To which is Added
A Letter, from a ſuppoſed
Nun in Portugal, to a
Gentleman in France, in
Imitation of the Nun’s Five
Letters in Print, by Colonel
Printed for R. B. and Sold by the
Book-Sellers of London and Weſtminſter
To The Incomparably Excellent Mrs. Delarivier Manley.
Fond of the Vanity of having your Ladyſhip’s Friendſhip, I cannot reſt eaſie with the vaſt Bleſſing, unleſs the World know me favour’d by a Perſon ſo extraordinary: And whilſt the Town is big to ſee what a Genius ſo proportionate can produce, whilſt Sir Thomas Skipwith and Mr. Betterton are eagerly contending, who ſhall firſt bring you upon the Stage, A2 and v A2v and which ſhall be moſt applauded, your Tragick or Comick Strain, I cou’d not refuſe the Vanity (my Soul whiſper’d to me) of ſtealing you from the expecting Rivals, and dexterouſly throw you firſt into the World, as one that honour’d me with your Friendſhip before you thought of theirs. Doubtleſs, you will ſpeak me a vain-glorious Raſcal, and unworthy of that Eſteem I betray. Perhaps you may moſt juſtly object, Theſe Letters which I expoſe, were not proper for the Publick; the Dropping of your Pen, fatigu’d with Thoughts and Travel. But let them who are of that Opinion imagine what Eaſe and Leiſure cou’d produce, when they find themſelves (as they neceſſarily muſt) ſo well entertain’d by theſe.That vi A3r
That Honour, Eſteem and Friendſhip I had for Sir Roger Manley, (who has left a kind of Immortality behind him, in his Books, his Memory, and his extraordinary Daughter:) That old and true Kindneſs, which grew up with you, and made me with Veneration and Wonder heedfully obſerve what others neglected as Childiſh, I confeſs, has moſt warmly oppos’d your Deſign of Writing Plays; and more, that of Making them Publick. I wou’d have had a happy Nature, ſuch as yours, taken up with more Sublime and Elevated Thoughts; and Time better ſpent, than in ſuch Trifles. But ſince I cou’d but combat (not overcome) your Deſires, my Friendſhip engages me to ſerve what I cannot approve; and I have thought this vii A3v this one Way, by giving the Town a true Taſte of your Thoughts and Senſe; I ſay, a true Taſte; for here you cannot but be ſuppos’d to ſpeak for your ſelf.
Shou’d I follow the Buſineſs of all Dedications, which is Encomium, mine muſt be as boundleſs as the Theme: I ſhou’d tell the World, how ſeparate you are from all the Weakneſs of your Sex; what a Nobleneſs and Generoſity of Temper is yours; how diſtant from the Shadow of Intereſt, or mean Deſign: How have I heard you (compaſſionately) regretting the Miſeries of others, and never your own, but when they prevented your exalted Charity to them!
And now let us deſcant a little upon the Injuſtice of Fortune, that has viii A4r has not (with Nature) made you her choiceſt Favourite. Why did ſhe not place you in a Station as exalted as your Merit? Why thrown your Chance in the Country, who might have adorn’d a Court, and taught a Nation? Herein all cannot but commend you, ſuiting your Inclinations to her Caprice; and by withdrawing from the Poſſibility of tempting others, put it beyond your own of being tempted.
Now, Madam, ’tis time to ask your Pardon for venturing to make any thing of yours publick, without your Leave: ’Twas what I knew I shou’d never procure, and therefore have preſum’d upon the Sweetneſs of Temper, which never ſhews you vindictive againſt an Enemy; moſt obliging to your Friends, and happilypily ix A4v pily calm to your ſelf. Years of Friendſhip, and Veneration, can plead mine no Deſign of expoſing you; nor can my Life be eaſie, when it has loſt the Reliſh of being esteem’d
Your Formoſt Admirer, and Moſt Devoted, Humble And Obedient Servant,
Egham, 1694-06-24June24. 1694.
Iam got (as they tell me) ſixteen Miles from you and London, but I can’t help fancying ’tis ſo many Degrees. Tho’ Midſummer to all beſides, in my Breaſt there’s nothing but frozen Imaginations. The Reſolutions I have taken of quitting London (which is as much as to ſay, the World) for ever, ſtarts back, and asks my gayer Part if ’t has well weigh’d the Senſe of Ever? Nor does your Letter, which I receiv’d this Morning, (taking B Coach) 2 B1v 2 Coach) leſs influence me, than when I firſt form’d the Deſign. You ſhou’d have us’d but half theſe Arguments, and they had undoubtedly prevail’d: ’Tis of the lateſt now to ask me why I leave the crowded Market, and retire to ſtarve alone in Solitude? Whereas you quote the Poet, All your Beauty no more Light will haveThan a Sun-Dial in a Grave. I am too much afraid Sloth and Sadneſs are going to be my Eternal Companions; and you know my Soul’s unfitted for ſuch Gueſts, till upon the Road to Execution: I fancy’d Dying to the 3 B2r 3 the World; Horace, Cowley, all thoſe Illuſtrious Lovers of Solitude, debauch’d my Opinion, againſt my Reaſon: I took Coach with Mr. Granvill’s Words in my Mouth, Place me, ye Gods, in ſome obſcure Retreat:Oh! keep me innocent: Make others Great;In quiet Shades, content with Rural Sports,Give me a Life, remote from guilty Court:Where free from Hopes and Fears, at humble Eaſe,Unheard of, I may live and die in Peace. Yet you ſee how great a Change two Hours has produced: All B2 my 4 B2v 4 my Conſtancy is not Proof againſt the Thoughts, I am going to have no Lover but my ſelf for ever. The green inviting Graſs (upon which I promiſed to paſs many pleaſing ſolitary Hours) ſeems not at all entertaining: The Trees, with all their blooming, ſpreading Beauties, appear the worſt ſort of Canopy; becauſe, where I am going, they can offer their Shade to none but ſolitary me. But ’tis not reaſonable my Dulneſs ſhou’d extend to you, who have every thing in your Nature juſt and pleaſing. You ask’d, and I eagerly engag’d (becauſe you deſir’d) to give an Account of my ſelf and Travels, every Stage. I have not forgot, 5 B3r 5 forgot (when I told you) ’Twas too often, how you anſwer’d, Not for a Mind ſo fruitful as mine in Variety of Inconſtant Thoughts. You find at preſent, they run all upon melancholy Apprehenſions, which have ſo wholly poſſeſs’d me, I have not had time to obſerve my wretched Fellow-Travellers, only a pert Sir in the Company, that will make himſelf be taken notice of by his Dulneſs. They moſt unmercifully ſet us to Dinner at Ten-a-Clock, upon a great Leg of Mutton. ’Tis the Cuſtom of theſe Dining Stages, to prepare one Day Beef, and another our preſent Fare; ’tis ready againſt the Coach comes: And tho’ you ſhou’d have a B3 perfect 6 B3v 6 perfect Antipathy, there’s no Remedy but Faſting: The Coachman begs your Pardon; he’d not ſtay dreſſing a Dinner for the King, (God bleſs him) ſhou’d he travel in his Coach. I have left the Limb of the Sheep to the Mercy of my Companions, (whoſe Stomachs are thus early prepar’d for any Digeſtion) to tell you, with what unfeigned Reſpect I ſhall be ever
Your True Faithful Servant,
Iam got ſafe to HartleyRow, and in a little better Humour than when I writ my laſt. Our Landlord is a perfect Beaux, and moſt exquiſitely performs the Honours of his Houſe. I am in pain for his Aſſiduity: I can’t fetch a Step, no not to the Window, from the Table, &c. but he is Squiring me; and ſo dreſs’d, and ſo conceited, that nothing but Serving a looſe Apprenticeſhip, cou’d have ſet him up a Maſter in the Trade of Foppery. He was a Goldſmith’s Apprentice, where he ſtudied more his Pleaſures, than Profit. This Houſe B4 fell 8 B4v 8 fell to him, and he wiſely reſolv’d to keep it himſelf, with the Help of his Siſter, who is a neat, houſwifely, obliging ſort of Woman. I ſuppoſe ’tis, by much, the beſt Entertainment this Road affords. They have a tollerable Cook; and I was glad to find ſomething I cou’d eat at Three-a-Clock, for we came in here at Two, and I can give you a little better Account of my Fellow-Travellers. The Sir I ſpoke of is a Baronet’s Son, as he has carefully given me to underſtand: I take it for granted, he likes me; and wou’d have me do the ſame by him. As he came in he put off his Travelling Suit, for a Coat and Veſt, deſign’d to dazzle the Curaterate 9 B5r 9 rate and all his Congregation. The Way I took to mortifie his Foppery, was, not to ſpeak a Word of the Change; which made him extream uneaſie: At length, out of all Patience, he deſired my Opinion, If his Taylor had uſed him well? What the Brocade was worth a Yard? How many Ounces of Silver- Fringe? And recommended to my Curioſity the exquiſite Workmanſhip of the Loops; and then gave me the Sum Total of his Cost. I anſwer’d him, That Finery was loſt upon me; I neither was, nor pretended to be a Judge. He pertly anſwer’d, He perceiv’d by my Sullenneſs, that I had a great deal of Wit; though I underſtood he had but little 10 B5v 10 little by his Remark. ―― Well, all this did not do: He wou’d fain have had me enquir’d into his Family, Intrigues, and Fortune; which when he perceiv’d I had no Curioſity for, ’Faith, Madam, ſaid he, I beg your Ladyſhip’s Opinion, if I am not the moſt unfortunate Man breathing: I’ll tell you a moſt mortifying Adventure ―― Nay, you muſt hear me ―― I vow, this Indifferency does not look natural to you; your eyes promiſe us much more Fire. I’ll ſhut ’em, thought I, for ever, rather than ſuch a Fop ſhall find any thing to like them for ―― What! no Anſwer, Madam, ſaid he; I perceive your Attention by your Silence. Gad, I love a Perſon of your Breeding, that know themſelves better than 11 B6r 11 than to interrupt a good Story. Perhaps Madam is not well with her Journey, anſwer’d Mrs. Mayoreſs of Tatneſs ―― Alas! I wonder Riding in the Coach ſhou’d not have got you a better Stomach ―― Poor Gentlewoman, ſhe has ſcarce eat any thing. I’ll recompence that by a Feaſt of the Mind, anſwer’d my Fop. How ſay you, Madam? Shall I begin the Regalio? ―― I had as good conſent, quoth I: With or without my Leave, I ſee you are reſolv’d upon’t. Well then, Madam, ſaid he, ſince you are diſpoſed to be delighted, I’ll about it inſtantly.
It happen’d at Oxford three Months ago, (where I often came, my Father’s Eſtate beinging 12 B6v 12 ing not far diſtant) I ſaw a Lady, and fell in Love with her; Ay Gad, Madam, down right in Love with her. She was a Perſon Gentilely bred, had ſeen the Beaux Monde, made the Tour of all the Places of Gallantry, ſhin’d in the Drawing-Room, languiſh’d in the Boxes, adorn’d the Park ; in a Word, was all a Man of my Circumſtances cou’d deſire , in one he was reſolv’d to make an Oblation of his Heart to , But as her Honour was my Care, and not Marrying my Deſign, I ſearch’d for a dexterous Pretence to viſit, and be happy. I took Mr. Sly with me, a Gentleman of the Town, who had a Wife: To give you the Characterracter 13 B7r 13 racter of my Friend, He was naturally amorous, had a handſom Perſon, and Strains of natural Wit beyond whatever I ſaw in the moſt Acquir’d; and your Ladyſhip muſt allow me to be a Judge of Wit, by ſo dexterouſly finding out yours, Maugre your Silence. I bow’d for this extraordinary Compliment; and thought I cou’d not more agreeably return it, than by continuing my Silence; and, as the Poet has it, left him to his dear Miſtake. Mr. Sly, continued he, was to propoſe a Marriage between me and my Lady Conqueſt, to the old People, her Relations, whom ſhe was juſt come to live with: But as ſoon as he ſaw her, if I was her firſt Oxford-Victim,ford- 14 B7v 14 ford-Victim, he was certainly the ſecond; and, as I found, preſently took with her. She had a very fine Hand, which Mr. Sly, according to the Country-Liberty, kiſſ’d; and then, with Cleveland, ſaid, So ſoft, tis Air; but once remov’d,Tender, as ’twere a Jelly Glov’d. She gave him a Look, which ſeem’d to ſay, ſhe wonder’d in that Place at ſuch a Piece of Gallantry; and then purſuing with her Wit the Victory of her Eyes, charm’d my Friend to that Degree, that he told me, he muſt enjoy her, or die. Gad, Madam, was not this a very odd Turn? I carried him to ſpeak for 15 B8r 15 for me; and he comes to make me the Confident of his Deſigns? We agreed, tho’ as Friends ſhou’d, to keep our mutual Confidence ſecret from her, and to endeavour each of us to make himſelf happy, and faithfully to relate the Progreſs of our Amours. But becauſe the Country is much given to Tattling, the Pretenſions of Marriage went on. Lady Conqueſt was Airy and Coquet; lov’d Company and Gallantry, if they cou’d be purchas’d with Safety: But ſhe knew ſo well how to manage every body, that none durſt ſpeak to her, more than ſhe had a mind to hear. I was one of the aw’d Fools. Gad! Wou’d you believe,lieve 16 B8v 16 lieve, Madam, that Love cou’d make ſo great an Aſs of a Man of my Underſtanding? And yet ’twas not altogether that neither, my Pride was concern’d; I was reſolv’d not to ſerve for her Diverſion, till I was ſure ſhe was conſenting to be mine; but cou’d no more keep out of her Company, than I cou’d hang my ſelf. I deſired her to walk: She conſented, with a Crony ſhe pick’d up, upon Condition I wou’d engage Mr. Sly of the Party. I was jealous, but to no purpoſe; either my Rival’s Company, or not my Miſtreſs’s. Sly pretended Fear of his Wife, that he durſt not appear in publick with any other Woman; for ſhe already began to 17 C1r 17 to have Apprehenſions of my Lady Conqueſt, whoſe Way of Living was remote to thoſe of Country-Gentlewomen’s; and therefore he was reſolv’d to think no more of her, tho’ infinitely pleaſing to him; for his Fortune depended, in a great meaſure, upon his Wife’s Mother. I came back with this doleful News to Lady Conqueſt. Go tell him, anſwer’d ſhe, He who has pretended to love me, ſhou’d fear nothing more than not being belov’d; and that I command him to meet us at the appointed place. I ran, like a Fool, to do her Meſſage, which I believ’d Raillery, becauſe ſhe ought to have been more cautious of a Married Man’s Love, C if 18 C1v 18 if ſerious. Sly wanted but Intreaty: He conſented, and we met, but not to my Comfort; tho’ the Expence was mine, he had the Profit: She was not eaſie unleſs he ſat nigh her; ſhe talk’d to him, ſtar’d at him, did every thing to ſhew ſhe was pleas’d; whilſt I, by a Notion of Pride, wou’d pretend nothing, for fear I ſhou’d not have all: For, Gad, Madam, I don’t love being baulk’d thus. Several times we met, but all as little to the purpoſe. Undoubtedly, ſhe ſaw I lov’d her, but wou’d not ſee, becauſe I was of Uſe in her Affair with Sly. The whole Town talk’d of our approaching Wedding, and I began to be Fool enough to reſolve on’t through 19 C2r 19 through Sly’s Perſuaſion, who continually extoll’d her Honour and Vertue, and tickl’d my Pride with the News of her Love; but that ſhe wanted a Declaration from me, before I cou’d expect a Confeſſion from her. I told him, I wou’d think on’t; and ſo we parted. ―― That Night (as Chance wou’d have it) I paſs’d along by the Houſe where ſhe liv’d, and I found the Gate open: I know not what Devil of Curioſity carry’d me in; and when in, to go to her Chamber: I did both unſeen, and conceal’d my ſelf behind the Bed, which I ſaw fitted for Night. I reſolv’d to wait till ſhe ſhou’d be in Bed, and then to take Advantage of C2 her 20 C2v 20 her Woman’s Abſence (who lay in the Antichamber) and there to declare my Love, and offer her Marriage. Long I had not waited, (Though, Gad, Madam, I was very impatient, and thought every Minute Seven,) when the charming Fair came from her Dreſſing-Room, with nothing on but her Night- Gown and Slippers, which were ſoon thrown off, and the Goddeſs appear’d more beauteous than the naked Queen of Love. The happy Bed ſoon receiv’d her; and ſhe cry’d, Haſte, and bring my Lover to me. At theſe Words her Woman went into the Antichamber, and return’d ſoftly with Sly; who flew to her Arms, ſigh’d, kiſs’d, and dy’d 21 C3r 21 dy’d there. ―― Imagine my Surprize! ’Twas ſo great, I cou’d not in a long time ſhew my ſelf, to interrupt ’em: At length, ſeeing him undreſs for Bed, Gad, Madam, my Patience was quite expir’d; Traytor, ſaid I in ſhewing my ſelf, Is it thus thou preſerveſt thy feign’d Duty to thy Wife? I laid my Hand upon my Sword, and he did the like on his; and we had certainly drawn, had not the Amorous Fair thrown her ſelf out of Bed between us, and conjur’d us on her Knees to make no noiſe; elſe ſhe was loſt for ever. I rais’d her naked Beauties, and carry’d them whence they came, but complain’d at my hard Fortune, which had made me the C3 In- 22 C3v 22 Inſtrument of my own Ruin. She ſaw I was extreamly touch’d at it; and after her Shame and Surprize was a little over, You have no Reaſon, Sir, ſaid ſhe, to complain of me: I cou’d have no Engagements with a Man who never pretended to love me. Tho’ you have given me the Glory of refuſing you as a Husband (in the Eyes of the Town) it cou’d not but nettle me, to know there was nothing ſerious on your ſide, but done like a Gentleman, to ſecure my Reputation amongſt Illbred Fools, who know not the Charms of Converſation, and won’t permit it (without Cenſure) to thoſe that do. But, Gad, Madam, anſwer’d I, your Ladiſhip is not ſo dull, but to know I lov’d you: 23 C4r 23 you: All my Aſſiduities, Uneaſineſs, Sighs and Oaglings muſt have inform’d you. Our Sex dares hardly believe yours, ſhe reply’d, when you take pains to ſpeak: And ſure ’twere an unpardonable Vanity to draw ſuch Conſequences without it. Thoſe Circumſtances you pretend, I have found common to all Gentlemen: Therefore muſt I conclude the whole World is in Love with me; and deny my ſelf to thoſe who tell me they are my Servants, for the vain Imagination that another is ſilently ſo? Gad, Madam, anſwer’d I, I can’t poſſibly forgive the Preference of a dull, ſilly, ſober Married Man, to an Airy, Well-dreſs’d, Young, Amorous one. I’ll be gone to London by Break of day, for fear I ſhou’d C4 not 24 C4v 24 not conceal my Reſentments, and ſo injure your Ladyſhip irreparably: For, Gad, Madam, I muſt repeat again, you were to blame to ſlight all the Pains I took to breed you for nobler Game. This laſt I confeſs, broke my Splenetick Silence, and I cou’d not hold laughing heartily; which amply paid my Squire for the Pains he had taken in his Relation. He concluded it with telling me his Journey to London, and ſhort Stay there, only to accouter, his Deſign of viſiting a Lady-Siſter, marry’d into Devonſhire: And clos’d with Lauds to his good Fortune, that had thrown him into a Coach with a Lady of my Charms and Senſe, to whom he had ſacrific’d the Relicks of Ladydy 25 C5r 25 dy Conqueſt the firſt Minute that he ſaw me. I anſwer’d him, That I found Experience had made him reſolve againſt loſing a ſecond Miſtreſs for want of ſpeaking. ―― He had Manners ſufficient (or rather Conſcience) to think he had given me enough of his Beaux- ſelf for one Day, and withdrew.
I cou’d not forbear, late as it was, ſending you an Account: If you laugh in your Turn, I am paid for my Pains, as well as the Squire. ’Tis now paſt Eleven, and they’ll call us by Two: Good Night; I am going to try if I can drown in Sleep that which moſt ſenſibly affects me, the cruel Separation we have ſo lately ſuffer’d.
Hartley-Row, 1694-06-22Jun. 22. 1694
Don’t you think I am more conſtant than your Friendſhip cou’d hope, or mine pretend to? I think it a great Proof of it, amidſt the Fatigues of a Weſt-Country Journey, to give you thus duly an Account of my inſignificant ſelf, and Travels. We parted from Hartley-Row at Three this Morning, through a Croud of Beggars, who watch your Coach for Alms; and will never leave it unbleſ’d. Hence my Beaux took Occaſion of Simile; Bid me to obſerve how wakeful thoſe Wretches were for ſmall Charities; That he wou’d do the like, in hopes of greater; And 27 C6r 27 And that my Divine Idea has ſo fill’d his Sight, he cou’d not reſolve to let Sleep intrude for fear of ſhutting me out. I perceiv’d he took pains to be thought uneaſie, and I have more good Manners than to diſappoint him. Mrs. Moayoreſs, now ſhe is acquainted, has all the low, diſagreeble Familiarity of People of her Rank. She entertain’d us all the Morning with a ſorry Love-buſineſs about her Second Husband; Stuff ſo impertinent, I remember nothing of it. Beaux continues his Aſſiduities; I think none was ever ſo plagu’d with dying Eyes; his are continually in that poſture, and my Oppoſites, that I am forc’d to take a good deal of pains to avoid 28 C6v 28 avoid ’em. The two other Fellow-Travellers were never ſo promoted before, and are much troubl’d their Journey is to laſt no longer, and wiſh the four Days four Months. I hope every Jolt will ſquaſh their Guts, and give’em enough on’t: But they are Proof againſt any ſuch Diſaſters, and hugely delighted with what they are pleas’d to call Riding in State. After this ridiculous Account, you need not doubt but I am throughly mortify’d. ―― The Trouts are juſt brought upon the Table, which are the only good thing here; they look inviting, and won’t ſtay for Cooling Complements. I hope Time will ſhew it none, to ſay,
I am unalterably yours.
Sutton, 1694-06-23Jun. 23. 1694.
Ican’t give my ſelf any Reaſon why theſe Coach-men are ſuch unreaſonable Rogues: They make us riſe at Two in the Morning, to bring us into our Inn at the ſame Hour in the Afternoon. After we were repos’d a little, Beaux ſhin’d again, as yeſterday, and waited upon me to Evening-Prayers. I need ſay nothing to you of Salisbury-Cathedral: If in a Foreign Country, as the Lady in her Letters of Spain, I cou’d entertain you with a noble Deſcription; but you have either ſeen, or may ſee it; and ſo I’ll ſpare my Architecture. There are abundance of 30 C7v 30 of pretty, innocent-look’d Women, genteel enough; but I have loſt my Heart to a handſom Church-man. I never thought before that Dreſs was tolerable; but ſo wore, it ſeems a mighty Ornament. He was plac’d behind me; but I turn’d my Devotion, and kneel’d to him, imagining him no leſs than (as in Antique Days) ſome High Prieſt of the Sun. The Canon gave me Cauſe to think he had din’d too well, and was oblig’d to his Snuff, more than Religion, for keeping him awake. ―― Well, Devotion done, I was forc’d to break up mine, and leave him without a Knowledge of his Conqueſt. As we were walking to our Inn, I ask’d Beaux what we 31 C8r 31 we ſhou’d do to paſs the next day without being very weary of each other, for Sunday does not permit Travelling. He, you may be ſure, did not fail to tell me, He cou’d never be weary of me, tho’ (himſelf) expiring by my Sight and Cruelty. I wav’d his Complement, and told him my Deſign of engaging the People in the Exeter-Coach (if they ſeem’d worth it) to live with us for the time. When we return’d, we were told it was not yet come in, occaſion’d by the breaking of the Axle-tree five Miles off; but that a Fellow was gone to mend it, and they were expected every Moment. My Chamber-Window anſwer’d the Court; I roſe to it at the Noiſe of 32 C8v 32 of the Coach, and preſently ſaw alight a tall, bluſtring, big-bon’d, raw Thing, like an over-grown School-Boy, but conceited above any thing. He had an Appurtenance, call’d a Wife, whom he ſuffer’d to get out as well as ſhe cou’d; as long as he had layn with her, he did not think her worth the Civility of his Hand. She ſeem’d a Giant of a Woman, but very fine, with a right Citt Air. He bluſter’d preſently for the beſt Lodging, which he ſaw taken up by her that held the fine Fan before her Face: You may gueſs this was your humble Servant. The Chamberlain told him, ’Twas their Cuſtom, Firſt come, firſt ſerv’d; but that there were very good 33 D1r 33 good Chambers beſides. The reſt of the Company were two Things that look’d pert and awkard; Tradeſ-men’s Daughters I judg’d ’em. but methoughts, caſting my Eyes upon a Gentlewoman and her Servant that came out laſt, I found ſomething pleas’d me; whether it were becauſe ſhe really deſerv’d it, or that the Stuff ſhe was with ſet her off. I had a Baſin of fine Heart-Cherries before me, juſt come from the Garden: I caus’d ’em to be brought after me, into the Gallery, and deſig’d ’em as a Bait to the Woman whom I was to begin the Acquaintance with; for Beaux deſign’d to ſet up to get a Fortune in Devonſhire, and was unwilling to ſhew D any 34 D1v 34 any Irregularity; ―― and I thought my ſelf above their Reflections. The firſt that appear’d was the Wife, with a Riſing Belly: This ſeem’d a good Hint; I offer’d ’em to her, not knowing but ſhe might long. The Sight, I ſuppoſe, did not diſpleaſe her, for ſhe readily accepted, and eat very greedily. The Gentile- look’d Lady had much to do to be perſuaded. As for the other two, they were gone to chuſe a Lodging. We preſently grew acquainted, taking Travellers Liberty and Sup’d together. But, ſhall I tell you? The Wife grew jealous of me. It ſeems, her Temper was ſuch. And her Huſband (no ſmall Man in his Country, tho’ himſelf juſt ſet up in Mer- 35 D2r 35 Merchandizing at London; his Father one of the Canons at Exeter;) thought he might carry all Hearts before him, as well as the Country-Laſſes. They were come from viſiting their Friends, and returning to their Houſe in London. Mrs. Stanhope, for that was the lady’s Name that I lik’d, told me, I was not to count upon the Conqueſt, for he had given her Douceurs all the Way, and made her extream uneaſie, becauſe his Wife appear’d to be ſuch. We grew into an Intimacy, and left the Company. My Beaux was to me faithleſs and inconſtant. One of the awkard little Things I told you of, and who had a tollerable Face, was a Goldſmith’s Daughter of ExeterD2 ter, 36 D2v 36 ter, and acquainted with his Lady-Siſter; that began their Acquaintance. She ſeem’d free and fond: He took the Hint, and apply’d himſelf to her; which I was very glad of. Mrs. Stanhope went with me to my Chamber; and after much Diſcourſe, offer’d Friendſhip, and mutual Knowledge of each other; ſhe gave me this Account of her laſt Adventures, I came now from Falmouth, (ſaid ſhe) where I have been ſince the Beginning of the Spring, to viſit a Brother and his Wife that lives there. ’Till within theſe Six Weeks I ſaw nothing that pleas’d me: At loaſt, ’twas a Captain of a Man of 37 D3r 37 of War had the Chance; my Brother brought him to his Houſe: And for my Excuſe, I muſt tell you, he is a very pretty, genteel young Gentleman, of a good Family and Education, and in proſpect of coming to very good Fortune. They talk’d of the Town and Country-Beauties: At laſt, a young Creature was nam’d, whom I had not ſeen; but the Captain ſet her before every thing he had. I was concern’d at his Opinion, and ask’d him his of the Dutcheſs of Grafton? He gave her her due Praiſe; but yet, in his Eſteem, this exceeded. I cou’d not but think him extreamly in the wrong; and was angry when I heard D3 him 38 D3v 38 him wiſh himſelf a Man of mighty Fortune, to deſerve her. He ſail’d that Night; and after Ten Days Cruiſe, came in again. His firſt Viſit was to me. I ask’d him if he had ſeen his Miſtreſs. He ſaid, he had none. I remember’d him of what he had ſpoke. He anſwer’d, That I had taught him better. He continu’d his Applications, viſited me Three Times a Day: And becauſe I was ſtill jealous of his Words, I had him watch’d, and an Account brought of all his Viſits. The young Lady’s Uncle made a Ball; but becauſe my Brother and him were not well together, there was no Hopes of my being invited; which my Lover 39 D4r 39 Lover very well knew, and therefore ſaid, he wou’d not be there, having receiv’d Orders to Sail. He took his Leave with tranſporting Sorrow; and had the Glory to find mine was real. However, I wou’d not loſe the Ball, becauſe I deſir’d to ſee my reputed Rival. I forgot to tell you, he had never ſeen her but once, when he prais’d her to that Degree; and dexterouſly told me a ſecond Sight had undeceiv’d him. I dreſs’d my ſelf like a Farmer’s Wife, with a Basket on my Arm; and, by the help of one of the Servants, was plac’d like a Country-Gazer, at a Corner of the Room. I needed not to be told my Rival, a Thouſand dazlingD4 ling 40 D4v 40 ling Charms diſtinguiſh’d her; and, though I look’d with jealous Eyes, muſt acknowledge, I never ſaw any Beauty more perfect. All my Hopes lay in a certain Softneſs, which did not promiſe much Wit. In a little time, my Traytor (whom I imagin’d in the wide Ocean) came to the Ball, danc’d with his Miſtreſs, and was as Aſſiduous as ſhe deſerv’d. I was ſo well pleas’d at the Diſcovery, I ſtay’d not for any more, for fear I ſhou’d not ’ſcape my ſelf. About Midnight he came (for a Minute) to ſee me; and told me, he was juſt come Aſhore, the Ship under Sail; yet without another Sight, ’twas impoſſible for him to depart. I confoundedfounded 41 D5r 41 founded him with telling him what had ſo lately paſs’d at the Ball: Yet he drew himſelf out of the Embarraſs, and ſaid every thing, to make me think he lov’d me; and we were ſeriouſly treating upon the Affairs of Matrimony. I told him, he muſt get my Father’s Conſent, who liv’d at London, where I was going. He beg’d me to defer my Journey till he came in; which I too readily promis’d; and ſo we parted. I knew my Fortune fairer than my Rival’s, and began to be perſuaded I had the better of her. For, What elſe cou’d draw him to addreſs me? When I ſaw him return, ’twas with mutual Joy: But he was order’d 42 D5v 42 order’d that ſame Night to ſail to Plimouth, and did not expect to be back in a Week; therefore we agreed upon my Journey. He ſwore an inviolable Love; and wou’d have contracted himſelf, if I durſt without my Father’s Conſent: He intended to write to his Friends above, to ask it. And thus we once more parted, but not till he had ſeverely exclaim’d againſt any Deſigns upon my Rival, before a whole Crew of Town-Goſſips, that I was ſure wou’d tell her. You may conclude, we agreed upon Writing. I took my Journey, and ſtay’d at an Aunt’s Houſe in Exeter Ten Days; where I heard, that within four of my Depar- 43 D6r 43 Departure, my Lover return’d; and in Three more was publickly married to my Rival. I writ to thank him for ridding me of a Knaviſh Husband, wiſh’d him Joy, took Coach, and reſolv’d againſt too eaſily believing any Man again.
The Poſt has juſt brought me a Letter from you: I find you curſe me with the Continuation of Egham-Uneaſineſs, till I return to (the World in ) London. Methinks ’tis unreaſonable to impoſe the continu’d Slavery of Writing: I aſſure you, I ſhall take Truce with it till at my Journey’s End, unleſs ſomething happen worth our Notice. General Talmaſh’s Body was brought in 44 D6v 44 in here this Evening: His Secretary I am acquainted with, and have ſent to deſire the Favour of his Company to Morrow to Dinner; and if any thing in his Relation be Entertaining, you ſhall not fail of it from
Your Sincere Faithful Servant.
Saturday Night, from Salisbury.
The Account of ſo great a Man’s Death as Mr. Talmaſh (in the middle of all his Enterprizes, when Fortune ſeem’d to promiſe him much greener Lawrels than he had yet gather’d) has ſo added to my Melancholy,lancholy, 45 D7r 45 lancholy, that I will not deſcribe his Misfortune to you, for fear it be contagious; but rather ſuffer you to expect the publick Account; for I am one of thoſe that eſteem you more, than to make you uneaſie; as I think none can be otherwiſe, that hears the Particulars of his Loſs. Something there was, extream touching. ――
After this doleful Subject, methinks my Beaux may juſtly complain I have ſo long a time neglected his moſt ſingular ſelf. We parted this Morning from our Sunday-Acquaintance. Fop told me (when I gently reproach’d him for Inconſtancy,) Gad, Madam, ’tis but to make my ſelf the newer to your Ladyſhip to Morrow. I rather thought 46 D7v 46 thought ’twas to keep me ſuch to him. He has given me a Relation of his Succeſs with the Damſel. She treated him (in her Chamber) with Roſa Solis, and what he calls Sucket. The reſt he wou’d willingly have acquainted me with, but I recommended Diſcretion in Ladies Affairs; and he, almoſt burſting, is yet forc’d to be ſilent. How long he will keep ſuch, I do not know, for he has often offer’d at breaking his moſt painful Penance. We have paſs’d Dorcheſter and Blandford to Day, but nothing I found in either worth your notice. The Toils of the Body influence the Mind: I ſuppoſe, by my Dulneſs, you find I ſpeak woful Truths. We are lodg’d 47 D8r 47 lodg’d at Bridgport, and very ill; but ’tis but for a Night. Here’s juſt come into the Inn an Acquaintance of Beaux’s, who promiſes yielding Matter for to Morrow’s Letter. This was infected in the Beginning by General Talmaſh; and the moſt uneaſie Journey as dully concludes it.
Your ever Conſtant and Obliged Servant.
Bridgport, 1694-06-25Jun. 25. 1694.
Beaux is now grown ſo inſipid, that I ſhall ſay very little of him for the future; and I have Reaſon to believe my ſelf ſuch to him; for theſe two laſt Evenings,ings, 48 D8v 48 ings, contrary to Cuſtom, he has not Re-dreſs’d: The Fatigue, which he ſeems more ſenſible of than any of us, has tarniſh’d the Luſtre of his Eyes; and, inſtead of any further Oagling, drowns all his Amorous Pretenſions in as profound Sleep as the uneaſie Jolting of the Coach will permit. This is what I can never be ſo happy to gain. But to tell you ſomething of our laſt Night’s Entertainment: Whilſt Supper was getting ready, the Gentleman I told you of, at Beaux’s Intreaty, gave us an Account of what Affairs were carrying him to London: The ſhort of it is this. Your Ladyſhip, ſaid he, may ſoon perceive by my Accent that 49 E1r 49 that I am a Foreigner. I had the Glory of following the Prince of Orange, (now our Auſpicious King) in his Expedition into England. We landed in the Weſt, with all thoſe Particulars, which are needleſs to repeat. During our Stay at Exeter, I render’d my conſtant Devotion at the Cathedral; and in coming thence one Evening, and old Woman (with a Look as mean as a Beggar) preſented me a Letter; which, when I had open’d, I found from an Unknown, who ſtil’d himſelf my Friend, and gave me this Advice, That a Lady of good Country-Quality and Fortune, (and who was then in Exeter) was going to be diſpos’d of by E her 50 E1v 50 her Mother, to a Man ſhe no way affected: But that ſhe had been heard to ſay, If the handſome Switzer were in his place, ſhe ſhou’d obey without Reluctancy. And concluded the Letter with giving me Advice, like a good Friend, to improve my growing Fortune: For ſo conſiderable an one as Twelve Thouſand Pounds was not every Day thrown into a Soldier’s Lap. I had forgot to tell your Ladyſhip the Letter was writ in French, and Directions of the Lady’s Name and Lodgings. My Heart gave me a ſecret Preſage that the Matter wou’d not be lucky to me, which I follow’d, and therefore took no notice of the Letter. Three Days 51 E2r 51 Days after, the ſame Old Woman brought me another much more preſſing: Upon which, I gave my ſelf blindly up to my Deſtiny. I viſited, and found the Lady, tho’ not a Beauty, yet Genteel and Taking. ’Twas eaſie to gueſs by my Reception that the Letters came from her. I’ll omit the Diſcourſe we had, and only reſt upon Matter of Fact. She oblig’d me to leave my Command, and go with her to her Eſtate. Her Mother look’d upon me with an evil Eye; but my Miſtreſs was tranſportingly kind, and much concern’d that none of the Miniſters round durſt marry us, for fear of the Old Lady. Whereupon, we concluded I E2 ſhou’d 52 E2v 52 ſhou’d pretend to make my Leave, as deſigning for London; but inſtead of that, go directly into Cornwall, where ſhe had a conſiderable Eſtate, and wou’d meet me. The Matter happen’d as we had agreed; but for fear her Mother ſhou’d purſue us, ſhe conſented to take me for her Husband before the Parſon cou’d be got to make us ſuch. That happy Night I had all the Reaſon in the World to believe my ſelf agreeable to her; and all was confirm’d in the Morning, by the Prieſt. Thus careſs’d and bleſs’d, we return’d to her Houſe. The Old Lady (who had no Command of her Daughter’s Fortune, and ſaw the Buſineſs beyondyond 53 E3r 53 yond Remedy) was with the firſt to make her Court to me, and wiſh me Joy. Three happy Months I had all the Satisfaction that innocent Marriage and exceſſive Love in a Bride cou’d give me. Then I began to conſider a little my Affairs, and propos’d to my Wife my being Naturaliz’d, that I might look after hers. She ſwounded at the Name; and when ſhe recover’d, ſhe ſnatch’d a Bayonet of mine, and wounded her ſelf under the Left Breaſt, but not much. I can’t expreſs my Surprize: We huſh’d the Matter, for fear of her Mother; and I employ’d ſome of my Soldierly Skill to cure it, which had the Effect. I enquir’d into the ReaſonE3 ſon 54 E3v 54 ſon of this Extravagancy. She told me, the Diſcovery of Intereſt in me, when ſhe had believ’d Love was the only Motive to our Marriage. Some Days paſs’d and as often as I offer’d at it, ſhe receiv’d ſuch mighty Diſguſt, that I reſolv’d to get it done without her Notice; for ſhe took me not as a Husband, but a Lover. ’Tis true, I was receiv’d as a Gueſt, but not a Maſter; and my Circumſtance (having left my Command) requir’d that. I got her Leave for my Journey: She ſhew’d ſuch extravagant Paſſion at our Separation, that I ſwore a ſpeedy Return; and reſolv’d to leave my Naturalization depending, look after my 55 E4r 55 my other Affairs, and return within a Fortnight to her: But before that time I had a dangerous Fit of Sickneſs in London. I writ often to her, and gave her an Account, that the Act was Paſs’d, and I cou’d now happily call my ſelf an Engliſh Husband. She only anſwer’d, She knew how to interpret it; but ſhe was out in her Cunning, if I ſhou’d find an Engliſh Wife at my Service, who knew not the true Value and Uſe of one. This Letter damp’d me; but truſting to the Greatneſs of that Power Love had given me in her Heart, I did not queſtion but my Preſence wou’d make all things eaſie. I took Poſt, my Impatience wou’d not ſtay E4 the 56 E4v 56 the Coach, tho’ the Remains of my Fever ſeem’d to expect it. I gave my ſelf no Reſt during the whole Journey. I ſent to give her notice of my Arrival: But what was my Surprize, to find all ſhut at home! I call’d under her Window, where I perceiv’d Light: ’Twas a heavy Night of Rain: I knock’d at the Gates, and ſtorm’d, but all to no purpoſe; I was glad to take up my Lodging in the Porch. At Six in the Morning an Under- Servant appear’d: I ask’d for her Lady. She told me, She was gone none knew whither, and had convey’d away her Plate, &c. So that, if I pleas’d, an empty Houſe was at my Service. I calmly bore all this, imagining it but a Trial; 57 E5r 57 a Trial; ſought her round the Country, but in vain; ſhe often ſhifted Places and went diſguis’d. Not long after, ſhe commenc’d a Proceſs againſt me, and by a Pretence, (which will for ever make her notorious) render’d me to the Court as Incapable. I was ſtill ſo tender of her Fame, as to ſuffer the Aſpertion. Common Law ſeparated us: She got the better, by my refuſing to vindicate my ſelf, and I Fifteen Hundred Pounds of her Fortune, and the Charges of the Court. ’Tis ſince laſt Auguſt that this has happen’d. I have vainly try’d to remove her implacable Averſion, or to learn the Cauſe of it: But I ſee my Endeavours are 58 E5v 58 are all fruitleſs; and I am now going to leave England, I think for ever.
I complemented him upon his Misfortunes, and really, in my Opinion, he cou’d not be deſerving of them. Gad, Madam, ſpeaks Beaux, See what unconſtant Things you Ladies are! I happen’d to be at this Gentleman’s Houſe when he was firſt marry’d, and never ſaw any thing ſo fond of him as his Wife. Gad, I don’t believe, whatever Woman I make happy, tho’ her Eſteem be equal to my Merit, ſhe can poſſibly be fonder.
I am now got ſafely, weary, into Exeter; and, I thank God, rid of the Impertinency of my Fellow-Travellers, Beaux excepted,cepted 59 E6r 59 cepted, who will ſee me ſafe home, tho’ diſtant from his. The Cathedral here is very fine; the Biſhop’s Seat in it ſurpaſſes Saliſbury, tho’ ſhort in every thing elſe. Forgive me for leaving you thus abruptly, ſince ’tis more pleaſingly to entertain my ſelf with a Letter of yours juſt brought to me.
I am Moſt Conſtantly and Sincerely yours.
Exeter, 1694-06-26Jun. 26. 1694.
If I have omitted anſwering your Three laſt, it proceeded from nothing but the Deſire of doing 60 E6v 60 doing ſomething new; and you know ’tis extreamly ſo in me, not eagerly to ſhew you all Teſtimonies of Friendſhip. ―― My Solitude is much more pleaſing than I fancy’d it: As yet I am not weary of that happy Indifferency, which leaves me nothing either to hope or fear. Thus empty, and thus Idle do I live,Nor Lov’d, nor Loving, can nor take, nor give.
I have moſt Foppiſh Letters from Beaux, who parted with a World of ſeeming Regret; and yet I hear he is endeavouring at a Miſtreſs. I ſuppoſe I may bid his Impertinence Farewell for ever: 61 E7r 61 ever: I think I bad you hope (in one of mine) to hear no more of him; I know not how I am fallen upon the nauſeous Repetition. Themiſtocles refus’d Simonides, when he wou’d have taught him the Art of Memory; pertinently ſaying, He had more need of Forgetfulneſs than Memory. I remember what I wou’d not, but I cannot forget what I wou’d. My Study has fallen upon Religion; I am ſearching into all ſorts: You ſhall not fail to hear what that Chance-Medley produces. I can now with cold Indifferency ſhake Hands with all Things beyond this Solitude. How long the extraordinary Humour may laſt, I can’t inform you at preſent. I repeat with Stoical Pride, Keep 62 E7v 62 Keep me, ye Bounteous Gods, my Caves and WoodsIn Peace: Let Tares and Acorns be my Food.
Postscript. Iforgot to leave Orders with the Jew about the Chocolate: Pray, take care that it be ſent me, and excuſe the Trouble.
1694-07-10July 10. 1694.
There happen’d a long Intercourſe between theſe Letters; but Buſineſs unfit for the Publick keeps ’em at preſent conceal’d.Let-
Iam ſorry I can’t make good my Promiſe to ſo indearing a Friend as your ſelf. Looking over my Papers, I find but one of Colonel Pack ’s Letters in Imitation of the Portugal-Nuns: I certainly had Three, which he ſent to me for my Opinion; but Two are loſt, which I very much regret; and the more, becauſe I know not where he is, to repair it. I wou’d hear how you approve his Stile. I think Imitation the hardeſt Part of Writing: It confines a Free-born Genius, which naturally loves Untrod Wilds; at leaſt, if I may gueſs at anothers by my own. And now 64 E8v 64 now I am ſpeaking of that, let me tell you, all thoſe Romantick Ideas of Retirements, which view’d at a diſtance, gives a raviſhing Proſpect, now I am Wedded, Bedded too, prove the worſt ſort of Matrimony; but ’tis only to ſuch a particular Friend as your ſelf, that I dare complain; to the remoter Sort I aſſume a Stoical Appetite and Air: ―― Tell them, the World, with all its gaudy Pleaſures, are but rich Deluſions, which at once corrupts our Senſes, and our Fame: That the little Spot of Earth I have choſe to fix my Face in, has more ſolid Entertainments, more real Innate Delights, than the Glories of Kenſington: Then ſigh, and ſeem to pity 65 F1r 4965 pity the more Elevated Part of the World, that can bury themſelves in Noiſe and Crowd. ―― But, let me tell you, there’s no real Satisfaction without Converſation. I have had ſo much of the Dead ſince I ſettled here, and (as I may ſay) nothing of the Living, for I find none deſerves the Name, that I wiſh for the Conjuring Art; and wou’d rather converſe with the Ghoſts of the Departed, than always with their Books, or with my ſelf.―― but I forget I detain you from better Company; I mean, the Incloſed. Write to me ſtill, but nothing of News; I mean to hear none, till I ſee London again; and when that will be, I have not the Pleaſure F ſo 66 F1v 5066 ſo much as to imagine: ’Twill be new (to lie forgotten, and forgetting, and, as it were, be born with Underſtanding) to all the Vanities and Vertues (if any) of that Hydra.
I am, Sir, With great Eſteem, Your Moſt, &c.
1695-03-15March 15. 1695.
A Second Letter from a ſuppoſed Nun in Portugal, to a Gentleman in France, in Imitation of the Five Letters in Print, by Colonel Pack.
Omy fled Heart, and he that ſo unjuſtly keeps it from 67 F2r 5167 from me! Was not your barbarous Reſolution ſufficient, that I ſhou’d never poſſeſs yours; but you muſt add the Uſe of all your beſt Art to keep me from my own? In what Diſorder do I ſpeak and write, for want of a poor tender Heart? That’s gone a Pilgrimage to Love, and (the unkind Heavens not hearing its Prayer) has, through Diſtraction, loſt its Way, and never will return again. Fire ſets on Fire: Why then does not my Flame make you burn? ’Tis a falſe Maxim: Extremity of Cold ſcorches you. Had I at firſt put on a Behaviour more cool and remote to your pretended Affection, and treated you with Unkindneſs, how many Bows F2 and 68 F2v 5268 and Vows wou’d you have ofoffer’d at Love’s Altar? With what Ardency wou’d you have continu’d your Proteſtations. Who wou’d have thought that a Fire (at firſt) ſo well kindled as yours, ſhou’d need Fanning with an infectious Blaſt, to preſerve its Heat? Or that the wholſome Sun ſhou’d put it out? But that, Alas! was my Miſfortune: My Burning was the greater, and drew yours away. ―― How can I then with any Confidence blame you for what I my ſelf was truly and principally the Occaſion of? You too eaſily perceiv’d how earneſtly I was wont to watch your Eyes, that they look’d not on other; as if mine took it unkindly they were 69 F3r 5369 were not gazed on altogether. How perverſe are our Fates! Why elſe was it not contriv’d that you might be as happy in me, as ’twas poſſible for me to be in you? Say what you will, you was to blame. What Care you took to aſſault my Affections, was ſufficiently diſcoverable in the conſtant Ardour and Formality of your Approaches; contriving to appear at all Times as Engaging as poſſible. Your Conqueſt was not ſo great: You cou’d not well have met with a Heart leſs fortified for a Defence: Ye Gods! that I ſhou’d yield upon your very firſt Summons; and ſo diſhonourably, that I was not allow’d Flying Colours! Nay, what’s yet more, F3 That 70 F3v 5470 That I shou’d bear ſo mean, low, and contemptible a Spirit, as to take infinitely more Delight in my own Vaſſlage and Captivity, than in the moſt flouriſhing Tranquillity! What do I thus rave upon? What wou’d I have? If I am happy in my Condition, why do I not reſt, and retain my Senſes, like others of my Sex? But that ſtill (and, I fear, ever) I have the ſame ſad Tune to ſing: My Conqueror (whom I ador’d for being ſo) is gone; and my Cloyſter is now as much a Priſon to me, as ’twas Heaven, and Liberty, and all things, when I had him there. ’Twas an unworthy Thing to ſteal my better 71 F4r 5571 better Part, my Soul, away; and not think this little Frame, its old Companion, worth taking with you. But what you had got, you thought, was of light Carriage, needed little Stowage, paid no Freight, and (I dare ſtake my Life) was the All ever you intended to have of me: And to be ſo ſerv’d, is (it ſeems) the All I am ever likely to expect from you. How groſly did I flatter my ſelf, and abuſe you, whenever I imagin’d you wou’d be kind and true to me! You that are ſo cruel, that cou’d you reduce any other Woman into my ill Circumſtances, if there was a Third in the F4 World, 72 F4v 5672 World, you wou’d certainly leave the former, and there feign freſh Adorations. If there was not, yet purely to gratifie your Inhumanity to her, even I, now ſlighted and neglected, ſhou’d then have your Company; for you cou’d not brook being put by a Pleaſure of that kind, tho’ it coſt you the Trouble of going to one who lov’d you more than the World. ――
How very odd (and as tho’ you were writing to ſome publick Place of Intelligence) was that Diſcourſe of yours, in your laſt Letter, concerning the great Lightning and Thunder which you ſay happen’d in your Parts! Alſo, you deſire to know what Weather 73 F5r 5773 Weather we have had here. Is this fit to ſtuff in a Love-Letter? Truly, it might have thunder’d, lighten’d and rain’d, or it might have been very pleaſant, delightful Weather, for ought I know; for I am not capable of making any Remarks of that kind: But this I can inform you, being too ſure of the Truth of it, that it has been very ſtormy Weather in my Eyes ever ſince your Departure; and until you return (the only Sun, whoſe Influence can diſperſe theſe Clouds) I fear ’twill ever be tempeſtuous. This Account (it may be) pleaſes you more than if I had ſent you Word the ill weather had reach’d our Country, demoliſh’d our Monaſtery, ſet me at Liberty, and I was in purſuit 74 F5v 5874 purſuit of you. Then, then how I wou’d glut my Revenge by the Incurſions of my Love! For it ſhould haunt you in all Places and Countries. And ſince it wore ſo much the Viſage of an Evil Spirit in your Conceit here, as to make you quit the Place, I wou’d try whether Change of Air wou’d alter its Complection and Features, ſo as to force you into a better Opinion of it, and be throughly reveng’d on you that Way: For, to love, I find, is the Unhappineſs you wou’d avoid, above all other Things: But your Appetite and Taſte is as much deprav’d, as my Project is vain and impracticable: I find the Sowr of France gratifies your Palate above the Sweets of Portugal; and a French Lady (with her 75 F6r 5975 her diſtant Regards to your Addreſs, and (at laſt) counterfeit artificial Acceptance ſhall engage you much more than the Loyalty, Integrity, Truth and Freedom of my unlimited Paſſion. Will not the World ſwear we are both mad: You for preferring a Counterfeit, (becauſe it gliſters) before the true Metal it ſelf, which is known to every Child, by its Weight: I for my Fidelity to ſo much Ingratitude. But let the World blame us as it pleaſes, I am reſolv’d to be as true to you, as you to your unnatural Inconſtancy. ―― To what a Degree of Bliſs ſhou’d I be advanc’d, if I cou’d find you complaining of the Remiſneſs of my Love, and admiring how intenſe was your own 76 F6v 6076 own: And I ſhou’d be but too happy, if that Fault was not found on your ſide, as (Alas!) to all the World too viſibly it is: And the ſame Conceptions you make of an Immenſity will but juſt ſerve you to fathom my Zeal, which (altho’ cheriſh’d and prun’d after the moſt careful manner) is productive of nothing but the moſt bitter, ſowr and unpleaſant Fruits imaginable. ―― Your unkind Dealings and Actions to me are the Fruits of my extraordinary Paſſion. What Soul cou’d imagine ſuch diſſonant Notes ſhou’d ſpring up, to interrupt the Harmony of my Affection? In what had you been the worſe, if my extream Kindneſs you had retaliated with but a little of yours; and altho’ more 77 F7r 6177 more than a little be my due, yet with the leaſt Grain I cou’d have wrought my own Contentment: But you are ſo unjuſt to deny all, and leave me to the haraſſing of a miſerable Deſpair; one Hour’s Torment of which I wou’d not wiſh you ſhou’d endure, Ages to come, to be ſet free my ſelf; and yet no otherwiſe fond of my Condition, but as it is a Gift of yours, and which (for any thing leſs than your Love) I will never part with. Barbarous, Barbarous! to deny me that, which you take more pains to throw away upon another, than I can do to obtain it. You ſhall not uſe me thus; indeed, you muſt not: ’Tis I ſay it, but you regard not that, ſo inſenſible you are 78 F7v 6278 are of my Condition; which, tho’ never ſo unfortunate as to my own particular, yet is aggravated with Cares for your Welfare, who are the ſole Cauſe of my Unhappineſs. How you will reliſh this Letter. I know not, I fear you will think there are too many Invectives againſt your Tyranny; in which I will agree with you my ſelf, and ask your Forgiveneſs: But, alas! they are as gentle as I cou’d poſſibly perſuade my Pen to drop; for, ſince you take ſo much pleaſure in a hard Heart, I wou’d not for the World any ways croſs you, but making you leſs obdurate; ſo tenderly I value your Satisfaction, and ſo little (for your ſake) my own. But, Oh! the infinite 79 F8r 6379 infinite Pleaſures you wou’d find in Love, if you thought them worth the looking after! Love (as it is, or is not mutual) is the trueſt Epitome of the Supernatural States: If mutual, the Joys are laſting, and never cloy; if not, the Torments are intolerable, yet muſt be endur’d. Oh, that any thing I cou’d ſay might diſſolve you to a Senſe of my miſerable Life; or, indeed, rather your own! And yet, if it cou’d, in the leaſt, enter into my Thoughts that you are altogether at Repoſe, I aſſure you, I wou’d never interrupt you; no Noiſe of my Afflictions ſhou’d ever be your Diſturbance: But I am very much miſtaken if you are altogether without Remorſe for 80 F8v 6480 for the Sufferings you have brought upon me. I remember, you once was flexible, and of a compaſſionate Nature, and your Behaviour very like a Gentleman; whatever has miſ-guided you to the Abuſe of my Favours, which (if I have Knowledge of my Heart) were (at firſt) much more for your ſake, than my own, you were the Aggreſſor, and not I; and whatever Kindneſs I ſhew’d you, was more to make me happy, than your ſelf; that by Charity to a Serpent, I at laſt was ſtung. ’Tis ſaid, that venomous Creatures have a Balſamick Quality in themſelves, to cure the Wounds they make: But you (more unnatural than all the reſt) have 81 G1r 81 have none; at leaſt, moſt cruelly with hold it from me. O Heaven! That I had but Power to contain my ſelf! That I had but Temper to be a little calm! But ’tis a Condition I have long ſince abandon’d, and (till I ſee you again) will never re-aſſume. In the Rage I am in, I cou’d think you as many unkindneſſes, as, by and by, the Fury of Love wou’d find a Task to unravel; for if one Half Hour I blame you, in the next I call it Injuſtice. So careful I am that no ill Thought of you appear deſerving, that were you worſe than you are, my Pleaſure wou’d conſiſt in being flatter’d that you are better than I think you: Nay, Sometimes I perſuade my ſelf that you G are 82 G1v 82 are a Man of the greateſt Juſtice in the World; and that ’tis not even in your Nature (wilfully) to do an unequal Thing. But ’tis moſt certain, I am doom’d to a fruitleſs Love, without the leaſt Poſſibility of a Deliverance. Indeed, formerly I had a faint Proſpect (as I thought) of being in ſome meaſure reſtor’d; but I look’d through falſe Glaſſes, that preſented me with a wrong Object; and ſince that, I have done the great Work of learning to be well ſatisfied with my intolerable Condition. Did my Love run parallel with what is commonly found in the World it wou’d not be ſo deſperate. ―― Happy they, who (in a Pett, or upon ſome ſmall Diſguſt) can recede 83 G2r 83 recede from their Paſſions, and ſet up for new ones elſewhere; and whatever they pretend, Self- is the greateſt Thing. This is the Way of Amouring moſt in Faſhion: This is that Impoſture that prevails upon ſo many tender Hearts: And in Caſes of Denial, very artificially can uſurp Languiſhing Eyes, want no expreſſive paſſionate Inſinuations, counterfeit Melancholy and Diſtraction; and all to ſerve ſome baſe by- End. If this had been the Quality of my Love, the Vengeance you aſſign me had then been merited. I verily believe, if it had had but the leaſt Tincture of Treachery, I ſhou’d have won your Heart, ſhou’d have made you jealous: And that Temper G2 wou’d 84 G2v 84 would have been very inconſiſtent with your Reſolutions to make a thorough Conqueſt: Nothing leſs than which (to a Man of Proweſs like you) cou’d have been a real Pleaſure. Yes, yes; ’tis very plain, If my Paſſion had been forg’d, and bore a falſe Accent, it wou’d certainly much better have agreed with yours, as being much nearer related; but the fatal Conſequence (of a true Fervency, return’d with fair Aſſurances, and foul Actions) none knows, but the wretched, ſolitary I. Upon the whole, I think verily I love you becauſe you make me miſerable. If that be true, go on, be ſignaliz’d to the World for your Unkindneſs, that the more I may be 85 G3r 85 be ſo, for my unaccountable Affection. That I love you, Heaven knows; you know, elſe I ſhou’d ſee you here again cringing out the feign’d Allegations of your Sincerity, tho’ much more diſtant than we are. Oh, that we were to begin again! What Courſe wou’d I then take! I fear, e’en fool my ſelf, as I have done; for, ſince I know no greater Pleaſure than the Love of you, I ſhou’d too willingly run the Risk of any Diſadvantage that cou’d happen by it. I die a Thouſand Deaths every Hour, and ſtill revive, to die them o’er again: Adieu. What cou’d not I endure for your ſake! I have at this Moment ſo lively an Idea of you, that I almoſt fancy you here in Perſon 86 G3v 86 Perſon. Methinks, how very kind you are! How affectionately you condole me for the Torments I have ſuffer’d in your Abſence; and how thankful I am to you for them! How you preſs my Hand, and ſwear you will never part with me! And, Ah, Monſieur! How I believe you, for being hitherto ſo faithful! ―― Once more, Adieu. I think I never writ to you in my Life, but their Length made ’em ſtay’d for. The Post (at my Requeſt) has waited a great while, and I am now ſent to; I wonder, elſe, when I ſhou’d give off. You may judge a little of my Condition, when you ſee even hurrying Poſt-haſte it ſelf can admit of a Delay, to pleaſe me. 87 G4r 87 me. The Actions of all People that ſee me, are deſignedly kind, and of a Deſire to divert me. One takes me by the Hand, begging of me to be chearful, and leave my unprofitable Thinking; ſhewing me good Reaſon for it: But, Alas! I find Reaſon and Love two very ſeparate Things, not at all influencing each other. To Day a Siſter brought me Variety of the beſt Fruits; of which, nothing but a piece of a Pomgranate cou’d I be perſuaſuaded to eat. ’Tis poſſible, I might thank her, but am not ſure I had ſo much Manners: Every Body excuſes my Ill Breeding, but much wonder at my Alteration. The Rigour and Severity of our Religion can diſpence 88 G4v 88 diſpence with many great Faults in me, that it will not allow in others. What ſhall I do! Well I have only one thing more (beſides a Thouſand) to ſay to you; which is, That if you can have regard for any one Sentence in this Letter, it may be too this laſt, I implore you to let me ſee you in Portugal before I die.