Barge-men ſeeing prepared to follow and bring her back, but were prevented by the reſt of the Rogues; two of which they knock’d over-board with their Oars, and the other they tied Neck and Heels in the Barge, then went in Search of the Lady: But Biranthus had carried her ſuch intricate Ways, and ſo far up in the Wood, that the poor Barge-men thought there had been Horſes ready for them, and they had carried her quite away; however, they were reſolved to ſtay till Night, in hopes of her Return. In the mean time, the Devils that carried her off, had conveyed her into the moſt unfrequented Part of the Wood, and laid her on the Graſs to recover herſelf; but who can expreſs the Rage, Deſpair and Grief, which appeared in her lovely Eyes, when they opened to ſuch a Scene of Sorrow, and ſhe ſaw herſelf in the full Power of a threatening Raviſher, her own Servants aiding and aſſiſting him in the Midſt of a wild Deſert, where nothing but Air and Beaſts could receive her Cries! Oh, Amoranda! ſaid ſhe, wretched Amoranda! what ſullen Star had Power when thou wert born? Why has Nature denied us Strength to revenge our own Wrongs? 101 K2r 101 Wrongs? And why does Heaven abandon and forſake the Innocent? But, oh! it hears not my Complaints.—Oh, Formator! did you but know my Diſtreſs you would come to my Relief, and once more chaſtiſe this odious, impudent Raviſher. Oh wretched me! what ſhall I do? Arentia, who had been a long Time ſilent, and confounded at her own Baſeneſs, went to her and ſaid, Why Amoranda, do you think yourſelf wretched? It is in your own Power to be very happy, if you will but harken to your Friends, and be— Peace, Screech-Owl, ſaid Amoranda, thy Advice carries Poiſon and Infection in it; the very Sound of thy Words raiſes Bliſters on me, ſo venomous is the Air of thy Breath. Oh! Madam, ſaid Arentia, we ſhall find a Way to humble your Pride; and ſince you are reſolved to make your Friends your Enemies, take the Reward of your Folly. Saying thus, ſhe went away, leaving Biranthus and her own Man with her, to execute their abominable Deſigns againſt her. When ſhe was gone, the hated Biranthus came to her, and ſaid, Madam, if you will hear my Propoſals, I am now in a Humour to make you very good ones, but if you refuſe them, you may expect the worſt Uſage that can fall to your Share, and I ſhall pleaſe myſelf without any manner of Regard to your Quality or Complaints. It is true, my Eſtate is not a great one, but yours K2 joined 102 K2v 102 joined to it will make it ſo; and you ſhall find me in every thing ſuch a Husband—As I, ſaid ſhe, no doubt, ſhall ſoon have Reaſon to wiſh hang’d; no, baſe Biranthus, if Providence had deſigned me a Prey for ſuch a Villain, I ſhould have fallen into your firſt Snare; but I was delivered from you then, and ſo I ſhall be again: Before I would conſent to be a Wife to ſuch a Monſter, I would tear out the Tongue by the Roots, that was willing to pronounce my Doom: I would ſuffer theſe Arms to be extended on a Rack till every Sinew, every Vein and Nerve ſhould crack, rather than embrace, or ſo much as touch, a Viper like thyſelf. Then hear, ſaid he, and tremble at thy approaching Fate. This Minute, by the Help of thy own Servant, I will enjoy thee; and then, by the Aſſiſtance of my Arm, he ſhall do ſo too. Thou lieſt, falſe Traitor, ſaid ſhe, Heaven will never ſuffer ſuch Wickedneſs. Juſt as ſhe ſpoke theſe laſt Words, they heard a dreadful Shriek at a little Diſtance; the Voice they knew to be Arentia’s, and Biranthus ’s, who had taken hold of Amoranda, let her go again, and ran to find out his Partner in Iniquity, who he ſaw juſt expiring of a Sting from an Adder. He then cried out as loud as ſhe had done, when the other Rogue ran to him, and left Amoranda to ſhift for herſelf. She was no ſooner rid of them, than ſhe heard the Sound of Horſes pretty near her, and begangan 103 K3r 103 gan to run towards them. Good Heaven! ſaid ſhe, has at laſt ſeen my Wrongs, heard my Complaints, and pities my Diſtreſs. The Horſes were now within Sight of her, and ſhe ſaw a graceful, fine, well ſhaped Man upon one of them, attended by two Servants; to whom ſhe thus apply’d herſelf: Stranger, ſaid ſhe, for ſuch you are to me, though not to Humanity, I hope; take a poor forſaken Wretch into your kind Protection, and deliver her from the rude Hands of a cruel Raviſher. The Stranger looking at her, ſaid, I preſume, Madam, you are ſome ſelf-willed, head-ſtrong Lady, who, reſolved to follow your own Inventions, have left the Care of a tender Father, to ramble with you know not who. Oh! Sir, ſaid ſhe, ſome Part of your Gueſs is true; but, Father I have none: Nor Mother, ſaid the Stranger, nor Guardian? Nor Mother, ſaid ſhe, but a Guardian, a good one too, I have; and were I but once again in his Poſſeſſion, I would never leave him while I live.
Well, Madam, ſaid the Gentleman, I am ſorry for you, but am no Night-errant, nor do I ride in Queſt of Adventures; I wiſh you a good Deliverance, and am your humble Servant. Saying thus, he and his Servants rode away: Poor Amoranda followed them as faſt as ſhe could, and ſtill, with Prayers and Tears, implored their Pity; but they were ſoon out K3 of 104 K3v 104 of Sight, and the loathed Biranthus again appeared coming in full Search after her, and deſigning to drag her to Arentia’s Corps, there to ſatisfy his beaſtly Appetite, and ſacrifice her to her Ghoſt. He found the poor Forloorn half drowned in her own Tears, pulling off her Hair, and wringing her lovely Hands, calling Formator! Oh Formator! where are you? Biranthus rudely ſeized her on one Side, and her own Man on the other, and was dragging her along, when her ſhrill Cries filled the Air, and reached the Ears of the Gentleman who had juſt left her, and now returning again. Villain, ſaid he to Amoranda’s Man, unhand the two Ladies: Sir, ſaid Biranthus, there is no Harm deſigned againſt her; but the Cauſe of this Lady’s Cries proceed from her Concern for the Death of her Siſter, who is juſt now ſtung to Death by an Adder.
Oh, gentle Stranger! ſaid Amoranda, believe him not; this very Creature, who has now ſpoken to you, is a Man diſguiſed, and is going to murder me: Oh! as you hope for Happineſs, either here or hereafter, leave me not. Sir, ſaid Biranthus, her Trouble has diſtracted her, do but ride forty Paces farther, and you ſhall ſee the poor Lady lie dead. Lead on then ſaid the Stranger. When they came to the Place where Arentia lay dead, the Gentleman look’d at her, and ſhak’d his Head, ſaying,ing, 105 K4r 105 ing, How does Vice as well as Virtue reward itſelf! But, Madam, ſaid he to Biranthus, if thoſe two Ladies were Siſters, what Relation are you to them? None, none, ſaid Amoranda, I have already told you he is a Man, a Monſter, a Villain and a Murderer: This very Man, Sir, ſaid ſhe, ſet upon my Coach about a Month ago, ſhot my Coachman, and would have carried me away then, but I had my Guardian with me, my Guardian Angel I may call him, and he preſerved me that time: The Rogue, when he thought he had me ſure, confeſſed he was a Man, and therefore for Heaven’s dear Sake take me from him, though you throw me into the River when you have done. No, Madam, ſaid the Stranger, you look as if you deſerved a better Fate than that: Here ſaid he to his Servants, alight, and ſet this Lady behind me; but Biranthus ſtepp’d between, and pulling out a Pocket-Piſtol diſcharged it at the Stranger, but miſs’d him, which exaſperated his Men ſo much, that one of them ran him quite through the Body. When Amoranda’s Man ſaw him fall, he ran away as faſt as he could, but was ſoon overtaken and brought back. Amoranda’s Good- nature, as well as Gratitude, put her upon making Ten Thouſand Acknowledgments to her kind Deliverer, and begg’d of him to finiſh the Obligation, by conveying her ſafe to her Barge. Madam, ſaid he, I will wait upon 106 K4v 106 upon you where-ever you pleaſe to command me; but how ſhall we find the Way out of this Wood? Sir, ſaid one of his Men, I know the Way to the Water Side. Upon which, he and his Companion went before, with Amoranda’s Man bound with a Saddle Girt, till they came to the Barge: As ſoon as the two Bargemen ſaw their Lady come again, they ſet up a loud Acclamation of Joy, and ſhe got in again with the Stranger, who gave his Horſe to his Servants, and they rode by the Barge till it was juſt at home. When Amoranda was ſet down, at her firſt coming into the Barge, ſhe aſked the Barge-men, What that was lay in a Lump at the other End? That, Madam, ſaid the Men, is one of our Rogues who we have tied Neck and Heels: And where, ſaid ſhe, are the other Two? Why, Madam, ſaid they, we could not perſuade them to be quiet, but they would needs go and help to carry your Ladyſhip away, and ſo we knock’d them down with our Oars, and they fell plump into the Water; we ne’er thought them worth diving for, but e’en let them go down to the Bottom; they will ſerve to fatten the Salmon. Well, ſaid Amoranda, take this other Rogue, and tie them Back to Back, but ſet his Neck at Liberty, that Part will have enough of the Halter, when he comes to be hang’d. As they were going home, the Stranger aſked Amoranda, how ſhe came into the Wood, and in 107 K5r 107 in ſuch Company? She briefly told him the whole Story; and, Sir, ſaid ſhe, if you will but land, and go with me home, you ſhall receive Ten Thouſand Thanks from as good an old Man as you ever ſaw in your Life. Madam, ſaid the Stranger, I have had your Thanks, which is more than a double Recompence for the ſmall Service I have done you; and after that all other will be inſipid. Pray, Sir, ſaid Amoranda, will you satiſfy me in one Point? You ſeem now to be a very good-natured Man; why where you ſo cruel to me when I firſt made my Application to you in the Wood? Madam, ſaid he, there is a Myſtery in that Part of my Behaviour, which you may one Day know; for I hope this will not be the laſt Time I ſhall ſee you; however, to mend your Opinion of me, I will tell you, I left you with a Deſign to return, and went no farther than behind the Trees, from whence I ſaw you all the Time. They now began to draw near home, and after ſome other Diſcourſe, perceived the Houſe: When they were almoſt at the Landing-ſtairs, the Stranger deſired Amoranda to let her Men touch the Shore, that he might again take Horſe, his Servants being juſt by; but ſhe preſſed him very much to go in with her, which he modeſtly refuſed, but promiſed to do himſelf the Honour of ſeeing her a little Time. When the Barge- men had landed him, he gave each of them Five 108 K5v 108 Five Guineas for their Fidelity to their Lady, and ſtanding on the Shore till he ſaw the Lady land, with a graceful Bow to her at parting, he mounted his Horſe, and ſhe, to return his Compliments, ſtood and look’d after him as far as her Eyes could reach him: When he was quite out of Sight ſhe went in, calling for Formator; but Jenny came to her Lady, and told her, he went to walk in the Field juſt when ſhe went upon the Water, and they had not ſeen him ſince: But, Madam, ſaid Jenny, Where are the Ladies? Oh, Jenny! ſaid Amoranda, my Spirits are too much worn out with Fatigue and Fear to anſwer you any Queſtion: I muſt repoſe myſelf a little, and when Formator comes in let me know, for I have a long Tale to tell that good old Man; in the mean time, bid the two Barge-men, Saunders and Robert, take Care of their Charge. Here ſhe went to her Chamber, and with a grateful Heart thanked Heaven for her Deliverance; but the Agent it had employed ran ſtrangely in her Head. From whence, ſaid ſhe to herſelf, could he come? He is a perfect Stranger hereabout, and how he came into that Wood, which is no Road, and at ſuch a needful Time, I cannot imagine: Sure Providence dropp’d him down for my Safety, and he is again returned, for he is too God-like to be an Inhabitant of this World, ſomething ſo very foreign to what I have obſerved in the reſt of his Sex, a 109 K6r 109 a Je-ne-ſcay-quoy in every Word, every Action he is Maſter of――But what did he mean when he ſaid, his Behaviour had a Myſtery in it? Will he come again?――He ſaid he would, and tell me this mighty Secret; I wiſh he may keep his Word, methingks I long to ſee him again; but then Formator――What of Formator? He will not find Fault where there is none: Formator is ſtrict, but then he is juſt, and will not take away Merit where he ſees there is a Title to it.—I wonder what Love is, if ever I felt either its Pleaſure or its Pain, it is now. Theſe Reflections, and her wearied Spirits lull’d her to Sleep, and her diſturbed Mind had an Hour’s Reſt. When Jenny had laid her down, and obſerved ſomething very extraordinary in her Looks, ſhe made all the Haſte ſhe could to the Barge, for Information from thence; but as ſhe was going, ſhe met Saunders and Robert at the Back-door, dragging in two more of her Fellow-Servants, pinion’d down with Cords. Mercy upon us, ſaid Jenny, What is the Matter?
Aye, quoth Robert, Mercy is a fine Word, but an there be any ſhewn here, I think we deſerve none ourſelves. Why don’t ye tell me, ſaid Jenny, what the Matter is? Matter, ſaid Saunders, Aye, Aye, if ſuch Rogues muſt go unpuniſhed, for my Part I’ll never take Five Guineas again for being honeſt. Why, what the Devil have they done? ſaid Jenny, done, ſaid 110 K6v 110 ſaid Robert; nay, nay, they have done, and had like to have undone; but the Man has his Mare again, and ſo there is nothing done to any Purpoſe, thank Fortune. Pox take you both, ſaid Jenny, if I don’t fit you for this, may I always long in vain, as I do now, ye Couple of amphibious Rats, I’ll make ye tipple in the Element ye are beſt uſed to, till ye burſt your ugly Guts, before ye ſhall ever wet your Whiſtles with any thing under my Care. Say you ſo, Mrs. Jane, ſaid Saunders, then you ſhall ſwim in a Dike of your own making, before you ſhall ever come into my Barge again: You think, forſooth, becauſe the Butler’s your Sweet-heart, no-body muſt come within Smell of the Ale-cellar without your Leave; but, I-cod, your flat Bottom ſhall grow to the Cricket in the Pantry, before it ſhall ever be ſet on a Cuſhion in my Barge again. You may go, ſaid Jenny, and hang yourſelf in your Barge, it is as good there as any-where elſe, you great Flounder-mouth’d Sea-calf. While they were in this warm Diſcourſe, Formator came in, and aſk’d Jenny, If the Ladies were yet return’d? My Lady, Sir, ſaid Jenny, is return’d, but no-body is come with her but the two Barge- men, and a Couple of the Footmen with Ropes about them, in the wrong Place I ſuppoſe. Where, ſaid Formator, is your Lady? Gone to Bed, Sir, ſaid Jenny, but order’d me to let her know when you came in. I hear her ring juſt 111 L1r 111 juſt now. Amoranda was not long coming down, when ſhe heard Formator was come in but meeting him with the greateſt Pleaſure, ſaid, —Oh! Formator, I am glad we are met again, I will always allow you a man of deep Penetration, and a diſcerning Judgement: Come, ſaid ſhe, let us go and ſit down in the Parlour, and I will tell you ſuch a Story――You little think what a fiery Tryal I have gone thro’ ſince I ſaw you. When they were ſate; Madam, ſaid Formator, I fear you have been frighted, you look very pale, and yet I think we have had no high Winds to day; but where, continued he, are the Ladies? Ladies, ſaid Amoranda, the Monſters, the Fiends, you ſhould have ſaid; but they have received the juſt Reward of their Wickedneſs, and are now no more. What, ſaid Formator, are they drown’d? No, ſaid ſhe, I’ll tell you their Cataſtrophe; ſo ſhe began and told him the whole Story; but when ſhe came to that Part where the Stranger was concern’d, ſhe bluſh’d and ſigh’d, ſaying, Oh, Formator! had you ſeen the fine Man, how graceful, how charming, how, handſome――Pugh, I think I’m mad, ſaid ſhe, I mean how gentle he was, I’ll ſwear, Formator, ſaid ſhe, now I look at you again, I think the upper part of your Face like his, and there is ſome Reſemblance in your Voices too, but that you ſpeak ſlower, and have a little Liſp.L Ma- 112 L1v 112
Madam, ſaid Formator, I propheſy, I ſhall not be Ilik’d the worſe for having a Reſemblance of this fine Man; but beg you will have a Care he is a Stranger, as well as Biranthus was, and, for ought you know, may be as great a Villian. O! ’tis impoſſible, ſaid Amoranda, if he be bad, the whole Race of Mankind are ſo: No, Formator, Probity, Juſtice, Honour and good Senſe ſit triumphant on his fine Face.
Madam, ſaid Formator ſmiling, ’tis well if this Gentleman has not made a greater Conqueſt than that over your Raviſher; but how can you forgive his Cruelty, in riding away from you when you were in ſuch Diſtreſs? I told him of it, ſaid ſhe, in the Barge, and he ſaid, it was a myſterious Action which I ſhould know more of another Time. What, then, ſaid Formator, he intends to viſit you I find; He ſaid he would: Do you think he will keep his word, Formator? ſaid ſhe: No doubt on’t, Madam, ſaid he, a Man of ſo much Honour, as you ſay he is, will never make a Forfeiture of it, by breach of Promiſe to a fine Lady. I remember, Formator, ſaid ſhe, you told me ſome time ago, that a Woman’s Conduct, vindicated by one Man of Senſe, was infinitely preferable to a thouſand Elogiums, from as many Coxcombs. I have now brought myſelf to an utter Contempt for all that Part of your Species, and ſhall, for the future, not only deſpiſe Flattery, but abhor the Mouth it comes from.I 113 L2r 113
I own, Formator, the Ground work of this Reformation in me came from thoſe wholeſome Lectures you have ſo often read to me; but the finiſhing Stroke is given by my own Inclination. I believe it, Madam, ſaid he by your Inclination for the Stranger who (that he may prove worthy of you) I wiſh may deſerve as well in the Eye of the World, as he ſeems to do in your own. Well, Formator, ſaid ſhe, I find you think I’m in Love; and, for ought I know, ſo I am; for I’m ſure I feel ſomething in my Heart that was never there before: But this I here promiſe you, I will never marry any Man who has not your Approbation, as well as mine. Why then, Madam, ſaid he, in Return for your Good-nature, be aſſured, I will bring my Opinion as near yours as I can, and doubt not but they will meet at laſt: But, Madam, ſaid he, what muſt be done with the two Rogues yonder? I know not, ſaid ſhe, I think ’tis beſt to pay them their Wages, and turn ’em off. Yes, ſaid Formator, off a Ladder, if you pleaſe; ſhould we take no more Notice than that of ſtealing our Heireſſes, every Raſcal, who has twenty Guineas to bribe a Footman, may come when he pleaſes: No, Madam, they muſt ſwing for Example. I own, ſaid Amoranda, they deſerve it, but I am not willing to take their Lives; perhaps a little Clemency may reclaim them. Madam, ſaid he, the Mercy you would ſhew them is highly becomingL2 coming 114 L2v 114 coming your Sex; but you forget ’tis doing the World, as well as yourſelf, a Kindneſs, to rid both of ſuch Villians; I therefore beg Leave to ſend them To-Morrow Morning to the County Jail. Then do what you will, ſaid ſhe, I leave it wholly to you,. Next Day, at Dinner, Amoranda look’d very grave, and Formator very gay: Madam, ſaid he, I begin to fear you are really in Love, elſe where are all thoſe pleaſant Airs, that Vivacity in your Eyes, the Smiles that uſed to ſit on that fine Mouth, and the ſprightly diverting Converſation, ſo agreeable to all that heard it? I think, ſaid he, we muſt ſend a Hue-and-Cry after your Deliverer, in order to recover your Charms.
I believe, Formator, ſaid ſhe, what I have loſt you have found; methinks you rally with a very gay Air; I am glad to ſee you grow ſo chearful; but why ſhould you impute my Gravity rather to Love, than to the late Fright and Diſorder I have been in? Do you think a Danger like mine is to be forgotten of a ſudden? While they were in this Diſcourſe, a Servant came in with a Letter for his Lady, and ſaid, the Meſſenger ſtaid for an Anſwer. Formator, ſaid Amoranda, you ſhall give me Leave to read it, which ſhe did, as follows.
Madam, The Raptures I have been in ever ſince Yeſterday, at the Thoughts of having ſerved you 115 L3r 115 you, has deprived me of a whole Night’s Sleep: What Pleaſure can this World give us, like that of obliging a fine Woman, unleſs it be that of her returning it! But as that is a Bleſſing I do not deſerve, it is likewiſe what I dare not hope for, becauſe my Wiſhes are ſuperior to any Service I have, or can do. Believe me, Madam, I aim at nothing leſs than your lovely Perſon, and wiſh for nothing more. Oblige me with one Line to encourage a Viſit; and if I can but make myſelf acceptable to You, Formator and I will talk about the Eſtate. Yours, Alanthus.
While Amoranda read this Letter, Formator watched her Eyes, in which he ſaw a pleaſing Surpriſe. When ſhe had read it, with a quite different Look from that ſhe had all Dinner- time, ſhe ſaid, I have ſeen this Hand before, but cannot recollect where. Here, Formator, ſaid ſhe, I find you are to be a Party concern’d pray read it, and tell me whether I ſhall anſwer it. When he had read it, he return’d it, and ſaid, I fear, Madam, my Advice will have but little Force; however, ſince you condeſcend to aſk it, it is but Good-manners to give it; and I think you ought to have a Care how you converſe with a Man for whom you ſeem to have a tender Concern already, till you know ſomething of his Circumſtances.
Nay, Formator, ſaid ſhe, that’s the Part you are to look after, you know I have nothing to L3 do 116 L3v 116 do with that; but I think there can be no Harm in one Viſit, and it would be a poor Return for ſaving my Life and Honour, to deny the Satisfaction of a Line: But I will write but a little, and you ſhall ſee it when I have done. She went to her Cloſet, and wrote the following Words:
Iconfeſs myſelf ſo greatly obliged by the generous Alanthus, that it is not poſſible for the little Inſtrument in my Hand to make a ſuitable Acknowledgment for what I have received; but beg you will accept in Part of what it can do, and expect the greateſt Addition, from a verbal Thanks, which is in the Power of
As ſoon as ſhe had done, ſhe brought it to Formator, and when he had read it, ſhe ſeal’d it up, and call’d for the Meſſenger, whom ſhe had a Mind to pump a little. Friend, ſaid ſhe, I have writ a Line to your Maſter, but you muſt tell me how to direct it.
Madam, ſaid he, it can never loſe its Way while I am its Convoy; I’ll undertake to deliver it ſafe. How many Miles, ſaid ſhe, have you rid To-day? That, Madam, ſaid he, I cannot readily tell, for I called at ſeveral Places wide of the Road. Was your Maſter born on this Side of the Country? ſaid ſhe: I am very unfortunate, ſaid the Fellow, that I cannot anſwer any of your Ladyſhip’s Queſtions directly;rectly; 117 L4r 117 rectly; but really, Madam, he was born before I came to him. May-be, ſaid Amoranda, you don’t know his Name neither. Yes, Madam, ſaid he, mighty well, and ſo does your Ladyſhip, doubtleſs; for my Maſter always writes his Name when he ſends a Billet to a fine Lady. I fancy, ſaid Amoranda, your Maſter is a Papiſt, and you are his Chaplain in Diſguiſe, for you have all the Evaſions of a Jeſuit. No, Madam, ſaid he, I have only Religion enough for one, I want the cunning Part; but, Madam, ſaid he, my Maſter will be impatient for my Return, ſo beg your Ladyſhip will diſmiſs me. Here then ſaid ſhe, take that Letter for your Maſter, and there’s ſomething for yourſelf, and be gone as ſoon as you pleaſe.
Formator ſtood all this while at a Window learing at them, and laughing to hear the Dialogue betwixt them. Well, Madam, ſaid he, I am ſure you are pleaſed, your Looks are ſo much mended. Pugh! ſaid ſhe, I think I have the fooliſheſt Eyes that ever were, they can’t keep a Secret; but they can tell you no more than I have done already. I have own’d to you I do like this Man, who calls himſelf Alanthus, much better than any I ever ſaw before, and am fully determined to die as I am, if his Circumſtances will not admit of an Union between us: But I am now going to be very happy in a female Confidant, to whom I can intruſt all my Secrets. Not another Arentia I hope, ſaid For- 118 L4v 118 Formator. No, no, ſaid ſhe, it is a grave Lady, the only Relation I have on my Mother’s Side: I expect her To-morrow; ſhe will be a rare Companion for you, Formator, and I can aſſure you ſhe is a Woman of good Senſe, and a pretty Fortune. I know not but we may have a Match between you: and while I am contriving for a Companion for myſelf, I am, perhaps, getting you a Miſtreſs. No Madam, ſaid Formator, I have as many Miſtreſſes as I intend to have already; but if ſhe comes To- morrow, I think I’ll go and meet her. I’ll aſſure you, ſaid Amoranda, I intend her for my Companion and Bed-fellow all this enſuing Winter. Yes, ſaid Formator, if Alanthus does not take her Place. Say no more of that, ſaid ſhe; but I deſire you will not go out To-morrow, becauſe I fancy Alanthus will come, and I would fain have you ſee him. Madam, ſaid he, I ſhall not want an Opportunity of ſeeing him; his firſt Viſit will not be his laſt; Amoranda cannot make an half Conqueſt.
I declare, ſaid ſhe, you are very courtly, and I begin to take a little Merit to myſelf upon your Account; for, they ſay, a briſk Girl makes a young old Man: But I’ll go and undreſs me, and by that Time Supper will be ready. While Amoranda was undreſſing, ſhe pull’d out the pleaſing Letter; and while ſhe was reading it over again, Jenny, with the prying Eyes of a Chamber-maid, look’d at it, and ſaid, I wonder, Madam, 119 L5r 119 Madam, what Delight you can take in that rude, unmannerly Letter. What do you mean, ſaid Amoranda, you never ſaw it in your Life before? Why, Madam, ſaid Jenny, is it not that you had thrown in at the Summer-houſe Window in the Glove? I think it is the ſame Hand. Aye, ſaid Amoranda, and ſo do I too, now you put me in Mind on’t; I knew I had ſeen the Hand before, but could not remember where. No, Jenny, ſaid ſhe, that Letter which you call rude, I now ſee with other Eyes, and have Reaſon to believe it came from a Friend. Nay, Madam, ſaid Jenny, you know beſt how you can bear an Affront; had any Fellow ſent me ſuch a one, I would have ſpit in his Face the firſt Time I ſaw him: Tell me, I was no Angel! an impudent Blockhead. I find, ſaid Amoranda, your Lovers muſt be very obſequious, Jenny; Prythee, what ſort of a Huſband would you have? Madam, ſaid ſhe, I would have one that would keep me as well as you do; one that would riſe to work in a Morning, and let me lie a bed; keep me a Maid to do the Buſineſs of the Houſe, and a Nurſe to bring up his Children; and then, I believe, I ſhould make a pretty good Wife. That is to ſay, Jenny, ſaid Amoranda, if you can get a Huſband that will keep you in perfect Idleneſs, you will be ſo very good, as to be very quiet; but I find you intend to take leſs Pains than I ſhould do; for, if ever I have a Child, I will not think it a Trouble 120 L5v 120 Trouble to nurſe it; ’tis a Work Nature requires of us. Aye, marry, Madam, ſaid Jenny, if I had follow’d Nature, I ſhould have had Children long ago for ſome-body to nurſe: But I hear the Bell for Supper, will your Ladyſhip pleaſe to walk down?
When they had done Supper, Amoranda ſhew’d Formator the firſt Letter, and ask’d him, if he did not think it was the ſame Hand which came ſubſcrib’d Alanthus? Yes, Madam, ſaid he, I believe it is; and how will you excuſe ſuch plain Dealing? Oh! ſaid Amoranda, you have taught me to reliſh it, and I have no longer a Taſte for Flattery; I ſee ’tis nothing but Self-intereſt in your Sex, and a Weakneſs in our’s, to be pleaſed with it. Believe me, Madam, ſaid Formator, you make my poor old Heart dance with Joy, to ſee this happy Reformation in you; and I ſhall give a ſpeedy Account to your Uncle of the advantageous Change in your Behaviour: As for Alanthus, I find he has made a Way to your good Opinion of him; and, if I find his Eſtate anſwers, as he ſeems to hint it will, I will further his Amour, and try to make you happy in the Man you like.
Formator, ſaid the pleaſed Amoranda, do not you think I ought to have more than a common Regard for the Man who ſnatch’d me from the Jaws of Death and Ruin? But what, ſaid ſhe, can be the Reaſon of his concealing himſelf?Madam, 121 L6r 121
Madam, ſaid Formator, Man is a rational Creature, and you ſay Alanthus has good Senſe; he, doubtleſs, has his Reaſons for what he does; but when I ſee him, I will give you my Opinion of him more at large. It now grew late, and Amoranda went to Bed, but Alanthus, whom ſhe expected to ſee next Day, had taken ſuch Poſſeſſion of her Head and Heart, that poor Sleep was quite baniſhed. The Sun no ſooner got up than Amoranda did ſo too; and, leaving her reſtleſs Bed, went into the Garden to try if Variety of Objects would divert her Thoughts: After ſhe had ſpent ſome Time among the Birds and Flowers, ſhe thought ſhe heard the Noiſe of Horſes in the Highway, and ſome-body groan: She ran and call’d Jenny, who came, and they, with the Gardener, ran to the Summer-houſe, and, having opened the Shutters, they ſaw a fine youndg Lady on a Spaniſh Jennet, in very rich Trappings, the Lady herſelf in a pale Wigg, with a lac’d Hat and Feather; an Habit of Brocade, fac’d with a Silver Stuff, and attended by three Servants in rich Liveries, and her Woman, all well mounted; but juſt at the Summer-houſe Window, one of her Men fell down and broke his Leg. Amoranda had a juſt Compaſſion for the unfortunate Man, and ſaw his Lady’s Journey retarded; but the late Attempts which had been made upon her, made her afraid to deſire her 122 L6v 122 her to come in; however, Good-manners took Place of her Fears, and ſhe ſaid, Madam, if you will honour me ſo far as to ride into the Court and alight, my Servants ſhall get you a Surgeon. The Lady accepted of the Invitation, and Amoranda met her at the Gate: When ſhe had conducted her in with that Reſpect, which ſhe thought due to her Quality, ſhe order’d her Coach to be got ready to carry the Servant to the next Market Town, within three little Miles, where there was a very good Surgeon. Amoranda then call’d for Breakfaſt; and while they were drinking Tea, and eating Sweet-meats, ſhe kept her Eye ſo long upon the ſtrange Lady, that ſhe was almoſt aſham’d, and thought ſhe ſaw every Feature of Alanthus in her, only her’s had a more effeminate Turn.
Madam, ſaid ſhe, if I may hope for the Honour of being better acquainted with you, and that you have not reſolved to make your Journey a Secret, I ſhould be very proud of knowing your Family, and where you travel this Way. Madam, ſaid the young Lady, I never thought any thing ſo troubleſome as a Secret, and, for that Reaſon, never keep any; I can aſſure you there is not one Circumſtance in my Life worth knowing; but if it will oblige you to anſwer directly to the Queſtions you have asked, I will briefly tell you: My Father 123 M1r 123 Father, who has been ſome Years dead, was Marquis of W—r: I left a tender Mother Yeſterday to go in Search of an only Brother, of whom I hope to hear of at Lord B—s: He has been from us above this half Year; and tho’ he writes to us often, we know not where he is. Lord B――s is my Mother’s Brother, and lives ſo near you, I preſume, I need not name the Town, but think it is not above twelve Miles from hence. And pray, Madam, ſaid Amoranda, is not the young Marquis, your Brother, call’d Alanthus? Yes, ſaid the Lady, Do you know him, Madam.? I believe, ſaid Amoranda, I ſaw him once on Horſe-back, when I was from home one Day: He is a fine Man, and, I think, your Ladyſhip’s like him. By this Time the Servants return’d, who had carried their Companion to the Surgeon; and the young Lady again took Horſe, after ſhe had refuſed a great many Invitations from Amoranda to ſtay a Day or two with her, but oblig’d herſelf to call as ſhe return’d, and ſtay a Week with her then.
As ſoon as ſhe was gone, a thouſand Thoughts crowded themſelves into Amoranda’s Breaſt, and as many pleaſing Ideas danced in her Fancy: ſhe well knew Formator would ſhare her Joy, and therefore call’d for him to communicate the whole Affair to him; but was told, he rode out in the Morning before ſeven o’Clock, and ſaid, he ſhould not return ’till Night. She M deſpair’d 124 M1v 124 deſpair’d of ſeeing Alanthus that Day thinking his Siſter would wholly engroſs him; however, ſhe was reſolv’d to put on all her Charms both that Day, and every Day till he came, and call’d Jenny to go up and dreſs her to the beſt Advantage. Dinner over, Alanthus., who had Love enough to leave all the World for Amoranda, came in a Chariot and two Horſes, attended only by as many Footmen. She was reſolved to take no Notice ſhe had ſeen his Siſter, or knew any thing of his Quality, but leave him wholly to himſelf, and let him make his own Diſcovery when he thought fit,. She received him, however, with a modeſt Delight in her Countenance, and he approached her with Love and Tranſport. Madam, ſaid, he he, if my faultering Tongue does not well expreſs the Sentiments of my Heart, you are to impute it to that Concern, which, I believe, moſt Men have about them when they firſt tell a Lady they love. But, Amoranda, ſaid he, if you have well conſulted your own Charms, you may ſave me this Confuſion, and believe I love you, though I never tell you ſo; for nothing but Age and Stupidity can reſiſt them. Alanthus, ſaid ſhe, you come upon me ſo very ſuddenly, that I am at a Loſs for an Anſwer; but I don’t wonder you are out of Countenance at the Declaration you have made: Love is a Subject every Man of Mode is aſhamed of. It has been ſo long exploded, that our modern 125 M2r 125 modern Wits would no more be ſeen in Cupid’s Toils, than in a Church; and would as ſoon be perſuaded to ſay their Prayers, as tell a Lady they love her.
Madam, ſaid Alanthus, you ſpeak of a Set of Men who are beſt known to the World by the Names of Beaus and Coxcombs. I beg, Madam, you will not take me for one of that Number, but believe me a Man of a regular Conduct, one that was never aſham’d to own his Maker, or to keep his Laws; and for that Reaſon, whenever I take a Woman to my Arms, ſhe ſhall come there with the beſt Authority that Law we live under can give us. Believe me, Amoranda, you are very dear to me, and I know you much better than you think I do. I think, Sir, ſaid Amoranda, your Words are as myſterious as Part of your Behaviour in the Wood was; I can very ſafely tell myſelf, I never ſaw your Face till then; and if ever you ſaw mine before, I ſhould be oblig’d to you, if you would tell me where. Madam, ſaid he, a very little Time will draw up the Curtain, and lay all open to the naked Eye; in the mean time, if you dare give yourſelf up into my Hands, you ſhall find I will ſtrive to make you very happy.
I dare ſay, ſaid Amoranda, you do not expect any Hopes from me, till I know who I give them to; or think I would beſtow a Heart on one who may run away with it, and I not know M2 where 126 M2v 126 where to call for’t again. No, Madam, ſaid Alanthus, I have a much better opinion of your good Senſe, than to expect an indiſcreet Action from you; but if I convince you my Family and Eſtate are equal to your own, and can procure your Uncle’s Conſent, have you then any Objection againſt me? Yes, ſaid Amoranda, for all your plauſible Pretences and Declarations of Love, I can produce a Letter under your own Hand, in which you tell me, you don’t love me. Then, Madam, ſaid he, I’ll renounce my Pretenſions. Amoranda then pull’d out the Letter which came in the Glove, and aſk’d him if that was his Hand? He ſaid it was, but hop’d he had not expreſs’d ſo much ill Manners in it.
Take it then, ſaid ſhe, and read it over; which he did with ſome Emotion; then ſaid with a Smile, I did not think, Madam, you would have thought this Letter worth keeping ſo long, but you have put a very wrong Conſtruction upon it; and I deſign’d it as a very great Mark of my Eſteem: I ſent it to put you in Mind of turning the right End of the Perſpective to yourſelf, that you might with more Eaſe behold your own Danger. I own the Obligation, Sir, ſaid ſhe; but as you have that commanding Charm of good Senſe, I deſire you will employ it in conſidering how early an Excurſion I made in the World, left by my Father and Mother before I underſtood any 127 M3r 127 any thing but Flattery, I might have ſaid, or lov’d any thing but it; and had not my Uncle ſent me as good an old Man as ever undertook ſo troubleſome a Taſk, I might have fallen into a thouſand Inconveniences: I wiſh he would come home while you are here, I am ſure you would like his Converſation mightily. Madam, ſaid Alanthus, every thing pleaſes me, which gives you Satisfaction; and if I can but find the Art of pleaſing you myſelf, I have no other Wiſhes: Juſt here a Footman came in with the Tea-Table, and turn’d the Diſcourſe: Alanthus drank in Love faſter than Tea; and Amoranda’s Charms were his beſt Repaſt. She, on her Side, had not ſo great a Command of her Eyes but they made ſometimes a Diſcovery of her Heart, to the unſpeakable inward Content of Alanthus. The Afternoon was now pretty far ſpent, and our Lover began to think of taking his Leave; but firſt he told Amoranda, he would not preſs her farther at that Time, for an Aſſurance of his Happineſs, becauſe it was the firſt Time he had declar’d himſelf, but hop’d a few Viſits more would make her forget the Ceremony and Formality of a tedious Courtſhip, and give him a Glimpſe of the only Satisfaction he was capable of. He then went with unwilling Steps to his Chariot, and Amoranda return’d in with a pleas’d Countenance, and ſat down to meditateM3 tate 128 M3v 128 tate upon what had paſt that Afternoon; but her Soliloquies were interrupted, by hearing her Couſin Maria was come, whom ſhe had been expecting ſome Hours, and went to meet her with that Chearfulneſs and Good-nature, which ſhew’d itſelf in all her Actions.
My deareſt Maria, ſaid ſhe, taking her in her Arms, you have brought me what I have long wanted, a female Friend; and now I have you, we will not part this Winter. Madam, ſaid Maria, I don’t want Inclination to ſpend my whole Life with you; but I have a ſmall Concern at home, which will hardly admit of ſo long an Abſence; however, ’tis Time enough to talk of that a Month hence. Nay, then, ſaid Amoranda, there’s a Lover in the Caſe. I never was in a young Girl’s Company in my Life, ſaid Maria, but ſhe brought in a Lover ſome way or other; but, Madam, I am neither young enough nor old enough to be in Love; that Paſſion generally takes place when Women are in their firſt or ſecond Spring: Now I am paſt one, and not come to the other. Ah! ſaid Amoranda, I fancy when the blind Boy ſhoots his random Arrows, where ever they hit they wound.
The beſt on’t is, ſaid Maria laughing, I have had the good Fortune of eſcaping him hitherto; and if I thought myſelf in any Danger, would wear a Breaſt-plate to repel his Force. 129 M4r 129 Force. But I have heard, ſaid Amoranda, Love is ſuch a ſubtle Thief, it finds a Way to the Heart, tho’ ever ſo ſtrongly guarded; beſides, ’tis a Pain we all like, tho’ we often complain on’t. You ſpeak, Madam, ſaid Maria, as if there were a good Underſtanding betwixt you, but deſire you will never introduce me into his Company; for I would always ſay with the old Song. I am free, and will be ſo. Well, well, ſaid Amoranda, I have ſeen as bold Champions for Liberty as you led home at laſt in Chains to grace the Victor’s Triumph: Cupid is an arbitrary Prince, and will allow none of his Subjects to pretend to Liberty and Property: But, come, ſaid ſhe, we’ll go up Stairs, that you may pull off your Habit, and look like one of the Family. After they had ſate awhile, Amoranda heard Formator’s Voice below Stairs; and ſaid to Maria, There is my honeſt Guardian come home, we will go down to him; he is one of the beſt men upon Earth. They found him in the Parlour, to whom Amoranda preſented her Relation; and he, with his wonted Good-manners, ſaluted and bade her welcome; then turning to Amoranda, ſaid, Madam, You are dreſſed exceeding gay To- night, I doubt you have had a Viſiter, and am ſure if you have, he is gone away in Fetters, for you look more than commonly engaging. Yes, ſaid Amoranda, ſo I have, and wonder you would go out, when I told you I expected him. I am 130 M4v 130 I am ſorry, ſaid Formator, I was not here, but did not think he would come ſo ſoon. That, ſaid Amoranda, muſt be an Affront either to him or me; for either you think my Charnms are not attractive enough, or you think him an unmannerly Fellow, who does not know a Viſit deferr’d is as bad as none: He told me, Formator, he knew me better than I thought he did; and I could have told him, I knew him better than he thought I did: But I was reſolved to give him his own Way, and ſaid not a Word of the Matter. Why? ſaid Formator, what do you know of him? I know, ſaid ſhe, he is a Marquis; that his Father is dead, that he has no Brother, and but one Siſter; that— How, Madam! ſaid Formator in the greateſt Surpriſe, do you know all this? did he tell you ſo? No Formator, ſaid ſhe, he did not tell me ſo, but one did that knows as well as himſelf: His Siſter rode by to-day, whom you might have ſeen had you been at home: An Accident happened juſt at our door almoſt, which obliged me to invite her in; and ſeeing her the very Picture of Alanthus, I enquired into her Family, of which ſhe gave me a full Account, without Reſerve; and told me, ſhe had but one Brother, and his Name was Alanthus. I ſee, ſaid Formator, this Alanthus has found the Way to pleaſe you; and this Diſcovery of his Family will countenance your Choice; but, Madam, as you have found out one Secret, I muſt 131 M5r 131 muſt now tell you another: Your Uncle, before I left him, had provided a Huſband for you, a Man of Worth, Wealth and Quality; and my Buſineſs was to take Care you marry’d no-body elſe: Now, Madam, if your Uncle’s Choice be every Way as good as your own, will you ſcruple to oblige him, when you cannot find one Objection againſt the Man? Why, Formator, ſaid ſhe trembling, have you uſed me ſo cruelly, as not to tell me this ſooner? Why did you let me ſee Alanthus, to whom I have given an Heart, which is not in my Power to recall? No, Formator, ſaid ſhe, I will die to oblige my deareſt Uncle, but I cannot ceaſe to love Alanthus. You yourſelf ſay, my Uncle’s Choice is but as good as my own; and if there be an exact Equality between the Men, why am not I to be pleaſed, who am to ſpend my Days with him? And why muſt I be forced into the Arms of a Man I never ſaw?
It would be cruel, indeed, ſaid Formator, to force you to marry a Man you never ſaw; but, Madam, you have ſeen him a thouſand Times; nay, and what is more, you love him too.
Formator, ſaid ſhe, with Tears in her Eyes, I did not expect this Uſage from you; it is falſe, by all my Love ’tis falſe; I never caſt an Eye of Affection towards any of your Sex in my Life till I ſaw Alanthus; and when I ceaſe to love him may I eternally loſe him: And when I ceaſe to encourage that Love, ſaid Formator, may 132 M5v 132 may I loſe your Eſteem, which Heaven knows I value more than any earthly good; and now, Madam, ſaid he, prepare for Joy, Alanthus is your Uncle’s Choice. Amoranda was ſo overwhelm’d with Delight at this happy Diſcovery, that ſhe ſat for ſome Time both ſpeechleſs and motionleſs: At laſt, Formator, ſaid ſhe, you have given me the moſt ſenſible ſatisfaction I am capable of; for I now find myſelf in a Condition to pleaſe a moſt indulgent, tender, kind, generous Uncle, and can at the ſame Time indulge my own Inclinations: But ſtill I am at a Loſs for a Meaning to ſome of your Words: Why do you ſay, if Alanthus be the Man, I have ſeen him a thouſand Times? Madam, ſaid Formator, you know there has been all along ſomething myſterious in that Gentleman’s Behaviour; but the next Viſit he makes you will ſet all in a clear Light, and you ſhall be ſatisfied in every Particular.
Very well, ſaid Maria; it is no Wonder, Madam, you have been ſtanding up for Love’s Prerogative all this while, I ſee you are an excellent Subject, and will fight for your Maſter: They ſay, Love is a catching Evil; I think inſtead of ſtaying all the Winter, I had not beſt to ſtay all the Week. What ſay you, Sir, ſaid ſhe to Formator, is it not infectious? Madam, ſaid he, I believe Love often creates Sympathy, but I never heard it was infectious: Love is a Paſſion of the Mind which moſt reſemblesſembles 133 M6r 133 ſembles Heaven; and that Heart which is not ſuſceptible of Love, is certainly filled with more inferior Paſſions: But I am an old Fellow, and have now forgot both the Pleaſure, Pain, and Power of it. No, Sir, ſaid Maria, I am ſure you have not quite forgot it; you ſpeak with too much Energy in its Behalf. I ſhould laugh, ſaid Amoranda, to ſee you two talk yourſelves into the Paſſion you are ſo very buſy about: You cannot imagine, Formator, with what Pleaſure I ſhould ſee you both made one. Madam, ſaid Formator, the Honour of being allied to you is a ſufficient Reaſon for breaking any Reſolution I have made againſt Matrimony; but I will certainly ſee your Nuptials over before I think of my own: Beſide, I fear this Lady will think me too old for her.
No, no, ſaid Amoranda, Maria is not very young herſelf, and you may have the Pleaſure of going together, and no Mortal take the leaſt Notice of either of ye. Aye, ſaid Formator, there lies the Burden ſo heavy upon old Shoulders; we do not only ſink under the Infirmities of Age, but we are deſpiſed for being old; tho’ the young are very generous, and willing to give us our Revenge, by being content to live till that deſpicable Time themſelves. I don’t think, ſaid Amoranda, any-body deſpiſes a Perſon for having ſixty Years on their Backs; but becauſe they then grow ſour, moroſe, cen 134 M6v 134 cenſorious, and have ſo great a Pique againſt the Young, that they won’t ſo much as remember they were ever ſo themſelves: Tell me, Formator, ſaid ſhe, you that are free from the Weakneſs of Age, is not my Notion juſt? Madam, ſaid Formator, your Judgement runs in too clear a Channel, to be ſtop’d by any Sediment: I have often thought old People take the moſt Pains to make themſelves diſagreeable. For my Part, ſaid Maria, I ſit and tremble to hear all this, and ſhall do nothing to Night but ſtudy how to avoid it. I once heard of a great Perſon who had one always by him, to put him in Mind he was a Man; and I think it would be very convenient for us to have ſome-body by us to put us in Mind we are growing old; that as he avoided Pride by the one, we may Folly by the other. Nay, ſaid Amoranda, we live in a very good-natur’d World, that will tell us our Faults without being hired to it; I’ll warrant you may meet with ten thouſand that will tell you for nothing you are an old Maid. Supper, and ſome other Chat of this Kind, put and End to the Evening, and two whole Days were ſpent without ſeeing or hearing from Alanthus; during which Time Amoranda was very uneaſy, and Maria, who ſhould have diverted her, had ſeen ſo much in Formator, that ſhe grew very dull, and wanted a Comforter herſelf; by which we may ſee there are Charms even in old Age, when it is dreſſedſed 135 N1r 135 ſed in the Ornament of an agreeable Temper. Formator, ſaid Amoranda, you that are privy to all, will you tell me what new Myſtery has introduced itſelf into the Behaviour of Alanthus now? Is there no End of his ambiguous Proceedings? And muſt I never ſee the Riddle more?
Madam, ſaid he, if you never do, I am ſatisfied Alanthus will have the greateſt Diſappointment, for I know he loves you with a Paſſion not to be match’d in Man: But if we hear nothing from him by To-morrow, I will go myſelf for Intelligence. The Morrow came, but ſtill no News; and Formator, who read a great Deal of Uneaſineſs in Amoranda’s Looks, told her, he would go juſt then and bring her News; but as he was drawing on his Boots, a Servant from Alanthus brought Amoranda a Letter. She took the welcome Paper, and found theſe Words:
Ido not complain, deareſt Amoranda, of an Indiſpoſition which has confind me to my Bed; but that I am robb’d of all my Joy, of all my Comfort, by being kept from her I love, from her I adore. Oh! that Amoranda had but Love enough herſelf to gueſs at mine, ſhe would then have ſome Notion of thoſe Torments which Abſence, cruel Abſence, creates in me: When I ſhall be able to throw myſelf at your Feet ’tis impoſſible for me N to 136 N1v 136 to know; but if yotu would haſten my Recovery, it muſt be by a Line from your dear Hand, to Your Burning Alanthus.
Amoranda’s Eyes ſoon made a Diſcovery of the Sentiments of her Heart, and Formator, who ſaw her Concern, told her, he would go and ſee Alanthus, and bring her better News. She waited with ſome Impatience for his Return, which was not till almoſt Night; and then he told her, it was only a ſlight Fever, which his Phyſician had aſſured him would go off in a few Days; and, in the mean Time, he would write to her every Day, till he was in a Condition to come in Perſon; which accordingly he did, and every Letter gave freſh Advice of his Recovery. When Amoranda found her loved Alanthus out of Danger, as all his Letter aſſured her he was, ſhe began to rally poor Maria: Madam, ſaid ſhe, you are grown ſtrangely grave of late; I thought, for ſome Time, it had been occaſioned by your Concern for me; but tho’ my Gaiety be return’d, yours is quite fled I think. Come, Formator, ſaid ſhe, I don’t know how far you may be concern’d in this Metamorphoſe, I aſſure you I expect a good Account of this Matter, and ſhall be very well pleas’d to ſay, Here comes my 137 N2r 137 my Couſin Formator,. Well, Madam, ſaid Formator, when I ſee you in the Arms of Alanthus, I faithfully promiſe you ſhall diſpoſe of Formator as you pleaſe: But, Madam, ſaid he, have you any Commands to Alanthus? I left two of his Servants at the Gate. No, no, ſaid ſhe, he’s well again now; but I leave that to you Formator, ſend what Meſſage you pleaſe. Formator went to diſmiſs the Men, and then Maria found her Tongue again. Madam, ſaid ſhe, how will you anſwer this Behaviour of yours to your Good-nature? To ſay ſo many ſhocking Things to me, before the very Man you fancy I have an Eſteem for: I declare, if I were not one of the beſt-natur’d old Maids in Europe, I ſhould reſent it paſt Forgiveneſs. Prithee, Child, ſaid Amoranda, don’t be ſo fooliſh, why, I can’t believe there’s any Difference betwixt an old Man and an old Woman; and I dare promiſe in Formator’s Name, if ever he marries, the Woman muſt ſpeak firſt. I don’t know how it is, ſaid Maria, but Formator’s Intellects ſeem to be perfectly ſound; and for his Out-ſide, there is nothing old belonging to it but his Beard, and that I confeſs is a very queer one, as ever I ſaw in my Life: For I have been here above a Fortnight, and I am ſure it has never been a Pin’s Point longer or ſhorter ſince I came. Why, really, ſaid Amoranda, I have often minded his Beard myſelf, and I ſometimes fancy the Man was born with it; N2 for 138 N2v 138 for he has never ſhaved it ſince he came here, and one would think it might in that Time have grown very well down his Waiſt: But I am glad to ſee you ſo chearful again; prithee what was the Matter with you to be ſo ſadly in the Dumps? Why, ſaid Maria, if I tell you the whole Truth, it will amount to no more than you have gueſſed already; and I ſhall make no great Scruple to tell you, if I ever liked a Man in my Life ’tis Formator. I am glad, ſaid Amoranda, it will be in my Power to ſerve you then; for you know, when I am married myſelf, I am to diſpoſe of him as I pleaſe: But what think you of the God of Love now., Mrs. Maria? I think of him now, ſaid ſhe, as I did before, that the Diſtemper he flings among Men is catching; however, he has but wounded, I am not ſlain: And if it were not for ſtaying to be your Bride-maid, I would fly for my Life, and leave the Place where I ſee myſelf in ſo much Danger.
But the poor Lady found herſelf in a much greater before the next Morning’s Dawn; for one of the careleſs Grooms had left a Candle in the Stable, which ſet the Hay on Fire, conſum’d the Stables, and burnt all the Horſes; and, for want of a timely Diſcovery, the Flames being very violent, they had catch’d hold of one End of the Houſe; but the Family being alarm’d it was ſoon put out.For- 139 N3r 139
Formator, as ſoon as he heard the dreadful Cry of Fire! jump’d out of Bed, ſlipp’d on his Night Gown, and ran to Amoranda’s Chamber; he found her up, and in a horrible Fright; but hearing Formator coming into her Chamber, ſhe turned to go with him out of the Houſe; and had no ſooner look’d upon him, than her Fear gave Place to her Surpriſe. My Lord, Alanthus! ſaid ſhe, how, or when came you here? Formator was as much ſurprized to hear her aſk ſuch a Queſtion, as ſhe was to ſee him there, and clapp’d his Hand to his Mouth to feel for his Beard, which in the Fright and Hurry he had forgot. Madam, ſaid he, I fly by Inſtinct when you are in Danger; but let me convey you hence, and in a ſafer Place I’ll tell you more. As they were going down Stairs, they met ſeveral of the Servants coming to tell them the Fire was quite extinguiſhed; upon which they return’d Up-ſtairs, and went into the Dining- Room. It being now fair Day-light, Maria, who had been all this While with them, and had had her Share of the Terror which had attended the Night, ſeeing Alanthus and Amoranda look with ſome Confuſion in both their Faces, began to recal her ſcatter’d Senſes, and compare the preſent with the paſt. This, Alanthus, ſaid ſhe to herſelf, is Formator in every thing but the filthy Beard, on which we have ſo lately animadverted; but I confeſsN3 feſs, 140 N3v 140 feſs, thought ſhe, it made a very great Alteration and I’ll try if I can find it out: She left the two Lovers, and went, as ſhe pretended, to ſee the ruin’d Stables. When Amoranda found herſelf alone with Alanthus; what, Sir, ſaid ſhe, am I to think of your being here at ſuch an Hour, in perfect Health, and in Formator’s Gown, when I thought you on a languiſhing Bed of Sickneſs in your own Houſe, or Lodgings? Muſt I always be a Stranger to your Intentions? Sure you have a very low Opinion of my Prudence, while you dare not truſt me ſo much as with your Name, or Family, and if I am acquainted with both, I owe my Intelligence to Chance; your Lordſhip will pardon me if I reſent it. Saying thus, ſhe roſe from her Seat, and was going, when Alanthus ſnatch’d her Hand, and ſaid, My adorable Amoranda, if I value myſelf for any Action of my Life, it is for carrying on ſo clean a Cheat ſo long a Time; I have been theſe eight Months under your Roof, and have never laid one Night abroad, have been daily converſant with you, and dined and ſupp’d at your Table, and yet you never ſaw me more than twice or thrice. While Amoranda was waiting for an Explication of what Alanthus had ſaid, ſhe ſaw Maria come laughing in with Formator’s Beard dangling at her Fingers Ends: Here, Madam, ſaid ſhe, Formator has caſt his Skin, and left it me for a Legacy;gacy; 141 N4r 141 gacy; for I plainly ſee it is all that will fall to my Share of the Man. Amoranda looked at the Beard, then at Alanthus: What, ſaid ſhe, do I ſee? or what am I to believe? not my Eyes, for they have deceived me already, not Alanthus, for he has deceived me too. I beg, my Lord, you will diſentangle my Underſtanding, and let me know at once, who, in Reality, you are; while you were Formator, I had all the Value and Eſteem for you which was due to a good Adviſer, and a careful Guardian: When I took you for Lord Alanthus, I look’d upon you as a Man of the higheſt Merit, as well as Quality; and the additional Service you did me in the Wood, gave you a very good Title to a Heart, which I thought you greatly worthy of; but now, that you are no longer Formator, I have done with you as a Guardian; and till I am better ſatisfied you are Lord Alanthus, I have done with you as a Lover too. Alanthus was very well pleaſed with her Caution, but reſolved to try her a little further, before he gave her that Satisfaction ſhe expected. Madam. ſaid he, was not the Authority I brought to introduce me ſufficient? Did I not give you a Letter from you Uncle’s own Hand, to receive me as a Friend?
Yes, ſaid Amoranda, to receive you as a Guardian, not as a Lover; to receive you as a Formator, not as Alanthus: And if you could ſo 142 N4v 142 ſo dexterouſly deceive me, perhaps you have done the ſame by him. I fear, Madam, ſaid Alanthus, you would be pleaſed to find me unworthy of you, and would be glad of a fair Pretence to make me a Stranger to your Favour. No, ſaid ſhe, Heaven knows, to find you any Thing but Lord Alanthus, would be the greateſt Diſappointment I am capable of knowing; and I have made too many Declarrations to Formator of my Love for Alanthus, to grow indifferent to him all of a Sudden: But ſuch a groſs Impoſition as this might prove, would not only ruin my Fortune, but call my Senſe in Queſtion too, tho’ I confeſs, there is one Circumſtance, which makes me hope you are the Man I wiſh; and that is, the Account I had from your Siſter of your Family: Nay, I have ſtill another, which will croud in to juſtify you: A Face I own you have, which ſays a thouſand Things in your Behalf, and reproaches me as often for my weak Suſpicion of you.
Let all Diſputes for ever ceaſe betwixt us, ſaid Alanthus, as I will this Hour give you Satisfaction. He went away to his own Apartment; and when he had dreſſed him, returned with a Paper in his Hand: Here, my Amoranda, ſaid he, let this convince you. She took the Paper from him, which ſhe knew to be her Uncle’s Hand, and found theſe Words:The 143 N5r 143
The Man, my deareſt Niece, who, ſome Months ago, appear’d to you as the grave, the wiſe, the old Formator, is now turn’d into the gay, the young, the accompliſh’d Lord Marquis of W――; and whenever he thinks fit to diſcover himſelf, it is greatly my Deſire you uſe him as ſuch. He has done me the Honour to accept of me for a Friend, and promiſed to make you the Partner of his Bed, if he liked you when he ſaw you, and could find a Means to win your Affections; if not, you will never know him for what he is.
When Amoranda had read the Paper over, ſhe re-aſſumed her chearful Looks, and Pleaſure diffuſed itſelf in every Muſcle of her Face: But, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, this Diſcovery being made by Chance, who can ſay you deſign’d it ſhould ever be made at all? I can, ſaid Maria, for I was ſo near running away with Formator, that my Lord Alanthus would have been glad to have brought himſelf off at the low Expence of a little Secret. Madam, ſaid Alanthus, if I had deſign’d to have liv’d in Maſquerade as long as I had ſtaid in your Houſe, you ſhould never have ſeen me as Alanthus at all, neither would I have ſtaid ſo long with you. I came to you diſguiſed like an old Man for two Reaſons; firſt, I thought the ſage Advice you ſtood in Need of, would ſound 144 N5v 144 ſound more natural, and be better receiv’d from an old Mouth than a young one; next, I thought you would be more open and free, in declaring your real Sentiments of every Thing to me as I was, than as I am. How good an Effect my project has met with, you are not, I hope, inſenſible; and I beg you will give me Leave to remind you of the vaſt Difference there is betwixt your Behavior then and now. My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, I am ſo, far from derogating from your Merit, that I own, when you firſt took me under your Care, I was a giddy, thoughtleſs, inconſiderate Mortal, fit only for the Company of thoſe Coxcombs I too frequently converſed with: But then, my Lord, you ſhall own, in your Turn, that I received all your Lectures and Admonitions with the Spirit of a willing Proſelite; that I was ready to give in to all your Maxims, and took your Advice as faſt almoſt as you gave it: But pray, my Lord, ſaid ſhe taking the Beard, let me once more ſee my good old Formator, let me once more behold you in that Dreſs, which ſo artfully deceived me, Methinks I grieve when I tell myſelf, I have loſt the good old Man. Aye, ſaid Maria, ’tis Pity ſo good a Character ſhould be a fictitious one; but, alaſs, for me! the Loſs is mine; and if my Lord aſſumes the Dreſs again, I ſhall certainly lay ſome Claim to the Man. Alanthus took the Beard, and dreſſed himſelf, as 145 N6r 145 as when Formator. Now my Lord, ſaid Maria, you are in the Height of all your Charms; the grave, ſententious, grey bearded Formator had certainly Attractives, which the gay ſmooth-chin’d Lord Alanthus wants. In your Eyes, ſaid Amoranda, remember the Fable, the Fox complain’d of Acids, when he could not reach at――And yet I can’t but love that Form myſelf, when I conſider the Advantages that accru’d to me under its Government, the juſt Rebukes, the friendly Perſuaſions, the Kind Admonitions, the aſſiduous Care, to turn Amoranda from Folly and Madneſs, to that Behaviour ſo ornamental to her Sex. Then it chaſtiſed the inſolent Deſigns of Callid, and repelled the rapid Force of Biranthus, when he ſhot my Coachman, and would have run away with myſelf. Can thoſe Things die in Oblivion? Can they be forgotten in a generous, grateful Heart? No! Formator’s Name ſhall always be dear to Amoranda, and ſhall for ever find a Reſting-Place in her Breaſt. Madam, ſaid Maria, you’ll ſpend ſo many Raptures upon my old Formator, that you will leave none for your own young Alanthus. Yes, ſaid Amoranda, I have one Acknowledgement to make Alanthus, which is equivalent to all the reſt, and that is the great Deliverence he brought me in the Wood: But now I think on’t, my Lord, you promiſed to tell me why you left me in ſuch exquiſite Diſtreſs,ſtreſs, 146 N6v 146 ſtreſs, when I ſued for your Aſſiſtance in that dreadful Place. Madam, ſaid he, You may pleaſe to remember, when you ſuffer’d yourſelf to be drawn from your own Houſe by thoſe two Impoſters, it was extremely againſt my Liking; and I ſaid as much as Modeſty would admit of to put a Stop to your Deſign, but when I found, by your excuſing them, you were reſolved to go, I went to my Servants, who are three Miles off, got on Horſeback, and with two of them rode directly to the Wood, where I knew the Scene would be acted, if they had any ill Deſign againſt you: I was there an Hour before I met you, and ranged about every part of it, till I heard ſome Voices; and when the baſe Arentia ſhrieked for her Life, I heard the Cry, and thought it had been yours; I then clapp’d Spurs to my Horſe, and was riding towards the Sound, when I met you. How full of Joy my Heart was when I ſaw you ſafe, I leave to every Heart, as full of Love to judge; but I was reſolved, if poſſible, to cure you, at once, of rambling with Strangers: In order to which I put on an Air of Cruelty, which, Heaven knows! my Heart had no Hand in, and rode from you; I knew it would give you double Terror, to ſee a Proſpect of Relief, then find yourſelf abandoned. And I likewiſe knew, the greater your Fear was then, the greater your Care would be for the future to 147 O1r 147 to avoid ſuch Enterpriſes: But I had yet a View in Favour of myſelf, and had Reaſon to believe, the greater your Deliverance was, the greater Value you would ſet upon your Deliverer; and thoſe Conſiderations carried me behind a Tuft of Trees, where I abſconded, till I ſaw you environ’d in the utmoſt Danger. Methinks, I yet behold my trembling Fair, with lift-up Hands, and watry Eyes, imploring Help, and ſtriving to convince me Biranthus was a Man, tho’ ſome Hours before, I ſeem’d ridiculous to her for only ſuſpecting it.
I own, My Lord, ſaid Amoranda, I owe a thouſand Obligations to your generous Care, and my whole Life will be too little to thank you for them, but—No more, Madam, ſaid he, interrupting her, I had a glorious Return for all that Care, when at Night, as Formator I heard the whole Story over again, and ſo much in Favour of the happy Stranger, as Jove himſelf would have liſtned to with Envy, and if ever Vanity had an Advantage over me, it was that pleaſing Minute. This call’d a Bluſh into Amoranda’s Cheeks, who ſaid, ſhe little thought when ſhe made a free Confeſſion to Formator, that Alanthus was within Hearing, But I have another Piece of Cruelty to lay to your Charge, my Lord: Since you had, by your Diſguiſe, found out my Weakneſs, and knew I had a Value for you, why did you ſend O me 148 O1v 148 me word you were in a dangerous State of Health, when at the ſame Time you had no Indiſpoſition but what proceeded from your Mind, in giving me Pain when you had none yourſelf? My deareſt Amoranda, ſaid he, pardon that one Trial of your Love, it was not poſſible for me to deny myſelf the exquiſite Pleaſure I knew your kind Concern would give me; but good Heavens! how did my longing Arms ſtrive to ſnatch you to my Boſom, when you had read that Letter, that I might have ſuck’d in the pleaſing Tears which drop’d from your lovely Eyes! Pray, Madam, ſaid Maria, will you order your Coach to carry me Home again? I am reſolved to go into my own Country, and pick up ſome ſweet Swain to ſay a few of theſe fine Things to me. My Lord, continued ſhe, will you be pleaſed to oblige me with that engaging Beard of yours, that if the Man, whom Intereſt perſuades me to, ſhould want exterior Charms, I may clap it on his Face, and fancy him Formator. With all my Heart, ſaid my Lord, there it is, and may it contribute as much towards your Happineſs, as it has done towards mine; but I believe you are the firſt Woman under thirty that ever fell in love with a grey Beard. Aye, or over it either, ſaid Amoranda, but pray, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, now that we have ſet Things in a little Order between ourſelves, give me, Leave to enquire after your beautiful Siſter; ſhe 149 O2r 149 ſhe promis’d to honour me with a few Days of her Company as ſhe return’d from Lord B――’s. Madam, ſaid Alanthus, you ſaw her ſince I did; I have wrote to her ſeveral Times ſince you told me ſhe was on this Side the Country, but have not ſeen her yet, nor does ſhe know where to write to me. While the Words were yet in their Mouths, Jenny came running in, and ſaid, the young Lady, who had been here ſome time ago, was come again in Lord B――’s Coach, and was juſt alighting. Pray, my Lord, ſaid Amoranda, put on your Diſguiſe once more, that I may have the Pleaſure of ſeeing your own Siſter as much deceived as I have been. My Lord clapp’d on the Beard, and Amoranda went to meet Lady Betty, (for ſo ſhe was called) and when ſhe had conducted her in, and the common Compliments had paſſed, Amoranda told Lady Betty, ſhe now claimed her Promiſe of ſtaying a few Days with her. Madam, ſaid Lady Betty, it is that Promiſe that has brought me here now; and had I never made it, you had ſeen no more of me: For I own, it was always my Opinion, that a Perſon who is not in perfect Good-Humour, ſhould never incumber other People with their Chagrin, of which I am at preſent ſo very full, that you muſt have an uncommon share of Good- nature, if you can bear with my Company. Methinks, ſaid Alanthus, diſguiſing his Voice as uſual, it is a Pity ſo young a Lady ſhould O2 have 150 O2v 150 have ſo early an acquaintance with any Thing that could ruffle her Temper; you have likely, Madam, left a Lover behind you, P’ſhaw, ſaid Lady Betty, you old Gentlemen always think a young Girl’s Mind ſo ſet upon Lovers, that they have Room for no other Thoughts: Though he that gives me a preſent Uneaſineſs is a Lover, I hope, but he is a Brother too. I remember, ſaid Amoranda, smiling, your Ladyſhip ſpoke of an abſent Brother laſt Time I had the Honour of ſeeing you; have you never ſeen him ſince? No, Madam, ſaid Lady Betty, I fancy he’s got into Fairy-Land,, he lets me hear from him, but will not tell me how he may hear from me, it is a little odd he ſhould make his own Mother and Siſter Strangers to his Abode. Madam, ſaid Maria, , has Your Ladyſhip any Faith in Aſtrology? This old Gentleman here is ſo well ſkill’d in the occult Sciences, that he can in a Quarter of an Hour tell you when and where you ſhall ſee your Brother; nay, I dare be bold to affirm, he can, without ſtirring out of the Room, ſhew him to you in his full Health and Strength, without ſo much as raiſing the Devil, to help him. Madam, ſaid Lady Betty; I ſhould never have taken the Gentleman for a Conjurer, he does not look like one; nor do I believe any Man upon Earth has a Power of doing what you have Promiſs’d in his Name, unleſs Lord Alanthus be in ſome Cloſet in this Room. No, 151 O3r 151 No, Madam, ſaid Alanthus, there is no Man in this Room but myſelf, and yet I believe, I could make a Shift to perform all thoſe Difficulties which the Lady has told you of. Amoranda, who ſat next to a Window which look’d into the Court, ſaw a Coach and ſix come in with Servants in her own Livery: Bleſs me, Formator, ſaid ſhe, who have we got here! Alanthus ran to the Window, and ſaw Mr. Traffick alighting. Oh! joyful Day, ſaid he, Madam, here is your Uncle! They ran to meet him, and brought him in to Lady Betty and Maria, ſo full of Raptures and tender Sentiments at the Sight of his beauteous Niece, that his Eyes ran over with Tears of Joy; no leſs did the Sight of his beloved Alanthus tranſport him. But how comes it, my Lord, ſaid he, that you are ſtill Formator? I thought by this Time I ſhould have met you with the Reſpect due to the worthy Lord Alanthus. Lady Betty, at thoſe Words, ſtood like one aghaſt, and looking round her for Interpretation, ſhe caſt her Eyes on Lord Alanthus, who had pull’d off his Beard, and whom ſhe ſaw in her Brother’s Form; but ſo far from running to him with the kind Careſſes of a Siſter, that ſhe ſhriek’d out, and fell in a Swoon: For Amoranda being an accidental Acquaintance, and Maria a perfect Stranger, who had juſt been telling her, the old Man was a Conjuror, and O3 ſhe 152 O3v 152 ſhe not expecting to find a Brother there, and ſeeing him all of a Sudden turned from an old Man, whom ſhe had never ſeen before, to a Brother, whom ſhe knew not where to find; ſhe thought herſelf in ſome inchanted Caſtle, and all about her Fiends and Goblins. The whole Company quickly ſurrounded her, and brought her to herſelf again, when Lord Alanthus took her in his Arms, and ſaid; Why, my dear Lady Betty, are you ſo extreamly ſurpriſed? Look round you, Madam, with Cheerfulneſs, and believe yourſelf in the Arms of your unfeigned Brother, and among your real Friends: This, my dear Siſter, is the Fairy-land where I have ſo long liv’d incognito; and there’s the Inchantreſs who, by a natural Magick, has kept me all this while in Chains of Love. Poor frighted Lady Betty, who had always done Amoranda Juſtice, in thinking greatly in her Favour, began to hear and believe all; and when ſhe had perfectly recover’d her Surpriſe, turn’d to Amoranda, and ſaid, from the firſt Moment I ſaw you, lovely Amoranda, I had an inward Impulſe to love you; and how well I am pleaſed with that Alliance I foreſee will be betwixt us, my future Behaviour ſhall ſhew; in the mean Time, I beg I may be let into the whole Affair, and know why Lord Alanthus affected the frightful Air of an old Man, rather than his 153 O4r 153 his own faultleſs Form. Madam, ſaid Amoranda, I hope I need not take much Time to perſuade your Ladyſhip to believe I am very proud of your promiſed Friendſhip, and ſhall always, with my utmoſt Induſtry, ſtrive to deſerve it; but for the Scheme of the Beard, ſince I had no Hand in it, I leave it to be explain’d by thoſe that had: Lord Alanthus and Mr. Traffick are the fitteſt to give your Ladyſhip an Account, which I leave them to do while I beg Leave to go and dreſs me. Amoranda and Maria went to their Dreſſing- rooms, while the two Gentlemen entertain’d Lady Betty with the Story ſhe deſired to hear. As ſoon as Amoranda and Maria returned, Lord Alanthus went to the former, and taking her by the Hand, ſaid, I hope my deareſt Amoranda, you remember what a long Time of Self-denial I have had; and that during Formator’s Reign, I never durſt ſo much as touch your Hand, tho’ my Heart had ten thouſand Flutters and Struggles to get to you; but as we are now Bare-faced, and know one another, as we have determined to make each other happy, I beg you will no longer procraſtinate my Joy, but let this Day, this very Day, clap us into Hymen’s Fetters, there to remain till Death do us part. The whole Company joined in the Requeſt of Alanthus, and Mr. Traffick added a Command, which met 154 O4v 154 met with no Oppoſition. Every Thing was immediately prepared, and the Nuptials ſolemnized that Fore-noon, to the very great Satisfaction of all Parties; and after a Week more ſpent where they were, they all took Coach, and went to London, where the Reader, if he has any Buſineſs with them may find them.