A1r

Love in Excess;

Or the
Fatal Enquiry;

A
Novel.

Part the Second.

“Each Day we break the bond of Humane Laws For Love, and vindicate the common Cause. Laws for Defence of civil Rights are plac’d, Love throws the Fences down, and makes a Gen’ral
waste
Maids, Widows, Wives, without distinction fall, The sweeping deluge Love comes on and covers all.”

By Mrs. Haywood.

London:


Printed for W. Chetwood, at Cato’s-Head, under
Tom’s Coffee-house, in Russel-street, Covent Garden;
and Sold by J. Roberts in Warwick-Lane, Price 2s.
Where may be had the first Part of Love in Excess;
and the Spaniard, or Don Zara del Fogo; a New
Romance, Just Publish’d.

A1v A2r

To
Mrs. Eliz. Haywood,
On Her
Novel
Call’d

Love in Excess, &c.

Fain wou’d I here my vast Ideas raise,

To paint the Wonders of Eliza’s praise;

But like young Artists where their stroaks decay,

I shade those Glories which I can’t display.

Thy Prose in sweeter Harmony refines,

Than Numbers flowing thro’ the Muse’s Lines;

What Beauty ne’er cou’d melt, thy Touches fire,

And raise a Musick that can Love inspire;

Soul-thrilling Accents all our Senses wound,

And strike with softness, whilst they Charm with sound!

When thy Count pleads, what Fair his Suit can flye?

Or when thy Nymph laments, what Eyes are dry?

Ev’n Nature’s self in Sympathy appears,

Yields Sigh for Sigh, and melts in equal Tears;

For A2v

For such Descriptions thus at once can prove

The force of Language, and the sweets of Love.

The Myrtle’s Leaves with those of Fame entwine,

And all the Glories of that Wreath are thine!

As Eagles can undazzl’d view the Force

Of scorching Phæbus in his Noon-day Course,

Thy Genius to the God its Lustre plays,

Meets his Fierce Beams, and darts him Rays for Rays!

Oh glorious strength! Let each succeeding Page

Still boast those Charms and luminate the Age;

So shall thy beamful Fires with Light divine

Rise to the Spheres, and there triumphant shine.

Richard Savage.

By an Unknown Hand,
To the most Ingenious Mrs. Haywood, on
her Novel Entitled, Love in Excess.

A Stranger Muse, an Unbeliever too,

That Womens Souls such strength of Vigour knew!

Nor less an Atheist to Love’s Pow’r declar’d,

’Till You a Champion for the Sex appear’d!

A Convert now, to both, I feel that Fire

Your Words alone can paint! Your Looks inspire!

Resistless now, Love’s shafts, new pointed fly

Wing’d with Your flame, and blazing in Your Eye

With sweet, but pow’rful force the Charm-shot Heart

Receives th’ Impression of the Conquering Dart,

And ev’ry Art’ry buggs the Joy tipt smart!

No more, of Phæbus rising vainly Boast,

Ye tawny Sons of a luxuriant Coast!

While our blest Isle is with such Rays replete,

Britain shall glow with more than Eastern Heat!

B1r

Love in Excess:
or, The
Fatal Enquiry.

Part the Second.

The Contentment that appear’d in the
Faces of the new Married Pair, added
so much to the Impatience of the Chevalier
Brillian
to see his belov’d
Ansellina, that in a few Days after
the Wedding, he took leave of
them, and departed for Amiens: But as human
Happiness is seldom of long continuance, and
Alovisa placing the Ultimate of hers in the
Possession of her Charming Husband, secure of
that, despis’d all future Events, ’twas time for
Fortune, who long enough had smil’d, now to
turn her Wheel, and punish the presumption that
defy’d her Power.

B As B1v 2

As they were one Day at Dinner, a Messenger
came to Acquaint Count D’elmont that Monsieur
Frankville
was taken suddenly so violently
Ill, that his Physicians dispair’d of his Life, and
that he beg’d to speak with him immediately:
This Gentleman had been Guardian to the Count
during his Minority, and the Care and Faithfulness
with which that Trust had been Discharg’d,
made him with Reason regret the danger of Losing
so good a Friend: He delay’d the Visit not a
Moment, and found him as the Servant had told
him, in a Condition as cou’d cherish no hopes of
Recovery, as soon as he perceiv’d the Count come
into the Chamber, he desir’d to be left alone with
him, which Order being presently obey’d, “My dear
Charge,”
(said he taking him by the Hand and pressing
it to his trembling Bosom) “you see me at the
point of Death, but the knowledge of your many
Virtues, and the Confidence I have that you will not
deny me the request I am about to ask, makes me
support the thoughts of it with Moderation.”
The
other assuring him of his readiness to serve him in
any Command, encourag’d the old Gentleman to
prosecute his Discourse in this manner: “You are
not Ignorant my Lord”
(Rejoin’d He) “that my Son
(the only one I have) is on his Travels, gone by
my Approbation, and his own Desires to make the
Tour of Europe; but I have a Daughter, whose
Protection I wou’d entreat you to undertake; her
Education in a Monastery has hitherto kept her
intirely unacquainted with the Gayeties of a
Court, or the Conversation of the Beau Monde,
and I have sent for her to Paris purposely to Introduce
her into Company, proper for a young Lady B2r 3
Lady, who I never design’d for a Recluse; I know
not whether she will be here time enough to close
my Eyes, but if you will promise to receive her
into your House, and not suffer her artless and
unexperienc’d Youth to fall into those Snares
which are daily laid for Innocence, and take so
far a Care, that neither she, nor the Fortune I
leave her, be thrown away upon a Man unworthy
of her, I shall dye well satisfy’d.”
D’elmont
answer’d this Request, with repeated assurances
of fulfilling it, and frankly offer’d, if he had no
other Person in whom he rather wou’d confide, to
take the management of the whole Estate he left
behind him, ’till young Frankville should
return———The anxious Father was transported at
this Favour, and thank’d him in Terms full of
Gratitude and Affection; they spent some Hours
in settling this Affair, and perhaps had not ended
it so soon, if word had not been brought that
the young Lady his Daughter was allighted at
the Gate; ’tis impossible to express the Joy which
fill’d the old Gentleman’s Heart at this News, and
he began afresh to put the Count in mind of
what he had promis’d concerning her: As they
were in this endearing, tho’ mournful Entertainment,
the matchless Melliora enter’d, the Surprize
and Grief for her Father’s Indisposition (having
heard of it but since she came into the House)
hindred her from regarding any thing but him,
and throwing herself on her knees by the Bed-side,
wash’d the Hand which he stretch’d out to raise
her with, in a flood of Tears, accompany’d with
Expressions, which unstudy’d, and incoherent as
they were, had a delicacy in ’em, that show’d her
Wit not inferiour to her Tenderness, and that no B2 Cir- B2v 4
Circumstance cou’d render her otherwise than the
most lovely Person in the World; when the first
transports of her Sorrow were over, and that with
much ado she was persuaded to rise from the
posture she was in: “The Affliction I see thee in
my Dear Child,”
(said her Father) “wou’d be a vast
addition to the Agonies I feel, were I not so happy
as to be provided with Means for a mitigation of
it, think not in losing me thou wilt be left wholly
an Orphan, this worthy Lord will dry thy
Tears. Therefore, my last Commands to thee shall
be to oblige thee to endeavour to deserve the Favours
he is pleas’d to do us in accepting thee for———”

He wou’d have proceeded, but his Physicians (who
had been in Consultation in the next Room) coming
in prevented him, and Count D’elmont taking
the charming Melliora by the Hand, led
her to the Window, and beginning to speak some
words of Consolation to her, the softness of his
Voice, and graceful Manner with which he deliver’d
himself (always the inseparable Companions
of his Discourse, but now more particularly so)
made her cast her Eyes upon him; but alass, he
was not an Object to be safely gaz’d at, and in
spight of the Grief she was in, she found some
thing in his Form which dissipated it; a kind of
painful Pleasure, a mixture of Surprize, and Joy,
and doubt ran thro’ her in an instant; her Fathers
Words suggested to her Imagination, that she
was in a possibility of calling the charming Person
that stood before her, by a Name more tender
than that of Guardian, and all the Actions, Looks
and Address of D’elmont serv’d but to confirm
her in that Belief. For now it was that this insensiblesensible B3r 5
began to feel the power of Beauty, and
that Heart which had so long been Impregnable
surrender’d in a Moment, the first sight of Melliora
gave him a Discomposure he had never felt
before, he sympathiz’d in all her Sorrows, and
was ready to joyn his Tears with hers, but when
her Eyes met his, the God of Love seem’d there
to have united all his Lightnings for one effectual
Blaze, their Admiration of each others Perfections
was mutual, and tho’ he had got the start in Love,
as being touch’d with that Almighty Dart, before
her Affliction had given her Leave to regard him,
yet the softness of her Soul, made up for that little
loss of time, and it was hard to say whose
Passion was the Strongest, she listned to his Condolements,
and assurances of everlasting Friendship
with a pleasure which was but too visible in
her Countenance, and more enflam’d the Count.
As they were exchanging Glances, as if each
Vyed with the other who should dart the fiercest
Rays, they heard a sort of ominous Whispering
about the Bed, and presently one of those who
stood near it beckon’d them to come thither; the
Physicians had found Monsieur Frankville in a
much worse Condition than they left him in, and
soon after perceiv’d evident Symptoms in him of
approaching Death, and indeed there were but a
very few Moments between him and that other
unfathomable World; the use of Speech had left
him, and he cou’d take no other leave of his dear
Daughter than with his Eyes; which sometimes
were cast tenderly on her, sometimes on the
Count, with a beseeching Look as it were to
Conjure him to be careful to his Charge, then up
to Heaven, as witness of the Trust he repos’d in him. B3v 6
him. There cou’d not be a Scene more Melancholly
than this dumb Farewell, and Melliora,
whose soft Disposition had never before been
Shock’d, had not Courage to support so dreadful
a one as this, but fell upon the Bed just as her
Father Breath’d his last, as motionless as he. It is
impossible to represent the Agony’s which fill’d
the Heart of D’elmont at this View, he took
her in his Arms, and assisted those who were endeavouring
to recover her, with a wildness in his
Countenance, a trembling Horror shaking all
his Fabrick in such a manner, as might
have easily discover’d to the Spectators (if they
had not been too busily employ’d to take notice
of it) that he was Actuated by a motive far more
powerful than that of Compassion. As soon as
she came to herself, they forc’d her from the
dead Body of her Father (to which she Clung) and
carryed her into another Room, and it being
judg’d convenient that she should be remov’d
from that House, where every thing wou’d serve
but to remind her of her Loss; the Count desir’d
the Servants of Monsieur Frankville
shou’d be call’d, and then in the presence of ’em
all, declar’d their Master’s last Request, and order’d
an Account of all Affairs shou’d be brought
to his House, where he wou’d immediately Conduct
their young Lady as he had promis’d to her
Father. If Melliora had been without any
other cause of Grief, this Eclaircissment had been
sufficient to have made her Miserable: She had
already entertained a most tender Affection for
the Count, and had not so little discernment
as not to be sensible she had made the like Impression
on him; but now she wak’d as from a Dream B4r 7
Dream of promis’d Joys, to certain Woes, and
the same Hour which gave birth to her Passion,
commenc’d an adequate Dispair, and kill’d her
Hopes just budding.

Indeed there never was any Condition so truly
deplorable as that of this unfortunate Lady; she
had just lost a dear and tender Father, whose Care
was ever watchful for her, her Brother was far off,
and she had no other Relation in the World to
apply her self to for Comfort, or Advice; not even
an Acquaintance at Paris, or Friend, but him
who but newly was become so, and whom she
found it dangerous to make use of, whom she knew
it was a crime to Love, yet cou’d not help Loving;
the more she Thought, the more she grew Distracted,
and the less able to resolve on any Thing;
a thousand Times she call’d on Death to give her
ease, but that pale Tyrant flys from the Pursuer,
she had not been yet long enough acquainted with
the ills of Life, and must endure (how unwillingsoever)
her part of Sufferings in common with the
rest of human kind.

As soon as D’elmont had given some necessary
Directions to the Servants, he came to the
Couch, where she was sitting in a fix’d and silent
Sorrow (tho’ inwardly toss’d with various and
and violent Agitations) and offering her his Hand
entreated her to permit him to wait on her from
that House of Woe. “Alass!” said she, “to what
purpose shou’d I remove, who bear my Miseries
about me? Wretch that I am!”
---a flood of Tears,
here interpos’d, and hindred her from proceeding,
which falling from such lovely Eyes, had a Magneticknetick B4v 8
Influence to draw the same from every beholder;
but D’elmont who knew that was not
the way to Comfort her, dry’d his as soon as possible,
and once more beg’d she wou’d depart; suffer
my return then”
(answer’d she) “to the Monastery,
for what have I to do in Paris, since I have lost
my Father?”
“By no means Madam” (resum’d the
Count hastily) “that were to disappoint your Fathers
Designs, and contradict his last Desires, beleive
most lovely Melliora”
(continu’d he taking
her by the Hand and letting fall some Tears
which he cou’d not restrain, upon it) “that I bear
at least an equal Share in your Affliction, and lament
for you, and for my self: Such a regard my
grateful Soul paid Monsieur Frankville for all
his wondrous Care and Goodness to me, that in
his Death methinks I am twice an Orphan. But
Tears are fruitless to reinspire his now cold Clay,
therefore must transmit the Love and Duty I
owed him living, to his Memory Dead, and an
exact performance of his Will; and since he
thought me worthy of so vast a Trust as Melliora,
I hope she will be guided by her Fathers
Sentiments, and believe that D’elmont (tho’ a
Stranger to her) has a Soul not uncapable of
Friendship. Friendship! did I say?”
(rejoyn’d he
softning his Voice) “that term is too mean to express
a Zeal like mine, the Care, the Tenderness,
the Faith, the fond Affection of Parents,——Brothers,
——Husbands,——Lovers, all Compriz’d in one
one great Unutterable! Comprehensive Meaning
is mine! is mine for Melliora!”
She return’d no
Answer but Sighs, to all he said to her; but he
renewing his Entreaties, and urging her Father’s
Commands, she was at last prevail’d upon to go into C1r 9
into his Chariot, which had waited at the Door
all the Time of his being there.

As they went, he left nothing unsaid that he
believ’d might tend to her Consolation, but she
had Griefs which at present he was a Stranger to,
and his Conversation, in which she found a thousand
Charms, rather Encreas’d, than Diminish’d
the trouble she was in: Every Word, every Look
of his, was a fresh Dagger to her Heart, and in
spight of the Love she bore her Father, and the
unfeign’d Concern his sudden Death had given
her, she was now convinc’d that Count D’elmont’s
Perfections were her severest Wounds.

When they came to his House, He presented
her to Alovysa, and giving her a brief
Account of what had happened, engag’d that
Lady to receive her with all immaginable Demonstrations
of Civility and Kindness.

He soon left the two Ladies together, pretending
Business, but indeed to satisfie his Impatience,
which long’d for an opportunity to meditate
on this Adventure. But his Reflections
were now grown far less pleasing than they used to
be; real Sighs flew from his Breast uncall’d: And
Melliora’s Image in dazling Brightness!
in terrible Array of killing Charms! fir’d Him
with (impossible to be attain’d Desires) he found
by sad Experience what it was to Love, and to
Dispair. He Admir’d! Ador’d! and wish’d, even
to Madness! Yet had too much Honour, too
much Gratitude for the Memory of Monsieur
Franckville
, and too sincere an Awe for C the C1v 10
the lovely Cause of his Uneasiness, than to form
a Thought that cou’d encourage his new Passion.
What wou’d he not have given to have been Unmarried?
How often did he Curse the Hour in
which Alovysa’s fondness was Discover’d?
and how much more, his own Ambition which
prompted him to take advantage of it? and
hurry’d him PrecipitaltyPrecipitately to a Hymen, where
Love, (the noblest Guest) was wanting. It was
in these racks of Thought, that the unfortunate
Amena was remember’d, and he cou’d not forbear
acknowledging the Justice of that Doom,
which Inflicted on him, these very Torments he
had given her. A severe Repentance seiz’d on
his Soul, and Alovysa for whom he never
had any thing more than an Indifferency; now
began to seem Distastful to his Fancy, he look’d
on her, as indeed she was, the chief Author of
Amena’s Misfortunes, and abhorr’d her for
that Infidelity. But when he consider’d her, as
the Bar ’twixt Him and Melliora she appear’d
like his ill Genius to him, and he cou’d
not support the Thoughts of being obliged to
Love her (or at least to seem as if he did) with
Moderation. In the midst of these Reflections,
his Servant came in and deliver’d this Letter to
him which had been just been left by the Post. The
Count immediately knew the Hand to be
Amena’s, and was cover’d with the utmost
Confusion and Remorse when he read these Lines.

To C2r 11 “To the too Charming and Perfidious
D’elmont.
Now Hopes, and Fears, and Jealousies are
over! Doubt is no more! you are for ever
lost! and my unfaithful, happy Rival! Triumphs in
your Arms, and my Undoing!—I need not wish
you Joy, the hast you made to enter into Hymen’s
Ponds, and the more than ordinary Pomp with which
that Ceremony was Celebrated, assures me you are
highly satisfied with your Condition; and that any
future Testimonies of the Friendship of so wretched
a Creature as Amena, wou’d be receiv’d by you,
with the same Disregard, as those she has given you
of a more tender Passion.—Shameful Remembrance!
Oh that I cou’d Blot it out!—Erace from the
Book of Time those fond deluded Hours! Forget I
ever saw the Lovely false D’elmont! Ever
listned to his soft persuasive Accents! and Thought
his Love a mighty Price for Ruin!—My Father
writes that you are Married, Commands my Return to
Paris, and assume an Air as Gay, and Chearful as
that with which I used to appear.—Alass! how
little does he know his Daughters Heart? And how
impossible it is, for me to Obey him, can I look on
you as the Husband of Alovysa, without remembering
that you were once the Lover of Amena?
Can Love like mine so fierce, so passionately, tender,
e’re sink to a Calm, cold Indifference? Can I behold
the fond Endearments of your bridal Joys (which
you’d not be able to Restrain, even before me) and not
burst with Envy? No, the Sight wou’d turn me quite
Distracted, and I shou’d commit some Desperate Violence
that wou’d Undoe us all.—Therefore, I hide C2 my C2v 12
my self for ever from it, bid an everlasting Adieu to
all the gay Delights and Pleasures of my Youth.—
To all the Pomp and Splendor of the Court.—To
all that the mistaken World calls Happiness.—To
Father, Friends, Relations, all that’s Dear.----But
your Idea; and that, not even these consecrated
Walls, nor Iron Gates keep out, Sleeping, or Waking
you are ever with me, you mingle with my most solemn
Devotions; and while I Pray to Heaven that I may
think on you no more: A guilty Pleasure rises in my
Soul, and contradicts my Vows! All my Confessions
are so many Sins, and the same Breath which tells
my Ghostly Father I abjure your Memory, speaks your
dear Name with Transport. Yes—Cruel! Ungrateful!
—Faithless as you are, I still do Love you—
Love you to that infinite Degree, that now, methinks
fir’d with thy Charms (repenting all I’ve said) I cou’d
wish even to renew those Moments of my Ruin!—
Pity me D’elmont, if thou hast Humanity.—
Judge what the rackings of my Soul must be, when I
resolve, with all this Love, this Languishment about
me; never to see you more.
Every thing is preparing for my Reception into
holy Orders, (how unfit I am Heaven knows) and in
a few Days I shall put on the Vail which excludes me
from the World for ever; therefore, if these distracted
Lines are worth an Answer it must be speedy
or it will not come to my Hands. Perhaps not find me
Living.—I can no more----Farewel (thou dear Distroyer
of my Soul.)
Eternally Farewel, Amena. P. S. I do not urge you to write, Alovysa (I
wish I cou’d not say your Wife) will perhaps
think it too great a Condescention, and not sufferfer C3r 13
you so long from her Embraces.----Yet if you
can get loose.—But you know best what’s proper
to be done—Forgive the restlesness of a dispairing
Wretch, who cannot cease to Love, tho’
from this Moment she must cease to tell you so---
Once more, and for Ever.
Adieu.”

Had this Letter came a Day sooner, ’tis probable
it wou’d have had but little Effect on the
Soul of D’elmont, but his Sentiments of
Love were now so wholly chang’d, that what before
he wou’d but have Laugh’d at, and perhaps
Dispis’d, now fill’d him with Remorse and serious
Anguish. He read it over several Times,
and found so many Proofs in it of a sincere and
constant Affection, that he began to pity Her,
with a Tenderness like that of a Relation, but
no more: The charming Melliora had Engross’d
all his fonder Wishes; else it is not impossible
but that Alovysa might have had
more Reason to fear her Rivalship after Marriage
than before. That Lady having been without
the presence of her dear Husband some
Hours, had not patience to remain any longer
without seeing Him, and making an excuse to
Melliora for leaving her alone, came running
to the Closet where he was; how unwelcome
she was grown, the Reader may imagine, he receiv’d
her, not as he was wont; the Gaity which used
to sparkle in his Eyes, (at once declaring, and
creating Amorous desires) now gave place to a
sullen Gloominess, he look’d not on her, or if by
chance he did; ’twas more with Anger than with
Love, In spite of his endeavours to conceal it;
she was too quick flawed-reproduction2 words as all are that truly Love) C3v 14
Love) not to be sensible of this Alteration. However
she took no notice of it, but Kissing and
Embracing him (according to her Custom whenever
they were alone) beg’d him to leave his
solitary Amusement, and help her to Comfort
the afflicted Lady he brought there. Her Endearments
serv’d but to encrease his Peevishness,
and heighten her Surprize at his Behaviour; and
indeed, the Moment she enter’d the Closet
was the last of her Tranquility.

When with much perswasions she had prevail’d
with him to go with her into the Room
where Melliora was, he appeared so disordred
at the second Sight of that Charmer, as
wou’d certainly have let Alovysa into the
secret of his Passion, had she not been retir’d to
a Window to recover her self from the Confusion,
her Husbands coldness had thrown her in,
and by that fortunate disregard of his Looks at
that critical Instant, given him (who never wanted
presence of Mind) leave to form both his
Countenance and manner of Address, so as to
give no suspicion of the Truth.

This little Company was very far from being
Entertaining to one another; every one had
their particular Cogitations, and were not displeas’d
not to be Interrupted in them. It growing
late, Alovysa conducted Melliora
to a Chamber which she had order’d to be prepar’d
for her, and then retir’d to her own, hoping
that when the Count shou’d come to Bed,
she might be able to make some Discovery of the
Cause of his Uneasiness. But she was deceiv’d, he C4r 15
he spoke not to her, and when by a thousand
little Inventions she urg’d him to reply to what
she said, it was in such a fashion as only let her
see, that he was extreamly troubled at something,
but cou’d not guess at what. As soon as
Day broke, he rose, and shutting himself into his
Closet, left her in the greatest Consternation
immaginable; she cou’d not think it possible that
the Death of Monsieur Frankville shou’d
work this Transformation, and knew of no other
Misfortune that had happened. At last she remembred
she had heard one of the Servants say,
a Letter was brought to their Master by the Post,
and began to reflect on every Thing (in the power
of Fortune to determine) that cou’d threaten
a Disturbance, yet was still as Ignorant as ever.
She lay not long in Bed, but putting on her
Cloths with more Expedition than usual, went
to the Closet, resolving to speak to him in a
manner as shou’d oblige him to put an end to
the uncertainty she was in, but finding the Door
lock’d, her Curiosity made her look thro’ the Keyhole,
and she saw him sometimes very intentively
reading a Letter, and sometimes Writing, as
tho’ it were an Answer to it. A sudden Thought
came into her Head, and she immediately went
softly from the place where she was, without
knocking at the Door, and stay’d in a little
Chamber adjacent to it, where none cou’d pass
either to, or from the Closet, without being perceiv’d
by her; she had not waited long, before
she heard the Count Ring, and presently saw a
Servant enter, and soon after return with a Letter
in his Hand; she wou’d not speak to him then,
for fear of being over heard by her Husband, but C4v 16
but followed him down Stairs, and when he came
towards the bottom, call’d to him in a low Voice
to tarry ’till she came to him; the Fellow durst
not but Obey, and there being no body near ’em,
commanded him to deliver her the Letter: But
he either afraid or unwilling to betray his Trust,
excus’d himself from it as well as he cou’d, but
she was resolv’d to have it; and when Threats
wou’d not avail, condiscended to Entreaties, to
which she added Bribes, which last Article join’d
to the promise she made of never revealing it,
won him to her Purpose. She had scarce patience
to forbear opening it before she got to her Chamber:
The Superscription (which she saw was for
Amena) fir’d her with Disdain and Jealousie,
and it is hardly possible to immagine, much less
to discribe the Torrent of her Indignation, when
she found that it contain’d these Words.

“To the Lovely Amena. You accuse me of Cruelty, when at the same
Time you kill me with yours: How Vile! How
despicable, must I be grown in your Opinion, when you
believe I can be Happy, when you are Miserable.—
Can I enjoy the Pleasures of a Court, while you are
shut within a Cloyster?—Shall I suffer the World to
be depriv’d of such a Treasure as Amena? for
the Crime of worthless D’elmont—No, flawed-reproduction1 word
Fair, injur’d Softness, Return and bless the Eyes of
every Beholder! Shine out again in your native
Lustre, uneclips’d by Grief. The Star of Beauty and
the guide of Love.—And, if my unlucky Presence
will be a Damp to the Brightness of your Fire,
I will for ever quit the Place.—Tho’ I cou’d wish you’d D1r 17
you’d give me leave sometimes to gaze upon you,
and draw some hop’d presages of future Fortune
from the Benignity of your Influence.—Yes Amena,
I wou’d sigh out my Repentance at your Feet,
and try at least to obtain a Pardon for my Infidelity
—For, ’tis true, what you have heard,—I
am Marry’d—But oh Amena! Happiness is not
always an Attendant on Himen.—However, I yet
may call you Friend—I yet may Love you, tho in
a different way from what I once pretended to; and
believe me, that the Love of Souls, as it is the most
uncommon, especially in our Sex, so ’tis the most refin’d
and noble of all Passions, and such a Love shall
be for ever yours. Even Alovysa (who has
rob’d you of the rest) cannot justly resent my giving
you that part,—You’ll wonder at this Alteration in
my Temper, but ’tis sincere, I am no more the Gay,
the Roving D’elmont, and when you come to
Paris, perhaps you will find me in a Condition more
Lyable to your Pity than Indignation. What shall I
say Amena? My Crime is my Punishment, I have
offended against Love, and against thee, and am, if possible,
as Miserable, as Guilty: Torn with Remorse,
and Tortur’d with—I cannot—must not Name
it—but ’tis something which can be term’d no other
than the utmost severity of my Fate.—Hast then to
Pity me, to Comfort, to advise me, if (as you say)
you yet retain any remains of your former Tenderness
for this Ungrateful Man.
D’elmont.”

“Ungrateful indeed!” Cry’d Alovysa
(Transported with Excess of Rage and Jealousie) D Oh D1v 18
“Oh the Villain!—What Miseries? What Misfortunes
are these thou talk’st of? What Unhappiness
has waited on thy Himen? ’Tis I alone
am wretched! base Deceiver!”

Then, as if she wanted to discover something
farther to heighten the Indignation she
was in, she began to read it over again, and indeed
the more she consider’d the meaning of
what she read, the more her Passions swell’d, till
they got at last the entire Dominion of her Reason:
She tore the Letter in a thousand pieces,
and was not much less unmerciful to her Hair
and Garments. ’Tis Possible that in the Violence
of her Fury, she might have forgot her
promise to the Servant, to vent some part of
it on her Husband, if her Woman coming into
the Room to know if she was ready to dress
had not prevented her, by telling her the Count
was gone abroad, and had left word, that he
shou’d not return ’till the Evening. Alovysa
had thrown herself on the Bed, and the Curtains
being drawn discover’d not the disorder she was
in, and which her Pride made her willing shou’d
be still a secret, therefore dismist her with
saying, she wou’d call her when she wanted any
thing; tho’ Alovysa was too apt to give
a loose to her Passions on every occasion, to the
Destruction of her own Peace; yet she knew well
enough, how to disguise ’em, when ever she
found the Concealing of them wou’d be an Advantage
to her designs: And when the Transports
of her Rage was so far over, as to give her Liberty
of Reflection, and she began to Examine
the State of her affection to the Count, she soon D2r 19
soon perceiv’d it had so much the better of all
other Considerations, that in spite of the injustice
she thought him guilty of to her, she cou’d
not perswade her self to do any thing that might
give him a pretence to Quarrel with her. She
thought she had done enough in Intercepting
this Letter, and did not doubt but that Amena
wou’d take his not writing to her so much to
Heart, as to prevent her ever returning to Paris,
and resolv’d to omit nothing of her former Endearments,
or make a shew of being in the least
Disoblig’d; this sort of Carriage she immagin’d
wou’d not only lay him more open and unguarded
to the diligent watch she design’d to make on
all his Words and Actions: But likewise awaken
him to a just sense of her Goodness, and
his own Ingratitude.----She rightly judg’d that
when People are Marry’d, Jealousie was not the
proper Method to revive a decay’d Passion, and
that after Possession it must be only Tenderness,
and Constant Assiduity to please, that can keep
up desire, fresh and gay: Man is too Arbitrary
a Creature to bear the least Contradiction,
where he pretends an absolute Authority, and
that Wife who thinks by ill humour and perpetual
Taunts, to make him weary of what she
wou’d reclaim him from, only renders her self
more hateful, and makes that justifiable which before
was blameable in him. These, and the like
Considerations made Alovysa put on a Countenance
of Serenity, and she so well acted the
part of an Unsuspecting Wife, that D’elmont
was far from Immagining what she had done:
However he still behav’d with that same Caution
as before to Melliora; and certainly never D2v 20
never did People disguise the Sentiments of their
Souls more artfully than did these three—Melliora
vail’d her secret Languishments, under
the Covert of her grief for her Father, the Count
his Burning anguish, in a gloomy Melancholy
for the Loss of his Friend; but Alovysa’s
Task was much the hardest, who had no pretence
for grief (raging, and bleeding with neglected
Love, and stilted Pride) to frame her Temper
to a seeming Tranquility—All made it their
whole study to deceive each other, yet none but
Alovysa was intirely in the dark; for the
Count and Melliora had but too true
a guess at one anothers meaning, every look of
his, for he had Eyes that need no Interpreter, gave
her Intelligence of his Heart, and the Confusion
which the understanding those looks gave
her, sufficiently told him how sensible she was
of ’em.—Several days they liv’d in this manner,
in which time Monsieur Frankville
was Interr’d. Which Solemnity, the Count
took care shou’d be perform’d with a Magnificence
suitable to the Friendship he publickly
profest to have born him, and the secret Adoration
his Soul paid to his remains.

Nothing hapned of Moment; ’till a day
or two after the Funeral, a Gentleman newly
arriv’d at Paris, came to visit the Count, and
gave him an Account of Amena’s having taken
the Habit; “how,” (said D’elmont Interrupting
him) “is it possible?—Has she then profest?”
“Yes,” answer’d the Gentleman; “having a
Sister whom I always tenderly Lov’d at the Monastery
at St. Dennis, my affection oblig’d me to D2 make D3r 21
make it in my way to visit her. Amena was
with her at the Grate, when she receiv’d me, I
know not how among other Discourses we hapned
to talk of the fine Gentlemen of Paris, which it
was Impossible to do, without mentioning the Count
D’elmont
;”
the Count answer’d not this
Complement as he wou’d have done at another
time, but only Bowing with an humble Air,
gave him Liberty to prosecute his Discourse;
“the moment” (resum’d he) “that Amena heard
your Name, the Tears ran from her fair Eyes
in such abundance, and she seem’d opprest with
so violent a Grief, that she was not able to stay
any longer with us. When she was gone, my
Sister whom she had made her Confident, gave
me the History of her Misfortunes, and withal,
told me, that the next day she was to be Initiated
into Holy Orders: My Curiosty engag’d
me to stay at St. Dennis, to see the Ceremony
perform’d, which was Solemn; but not with that
Magnificence which I expected; it seems it was
Amena’s desire that it should be as private
as possible, and for that Reason, none of her
Relations were there, and several of the Formalities
of entrance omitted: After it was over,
my Sister Beckon’d me to come to the Grate,
where I saw her before, and Conjur’d me in the
name of her new Sister, to give this to your
Hands;”
in speaking these Words, he took a
Letter out of his Pocket, which the Count
immediately opening to his great surprize found
it Contain’d as follows.

To D3v 22 “To the Inhuman D’elmont. To be pity’d by you, and that you shou’d tell me
so, was all the recompence I ask’d for Loss of
Father, Friends, Reputation, and Eternal Peace;
but now, too late, I find that the fond Maid who
scorns the World for Love, is sure to meet for her reward
the scorn of him she Loves—Ungrateful Man!
Cou’d you not spare one Moment from that long Date
of Happiness, to give a last farewel to her you have
undone? What wou’d not this Barbarous Contempt
have drawn upon you, were I of Alovysa’s
Temper? Sure I am, all that disdain, and rage,
cou’d Inspire Malice with, had been Inflicted on
you, but you well know my Soul is of another Stamp.
—Fool that I was, and little vers’d in the base
Arts of Man, believ’d I might by tenderness, and
faithful Friendship gain esteem; tho’ Wit and Beauty
the two great Provocatives to Create Love were
wanting. But do not think that I am yet so mean
as to desire to hear from you; no, I have put all
future Correspondence with you out of my Power,
and hope to drive it even from my wish: Whether
your disdain, or the Holy Banner I am listed under,
has wrought this effect, I know not; but methinks
I Breath another Air, think on you with more Tranquility
and bid you without dying.
Eternally Adieu Amena. P. S. Let Alovysa know I am no more
her Rival, Heaven has my Soul, and I forgive
you both. ”
D’el- D4r 23

D’elmont was strangely Fir’d at the reading
these Lines which left him no Room to doubt
that his Letter had miscarried, he Cou’d not
presently immagine by what means, but was resolv’d
if possible to find it out. However, he
dissembled his thoughts ’till the Gentleman had
taken his leave; then calling for the Servant,
whom he had entrusted with the Carrying it, he
took him by the Throat and holding his drawn
Sword directly to his Breast, swore that moment
shou’d be his last, if he did not immediately
Confess the Truth; the poor Fellow frighted
almost to Death, trembling, and falling on his
Knees, Implor’d forgiveness, and Discover’d
all. Alovysa who was in the next Chamber
hearing her Husband call for that Servant, with
a Tone somewhat more imperious than what he
was accustom’d to, and a great noise soon after,
immagin’d some accident had hapned to betray
her, and ran in to know the certainty, just as
the Count had discharg’d the Servant at once
from his Service and his presence. “You have
done well Madam”
(said D’elmont looking on
her with Eyes sparkling with indignation) “you
have done well, by your Impertinent Curiosty
and Imprudence, to rouze me from my Dream of
Happiness, and remind me that I am that wretched
Thing a Husband!”
“’tis well indeed” (answer’d
Alovysa, who saw now that there was no
need of farther Dissimulation) “that any thing
can make you remember both what you are, and
what I am.”
“You,” (resum’d he, hastily Interrupting
her) “have taken an Effectual method to
prove your self a Wife!—a very Wife!— Inso- D4v 24
Insolent---Jealous---and Censorious!----But Madam”
(continued he frowning) since you are pleased
to assert your Priveledge, be assur’d, I too shall
take my turn, and will exert the----Husband!”

In saying this, he flung out of the Room in
spite of her endeavours to hinder him, and going
hastily through a Gallery which had a large
Window that looked into the Garden, he perceived
Melliora lying on a green Bank, in a
Melancholy but a charming Posture, directly
opposite to the place where he was; her Beauties
appear’d if possible more to advantage then ever
he had seen them, or at least he had more opportunity
thus unseen by her, to gaze upon ’em:
he in a Moment lost all the Rage of Temper
he had been in, and his whole Soul was taken
up with softness, he stood for some Moments
fix’d in silent Admiration, but Love has small
Dominion in a Heart, that can content it self
with a distant Prospect, and there being a pair
of Back Stairs at the farther End of the Gallery,
which led to the Garden. He either forgot or
not regarded what Construction Alovysa might
make on this private interview, if by Chance
from any of the Windows she shou’d be witness
of it.

Melliora was so intent on a Book she
had in her Hand, that she saw not the Count ’till
he was close enough to her to discern what was
the Subject of her Entertainment, and finding
it the works of Monsieur L’fontenelle; “Phylosophy
Madam at your Age”
(said he to her with
an Air which exprest surprize) “is as wondrous as
your other Excellencies, but I am confident, had this E1r 25
this Author ever seen Melliora, his Sentiments
had been otherwise than now they seem to be,
and he wou’d have been able to write of nothing
else but Love and her.”
Melliora blush’d Extremely
at his unexpected Presence, and the
Complement he made Her; but recollecting her
self as soon as she cou’d: “I have a better Opinion
of Monsieur L’fontenelle,”
(answer’d she)
“but if I were really Mistress of as many Charms
as you wou’d make me believe, I should think
my self little beholding to Nature, for bestowing
them on me, if by their means I
were depriv’d of so choice an Improvement as
this Book has given me.”
“Thank Heaven then
Madam,”
(resum’d he) “that you were born in an
Age successive to that which has produc’d so many
fine Treatises of this very kind for your Entertainment;
since (I am very Confident) this, and
a long space of future Time will have no other
Theme, but that which at present you seem so
much averse to.”
Melliora found so much
difficulty in endeavouring to Conceal the disorder
she was in at this Discourse, that it rendred
her unable to reply; and He, (who possibly
guest the occasion of her silence) taking one of her
Hands and tenderly pressing it between his, look’d
so full in her Eyes, as heighthen’d her Confusion,
and discover’d to his ravish’d View, what most
he wish’d to find: Ambition, Envy, Hate, Fear,
or Anger, every other Passion that finds Entrance
in the Soul, Art, and Discretion, may
Disguise, but Love, tho’ it may be feign’d,
can never be Conceal’d, not only the Eyes (those
true and most Perfect Intelligencers of the Heart)
but every feature, every faculty betrays it! It E fills E1v 26
fills the whole Air of the Person possest with it;
it wanders found the Mouth! plays in the
Voice! trembles in the Accent! and shows it
self a thousand different, nameless ways! Even Melliora’s
Care to hide it, made it more Aparent,
and the Transported D’elmont not considering
where he was, or who might be a witness
of his rapture, cou’d not forbear Catching her in
his Arms, and grasping her with an Extasie, which
plainly told her what his thoughts were, tho’
at that time he had not Power to put ’em into
Words; and indeed there is no greater proof of
a Vast and Elegant Passion, than the being uncapable
of Expressing it:—He had perhaps
held her in this strict embrace, ’till some Accident
had discover’d and separated him from her;
if the Alarm this manner of Proceeding gave
her Modesty, had not made her force her self
from him.—They both stood in a silent Consternation,
nor was he much less disorder’d at
the Temerity, the violence of his ungovernable
Passion had made him guilty of, than she, was at the
Liberty he had taken, he knew not how to Excuse,
nor she, to Reproach; Respect (the constant Attendant
on a sincere Affection) had tyed his Tongue,
and shame mixed with the uncertainty after what
manner she shou’d resent it, Hers. At last, the
Natural Confidence of his Sex Encourag’d him
to break this mute Entertainment.—“There are
Times Madam”
(said he) “in which the wisest have
not Power over their own Actions.----If therefore
I have offended, impute not the Crime to
me, but that unavoidable impulse which for a
Moment hurry’d me from my self; for be assured
while D’elmont can Command his
Thoughts they shall be most obedient to your Wishes--- E2r 27
Wishes”
—As Melliora was about to
reply, she saw a Servant coming hastily to speak
to the Count, and was not a little glad of so
favourable an opportunity to retire without being
oblig’d to continue a Discourse in which she
must either lay a severe Punishment on her Inclinations
by making a quarrel with him, or
by forgiving him too easily Trespass against the
strict Precepts of Virtue she had always profess’d:
She made what haste she cou’d into her
Chamber, and Carry’d with her a World of
troubled Meditations, she now no longer doubted
of the Count’s Passion, and trembled with the
Apprehension of what he might in time be prompted
to; but when she Reflected how dear that
Person she had so much cause to fear, was to
her, she thought her self, at once the most unfortunate
and most Guilty of her Sex.

The Servant who gave ’em this seasonable
Interruption delivered a Letter to his Master,
which he opening hastily, knowing that it came
from his Brother by the Seal, found the Contents
as follows.

“I Hop’d (my Dearest Friend, and Brother) by this
day to have Embrac’d you, but Fortune takes
delight to disappoint our wishes, when highest rais’d,
and nearest to their Aim.----The Letter I carry’d
from her, whom I think it my Happiness to call Sister
joyn’d with my own Faith, Love, and Assiduity;
at length Triumph’d over all the little niceties
and objections my Charmer made against our
Journey, and she Condescended to order every thing
requisite for our departure from Amiens shou’d be
got ready.----But how shall I Express the Grief, the
Horrour, the Distraction of my Soul, when the very E2 Evening E2v 28
Evening before the Day we shou’d have set out, as I
was sitting with her, a sudden, but terrible Illness
like the Hand of Death seiz’d on her, she fell (oh!
my Brother) Cold, and Speechless in my Arms—
Guess, what I endur’d at that Afflicting Moment,
all that I had of Man, or Reason left me; and sure
had not the Care of the Baroness and some other
Ladies (whom my Cries drew in to her assistance) in a
little time recover’d her, I had not now surviv’d to
give you this Account: Again, I saw the Beauties
of her Eyes, again I heard her Voice, but her disorder
was yet so great that it was thought convenient she shou’d
be put to Bed; the Barroness seeing my Dispair, desired
me not to quit her House, and by that means
I had news every Hour, how her Feavor encreas’d,
or abated, for the Physicians being desir’d to deal freely,
assur’d us, that was her Distemper: For several
days she continu’d in a Condition that cou’d give us
no hopes of her Recovery; in which time, as you
may imagine, I was little Capable of Writing.—
The wildness of my unruly Grief, made me not be
permitted to come into her Chamber; but they cou’d
not without they had made use of force, hinder
me from lying at her Door: I Counted all her
Groans, heard every sigh, the violence of her Pain
drew from her, and watch’d the Countenance of
every Person who came out of her Chamber, as Men
who wou’d form a Judgment of future Consequences,
do the Signs in Heaven.---But I trouble you with this
tedious recital, she is now, if there is any Dependance
on the Doctors skill, past Danger, tho’ not
fit to Travel at least this Month, which gives no
small Alleviation to the greatness of my Joys (which
otherwise wou’d be unbounded) for her Recovery,
since it occasions so long a Separation from the best
of Brothers, and of Friends: Farewel, may all your E3r 29
your wishes meet success, and an Eternal round of
Happiness attend you; to add to mine, I beg you’ll
write by the first Post, which next to seeing you, is
the greatest I can Taste. I am my Lord with all imaginable
Tenderness and Respect your most Affectionate
Brother and Humble Servant.
Brillian.”

The Count judged it proper that Alovysa
shou’d see this Letter, because it so much
concerned her Sister, and was ordering the Servant
to carry it to her, (not being willing himself
to speak to her) just as she was coming towards
him: she had received a Letter from the
Barroness De Deronvill, at the same time
that the Chevalier Brillian’s was brought and
was glad to take the opportunity of Communicating
the Contents of it, in hopes by this Conversation
to be reconcil’d to her Husband: But
the gloomy sullenness of the Humour he had
left her with, return’d at sight of her, and
after some little Discourse of Family Affairs,
which he cou’d not avoid answering, walk’d
Carelesly away. She follow’d him at a distance
’till he was got up to the Gallery, and perceiving
he went toward his Closet, mended her
pace and was close to him when he was going in.
“My Lord” (said she) with a voice but half assur’d
and which wou’d not have given her leave to
utter more, if he had not interrupted her, by
telling her he wou’d be alone, and shutting the
Door hastily upon her, but she prevented his
Locking of it by pushing against it withall her
force, and he, not exerting his, for fear of hurtinging E3v 30
her, suffer’d her Entrance: But look’d on her
with a Countenance so forbidding, as in spite
of the Natural Haughtiness of her Temper, and
the Resolution she had made to speak to him,
rendered her unable for some Moments to bring
forth a Word; but the silent grief, which appeared
in her Face, pleaded more with the good Nature
of the Count, than any thing she cou’d
have said: He began to pity the unhappiness of
her too violent Affection, and to wish himself
in a Capacity of returning it, however, he (like
most Husbands) thought it best to keep up his
Resentments, and take this opportunity of Quelling
all the Woman in her Soul, and humbling
all the little remains of pride that Love
had left her. “Madam,” (resum’d he) with an Accent,
which tho’ something more softened, was
still imperious enough, “if you have any thing of
Consequence to impart to me, I desire you will
be as brief as you can, for I wou’d be left to the
freedom of my Thoughts”
Alovysa cou’d not
yet answer, but letting fall a Shower of Tears,
and throwing her self on the Ground, Embrac’d
his knees with so Passionate a Tenderness, as
sufficiently exprest her Repentance for having
been Guilty of any thing to disoblige him: D’elmont
was most sensibly touch’d at this Behaviour,
so vastly different from what he cou’d
have expected from the greatest of her Spirit,
and raising her with an obliging Air. “I am sorry”
(said he) “that any thing shou’d happen to occasion
this Submission, but since what’s past, is out
of either our Powers to recal: I shall endeavour
to think of it no more, provided you’l promise
me, never for the future to be guilty of any thing E4r 31
thing which may give me an uneasiness by the
sight of yours”
—’Tis impossible to Represent
the Transport of Alovysa at this kind Expression,
she hung upon his neck, kissed the dear
Mouth which had pronounc’d her Pardon with
Raptures of unspeakable delight, she sigh’d with
Pleasure, as before she had done with Pain, she
wept, she even Dy’d with Joy!—“No, no my
Lord, my Life, my Angel,”
(Cry’d she, assoon
as she had power to speak) “I never will offend
you more, no more be jealous; no more
be doubtful of my happiness! You are, and will be
only mine, I know you will—Your kind forgiveness
of my folly, assures me that you are mine,
not more by Duty, than by Love! A tye far
more valuable than that of Marriage.”
The
Count Conscious of her mistake had much ado
to Conceal his Disorder at these Words, and
being unwilling she shou’d proceed; as soon as
he cou’d (without seeming unkind or rude) Disingage
himself from her Arms, took a Pen in
his Hand, which he told her he was about to employ
in answering the Chevaliar Brillian’s
Letter: Alovysa who now resolv’d an entire
obedience to his Will, and remembring he
had desir’d to be alone, withdrew, full of the
Idea, of an immagin’d Felicity—Her Heart
was now at ease, she believ’d, that if her Husband
had any remains of Passion for Amena,
the impossibility of ever seeing her again, wou’d
soon extinguish them, and since she was so happily
Reconcil’d, was far from repenting her Intercepting
of his Letter: But poor Lady, she
did not long enjoy this Peace of Mind, and this
Intervall of Tranquility serv’d but to heighten
her ensuing Miseries.

The E4v 32

The Count’s secret Passion for Melliora
grew stronger by his Endeavouring to suppress
it, and perceiving that she Carefully avoided
all opportunities of being alone with
him one Moment, since his Behaviour to her in
the Garden, he grew almost Distracted, with
the Continual restraint he was forced to put on all
his Words and Actions: He durst not sigh, nor
send an Amorous Glance for fear of offending
her, and Alarming his Wives Jealousie, so lately
lull’d to sleep: He had no Person in whom
he had Confidence enough to trust with his Misfortune,
and had certainly sunk under the pressure
of it, if Alovysa who observing an Alteration
in his Countenance and Humour, and
fearing he was really indisposed (which was the
excuse he made for his Melancholy) had not
perswaded him to go into the Country, hoping
that Change of Air might do him good: He
had a very fine Seat near Anjerville in the Province
of Le Beausse, which he had not been at in
some Years, and he was very willing to comply
with Alovysa’s desires of passing the remainder
of the Summer in a Solitude, which was now
become agreeable to him, the greatest Difficulty
was in perswading Melliora to Accompany
them thither; he guessed by her reserv’d Behaviour,
that she only waited an opportunity to
leave the place where he was, and was not
mistaken in his Conjecture: One day as they
were talking of it, she told them that she was
resolv’d to return to the Monastery where she
had been Educated, that the World was too noisy
a Place for one of her Taste, who had no relishlish F1r 33
for any of the Diversons of it: Every word
she spoke, was like a dagger to D’elmont’s
Heart; yet he so Artfully manag’d his Endeavours,
between the Authority of a Guardian,
and the Entreaties of a Friend, that she was
at last overcome. ’Tis hard for the severest Virtue
to deny themselves the sight of the Person
belov’d, and whatever Resolutions we make,
there are but few, who like Melliora might
not by such a Lover, be prevailed upon to
break them.

As soon as their Coming into the Country
was spread abroad, they were visited by all the
Neighbouring People of Quality, but there was
none so welcome to D’elmont as the Baron
D’espernay
; they had before the Count’s going
into the Army been very intimate acquaintance,
and were equally glad of this opportunity
to renew a Friendship, which Time and Absence
had not entirely Erac’d. The Baron had
a Sister young, and very agreeable, but gay
even to Coquetry; they lived together, being
both single, and he brought her with him,
hearing the Count was Married, to visit his
Lady: There were several other young Noble
Men, and Ladies there at the same time, and
the Conversation grew so delightfully Entertaining
that it was impossible for Persons less preposest
than the Count and Melliora to retain
their Chagrin, but, tho’ there were scarce any
in the Company that might not have list’ned
with a pleas’d Attention, to what those two
admirable Persons were Capable of saying, yet
their secret Sorrows kept them both in silence; F ’till F1v 34
’till Melantha, for that was the Name of the
Barons Sister took upon her, to divert the Company
with some Verses on Love; which she took
out of her Pocket-Book and read to ’em: Every
Body extoll’d the softness of the Stile, and the
Subject they were upon. But Melliora who
was willing to take all opportunities of Condemning
that Passion, as well to Conceal it in
her self, as to check what ever hopes the Count
might have. Now Discovered the force of her
Reason, the Delicacy of her Wit, and the
penetration of her Judgment, in a manner so
sweetly surprizing to all that were Strangers to
her, that they presently found, that it was not
want of Noble, and truly agreeable Thoughts
or Words to Express ’em, that had so long depriv’d
them of the Pleasure of hearing her; she
urg’d the Arguments she brought against the
giving way to Love, and the Danger of all softning
Amusements, with such a becoming fierceness
as made every Body of the Opinion that she
was born only to Create Desire, not be susceptible
of it her self. The Count as he was most
Concern’d, took the most particular notice of all
she said, and was not a little alarm’d to see her
appear so much in earnest, but durst not answer,
or Endeavour to Confute her, because of Alovysa’s
presence: But it was not long before he
had an opportunity, a few days after he met
with one, as full as he cou’d wish. Returning
one Evening from the Baron Despernay’s
whom he had now made the Confident of his
Passion, and who had Encourag’d him in it, he
was told that Alovysa was gone out to take
the Air, and Hearing no mention of Melliora’sra’s F2r 35
being with her, he stay’d not to enquire,
but running directly to her Chamber, made his
Eyes his best Informers: He found her lying on
a Couch in a most Charming Dissabillee, she had
but newly come from Bathing, and her Hair
unbraided, hung down upon her shoulders with
a negligence more Beautiful than all the Aids of
Art cou’d form in the most exact Decorum of Dress,
part of it fell upon her Neck and Breast, and
with it’s Lovely Shadyness, being of a Delicate
dark Brown, set off to vast Advantage, the
matchless whiteness of her skin: Her Gown and
the rest of her Garments were white, and all ungirt,
and loosely flowing, discover’d a Thousand
Beauties, which Modish Formalities conceal. A
Book lay open by her on which she had reclin’d
her Head, as if been Tir’d with Reading, she
Blush’d at sight of the Count, and rose from
off the Couch with a Confusion which gave new
Lustre to her Charms, but he was not permitting
her to stir from the place she was in, sat down by
Her, and casting his Eyes on the Book which lay
there, found it to be Ovid’s Epistles, “How Madam”
(Cry’d he, not a little pleas’d with the Discovery)
“dare you, who the other day so warmly inveigh’d
against Writings of this Nature, trust your
self with so Dangerous an Amusement? How
happens it that you are so suddenly come over
to our Party?”
“Indeed my Lord” (answer’d she,
growing more Disorder’d) “it was Chance rather
than Choice, that Directed this Book to my
Hands, I am yet far from approving Subjects of
this kind, and Believe I shall be ever so: Not
that I can perceive any Danger in it, as to my self,
the Retirement I have always liv’d in, and the
little propensity I find to entertain a Thought of F2 that F2v 36
that uneasie Passion, has hitherto secur’d me from
any Prepossession, without which, Ovid’s Art is
Vain.”
“Nay, Madam,” reply’d the Count, “now
you Contradict your former Argument, which
was, that these sort of Books were, as it were, Preparatives
to Love, and by their softning Influence
melted the Soul, and made it fit for Amorous
Impressions, and so far, you certainly were in
the right, for when once the fancy is fixed on a
real Object, there will be no need of Auxillary
Forces, the Dear Idea will spread it self thro’
every Faculty of the Soul, and in a Moment
inform us better, than all the Writings of the
most Experienc’d Poets, cou’d do in an Age.”

“Well, my Lord,” (said she Endeavouring to Compose
her self) “I am utterly unambitious of any
Learning this way, and shall Endeavour to retain
in Memory, more of the Misfortunes that
attended the Passion of Sappho, than the Tender,
tho’ never so Elegant Expressions it Produc’d:
And if all Readers of Romances took this Method,
the Votaries of Cupid wou’d be fewer, and
the Dominion of Reason more Extensive.”
“You
speak”
(Answer’d D’elmont) “as tho’ Love and
Reason were ImcompatibleIncompatible,”
“there is no Rule”
(said she) “my Lord without Exception, they are
indeed sometimes united, but how often they are
at Variance where may we not find Proofs, History,
is full of them, and Daily Examples of
the many Hair-brain’d Matches, and slips much
less Excusable, sufficiently Evince how little
Reason has to do in the Affairs of Love, I mean”

(Continu’d she, with a very serious Air) “that
sort of Love, for there are two, which hurries
People on to an immediate Gratification of their desires, F3r 37
desires, tho’ never so prejudicial to themselves,
or the Person they pretend to Love.”
“Pray Madam”
(said the Count a little netled at this Discourse)
“what Love is that which seems at least to
Merit the Approbation of a Lady so Extremely
nice?”
“It has many Branches” (Reply’d she) “in the
first Place that which we owe to Heaven, in the
next to our King, our Country, Parents, Kindred,
Friends, and Lastly, that which Fancy inclines,
and Reason guides us to, in a Partner
for Life, but here every Circumstance must agree
Parity of Age, of Quality, of Fortune, and of
Humour, Consent of Friends, and Equal Affection
in each other, for if any one of these particulars
fail, it renders all the rest of no Effect.”
“Ah Madam”
(cry’d the Count not able to suffer her to proceed.ceed.)
“What share of Pity then can you afford to a
Man who Loves werewhere almost all these Circumstances
are wanting, and what advice wou’d you give a
wretch so Curst?”
“I wou’d have him think,” (said
she more Gravely then before) (How Madam,How Madam,
resum’d he)(resum’d he) “think did you say? Alas! ’Tis Thought
that has undone him,”
“that’s very possible” (answer’d
she) “but yet ’tis want of thinking
justly, for in a Lovers Mind Illusions seem
Realities, and what at an other time wou’d be
look’d on as Impossible, appears easie then they
indulge, and feed their new-born Folly with
prospect of a Hope, tho’ ne’re so distant a one,
and in the vain pursuit of it, fly Consideration,
’till Dispair Starts up in the midway, and
bar’s their Promis’d view, whereas if they gave
way to due Reflection, the Vanity of the Attempt
wou’d presently be shown, and the same cause
that bid ’em cease to hope, wou’d bid ’em cease
to wish:”
“Ah Madam” (said he) “how little do you know F3v 38
know of that Passion, and how easily cou’d I
disprove you by the Example of my Friend;
Dispair and Love are of an equal Age in him,
and from the first Moment he beheld his Adorable
Charmer, he has Languished without the
least mixture of a flattering Hope. I Grant the
Flames with which our Modern Gallants are ordinarily
animated, cannot long subsist without Fewel,
but where Love is kindled in a Generous Heart by
a just Admiration of the real Merits of the Object
belov’d, Reason goes Hand in Hand with it,
and makes it lasting as our Life.”
“In my Mind”
(answer’d Melliora Coldly) “an Esteem so
Grounded may more properly be ascribed to
Friendship,”
“then be it so Madam,” (rejoyn’d the
Count Briskly) “Friendship and Love, where
either are sincere, vary but little in their meaning,
there may indeed be some Distinctions in
their Ceremonies, but their Essentials are still
the same: And if the Gentleman I speak of
were so happy as to hope his Friendship wou’d
be acceptable, I dare promise that he never
wou’d Complain his Love were not so.”
“You
have a strange way”
(said she) “to Confound Idea’s,
which in my Opinion are so vastly different, that
I shou’d make no Difficulty in granting my
Friendship to as many of my Acquaintance, as
had Merit to deserve it, but if I were to
Love in that General Manner, ’twould be a
Crime wou’d justly render me Contemptible
to Mankind:”
“Madam” (replyed the
Count) “when I spoke of the Congruity
of Love and Friendship, I did not mean that
sort, which to me, seems unworthy of the Name
of either, but that Exalted one, which made
Orestes and Pilades, Theseus and Perithous so Famous. That F4r 39
That, which has no Reserve, no separate interest,
or divided Thoughts, That which fills all,
—gives all the Soul, and Esteems even Life a
Trifle, to prove it self sincere—What can Love
do more then yeild every thing to the object Belov’d?
And Friendship must do so too, or is
not Friendship! Therefore take heed fair Angel”

(Continu’d he taking her Hand, and kissing it)
“how you Promise Freindship, where you ne’re
mean to Love.”
And observing she was Silent,
“Your Hand,” (said he) “your Lip, your Neck, your
Breast, your All.—All this whole Heaven of
Beauty must be no longer in your own Disposal
—All is the prize of Friendship!”
As much
Confus’d as Melliora was, at these Words
which gave her sufficient Reason to fear he wou’d
now Declare himself more fully than she desir’d;
she had Spirit and Resolution enough to withdraw
her Hand from his, and with a look, that
spoke her meaning but too plainly for the repose
of the Enamour’d D’elmont: “I shall take
care my Lord”
(said she) “how I Commence a
Friendship with any Person who shall make use
of it to my Prejudice.”

The Count was now sensible of his Error
in going so far, and fearing he had undone himself
in her Esteem by his rash Proceeding, thought
it was best at once to throw off a Disguise which
in spite of his Endeavours wou’d fall off, of it’s
self, and by making a bold and free Confession
of his real Sentiments, Oblige her to a Discovery
of hers.—“I do not doubt your Caution Madem”
(answer’d he) “in this point: Your Reserved
Behaviour, even to me, Convinces me; but too F4v 40
too fully, how little you are disposed to give,
or receive any Proofs of Friendship: But perhaps”
(Continu’d he with a deep sigh) “my too presuming
Eyes have rendred me a suspected Person,
and while you find in me the Wretch I
have Discrib’d, you find nothing in me worthy
of a happier Fortune.”
“You are worthy of every
thing my Lord,”
(said Melliora quite beside
her self at these Words) “nor are you less
happy than you deserve to be; and I wou’d rather
that these Eyes shou’d lose their sight than
view you otherwise than now I see you, blest in
every Circumstance, the Darling of the World,
the Idol of the Court, and a Favourite of Heaven!”

“Oh stop!” (Cry’d D’elmont hastily Interrupting
her) “forbear to Curse me farther, rather
Command my Death, than wish the Continuance
of my present Miseries: Cruel Melliora,
too well, Alass, you know what I have endur’d
from the first fatal Moment I beheld you,
and only feign an Ignorance to Distract me
more: A Thousand times you have read my Rising
wishes, sparkling in my Eyes, and glowing
on my Cheeks, as often seen my Virtue strugling
in silent Tremblings, and Life-Wasting Anguish
to suppress desire. Nay, Madam”
(said he Catching
fast hold of both her Hands seeing her about to
rise) “by all my sleepless Nights, and restless Days,
by all my Countless Burning Agonies; by all
the Torments of my gall’d, bleeding Heart, I
swear, that you shall hear me:”
“I have heard too
much”
(Cry’d Melliora not able to Contain her
self) “and tho’ I am unwilling to believe you
have any farther aim in this Discourse than your
Diversion, yet I must tell your Lordship that there G1r 41
there are Themes more proper for it, than the
Daughter of your Friend, who was entrusted to
your Care with a far Different Opinion of your
Behaviour to her.”
“What have I done” (resum’d
the almost Distracted Count, falling at her
Feet, and grasping her knees) “what have I done
Inhumane Melliora! To deserve this Rigour?
my Honour has hitherto prevail’d above desire,
fierce, and raging as it is, nor had I any other
hopes by making this Declaration than to meet
that pity my Misfortunes Merit; and you cannot
without Ingratitude deny: Pity, even to Criminals
is allow’d, and sure, where the offence is
unvoluntary, like mine, ’tis due:”
’Tis impossible
to guess the Conflict in Melliora’s Breast
at this Instant, she had heard a most Passionate
Declaration of Love from a Married Man, and
by Consequence, whatever his pretences were,
cou’d look on his Designs no otherwise than
aim’d at the Destruction of her Honour, and
was fir’d with a Virtuous Indignation. But then
she saw in this Married Man, the only Person in
the World, who was capable of Inspiring her
with a tender Thought, she saw him reduc’d to
the last Extremity of Dispair for her sake: She
heard his sighs, she felt his Tremblings as he
held her, and cou’d not refrain shedding some
Tears, both for him, and for her self, who indeed
suffer’d little less; but the Count was
not so happy as to be Witness of this Testimony
of her Compassion: He had reclin’d his Head on
her Lap, possibly to hide those that forc’d their way
thro’ his Eyes, at the same time; and Alovisa’s
Voice which they heard below, giving them
both an Alarm; they had no further opportuni-
flawed-reproduction2-4 words the Count was but just G gone G1v 42
gone out of the Room and Melliora laid
on the Couch in the same Careless Posture which
he had found her in; when Alovysa Enter’d
the Chamber, and after having a little pleasantly
Reproach’d her for being so lazy as not to
Accompany her in the Walk she had been takeing,
ask’d her if she had not seen the Count
who she had been told was come home: Poor
Melliora had much ado to Conceal the Disorder
she was in at this Question, but Recovering
her self as well as she cou’d, answer’d in the
Affirmative; but that he had not stay’d there
longer than to enquire where she was gone,
and that she knew not but he might be gone in
search of her: This was enough to make Alovysa
take her leave, Impatient for the sight of
her Dear Lord, a happiness she had not enjoy’d
since Morning, but she was disappointed of her
Hope. The Count as late as it was in the Evening,
went into his Chaise, which had not
been set up, since he came from the Baron D’espernay’s,
and drove thither again with all the
speed he cou’d.


The Baron was Extremely surpriz’d at his
sudden return, and with so much Confusion and
Melancholy in his Countenance. But much
more so, when he had given him an Account of
what had pass’d between Him and Melliora,
and cou’d not forbear rallying him excessively on
the occasion. “What” said he, “a Man of Wit,
and Pleasure like Count D’elmont, a Man
who knows the Sex so well, cou’d he let slip so
Favourable an opportunity with the finest Woman
in the World; one for whose Enjoyment he wou’d G2r 43
wou’d Die.—Cou’d a frown, or a little angry
Coiness (which ten to one was but affected) have
Power to freeze such fierce desires.”
The Count
was not at present in a Humour to relish this
Merriment; he was too seriously in Love to bear
that any thing relating to it shou’d be turn’d
into Ridicule, and was far from repenting he
had done no more, since what he had done, had
occasion’d her displeasure: But the Baron, who
had designs in his Head, which he knew cou’d
not by any means be brought to succeed, but by
keeping the Count’s Passion warm, made use
of all the Artifice he was Master of, to Embolden
this Respective Lover, to the Gratification
of his Wishes: And growing more grave than he
had been, “My Lord,” said he, “you do not only
Injure the Dignity of our Sex in General, but
your own Merits in Particular, and perhaps even
Melliora’s secret Inclinations, by this unavailing
distant Carriage, and Causeless dispair.—
Have you not confest that has she look’d on you
with a Tenderness, like that of Love, that she has
Blushed at your sight, and trembled at your Touch?
-----What wou’d you more that she shou’d do,
or what indeed can she do more, in Modesty,
to prove her Heart is yours? A little Resolution
on your side wou’d make her all yours----Women
are Taught by custom to deny what most
they Covet, and to seem angry when they are
best pleas’d; believe me, D’elmont that the
most rigid Virtue of ’em all, never yet hated
a Man for those faults which Love occasions.”
“All
this”
answer’d the Count “is what I readily agree to,
---But O her Father’s Memory! My Obligations
to him! Her Youth and Innocence are Daggers G2 to G2v 44
to my cool Reflections—Wou’d it not be
pity Espernay”
(continu’d he with a deep sigh)
“even if she shou’d consent, to ruin so much sweetness?”
The Baron cou’d not forbear Laughing at
these Words, and the Count who had started
these Objections, only with the hope of having
them remov’d, easily suffer’d himself to be perswaded
to follow his Inclinations; and it was
soon Concluded betwixt them, that on the first
opportunity, Melliora shou’d fall a Sacrifice
to Love.


The Count came not home until the next
Morning, and brought the Baron with him, for
they were now become inseparable Friends:
At his return he found Alovysa in a very
ill humour for his being abroad all Night, and in
spite of the Resolution she had made of shewing
a perfect Resignation to her Husbands will,
cou’d not forbear giving him some hints, how
unkindly she took it, which he but little Regarded,
all his Thoughts were now bent on the gaining
Melliora. But that Lady Alarm’d at his
Late Behaviour, and with Reason doubting her
own Power of Resenting it as she ought, or indeed
resisting any future attempts he might make,
feign’d the necessity of performing some private
Rules of Devotion enjoyn’d her as a Pennance,
and kept her Chamber that she might not see
Him.

The Disquietudes of D’elmont for being
forc’d to live; but for three or four days without
the happiness of beholding her, convinc’d
him how impossible it was for him to overcome his G3r 45
his Passion, tho’ he shou’d never so vigorously
Endeavour it, and that whatever Method he
shou’d make use of to satisfie it, might be excus’d
by the necessity.

What is it that a Lover cannot Accomplish
when Resolution is on his side? D’elmont after
having form’d a Thousand fruitless Inventions,
at last pitch’d on one, which promis’d him, an
Assurance of Success: In Melliora’s Chamber
there was a little Door that open’d to a pair
of Back Stairs, for the Convenience of the Servants
coming to clean the Room, and at the Bottom
of that Discent, a Gate into the Garden.
The Count set his Wits to Work to get the
Keys of those two Doors, that of the Garden
stood always in it, nor cou’d he keep it, without
it’s being mist at Night, when they shou’d come
to fasten the Gate, therefore, he carefully took
the Impression in Wax, and had one made exactly
like it: The other he cou’d by no means
Compass without making some Excuse to go to
Melliora’s Chamber, and she had desir’d that
none might visit her: But he overcome this
Bar to his Design at Last; there was a Cabinet
in it, where he told Alovysa he had put some
Papers of great Concern which now he wanted
to look over, and desir’d she wou’d make an Apology
for his coming in, to fetch them. Melliora
imagin’d this was only a Pretence to see
her, but his Wife being with him, and he saying
nothing to her, or taking any farther notice,
than what Common Civility requir’d, was not
much troubled at it. While Alovysa was paying
a Complement, to the Recluse, he was dextroustrous G3v 46
enough to slip the Key out of the Door,
unperceiv’d by either of them.

As soon as he had got the Passport to his
Expected Joys in his Possession, he order’d a
Couple of Saddle Horses to be made ready, and
only attended by one Servant, rid out, as if to
take the Air; but when they were got about
two or three Miles from his House, Commanded
him to return, and tell his Lady, that
he shou’d lye that Night at the Baron D’espernay’s,
the fellow obey’d, and Clapping Spurs to
his Horse, was immediately lost in a Cloud of
Dust.


D’elmont had sent this Message to prevent
any of the Family sitting up expecting him,
and instead of going to the Baron’s, turn’d
short, and went to Angerville, where meeting
with some Gentlemen of his Acquaintance, he
pass’d the Hours ’till between twelve and one,
as pleasantly as his Impatience to be with Melliora,
wou’d give him leave. He had not much
above a Furlong to ride, and his desires made
him not spare his Horse, which he tyed by the
Bridle, hot, and foaming, as he was, to a huge
Oak which grew pretty near his Garden, it was
Incompassed only with a Hedge, and that
so low, that he got over it without any Difficulty:
He look’d carefully about him, and found
no Tell-tale lights in any of the Rooms, and
Concluding all was as hush’d as he cou’d wish, opened
the first Door, but the Encreasing Transports
of his Soul, as he came up Stairs, to be so near
the end of all his Wishes, are more easily Imaginedgined G4r 47
than Exprest, but as violent as they were,
they presently receiv’d a vast Addition, when he
came into the Happy Chamber, and by a most
Delightful Gloom a Friend to Lovers; for it was
neither Dark nor Light, he beheld the Lovely
Melliora in her Bed, and fast asleep, her
Head was reclin’d on one of her Arms; a Pillow
softer and whiter far than that it lean’d on,
the other was stretch’d out, and with it’s Extention
had thrust down the Bed-Cloths so far,
that all the Beauties of her Neck and Breast appear’d
to view. He took an inexpressible Pleasure
in gazing on her as she lay, and in this
silent Contemplation of her Thousand Charms,
his mind was Agitated with various Emotions,
and the resistless posture he beheld her in, rouz’d
all that was Honourable in him, he thought it
pity even to wake her, but more to wrong such
Innocence, and he was sometimes Prompted
to return and leave her as he found her.

But whatever Dominion, Honour, and Virtue
may have over our waking Thoughts, ’tis
certain that they fly from the clos’d Eyes, our
Passions then exert their forceful Power, and that
which is most Predominant in the Soul, Agitates
the fancy, and brings even Things Impossible to
pass: Desire, with watchful Diligence repell’d,
returns with greater violence in unguarded sleep,
and overthrows the vain Efforts of Day. Melliora
in spite of her self, was often happy
in Idea, and possest a Blessing which shame
and Guilt, deter’d her from in reality. Imagination
at this time was Active, and brought
the Charming Count much nearer than indeed he G4v 48
he was, and he, stooping to the Bed, and gently
laying his Face close to her’s, (Possibly Designing
no more than to steal a Kiss from her,
unperceiv’d) that Action, Concurring at that
Instant, with her Dream, made her throw her
Arm (still Slumbering) about his Neck, and
in a Soft and Languishing Voice, Cry out, “O!
D’elmont Cease, cease to Charm, to such a
height—Life cannot bear these Raptures!”

—And then again, Embracing him yet closer,
“O! too, too Lovely Count—Extatick
Ruiner!”

Where was now the Resolution he was forming
some Moments before? If he had now
left her, some might have applauded an Honour
so uncommon; but more wou’d have
Condemn’d his Stupidity, for I believe there
are very few Men, how Stoical soever they
pretend to be, that in such a Tempting Circumstance
wou’d not have lost all Thoughts, but
those, which the present opportunity inspir’d.
That he did, is most certain, for he tore open
his Wastcoat, and joyn’d his panting Breast to
her’s, with such a Tumultuous Eagerness! Seiz’d
her with such a Rapidity of Transported hope
Crown’d Passion, as immediately wak’d her from
an imaginary Felicity, to the Approaches of a
Solid one. “Where have I been?” (said she, just
opening her Eyes) “where am I?”—(And then
coming more perfectly to her selfself) “Heaven! What’s
this?”
“I am D’elmont” (Cry’d the Orejoy’d
Count) “the happy D’elmont! Melliora’s
the Charming Melliora’s D’elmont!”

“Oh, all ye Saints,” (Resum’d the surpriz’d, Trembling,bling H1r 49
fair) “ye Ministring Angels! Whose Business
’tis to guard the Innocent! Protect, and
Shield my Virtue! O! say, how came you here,
my Lord?”
“Love,” said he, “Love that does all,
that Wonder-Working Power has sent me here,
to Charm thee, sweet Resister, into yielding.”

“O! Hold,” (Cry’d she, finding he was proceeding
to Liberties, which her Modesty cou’d not
allow of) “forbear, I do Conjure you, even by
that Love you plead, before my Honour, I’ll
resign my Life! Therefore, unless you wish to
see me Dead, a Victim to your Cruel, fatal
Passion, I beg you to desist, and leave me:”

“‑I cannot—Must not” (answer’d he, growing
still more Bold) “what, when I have thee thus!
Thus naked in my Arms, Trembling, Defenceless,
Yeilding, Panting with equal Wishes, thy
Love Confest, and every Thought, Desire! What
cou’dst thou think if I shou’d leave thee?
How justly wou’dst thou scorn my easie Tameness;
my Dulness, unworthy of the Name of
Lover, or even of Man!—Come, come no
more Reluctance”
(Continu’d he, gathering Kisses
from her soft Snowy Breast at every Word) “Damp
not the fires thou hast rais’d with seeming Coiness!
I know thou art mine! All mine! And thus I--”
“Yet
think”
(said she Interrupting him, and Strugling
in his Arms) “think what ’tis that you wou’d do,
for forfor a Moments Joy, hazard your Peace
for Ever.”
“By Heaven,” cry’d he: “I will
this Night be Master of my Wishes, no matter
what to Morrow may bring forth:”
Assoon as he
had spoke these Words, he put it out of her Power
either to deny, or to Reproach him, by stopping her
Mouth with Kisses, and was just on the point of H making H1v 50
making good what he had vow’d, when a loud
knocking at the Chamber Door, put a stop to
his Beginning Exstacy, and chang’d the sweet
Confusion, Melliora had been in, to all the
Horrors of a shame and guilt Distracted Apprehension:
They made no Doubt but that it was
Alovysa, and that they were betray’d, the
Count’s greatest concern was for Melliora, and
the knocking still continuing and growing louder,
all he cou’d do in this Exigence, was to make
his Escape, the way he came, there was no time
for taking leave, and he cou’d only say, perceiving
she was ready to faint with her fears. “Be
Comforted, my Angel, and resolute in your Denials,
to whatever Questions the Natural Insolence
of a Jealous Wife, may provoke mine to
ask you; and we shall meet again (if D’elmont
survives this Disappointment without Danger of so
quick, so Curst a Separation.”
Melliora was
in too much Distraction to make any Answer to
what he said, and he had left the Room some
Moments before she cou’d get Spirit enough to
ask who was at the Door; but when she did, was
as much surpriz’d to find it was Melantha, who
desir’d to be let in, as before she was frightened
at the belief it was Alovysa, however she immediately
slipt on her Night-Gown, and Slippers
and open’d the Door.

“You are a sound Sleeper Indeed” (Cry’d Melantha
laughing) “that all the Noise I have
made cou’d not wake you.”
“I have not been all
this time asleep”
(answer’d Melliora) “but I, flawed-reproduction1 word
knowing you were in the House, cou’d not imagine
who it was that gave me this Disturbance”flawed-reproduction1 character

“I heartily ask your Pardon” (said Melantha) and H2r 51
“and I know, my Dear, you are too good Natur’d
to refuse it me, especially when you know the
Occasion, which is so very Whimsical, that, as
Grave as you are, you cannot help being diverted
with it—But come”
(continu’d she) “get on
your Cloths, for you must go along with me.”

“Where?” said Melliora, “Nay, nay, ask no
Questions”
(resum’d Melantha) “but make hast,
every Minute that we Idle away here, loses us
the Diversion of an Age.”
As she spoke these
Words, she fell into such an excessive Laughter,
that Melliora thought her Mad, but being far
from Sympathizing in her Gayety; “it has always”
(said she) “been hitherto my Custom to have some
Reason for what I do, tho’ in never so trifling an
Affair, and you must excuse me, if I do not
break it now.”
“Pish” (cry’d Melantha) “you
are of the oddest Temper,—but I will give
you your Way for once,—provided you’ll get
your self ready in the mean time. I shall certainly
put on my Cloaths”
(said Melliora) “lest
I should take cold, for I expect you’ll not permit
me to sleep any more this Night.”
“You may
be sure of it”
(rejoyn’d Melantha.) “But to the
Purpose,—You must know, having an Hour or
two on my Hands, I came this Evening to visit
Alovysa and found her in the strangest Humour!
—Good God! What unaccountable Creatures
these married Women are?—Her Husband
it seems had sent her Word that he wou’d lye at
my Brothers, and the poor loving Soul cou’d not
bear to live a Night without him. I stay’d to
condole with her, (tho’ on my Life, I cou’d scarce
forbear Laughing in her Face) ’till it was too
late to go Home.—About twelve a Clock she H2 yawn’d, H2v 52
yawn’d, stretch’d, and grew most horridly out of
Temper, rail’d at Mankind prodigiously, and
curs’d Matrimony as heartily as one of Fourscore
cou’d do, that had been twice a Widow, and was
left a Maid!—With much ado, I made her
Women thrust her into Bed, and retired to a
Chamber which they show’d me, but I had no Inclination
to sleep, I remember’d my self of five
or six Billet-Doux I had to answer,—a Lover,
that growing foolishly troublesome, I have some
thoughts of discharging to Morrow—Another
that I design to Countenance, to pique a third
—A new Suit of Cloaths, and Trimmings for
the next Ball—Half a hundred New Songs
—and—a thousand other Affairs of the utmost
Consequence to a young Lady, came into my
Head in a Moment; and the Night being extreamly
pleasant, I set the Candle in the Chimney,
open’d the Window, and fell to considering
—But I had not been able to come to a Conclusion
what I should do in any one thing I was
thinking of, before I was interrupted in my
Cogitations with a Noise of something rushing
hastily thro’ the Mirtles under my Window, and
presently after, saw it was a Man going hastily
along toward the great Alley of the Garden.—
At first I was going to cry out and alarm the Family,
taking it for a Thief; But, Dear Melliora,
how glad am I that I did not?—For
who do you think, when I look’d more heedfully,
I perceiv’d it was?”
“Nay, how should I know?”
(cry’d Melliora peevishly, fearing the
Count’s inadvertency had expos’d himself and
her to this foolish Woman’s Curiosity) “It was
Count D’elmont”
(resum’d Melantha) “I’ll lay H3r 53
lay my Life, that he has been on some Intreague
to Night: And met with a Disappointment in
it, by his quick Return.—But prithee make
hast, for I long to rally him about it.”
“What
wou’d you do Madam?”
(said Melliora) “you
wou’d not sure go to him?”
“Yes,” (answer’d Melantha:
“I will go down into the Garden, and
so shall you.—I know you have a Back way
from your Chamber—Therefore lay aside this
unbecoming Demureness, and let us go, and
talk him to Death.”
“You may do as you please,”
(said Melliora) “but for my part, I am for
no such Frolicks.”
“Was there ever any thing
so Young, so Formal as you are!”
(Rejoyn’d
Melantha) “but I am Resolv’d to Teaze you
out of a Humour so directly opposite to the
Beau-Monde, and, if you will not Consent to
go down with me: I will fetch him up to your
Chamber”
“Hold! Hold,” (cry’d Melliora
Perceiving she was going) “what do you mean,
for Heavens sake stay, what will Alovysa
think?”
“I care not” (reply’d the other) “I have
set my Heart on an hours Diversion with him,
and will not be Baulk’d, if the repose of the
World, much less, that of a Jealous, silly Wife,
Depended on it.”

Melliora saw into the Temper of this Capricious
Young Lady too well not to believe
she wou’d do, as she had said, and perhaps, was
not over willing to venture her with the Count
alone, at that Time of Night, and in the Humour
she knew he was, therefore putting on an
Air more Chearful than that she was Accustom’d
to wear “well” (said she) “I will Accompany you into H3v 54
into the Garden, since it will so much oblige you;
but if the Count be wise, he will, by quitting
the Place, as soon as he see’s us, Disappoint you
worse than I shou’d have done, If I had kept
you here.”
With these Words she took her by
the Hand, and they went down the Stairs,
where the Count was but just past before
them.

He had not the Power to go away, without knowing
who it was, that had given him that Interruption,
and had stood all this Time, on the
upper step behind the Inner Door. His Vexation,
and Disdain when he heard it was Melantha
gave him as much Pain, as his Concern
while he believ’d it Alovysa, and he cou’d not
forbear muttering a Thousand Curses on her Impertinence.
He had always dispis’d, but now abhorr’d
her: She had behav’d her self to him in
a Fashion, as made him sufficiently Sensible
she was desirous of engaging him, and he resolv’d
to Mortifie by the bitterest Slights, both
her Pride, and Love, if ’tis proper, to call
that sort of liking which Agitates the Soul of
Coquet, by that Name.

The Ladies walk’d in the Garden for some
time, and Melantha search’d every Bush, before
she found the Count who stood Conceal’d in
the Porch, which being Cover’d with Jessamin,
and Fillaree, was Dark enough to hide him from
their view, tho’ they had pass’d close to him
as they came out. He had certainly remain’d
there ’till Morning, and Disappointed Melantha’s
search in part of the Revenge he ow’d her, if H4r 55
if his Desires to be with Melliora, on any
Terms, had not prevail’d, even above his Anger
to the other. But he cou’d not see that Charmer
of his Soul, and imagine there might be yet
an opportunity that Night of Stealing a Kiss
from her (now he believ’d resistless Lips) of
Touching her Hand! Her Breast! And repeating
some farther Freedoms which his late Advantage
over her had given him, without being fill’d
with Wishes too Fiery and too Impatient to be
restrain’d. He watch’d their Turning, and when
he saw that they were near an Alley which had
another that led to it, he went round and met
them.

Melantha was overjoy’d at sight of him,
and Melliora tho’ equally pleas’d, was Cover’d
with such a Confusion, at the Remembrance of
what had pass’d, that it was happy for her that her
Companions Volubility gave her no Room for
Speech. There is nothing more certain than
that Love, tho’ it fills the mind with a Thousand
Charming Ideas, which those untouch’d by
that Passion, are not Capable of conceiving, yet
it entirely takes away the Power of Utterance,
and the deeper Impression it had made on the
Soul, the less we are able to express it, when
willing to indulge and give a loose to Thought;
what Language can furnish us with Words sufficient,
all are too poor, all wanting both in
Sublimity, and Softness, and only Fancy! a
Lovers Fancy! Can reach the Exalted soaring
of a Lovers meaning! But, if so impossible to
be Describ’d, if of so Vast, so Wonderful a Nature
as nothing but it’s self can Comprehend, how H4v 56
how much more Impossible must it be entirely
to Conceal it! What Strength of Boasted Reason?
What Force of Resolution? What modest
Fears, or Cunning Artifice can Correct the fierceness
of it’s Fiery Flashes in the Eyes, keep
down the Strugling sighs, Command the pulse,
and bid the Trembling, Cease? Honour, and
Virtue may distance Bodies, but there is no
Power in either of those Names, to stop
the Spring that with a rapid whirl Transports
us from our selves, and darts our Souls into the
Bosom of the Darling Object: This may seem
Strange to many, even of those who call, and perhaps
believe they are Lovers, but the few
who have Delicacy enough to feel what I
but imperfectly attempt to speak, will Acknowledge
it for Truth, and Pity the Distress of
Melliora.

As they were passing thro’ a walk with Trees
on each side, whose Intermingling Boughs made
a Friendly Darkness, and every thing Undistinguishable,
the Amorous D’elmont throwing his
eager Arms round the wast of his (no less Transported)
Melliora, and Printing Burning
Kisses on her Neck, reap’d painful Pleasure,
and Created in her, a Racking kind of Extasie,
which might perhaps, had they been now alone,
prov’d her desires were little different from
his.

After Melantha had vented part of the
Raillery, she was so big with, on the Count,
which he but little regarded, being wholly taken
up with other ThouhgtsThoughts, she propos’d, going intoto I1r 57
the Wilderness, which was at the farther
end of the Garden, and they readily agreeing
to it. “Come, my Lord” (said she) to the Count “you
are Melancholy, I have Thought of a way
which will either Indulge the Humour you are
in, or Divert it, as you shall chuse: There are
several little paths in this Wilderness, let us
take each a separate one, and when we meet,
which shall be here, where we part, agree to
tell an entertaining Story, which whoever fails
in, shall be Doom’d to the Punishment of being
left here all Night:”
The Count at these
Words, forgot all his Animosity, and was ready
to hug her for this Proposal: Melliora did a
little oppose it; but the others were too Powerful,
and she was forc’d to submit: “Thou art
the Dullest Creature, I lay my Life my Lord,”

(Cry’d Melantha, taking hold of the Count
in a gay manner) “that it falls to her Lot to stay
in the Wilderness:”
“Oh Madam,” (reply’d the
Count) “you are too severe, we ought always
to suspend our Judgment ’till after the Tryal,
which I confess my self so pleas’d with, that I
am Impatient for it’s Coming on:”
“Well then”
(said she Laughing) “farewel for half an hour.”
“Agreed” (Cry’d the Count) and walked away:
Melantha saw which way he went, and
took another Path, leaving Melliora to go
forward in that, in which they were, but I believe
the Reader will easily imagine that she
was not long to Enjoy the Priviledge of her
Meditations.

I After I1v 58

After the Count had gone some few Paces,
he planted himself behind a Thicket, which
while it hid him, gave him the opportunity
of observing them, and when he found the Coast
Clear, rush’d out, and with unhurting Gripe,
seiz’d once more on the Unguarded Prey. “Blest
Turn of Fortune”
(said he in a Rapture), “Happy,
happy Moment!”
“Lost, lost Melliora,”
(said she) “most unhappy Maid!—Oh why,
why my Lord, this Quick Return?”
“This is
no place to answer thee”
(resum’d he taking her
in his Arms, and Bearing her behind that Thicket,
where himself had stood) ’twas in vain for
her to resist, if she had, had the Power over
her Inclinations, ’till he setting her softly down,
and beginning to Caress her, in the manner he
had done, when she was in Bed, she assum’d
Strength enough to raise her self a little, and
Catching hold of his Transgressing Hands, laid
her Face on ’em, and Bath’d ’em in a Shower of
Tears: “O! D’elmont” (said she) “Cruel D’elmont!
Will you then take Advantage of my
Weakness? I Confess I feel for you, a Passion
far beyond all, that yet, ever bore the Name of
Love, that I no longer can withstand the
too Powerful Magick of your Eyes, nor deny
any thing that Charming Tongue can ask, but
now’s the Time to prove your self the Heroe,
subdue youryour self, as you have Conquer’d me,
be satisfied with Vanquishing my Soul, fix there
your Throne, but leave my Honour free!”
“Life
of my Life”
(Cry’d he) “wound me no more by
such untimely Sorrows: I Cannot bear thy Tears,
by Heaven they sink in to my Soul, and quite unman I2r 59
unman me, but tell me”
(Continu’d he Tenderly
Kissing her) “Cou’dst thou, with all this Love,
this Charming—Something more then softness
—Cou’dst thou I say, Consent to see me
Pale and Dead, Stretch’d at thy Feet, Consum’d
with inward Burnings, rather than blest,
than rais’d by Love, and Thee, to all a Deity
in thy Embraces: For O! Believe me when I
swear, that ’tis impossible to Live without thee.”

“No more, no more” (said she, letting her Head fall
gently on his Breast) “too easily I guess thy sufferings
by my own. But yet, D’elmont ’tis
better to Die in Innocence, than to Live in
Guilt.”
“O! why” (Resum’d he, sighing as if his
Heart wou’d burst) shou’d what we can’t avoid,
be call’d a Crime? Be Witness for me Heaven!
How much I have Strugl’d with this rising Passion,
even to Madness Struggl’d!—But in
Vain, the Mounting Flame Blazes the more,
the more I wou’d suppress it—My very Soul’s
on Fire—I cannot bear it—Oh Melliora!
Did’st thou but know the Thousandth part, of
what this Moment I endure, the strong Convulsions
of my Warring Thoughts, thy Heart Steel’d
as it is, and Frost’d round with Virtue, wou’d
burst it’s Icy shield and melt in Tears of Blood
to pity me.”
“Unkind and Cruel!” (answer’d she) “do
I not pertake them then?—Do I not bear,
at least, an equal share in all your Agonies?
—Hast thou no Charms—Or have I not a
Heart?—A most Susceptible, and Tender
Heart?—Yes, you may feel it Throb, it beats
against my Breast, like an Imprison’d Bird, and
fain wou’d burst it’s Cage! to fly to you, the
aim of all it’s Wishes!—Oh D’elmont!”
I2 —With I2v 60
—With these Words she sunk wholly into
his Arms unable to speak more: Nor was he
less Disolv’d in Rapture, both their Souls seem’d
to take Wing together, and left their Bodies
Motionless, as unworthy to bear a part in their
more elevated Bliss.

But D’elmont at his returning Sense, repenting
the Effects of the violent Transport, he had
been in, now was preparing to take from the resistless
Melliora, the last, and only remaining proof
that she was all his own, when Melantha (who
had Contriv’d this Separation only with a Design
to be alone with the Count, and had carefully
observ’d which way he took) was coming
towards them. The rustling of her Cloths among
the Bushes, gave the Disappointed Couple
leave to rise from the Posture they were in, and
Melliora to abscond behind a Tree, before
she cou’d come near enough to discern who was
there.

Melantha, as soon as she saw the Count,
put on an Air of Surprize, as if it were but by
Chance, that she was come into his walk, and
Laughing with a visible Affection, “bless me!
You here, my Lord!”
(said she) “I vow this has
the look of Assignation, but I hope you will
not be so vain as to believe I came on purpose
to seek you”
. “No Madam” (answer’d he coldly)
“I have not the least Thought of being so happy.”
“Lord! You are strangely grave” (Rejoyn’d she)
“but suppose I really had come with a Design
to meet you, what kind of a Reception might
I have expected?”
“I know no Reason Madam” (said I3r 61
(said he) “that can oblige me to Entertain a Supposition
so unlikely.”
“Well then” (resum’d she)
“I’ll put it past a Supposition, and tell you
plainly, that I did walk this way on purpose to
Divert your Spleen.”
“I am sorry” (reply’d he,
tir’d to Death with her Impertinence) “that you
are Disappointed; for I am not in a Humour at
present, of receiving any Diversion.”
“Fie” (said
she) “is this an answer for the Gay, Gallant, Engaging
Count D’elmont, to give a Lady who
makes a Declaration of Admiring him—Who
thinks it not too much to make the first Advances,
and who wou’d believe her self fully Recompenc’d
for breaking thro’ the nice Decorums
of her Sex, if he Receiv’d it kindly.”
—Madam
(said he, not a little amaz’d at her Imprudence)
“I know of no such Person, or if I did, I
must confess, shou’d be very much puzled how
to behave in an Adventure so uncommon:”
“Pish”
(answer’d she, growing vext at his Coldness) “I
know that such Adventures are not uncommon
with you: I’m not to Learn the Story of Alovysa,
and if you had not been first Address’d,
perhaps might have been ’till now unmarried.”

“Well Madam” (said he, more out of Humour)
“put the Case that what you say were true, I am
Married;”
“and therefore,” (Interrupted she) “you
ought to be better acquainted with the Temper
of our Sex, and know that a Woman, where
she says she Loves, Expects a Thousand fine
Things in Return.”
“But there is more than a
possibility”
(answer’d he) “of her being Disappointed
and methinks Madam, a Lady of your
Gaity shou’d be Conversant enough with Poetry,
to Remember these too Lines of a famous English
Poet.

All I3v 62 ‘All Naturally fly, what does Pursue ’Tis fit Men shou’d be Coy, when Women Woe.’”

Melantha was fretted to the Heart to find
him so insensible, but not being one of those
who are apt to repent any thing they have done,
she only pretended to fall into a violent fit of
Laughter, and when she came out of it, “I Confess”
(said she) “that I have lost my Aim, which
was, to make you believe that I was Dying for Love
of you, raise you to the highest degree of Expectation,
and then have the Pleasure of Baulking
you at once, by letting you know the jest.
—But your Lordship is too hard for me, even
at my own Weapon, Ridicule!”
“I am mightily
obliged to you Madam”
(answer’d he, more briskly
than before) “for your Intention; however,
but ’tis probable, if I cou’d have been drawn
into a belief that you were in Earnest, I might,
at such a Time, and such a Place as this, have
taken some Measures which wou’d have sufficiently
Reveng’d me on you—But come Madam,”

(Continu’d he) “the Morning begins to break, if
you please we will find out Melliora, and
go into the House:”
As he spoke these Words,
they perceiv’d her coming towards them, who
had only taken a little round to meet ’em, and
they all three made what hast they cou’d in.
Count D’elmont asked a formal leave of
Melliora to go thro’ her Chamber, none of
the Servants being yet stirring, to let him into
the House any other way, which being granted,
he cou’d not help sighing as he passed by the
Bed, where he had been lately so Cruelly Disappointed,appointed, I4r 63
but he had no opportunity to speak his
Thoughts at that time to Melliora.

The Count rung for his Gentleman to rise
to undress him, and order’d him to send somebody
to take care of his Horse, and went to
Bed, Alovysa was very much surpriz’d at
his return from the Baron’s at so unseasonable
an hour, but much more so, when in the Morning,
Melantha came Laughing into the
Chamber, and told her, all that she knew of
the Adventure of the Night before; her old fit
of Jealousie now resum’d it’s Dominion in her
Soul, she cou’d not forbear thinking, that there
was something more in it, than Melantha
had Discover’d: And presently imagin’d that
her Husband stay’d not at the Baron’s, because
she was abroad, but she was more Confirm’d in
this Opinion, when Melantha calling for
her Coach to go home; the Count told her
that he wou’d Accompany her thither, having
urgent business with her Brother. ’Tis almost
impossible to guess the rage Alovysa was in, but
she Dissembled it ’till they were gone, then
going to Melliora’s Chamber, she vented
part of it there, and began to question her
about their Behaviour in the Wilderness. Tho’
Melliora was glad to find, since she was
Jealous, that she was Jealous of any Body
rather than her self, yet she said all that she
cou’d, to perswade her, that she had no Reason
to be uneasie.

But Alovysa was always of too fiery a
Nature to listen patiently to any thing cou dcou’d be I4v 64
be offer’d, to alter the Opinion she had taken
up, tho’ it were with never so little an Appearance
of Reason, but much more now, when she
thought her self, in a manner Confirm’d: “Forbear”
(said she) “Dear Melliora to take the part
of perfidy: I know he hates me, I read it in
his Eyes, and feel it on his Lips, all day he
shuns my Converse, and at night, Colder than
Ice receives my warm Embraces, and when, (oh
that I cou’d tear the tender folly from my Heart)
with Words as soft as Love can Form, I urge
him to Disclose the Cause of his Disquiet, he
answers but in sighs, and turns away:”
“Perhaps”
(reply’d Melliora) “his Temper Naturally is
Gloomy, and Love it self, has scarce the Power
to alter Nature.”
“Oh no,” (Interrupted Alovysa)
“far from it: Had I ne’er known him otherwise,
I cou’d forgive what now I know, but he
was once as kind as tender Mothers to their new
Born Babes, and fond as the first Wishes of Desiring
Youth: Oh! With what eagerness has he
Approach’d me, when absent but an Hour
—Hadst thou e’re seen him in those Days
of Joy, even thou, Cold Cloyster’d Maid, must
have ador’d him! What Majesty, then sat upon
his Brow?—What Matchless Glories shone
around him!—---Miriads of Cupids, shot resistless
Darts in every Glance,—His Voice,
when softned in Amorous Accents, boasted more
Musick than the Poets Orpheus! When e’re he
spoke, methought the Air seem’d Charm’d, the
Winds forgot to blow, all Nature listn’d, and
like Alovysa melted into Transport—But
he is Chang’d in all—The Heroe, and the
Lover are Extinct, and all that’s left, of the once K1r 65
once Gay D’elmont, is a Dull Senceless Picture:”
Melliora was too Sensibly Touch’d
with this Disclosure, to be able presently to
make any answer to it, and she cou’d not forbear
Accompanying her in Tears, while Alovysa
renew’d her Complaints in this manner, “his
Heart”
(said she) “his Heart is lost, for ever Ravish’d
from me, that bosom, where I had Treasur’d
all my Joys, my Hopes, my Wishes, now
Burns and Pants, with Longings for a Rival,
Curst, Curst Melantha, by Heaven they are
even Impudent in Guilt, they Toy, they Kiss,
and make Assignations before my Face, and
this Tyrant Husband Braves me with his falseshoodhood,
and thinks to Awe me into Calmness,
But, if I endure it—No”
(Continu’d she
stamping, and walking about the Room in a
Dissorder’d Motion) “I’ll be no longer the Tame
easie wretch I have been—All France shall
Eccho with my Wrongs—The Ungrateful
Monster!—Villain, whose well nigh wasted
Stream of Wealth had dry’d, but for my kind of
supply, shall he Enslave me—Oh Melliora
shun the Marriage Bed, as thou wou’dst a
Serpent’s Den, more Ruinous, more Poysonous
far, is Man.”

’Twas in vain that Melliora endeavour’d
to pacifie her, she continu’d in this Humour all
Day, and in the Evening receiv’d a considerable
Addition to her former Disquiet: The Count
sent a Servant of the Barons (having not taken
any of his own with him) to acquaint her, that
he shou’d not be at home that Night. “’Tis well”
(said she ready to burst with Rage) “let the Count K know K1v 66
know that I can change as well as he, and shall
excuse his absence tho’ it lasts to all Eternity,
(gogo
Continu’d(Continu’d she, seeing him surpriz’d) “deliver
this Message, and withal, assure him, that what
I say, I mean.”
She had scarce made an end of
these Words, when she flung out of the Room,
unable to utter more, and lock’d her self into
her Chamber, leaving Melliora no less Distracted,
tho’ for Different Reasons, to retire
to her’s.

She had not ’till now, had a Moments time
for Reflection since her Adventure in the Wilderness,
and the Remembrance of it, joyn’d
with the Dispair, and Grief of Alovysa, which
she knew her self the sole occasion of, threw
her into most Terrible Agonies. She was ready
to Die with shame, when she Consider’d how
much the secret of her Soul was laid open to him,
who of all the World she ought most to have
Conceal’d it from, and with remorse, for the
Miseries her fatal Beauty was like to bring on
a Family for whom she had the greatest Friendship.

But these Thoughts soon gave way to another,
equally as shocking, she was present when
the Servant brought word the Count wou’d
lie abroad, and had all the Reason imaginable
to believe that Message was only a feint, that
he might have an opportunity to come unobserv’d
to her Chamber, as he had done the
Night before. She Cou’d not presently guess
by what means he had got in, and therefore
was at a loss how to prevent him, ’till Recollectinglecting K2r 67
all the Circumstances of that Tender
interview, she Remembred that when Melantha
had surpriz’d them, he made his Escape
by the back Stairs into the Garden, and that
when they went down, the Door was Lock’d:
Therefore Concluded it must be by a Key, that
he had gain’d Admittance: And began to set
her Invention to Work, how to keep this Dangerous
Enemy to her Honour, from coming in, a
second Time. She had no Keys that were large
enough to fill the Wards, and if she had put one
in, on the inside, it wou’d have fallen out immediately
on the least touch, but at last, after
trying several ways, she tore her Hankerchief
into small pieces, and thrust it into the hole
with her Busk, so hard that it was Impossible for
any Key to enter.

Melliora thought she had done a very Horoick
Action, and sat her self down on the Bedside
in a pleas’d Contemplation of the Conquest,
she believ’d her Virtue had gain’d over her Passion:
But Alas! How little did she know the true
State of her own heart? She no sooner heard a little
noise at the Door, as presently after she did,
but she thought it was the Count, and began
to tremble, not with fear, but desire.

It was indeed Count D’elmont who had
borrow’d Horses and a Servant of the Baron, and
got into the Garden as before, but with a much
greater Assurance now of making himself entirely
happy in the Gratification of his utmost
wishes. But ’tis impossible to Represent the
Greatness of his Vexation and Surprize, when
all his Efforts to open the Door, were in vain: K2 He K2v 68
He found something had been done to the Lock
but cou’d not Discover what, nor by any means remove
the obstacle which Melliora had put
there. She, on the other hand was in all the
Confusion imaginable: Sometimes prompted
by the Violence of her Passion, she wou’d run
to the Door, resolving to open it, and then,
frighted with the Apprehension of what wou’d
be the Consequence, as hastily fly from it: If
he had stay’d much longer, ’tis possible Love
wou’d have got the better of all other Considerations,
but a light appearing on the other side
of the Garden, oblig’d the thrice Disappoint­ ment Lover to quit his Post. He had sent away
the Horses by the Servant who came with him,
and had no opportunity of going to the Barons
that Night, so came to his own Fore-Gate, and
Thunder’d with a Force, suitable to the Fury
he was possest with; it was presently open’d,
most of the Family being up. Alovysa had
rav’d her self into Fits, and her disorder Created
full Employment for the Servants, who
busily running about the House with Candles
fetching things for her occasion’d that Reflection
which he had seen.

The Count was told of his Ladies Indispostion,
but he thought he had sufficient pretence
not to come where she was, after the Message
she had sent him by the Baron’s Servant,
and order’d a Bed to be made ready for him in
another Chamber.

Alovysa soon heard he was come in, and it
was with much ado, that her Women prevail’d on K3r 69
on her not to rise and go to him that Moment,
so little did she Remember what she had said.
She pass’d the Night in most Terrible Inquietudes,
and early in the Morning went to his
Chamber, but finding it shut, she was oblig’d
to wait, tho’ with a World of Impatience, ’till
she heard he was stirring, which not being ’till
towards Noon, she spent all that Time in Considering
how she shou’d Accost him.

As soon as the Servant whom she had order’d
to watch, brought her Word that his Lord was
Dressing, she went into the Room, there was
no body with him but his Gentleman, and he
withdrawing out of Respect, imagining by both
their Countenances there might something be
said, not proper for him to hear. “I see” (said
she) “my Presence is unwish’d, but I have learn’d
from you to scorn Constraint, and as you openly
avow your falshood, I shall my Indignation,
and my just Disdain!”
“Madam” (answer’d
he, sullenly) “if you have any thing to reproach
me with, you cou’d not have chose a more unlucky
Time for it, than this, nor was I ever less
dispos’d to give you Satisfaction.”
“No, Barbarous
Cold Insulter!”
(resum’d she) “I had not the
least hope you wou’d, I find that I am grown so low
in your Esteem, I am not worth pains of an
Invention.—By Heaven, this Damn’d indifference
is worse than the most vile Abuse!—
’Tis plain Contempt!—O that I cou’d resent
it as I ought—Then Sword, or Poison shou’d
revenge me—Why, why am I so Curst to
Love you still?—O that those Fiends”
(continu’d
she, bursting into Tears) “that have Deform’dform’d K3v 70
thy Soul, wou’d Change thy Person too,
turn every Charm to horrid Blackness, grim as
thy Cruelty, and foul as thy Ingratitude, to free
that Heart, thy Perjury has ruin’d.”
“I thought
Madam”
(said he, with an Accent Maliciously
Ironical) “that you had thrown off, even the Appearances
of Love for me, by the Message you
sent me Yesterday”
“O thou Tormenter” (Interrupted
she) “hast thou not wrong’d me in the
Tenderest point, driven me to the last Degree of
Misery! to Madness!—To Dispair? And
dost thou—Can’st thou Reproach me for
Complaining?—Your Coldness, your unkindness
stung me to the Soul, audand then I said,
I know not what---But I Remember well, that I
wou’d have seem’d Careless, and Indifferent
like you”
. “You need not” (reply’d he) “give your
self the trouble of an Apology, I have no design
to make a Quarrel of it: And wish, for both
our Peace, you cou’d as easily moderate your
Passions, as I can mine, and that you may the
better do so, I leave you to reflect on what I
have said, and the little Reason I have ever given
you, for such Imtemperance.”
He left the
Chamber with these Words, which instead of
Quelling, more Enflam’d Alovysa’s Rage.
She threw her self down into an Elbow Chair
that stood there, and gave a loose to the Tempest
of her Soul: Sometimes she Curst, and vow’d
the bitterest Revenge: Sometimes she wept
and at others, was Resolv’d to fly to Death,
the only Remedy for neglected Love: In the
midst of these Confus’d Meditations, casting her
Eye on a Table by her, she saw Paper and something
written on it, which hastily taking up, found K4r 71
found it the Count’s Character, and read (to
her Inexpressible Torment) these Lines.

“The Dispairing D’elmont to his
Repenting Charmer.
What Cruel Star last Night, had Influence
over my Inhumane Dear? Say, to what
Cause must I Ascribe, my Fatal Disappointment?
For I wou’d fain believe I owe it not to Thee!—
Such an Action, after what thou hast Confest, I cou’d
expect from nothing but a Creature of Melantha’s
Temper—No ’tis too much of the vain Coquet, and
indeed, too much of the Jilt, for my Adorable to
be guilty of—And yet—Oh how shall I excuse
thee?—When every thing was hush’d, Darkness
my Friend, and all my Wishes rais’d, when every
Nerve Trembled with Fierce Desires, and my Pulse
beat a call to Love, or Death,—(For if I not enjoy
thee, that will soon arrive) then, then what, but
thy self, forgetting all thy Vows, thy Tender Vows
of the most Ardent Passion, cou’d have Destroyed
my Hopes?—Oh where was then that Love
which lately Flatter’d my fond doating Soul, when
sinking, dying in my Arms, my Charmer lay! And
suffer’d me to reap each Prologue favour to the
greatest Bliss.—But they are past, and rigid Honour
stands to Guard those joys which—— ”

There was no more written, but there
needed no more to make Alovysa, before half
Distracted, now quite so. She was now Convinc’d
that she had a much more Dangerous
Rival than Melantha, and her Curiosity who K4v 72
who it might be, was not much less Troublesome
to her than her other Passions.

She was going to seek her Husband with this
Testimony of his Infidelity in her Hand, when
he, remembring he had left it there, was coming
hastily back to fetch it. The Excess of Fury
which she met him with, is hardly to be imagin’d,
she upbraided him in such a Fashion as
might be called reviling, and had so little regard
to good Manners, or even Decency in what
she said, that it Dissipated all the Confusion he
was in at first, to see so plain a proof against him
in her Hands, and rouz’d him to a Rage not
much Inferior to her’s. She Endeavour’d (tho’
she took a wrong method) to bring him to a
Confession, he had done amiss, and he, to lay
the Tempest of her Tongue by Storming louder,
but neither succeeded in their wish: And he, stung
with the bitterness of her Reproaches, and tired
with Clamour, at last flung from her with a Solemn
vow never to Eat, or Sleep with her
more.

A Wife if equally haughty and jealous, if
less fond than Alovysa will scarce be able to
Comprehend the Greatness of her Sufferings:
And it is not to be wonder’d at, that she, so violent
in all her Passions, and Agitated by so
many, at once, Committed a Thousand Extravagancies,
which those who know the force but
of one, by the Aid of Reason may avoid. She
tore down the Count’s Picture which hung in
the Room, and Stamp’d on it, then the Letter,
her own Cloths, and Hair, and whoever had seen L1r 73
seen her in that Posture wou’d have thought she
appear’d more like what the Furies are represented
to be, than a Woman.

The Count when he took leave the Night
before of the Baron D’espernay, had promis’d
to return to him in the Morning, and give him
an Account of his Adventure with Melliora,
but the Vexation of his Disappointment, and
Quarrel with his Wife, having hindred him all
this Time, the Baron came to his House, Impatient
to know the success of an affair on which
his own hopes depended. He was told by the
Servants that their Lord was above, and running
hastily up without Ceremony, the first Person
he saw was Alovysa, in the Condition I
have discrib’d.

The Baron had Passionately Lov’d this Lady
from the first Moment he had seen her, but it
was with that sort of Love, which considers
more it’s own Gratification than the Interest, or
quiet of the object Beloved. He imagin’d by
the Wildness of Alovysa’s Countenance and
Behaviour that the Count had given her some
Extraordinary occasion of Distast, and was so
far from being troubled at the Sorrow he beheld
her in, that he rejoyc’d in it, as the Advancement
of his Designs. But he wanted not cunning
to disguise his Sentiments, and Approaching
her with a Tender, and Submissive Air, Entreated
her to tell him the Cause of her Disorder.
Alovysa had always consider’d him as a Person
of worth, and one who was entitled to her
Esteem by the vast Respect he always paid her, L and L1v 74
and the Admiration, which on every opportunity,
he Exprest for her Wit and Beauty. She
was not perhaps far from guessing the Extent of
his Desires, by some looks, and private Glances
he had given her, and notwithstanding her Passion,
for the Count, was too vain to be offended at
it. On the Contrary, it pleas’d her Pride, and
Confirm’d her in the good Opinion she had of
her self, to think a Man of his Sense shou’d be
Compell’d by the force of her Irresistable Attractions
to adore, and to Dispair, and therefore
made no Difficulty of Disburthening all the
Anguish of her Soul, in the Bosom of this, as
she believ’d, so faithful Friend.

The Baron seem’d to receive this Declaration
of her wrongs, with all Imaginable concern:
And accus’d the Count of Stupidity in so little
knowing the value of a Jewel he was Master
of, and gave her some hints, that he was not
unsensible who the Lady was, that had been the
Cause of it, which Alovysa presently taking
hold on, “O speak her Name” (said she) “Quick,
let me know her, or own thy Friendship was but
feign’d to undo me, and that thou hat’st the
wretched Alovysa.”
“O far” (resum’d he) “far be
such thought, first let me Die, to prove my Zeal
—my Faith, sincere to you, who only next
to Heaven, are worthy Adoration—But forgive
me if I say, in this, you must not be obey’d.”

“O why?” Said she, “perhaps,” (answer’d he) “I am a
trusted Person—A Confident, and if I should
reveal the secret of my Friend, I know, tho’
you approv’d the Treachery, you wou’d detest
the Traytor.”
“O! never” (rejoyn’d she impatiently)ently L2r 75
“’twou’d be a Service, more than the
whole Study of my Life can pay.—Am I not
Rack’d,—Stab’d—And Mangled in Idea? By
some dark Hand shaded with Night and Ignorance,
and shou’d I not be grateful for a Friendly
clue to guide me from this Labyrinth of
Doubt, to a full day of certainty, where all the
feind may stand expos’d before me, and I have
Scope to Execute my Vengeance. Besides”
continu’d(continu’d
she, finding he was silent and seemingly Extreamly
mov’d at what she said) “’tis joyning in
the Cause of Guilt to hide her from me—Come,
you must tell me—Your Honour suffers else
—Both that, and pity, plead the Injur’d’s
Cause.”
“Alas” (said he) “Honour can ne’er consent
to a Discovery of what, with Solemn vows I
have promis’d to Conceal, but Oh—There is
something in my Soul, more Powerful, which
says, that Alovysa must not be deny’d.”
“Why
then”
(cry’d she) “do you delay? Why keep me
on the Rack, when one short word wou’d ease me
of my Torment?”
“I have Consider’d” (answer’d
he after a pause) “Madam, you shall be
satisfied, depend on it you shall, tho’ not this
Moment, you shall have greater Proofs than
words can give you—Occular Demonstration
shall strike Denial Dumb.”
“What mean you?”
Interrupted she, “you shall behold” (said he) “the
Guilty pair, Link’d in each others Arms.”
“Oh
Espernay”
(rejoyn’d she) “coud’st thou do that?”
—---“’Tis easie” (answer’d he) “as I can order Matters
—But longer Conferrence may render me
suspected—I’ll go seek the Count, for he
must be my Engine to betray himself—In a
Day or two, at farthest you shall enjoy all the
Revenge Detection can bestow.”

L2 Alo- L2v 76

Alovysa wou’d fain have perswaded him to
have told her the Name of her Rival, in part of
that full Conviction he had promis’d her, but in
vain, and she was oblig’d to leave the Issue of
this Affair entirely to his Management.

The Baron was Extreamly pleas’d with the
Progress he had made, and did not doubt but for
the purchase of this secret he shou’d obtain
every thing he desired of Alovysa. He found
Count D’elmont full of trouble and perplexed
Thoughts, and when he had heard the
History of his Disappointment: “I am sorry to
hear”
(said he) “that the foolish Girl does not know
her own mind—But come (mymy Lord”
continu(continued
he, after a little pause) “do not suffer your
self to sink beneath a Caprice, which all those
who Converse much with that Sex must frequently
meet with—I have a Contrivance in
my Head, that cannot fail to render all her peevish
Virtue frustrate: And make her happy in
her own Dispite.”
“Oh Espernay!” (Reply’d
the Count) “thou talkest as Friendship Prompts
thee, I know thou wishest my Success, but Alas!
So many, and such unforeseen Accidents have
happen’d hiterto to prevent me, that I begin to
think that the Hand of Fate has set me down for
Lost.”
“For shame my Lord” (Interrupted the Baron)
“be not so poor in Spirit—Once more
I tell you that she shall be yours—A Day or
two shall make her so.—And because I know
you Lovers are unbelieving, and impatient—
I will Communicate the means. A Ball, and
Entertainment shall be provided at my House, to L3r 77
to which, all the Neighbouring People of Condition
shall be envited, amongst the number
your self, your Lady, and Melliora; it will
be late before ’tis done, and I must perswade
your Family, and some others who live farthest
off (to Countenance the Design) to stay all
Night, all that you have to do, is to keep up
your Resentment to Alovysa that you may
have a pretence to sleep from her: I shall take
care to have Melliora plac’d where no Impediment
may Bar your Entrance.”
“Impossible
Suggestion!”
(Cry’d D’elmont shaking his Head)
“Alovysa is in too much Rage of Temper to
listen to such an Invitation, and without her,
we must not hope for Melliora.”
“How Industrious
are you”
(Resum’d the Baron) “to Create
Difficulties where there is none: Tho’ I Confess
this may have, to you, a Reasonable Appearance
of one. But know, my Friendship
Builds it’s hope to serve you on a sure Foundation
—This Jealous, Furious Wife, makes
me the Confident of her Imagin’d Injuries, Conjures
me to use all my Interest with you for a
Reconcilement, and believes I am now Pleading
for her—I must for a while rail at
your Ingratitude, and Condemn your want of
Taste, to keep my Credit with her, and now
and then sweeten her with a Doubtful Hope that
it may be possible at last to bring you to
acknowledge that you have been in an Error;
this, at once Confirms her, that I am wholly
on her side, and Engages her to follow my
Advice.”

Tho’ L3v 78

Tho’ nothing Palls desire so much as too easie
an Assurance of means to gratifie it, yet a little
hope is absolutely necessary to preserve it.
The fiery Wishes of D’elmont’s Soul, before,
Chill’d by dispair, and half supprest with Clouding
Griefs, Blaz’d now, as Fierce, and Vigorous
as ever, and he found so much probability
in what the Baron said, that he was ready
to Adore him for the Contrivance.

Thus all Parties but Melliora remain’d
in a sort of pleas’d Expectation. The Count
doubted not of being happy, nor Alovysa of
having her Curiosity satisfy’d by the Baron’s
assistance, nor himself of the reward he design’d
to demand of her for that good Service, and
each long’d Impatiently for the Day, or rather
Night, which was to bring this great Affair to
a Period. Poor Melliora was the only Person,
who had no Interval of Comfort. Restrain’d
by Honour, and enflam’d by Love, her
very Soul was torn: And when she found that
Count D’elmont made no attempt to get in
to her Chamber again, as she imagin’d he wou’d,
she fell into a Dispair more terrible than all
her former Inquietudes, she presently fancy’d
that the Disappointment he had met with, the
Night before, had driven the hopeless Passion
from his Heart, and the Thoughts of being
no longer Beloved by him were unsupportable.
She saw him not all that Day, nor the next,
the quarrel between him and Alovysa having
caus’d separate Tables, she was oblig’d in Decency,
to eat at that where she was, and had the L4r 79
the Mortification of hearing her self Curs’d
every Hour, by the Enrag’d Wife, in the Name
of her unknown Rival, without daring to speak
a Word in her own Vindication.

In the mean time the Baron Diligent to
make good the Promises he had given the Count
and Alovysa, for his own Ends, got every
thing ready, and came himself to D’elmont’s
House, to entreat their Company at his. “Now
Madam”
(said he) to Alovysa “the time is come
to prove your Servants Faith: This Night shall
put an end to your uncertainty:”
They had no
opportunity for further Speech, Melliora
came that Moment into the Room, who being
ask’d to go to the Ball, and seeming a little
unwilling to appear at any Publick Diversion
by Reason of the late Death of her Father, put
the Baron in a Mortal Apprehension for the Success
of his Undertaking: But Alovysa joyning
in his Entreaties she was at last prevail’d
upon: The Count went along with the Baron
in his Chariot: And the Lady soon follow’d in
an other.

There was a vast deal of Company there,
and the Count danc’d with several of the Ladies,
and was Extreamly gay amonstamongst them: Alovysa
watch’d his Behaviour, and regarded every
one of them, in their Turn, with Jealousie,
but was far from having the least Suspicion of
her whom only she had Cause.

Tho’ Melliora’s greatest Motive to go was,
because she might have the happiness of seeing her L4v 80
her Admir’d Count; a Blessing, she had not
enjoy’d these two Days, yet she took but little
Satisfaction in that View, without an opportunity
of being spoke to by him: But that uneasiness
was remov’d, when the serious Dances
being over, and they all joyning in a grand
Ballet: He every now, and then, got means to
say a Thousand tender Things to her, press’d
her Hand whenever he turn’d her, and wou’d
sometimes when at Distance from Alovysa
pretend to be out, on purpose to stand still,
and talk to her. This kind of Behaviour Banish’d,
part of her Sufferings, for tho’ she
cou’d Consider both his, and her own Passion in
no other view, than that of a very great
Misfortune to them both, yet there are so many
Pleasures even in the Pains of Love: Such tender
Thrillings, such Soul-Ravishing Amusements
attend some happy Moments of Contemplation,
that those who most Endeavour, can
Wish but faintly to be freed from.

When it grew pretty late, the Baron made a
sign to the Count to follow him into a little
Room joyning to that where they were, and
when he had; “now my Lord” (said he) “I doubt
not but this Night will make you entirely possessor
of your Wishes: I have prolong’d the
Entertainment on purpose to detain those
who ’tis necessary for our Design, and have order’d
a Chamber for Melliora which has no
Impediment to Bar your Entrance:”
“O! Thou
best of Friends”
(answer’d D’elmont) “how shall
I requite thy Goodness?”
“In making” (resum’d
the Baron) “a right use of the opportunity I give you, M1r 81
you, for if you do not, you render Fruitless all
the Labours of my Brain, and make me wretched
while my Friend is so.”
“Oh! fear me not”
(cry’d D’elmont in a Rapture) “I will not be
deny’d, each faculty of my Soul is bent upon
Enjoyment, tho’ Death in all it’s various Horrors
glar’d upon me, I’d scorn ’em all in Melliora’s
Arms—O! the very Name Transports
me—New fires my Blood, and tingles
in my vains—Imagination points out all her
Charms—Methinks I see her lie in sweet
Confusion—Fearing—Wishing—Melting
---Her glowing Cheeks—Her closing dying Eyes
—Her every kindling—Oh ’tis too vast for
Thought! Even fancy flags, and cannot reach
her Wonders!”
As he was speaking , Melantha
who had taken notice of his going out of
the Room, and had follow’d him with a design
of talking to him, came time enough to hear the
latter part of what he said, but seeing her Brother
with him withdrew with as much hast as she
came, and Infinitely more uneasiness of Mind,
she was now but too well assur’d that she had
a greater Difficulty than the Count’s Matrimonial
Engagement to get over, before she cou’d
reach his Heart, and was ready to burst with
Vexation to think she was supplanted: Full of
a Thousand Tormenting Reflections she return’d
to the Ball Room, and was so out of Humour
all the Night that she cou’d hardly be Commonly
Civil to any Body that spoke to her.

At last the hour so much desir’d by the Count,
the Baron, and Alovysa (tho’ for various
Reasons) was arriv’d: The Company broke up, M those M1v 82
those who liv’d near, which were the greatest
part went home, the others, being Entreated
by the Baron stay’d. When they were to be
Conducted to their Chambers, he call’d Melantha
and desir’d she wou’d take care of the
Ladies as he shou’d Direct, but above all
charg’d to place Alovysa and Melliora in
two Chambers which he show’d her.

Melantha was now let into the secret she
so much desir’d to know, the Name of her Rival,
which she had not come time enough to
hear, when she did the Count’s Rapturous Description
of her. She had before found out, that
her Brother was in Love with Alovysa, and
did not doubt but that there was a double Intrigue
to be carry’d on that Night, and was the
more Confirm’d in that Opinion, when she
remembred that the Baron had order’d the Lock
that day to be taken off the Door of that
Chamber where Melliora was to be Lodg’d.
It presently came into her Head, to betray all
she knew to Alovysa, but she soon rejected
that Resolution for another, which she thought
wou’d give her a more pleasing Revenge: She
Conducted all the Ladies to such Chambers as
she thought fit, and Alovysa to that her Brother
had desir’d, having no design of Disappointing
him, but Melliora she led to one
where she always lay her self, rosolvingresolving to supply
her place in the other, where the Count
was to come: “Yes” (said she to her self) “I will
receive his Vows in Melliora’s Room, and
when I find him rais’d to the highest Pitch of
Expectation, declare who I am, and Awe him into M2r 83
into Tameness; ’twill be a Charming piece of
Vengeance, besides if he be not the most Ungrateful
Man on Earth, he must Adore my Generosity
in not Exposing him to his Wife, when
I have him in my Power, after the Coldness,
he has us’d me with.”
She found something so pleasing
in this Contrivance, that no Considerations
whatever cou’d have Power to deter her from
pursuing it.

When the Baron found every thing was silent,
and ready for his purpose, he went softly
to Count D’elmont’s Chamber, where he
was impatiently Expected, and taking him by
the Hand, led him to that, where he had ordered
Melliora to be Lodg’d, when they were at
the Door, “you see my Lord” (said he) “I have
kept my Promise: There lies the Idol of your
Soul, go in, be bold, and all the Happiness
you wish attend you.”
The Count was in too
great a hurry of disorder’d Thoughts to make
him any other answer than a Passionate Embrace,
and gently pushing open the Door, which had
no fastning to it, left the Baron to Prosecute
the remaining part of his Treacherous Design.

Alovysa had all the time of her being at
the Baron’s, Endur’d most grievous Racks of
Mind, her Husband appear’d to her, that
Night, more Gay, and more Lovely if possible
than ever, but that Contentment which sat upon
his Face, and added to his Graces, stung
her to the Soul; when she Reflected how little
Simpathy their was between them, scarce a Month” M2 (said M2v 84
(said she to her self) “was I bless with those looks
of Joy, a pensive sullenness has dwelt upon his
Brow e’re since, ’till now, ’tis from my ruin
that his Pleasure flows, he hates me, and rejoyces
in a pretence, tho’ ne’er so poor a one,
to be absent from me.”
She was inwardly toss’d
with a Multitude of these, and the like perturbations,
tho’ the Assurance the Baron had
given her of Revenge, made her Conceal them
tollerably well, while she was in Company,
but when she was left alone in the Chamber,
and perceiv’d the Baron did not come so soon as
she expecterd. Her Rage broke out in all the
violence Imaginable: She gave a loose to every
furious Passion, and when she saw him enter,
“Cruel Espernay” (said she) “where have you
been!—Is this the Friendship which you vow’d?
To leave me here Distracted with my Griefs,
while my perfidious Husband, and the Cursed
she, that robs me of him, are perhaps, as happy,
as their Guilty Love can make them?”
“Madam”
(answered he) “’tis but a Moment since they
are met,”
“a Moment!” (Interrupted she) “a Moment
is too much the smallest Particle of Undivided
Time; may make my Rival blest, and
vastly Recompence for all that my Revenge
can do.”
“Ah Madam” (resum’d the Baron) “how
Dearly, do you still Love, that most Ungrateful
Man: I had hopes that the full Knowledge
of his Falshood might have made you
scorn the scorner,”
“I shall be able by to Morrow”
(reply’d the Cunning Alovysa who knew his
drift well enough) “to give you a better Account
of my Sentiments than now I can:‑But
why do we delay”
(continu’d she Impatiently) “are they M3r 85
they not together?”
—The Baron saw this was
no time to press her farther, and therefore taking
a Wax Candle which stood on the Table, in
one Hand, and offering the other to lead her,
“I am ready Madam” (said he) “to make good my
Promise, and shall Esteem no other Hours of my
Life happy but those which may be servicable
to you:”
They had only a small part of a Gallery
to go thro’, and Alovysa had no time to
answer to these last Words, if she had been Compos’d
enough to have done it, before they were
at the door, which as soon as the Baron had
brought her to, he withdrew with all possible
Speed.

Tho’ the Count had been but a very little
time in the Arms of his suppos’d Melliora, yet
he had made so good use of it, and had taken so
much Advantage of her complying Humour, that
all his Fears were at an End, he now thought himself
the most Fortunate of all Mankind; and Melantha
was far from repenting the Breach of
the Resolution she had made of Discovering herself
to him. His Behaviour was to her all Rapture,
all killing Extacy, and she flatter’d herself
with a Beleif, that when he shou’d come to
know to whom he ow’d that Bliss he had possess’d,
he would not be ungrateful for it.

What a confus’d Consternation must this
Pair be in, when Alovysa rush’d into the
Room;—’Tis hard to say, which was the
greatest, the Count’s Concern for his imagin’d
Melliora’s Honour, or Melantha’s for her
own; but if one may form a judgment from the Levity M3v 86
Levity of the One’s Temper, and the generosity of
the Other’s, one may believe that his had the Preheminence:
But neither of them were so lost in
Thought, as not to take what measures the Place
and Time wou’d permit, to baffle the Fury of this
Incens’d Wife: Melantha slunk under the
Cloaths, and the Count started up in the Bed at
the first Appearance of the Light, which Alovysa
had in her Hand, and in the most angry Accent he
cou’d turn his Voice to, ask’d her the Reason of her
coming there; Rage, at this Sight (prepar’d and
arm’d for it as she was) took away all power of
Utterance from her; but she flew to the Bed, and
began to tear the Cloaths (which Melantha
held fast over her Head) in so violent a manner,
that the Count found the only way to Tame
her, was to meet Force with Force; so jumping
out, he siez’d on her, and throwing her into a
Chair, and holding her down in it, “Madam, Madam”
(said he) “you are Mad, and I as such shall
use you, unless you promise to return quietly,
and leave me.”
She cou’d yet bring forth no other
Words, than “Villain”,—“Monster”! and such like
Names, which her Passion and Injury suggested;
which he but little regarding but for the Noise
she made; “for shame” (resum’d he) “Expose not
thus your self and me, if you cannot Command
your Temper, at least confine your Clamours—”

“I will not stir” (said she, raving and struggling to
get Loose) “’till I have seen the Face that has undone
me, I’ll tear out her bewitching Eyes—
the Curst Adultress! and leave her Mistress of
fewer Charms than thou canst find in me:”
She
spoke this with so elevated a Voice, that the
Count endeavour’d to stop her Mouth, that she might M4r 87
might not alarm the Company that were in the
House, but he cou’d not do it time enough to
prevent her from Schrikeing out “Murder.—
Help! or the Barbarous Man will kill me!”
At
these Words the Baron came running in immediately,
full of Surprize and Rage at something
he had met with in the mean time: “How came
this Woman here,”
cry’d the Count to him: “Ask
me not my Lord”
(said he) “for I can answer nothing,
but every thing this Cursed Night, I think,
has happened by Enchantment;”
he was going to
say something more, but several of his Guests
hearing a Noise, and cry of Murder, and directed
by the Lights they saw in that Room, came in,
and presently after a great many of the Servants,
that the Chamber was as full as it cou’d hold:
The Count let go his Wife on the Sight of the
first Stranger that Enter’d; and indeed, there
was no need of his Confining her in that Place
(tho’ he knew not so much) for the violence of so
many contrary Passions warring in her Breast at
once, had thrown her into a Swoon, and she fell
back when he let go his Hold of her, Motionless,
and in all appearance Dead. The Count said
little, but began to put on his Cloaths, asham’d
of the Posture he had been seen in; but the Baron
endeavour’d to perswade the Company, that
it was only a Family Quarrel of no Consequence,
told them he was sorry for the Disturbance it had
given them, and desir’d them to return to their
Rest, and when the room was pretty clear, order’d
two or three of the Maids to carry Alovysa
to her Chamber, and apply Things proper
for her Recovery; as they were bearing her out,
Melliora who had been frighted as well as the rest M4v 88
rest with the Noise she heard, was running along
the Gallery to see what had happen’d, and met
them; her Trouble to find Alovysa in that
Condition was unfeign’d, and she assisted those
that were employ’d about her, and accompany’d
them where they carry’d her.

The Count was going to the Bed-side to comfort
the conceal’d Fair, that lay still under the
Cloaths, when he saw Melliora at the Door:
What Surprize was ever equal to his, at this View?
—He stood like one transfix’d with Thunder,
he knew not what to think, or rather cou’d not
think at all, Confounded with a seeming Impossibility.
He beheld the Person, whom he thought
had lain in his Arms, whom he had enjoy’d,
whose Bulk and Proportion he still saw in the
Bed, whom he was just going to Address to, and
for whom he had been in all the Agonies of Soul
imaginable, come from a distant Chamber, and
unconcern’d, ask cooly how Alovysa came to
be taken ill: He look’d confusedly about, sometimes
on Melliora, sometimes toward the Bed,
and sometimes on the Baron; “am I awake” (said
he) “or is every thing I see and hear Illusion?” The
Baron cou’d not presently resolve after what
manner he shou’d answer, tho’ he perfectly knew
the Truth of this Adventure, and who was in the
Bed; for, when he had Conducted Alovysa to
that Room, in order to make the Discovery he
had promis’d, he went to his Sister’s Chamber,
designing to abscond there, in case the Count
shou’d fly out on his Wife’s Entrance, and seeing
him there, imagine who it was that betray’d him;
and finding the Door shut, knock’d and call’d to have N1r 89
have it Open’d; Melliora, who began to think
she shou’d lye in quiet no where, ask’d who was
there and what he wou’d have; “I wou’d speak
with my Sister”
(reply’d he, as much astonish’d
then, to hear who it was that answer’d him, as
the Count was now to see her) and Melliora
having assur’d him that she was not with her, left
him no room to doubt, by what means the Exchange
had been made: Few Men, how amorous
soever themselves, care that the Female part of their
Family shou’d be so, and he was most sencibly
mortify’d with it, but reflecting that it cou’d
not be kept a secret, at least from the Count,
“my Lord” (said he, pointing to the Bed) “there
lyes the Cause of your Amazement, that wicked
Woman has betray’d the Trust I repos’d in her,
and deceiv’d both you and me; rise”
continu’d he,
throwing open the Curtains, “thou shame of thy
Sex, and everlasting Blot and Scandal of the Noble
House thou art descended from; rise, I say,
or I will stabb thee here in this Scene of Guilt;”
in
speaking these Words, he drew out his Sword, and
appear’d in such a real Fury, that the Count
tho’ more and more amaz’d with every thing he
saw and heard, made no doubt but he wou’d do
as he said, and run to hold his Arm.

As no Woman that is Mistress of a great share
of Wit will be a Coquet, so no Woman that has
not a little can be one: Melantha, tho’ frighted
to Death with these unexpected Occurrences,
feign’d a Courage, which she had not in reality,
and thrusting her Head a little above the Cloaths,
“Bless me Brother” (said she) “I vow that I do not know
what you mean by all this Bustle, neither am I N guilty N1v 90
guilty of any Crime: I was vext indeed to be
made a property of, and chang’d Beds with
Melliora for a little innocent Revenge; for I
always design’d to Discover my self to the
Count time enough to prevent Mischief.”
The
Baron was not so silly as to believe what she
said, tho’ the Count as much as he hated her,
had too much Generosity to Contradict her, and
keeping still hold of the Baron, “come Espernay”
(said he) “I believe your Sister’s Stars and
mine have from our Birth been at Variance, for
this is the third Disappointment she has given
me; once in Melliora’s Chamber, then in the
Wilderness, and now here, but I forgive herflawed-reproduction1 character
therefore let us retire and leave her to her Repose”flawed-reproduction1 character

The Baron was sensible that all the Rage in the
World cou’d not recal what had been done, and
only giving her a furious Look, went with the
Count out of the Room, without saying any
thing more to her at that time.

The Baron with much Entreating, at last
prevail’d on Count D’elmont to go into his
Bed, where he accompany’d him; but they were
both of them too full of troubled Meditations to
Sleep: His Sister’s Indiscretion vext the Baron
to the Heart, and took away a great part of the
Joy, for the fresh Occasion the Count had
given
Alovysa to withdraw her Affection from
Him. But with what Words can the various
Passions that agitated the Soul of D’elmont
be describ’d? The Transports he had enjoy’d in
an imaginary Felicity, were now turn’d to so
many real Horrors; he saw himself expos’d to
all the World, for it wou’d have been Vanity to the N2r 91
the last Degree, to believe this Adventure wou’d
be kept a secret, but what gave him the most bitter
Reflection was, that Melliora, when she
shou’d know it, as he cou’d not doubt but she immediately
wou’d be told it by Alovysa; wou’d
judge of it by the Appearance, and believe him,
at once, the most vicious, and most false of Men.
As for his Wife he thought not of her, with any
Compassion for his Sufferings, but with Rage and
Hate, for that jealous Curiosity, which he suppos’d
had led her to watch his Actions that Night,
(for he had not the least suspicion of the Baron)
Melantha he always dispis’d, but now detested,
for the Trick she had put upon him; yet
thought it wou’d be not only unmanly, but barbarous
to let her know he did so: It was in
vain for him to endeavour to come to a determination
after what manner he shou’d behave himself
to any of them, and when the Night was
past in forming a thousand several Resolutions,
the Morning found him as much to seek as before:
He took his Leave early of the Baron, not being
willing to see any of the Company after what
had happen’d, ’till he was more Compos’d.

He was not deceiv’d in his Conjectures, concerning
Melliora, for Alovysa was no sooner
recover’d from her Swoon, than she with bitter
Exclamations told her what had been the Occasion,
and put that astonish’d fair one into such
a visible Disorder, as she had not been too full
of Misery to take Notice of it, had made her
easily perceive that she was deeply Interested in
the Story: but, whatever she said against the
Count, as she cou’d not forbear something, callingN2 ing N2v 92
him Ungrateful, Perjur’d, Deceitful, and
Inconstant, Alovysa took only, as a proof of
Friendship to her self, and the Effects of that
just Indignation all Women ought to feel for him
that takes a Pride in injuring any one of them.

When the Count was gone, the Baron sent
to Alovysa to enquire of her Health, and if he
might have leave to Visit her in her Chamber,
and being told she desir’d he shou’d, resolv’d now
to make his Demand. Melliora had but just
parted from her, in order to make herself ready to
go home, and she was alone when he came in.
As soon as the first Civilities were over, she began
afresh to Conjure him to let her know the Name
of her Rival, which he artfully evading, tho’ not
absolutely denying, made her almost Distractedflawed-reproduction1 character
the Baron carefully observ’d her every Look
and Motion, and when he found her Impatience
was rais’d to the highest Degree; “Madam” (said
he, taking her by the Hand and looking tenderly
on her) “you cannot blame a Wretch, who has lavish’d
all he had away to one poor Jewel, to make
the most he can of that, to supply his future
Wants: I have already forfeited all pretence to
Honour, and even common Hospitality, by betraying
the Trust that was repos’d in me, and exposing
under my own Roof, the Man who takes
me for his dearest Friend, and what else I have
suffer’d from that unavoidable Impulse which
compell’d me to do all this, your self may judge
who too well know the Pangs, and Tortures of
neglected Love—Therefore”
(continu’d he with
a deep Sigh) since this last reserve is all my Hopes
dependance, do not, Oh Charming Alovysa think N3r 93
think me Mercinary, if I presume to set a price
upon it, which I confess too high, yet nothing less
can Purchase:”
“No Price” (reply’d Alovysa, who
thought a little Condescention was necessary to
win him to her purpose) “can be too dear to buy
my Peace, nor Recompence too great for such a
Service:”
“What, not your Love?” said the Baron
eagerly kissing her Hand: “No” (resum’d she, forcing
herself to look kindly on him) “not even that,
when such a Proof of your’s Engages it; but do
not keep me longer on the Rack, give me the
Name and then.—”
She spoke these last Words
with such an Air of Languishment, that the Baron
thought his Work was done, and growing
Bolder, from her Hand he proceeded to her Lips,
and answer’d her only in Kisses, which distastful
as they were to her, she suffer’d him to take
without resistance, but that was not all he wanted,
and believing this the Critical Minute, he
threw his Arms round her Waste, and began to
draw her by little and little toward the Bed;
which she affected to permit with a kind of an
unwilling Willingness; saying, “well, if you
wou’d have me able to deny you nothing you
can ask, tell me the Name I so much wish to
know:”
But the Baron was as Cunning as she,
and seeing thro’ her Artifice, was resolv’d to
make sure of his Reward first; “Yes, yes, my Adorable
Alovysa”
(answer’d he, having brought
her now very near the Bed) “you shall immediately
know all; thy Charms will force the Secret
from my Breast, close as its lodg’d within my
inmost Soul.—Dying with Rapture, I will tell
thee all.—If that a thought of this injurious
Husband can Interpose amidst Extatick Joys.”

What will not some Women venture to satisfy a jea- N3v 94
jealous Curiosity? Alovysa had feign’d to Consent
to his Desires (in hopes to engage him to a
a Discovery) so far, and had given him so many
Liberties, that now, it was as much as she cou’d
do to save herself, from the utmost Violence,
and perceiving she had been outwitted, and that
nothing but she really yielding up her Honour
cou’d oblige him to reveal what she desir’d. “Villain”
(said she, struggling to get loose from his
Embrace) “dare thy base Soul believe so vilely of
me? release me from thy detested Hold, or my
Cries shall force thee to it, and proclaim thee
for what thou art, a Monster!”
The Baron was
not enough deluded by her pretence of kindness
to be much surpriz’d at this sudden turn of her
Behaviour, and only cooly answer’d, “Madam, I
have no Design of using Violence, but perceive,
if I had depended on your Gratitude, I had been
miserably deceiv’d.”
“Yes” (said she looking Contemptibly
on him) “I own thou wou’d’st; for whatsoever
I might say, or thou cou’dst hope, I Love
my Husband still, with an unbated Fondness,
doat upon him! faithless and cruel as he is, he
still is lovely! his Eyes loose nothing of their
Brightness, nor his Tongue its softness! his very
Frowns have more Attraction in them, than any
others Smiles! and canst thou think? Thou, so
different in all from him, that thou seem’st not
the same Species of Humanity, nor ought’st to
stile thy self a Man, since he is no more: Can’st
thou, I say, believe a Woman, Blest as Alovysa
has been, can e’re blot out the dear Remembrance
and quit her Hopes of regain’d Paradise in his
Embrace, for certain Hell in Thine?”
She spoke
these Words with so much Scorn, that the Baron skill’d N4r 95
skill’d as he was in every Art to Tempt, cou’d
not conceal the spite he conceiv’d at them, and
letting go her Hand (which perforce he had held)
“I leave you, Madam” (said he) “to the pleasure of
Enjoying your own Humour; neither that, nor
your Circumstances are to be Envy’d, but I wou’d
have you to remember that you are your own
Tormentor, while you refuse the only means
can bring you Ease.”
“I will have Ease another
way”
(said she, Incens’d at the Indignity she imagin’d
he treated her with) “and if you still persist
in refusing to discover to me the Person who
has Injur’d me, I shall make no difficulty of letting
the Count know how much of his Secrets
you have Imparted, and for what Reason you
conceal the other:”
“You may do so” (answer’d he)
“and I doubt not but you will—Mischief is the
darling favourite of Woman! Blood, is the Satisfaction
perhaps, that you require, and if I fall
by him, or he by me, your Revenge will have
its Aim, either on the Unloving, or the Unlov’d;
for me, I set my Life at nought, without your
Love, ’tis Hell; but do not think that even Dying,
to purchase Absolution I’d reveal one Letter
of that Name, you so much wish to hear, the Secret
shall be Buryed with me.—Yes, Madam”

(continu’d he with a malicious Air) “that happy
Fair unknown, whose Charms have made you
wretched, shall undiscover’d, and unguess’d at,
Triumph in those Joys, you think none but your
Count can give.”
Alovysa had not an Opportunity
to make any Answer to what he said;
Melliora came that Moment into the Room,
and ask’d if she was ready to go, and Alovysa say- N4v 96
saying that she was, they both departed from the
Baron’s House, without much Ceremony on either
side.

Alovysa had not been long at home before a
Messenger came to acquaint her, that her Sister
having mist of her at Paris, was now on her Journey
to Le Beausse, and wou’d be with her in a
few Hours: She rejoyc’d as much at this News, as
it was possible for one so full of disquiet to do,
and ordered her Chariot and Six to be made ready
again, and went to meet her.

D’elmont heard of Ansellina’s coming,
almost as soon as Alovysa, and his Complaisance
for Ladies, joyn’d with the extream desire
he had of seeing his Brother, whom he believ’d
was with her, wou’d certainly have given him
Wings to have flown to them with all imaginable
Speed, had not the late quarrel between him and
his Wife, made him think it was improper, to
join Company with her on any Account whatever:
He was sitting in the Dressing-Room Window
in a melancholly and disturb’d Meditation,
ruminating on every Circumstance of his last
Nights Adventure, when he perceiv’d a couple
of Horsemen come Galloping over the Plain, and
make directly toward his House. The Dust they
made, kept him from Distinguishing who they
were, and they were very near the Gate before
he discover’d them to be the Chevalier Brillian,
and his Servant: The Surprize he was in to see
him without Ansellina was very great, but
much more so, when running down, as soon as
he saw he was alighted, and opening his Arms eagerly O1r 97
eagerly to Embrace him; the other drawing back,
“No, my Lord” (said he) since you are pleas’d to
forget I am your Brother; I pretend no other
way to merit your Embraces: Nor can think it
any Happyness to hold him in my Arms, who
keeps me distant from his Heart.”
“What mean
you”
(cry’d D’elmont, extreamly astonish’d at
his Behaviour) “you know so little” (resum’d the
Chevalier) “of the power of Love, your self, that
perhaps, you think I ought not to resent what
you have done to ruin me in mine: But, however
Sir, Ambition is a Passion which you are not
a Stranger to, and having settled your own Fortune
according to your Wish, methinks you
shou’d not wonder that I take it Ill, when you
endeavour to prevent my doing so to:”
The
Count was perfectly Confounded at these Words,
and looking earnestly on him; “Brother” (said he)
“you seem to lay a heavy Accusation on me, but
if you still retain so much of that sormer Affection
which was between us, as to desire I shou’d be
clear’d in your Esteem, you must be more plain
in your Charge, for tho’ I easily perceive that I
am wrong’d, I cannot see by what means I am so.”

“My Lord, you are not wrong’d” (cry’d the Chevalier
hastily) “you know you are not: If my Tongue
were silent, the Dispair that sits upon my Brow,
my alter’d Looks, and grief-sunk Eyes, wou’d
proclaim your Burbarous—most unnatural Usage
of me.”
“Ungrateful Brillian” (said the
Count, at once inflam’d with Tenderness and
Anger) “is this the Consolation I expected from
your Presence? I know not for what Cause I am
upbraided, being Innocent of any, nor what your
Troubles are, but I am sure my own are such, as O need- O1v 98
needed not this Weight to overwhelm me.”
He
spoke this so feelingly, and concluded with so
deep a sigh as most sencibly touch’d the Heart of
Brillian. “If I cou’d believe that you had any”
(reply’d he) “it were enough to Sink me quite, and
rid me of a Life which Ansellina’s loss has
made me Hate.”
“What said you” (Interrupted the
Count) “Ansellina’s loss? If that be true,
I pardon all the wildness of your unjust Reproaches,
for well I know, Dispair has small Regard
to Reason, but quickly speak the Cause of
your Misfortune:—I was about to enquire the
Reason that I saw you not together, when your
unkind Behaviour drove it from my Thoughts.”

“That Question” (answer’d the Chevalier) “ask’d by
you, some Moments since, wou’d have put me
past all the remains of Patience, but I begin to
hope I am not so unhappy as I thought, but still
am blest in Friendship, tho’ undone in Love—
But I’ll not keep you longer in suspence, my
Tale of Grief is short in the Repeating, tho’
everlasting in its Consequence.”
In saying this,
he sat down, and the Count doing the like, and
assuring him of Attention, he began his Relation
in this manner.

“Your Lordship may remember that I gave
you an Account by Letter of Ansellina’s Indisposition,
and the Fears I was in for her; but by
the time I receiv’d your Answer, I thought my
self the Happyest of Mankind: She was perfectly
recover’d and every Day I receiv’d new Proofs
of her Affection: We began to talk now of coming
to Paris, and she seem’d no less Impatient for
that Journey than my self; and one Evening, the last O2r 99
last I ever had the Honour of her Conversation
she told me that in spite of the Physicians Caution
she wou’d leave Amiens in three or four Days:
You may be sure I did not disswade her from that
Resolution; but, how great was my Astonishment,
when going the next Morning to the Baronesses
to give the Ladies the Bon jour, as I
constantly did every Morning, I perceiv’d an unusual
Coldness in the Face of every one in the
Family; the Baroness herself spoke not to me,
but to tell me that Ansellina wou’d see no
Company: ‘How, Madam,’ said I, ‘am I not excepted
from those general Orders, What can this
sudden Alteration in my Fortune mean?’
‘I suppose’
(reply’d she) ‘that Ansellina has her Reasons
for what she does:’
I said all that Dispair cou’d
suggest to oblige her to give me some light into
this Mistery, but all was in vain, she either made
me no Answers, or such as were not Satisfactory,
and growing weary with being Importun’d, she
abruptly went out of the Room, and left me in a
Confusion not to be Express’d: I renew’d my
Visit the next Day, and was then deny’d Admittance
by the Porter: The same the following
one, and as Servants commonly form their Behaviour,
according to that of those they serve, it
was easy for me to observe that I was far from being
a welcome Guest: I writ to Ansellina, but
had my Letter return’d unopen’d: And that
Scorn so unjustly thrown upon me, tho’ it
did not absolutely Cure my Passion, yet it
stirr’d up so much just Resentment in me,
that it abated very much of its Tenderness:
About a Fortnight I remain’d in this Perplexity,
and at the end of it was plung’d into a O2 greater O2v 100
greater, when I receiv’d a little Billet from Ansellina,
which as I remember contain’d
these Words.
‘Ansellina to the Chevalier
Brillian
.
I Sent your Letter back without Perusing, believing
it might contain something of a Subject which I
am resolv’d to encourage no farther: I do not think
it proper at present to acquaint you with my Reasons
for it; but if I see you at Paris, you shall know them:
I set out for thence to Morrow, but desire you not to
pretend to Accompany me thither, if you wou’d preserve
the Esteem of,
Ansellina.’
I Cannot but say, I thought this manner
of proceeding very odd, and vastly different
from that openness of Nature, I always admir’d
in her, but as I had been always a most obsequious
Lover; I resolv’d not to forfeit that Character,
and give a Proof of an implicite Obedience
to her Will, tho’ with what Anxiety of
Mind you may imagine. I stood at a distance,
and saw her take Coach, and as soon as her Attendants
were out of sight; I got on Horseback,
and follow’d; I several Times lay at the same
Inn where she did, but took care not to appear
before her: Never was any sight more pleasing to O3r 101
to me, than that of Paris, because I there hop’d
to have my Destiny unravell’d; but your being
out of Town, preventing her making any stay, I
was reduc’d to another tryal of Patience; about
some Seven Furlongs from hence, hapning to
Bait at the same Cabaret with her, I saw her Woman,
who had always been perfectly obliging to
me, walking alone in the Garden; I took the
liberty to show my self to her, and ask her some
Questions concerning my future Fate, to which
she answer’d with all the Freedom I cou’d desire,
and observing the Melancholly which was but too
apparent in my Countenance: ‘Sir,’ said she, ‘tho’
I think nothing can be more blame-worthy then
to Betray the Secrets of our Superiors, yet I hope
I shall stand Excus’d for declaring so much of my
Lady’s, as the Condition you are in, seems to require;
I wou’d not therefore have you believe
that in this Separation, you are the only Sufferer,
I can assure you, my Lady bears her part of
Sorrow to.’
‘How can that be possible’ (cry’d I)
‘when my Misfortune is brought upon me, only
by the change of her Inclination?’
‘Far from it’
(answer’d she) ‘you have a Brother—he only is
to blame, she has receiv’d Letters from Madam
D’elmont
which have—’
As she was speaking,
she was call’d hastily away, without being able
to finish what she was about to say, and I was
so Impatient to hear: Her naming you in such a
manner, planted ten Thousand Daggers in my
Soul!—What cou’d I imagine by those words,
‘You have a Brother, he only is to Blame,’ and her
mentioning Letters from that Brother’s Wife;
but that it was thro’ you I was made wretched, I
repeated several times over to my self, what she had O3v 102
had said, but cou’d wrest no other Meaning from
it, than that you being already possess’d of the
Elder Sister’s Fortune, were willing to Engross
the other’s too, by preventing her from Marrying:
Pardon me, my Lord, if I have Injur’d
you, since I protest, the thoughts of your designing
my Undoing, was, if possible more dreadful
to me than the Ill it self.”

“You will” reply’d the Count, “be soon Convinc’d,
how little Hand I had in those Letters,
whatever they contain’d, when you have been
here a few Days.”
He then told him of the Disagreement
between Himself and Alovysa, her
perpetual Jealousy, her Pride, her Rage, and
the little probability there was of their being ever
reconcil’d, so as to live together as they
ought, omitting nothing of the Story, but his
Love for Melliora, and the Cause he had given
to create this uneasiness. They both concluded,
that Ansellina’s Alteration of her Behaviour
was entirely owing to something her Sister
had written, and that she wou’d use her utmost
Endeavour to break off the Match wholly, in
Revenge to her Husband: As they were Discoursing
on means to prevent it, the Ladies came
to the Gate; they saw them thro’ the Window,
and ran to receive them immediately: The
Count handed Ansellina out of the Coach,
with great Complaisance, while the Chevalier
wou’d have done the same by Alovysa, but
she wou’d not permit him, which the Count
observing, when he had paid those Complements
to her Sister, which he thought Civility requir’d
“Madam” (said he, turning to her and frowning) is O4r 103
“is it not enough, you make me wretched by your
continual Clamours, and Upbraidings, but that
your ill Nature must extend to all, whom you
believe I Love?”
She answer’d him only with a
disdainful Look, and haughty Toss, which spoke
the Pleasure she took in having it in her power
to give him Pain, and went out of the Room with
Ansellina.

D’elmont’s Family was now become a most
Distracted one, every Body was in Confusion, and
it was hard for a disinterested Person, to know
how to behave among them: The Count was
ready to dye with Vexation, when he reflected on
the Adventure at the Baron’s with Melantha,
and how hard it wou’d be to clear his Conduct in
that point with Melliora: She, on the other
Hand, was as much tormented at his not attempting
it. The Chevalier, was in the Height of Dispair,
when he found that Ansellina continued
her Humour, and still avoided letting him
know the occasion of it: And Alovysa, tho’
she contented herself for some Hours with relating
to her Sister, all the Passages of her Husband’s
unkind Usage of Her, yet when that was
over, her Curiosity return’d, and she grew so
madly Zealous to find out, who her Rival was,
that she repented her Behaviour to the Baron,
and sent him the next Day privately, a Billet,
wherein she assur’d him, that she had acquainted
the Count with nothing that had pass’d between
them, and that she desir’d to speak with
him. ’tis easy to believe he needed not a second
Invitation; he came immediately, and Alovysa
renew’d her Entreaties in the most pressing manner O4v 104
manner she was capable of, but in vain, he told
her plainly, that if he cou’d not have her Heart,
nothing but the full Possession of her Person
shou’d Extort the Secret from him. ’Twould
swell this Discourse beyond what I design, to recount
her various Starts of Passions, and different
Turns of Behaviour, sometimes louder than the
Winds she Rav’d! Commanded! Threatned!
then, still as April Showers, or Summer Dews
she wept, and only whisper’d her Complaints
now dissembling Kindness, than declaring unfeign’d
Hate; ’till at last, finding it impossible
to prevail by any other means, she promis’d to
admit him at Midnight into her Chamber: But
as it was only the force of her too passionate Affection
for her Husband, which had work’d her
to this pitch of raging Jealousie, so she had no
sooner made the Assignation, and the Baron
had left her (to seek the Count to prevent any
suspicion of their long Conversation) but all
D’elmont’s Charms came fresh into her Mind;
and made the Thoughts of what she had promis’d
Odious and Insupportable; she open’d her Mouth
more than once to call back the Baron, and
Recant all that she had said; but her ill Genius
or that Devil Curiosity, which too much haunts
the Minds of Women, still prevented Her: “What
will become of me,”
(said she to her self) “What
is it I am about to do? Shall I forgoe my Honour
—Quit my Virtue,—Sully my yet unspotted
Name with endless Infamy—And yield
my Soul to Sin, to Shame, and Horror, only to
know what I can ne’er Redress? If D’elmont
Hates me now, will he not do so still?—What
will this curs’d Discovery bring me but added Tor- P1r 105
Tortures, and fresh weight of Woe:”
Happy had
it been for her if these Considerations cou’d have
lasted, but when she had been a minute or two
in this Temper, she wou’d relapse and cry,
“what must I tamely bear it then?—Endure
the Flouts of the malicious World, and
the Contempt of every saucy Girl, who while
she Pitys, Scorns my want of Charms—
Shall I neglected tell my Tale of Wrongs, (O,
Hell is in that Thought) ’till my Dispair shall
reach my Rival’s Ears, and Crown her Adulterous
Joys with double Pleasure.—Wretch
that I am!—Fool that I am, to hesitate,
my Misery is already past Addition, my everlasting
Peace is Broke! Lost even to Hope,
What can I more Endure?—No, since I
must be ruin’d, I’ll have the Satisfaction of
dragging with me to Perdition, the Vile, the
Cursed she that has undone me: I’ll be reveng’d
on her, then dye my self, and free me from
Pollution.”
As she was in this last Thought, she
Perceiv’d at a good distance from her the
Chevalier Brillian and Ansellina, in Discourse;
the sight of him immediately put a
new Contrivance into her Head, and she compos’d
her self as well as she cou’d, and went
to meet them.

Ansellina having been left alone, while
her Sister was Entertaining the Baron, had
walk’d down into the Garden to divert herself,
where the Chevalier, who was on the
watch for such an Opportunity, had follow’d
her; he cou’d not forbear, tho’ in Terms full P of P1v 106
of Respect, taxing her with some little Unjustice
for her late Usage of him, and Breach of
Promise, in not letting him know her Reasons
for it: She, who by Nature was extreamly
averse to the Disguising her Sentiments, suffer’d
him not long to press her for an Eclaircisment,
and with her usual Freedom, told him what she
had done, was purely in Complyance with her
Sister’s Request, that she cou’d not help having
the same Opinion of him as ever, but that she
had promis’d Alovysa to defer any thoughts
of Marrying him, till his Brother shou’d confess
his Error: The obliging things she said to him,
tho’ she persisted in her Resolution, disipated
great part of his Chagreen, and he was beginning
to Excuse D’elmont, and perswade her that her
her Sister’s Temper was the first occasion of their
Quarrel when Alovysa Interrupted them.
Ansellina was a little out of Countenance at
her Sister’s Presence, immagining she wou’d be
Insenc’d at finding her with the Chavelier; but
that distressed Lady was full of other Thoughts,
and desiring him to follow her to her Chamber,
as soon as they were set down, Confess’d to
him, how, fir’d with his Brother’s Falshood, she
had endeavour’d to revenge it upon him, that
she had been his Enemy, but was willing
to enter into any Measures for his Satisfaction,
provided he wou’d comply with one, which
she shou’d propose, which he faithfully promising,
after she had sworn him to Secrecy, discover’d
to him every Circumstance, from her
first Cause of Jealousy, to the Assignation she had P2r 107
had made with the Baron: “Now,” said she,
“it is in your Power to preserve both your
Brother’s Honour, and my Life (which I sooner
will resign than my Virtue) if you stand
conceal’d in a little Closet, which I shall convey
you to, and the Moment he has satisfy’d
my Curiosty by telling me her Name that
has undone me, rush out, and be my Protector.”
The Chevalier was infinitely Surpriz’d at
what he heard, for his Brother had not
given him the least hint of his Passion, but
thought the request she made, too reasonable
to be deny’d.

While they were in this Discourse, Melliora,
who had been sitting Indulging her
Melancholly in that Closet which Alovysa
spoke of, and which did not immediately belong
to that Chamber, but was a soft of an
Entry or Passage into another, and tir’d
with Reflection was fallen asleep, but on the
Noise which Alovysa and the Chevalier made
in coming in, wak’d, and heard to her inexpressible
Trouble, the Discourse that pass’d
between them: She knew that unknown Rival
was herself, and condemn’d the Count
of the highest Imprudence, in making a Confidant,
as she found he had of the Baron;
She saw her Fate, at least that of her Reputation
was now upon the Crisis, that, that
very Night she was to be expos’d to all the
Fury of an enrag’d Wife, and was so shook
with Apprehension, that she was scarce able
to go out of the Closet time enough to preventP2 vent P2v 108
their Discovering she was there; what
cou’d she do in this Exigence, the thoughts
of being Betray’d, was worse to her than a
thousand Deaths, and it was to be wondred
at, as she has since Confest, that in that
height of Desparation, she had not put an
end to the tortures of Reflection, by laying
violent Hands on her own Life: As she was
going from the Closet hastily to her own Apartment,
the Count and Baron pass’d her,
and that Sight heightening the Distraction she
was in, she stept to the Count, and in a
faultring, scarce intelligible Accent, whisper’d,
“for Heaven’s Sake let me speak with you before
Night, make some pretence to come to
my Chamber, where I’ll wait for you.”
And
as soon as she had spoke these Words darted
from him so swift, that he had no opportunity
of replying, if he had not been too much
overwhelm’d with Joy at this seeming Change
of his Fortune to have done it; he misunderstood
part of what she said, and instead of her
desiring to speak with him “before Night”, he immagin’d,
she said “at Night”. He presently communicated
it to the Baron, who Congratulated
him upon it; and never was any Night
more impatiently long’d for, than this was by
them both. They had indeed not many Hours
of Expectation, but Melliora thought them
Ages, all her Hopes were, that if she cou’d
have an Opportunity of discovering to Count
D’elmont
what she had heard between his
Wife and Brother, he might find some means to P3r 109
to prevent the Baron’s Treachery from taking
effect. But when Night grew on, and
she perceiv’d he came not, and she consider’d
how near she was to inevitable Ruin, what
Words can sufficiently express her Agonies?
So I shall only say, they were too violent
to have long kept Company with Life; Guilt
Honour, Fear, Remorse, and Shame at once
oppress’d her, and she was very near sinking
beneath their Weight, when somebody
knock’d softly at the Door; she made no doubt
but it was the Count, and open’d it immediately,
and he catching her in his Arms with
all the eagerness of transported Love; she
was about to clear his Mistakeflawed-reproduction1 character and let him
know it was not an amourous Entertainment
she expected from him; when a sudden cry
of Murder, and the noise of Clashing Swords
made him let go his Hold, and draw his own,
and run along the Gallery to find out the
occasion, where being in the Dark, and only
directed by the Noise he heard in his Wife’s
Chamber, something met the point, and a great
shriek following it, he cry’d for Lights, but
none coming immediately; he stepping farther
stumbled at the Body which had fallen, he then
redoubled his Outcrys, and Melliora frighted
as she was, brought one from her Chamber,
and at the same Instant that they discover’d
it was Alovysa, who coming to alarm
the Family, had by Accident run on her Husband’s
Sword, they saw the Chevalier pursuing
the Baron, who mortally Wounded, dropt down by P3v 110
by Alovysa’s side; what a dreadful View
was this? The Count, Melliora, and the
Servants, who by this time were most of
them rowz’d, seem’d without Sence or Motion,
only the Chevalier had Spirit enough to speak,
or think, so stupify’d was every one with
what they saw. But he ordering the Servants
to take up the Bodies, sent one of
’em immediately for a Surgeon, but they
were both of them past his Art to Cure.
Alovysa spoke no more, and the Baron
liv’d but two Days, in which time the
whole Account, as it was gather’d from the
Mouths of those chiefly concern’d was set
down, and the Tragical part of it being
laid before the King, there appear’d so
much of Justice in the Baron’s Death, and
Accident in Alovysa’s, that the Count
and Chevalier found it no difficult matter to
obtain their Pardon. The Chevalier was soon
after Married to his Beloved Ansellina;
but Melliora look’d on herself as the
most guilty Person upon Earth, as being
the primary Cause of all the Misfortunes
that had happen’d, and retir’d immediately
to a Monastery, from whence, not all the
entreaties of her Friends, nor the implorations
of the Amorous D’elmont cou’d
bring her, she was now resolv’d to punish
by a voluntary Banishment from all she ever
did, or cou’d Love; the Guilt of Indulging
that Passion, while it was a Crime. He, not
able to Live without her, at least in the same P4r 111
same Climate, committed the Care of his
Estate to his Brother, and went to Travel,
without an Inclination ever to return: Melantha
who was not of a Humour to
take any thing to Heart, was Married in a
short Time, and had the good Fortune not to
be suspected by her Husband, though she
brought him a Child in Seven months after
her Wedding.

Finis.