And ſeveral other Subjects.
All Written by Ladies.
Briſcoe over aflawed-reproduction
Will’s Coffee flawed-reproduction
The Bookseller to the Reader.
The Report of my going to Print the Adventures of Olinda, written by her ſelf, in ſome Letters to a Friend, having Rais’d an Emulation in ſome other Ladies, ſeveral others were ſent me by the Penny Poſt in unknownA2 known iv A2v known Hands, while the firſt were in the Preſs, with a deſire to have them alſo publiſh’d. I joyfully embrac’d the Propoſition, and thought that it would be a great piece of Injuſtice to deprive the public of the ſatisfaction of ſeeing them: But coming too late, I Reſolved to Print ’em in another Volume not doubting in the leaſt but the Ladies Letters will meet with a very favourable Reception, ſince Letters are ſo much in Vogue.
Some of theſe are Tranſlations, and ſet down as v A3r as ſuch, but ſtill by Ladies, and done after the beſt Hands. They are plac’d without Order according as they were ſent without the leaſt Addition, or Alteration. In the next Volume, (which ſhall be Publiſh’d with all convenient ſpeed) care ſhall be taken to place them more regularly.
Such Ladies as are deſirous to promote this Undertaking, and to favor the World with any Letters in Proſe or Verſe upon all manner of Subjects, to be incerted in the next Volume, are deſired to A3 direct vi A3v direct them to my Shop in Ruſſel-Street, Covent- Garden, over againſt Will’s Coffee-Houſe, and I ingage to Comply with their Deſires. Excepting all particular Reflections.
Cleander to the Reader.
When I Received Olinda’s Letters, I thought ’em very agreeable, and being of a Humour to love to Communicate every thing that pleaſes me, I have ſent ’em into the world, to try if they can meet with many of the ſame Taſt. You have ’em as they were ſent me viii A4v me without any Alteration but the Names. Pray uſe ’em courteouſly, becauſe they are a fair Ladies; and if you will, you may allow ſomething for their being Writ Extempore, and without any deſign of Publiſhing. But perhaps you may find ’em ſo Correct, that ſhe will not be much Oblig’d to you for your favour; but that in this Age Envy and Malice Reigns ſo high, that ’tis an Obligation to have Juſtice done one. However, I need not take much pains to Court you, ſincee the good Natur’d will be ſo without Entreaty, and the ill Natur’d Critick will ix A5r will loſe his Aim here, where neither the Author, nor the Publiſher are known; Olinda, can’t be the woirſe for your Cenſure, and what hurt will it do to me to hear that Cleanders partial kindneſs for his Friend, made him admire all ſhe ſaid. Therefore now I think on’t better, you may e’ne do what you will with ’em. As for the reſt, I can tell you no more of ’em, but that they were ſent me in unknown Hands, by the Penny Poſt, and that I thought fit to give you that which was Directed to me with ’em, that you might know as much about them as I x A5v I do. When Letters are ſo much in Vogue, ſure the Ladies can’t fail of being acceptable, therefore I need ſay nothing of them, beſides, if they don’t recommend themſelves, my good Word wou’d be of no great Effect; the two which immediately follow Olinda’s to me, I prevail’d with her to give me the Copies of (ſince they wou’d come out in ſuch good Company) to ſatiſfie thoſe who might have the Curioſity to know how ſhe Writ to her Lover, ſince ſhe Treats her Friend with ſo much Tenderneſs. This is all I have to ſay to you, and xi A6r and I think I have detain’d you long enough for nothing, for I believe you are not much Wiſer than you were at the Beginning of this Epiſtle; but it’s Civil to ſay ſomething, tho never ſo little to the purpoſe.
The Adventures of a Young Lady.
Written by her ſelf, in ſeveral Letters to a Gentleman in the Country.
Ihope I need not tell you how uneaſie this tedious Abſence makes me; for I muſt confeſs as troubleſome as I find it, and as much as I Value you, I can’t but wiſh you may be able to gueſs at it by what you ſuffer your ſelf: A ſtrange Effect of the higheſt degreeB gree 2 B1v 2 gree of Friendſhip; for if I had leſs for you, I ſhou’d not ſo earneſtly deſire to hear you are in pain; but ſuch Contradictions are no Myſteries to you, who underſtand ſo well the little Niceties of Friendſhip. That you may ſee I ſtudy nothing more in this ſolitude than to oblige you; I’ve Reſolved to employ moſt part of my time in complying with that Requeſt you’ve often made me, of giving you a particular account of all that has happen’d to me in my Life; tho I fear I ſhall loſe part of that Eſteem which you have hitherto preſerved for me, by acquainting you with ſome Paſſages of it, which yet I hope have nothing in ’em ſo ill, that the kindneſs of a Friend may’nt find out ſomething in the Circumſtances of the Story to Excuſe: for tho perhaps I have not always been ſo nicely cautious as a Woman in ſtrictneſs ought, I have never gone beyond the bounds of ſolid Virtue. To 3 B2r 3 To put all to the hazard then, I will give you a faithful Account of all my Weakneſſes. My Father dying, left me when I was very young to the Tuition of a Mother, who as you know is qualify’d for ſuch a Charge equal to any of her Sex; and ſhe indeed perform’d her part as well as her ſmall Fortune wou’d permit her, which was ſcarce ſufficient to maintain her, in that Rank her Birth had placed her. However ſhe gave me all the Education that was neceſſary; but I believe you’l excuſe me if I paſs over all that occur’d till I was thirteen, for about that time I begun to fancy my ſelf a Woman, and the more to perſwafe me to it, I happen’d to be acquainted with a Gentleman whoſe Name was Licydon, who the firſt or ſecond time I ſaw him ſeem’d to have ſo much confidence in me, that he told me a long ſtory of his Love, and ever after ſhew’d me all the Letters he either B2 Writ 4 B2v 4 Writ to, or receiv’d from his Miſtreſs: This you muſt think did not a little pleaſe me, and I thought my ſelf as Wiſe as the Grayeſt Polititian, when he ask’d my Advice in any of his Affairs, eſpecially when I heard him commended by many for a Man of great Parts. One day that we were by our ſelves, we fell into a Diſcourſe of Womens making Love; he Argu’d that ’twas very unjuſt to deprive ’em of the ſatisfaction of diſcovering a Paſſion, which they were as much ſubject to as Men: I ſaid as much againſt him as I cou’d, but he had more dexterity to manage his Argument than I; ſo that I was eaſily brought to agree with him; but ſaid ’twas well that cuſtom was obſerved, ſince the compliaſance which was paid by their Sex to ours, wou’d ſometimes oblige ’em to comply contrary to their Inclination; for I cou’d not imagine how they cou’d civilly refuſe a Ladiesdies 5 B3r 5 dies Intreaties. He told me if I wou’d Write a Declaration of Love to him, he wou’d ſhew me how it might be Anſwer’d with a great deal of Reſpect, without any Love. I conſented to do it, and accordingly did the next day, and he return’d me an Anſwer which ſatisfied me: This, tho it may ſeem a trivial thing, you will find by the ſequel, had like to have produc’d but ill Effects. Some time after this he brought a Friend of his to Viſit us, who was of a good Family; but according to the Engliſh cuſtom of breeding the younger Sons to Trades; he was a Goldſmith, but a great Beaux, and one who ſeem’d to have a Soul above his Calling: He ask’d Licydon if he had any pretenſions to me, which when he aſſur’d him he had not, he told him he was very glad he had not a Rival in a Friend; for he was hugely ſmitten, and ſhou’d need his Aſſiſtance in his deſign; B3 for 6 B3v 6 for he had obſerv’d ſuch an intimacy between us, as gave him Reaſon to think he had great influence over me; and he was ſure he wou’d not deny him, if he was not my Lover. Licydon aſſur’d him he had only a Friendſhip for me, and that he wou’d uſe all his Credit with me to perſwade me to receive all his Addreſſes favourably; which he did as ſoon as he had an opportunity. He ſaid all of him that he could imagine moſt engaging, and eſpecially of the Violence of his Paſſion. I was well enough pleas’d with the Love, tho’ not with the Lover; for ’tis natural at that unthinking Age to covet a croud of Admirers, tho’ we deſpiſe them: But I believe I need not confine that Vanity to Youth, many of our Sex are troubled with it, when one wou’d think they were Old enough to be ſenſible of the Folly, and inconvenience of being continually Courted, and haunted by Men they have 7 B4r 7 have an indifference, or perhaps an Averſion for. For my part I think there is no greater torment; but I was of another Opinion then, and therefore Rally’d at the Love, and ſeem’d not to believe it; which I warrant you gave great Encouragement to my new Lover, when he heard of it; for it’s a great Sign one wou’d be convinc’d. So I’d beſt prepare my ſelf for an Attack, which I did not expect long: It was begun by a Billet Doux, which came firſt to my Mothers Hands; and when ſhe gave it me, ſhe ask’d what Anſwer I wou’d return. I told her I was wholly to be Govern’d by her; but if I was to follow my own inclination I wou’d not An ſwer ſwer it at all: My Mother reply’d, ſhe thought it fit I ſhou’d Anſwer it; for ſhe believ’d I cou’d have no averſion to him, and ſhe did not think it an ill Match, conſidering my circumſtances. Then I deſir’d her to indite a Letter for me, for I B4 ſaw 8 B4v 8 ſaw well enough I ſhou’d not pleaſe her. She gave me a Copy of one, that without ſaying any thing that was kind, gave him cauſe enough not to deſpair; but I cou’d not diſſemble my Looks and Actions, in which he obſerv’d ſo much Coldneſs, that tho’ ſeveral Letters paſt between us, that wou’d have given hopes to a Man the leaſt apt to preſume; he was often half an hour with me alone, without ſpeaking one Word to me. At laſt he complain’d to Licydon of the ſtrange contradictions in what I did, and what I Writ; for when ever he begun to ſpeak to me of his Love I check’d him with ſuch ſevere Looks, and turn’d the Diſcourſe in ſuch a manner, that he durſt proceed no further, tho my Letters ſeem’d much to his Advantage. Lycydon perſwaded him (as perhaps he thought himſelf) that ’twas only my Modeſty, and that perhaps I ſhou’d be more emboldned, if he cou’d get my 9 B5r 9 my Mothers Conſent to his Propoſals. Berontus, for that was his Name, was as well ſatisfied with this, as if I had told him ſo my ſelf; and away goes he immediately to to my Mother, and tells her he’s ſtark ſtaring Mad in Love with her Daughter: The next thing they talk of, is Joynture and Settlements, &c. and in fine they agree; ſo I am call’d for, and commanded to look upon this Spark as one that muſt ſhortly be my Husband; and to give us the more freedom my Mother leaves us togethetr. Well Madam, (ſays he) I have no oppoſites to ſtruggle with, your Mother has given me her conſent, and you have given me hopes that you will not refuſe me yours. What ſhou’d I do in this perplexity? I had a firm Reſolution never to Marry him; but I found my Mother ſo much ſet upon it, that I durſt not let it be known; beſides I had engag’d my ſelf ſo far in Obedience B5 to 10 B5v 10 to her, that I did not know how to come off; but for the preſent I wou’d be whimſical, and take time to conſider what I ſhou’d do hereafter. So I put on a pet, and ſaid, Berontus I don’t know what advantage you think you have more than before; but I’m ſure a Lover wou’d have found another way of Courting his Miſtreſs, than by her Mother; and it may be you’ll find your ſelf never the nearer my heart for having gain’d her: I hate a Man that will depend upon any other for my favour than my ſelf. Cruel Creature, ſays he, what pleaſure do you take in tormenting me? You know that I love you with the greateſt reſpect imaginable, and that I can’t be happy but by you alone. I never had Recourſe to your Mother till you had encourag’d me; and give me leave to ſay it, your uſage of me is very unjuſt. I knew well enough he was in the Right; but I wou’d not know 11 B6r 11 know it: So that we parted both much diſſatisfied. How his thoughts were employ’d I can’t pretend to tell you; but I was continually contriving how to get out of this troubleſome Affair. I cou’d find no way but to tell him ſincerely that all that I had writ in his Favour was by conſtraint; that I was too young to think of Love, or Mariage, and ſo truſt to his Generoſity; and prevail with him, if poſſible, to let it fall off his ſide. The firſt time I had an opportunity of putting my deſign in Execution, I thought the poor Lover wou’d never have liv’d to ſee me beyond thoſe years which ſerv’d as a pretence for my refuſal; but he was Wiſe enough to baulk me, If ſays he, (after he was come out of his Dumps; for he was a quarter of an hour without ſaying any thing. You ſee he was much given to ſilence) If I did not imagine it your hate that only ſtudy’d an Excuſe, I ſhou’d wait with 12 B6v 12 with a great deal of ſatisfaction, till you were pleas’d to make me happy: But as it is, I ſhall dye a thouſand times with fear that ſome other more happy in your inclinations than I, will Rob me of you for ever. He ſaid in fine, abundance of fine things to perſwade me to engage my ſelf to him; but I wou’d not conſent to it; and all i cou’d ſay to him, was as little prevalent to make him deſiſt his Suit. He wou’d wait the Patriarchs Prentiſhip rather than loſe his Angel: wou’d it not be a ſad buſineſs if he ſhould loſe her after all? But I’m afraid he’s like, for her thoughts cannot be brought ſo low; they towre a little above his Shop, perhaps too high for her Fortune; but ſhe’s ſomething too young to conſiſider that, or to prefer her intereſt to her Humour. But to go on with my Story, my Mother was well enough ſatisfied to have the Match delay’d; ſo that I thought I had nothing 13 B7r 13 nothing to do for a year or two, but to wiſh ſome accident might intervene to hinder it. But it was not long before a Servant we had in the Houſe found me other Employment; I had complain’d of ſome Negligences ſhe had been guilty of, when my Mother was out of Town, which were occaſion’d by a fondneſs ſhe had for one that waited upon Lycidon: Upon which ſhe had like to be turn’d away, and being of a revengeful Spirit, ſhe cou’d never forgive it: She had obſerv’d that Licydon often gave me, and I him Letters in private; for when he had no other opportunity, he us’d to give me thoſe he ſent, or Receiv’d from his Miſtreſs, as we were taking leave, when I conducted him to the Door; which I often did, whilſt my mother was entertaining other Company; and I return’d ’em when I ſaw him again. This malicious Wench hoping to find ſomething in ’em that might prejudicedice 14 B7v 14 dice me, told Licydons Man (over whom it ſeems ſhe had a great Influence) that ſhe heard his Maſter was a great Poet, and that ſhe had a great mind to ſee ſome of his Works, if he cou’d contrive to let her into his Cloſet when he was abroad: The Servant who ſuſpected nothing, promis’d her he wou’d let her know the firſt time his Maſter left his Key, which he very ſeldom did. He kept his Word with her, and after ſhe had look’d over all his Papers, at laſt ſhe found that Letter which I ſpoke of at the beginning. She knew my hand well enough, and no doubt with Joy, put it into her Pocket, without being perceiv’d by the Fellow; and to loſe no time, went preſently to Berontus; to whom ſhe ſaid, That ſhe was extreamly concern’d to ſee him deceiv’d by two that he rely’d ſo much upon, as her young Miſtreſs and Licydon: and therefore ſhe cou’d not forbear telling him, that ſhe 15 B8r 15 ſhe had diſcover’d an Intreague between ’em, and that they were ſo familiar, that if they were not Married already, ſhe was ſure, they wou’d be very ſuddenly; with abundance of Circumſtances of her own Invention, to make the Story more plauſible. He did not believe her at firſt; but when ſhe ſhow’d him the Letter it put him beyond doubt; ſo that after he had given her his Word, whatever Meaſures he took, not to diſcover her, ſhe went away very well pleas’d, that ſhe had depriv’d me of a Husband, and receiv’d a good Reward for it. Berontus did not give his Rage and Grief leave to abate; but in the height of both Writ a Letter to Licydon, and another to me. You can’t imagine how much I was ſurpriz’d when I Read it, and found it was a Challenge, (for in that confuſion he had miſtaken the Direction) to one whom he accus’d of betraying him in what was dearer 16 B8v 16 dearer to him than his Life: I cou’d not gueſs who it was deſign’d for, till Licydon came in, and ſhow’d me a Letter he had juſt receiv’d, which he believ’d was for me, and deſir’d me to tell him who that happy Man was Berontus complain’d ſo much of. I ſaw plainly then, he was Jealous of Licydon; but was not able to Divine the Cauſe: He gave me the Letter which contain’d theſe Words.
Wou’d to Heaven you had told me Truth, when you ſaid you were too young to think of Love; you have thought of it too much Olinda, for my quiet; but you were born to Torment me. It is my Fate, why do I complain of you? Pity me, if I fall by my happy Rivals Hand, and if you can forgive me if I ſurvive him. This is the laſt time I deſign to trouble you: I wiſh he may be more faithful to you then he has been to me: Adieu Madam, pity the unfortunate Berontus.The 17 B9r 17
The Letter ſeem’d ſo full of diſtraction, that I cou’d not chuſe but pity him; for I really thought him Mad: But I did not think fit to ſhew Licydon that which was deſign’d for him. When he was gone I ſent for Berontus, but he refus’d to come, and ’twas with much ado after three or four times ſending he was prevail’d with. I told him by what means I had ſeen both his Letters; but that they appear’d ſo great Myſteries to me, that I ſent for him to explain ’em. ’Twas long before he wou’d let me know the Cauſe of his ſuſpicions; but I was ſo importunate, that at laſt he ſhow’d me the Love Letter I had Writ to Licydon: Can I have a greater Proof than this, ſays he? I confeſs, reply’d I, you have Reaſon to think as you do; but you are very much deceiv’d; and then I told him upon what occaſion it was Writ: I ſaw very well he did not believe me, and I knew not how to 18 B9v 18 to convince him, unleſs I cou’d find Licydon’s Anſwer, which at leaſt wou’d clear him. I found it by good Fortune and brought it to Berontus. Read this, ſaid I, and you’ll ſee whether it be true, that I Writ to Licydon in earneſt: You have nothing to accuſe him of. After he had Read it, he cry’d out in a Violent manner, I have wrong’d the Innocent Olinda, and I deſerve to be hated by her for ever. Be not ſo Tranſported I return’d coldly enough, I may love Licydon, tho he be ſo indifferent: The Poſtſcript fully clears you, Reply’d Berontus, and makes me not dare to ask you to forgive me; upon which I took it, and Read theſe Words, which I had quite forgot. I did not think one cou’d Write ſo prettily of Love, and be ſo inſenſible of it; how Happy wou’d that Man be, that ſhou’d receive ſuch a one dictated by your Heart, as well as Hand. I’m ſure none cou’d Return ſuch an Anſwer to Olinda. This 19 B10r 19 This Complement did me ſo much kindneſs, that one wou’d think I ſhou’d be a better Friend to ’em than you know I am. Berontus left me almoſt as Angry at himſelf, as he was before at us; and did not come near me, for ſome time after. When I told Licydon what had paſt between us, he was amaz’d: He Examin’d his Man, who had been in the Chamber, who confeſs’d the Truth; and our Servant when ſhe was Tax’d with it, hardly deny’d it, and thus the whole Matter was diſcover’d; which had it not been for a happy miſtake, had probably coſt one, or both of them, their Lives; and me my Honour. Two days after Licydon was Married, and ſo our acquaintance broke off; for tho’ his Wife came to ſee me and often preſs’d me to keep a correſpondence with her; I never did, for I knew ſhe had been very Jealous of me before ſhe Marry’d, and I wou’d not hazard the reviving it. 20 B10v 20 it. Berontus eaſily obtain’d his pardon of me (for you know I’m very good Natur’d) and ſo he continu’d to Viſit me, taking all the pains he cou’d to pleaſe me, without any thing remarkable happening, till three Months after, his Elder Brother who had been at his Travels, and was Reported to be dead, return’d; ſo that he was no longer able to keep the Conditions he had made with my Mother; for he had nothing to live upon but his Trade; which I afterwards heard he neglected very much, and took to that uſual Remedy of Cares, drinking: He ſaid it was to cure his Grief for the loſs of his Miſtreſs, and truly that is to be lamented, when the loſs of a good Eſtate is the Cauſe of it. However he is comforted for both now, and Married to a Woman with a great Fortune. I was very glad to be rid of my Lover, tho I was ſorry ’twas by his misfortune. Thus Cleander you have 21 B11r 21 have an Account of the firſt Adventures of my Life; which made me early know ſome uneaſie hours: By the next Poſt I’ll acquaint you with a Catalogue of Lovers (that is, they were my En paſſant, in taking their Rounds, and ſerv’d better to divert me than the moſt Romantick Conſtancy, without giving themſelves, or me any trouble) but it’s indeed time to make an end. Adieu my Friend, think of me always, and Write as often as you can to Olinda.
To proceed in Order in my Relation, I muſt begin with one, who in Reſpect of his years as well as the time in which I knew him, demands the Pre-eminence. He was a Dutch Coll. about threeſcore; don’t you think one of his Country 22 B11v 22 Country and Years will make a pretty Lover? But Old as he was, he had a Miſtreſs in the Houſe with him. I was younger than ſhe, and I believe I may ſay, without Vanity, I had ſome other Advantages over her; ſo that the Old Spark had a Months mind to me; and I, partly to plague her, and partly to divert my ſelf, receiv’d all his Addreſſes with a great deal of complaiſance. I cou’d perceive her fret within her ſelf, tho ſhe durſt not ſhew it. She was in great Fear of loſing him; for the Man’s Mony had ſuch Charms, as atton’d for his want of ’em, tho he was uglineſs in perfection; (if that ben’t Nonſence) and ’twas the beſt Jeſt in the World to me, to ſee him ſquint an Amorous Glance upon me, with one Eye, whilſt t’other was watching whether ſhe took Notice of him; for we Lodg’d in one Houſe together; ſo that I cou’d not avoid often being with them 23 B12r 23 them both, nor indeed did I endeavour it; for I took a malicious pleaſure in Laughing at their Follies: Since there’s nothing ſo ridiculous as an Antiquated Lover, who has the Vanity to believe he is belov’d, and a Jealous Woman, who has not Diſcretion enough to hide it. That I might be ſufficiently entertain’d with both, one day I began a Diſcourſe of Young and Old Lovers, preferring the laſt as more Conſtant, more Fond, and more Solid than the firſt: He Smil’d, and took me by the Hand, and gave me a thouſand Commendations for the Wiſdom of my choice; Nay, and ſo far forgot himſelf, that he apply’d it to himſelf, and ſaid ſuch paſſionate things, as wou’d have been extravagant from a young Fellow. She with a great deal of Heat contradicted all I had ſaid, and told all the impertinences and inconveniences one find in an Old Man (which ſhe experimentally knew better 24 B12v 24 better than I) without conſidering how far it touch’d him, ſhe was ſo earneſt againſt me. This made him ſo Angry, and her ſo out of Countenance when ſhe Reflected ſo upon what ſhe had ſaid, that I was never better diverted: She did not know what Excuſe to make for her ſelf, and in fine the diſpute grew ſo high, that at laſt they parted. Upon this the Coll. was hotter upon me than ever; he peſter’d me continually with his Viſits, and the Brute ſo little underſtood my Raillery, that he pretended an Intereſt in me, and wou’d check me when he ſaw any body younger than himſelf with me; but I gave him ſuch Anſwers, that he did not know what to make of me. When he had Orders for Flanders he told me I muſt prepare my ſelf to go with him, and I ſhou’d live as great and happy as a Queen; I ſaid I wou’d go with all my heart upon Condition his Son ſhou’d be always with us: 25 C1r 25 us: The Old Man ſtarted, my Son Child, what wou’d you do with him? I think he is fitter company for me than you, ſays I, and ſo I left him, ſo aſham’d that he ſhun’d ſeeing me ever after. He e’ne went to Flanders without me, and vow’d, young as he was, he wou’d never have any thing to with Woman more. Thus I was rid of my Old Impertinent, whoſe place was ſoon ſupply’d by one of thoſe gay youths who never wait for the ſlow Gifts of pity, but Raviſh little Favours from us, as if they were their due; who make it impoſſible for us to think it a Crime to give what they ask with ſo much boldneſs; and who are always endeavouring to divert her they deſign to pleaſe. He Courted me with Balls, Muſick, and Entertainments, and in the midſt of ’em wou’d now and then whiſper ſome pretty Love Maggots. I was firſt acquainted with him at a Relations of mine at Greenwich: C He 26 C1v 26 He was an Officer in the Army, and was then in the Camp upon Black-Heath; and being very well known in the Houſe where I was, he came often there. He had heard ſeveral things of me to my Advantage; (for Fame generally flatters or detracts) as, that I ſung well, was Handſom, and ſo forth: And I was told, that he was very well accompliſh’d, and the Neateſt, Prettieſt, Gentileſt young fellow that was to be ſeen in the whole Army: So that we had both a great deſire to ſee one another, and were very well acquainted the firſt time we met: He told me he had a violent Paſſion for me, and he did not doubt but I had a little Love for him; he came to ſee me every day whilſt I was there; carried me to all the Diverſions that were to be had about the Country; and when I was going to London, he told me he wou’d ſoon follow me: But as ſoon as you come to Town, Faith Olinda, you ſhall 27 C2r 27 ſhall Write to me, as you hope to ſee me again; for I can’t live without hearing you Arriv’d ſafe. So I Writ a thouſand little mad things, and he Anſwer’d me at the ſame Rate, only a great deal of Airy Love mingled with it. The following Week he came to ſee me, and from that day I was never ſuffer’d to reſt for one frolick or other: All the time he ſtaid, I liv’d a pleaſant ſort of a Life, till he went to Fight abroad, and got two or three new Miſtreſſes to divert; for thoſe ſort of Men never remember the Abſent; their Love never enters the Heart, nor do they often gain ours; they ſeldom fail to pleaſe in deed, and they force us to think of ’em ſometimes whether we will or not; but they are neither Diſcreet, nor Conſtant enough to go any further: I ſuppoſe he forgot me as ſoon as he left me, and I was not much behind hand with him. After he was gone, I had ſcarce a C2 breath- 28 C2v 28 breathing time before another of his Profeſſion, more ſerious and more deſigning, ſucceeded him: He had a good Eſtate, and paſs’d in the World for a Man of Honour, and therefore was Receiv’d by my Mother favourably enough. I neither lik’d, no diſlik’d him; but treated him with Civility, till I found out that his deſigns were not very Honourable; and then I thought it time to alter my Behaviour: I forbid him to ſee me, and when he came to our Lodgings, I was deny’d to him, thô he knew I was at home; upon which he left off coming, and when ſome of his Comrades ask’d him the Reaſon, he told them, he knew me too well, and that he did not think a Creature ſo young cou’d be ſo Lew’d. Obſerve, my Friend, how unhappy Women are, who are thus expos’d to loſe either their Virtue, or their Honor; if I had comply’d with him, perhaps none wou’d have been more careful 29 C3r 29 careful of my Fame than he: But how much my Choice is to be prefer’d, none but thoſe who have experienc’d the unexpreſſible ſatisfaction it gives can know. I heard of it with a great deal of indifference, and did not ſo much as hate the Author of the ſcandal. The next in waiting was a French Beaux: He had a great ſtock of Wit, but more Vanity; a mighty Flatterer, and one who took much pains to perſwade credulous Women that he lov’d ’em; and if he ſucceeded he always forſook ’em, and ſometimes gratify’d his Vanity to their Coſt, who had been indiſcreet enough to give him occaſion. He laid his Baits to catch me, he Vow’d, and Swore, and Danc’d, and Sung eternally by turns; but I was too wary to be caught, thô he made me a hundred Proteſtations, I was the only Woman he ever did, or ever cou’d Love; follow’d me where ever I went, and in ſpight of C3 the 30 C3v 30 the greateſt Rigour I cou’d uſe, wou’d not forbear haunting me. I did not know how to free my ſelf from the Impertinence of this Fop; but I thought if I cou’d convince him of one Act of Inconſtancy, he wou’d not have the Confidence to trouble me any more: I had many contrivances in Order to it, but at laſt I fix’d upon one that was probable enough to take with one of his Humour. I Writ a Letter (diſguiſing my Hand) as from a Woman extreamly in Love with him, and deſir’d him to tell me ſincerely whither he was engag’d or not; for I was too juſt to rob any Woman of his Heart, and too Nice to be content with a part of it. I told him if he was free, I wou’d meet him, the next day at the Bird- Cage in the Park: He ſent a very obliging Anſwer to the unknown Lady; ſaid, he was paſſionately in Love with her Wit; that if her Beauty were Anſwerable, he muſt be 31 C4r 31 be undone; however ’twould be ſuch a pleaſing Ruin, that he waited with the higheſt impatience for the appointed hour, when he might aſſure her by word of Mouth, his Heart was wholly at her diſpoſe. Juſt as I had done Reading this Letter he came in, and for a Proof of his Conſtancy, ſhew’d me that which I had ſent him, with another which he ſaid was the Anſwer he deſign’d to ſend; wherein he told her, he was already ſo deeply in Love, ’twas impoſſible for him to change; with abundance of fine things of the Perſon he Lov’d. This was good ſport for me, and I had much ado to keep my Countenance; I us’d all my Rhetorick to perſwade him to ſtay with me; a thing I had never deſir’d of him before, and now ’twas in vain: He pretended earneſt buſineſs, and went long before the hour, he was ſo very impatient. When he was gone, I chang’d my Clothes, took a Lady C4 with 32 C4v 32 with me, who was Privy to the Affair, and went to the aforeſaid Place. We were in Masks, and it being duſkiſh, he did not know us; but after I had banter’d him for ſome time, I diſcovered my ſelf: I can’t deſcribe to you the different Paſſions that affected him; ſometimes he was in a Rage with me for putting ſuch a Deceit upon him, ſometimes he would frame weak Excuſes for what he had done, and ſometimes he was not able to ſpeak at all for Grief, that he was not only diſappointed of a New Miſtreſs, but had loſt all hopes of gaining one he had Courted ſo long, with ſo much aſſiduity. I went home, as well pleas’d with loſing one, as I have ſometimes been, with making a Conqueſt, in full hopes I ſhou’d be plagued with him no more, and I was not deceiv’d. You ſee, Cleander, what a Miſcellany of Lovers, if I may call ’em ſo, I have had all of different humours, but none that had 33 C5r 33 had found out the Secret to pleaſe me: They have done enough if they contribute any thing to your diverſion, and made a ſufficient Recompence for all their former Impertinence to
Your faithful Friend
The Reflections you made upon my two laſt, are ſo Juſt, ſo Profitable, and ſo Pleaſant, that through them I ſee the Author’s great Capacity, that can make ſo good uſe of ſuch little things; and while I Read, bleſs my kind Fate that made you my Friend, when the Good and Wiſe are ſo ſcarce; C5 and 34 C5v 34 and wonder how ſo particular a Bleſſing came to be my Lot; which more than doubly ſatisfies for all I ſuffer’d by Clarinda’s falſeneſs. I believe you think it ſtrange I never mention’d her, in any of the Paſſages of my Life, ſince it was before many that I have told you of, that I knew and lov’d her: But I cou’d not have Nam’d her without ſome Mark of kindneſs, that I either ſhow’d, or receiv’d from her, which I wou’d willingly forget, and cou’d not now ſpeak of her, but when I put your Friendſhip in compenſation with her Ingratitude. But ſince I am fall’n upon this Subject, I will let you know a little better than you do, the only Woman that I ever truſted, not with any Secret, for you ſee I then had none of conſequence; but with my Love, and in that ſhe betray’d me. Her Siſter often told me, ſhe was ſorry to ſee ſo ſincere a Friendſhip beſtow’d upon one that knew 35 C6r 35 knew ſo little how to Value it; that Clarinda was the ſame to all, which ſhe pretended to be only for me: That ſhe was always fondeſt of her new acquaintance, and wou’d Sacrifice, or Ridicule the Old, the better to Careſs ’em: But I knew there had been ſome Quarrels betwixt them, and therefore wou’d not believe it, till I found it too true; and then my partiality for her, chang’d into as great an Error on the other hand, for I involv’d the whole Sex in her Faults, and with Ariſtotle (I hope one may condemn ones ſelf with Ariſtotle) Repented that I had ever Truſted a Woman. I don’t know whether I forgot I was one, or whither I had the Vanity to think my ſelf more perfect than the reſt; but I reſolv’d none of the Sex was capable of Friendſhip; and continu’d in that Opinion till, I knew Ambriſia who (if one may judge by the Rule of Contraries, convinces me of injuſtice) for 36 C6v 36 for ſhe is juſt Clarinda’s Antipodes. Clarinda loves new Faces, and profeſſes a particular kindneſs at firſt ſight; Ambriſia is a long time before ſhe goes beyond Civility, and never does but to thoſe whom ſhe has well obſerv’d, and found ’em Worthy: Clarinda will Rail at one Friend to engage another: Ambriſia can’t hear an innocent perſon, thô her Enemy, accus’d without defending ’em: Clarinda will be one day fond to extravagance, and the next as indifferent for the ſame perſon: Ambriſia is always the ſame, and where once ſhe loves, ſhe never changes: Clarinda is eaſily Angry: Ambriſia is perhaps too mild. Clarinda has Wit indeed, but ’tis not temper’d by Judgment, ſo that it makes her often do, and ſay a hundred things that call her diſcretion in queſtion: Ambriſia has a Solid and piercing Judgment, one wou’d think all ſhe ſays was the Reſult of premeditation, ſhe ſpeaks ſuch Wiſe and ſuch ſur- 37 C7r 37 ſurprizing things, and yet her Anſwers are ſo ready, that one wou’d Swear ſhe did not think at all; her Actions are always moſt regular; I believe ſhe never cou’d accuſe her ſelf of an imprudent one. This is a true and unprejuc’d Character of both; and if you wonder how I cou’d love a Woman with ſuch groſs Faults, I muſt tell you, ſome of ’em I did not know then; ſome I excus’d, for I did not expect perfection, and ſome my partial kindneſs made me cover with the Name of ſome Neighbouring Virtue. You know, Ambriſia has as great advantages of Clarinda in Body as in Mind: I have often heard you praiſe her outward Beauty, and now I have ſhew’d you the Beauties of her Soul, thô they are far greater than I can expreſs, give me leave to wiſh her yours. Forgive me if I mingle a little ſelf-Intereſt in my wiſhes for you, I can’t reſiſt a thought of joy for the hopes of finding 38 C7v 38 finding two Noble Friends in one, by ſuch a happy Union: Think of it Cleander; you only deſerve one another. I know you will bid me take your Advice, and ſhew you the way; but I ſhall tell you things that will convince you, my Refuſal is reaſonable. I was juſt fifteen years Old when a particular Friend of my Mothers buried her Husband; whoſe Grief was ſo great, that my Mother durſt hardly leave her; ſhe ſtaid with her Night and Day, and manag’d all her Affairs for her. She went to Cloridon’s, who had had a Friendſhip for the Deceas’d; (for they were forc’d to make uſe of that, and his Authority in a buſineſs, wherein the Widow had lik’d to be wrong’d) but Men of his Quality are not always at Leiſure, and muſt be waited on; ſo that thô my Mother went two or three times, ſhe did not ſee him, and having other Affairs of her own, and her Friends in hand, beſides being 39 C8r 39 being oblig’d to be much with her, ſhe cou’d not Watch his Hours: However ’twas a thing of too great conſequence to be neglected: So ſhe Writ a Letter to him, and Order’d me to carry it, and to deliver it into his own Hand. I went often to his Lodgings before I cou’d ſpeak with him, and carry’d Clarinda with me: At laſt I was appointed an hour when I ſhou’d certainly meet with him, and ſhe happen’d to be ſo engag’d, ſhe cou’d not poſſibly go with me. I knew no body elſe I cou’d uſe ſo much freedom with, and was forc’d to go alone. I did not wait long before I was admitted, and he approach’d me with that awful Majeſty which is peculiar to him; and that commands reſpect from all that ſee him. Whilſt he held the Letter I gave him, I look’d at him ſometimes; but ſtill I met his Eyes, ſo that I cou’d not view him well, thô I ſaw enough to think him the Charming’ſt Man in 40 C8v 40 in the World: He ask’d my Name, and whoſe Daughter I was? which when I told him, he ſaid he knew my Father very well; that he was a Worthy Man, and that for his ſake he wou’d do any thing for me that lay within his Power. I thank’d him thô I took it for a Courtiers Complement, and deſir’d an Anſwer to the buſineſs I came about. I will go my ſelf inſtantly, ſays he, to ſee what can be done in it, and give you an Account of it in the Afternoon; but there’s ſo much Company at my Lodgings, that ’tis not a convenient place for you: Can’t you come ſomewhere elſe? Yes my Lord, ſays I, very innocently, where you pleaſe: If you will be in a Hackney Coach then, at Five a Clock by Covent- Garden Church, I will come to you, and let you know what I can do for your Friend. I told him I wou’d, and went away very well ſatisfy’d with him, for I had no apprehenſions of any deſign, from a Man of his 41 C9r 41 his Character. You know all the World thinks him the fondeſt Husband upon Earth, and that he never had a thought of any Woman but his Wife, ſince he Marry’d her: This made me ſecure, and I did not fail to go at the appointed hour. My Mother knew nothing of it till afterwards; for I did not ſee her that day. When he came to me, he told me, what he had done; inform’d himſelf of ſome things that were neceſſary for him to know, that Related to the buſineſs, and aſſur’d me, he wou’d do the Widow Juſtice. Then he renew’d his Promiſe to me with Proteſtations, that I ſhou’d command him as far as his Authority or Intereſt cou’d go; and beg’d me to make uſe of him either for my Relations, or my ſelf when ever I had occaſion. After he had made me ſome Speeches of my Wit and Beauty, we parted, and as ſoon as I ſaw my Mother, I told her all that paſs’d between us. She was 42 C9v 42 was extreamly pleas’d to have ſo great a Man her Friend; eſpecially one that ſhe had no Reaſon to ſuſpect of any ill Deſign,ſince he had taken no advantage of ſo favourable an opportunity as I had given him to diſcover himſelf, if he had any; nor had not ſo much as deſir’d to continue the Correſpondence. The next day the buſineſs was concluded more to our ſatisfaction than was expected. Sometime after this, a Gentleman of my Mothers acquaintance told her, that he had a mind for a Commiſſion in the Army, and that he wou’d give a conſiderable ſum of Mony to any Body that wou’d procure it. My Mother ſaid, ſhe’d try her Intereſt, and made me Write to Cloridon about it. He ſent me an obliging Anſwer, and deſir’d to ſee me at the ſame Place where we met before, that I might give him an exact Account of the perſon I recommended, and Anſwer ſome Queſtions about him more 43 C10r 43 more particularly than I cou’d do by Writing. I did ſo in the firſt part of our Converſation; and then he begun to talk of the many ills that Attend greatneſs, of which he ſaid, Flattery was the Chief; for it was the greateſt Unhappineſs to be ſooth’d in ones Faults: But Olinda, continu’d he, in you I ſee all that Sincerity and Ingenuity that is requiſite for a Friend,and I ſhou’d think my ſelf very Happy, if you wou’d let me ſee you ſometimes; if you wou’d tell me of my Faults, and what the World ſays of me. You Honour me too much my lord, ſays I, but you have taken ſuch care to make all Virtues your own, that there’s no Room left for Flattery, or Correction. To be ſhort, after a great many Compliments of this Nature he told me, ’twou’d be an Act of ſo great goodneſs, That he was ſure I cou’d not deny him. But what will the World think, ſays I, of ſuch private Meetings? If neither you, 44 C10v 44 you, nor I, tell it, it won’t be known, ſays he, as it ſhould, if I came to Viſit you: So that I may have the ſame Innocent Pleaſure of ſeeing you, which you wou’d not deny me in Publick, without making any Noiſe: And ſince I aſſure you I have only a Friendſhip for you, it can’t ſhock your Virtue. I neither Granted, nor Deny’d him his Requeſt; for I did not know whither I ſhou’d do the Firſt, and I cou’d not Reſolve to do the laſt; both becauſe it might be a hindrance to our buſineſs, and becauſe I was very well pleas’d with his Converſation. Nothing cou’d be more agreeable; he is a Man of as much ſenſe, and as Great Addreſs, as any I ever knew: But what is more to be commended and wondred at in a Stateſman? he never promis’d any thing that he did not perform. He gave me his Word for the Commiſſion I deſir’d; appointed me a day when I ſhou’d meet him, to receive it; and kept it 45 C11r 45 it punctually. Theſe were ſuch great Obligations, that I cou’d not but have ſome acknowledgments for ’em. There was nothing talk’d of in our Houſe, but Cloridon’s Generoſity; and about that time, all the Town Rung of ſome great Actions he had then perform’d: So that all things Contributed to encreaſe my Eſteem of him. I Writ him a Letter of Thanks, and he told me in his Anſwer, that he deſir’d no other Recompence for all he cou’d do for me, but to ſee me ſometimes. I conſider’d, that there was no danger in ſeeing a Man, that was ſo great a Lover of his Lady; and that profeſs’d only a Friendſhip for me: That if ever he ſhou’d change, I cou’d eaſily forbear it, and that whatever happen’d, my Virtue was a ſufficient Guard. So I conſented to it, without letting my Mother know any thing of it. But I muſt delay telling you what theſe ſecret Meetingsings 46 C11v 46 ings produc’d; for time and Paper fails me, and will ſcarce give me leave to aſſure you that I am
Your tendereſt Friend,
You wou’d pity rather than chide me, Cleander, if you knew the Cauſe of my not Writing to you all this while. I have not been one moment alone for this Fortnight paſt, but condemn’d to entertain a mix’d Company, all of different Humours, different ways of Living, and of Converſing; ſo that ’twas almoſt impoſſible to pleaſe one without Contradicting anothers Humour. You may judge how uneaſie this was to me; for I’ve 47 C12r 47 I’ve often told you, I had rather be all my Life alone, than with a Company that is not choſen: That I ſometimes prefer Solitude even to the beſt, and that I had now retir’d to avoid the World: But I find one never enjoys any thing without diſturbance that one places one’s happineſs in; and I was to blame, to expect a ſingular Fate ſhou’d be cut out for me. But whatever Accident deprives me of any thing elſe I Love, I can never be unfortunate; if Cleander continues to be my Friend. You may Remember I broke off my laſt, where I had Reſolv’d to ſee Cloridon, as he deſir’d. We met as often as we cou’d, extreamly to both our ſatisfactions: He told me all his little uneaſineſſes, and had ſo great a Confidence in me, that he diſcover’d ſome Intreagues of State to me, that are yet unknown to ſome that think they are not ſtrangers to the moſt ſecret tranſactions of the Court; and 48 C12v 48 and he never undertook any of his own Affairs of greateſt moment without asking my Advice. Thus we liv’d for two Months, and nothing paſs’d that gave me Reaſon to Repent an Action, that was not ill in it ſelf; but might be ſo by the Conſequences of it, till one day, when he had been telling me ſeveral things which concern’d him nearly: But there’s one Secret, ſays he, Olinda, that I have never told you yet, tho’ it takes up all my Heart; but ’tis that I believe you know it too well already. I ſaid, I could not ſo much as gueſs at it. What, Olinda interrupted, is it possible you ſhou’d be be Ignorant, That I am the moſt in Love of any Man in the World? How cou’d you imagine, I that knew you ſo well, cou’d have only a Cold Reſpect or Friendſhip for you? No, no, Olinda, I Love you; I love you Ardently; I cannot live unleſs you give me leave to tell you ſo; and to hope that you will one day return it. I was ſo amaz’d at 49 D1r 49 at this Diſcourſe, I did not know what to Anſwer: It vex’d me to be oblig’d to alter my way of Living with him; but I did not find my ſelf ſo Angry at his Love as I ought. However I diſguis’d my thoughts, and put on all the Severity that is needful in ſuch Caſes. I have more Reaſon to be diſpleas’d with ſuch a Declaration from you my Lord, ſaid I, than any other: You that ſay you knew me ſo well; What have you ſeen in me to Encourage it? Have I ever given you occaſion to ſuſpect my Virtue? Or is it that you are tir’d with my Converſation, and therefore take this moſt effectual means to be freed from it? Inhumane Fair! ſaid he, Muſt you hate me becauſe I love you? can you Reſolve not to let me ſee you, only becauſe you know I deſir’d it more than before? In ſhort, he ſaid the moſt paſſionate things that a Lover can imagine, and tho I found he mov’d my Heart too much, I diſſembledD ſembled 50 D1v 50 ſembled well enough to hide it from him. Nothing he ſaid, cou’d prevail with me to ſee him, and I hop’d Abſence wou’d help me to forget him. He Writ many melancholy Letters to me, telling me all the Court took Notice of his Grief; that it would ſhortly be his Death, if I wou’d not ſee him; and beg’d me to live with him as I had done, and he wou’d never ſpeak to me of his Love. But ſtill I refus’d, tho unwillingly. I was Angry at my ſelf for thinking of him, and for being pleas’d, when ſome told in Company where I was, that he had been ſo out of Humour for ſome time, that no Body durſt ſpeak to him of buſineſs. I lov’d to think it was for me, and ask’d a hundred Queſtions about him. But now the Publick Affairs oblig’d him to go to Flanders, where he perform’d Actions Worthy of himſelf. His Valour, Generoſity, and Liberality were talk’d of every where; which ſtill more 51 D2r 51 more and more engag’d me. I cou’d not but have ſome inclination for ſo fine a Man, when I conſider’d that he lov’d me too: However I believ’d I had only that Eſteem for him which I thought due to his Merit, and that Gratitude which the Obligations I had to him requir’d. But I grew inſenſibly more Melancholy than Uſual. One Evening that my Mother and I were taking a ſerious Walk by the Canal in St. James’s Park, a Gentleman of her Country, and Acquaintance, ſeeing us at a diſtance, came to bear us Company: The Air being pretty Cool, we wore our Masks, and after we had made two or three Turns, he ſaw a Friend of his, of the ſame Nation coming towards us. That, ſays he, is Antonio Son to my Lord――He is a very well Accompliſh’d Gentleman, and has a good Eſtate, I wiſh he were Married to Olinda. I know the Family, and have heard of him, Replyed my Mother,D2 ther 52 D2v 52 ther, I ſhould not diſlike the Match. By this time he was come up to us, and after having beg’d Pardon for intruding, and leave to Walk with us, he turn’d of my ſide. He had not ſeen my Face, for it was duskiſh, and I only made a Faſhion of lifting my Mask upon our firſt Complements; but yet he ſaid abundance of fine things, of my Beauty and Charms. After half an Hours Converſation we were going home, and they wou’d needs wait upon us, but one of his Servants met him, and told him he had been looking for him a long time; ſome Friends of his that were going out of England the next day, ſtaid for him in the Mall, and muſt ſpeak with him immediately. So he left us to the tothers Care, and went back. The firſt time Antonio met with his Friend, with whom he had ſeen us; he told him he, was ſo Charm’d with the Ladies Converſation, that he could not Reſt till he 53 D3r 53 he ſaw her again. He Anſwer’d, that he wou’d not like her if he had ſeen her, but he wou’d carry him to Viſit one, whoſe Beauty wou’d ſoon make him forget her. Antonio ſaid, that Wit and good Humour had far greater Charms for him, than the fineſt Face in the World: But that you mayn’t think me obſtinate, I will ſee her, upon condition, that if her Eyes have not that influence which you expect, you will make me acquainted with that Lady whoſe Wit has engag’d me more perhaps than you imagine. He promis’d he wou’d, and ſo left him, and came to our Lodging: He gave us an Account of this Converſation, and deſir’d us to continue the Humour, and not let him know we had ſeen him before; for he fancy’d a great deal of Pleaſure in ſeeing me Rival my ſelf. We agreed to it, and when they came, I entertain’d him with the greateſt ſimplicity imaginable: D3 For 54 D3v 54 For you muſt know I had an Averſion for him, which I cou’d give no Reaſon for (that Paſſion is as unaccountable as Love) and therefore I was pleas’d he ſhou’d think me a Fool, that he might not deſire to ſee me again. I was glad to perceive he was uneaſie in my Company, and to make him the more ſo, I talk’d very much, and very little to the purpoſe. When he was gone, he ſaid to his Friend, That if Olinda had the other Ladies Soul, ſhe wou’d be a dangerous Perſon; but that as ſhe was, he cou’d no more Love her than a fair Picture: That her Folly had only made him the more eager to ſee the unknown, and therefore he claim’d his Promiſe. He Anſwer’d, That he did not know what a ſecond ſight of Olinda might do; but however not to be worſe than his Word, he wou’d endeavour to contrive a Meeting, but he cou’d not promiſe he ſhou’d ſee her Face, for ſhe was very ſhy of that, as ſhe had ſome 55 D4r 55 ſome Reaſon. I was extreamly averſe to ſeeing him again, but this Gentleman was ſo earneſt with me, and my Mother ſaid ſo much for it, (for ſhe was deſirous to have us acquainted) that I was almoſt forc’d to go; but Reſolv’d not to ſhew my Face. He carry’d Antonio to the Park, at an appointed hour, when he ſaid, he heard the Lady ſay ſhe wou’d be there; and we met ’em as if by chance. We had a Converſation that wou’d have been diverting enough, if my Hatred for him had not made me think, all he did or ſaid diſagreeable: He told me I had been continually in his thoughts ſince he ſaw me, and that I had made ſuch an Impreſſion in his Heart, as cou’d never be alter’d. I ſaid, he muſt have a ſtrange Opinion of my Credulity if he thought I cou’d believe he was in Love with a Woman he never ſaw. Ah Madam, ſays he, how much more Charming are you Veil’d D4 as 56 D4v 56 as you are, than a Beautiful Fool that can only pleaſe ones Eyes: Such a one as my Friend here made me Viſit the other day; and then he gave me a long Deſcription of Olinda, and Related all her Diſcourſe; which indeed was very inſipid. We made ſome Satyrical Remarks upon the poor Lady, and then we parted, tho Antonio would fain have gone home with us; but we wou’d not permit him. He was very importunate with his Friend after this, to make him acquainted with the unknown; but he ſaid, he durſt not carry him to ſee her without her leave; but he wou’d try to gain it, if he continu’d to deſire it, after ſeeing Olinda two or three times. He Reply’d, he wou’d endure ſo much Mortification, in hopes of ſo great a Bleſſing as he promis’d him, but it muſt be ſpeedy, for a Lover was impatient; and he ſhou’d be better ſatisfied with ſeeing the Uglieſt Face he cou’d imagine; than with that 57 D5r 57 that doubt he was in. In ſhort, he brought him to our Lodgings ſeveral times, and ſtill Acted the Fooliſh part; but yet he confeſs’d to his Friend, that I had mov’d him a little; and he Refus’d to ſee me again for fear he ſaid, that he ſhou’d Love a Woman that he cou’d not Eſteem: But one moments interview with his other Charmer wou’d deprive Olinda of that little part ſhe had gain’d of his Heart. A little after ſome young Ladies that I knew, were going to the Play, and beg’d me to go with them: I was ſo chagrin, I cou’d not think of any diverſions; but that made them the more preſſing, urging it wou’d cure my Melancholy. So I went with them, and the firſt ſight I ſaw was Antonio and his Friend. The laſt ſeeing a Lady that was not handſome with me; it came into his thoughts to ſay, That was ſhe that Antonio was in Love with. He gaz’d upon her with the greateſt D5 eagerneſs 58 D5v 58 eagerneſs imaginable, for a long time; then turning to another that was with them; Which of thoſe two, ſays he, (pointing to her and me) do you like best? You amaze me with that Question, Return’d he, for I think there is too great a Diſparity between them, to leave any doubt that it muſt be Olinda; (for he knew my Name) You wou’d Alter your Opinion, ſays Antonio, if you knew them both as well as I; for Olinda’s Beauty is more than doubly Valu’d by the others Wit, and ſolid Judgment. But Olinda has both, Reply’d the Gentleman; which I believe you can’t but know if you have ever talk’d with, or heard of her: For every body gives her that Character. They Wrong her extreamly, ſays Antonio, for ſhe is really Fooliſh to deſerve Pity; I never Convers’d with a Woman whoſe Company was ſo tireſome; ſhe talks Eternally, and not one Word of Common Senſe. ’Tis impoſſiblepoſſible, 59 D6r 59 poſſible your Friend here, who is a very good Judge, has often ſaid ſuch things of her to me, that I muſt think you miſtake the Woman. I have been too often with her for that, ſays Antonio, you may rather believe my Friend Jear’d her. Then they queſtion’d him about it; but he Laugh’d and ſaid, He never ſaw a pretty Woman, but he thought ſhe had Wit enough; ſo that they did not know what to make of him; but Antonio who wou’d not have been ſorry to find as much Wit in Olinda, as he imagin’d in one, whoſe outſide did not pleaſe him ſo well; took ſome pleaſure in fancying himſelf deceiv’d; thô when he conſider’d it ſeriouſly, he cou’d not believe it. However he enquir’d diligently of all that cou’d inform him any thing of me, which did more confound him: For they agreed, that I was far from being a Fool, and he cou’d not imagine to what end I ſhou’d pretendtend 60 D6v 60 tend it: But was Reſolv’d to find it out. He came often to ſee us, and ſtill found me the ſame Fool, till one day when we had a great deal of Company, I was extreamly put to it; for I did not care for making my ſelf ridiculous to ſo many; and ’twas not good Manners to be ſilent; however, I choſe rather to be Rude, than undeceive him: I often made as if I did not hear when I was ſpoke to; but I was oblig’d to Anſwer, when one ſaid to me, What’s the matter with you Olinda, that you are Dumb of a ſudden? I’m ſure you ought not; for if it were pardonable in any Woman to talk always, ’twould be in you, that do it ſo well. I was ſo confus’d at this Complement, that came ſo male a propos; that I believe I did not Anſwer it over wiſely; but as my ill Fate wou’d have it, a Lady in the Company took a Paper out of her Pocket, ſaying, I’m Reſolv’d to make Olinda. ſpeak 61 D7r 61 ſpeak whether ſhe will or not; and I’le leave you to judge, whether ſhe does not do it well in this Song. So ſhe Read one that I had Writ at her deſire; for ſhe ſung very well. I wou’d fain have deny’d it, but I ſaw ’twas in vain, for Wit will out one way or other. Antonio ſeem’d overjoy’d at this Diſcovery, and I was as much Griev’d: For no Woman had ever a greater deſire to be thought Wiſe, than I to be thought otherwiſe. He came to ſee me every day from that time, and when his Friend told him, that he hop’d he wou’d not diſpute Olinda’s Power any longer, ſince ſhe had made him ſo abſolutely forget her, whom he had once prefer’d ſo much to her; he ſaid, that ’twas not the ſame Olinda whom he lov’d, for ſhe had chang’d her Soul: Nor had he forgot the other, for ’twas that Wit, that ſame turn of Thought and agreeable Converſation which he Admir’d in her, that he Ador’d in Olinda. 62 D7v 62 Olinda. I don’t know, whether he ever knew, that they were both one perſon, but he did not deſire to ſee the other. When he diſcover’d his Love to me, I entertain’d it ſo coldly, that he cou’d have little hopes, but that’s the laſt thing that quite forſakes a Lover: And it did not hinder him from perſiſting. He watch’d his opportunity, when he ſaw any thing had pleas’d me, but ſtill he was Repuls’d with greater Scorn. I took delight when he was with me, to Repeat often thoſe Words in Sophonisha; The Forts impregnable break up your Siege, there’s one for you too mighty enter’d in; the Haughtieſt, Braveſt, Foremoſt Man on Earth. He Importun’d me extreamly to know who this Happy Man was; and Vow’d if I wou’d tell him, he’d never mention his Paſſion to me again; But I told him, if there was ſuch a Man, it was the ſame Reaſon he ſhou’d trouble me no more, as if he knew who 63 D8r 63 who he was; ſince that cou’d make no Alteration in my heart: And perhaps it was a Secret; however, that I wou’d hear no more of his Love. He Begg’d and Sigh’d, and Whin’d, an hour or two to make me Reverſe my Doom; but in vain; and I was pleas’d that he believ’d me in Love, thô I did not think it my ſelf. He continu’d to Viſit me without ſaying any thing of particular to me; and without ſuſpecting the Object of my Love; till my Mother and ſome Company were talking of the great Actions Cloridon had done; juſt as they Nam’d him, he look’d at me, (by chance it may be) but I being a little Guilty, thought it was deſign’d, Bluſh’d, look’d down, and was confus’d, which made me bluſh the more; and that was enough to fix a Jealouſie that had long poſſeſt him, and that Watch’d for the leaſt ſhadow of Reaſon to place it upon any particular perſon. I was ſo 64 D8v 64 ſ;o aſham’d of my ſelf, that I was not able to ſtay in the Room, and when I was gone, Antonio kept up the Diſcourſe of Cloridon; begun to praiſe his Perſon, and ask’d my Mother what ſhe thought of him. She ſaid, ’twas ſo long ſince ſhe had ſeen him, that ſhe had almoſt forgot him; but that her Daughter had ſeen him lately, (and ſo told upon what occaſion) and that ſhe Extoll’d him for the fineſt Man ſhe ever ſaw. This confirm’d his Jealouſie; and the firſt Opportunity he had with me, he told me ſome News of Cloridon: And then ask’d me if I had ever ſeen him, and how I lik’d him. I knew nothing of what my Mother had ſaid; and not being willing he ſhou’d believe what I found he ſuſpected; I Anſwer’d, that I had ſeen him two or three times in Walks at a diſtance: That I though tt he was well enough, but not ſo handſom as Fame had made him. There needed no more to 65 D9r 65 to remove all doubt that he was his Rival; but how to know the particular Terms we were in was the difficulty; he knew his Character, and thought me Virtuous, and therefore cou’d not fear any thing Criminal betwixt us; but he Reſolv’d to try if my Affections were ſtrongly engag’d; and to that end he ſhew’d me a Letter from Flanders, wherein it was told him, that Cloridon (to the great Wonder of all there) had a young Lady diſguis’d in Men’s Cloaths with him all the Campagne, and that it was diſcover’d by an Accident, which he gave a large Account of. I found my ſelf ſeiz’d with an unuſual I knew not what, and did all my endeavours to conceal it, but I chang’d Colour two or three times, and he having his Eyes continually upon me, ’twas impoſſible but he muſt obſerve my concern: However he ſaid nothing of it to me, and I forc’d my ſelf to talk of things indiffe- 66 D9v 66 indifferent. As ſoon as I was alone, I examin’d my ſelf upon the matter. Why ſhou’d this trouble me (ſaid I within my ſelf) who wou’d not entertain his Love, when it was offer’d me, and I have often Reſolv’d never to ſee him, even when I thought him Conſtant? How comes it then, that I am ſo Griev’d and Angry that he loves another? And that I wiſh with ſuch impatience for his Return? In fine, I diſcover’d, that what I had call’d Eſteem and Gratitude was Love; and I was as much aſham’d of the Diſcovery, as if it had been known to all the World. I fancy’d every one that ſaw me, Read it in my Eyes: And I hated my ſelf. when Jealouſie would give me leave to Reaſon, for my extravagant thoughts and wiſhes: Mean while Antonio wou’d not be Idle; he thought this was the time for him; when my Anger was Rais’d againſt Cloridon; that that and my Obedience to 67 D10r 67 to my Mother (if he cou’d get her of his ſide, which he did not much doubt) wou’d induce me to Marry him; and then he did not fear, but Reaſon and Duty wou’d overcome my Love. Accordingly he had my Mothers Conſent, and entreated her to intercede for him; but all this was ſo far from having that effect which he expected, that I hated him the more: I was ſo unjuſt as to look upon him as the Cauſe of my Affliction, and I was ſo Angry to ſee him take ſuch Meaſures, as I foreſaw muſt make me very uneaſie, that I treated him ill, even to Rudeneſs. But I will leave him and Olinda equally unhappy, till the next Poſt; and then give you an Account of ſome Altetration in their Affairs, which if it gave her eaſe, I believe a little encreas’d his pains. In the mean time believe, that I remain
’Tis not poſſible for you to imagine much leſs for me, to expreſs what I endur’d, by my own Jealouſie, and Antonio’s Perſecution: Either of ’em wou’d have been Grievous enough, but together they were intolerable; and I cou’d expect no Remedy, for I knew not what I wou’d have. I did not continue one moment in the ſame Mind; I long’d for Cloridon ’s Return, and yet I Reſolv’d not to ſee him, thô when I thought that perhaps he wou’d not deſire it, I almoſt dy’d with the Fear; but that was ſoon over, for a Week after Antonio had ſhew’d me the Letter I mention’d in my laſt he came to Town, and ſent me a Letter the firſt Night, fill’d with the tendereſt expreſſions of Love, and Vows, that all his Fortune and Conqueſts abroad; 69 D11r 69 abroad, cou’d not give him the leaſt Joy, whilſt I remain’d inexorable; and a hundred Entreaties to ſee him once, and he ſhou’d dye contented. This was ſome ſatisfaction to me; but ’twas but imperfect: Sometimes I believ’d all he ſaid, and preſently after call’d him falſe and Perjur’d; one while I Reſolv’d not to Anſwer him, and the next Minute chang’d my mind; but I was long before I cou’d fix upon what to ſay. At laſt I Writ with a great deal of Affected coldneſs, only I gave him ſome dark Hints of the Lady I had heard was with him, which in his Anſwer he ſaid, he did not underſtand. He Writ ſeveral times to me by private Direction, which I had given him when I believ’d he was only my Friend; but a little after he ſent to our Lodgings, to tell me, that he had a place at his diſpoſal, which if I had any Friend that wou’d accept of it, was at my Service. My Mother 70 D11v 70 Mother made me return him thanks, and tell him, that I had a Relation who was very fit for the Employment, who ſhou’d wait upon him, but he was not now in Town. Cloridon, who deſir’d no better occaſion, ſent me Word, that if I wou’d let him ſee me, he wou’d tell me what was to be done in it; for it was not a thing to be neglected, becauſe there were a great many pretended to it, who might get it by ſome other means, ſince it did not wholly depend upon him. I did not know what pretence to make to hinder my going, for I durſt not tell my Mother of our Meeting, without her knowledge: And perhaps I was glad of the neceſſity of ſeeing him, ſince it took away the Fault, and ſerv’d for an excuſe, both to my ſelf and him; thô I was ſorry to be forc’d to receive new Obligations from him. I never ſaw a Man in ſuch an extaſie of Joy, as he appear’d to be in 71 D12r 71 in at this enterview: He was Speechleſs, and motionleſs for a long time, and when he ſpoke ’twas with ſo paſſionate and Charming Words, and Air, that I was not able to ſay thoſe ſevere things I deſign’d. I check’d him for obliging me to ſee him, after I had Refus’d him ſo often, that he might know ’twas contrary to my Inclinations; but (as he told me ſince) he ſaw ſomething in my Eyes which made him think, I was not very Angry with him: And when I explain’d that part of my Letter which hinted of the Lady, I did it in ſuch a manner, that he believ’d me Jealous. At firſt he ſeem’d amaz’d at what I told him, but afterwards he deny’d it ſo Coldly, and took ſo little pains to perſwade me ’twas falſe, that I was enrag’d; which ſtill diſcover’d my Weakneſs the more. He found one pretence or other, for delaying the buſineſs, and for ſeeing me two or three times, 72 D12v 72 times, and took pleaſure in heightning my Jealouſie; till he thought, if he trifled with me any longer, he might loſe me for ever: And then he begun to proteſt ſeriouſly, There was no ſuch thing, that it muſt be the Invention of ſome particular Enemy of his; for if I wou’d give my ſelf the trouble to enquire, I ſhou’d find it was no general Report, and ’twere impoſſible it ſhou’d not be known by every Body, if what I had heard was true. We eaſily believe what we wiſh; and when I conſider’d from whom I had this Story, I much doubted the truth of it: And whil’ſt I ſaw him, and heard him Swear, he had never had the leaſt inclination, for any other Woman ſince he ſaw me, I was firmly perſwaded of his Fidelity; but my ſuſpicions return’d a little, as ſoon as I left him. He told me, he cou’d willingly forgive the Invention, ſince it had occaſion’d the diſcoveryvery 73 E1r 73 very of my Sentiments, which were to his Advantage; but Reply’d, that he need not much boaſt of what my Weakneſs had Reveal’d; for thô I cou’d not now deny that my heart took too great a part in what concern’d him, yet ſince he knew it nothing ſhou’d prevail with me to ſee him again; and ſo I left him: But I cou’d not forbear ſaying at parting, that he had made me very unhappy, and I wiſh’d I had never ſeen him, tho’ I condemn’d my ſelf a hundred times for it afterwards. I ask’d of all I knew that had been in Flanders, or had any Correſpondence there, if they heard of Cloridon ’s having a Lady diſguis’d with him; but they aſſur’d me, there was not ſo much as the leaſt Report of it, which pretty well ſatisfied me as to that: For every Action of a Man of his Quality, and in his Poſt are ſo narrowly obſerv’d, that a thing ſo extraordinaryE nary 74 E1v 74 nary cou’d not have been a ſecret; but yet I was very deſirous to know upon what ground that Letter was Writ to Antonio. However I wou’d not examine him about it, becauſe I ſaw he ſuſpected my Love already, thô he had never told me; but ſtill continu’d my moſt aſſidious Humble Servant and Tormentor: And I think I was not much in his Debt, for I really treated the poor Man Barbarouſly. My Mother gave him all the opportunities ſhe could, and one day that ſhe had ſome buſineſs that wou’d keep her out till Night; ſhe left me at home, and gave Orders that no body ſhould be admitted to ſee me but Antonio. I was ſo vex’d at this Command, that I Reſolv’d to Revenge my ſelf upon him, and when I heard the Noiſe of one coming up Stairs, I prepar’d to give him the rudeſt Reception I cou’d: I ſate Reading with my back towards the Door, and did 75 E2r 75 did not Riſe when he came in, till I ſaw the ſhadow of a Man kneeling by my ſide; and then without looking towards him, I got up and walk’d to the other end of the Room. What, Madam, ſays he, is my Offence ſo great? Or do you hate me ſo much, that you will not hear me ask for Pardon? I found ſomething in the Voice ſoft and moving, which ſtruck me like one I was accuſtom’d to be pleas’d with; and turning about, I was amaz’d; Good God, cry’d I, is it poſſible? Are you Cloridon, or do I Dream? How cou’d you come here? ―― How could I forbear coming ſo long? interrupted he, or how can I live a moment from you? I muſt ſee you Olinda, whatever I hazard, and ſince you refus’d to let me a ſecurer way, how could I neglect ſo favourable an opportunity? Then I deſir’d to know by what means he knew, that I was alone; and he told me, That ſince the laſt time he ſaw me, and that E2 I 76 E2v 76 I had been ſo good as to own my ſelf ſenſible of his Love, he had had a hundred Plots and Contrivances to ſee me; but found none ſo feaſible as that, which he had put in Execution. He ſent a Servant whom he confided much in, and Ordered him to try all means poſſible to know my Motions when I went out, and when I was at home alone; and he had found the way to gain the favour of a Servant that belong’d to the Landlord of the Houſe, (no doubt he ſee’d her well,) and ſhe had engag’d to be ſecret, and to ſend him word when I was alone; but ſhe did not know for whom ſhe did this Service; only he had told her, That ’twas a Man of Quality that was in Love with me, and deſired to ſee me privately, to know how I was affected towards him, before he declared himſelf publickly. He came to her that morning, and ſhe told him, my Mother was gone out, 77 E3r 77 out, and that ſhe heard her ſay, ſhe ſhould not come home till Night; ſo that if he would come with the Perſon that was to ſee me, ſhe would be at the Door to conduct him to me: When they came, ſhe told them, That a Gentleman that courted me had been there juſt now, but ſhe denied that I was at home on purpoſe to oblige him. I was angry that he ſhould take ſo little Care of my Reputation; but he ſaid, that it was not at all in danger, for no body knew of it but that Servant who would not tell it for her own ſake; or if ſhe did, ſhe ſaw that ’twas all without my Knowledge. That if I would not give my Conſent to ſee him abroad he ſhould do ſomething more extravagant that might expoſe both me and him: But if I would, he’d promiſe never to ſpeak of his Love to me. In fine, by Threatnings and Intreaties, and my own Inclination, I was prevail’d with, after I had made him ſwear not to E3 mention 78 E3v 78 mention his pretended Paſſion. Forgive my Frailty, dear Cleander, it was not poſſible for me to refuſe the Man I lov’d any thing that could admit of excuſe, and I found or made Arguments enough to ſooth my Inclination, and perſuade me it was no Fault only to ſee him. I haſtned him away for fear he ſhould be ſeen with me, but he lingred on for two or three hours, and juſt as he was going I heard Antonio’s Voice asking for me, ſo that he could not go out without meeting him. I was extreamly vex’d, but this was no time to fret or chide. I deſir’d him to ſtep into a Cloſet, which I had in the Room; where I kept my Books, and told him I wou’d contrive a way to be rid of the other quickly. When I had Lock’d him in, I took my Hoods and ſeem’d to be putting ’em on, in order to go abroad, ſo that Antonio cou’d not in good Manners ſtay; but he deſir’d, ſince he was ſo unhappyhappy 79 E4r 79 happy as to be depriv’d of that ſatisfaction he expected in my Company, that I wou’d lend him ſome Book to divert his Melancholy. I told him, that he would have found ſo little in my Company, that he needed not much Mourn for the loſs of it: but as my ill Fate wou’d have it, he was ſo preſſing to borrow a Book, that I knew not how to refuſe it; I turn’d the Diſcourſe and ſat down, and ſaid, I had alter’d my Reſolution and wou’d ſtay at home. Antonio wonder’d at this Mighty Favour, he was ſo unus’d to receive any from me, that he was Tranſported at it: He thank’d me for it a hundred times, and I believe preſag’d no little good Fortune for him from ſuch a Change, thô my way of entertaining him, gave him no great encouragement. If I ſhou’d give you a particular Account of our Converſation, ’twou’d be as impertinent to you, as ’twas troubleſome E4 to 80 E4v 80 to me; I will only tell you, I never paſs’d an hour with half ſo much pain as that, having for addition to the uſual uneaſineſs his Company made me endure, that of the unſeaſonableneſs of the time. Whilſt I was fretting at this unhappy Accident, and fearing he wou’d not go away till my Mother came home, our Landlords Maid came to tell me, there was one below wou’d ſpeak with me: I went down and ſaw it was that Servant of Cloridon ’s, which he had ſpoke of to me; he told me, that the King had ſent twice for his Lord, and deſir’d me to tell him, that he muſt of neceſſity go preſently, for the buſineſs was of importance. This was a new Vexation; and I ſtaid ſome time to deliberate what I ſhou’d do, and at laſt, Reſolv’d to ſay I was ſent for by a Lady that was Sick, that ſo Antonio might be oblig’d to leave me. But how was I ſurpriz’d, when I return’d and found 81 E5r 81 found Cloridon in the Room! I needed not diſſemble an aſtoniſhment, for I was as much amaz’d to ſee him there, as if I had not known he was in the Houſe. He advanc’d towards me, with a Ceremonious Bow, ſaying, You have Reaſon Madam to wonder, and to be Angry at me? but when you know, that ’tis the general Frailty of mankind that brought me hither, your goodneſs ſure will pardon me: I mean Love, Madam, Love which makes the Wiſeſt Men guilty of the greateſt Irregularities. I bluſh’d at what he ſaid, not apprehending his deſign, and told him his being there, and his Diſcourſe were both ſo myſterious to me, that I did not know what to Anſwer him. He ſaid, he thought himſelf oblig’d to tell the Truth, ſince my Reputation wou’d be in danger by concealing it: But firſt he muſt beg me to pardon the Servant of the Houſe, and not to let her Maſter know of it; for he havingE5 ving 82 E5v 82 ving taken a fancy to her, had wheedled her into a conſent, to let him come and ſee her, tho the Wench was very honeſt: That our Family being all abroad, ſhe had brought him into that Room, and hearing me return’d, ſhe had put him into the Cloſet, believing I wou’d go out again: But finding I ſtaid long, he had entertain’d himſelf with my Books, and in removing ſome had thrown down others, the noiſe of which had made Antonio open the Door; and ſince it was his Fortune to be diſcover’d in a fooliſh thing, he hop’d the Gentleman and I, wou’d let it go no further. We gave him our Word for it; and when he was gone, we both ſate ſilent for a long time, each expecting what t’other wou’d ſay: at laſt he begun. Cloridon was hard put to it, to be forc’d to diſcover ſuch a ſecret; he that has acquir’d the Reputation of Chaſt, found out to be ſo little Nice, as to take 83 E6r 83 take ſuch pains, for one of ſo mean Quality, and one that has not many things to recommend her. You have the Luck, ſaid I, to find out Cloridon’s Intreagues, when no body elſe knows any thing of ’em: And he may thank his Good Stars his ſecret falls into ſuch hands; if you’re as careful of this, as you’ve been of that in Flanders, which no body but you has ever heard of. I ſhall certainly conceal it Madam, reply’d he, for your Fame ſake; for the malicious World wou’d be apt to fancy his thoughts were ſomething highter than a Dirty Wench, when he was put into your Cloſet: But I’m to believe what you pleaſe, and if you tell me you never ſaw him before, but in Walks at a distance, I won’t doubt of it. I am not much concern’d what you, or any thinks of me, ſays I, my ſatisfaction does not depend upon Opinion; and I ſhall be always happy, as long as I am innocent;cent; 84 E6v 84 cent; whether you believe me ſo or not. However I owe ſo much to Truth, to aſſure you, that whatever deſigns Cloridon had, I knew no more of his coming here than you did, and that I am very Angry at him for it. If you had not told me ſo Madam, I ſhou’d it may be, have thought you wou’d rather have lent me a Book, than endur’d my Company ſo long (which you always us’d to avoid) but that you fear’d I ſhould ſee him, if you open’d the Cloſet; but I’m very glad, you will have me interpret your ſtaying with me more to my advantage. I was vex’d he ſhould think it was to oblige him; and ſince I found he was Maſter againſt my Will, of the greateſt part of my Secret, I thought it beſt to make him a Confidence of it, which would prevent his Addreſſes to me, and engage him to the greater Fidelity. I told him then, all that was betwixt us; and he gave me ſome good Counſels, not to cheriſh a Love, 85 E7r 85 Love, or entertain a Correſpondence that might in the end prove dangerous conſidering his Circumſtances; but I was too far gone to take ’em, and beſides coming from a Rival, I did not make much Reflection upon ’em. Advices by an intereſted Perſon, thô never ſo reaſonable, are not minded, or at leaſt are much ſuſpected, eſpecially when they contradict the inclination of the Advis’d. I did not tell him, I had conſented to ſee Cloridon, becauſe I reſolv’d not to tell him any thing, but what I could not conceal. I did not ſee Antonio in a Month after, but he ſent often to ask how we did, and ſaid: he was very ill himſelf. He Writ once to me, to tell me he was endeavouring to overcome a Paſſion, which he found was diſpleaſing to me, and which therefore muſt make him very unhappy; and to beg me, if he cou’d effect it, to accept him as a Friend, and not continue that hatred 86 E7v 86 hatred for him then, which I had for my Lover. Mean while the too Charming Cloridon and I met together often: At firſt we entertain’d one another with all the News, and little Intreagues of the Town; he put ſo entire a Confidence in me, was ſo pleas’d to ſee me, and ſo obliging to me, and my Relations upon all Occaſions, that I then thought my ſelf happy to a degree that left no Room for Wiſh; for he gave me the greateſt evidences of his Love, without ſpeaking of it to me, which was all I cou’d deſire from a Man, whoſe Love I prefer’d to every thing but Virtue; and who I cou’d not hear talk of it without a Crime: But how eaſily are we drawn in by ſuch ſteps as theſe, to things we had made the ſtrongeſt Reſolutions againſt. In ſome time he made Complaints to me, and ſpoke of his Paſſion in a third Perſon, ſo that I might underſtand him, but I cou’d not 87 E8r 87 not be angry with him; and I know not how inſenſibly, and by degrees I accuſtom’d my ſelf to hear of his Love: At firſt defending my ſelf againſt it, and chiding him for breaking his Word; but his Excuſes ſeem’d to me ſtronger Reaſon than my Accuſations; and at laſt I ſuffer’d it with Pleaſure, and without any Reluctance. Thus my unwary Heart entangled it ſelf more and more, pleaſing it ſelf with its own Folly, without looking back or forward; happy for the preſent on all ſides, for now I was no longer troubled with Antonio. He after a Months abſence came to ſee me, and told me, he deſir’d nothing of me now but my Friendſhip, and to convince me, he was not my Lover, he would tell me a ſecret in favour of Cloridon, if I wou’d promiſe to forgive him; I told him I wou’d, and then he gave me that account which I have given you, of his firſt ſuſpecting my Love, 88 E8v 88 Love, and how to try it, he had feign’d that Letter which he ſhew’d me; that he had reſolv’d to undeceive me, as ſoon as he had diſcover’d what Sentiments I had for him; but when he ſaw how it affected me, Jealouſie wou’d not give him leave, and Love prompted him to make uſe of it to his own advantage. He added, That thô Love had made him guilty of Tre achery ſo much contrary to his Nature; yet I ſhou’d always find him the moſt ſincere, and the moſt Faithful of his Friends. Thô I believ’d before that Story to be an invention, you can’t imagine how much I was pleaſed, to be ſure of it now. I eaſily pardon’d him, ſince I had promis’d it, and ſince I thought he deſerv’d it, having told it voluntary. From that time I receiv’d him more favourably than I us’d to do, and took ſome pleaſure in his Converſation, becauſe he was the only Man that knew of my Love, and 89 E9r 89 and that I could talk freely of Cloridon. But now my Mother perceiv’d I had ſome more complaiſance than before, for Antonio; ſhe wonder’d he talk’d nothing of Marriage to her, and told me her thoughts, which put me upon new contrivances, how I might ſhun her Anger, and yet Antonio come off with Honour. I found him raiſe ſcruples againſt all the Methods I could invent, and often he ask’d me, if I deſign’d never to Marry, and what Reaſons I could always give for not doing it; which made me apprehend he was not alter’d ſo much as he ſeem’d; and fear I ſhou’d have ſome trouble in this Affair, he had told me, that when he was very young, his Father had contracted him to a kinſwoman of his, that liv’d in the Houſe with ’em, who had a great Fortune, and he heard was handſome and witty; but he went to his Travels before it could be known 90 E9v 90 known, whether ſhe was either ſo; that he had never had any Love for her: I had a great mind to let my Mother know this, for I knew ſhe was ſcrupulous in ſuch things, and would not conſent to Marry me to a Man, that had any engagement to another; but I was loath to do it, without his leave, ſince he was ſo ſincere as to tell it me, and becauſe I was afraid to exaſperate him. I took a great deal of pains to flatter him into a complyance; I told him my Mother cou’d not have the worſe Opinion of him for it, ſince ’twas a thing done when he was ſo young, and that he could have no other Reaſon to hinder him, now that he had no deſign upon me, which if he had, I ſhou’d find other ways to diſappoint ’em, thô perhaps they might make me more uneaſie. At laſt with much difficulty he agreed to it, and when I told it to my Mother, I found her affected as I wiſh’d; 91 E10r 91 wiſh’d; which when Antonio knew, he fetch’d a great Sigh, and only ſaid, Have I loſt all my hope then, Madam? and ſo went away extreamly diſcompos’d. A while after he came to take leave of us, and ſaid his Father had ſent for him in haſte, to go to his own Country; but he told me in private, that he could ſtay no longer in a place, where he grew every day more and more unhappy; and that now he had reſolv’d to leave it: He could not forbear telling me, that he had only conceal’d his Love all this while, to get into my Favour, and in hopes of finding ſomething which might give him hopes. But ſince I had now depriv’d him of all, he wou’d not encreaſe his Miſery, by ſeeing every day the Objects of his Love, and of his Hate, his Cruel Miſtreſs, and his happy Rival. I am told his Father preſſes him extreamly to Marry, being his only Son, but he waves it. I ſhould think 92 E10v 92 think I had given you a Deſcription of a Miracle of Conſtancy in ſpight of Rigours and Abſence; but that in this Age, kindneſs is a more effectual way to cure Love; an unlucky thing, ſince no body will attempt it, that has that deſign; but I, (or Fortune for me,) found you ſee, a leſs dangerous way to free my ſelf, with more eaſe than I cou’d hope, and I think it’s time to deliver you now, and give you a little reſpite till next Poſt, when you may expect the continuance of the Hiſtory of
If I did not know to the contrary by my own Experience; you wou’d make me believe, that Friendſhip and Love can’t be contain’d in one Breaſt. Is it poſſible you can be ſo much taken up with Ambriſia,, that you have not time enough to tell me of it; and that in this ſolitude, I ſhould hear of Cleander’s Affairs from two or three, before I know any thing of ’em from himſelf: They tell me, you are every day with your New Miſtreſs, and that you are well receiv’d there. I ſhould be pleas’d with it, if I did not fear, in ſtead of finding two Friends, to loſe that one, whoſe Friendſhip I prefer to all other things: But you’ll make me almoſt Jealous of her, if you don’t write quickly, for this is my fourth ſince I’ve heard from you. 94 E11v 94 you. Tell me Cleander, you that ſearch into the Nature of things, that know the Paſſions of Men; how they are form’d in the Soul, and by what means, and what degrees they riſe; tell me, how I may give that Awe, that Fear, or that Reſpect which I hear often talk’d of, that makes men not dare to tell a Woman that they love her. Is it the Grave, the Sour, the Proud, or modeſt Looks? Or is there no ſuch thing, but in Songs and Romances? For my part, I cou’d never meet with it; and tho perhaps there is ſome Pleaſure in being belov’d, I cannot endure to be told of it, unleſs by the Language of the Eyes, or ſo; for that we need not underſtand: But there’s nothing ſo dull, or ſo troubleſome to me, as a declar’d Lover: This Reflection was occaſion’d by an Adventure happen’d to me two days ago; a Stripling of Eighteen, whoſe Father and Mother had been Servants in the 95 E12r 95 the Family where I am, ſaid to one in the Houſe (who told me) that he was in Love with me, and after had the Inſolence to tell me himſelf, that he was in Love; But you little think with whom, Madam, added he; and juſt as he was going to finiſh his Declaration, by good Fortune he was call’d away: Can any thing be more provoking? Teach me where to place my Anger on the Men, or on my ſelf. Antonio was baſhful to a Fault in other things, and yet he did not fear to ſay all he thought, and it may be more to me. Cloridon who treated me with the higheſt Reſpect imaginable, diſcover’d his Love to me, as ſoon as he knew it himſelf; and many have pretended it, that never felt any, at leaſt for me. The laſt indeed had encouragement enough, not to repent of what he had done, and Reaſon not to deſpair of any thing he could ask; ſo that after being two years contented with my Love he 96 E12v 96 he Reſolv’d to put it to the Tryal, and begun to pretend to Favours, with all the Arguments he could invent, or find, to perſwade me of the Innocence and lawfulneſs of what he ask’d: You may find what influence they had upon me by the following Lines, which he ſent me in a Letter next day.I. Nnot one kind word, not one relenting Look? The harſh, the Cruel Doom to mitigate? Your Native Sweetneſs, ev’n your Eyes forſook; They ſhin’d, but in the fierceſt Form of Hate. II. Is’t Honour does theſe Rigid Laws impoſe; That will no ſign of gentleneſs allow; That tells you, ’tis a Crime to Pity Foes, And bids you all the utmoſt Rigour ſhow? III. All Praiſe the Judge, unwilling to Condemn, Where Clemency with Juſtice long Debates: But he who Rig’rouſly inſults, we blame, And think the Man more than his Sin he hate IV. Dar 97 F1r 97 IV. Dare I my Judge Accuſe of Cruelty? When at her Feet ſhe ſaw her Slave implore, With haſty Joy ſhe gave the ſad Decree: I hate you, and will never ſee you more. V. Ay! ’tis too plain the Falſe Olinda’s pleas’d To ſee the Captives Death, her Eyes had made: As what ſhe wiſh’d ſhe the Occaſion ſeiz’d; No Sigh a kind Reluctancy betray’d. VI. If you intend to try your Power, or Skill, A Nobler way purſue the great Deſign: The meaneſt Wretch on Earth knows how to kill; But to preſerve from Deaths an Act Divine. VII. Like Heav’n, you with a Breath can Recreate Your Creature, that without you does not Live: Say that you Love, and you Revoke my Fate; And I’m immortal if you can forgive. F VIII. My 98 F1v 98 VIII. My fierceſt Wiſhes you ſhall then reſtrain, And Love that tramples o’re my heart ſubdue: What doubt can of your mighty Pow’r remain, When even that ſubmits and yields to you?
I believe I ſpoke from my Heart, when I told him I hated him; I’m ſure I thought ſo then, when I ſaw him whom I believ’d to have an Eſteem and Reſpect for me, act as if he had neither. I ſaid the moſt violent things I cou’d imagine againſt him, and left him without the leaſt Reluctancy: But my Rage, or Hate, was ſoon Converted to a Quiet, Stupid Grief, that overwhelm’d my Soul, and left me not the Power of eaſing it in the common way, in tears, or Complaints. I ſaw that I muſt reſolve never to ſee him again, whatever it made me endure: And in fine I ſaw all that cou’d make me unhappy, without any 99 F2r 99 any hopes of a Remedy; for thô he Writ to me often to beg my Pardon, and Vow’d a thouſand times, he would not be guilty of the ſame fault again; thô he were ſure to be ſucceſsful; yet I prevail’d with my ſelf abſolutely to refuſe to ſee him, with more Reſolution than I thought my ſelf capable of; for I conſider’d it was dangerous to truſt him, notwithſtanding his Proteſtations, ſince he had broke his Word before: And I don’t know if I had not ſome Reaſon to diſtruſt my ſelf, after having gone ſo far, as not only to ſuffer him to talk to me of his Love, but to own mine to him. When he ſaw this would not do, he had recourſe to his old way of Writing upon buſineſs; but the Letter came firſt to my hands, and ſo I ſtifled it, and ſaid nothing of it to my Mother. A Week after a Porter came to me, and ſaid he was ſent by the Counteſs of ―― who deſir’d me to go F2 imme- 100 F2v 100 immediately to her Lodgings, for ſhe had ſomething of great Conſequence to tell me; and that he left her at a place where ſhe had Din’d, but ſhe was juſt going home. Away I went, and when they told me ſhe was not at home, I thought ſhe wou’d not fail of being there preſently, and went up Stairs to ſtay for her: When I came into the Room, I ſaw Cloridon there, and wou’d have retir’d; but he civilly hinder’d me, and told me, he was waiting for his Couſin (for this Lady was nearly related to him) whom he expected to come in very ſoon; but ’twas a great Happineſs I came before, and more than he cou’d have hop’d for from Fortune; for at firſt he pretended it was chance brought us together there: But he knew I muſt find it out, and ſo to prevent my diſcovering it to the Lady, he told me that coming to viſit her, and not finding her at home; it came into his thoughts to ſend 101 F3r 101 ſend for me in her Name; for he knew that ſhe us’d to viſit me, and often deſir’d me to go abroad with her, or to bear her Company at home; ſo that he hop’d he might ſucceed without being ſuſpected. I was in great confuſion, and very angry at the trick he had put upon me; and yet I cou’d not but be a little pleas’d at it too. I lov’d to ſee him, and was glad of an opportunity to give him his Pardon, which I did, but made a Vow never to conſent to meet him in private, thô he beg’d it upon his knees above an hour, and ſaid he wou’d not riſe till I had granted it: I ſuppoſe he was not ſo good as his Word; but I left him in that poſture, and before I went away, charg’d him not to write to me any more. This enterview ſerv’d but to encreaſe my melancholy; I indulg’d it a long time, and thought upon nothing but what ſooth’d and added to it: But at length conſideringring 102 F3v 102 ring the occaſion of my misfortune, it repreſented it ſelf to me, not only as my Folly but my Crime; and then I concluded it muſt be a Crime to grieve for the loſs of that, which ’twas a Crime to Love; and ſo fix’d a reſolution of overcoming my Paſſion, which I endeavour’d to do by Reaſon, and by diverſions. Had I had you my Friend to aſſiſt me with your Counſels, I had found it much leſs difficult; but now I had the ſtrongeſt part of my ſelf to Combat without any Aid: I often gave ground, and ſometime ſuffer’d my ſelf to be vanquiſh’d by the bewitching Reflections of what unequall’d ſatisfactions I had found in his Company, and how many happy hours I enjoy’d with him; but ſome good thought wou’d rouſe my Soul to ſtrive again, and then the Victory was mine. I find by experience ’tis but bravely, heartily, and thoroughly Reſolving upon a thing, and 103 F4r 103 and ’tis half done: There’s no paſſion, no Temptation ſo ſtrong, but Reſolution can overcome: All is to be able to Reſolve; there’s the point, for one muſt loſe a little of the firſt Ardour, before one can do that; and many of our Sex have ruin’d themſelves, for want of time to think. ’Tis not a conſtant ſetled purpoſe of Virtue will do; there muſt be particular Reſolutions for a particular Attack; ’tis eaſie enough to ſay, no Man ſhall prevail with me to do an ill thing; the difficulty is ſuch a Man ſhall not; he that I love, he that ’tis Death for me to deny any thing to: There I got the better of my ſelf, and at laſt attain’d to a calm ſerenity of mind, which I have enjoy’d ever ſince, as much as can be expected in ſuch a World as this; and which nothing can diſturb, if you continue to have that Friendſhip for me, which you have profeſs’d, and which your ſilence F4 makes 104 F4v 104 makes me almoſt doubt of: But there’s hardly any thing I could not more eaſily believe, than that Cleander is falſe, or Inconſtant. Write quickly, for I am impatient to know the Cauſe of this unkindneſs to
Your conſtant Friend,
Ambriſia’s Cruel, Coy, Diſdainful, and you believe ſhe hates you; and yet Ambriſia took occaſion at play to impoſe upon you, as a pennance, not to Write for a Month to one ſhe believ’d you lov’d. If this had been anothers Caſe, you wou’d have diſcover’d that Ambriſia ’s Jealous. Truſt me ſhe loves you, and only puts on the uſual diſguiſes of Women, as ſincere as ſhe is; and give me leave to juſtifie her, and the reſt of our Sex in that Caſe: You have learnt ſo well to feign Love, when you have none, that ’tis very hard to diſcern Art from Nature; and ’tis but reaſonable we ſhou’d be allow’d the leſs Guilty part of concealing ours, till we can know whether you are ſincere: Beſides we know thoſe things are moſt valu’d, that are obtain’d F5 with 106 F5v 106 with moſt difficulty; and your natural Inconſtancy gives us Reaſon to uſe all means to make you prize us as much as we can. Your ſelves too, encourage us in it, for you deſpiſe a Woman that’s eaſily gain’d, thô you rail at the Diſſembler; and we can’t begin to love juſt when you would have us; ſo that both for our own ſake, and yours, ’tis ſometimes neceſſary to deceive you: And I believe I may add that there is a Natural Modeſty in ſome Women, that makes ’em aſham’d to own their Love. Mr. Dryden in his State of Innocence, gives our Mother Eve a little of that; thô ſome are of Opinion, it had its Birth from your faithleſsneſs; and that if you had not been falſe we had never been ſhie. If it be ſo, don’t you think we have Reaſon to be cautious, in a thing of ſuch Weight? But I need not take ſuch pains to defend this Cauſe, for mine was a Fault on the other hand, a too eaſieſie 107 F6r 107 ſie diſcovery of my Love: And to ſpeak the Truth what ever we are accus’d of, I believe that’s the more general one. ’Tis only thoſe that are as Wiſe as your Miſtreſs, that can have ſo much Command over themſelves, as to be guilty of the tother; tho if ſhe knew you as well as I do, ſhe wou’d find that ſhe has no need to make uſe of any Arts to try you, or to preſerve you: However don’t deſpair, the Mask will ſoon fall off. You have Reaſon to wonder at my breaking off with Orontes, ſince by what I have told you, Cloridon cou’d be no occaſion of it: But ſuſpend your amazement a little, thô my misfortunes ended at ſeventeen, my Adventures did not; and ſev’ral things have happen’d to me in the year I have paſs’d ſince, which you are yet a Stranger to. You neither know how my acquaintance begun with Orontes, nor why it ended. In the beginning of last Summer when I 108 F6v 108 I was endeavouring to divert my Love, and Grief, I went with a Lady to ſee a play: She was not in humour to dreſs, and wou’d needs have me go Incognito; and as we were coming out of the Play-Houſe we were ſeiz’d upon by two Sparks, who ſwore they wou’d not part with us; but that either we ſhou’d Sup with them, or they wou’d go with us. We did not know how to be rid of theſe impertinents, but we ſaw if we took Coach we cou’d not hinder them from going into it; ſo we Reſolv’d to Walk to our Mantua maker, who liv’d hard by; and when we went in they left us, as we thought: But a quarter of an hour after they came up Stairs, and thô we were very angry at the Rudeneſs, yet they ſtaid a pretty while; and he that had at firſt apply’d himſelf to the other Lady, was very preſſing to be acquainted with her; but my Spark ſate down juſt oppoſite to me without ſaying a 109 F7r 109 a Word, only ſometimes deſir’d his Friend to go away; which after he had plagu’d us half an hour they did: The next Week I went to Tunbridge with my Mother; and the firſt ſight I ſaw at the Wells was this Gentleman: He came towards us very reſpectfully, and ſaid he was very glad of this opportunity of begging my Pardon, for the Inſolence he had been guilty of; he hop’d the Lady who was with us, whom he had the Honour to know, wou’d intercedce for him. She that was in the Country with us, and who you know is an intimate friend of ours, happen’d to be very well acquainted with him; and when we came home, ſhe told me that his Name was Orontes; that he was a Gentleman who had but a ſmall Fortune; but to repair it, he was Marry’d to a Rich Widow above threeſcore and ten; that tho’ ſhe was very ill Natur’d, he was the beſt Husband in the World to her, but 110 F7v 110 but he would take his Pleaſure abroad ſometimes, and ſhe was extreamly jealous. He came to viſit this Lady, and intreated her to carry him to ſee me; for he ſaid he was ſenſible of the Affront he had given me the firſt time he ſaw me, and that he was very deſirous of ſome Occaſion to ſerve me; and he thought himſelf obliged to tell me ſo, and to ſeek all Opportunities of doing it. She conſented to it; and he came often to ſee us, and was very obliging to us. I will let you know my Thoughts of him, becauſe you can tell me if they are juſt; for he ſaid he was not the ſame Man with me as with any Body elſe: He ſeemed to me to have Wit enough, but ’twas rough and unpoliſh’d; nothing of that Politeneſs which renders a Man agreeable in Converſation. After the common Theams of the Weather, and News, were diſcuſs’d, playing at Cards, or taking the Air, were certainly 111 F8r 111 certainly propos’d: But I have heard, that in other places he was very entertaining, and had a hundred pleaſant Stories to divert the Company. What can be the reaſon of this? I’m ſure he ſtood in no awe of me, as his future Actions ſhew’d; and he always told me his Thoughts freely, but plain, and blunt, without giving ’em the turn of Gallantry, which is neceſſary to take; and yet he could not want Breeding, for he always convers’d with People of the Firſt Quality. The Manner is often more look’d upon than the Thing; and though I’m as little pleaſed with Forms as any Woman, yet in ſome things ’tis the eſſential part: There are few Men, whoſe Eſteem or Reſpect I covet; but I would have all Men keep that diſtance with me, as if I gave ’em awe; but I could never obtain it of ’em; though none ever gave me ſo much occaſion to lament it as Orontes. Once, when he 112 F8v 112 he was at our Lodging, my Mother was talking of a Journey ſhe deſigned the next day about Ten Miles off, where ſhe was to ſtay all Night: He asked me if I went with her: I ſaid, No; and deſired my Mother to return as ſoon as ſhe could; becauſe I ſhould be alone till then. It ſeems, (as he told me ſince,) he had made an Appointment with a particular Friend of his about Buſineſs of Importance; but having long deſired to ſee me alone, he would not neglect this Occaſion, and ſent him an Epiſtolary Excuſe in theſe Words:My Wife thinks I am with you; but Olinda told me ſhe ſhall be alone to day, and I don’t know when I ſhall meet with ſuch a favourable Opportunity; ſo that you muſt excuſe me; but I’ll certainly ſee you to morrow.
His Wife, being always ſuſpicious of Letters ſhe did not read, went to the Poſt-houſe after this: They made no ſcruple to give it her; becauſecauſe 113 F9r 113 cauſe they knew ’twas one of their Servants had brought it; and when ſhe had read it, ſhe went home in all haſt, and had her Husband dog’d to my Lodgings. When he came there he told me, that the firſt time he ſaw me, he lik’d my Shape and Mien and was extreamly taken with my Face, that he durſt not ſo much as ask me Pardon whilſt he ſaw me ſo angry; and that ſince he was acquainted with me, my Humor had charm’d him ſo, that he could be content to leave all the World for me: And then, Laughing, ask’d me, If I could live with him, and he would keep me a Coach, and let me want nothing I could deſire. I rally’d with him till he begun to talk more ſeriouſly, and then I check’d him for his Inſolence; but it had no effect upon him: And when he ſaw that neither Promiſes nor Intreaties could move me, and that opportunity favour’d him, he reſolved to try what Violence would do; he 114 F9v 114 he had ſent our Servant a Mile off for to fetch ſome Fruit, which, he ſaid, was the beſt about the Countrey; and we were in a back Room near no Body in the Houſe, ſo that I was in great Fear; however I made all the Noiſe and Reſiſtance I could, and was happily delivered by his old Lady’s coming in: She might eaſily perceive we were both in Confuſion, though ſhe hardly gueſs’d the true Cauſe; and I was ſo good natur’d as not to tell it her. When ſhe rail’d, we bore it with a great deal of Patience, and indeed I wonder’d at his Moderation: I really thought he would have let her beat me to revenge his Cauſe; but he was not ſo much a Brute, he hindred her, and very civilly led her away. The next day I ſaw him at the Wells, and whilſt my Company was Raffling, he took the Opportunity to talk with me, though I avoided him with all the Diligence I could. Don’t frown upon me, Olinda, ſays he, you 115 F10r 115 you ought to forgive me; Repentance is all that Heaven requires, and I never in my Life did an Action that troubled me ſo much; but if you have not good Nature enough to Pardon me upon that, I muſt ſay ſomething to excuſe my ſelf: If I believ’d you Virtuous before, it muſt be by an implicit Faith; but the way to be ſure was to try it, and now I ſhall always admire that Virtue I could not ſubdue: Why then ſhould you be angry with me any longer than my Fault remains? Though I had a little Prejudice againſt him, I thought he ſpoke with more Eloquence, and a better Grace, than ever I heard him before; it may be his Concern inſpired him; but ’twas to little purpoſe, for I was inexorable. I told him, I did not think him worth my Anger, and ſhould eaſily forgive him, upon Condition he would never ſee me any more. No, Madam, ſaid he, I’d rather ſee you angry, than not ſee you at all: And in ſpight of me he viſited us often; but I always entertain’d him 116 F10v 116 him with a coldneſs that did not much pleaſe him, though no Body elſe perceived it. We came to Town in the beginning of --09September, and he was once at our houſe, and found me alone: He began to talk of a violent Paſſion he had for me; but I ſtop’d him, and ſaid, That was not a Diſcourſe fit for me to hear from him. I commanded him to leave me, and told him if he ever came there again, I wou’d be deny’d to him: He obey’d me, and I did not ſee him again till --11Novemeber. He came in Mourning, and told us he had had the misfortune to bury his Wife. He Writ to my Mother to deſire her leave to make his Addreſſes to me; which ſhe gave him, and then he appear’d a declar’d Lover. I was ſo us’d to receive him with Anger and Diſdain, that tho I had not the ſame Reaſon now, I did not change my behaviour to him; and for four Months my Mother let me take my own way, without 117 F11r 117 without ſpeaking one word of Orontes to me: Either ſhe deſign’d to obſerve what I wou’d do of my ſelf, or ſhe did not think it fit to talk of my Marrying him ſo ſoon after his Wifes Death; but when ſhe ſaw I ſlighted him ſo long; ſhe ſaid to me one day, what do you mean Child, to receive with equal indifference all the propoſals are made to you? do you Reſolve to lead a ſingle Life? I ſhou;d approve the choice in one of a better Fortune; but you muſt conform your ſelf to yours, and conſider that I am not able to maintain you. If you don’t hate Orontes I will have you Marry him, he has given ſo great Proof of his being a good Husband, that you can’t fear he will be otherwiſe to you; he is handſome enough, and very Rich; I believe he loves you, and in fine I think you may be as happy with him as with any Man; therefore, don’t be obſtinately bent againſt your 118 F11v 118 your own good. He came in at the ſame time, and ſeconded this Command of my Mothers with Intreaties and Complaints. I had no Averſion for him, and ſince my Circumſtances wou’d oblige me to Marry, and that I knew I could never Love any Man; I thought it might as well be he as any other; ſo in ſome time after I yielded, and the Wedding day was appointed to be --05-16the Sixteenth of May laſt. How do you think ’tis poſſible to avoid it now? But many things happen betwixt the Cup and the Lip. You are to know that Orontes ’s Eſtate lay near a fine Seat of Cloridons, which he often retir’d to; ſo that they were well acquainted, and much together; and that Orontes when to his Country Houſe to make ſome Preparations a Week before the deſign’d Marriage. Cloridon told him he was extreamly pleas’d to ſee him there; for they had made a match for Hunting five or 119 F12r 119 or ſix days after with ſome Friends of his, that were wiſhing for him. I muſt beg your Pardon my Lord, ſays he, that I cannot ſtay ſo long; for I have buſineſs that will call me to London ſooner,. if it be not of great importance, return’d he, pray let me prevail with you to ſtay. ’Tis not to be defer’d my Lord, I am to be Marry’d: Marry’d cry’d my Lord, prethee what Madneſs poſſeſſes thee, ſo lately freed, to bind thy ſelf again without any neceſſity for it? What bait next, not another old Rich crabbed Widow I hope? I have made a better Choice now, Anſwer’d Orontes: She has Youth and Goodneſs I’m ſure; and I’ve Mony enough for us both. You are in the Right, Reply’d Cloridon; but may I know her Name. You knew her Father my Lord, ſays he, and then Sir Martin Marrall told him whoſe Daughter I was. And are you engag’d to her, Cloridon ask’d? She has 120 F12v 120 has promis’d to Marry me --05-16the 16th of this Month, ſaid Orontes, and therefore my Lord, I hope you won’t take it ill if I leave you upon ſo weighty an Affair. Cloridon was not in humour of making many Complements; but he ask’d abundance of Queſtions, of the beginning, and Progreſs of his Love, and how I had us’d him all the time; but he cou’d not much boaſt of my Favour, which pleas’d Cloridon, and encourag’d him to endeavour to break off the Match. He told Orontes he ſhould be oblig’d to go to London that day, but he wou’d come back again before he went away; ſo he left him, and immediately took his Journey; and as ſoon as he arriv’d, came to our Lodgings, where he found my Mother and I together. Judge of my ſurprize as this ſight, my firſt thoughts were of Orontes; I ſigh’d when I compar’d ’em with one another, and had a thouſand differentrent 121 G1r 121 rent thoughts which I know not what to make of. Cloridon Addreſſing himſelf to my Mother, ſaid, Madam I am come to beg a Favour of you, which I ſhould hardly have the Confidence to ask, if the whole ſatisfaction of my Life did not depend upon it. My Mother told him, that ſhe cou’d not refuſe any thing to one whom ſhe ow’d ſo much to; and that ſhe ſhou’d think her ſelf happy, if ſhe cou’d ſerve him in a thing wheich he ſaid concern’d him ſo nearly. He return’d ſome Complements, and then deſir’d her to hear him out with Patience, which ſhe promis’d, and he begun. I have a long time had a great Love, and Reſpect for your Daughter, and wou’d have giv’n all the World to have ſeen her ſometimes; but ſhe refus’d it me; and I bore her Rigour without G Murmu- 122 G1v 122 Murmuring, in hopes the time might come when I could tell her I lov’d her without offending her Virtue: But I can’t live when I have loſt that hope, and therefore am come to beg you not to Marry Olinda, as I am told you deſign; and I will make her Fortune greater than what ſhe can expect from Orontes. How my Lord, interrupted my Mother, what ſtrange Propoſition is this you make me? Be not angry with me, or fear me, continu’d he, for the moment you grant what I entreat of you, I will leave you, and never deſire to ſee Olinda again, as long as I continue in the Condition I am in: But ’twill be a great Happineſs for me to think, that ſhe may one day be mine; and to be aſſur’d ſhe will never be any others; and if ſhe be not chang’d, or that I am not much miſtaken in 123 G2r 123 in her, ſhe will not be averſe to it. He was in the right, for thô I was never an Enemy to Marriage, yet I always prefer’d a ſingle Life to it; and I found enough of my ſtifled Flame revive to make my Wiſhes comply with his. When my Mother ſaw me much enclin’d to it, and knowing I had only conſented to Marry Orontes in complyance to her; ſhe began to think of it as a thing might be done, but that ſhe had given her Word to Orontes, and cou’d not go back from it. But Cloridon told her, ſhe need not be in any Fault in that, if ſhe wou’d but make uſe of the occaſion would be given her, to break off with Orontes without Examining further. She made ſome other Objections, but he Anſwer’d them all, and upon his Knees Swore, that if I Married Orontes, neither he nor my G2 Husband 124 G2v 124 Husband would ſurvive it: So partly out of fear of what might happen, and partly out of inclination to oblige him, and willingneſs to pleaſe me, my Mother conſented. Cloridon begg’d leave to talk with me, before he took his laſt leave, which he did, and made me ſome little tender Reproaches for having reſolv’d to Marry; which I Anſwer’d with a more reſerv’d kindneſs than I had ſometimes done; and that was the Subject of many Letters he ſent me ſince; for he often Writes to me. Two days before we were to be Marry’d, Orontes was to come to Town, which Cloridon knew, and had provided half a dozen Soldiers to ſeize upon him in the Kings Name, (for he was ſuſpected for an Enemy to the Government) they did ſo, and told him they were commanded to keep him a cloſe 125 G3r 125 cloſe Priſoner in a Houſe hard by till further Order: He wou’d fain have Writ, but they wou’d not let him, for they ſaid they had Orders to the contrary. There they kept him a Week, and we wonder’d we heard nothing of him, not knowing what methods were us’d to hinder us; and to avoid ſeeing our Friends who wou’d enquire the Reaſon, we thought it beſt to retire hither, this being a private place. When Cloridon knew I was out of Town, he went himſelf to free him, and told him things had been miſrepreſented, and he had been wrong’d; but in requital he wou’d procure him any employment he would Name; but he did not accept it. When he came to enquire for me, no body could tell him where I was: But a Friend with whom I had left ſuch Orders, told him that I had 126 G3v 126 had taken it ſo ill, that he ſhould ſlight me ſo far, as neither to come, nor to ſend to me, in ſo long time, that whatever he cou’d ſay for himſelf, I wou’d never forgive him, nor ſo much as hear him. He was no doubt troubled at it, but he was not a Man to take any thing much to Heart; and Cloridon knowing he had not dealt very fairly by him, was very deſirous to oblige him ſome other way: And indeed he did him a very conſiderable Service not long after, for he was really accus’d privately to the King of a Plot which wou’d have coſt him his Life, if Cloridon had not taken a great deal of pains to free him, more than he cou’d have expected in ſuch a tickliſh Affair as that; and had like to become himſelf ſuſpected by it, ſo that I think he has been more his Friend in ſaving his Life, than he 137 G4r 1327 he was his Enemy in taking his Miſtreſs from him. Thius is Cleander the true Cauſe of my Retirement, which is very agreeable to me, whilſt I hear often from you, and whilſt Cloridon continues to think of me. I have ſent you a Copy of Verſes which he Writ to me juſt after I came hither.Nor cou’d my Rival when thoſe Charms By thee were deſtin’d to his Arms, Be half ſo bleſt as I, to find The Lovely Nun for me confin’d: Nor when of all that Bliſs bereav’d, He ſaw his full blown hopes deceiv’d, Cou’d be ſo curſt as I to ſee My ſelf Exil’d from heav’n in thee. Strange Contradiction in my Fate At once a bleſt and wretched State, But who— what Lover wou’d not chooſe Thus to gain all, tho all he loſe? G4 So 138 G4v 128 So Merchants ſtrive their Life to ſave, Threatned by ev’ry Wind, and Wave, And ſee with joy the long’d for Coaſt, Tho’ all they ventur’d for, is loſt.
Cloridon has juſt ſent me word that Orontes is Dead of the ſmall Pox; ſo that I ſhall come to Town ſooner then I deſign’d. The expectation of ſeeing you, pleaſes me extreamly, for tho I find a great ſatisfaction in converſing with you by Letters; yet ’tis not ſo full and perfect at this diſtance, as when I am with you. I can’t tell you my thoughts ſo well, nor know yours, a Queſtion ſuddenly ſtarted, or ſometimes a look will diſcover more to me than you know of your ſelf; and I wou’d know you not as you ſeem to the World, or what you think of your ſelf; but what you are; for thô you are more 129 G5r 129 more ſincere than other Men; yet there is no Man but deceives the World, in ſome things, and himſelf in more, and therefore to be a good Man ’tis abſolutely neceſſary to have a rtrue Friend; and ſince you have made choice of me, I can only attone for my want of other Qualifications, by my Fidelity, which you may always rely upon. Will not the World, when they ſee ſo tender, ſo conſtant an Affection betwixt us, be convinced of that receiv’d Error, that there can be no ſuch intimacy betwixt two of different Sexes without the Paſſion of Love? In us I’m ſure they can’t ſuſpect it; when they ſee you have ſo much Love for Ambriſia, and me ſo forward to promote its being reciprocal. I wiſh it may have that effect, that the Women may no longer ſcruple to beſtow their Friendſhip upon G5 a 130 G5v 130 a Worthy Man, for fear of misconſtructions; both Sexes will find their Advantages by it. Yours is more capable to inſtruct and form our Minds, than the wiſeſt of our own; and ours will be more apt to curb that Licentiouſneſs, which Men uſually encourage one another in: And what happineſs will it be for us, to ſee our ſelves the inſtruments of all the Mens becoming Good; and all the Women Wiſe? (a more extraordinary Reformation than Luthers.) Let our Friendſhips then be ſo exemplary, that all may emulate, and wiſh to live like us; and by endeavouring, find that there’s a Purer and more Solid ſatisfaction one moment with a Friend, tha Ages thrown away upon the Gallantries, which ſo take up the Hearts, and ſteal the Hours of our Youth. 131 G6r 131 Youth. Adieu Cleander, Correct the Errors of my Life with a gentle Hand of Friendſhip, and always be as much my Friend, as I am yours
Olinda to Cloridon.
In Anſwer to a Letter which he ſent her with the Copy of Verſes in the ſixth of the foregoing ones.
’Tis not an hour ago, ſince I believ’d I hated you: I thought I cou’d have rail’d at you, have call’d you baſe, ſeducer of my Honour, Traytor, that under a pretence of Love, deſign’d my Ruin; but Ah! Thoſe tender Excuſes which you ſent me, ſoon diſcover’d the miſtake, and ſhow’d me it was only Angry Love, that ſo Tranſported me: And now ’tis turn’d to as violent a Grief, which wou’d fain eaſe it ſelf in Complaints: But I am 133 G7r 133 am ſo Wretched, that even that poor Comfort is deny’d me; for who can I complain to, when in Lamenting my misfortune I muſt expoſe our Crime: For yours my Lord, has involv’d me in the guilt; and all thoſe thoughts, and Actions, which were innocent before, muſt be condemn’d as the Cauſes of ſuch ill Effects: For if I had never lov’d you, or if I had never own’d it, nor conſented to ſee you, you had not deſir’d any thing of me that cou’d ſhock my Virtue: Now I can’t think of ’em without ſhame and anger. That Love which ſhin’d before ſo Pure and Bright, appears now the blackeſt thing in Nature; and I hate my ſelf, for not hating you: For I own (thô I bluſh in owning) that I love you ſtill; Nay, I believe that I forgive you too; but I muſt never, never ſee you more: No, 134 G7v 134 No, thô you Swear you Repent, and that you wou’d not Repeat your Crime, if you were certain of ſucceſs. Would not you believe I ſhou’d as eaſily Pardon your breach of this Vow, as I did the laſt, which you made me as ſolemnly? Yes you wou’d, my Lord, and I ſhould be betray’d to things I never thought of yet: For all is ſolid, convincing Reaſon, that you ſpeak; and I ſhould ſoon believe any thing you wou’d have me. Curſe on that fond Credulity, that firſt deceiv’d me into a belief, that ’twas no Sin to love you. Yet ſure it could not be an unpardonable Fault, to value one that ſo infinitely deſerves it: To Love, to ſee, and talk with one whoſe Converſation is ſo Charming as yours; and that was all I wiſh’d. All that know you do the ſame, why then am I more guilty? Ah! if 135 G8r 135 if your Fame had been as pure as mine, we had both been happy and innocent; ſo innocent, that ſhe, that happy ſhe, who claims all your Love as her due, (even ſhe I think, if ſhe had known our Hearts) cou’d not have been offended at it: But who is there, the moſt unintereſt that would not now condemn us; Nay, the moſt partial cou’d not excuſe us; even we ſhould blame our ſelves. Why will you then importune me ſtill to ſee you; ask me no more, what I dare never grant; and believe ―― but you know, ’tis not unkindneſs makes me Refuſe you: You know I muſt be Wretched in your Abſence; yet think me eaſie and ſatisfied, if it will contribute any thing to your quiet; or rather don’t think of me at all. Let us make our ſelves as happy as we can; I will endeavour to forget you; don’t 136 G8v 136 don’t Write to me, if you love me well enough to forbear it: And if you can ceaſe to love me, without hating me; for I don’t find I have force enough to bear ſo great a misfortune, which is the only one can add to the weight of thoſe which have already almoſt ſunk
The Poor Olinda.
After her Retirement to the Country.
Iwont deny my Lord, that I us’d all my endeavours to overcome my Love to you, and that I thought they were not ineffectual: But I muſt tell you with the ſame ſincerity, that I found I had but ſmother’d that Fire which I deſign’d to extinguiſh; and when I ſaw you laſt it began to burn as ſtrong as ever. I fear’d it would break out; and therefore put on that Coldneſs which you Reproach me with ſo much; for I cou’d not apprehend any danger, from that which I had ſtudy’d ſo long; and all the indifference I could ſhow 138 G9v 138 ſhow you, was the product of calm Reaſon; but I durſt not truſt a fierce and ſuden Paſſion. Forgive me this, my Lord, for ’ts the only Artifice I ever made uſe of to you; and if I had lov’d you leſs, I had ſeem’d to love you more. But I can hardly Pardon you that malicious accuſation which you make me, that my unkindneſs (as you call it) proceeded from my Anger, for your having Robb’d me of my Husband. You know you wrong me, my Lord, Orontes himſelf has told you enough to convince you ’twas Obedience, and not Inclination, that made me conſent to Marry him: And if I could tell you with what Joy I paſs’d the intended Wedding day, you wou’d not doubt of my Fidelity. The Happieſt Bride that Love has made, was never half ſo pleas’d, amidſt all the 139 G10r 139 the gay Solemnities of her Nuptial Day, as I was on that happy one, which freed me from the dreaded Bondage; and gave me ſuch a Proof of your Eternal Love, as I need not bluſh to own, was the higheſt ſatisfaction to me imaginable: For I not only ſaw you had preſerv’d your Affection entirely for me, in ſpight of time, and a long Abſence; but that it was refin’d and Sympathiz’d with mine in its Purity, as well as in its Ardour: And now methinks we are a kind of Platonick Lovers. My Dear Love, do not fear I ſhould forget you. It was not in my Power, when I try’d all Arts to do it; and now that I indulge my thoughts of you and think ’em Authoriz’d, what danger is there? All my Life is Dedicated to you: I think of nothing elſe, and my chief pleaſureſure 140 G10v 140 ſure in this lovely Solitude, is ſometimes to Write down the Paſſages of our Loves. I am a thouſand times more happy than when I believ’d I had only an indifference for you, and for all the World. Life was then a dull ſenſeleſs thing, without Reliſh; but now every tender expreſſion you write Tranſports me; and I feel a Joy not to be excell’d on this ſide Heaven. Be ſatisfied then, I wou’d not if I cou’d, be that infſenſible Creature again for an Empire: And ſure you cannot fear I ſhou’d change for any other. You have all that one cou’d wiſh for, if one were to Form a Man: and I have neglected, or deſpiz’d, ſo many, as ſufficiently ſhow my Heart was made for you alone: Be confident of it, and tell me you believe I love you, and that I ſhall never love any other. I wiſh you 141 G11r 141 you cou;d add that none had ever mov’d your Heart but me. Why was ſo faithful a one as mine beſtow’d on one, who owes all his to another? But I will not Murmur at Fate: Be as juſt to her when Fortune is given you as you can; and give her all that you can give without being ungrateful to
Letters of Love and Gallantry.
To Cleander, ſent with the following Letters.
We―― (now do you fancy by the Stile ſome great Prince has ſent to you; but how miſerably you’ll be humbled when you find, ’tis a Company of Females Greet you) who having heard by a great Accident, that you are going to Print ſome Letters from a young Lady to you; have ſent you theſe enclos’d to help to fill up the Volume, for as one ſays, Tis 143 G12r 143 ’Tis not how well a Writer ſays?But ’tis how much that gathers Praiſe:T――n who is himſelf a Wit,Counts Authors Merits by the Sheet. which we having duly conſider’d, and being a Mighty good Natur’d Crew, had rather expoſe our Follies, than let your Friends Wit be damn’d for want of Paper. Curſe on you, Cry you, I had rather any Prince in Chriſtendom had ſent me a Sentence for Treaſon, than that ſuch a pack of Bablers ſhould have found out my ſecret. But Prithee don’t Swear, and I’le pleaſe you as well as I can; tho one of our Gang (by the way, the only malicious one amongſt us; and for your Comfort, ſhe does not know you) bids me let you fret a little: But I’m reſolv’d I will tell you the Truth. Know then, that 144 G12v 144 that none of us can gueſs who Olinda is, and but two of us have the Honour to know you, who for the Glory of our Sex are Reſolv’d to ſhow the World that ’tis in the Power of two Women to keep a ſecret: Nay, you ſhall ſee we can keep two; for ’tis as great a one, by what ſtrange way we found out yours; and if we ſhou’d diſcover that to you, you wou’d have Reaſon to doubt our faithfulneſs in your Affair. So you muſt e’ne be content without cracking your Brain about it, and thank us for our Love, thô you Laugh at our Folly.
If Olinda has any more Adventures, we can furniſh you with enough of this Scrible to help out the Volume.You 145 H1r 145 You may inform the Judicious Readers, that if they pleaſe to have Recourſe to a Book Entituled, Letters and Poems, Amorous and Gallant, they will underſtand ſome of theſe the better, which are Anſwers that were ſent to the Author of them. H
Anſwer to the Eight Letter, in the aforeſaid Book from a Lady who had ſpoken againſt him.
You are a very unlucky Fellow to loſe your Aim after taking ſo much pains, whilſt you call your ſelf a Fool, to perſwade me you have a great deal of Wit: And to have gain’d nothing by it, but only to convince me more fully that your Vanity is an incurable Diſeaſe. For as a preciſe pretence to Religion is a certain ſign of wickedneſs, ſo nothing diſcovers a conceited Fop more than an affected Modeſty; and you have ſo effectually perſwaded me of the Truth of what you ſay (not what you think) of your ſelf, that ’tis not in the Power of Man (if any reaſonable one cou’d undertake it.) to delude 147 H2r 147 delude me into a better Opinion of you; thô rather than be troubled with that impertinent Paſſion which you threaten me with, I wou’d make you a Panegyrick, with as little Wit and as little Truth as e’re a Nonſenſical Author in a begging Dedication: And rather than be your Rival in any thing, I would hate both thoſe Qualities. But I know you are endowed with no more of one, than Nature has given you of the other; and as good a face as you put upon the matter, that you are Angry with me at the Soul of you, for ſaying that which all the World thinks of you but your ſelf. Oh I beg your Pardon Sir, I ſhou’d have excepted thoſe Women, which you were pleas’d to tell me, you have a natural Affection for. I don’t doubt but they ſympatize with you extreamly, H2 and 148 H2v 148 and as naturally admire their own reſemblance in you: And really, I think, you’re very much indebted to Nature, for allowing you ſo large a Province; whilſt the modeſt Men, the Men of Wit and Judgment, are very narrowly confin’d, and rarely meet with one Woman, who knows how to value ’em: But you may Range about at your pleaſure, and every where find ſo many Images of your dear pretty ſelf, that you can never fail of pleaſing, and being pleaſed. Aſſure your ſelf ’tis that which has kept you ſo long in the Ladies good Graces, and that as long as you continue a ſilly Idle conceited Fop, that is as long as you live, you will find more agree with you in that Dotage which you have of your ſelf than you will meet with of the Opinion of Sir,
Anſwer to the Ninth Letter in the ſame Book, from a Maſqu’d Lady.
Imuſt own my Conqueſt wou’d be very extraordinary, if ’twas as abſolute as you ſay ’tis: But methinks a confinement (as you call it) to Womankind, looks like more Liberty, than ſuits with the Condition of a Captive; and either you are ſtill Maſter of your ſelf, or I am a very generous Victor, it can’t be the laſt, becauſe I wou’d willingly make you a cloſer Priſoner; ſo that by what I can find, ’tis doubtful yet, whether I ſhall overcome or no: And the worſt on’t is, I don’t know what method to take, that may be moſt likely to ſubdue you; for you have form’d ſuch great Idea’s of H3 my 150 H3v 150 my Power, that when you ſee it comes ſhort of your expectation, I’m afraid you’ll diſdain to yield; and what hope can I have of ſucceſs, by keeping you ignorant of my Weakneſs, ſince it has had ſo little effect hitherto? So that I think ſince I’m not able to vanquiſh you by my own ſtrength, I muſt e’ne Dalilah-like entice you to diſcover yours, or rather your foible, (for every Man has his foible) that I may attack you there; thô not ſo treacherouſly as ſhe did, for you ſee I give you fair warning; and you ſhall have no Enemy to Encounter but my ſelf, ſo that you need not ſtand much upon your Guard: And now the Crime muſt lye upon your Conſcience, if I loſe a conſtant Lover, (to leave our Alluſion) for want of knowing how to make him ſo. Therefore clear your ſelf quickly of 151 H4r 151 of that Guilt, and you ſhall find when I have made a real Conqueſt, that I can triumph too: For there are no ſuch Miracles in our days, as a Woman, and a Conquerour without Vanity. Till then I ſhall remain aſſur’d of your Secrecy, and it may be when you know me, you will have no great Cauſe to brag of having been ſubdu’d by
Sir, Your, &c.
To a Lover upon his going to the War:
O Love! Cruel Love, what Torments doſt thou expoſe me to, what Anguiſh, what Tortures, did I undergo laſt year upon thy Account, and what Miſeries doſt thou again prepare for me, now Alcidon is going to leave me to go to the Wars. I daily fear to loſe a Friend ſo lovely, when he parts from me upon any other Subject: I grieve indeed, but I have not that dread for his Dear Life, which to me is the greateſt of Tortures. Why ſhould he expoſe himſelf to ſo many Perils and Hazards? What can be addedded 153 H5r 153 ded to Alcidon’s Fortune, or his Glory? Is it reaſonable he ſhould ſo often expoſe a Life, on which ſo many others depend? and ought we not in Reaſon to preſerve thoſe things, the loſs of which is Irreparable, and never to hazard them, far from cexpoſing them continually? Ah my Dear Aleidon, you never make theſe Reflections, and when I propoſe them to you, they make no impreſſion upon your Mind. It is a Sign too viſible you do not love thoſe who love you: You do not Love Daphny, by whom you are ſo tenderly belov’d; and my tenderneſs meets with nothing but indifference in your Heart. You have no Compaſſion for my Sufferings, my Sighs and Tears can no longer move you; Love is neglected as ſoon as Honour Calls, and all my Paſſion unregarded. Ah did you Love me H5 154 H5v 154 me you could not expoſe me thus to ſo much Anguiſh, and plunge me yearly into Mortal diſquiets. The little regard you have for your Life, makes me loath mine, and the Torments I ſuffer in Loving you are ſo great, that to be deliver’d out of them I wiſh for Death.
To one whoſe Songs were more prevailing than his Letters.
You have Written a tedious Letter to me, which begins, Madam. When in point of Gallantry, People do not call me by my Name Cleora I am ſtrangely at a Loſs. In Reading over your long Letter, I was ſtill in hopes of finding in ſome Period at leaſt Madam Cleora, if not my Dear Cleora, which wou’d have been much more pleaſing to me: But wherever I caſt my Eyes, I only meet with, Madam; Love, Reſpect, Paſſion, Tenderneſs ! Truly Sir, you would have done much better to have kept to 156 H6v 156 to your Songs. I do allow you to be my Lover in Verſe, but I intreat you not to be ſo in Proſe. Sign’d, leaſt you might plead Ignorance.,
To her Lover who had a Law Suit depending.
Can you believe that I am ſometimes Mad enough to wiſh that you may loſe your Suit? It would not hinder me from being faithful to my promiſe: And I ſhould have the ſatisfaction to convince you by the Generoſity of my proceeding that I only Love your Perſon, which ſatisfaction I would prefer to your Eſtate. I find by your Letters, that Love inſpires ers you with thoughts as unreaſonable as mine. But yet I ſhall not be able to forbear following of this ſentiment, if you fail of the ſucceſs you expect in your buſineſs 158 H7v 158 buſineſs. I hope you will forgive my Wiſh, ſince it proceeds from a Cauſe, you cannot diſapprove, and that you will do me the Juſtice, to believe that if I lov’d you leſs, my thoughts perhaps would be more conformable to your deſires. Farewell Dear Lovemore, ’tis but reaſonable I ſhould return ſome kind expreſſion, for all thoſe I have receiv’d from you during your abſence. Farewel, make haſte back again; I conjure you, and believe me intirely yours.
Of Thanks, or rather an Amorous Reproach.
You Cajole me extreamly in your Verſes, and yet they do not pleaſe me. Having call’d me Lucrece, where was the neceſſity of calling me Venus? Is not Lucrece beautiful enough? I do believe my ſelf as Vertuous as ſhe was, thô not ſo Handſom. Pray be more regular in your Figures another time. I have a Maſter to teach me Rhetorick every Morning; and therefore unleſs you write better for the future; you who pretend to Eloquence, I ſwear that I will put you to your Rudiment again, when you come next to ſee me. Farewel.
Without a Subject.
Ihave not yet written to you, and I ſhould be glad never to write to you, ſince I ſhould not do it, if you were not abſent; and your abſence grieves me ſenſibly. For my part I do not think that Letters are of ſo great a help as people imagine. For inſtance, ſhould you do me the Favour to write to me, I ſhould undoubtedly ſee your Wit in your Letters, but I ſhould not ſee your Perſon there, nor thoſe engaging ways that accompany whatever you do and ſay; much leſs that Charming, Je ne ſcay quoy, which occaſions a great deal of pleaſure in ſeeing you, and much regret to leave you. This ſhows that there 161 H9r 161 there is a great deal of difference between ſeeing you, and Writing to you; and I will tell you freely, that I am not very well ſatisfied with Writing to you, nor with Receiving Letters from you. To be ſatisfied in that Point, I would require impoſſibilities: I would have your Letters, as long as our Converſations, and that you ſhould Write as often to me, as I could entertain you if we liv’d together. And even that would not ſatisfie me; for in fine, as I have already told you, I ſhould ſee your Wit in your Letters, but I ſhould not ſee your Perſon there; and that is the thing one moſt deſires when one Loves as paſſionately as I do, and when a Miſtreſs is as Charming as you are.
A Billet of Thanks.
Ireturn my hearty Thanks to the Lovely Diana for the Partridges ſhe has ſent me, that have been kill’d by her own Hands. Had ſhe made that Preſent to I.B. He would have ſaid a thouſand pretty things to her, upon the Honour and Satisfaction of being kill’d by her fair Hands; and wou’d have inlarg’d that thought to the Glory and Felicity of thoſe Partidges. As for my part who am not really ſo Sparkiſh, I will content my ſelf to eat them with N. and to drink the Lovely Diana’s Health.
To an Abſent Friend.
Shall we never meet again my Dear Philander will you not come into this Country? Shall I never return where you are, and have we only Contracted the moſt Tender, and moſt Real Friendſhip, to expoſe our ſelves to the Rigor of an everlaſting Abſence? I hate my ſelf for having left you, you made me happy without Fortune, and Fortune cannot make me happy without you.
In the Stile of a Romance.
Ialways thought that the Noble Theodolina would at ſome time or other, Marry the Generous Cleodamas, and that an Heroin was deſtin’d to a Hero. whatever Proſperity attend your Life, envy it ſelf will be forc’d to Confeſs that you are Worthy of them, and tho your good Fortune ſhould not equal your Virtue, you may be the Happieſt Prince on Earth. May Heaven who by your Hymen had given a Signal Proof of his Providence, preſerve you long for one another, and both for the Univerſe.
By another Hand.
Now could I Railly my ſelf to Death, that I cannot (as Sir Courtly ſays) Command my Foible, but that I muſt give Cynical Signior Moroſe, this advantage againſt me; who never after this will ſcruple to call me a Woman, and Ridicule me as ſuch, that for a few fine Words can be Wheadl’d to expoſe my ſelf in this manner; but ſeeing you are willing to throw away ſo much Time and Patience, in Reading and Anſwering ſuch Trifles, I will be ſo Complacential to interchange Two or Three Letters with you, and by that time you will be weary, if not aſham’d of your 166 H11v 166 your Correſpondence, beſides being to go into the Country, thô I ſhou’d like well enough of the Frollick, becauſe I believe it would be the greateſt, if not the only Diverſion I ſhould have there, and thô I ſhall have all Letters that come to me Franck, yet thoſe I ſend you will never quit Coſt, and be worth the Poſtage.
But at preſent to follow your Method, I will ſo far acquaint you with Urania, as to aſſure you ſhe is no Beauty, and therefore is Entitled to a Maſque Cum Privilegio, and to Wit, and ſo ought to remain Incognito; theſe are Talents (which thô my Sex are very fond of) we know not how to Manage, and the latter I look upon as a Scandal, it agrees ſo ill with Woman kind, that a Curſe attends it, ſince among all the Celebrated Female Wits that I 167 H12r 167 I have had any knowledg of, for one Flaſh of Wit, one Notable Flight of Fancy, they have been Guilty of a thouſand impertinent Fooliſh Actions, which Perſons of an Ordinary Capacity would have bluſh’d at the thought of. But on the other Hand I am very Sincere even to that Degree that I harflawed-reproductiontwo charactersp know the meaning of the Word Subterfuge, and were I what Mr ―― would have you believe he thinks me, the Ladies wou’d not at this time have a Champion of me, for inſtead of imploying my Pen in their Service, I would make uſe of a Sword to ſerve my Heroick Prince, who Merits it from all the World.
I will alſo tell you that the Fort of my Heart is I hope very ſecure, ſince it is I believe Impregnable to any but a Phenix (if ſuch there be) that is one endued 168 H12v 1968 endued with my own Darling Quality, that hates in himſelf, as well as others Ingratitude, Diſſimulation and Hypocriſie; that has a great Soul, a true Nobleneſs of Mind, a High Generoſity, and a World of good Humour; in ſhort one that will make a Sincere Solid Friend, and not a Whining Lover. But for the Grave Formal Fop, that moves by an Engine, and has that great Care of the Serenity of his Mind (which depends upon it) that he dares hardly ſtir, leſt he ſhould diſcompoſe his Perruque, and Garniture; or the Fluttering Noiſy Beaux with nothing but Snuff in their Heads, and Mercury in their Heels, that daily Frisk from one place to another to be ſeen, and heard, till they have haunted all the Publick Places of Rendevous; I Abominate them, and were I what you 169 I1r 169 you call an Unaccountable Animal, I would not to prevent Leading Apes in Hell, Surrender to one of theſe deſpicable Conquerors. But at this time you know enough of her who is
1693-04-08April 8. 1693.
By the ſame Hand.
Lent I perceive grew very Tedious and Irkſome to you, when you were ſo haſty to make a Debauch on Eaſter-Eve, which deſerv’d a far greater Punuſhment than that you underwent; a Miſtreſs of yours would be prettily ſerv’d that ſhould write Fine, Tender ſoft things to ſo Careleſs a Spark, thô one ſo unknown as Urania ran no great hazard by it: However I am glad the loſt Sheep is found, of which I have no other remembrance than what yours has revived, keeping no Copies of ſuch inſignificant things as my Letters are. I alſo very much Rejoycejoyce 171 I2r 171 joyce for ſeveral Reaſons that my Letters are not to paſs thro’ your Brothers Hands, and ſo far Urania and you agree; but when you come to Plead for Diſſimulation, I own I am not ſo Wiſe or Politick to look upon it as a Virtue, nor will I ſay of Sincerity as you do of Generoſity it has been my Vice and Puniſhment, thô I have many times ſmarted for my too Rigid adhering to it; but its oppoſite is ſo contrary to my Nature, that ſhould I go about to practice it, I ſhould do it ſo awkwardly, and Ideot might perceive my Heart, and Tongue were at odds. Not that I would be Guilty of ſuch a Soleciſm in good Manners, to tell Madam Antiquity, that with all her Art, ſhe had not fill’d up the Wrinkles in her Face; but yet neither would I ſo far Flatter her Vanity, to make her believe ſhe looks I2 like 172 I2v 172 like her great Grand-Daughter of fifteen; and as I would not call the Young Pert Lady Fooliſh, and impertinent; ſo on the other Hand, I would give her no Cauſe to imagine I thought her a Wit, or that her Converſation was at at all Pleaſing or Agreeable; ſhe might, if ſhe pleaſed, let her Tongue run it ſelf out of Breath without my being concern’d one way or other about it: It is only thoſe I extreamly Love whoſe Virtues, or Vices affect me; and with whom I uſe the Liberty to ſpeak freely what I think of their Actions, Good or Bad; to all the World, beſides I am in a State of Neutrality, and it is indifferent to me what they do.
It is but too true, that the Practice of the World does extreamly Degenerate from Magnanimity, and Nobleneſs of Mind, nor will any thing I can ſay, alterter 173 I3r 173 ter their Opinions about them, for which Reaſon, and alſo becauſe I am no Philoſopher, I will not take upon me to Define them, but only tell you that to me, thoſe who Live and Act, as if they were Born only for themſelves, and if they can carry on ſome little Paltry Intereſt of their own, value not what becomes of all the reſt of Mankind; and thoſe whoſe Abject Spirits will permit them to Fawn on any Deſertleſs thing with a Title, or that is a little above them, and can ſtoop to a thouſand little Tricks and Shifts, thô never ſo Baſe, and mean to Advance themſelves, are the Reverſe of them; and in a Word, whoſoever is not ready to Venture, Nay, Sacrifice his All, even Life it ſelf, to ſerve his Country or his Friend, does not Anſwer the Notion that I have of True I3 Greatneſs, 174 I3v 174 Greatneſs, and Nobleneſs of Mind. As for Good Humour, thô I do not underſtand by it ſuch a Gay Coxcomb as you have Deſcribed, yet I think, there goes ſomething more to the Compoſition of it; than bare Good Nature, in the common acceptation of the Word, which is uſually an Epithet for a ſort of People, a Man of your Senſe, I am certain, cannot be very fond of being reckon’d among.
If I deny your Requeſt of any further knowledg of Urania, it is not from any Fear of a ſurprize upon my Heart, that is not eaſily taken, and is at preſent in very good Hands, beſides not being Miſtreſs of thoſe Qualifications that muſt Conquer yours, I am ſure I ſhall never be the Aggreſſor; for to be very Loving, is utterly againſt the Grain with me, and never will agree 175 I4r 175 agree with my Conſtitution; but you having expreſs’d ſome Eſteem of me, I am very deſirous to preſerve it, which I know no better way to do, than by ſtill keeping you Ignorant of
Upon a Diſappointment.
Oour beſt Reſolves are often Croſs’d by unexpected Accidents, I had flatter’d my ſelf that this Meeting would have Crown’d our Wiſhes. I flew with all the Wings of ſtrong deſire, to the Embraces of my Love; and when we thought our ſelves ſecure of Bliſs, then, then to be Interrupted by a Cruel Relation, is a misfortune, a Diſappointment not to be indur’d with Patience. Nor could I diſguiſe my Paſſion, or my Grief, my Looks, my every Motion diſcover’d both. But your Prudence and Preſence of Mind, hinder’d her from obſerving me, and 177 I5r 177 and conſequently from diſcovering the weakneſs of my Soul. I hope your Tongue bely’d your Heart in what you ſaid to her, thô I muſt confeſs ſhe does deſerve it all. I would not ſuſpect your Truth to me, thô in my Opinion the Calmneſs of your Mind, on ſuch an Occaſion argu’d but little Love. Your Generoſity oblig’d me in defending the Wrong’d Innocence of Madam N. who unfortunately lies under the Cenſure of her own Sex. Nothing can be more unreaſonable, or uncertain, than to Judge of things barely by appearance or report. I am ſenſible ſhe is Innocent, and Innocence is to be prefer’d to Happineſs. My unkind Couſin knows our mutual Love, and therefore ’twas Barbarous in her to tarry: Neither could ſhe be Ignorant, that Love admits no Witneſſes I5 but 178 I5v 178 but the Lover. She told me a while ago, that ſhe had over heard our Love’s Diſcourſe. What tender Words, what ſoft Expreſſions! ſaid ſhe, are not thoſe ſtolen Pleaſures very Sweet? I was ſtrangely at a loſs to Anſwer her: Yet I told her that if it was a Fault, ’twas ſuch a one as moſt young People were guilty of. At firſt I fancy’d, that it would be my beſt way to truſt her with my whole ſecret, and to ingage her Secreſie by a generous Confidence. But then again I fear’d her undermining me; ſo that I reſolv’d to truſt her no farther than was abſolutely neceſſary. And in Caſe her ill Nature ſhould incline her to diſcover out Affection to the Old Gentleman, ſhe is ſenſible that I know how to be Reveng’d of her. In the mean time Dear Philander truſt to Love and Me for 179 I6r 179 for a more favourable opportunity. I ſaw you at Church yeſterday, where you took up all my thoughts, and all my Devotion. Your Dear Image fills up all my Heart. Farewel, Let me ſee you often. Love and your Prudence will overcome all the Difficulties that oppoſe our happineſs. Farewel, I die without you, and cannot, will not Live unleſs yours.
Billets from a Young Lady to her Lover.
Done out of French by Mrs. M.H.
She deſires his Heart for a New Years Gift.
If your Heart is not diſpos’d of already, I deſire you to give it me for a New-Years- Gift; 181 I7r 181 Gift; ſince it it is the only thing that can pleaſe me from you. If you are Maſter of it, oblige me ſo far as to ſend, or bring it to me your ſelf; and be aſſur’d, that I can put no bounds to my acknowledgments, for a Preſent that is ſo much Coveted by me.
She is ſorry that ſhe was not at home.
I am very ſorry I had the Ill Fortune of being abroad yeſterday, when you came to ſee me. It is not the way to improve the firſt Mark of kindneſs you have given me; and if you have the leaſt Paſſion for me, you muſt needs take it very Ill. I ſhall never be at reſt till I have ſatisfi’d you about it; and it will never be ſo ſoon as I deſire it.
It is Flattery to tell her ſhe writes well.
Ican no longer Write, ſince you told me that I Wrote a Billet pretty well. I have been above a quarter of an hour about this, and the more I ſtrive to Merit the Praiſe you give me, the more I diſcover that I do not deſerve it. This Expreſſion is pretty enough: And I would go on were I not oblig’d to acquaint you that my Journey is broke off. Do not think your ſelf oblig’d to me for it. It is meer Chance: And I will be ſufficiently ſatisfied if you rejoyce at it. Write, or Come.
She acquaints him that ſhe is going into the Country.
Iam conſidering whither I ſhou’d be troubled at my not being at home, when you came to ſee me, or not. As you are of an inſupportable Humour, in all that relates to me, I think I have no Reaſon to grieve at my not having ſeen you, thô I go out of Town to morrow. It is no matter, your Billet will ſupply the want of your preſence; and thô it be not over Gallant, it is gentiler than you are. Remember what you promiſe, or rather what you give me in it: And in Caſe it be not abſolutely diſingag’dgag’d 185 I9r 185 gag’d from the Perſon who poſſeſſes it with leſs Juſtice than my ſelf, make an End of that work during my Abſence, and aſſure your ſelf, that I know very well how to ſet a Value upon every thing, and that I am incapable of Ingratitude.
To her Rival.
She will endeavour to ſteal . her Lovear from her.
Ionly Write this Billet to defie you. Who ever you are, I cannot Love you: And thô we have both the ſame deſign, there is no ſimpathy between us. I am Beautiful, I have a great deal of Wit, and am very dangerous. Therefore do not think your ſelf ſafe, althô our Judge is prejudic’d in Favor of you. Thoſe who have Courage and a deſire to vanquiſh, ſeldom want the means.
To her Lover.
She tells him that ſhe is going into the Country.
To morrow I go into the Country, with no other regret than that of leaving you. The perſon I am going to, will not be able to make me any amends for your Abſence; And if I have any ſatisfaction in my Journey, it muſt be owing to your Cares and Aſſiduity. Farewell remember me, or forget what I have promis’d you.
To the ſame.
Upon her not having written to him ſooner.
Do not think I have forgotten you, thô I have not Written to you theſe three Weeks. My Heart juſtifies me ſo well in that point, that I will not ſo much as make an Excuſe to you about it: Know only that I divert my ſelf as much as I can do without ſeeing you. I grow very Fat, and very Beautiful. Let Iris look to it at my return. No Inchantments will be Proof againſt my Charms. Tell her that I allow you one Month longer to love her, and that you will 189 I11r 189 will Love her no longer after it. I am not fooliſh enough to think you’ll tell her this; but I am vain enough to believe that you will do it, as ſoon as you ſee me. I am now looking in my Glaſs, and I was never better pleas’d with my ſelf, Wo to all thoſe who ſhall ſee me this Day.
She Expreſſes Love and Jealouſie to him.
’Tis very hard to live in one Place, when one’s Mind is in another! were I my own Miſtreſs, I would be where you are. I have moments of melancholy ſo much to your advantage, that you muſt Love me above all things in Nature if you do me Juſtice. Iris diſturbs my mind more than I can expreſs: And I am perſwaded that it is impoſſible to Write Verſes ſo full of Paſſion, as thoſe you have made for her without a Real Tenderneſs. Pray ſatisfie me in this Point, or rather tell me that you do not Love her, and ſpeak Truth. 191 I12r 191 Truth. I am mad to acquaint you thus with all my Thoughts. Let it not Raiſe your Vanity, and regulate the Advantages you ought to derive from it, according to the meaſure of the Affection you deſire to have for me. You are a Gentleman, and I doubt not but you will behave you ſelf accordingly. Farewell, do not Write to me.
She deſires him to Write Tenderly to her.
Ihave been angry with you, for not writing to me: For thô in ſo doing, you follow’d the Order you had receiv’d from me, a Lover ſhould not always obey ſo punctually. I eaſily Pardon a bold enterpriſe when the ſucceſs proves agreeable. Write to me by the Perſon you know: And ſince I ſhall be yet depriv’d of the Pleaſure of ſeeing you for a while, loſe no opportunity to afford me that ſatisfaction. Let me find thoſe ſoft Tender, Paſſionate Expreſſions in your Letters, which you have ſo much at Command for another 193 K1r 193 another. Deceive me, rather than write otherwiſe to me, or fancy me to be Iris while you are writing. A Marqueſs of this Country expreſſes ſome inclination for me. But a perſon of your Air and Merit can dread no Rivals. Pages and Poſtillons are Animals that cannot move me. I will tell you all at my Return. Farewell Dear Friend, and yet much dearer than you can imagine.K
She deſires him to Write to her about his Amours.
My Abſence has almoſt kill’d the Poor Marqueſs, and yet it hardly moves you. I ſhou’d be very glad to know from your ſelf, what Effect it has upon you. But I diſtruſt every body; and therefore rather than be deceiv’d I will deprive my ſelf of that ſatisfaction. We go for ―― within theſe few days, there to paſ the Remainder of this Winter. Tell my Friend N. how you deſign to paſs your Carnival, and whither your Iris, that inſupportable Iris has ſtill the ſame Aſcendant ſhe us’d to have over you. Farewel,wel, 195 K2r 195 wel, my Sentiments are ſtill the ſame towards you, and on all occaſion my Heart is true to you. My very Eyes are ſo ſcrupulous in Favor of you, that were you preſent, and did Love me as much as you ought to do, you could have no Reaſon to Complain.K2
She thinks on nothing but going back to him.
They talk of going back to London, and I think on nothing but returning where you are. You need not queſtion but I will manage that deſign with all that Cunning you know Women are ſeldom wanting in on thoſe occaſions, the which I will make you ſenſible of at ſome time or other at the Coſt of your Iris. Let her Rail at the Innocent Stars, provided ſhe does not meddle with thoſe that ſhall be really Guilty of her miſfortune, I mean my Eyes, I do not value it. I dread to hear from you, not for fear of being diſcover’d, but leſt you ſhould not Write as I would have you. However let not that hinder you from 197 K3r 197 from Writing. Vex me as little as you can: And ſeem to be, what my Charms will make you. Farewel, I daily diſtract the poor Marqueſs, and I preſerve all my Pity for the firſt Torments you ſhall ſuffer in Loving me.
She upbraids him with his want of Gallantry.
You are the moſt ridiculous, and the moſt inſupportable Man Living. What! can you think me ſo ſtupid, as not to diſcover your diſſembling. You do not deſerve the leaſt good Fortune, and this is the laſt time you ſhall hear from me. Return all my Billets to the Perſon that deliver’d them to you. I will not come back theſe three Weeks, and if I cou’d do worſe I wou’d. Are you not aſham’d to have written ſo dull a Letter to me, and to uſe me, as you deſerve to be us’d. Unleſs your Iris had a Hand in the Penningning 199 K4r 199 ning of it I will never forgive you, and that only can any wiſe excuſe you. Do not fail to let me know the Truth of it: Or rather make uſe of the means I give you to juſtifie your ſelf to me; and do not give me Cauſe to hate you with Juſtice.K4
She deſires a Tender Letter from him.
Nothing can equal the Cruelty of my Fate. We are going from ―― without returning for London, and we are going to ſee Places which upon your Account will ſeem Horrid Deſarts to me. I am ſo ſtrangely mortify’d at this misfortune, that you wou’d hardly know me again; and unleſs you write ſomething to pleaſe me, I ſhall not be able to bear it. Altho I venture all in receiving your Letters, I do not matter it. I ſuffer already all the harm it can do me. I can no longer fear any Danger, but I 201 K5r 201 I expect a great deal of Joy. Let them be long, without any Equivocations, Paſſionate, and Worthy of a Perſon who only ſuffers for your ſake. Farewel, I dread a ſurpriſe.K5
She gives him an Account of her Life.
You only deſire a Billet from me. Here it is. But the Spirit of Gallantry is loſt,. Where there is no Gallant. However I am lik’d by a thouſand Perſons, that diſpleaſe me. A Purling Brook ſliding ſoftly through a ſolitary Wood, is the only Object that has the leaſt Charm for me; that and the Dear thoughts of Cruel you, makes me paſs ſome agreeable Hours. This is the Life I lead. You give me no Account of yours. But I will not upbraid your Conduct. My Vengeance lies in your Crime. 203 K6r 203 Crime. It will be as laſting as it, and I have more Reaſon to Pity than to hate you. I think you are unhappy enough, in having made your ſelf unworthy of my Love.
Upon Abſence and Forgetfulneſs.
How wretched is my Fate! I had flatter’d my ſelf that I ſhou’d hear from you every Poſt; that the ſoftneſs of your Letters, the reiterated aſſurances of your Fidelity, and the hopes of your ſpeedy return, wou’d help me to bear the Cruelty of an Abſence, which to me is worſe than Death it ſelf. Judging of your ſentiments by my own, and by the Anguiſh I obſerv’d in your Looks at parting, I prepar’d my ſelf to ſuffer no leſs for you, than for my ſelf; Nay more, the very Idea of your ſufferings made me almoſt inſenſible to my own: But your Cruel ſilence has eas’d me of the firſt, to lay a greater weight upon the laſt. I have not 205 K7r 205 not receiv’d one Letter from you ſince your departure, thô I have often written to you; and am inform’d that you think on nothing but Divertiſements at the Hague, while I conſume my ſelf in Fruitleſs Sorrows here. Ungrateful! is it poſſible that the moſt Violent Paſſion that ever was, ſhou’d make no more Impreſſion on your Mind. What Injury had I, or any of mine ever done you, to make you apply your ſelf ſo induſtriouſly, and with ſo much earneſtneſs to make me the moſt unfortunate Woman living. I am now ſenſible, that you never really Lov’d me, and that you aim’d at nothing but my Ruin. Ah! your Vows, your Oaths, feign’d Tears, Sighs and Languiſhing were only Snares to catch my unwary Heart on purpoſe to undo me. You only valu’d my Paſſion as a Victory.ctory. 206 K7v 206 ctory. It pleas’d your Pride, but never mov’d your Heart. I find too late, that you do not know what it is to Love; otherwiſe you wou’d be ſenſible that the Pleaſure of a mutual Paſſion, is infinitely to be prefer’d to the ſatisfaction of deceiving a fond Credulous Woman. From a very happy Condition, if there be any real Happineſs in indifference, you have reduc’d me to the moſt deplorable in Nature, I am all Deſpair, Torture, and diſtraction. Sometimes I wiſh I had never ſeen you, but then I ſoon repent that wiſh, and hate my ſelf for it: No, I was born to Love you, and in ſpite of all your Falſeneſs and Ingratitude I had much rather ſuffer in loving you, than to be happy with my former Indifference. I have not had one moments Reſt or Health ſince your Departure. ’Tis now the 207 K8r 207 the deadeſt time of Night; all Nature’s Calm while I am in perpetual Anguiſh and Agitation. Why did you pitch on me to make me ſo unhappy? You might eaſily have found out other Women more Beautiful, and fitter for your purpoſe, ſince you aim’d at nothing but brutal Pleaſures, Women who wou’d have been as baſe and as inconſtant as your ſelf, whom might have forſaken without Cruelty. But your proceeding is Barbarous towards a Woman that Adores you and dyes for you. Tho I know you are falſe I ſtrive as much as I can to deceive my ſelf, to excuſe you. Sure you muſt needs pity me, but I ſcorn your pity; nothing but your Heart can make me Happy, neither wou’d I owe it to any tohing but your own inclination. Had your proceeding been as Cold when 208 K8v 208 when firſt I ſaw you, as I find it now, you wou’d have ſav’d me many Sighs and Tears. Your Aſſiduities engag’d my Heart, your Tranſports inflam’d me, your Behaviour Charm’d my very Soul, your Oaths and Vows perſwaded me, and my own Inclination ſeduc’d me; I abandon’d my ſelf wholly to my Paſſion, and thought on nothing but my Love. I ſtill Love you a thouſand times more than my Life; yet my Heart, my Weak Heart which ſcorns your Baſeneſs, Adores your Perſon ſtill. Farewel, ’tis harder for me to end my Letter, than it was for you to leave me. Do not write to me, yet do, it will be a kind of Pleaſure to be deluded by you. I am diſtracted and know not what to wiſh. Thô you have undone me I wiſh for no Revenge. Live happy, if you can, and 209 K9r 209 and forget me leaſt the memory of my Paſſion, and my wrongs ſhou’d diſturb your quiet. I will endeavour to do the ſame, and methinks I love you leſs already. I find a thouſand Imperfections in you, I had never obſerv’d before. I am ſenſible that you are Unworthy of my Love; yet I will never hate you. I do not deſire to know the ſucceſs of this Letter, do not diſturb my growing quiet. I Rave, my Paſſion diſtracts my Mind. My Love depends no longer, on the manner of your behaviour. It is my Fate to Love, and to Dye for you.
My Lady T―― Picture.
Tho I am not capable to give you a true Deſcription of the Lovely Perſon your Brother is a going to Marry, I will endeavour to ſatisfie your Curiouſity, and to wrong her as little as I can. Her Air is great and Noble, accompany’d with a moſt Charming Sweetneſs, her Features very Regular, the turn of her Face is incomparable: Her Mouth is none of the leaſt but very well form’d, and her Lips of the fineſt Red in Nature; her Teeth are very White and Even; her Eyes are Black and Sprightly, and ’tis very difficult to reſiſt their Glances: Her Noſe has a certain turn that is altogether Charming; her Complexion is 211 K10r 211 is beyond all Compariſon, ’tis a mixture of ſuch White and Red, as no Painter cou’d ever imitate. And the whole is attended with a certain Charm for which we want a Name. Her Hair is of a Light Brown, and ſhe has abundance of it. Her Neck is an abſtract of perfections. Her Arms and Hands are anſwerable to the Reſt. She is Tall, and her ſhape Majeſtick and Eaſie, ſhe is more inclinable to Fat than Lean; her Gate, her Air, her every motion Charms. Her Soul is very well ſuited to ſo fine a Body: She is naturally Generous and Obliging. She Loves her Friends to exceſs: She is Civil to all People, free from all manner of Affectation. She has a very agreeable even Temper. Her Judgment is great and Solid. Her Converſation Eaſie and Witty. She is very Conſtant, and never 212 K10v 212 never betrays the Secrets of her Friends. She Loves Muſick and Poetry, and Judges very well of both. In a Word ſhe has more of the Angel than of a Mortal Creature in her. None can approach her without Adoring her, thô at the ſame time ſhe has a Reſervedneſs that diſcourages all her Lovers. I am ſenſible that this Deſcription will call my Skill in queſtion; but I have my End, provided it convinces you of the Reſpect and Submiſſion wherewith I am.
Advice to a Friend that was going to Marry.
Tho I approve your Reſolution of Marrying, which is a thing moſt, or all of us are fond of, what ever we may pretend, I muſt be Ingenious with you, and as a Friend tell you that I cannot like your Choice; not but Philander is a pretty Gentleman enough as the World goes, Young, Handſom and Gay; Sings, Dances, Dreſſes, &c. all which Qualifications are very taking with the Ladies in this Age. Solidity, Wit, Judgment and Diſcretion, are Virtues out of Date. Nay, on my Conſcience I believe he Loves you too above all things, next to his dear pretty ſelf, and that his Paſſion may chance to laſt as long 214 K11v 214 long as your Mony. But then again, as all Men are a Compound of Good and Ill, be pleas’d to conſider that he is very Proud thô very Poor, a Curſe that generally attends Poverty, Affecting a certain Air of Quality, that will hardly ſuit with your Fortune, which is ſufficient to make an honeſt Country Gentlemen Happy, but will hardly ſuffice for the Garniture and other ingredients that are requiſite towards the maintenance of a Beau. His Pride and Vanity will ſoon conſume your Fortune, and you will find his Paſſion of no longer Date than it. Believe me who have ſome Experience in thoſe Affairs, Love and Want are inconſiſtent, and whatever Notions of Bliſs we may Form to our ſelves, there is no Real Happineſs without Eaſe. That Gayry, Mirth, Good Humor,mour, 216 K12r 215 mor, and Complaiſance; thoſe Sighs, thoſe Raptures, thoſe Tranſports that Charm us in a Lover, vaniſh as ſoon as he aſſumes the Husband. Love delights in Joy and Plenty, and conſequently is a Mortal Enemy to Want and Sadneſs. His Houſe being uneaſie to him, he will fly it like the Plague, and ſeek for his accuſtomed Pleaſures abroad, while you remain comfortleſs at home, to Curſe your Fate, and the fondneſs that betray’d you to it. Secondly I am inform’d that he is moſt horribly given to Jealouſie, as moſt Beaux are, a Plague that will prove a Hell on Earth to you. You who are Young, Beautiful and Witty, who delight and have been Bred in Company, who are of a Chearful, Free Temper, to have all your Actions, Nay, your very looks controul’d, your Virtue 216 K12v 216 Virtue queſtion’d, not dare to ſpeak, or ſmile, for fear of Offending your dear Spouſe, and of making his Empty Noddle Ake, will prove a Torment to you worſe than Death its ſelf. Then the Ill, Croſs, ſurly Temper that attends that meagre Fiend, will ſoon give you too much Cauſe to Repent your Ill plac’d Love: You will not know one hour of Joy; your Nights and Days will be a continu’d Scene of Woe. Therefore Dear Friend, conſider well before you ingage your ſelf for ever; Matrimony is a Terrible Apprentiſhip, unleſs attended with Eaſe and Plenty, and free from the Curſe of Jealouſie. Preſerve your Liberty a little longer, and do not part with it without a valuable Conſideration. Better gnaw your Sheets a while, than to have Cauſe to Curſe for ever. I have made 217 L1r 217 made a Terrible Experiment of it. I Marry’d my firſt Husband, a Spark of Philander’s Character, for Love, without my Friends conſent; but his unkindneſs after he had made me his, thô’ before he Swore he lov’d me above all Earthly Joys, ſoon Cur’d me of that Love, but ſtill the Clog remain’d. Heaven in pity of my Youth and Sufferings deliver’d me of my Tyrant. He being Dead, my Friends prevail’d with me to enter into the Bonds again, and Marry’d me to one I had neither Affection, nor Averſion for, whoſe Generoſity and good Nature, after he had Marry’d me, ſoon gain’d my Heart, and oblig’d me to Love him far more than e’re I did the firſt; and I now think my ſelf the Happieſt Woman Living. I wou’d not have you Marry abſolutely for Wealth, neither wou’d I adviſe L you 218 L1v 218 you to follow your Inclination blindly, they are two dangerous Rocks equally to be avoided. Chuſe a Man of Honor, Senſe and Judgment, one of a Fortune Anſwerable to your own, ſince yours alone is not ſufficient to make you both happy. Suffer not your ſelf to be lead away by Raw Youth, Flaſhy Wit, Dreſſing, Cringing, Bowing, &c. Fools love nothing but themſelves, and do not know how to place a true value on Merit and Beauty; and above all avoid the Curſe of Jealouſie. A little touch of Jealouſie in a Lover is not amiſs, it often ſerves to revive a dying Flame, but ’tis the Bane of Marriage. Farewel, once more conſider before it is too late, and ſuffer not your ſelf to be undone by an inconſiderate Inclination.
To a Gentleman upon the Report of his going to be Marry’d.
Ido not in the leaſt queſtion but this Letter will ſurpriſe you as much, as the Report of your New Ingagement with N―― has amaz’d me. I cou’d never have thought that a Man of your Wit and Experience cou’d have given over a Suit, on which you pretended all the future Happineſs of your Life depended, for one Refuſal. You are too well acquainted with our Sex not to know, that Cuſtom has introduc’d a Maxim among us, to ſeem averſe to what we moſt deſire, for fear of being deceiv’d by a feign’d Paſſion, which moſt of you are but too guilty of, or of loſing your Eſteem by diſcovering our Weakneſs, or InclinationL2 tion 220 L2v 220 tion too ſoon. Why, Oh! why do you reduce us to thoſe ſtreights by your Diſſembling? Yet our Eyes thoſe faithful Miniſters of the Soul, inform you but too ſincerely that our Words and Thoughts are not the ſame. Surely you did not give your ſelf the trouble to Examin mine, when I ſeemingly refus’d a Heart, which gave it ſelf too faſt: They wou’d have told you, that your Words made all the Impreſſion you cou’d, Nay, I fear more than you did deſire, upon my Soul. My denial was ſo faint, and ſpoke in ſuch a Tone, that it was evident I did not deſire to be believ’d. I am but too ſenſible that we ſpoke both diſtant from our Hearts, I in refuſing, you in pretending a Paſſion that was only in your Words. Had it been Rooted in your Heart, you wou’d have perſiſted in it; you 221 L3r 221 you wou’d have flatter’d your ſelf that my avoiding you, after the Declaration you had made to me, was only an effect of Modeſty: You wou’d have convinc’d me by your perſeverence, and aſſiduity, that you truly lov’d me; that wou’d ſoon have diſarm’d me of my Coyneſs, and all thoſe little Arts which you injuſtly Tax us with, ſince you force us to uſe them. Your want of Sincerity, and Generoſity impoſes this Conſtraint upon us, which is now ſo generally practis’d, that you diſlike thoſe who do not affect it. Why then, Oh! Why did you believe me? Or rather, why did I Credit you? My Heart, my fond Heart, betray’d me to it. I thought that a Man who Soars ſo high above the Common Level of Mankind, cou’d never be guilty of the leaſt Imperfection, much L3 leſs 222 L3v 222 leſs of Diſſimulation, which is one of the worſt. I had form’d an Idea to my ſelf of your Worth, not to be equall’d on this ſide Heaven. Your Eyes had often told me that you lov’d me and I credited them, becauſe I wiſhed it, and ſuck’d in the Poiſon greedily; Ah! why did you not examin mine as carefully. I did deny indeed, but it was only to have the ſatisfaction to hear you confirm your Vows, and to have a better pretence to yeild my too willing Heart. But oh! what can equal my aſtoniſhment, when at my return from the Country, having Vanquiſh’d all the Scruples that had hitherto hinder’d me from avowing the Conqueſt you had made over me; I was inform’d that you were going to Marry, if you were not already Marry’d to the too happy N―― Nothing can; neither will 223 L4r 223 will I endeavour it. But I cannot forbear acquainting you with the Extremity of my Grief, thô I fear it will make but little impreſſion on you. Judge Cruel, Judge of its Violence by the Effects of it. Nothing but abſolute deſpair cou’d force me, thus to paſs the bounds of Modeſty, to tell you that if you proceed in this Fatal Marriage I Dye. Nor can my Rival pretend a better Title to the Happineſs you deſign her than my ſelf. I lov’d you firſt; my Birth, my Fortune, Beauty and the Violence of my Paſſion, claim the Precedency; nor can you without the higheſt Ingratitude refuſe to do me Juſtice. Not that I wou’d anticipate on any others Right; No, I wou’d dye firſt; but if you be not too far ingag’d: Remember that you have given me your Heart, and that I claim it as my due. 224 L4v 224 due. Remember too, that my Life’s at ſtake. But I begin to Rave. Farewel, acquaint me with my Doom, I can no longer bear the Racks of Incertainty. Deal ingeniouſly with me, my Love deſerves it, and fear not my Revenge. If you be Marry’d, or paſs’d retracting; I will ſeclude my ſelf for ever from the World, and leave my happy Rival bleſs’d in the Heavens of your Embraces.
An Anſwer to one of the foregoing Letters.
What need I proſecute my Suit, ſince it matters not whither I ſucceed in it, or not? the Generous Nerea aſſures me that tho I ſhou’d loſe it, ſhe wou’d notwithſtanding accept me for her Husband. Let us fly the tedious debates of Law, and Renounce Fortune to ſatisfie the deſires of Love. It is a thought my Dear Nerea which often offers it ſelf to my mind, and that ſometimes preſſes me with ſo much urgency, that I am upon the point of coming away and abandoning all; but I am ſtopt by a ſecond Reflection. Is it reaſonable that her Generoſity ſhou’d hinder her from being happy? That after having offer’d her a Lover without Merit, I L5 ſhou’d 226 L5v 226 ſhou’d offer her a Husband without Fortune? and that inſtead of indeavouring to plaece her in a Condition not altogether unworthy of her Birth and Virtue, I ſhou’d abandon the only hope Fortune offers to make her happy. This ſecond thought ſtops me Dear Nerea, and makes me reſolve to proſecute my Suit; But yet tho I have reaſon to expect a happy Iſſue of it; I Sigh continually, and I am Unfortunate ſince I am abſent from you.
To a Youth of Fourteen; by a Young Lady.
When God to puniſh man his Thunder ſent,
The dreadfuul noiſe taught us to fear th’evoent,
And carefully the miſchief to prevent:
Sickneſs Deaths ſlower Meſſenger declares
Him near, and for the Wound our mind prepares;
And all theſe Engines to procure our Fate,
Fram’d by th’ ingenious Curelty of hate,
Before they kill do oft our danger ſhow;
Nature inſtructs us to avoid the blow.
Thou only Charming Youth by Fate deſign’d
The ſure Deſtruction of all Womankind;
Without Reſiſtance may’ſt thy Power employ,
And unſuſpected ſafely may’ſt deſtroy:
For who can think ſuch fatal Poyſon lyes,
In thoſe ſoft blooming Cheeks and lovely Eyes?O 228 L6v 228
Or how can we the ſudden Miſchief ſhun,
When every Maid is at firſt ſight undone?
But oh! ſo pleaſingly that tho we knew
Our Ruin we that Ruin wou’d perſue;
For who ingloriouſly from Heav’n wou’d Fly,
Tho in th’ attempt t’ attain it ſure to dye;
Yet a more gentle Fate’s reſerv’d for me,
If I my deareſt Boy can ought foreſee,
Yes, tho you lately ſaid you wou’d not Love,
No Beauty e’re your guarded heart ſhould move;
Ev’n then the Enemy was enter’d there,
And ſeiz’d you, tho you thought no Foe was near.
Say elſe, what meant that dying Look and Voice;
When you to Dance made me your joyful choice?
Say what that whiſper in the middle broke,
The Reſt in Kiſſes on my Neck was ſpoke;
And what can that Officious Care inſpire,
To ſerve me more than breeding does require?
It muſt be love―― yet how can you but know,
What you create each hour where e’re you go,
Or have you learnt ſo early to deceive,
And only wou’d have me your Love perceive?
We need my Child no ſuch Diſguiſes now,
A while we may our Youthful Flame avow;
Our Innocence ſecures us, but alas,
Thy Ripening years come on a haſty pace:
Then you muſt at an humble diſtance ſue,
And I muſt ſeem to ſcorn what now I Woe:Yet 229 L7r 229
Yet ſure impartial men wou’d me excuſe,
If I ſhou’d leſs diſdain, leſs Rigour’s uſe,
Than other Virgins to their Lovers ſhow;
For none had ever one ſo fair as you;
And thoſe ungenerous Laws were made alone,
For ſuch whoſe Ill made choice they bluſh’d to own;
Whilſt they more meanly yield on importunity,
Thy Worth abſolves me friom the Tyranny.
To pay Religious Vows all Men agree,
To Creatures is a foul Idolatry:
But no flawed-reproductiontwo charactersſs Sin t’omit ’em where they’re due,
Worſhip to Heav’n we owe all hearts to you.
The End of the Firſt Part.
That Famous Powder, called Arcanum Magnum, formerly Prepared by the Learned Riverius, Phyſician Regent to the French King; and approved by moſt Perſons of Quality in Chriſtendom, for Preſerving and Beautifying the Face, even to Old Age: It Cures Red Faces; Morphew; it prevents, and takes away Supcaerfluous Hair growing on the Face: In ſhort it adds more Luſtre and Beauty than any Powder or Waſh known, as man)y Perſons in Quality can Teſtsifie, who daily uſe it with the greateſt Approbation. It is prepared only by J. H. Doctor in Phyſick, in great Knight Rider-ſtreet near Doctors-Commons-Gate, a Blew Ball being over the Door where it may be had for 2 s. 6 d. the Paper with Directions for its Uſe.
A Catalogue of Books, ſome of them Newly Printed for Sam Briſcoe over againſt Will’s Coffee- Houſe- in Ruſſel-Street, in Coven-Garden.
- The Hiſtory of Polybius the Megalapolitan, containing a general Account of the Tranſactions of the World, and principally of the Roman People, during the Firſt and Second Punick Wars with Maps: deſcribing the Places where the moſt conſiderable Engagements and Battles were Fought, both by Sea and Land: Alſo an Account of their Policies 232 L8v Policies and Stratagems of War, of the Antient Romans, in Conquering the greateſt Part of the then known World in Fifty three years: Tranſlated by Sir H. S. to which is added, a Character of Polybius and his Writings: By Mr. Dryden, in two Volumes. Octav.octavio Price 10 s.
- The Lives of the twelve Cæſars the firſt Emperors of Rome. Written in Latin by C. Suetonius Tranquilius. Tranſlated into Engliſh by ſeveral Eminent Hands, with the Heads of the Emperors on Copper Plates.
- Advice to a Young Lord, Written by his Father, under theſe following Heads, Viz. Religion, Study and Exerciſe, Travel, Marriage, Houſe-keeping, Hoſpitality, of the Court, of Friendſhip, of Pleaſure and Idleneſs of Converſation. The 233 L9r
- The Art of Heraldy, in two Parts. The firſt containing (in a Conciſe, but Methodical Method, by Rules and Explanations of Bearings) the Body of Heraldy, the ſsecond Honour Civil and Military, being a Treatiſe of the Nobility and Gentry of England, as to their Priviledges and Dignities, &c. according to the Laws and Cuſtoms of our Realm. The whole Illuſtrated with variety of apt and proper Sculptures for the better Explanation thereof. The Second Edition.
- Ariſtotle’s Rhetorick, or the true Grounds and Principles of of Oratory, ſhewing the Right Art of Pleading and Speaking in full Aſſemblies and Courts of Judicature. In four Books, ſecond Edition.
- The Religious Stoick: Or, a ſhort Diſcourſe on ſeveral Subjects, Viz. Of Atheiſm, Superſtition,ſtition, 234 L9v ſtition, the World’s Creation Eternity, Providence, Theology, Strictneſs of Churches, of the Scriptures, of the Moral and Judaical Law, of Monſters, of Man and his Creation, of the Immortality of the Soul, of Faith and Reaſon, of the Fall Angels, and what their Sin was, of Mans Fall, of the Stile of Geneſis, why Man fell, with a Refutation of the Millinaries, with a Friendly Addreſs to the Fanaticks of all Sexcts and Sorts. The Second Edition, by Sir George Mackenzie.
- A Moral Eſſay, preferring Solitude to Publick Employment, and all its Appanages, ſuch as Fame, Command, Riches, Pleaſures, Converſation, By Sir George Mackenzie, ſecond Edition.
- Jovial Poems and Songs by ſeveral Hands. Ovid’s 235 L10r
- Ovid’s Epiſtles, Tranſlated by ſeveral Hands, Adorned with Cuts.
- Phyſical and Mathematical Memoirs. Written at the Royal Academy of Paris.
- The Gallant Siege of Mentz, or the German Hero, a Novel.
- Female Cuckold, or London Jilt. A Gallant Novel, by Alexhander nder Oldis, Gent.
- Sophonisha: Or, Hanibal’s Overthrow. A Tragedy, by Mr. Lee.
- Love for Money, or the Boarding-School. By Mr. Durfey.
- Marriage-Hater Match’d. A Comedy, by Mr,. Durfey.
- Richmond Heiriſſe, or a Woman once in the Right. A Comedy, by Mr. Durfey. Wive’s 236 L10v
- Wive’s Excuſe: Or, Cuckolds make themſelves. A Comedy with a Copy of Verſes to the Author, by Mr. Dryden.
- Traytor, a Tragedy: Written by Mr. Rivers.
- True Widow a Comedy, by Mr. Tho. Shadwell: Corrected and amended by Sir Charles Sidley, Baronet.
- There is in the Preſs, and will be ſpeedily Publiſh’d, the laſt New Comedy, call’d a Very good Wife.