A1r E H


In Twenty
from the
Dead to the Living.

To which are added,
Thoughts on Death.

Translated from the Moral Essays of the
Messieurs du Port Royal.

“―― Curæ non ipsa in Morte relinquunt. Virg.Virgil
Ornamented oval portrait of a bearded man in scholarly robes.

Printed for T. Worrall, at the Judge’s-
, over against St. Dunstan’s Church in
Fleet-Street. 1728MDCCXXVIII.

A1v Mrs Singer afterwards
Mrs Rowe Author of these
letters intitled Friend­ship
in death
N: B. Mrs Rowe dy’d at
Frome in Somersetshire
1737-02February 1736—7
She was Born at Ilchester, in
the same County, in 16741674 ――
A2r E. H1 wordflawed-reproduction

Dr. Young.


Ihave no Design
in this Dedication,
but to express my
Gratitude, for the Pleasure
and Advantage I have receivedA2ceived A2v iv
from your Poem on
the Last Judgment
and the Paraphrase on Part
of the Book of Job.

The Author of these
Letters is above any View
of Interest, and can have
no Prospect of Reputation,
resolving to be concealed:
But if they prove a serious
Entertainment to Persons
whose Leisure Hours are
not always innocently imployed,
the End is fully

The greatest Infidel must
own, there is at least as much
Probability in this Scheme, as A3r v
as in that of the Fairy
, which however Visionary,
are some of them
Moral, and Entertaining.

I am,
Your most Humble

The A3v A4r


The Drift of these Letters
is, to impress the Notion
of the Soul’s Immortality;
without which, all
Vertue and Religion, with
their Temporal and Eternal good Consequences,
must fall to the Ground.

Some who pretend to have no Scruples
about the Being of a God, have yet
their Doubts about their own Eternal Existence,
though valuable Authors abound
in Christian, and Moral Proofs of it.

But A4v

But since no Means should be left unattempted
in a Point of such Importance,
I hope endeavouring to make the Mind
familiar, with the Thoughts of our Future
Existence, and contract, as it were, unawares
an Habitual Persuasion of it,
by Writings built on that Foundation,
and address’d to the Affections and Imagination,
will not be thought improper,
either as a Doctrine, or Amusement; Amusement,
for which the World makes
by far the largest Demand, and which
generally speaking, is nothing but an
Art of forgeting that Immortality, the
firm Belief, and advantageous Contemplation
of which, this Amusement would


from the

Dead to the Living.

Letter I.

To the Earl of R――, from Mr. ――
who had promis’d to appear to him
after his Death.

This will find you, my
Lord, confirm’d in your
Infidelity, by your late
Disappointment. It was
not in my Power to give
you the Evidence of a future State, Bwhich B1v 2
which you desired, and that I had
rashly promis’d; but since this Engagement
was a Secret to every Mortal,
but our selves, you must be assur’d
that this comes from your deceased
Friend, whose Friendship you see has
reach’d beyond the Grave.

In my last Sickness, we fix’d on
the Time and Place of my Appearance;
you was punctual to the Appointment:
For though I was not permitted
to make my self visible, I had the Resolution
to attend the Solemnity of a
Visit from the Dead. The Hour was
come, the Clock from a neighbouring
Steeple struck One, no human Voice
was heard to break the awful Silence,
the Moon and Stars shone clear in their
Midnight Splendor, and glimmer’d
through the Trees, which in lofty Rows
led to the Centre of a Grove, where I
was engag’d to meet you.

I saw you enter the Walks, with
a careless incredulous Air, not the least Con- B2r 3
Concern or Expectation appear’d in
your Looks; as if you came there only
in regard to your own Word, and a
Sort of respect to my Memory: However,
the Calmness of the Night induc’d
you to walk ’till the Morning
began to break, when you retir’d, singing
an idle Song, you had got out of
the Fairy Tales. By the Gayety of
your Temper you seem’d pleas’d, my
Lord, with a new Proof against a Future
Life, and happy to find your self (as
you concluded) on a level with the
Beasts that perish. A glorious Advantage!
and worthy of your Triumph.

But we have so often discours’d
on this Subject, that I would not tire
you with the Repetition of any thing
past; only once more to make way to
your Reason, by moving your Passions,
in recollecting the Manner of your
Brother’s Death, which was all a Demonstration
of the Immortality of the
Soul; and to what Heights of Fortitude B2that B2v 4
that Prospect could raise the Heart
of Man, at the Hour of Terror, and
in the Jaws of Death.

With what a ready Composure did
he endure the Violence of his Distemper!
With what Conviction and full
Assurance expect the Reward of his
Piety! With what Calmness, with
what a graceful Resignation did he receive
the Sentence of Death, when (at
his Importunity) the Physicians told
him there was no Hopes of his Recovery.
“Then I have but a few weary
, he reply’d, “and the Journey of
Life will be finish’d”

This was not a Time for Affectation,
all was open undissembled Goodness
and a true Greatness of Mind:
Nothing else could have supported him,
when every Circumstance of Life conspir’d
to allure him back to Life, to
deepen the Shadows of the Grave,
and make the King of Terrors more

There B3r 5

There was not, my Lord, among
the Race of Men, a more lovely and
agreeable Person than your Brother;
his Marriage was just concluded with
the charming Cleora, he had just finish’d
a noble Seat, and fine Gardens to receive
her: When he was near Death,
she came at his Request to take a last
and sad farewel: Angels might have
sorrow’d to see Tears in the brightest
Eyes on Earth, while her Tenderness
for you would have disguis’d her Anguish.
This, with the Sight of a fond
young Sister, fainting in her Woman’s
Arms; your aged Father sitting near,
silent and stupid with his Grief. What
could support the Mind of Man in
such complicated Distress! The accomplish’d
Youth, who had all that was
gentle and human in his Disposition,
must have betray’d some Weakness,
if he had not been assisted by a Power
superior to Nature. But how equal,
how steady was his Mind! how becoming,
how graceful his whole Behaviour! B3Never B3v 6
Never was the last, the closing part
of Life, perform’d with more Decency
and Grandeur. His Reason was clear
and elevated, and his Words were the
very Language of Immortality, and excited
at the same time, both Pity and
Envy in those that were near him.

When the cold Sweats hung on
his Brows, and his Breath and Speech
fail’d, Joy struggled through the Decay
of Nature, and a heavenly Smile
sate on his Face; a Smile that at once
compell’d our Tears, and accus’d us
of Weakness in them.

You, my Lord, attended him to
the last Moment of Life, and when I
pressed this Argument of a future State,
you confess’d, that tho’ you thought
Religion a Delusion, it was the most
agreeable Delusion in the World, and
the Men who flatter’d themselves with
those gay Visions, had much the Advantage
of those that saw nothing before
them but a gloomy Uncertainty, or B4r 7
or the dreadful Hope of an Annihilation.

From this Uncertainty I was very
sollicitous to draw you, while I was
in a mortal State; but I have now a
more ardent Desire to convince you,
tho’ I cannot obtain the Permission to
give you that Evidence you requested:
However, this Letter may satisfy you
that I am in a State of Existence, nor
is an Apparition from the Dead a
greater Miracle than a Variety of Objects
that daily surround you, and owe
the Loss of their Effect, to your Familiarity
with them.

Happy Minds in this superior
State are still concern’d for the Welfare
of Mortals, and make a Thousand kind
Visits to their Friends; to whom, if
the Laws of the immaterial Worlds
did not forbid, it would be easy to
make themselves visible, by the Splendor
of their own Vehicles, and the
Command they have on the Powers
of material Things, and the Organs B4of B4v 8
of Sight: It often seems a Miracle to
us that you do not perceive us; for we
are not absent from you by Places,
but by the different Conditions of the
States we are in.

You’ll find this in your Closet,
and may be assur’d it comes from

Your constant
And immortal Friend


Let- B5r 9

Letter II.

From a Gentleman who died at Constantinople,
to his Friend in England,
giving him an Account of the Manner
of his Death.

Your not hearing from me,
my dear Beville, has given
you too many dismal Apprehensions
about the Manner
of my Death: And the Engagements
of a generous Friendship, which
are not extinguish’d with the Breath
of Life, obliges me to give you this Satisfaction.

I made a longer Stay at Constantinople
than I intended, and there it
pleas’d Heaven that I should resign my
Life, which for some Months gradually
declin’d, but without any violent or painful B5v 10
painful Disorder, or indeed the least
Apprehension that my Distemper was
fatal. But my Days were number’d,
and when the destin’d Hour drew near,
after a sleepless Night, I rose with the
Sun, and as I had never been so ill as
to confine my self, I sought some Refreshment
in one of those delicious Gardens
that adorn the Shore of the Bosphorus.

After a short Walk I found my
Spirits sinking, and retiring to a Cypress
Shade, I threw my self on a flow’ry
Bank for some Refreshment: A gentle
Slumber soon clos’d my Eyes, which
was thrice broken by what I then thought
an imaginary Call: The Voice perfectly
resembled the charming Almeria’s, whose
Death, you know, was the Occasion
of my Travels. I was now perfectly
awake, and listening to hear the gentle
Summons again, but found I had
neither Strengh to rise, nor Power to
call Assistance: An icy Coldness stop’d
the Springs of Life, and after a little Struggle B6r 11
Struggle, my Spirit got unburthen’d
of its Clay, the Curtain fell, and the
invisible World appear’d. The first
gentle Spirit that welcom’d me to these
new Regions, was the lovely Almeria;
but how Dazling! how divinely Fair!
Extasy was in her Eyes, and inexpressible
Pleasure in every Smile! her Mein
and Aspect more soft and propitious
than ever was feign’d by Poets of their
Goddess of Beauty of Love: What
was airy Fiction there, was here all transporting
Reality. With an inimitable
Grace she received me into her ætherial
Chariot, which was sparkling Saphire
studded with Gold: It roll’d with a
spontaneous Motion along the Heavenly
Plains, and stop’d at the Morning Star,
our destin’d Habitation. But how shall
I describe this fair, this fragrant, this enchanting
Land of Love! The delectable
Vales and flow’ry Lawns, the Myrtle
Shades and rosy Bowers, the bright
Cascades and chrystal Rivulets rolling
over Orient Pearls and Sands of Gold: Here B6v 12
Here they spread their silent Waves into
broad transparent Lakes, smooth as
the Face of Heaven; and there they
break with rapid Force through arching
Rocks of Diamond and Purple Amethist.
Plants of immortal Verdure creep
up the sparkling Clifts, and adorn the
Prospect with unspeakable Variety.

Oh my Beville, could I lead you
through the luxurious Bowers and soft
Recesses where Pleasure keeps its eternal
Festivals, and revels with guiltless and
unmolested Freedom! What-ever can
raise Desire, what-ever can give Delight,
what-ever can satisfy the Soul in all the
boundless Capacities of Joy is found
here! Every Wish is replenish’d with
full Draughts of vital Pleasure, such as
elevate angelick Minds, and gratify the
noblest Faculties of immortal Spirits,
Oh Beville! my Almeria is as much superior
to her former self here, as I
thought her superior to the rest of her
Sex upon Earth.


Let- B7r 13

Letter III.

To the Countess of ――, from her only
Son, who died when he was two Years

Your Grief is an Allay to
my Happiness. The only
Sentiment my Infant State
was conscious of, was a
Fondness for you, which was then pure
Instinct and natural Sympathy, but is
now Gratitude and filial Affection. As
soon as my Spirit was releas’d from its
uneasy Confinement, I found my self
an active and reasonable Being. I was
transported at the Advantage and superior
Manner of my Existence. The first
Reflection I made was on my lovely
Benefactor, for I knew you in that Relation
in my Infant State: But I was sur- B7v 14
surpriz’d to see you weeping over the little
breathless Form from which I thought
my self so happily delivered, as if you
had lamented my Escape. The fair
Proportion, the Agility, the Splendor
of the new Vehicle that my Spirit now
inform’d, was so blest an Exchange,
that I wondr’d at your Grief; for I
was so little acquainted with the Difference
of material and immaterial Bodies,
that I thought my self as visible
to your Sight as you was to mine. I
was exceedingly mov’d at your Tears,
but was ignorant why, unless because
yours was the most beautiful Face next
my Guardian Angel I had ever seen,
and that you resembled some of the
gay Forms that used to recreate my
guiltless Slumbers, and smile on me in
gentle Dreams. I was then ignorant
of your maternal Relation to me, but
remembred that you had been my Refuge
in all the little Distresses of which
I had but a faint Notion. I left you
unwillingly in the Height of your Calamity,lamity, B8r 15
to follow my radiant Guide to
a Place of Tranquility and Joy, where
I met thousands of happy Spirits of my
own Order, who inform’d me of the
History of my native World, for whose
Inhabitants I have a peculiar Benevolence,
and can’t help interesting my self
in their Welfare: But as I never discern’d
between Good and Evil, nor experienc’d
the Motives that govern’d the
Race of Men, I am, I confess, astonish’d
at their Conduct, and find their
Joys and Sorrows to be all strange and
unaccountable. I have made Visits to
the lower World since my Decease; the
first that I made was from a tender Curiosity
to know if you was satisfied
with the Disposal of Heaven in my early
Fate; but I was surpriz’d to find after
several Months were past, your
Grief opprest every Thought, and
clouded all the Joys of your Life, which
made me very inquisitive into my own
History. I ask’d the Cælestial who was
your Attendant, why I was so much lamented B8v 16
lamented, and of what Consequence
my Life would have been to the Publick
or my own Family, since those fair
Eyes were yet drown’d in Tears for one
that had made such a short and insignificant
Appearance below.

As for the Publick, the gentle Minister
told me there was a Hazard, I
might have prov’d a Blessing or Curse;
but that I was the only Hope of an
illustrious Family, and Heir to a vast
Estate and distinguish’d Title; and
pointing to a Coat of Arms, told me
that was the Badge of my Dignity, and
the noble Seat we had in View, with
the Gardens, Fields, the Woods and
Parks that surrounded it were all my entail’d

A goodly Possession! I reply’d,
and proper for the four-footed Animals
that I beheld feeding on the verdant
Pasture, but of what Use these Fields
and Woods had been to one that had
an immortal Spirit I cannot conceive:
And for a Title, what Happiness could an C1r 17
an airy Syllable, an empty Sound, bring
with it? The Coat of Arms I took for
such a Toy, that if Burlesque had not
been beneath the Dignity of an Angel,
I should have thought the mentioning
it a Ridicule on mortal Men. I cannot
conceive wherein the Charm, the
Gratification of these Things consist.
If I were possess’d of the whole Earthly
Globe, what Use could I make of this
gross Element, the Dregs of the Creation?
I have no Dependance on Water
or Fire, or Earth or Air. ’Tis unintelligible
to me, that Hills and Vallies,
Trees and Rivers, the Mines and Caverns
under their Feet, any more than
the Clouds that fly over their Heads,
should be the Wealth of reasonable Creatures.
They may keep their Possessions
unenvy’d by me: I am glad I did not
live long enough to make so wrong a
Judgment, nor to acquire a Relish for
such low Enjoyments. I am so little
concern’d for the Loss of such an Inheritance,
that if the black Prince of Cthe C1v 18
the airy Regions claim’d my Share,
I would not dispute his Title, tho’ he
is my Aversion, and your Foe.

So superior, Madam, are my present
Circumstances, to that of the greatest
Monarch under the Sun, that all
earthly Grandeur is Pageantry and
Farce, compar’d to the real, the
innate Dignity which I now possess.
I am advanc’d to celestial Glory, and
triumph in the Heights of Immortal
Life and Pleasure, whence Pity falls
on the Kings of the Earth.

If you could conceive my Happiness,
instead of the mournful Solemnity
with which you interr’d me, you
would have celebrated my Funeral Rites
with Songs, and Festivals: Instead of
the thoughtless Thing you lately smil’d
on and caress’d, I am now in the Perfection
of my Being, in the Elevation
of Reason: Instead of a little Extent of
Land, and the Propriety of so much
Space to breathe in, I tread the starry
Pavement, make the Circuit of the Skies, C2r 19
Skies, and breathe the Air of Paradise.
I am secure of eternal Duration, and
independent but on the Almighty,
whom I love and adore, as the Fountain
of my Being and Blessedness.

Pardon me, Madam, ’tis you
now seem the Infant, and I repay you
that superior Regard and Tenderness
which you lately bestow’d on me.


C2 Let- C2v 20

Letter IV.

To my Lord ――, from a young Lady
who was in a Convent in Florence.

My Lord, finding Materials in
your Closet, I took the Opportunity
of your Absence
to give you this Intelligence
of my Death: The Hand will convince
you that it comes from your once
lov’d Ethelinda.

I liv’d but a few Weeks after you
left Italy, such was the Excess of my
Grief, tho’ a strict Modesty still forc’d
me to conceal my unhappy Passion
from the most intimate Companion I
had. After I had discover’d it to you,
I durst confess the guilty Secret to
none but the compassionate and forgivinggiving C3r 21
Powers above, who assisted my
Weakness, and confirm’d my Resolution
never to comply with any of those
Schemes you propos’d to free me from
my Confinement. You had indeed
convinc’d me that the Vows I had made
were rash and uncommanded; but oh!
’twas past; Saints and Angels heard it,
the all-seeing Skies were invok’d to witness
the chast Engagement; ’twas seal’d
above, and enter’d in the Records of
Heaven. Thus hopeless was my Passion,
Perjury and Sacriledge stood in all
their Horrors before me, Ruin and
eternal Perdition were betwixt us: And
yet that I lov’d you, my Lord, I had
too often subscrib’d to that soft Confession
to leave you any Doubt of it;
nor was the tender Frailty without Excuse,
if all the Merit Man could boast,
if every Grace that Nature could give
or gentle Art improve deserv’d Distinction,
it had been a Crime to have been
insensible in any Circumstance but
mine. Strange Circumstance! that C3could C3v 22
could make it Virtue to look coldly on

There was the Emphasis of my
Misery, mine was a Heart devoted to
superior Ardours, and sacred to Heaven
alone; that Heaven which is my
impartial Judge and Witness how sincerely
I strove to blot you from my
Soul. But neither Reason, nor the nicest
Sense of Honour, nor even Devotion
could assist me; still you return’d on
my Imagination triumphant in all your
Charms. Hopeless of the Conquest, I
gave my self up to Grief and Despair,
resolving never to attempt my Escape
from the Holy Retreat to which my
Vows had confin’d me, but rather to
fall a Victim to the sacred Names of
Chastity and Truth. Heaven accepted
the Sacrifice, and Death my kind Deliverer,
at once releas’d me from Misery
and Mortality. The chrystal Gates
open’d a spacious Entrance, and the
blest Immortals received me to the
Mansions of Life and Bliss.

What C4r 23

What ever was feign’d of the Elysian
Fields and Cyprian Groves, is here without
Delusion surpass’d: These are the
imperial Seats, the native Dominions
of Love: Here his holy Torch Flames
out with propitious Splendor, and his
golden Shafts are dip’d in immortal
Joys. Here are no Vows that tear
us from our Wishes, no Conflict ’twixt
Passion and Virtue; what we like we
admire, what we admire we enjoy, nor
is it more our Happiness than Commendation
so to do.

That unhappy Passion which was
my Torment and Crime is now my
Glory and my Boast. Nothing selfish
or irregular, nothing that needs Restraint
or Disguise mingles with the noble
Ardour. ’Tis all calm and beneficent,
becoming the Dignity of Reason,
and the Grandeur of an immortal Mind,
and is as lasting as its Essence. When
the Lamps of Heaven are quench’d,
when the Sun has burnt out its Splendor,
this Divine Principle shall shine with C4un- C4v 24
undiminish’d Lustre, the Joy and Triumph
of the Heavenly Nations: The
Substance of Love, my Lord, dwells
in Heaven, its Shadow only is to be
found upon Earth.


Let- C5r 25

Letter V.


You remember as we were on
on a clear Summer Evening
gazing on the Beauty of the
Stars, I promis’d, if you surviv’d
me, to give you an Account of
the Planetary Worlds and their Inhabitants.
I have not made half the Tour
of the Skies, but will, if I can, describe
to you the last of these Novelties
in which I entertain’d my self. ’Twas
in a Region immense Spaces distant
from that System which is enlighten’d
by your Sun, and created numberless
Ages before the Foundations of the
Earth were laid, and the Measure thereof
describ’d before the Day-Spring knew its C5v 26
its Place, and the Bounds of Darkness
were determin’d. Before Man was
form’d of the Dust of the Ground, and
the Almighty breath’d into him a living
Soul; an unmeasurable Duration before
this, the unlimited Creator had made
and peopled Millions of glorious Worlds.
The Inhabitants of this which I am
describing, stood their Probation, and
are confirm’d in their original Rectitude,
but will never be admitted into
the Empyrean Heaven, being uncapable
of that supream Degree of Happiness
which Angels and the Spirits of
just Men attain. However, they are
exempt from all Evil, blest to the Height
of their Faculties and Conceptions:
and are priviledg’d with Immortality;
their Residence may properly be call’d
the enchanted World: What-ever you
have heard fabled of Fairy Scenes, of
vocal Groves, and Palaces rising to
Magick Sounds, is all real here, and
perform’d by the easy and natural Operationsrations C6r 27
of these active Spirits. I have
in an Instant seen Palaces ascend to a
majestic Height, sparkling as the Stars,
and transparent as the unclouded Æther.
I might describe them like the Courtly
Prophet; “Their Walls were fair Colours,
their Foundation Saphire, the Windows of
Agate, and the Gates of Carbuncle”
. Their
Materials here are all glittering and refined,
not like the Earthly Globe,
dark and heavy. These Ætherials are
the nicest Judges of Symmetry and Proportion,
and by the Disposition of Light
and Shade, and the Mixture of a thousand
dazling Colours form the most
charming Prospects: They have such a
Command and Knowledge of the Powers
of Nature, that in an Instant they
raise a Variety of Sylvan Scenes, and
carry the Perspective thro’ verdant Avenues
and flow’ry Walks to an unmeasurable
Length; while living Fountains
cast up their silver Spouts, and form
glittering Arches amont the Trees, of Growth, C6v 28
Growth and Verdure not to be expressed.

They are acquainted with all the
utmost Mysteries of Sound, and are
possess’d with the very Soul of Harmony.
Art is theirs in all its changing
Notes, its Blandishments and Graces.
Whatever Nature can boast in her wild
licentious Charms is govern’d by them.
The winding Vales, the Streams and
Groves breathe Musick at their Command.
The Nightingal and dying
Swan seem to complain to gentle Zephirs
whispering through the Trees,
while a Thousand airy Songsters warble
to the measur’d Fall of high Cascades;
which by Intervals sinking into a deep
Silence, after a graceful Pause, shrill
Recorders and silver Trumpets sound,
while harmless Thunders roll above,
and break with a glorious Solemnity:
Still the blissful Tempest rises, and swells
the Mind to sacred Grandeur and seraphick
Elevation; till subdued and melteded C7r 29
into Softness by the Melody of tuneful
Reeds, warbling Lutes, and sweet
inchanting Voices, of the Lydian

The Language of this charming
Region is perfectly musical and elegant,
and becoming the fair Inhabitants, who
are fresh and rosy as the opening Morning,
clear as the Meridian Light, and
fragrant as the Breath of Jessamin or
new-blown Roses. How exquisitely
proportion’d their Shapes! Their Aspect
how transporting! How gentle, how
charming beyond all the Race of Mortal
Men! Never did the Eye-lids of
the Morning open on such Perfection,
never did the Sun since first it journey’d
thro’ the Skies behold such Beauty, nor
can human Fancy in its most inspir’d
Flights conceive such amiable Wonders.
Perhaps in all my Planetary Rambles I
shall not be able to give you an Account
of any Objects more surprizing.
But while I am permitted, I shall continuetinue C7v 30
my Intelligence to the most agreeable
Friend I had on Earth, and be
assur’d when you are releas’d from Mortality
you will meet, in spight of distance
of Time and Place, (those mortal
Foes to Love upon Earth.)

Your constant
And unchang’d


Let- C8r 31

Letter VI.


My dear Sister, tho’ the Engagements
of Nature are
cancell’d, the superior Obligations
of Virtue remain
in their full Force. You have been
faithful to my Memory, and the strictest
Rules of Piety, tho’ it has prov’d of
fatal Consequence to the unhappy Man
who was lately my Husband, and by
that Relation a Brother to you. With
inward Grief and Compassion I saw
the guilty Inclination, but never utter’d
the least Complaint, nor gave him one
uneasy Moment. I knew your Mind
as faultless as your Form, and saw you
govern’d in all your Conduct by consciousscious C8v 32
Honour, and unblemish’d Virtue:
Envy it self could not have reproach’d
you with the least Deviation
from Modesty, and Truth; nor was
the Promise I would have extorted from
the guilty Youth on my Death-bed,
the Effect of Jealousy, but a kind Design
to reclaim him, and free you from
his Importunity, if I could have engag’d
him, as I desir’d, not to converse with
you after my Decease; but he was sincere
enough to refuse me, and as soon
as a slight Formality would suffer him,
he pursued his incestuous Passion. Your
obstinate Repulses have at last the tragical
Effect I expected. From the
Moment that he heard the Day of
your Marriage with the illustrious Montandre
was set, he resolved on the unnatural
Fact; and never was Self-murder
perform’d in a more calm and deliberate
Manner: He spent part of the
Evening with two of his Friends, Men
of Wit and Learning; his Discourse
with them was all intended to prove the D1r 33
the Right a Man has to dispose of his
Life, and put an end to his Being,
when it was rather his Burthen than
Happiness. He return’d to his House
in a more early Hour than usual, and
retiring to his Chamber, call’d for a
young and only Daughter that I had
left him; taking her in his Arms, while
the lovely Infant smil’d on him, Tears
drop’d from his Eyes: When he would
have bless’d it, the unbelieving Prayer
faulter’d on his Tongue, and delivering
the Child to its Nurse, he order’d his
Servant to deny him to all Company.
As soon as he was alone, he wrote that
moving Letter, which you receiv’d:
When he had finish’d and seal’d it, he
took a Lucretius from the Table, and
read and paus’d by Intervals; at last
looking on his Watch, just at Two he
fasten’d his Chamber Door, and drew
his Sword, repeating the following Lines,
which I wish had never been writ, as I
assure you does the Author of them too.

D Here’s D1v 34

“―― Here’s a quick Relief, To all thy vain, imaginary Grief. For thou shalt sleep, and never wake again, And quitting Life, shalt quit thy living Pain. The worst thant can befal thee, measur’d right, Is a sound Slumber, and a long Good-night.”

Then directing the Point exactly
at his Heart, he fell on his Sword,
and immediately expir’d; and left a
tender Orphan friendless and expos’d.

This is the Motive of my writing
to you, that you would take the Charge
of her Education, and protect her Infant
Innocence. Be sure to perform
this generous Office, as you would prosper,
and be your self protected in any
of the Calamities of human Life. By
desiring you to make all possible Provision
for her Happiness, I present you
with an Opportunity of promoting
your own.


Let- D2r 35

Letter VII.


My dear Emilia, ’twill be impossible
for me to give you
the Intelligence I promis’d
from the invisible Regions, unless I
could translate the Language of Paradise
into that of Mortals: For here are
a thousand Beauties un-reveal’d, and
a thousand Delights un-nam’d among
the Race of Men. We drink at the
Fountain Head of Happiness, and
bathe in the Rivers of immortal Pleasure:
The sprightly Hours dance along, crowned
with Love, and unutterable Extasy.

You were witness to my dying
Agony, I saw your last kind Tears, and
gave up my Breath in your Arms. But D2how D2v 36
how chang’d was the Scene in a Moment,
from the Gloom and Horror of
a Death-bed, to the Smiles and Songs
of Angels, who conducted me to the
Ætherial Heights; a thousand dazling
Wonders met my View; the Heavens
in Pomp unfolded their Glories; the
Paradise of God open’d before me, in
all its blissful and transporting Scenes;
the happy Groves stood crown’d with
unfading Verdure; the lucid Currents
danc’d along, o’er Sands of Gold;
the charming Bowers display’d their
ever-blooming Pride, and breath’d
Ambrosia; the Palaces of the Heavenly
Powers ascended with exquisite Magnificence,
sparkling far beyond all the
Glories of the lower Skies, and resounded
with the Voice of Festivity
and Joy.

The first gentle Spirit that welcom’d
me to these happy Mansions,
was your charming Brother, gay as a
Cherubim, the heavenly Loves and Graces
triumph’d in all his Form, vital Pleasure danc’d D3r 37
danc’d in his Eyes, Life and Celestial
Bloom sat smiling on his Face, a
Wreath of unfading Flowers circled
his Head, and a golden Lute was in
his Hand, whose Harmony join’d to
his melting Voice, far surpast all Description.
That tender, innocent Passion
I had long conceiv’d for him, kindled
at the first Interview, and has taken
eternal Possession of my Soul.

But how shall I make you sensible,
of what an Angel’s flowing Song, in all
the Pomp of Heavenly Harmony
would not fully describe. In what
Figures of Celestial Eloquence, shall I
relate the Loves of Immortal Spirits;
or tell you the Height, the Extent, the
Fulness of their Bliss! All the soft Engagements
on Earth, the tender Sympathies,
and the most holy Union that
Nature knows, are but faint Similitudes
for the Sanctity and Grandeur of these
Divine Enjoyments. Hope and languishing
Expectation are no more, and D3all D3v 38
all Desire is lost in full and compleat

Love reigns in Eternal Triumph,
here it governs every Heart, and dwells
on every Tongue.

They tune their golden Harps to the
great Name
Of Love, victorious Love, their darling
Ten thousand Ecchoes thro’ the lightsome
Repeat the clear, the sweet melodious
The Fields rejoice, the fragrant Groves
Blossom afresh, at their enchanting Sound: The Heaven of Heav’ns from dazling
Heights above
Returns the Name, and hails the Power
of Love.

But oh! when the fair Face of
Eternal Love unveils its original Glories,
and appears in the Perfection of un- D4r 39
uncreated Beauty, how wondrous, how
ineffable the Vision! Fulness of Joy
is in his Presence, Rapture and expressless
Extacy. The fairest Seraph
stops his Lute, and with a graceful
Pause confesses the Subject too great
for his most exalted Strain. How
does the blissful Tempest rise! How
impetuously do the Streams of Immortal
Joy roll in, and enlarge the Faculties
of every heavenly Mind!

Ye sacred Mysteries un-reveal’d to
Men, Ye Glories unprophan’d by mortal
Eyes, forgive the bold Attempt that
would describe you! — The only Description
that Mortals can receive of
you is, that you are not to be


D4 Let- D4v 40

Letter VIII.


When you had just made
me happy, and rewarded
the most tender Passion in
the World with the Possession
of your Charms, I was compell’d to
make a Voyage to Spain.

You saw the inward Struggle of
my Soul, and that I must suffer the
anguish of Death in leaving you,
when you surpriz’d me with the unexpected
generous Offer, to follow me
through all the Dangers of the Seas.
Charm’d with the Proposal, I took you
at your Word, and rashly ventur’d my
darling Treasure to the Hazards of a
Voyage. I lost my Life in your Defencefence D5r 41
against an Algerine Corsair. The
Cause was just, and met with its Approbation
in the Seats of Peace and
Happiness. For my own Lot, I could
not wish it more advantageous, and
for yours, such Virtue in Distress will
be the peculiar Care of Heaven. The
Barbarian that made you his Prize,
treated you with an unaccustomed Gentleness;
nor has the illustrious Bassa,
that ransom’d you out of his Power at
an immense Price, given you the least
Occasion of Reproach. In the Heighth
of his Passion he has always observ’d
even the Sanctity of the Christian Rules
and treated you with a Submission very
different from the Principles and Customs
of his Country. Though he has
courted you to encrease the Number
of his Wives, he seems to have such
an absolute Command of himself, even
in the Warmth of his youthful Desires,
that you need fear no Violence from
the generous Infidel: But should the
worst you imagine arrive, Heaven has a D5v 42
a Thousand Ways to protect your Innocence.
Depend on that, and let not
the Extravagance of your Grief presuade
you, that ’tis lawful to free your self by
the fatal Opiate which you keep for
that Design. The heavenly Genii that
attend you have made a thousand Impressions
on your sleeping Fancy to warn
you from the desperate Attempt. Sometimes
you have been led through the
desolate Shades where unhappy Ghosts
complain, the gloomy Caverns, the
Abodes of eternal Horror have been
open’d to your View. Sometimes the
Rewards of Patience and constant Virtue
have display’d their Glories to your
pleas’d Imagination, and by the soft
inspiring Whispers of celestial Beings,
your restless Thoughts have been compos’d,
while the Realms of Joy have
unfolded their Delights in visionary
Prospects to you. By heavenly Scenes
and gentle Slumbers your Griefs were
calm’d, the Tempest of your Passions
suspended. Then quietly attend the Event, D6r 43
Event, and the gentle Calicara will find
a way to free you. ’Till Abubecar saw
you, she was his darling Slave, and as
he is handsome to Admiration, she lov’d
and renounc’d the Christian Faith for
him; but still the fair Apostate in her
Heart adores the Name which her
Tongue has deny’d. This, tho’ you
are her Rival, fills her Soul with the
softest Compassion for you, and makes
her abhor the Task that her insolent
Master has impos’d, of persuading you
to quit the Possession of the heavenly
Truth, which is your Happiness and
Glory. But she is so far from giving
you that infernal Councel, that she
has with Tears and Intreaties persuaded
you to die, rather than abandon your
glorious Hopes and Title to Immortality.
Nor will she rest, till she has by
some Means or other secur’d you from
Abubecar’s Importunity; of complying
with which, she has experienc’d the delusive
and bitter Consequence.

Your D6v 44

Your Coldness and Aversion, with
the Ascendant her Wit and Vivacity has
on his Temper, will soon recover the
youthful Wanderer, and restore her to
an absolute Empire over him; and then
you are secure of a guiltless Protection,
till you can give your Friends in England
Intelligence of your Circumstances,
who will soon pay your Ransom; which
no one can for Virtue lost.

In the mean time, if you love my
Memory, moderate the Excess of your
Grief for my Death, which however
tragical it appear’d, was glorious and
happy for me. I fell in the Ardour of
a brave Action, in the Defence of
your Beauty and Liberty, and my own
Life. The Wounds I received gave a
free Passage to my Soul, which took
its Flight with no other Regret, but
that of parting with you, if it may be
call’d a Separation, for I have been
your constant Attendant in my invisible
State, your unseen Companion in
the beautiful Walks and Bowers where
you so frequently spend your Hours of Retirement. D7r 45
Retirement. I should with Pleasure
hear you repeat my Name, as I often
do, and in the softest Language express
the Constancy of a virtuous Passion,
could you restrain those Floods of Tears,
and be more resign’d to the Will of
Heaven. But let this assure you, that
I am in the Heights of Happiness, and
when your own Life is finish’d, we
shall meet to part no more; which Circumstance,
though you through your
Partiality for me may too highly value,
believe me, you will find it by much
the smallest Blessing of this Place.


Let- D7v 46

Letter IX.

To Sylvia.

from the fragrant Bowers,
the ever-blooming Fields,
and lightsome Regions of the
Morning Star, I wish Health
and every Blessing to the charming Sylvia!
the Blessing of the Earth.

I have a Secret to reveal to you,
of the greatest Importance to your present
and future Happiness. You are
as much a Stranger to your own Rank
and Circumstances, as I was to mine,
till I came here, where I met a fair
Spirit, who inform’d me, that when she
was a Mortal, I was her Son, and not
the Heir of the Earl of *** as was
suppos’d; and that the Lord *** is your own D8r 47
own Brother. ’Tis necessary that you
should know and discover this to him,
which will prevent that innocent Fondness,
which he now indulges for you,
from growing into a guilty Passion.

You have been educated only as a
Dependant on the noble Family you
are in, and as a Companion to the
young Ladies, who are really your
Sisters. The Mystery is this: My Lord,
your Father, had several Daughters
successively by the Countess your Mother,
but no lawful Heir, which made
him fond of a natural Son that he had
by a Mistress. His Affection for him
was so extravagant, that he contriv’d
to settle his Estate on him: This gave
your Mother such Anxiety, that her
Jealousy and Aversion to the Youth,
put her on this rash Design, when she
was with Child to exchange it, if it
prov’d a Daughter. My Mother, who
was married out of her Service, and
in whom she could entirely confide,
was with Child of me at the same time. Their D8v 48
Their time of Delivery was very near
together; my Mother had a Son, and
you prov’d a Daughter. The Affair
was manag’d with such Dexterity, that
I was exchang’d, and past without Suspicion
for the Countess’s Son, and you
was received by my Mother, and was
suppos’d to be her Daughter: But within
a Year the Countess had really a Son,
but she dying as soon as she was deliver’d,
the Secret was undiscover’d.

I liv’d a guiltless Impostor till I
was ten Years old, when a sudden Decay
wither’d my tender Bloom; but as
I had been bred in the strictest Notions
of Piety and Truth, without any childish
Prejudices or slavish Fears, I expected
my approaching End, whilst Death made
his Advances arm’d with a golden headed
Dart. I had no Notions of Misery,
all my Expectations were bright,
tho’ imperfect, of some Paradise beyond
the Grave; and closing my Eyes, I fell
a-sleep, and wak’d to immortal Life
and Happiness. All that was past look’d E1r 49
look’d like a Dream, like an airy Image,
of I know not what. Some
Notion I had of a God, and my Dependence
on him; but how different
from the Illumination that broke in on
my Soul, the Moment it threw off its
mortal Veil. ’Twas then I began to
live and reflect: ’Twas then I found
my self a rational Being, and look’d
back with Contempt, on the insignificant
Part I had been acting. The
Memory of my original Follies, the
childish Baubles and Toys that had
just before been my Diversion, would
have given me some Confusion, if
my Case had been singular; but I met
thousands of gay Spirits newly releas’d,
who had perform’d their short Task,
and finish’d their trifling Farces of Life;
at the same time transported at their
present superior Circumstances, they
made the most agreeable Reflections on
their past State. What Grandeur,
what Vivacity, what Enlargement of
their intellectual Powers! How sparkling,Eling, E1v 50
how resembling the Angels of
God their Forms! While a perfect
Consciousness, and exact Remembrance
of what they were but a few Moments
past, rais’d their Joy and Gratitude to
the Height, and recommended Heaven
it self.

There was one Circumstance in
my early Death, that makes me look
on it as a peculiar Favour, in that I
was remov’d by the just Dispensation
of Heaven, from the Possession of
what is, in the strictest Equity, your
Brother’s Right. This Reflection, from
a Principle of Justice and Truth, gave
me an ineffable Satisfaction; since if
I had liv’d, I had been the unhappy,
tho’ innocent Usurper of a Rank and
Inheritance, to which I had not the
least real Title. This, with a thousand
other Advantages, makes me bless the
Period that free’d me from Mortality;
that happy Moment that deliver’d me
from Ignorance and Vanity; from the
Errors, the Guilt, the Miseries of human E2r 51
human Life; of which, tho’ I had but
little Experience, I am now fully inform’d
of the State of my Fellow
Creatures, and with what Toil and
Hazard a longer Course of Years had
been attended.

I remember no Engagement to
the World, but my Affection for you;
nor has Death effac’d the tender Impression,
but what was then a natural
Sympathy, is now a rational Esteem.
I view with Pleasure your growing
Virtue, and frequent my native World
for your sake. There was something
perfectly engaging in the guiltless Sorrow
you express’d in my Sickness; and
when my Eyes were clos’d in Death,
you would have watch’d the breathless
Clay, in hopes to wake me from the
fatal Slumbers again; nor could the
gloomy Solemnity of a Room of State,
deter you from paying your Visits to
the silent Relicks. If any thing could
have tempted me to wish my self a
Mortal again, it would have been the E2tender E2v 52
tender Tears you shed for me. The
only Intervals of human Life I review
with Pleasure, are the Hours I spent
with you: This gentle Passion was the
Stamp of Heaven on my Soul, the
first soft Impression it receiv’d, and it
gains New Energy in these happy Regions,
of pure Benificence and Love.
This gives me a constant Sollicitude,
while I see you on the Borders of
such a Temptation. You are yet perfectly
guiltless, and have done nothing
unbecoming the Sanctity of Nature,
and the chast Affection of a Sister for
a Brother; but you are on the very
Limits of Danger, a Step farther, the
least Advance, involves you in Sin and
Destruction. I know this Discovery
will give you a secret Horror, and
quench every kindling Desire. The
Purity of your Virtue will start at the
enchanting Error, that might have led
you on to certain Perdition; for young
as you are, the contagious Spark is
ready to kindle, and the lovely Boy ap- E3r 53
appears more alluring. Your mutual
Conversation, and the early Dawning
of superior Merit in both, endear’d
you to each other, by such Sentiments,
as only noble and virtuous Minds experience.
But as a more late Discovery
might have been fatal to your Innocence
and Peace, I impatiently attended an
Opportunity and Method to make you
sensible of your Danger. I know,
(tho’ I have been dead four Years) you
still remember me, and I have often
heard you name me, and seen you
with Delight gazing on my Picture;
this made me resolve to appear to you
when I saw you. The first Opportunity
that pleas’d me, you were
sitting, gazing at your own Reflection,
and sticking Flowers in your Hair, to
adorn it for your young Lover. I knew
you had read of Fairies, and look’d
at painted Cupids with Delight: In
such a Poetical Form I thought you
would have heard my Story, and been
pleas’d with my Figure.

E3 While E3v 54

While youthful Splendor lighten’d in
my Eyes,
Clear as the smiling Glory of the Skies. Sprinkled with radiant Gold, a Purple Hue My Wings display’d, my Robe celestial
More white than Flax, my curling Tresses
My dimpled Cheeks with rosy Beauty

I could not have believ’d a
Form more gay than those that glitter’d
on your Fan, could have discompos’d
you; but to my Surprize, I saw you
faint away, before I had begun to
speak to you. You soon recover’d
from the Swoon, and returning to the
House, told a Story, which you found
no Body believ’d; so wise is the Age
in which you live, as not to be impos’d
on. You easily persuaded your self,
’twas no more than a Dream. However,ever, E4r 55
I durst attempt your Courage no
more, but give you this important Information,
this Way; which, if you
should not credit, you are undone. In
this Admonition your Guardian Angel
joins with


E4 Let- E4v 56

Letter X.

To Leonora.

Your Story of seeing an Apparition
in the Garden, I perceive
has frighted your whole
Family, and not a Mortal
durst venture into the haunted Walk,
as they call it, after the Sun sets, but
your Brother, to whom I have not the
least Intention to shew my self. ’Twas
only to you, my charming Leonora,
the Visit was design’d. I flatter’d my
self, your good Sense and uncommon
Presence of Mind, would have guarded
you from those unreasonable Fears.

As E5r 57

As I expected, the fine Evening
induc’d you to take your accustom’d
Walk: The Sun was hardly set, when
you enter’d a long Avenue of Trees,
that led to a green flow’ry Arch, which
look’d on a Sylvan Palace; here I seated
my self in a human, and as I thought,
a very agreeable Figure and Dress, and
as much as possible, disguising the Splendor
of Immortality, I imitated my mortal
Form, and so plac’d my self, that by
seeing me at a Distance, you might come
nearer without Surprize, or retire if
your Courage fail’d. As soon as you
perceiv’d me, you stop’d in some Consternation,
and seem’d in Suspense, whether
you should go nearer, or make
your Retreat. I durst not rise, nor
make the least Offer to follow, for fear
you should take your Flight with too
much Speed and Disorder: And as you
found I was a very civil Apparition,
and would not intrude on your Retirement,
you went off with a sober and decent E5v 58
decent Pace, often looking back to convince
your self that what you saw was
real. As soon as you had reach’d the
House, I shifted my material Figure, for
one more becoming the Dignity of the
cælestial Condition, and being again
invisible, I heard the fantastick Relation
you gave your Brother, who told you,
’twas all the Effect of the Spleen, and
obstinate Grief you had indulg’d since
my Death; but you still asserted the
Reality of what you told him; but he
believed it no more than if he had heard
it from the Pulpit.

You might have dismiss’d every
Thought of Fear. I would not have
injur’d you when I was a Mortal, liable
to Folly and Error, much less in a State
of Perfection and Happiness. There
is not a Spark of Guilt or Malignity,
left in virtuous Minds, when releas’d
from their earthly Prison, all is gentle
and kind, and their Concern for Human
Welfare is infinitely more tender
and disinterested than before.

The E6r 59

The Terror with which Men fly us,
would have something in it incredible,
if we did not remember our own original
Folly and Ignorance, but as we
do, your strange Apprehensions only
divert and entertain us. If you thought
justly, you would have more Reason
to run full speed from one another, than
from us, who have neither Permission,
nor Inclination to injure, but are ready
to screen you in a thousand Dangers,
and to promote your Interest with the
most generous Concern, while you are
entirely ignorant of your Benefactors.
Were human Organs more refin’d, and
your Perceptions heighten’d to a greater
Delicacy, you would see a thousand
Æ;thereal Forms in the full Bloom of
immortal Beauty and undecaying Life,
not fashion’d to give you Terror, but
Love and Delight.

You see, my dear Leonora, I would
fain cure your Prejudices, and reconcile
you to the Society of Spirits, that you may E6v 60
may sometimes permit me to warn your
unguarded Years, when Dangers and
Snares attend you.

You know your Father left me the
Guardian of your Fortune and Beauty,
so favourable was his Opinion of me.
This Circumstance made me miserable,
and at once cut off all my future Views
of Happiness. I had indulg’d a secret
Passion for you, and flatter’d my self
you had the same for me; but as my
Birth and Fortune were much inferior
to yours, I was resolv’d rather to die,
than use the Advantage that was in my
Power, or to violate the sacred Trust
I had undertaken. By a thousand little
soft Inadvertencies, you discover’d
your Passion, but tho’ secure of Success,
I durst not seduce you into a Compliance
of Marriage, so vastly below your
high Rank and Character, nor take the
Advantage of betraying your thoughtless
Years, to an Action unbecoming
your Quality and Fortune. My Soul was E7r 61
was unstain’d with any Design that was
mean and selfish, and the entire Confidence
your Father had in my Integrity
and Conduct, fix’d my Resolution
of acting up to the severest Rules of
Virtue and Truth. But to what Distress
was I reduc’d! I lov’d you to
Madness, while I never approach’d
you but with a dissembled Indifference.
This Restraint, and the constant Agitation
of my Thoughts, disorder’d my
Health, and threw me into a violent
Fever, which soon finish’d my Life.
The Justice and Fidelity of my Conduct
found its immense Reward, and left
me nothing to repent of, but the giving
my Trust entirely to your Brother’s
Care, whose licentious Manners will
expose you to a thousand Dangers. To
repair this Negligence, I would fain
have induc’d you to a Conversation,
that might have directed your Conduct,
and fortified your Virtue by my friendly
Admonition; but since your Fears put E7v 62
put it out of my Power ever to be visible
to you again, I must take this
Way to convince you how unchangeable
my Concern for your Happiness
is. Oh let it not be dearer to me than
it is to your self!


Let- E8r 63

Letter XI.

To the same.

Ileave your fellow Mortals
to congratulate your
Recovery, but I must own
’twas a Disappointment to
me. You were on the Confines of
Immortality, the Angels, who are Ministring
Spirits to the Heirs of Salvation,
had prepar’d their Song of Triumph
to receive you: I had wreath’d
a Garland of the fairest Flowers that
bloom’d in the Paradise of God, to
crown such early and distinguish’d Virtue.
With Impatience I numbred your
Moments, and expected every one
would be your last. The sparkling Vivacity
of your Eyes expir’d, and Roses on E8v 64
on your Cheeks vanish’d into a mortal
Paleness, and the Springs of Life seem’d
just ready to cease their Motion; when
he, who governs Nature with a supream
Command, restor’d you back to Health.
Your Recovery was surprizing, even to
Angels, who tho’ ignorant of the various
Limits the Sovereign Disposer has
set to human Life, yet they often make
exact Conjectures of the Course of second
Causes, and the Period of mortal

You are certainly given back as a
Blessing to the World; your Example
may yet make a thousand Proselytes to
Virtue: But for my Part, nothing but
the Will of Heaven could reconcile me
to this Dispensation. When you was
just in the Harbour to be tost back again
on the tempestuous Ocean: When
you had welcom’d Death as your kind
Deliverer, ready to free you from Cassander’s
Importunity, and your Brother’s
Tyranny, who will do his utmost to
compel you to this detestable Marriage. But F1r 65
But your Constancy to refuse it, is of
the highest Importance to your present
and future Happiness: He is already
married under a borrowed Name, to
a young and beautiful Italian, whom he
stole from her Parents, and after he had
liv’d two Months conceal’d with her,
the perjur’d Man left and abandon’d her
to Misery. In the Height of her Anguish,
she put her self into a Nunnery,
where she wasts her Days in a reluctant
and unprofitable Devotion; for true
Religion cannot exist but by our
Choice. Necessity can give nothing
but the Appearance of it.

This is a Secret, of which you
would never have been inform’d by any
Human Means: If you discover it to
your Brother, it will deliver you from
the Violence which he is determin’d to
use, to force you to wed Cassander, another
Name for “Misery”.

’Tis a disinterested Concern for you,
that makes me give you this Advice.
There is no Jealousy in heavenly Minds, Fthey F1v 66
they know their Preheminence, and
should they appear in their celestial
Splendor, the most perfect Beauty of
the Children of Men, would wither in
their Presence. But Vanity and Emulation
are no more, and all selfish Designs
are unknown in these happy Continents.
You may, by making a proper
Use of this Notice, provide for your
own Happiness; but blessed be the
great Author of all Good! you can’t
add to mine.


Let- F2r 67

Letter XII.

To my dear Brother.

Your Friend, the unhappy
Carlos, died this Night at Naples.
I was willing to surprize
you with this Intelligence,
in a Way which no human Speed
can reach.

I wish my Endeavours for your Reformation,
may have more Success now,
than they had when I was in a State of
Mortality. I am persuaded if you had
seen the Exit of the wretched Youth,
who had been the Companion of your
Riots, it would have convinc’d you
of the falshood of his Principles, and
how little support the thoughts of falling
back into his original Nothing F2gave F2v 68
gave him, when the gloomy Hour approach’d
in which he was to lose the
Sight of the Sun and Stars, with all
the visible Beauties of Nature for ever.

To be insensible! ―― To be no
no more! ―― To find his Eyes closing
in an eternal Sleep! gave him inexpressible
Horrors. — But if this was
the worst that he apprehended, never
did Mortal give up his Life in a manner
more cowardly and inconsistent: He
durst not bear Darkness or Solitude one
Moment: He started at a Shadow,
and shew’d a more than childish Fear
and Weakness in his Actions: He even
beg’d his Physicians to flatter him with
the Hopes of Life, and not let him
know if they thought his Case desperate:
He charg’d his Attendant not to mention
Death or the Grave, nor to speak
a serious Word in his hearing. Tho’
his Affairs were in the utmost Disorder,
no Person durst venture to advise him
to settle them by a Will: But all these
Cautions gave him no Relief. The Anguish, F3r 69
Anguish, the Guilt, the Confusion of
his Mind, was visible in his Looks. The
abandon’d Amoret, who had followed
him in the Disguise of a Page, was seldom
permitted to see him; and when
ever she approach’d him, he trembled,
and fell into the greatest Agonies, clos’d
his Eyes, or turn’d them from her, but
spoke nothing to support her in the
Distress he had brought on her, nor
express’d the least Remorse, for having
seduc’d her to leave the noble Sebastian,
to whom she was engag’d by Marriage
Vows, and a thousand tender Obligations.
His Peevishness and Impatience
were insufferable, and even despicable
to his own Servants. When the Medicines
he took, had not their expected
Success, he reproach’d his Physicians
with Negligence or want of Skill; and
yet by Intervals, implor’d their Assistance,
as if his Being it self depended
on their Art. His Senses were perfect
to the last Gasp; with Amazement he
saw the universal Terror make its slow F3and F3v 70
and dreadful Approaches; and after a
tedious and painful Struggle, yielded
to the gloomy Conqueror, and with a
deep Groan, gave up his Breath, and
went to make the great Experiment.
I hope this Account of your Friend’s
Death, will have the happy Effect I design’d
in it, and make you recollect
the Counsel I gave you with my dying
Breath: The best Legacy I could bequeath,
if I had had Empires to dispose

My dear Brother, I can have no
selfish Motives now, in endeavouring to
reclaim your Extravagances. In this
superior State, my Concern for your
Happiness must be all abstract and generous.
The Acknowledgements of
indigent, miserable Mortals, signify
nothing to Spirits exalted, to celestial
Dignities, in the full Enjoyment of immortal
Pleasures: But this gives them
the most kind and benificent Dispositions
to erring Men, whom they would
fain allure into the Paths that lead to Happiness. F4r 71
Happiness. Those glimmering Sparks
of Goodness and Amity which in your
cold Regions are but just dawning in
virtuous Minds, in these warmer Climates,
acquire new Ardour, and burn
with eternal Splendor.

I have more Zeal than ever for
your Interest, and let me recal, but
not reproach you, with the Obligations
you have to pay some Regard to my
Advice. You know, when we lost the
best of Parents, that he left his whole
Estate to my Disposal, with such a moderate
Fortune to your Share, as must
have restrain’d your wild Expences:
But when I found you had some Sense
of your Folly, in hopes to reform you,
by generous Treatment, I immediately
settled on you half the vast Fortune
that was in my Power. I will not urge
my venturing my Life in your Defence,
when assaulted in our Travels, for this
was but an Action of Humanity, which
every brave Man owes to a perfect Stranger:
But I must insist on the Merit F4of F4v 72
of resigning my Pretensions to the lovely
Bellamira, for you. She was all the
Joy, the Hope, I had on Earth. I
lov’d her as I lov’d Virtue and Happiness,
and yet when you discover’d to
me the Anguish and Disorder of your
Mind, and your violent Passion for
her, I made a Retreat, and left the
weeping Beauty to reproach me with a
Levity and Indifference, to which my
Heart was a Stranger; disguis’d my tender
Inclination, and pleaded yours with
such Success, that she yielded to your
Request, and gave her matchless
Charms, and immense Fortune, to your

But this advantageous Match had
not the Effect I hop’d, nor was the
least Restraint to your licentious Manner
of Life. You acted a shameful
Part in assisting Carlos in his Affair with
Amoret, and a more shameful one in
promising to protect and support her,
if he abandon’d her, when you knew
what repeated Favours you had receiv’d from F5r 73
from the injur’d and generous Sebastian.
Your treacherous and ungrateful Treatment
of a Man of his exalted Merit,
fills me with the greatest Remorse and
Confusion. A thousand and a thousand
Times I have reproach’d my self,
for having been the unhappy Instrument
of Bellamira’s Ruin, who pin’d
beneath her Grief, like a fair Flower
blasted in its Prime. I never met her
Eyes, but she might have seen the Remorse
and Confusion of my Soul.
The Negligence and Contempt with
which you treated the best of Women,
sunk my youthful Spirits, damp’d my
noblest Designs, and clouded the gayest
Season of my Life. While Death
made its slow and silent Approaches,
the last Favour I beg’d of you, was to
be just to your unhappy Wife, in breaking
all Engagements with the lewd and
infamous Amoret. This you promis’d me
with a religious Solemnity; but I know
her present Distress, though the just effect
and reward of her Crimes, will be your Snare. F5v 74
Snare. She is all Enchantment, and
will, I fear, be your Ruin; but if
you reject my Advice, take this Caution
from a Royal Penitent, “Her House
is the way to Death, and her Gates lead
down to Hell”
. And I desire you to consider
seriously, that this Admonition must
rescue you from, or double your Guilt.


Let- F6r 75

Letter XIII.


However different my
present manner of Existence
is, from my former State,
my Affection to the fair
Climene is unchang’d. As I live, and
act in a way inexpressibly superior to
mortal Life, so the benificent Dispositions
of my Nature, rise to a more
noble and generous Height. My Concern
for your Happiness is more tender
and disinterested than ever: I have
guarded your nightly Slumbers, waited
on your solitary Walks, and follow’d
you like your Attendant Angel; who
pleas’d with my officious Care, has
often left you to my Charge. Your present F6v 76
present Danger gives me as much
Anxiety, as consists with a State of
Happiness. I could not refrain from
giving you this Warning, which to
your Surprise, you’ll find on your
Toilet, among Trifles, the most its

You are, O too credulous Fair!
on the very Brink of Ruin: Treachery
and Delusion are in Alcander’s Eyes
and Tongue, and if you keep this
Night’s Appointment with him, you
are undone. Infamy and Perdition are
before you: The evil Genii, that envy
the Happiness of the human Race, already
insult my pious Care; and your
celestial Guardian seems half resolv’d to
quit his Trust; the tender Grief hangs
on his beautiful Face, like a Cloud on
the rosy Morning; and in the deepest
Silence of the Night, when the Creation
seem’d lull’d in an universal
Slumber, in the Gloom of a neighbouring
Grove, that you often frequent,
I heard him tune his Silver Lute, to Strains F7r 77
Strains soft and languishing as those, in
which the Heavenly Ministers mourn’d
the Loss of Paradise, and the bold
Transgression of the first Woman
that fell.

And yours, unhappy Maid, will
be a Fall from the Heights of Honour,
from the very Triumph of Virtue.
What can Man believe? What can the
Sex boast, when such Innocence,
such Truth, such Modesty as yours,
are perverted? Vice will insult, to find
Climene among her Votaries, and hardly
believe her own Conquest; surpriz’d
like the barbarous Gauls in the Roman
Senate, who thought it an Assembly
of Gods, ’till they saw them bleed.

With what a profligate Air, with
what insolent Vanity, did your young Seducer
leave you last Night? How
proud of his un-expected Success, when
he had gain’d your Consent to the
guilty Assignation.

I stay’d with you, an unseen
Witness of the Remorse and Confusion in F7v 78
in which he left you. How disorder’d!
how uneasy! how unlike your self did
you appear! ’Twas your usual Hour
of Devotion, a Bible lay near, which
you took in your Hand, but durst
not open, for fear the Sanctity of its
Rules should reproach you. The
Distraction of your Thoughts, gave me
Hopes that you would recover your
self, and break the guilty Engagement
you had made. To confirm your
doubtful Virtue, I was on the Point
of making my self visible, but the unaccountable
Fear that Mortals have of
the Inhabitants of the Immaterial
Worlds, restrain’d me, least the Effect
should have been fatal to your timorous
Temper, however gentle and propitious
my Appearance and Address had been;
and I thought this Letter might less
surprize, and more calmly persuade

You have yet a few Hours to recollect
your self, and sure you will
not give up an unblemish’d Reputation, with F8r 79
with all the Peace and Innocence of
your Mind, to this blind extravagant
Passion. Besides, the Injustice to the
unhappy Silvia, to whom Alcander is
engag’d by a thousand Vows, and who
now pines away in Obscurity, a Victim
to his Falshood and Perjury. Be virtuous
and compassionate, be kind to
her, and just to your self.

After this Warning, even from
the Dead, your Crime will be aggravated.
You must deliberately venture
on Perdition, and damn your self with
Design and sober Reflection. You
must desperately give up your Title to
celestial Happiness, to the Worlds of
Life and Pleasure, of immortal Beauty
and Youth. O how superior to that;
with which you are at this Instant, so
fatally enamour’d below!

Let- F8v 80

Letter XIV.


My dear Sister, I have often,
since I left the World, had
the Priviledge to supply the
Place of your Guardian Angel.
I have been an invisible Witness of
your Tears for my Death; and to allay
the Excess of your Grief for me, I have
been at last permitted to let you know
that I am happy.

I can give you no Account, how
my Soul was releas’d: I fell asleep in
perfect Health, with an unusual Serenity
of Mind, and from the gentlest
Slumbers of Innocence and Peace, awak’d
in immortal Bliss. (How common
is sudden Death?) I found my self G1r 81
self in a Moment, got above the Stars,
and out-shining the Sun in its Meridian
Splendor. Corruption had put on Incorruption,
and Morality was swallow’d
up of Life and Immortality.
O Death! I cry’d in the Exaltation of
my Thoughts, O Death! where is thy
Conquest? O King of Terrors! where
is thy boasted Victory? where is thy
Scepter and Imperial Horrors, thy
gloomy State, and dreadful Attendants?
where are thy vast Dominions, the
cheerless and formless Darkness, the
Shade and the Emptyness, the Seats of
Corruption and Decay?

The Spell is broken! the Enchantment
is dissolv’d! the Shadows, the
Phantoms, the visionary Terrors fly!
the celestial Morning dawns, and
charming Scenes arise: But oh! how
boundless! how various! how transporting
the Prospect!

Still lost in Joy and Wonder,
tell me, I said, ye Angels, ye smiling
Forms that surround me, what easy GPassage G1v 82
Passage has my Spirit found from its
mortal Prison? What gentle Hand has
unlock’d my earthly Fetters, and
brought me out of Darkness and Confinement,
into immense Light and
Liberty? Who was the kind Messenger,
that convey’d the welcome Invitation
to my Ear? What melodious Voice
call’d me away from yonder cold tempestuous
Regions, to these soft and
peaceful Habitations? How have I
found my Passage through the tractless
Æther, and gain’d the Summit of the
everlasting Hills? Am I awake? Do
I dream? Is this a gay, a flattering
Vision? Oh no! ’tis all blissful and
transporting Certainty; I see, I hear
Things unutterable, such as never enter’d
into the Heart of mortal Man
to conceive. Read and believe; believe
and be happy.

You see, my dear Sister, how
blindly you repine at the Decrees of
Heaven, and how unreasonably you
lament what you call my early and untimelytimely G2r 83
Fate. Could I be happy too

I left the World indeed, in the
full Pride of my youthful Years, in the
Height of Greatness and Reputation,
surrounded with the Blandishments and
Flatteries of Pleasure. But these Advantages
might have been fatal Snares
to my Virtue, in a longer Tryal:
’Twas indulgent in Heaven, after a
short Probation, to crown me with
the Rewards of Victory. ’Tis past
the Toil, the Danger, and all to come
is endless Peace and Triumph.

If you could see as far into Futurity
now, and think as justly of it,
as you will certainly do on your Deathbed,
this Letter from me had been superfluous;
I only can design it beneficial,
you may make it so.

G2 Let- G2v 84

Letter XV.


’Tis past! the Voyage of Life
is finish’d. Instead of informing
you, that I am arriv’d
at the Indian Coasts, this is to let
you know, that I am safely landed on
the celestial Shores. The Vessel on
which I was embark’d, by a Tempest
sunk to the Bottom of the Ocean, and
the Angel of the Waters receiv’d my
newly unembody’d Soul.

I was surpriz’d at the different
Manner of my existence; I breath’d
indeed no longer, but I liv’d, I heard,
I saw, with a more exquisite Sense
than before. But a few Moments
were past since the raging Billows carry’d G3r 85
carry’d Destruction in their Appearance,
and now, I mov’d unterrified through
the Deeps, and survey’d the Foundation
of the antient Hills. The Regent of
the Waters, pleas’d with my Curiosity,
led me through his Chrystal Palaces,
and Coral Groves; shew’d me the
Pearly Grotto’s, and Alcoves of Amber,
with a thousand Wonders, kept
secret from the Race of Men, since the
Basis of the Mountains were laid. As
soon as I had gone the Round of the
liquid Regions, an Ætherial Messenger
took me under his Conduct: I follow’d
my gentle Guide, thro’ the airy Spaces,
and here was all Novelty and Surprize:
I made the Tour of the Universe, and
explor’d the Limits of the Creation,
with unspeakable Agility: I mov’d
from Star to Star, and met ten thousand
Suns blazing in full Glory, without
Fear or Consternation: I follow’d
the Track of prodigious Comets, that
drew their flaming Trains o’er half the
Sky. From the Planetary Regions I G3as- G3v 86
ascended with the Ease and Swiftness
of a Thought, to the superior Heaven,
the imperial Palace of the Most High;
but here Description fails, and all beyond
is unutterable.

This is the only Account you can
possibly receive of my Death, which
your own Fears had so truly presag’d
at our Parting: And this, my much-
lov’d Henrietta, I hope will put an
end to all your Anxiety; for since the
Change has prov’d so happy for me,
you are too much my Friend, to be
concern’d thereat.


Let- G4r 87

Letter XVI.

To my Lord ***.

My Dear Brother,

As immaterial Beings mingle
unseen in what Society they
please, I had the Curiosity
last Night, to know your
Thoughts of what had happened to
you the Night before, and I heard
you make a very gay Declamation to
some of your free Companions, on the
Power of Fancy and the Strength of
your own Imagination. But really,
my Lord, you are not so visionary and
extravagant as you represented your self.
There is nothing more certain than what
you saw and heard, and you might
have credited your Senses without so G4much G4v 88
much Diffidence and Modesty, which
you turn into a Vice.

You have but a few Weeks, my dear
Brother, to live, your Sands are numbred,
and your last Hour is determin’d.
I obtain’d a Permission seldom allow’d,
to give you some Warning of your
approaching Fate.

I chose the Opportunity, when
I found you in a clear Moon-light
Night, sitting in a pensive Posture, by
the Side of a Fountain in your Garden:
To gain Credit to my Message, I stood
before you, in the Splendor of a
heavenly Form, and the Bloom of
immortal Beauty; but so resembling
my former self, that in your Surprise,
you call d me Sister, and step’d forward
to embrace me; I durst not prophane
my self by a mortal Touch, but
deluding your Arms, plac’d my self
before you on the opposite Side of
the Canal. I stood silent some Time,
that you might be recollected; and
then setting a Golden Lute, which I had G5r 89
had in my Hand, to one of the melodious
Strains, which Angels sing to
expiring Saints, when they would soften
the Agonies of Death, and make its
Terrors smile: In those languishing and
melting Notes, I gave you an Invitation
to the starry Mansions, believing
this would have a much better Effect
than any thing terrible, to one of
your undaunted Temper, I deliver’d
my Message, and in an Instant disappear’d.

I have repeated these Circumstances
to you, as a Proof that all was
real, and neither a Dream, nor a
waking Reverie, as you have persuaded
your self. But since no Mortal knows
this, but your self, and you conceal’d
the greatest Part of this Relation from
your gay Friends, when you was so
eloquent on the Wonders of Imagination,
I hope this will find its wish’d
Success, and put you on the most exact
Preparation, to meet with a Christian
Fortitude, the greatest Terror that mortaltal G5v 90
Man can encounter. Tho’ your
Life has been unstain’d with any base
or unjust Action, there are some Levities
in your Conversation, that require
your speedy Penitence and Reformation;
or seeming Trifles will enlarge
themselves into the greatest Terrors.

’Tis a serious thing, my Lord, to
die; you thought so, when with the
most tender Concern you saw me shivering
and pale, anxious and fearful,
on the very Borders of Life, doubtful
to enter, and terrify’d at the Darkness
that hung on the gloomy Valley; when
even the Follies of my Childhood,
which was hardly past, and the slightest
Errors of my Youth sate heavy on my

And oh! how unwillingly did my
Soul quit its agreeable Mansion! how
many soft Engagements made me fond
of Life! The charming Youth to whom
I was contracted by my Parents, detain’d
me with his Tears; had Angels
beckon’d me to the Skies, that melt- G6r 91
melting Language would have tempted
me back.

You little think, my dear Brother,
what Regularity of the Passions, what
Sanctity of Manners, are necessary to
take off the Horrors of Death, and
make that gloomy Monarch wear a
smiling Aspect.

Take this friendly Admonition,
and be for ever happy; then will that
Relation which is now between us still
subsist, and I shall be, in Joys inexpressible,
your Sister to all Eternity,


Let- G6v 92

Letter XVIII.

To Philocles, from Ibrahim,
a Turkish Bassa.

’Twas you, my dear Philocles,
that Heaven made the Instrument
of my Conversion to
Christianity. But while I was in a
State of Mortality, ’twas impossible for
me to know the Greatness of my Obligations
to you, and to what Height
of Felicity your friendly Instructions
directed me. How low, how disproportion’d
were my Expectations, to
the Grandeur of my present Happiness!
How superior is it, even to those noble
Ideas your Description gave me of Celestiallestial G7r 93
Joys! As you converted me to,
let me establish you in the only true

What Reason have I to bless the
Moment that began our Acquaintance,
and the Event that plac’d your Character
to my View, in such an agreeable
Light? There was indeed something
in your whole Conduct so artless,
so sincere, so conformable to the strictest
Rules of Truth and Justice, that I
at once quitted my Prejudices to the
Faith you avow’d. The Christian
(which is not always the Case) recommended

The Negotiations I had with you
when you were Consul for the States
of Holland, at Smyrna, gave me numerous
Instances of your honest and generous
Disposition: But nothing surpriz’d
me more, than seeing you venture
your Life in a dreadful Storm, to save
a Portuguese, your mortal Enemy, whose
Vessel was just overset, and himself ready G7v 94
ready to sink amidst the threatning
Waves, which he ’till then imagin’d less
his Foe than your self.

I was Witness to the godlike
Action, and immediately concluded,
that there must be something divine
in a Religion, that could raise human
Nature to such an Height of Benificence.
It was all resistless Conviction,
my Soul confess’d its Force, while I
consider’d with what a becoming Modesty
you receiv’d the Acknowledgments
of your Adversary, as calmly as
for some triffling Favour, you would
have accepted the Thanks of your sincerest
Friend. You seem’d conscious
of having done nothing extraordinary,
nothing but what was suitable to the
constant Disposition of your Mind, if
Heaven had favour’d you with more
frequent Occasions of performing such
Heroic Actions. You have a Sense
to make what is Heroic, Common.

It G8r 95

It was a Charity truly divine, that
made you hazard your Life, and expose
it to the worst of Torments, to
rescue me from Error. I was more inquisitive
than the Laws of the Alchoran
allow’d, which induc’d me to seek
so many Opportunities of conversing
with you. Without the least Caution
or Regard to your own Safety, you left
your self to the Mercy of an Infidel,
satisfy’d my Scruples, and importun’d
me to quit the Mahometan Faith. Your
Conduct was all Demonstration, and
convinc’d me, that nothing but Heavenly
Truth, could inspire you with
such Fortitude, and kindle in your Soul
a Charity so perfectly disinterested. I
was soon vanquish’d, and became a joyful
Proselyte to the Christian Principles,
nor found the least Regret in leaving
my native Soil, to follow you to the
Hague, where I might openly profess
the Faith I had embrac’d, and be in
the Right with Impunity.

It G8v 96

It was not long before a Fever seiz’d
me. When I found the Symptoms
mortal, I sent for you to ease my burthen’d
Soul of the only Care that oppress’d
it, but before you came my
Speech was lost: However, the Discovery
was of such Importance, that it
still engages my Concern; nor is there
any Person whose Fidelity I can depend
on like yours.

I purchas’d a beautiful Grecian Slave,
the first and only Object of my Love.
Tho’ she was in my Power, I only attempted
by gentle Methods to gain her
Affections, but in vain; her Christian
Belief still set the View of future Rewards
and Punishments before her, and
check’d her softest Inclinations. To
conquer her Vertue, I was induc’d to
pervert her to the Doctrines of the Alchoran.
As absurdly as I reason’d, she
was soon convinc’d that her Soul was
as perishing as her Body, and that there
was no Prospect of Immortality for any of H1r 97
of her Sex; that present Joys were all
she could expect, and in losing Youth
and Love she lost the highest End of
her Creation. Too soon the fair Apostate
believ’d my detested Doctrines,
and took the Poison from my Tongue,
renounc’d the great Messiah, and embrac’d
the idle Dreams of an Impostor;
gave up her Claim to Immortality, and
yielded herself to my licentious Wishes.
Thus free from the Restraints of Religion,
the fair Libertine grew dissolute
and prophane beyond the Limits of her
Sex. Her sportive Wit, and boundless
Vanity, now ridicul’d all that she
once thought sacred. There was something
so wild, so unnatural in her Impiety,
that I half repented my Success,
but never was truly sensible of the Injury
I had done her, ’till I was convinc’d
of the Truth of Christianity. ’Tis this
unspeakable Damage that I hope you
will find some Method to repair. ’Twill
not be impossible, by some of your
Friends, to find Access to her. She is Hnow H1v 98
now at my Brother’s Disposal; her Ransome
will be easy, and a Charity worthy
your Character. Your Charity will redeem
her Person, your Example her
Mind, from a more deplorable Slavery.


Let- H2r 99

Letter XVIII.

To a Son from his deceas’d Father.

If there is the least Spark
of filial Gratitude in your
Breast; if there is any Deference
due to the Memory
of a once indulgent Father, I charge
you to recal the Challenge you have
sent. ―― What shall I say ―― not to
your Adversary ―― but to your generous,
your well-meaning Friend. His
Admonitions were just, and the Relation
he gave you undoubted Fact. You
know in your Conscience, the Woman
you vindicate, has neither Vertue
nor Reputation to defend, while you
are daring Death, and all the Horrors H2that H2v 100
that ensue, to justify a known Falshood;
and purchase Shame with Heaven.

If you are kill’d in this mad Duel,
the Moment you breathe your last, you
will mingle with a Society that make
very different Judgments of Things,
from what pass for Maxims of Honour
among Mortals. You will appear with
a very ill Grace, and on a most impertinent
Occasion, among the Spirits of
Darkness, to whom you will be an
eternal Object of Derision. The boasted
Beauty and Charms of your Mistress,
will be but a poor Excuse for your Gallantry,
tho’ you should tell them in
Heroicks, how the World has been lost
for a Woman.

These Extravagancies will vanish
with Mortality: Death will draw the Veil,
and place more serious Scenes in View.
You will find how cheaply you have sold
immortal Glory, and curse the fond Enchantment
that led you on to Destruction.
Detesting that most, the Love of
which is now your Inducement to Ruin.

But H3r 101

But ask your self, What is the Vertue
of this fine Lady, in defence of
whom you are going with such Bravery
to die? What is this Honour you are
giving up your Life, and all your Hopes
of Salvation to maintain?

This guiltless lovely Woman, is only
perjur’d to her Marriage Vows: This
Angel, this divine Creature, does but
deceive, does but expose to Infamy, the
best of Husbands: She does but return
his unequal’d Tenderness, and
constant Affection to her, with artful
Fondness, and dissembled Complaisance:
She is but insensible to the Merit
of a Man who is his Country’s Ornament
and Pride; a Person of the
most graceful Appearance, by Nature
form’d to please the nicest of the Fair
Sex; liberal and magnificent, obliging
and sincere above all Disguise; and
who, from his own conscious Honour,
entirely confides in this artful Woman,
whom he rais’d from Distress and Obscurity.
Charm’d with her Beauty and H3dissembled H3v 102
dissembled Affection for him, he has
indulg’d all her wild Ambition, gratify’d
her boundless Vanity, and set no
more Limits to her Expences, than
you now to your Folly.

This is the unhappy Man you
would expose to the Jest of every senseless
Rake, by a publick Quarrel for the
Reputation of his Wife. What Enmity
could be so cruel as this Defence.

And this is the dear innocent Charmer,
whose Vertue, you would justify,
even by damning youself, and murthering
the generous Lindamor, your
best, your experienc’d Friend, whose
Sincerity has been his only Crime: Be
not so shamefully valiant.

With what Confusion must you
draw your Sword on a Man, to whom
you have such a Series of Obligations?
How often has he supply’d the Necessities
to which your extravagant Gaming
has reduc’d you, and discharg’d your
Debts of Honour, as you call them?
And what was his Offence now? but setinging H4r 103
the Character of an infamous Woman
in its true Light, with a kind Intention
to reclaim you from your Dotage.

What a fatal Influence has this dissolute
Passion had on your Mind! How
profligate your Manners! How unlike
to the first Part of your Life! When
a noble Inclination govern’d your Soul,
and the lovely Erminia was all your Joy.
Oh! may her youthful Charms recover
you, and animate your Mind to glorious
Actions. Your King, your Country,
the Protestant Cause, the Rights
and Liberties of human Nature, now
require your Courage, and find better
Employment for your Sword than to
assassinate your Friends. If you are
truly brave, have the Courage to submit;
the only Way to conquer him.


H4 Let- H4v 104

Letter XIX.

To my Lord ――, from his deceas’d

Your present Confinement
by a slow Recovery from
a dangerous Sickness, makes
me hope this may prove a
Time to prevail with you, to pity the
injur’d Sylviana, and be just to your
Obligations to her.

You once lov’d me, my Lord,
and while I liv’d, the guiltless Passion
had an Effect on your whole Conduct:
But your Grief for me, gave a very
extravagant Turn to your Mind, and
instead of leading you to a superior, a
reasonable Happiness, you have abandon’ddon’d H5r 105
your self to the Heights of Sensuality;
you have pursued Pleasure, in
every tempting Disguise; refin’d on
Vice, and turn’d it into a Science;
and are too truly learn’d in it.

Your stately Rooms have sounded
with nightly Revels, and loose enchanting
Songs; your Groves and
fragrant Gardens have been devoted
to Luxury, and infamous Delights;
the Shades and Fountains have been
Witness to Scenes, unbecoming their
chast Retreats; you have found out
new Ways to Perdition, and set no
Limits to your dissolute Inclinations,
which survive Satiety itself.

But under this gay Disguise, this
Triumph of Vanity and Madness, you
have not known an Interval of Happiness,
that has been sincere: You could
not conquer your own good Sense,
nor wholly forget the Restraints of a
noble Education. I have been Witness
to your secret Remorse, your penitent
Soliloquies: I have seen you recollect your H5v 106
your self, assume your native Greatness;
heard you with the most moving Eloquence
lament your Folly, and assent
to all the Rules of Temperance and
Virtue; assent to, and violate the same

You have relaps’d to your usual
Extravagance, ’till this dangerous Sickness
set the Terrors of Death in your
View: ’Twas then you confess’d your
Injustice to the charming Sylviana, it
hung on your Soul, and appear’d with
a thousand Aggravations; nor will you
ever know Peace, ’till you have confirm’d
your Vows, and the absolute
Obligations you are under, to marry
her. Obligations to be happy, methinks,
should be easily comply’d

How happy was the lovely Maid,
in her humble Circumstances! how
bless’d in her spotless Innocence! ’till
Chance (in your rural Excursions) led
you in a luckless Hour, to the verdant
Shade, where you found her retir’d to screen H6r 107
screen her self from the mid-day Sun,
unmolested with the Cares of Love or

The natural Elegance, the Modesty,
and Easiness of her Behaviour,
fir’d your Thoughts, and partly by
Violence, and partly with the most
solemn Vows of Marriage, you ruin’d

But what unaffected Sorrow, what
Remorse, that fatal Moment cost her,
you have often witness’d? with what
graceful Pride has she since refus’d the
least Favour, and been inflexible to
your softest Persuasions, on any Terms,
but the Marriage you promis’d her?
How moving have her Tears been!
how just her Complaints! what a
Pomp of Vertue, what a conscious
Greatness has appear’d in her Aspect,
when by your artful Addresses you have
again endeavour’d to seduce her: Nor
Presents, nor Equipage, nor the most
profuse Settlement you have offer’d her,
has tempted her to act in any Character, but H6v 108
but what Virtue might own, in the View
of Heaven, and the World. Her very
Crime, with you, should have the Force
of Vertue in it.

Your Quality, my Lord, does
not absolve you from the divine Laws,
nor give a Sanction to Perjury, but
rather inforces the Obligations of Equity
and Truth. In real Merit, the fair
Sylviana is not your Inferior; but if
she were, Heaven does not dispense with
the Rules of Justice on the account of
airy Titles, and imaginary Distinctions
of Birth. The highest Satisfaction that
you can make, may perhaps never give
her that Tranquility she enjoy’d in her
first humble Circumstances. Could
you restore her lost Innocence, she
would be more bless’d in that, than
in all the Grandeur to which you can
raise her. You may alleviate her
Misfortune, you can not make full

Nor can the Loss of a tender Parent
be repair’d. With a modest Ingenuity the H7r 109
the injur’d Nymph confess’d her Crime
to her pious Mother, who was so oppress’d
with the Thoughts of such an
Infamy, that in a few Weeks she expir’d,
and left her beauteous Daughter,
to weep out her solitary Hours. Her
Distress demands your Compassion;
and by an Action of Justice to her,
you will secure your future Peace and
Happiness; and shew your Gratitude


Let- H7v 110

Letter XX.

To Varrius.

You have soon forgot my
dying Admonitions, and the
Promise you made me, to
quit the guilty Amour you
are still pursuing. Can you with Deliberation,
with Reflection, proceed in
a Design which must, if you succeed,
plunge the beautiful Cleora in Guilt and
Infamy, whom you love? What could
Hatred do more?

But with what Horror ought you
to reflect on the Injury you are doing
to the generous Alphonsus, your Friend,
your Benefactor: Is there nothing engaging
in those Titles? Or rather are
they not Words of the most sacred Importance?portance? H8r 111
Make it not the future Interest
of Mankind to be your Foes.

A Man of your pretended Honour,
could not bear the Reproach of
a Lye, and yet you are acting a Lye;
practising the vilest Treachery, and exposing
a Person of Merit to Ridicule.
This, however unjust, must be the
Consequence of your Success, while
he, secure in his own Worth and Integrity,
continues to caress the Wretch
that injures him. How can you support
the Stings of his Kindness to you?

To this injur’d, this generous Man,
you owe the Height of your Fortune:
’Twas his Interest alone that brought
you into Publick Trust and Reputation:
To requite him, you are violating all
the Laws of Humanity, bringing Infamy
on his Family, and secretly endeavouring
to rival him in the Affections
of his charming Wife, the Object
of all his virtuous Joys; of which,
from whom could he more properly
exact the Protection, than from you?

Can H8v 112

Can you, unmov’d, recal the Distress
into which a Crime of this Nature
plung’d my heedless Youth? What
Remorse, what Confusion, a Moment’s
Madness cost me? You was the only
Confident to whom I discover’d the
secret Wound it gave my bleeding

But how fatal was that one Sally
of an extravagant Passion to all my
future Repose? Despair and Horror
fill’d my Breast, when I consider’d the
Injury I had done was beyond Reparation.
Retirement was no more my
Sanctuary from the noisy Crowd; the
Image of my Crime pursued me with
inexpressible Terrors. The innocent
Diversions of Life were tasteless; Musick
and Wit had lost their Charms:
The Proposals of Pleasure were like
Jests to dying Men, like Recreations to
the Damn’d. Whatever Decency appear’d
in my Publick Behaviour, you
were Witness to the private Intervals
of my Grief, and gave some Relief to my I1r 113
my Anguish, hearing my Complaints
with an obliging Attention. But Nature,
after all its Efforts sunk; the
Pride of my Youth yielded to the gloomy
Distemper: Yet the Sincerity of my
Repentance found Acceptance; and,
as my last Hour approach’d, some propitious
Spirit breath’d Peace, and divine
Consolation to my Soul; and in
these gentle Whispers reprov’d my Infidelity.

“Why should presumptuous Man, with
feeble Doubt,
And Impotence of Thought, mark out the
Of Clemency divine. ―― What Tongue
shall dare
Pronounce, with impious Vanity, these
Thus far, nor farther, thy exulting
O thou Abyss of sacred Love, shall roll; I Here I1v 114 Here thy triumphant Billows shall retire, Nor pass the Bounds of human Diffidence.”

But however serene the last Scene
of my Life was, I would not, for all
the Joys the lower Creation could give,
endure the Distraction and Remorse
that one Error cost me. Are you soften’d
at the Complaints of my Misery? be
terrify’d at the Approaches of your own.

Thus warn’d, I hope you will retire.
A Thousand Accidents have hitherto
prevented your Guilt, and cross’d
the Madness of your Love: Some
Pause of Reason, some Effort of Virtue
may, at last, recover you from the
Paths of Ruin. Comply with Reason
and Virtue, with Honour and Friendship,
with your own Happiness, and
that of others; with the Interest of the
Living, and the Desires of the Dead.


Thoughts I2r


Translated from the Moral Essays,
of the Messieurs du Port Royal.

Beyond the Address
which Men have, never
to think of Death, but as
at a very great Distance,
nor to view it, but in
some other Person, without putting
themselves one Moment in the Place I2of I2v 116
of the Dying: They have yet a farther
Art to delude themselves, by forming
such a general and confus’d Idea, as
conceals from them all that is most
terrible in Death.

They conceive little else of this
State, but as a Privation of Sense, and
a Separation from the Commerce of
Life; so that when they say, a Man is
dead, they only mean, that they see
him no more, and that he shares no
longer in the Affairs of the World.
In a Word, their Idea of Death is
only form’d on what Men cease to do
in dying, and not on what they begin
to do and feel, while yet it is that
which constitutes its most dreadful

Death indeed is a Privation of
Life, and human Action, but it is a
Privation which is felt, and produces
surprizing Effects in the Soul. In
order to comprehend these Effects, it
is necessary to consider, that while the
Soul is united to the Body, its Attentiontention I3r 117
is divided by divers Kinds of
Sensations, Imaginations, and Passions;
it feels the Objects which act on the
Body, according to their different Manner
of Influence; and these different
Ways of perceiving, are call’d Sensations.
On these the Soul forms its
Ideas of all things, to which it is united
by its Passions, and is always employ’d
about these Objects, and not only
employ’d, but leans and reposes on
them, when it is not entirely united
to God: For not being made with a
Capacity to sustain it self, the Soul
necessarily seeks some foreign Support.
It was form’d to know and love, but
finding nothing within sufficient to
satisfy these Inclinations, it is forc’d
with some other Objects to fill the Void
it finds in it self. Some of these Objects
make agreeable Impressions on the Sense;
others content our Curiosity and Vanity;
others relieve the Mind, by turning I3it I3v 118
it from things which appear disgusting;
some nourish its Hopes, while
others fortify it against its Fears. The
Soul inclines to all the Objects of Sense,
and is engag’d and supported by them,
in such a Manner, that it can not
prove a Separation without Pain and

We are not always sensible of these
Tyes, but the Soul begins to feel them,
when it comes to be separated from
what it loves: It has then a Sense of
the Privation, proportionable to its
Union with them: So true is that
Maxim of St. Augustin, “’Tis impossible
to loose any Thing without
Sorrow, but what we possess without

There are few Persons free from
an infinite Number of these Engagements;
and though we are ignorant
of them, ’till an actual Separation discovers
what they are, we may nevertheless
conceive something, by separating
our selves from them in our Thoughts, I4r 119
Thoughts, and imagining we are depriv’d
of them by some Accident.

For Instance, take a Person who
does not seem to place his Happiness
in the Objects of Sight, and fancies
they contribute nothing to the Tranquility
of his Mind; and suppose him
suddenly depriv’d of his Sight, though
in all other Circumstances, happy, we
should find him affected with the Loss,
as the greatest Misfortune. The Sight
of Mankind gives us some Consolation,
because we always discover in them a
certain Appearance of Compassion,
capable to give us succour in our Necessities;
which at least indulges our
Hopes, and those Hopes excite a kind
of secret Joy.

The Objects, which in some Respects
are disgusting to the Soul, and
raise its Fears and Aversion, yet in other
Views fail not to sustain it. For tho’
these uneasy Passions cannot be altogether
appeas’d, yet the Imagination
always furnishes them with Means, or I4Hopes I4v 120
Hopes that quiet them, while the Pursuit
of these Means, or the Hopes of
arriving at the End of their Desires,
employ and divert the Mind.

All the Objects to which the Soul
is join’d by the Senses, Imagination,
Reason, or Passions, are its Goods and
Riches; and even those we call Poor,
abound in these Sort of Goods. If
they want Palaces, or even a Cottage,
they have the Sky, the Sun, and Stars,
of which the Prospect is so magnificent,
that St. Augustin says, “’Tis a greater
Blessing for the Poor to behold the
Heavenly Luminaries, than for the
Rich to view their golden Lamps.”

Thus in the Privation of some
Advantages, we comfort our selves with
others, true or false, that we either possess
or hope for. As the Body always
finds something to bear it, even when
thro’ Weariness it falls to the Ground,
it there finds a Support: So the Soul,
sick and feeble, never fails of something
to sustain it; and when there is nothing I5r 121
nothing real, forms imaginary Supports,
on which (vain as they are) it leans.

This Necessity of human Consolations
is not peculiar to vicious Men;
in some Degree, the Vertuous want
their Relief. There are few Persons so
perfect, but they have still some remaining
Tye to the World. Fatigued
by a long Attention to Spiritual Objects,
they are forc’d, in divers Instances,
to abandon themselves, and
fly, for Satisfaction, to their Friends,
their Children, their Estates, to a Field
of their own planting; or an Edifice
of their own raising.

This is the Condition of Man in
this Life, which may help us to comprehend
what Death is, with the Effects
it produces. We ought to look
on it as the Rupture of all that unites
us to the Creatures; a general Separation
from the Objects of Sense; the
cancelling all human Ties, and every
Pleasure the Soul found in them; with
a total Privation of what it lov’d and enjoy’d, I5v 122
enjoy’d on Earth. When a Man dies,
he loses not only what he call’d his
Wealth, but the Firmament, the Sun,
the Stars, the Air, the Earth, and all
the rest of Nature; he loses his Body,
and all those Sentiments that gave him
Pleasure; he loses his Relations, his
Friends, and all Mankind; He loses
all Relief, all Support; and in short,
all the Objects of his Senses and

Indeed if the Soul, in some Degree,
united to these, finds it self united
to God, by a holy Love, though
the Privation of the Creatures, causes
some Emotion, yet it sinks not into
Despair; for this divine Principle sustains
it, and growing more active, confirms
its Hopes, of being shortly united
to, and overwhelm’d in that
Abyss of Pleasure, which alone can
satisfy all its Capacity of loving.

But who is able to conceive the
State of the miserable Soul, when it comes, I6r 123
comes, by Death, to be rent from all
the Objects of its Inclinations; from
all that sustain’d it, during Life, and
finds nothing in it self, on which to
lean. Its Propensities to Love, and
enjoy what it lov’d, become, beyond
Comparison, more lively and ardent,
while all the Soul was fond of, escapes
and flies before her, with an everlasting
Flight, without leaving the least Hope
of Fruition; she loses all, finds nothing,
all sinks under her, all vanishes, and
disappears for ever.

’Tis not possible in this World, to
comprehend a State so perfectly miserable,
all one can say, to give some
Idea of it, is this: ’Tis a terrible Fall
of the Soul, by a sudden Removal of
all its Supports; ’tis an horrible Famine,
by a Privation of its Nourishment;
’tis an infinite Void, by the
Annihilation of all that fill’d it; ’tis an
extream Poverty, by the entire Loss of
that which was its Wealth; ’tis a ghastly Soli- I6v 124
Solitude, by the Separation it finds it
self in, from all Union and Society;
’tis a dreadful Desolation, by the Want
of all Consolation; ’tis a cruel Rupture,
which violently rends the Soul from
every Object of its Love.



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