A1r

The
Fair Hebrew:

or, a
True, but Secret
History
of
Two Jewish Ladies,
Who lately resided in London.

The Second Edition.

London,
Printed for J. Brindley in New-Bond-Street, W. Meadows
and J. Walthoe in Cornhill, A. Bettesworth in Pater-
Noster-Row
, T. Astley in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, T. Worral
in Fleet-Street, J. Lewis in Covent-Garden, J. Penn in
Westminster-Hall and R. Walker at the White-Hart without
Temple-Bar. 17291729.

A1v A2r

The
Preface.

There are so many Things,
meerly the Effect of Invention,
which have been published, of
late, under the Title of Secret
Histories
, that, to distinguish
this, I am obliged to inform my
Reader, that I have not inserted one Incident
which was not related to me by
a Person nearly concerned in the Family of A2v
of that unfortunate Gentleman, who had
no other Consideration in the Choice of a
Wife, than to gratify a present Passion
for the Enjoyment of her Beauty.

I found something so particular in the
Story, and so much Room for the most useful
and moral Reflections to be drawn from
it, that I thought I should be guilty of an
Injury to the Publick in concealing it. If
among all who shall read the following
Sheets, any one Person may reap so much
Advantage as to avoid the Misfortunes
the Subject of them fell into by
his Inadvertency, and giving a Loose to
Passion; the little Pains I have been at,
will be infinitely recompenc’d.

B1r 1

The Fair Hebrew:
A
Secret History.

Prodigious are the Effects of
Beauty! Strength, Valour, Wisdom,
and even Piety itself, are
not sufficient to defend us from
the Attacks of this all-captivating Enemy.
The insinuating Glances of two lovely Eyes
have Power to melt the roughtest Warrior
to Effeminacy, make the Statesman forget
his cunning, unlock the Cabinets of Princes,
and from the Altar draw the suppliant Votary;
the sweet Enchantment so fills up the
Soul, that it drives all other Considerations B thence, B1v 2
thence, and reigns alone triumphant and
adored.

The gravest and most credible Historians,
from the beginning of Time, hand
down to us innumerable Instances of the
Truth of this Assertion; but among them
all, there is not a Lover to be found, who
ventured, or that suffered more in the Pursuit
of his amorous Inclinations than did
the Subject of the following Pages:

Young Dorante, Heir to a considerable
Estate, being just arrived from his Travels,
in which he had improved his Studies, with
all that can compleat a fine Gentleman;
among other youthful Frollicks, took it into
his Head one Day to go, with some of his
Companions, to the Jews Synagogue: An
improper Place, the Reader will imagine,
to search for Beauty in, those People never
suffering their Females to appear with Faces
uncovered at their Devotion. It was here,
however, that poor Dorante received an
Impression he was never able after to erace;
happening to stand just under the Lattice
behind which the Women sit, he saw a
Handkerchief drop from it, and fall at his
Feet; he immediately took it up, and lifting
it towards the Place whence it fell, the
finest Hand in the World was put forth to
receive it. So beautiful a Sample filled him with B2r 3
with the most earnest Desire to see the whole
Piece, but that was impossible in the present
Situation: He was resolved, however,
to attempt it, and, communicating his Intentions
to those that were with him, who
were none of them very scrupulous, they
agreed to force into the Place where the
Ladies were. The Pass being guarded only
by one old Jew, they easily accomplished
their Design, and Dorante made directly
to that Part of it where the Handkerchief
had dropp’d. The beautiful Owner had still
her Glove off, and the Delicacy of her Hand,
as well as the Lustre of a fine Ring, which
he had taken particular Notice of, it being
a large Emrald with a Diamond drill’d
through the middle, directed him which
of that numerous Assembly it was, who must
gratify his Curiosity. Her Face being close
muffled in her Hood, as is the Custom with
them, he would have been little the better
for what he had done, if he had not ventured
to proceed yet farther, and remove
the Obstacle from the Head of the fair
Israelite. But, he had no sooner been guilty
of the Presumption, than he repented it,
two Eyes of such an angry Radience broke
upon him as at once charmed and awed
his Boldness: He was preparing to say something
in excuse of it, when the whole SynagogueB2 gogue B2v 4, being alarmed by the Jew who unwillingly
had given Entrance to these Strangers,
came to the Relief of their Wives and
Daughters, and, partly by Force, and partly
by Persuasions, at length got them out of
that forbidden Place. Dorante, however,
was not to be hindred from standing at the
Door of the Synagogue, watching his Charmer
coming forth, nor when he saw her
do so, led by a grave old Man, from following
where he conducted her. Having
seen them enter a large spacious House, he
easily informed himself in the Neighbourhood
to whom it belonged, and that the
Beauty to whom he had already devoted
himself, was only Daughter to the Master
of it, and call’d Kesiah; that she was yet
unmarried, and had the Character of the
wittiest and best humour’d of all the Maids
of her Religion. His next Care was, how to
let her know the Passion she had inspired
him with; his late Behaviour at the Synagogue,
he knew, would render any Pretence
he could make of seeing her at Home, wholly
innefectual, and, among the rest of his
Intelligence, he also learn’d, that she was
never suffered to go abroad without her Father,
one of her Brothers, or some other
Relation to have a Guard over her Actions. The B3r 5
The only Means, therefore, left him was
to write to her, which he did in these Terms.

“To the most beautiful Kesiah. As you had Cause to be surprized at the
Insolence of a Stranger, who, contrary
to the Rules of your Religion, and
indeed good Manners, would not yesterday
be denied the Sight of your Face, you will
certainly be much more so, that he who
committed that Crime, dares not only
to avow it, but depends also on your Mercy
for Pardon. It was Curiosity which
occasioned my Boldness, but Love alone
could oblige me to declare to you who it
was had been guilty of it. The Suddenness
with which I received the Impression
of your Charms, while it convinces
me of the almighty Power of them, at
the same Time makes me believe it the
irresistible Impulse of Fate, which compelled
me, contrary to my Nature, and
the Regard I bear to all Places sacred to
Divine Worship, to an Action that indeed
can no otherwise be excused.—I have
seen you, O most adorable Kesiah!
but once, and then too but for a Moment,
yet has that transient View done
more than all the Beauties of those difdifferentferent B3v 6
Kingdoms I have been in, could
effect on the nearest Admission to their
Charms. It is certain that I am doom’d
blest or miserable to excess; but which,
lies only in your own divine Breast to
determine.—If you would permit a Correspondence
with me, I flatter myself
there is a possibility of testifying that I
am less unworthy the Happiness I aim
at, than my late Behaviour may make
you think. I need not enumerate the
many Obstacles which prevent my paying
you those publick Devoirs, which
are your Beauty’s due, you know them
too well, and that will I hope be a sufficient
Excuse for my entreating you will
accept the Offer I make you of my Eternal
Services in the Way I am allowed
to do it. Be assured, that I love you
more than Life, and that nothing can
afford me so sensible a Pleasure as the
Means to give you Proofs of it. Till then,
I beg but to be receiv’d in the Train of
your Admirers, and that since a nearer
Conversation is at present foreign to my
Hopes, a Line from that charming Hand
may inform me, you disdain not the Oblation
of a Heart so sincere and passionate
as that of your
Dorante.”
He B4r 7

He sent this by a Servant in whom he
could confide, strictly charging him to
watch about the House, till he should see
Kesiah alone at the Door or Window, and
when he did so, to deliver it to her, and
press for an Answer. The Fellow executed
his Commission so well, that no Person in
the Family had any Suspicion of him. The
Charming Hebrew happened to come to a
Parlour Window, where she sat down in a
musing Posture, which convincing Dorante’s
Emissary that none was near, he approached
and surprized her with putting
the Billet into her Hands. “From whom
is this!”
cried she, “you will be satisfied, Madam,
when you have read it,”
answered he,
“my Commands were only to deliver it, and
entreat an Answer, which if you please, I
will attend in three or four Hours, with
the same Precaution as I have taken in giving
you this.”
He had no sooner spoke these
Words than he retired, leaving her at Liberty
to examine the Contents. Tho’ she
knew not the Name of Dorante, nor had a
Thought at that Time of what had happened
in the Synagogue, yet at her first Sight casting
her Eyes on it, perceiving it was a
Declaration of Love, she immediately run
to a more private Place to read it, well
knowing that if she were discovered in that B4v 8
that Employment, it would be the last she
should have an Opportunity of receiving.
But the Contents no sooner informing her
of the Author, than she was fill’d with a
Pleasure which no Words are able to describe.
The Boldness of Dorante had
been so far from rendring him disagreeable,
that she had ever since remembred him
with a Wish that it might be something
more than bare Curiosity which had caused
it. The strict Restraint she was kept in
by her Parents, had heightened her Desire
of Liberty, and she looked on their Care,
as a kind of Bondage. To add to all this, she
had an Aversion, not only for all the Men
of her Religion, but also for the Laws and
Customs of the Religion itself, and desired
nothing more than to become a Christian.
Dorante’s Person and Principles were both
Charming to her, and she resolved not only
to encourage his Addresses, but also, if
she found his Pretentions honourable, to
quit every Thing for him. She indulged
Meditation on this new and pleasing Conquest
for a considerable Time; but then
remembring the Messenger of her Lover
had told her he would wait her Answer,
she began to think in what Manner she
should prepare one, which at length she
resolved on, and wrote these Lines:

To C1r 9 “To the worthy Dorante. Your Behaviour in the Synagogue
would certainly have been an unpardonable
Fault, were I a Bigot to the
Religion in which I have been educated;
but my Heart is so much inclined to yours,
that I cannot, without doing a Violence
to my self, believe a Christian can be
guilty of a base Action. Impute my forgiveness,
therefore, to the good Will I
bear your Principles, as also the Condescention
of this Answer. As for the Passion
you profess, I have past the few Years
of my Life in too close a Restraint to be
any Judge of it at all, much less know
what to think of it in a Person so entirely
a Stranger to me; ’Tis Time and
Perseverance only can assure me the little
Beauty I am Mistress of can have made
any serious Impression on your Heart;
neither is it necessary I should ask my
self the Question, how far I ought to
be influenced by it, till I am first satisfied
in the other. I would not be too
forward in believing my self obliged, nor
ungrateful when I find I am so.— I give
you leave, however, to entertain me with
your Letters as frequently as you please: C “only 10 C1v
only be sure to observe a proper Circumspection
in the Delivery of them: The
least Suspicion of such a Correspondence
being of the utmost Prejudice to what
you at present term your Inclinations, as
well as to the Repose of
Kesiah”

Having sealed this and put it into her
Pocket, she took her Post at the Parlour
Window, where she found already the faithful
Messenger attending, she threw it immediately
out, and shut the Window, as
well to conceal her Blushes from his sight,
as any other Reason. The Modesty inherent
to Virginity, would not suffer her to
think she had entred into an Intrigue with
a young Gentleman in this clandestine
Manner, without some Mixture of Shame;
but the Liking she had to him, and the
Apprehensions that she should perhaps be
forced to Marry a Jew, if she did not dispose
of herself otherwise, made her chuse
rather to sustain this little Shock than be
exposed to so terrible a Misfortune.

’Twould be impossible to represent the
Transport of Dorante at the Receipt of
so obliging an Answer. He had been in
the most poignant Disquiet after his sending
that Letter, he remembred with how much C2r 11
much seeming Disdain she looked upon him
when he threw back her Hood, and expected
from her the most severe Reply that
haughty and offended Wit could form. A
thousand Times, he wished he had not writ;
was beginning to examine his Heart, if there
were a Possibility for it to banish her Idea,
so firmly did he believe he should have Occasion
to exert all his Resolution for Relief
from so hopeless a Passion.—What Extacies
then must such an unlook’d for Condescention
raise! how must his Bosom swell with
new Delight, as the Poet says, “Kindness has resistless Charms,All Things else but faintly warms:It gilds the Lover’s servile Chain,And makes the Slave grow pleas’d and
vain.”

Before he struggled with his Passion, used
his utmost Efforts to prevent the Growth
of it, and even quarrelled with himself, that
he had not Strength enough of Mind to
overcome it; but now, on the contrary, he
indulged, he cherished the sweet Idea,
thought it his Glory and his Happiness to
Love, and would not for the World have
returned to his former Insensibility. ’Tis
not therefore to be doubted, but that in this
Disposition of Mind, he failed not to ply her C2v 12
her with Letters, having her Permission to
send them; to all which, he received Answers
that gave him no Reason to despair:
He prevailed so far at length as to have
Leave to entertain her at a little Window,
which opened from a low Stair-case, at
Midnight, when all the rest of the Family
were in Bed; there did he make a thousand
Protestations of an inviolable Love and
Fidelity: She seemed pleased with the Assurances
he gave her, and in Return, confessed
he was not indifferent to her, and that
she would scruple to afford no Testimonies
of her good Will to him, provided his Requests
transgress’d not the Bounds of Honour.
He started a little at that Exception,
and rather evading than answering any
Discourse of that Kind, she took Notice of
it with a Disdain becoming a virtuous Maid,
telling him she had too much Cause to fear
the specious Pretences of Love he made
her, were so many Baits for her Undoing;
and, that if he would not resolve to become
her Husband, she would withdraw all farther
Conversation with him. It was but
in vain that he alledged nothing could be
so pleasing to him as the certainty of passing
his whole Life with her; but that he feared
the Difference of the Religions in which
they were educated, would take away all Possibility C3r 13
Possibility of what she desired. “That,” said
she, “can be no Obstacle on your Side, because
I am ready to embrace your Faith,
and will the Moment I forsake my Father’s
House be Baptiz’d. I must indeed in renouncing
Judaism, renounce also all Hope
of ever possessing the Inheritance of my
Birth, and perhaps too run an iminent
Hazard of my Life, could the Tribes, by
any StatagemStratagem, get me afterwards in their
Power: But you, what Danger do you incur?
unless it be a short Displeasure from
your Father for marrying without a Portion,
and that, I doubt not to attone for the
Want of, by my Love, Virtue, and good
Conduct.”
Dorante coolly replied, that
were he certain his Father would be brought
so far to pardon as to leave him a Competency
to maintain her, he should himself
look on her Beauty and Perfections as a
sufficient Dowry; but this Answer not satisfying
her, she bad him consider on what
she had said, and see her no more, if he
resolved not on Compliance. With these
Words she shut the Window, and retired
with so much Precipitation, that he could
not have resum’d the Conversation, if he
had been inclined to it. He went Home
greatly discontented with this Night’s Adventure:
He loved the fair Kesiah, ’tis true, C3v 14
true, with an Extremity of Passion; but as
it had never entered into his Head to make
her his Wife, the Proposal shock’d him
beyond Measure: He thought he could have
retained her forever as a Mistress, but could
not reflect on forfeiting his Father’s Affection,
and the World’s Esteem of his Prudence,
by so unsuitable a Match, without
shocks, which, for a while, stifled his Inclination:
The more he reflected, the more
he determined never to be guilty of what
he knew he must expect no Pardon for,
and swore to himself to think on her no
more. But how vain is Reason when oppos’d
to love, he had the fatal Dart fast
sticking in his Heart! and tho’ he felt not
the Pain of it in the first Hurry of Surprize
at her Behaviour, yet it soon returned
with double Anguish on him, her Beauty,
and her Professions of Virtue, set her before
the Eyes of his Imagination, in so
charming a Light, that he began to think
he could not suffer too much for so meritorious
an Object. In fine, his Passion got
the better, and all overwhelmed in a Torrent
of Desire, he resolved to venture every
Thing for her Enjoyment. He assured her
of it by a Letter he wrote for that Purpose,
in which he made the most solemn
Promises to become her Husband assoon as she C4r 15
she would give him the Opportunity. On
which she consented to see him the same
Night at their usual Rendezvous the Window,
where he confirmed by many Oaths
the Contents of his Letter,.

People who scruple not to falsify their
Promises easily make them, but those who
are with great Difficulty prevailed on to
give an Assurance of any Thing, are for
the most Part very punctual in their Performance
of it; the very Deliberation they
take before they enter into an Engagement,
testifies they know the Weight of it,
and that they will not oblige themselves
beyond their Power or their Will to execute.
Kesiah had penetration enough to
discover, that since Dorante had so solemnly
protested he would make her his
Wife, he meant nothing more than to do
so; and, therefore agreed to his Desires of
quitting the next Day her Father’s House
for ever.

Early the next Morning he procured a
Ring and Licence, and, going to a Part of
the Town where he was entirely unknown,
took Lodgings for himself and Kesiah,
not telling the People of the House, that
it was a Bride and Bridegroom they were
to entertain, but pretending to have been
married some Time, and that his Wife and
himself were just come to London. This Story C4v 16
Story was as readily believ’d as spoken, and
the appointed Hour for Kesiah’s Escape
being now come, he met her at a Place they
had before prefixed, then went immediately
to an adjacent Church, and ty’d the
indissoluble Knot.

It was not many Hours, before the fair
Fugitive was miss’d by her careful Father,
who, having in vain enquired for her of all
the Servants, ran to her Chamber, and, finding
her Jewels, and what else she had of
easy Carriage, removed, as well as her self,
he no longer doubted if she was gone with
an Intention to return no more. At last
bethinking himself of searching a little Cabinet
she had, he found the first Letter
Dorante had written to her after the Adventure
in the Synagogue. The Contents
of it informed him, it came from that Person
who had occasioned so great a Disorder
that Day among them, and as he had
taken the greatest Care to keep her from
the Speech of all Mankind, especially the
Christians, he presently imagined it must
be this young Gentleman who had appeared
more charming, than all the Principles
of her Duty and Religion. Distraction
scarce comes up to the Rage of Temper
he was in at this first Discovery of his
Misfortune, and the eternal Ruin, as he termed D1r 17
term’d it of an only Daughter: But when
the emotions of Grief and Fury had a
little exhausted themselves in Exclamations,
and Consideration assum’d its former
Seat in his disorder’d Soul, he set himself
to Enquire who this Dorante was, where
he Lived, and of what Reputation and
Quality. His diligence soon made him
acquainted with all the Particulars he desired
to know concerning him: And among
them being told that his Father was
one of the most grave and sober Gentlemen
of his Time, he went to him, showed
him the Letter his Son had sent, declar’d
his Behaviour in the Synagogue, and
the Reasons he had to believe it was no
other than himself, who had seduced the
unfortunate Kesiah from her Obedience.

It is impossible to express Surprize and
Trouble in Terms pathetick enough to make
the Reader sensible how much of both the
old Gentlemen felt at this recital of the
Jew: He had been told by his Servants
that Dorante of late kept very ill Hours,
and now asking them some farther Questions,
one of them inform’d him, that
hapning to be out one Evening much later
than the Rules of that Family permitted,
he saw his young Master holding Discourse
with a Lady at a Window: He then describedD scribed D1v 18
the Street and House in so particular
a Manner, that the old Hebrew immediately
cried out it was his own, and
that doubtless it was Kesiah, who Entertain’d
him at that Hour and Place. On
which the Father of Dorante grew more
perplex’d, and feeling the Sorrows of the
Lamenting Jew, he gave his solemn Promise
to discourse his Son on the Affair in
such Terms, as shou’d oblige him to restore
his Daughter, or forfeit his Favour
for ever. He desired he wou’d tarry some
Time, because he was in Expectation of
Dorante’s Return, who was not accustom’d
to go Abroad so Early, nor stay so
many Hours together out of the House as
he had done that Day. The Israelite willingly
complied, but Night coming on,
and no Dorante appearing, he was compell’d
to take his Leave, tho’ somewhat
better satisfied with the old Gentleman’s
Behaviour, than he had been before he
saw him, hoping there was still a possibility
of recovering his Daughter before her
Ruin was compleated, from the Assurances
he had receiv’d of his good Will to
serve him, and utter abhorrence of his
Son’s Proceedings.

But Kesiah was in the mean time taking
particular Care to disappoint all the Endeavours D2r 19
Endeavours might be used for obliging her
Return, she was not only married lawfully
to Dorante, but, the better to secure herself
from her Father’s Power, she entirely
renounced Judaism, embrac’d Christianity,
and was baptized, and receiv’d into the
Church of England, with all the Forms
and Ceremonies necessary to render it dangerous,
for even the Authority of a Parent
to give her any Interruption.

Dorante loved her to Madness, was
Ravish’d with the Possession of what he
Esteem’d so great a Treasure, yet were his
Pleasures mingled with Gall, when he reflected
he had sold his Liberty, enter’d
into an Engagement which Death alone
cou’d release him from, and run the
Hazard of displeasing for ever the best,
and hitherto most tender of Fathers, he
was ready to dye with remorse, nor cou’d all
the softnesss of Kesiah, nor even the Raptures
of her Enjoyments, put these Considerations
wholly out of his Mind. Not that
his Affection diminish’d by being become
Master of his Wishes, but the tenderness
he had for his dear Bride serv’d but to
enhance his Grief on remembring, that if
it shou’d not be in his Power to reconcile
his Father to what he had done, how miserable
also this Marriage wou’d make her; D2 He D2v 20
He knew she had been bred with all imaginable
delicacy, and coul’d ill endure the
pinching Gripes of Want; the few Bills
of Exchange, Mony and Jewels they both
had, wou’d soon be Exhausted, and as it
wou’d then be no way in his Power to
support her, he even trembled to think to
what Miseries he might see her reduc’d,
without the Capacity of affording her any
other Consolation, than that melancholy
and ineffectual one of suffering with her.

He was also extreamly puzzled what
excuse to make to his Father for absenting
himself from his Presence, the
space of a whole Day and Night, resolving
to keep the Knowledge of the Truth
as long as possible from him: But how
great was his Consternation, when the first
Words he heard from his Mouth were
Reproaches, for having seduced a young
Maid of the Jewish Religion. “I wou’d
not have the Ruin of any one,”
said the
old Gentleman, “alledg’d to my Family,
and him that perseveres in an attempt unworthy
of him, must expect to be discarded
by me, and made an alien to my Name
and House;”
it was to no purpose that Dorante
endeavour’d either to evade this
Accusation, or deny the Truth of it. His
Father seem’d positive in the Fact, and grew D3r 21
grew more incens’d at his refusing to acknowledge
it. And when he Swore, as
well he might, that he had not the least
design to the Prejudice of any Woman’s
Honour, much less that of Kesiah, he
seem’d in the old Gentleman’s Opinion to
be turn’d every way a Libertine: For he
had not the most distant Notion that there
was a Marriage in the Case, and cou’d not
suppose his Son had perswaded her from
her Fathers House, for no other purpose
than to Live with him in a Platonick
Love. He therefore bad him avoid his
Sight, and come no more before him, till
he had restor’d the Maid to her Parents.
Dorante on this made a low Bow, and
went out of the House, saying only that
he hoped Time and Reflection wou’d be
his Friends.

With how much discontent was therefore
the Nuptial of this young Gentleman
accompanied, he return’d to his Bride, hoping
to have receiv’d some Comfort in this
Vexation from her Endearments: But on
the contrary, she flew into the extreamest
Rage against him, for not having related
the whole Truth to his Father. “What,”
said she, “am I unworthy to be call’d your
Wife? Is my Person and Character of such
mean estimation in your Account, that you imagine D3v 22
imagine you have degraded yourself, by
marrying me, so far that ’tis past a Parent’s
Power to forgive it? But think not,”
continued
she, “that I will be look’d on as a Prostitute;
no, I will proclaim the only Measures
cou’d have made me yours, attest my
Virtue, and defy those Scruples which render
you unjust in Concealing what I am.”

All that Dorante cou’d urge to the contrary
of this Resolution proved in Vain, she
was rash, opinionated, and obstinate, and
in spite of all he cou’d say, wrote to his
Father in the following Terms:

“Sir, Iam, as the Duty of my Character
obliges me, extreamly concern’d that
my dear Dorante shou’d have incurr’d
your displeasure on any score relating to
me: Tho’ I am perfectly convinc’d it is
owing to himself in not acquainting you
that the Woman he now Lives with is
his Wife, that she made no difficulty to
renounce her Father, Family, and Religion
to embrace his, because she loves
him: But wou’d much sooner have chose
all the Torments of a fruitless Passion,
nay, Death itself, than have been his by
any dishonourable Tye. I was Educated,
Sir, in the strictest Rules of Virtue, and ‘my D4r 23
my Inclinations are such, as will never
render my Perseverance in obeying them,
uneasy to me. I, therefore, doubt not,
but you will much readier pardon your
Son’s Marriage with me, than you wou’d
have done his undoing a Maid wholly
Innocent, and unpractis’d in Deceit. And
in this Confidence, I fear not to declare
the Truth, and entreat a Blessing for,
Your most obedient Daughter,
and humble Servant,Kesiah.”

This being sent to the old Gentleman,
all, and more than ever Dorante had
apprehended was the Consequence: The
Messenger; being order’d to wait an Answer,
the enraged Father granted one
which contain’d these Lines:

“To Dorante. Ihave just receiv’d a Letter from a
Woman who Calls herself your Wife,
and I perceive is the same Jew on whose ‘Score, D4v 24
Score, I think, I said too much for her
to presume to have made any such declaration
of me, were not both of you as
Void of Understanding, as you are of
Obedience.—I scarce believe you have
made so ill an use of the Education I
have given you, as to throw yourself away
in that Manner, and forfeit all hope
of ever obtaining my Pardon.—But in
this Stratagem you have form’d to deceive
me, be assured you have only deceiv’d
yourselves: I shall never acknowledge a
Person, such as she, for my Daughter,
nor you for my Son, till great Repentance
and a thorough return to Virtue,
shall obliterate the Memory of your Faults.
Morosino.”

Dorante, who expected nothing less,
was not surpriz’d that his Father had answer’d
in this Manner: He now cou’d not
forbear remonstrating to Kesiah how imprudent
she had been; but she had too much
obstinacy to confess she had been in the
Wrong, and still persevered in endeavouring
to sooth him with the Hope, that in a
short Time the Storm wou’d blow over.
He knew too well the Violence of his Father’s
Temper to appear before him, till the E1r 25
the Affair shou’d be a little mitigated, and all
he cou’d do was, to apply to some Friends
who were intimate with Morosino; but
their Endeavours to procure a Reconciliation
were ineffectual; and, on the contrary,
the Confirmation he receiv’d from them of
Dorante’s Marriage, so much heighten’d
his Indignation against him, that he Vowed
to disinherit him, and make his younger
Son the sole Master of his Possessions after
his decease.

The new wedded Pair were, therefore,
oblig’d to depend wholly on themselves for
Support, and every Day diminishing their
small Stock of Mony, their Rings and
Watches were their next supply. Neither
of them had yet had any occasion to practise
frugality, and being wholly unacquainted
with a narrowness of Circumstances,
cou’d not tell how to Contract their
Expences proportionable to their present
Condition: Especially Kesiah, who was
naturally Proud, vain Glorious, and Extravagant,
in her Diet and Apparel, and when
they had reduced themselves to the last
Guinea, Dorante having Persons who offer’d
to furnish him with Mony, as not
doubting but they shou’d be paid either by
Morosino, or himself after the old Gentleman’s
decease, that Inconsiderate Wife E not E1v 26
not only perswaded him to accept their
Proposals, but also privately borrowed pretty
large Sums of Mony from as many as she
cou’d prevail upon to Lend.

While Things were in this unhappy
Position, they receiv’d a considerable Addition
to their Charges, viz. One Night as
Dorante and his Wife were in Bed, they
were suddenly awaked by a loud knocking
at the Door; a Servant belonging to the
People of the House having demanded the
Occasion, came and acquainted Kesiah
that a Gentleman with a Lady in his Arms,
who seem’d either dead or dying, desired
to speak with her immediately. She was
a little frighted at first, imagining it to be
some Stratagem of the Jews to get her into
their Power, and revenge the Renunciation
she had made of their Religion; but
Dorante removed that Apprehension by
throwing on his Nightgown, and running
down Stairs himself to be inform’d of the
Truth. He found as the Maid had said, a
young Man of a very good Aspect, tho’
full of Trouble, holding in his Arms a Woman
richly habited, but who appear’d to
be no longer among the Number of the
Living. “Where, Oh! where is Kesiah or
her Husband?”
Cryed the Stranger, “a moment
of lost Time may deprive the World of E2r 27
of its most Valuable Treasure.”
Dorante
on this, telling him that he had the good
Fortune to be married to Kesiah. “I am
certain then,”
reply’d the other, “you want
not Generosity to afford us that Succour,
which the most strange Accident has made
us stand in need of.”
Kesiah, who was listning
on the Staircase, ran down, Crying out,
“my Brother!” But the Person she call’d so,
bad her cease any Exclamations, and shew
him where he might lay his fair Burthen,
who he said had yet some remains of Life
within her. She then Conducted him to
her Chamber, and helping him to undress
the Lady put her into Bed, and applied proper
Remedies to bring her out of her fainting.
Dorante had never in his Life felt
greater Curiosity for any thing than he did
now, for the Knowledge of an adventure
which appear’d so odd, but neither he nor
Kesiah had Opportunity to make such a
Demand, the Indisposition of their Beautiful
Guest employing all their Cares. The
Brother of Kesiah wou’d needs watch
with her the whole Night, entreating Dorante
and his Spouse to take Repose, which
they at last consented to do in another Room,
after having seen the lovely Stranger in a
much better State than she had been.

E2 Kesiah E2v 28

Kesiah, visiting her early the next Morning,
found the greatest danger she was in,
was occasioned by Weakness, and a certain
Grief, which being settled at her Heart,
cou’d not be sometimes restrain’d from overflowing
in her Eyes, the Caresses which
were given her on all Sides, however, greatly
revived her, and that Day she began, not
only to look about, but also to talk to those
who appear’d so obliging to her. Among
other Expressions of her Gratitude: “Dreadful
and unparallel’d as are my Misfortunes,”

said she, “it yet affords me some Pleasure
to find, there are some who are generous
enough to pity me.”
—Then, turning her
Head towards Abimelech, for so the Brother
of Kesiah was call’d, “Excellent Man!” pursued
she, “the Act of Goodness you have
shown to me, ought to be Registred in indelible
Characters, beyond the iron Teeth
of Time, or Envy to erace.”
These Words
encreasing the Consternation of those
who were Strangers to the meaning of
them, Kesiah, as taking the most Liberty,
desired her Brother no longer to defer
acquainting them with the Adventure,
which had rendred him of so much Service
to this Lady, but as he was about to
make reply. “Hold, I beseech you, generous
Abimelech”
, cry’d the Lady, “it will add to my E3r 29
my Confusion, that the fair Kesiah and
her obliging Spouse, shou’d be told the
Faults of their unhappy Guest, without being
made acquainted also with the Excuses
I have to alledge for the alleviation of my
Crime: And since no Body but myself can
relate the Circumstances by which I was
undone, permit the Story may be Conceal’d
till I am in a Condition capable of relating
it.”
Both Dorante and Kesiah assured
her, that the Curiosity they had Exprest,
sprung only from the great Esteem they already
conceiv’d for her, and shou’d no more
repeat their Request till she shou’d let them
know she was willing to comply with it.

Their impatience was however gratified
in a short Time; a few Days restoring the
Colour to the Cheeks, and the Vivacity to
the Eyes of the fair Stranger, she took the
Opportunity when Abimelech, Dorante
and Kesiah were all together in the Chamber
with her, to tell them she now found
herself strong enough to endure the Pangs,
the recital of her Misfortunes must infallibly
cost her, and wou’d no longer delay
the Performance of the Promise she had
made. The good Breeding of Dorante
and his Wife, and the more tender Sentiments
Abimelech felt for her, oblig’d them
all to entreat they might rather still continuenue E3v 30
in Suspence, than she shou’d hazard
her Health by a too long Discourse, till it
was better Establish’d: But she said the
danger she had been in, was now pretty
well over, and the Pleasure she shou’d find
in satisfying their Curiosity, wou’d more
than Compensate for the trouble she shou’d
take. After this she prepared herself to
begin the Narration of her Life, which, addressing
herself to Kesiah, she gave in these
Terms:

The History of Miriam “Tho’ I never had the Honour of your
Acquaintance, Beautiful Kesiah,”
said she,
“yet when I shall tell you, I am the Daughter
of Mephibosheth, of the Tribe of Ephraim,
you will doubtless remember to
have heard of me, there having been some
Time since a very great intimacy between
our Fathers, tho’ of late somewhat estrang’d,
for Reasons which I shall omit relating, not
only that they are too tedious, but also because
they have nothing in them material
to my History, except that by them I was
deprived of the Society of a Lady in whom
I find so much to be admired.”

Kesiah E4r 31

Kesiah answer’d this little Complement
only with a Bow, and the other proceeded
in her Discourse.

“I am call’d,” continued she, “Miriam, as
being the first Born, and delight of my Parents.
Having inform’d you who they were,
you are not Ignorant that their Wealth put
them into a Condition to Educate me in
the most elegant Manner, as did the Love
they had for me excite their Inclination to
do every Thing that might render me Esteem’d.
No Branch of Learning, or Accomplishments,
befitting a Person of my
Sex and Age, was denied me, and those
who had a Mind to Ingratiate themselves
with my Father, cou’d do it no better Way
than by Praising the Progress I made in
the Improvements allow’d me by his Indulgence.
’Tis certain, I acquired a great
deal in a short Time, and in some Things
was confess’d, by those who were my Instructers,
to excel the Lessons given me. I
speak not this out of Vanity, but to shew
you that there is one Passion of the Soul,
which, assoon as it exerts itself, is too strong
for Precepts, and overturns all the Foundations
Wisdom can have laid; I need not
tell you ’tis Love I mean, I believe none
here are Ignorant of its Power, and ’tis
from that sensibility alone, I can hope to find E4v 32
find Pardon for the Errors of my Conduct.

Hapning to be at Tunbridge after a small
Indisposition, I became acquainted with a
young Officer in the Army, call’d, Captain
Conquest
. He made his Addresses to me in
the most passionate and tender Manner,
and I, charm’d beyond Measure with him,
believed too readily all he said, and I desired.
I pretended not to be fully recover’d
from my late Illness, on purpose to continue
at that Place as long as he did, and
assoon as I heard he was preparing to remove,
I desired also to come to Town. We
had taken Care to settle a Correspondence
before I left Tunbridge, which was to be
carried on by Letters left in the hollow of
an old Oak in Drapers Garden, where also
we frequently met, and enjoy’d many a
tender interview in one or other of those
close Summer Houses, when the pleasantness
of the Season calling the City Belles to
walk more publick, these were left entirely
free, or fill’d only by such as had not Heads
turn’d our Way, and therefore made it not
their Business to observe us.

After an Acquaintance of near three
Months, he at length prevail’d on me to
permit him to attend me to a House of
Entertainment in Coventgarden, I had too good F1r 33
good an Opinion of his Honour and his
Love, to think myself in any Danger when
with him, and scrupled not to accompany
him. He behaved himself with so distant
a Respect the first Time I allow’d him this
Liberty, that a small Entreaty obtain’d a
second, but alas! the modest and obsequious
Lover was now chang’d to the resolute and
daring, he wou’d not be satisfied with those
Proofs I had given him of my Affection,
nor cou’d any Thing I said repel the Encroachings
his Boldness every moment made
on my Virtue, till partly by Force, and
partly by Persuasions, he became Master of
my Person, as he was before of my Heart.
He omitted nothing which might reconcile
me to the Folly I had been guilty of:
He swore numberless Oaths that I shou’d
ever be dearer to him than his Life, and,
as there was not a Possibility of marrying
me with the Consent of my Parents, that
he wou’d contrive a Way to make me his
Wife without their Knowledge, and place
me where their Rage shou’d have no Power
over me. How easy is it for a Heart
in Love to be deceived by the darling Object!
Not all the Examples I had read of
faithless Men, and ruin’d Maids, cou’d warn
me of my Fate, or make me take any Advantage
of the Passion I still believe, he F then F1v 34
then had for me, to oblige him to marry
me that Instant, which I have since heard
he might easily enough have done for a
Gratification to some indigent Clergyman,
whose Principles in every Thing not conformable
to the Church, cou’d not publickly
exercise his Function. But this I
knew not then, or if I had, wou’d not
have testified so little Belief in the Protestations
he made to have urg’d it, since
not mention’d by him, who I thought
wou’d do every Thing for the best.

Depending in this Manner on his
Truth and Constancy, I look’d on myself
as his Wife, and as often as he desired, or
Opportunities wou’d permit, suffered him
to repeat his Crime, and perfect my undoing,
for our frequent Intimacies were soon
follow’d by the natural Consequence, I
was with Child, and, to my Shame, confess,
then first remorse for what I had done.
With Tears I conjur’d him to perform his
Promise, and represented the Danger I was
in of falling a Victim to the severe Laws
of the Jews against Unchastity, especially
when guilty of it with a Gentile. But he,
who wanted not the Art of setting Things
in what Light he pleas’d, made his Intentions
appear so fair, that I was easily consoled,
and doubted not but to be a Wife before F2r 35
before I was a Mother. He told me the
Cause he had so long delay’d our Marriage
was, that the Regiment to which he
belong’d being in daily Expectations of an
Order to march towards Portsmouth, he
wou’d have me make my Escape about
that Time, and accompany him to his
Quarters, where the Ceremony might be
perform’d with less Danger of an immediate
Discovery than in London. As you are
with Child, said he, I wou’d not for the
whole World your Reputation shou’d be
call’d in Question by the direct Time of
our Marriage being known. If that is
conceal’d, there will not be the least Room
to guess I enjoy’d the Consummation befor
the Ceremony, and consequently the
dear Product of our mutual Endearments,
avoid the Aspersion of Illegitimacy.

The Reasons he gave me for deferring
what I desired, joyn’d to the Assurances it
wou’d soon be effected, left me no other
Care than to conceal my growing Burthen,
which I did with so much Art, that I carry’d
it for near eight Months, without giving
the least Suspicion to any one of my
Condition. The Time of my Delivery,
however, approaching so near, put me into
fresh Terrors, and I was perpetually asking
my dear Undoer, when the happy Time F2 of F2v 36
of his leaving London wou’d arrive, which
he still answer’d with saying he every Day
expected it, and that it cou’d not now be
long. The last Time I ever saw the Deceiver,
he told me, he must take his Leave
of me for a few Days, being to attend his
Colonel a short Journey, and that when they
came back, they shou’d infallibly march
the Regiment from London.

These Tidings afforded me an inexpressible
Satisfaction, and I passed five or six
Days with my usual Tranquility. On the
seventh I went to that Oak which had ever
been the Repository of our Letters to each
other, but found nothing there: I did not
however, yet entertain any Thoughts of my
Misfortunes, and but imagin’d something
had detain’d my Lover contrary to his Expectation,
nor when several succesive Days,
still my Hope was disappointed, did I accuse
his Faith: I rather fear’d Death, Sickness,
or some other unlucky Accident prevented
his coming; the Grief which this Apprehension
caused in me, made me at last resolve
to be inform’d of the Truth, to which
End, running the Risque of what Discovery
might happen by it, I went myself to the
Lodgings of this cruel Man, where I had
no sooner enquired concerninng him, than
I was told he was embark’d with the rest of F3r 37
of the Officers on board a Vessel for Ireland,
the Place to which that Regiment was ordered,
and not to Portsmouth, as he had
pretended. I found also, that the Day of
his Departure was the very next to that in
which I had seen him. So monstrous a
Piece of Villany gave me an Astonishment,
which, for some Time, stupified all my
Senses, and suffer’d neither Grief nor Rage
to operate on me. But when I got home,
and had Leisure to reflect on his Perfidiousness,
and my own irreparable Ruin, all
sure that can be conceiv’d of Horror, was
short of what I felt. I forgot all Caution,
and without any Regard how my Disorders
might be interpreted, tore my Hair and
Garments, and utter’d the most extravagant
Exclamations.—What had I indeed to fear?
Or what now to conceal? The worst of
Evils was fallen on me, and every Thing
must be infallibly betray’d, since he, who
alone, I depended on to hide my Shame,
had abandon’d me. The Agonies I endur’d,
threw me at length into a Swoon, in which
Condition I was found by my Sister and one
of the Maids, who having several Times
call’d me, came into my Chamber in search
of me. I was extended on the Ground, my
Hair unbraided, and hanging wildly o’re my
Face, and the little Ornaments I was us’d to F3v 38
to wear on my Head and Breast, torn, and
the Pieces scattetr’d on the Floor. Their
Cries at seeing me in so strange a Posture,
drew immediately the whole Family about
me: The first Thing they did was to cut the
Lacing of my Stays and Petticoat, which
alas! discover’d, e’re I was sensible of it,
the Crime I had been guilty of. Not only
my Mother, who had many Times been
in the same Condition, but also the most
unexperienc’d in the Room, easily perceiv’d
I was with Child. What Discourse pass’d
among them, or how much my Fault was
extenuated or excused, I knew not, but
when I recover’d, I found myself on a Bed,
near which sat both my Parents, and at a
little more Distance my three Sisters, the
Eyes of the former darted on me the most
angry Glances, those of the others were
streaming with Tears. My Father was the
first who confirm’d, what I too sadly conjectur’d
by their Looks, by sternly demanding
of me the Wretches Name who had
dishonour’d me. Shame, and Confusion,
hind’ring me from replying immediately,
‘If’, resum’d he, more fiercely, ‘you wou’d defer
the Punishment your Crime incurrs, have a
Moment’s Time to crave Forgiveness of offended
Heaven, or hope Compassion from
a Father’s Heart in the last Agonies of departingparting F4r 39
Breath, conceal not the Ileast particular
of the horrid Truth, nor seek to
put us off by vain Evasions.’
Just as he had
finish’d these Words, my Uncle, who was a
Levite, came into the Chamber, and being
briefly inform’d of what had happen’d, added
to what my Father had said such terrible
Anathema’s, that my lately recall’d Soul was
near being frighted from her Dwelling to return
no more; perceiving I was fainting a
second Time, they apply’d Remedies to bring
me to myself, tho’ not with any Regard for
the Preservation of my Life, as I since found,
but for the Discovery of the Secret, that
they might be reveng’d on the Author of
my Undoing, if in their Power.

To refuse Compliance with their Commands,
I knew wou’d more enflame their
Indignation, and be of no Service any way
to myself, nor cou’d my declaring the
whole fatal Story prejudice the Captain,
since he was past the Reach of their Vengeance.
I, therefore, related the Circumstances
by which I was betray’d, and pretending
not to excuse what I had done,
threw myself entirely on the Mercy of my
Parents. I know not how inclinable they
might have been to afford it me, if my
Uncle had not dwelt with so much Strictness
and Vehemence on the Letter of the Law, F4v 40
Law, that they dreaded by pardoning to become
Sharers in my Guilt.

I was after this, confin’d close Prisoner in
my Chamber, entirely ignorant of the Fate
decreed for me, till the Hour of my Delivery
discovering itself near at Hand, by
the terrible Pains which began to assail me,
my Uncle, the Levite came to my Room,
and taking me by the Hand, said he wou’d
conduct me to a Place provided for my Reception.
With these Words he led me to a
Coach, and after having put me into it, entered
himself with a young Man, whom I
afterwards knew to be Abimelech. It was
about Mid-night when we left my Father’s
House, but our Journey was so short, that
we arriv’d at the intended Scene of my Murder
in less than half an Hour. It was a
large and well furnish’d Apartment I was
brought into, but what amazed me most,
I saw no living thing in it but the Persons
that came with me, and my Uncle opening
the Door with a Key he brought with
him, convinc’d me there was, indeed, no
Persons but ourselves in the House. I ask’d
with some Amazement, to whom it belonged?
And, if in such a Condition as mine was,
there requir’d not the Assistance of Women?
My Uncle told me every thing necessary was
prepared, and then told Abimelech it was Time G1r 41
Time he gave the Midwife Notice to attend
me: He departed, but as he went out
gave me a Look which I then fancy’d had
something of a fatal, tho’ a tender Meaning,
and I soon after experienc’d the Truth of my
Conjecture. During his Absence, my Uncle
entertain’d me with the Heinousness of my
Crime, and uttered such terrible Remonstrances,
as, had I been in a State of Health,
wou’d, perhaps, have made me imagine
Death a less Ill than his Reproaches; but
alas! the King of Horrors seem’d at that
Instant too near me; the cruel Pains I felt
making me believe every Moment was my
last, I thought I wou’d have given the
World, had I been Mistress of it, for the
Certainty of Life, tho’ it were to be attended
with all manner of Calamity.—So
shocking are the Apprehensions of Futurity,
when seeming just ready to launch into it.

The Return of Abimelech with the
Midwife, put a Stop to the severe Upbraidings
of this remorseless Man, and the Sight
of her gave me some Consolation, as hoping
I had now the same Chance for Life
with the rest of my Sex, who all undergo
doubtless an equal Shatre of Torture in becoming
Mothers. I was lying on the Bed
when she approached me, and after having
look’d about the Chamber with a visibleG sible G1v 42
Surprize, demanded where were the
Things necessary for the Child when it
shou’d be born, and where the Women to
assist her. My Uncle told her himself,
that the young Man who brought her wou’d
perform what Offices she required; and as
for the Child, she had no farther Business
than to bring it into the World, and deliver
it to him; to which she resolutely answered,
that she neither cou’d, nor wou’d,
be guilty of any such Indecency, and that she
was apprehensive of some ill Design; but
my Uncle sternly resumed, that she had
nothing to do with Examination, that she
was sent for to do her Office, and concluded
with assuring her she shou’d not go out of
that House alive if she refused. These
Menaces, and the Uncertainty what Place
she was in; for Abimelech, tho’ it was
Night, had hoodwink’d her Eyes with his
Handkerchief all the way she came, that
not a Star might direct her to find it again,
at last prevail’d upon her to begin her Operation,
tho’ she so much trembled that, as
herself confess’d, it was more owing to
Nature than her Assistance that I was safely
delivered. My Uncle, as he had said,
took the poor Infant, but, instead of caressing,
or cherishing it as expected, threw
it immediately into a great Fire, uttering at G2r 43
at the same Time some Words which my
excessive Fright wou’d not suffer me to
observe.—Oh! Never, never, shall I forget
the Skrieks of the poor Babe, whose Face I
had not seen, but which was endear’d to
me by the Pains I had suffered for it. The
Midwife swoon’d away at being compell’d
to behold so monstrous an Action, and it
was as much as my inhumane Uncle and
Abimelech cou’d do to bring her to herself.
At the Return of her Senses, she durst
not give Vent to any Part of her Sentiments
on that Occasion, fearing, with good
Reason, that those who had been so wickedly
cruel to the innocent Babe, wou’d
make no Scruple of silencing her for ever.
All she said, was to intreat she might be
permitted to depart, on which Abimelech
blinding her in the same manner as before,
conducted her out. Pity certainly
gave Wings to his Feet, for he came back
much sooner than he had done before, and
just Time enough to prevent me from
sharing the same Fate with my poor Child.

The Moment Abimelech and the Midwife
had left the Room, my cruel Uncle
bad me turn my Eyes on the Flames, in
which I saw the Limbs of that dear Innocent
not yet consumed.—Horrid Idea! Never
to be forgotten shock! Let me not dwell G2 upon G2v 44
upon it, lest I run mad, and you too catch
the Frenzy.—

Here the fair Historian stopp’d, to give
way to a Torrent of Tears, which, in Spite
of her Efforts, wou’d force themselves thro’
her Eyes; “I was not present,” said Abimelech,
“while that dreadful Scene was
acting, but conscious, tho’ unable to prevent
it, of what was doing, felt little less
Horror in the Idea than I shou’d at the
Sight.”
He was about to add something
more, but perceiving Miriam about to resume
her Discourse, deferred it:

I rais’d myself upon my Arm,” pursued
she, “to view the Image of myself consumeing,
and expressing some Part of the Wildness
of my Grief in Cries and Exclamations.
‘Cease,’ said he, ‘to waste your Tears and
your Complainings on a Thing senseless
of them, rather reserve them for your own
approaching Fate, and think how you will
be able to endure those transitory Burnings
which must immediately destroy that Flesh
pampered for Lust and Shame. Then remember
that, without you have sincerely
repented, the same Pains, or worse, must
eternally feed on your Soul, when your Body
is Ashes. Pray,’
continued he, ‘for you
have but a Moment to live.’
He had scarce
finished these Words when Abimelech came G3r 45
came into the Room; on which, ‘Now,’ resumed
he, ‘Abimelech, behold the Punishment
of Unchastity, and be warn’d from
all Pollution.’
In speaking this, he took
me roughly by the Arm, and half dragg’d
me from the Bed, when my generous Preserver
caught hold on him, crying, ‘Desist
from thy cruel Attempt, or fall a Victim
to thy unnatural Barbarity, thou that hast
no Pity on thy own Flesh and Blood, shalt
find as little from me.’
These Words were
accompany’d by Actions which made the
old Wretch tremble, and immediately let
me loose; for Abimelech had his drawn
Sword in one Hand, and seizing him by
the Throat with the other, had certainly
put an End to all future Inhumanities he
cou’d treat me with, had he not comply’d
with his Demand. He endeavour’d, ’tis
true, to terrify him from opposing what he
wou’d do, by representing to him the Character
of a Levite, and the Respect which,
in all Ages of the World, were paid by the
Jews to their Rabbi, and then excused the
Cruelty he had practised on my Child, and
was about to doom me, under the Pretence
of a holy Zeal. But Abimelech was not
to be prevail’d on, nor wou’d consent to
save his Life, till he had sworn not to molest
or pursue him, in conveying me away. That G3v 46
That bigotted Severity now gave way to
the Fears he was in, of meeting the same
Fate he wou’d inflict, and he vow’d by the
Lives of the Patriarchs, to fulfil what the
other desired.

Thus was I preserved from the impending
Danger, and Abimelech knowing no
Place where he might so safely entrust me
as in the House of his Sister, who having
married with a Christian, and also had embraced
that Faith herself, was entirely out of
the Subjection of the Jewish Laws, brought
me hither in his Arms in the Condition
which your generous Compassion has very
much administer’d to my Relief.”

Miriam having concluded her Story, received
the Congratulations of Dorante
and Kesiah for her fortunate Escape, after
which the latter ask’d her Brother, how it
happen’d that he was chose the Companion
and Partner of the cruel Levite in
this Act of Horror, and that it was not rather
some one of her own Relations. To
which Abimelech answered, that it was
judged improper two Persons ally’d to her
by Blood shou’d undertake to be her Executioners,
lest both shou’d be overwhelmed
by Pity, and therefore the Levite, being
intimately acquainted with him, desired
his Society, as being wholly a Stranger to G4r 47
to her; but added, that he had not been
apprized of the Tragedy he was intended
a Witness of, but only injoyn’d to Secrecy and
Assistance in an Affair which required both.

Some Days after this, the beautiful Miriam
being perfectly recover’d, desired to
become a Christian, as did also Abimelech,
whether out of a real sensibility of the Truth
of that Doctrine, or to screen themselves
from the Jewish Power; is uncertain, but
making, however, the most ardent Professions
of the former, they were baptized.

Here was now four Persons altogether
in a House who had none of them the
least Dependance for Support. The Brother
of Kesiah, understanding she had yet
some Credit, press’d her to borrow Money
for him to traffick with, assuring her, if he
had any Success, of a ready Payment and
Gratification. Dorante himself was not
against embarking in this Stratagem, and
left no Friend untry’d till he had procured
a Sum sufficient for Abimelech to begin
his Merchandize. He went to Holland accompany’d
by Miriam, who, owing her
Life to him, thought she cou’d not in Honour
refuse devoting it to his Pleasure. But
Fortune either being averse to his Exeppectations,
or that he wanted the Will, if not
the Power, to return his Obligations to Dorante, G4v 48
Dorante, that unhappy Gentleman was
thrown into Prison for the Debts contracted
on his Score and his own.

Now it was the real Disposition of Kesiah
began to show itself, and prove that
Tenderness, Gratitude, or Generosity, had
no Share in her Composition, she not only
refused living with her Husband in his Confinement,
but whenever she vouchsafed to
visit him, reproached him with the Misfortunes
he had fallen into meerly for the
Love of her, and a too blind acquiescing
to all her expensive Desires. Abandoned
by those who had profess’d the most Friendship
to him, and ill treated by her from
whom he had the greatest Reason to hope
Consolation, never Man endured more severe
Reflections than poor Dorante: In this
Extremity, reduc’d to the want of even the
most common Necessaries of Life, he wrote
to his Father, entreating Succour and Forgivness;
but that remorseless Man declared he
wou’d afford neither, unless he wou’d engage
himself never to see Kesiah more,
whom he call’d the ruin of his Youth, and
utter Destruction of his Virtue. But so dear
was still this ungrateful Beauty to his Eyes,
that he chose rather to perish miserably in
Prison, than live depriv’d of seeing her
sometimes, unkind and upbraiding as her Behaviour H1r 49
Behaviour to him was. This Obstinacy
encreasing the Displeasure of his Father,
he resolv’d to cut off the Entail of the Estate,
in Favour of his younger Son, and
to that End sent a Lawyer to Dorante offering
a Sum of Money sufficient to procure
his Liberty, if he wou’d consent to renounce
his Birth-right. Kesiah happening
to be there at the same Time, used her
utmost Insinuations with her Husband to
comply, on Condition the old Gentleman
wou’d advance a small Sum more; Dorante
at last, tho’ with great Reluctance,
yielded to their Importunities, and the Pressures
of his Necessities. The Proposals being
thus agreed to by all Sides, this unhappy
Gentleman set his Hand to the Writing
which cut him off for ever, from the Possessions
of his Ancestors.

If it were possible for him to be guilty
of a greater Proof of Infatuation than he
had been, he now was; for this last Stake,
for which he had renounced all, and on
which depended his Liberty, he entrusted to
the Management of Kesiah, she having
persuaded him that she cou’d compound
with the Creditors for a trifling Sum, and
that the Remainder wou’d serve them for
their Support, till Fortune shou’d prove more
Kind. But how terrible was the Condition H of H1v 50
of this too fond and believing Husband,
when the Day being elaps’d in which he
expected Kesiah and his Release, he sent
to enquire the Cause of this Delay; and
was inform’d by the Messenger, that he
must have done with Hope, for that unfaithful
Woman, having been seduced by
the Addresses of a young Gentleman in order
to leave England, she had consented to be
Partaker of his Travels, and had carried with
her the Price of her unhappy Spouse’s Liberty,
not discharging even the smallest Debt
for which he was confin’d.

These melancholy Tidings were oblig’d
to be several Times repeated before they
cou’d gain Credit in the enamour’d Heart
of Dorante, but when too sadly convinc’d
of their Veracity, Language wants Force to
represent the Agonies of his distracted State,
so I shall only say it was in Proportion with
the Love he had for this base Woman, and
the irreparable Ruin she had involv’d him
in.

A short Time after this, his Father was
taken violently ill, with a Distemper which
convinc’d all about him that the Physicians
Art was vain to save him. He had heard
his Son’s last Misfortunes, and being touch’d
with a Fatherly Compassion, with his dying
Breath charged the then Inheritor of the Estate, H2r 51
Estate, to free his unhappy Brother, and
give him an Apartment in his House, and
Place at his Table. The young Gentleman
assured him by an Oath of performing his
Command; and fail’d not in it, for before
the funeral Obsequies of his Father, Dorante
was releas’d, and appear’d chief
Mourner at the Grave.

This generous Action of his Brother, tho’
it greatly consoled Dorante, had not the
Power to restore him that Tranquility,
which alone renders Life a Blessing. He
was at Liberty, ’tis true, and knew no want
of any Convenience, but then he look’d on
himself as a Dependant on the Person whose
Superior he was born, an Interloper on that
Estate which ought to have been his own,
and, above all, when he consider’d that he
had thus reduc’d himself for the Sake of
an ungrateful and perfidious Woman, who
had not only ruin’d, robb’d, and dishonour’d
him, but also still held his Heart in Chains,
he was sometimes ready to punish his fond
Folly, by becoming his own Executioner.
But tho’ kept from that Desperation by the
Principles of Christianity, he cou’d not refrain
from indulging a Melancholy which,
by degrees, seiz’d on his Vitals, deprived him
at last of Life, and eas’d his Brother of all
future Charge, but that last Office of Humanity,H2 manity, H2v 52
laying him decently in the Earth.

He had, however, the Satisfaction of
being reveng’d before his Death on those
Persons who render’d his Life so unhappy.
An Account arriv’d, that the Ship which
bore Kesiah, her Lover, and the Plunder
of her deceiv’d Husband, was taken by a
Sallee Pyrate, and all the Passengers carried
to Madagasgar, to continue in a hard and
perpetual Slavery; none ever being permitted
to return from that Place, even tho’ they
had Freinds capable of ransoming them,
which neither of these Fugitives could
boast.

It was thought extremely strange by
all present when Dorante receiv’d this
News, that he express’d no Pleasure in hearing
the Miseries of those who had inflicted
so much on him; but either the Tenderness
he still felt for that unworthy Woman, or
the Meekness which true Religion teaches,
kept him from uttering any Thing which
look’d like triumphing. He only made some
instructive Observations on the Justice of
Providence, which, sooner or later, suffers
not the Guilty to escape, and takes Vengeance
for the injured, who depend not for it
on their own Strength or Invention, but
wait with Patience the Event from the supreampream H3r 53
Decree of him who is the Disposer
of all Things.

This Example of a Wife so dearly purchased,
is sufficient to warn Mankind from
a too hasty Marriage. Short are the Joys
which Beauty yields, when the interior
Part is deform’d with Hypocrisy and
ill Nature. Virtue, and a Parity of Disposition,
are the Requisites to make the
nuptial Bonds sit easy; and where either of
these are wanting, that State, tho’ design’d
the highest Blessing, proves the greatest
Curse; nor can the Fault be ascrib’d to any
other Cause than our own ill Choice.

Finis