Love in Exceſs;
Love in Exceſs;
Printed for W. Chetwood, at Cato’s-Head in Ruſſel-
Court, near the Theatre-Royal; and R. Francklin,
at the Sun againſt St. Dunſtan’s Church in Fleet-ſtreet;
and Sold by J. Roberts in Warwick-Lane. 1719M.DCC.XIX.
To Mrs. Oldfield.
There is not any thing can excuſe this preſumption, but my Intention in doing it. If you pleaſe to call to mind your late A2 Good- vi A2v ii Goodneſs to me, you’ll find it requires my utmoſt acknowledgment.
But good Actions from you are like ill ones from others, no ſooner done, than forgot. I might Expatiate on the many Beauties of your Mind and Perſon, but it wou’d be like telling the World ’twere broad Day at Noon,
The Author of the following Lines is a young Lady, whoſe greateſt Pride is in the Patroneſs I have choſe her; but ſhe’s fearful in not pleaſing one who I am well aſſur’d is vii A3r iii is a real Critick without their Ill Nature.
I ſhan’t here mention the many Authors that have been oblig’d to you by the Amendments in your Inimitable Performances. I wou’d only adviſe ’em for the future to give you but the Plan of what they wou’d have ſaid, and leave the reſt to you.
I ſhall think my ſelf very Happy if I cou’d have it to ſay the reading theſe following Lines had fill’d up the Caſma of one of your vacant Hours. But I muſt not Offend, in endeavouring to Excuſe myſelf; I viii A3v iv I only beg you’ll accept this, from your
Moſt Faithful, Obedient Humble Servant,
Love in Excess: or, The Fatal Enquiry.
Part the Firſt.
In the late War between the French and the Confederate Armies, there were two Brothers, who had acquir’d a more than ordinary Reputation under the Command of the great and intrepid Luxembourgh. But the Concluſion of the Peace taking away any further Occaſions of ſhewing their Valour, the Eldeſt of ’em, whoſe Name was Count D’elmont, return’d to Paris, from whence he had been abſent two Years, leaving his Brother at St. Omer’s, ’till the Cure of ſome ſlight Wounds were perfected.
The Fame of the Count’s brave Actions arriv’d before him, and he had the ſatisfaction of being receiv’d by the King and Court, after a Manner that might gratifie the Ambition of the B proudeſt 002 B1v 2 proudeſt. The Beauty of his Perſon, the Gaity of his Air, and the unequal’d Charms of his Converſation, made him the Admiration of both Sexes; and whilſt thoſe of his own ſtrove which ſhou’d gain the largeſt ſhare in his Friendſhip; the other, vented fruitleſs Wiſhes, and in ſecret, curſs’d that Cuſtom which forbids Women to make a Declaration of their Thoughts. Amongſt the Number of theſe was Alovisa, a Lady Deſcended (by the Father’s ſide) from the Noble Family of the D’ La Tours formerly Lord of Beujey, and (by her Mothers) from the equally Illuſtrious Houſe of Montmorency. The late Death of her Parents had left her co- heireſs (with her Siſter,) of a vaſt Eſtate.
AloisaAlovisa, if her Paſſion was not greater than the reſt, her Pride, and the good Opinion ſhe had of her ſelf, made her the leſs able to ſupport it; ſhe ſigh’d, ſhe burn’d, ſhe rag’d, when ſhe perceiv’d the Charming D’elmont behav’d himſelf toward her with no mark of a Diſtinguiſhing affection. What (ſaid ſhe) have I beheld without Concern a thouſand Lovers at my Feet, and ſhall the only Man I ever endeavour’d or wiſh’d to Charm, regard me with indifference? Wherefore has the agreeing World joyn’d with my Deceitful Glaſs to flatter me into a vain belief I had invincible Attractions? D’elmont ſees ’em not, D’elmont is inſenſible. Then wou’d ſhe fall into Ravings, ſometimes curſing her own want of Power, ſometimes the Coldneſs of D’elmont. Many Days ſhe paſs’d in theſe Inquietudes, and every time she ſaw him (which was very frequently either at Court, at Church, or publick Meetings,) ſhe found freſh Matter for 003 B2r 3 for her troubled Thoughts to work upon: When on any occaſion he happen’d to ſpeak to her, it was with that ſoftneſs in his Eyes, and that engaging tenderneſs in his Voice, as would half perſuade her that, that God had touch’d his Heart, which ſo powerfully had Influenc’d hers; but if a glimmering of ſuch a hope gave her a Pleaſure inconceivable, how great were the enſuing Torments, when ſhe obſerv’d thoſe Looks and Accents were but the Effects of his natural Complaiſance, and that to whom ſoever he Addreſs’d, he carry’d an equality in his Behaviour, which ſufficiently evinc’d his Hour was not yet come to feel thoſe Pains he gave; and if the afflicted fair ones found any Conſolation, it was in the reflection that no Triumphant Rival could boaſt a Conqueſt; each now deſpair’d of gaining. But the impatient Alovisa diſdaining to be rank’d with thoſe, whom her Vanity made her conſider as infinitely her Inferiors, ſuffer’d her ſelf to be agitated almoſt to Madneſs between the two Extreams of Love and Indignation; a thouſand Chimeras came into her Head, and ſometimes prompted her to diſcover the Sentiments ſhe had in his favour: But theſe Reſolutions were rejected, almoſt as ſoon as form’d, and ſhe could not fix on any for a long time; ’till at laſt, Love (ingenious in Invention,) inſpir’d her with one, which probably might let her into the Secrets of his Heart, without the ſhame of revealing her own.
The Celebration of Madam the Dutcheſs of Burgundy’s Birth-day being to be Solemniz’d with great Magnificence, ſhe writ this Billet to him on the Night before.B2 To 004 B2v 4
To Count D’elmont.
Resistless as you are in War, you are much more ſo in Love: Here you Conquer without making an Attack, and we Surrender before youyour Summons; the Law of Arms obliges you to ſhow Mercy to an yielding Enemy, and ſure the Court cannot inſpire leſs generous Sentiments than the Field. The little God lays down his Arrows at your Feet, confeſſes your ſuperior Power, and begs a friendly Treatment; he will appear to you to morrow Night at the Ball, in the Eyes of the moſt paſſionate of all his Votereſſes; ſearch therefore for him in Her, in whom (amongſt that bright Aſſembly) you would moſt deſire to find Him; I am confident you have too much penetration to miſs of him, if not byaſs’d by a former Inclination, and in that Hope, I ſhall, (as patiently as my Expectations will let me) ſupport till then, the tedious Hours.
This ſhe ſent by a Truſty Servant, and ſo diſguis’d, that it was impoſſible for him to be known, with a ſtrict Charge to deliver it to the Count’s own Hands, and come away before he had read it; the Fellow perform’d her Orders exactly, and when the Count who was not a little ſurpriz’d at the first opening it, ask’d for the Meſſenger, and commanded he ſhou’d be ſtay’d; his Gentleman (who then was waiting in his Chamber,) told him he ran down ſtairs with all the ſpeed imaginable, immediately on his Lordſhip’s receiving it. D’elmont having never experienc’d the force of Love, could not preſently comprehend the Truth of 005 B3r 5 of this Adventure; at firſt he imagin’d ſome of his Companions had caus’d this Letter to be writ, either to ſound his Inclinations, or upbraid his little diſpoſition to Gallantry; but theſe Cogitations ſoon gave place to others; and tho’ he was not very vain, yet he found it no difficulty to perſuade himſelf to an Opinion that it was poſſible for a Lady to diſtinguiſh him from other Men. Nor did he find any thing ſo diſpleaſing in that Thought as might make him endeavour to repell it; the more he conſider’d his own Perfections, the more he was confirm’d in his belief, but who to fix it on, he was at a loſs as much as ever; he then began to reflect on all the Diſcourſes and little Railleries that had paſs’d between him and the Ladies whom he had convers’d with ſince his Arrival, but cou’d find nothing in any of ’em of Conſequence enough to make him gueſs at the Perſon. He ſpent great part of the Night in Thoughts very different from thoſe he was accuſtom’d to, the Joy which naturally riſes from the Knowledge ’tis in ones pow’r to give it, gave him Notions which till then he was a Stranger to; he began to conſider a Miſtreſs as an agreeable, as well as faſhionable amuſemement, and reſolv’d not to be Cruel.
In the mean time poor Alovisa was in all the anxiety imaginable, ſhe counted every Hour, and thought ’em Ages, and at the firſt dawn of Day ſhe roſe, and calling up her Women, who were amaz’d to find her ſo uneaſie, ſhe employ’d ’em in placing her Jewels on her Cloaths to the beſt Advantage, while ſhe conſulted her Glaſs after what Manner ſhe ſhould Dreſs, her Eyes, the gay, the languiſhing, the ſedate, the commanding, the beſeeching Air were put on, a thouſand 006 B3v 6 thouſand times, and as often rejected; and ſhe had ſcarce determin’d which to make uſe of, when her Page brought her word, ſome Ladies who were going to Court deſir’d her to Accompany them; ſhe was too impatient not to be willing to be one of the firſt, ſo went immediately, arm’d with all her Lightnings, but full of unſettled Reflections. She had not been long in the Drawing Room, before it grew very full of Company, but D’elmont not being amongſt ’em, ſhe had her Eyes fix’d toward the Door, expecting every Moment to ſee him enter; but how impoſſible is it to repreſent her Confuſion, when he appear’d leading the young Amena, Daughter to Monſieur Sanſeverin, a Gentleman, who tho’ he had a very ſmall Eſtate, and many Children, had by a partial Indulgence, too common among Parents, neglecting the reſt, maintain’d this Darling of his Heart in all the pomp of Quality—The Beauty and Sweetneſs of this Lady was preſent Death to Alovisa’s Hopes; ſhe ſaw, or fancy’d ſhe ſaw an unusual joy in her Eyes, and dying Love in his; Diſdain, Deſpair, and Jealouſie at once crowded into her Heart, and ſwell’d her almoſt to burſting; and ’twas no wonder that the violence of ſuch terrible Emotions kept her from regarding the Diſcourſes of thoſe ſtood by her, or the Devoirs that D’elmont made as he paſs’d by, and at length threw her into a Swoon; the Ladies ran to her aſſiſtance, and her charming Rival, being one of her particular Acquaintance, ſhew’d an extraordinary aſſiduity in applying Means for her relief; they made what haſt they cou’d to get her into another Room, and unfaſten her Robe, but were a great while before they could bring her to her ſelf; and when they did, the ſhame of having been ſo diſorder’d in ſuch an 007 B4r 7 an Aſſembly, and the fears of their ſuſpecting the Occaſion, added to her former Agonies, and rack’d her with moſt terrible revulſions, every one now deſpairing of her being able to aſſiſt at that Night’s Entertainment, ſhe was put into her Chair, in order to be carry’d Home, Amena who little thought how unwelcome ſhe was grown, would needs have one call’d, and Accompanyd her thither, in ſpight of the Intreaties of D’elmont, who had before engag’d her for his Partner in Dancing; not that he was in Love with her, or at that time believ’d he cou’d be touch’d with a Paſſion which he eſteem’d a Trifle in it ſelf, and below the dignity of a Man of Senſe; but Fortune (to whom this Lady no leſs enamour’d than Alovisa) had made a thouſand Invocations, ſeem’d to have allotted her the glory of his firſt Addreſſes; ſhe was getting out of her Chariot juſt as he alighted from his, and offering her his Hand, he perceiv’d hers trembled, which engaging him to look upon her more earneſtly than he was wont, he immediately fancy’d he ſaw ſomething of that languiſhment in her Eyes, which the obliging mandate had deſcrib’d. Amena was too lovely to make that belief diſagreeable, and he reſolv’d on the beginnings of an Amour, without giving himſelf the trouble of conſidering the Conſequences; the Evening being extreamly pleaſant, he ask’d if ſhe wou’d not favour him ſo far as to take a turn or two with him in the Palace-Garden, She who deſir’d nothing more than ſuch a particular Converſation, was not at all backward of complying; he talk’d to her there for ſome time in a manner as could leave her no room to doubt he was intirely Charm’d, and ’twas the air ſuch an Entertain- 008 B4v 8 Entertainment had left on both their Faces, as produc’d thoſe ſad Effects in the jealous Alovisa. She was no ſooner led to her Apartment, but ſhe deſir’d to be put to Bed, and the good natur’d Amena, who really had a very great kindneſs for her, offer’d to quit the Diverſions of the Ball, and ſtay with her all Night; but unfortunate Alovisa was not in a Condition to endure the preſence of any, eſpecially her, ſo put her off as civilly as her Anxiety would give her leave, chuſing rather to ſuffer her return to the Ball, than retain ſo hateful an Object (as ſhe was now become) in her ſight; and ’tis likely the other was not much troubled at her Refuſal. But how, (when left alone, and abandon’d to the Whirlwinds of her Paſſion,) the deſperate Alovisa behav’d, none but thoſe, who like her, have burn’d in hopeleſs Fires can gueſs, the most lively Deſcription wou’d come far ſhort of what she felt; ſhe rav’d, ſhe tore her Hair and Face, and in the extremity of her Anguiſh was ready to lay violent Hands on her own Life. In this Tempeſt of Mind, ſhe continu’d for ſome time, ’till at length rage beginning to diſſipate it ſelf in Tears, made way for cooler Conſiderations; and her natural Vanity reſuming its Empire in her Soul, was of no little ſervice to her on this Occaſion. Why am I thus diſturb’d? mean Spirited as I am! ſaid ſhe, D’elmont is ignorant of the Sentiments I am poſſeſs’d with in his favour; and perhaps ’tis only want of Incouragement that has ſo long depriv’d me of my Lover; my Letter bore no certain mark by which he might diſtinguiſh me, and who knows what Arts that Creature might make uſe of to allure him. I will therefore (purſu’d ſhe, with a more cheerful Countenance) direct his erringring 009 C1r 9 ring Search. As ſhe was in this Thought, (happily for her, who elſe might have relaps’d,) her Women who were waiting in the next Room, came in to know if ſhe wanted any thing; yes, anſwer’d ſhe, with a Voice and Eyes wholly chang’d; I’ll riſe, one of you help me on with my Cloaths, and let the other ſend Charlo to me, I have inſtant Buſineſs with him. ’Twas in vain for ’em to repreſent to her the prejudice it might be to her Health to get out of her Bed at ſo unſeaſonable an hour, it being then juſt Midnight: They knew her too abſolute a Miſtreſs not to be obey’d, and executed her Commands, without diſputing the Reaſon. She was no ſooner ready, than Charlo was introduc’d, who being the ſame Perſon that carry’d the Letter to D’elmont, gueſs’d what Affair he was to be concern’d in, and ſhut the Door after him. I commend your Caution, ſaid his Lady, for what I now am going to truſt you with is of more concernment than my Life. The Fellow bow’d, and made a thouſand proteſtations of an eternal Fidelity. I doubt it not, reſum’d ſhe, go then immediately to the Court, ’tis not impoſſible but in this hurry you may get into the Drawing Room; but if not, make ſome pretence to ſtay as near it as you can ’till the Ball be over; liſten carefully to all Diſcourſes where you hear Count D’elmont’s mention’d, enquire who he Dances with, and above all watch what Company he comes out with, and bring me an exact account. Go, continu’d ſhe haſtily, theſe are all the Orders I have for you to Night, but to Morrow I ſhall employ you farther. Then turning to her Eſcritore, ſhe ſat down, and began to prepare a ſecond Letter, which ſhe hop’d wou’d be more lucky than the former. She was not C long 010 C1v 10 long writing, Love, and Wit, ſuggeſted a world of paſſionate and agreeable Expreſſions to her in a Moment; but when ſhe had finiſh’d this ſo full a Diſcovery of her Heart, and was about to ſign her Name to it, not all that Paſſion which had inſpir’d her with a reſolution to ſruple nothing that might advance the compaſſing her Wiſhes, nor the Vanity which aſſur’d her of ſucceſs, were forcible enough to withſtand the ſhock it gave her Pride; No, let me rather die! (ſaid ſhe, ſtarting up, and frighted at her own Deſigns) then be guilty of a meanneſs which wou’d render me unworthy of Life, Oh! Heavens to offer Love, and poorly ſue for Pity! ’tis inſupportable! What bewitch’d me to harbour ſuch a thought as even the vileſt of my Sex would bluſh at? To pieces then (added ſhe tearing the Paper) to pieces, with this ſhameful witneſs of my folly, my furious deſires may be the deſtruction of my Peace, but never of my Honour, that ſhall ſtill attend my Name when Love and Life are fled. She continu’d in this Temper (without being able to compoſe her ſelf to reſt,) till Day began to appear, and Charlo return’d with News which confirm’d her moſt dreaded ſuſpicions. He told her that he had gain’d admittance to the Drawing Room ſeveral times, under pretence of delivering Meſſages to ſome of the Ladies; that the whole Talk among ’em was, that D’elmont was no longer inſenſible of Beauty; that he obſerv’d that Gentleman in very particular Conference with Amena, and that he waited on her Home in his Chariot, her own not being in the way. I know it, ſaid Alovisa (walking about in a diſorder’d motion) I did not doubt but that I was undone, and to my other Miſeries, have that of beinging 011 C2r 11 ing aiding to my Rival’s Happineſs: Whatever his Deſires were, he carefully conceal’d ’em, ’till my curſed Letter prompted a Diſcovery; tenacious as I was, and too, too confident of this little Beauty! Here she ſtop’d, and wiping away ſome Tears which in ſpight of her ran down her Cheeks gave Charlo leave to ask if ſhe had any more Commands for him. Yes, (anſwer’d ſhe,) I will write once more to this undiſcerning Man, and let him know, ’tis not Amena that is worthy of him; that I may do without prejudicing my Fame, and ’twill be at leaſt ſome eaſement to my Mind to undeceive the Opinion he may have conceiv’d of her Wit, for I am almoſt confident ſhe paſſes for the Authoreſs of thoſe Lines which have been ſo fatal to me; in ſpeaking this, without any further Thought, ſhe once more took her Pen and wrote theſe Words.
To Count D’elmont.
If Ambition be a Fault, ’tis only in thoſe who have not a ſufficient ſtock of Merit to ſupport it; too much Humility is a greater in you, whoſe Perſon and Qualities are too admirable; not to render any Attempt you ſhall make juſtifiable, as well as ſucceſſul. Heaven when it diſtinguiſh’d you in ſo particular a manner from the reſt of Mankind, deſign’d you not for vulgar Conqueſts, and you cannot without a manifeſt Contradiction to its Will, and an irreparable injury to your ſelf, make a preſent of that C2 Heart 012 C2v 12 Heart to Amena, when one, of at leaſt an equal Beauty, and far ſuperior in every other Conſideration, would ſacrifice all to purchaſe the glorious Trophy. Continue then no longer in a willful Ignorance, aim at a more exalted flight, and you will find it no difficulty to diſcover who ſhe is that languiſhes, and almoſt dies for an opportunity of confeſſing (without too great a breach of Modeſty) that her Soul, and all the Faculties of it, are, and muſt be
This ſhe gave to Charlo, to deliver with the ſame Caution as the former; but he was ſcarce got out of the Houſe before a new fear aſſaulted her, and ſhe repented her uncircumſpection. What have I done! cry’d ſhe, who knows but D’elmont may ſhew theſe Letters to Amena, ſhe is perfectly acquainted with my Hand, and I ſhall be the moſt expos’d and wretched Woman, in the World. Thus Induſtrious was ſhe in forming Notions to Torment her ſelf; nor indeed was there any thing of improbability in this Conjecture. There are too many ungenerous enough to boaſt ſuch an Adventure; but D’elmont tho’ he would have given good part of his Eſtate to ſatisfie his Curioſity, yet choſe rather to remain in a perpetual Ignorance, than make uſe of any Means that might be diſadvantageous to the Ladies Reputation. He now perceiv’d his Miſtake, and that it was not Amena who had taken that Method to engage him, and poſſibly was not diſguſted to find ſhe had a Rival of ſuch Merit, as the Letter intimated. However he had ſaid too many fine Things to her to be loſt, and thought it as inconſiſtent with his Honours Inclination to deſiſt 013 C3r 13 deſiſt a Purſuit in which he had all the reaſon in the World to aſſure himſelf of Victory; for the young Amena (little vers’d in the art of Diſſimulation, ſo neceſſary to her Sex,) cou’d not conceal the pleaſure ſhe took in his Addreſſes, and without even a ſeeming reluctancy had given him a promiſe of meeting him the next Day in the Tuilleries; nor cou’d all his unknown Miſtreſs had writ, perſwade him to miſs this Aſſignation, nor let that be ſucceeded with another, and that by a third, and ſo on, ’till by making a ſhew of Tenderneſs he began to fancy himſelf really touch’d with a paſſion he only deſign’d to repreſent. ’Tis certain this way of Fooling rais’d Deſires in him little different from what is commonly call’d Love; and made him redouble his Attacks in ſuch a manner, as Amena ſtood in need of all her Vertue to reſiſt; but as much as ſhe thought her ſelf oblig’d to reſent ſuch Attempts, yet he knew ſo well how to Excuſe himſelf, and lay the blame on the violence of his Paſſion, that he was ſtill too Charming, and too Dear to her not to be forgiven. Thus was Amena (by her too generous and open Temper) brought to the very brink of Ruin, and D’elmont was poſſibly contriving means to compleat it, when her Page brought him this Letter,To 014 C3v 14
To Count D’elmont.
Some Malicious Perſons have endeavour’d to make the little Converſation I have had with you, appear as Criminal; therefore to put a ſtop to all ſuch Aſperſions, I muſt for the future deny my ſelf the Honour of your Viſits, unleſs Commanded to receive ’em by my Father, who only has the Power of Diſpoſing of
The Conſternation he was in at the reading theſe Lines, ſo very different from her former Behaviour, is more eaſily imagin’d than expreſs’d, ’till caſting his Eyes on the Ground, he ſaw a ſmall Note, which in the opening of this, had fallen out of it, which he haſtily took up, and found it contain’d theſe words.
I gueſs the ſurprize my lovely Friend is in, but have not Time now to unriddle the Myſtery; I beg you will be at your Lodgings towards the Evening, and I will invent a way to ſend to you.
’Twas now that D’elmont began to find there were Embarraſments in an Intriegue of this Nature, which he had not foreſeen, and ſtay’d at Home all Day, impatiently expecting the clearing of an Affair which at preſent ſeem’d ſo ambiguous. When it grew a little Duskiſh, his Gentleman brought in a young Woman, whom he immediately knew to be Anaret, an Attendant on Amena; and when he had made her 015 C4r 15 her ſit down, told her he hop’d ſhe was come to make an Eclairciſment, which would be very obliging to him, and therefore deſir’d ſhe wou’d not defer it.
My Lord, ſaid ſhe, ’tis with an unſpeakable Trouble I diſcharge that Truſt my Lady has repos’d in me, in giving you a Relation of her Miſfortunes; but not to keep you longer in a ſuſpence, which I perceive is very uneaſie to you; I ſhall acquaint you, that ſoon after you were gone, my Lady came up into her Chamber, where as I was preparing to Undreſs her, we heard Monſieur Sanseverin in an angry Tone ask where his Daughter was? and being told ſhe was above, we immediately ſaw him enter, with a Countenance ſo enflam’d, as put us both in a mortal apprehenſion. An ill uſe, (ſaid he to her) have you made of my Indulgence, and the Liberty I have allow’d you! cou’d neither the Conſiderations of the Honour of your Family, your own Reputation, nor my eternal Repoſe, deter you from ſuch imprudent Actions, as you cannot be ignorant muſt be the inevitable ruin of ’em all. My poor Lady was too much ſurpriz’d at theſe cruel Words, to be able to make any Anſwer to ’em, and ſtood trembling, and almoſt fainting, while he went on with his Diſcourſe. Was it conſiſtent with the Niceties of your Sex, ſaid he, or with the Duty you owe me, to receive the Addreſſes of a Perſon whoſe Pretenſions I was a Stranger to? If the Count D’elmont has any that are Honourable, wherefore are they conceal’d? The Count D’elmont! (cry’d my Lady, more frighted than before) never made any Declarations to me worthy of your Knowledge, nor did 016 C4v 16 did I ever entertain him otherwiſe, than might become your Daughter. ’Tis falſe, (interrupted he furiouſly) I am but too well inform’d of the contrary; nor has the moſt private of your ſhameful Meetings eſcap’d my Ears! Judge, Sir, in what a confuſion my Lady was in at this Diſcourſe; ’twas in vain, ſhe muſter’d all her Courage to perſwade him from giving Credit to an Intelligence ſo injurious to her, he grew the more enrag’d, and after a thouſand Reproaches, flung out of the Room with all the marks of a moſt violent Indignation. But though your Lordſhip is too well acquainted with the Mildneſs of Amena’s Diſpoſition, not to believe ſhe could bear the Diſpleaſure of a Father (who had always moſt tenderly lov’d her,) with indifference, yet ’tis impoſſible for you to imagine in what an exceſs of Sorrow ſhe was plung’d, ſhe found every paſſage of her ill Conduct (as ſhe was pleas’d to call it) was betray’d, and did not doubt but whoever had done her that ill Office to her Father, wou’d take care the Diſcovery ſhould not be confin’d to him alone. Grief; Fear, Remorſe, and Shame by turns aſſaulted her, and made her incapable of Conſolation; even the ſoft Pleas of Love were Silenc’d by their Tumultuous Clamours, and for a Time ſhe conſider’d your Lordſhip in no other view than that of her Undoer. How! cry’d D’elmont (interrupting her) cou’d my Amena, who I thought all ſweetneſs judge ſo harſhly of me. Oh! my Lord, reſum’d Anaret, you muſt forgive thoſe firſt Emotions, which as violent as they were, wanted but your preſence to diſſipate in a Moment; and if your Idea had not preſently that Power, it loſt no Honour by having Foes to ſtruggle with, ſince at 017 D1r 17 at laſt it put ’em all to flight, and gain’d ſo entire a Victory, that before Morning, of all her Troubles, ſcarce any but the fears of loſing you remain’d. And I muſt take the Liberty to aſſure your Lordſhip, my Endeavours were not wanting to eſtabliſh a reſolution in her to deſpiſe every thing for Love and you. But to be as brief as I can in my Relation; the Night was no ſooner gone, than Monſieur her Father came into the Chamber, with a Countenance, tho’ more compos’d than that with which he left us, yet with such an Heir of Auſterity, as made my timerous Lady loſe moſt of the Spirit ſhe had aſſum’d for this Encounter. I come not now Amena, ſaid he, to upbraid or puniſh your Diſobedience, if you are not wholly abandon’d by your Reaſon, your own Reflections will be ſufficiently your Tormentors. But to put you in a way, (if not to clear your Fame, yet to take away all occaſion of future Calumny,) you muſt write to Count D’elmont.
I Will have no Denials continu’d he, (ſeeing her about to ſpeak) and leading her to her Eſcritore, conſtrain’d her to write what he dictated, and you receiv’d; juſt as ſhe was going to Seal it, a Servant brought word that a Gentleman deſir’d to ſpeak with Monſieur Sansevarin, he was oblig’d to ſtep into another Room, and that abſence gave her an opportunity of writing a Note, which ſhe dextrouſly ſlip’d into the Letter, unperceiv’d by her Father at his return, who little ſuſpecting what ſhe had done, ſent it away immediately. Now, ſaid he, we ſhall be able to judge the ſincerity of the Count’s Affections, but till then I ſhall take care to prove my ſelf a PerfonD fon 018 D1v 18 fon not difinterefted in the Honour of my Family. As he ſpoke theſe words, he took her by the Hand, and conducting her thro’ his own into a little Chamber (which he had order’d to be made ready for that purpoſe) ſhut her into it; I follow’d to the Door, and ſeconded my Lady in her Deſires, that I might be permitted to attend her there; but all in vain, he told me, he doubted not but that I had been her Confident in this Affair, and order’d me to quit his Houſe in a few Days. As ſoon as he was gone out, I went into the Garden, and ſaunter’d up and down a good while, hoping to get an Opportunity of ſpeaking to my Lady thro’ the Window, for I knew there was one that look’d into it; but not ſeeing her, I bethought me of getting a little Stick, with which I knock’d gently againſt the Glaſs, and engag’d her to open it. As ſoon as ſhe perceiv’d me a Beam of Joy brighten’d in her Eyes, and gliſten’d thro’ her Tears. Dear Anaret, ſaid ſhe, how kindly do I take this proof of thy Affection, ’tis only in thy Power to alleviate my Misfortunes, and thou I know art come to offer thy Aſſiſtance. Then, after I had aſſur’d her of my willingneſs to ſerve her in any command, ſhe deſir’d me to wait on you with an account of all had happen’d, and to give you her Vows of an Eternal Love. My Eyes, ſaid ſhe weeping, perhaps may ne’er behold him more, but Imagination ſhall ſupply that want, and from my Heart he never ſhall be abſent. Oh! do not talk thus, cry’d the Count, extreamly touch’d at this Diſcourſe. I muſt, I will ſee her, nothing ſhall hold her from me. You may, anſwer’d Anaret, but then it muſt be with the approbation of Monſieur Sansevarin, he will be proud to receive you 019 D2r 19 you in Quality of a Suitor to his Daughter, and ’tis only to oblige you to a publick Declaration that he takes theſe Meaſures. D’elmont was not perfectly pleas’d with theſe Words; he was too quick ſighted not to perceive immediately what Monſieur Sanseverin drove at, but as well as he lik’d Amena, found no inclination in himſelf to Marry her, and therefore was not deſirous of an Explanation of what he reſolv’d not to ſeem to underſtand. He walk’d two or three turns about the Room, endeavouring to conceal his Diſguſt, and when he had ſo well overcome the ſhock, as to baniſh all viſible Tokens of it, I would willingly ſaid he coldly, come into any proper Method for the obtaining the Perſon of Amena, as well as her Heart; but there are certain Reaſons for which I cannot make a Diſcovery of my Deſigns to her Father, ’till I have firſt ſpoken with her. My Lord, reply’d the ſubtle Anaret (eaſily gueſſing at his Meaning) I wiſh to Heaven there were a poſſibility of your Meeting; there is nothing I would not riſque to forward it, and if your Lordſhip can think of any way in which I may be ſerviceable to you, in this ſhort Time I am allow’d to ſtay in the Family, I beg you would command me. She ſpoke this with an Air as made the Count believe ſhe really had it in her power to ſerve him in this Occaſion, and preſently hit on the ſureſt means to bind her to his Intereſt. You are very obliging, ſaid he, and I doubt not but your Ingenuity is equal to your good Nature, therefore will leave the Contrivance of my Happineſs entirely to you; and that you may not think your Care beſtow’d on an ungrateful Perſon, be pleas’d (continu’d he, giving her a Purſe of Lewis-Dor’s) to accept this ſmall 020 D2v 20 ſmall Earneſt of my future Friendſhip. Anaret, like moſt of her Function, was too mercinary to reſiſt ſuch a Temptation, tho’ it had been given her to betray the Honour of her whole Sex; and after a little pauſe, reply’d, Your Lordſhip is too generous to be refus’d, tho’ in a Matter of the greateſt Difficulty, as indeed this is; for in the ſtrict Confinement my Lady is, I know no way but one, and that extreamly hazardous to her; however, I do not fear but my Perſwaſions, joyn’d with her own Deſires, will influence her to attempt it. Your Lordſhip knows we have a little Door at the farther end of the Garden, that opens into the Tuillerys. I do, cry’d D’elmont interrupting her, I have ſeveral times parted from my Charmer there, when my Entreaties have prevail’d with her to ſtay longer with me than ſhe wou’d have the Family to take notice of. I hope to order the Matter ſo, reſum’d Anaret, that it ſhall be the Scene this Night of a moſt happy Meeting. My Lady unknown to her Father has the Key of it, ſhe can throw it to me from her Window, and I can open it to you, who muſt be walking near it, about Twelve or One a Clock, for by that time every body will be in Bed. But what will that avail, cry’d Delmont haſtily; ſince ſhe lies within her Father’s Chamber, where ’tis impoſſible to paſs without alarming him. You Lovers are ſo impatient rejoyn’d Anaret ſmiling, I never deſign’d you ſhould have Entrance there, tho’ the Window is ſo low, that a Perſon of your Lordſhip’s Stature and Agility might mount it with a Galliard ſtep, but I ſuppoſe it will turn to as good an account, if your Miſtreſs by my Aſſiſtance gets out of it. But can ſhe, interrupted he, will ſhe doſt thou think 021 D3r 21 think, fear it not. My Lord, reply’d ſhe, be but punctual to the Hour Amena ſhall be yours, if Love, Wit and Opportunity have power to make her ſo. D’elmont was tranſported with this Promiſe, and the thoughts of what he expected to poſſeſs by her means, rais’d his Imagination to ſo high a pitch, as he cou’d not forbear kiſſing and embracing her with ſuch Raptures as might not have been very pleaſing to Amena, had ſhe been witneſs of ’em. But Anaret who had other things in her Head than Gallantry, diſengag’d her ſelf from him as ſoon as ſhe cou’d, taking more ſatisfaction in forwarding an Affair in which ſhe propos’d ſo much advantage, than in the Careſſes of the moſt accompliſh’d Gentleman in the World.
When ſhe came Home ſhe found every thing as ſhe cou’d wiſh, Monſieur Abroad, and his Daughter at the Window, impatiently watching her return, ſhe told her as much of the Diſcourſe ſhe had with the Count as ſhe thought proper, extolling his Love and Conſtancy, and carefully concealing all ſhe thought might give an umbrage to her Vertue. But in ſpight of all the Artifice ſhe made uſe of, ſhe found it no eaſie matter to perſwade her to get out of the Window; the fears ſhe had of being diſcover’d, and more expos’d to her Father’s Indignation, and the Cenſure of the World, damp’d her Inclinations, and made her deaf to the eager Sollicitations of this unfaithful Woman. As they were Diſputing, ſome of the Servants hap’ning to come into the Garden, oblig’d ’em to break off, and Anaret retir’d, not totally deſpairing of compaſſing her Deſigns, when the appointed Hour ſhould arrive, and 022 D3v 22 andand Amena ſhould know the Darling Object of her Wiſhes was ſo near. Nor did her Hopes deceive her, the Reſolutions of a Lover, when made againſt the intereſt of the Perſon belov’d, are but of a ſhort duration; and this unhappy Fair was no ſooner left alone, and had leiſure to Contemplate on the Graces of the charming D’elmont, but Love plaid his part with ſuch Succeſs, as made her repent ſhe had chid Anaret for her Propoſal, and wiſh’d for nothing more than an Opportunity to tell her ſo. She paſs’d ſeveral hours in Diſquietudes ſhe had never known before, till at laſt ſhe heard her Father come into the next Room to go to Bed, and ſoon after ſomebody knock’d ſoftly at the Window, ſhe immediately open’d it, and perceived by the Light of the Moon which then ſhone very bright, that it was Anaret, ſhe had not patience to liſten to the long Speech the other had prepar’d to perſwade her, but putting her Head as far as ſhe could to prevent being heard by her Father. Well Anaret, ſaid ſhe, where is this Adventurous Lover, what is it he requires of me? Oh! Madam, reply’d ſhe, overjoy’d at the compliable Humour ſhe found her in, he is now at the Garden Door, there’s nothing wanting but your Key to give him Entrance; what farther he requeſts himſelf ſhall tell you, Oh Heavens! cry’d Amena ſearching her Pockets, and finding ſhe had it not; I am undone, I have left it in my Cabinet in the Chamber where I us’d to lie. Theſe words made Anaret at her Wits end, ſhe knew there was no poſſibility of fetching it, there being ſo many Rooms to go thro’ ſhe ran to the Door, and endeavour’d to puſh back the Lock, but had not ſtrength; ſhe then knew not what to do, ſhe was ſure D’elmontmont 023 D4r 23 mont was on the other ſide, and fear’d he would reſent this uſage to the diſappointment of all her mercenary Hopes, and durſt not call to acquaint him with this misfortune for fear of being heard. As for Amena, ſhe now was more ſenſible than ever of the violence of her Inclinations, by the extream vexation this Diſappointment gave her: Never did People paſs a Night in greater uneaſineſs, than theſe three; the Count who was naturally impatient could not bear a balk of this nature without the utmoſt chagrin. Amena languiſh’d, and Anaret fretted to Death, tho’ ſhe reſolv’d to leave no Stone unturn’d to ſet all right again. Early in the Morning ſhe went to his Lodgings, and found him in a very ill Humour, but ſhe eaſily pacify’d him, by repreſenting with a great deal of real Grief, the Accident that retarded his Happineſs, and aſſuring him there was nothing cou’d hinder the fulfilling it. The next Night, when ſhe had gain’d this Point, ſhe came Home, and got the Key into her poſſeſſion, but could not get an opportunity all Day of ſpeaking to her Lady, Monſieur Sanſeverin did not ſtir out of Doors, and ſpent moſt of it with his Daughter; in his Diſcourſe to her, he ſet the Paſſion the Count had for her in ſo true a light, that it made a very great alteration in her Sentiments, and ſhe began to reflect on the condeſcenſions ſhe had given a Man who had never ſo much as mention’d Marriage to her with ſo much ſhame, as almoſt overwhelm’d her Love, and ſhe was now determin’d never to ſee him, till he ſhould declare himſelf to her Father in ſuch a manner as would be for her Honour.In 024 D4v 24
In the mean time Anaret waited with a great deal of Impatience for the Family going to Bed; and as ſoon as all was huſh, ran to give the Count Admittance; and leaving him in an Alley on the farther ſide of the Garden, made the accuſtom’d Sign at the Window. Amena preſently open’d it, but inſtead of ſtaying to hear what ſhe would ſay, threw a Letter out, Carry that, ſaid ſhe, to Count D’elmont, let him know the Contents of it are wholly the reſult of my own Reaſon. And as for your part, I charge you trouble me no further on this Subject; then ſhutting the Caſement haſtily, left Anaret in a ſtrange Conſternation at this ſuddain Change of her Humour; however ſhe made no delay, but running to the Place where the Count waited her return, deliver’d him the Letter, but advis’d him (who was ready enough of himſelf) not to obey any Commands might be given him to the hindrance of his Deſigns. The Moon was then at the full, and gave ſo clear a Light, that he eaſily found it contain’d theſe Words.To 025 E1r 25
To Count D’elmont.
Too many Proofs have I given you of my weakneſs, not to make you think me incapable of forming or keeping any Reſolution to the Prejudice of that Paſſion you have inſpir’d me with: But know, thou Undoer of my Quiet, tho’ I have Lov’d and ſtill do Love you with a Tenderneſs, which I fear will be Unvanquiſhable; yet I will rather ſuffer my Life, than my Virtue to become its Prey. Preſs me then no more I conjure you to ſuch dangerous Interviews, in which I dare neither Truſt my Self, nor You, if you believe me worthy your real Regard, the way thro’ Honour is open to receive You; Religion, Reaſon, Modeſty, and Obedience forbid the reſt.
D’elmont knew the Power he had over her too well, to be much diſcourag’d at what he read, and after a little conſultation with Anaret, they concluded he ſhould go to ſpeak to her, as being the beſt Sollicitor in his own Cauſe. As he came down the Walk Amena ſaw him thro’ the Glaſs, and the ſight of that beloved Object, bringing a thouſand paſt Endearments to her Memory, made her incapable of retiring from the Window, and ſhe remain’d in a Languiſhing and Immoveable poſture, leaning her Head againſt the ſhutter, ’till he drew near enough to diſcern ſhe ſaw him. He took this for no ill Omen, and inſtead of falling on his Knees at an humble diſtance, as ſome Romantick Lovers would have done, redoubled his pace, and Love and Fortune which on this Occaſion were reſolv’d to befriend him, preſented to E his 026 E1v 26 his view a large Rolling Stone which the Gard’ner had accidentally left there; the Iron-work that held it was very high, and ſtrong enough to bear a much greater weight than his, ſo he made no more to do, but getting on the top of it, was almoſt to the waſte above the bottom of the Caſement. This was a ſtrange Trial, for had ſhe been leſs in Love, good Manners would have oblig’d her to open it; however ſhe retain’d ſo much of her former reſolution as to conjure him to be gone, and not expoſe her to ſuch Hazards; that if her Father ſhould come to know ſhe held any clandeſtine Correſpondence with him, after the Commands he had given her, ſhe were utterly undone, and that he never muſt expect any Condeſcenſions from her, without being firſt allow’d by him. D’elmont, tho’ he was a little ſtartled to find her ſo much more Miſtreſs of her Temper than he believ’d ſhe cou’d be, yet reſolv’d to make all poſſible uſe of this Opportunity, which probably might be the laſt he ſhould ever have, look’d on her as ſhe ſpoke, with Eyes ſo piercing, ſo ſparkling with Deſire accompany’d with ſo bewitching ſoftneſs, as might have thaw’d the moſt frozen reſervedneſs, and on the melting Soul ſtamp’d Love’s Impreſſion. ’Tis certain they were to irreſiſtible to be long withſtood, and putting an end to Amena’s grave remonſtrances, gave him leave to reply to ’em in this manner. Why my Life, my Angel, ſaid he, my everlaſting Treaſure of my Soul, ſhould theſe Objections now be rais’d? how can you ſay you have given me your Heart; nay, own you think me worthy that ineſtimable Jewel, yet dare not truſt your Perſon with me a few Hours: What have you to fear from your adoring Slave, I want but to convince you how 027 E2r 27 how much I am ſo, by a thouſand yet uninvented Vows. They may be ſpar’d, cry’d Amena, haſtily interrupting him, one Declaration to my Father, is all the proof that he or I demands of your Sincerity. Oh! thou inhuman and Tyrannick Charmer, anſwer’d he (ſeizing her Hand, and eagerly kiſſing it) I doubt not but your faithful Anaret has told you, that I cou’d not without the higheſt imprudence preſently diſcover the Paſſion I have for you to the World. I have, my Lord, ſaid that cunning Wench who ſtood near him, and that ’twas only to acquaint her with the Reaſons why for ſome time you wou’d have it a Secret, that you ſo much deſir’d to ſpeak with her. Beſides (rejoyn’d the CountCount) conſider my Angel how much more hazardous it is for you to hold Diſcourse with me here, than at a farther diſtance from your Father; your denying to go with me is the only way to make your fears prove true; his jealouſie of you may poſſibly make him more wakeful than ordinary, and we are not ſure but that this minute he may tear you from my Arms; whereas if you ſuffer me to bear you hence, if he ſhould happen to come even to your Door, and hear no noiſe, he will believe you ſleeping, and return to his Bed well ſatisfy’d. With theſe and the like Arguments ſhe was at laſt overcome, and with the aſſiſtance of Anaret, he eaſily lifted her down. But this raſh Action, ſo contrary to the Reſolution ſhe thought her ſelf before a few moments before ſo fix’d in, made ſuch a confuſion in her Mind, as render’d her inſenſible for ſome time of all he ſaid to her. They made what haſt they could into the Tuilleries and D’elmont having plac’d her on one of the moſt pleaſant Seats E2 was 028 E2v 28 was reſolv’d to looſe no time, and having given her ſome Reaſons for his not addresſſing to her Father; which tho’ weak in themſelves, were eaſily believ’d by a Heart ſo willing to be deceiv’d as hers, he began to preſs for a greater confirmation of her affection than Words; and ’twas now this inconſiderate Lady found her ſelf in the greateſt ſtrait ſhe had ever yet been in; all Nature ſeem’d to favour his Deſign, the pleaſantneſs of the Place, the ſilence of the Night, the ſweetneſs of the Air, perfum’d with a thouſand various Odours wafted by gentle Breezes from adjacent Gardens compleated the moſt delightful Scene that ever was, to offer up a Sacrifice to Love; not a Breath but flew wing’d with deſire, and ſent ſoft thrilling wiſhes to the Soul; Cynthia her ſelf cold as ſhe is reported, aſſiſted in the Inſpiration, and ſometimes ſhone with all her brightneſs, as it were to feaſt their raviſh’d Eyes with gazing on each others Beauty; then veil’d her Beams in Clouds, to give the Lover boldneſs, and hide the Virgins bluſhes. What now could poor Amena do, ſurrounded with ſo many Powers, attack’d by ſuch a charming force without, betray’d by tenderneſs within: Vertue and Pride, the Guardians of her Honour fled from her Breaſt, and left her to her Foe, only a modeſt baſhfulneſs remain’d, which for a time made ſome defence, but with ſuch weakneſs as a Lover leſs impatient than D’elmont would have little regarded. The heat of the Weather, and her confinement having hindred her from Dreſſing that Day, ſhe had only a thin ſilk Night Gown on, which flying open as he caught her in his Arms, he found her panting Heart beat meaſures of conſent, her heaving Breaſt ſwell to be preſs’d by his, and every Pulſe confeſs 029 E3r 29 confeſs a wiſh to yield; her Spirits all diſſolv’d ſunk in a Lethargy of Love, her ſnowy Arms unknowing graſp’d his Neck, her Lips met his half way, and trembled at the touch; in fine there was but a moment betwixt her and Ruine; when the tread of ſome body coming haſtily down the Walk, oblig’d the half-bleſs’d Pair to put a ſtop to farther Endearments. It was Anaret who having been left Centinel in the Garden, in order to open the Door when her Lady ſhould return, had ſeen Lights in every Room in the Houſe, and heard great confuſion, ſo ran immediately to give ’em notice of this Misfortune. Theſe dreadful Tidings ſoon rous’d Amena from her Dream of Happineſs, ſhe accus’d the influence of her Amorous Stars, upbraided Anaret, and blam’d the Count in Terms little differing from diſtraction, and ’twas as much as both of ’em could do to perſwade her to be calm. However ’twas concluded that Anaret ſhould go back to the Houſe and return to ’em again, as ſoon as ſhe had learn’d what accident had occaſion’d this diſturbance. The Lovers had now a ſecond opportunity, if either of ’em had been inclin’d to make uſe of it, but their Sentiments were entirely chang’d with this alarm; Amena’s Thoughts were wholly taken up with her approaching ſhame, and vow’d ſhe wou’d rather die than ever come into her Father’s preſence, if it were true that ſhe was miſs’d; the Count who wanted not good Nature, ſeriouſly reflecting on the Misfortunes he was likely to bring on a young Lady who tenderly lov’d him, gave him a great deal of real remorſe, and the conſideration that he ſhould be neceſſitated, either to own an injurious Deſign, or come into meaſures for the clearing of it, which would in no way agreegree 030 E3v 30 gree with his Ambition, made him extreamly penſive, and wiſh Amena again in her Chamber, more earneſtly than ever he had done to get her out of it, they both remain’d in a profound ſilence, impatiently waiting the approach of Anaret; but ſhe not coming as they expected, and the Night wearing away apace, very much encreas’d the trouble they were in; at length the Count after revolving a thouſand Inventions in his Mind advis’d to walk toward the Garden and ſee whether the Door was yet open. ’Tis beter for you, Madam, ſaid he, whatſoever has happened to be found in your own Garden, than in any place with me. Amena comply’d, and ſuffer’d her ſelf to be led thither, trembling and ready to ſink with fear and grief at every ſtep; but when they found all faſt, and that there was no hopes of getting entrance, ſhe fell quite ſenſeleſs, and without any ſigns of Life at her Lover’s feet; he was ſtrangely at a loſs what to do with her, and made a thouſand Vows, if he got clear of this Adventure, never to embark in another of this nature; he was little skill’d in proper means to recover her, and ’twas more to her Youth and the goodneſs of her Constitution that ſhe ow’d the return of his Senſes, than his aukward endeavours; when ſhe reviv’d, the piteous Lamentations ſhe made, and the perplexity he was in how to diſpoſe of her, was very near reducing him to as bad a Condition as ſhe had been in; his never ’till now having had occaſion for a Confident, render’d him ſo unhappy as not to know any one Perſon at whoſe Houſe he could with any convenience truſt her and to carry her to that where he had Lodgings was the 031 E4r 31 the way to be made the talk of all Paris. He ask’d her ſeveral times if ſhe would not command him to wait on her to ſome place where ſhe might remain free from Cenſure till ſhe heard from her Father, but cou’d get no Anſwer but upbraidings from her. So making a Virtue of Neceſſity, he was oblig’d to take her in his Arms, with a deſign to bring her (tho’ much againſt his Inclinations) to his own Apartment: As he was going thro’ a very fair Street which led to that in which he liv’d, Amena cry’d out with a ſort of joy, looſe me my Lord, I ſee a Light in yonder Houſe, the Lady of it is my deareſt Friend, ſhe has power with my Father, and if I beg her protection, I doubt not but ſhe will afford it me, and perhaps find ſome way to mitigate my Misfortunes; the Count was overjoy’d to be eas’d of his fair Burthen, andand ſetting her down at the Gate was preparing to take his leave with an indifference, which was but too viſible to the afflicted Lady. I ſee, my Lord ſaid ſhe, the pleaſure you take in getting rid of me, exceeds the trouble for the ruine you have brought upon me; but go, I hope I ſhall reſent this Uſage as I ought, and that I may be the better enabled to do ſo, I deſire you to return the Letter I writ this fatal Night, the Reſolution it contain’d will ſerve me to remind me of my ſhameful breach of it.
Madam, (anſwer’d he coldly, but with great complaiſance,) you have ſaid enough to make a Lover leſs obedient refuſe; but becauſe I am ſenſible of the accidents that happen to Letters, and to ſhew that I can never be repugnant even to the moſt rigorous of your Commands, I ſhall make no 032 E4v 32 no ſcruple in fulfilling this, and truſt to your goodneſs for the re-ſettling me in your eſteem, when next you make me ſo happy as to ſee you. The formality of this Compliment touch’d her to the quick, and the thought of what ſhe was like to ſuffer on his account, fill’d her with ſo juſt an anger, that as ſoon as ſhe got the Letter, ſhe knock’d haſtily at the Gate, which being immediately open’d, broke off any farther Diſcourſe, ſhe went in, and he departed to his Lodging, ruminating on every Circumſtance of this Affair, and conſulting with himſelf how he ſhould proceed. Alovisa (for it was her Houſe which Amena by a whimſical effect of Chance had made choice of for her Sanctuary) was no ſooner told her Rival was come to ſpeak with her, but ſhe fell into all the raptures that ſucceſsful malice could inſpire, ſhe was already inform’d of part of this Night’s Adventur for the cunning Charlo who by her Orders had been a diligent Spy on Count D’elmont’s Actions, and as conſtant an attendant on him as his ſhadow, had watch’d him to Monſieur Sanseverin’s Garden, ſeen him enter, and afterwards come with Amena into the Tuillerys, where perceiving ’em Seated, ran Home, and brought his Lady an account; Rage, Jealouſie and Envy working their uſual effects in her, at this News, made her promiſe the Fellow infinite Rewards if he would invent ſome Stratagem to ſeperate, ’em, which he undertaking to do, occaſion’d her being up ſo late, impatiently waiting his return; ſhe went down to receive her with great Civility, mix’d with a ſeign’d ſurprize to ſee her at ſuch an hour, and in ſuch a Diſhabilee, which the other anſwering 033 F1r 33 anſwering ingeniouſly, and freely letting her into the whole ſecret, not only of her Amour, but the coldneſs ſhe obſerv’d in D’elmont’s Behaviour at parting, fill’d this cruel Woman with ſo exquiſite a Joy as ſhe was hardly capable of diſſembling; therefore to get liberty to indulge it, and to learn the reſt of the particulars of Charlo, who ſhe heard was come in, ſhe told Amena ſhe would have her go to Bed, and endeavour to compoſe her ſelf, and that ſhe would ſend for Monſieur Sanseverin in the Morning, and endeavour to reconcile him to her. I will alſo added ſhe with a deceitful ſmile, ſee the Count D’elmont, and talk to him in a manner as ſhall make him truly ſenſible of his Happineſs; nay, ſo far my Friendſhip ſhall extend, that if there be any real Cauſe for making your Amour a ſecret, he ſhall ſee you at my Houſe, and paſs for a Viſitor of mine; I have no body to whom I need be accountable for my Actions, and am above the cenſures of the World. Amena thank’d her in terms full of gratitude, and went with the Maid, whom Alovisa had order’d to conduct her to a Chamber prepar’d for her; as ſoon as ſhe had got rid of her, ſhe call’d for Charlo, impatient to hear by what contrivance this lucky Chance had befallen her. Madam, ſaid he, tho’ I form’d a thouſand Inventions, I found not any ſo plauſible, as to alarm Monſieur Sanseverin’s Family, with an outcry of Fire. Therefore I rang the Bell at the fore-gate of the Houſe, and bellow’d in the moſt terrible accent I could poſſible turn my Voice to, Fire, Fire, riſe, or you will all be burnt in your Beds. I had not repeated this many times, before I found the effect I wiſh’d; the Noiſes I heard, and the Lights I ſaw in the Rooms, aſſur’d me there were F no 034 F1v 34 no Sleepers left; then I ran to the Tuilliers, deſigning to obſerve the Lover’s proceedings, but I found they were appriz’d of the Danger they were in of being diſ over’ddiſcover’d, and were coming to endeavour an entrance into the Garden. I know the reſt, interrupted Alovisa, the Event has anſwer’d even beyond my Wiſhes, and thy Reward for this good SerivceService ſhall be greater than thy Expectations. As ſhe ſaid theſe words, ſhe retir’d to her Chamber, more ſatisfy’d than ſhe had been for many Months. Quite different did poor Amena paſs the Night, for beſides the grief of having diſoblig’d her Father, baniſh’d her ſelf his Houſe, and expos’d her Reputation to the unavoidable cenſures of the unpitying World; for an ungrateful, or at beſt an indifferent Lover. She receiv’d a vaſt addition of Afflictions, when taking out the Letter which D’elmont had given her at parting, poſſible to weep over it; and accuſe her ſelf for ſo inconſiderately breaking the noble reſolution it contain’d: She found it was Alovisa’s Hand, for the Count by miſtake had given her the ſecond he receiv’d from that Lady, inſtead of that ſhe deſir’d him to return. Never was Surprize, Confuſion, and Diſpair at ſuch a height, as in Amena’s Soul at this Diſcovery; ſhe was now aſſur’d by what ſhe read, that ſhe had fled for protection to the very Perſon ſhe ought moſt to have avoided; that ſhe had made a Confident of her greateſt Enemy, a Rival dangerous to her Hopes in every Circumſtance. She conſider’d the High Birth and vaſt Poſſeſſions that Alovisa was Miſtreſs of, in oppoſition to her Father’s ſcanted power of making her a Fortune. Her Wit and Subtilty againſt her Innocence and Simplicity; her Pride, and the reſpect her grandeurdeur 035 F2r 35 deur commanded from the World, againſt her own deplor’d and wretched State, and look’d upon her ſelf as wholly loſt. The violence of her Sorrow is more eaſily imagin’d than expreſs’d; but of all her melancholy reflections, none rack’d her equal to the belief ſhe had that D’elmont was not unſenſible by this time whom the Letter came from, and had only made a Court to her to amuſe himſelf a while, and then ſuffer her to fall a Sacrifice to his Ambition, and feed the vanity of her Rival; a juſt Indignation now open’d the Eyes of her Underſtanding, and conſidering all the paſſages of the Count’s Behaviour, ſhe ſaw a thouſand Things which told her, his Deſigns on her were far unworthy of the name of Love. None that were ever touch’d with the leaſt of thoſe Paſſions which agitated the Soul of Amena, can believe they would permit Sleep to enter her Eyes: But if Grief and Diſtraction kept her from repoſe; Alovisa had too much Buſineſs on her hands to enjoy much more. She had promis’d Amena to ſend for her Father, and the Count, and found there were not too many Moments before Morning, to contrive ſo many different forms of Behaviour, as ſhould deceive ’em all three, compleat the Ruin of her Rival, and engage the Addreſſes of her Lover; as ſoon as ſhe thought it a proper Hour, ſhe diſpatch’d a Meſſenger to Count D’elmont, and another to Monſieur Sanseverin’s, who full of Sorrow as he was, immediately obey’d her Summons. She receiv’d him in her Dreſſing-room, and with a great deal of feign’d Trouble in her Countenance, accoſted him in this manner. How hard is it, ſaid ſhe, to diſſemble Grief, and in ſpite of all the Care which I doubt not you have taken to conceal it, in conſideration of your own F2 and 036 F2v 36 and Daughter’s Honour. I too plainly perceive it in your face to imagine that my own is hid. How, Madam, cry’d the impatient Father, (then giving a looſe to his Tears) are you acquainted then with my Misfortune? Alas, anſwered ſhe, I fear by the consequences you have been the laſt to whom it has been reveal’d. I hop’d that my Advice, and the daily proofs the Count gave your Daughter of the little regard he had for her, might have fir’d her to a generous Diſdain, and have a thouſand Pardons to ask of you for breach of Friendſhip, in concealing an Affair ſo requiſite you ſhould have known. Oh! Madam, reſum’d he, interrupting her, I conjure you make no Apologies for what is paſt, I know too well the greatneſs of your goodneſs, and the favour you have always been pleas’d to honour her with; not to be aſſur’d ſhe was happy in your eſteem, and only beg I may no longer be kept in Ignorance of the fatal Secret. You ſhall be inform’d of all, ſaid ſhe, but then you muſt promiſe me to act by my Advice; which he having promis’d, ſhe told him after what manner Amena came to her Houſe, the coldneſs the Count expreſs’d to her, and the violence of her Paſſion for him. Now, ſaid ſhe, if you ſhould ſuffer your rage to break out in any publick manner against the Count, it will only ſerve to make your Daughters Diſhonour the Table- Talk of all Paris. He is too great at Court, and has too many Friends to be compell’d to any Terms for your ſatisfaction; beſides, the leaſt noiſe might make him diſcover by what means he firſt became acquainted with her, and her exceſſive, I will not ſay troubleſom fondneſs of him, ſince which ſhould he do, the ſhame wou’d be wholly her’s, for few wou’d condemn him for accepting the offer’d 037 F3r 37 offer’d Careſſes of a Lady ſo young and beautiful as Amena. But is it poſſible, cry’d he (quite confounded at theſe words) that ſhe ſhould ſtoop ſo low to offer Love. Oh Heavens! is this the effect of all my Prayers, my Care, and my Indulgence. Doubt not, reſum’d Alovisa of the Truth of what I ſay, I have it from her ſelf, and to convince you it is ſo, I ſhall inform you of ſomething I had forgot before. Then ſhe told him of the Note ſhe had ſlip’d into the Letter he had forced her to write, and of ſending Anaret to his Lodgings, which ſhe heightned with all the aggravating Circumſtances her Wit and Malice cou’d ſuggeſt, till the old Man believing all ſhe ſaid as an Oracle, was almoſt ſenſeleſs between Grief and Anger; but the latter growing rather the moſt predominant, he vow’d to puniſh her in ſuch a manner as ſhould deter all Children from Diſobedience. Now, ſaid Alovisa, it is, that I expect the performance of your Promiſe; theſe threats avail but little to the retrieving your Daughter’s Reputation, or your quiet; be therefore perſwaded to make no words of it, compoſe your Countenance as much as poſſible to ſerenity, and think if you have no Friend in any Monaſtry where you could ſend her till this Diſcourſe, and her own fooliſh Folly be blown over. If you have not, I can recommend you to one at St. Dennis where the Abbeſs is my near Relation, and on my Letter will uſe her with all imaginable Tenderneſs. Monſieur was extreamly pleas’d at this Propoſal, and gave her thoſe thanks the ſeeming kindneſs of her offer deſerv’d. I would not, reſum’d ſhe, have you take her Home, or ſee her before ſhe goes; or if you do, not till all things are ready for her Departure, for I know ſhe will be 038 F3v 38 be prodigal of her promiſes of Amendment, ’till ſhe has prevail’d with your Fatherly Indulgence to permit her ſtay at Paris, and know as well ſhe will not have the power to keep ’em in the ſame Town with the Count. She ſhall if you pleaſe, remain conceal’d in my Houſe, ’till you have provided for her Journey, and it will be a great means to put a ſtop to any farther reflections the malicious may make on her; if you give out ſhe is already gone to ſome Relations in the Country. As ſhe was ſpeaking Charlo came to acquaint her, one was come to viſit her. She made no doubt but ’twas D’elmont, therefore haſtned away Monſieur Sanseverin, after having fix’d him in a Reſolution to do every thing as ſhe advis’d. It was indeed Count D’elmont that was come, which as ſoon as ſhe was aſſur’d of, ſhe threw off her dejected and mournful Air, and aſſum’d one all gaity and good Humour, dimpled her Mouth with Smiles, and call’d the laughing Cupids to her Eyes.
My Lord, ſaid ſhe, you do well by this early viſit to retrieve your Sexes drooping fame of conſtancy, and prove the nicety of Amena’s diſcernment in conferring favours on a Perſon, who to his other Excellent Qualifications, has that of aſſiduity to deſerve them; as he was about to reply, the ruſh of ſomebody coming haſtily down the Stairs which faced the room they were in, oblig’d ’em to turn that way. It was the unfortunate Amena, who not being able to endure the thoughts of ſtaying in her Rivals Houſe, diſtracted with her griefs, and not regarding what ſhould become of her, as ſoon as ſhe heard the Doors were open, was preparing to fly from that deteſted place. Alovisa was vex’d to the Heart at 039 F4r 39 at ſight of her, hoping to have had ſome Diſcourſe with the Count before they met; but ſhe diſſembled it, and catching hold of her as ſhe was endeavouring to paſs, ask’d where ſhe was going, and what occaſion’d the Diſorder ſhe obſerv’d in her. I go, (anſwer’d Amena) from a falſe Lover, and a falſer Friend, but why ſhou’d I upbraid you (continu’d ſhe looking wildly ſometimes on the Count, and ſometimes on Alovisa) Treacherous Pair, you know too well each others Baſeneſs, and my wrongs, no longer then, detain a wretch whoſe preſence, had you the leaſt Senſe of Honour, Gratitude, or even Common Humanity, wou’d fill your Conſciences with Remorſe and Shame; and who has now no other wiſh, than that of ſhunning you for ever. As ſhe ſpoke this, ſhe ſtrugled to get looſe from Alovisa’s Arms, who, in ſpite of the Amazement ſhe was in, ſtill held her. D’elmont was no leſs confounded, and intirely ignorant of the meaning of what he heard, was at a loſs how to reply, ’till ſhe reſum’d her reproaches in this manner: Why ye Monſters of barbarity, ſaid ſhe, do you delight in beholding the ruins you have made? Is not the knowledge of my Miſeries, my everlaſting miſeries ſufficient to content you? And muſt I be debarr’d that only Remedy for woes like mine? Death! Oh Cruel return for all my Love, my Friendſhip! and the confidence I repos’d in you. Oh! to what am I reduced by my too ſoft and eaſie nature, hard fate of tenderneſs, which healing others, only wounds it’s ſelf.—Juſt Heavens!—here ſhe ſtop’d the violence of her reſentment endeavouring to vent it ſelf in ſighs, roſe in her breaſt with ſuch an impetuoſity as choak’d the paſſage of her words, and ſhe 040 F4v 40 ſhe fell in a ſwoon, tho’ the Count, and Alovisa were both in the greateſt Conſternation imaginable, yet neither of ’em were negligent in trying to recover her, as they were buſi’d about her, that fatal Letter which had been the cauſe of this diſturbance, fell out of her Boſom, and both being eager to take it up (believing it might make ſome diſcovery) had their hands on it at the ſame time; it was but ſlightly folded, and immediately ſhew’d ’em from what ſourſe Amena’s diſpair proceeded her upbradings of Alovisa, and the Bluſhes and Confuſion which he obſerv’d in that Ladies Face, as ſoon as ever ſhe ſaw it opened, put an end to the miſtery, and one leſs quick of Apprehenſion then D’elmont, wou’d have made no difficulty in finding his unknown Admirer in the Perſon of Alovisa: She to conceal the diſſorder ſhe was in at this Adventure, as much as poſſible; call’d her Women, and order’d ’em to Convey Amena into an other Chamber where there was more Air, as ſhe was preparing to follow turning a little towards the Count, but ſtill extreamly confus’d, you’l Pardon, me, my Lord, ſaid ſhe, if my concern for my Friend obliges me to leave you. Ah Madam, reply’d he, forbear to make any Apologies to me, rather Summon all your goodneſs to forgive a wretch ſo blind to happineſs as I have been: She either cou’d not, or wou’d not make any anſwer to theſe Words, but ſeeming as tho’ ſhe heard ’em not went haſtily into the Room where Amena was, leaving the Count full of various, and confus’d Reflections, the ſweetneſs of his Diſpoſition made him regret his being the Author of Amena’s Misfortunes, but how miſerable is that Womans Condition, who by her Mismanagementmanagement 041 G1r 41 management is reduc’d to ſo poor a Comfort as the pity of her Lover, that Sex is generally too gay, to continue long uneaſie, and there was little likelihood he cou’d be capable of Lamenting Ills which his ſmall acquaintance with the Paſſion from which they ſprang, made him not Comprehend. The pleaſure, the diſcovery gave him of a Secret, he had ſo long deſir’d to find out, kept him from being too much concern’d at the Adventure that occaſion’d it, but he cou’d not forbear accuſing himſelf of intollerable Stupidity, when he Conſider’d the paſſages of Alovisa’s Behaviour, her ſwooning at the Ball, her conſtant Glances, her frequent Bluſhes when he talk’d to her, and all his Cogitations whether on Alovisa or Amena, were mingled with a wonder that Love ſhould have ſuch Power. The diverſity of his Thoughts wou’d have entertain’d him much longer; if they had not been interrupted by his Page, who came in a great hurry, to acquaint him, that his Brother the young Chevalier Brillian was juſt come to Town, and waited with Impatience for his Coming Home, as much a Stranger as D’elmont was to the affairs of Love, he was none to thoſe of Friendſhip, and making no doubt but that the former ought to yield to the latter in every reſpect, Contented himſelf with telling one of Alovisa’s Servants, as he went out, that he wou’d wait on her in the Evening, and made what haſt he cou’d to give his Beloved Brother the welcome he expected after ſo long an abſence, and indeed the manner of their meeting expreſs’d a moſt intire and ſincere Affection on both ſides; the Chevalier was but year a younger than the Count, they had been bred together from their Infancy, and there was ſuch a Simpathy in their Souls, and ſo great a ReſemblanceG ſemblance 042 G1v 42 ſemblance in their Perſons, as very much Contributed to endear ’em to each other with a Tenderneſs far beyond that which is ordinarily found among Relations. After the firſt Teſtimonies of it were over, D’elmont began to Queſtion him how he had paſt his time ſince their Separation, and to give him ſome little Reproaches for not writing ſo often as he might have Expected. Alas! my deareſt Brother, Replied the Chevalier, ſuch various Adventures have hap’ned to me ſince we parted, as when I relate ’em will I hope excuſe my ſeeming negligence; theſe words were accompanied with ſighs, and a Melancholly Air immediately overſpreading his face, and taking away a great part of the vivacity, which lately ſparkled in his Eyes, rais’d an Impatient deſire in the Count to know the reaſon of it, which, when he had expreſt, the other, (after having engag’d him that whatever Cauſes he might find to ridicule his Folly, he wou’d ſuſpend all appearance of it, ’till the end of his Narration) began to ſatisfie in this Manner.The 043 G2r 43
The Story of the Chevalier BrillianAt St. Omers where you left me, I hapned to make an Acquaintance with one Monſieur Bellpine a Gentleman, who was there on ſome Buſineſs, we being both pretty much Strangers in the Place occaſion’d an Intimacy between us, which the diſparity of our Tempers, wou’d have prevented our Commencing at Paris, but you know I was never a Lover of Solitude, and for want of Company more agreeable, was willing to Encourage his. He was indeed ſo obliging as to ſtay longer at St. Omers then his Affairs required, purpoſely to engage me to make Amiens in my way to Paris. He was very vain, and fancying himſelf happy in the eſteem of the fair Sex, was deſirous I ſhould be witneſs of the Favours they beſtow’d on him. Among the number of thoſe he uſed to talk of, was Madamoiſelle Ansellina De La Tour, a Parisian Lady, and Heireſs of a great Eſtate, but had been ſome time at Amiens, with Madam the Baroneſs de Beronville her God-Mother. The wonders he told me of this young Ladies Wit, and Beauty, inclin’d me to a deſire of ſeeing her, and as ſoon as I was in a Condition to Travel, we took our way towards Amiens, he us’d me with all the Friendſhip he was capable of expreſſing: And ſoon after we arriv’d, carried me to the Baroneſſes: But oh Heavens!G2 vens! 044 G2v 44 vens! how great was my aſtoniſhment when I found Ansellina as far beyond his faint Deſcription, as the Sun Beams the Imitation of Art; beſides the regularity of her Features, the delicacy of her Complexion, and the juſt Simmetry of her whole Compoſition, ſhe has an undiſcribable ſweetneſs that plays about her Eyes, and Mouth, and ſoftens all her Air: But all her Charms dazling as they are wou’d have loſt their Captivating force on me if I had believ’d her capable of that weakneſs for Bellpine that his vanity wou’d have made me think: ſhe is very Young and Gay, and I eaſily perceiv’d She ſuffer’d his Addreſſes more out of Diverſion then any real regard ſhe had for him; he held a conſtant Correſpondence at Paris, and was continually furniſh’d with every thing that was Novel, and by that means introduc’d himſelf into many Companies who elſe wou’d not have endur’d him; but when at any time I was ſo happy as to entertain the Lovely Ansellina alone, and we had opportunity for ſerious Diſcourse, (which was impoſſible in his Company) I found that ſhe was Miſtreſs of a Wit, Poynant enough to be Satyrical, yet it was accompanied with a Diſcretion as very much heighten’d her Charms, and compleated the Conqueſt that her Eyes begun. I will confeſs to you Brother that I became ſo devoted to my Paſſion that I had no leiſure for any other Sentiments. Fears, Hopes, Anxieties: Jealous Pains, uneaſie Pleaſures, all the Artillery of Love, were garriſon’d in my Heart, and a thouſand various half form’d Reſolutions fill’d my Head. Ansellina’s inſenſibility among a Crowd of Admirers, and the diſparity of our Fortunes wou’d have given me juſt Cauſes of Diſpair, if the Generoſity of her Temper had not diſipated the one, and her youth 045 G3r 45 youth, and the hope her hour was not yet come, the other. I was often about letting her know the Power ſhe had over me, but ſomething of an awe which none but thoſe who truly Love can gueſs at, ſtill prevented my being able to utter it, and I believe ſhould have Languiſhed ’till this moment in an unavailing ſilence, if an accident had not hap’ned to embolden me: I went one Day to viſit my Adorable, and being told ſhe was in the Garden, went thither in hopes to ſee her, but being deceiv’d in my Expectation, believ’d the Servant who gave me that Information was Miſtaken, and Fancying ſhe might be retir’d to her Cloſet as ſhe very often did in the Afternoon, and the pleaſantneſs of the Place inducing me to ſtay there till ſhe was willing to admit me. I ſat down at the foot of a Diana, Curiouſly Carv’d in Marble, and full of Melancholly Reflections without knowing what I did, took a black Lead Pen out of my Pocket, and writ on the Pedeſtal theſe two Lines. Hopeleſs, and ſilent, I muſt ſtill adore, Her Heart’s more hard than Stone whom I’d implore. I had ſcarce finiſh’d ’em, when I perceiv’d Ansellina at a good diſtance from me, coming out of a little cloſe Arbor; the reſpect I had for her, made me fear ſhe ſhould know I was the Author of ’em, and gueſs what I found I had not gain’d Courage enough to tell her. I went out of the Alley as I imagin’d unſeen, and deſign’d to come up another, and meet her, before ſhe cou’d get into the Houſe. But tho’ I walk’d prety faſt, ſhe had left the place before I cou’d attain it; and in her ſtead, (caſting my Eyes toward the Statue with 046 G3v 46 with an Intention to rub out what I had writ) I found this Addition to it. You wrong your Love, while you conceal your Pain, Stones will diſſolve with conſtant drops of Rain. But, my dear Brother, if you are yet inſenſible of the wonderful effects of Love, you will not be able to imagine what I felt at this view; I was ſatisfied it cou’d be writ by no body but Ansellina, there being no other Perſon in the Garden, and knew as well ſhe cou’d not deſign that Encouragement for any other Man, becauſe on many occaſions ſhe had ſeen my Hand; and the Day before had written a Song for her, which ſhe deſir’d to learn, with that very Pen I now had made uſe of, and going haſtily away at the ſight of her, had forgot to take with me. I gaz’d upon the dear obliging Characters, and kiſs’d the Marble which contain’d ’em; a thouſand times before I cou’d find in my heart to efface ’em; as I was in this agreeable amazement, I hear’d Belpine’s Voice calling to me as he came up the Walk, which oblig’d me to put an end to it, and the Object which occaſion’d it. He had been told as well as I, that Ansellina was in the Garden, and expreſſing ſome wonder to ſee me alone, ask’d where ſhe was? I anſwer’d him with a great deal of real Truth, that I knew not, and that I had been there ſome time, but had not been ſo happy as to entertain her. He ſeem’d not to give Credit to what I ſaid, and began to uſe me after a faſhion as would have much more aſtoniſh’d me from any other Perſon. I would not have you, ſaid he, be concern’d at what I am about to ſay, becauſe you are one of thoſe for whom I am willingling 047 G4r 47 ling to preſerve a Friendſhip; and to convince you of my Sincerity, give you leave to addreſs after what manner you pleaſe to any of the Ladies with whom I have brought you acquainted, excepting Ansellina. But I take this Opportunity to let you know I have already made choice of her, with a deſign of Marriage, and from this time forward, ſhall look on any Viſits you ſhall make to her, as injurious to my Pretenſions. Tho’ I was no Stranger to the Vanity and Inſolence of Bellpine’s Humour, yet not being accuſtom’d to ſuch arbitrary kind of Treatment, had certainly reſented it, (if we had been in any other place) in a very different manner than I did, but the conſideration that to make a Noiſe there wou’d be a Reflection rather than a Vindication on Ansellina’s Fame; I contented my ſelf with telling him, he might be perfectly eaſie, that whatever Qualifications the Lady might have that ſhould encourage his Addreſſes, I ſhould never give her any reaſon to boaſt a Conqueſt over me. Theſe words might have born two Interpretations, if the diſdainful air with which I ſpoke ’em, and which I cou’d not diſſemble, and my going immediately away, had not made him take ’em as they were really deſign’d, to affront him. He was full of Indignation and Jealouſie, (if it is poſſible for a Perſon to be touch’d with that paſſion, who is not capable of the other, which generally occaſions it) but however having taken it into his Head to imagine I was better receiv’d by Ansellina than he deſir’d, Envy, and a ſort of Womaniſh Spleen, tranſported him ſo far as to go to Ansellina’s Apartment, and rail at me moſt profuſely (as I have ſince been told) and threaten how much he’d be reveng’d, if he hear’d 048 G4v 48 hear’d I ever ſhould have the aſſurance to viſit there again. Ansellina at firſt laugh’d at his folly, but finding he perſiſted, and began to aſſume more Liberty than ſhe ever meant to afford him; inſtead of liſtning to his Entreaties, to forbid me the Privilege I had enjoy’d of her Converſation, ſhe paſs’d that very Sentence on him, and when next I waited of her, received me with more reſpect than ever; and when at laſt I took the boldneſs to acquaint her with my Paſſion, I had the ſatisfaction to obſerve from the frankeſs of her diſpoſition that I was not indifferent to her; nor indeed did ſhe, even in publick affect any reſervedneſs more than the decencies of her Sex and Quality requir’d; for after my pretenſions to her were commonly talk’d of, and thoſe who were intimate with her, wou’d railly her about me; ſhe paſs’d it off with a Spirit of Gaity and good Humour peculiar to her ſelf, and ’bated nothing of her uſual freedom to me; ſhe permitted me to read to her, to Walk and Dance with her, and I had all the Opportunities of endeavouring an encreaſe of her eſteem that I cou’d wiſh, which ſo incens’d BellpiineBellpine, that he made no ſruple of reviling both Her and Me in all Companies whereever he came; ſaying I was a little worthleſs Fellow, who had nothing but my Sword to depend upon; and that Ansellina having no hopes of Marrying him, was glad to take up with the firſt that ask’d her. Theſe ſcandalous Reports on my firſt hearing of ’em had aſſuredly been fatal to one of us, if Ansellina had not commanded me by all the Paſſion I profeſs’d, and by the Friendſhip ſhe freely acknowledg’d to have for me) not to take any notice of ’em: I ſet too high a value on the favours ſhe allow’d me, to be capableble 049 H1r 49 ble of Diſobedience; and ſhe was too nice a Judge of the Punctillio’s of our Sexes Honour, not to take this Sacrifice of ſo juſt a Reſentment, as a very great proof how much I ſubmitted to her will, and ſuffer’d not a Day to paſs without giving me ſome new mark how nearly (ſhe was touch’d with it, I was the moſt contented and happy Perſon in the World, ſtill hoping that in a little time, ſhe having no Relations that had power to contradict her Inclinations) I ſhould be able to obtain every thing from her that an honourable Paſſion could require; ’till one Evening coming home pretty late from her, my Servant gave me a Letter which he told me was left for me by one of Bellpine’s Servants; I preſently ſuſpected the Contents, and found I was not miſtaken; it was really a Challenge to meet him the next Morning, and muſt confeſs, tho’ I long’d for an Opportunity to chaſtize his Inſolence, was a little troubled how to excuſe my ſelf to Anselline, but there was no poſſibility of evading it, without rendring my ſelf unworthy of her, and hop’d that Circumſtance wou’d be ſufficient to clear me to her. I will not trouble you Brother with the particulars of our Duel, ſince there was nothing material, but that at the third paſs (I know not whether I may call it the effect of my good or evil Fortune) he receiv’d my Sword a good depth in his Body, and fell with all the Symptoms of a Dying-Man. I made all poſſible haſt to send a Surgeon to him. In my way I met two Gentlemen, who it ſeems he had made acquainted with his Deſign (probably with an intention to be prevented). They ask’d me what Succeſs, and when I had inform’d ’em, advis’d me to be gone from Amiens before the News ſhould reach the Ears of Bellpine’s Relations, H who 050 H1v 50 who were not inconſiderable in that Place. I made ’em thoſe Retributions their Civilities deſerv’d; but how eminent ſoever the Danger appear’d that threatned me, cou’d not think of leaving Amiens, without having firſt ſeen Anselline. I went to the Baroneſſes, and found my Charmer at her Toylet, and either it was my Fancy, or elſe ſhe really did look more amiable in that Undreſs than ever I had ſeen her, tho’ adorn’d with the utmoſt Illuſtrations. She ſeem’d ſurpriz’d at ſeeing me ſo early, and with her wonted good Humor asking me the reaſon of it, put me into a mortal Agony how to anſwer her, for I muſt aſſure you Brother, that the fears of her Diſpleaſure were a thouſand times more dreadful to me, than any other apprehenſions; ſhe repeated the Queſtion three or four times before I had Courage to Reply, and I believe ſhe was pretty near gueſſing the Truth by my Silence, and the diſorder in my Countenance before I ſpoke; and when I did, ſhe receiv’d the account of the whole Adventure with a vaſt deal of trouble, but no anger; ſhe knew too well what I ow’d to my Reputation, and the Poſt his Majeſty had honour’d me with, to believe I cou’d, or ought to diſpence with ſubmitting to the Reflections which muſt have fallen on me, had I acted otherwiſe than I did. Her Concern and Tears, which ſhe had not Power to contain at the thoughts of my Departure, joyn’d with her earneſt Conjurations to me to be gone, let me more than ever into the ſecrets of her Heart, and gave me a Pleaſure as inconceiveable as the neceſſity of parting did the contrary. Nothing cou’d be more moving than our taking leave, and when ſhe tore her ſelf half willing and half unwilling from my Arms, had ſent me 051 H2r 51 me away inconſolable, if her Promiſes of coming to Paris as ſoon as ſhe could without being taken notice of, and frequent writing to me in the mean time, had not given me a Hope, tho’ a diſtant one of Happineſs. Thus Brother, have I given you, in as few Words as I cou’d, a Recital of every thing that has hapned to me of Conſequence ſince our Separation, in which I dare believe you will find more to Pity than Condemn.
The afflicted Chevalier cou’d not conclude without letting fall ſome Tears; which the Count perceiveing, ran to him, and tenderly embracing him, ſaid all that cou’d be expected from a moſt affectionate Friend to mitigate his Sorrows, nor ſuffered him to remove from his Arms ’till he had accompliſh’d his Deſign; and then believing the hearing of the Adventures of another, (eſpecially one he was ſo deeply intereſted in) wou’d be the ſureſt means to give a Truce to the more melancholy Reflections on his own, related every thing that had befallen him ſince his coming to Paris. The Letters he receiv’d from a Lady Incognito, his little Gallantries with Amena, and the accident that prſentedpreſented to his view, the unknown Lady in the Perſon of one of the greateſt Fortunes in all France. Nothing cou’d be a greater Cordial to the Chevalier, than to find his Brother was belov’d by the Siſter of Ansellina, he did not doubt but that by this means there might be a poſſibility of ſeeing her ſooner than elſe he cou’d have hop’d, and the two Brothers began to enter into a ſerious conſultation of this Affair, which ended with a Reſolution to fix their Fortunes there. The Count had never yet ſeen a Beauty formidable enough to give him an Hours uneaſineſs (purely for the ſake of Love) and would often ſay, Cupid’s Quiver never H2 held 052 H2v 52 held an Arrow of force to reach his Heart; thoſe little Delicacies, thoſe trembling aking Tranſports, which every ſight of the beloved Object occaſions, and ſo viſibly diſtinguiſhes a real Paſſion from a Counterfeit, he look’d on as the Chimera’s of an idle Brain, form’d to inſpire Notions of an imaginary Bliſs, and make Fools loſe themſelves in ſeeking; or if they had a Being, it was only in weak Souls, a kind of Diſeaſe with which he aſſur’d himſelf he ſhould never be infected. Ambition was certainly the reigning Paſſion in his Soul, and Alovisa’s Quality and vaſt Poſſeſſions, promiſing a full Gratification of that, he ne’er ſo much as wiſh’d to know, a farther Happineſs in Marriage.
But while the Count and Chevalier were thus Employ’d, the Rival Ladies paſt the hours in a very different Entertainment, the diſpair and bitter Lamentations that the unfortunate Amena made, when ſhe came out of her ſwooning, were ſuch as moved even Alovisa to Compaſſion, and if any thing but reſigning D’elmont cou’d have given her Conſolation, ſhe wou’d willingly have apply’d it. There was now no need of further Diſſimulation, and ſhe confeſs’d to Amena, that ſhe had Lov’d the Charming Count with a kind of Madneſs from the firſt Moment ſhe beheld him: That to favour her Deſigns on him, ſhe had made uſe of every Strategem ſhe cou’d invent, that by her means, the Amour was firſt diſcover’d to Monſieur Sanseverin, and his Family Alarm’d the night before; and Laſtly, that by her Perſuaſions, he had reſolv’d to ſend her to a Monaſtry, to which ſhe muſt prepare her ſelf to go in a few days without taking any leave even of her Father; have you (cry’d Amena haſtily interrupting her) have 053 H3r 53 have you prevail’d with my Father to ſend me from this hated place, without the Puniſhment of hearing his upbraidings? Which the other anſwering in the Affirmative, I thank you reſum’d Amena, that favour has Cancell’d all your Score of Cruelty, for after the Follies I have been guilty of, nothing is ſo dreadful as the ſight of him, and who, wou’d oh Heavens! (Continu’d ſhe burſting into a Flood of Tears) wiſh to ſtay in a World ſo full of falſhood. She was able to utter no more for ſome Moments, but at laſt, raiſing her ſelf on the Bed where ſhe was laid, and endeavouring to ſeem a little more Compos’d: I have two favours, Madam, yet to ask of you, (rejoin’d ſhe) neither of ’em will I believe ſeem difficult to you to grant, that you will make uſe of the Power you have with my Father, to let my departure be as ſudden as poſſible, and that while I am here, I may never ſee Count D’elmont. It was not likely that Alovisa ſhou’d deny Requeſts ſo ſuitable to her own Inclinations, and Believing with a great deal of Reaſon that her preſence was not very grateful, left her to the Care of her Women, whom ſhe order’d to attend her with the ſame Diligence, as her ſelf. It was Evening before the Count came, and Alovisa ſpent the remainder of the day in very uneaſie Reflections, ſhe know not as yet, whether ſhe had cauſe to rejoice in, or blame her Fortune in ſo unexpectedly diſcovering her Paſſion, and an Inceſſant ViriſſitudeViciſſitude of hope and fears, rack’d Her with moſt intollerable Inquietude, ’till the darling object of her wiſhes appear’d, and tho’ the firſt ſight of him, added to her other Paſſions that of ſhame, yet he manag’d his Addreſs ſo well, and ſo modeſtly and artfully hinted the knowledge 054 H3v 54 knowledge of his happineſs, that every Sentiment gave place to a new Admiration of the Wonders of his Wit, and if before ſhe Lov’d, ſhe now ador’d, and began to think it a kind of Merit in her ſelf to be ſenſible of his. He ſoon put it in her power to oblige him, by giving her the Hiſtory of his Brothers Paſſion for her Siſter, and ſhe was not at all backward in aſſuring him how much ſhe approv’d of it, and that ſhe wou’d write to Ansellina by the firſt Poſt, to engage her coming to Paris with all imaginable ſpeed. In fine, there was nothing ſhe cou’d ask refus’d, and indeed it wou’d have been rediculous for her to have affected Coineſs, after the Teſtimonies ſhe had long ſince given him of one of the moſt violent Paſſions that ever was; this foreknowledge ſav’d abundance of Diſſimulation on both ſides, and ſhe took care that if he ſhou’d be wanting in his kind Expreſſions after Marriage, he ſhou’d not have it in his Power to pretend (as ſome Husbands have done) that his Stock was exhauſted in a tedious Courtſhip. Every thing was preſently agreed upon, and the Wedding-Day appointed, which was to be as ſoon as every thing cou’d be got ready to make it Magnificent; tho’ the Counts good Nature made him deſirous to learn ſomething of Amena, yet he durſt not enquire for fear of giving an umbrage to his intended Bride, but ſhe, imagining the reaſon of his ſilence, very frankly told him, how ſhe was to be diſpos’d of, this knowledge made no ſmall Addition to his Contentment, for had ſhe ſtay’d in Paris, he cou’d expect nothing but continual Jealouſies from Alovisa, beſides as he really wiſh’d her happy, tho’ he cou’d not make her ſo, he thought Abſence might baniſh a hopeleſs Paſſion from her Heart, and time 055 H4r 55 time and other objects Efface an Idea, which cou’d not but be Diſtructive to her Peace. He ſtay’d at Alovisa’s Houſe ’till it was pretty late, and perhaps they had not parted in ſome hours longer, if his impatience to inform his Brother, his ſucceſs, had not carried him away. The young Chevalier was Infinitely more Tranſported at the bare hopes of being ſomething nearer the aim of all his wiſhes then D’elmont was at the aſſurance of loſeing his, and cou’d not forbear Rallying him for placing the ultimate of his wiſhes on ſuch a Toy, as he Argu’d Woman was, which the ChevalierChavalier endeavouring to Confute, there began a very warm Diſpute, in which neither of ’em being able to convince the other, ſleep at laſt, interpos’d as Moderator. The next day they went to gether to viſit Alovisa, and from that time were ſeldom aſunder, but in Compaſſion to Amena, they took what care they cou’d to Conceal the deſign they had in Hand, and that unhappy Lady was in a few days according to her Rivals Contrivance hurried away without ſeeing any of her Friends. When ſhe was gone, and there was no further need of keeping it a ſecret, the news of this great Wedding was immediately ſpread over the whole Town, and every one talk’d of it, as their particular Intereſts or affections dictated. All D’elmonts Friends were full of Joy, and he met no Inconſiderable Augmentation of it himſelf, when his Brother receiv’d a Letter from Ansellina, with an Account that Bellpine’s Wound was found not Dangerous, and that he was in a very fair way of Recovery. And it was Concluded that as ſoon as the Wedding was over, the young Chevalier ſhould go in Perſon to Amiens to fetch his Belov’d Ansellina, in order for a ſecond, and as 056 H4v 56 as Deſir’d Nuptial. There was no Gloom now left to Cloud the Gaity of the happy Day, nothing cou’d be more grand than the Celebration of it; and Alovisa now thought her ſelf at the end of her Cares, but the Sequel of this Glorious beginning, and what Effect the diſpair and imprecations of Amena (when ſhe heard of it) produc’d, ſhall with the Continuance of the Chevalier Brillian’s Adventures be faithfully Related in the next Part.