Letters of Love and Galantry, and ſeveral other Subjects; All written by Ladies: With the Memoirs, Life and Adventures of a young Lady; written by her Self.
Love and Gallantry
And ſeveral other Subjects.
Written by Ladies.
With a dialogue between
love and reason: shewing,
The Reaſonableneſs and Unreaſonableneſs
of love; The Nun’s Letter to
the Monk; Characters and Pictures of
ſeveral Ladies and Gentlemen; with other
Pſſionate Letters, that paſſed betwixt both
Sexes, in Town and Country.
Dedicated to the Beaux.
London, Printed for
.S. Briſcoe, at the Corner of
Charles-ſtreet in Ruſſel-ſtreet, Covent-Garden,16941694.
The Epiſtle Dedicatory to the beaux.
Since we are ſatisfied of your Friendly readineſs to Publiſh our Favours, even before you have receiv’d ’em, we thought our ſelves oblig’d A2 by vi A2v by ſo much good nature, to give you once a juſt occaſion for’t, and preſent you with our Letters. Some fill their Dedications with nothing but Apologys for their making ’em: Some cunningly place the name at the bottom of the Picture, to try if our Wit could gueſs at what they meant by the Daubing above: Others, as ’twere on deſign, write you aſleep in the beginning, to convince you they’re in Love, as they tell you, at the latter end: while this Geographically Witty ever treats you with a Fool of ſuch or ſuch a Climate, and Travelsvels vii A3r vels for buſineſs to Japan, or Arragon, when God knows, and you may convince him, we have as much, as he can turn his hand to, at Home: Nay, ſome, tho’ they were Addreſſing to you, would have the impertinence to bring in Latin and Greek. Thus all, like true Lovers, talk leaſt of the thing they come about: but we, skill’d in Men, are too ſenſible how pleaſing ’tis to know we are admir’d, to entertain you with any thing but your ſelves; and ſhall clear our ſelves from the Suſpicion of Flattery in ſuch A3 caſes, viii A3v Caſes, when you know our Complement to you is an account of a Quarrel that lately happen’d among us about you; and ſure you can’t believe we flatter, when it comes to that: To make ſhort, meeting the other Day at ―― after the uſual Entertainment of Modes and Dreſſing, we naturally fell into Diſcourſe of you; when each ſingled out her Man, and ſtrove to ſet him uppermoſt; one was prais’d for his way of Dreſs, another for the throw of his Periwig, this for a pretty Face, and and that for the Airy management ix A4r nagement of an ugly one: the Diſpute was hotly maintain’d a great while, but finding no end could be made in this, becauſe there was thought to be no Standard for Beauty; we unanimonuſly reſolv’d to determine the buſineſs by their Writing: Much was ſaid on all hands, and many ſhrewd Criticiſms made: This Man’s Verſes were arraign’d for Nonſence; and that many Plays for having in ’em more Bawdy than Wit.Another’s x A4v
Another’s Songs were condemn’d for having nothing in ’em; but becauſe ’twas univerſal with ſuch Writers, the Remark was not taken notice of; She that accus’d ’em growing angry that She could not come in for her Share of abuſing, fell foul on the Author’s Perſon, and ſaid that he mov’d by the ſame Rules that he Writ, that every thing was ſo ſtiff about him that nothing was out of Form, and that there was nothing but Form, that he minc’d all his Words, to make ’em come fine from him: and xi A5r and to make us the better underſtand her the other day, ſaid She, when a common Man would have ſaid, ’Twas a rude thing, turning to me, his Face and Body in one Motion, Madam, ſaid he, I proteſt ’twas moſt diſingagingly done: Was there ever ſuch an Ape? Nay, tho’ he be the moſt ugly of them all, yet in his Songs is ever dying for Love. The Patient, She that admir’d him, cou’d hold no longer, but advanc’d to revenge the abuſe of his Perſon and Parts on her Head-dreſs; the reſt of us xii A5v us thought our Cauſe as worthy Defending, and each drew out againſt her, that had abus’d it, when C―― coming in, put a ſtop to the War.
Memoirs of the Fair Elioſa, a Nun, and Abelard a Monk.
In order the better to underſtand all the Beauties of the following Letter, it is neceſſary to know the Characters of Elioſa and Abelard, as alſo what ſort of Commerce the held together, and conſequently to give an Abridgement of both their Lives.
Abelard liv’d in the Year 1170., under the Reign of Lewis the Young, and was B very 02 B1v 2 very famous for his Wit and Gallantry. He is reported to be the Inventor of Scholaſtic Philoſophy, which is a very difficult Amuſement. Others ſay, that he was alſo the Author of the Romance of the Roſe, a very agreeable deſcription of Love. The ſaid Romance being in Vogue to this very day, and the ſaid Philoſophy ſtill profeſs’d, might ſuffice to give us a very great and Noble Idea of him. But beſides that, he has ſhown in moſt of his Works, and in the whole Conduct of his Life, a ſurpriſing clearneſs of Mind, an Univerſal Capacity, a greatneſs of Soul which nothing could overcome, much delicacy in the Paſſions, and a great deal of firmneſs in his Misfortunes: In fine, that which compoſes the beſt and moſt Excellent part of the merit of great Men, is the true Character of Abelard.
Eloiſa was a Gentlewoman of a very good Family, about Eighteen Years of Age, very Witty and Sprightly, who had Beauty enough to move the moſt Inſenſible: Her Parents being very Rich, reſolv’d to add an extraordinary Education to thoſe Natural Endowments. An Uncle of hers, who was Canon of the Church 03 B2r 3 Church of Paris, apply’d himſelf moſt carefully about it; and as he Lov’d her intirely, he ſpar’d neither coſt nor care to effect it; and prov’d ſo ſucceſsful therein, that the World was fill’d with the Praiſe of his Niece’s Beauty and Accompliſhments.
Such Admirable Qualifications ſoon Captivated the Inclinations of all thoſe that knew her. Abelard was one of the firſt that felt the Power of her Charms, and became paſſionately in Love with her. His Philoſophy was not capable to defend his Heart againſt thoſe Perfections he has deſcrib’d himſelf under the Name of Beauty in his Romance of the Roſe; neither did he in the leaſt endeavour to contend with his Paſſion. On the contrary, being wholly taken up with his Love, he abandon’d himſelf intirely to it, and only ſtudy’d how to declare it to the Perſon he Ador’d. He being very well ſhap’d, Young, and having a high Reputation in the World, did not queſtion but his Declaration would meet with all the Succeſs he could expect, he tells us himſelf,Tanti quippe tunc nominis eram, & juventutis & formæ præeminebam, ut quamcunque feminarum B2 noſtro 04 B2v 4 noſtrodignarer amore, nullam vererer repulſam. That whatever Woman he could have fallen in Love with at that time, he has reaſon to hope for every thing, and to undertake all, without the leaſt fear of Refuſal.
Being thus confident of ſucceſs, he only long’d for an opportunity to make his Addreſſes to that Lovely Maid. He flatter’d himſelf, that if he could once be introduc’d into her Uncle’s Houſe, by ſome of his Friends, he would ſoon obtain the end of all his Wiſhes. He apply’d himſelf immediately about it; and the Friends he made uſe of, eaſily obtain’d what he deſir’d of Fulbert, (that was Eloiſa’s Uncle’s Name) who was extreamly Covetous, and yet deſir’d no thing ſo much as the advancement of his Niece, by reaſon that he could not poſſibly give her a better Maſter, or one that was leſs ſelf-intereſted than Abelard. Therefore he receiv’d him joyfully into his Houſe, and committed Eloiſa to his Tuition and Care, deſiring him, as if he had deſign’d to ſerve him in his Love to take an abſolute Empire over his Niece, and to allow towards her Education all the time he could ſpare from the Publick 05 B3r 5 Publick, to be with her Day and Night, to have a continual Eye upon her Conduct, and even to make uſe of the Authority he gave him, whenever he ſhould find her remiſs, or diſobedient. Fulbert ſhow’d a ſimplicity without Example in all this; ſince that by confiding thus in young People, and furniſhing them himself, with a thouſand Opportunities; it was almoſt impoſſible for them not to fall in Love with one another. But the Uncle’s affection towards the Niece was ſo ſtrong and ſo blind; and Abelard’s Reputation was ſo well eſtabliſh’d throughout the Kingdom, that not harbouring the leaſt ſuſpition of their Vertue, he thought himſelf abſolutely ſecure.
Abelard, who eaſily promis’d whatever Fulbert requir’d of him, did not fail to improve the liberty he had of ſeeing the Lovely Eloiſa at all convenient hours, and Moments. He acquainted her with his Paſſion and did it ſo well, that ſhe hearken’d to it with pleaſure. It is eaſie to perſuade a Young Maid about Eighteen to Love; and Abelard was too Charming, and had too much With, not to make a conſiderable progreſs in her B3 Heart 06 B3v 6 Heart in a ſhort time. She ſoon Lov’d him ſo tenderly that ſhe could no longer refuſe him any thing: Inſomuch that being wholly taken up by a thouſand Reciprocal Careſſes, in the injoyment of thoſe Delights the Paſſion he had inſpir’d her with afforded him, being continually with her, he often forgot his moſt ſerious and moſt Important Affairs. A Philoſopher in Love, is no wiſer than another Man; and however deſirous to preſerve his Reputation, he ſooner or later commits faults that are blam’d by every Body, though every Man would be guilty of the ſame.
The World ſoon perceiv’d this Intrigue between the Maſter and the Schollar, ſo great an Aſſiduity in their Converſation, together with the Tenderneſs and Paſſion that appear’d in all their Actions, ſoon diſcover’d that Philoſophy was not always their Theme.
Fulbert was the only Perſon that had no Eyes to ſee what every Body elſe perceiv’d; and whatever Advices he receiv’d about it, he was ſo prepoſſeſſed with a good Opinion of Abelard and Eloiſa’s Vertue, that it made no manner of impreſſion upon him. Finally our Lovers 07 B4r 7 Lovers keeping no meaſures in their Love, things went ſo far through their imprudence, that the Uncle, being at laſt undeceiv’d, reſolv’d to part them, to prevent the ill conſequences of their Intrigue. But it prov’d too late, for Eloiſa ſoon diſcovering ſomething extraordinary in her ſelf, ſhe acquainted Abelard therewith, who thereupon came back immediately to Paris, and ſtole her by Night, in order to Marry her privately, until her Relations would allow it publickly.
Fulbert, who Lov’d Eloiſa to that degree that he could not live without her, was extreamly troubl’d at her Flight; and being moreover very ſenſible of the affront Abelard had put upon him in abuſing the Liberty he had given him, he was tranſported to that exceſs of Rage, that he ſwore to be reveng’d of him. Abelard, who was conſcious of the Guilt, and could not forbear looking upon his own behaviour, as a piece of Treachery, reſolv’d to go back to Paris, in order to uſe his utmoſt Endeavours to appeaſe Fulbert’s Fury. To that end he made uſe of all the Entreaties, Submiſſions, and Promiſes he could think on. He begg’d of B4 him 08 B4v 8 him above all things to reflect on the force of Love, and on the Faults that that Tyrant of our Souls has often caus’d the greateſt Men to commit. Fulbert diſſembl’d his reſentment, and pretended to be overcome by his Reaſons, and to conſent to all. He even Embrac’d him cloſely, the better to deceive him, and to ſecure his own Revenge.
Abelard being overjoy’d at Fulbert’s conſent, went back to the place where he had left his Dear Eloiſa, whom he Marry’d; but with ſo much Repugnancy on that fair one’s part, that it prov’d a very difficult Task to perſwade her. As her Sentiments were very nice, ſhe could not indure the neceſſity ſhe ſhould be under of Loving him, nor the injury he was going to do himſelf by Marrying her. She could not indure to think he ſhould be indebted to any thing for the Love ſhe bore him, but to Love it ſelf, and his Quality of Philoſopher ſeem’d to her ſo inconſiſtent with the deſign of Marrying her, that ſhe had rather a thouſand times be look’d upon as his Miſtreſs, than to become his Wife at the coſt of his Reputation and Glory. And whereas Abelard had repreſented to her, that 09 B5r 9 that it would be the only way to appeaſe Fulbert’s Anger, and to avoid the Revenge he meditated; ſhe aſſur’d him that he flatter’d himſelf in vain, and that knowing her Uncle as well as ſhe did, ſhe could ſafely ſwear to him, that it was impoſſible to appeaſe him, and that ſooner or later he would endeavour to ruine him. However theſe Reaſons not being able to perſwade Abelard, ſhe yielded to his Deſires, only out of fear of diſpleaſing him by her reſiſtance. And it was not without Tears and Sighs that ſhe conſented to Marry a Man ſhe Lov’d beyond expreſſion, and by whom ſhe was as tenderly belov’d.
Eloiſa was not deceiv’d in the Opinion ſhe had of her Uncle. That Cruel Man ſtill perſevering in his deſign of Vengeance againſt Abelard, notwithſtanding his Marriage with his Niece, found means to corrupt one of his Servants to admit Ruffians into his Maſter’s Chamber, who drawing near his Bed, while he was a aſleep, at one ſtroke divided the Man from the Lover. That Action was too black and too Tragical to remain unpuniſh’d. The Uncle’s Eſtate was Confiſcated by a Decree from B5 the 10 B5v 10 the Court; and one of the Aſſaſſinats together with the Servant who had admitted him were Condemn’d to loſe their Eyes, and to ſuffer the ſame Puniſhment by the Hangman’s Hand, which they had dared to attempt upon another. After ſuch a Misfortune, our Philoſopher in order to take ſuch meaſures as were moſt ſuitable to the wretched Condition to which he was reduc’d, lock’d himſelf up in a Monaſtery, and caus’d Eloiſa to retire into a Convent; and whither out of Jealouſie, or Love; engag’d her to enter into Orders, before he had reſolv’d to do the ſame himſelf.
In the mean time, to keep up the Reputation he had acquir’d of being the moſt Learned Man of Europe, he explain’d the Acts of the Apoſtles to the Monks of the Abby of St. Dennis among whom he liv’d. And happening to have an occaſion to ſpeak of that Saint, he chanc’d to ſay, whither accidentally, or out of a Capricio, That Denis the Areopagite never was in France. It is very well known, that to entertain any Sentiments in thoſe Days contrary to that of the Monks, was ſufficient to be reputed an Apoſtate or Heretick. Learning could Autho- 11 B6r 11 Authorize nothing, and thoſe who ſoar’d a little above the common level, as ſoon as it was known were forc’d to condemn themſelves to a voluntary Exile to avoid the publick Perſecution of the Monks. St. Bernard was one of thoſ that declar’d against Abelard, not for the ſame reaſon for which the Monks of St. Denis did it, but only becauſe ſo much Wit, joyn’d to a worldly conduct ſeem’d dangerous to him. He concluded, That a Man’s Wit muſt needs be tainted, when the Heart was not pure—
During this Storm; Abelard who really poſſeſs’d all the Qualifications that compoſe great Men, but yet was not ſo perfect as to be a Saint; incens’d by ſo many Misfortunes and Injuries, reſolv’d to fly from the Monks, and to retire into a Deſart near Nogent. The Learned were ſcarce in that Age, and the deſire of Learning began to ſpread. For that reason Abelard was ſought after in his Exile; and being found out, was loaden with Preſents by thoſe who were deſirous to hear his Leſſons. Thoſe Preſents were ſo conſiderable as to enable him to build a Houſe, and a Chappel, which he Dedicated under the Name of Paraclet, the firſt 12 B6v 12 firſt that ever had that Name in France: Which was repreſented by ſome as a Novelty which might have dangerous Conſequences, though in reality it was only a Monument of the Consolations he had receiv’d from the Grace of God in that place, by a more ſerious application to his Study, and a more abſolute reſignation of his Miſtreſs. But Men of Merit, though never ſo retir’d are nevertheleſs exposed to Envy. He was hardly well ſettl’d in his Solitude, when he was accus’d of Caballing. In order to juſtifie himſelf, he deſir’d leave to quit it, and intreated the Archbiſhop of Troy, to permit him to ſettle ſome Maids there, and to aſſign his Chapel and his Eſtate to them. This Settlement being promis’d, he ſent for Eloiſa to Govern the Monaſtery, which having comitted to her Care, he retir’d elſewhere. Happy if he had ſtill been able to fly her.
It was during that abſence that a Letter which he wrote to a Friend near Paraclet, in which he gave him a large account of the Perſecutions he had endur’d, fell accidentally into the hands of that new Abbeſs. She open’d it, and finding a thouſand things in it, in which ſhe was highly 13 B7r 13 highly concern’d, ſhe took an occaſion from that to write the following Letter to him, to complain of his Conduct and to ask him, Whither it was juſt for a Nice Lover to abandon her to the falſe Idea’s which ſo long a ſilence might create in her. That Letter (ſays she who has Collected the Works of Abelard) is very proper to ſhow how far a Womaun is capable to carry the Sentiments of her Heart, when ſhe joyns a Violent Paſſion to a good Education.
Eloiſa to Abelard.
’Tis to her Maſter, and to her Father; ’tis to her Brother, and to her Husband, that a Maid, a Daughter, a Siſter , a Wife, and to include in one word, all that is Sublime, Reſpectful, Tender and free in thoſe Names; ’tis to her Abelard Eloiſa writes.
A Letter of Conſolation written by you to a Friend, lately fell into my hands. Knowing the Character, and being in Love 14 B7v 14 Love with the Hand, my Heart joyning with my Curioſity, forc’d me to open it. To apologize for the Liberty I took, I flatter’d my ſelf with the Sovereign Right I ought to have over all that comes from you, and I made a ſcruple to believe that there could be any Laws of Decorum I ought to obſerve when I had the means in my power to hear from you. But my Curioſity coſt me very dear! What Anguiſh did it expoſe me to! And what could equal my Surpriſe when I found that Letter only contain’d a ſad and long account of your Misfortunes! I found my Name a hundred times in it: I never met with it without fear: Some Misfortune ever follow’d it. I alſo read yours in it which was no happier. Thoſe Fatal and Dear Idea’s diſturb’d me to that degree, that I thought you did too much to comfort a Friend, to whom you did write about ſome Inconſiderable Afflictions, in giving him a particular account of our Misfortunes and Croſſes. Heavens! What Reflexions did I not make that moment? I began a new to reflect upon my ſelf, I was ſeiz’d with the ſame Grief that overwhelm’d me when we began to be Unhappy.happy 15 B8r 15 happy. And though time ought to have leſſen’d the ſmart of our Misfortunes, ſeeing them written by your Hand, was ſufficient to make me feel it afreſh to the very bottom of my Heart. No, nothing will ever blot out of my mind what you have ſuffer’d to defend your Sentiments. I ſhall ever remember the Envy of Alberick and Lotulf againſt you. I ſhall for ever behold a Cruel Uncle, an Abus’d Lover, and an Aſſaſſinate. I ſhall never forget how many Enemies your Wit created you; and how many were jealous of your Glory. I will ever call to mind that high Reputation you had ſo juſtly acquir’d, which expos’d you to the Hatred and Malice of the Pretenders to Learning. Your Book of Divinity was publickly Condemn’d to the Flames. You were threatned with a perpetual Priſon. It was in vain for you to plead your Innocence, and to prove that you were impos’d upon, and that you were accus’d of things you had never ſaid, or thought. You Condemn’d them your ſelf, but yet all this avail’d nothing towards your Juſtification, they would needs have you to be an Heretick right or wrong. Thoſe two falſe Prophets,phet 16 B8v 16 phets, who inveigh’d ſo bitterly againſt you at the Council of Rheims, omitted nothing to ruine you. What Scandals did they not fix on the Name of Paraclet which you gave to the Chappel you did Build? What Storm did the Treacherous Monks you honour’d with the Name of Brothers, raiſe againſt you? That Chain of Misfortunes has drawn Blood even from the very bottom of my Heart. My Tears which I could no wiſe ſtop, have blotted part of your Letter. I could wiſh they had been able to blot out all the Characters of it in the ſame manner, to ſend it you back thus. If I could but have kept it a little longer it would have ſatisfy’d me; but it was taken too ſoon from me.
However, it is moſt certain and I own it to you, that I was much Calmer before I had read it; but as ſoon as I had run it over, all my griefs renew’d. I have been too long, cry’d I, I have been too long without Complaining. Since the Rage of our Enemies is ſtill alive; Since Time which commonly diſarms the moſt mortal hatred, cannot diſarm them; ſince your Virtue muſt needs be perſecuted till the Grave ſerves you 17 B9r 17 you for a ſhelter, tho’ perhaps even there their Rage will Rake your Aſhes, I will keep your misfortunes for ever preſent to my mind. I will publiſh them throughout the World, to diſgrace this Age that has not underſtood you. I will hope for nothing, ſince all things are againſt you; and that the World takes a delight in perſecuting your Innocence. What? my Memory ever full of your paſt Misfortunes; muſt I ſtill dread to ſee you involv’d in new ones! Muſt my Dear Abelard never be mention’d without Tears! Shall his Name never be pronounc’d without a Heart-breaking Sigh! Pray conſider the condition to which you have reduc’d me. Wretched, Afflicted, without the leaſt Conſolation, unleſs it comes from you. Therefore I do conjure you, do not refuſe it me; but give me a faithful Account of all that relates to you. I deſire to know it, tho’ never ſo ſad or moving. Perhaps the mixture of my Sighs with yours will eaſe you, if it be true as it is commonly reported, that Afflictions that are ſhar’d by others, become the more Supportable.Do 18 B9v 18
Do not tell me for an excuſe that you are willing to ſpare our Tears. The Tears of Recluſe Maids in a Mournful abode of Penitence are not to be ſpar’d Beſides, ſhould you tarry to write to us until you had ſome agreeable news to ſend us, you would tarry too long. Fortune ſeldom ſides with the Virtuous; and ſhe is ſo Blind, that it is not to be expected ſhe ſhould diſtinguiſh one Wiſe Man among a Crowd of Fools. Therefore write to us without expecting thoſe kind of Miracles: They are too rare, and we are deſtin’d to too many Misfortunes to expect a Change. I propoſed to my ſelf a world of ſatisfaction in opening one of your Letters, tho’ it were only to convince me that you have not forgot me. Seneca (which you have often made me Read) was ſo ſenſible, tho’ a Stoick, of that kind of Joy, that whenever he open’d any from Lucilla, he fancy’d he enjoy’d all the ſame pleaſure, he did when with her.
I have obſerv’d ſince our abſence, that we are much more delighted with the Pictures of thoſe we love, when at a great diſtance from us, than when they are nearer. Nay more, the farther they are B10r 19 19 are from us, their Pictures ſeem to me to become the more like them: at leaſt our Imagination, which draws them continually out of a deſire to ſee them again, makes them appear ſo to us. By an effect which is peculiar to Love, vain Colours, and a little Cloth ſeem animated to us as ſoon as the belov’d object returns. I have your Picture, and never paſs by it without ſtopping before it; whereas I hardly minded it when you were here. If Painting, which is but a mute repreſentation of Objects, affords ſo much Pleaſure: What Joys do not Letters Inſpire? The are Animated; they ſpeak; they have that Genius which Explains the Motions of the Heart; they Incloſe within them the fire of our Paſſions; they make them as ſenſible as when we ſee one another; they expreſs whatever we could ſay, that is Soft and Tender when we are together; and being ſometimes ſomewhat bolder, they utter more.
We may write to one another; that Innocent Pleaſure is not forbidden us. Let us not, by our own Neglect, loſe the only ſatisfaction we have remaining, and which perhaps is the only one our Perſecutorsſecutors 20 B10v 20 ſecutors cannot deprive us of. I will ſay that you are my Husband; You ſhall behold me ſpeak like a Wife; and in ſpight of all your Misfortunes, you ſhall be whatever you pleaſe in a Letter. Letters were Invented for the relief of Recluſe Perſons like my ſelf: Having loſt the real Pleaſure of ſeeing and poſſeſſing you, I will find it again in ſome meaſure, in thoſe you ſhall write to me. I ſhall read your moſt ſecret Thoughts in them; I will carry them continually about me: Infine, if you are capable of any Jealouſie, let it only be by the Careſſes I ſhall make to them; and never grow a Rival unleſs it be the happineſs of your Letters: And to avoid all manner of conſtraint, write to me without Application, and with Negligence. I would have your Heart ſpeak to me, and not your Wit. I cannot live unleſs you tell me that you love me ſtill. That Language muſt needs be ſo Natural to you, that I do not think you could utter any other to me without Violence: Beſides, it is very reaſonable you ſhould cloſe up thoſe Wounds, by ſome marks of a Conſtant Affection, which you have open’d again in my Soul, by the doleful account you gave 21 B11r 21 gave your Friend: Not that I blame the Innocent Artifice you have us’d to comfort one in Diſtreſs, by comparing his Miſery to a greater. Charity is Ingenious, and Praiſe-worthy in thoſe Pious ſlights: But do you not owe ſomewhat more to your ſelf than to that Friend, whatever Friendſhip you may have contracted with him? We are call’d your Siſters; we call our ſelves your Daughters; and if there were more engaging Terms in Nature we would uſe them to Expreſs our being devoted to you, as alſo what you owe unto us. Altho’ a prudent Silence ſhould cloak our Juſt acknowledgments, this Church, theſe Altars, and theſe Places would declare it ſufficiently. But, without ſuffering Stones and Marble to ſpeak, I confeſs, and will ever be proud to tell the World, that you are the only Founder of this Houſe. Your coming to this place has render’d it famous, whereas it was only known before for the Robberies & Murders that were committed in it. It was a Den of Thieves and Rogues; but you have made it a Houſe of Prayer. Theſe Cloiſters are not beholding to publick Alms. The sins of Publicans are not fix’d 22 B11v 22 fix’d on their Walls, nor their Vices buri’d in their Foundations. The God whom we ſerve in this Place, beholds nothing there but Innocent Riches and Simple Maids, wherewith you have fill’d it. And therefore this young Plantation is wholly indebted to you for what it is: You ought to Cultivate it, and to afford it all your Cares: You ought to make it one of the principal applications of your Life. Although the Grace of Devotion ſeems to be intail’d upon it on all parts, by our Cloiſters and our Vows: Tho’ the points of our Grates are ſo many Bulwarks to defend the approaches of it; yet whereas the Bark is only cover’d in us, that ſap of Adam, which riſes imperceptibly in the Heart, produces Diſtempers, which wither, and abſolutely ruin the Trees which ſeem to promiſe moſt, unleſs they be continually grafted. Virtue among us, remains ever grafted upon Nature, which is weak and Inconſtant. To Plant the Vine of the Lord, is not an ordinary piece of work: it requires more than a Day; and when it is once planted, it requires all our application to preſerve it. Does not the Apoſtle, as great a Workman as 23 B12r 23 as he was, tell us, That he has Planted that Appollos has Water’d, and that God has Bleſs’d the Work, and has made it to grow? Paul had planted the Faith among the Corinthians, by Holy and fervent Predications; Apollos, a zealous Diſciple of that Great Maſter, cultivated that Faith, by mild and frequent Exhortations; and the Grace of God, which their continual Cares ſolicited ſo powerfully to deſcend upon that People, anſwer’d their expectation.
This example ought to regulate your Conduct towards us, I am ſenſible that you are not idle; but tho’ you Labour, you do not Labour for us. You Labour for People whoſe Thoughts are wholly bent on Earth, and never ſoar above it; and you refuſe your aſſiſtance to Perſons of a nicer Taſte, who are reeling, and do uſe their utmoſt endeavours not to fall. You throw the Riches of the Goſpel before Swine, in ſpeaking to People that are fill’d with the Riches of this World, and fatten’d with the juice of the Earth; and at the ſame time neglect Innocent Sheep,who, as nice as they are, would follow you into Deſarts and over Mountains. Why do you Labour 24 B12v 24 Labour ſo much for ingrateful Perſons? and forget poor Maids, who would never thing themſelves ſufficiently grateful? Muſt I be afraid to ſpeak in my own Name, and muſt I imploy other Prayers than my own, to obtain ſomething of you? The Auguſtins Tertullians, Jeromes have written to Eudoxa’s, Paula’s and Melanie’s; and when you read thoſe Names, tho’ Saints, can you forget mine? Would it be a crime for you to direct me like St. Jerome, to Preach to me like Tertullian, and to diſcourſe of Grace to me with St. Auguſtin? Your Learning and your Sence ought not to be a barren Soil for me. In writing to me, you writ to a Wife: a Sacrament has render’d that Commerce lawful: And ſince it is in your Power to ſatisfie me without committing the leaſt ſcandal, why ſhould you not do it? I have a barbarous Uncle, whoſe Inhumanity only ſerves to indear you to my Heart. It ſerves me inſtead of all, that the tenderneſs and remembrance of our Pleaſures could inſpire us with, to make us love each other. You are no longer to be fear’d, do not fly me. Hearken to my Sighs, your being a Witneſs of them will 25 C1r 25 will ſuffice. If I have put my ſelf into a Cloiſter! out of Reaſon, perſuade me to tarry in it out of Devotion. You are the cauſe of all my Sufferings, how ſhould another eaſe me.
You muſt needs remember, for thoſe that have lov’d can never forget, with what delight I ſpent whole Days in hearing you? How I us’d to ſteal away from every body, when we were not together, to write to you? What diſquiets did a Billet coſt me, before it came to your hands? And what ſhifts were we reduc’d to, to gain People to be our Confidents? I am ſenſible theſe particulars do ſurprise you. You dread to hear the ſequel; but I do no longer bluſh at it, ſince my Paſſion for you has no bounds. I have out-done all this for you this day; I have shared my ſelf to love you. I have loſt my ſelf here to make you live in quiet. Nothing but Virtue joyn’d to a Paſſion, free from ſenſuality, could produce ſuch Effects. Thoſe who love Pleaſures love the Living, not the Dead. We are ſoon weary of Burning for thoſe that are no longer in a condition to burn for it. My cruel Uncle was ſenſible of this. He imagin’d that being like other Women C I 26 C1v 26 I lov’d your Sex better than your Perſon, but his Crime is vain. I love you more than ever, I am reveng’d of him by overwhelming you with all my ſtock of tenderneſs. If the Paſſion I formerly had for you, was not ſo pure as it is at preſent. If at that time the Mind and Body divided in me the pleaſure of loving you; I have told it you a thouſand times, I have always been more pleas’d with the poſſeſſion of your Heart, than with the enjoyment of all that which is the object of the Felicity of our Sex; and of all what was in you, Man was not that which pleas’d me moſt.
You ought to be ſufficiently convinc’d of it, by the great repugnancy I expreſs’d for Marriage. For tho’ I was ſenſible that Name was Auguſt among Men and Holy in Religion, the thought of ceaſing to be free by it, hindred me from finding any charms in it. The Bonds of Marriange, tho’ never ſo Honourable, are attended with a neceſſary Ingagement, whoſe ties ſeem to raviſh the Glory of Loving; and I was deſirous to free a Man, who perhaps would not always love me, from the neceſſity of loving. I deſpis’d the name of Wife to live happy with 27 C2r 27 with that of a Miſtriſs. Thoſe niceties of a Maid who lov’d you, with ſo much tenderneſs, and yet not so much as ſhe deſir’d, were not unknown to you, ſince you entertain’d your Friend with them in the Letter I have ſurpriz’d. You told him very well, that I found nothing but what was very inſipid in all thoſe publick Ingagements, that form Bonds which nothing but Death can break, and create a diſmal neceſſity of Life and Love: but you did not add, that I have proteſted to you a thouſand times, that it was infinitely more pleaſing to me to live with Abelard as his Miſtreſs, than to be Empreſs with Auguſtus; and that I preferr’d the happineſs of obeying you, before the captivating of the Maſter of the Uninverſe Lawfully. Riches and Grandeur are none of the Charms of Love. A real Paſſion divides the Lover from what is not himſelf, and lays aſide his Fortune, his Rank, his Imployments, to conſider him only.
Thoſe, who ſeek for an Eſtate and Dignities, in the cold embraces of a careleſs Husband, do not Love. They aim much more in ſuch a Marriage, to ſatisfie their Ambition than their Love. C2 I 28 C2v 28 I grant that ſuch a mercenary Ingagement may be attended with ſome Honour and Fortune; but I can never believe, that it is poſſible thus to enjoy the ſenſible Pleaſures of a tender Union or to feel the ſecret and charming emotions of two Hearts, that have been long in ſearch of each other to unite themſelves. The Martyrs of Marriage hourly ſigh for better ſettlements, which they think they have loſt. The Wife ſees Husbands richer than her own. The Husband, Wives with better Fortune than his. Mercenary Ingagements create Regrets, and thoſe Regrets Diſcord. They deſign to be parted, or at leaſt they wiſh it. That inſatiate devouring deſire, is the Avenger of Love, which they injure in expecting to meet a happineſs by Love, beſides Love it ſelf. If there be any real Felicity on Earth, I am perſuaded, that it is only to be found in the Union of two Perſons, who love each other with freedom, whom a ſecret Inclination has joyn’d, and whom an equal Merit has ſatisfy’d. Then there is no vacuity in their Hearts. All is at reſt there, becauſe all is contain’d.Could 29 C3r 29
Could I believe you were as well perſuaded of my Merit, as I am of yours, I would tell you, that there was a time in which we might have been reckon’d in the number of thoſe Happy ones. Ah! How could I chuſe but be perſuaded of your Merit? Tho’ I had been willing to queſtion it; the univerſal Eſteem the World had for you, would have convinc’d me. Is there a Country, Province or City, that has not deſir’d to have you? Did you ever remove from any place, without being attended with the Heart and Eyes of thoſe you left behind you? Every body was proud of ſaying, I have ſeen Abelard to day. The very Women, notwithſtanding the rigid Laws the World has impos’d upon them, could not forbear expreſſing, that they felt ſomething for you beyond common Eſſteem. I have known ſome, who prais’d their Husbands exceedingly and yet were jealous of my Joys, and ſhow’d ſufficiently that you might have expected every thing from them. And indeed, who was capable to reſiſt you? Your Reputation which flatter’d the Vanity of our Sex; Your Air; Your Behaviour; Thoſe lively Eyes in which your Soul C3 was 30 C3v 30 was ſo admirably Drawn; Your Converſation, which a natural ſimplicity and delicacy render’d ſo agreeable, and inſinuating; In fine, every thing ſpoke in favour of you. Very different, in that from thoſe who by knowing too much have not Art to trifle agreeably; and who with all their Wit cannot gain the Heart of Women, who have not near ſo great a ſhare of it as they.
With what Eaſe did you compoſe Verſes? and yet thoſe learned Amuſements which only ſerv’d to refreſh you after a more ſerious Study, are the Delight of the moſt Ingenuous; and there are none among them, who do not judge you worthy of that Roſe you have ſo ingenuouſly explain’d. Even the moſt inconſiderable Songs, and other Trifles you have written for me, have a thouſand Charms, and a thouſand Beauties in them. I will make them laſt, while Love endures. Thus what you only deſign’d for me, will be Sung for others; and thoſe Words, ſo natural and ſo tender, which were witneſſes of your Love in ſlight Verſes, and little Songs, will ſerve otthers to explain themſelves much better than otherwiſe they could have 31 C4r 31 have done. How many Rivals have thoſe kind of Gallantry’s created me? How many Beauties have endeavour’d to apply them to themſelves? It was an Homage which Self-Love render’d to their Charms. How many I have ſeen who declar’d themſelves for you by their Sighs, when they were told, after an ordinary Viſit you had made them, that they were the Silvia’s of your Verſes? Others out of deſpair have often reproachfully told me, That I had no other Beauty but what your Verſes gave me, nor any advantages over them, but that of being belov’d by you. Nothwithſtanding Self- Love, which is ſo natural in all Women, I thought my ſelf happy in a Lover to whom I was indebted for all my Charms; and I was tranſported with Joy to think, that I was ſerv’d by a Man who had the power to make a Goddeſs of his Miſtriſs. Flattering my ſelf with your Glory, I read, with complaiſance, the Charms you gave me, and often without conſulting, found my ſelf what you were pleas’d to ſpeak me, the better to pleaſe you.
But alas! that time is paſt; I now weep for the loſs of my Lover, and the C4 only 32 C4v 32 only thing that is remaining of all my Joys, is but a Remembrance which kills me. You who were jealous of my happineſs, know that he whom you envy’d me, is no longer for you, nor for me. I have lov’d him; my Love is his Crime, and has occaſion’d his Ruine. My ſmall Perfections had charm’d him; pleas’d with each other, we liv’d happy, and quietly, and paſs’d the faireſt of our Days. If it was a Crime to live thus, that Crime pleaſes me ſtill, and my only Deſpair is to find my ſelf Innocent. But my misfortue is to have had unjust Parents, whoſe Rage and Hatred have diſturb’d the Calm in which we liv’d. Had thoſe Barbarians call’d back their Reaſon, I ſhould now be in quiet with my Husband. What cruelty could equal theirs, when a blind Fury ingag’d them to hire a Murtherer to ſurprize you aſleep? Had I been with you, I would have defended you at the coſt of my own Life. My Cries alone would have ſtopp’d his Arm. But in this place Love is offended, and my Modeſty joyn’d to my deſpair, ſtops my Tongue. It is not proper for me to ſay all I think upon that Subject; and tho’ it were lawfulful 33 C5r 33 ful I could not do it. Beſides, there is agreat deal of Eloquence in ſilence, when misfortunes are too great to be expreſ’d.
Tell me only, for this is one of my greateſt afflictions, why you have begun to neglect me, ſince my Profeſſion? You know that I had no other inducements for it but your misfortunes, nor other conſent for it but what you gave me. Let us hear the Cauſe of your coldneſs, or at leaſt permit me to diſcover my Thoughts to you. Is it not perhaps, that Pleaſure only was your aim, in applying your ſelf to me, and that my Paſſion which left no room for Deſires in you, has diminiſh’d your Flame? Thou didſt pleaſe unfortunate Eloiſa, when thou didſt not deſire to pleaſe: thou didſt deſerve aſſiduites when thou oughtſt to have rejected them, and Incenſe, when thou didſt puſh back that Arm that offer’d it to thee. But ſince thy Heart has ſuffer’d it ſelf to be mov’d; is grown ſoft, and has ſurrender’d it ſelf, ſince thou haſt ſacrific’d thy ſelf, ſince thou haſt bury’d thy ſelf alive, thou art forſaken, thou art forgotten. A woful Experience has convinc’d C5 me, 34 C5v 34 me, that People fly thoſe they are too much oblig’d too, and that the greateſt Favours ſooner create coldneſs in Men than Gratitude. And indeed, this weak Heart made too ſlight a defence to be long dear to you. You took it with eaſe, you quit it in the ſame manner. But ingrateful as you are, I will never conſent to it; and tho’ I ought not to have a Will in this place, I have nevertheleſs preferv’d that of being belov’d by you. In pronouncing my ſad Vows, I had the Laſt Billet you writ to me about me; by which you aſſur’d me, you would ever be mine, and that you would only Live to Love me. Therefore it was to you I offer’d my ſelf: You had my Heart: I had yours, do not require any thing back from me, and ſuffer my Paſſion, as a thing that is yours, and which you cannot part from.
Alas! How weak am I to talk thus? Our Object here is a God, and I only ſpeak of a Man. You force me to it, Cruel! by your behaviour: You are the only cauſe of my fault. Falſe Man! Was it Juſt thus to ceaſe to love me all of a ſudden? Why did you not deceive me awhile, inſtead of abandoninging 35 C6r 35 ing me abſolutely? Had you only given me ſome weak ſigns of a dying Paſſion, I ſhould have endeavour’d to deceive my ſelf, to believe you had ſome conſtancy. But after the rate you uſe me, what Opinion can I have of you? What can I think of a forgetfulneſs like yours? And by a forgetfulneſs of this Nature, do not you even take away from me all means of wrting to you? I paſſionately deſire to ſee you; but if I am forbidden to hope it, I will content my ſelf with a few Lines from your hand. Is it then ſo hard a task to write to what we love, if it be true that you ſtill love me? I deſire none of your learned Letters, on which your Reputation depends. I only deſire ſome of thoſe Billets that proceed from the Heart: which the Pen can hardly follow, and Wit has nothing to do with. How was I deceiv’d, when I thought you wholly mine, in receiving the Veil, and by engaging my ſelf to live Eternally under your Laws. For in making my Vows, I only meant to be entirely yours; and I voluntarily ſubmitted to the deſire you expreſs’d to ſee me lockd up for ever. Therefore, nothing but Death can make me abandon 36 C6v 36 abandon the place in which you plac’d me. Nay, my very Aſhes will remain in it in expectation of yours, or the longer to ſhew you my Obedience. Why ſhould I conceal the ſecret of my Vocation? You know it: it was neither my Zeal nor my Devotion that plac’d me in a Cloiſter. Your conſcience it too faithful a Witneſs of it for you to diſown it. Yes, it was the Fleſh and not the Spirit, that tranſported me into this place. I am in it; I Live in it; I remain in it; an unfortunate Love, and cruel Parents condemn me to it; and if I have not the continuation of you Cares, if I loſe your Friendſhip, what will be the Fruit of my Priſon? What recompence can I hope for? The unfortunate conſequences of a Criminal Conduct, and your particular Diſgraces, have cover’d me with a chaſte Habit, but not with the ſincere Deſire of a real Repentance. Thus I combat and labour in vain. I am among the Spouſes of a God, the Servant of a Man; Among the generous Slaves of his Croſs, the weak Captive of a prophane Love. I am at the head of a community of Nuns, only devoted to Abelard. My God: Why do 37 C7r 37 do you not direct me? Is it your Grace that makes me ſpeak theſe Words, or is it only my Deſpair that forces them from me? At leaſt I feel my ſelf in the Temple of Chaſtity only cover’d with the Fire that has Inflam’d us. I view my ſelf in it. I confeſs like a Sinner; but one who far from weeping for her Sins, only weeps for her Lover, and who through a weakneſs unworthy of her preſent condition, only calls to mind her paſt actions, not being able to reflect on any others.
Oh Heavens! What diſmal Reflexions are theſe? I upbraid my ſelf with my faults, I accuſe you of yours: and why all this? Veil’d as I am what diſorders do you occaſion? It is a cruel task always to ſtruggle for Duty againſt Inclination. I am very ſenſible of what I owe to the Veil that covers me; but I feel much better yet, what a long habit of Loving can effect on a ſenſible Heart. I am ſubdu’d; I am Vanquiſh’d by my Inclination. My Paſſion diſorders my Mind and Will. One Moment I liſten to the Sentiments of Piety that arriſe within me, and the next I ſuffer all the Charms of my Tenderneſs to Reign in my 38 C7v 38 my Imagination. I tell you now a thouſand things I would not have told you yeſterday. I was reſolv’d no longer to Love you; I conſider’d that I had made Vows; that I was Veil’d, dead, and as it were buried; But there ariſes by degrees from the bottom of my Heart a Trouble which deſtroys all thoſe Sentiments, and clouds my Reaſon and my Piety. You Reign in Places ſo conceal’d, and ſo Imperceptible in that Heart, that I cannot attack you in them; and when I think of breaking the Bonds that Engage me to you, I flatter my ſelf, and all the efforts I am capable of, only ſerve to tie ’em cloſer. Oh! for pity ſake, aſſiſt a Wretch to renounce her deſires, her ſelf, and you if Poſſible. If you are a Lover, if you are a Father, Succour a Miſtreſs, Comfort a Daughter. Cannot thoſe Names, thoſe Tender Names, move you? Yield, Oh yield, to pity, or to Love! If you conſent to it, I am ready to be a real Nun, and will no longer prophane my Vocation. I am ready to humble my ſelf with you before the Richeſs of the Providence of my God, who makes uſe of all things for our Sanctification, who through 39 C8r 39 through an effect of his Grace purifies whatever is Vicious and Corrupted in our Principles, who through an abundance of Inconceivable Mercy, worthy of him alone, almoſt forces us, and opens our Eyes to give us a glimpſe of ſo many favours which we refus’d to know.
I deſign’d to end here; but while I am angry with you, I muſt disburthen my Heart, and tell you how far it ſuſpects, how much it Upbraids you. I muſt needs confeſs to you, that it ſhook my very Soul to find, that, after we had both reſolv’d to conſecrate our ſelves to God, you engag’d me to do it, before you. What? ſaid I, does he fear to ſee the Example of Lot’s Wife, who look’d behind her in quitting Sodom, reviv’d in me? If my Youth, and my Sex, could make you fearful that I might go back to the World, eſpecially Paris not being yet on Fire, nor reduc’d to Aſhes, my Behaviour, my Fidelity, and this Heart, which you too well knew, ought to have cur’d you of all thoſe ſorts of Suſpicions. That ſuſpicious Precaution touches me ſenſibly. What? cry’d I, heretofore my bare word ſuffic’d to aſſure him, and now 40 C8v 40 now can nothing leſs than a God and Vows ſecure him that I will be true.
What cauſe have I ever given him to ſuſpect me of the leaſt Fickleneſs? I never refus’d to meet him at all his Rendezvous; and ſhould I ſcruple to follow him in Houſes of Sanctity! What? I, who have made my ſelf the Victim of pleaſure to ſatisfie him, could I have refus’d to be an Oblation of Honour to obey him! Has Vice then ſuch Charms over well born Souls, that after having drank in the Cup of Sins, one could not receive the Chalice of Sanctity without regret? Or elſe did you think your ſelf a better Maſter for Vice than for Virtue? Did you think that it was Eaſier to perſuade me to the firſt than to the latter? No, that doubt would be too Injurious to us both. Virtue is too beautiful not to Embrace it where it is met; and Vice is too Ugly not to ſhun it, when you make it known. All things are Charming to me which you deſire: Nothing is dreadful or difficult to me when you appear. I am only Weak when you do not guide me. Therefore ’tis in your Power to mould me as you pleaſe. Had you any thing to fear, you would be leſs 41 C9r 41 leſs Negligent. I have done too much, and I muſt now Triumph over your Ingratitude. While we Liv’d happy, you might have reaſon to doubt, whither it was not Pleaſure that Engag’d me to you, rather than Friendſhip. But now the Place from whence I write decides it. I Love you here at leaſt as much as I did in the World. Had I been in Love with Voluptuouſneſs, after your Misfortune, I might eaſily have found wherewith to hav ſatisfy’d my ſelf. I was then but 20 Years of Age, and there were ſtill Men enough remaining whom I might have hop’d to pleaſe; but Abelard was gone, and I deſir’d no other: Therefore ’tis only for your ſake, that in an Age ſo proper for Love, I Triumph over Love it ſelf, by burying my ſelf alive in a Monaſtery. It is to you I Dedicate theſe remainders of Beauty which the Solitary Days and Nights I paſs haſten to Terniſh: But ſince you cannot Enjoy them, I take them back from you, to offer them to God, and thus make him a ſecond Preſent of my Heart of my Days, and of my Life.
I enlarge a little too much in this Place, and I ought not to put you ſo much 42 C9v 42 much in mind of your Misfortunes, and of what I ſuffer for your ſake. We Terniſh the Splendor of the greateſt Actions when we make the Tedious Panegyrick of them our ſelves; But that when we are to deal with Perſons who are doz’d by a baſe Ingratitude we can never repeat what we have done for them too much. Were you of that Number that Reproach would tell you a World of things. But I do not direct it to you, leſt you ſhould prove one of them. Wavering as I am, I am ſenſible that I love you ſtill. However I can hope for nothing. I have renounc’d Life. Yet tho’ depriv’d of all, I feel that I have not renounc’d Abelard in loſing my Lover. I preſerve all my Love in a Monaſtery where I keep all my Vows. Our Rigid Laws have not depriv’d me of Humanity. You have not turn’d me into Marble by making me change my Habit. My Heart is not harden’d , tho’ you are abſent from me. I am as ſenſible as I was heretofore, and yet I ought no longer to be ſo. Suffer, without blemiſh to your Empire, that my Lover may Exhort me to Live under your Laws. Your Yoke will be Lighter, if his 43 C10r 43 his Hand ſupports it. Our Exerciſes will become Lovely to me, if he will vouchſafe to ſhew me the Uſefulneſs of them. Retirement, Solitude, you will be no longer diſmal, If I may hear that Ihave a place in his Remembrance. A Heart that has been ſo ſenſible as mine cannot eaſily reſolve to grow Indifferent. We Hate, we Love, ſeveral times before we can attain Tranquility; and we ſtill preſerve ſome diſtant hopes of not being abſolutely forgotten.
Yes, Abelard, I do conjure thee, by the Chains I drag in this Place, to eaſe the weight of them, and to render them is pleaſing to me as I could wiſh them. Give me Maxims of holy Love. After having quitted thee, I am proud of being the Spouſe of a God; my Heart adores that Title, and diſdains all others. Teach me how that Divine Love is bred, maintain’d, and purifies it ſelf more and more. When we were both in the Sea of this World, your Vein was continually Imploy’d to acquaint the World with our Joys and Pleaſures; But now we are in the Harbor of Grace, is it not reaſonable you ſhould ſpeak with me of my Happineſs, and teach me what may Increaſecreaſe 44 C10v 44 creaſe it? Have the ſame complaiſance for me in my preſent Condition, as you had in the World. Without changing our Hearts, let us change our Object Laying aſide prophane Songs, let us ſing Divine Hymns. Let us Elevate our Hearts to God; and let us have no Tranſports, but for his Glory.
I expect this from you, as a thing you cannot refuſe. Heaven has a peculiar Right over the hearts of the Great Men he has form’d. Whenever he touches them he Tranſports them, and they Languiſh for, and talk of nothing but him. Until that moment of Grace arrives, think on me, and do not forget me; Remember my Affection, my Fidelity, and my Conſtancy. Love a Miſtreſs, Cheriſh a Daughter, a Siſter, a Spouſe. Conſider that I love you ſtill, and that I Combat no longer to Love you. Heaven? What a word is this? What deſign? I Tremble; my Heart Revolts againſt my Words, and being ready to blot them out, I conclude this long Letter, bidding you, if you deſire it (and would to God I could do it my ſelf) Farewel for Ever.My 45 C11r
My Lady C―― to her Couſin B―― of the Temple, Eſq;
After having received from him a Copy of Verſes on her Beauty.
Ireceived yours with the Verſes encloſed, and here return you my hearty thanks for the Face, the Shape, the Meen, which you have ſo generouſly beſtow’d upon me. From looking upon your Verſes I went to my Glaſs, but Jeſu! the difference, tho’ I bought it to Flatter me, yet compared to you, I found it a Plain-Dealer. It ſhew’d me immediately; that I have been a great deal more beholden to you, than I have been to Nature; for ſhe only formed me not frightful, but you have made me Divine. But as you have been a great 46 C11v 46 great deal kinder than Nature has been to me; I think my ſelf obliged in requital, to be a good deal more liberal than Heaven has been to you, and to allow you as large a ſhare of Wit, as you have given me of Beauty. Since ſo honest a Genteleman as your ſelf, has ſtretched his Conſcience to commend my Perſon I am bound in Gratitude to do violence to my Reaſon to extol your Verſes. When I left the Town, I deſir’d you to furniſh me with the News of the Place and the firſt thing that I have receiv’d from you, is a Copy of Verſes on my Beauty, by which you dextrouſly inferr that the moſt extraordinary piece of News which you can ſend me, is, to tell me that I am handſom: by which ingenious inference you had infallibly brought the ſcandal of a Wit upon you if your Verſes had not ſtood up in your juſtification. But (tell me, Couſin), Could you think I ſhould prove ſo eaſy a Creature, as to believe all that you have ſaid of me? How could you find in your Heart to make ſuch a fool of me, and ſuch a cheat of your ſelf, to intoxicate me with flattery, and draw me into truck my little ſtock of 47 C12r 47 of Wit and Judgment for a meer imagination of Beauty, when the real thing too falls infinite ſhort, of what you would make me exchange for the fancy of it? for (Couſin) there is this conſiderable difference, between the merit of Wit and Beauty, that Men are never violently influenc’d by Beauty, unleſs it has weaken’d their Reaſon, and never feel halfe the force of Wit, unleſs their Judgments are ſound; the principal time in which thoſe of your Sex admire Beauty in ours, is between Seventeen and Thirty, that is, after they are paſt their Innocence, and before they are come to their Judgments: and have not you now (Couſin) been commending a very pretty quality, to admire which, as I have juſt ſhewn you, ſuppoſes, not only a corrupted Will, but a raw underſtanding: beſides, How frail, How tranſitory is it! Nature deprives us of it at Thirty. If Diſeaſes ſpare it till then; by which conſtant proceeding ſhe ſeems to imply, that ſhe gives it, as a Gugaw, to pleaſe us in the Childhood of our Reaſon, and takes it from us, as a thing below us, when we come to years of diſcretion. Thus Couſin, 48 C12v 48 Couſin, you have been commending a quality which hath nothing of true Merit in it: and of which I have no greater a ſhare, than to keep me from being ſcandalous. ſo that all that I could have got by your kindneſſe, if I had parted with my Judgment, in order to reap the benefit of it, had been nothing but wretched Conceit, and ridiculous Affectation. If I though you had enough of the Gallant Man in you, to take what I ſay in good part, I would adviſe you to engage no further in Poetry. Be ruled by a Woman for once, and mind your Cook upon Littleton: rather Pettifog than Flatter. For if you are reſolved to be a Cheat, you will ſhew at leaſt ſome Conſcience, in chooſing rather to chowſe People of their Money, than to bubble them of their Underſtanding: Beſides Couſin, you have not a Genius which will make a great Poet, and be pleaſed to conſider that a ſmall Poet is a ſcandalous Wight, that indifferent Verſes are very bad ones, and that an inſipid Panegyrick upon another, is a ſevere Libel on your ſelf. Beſides, there will ſtart up a Satyriſt, one day, and then woe be to cold Rhymery: Old England 49 D1r 49 isnot yet ſo barren, but there will ariſe ſome generous Spirit, who, beſides a ſtock of Wit, and good Sence (which are no very common qualities) will not only be furniſhed with a ſound Judgment, which is an extraordinary Talent, but with a true Taſte for Eloquence and Wit, which is ſcarce any where to be found, and which comprehends, not only a juſt diſcernment, but a fine Penetration, and a delicate Criticiſm; ſuch a Satyriſt as this, Couſin, muſt ariſe, and therefore, you had beſt take care by a judicious ſilence, that whenever he appears, he may be ſure to divert you, and not afflict you.
From a Lady in the Country, to a Gentleman in Town.
Dear, the unkind, Sir
Had the Torment of Separation been equal on both ſides, you could not have forgot me ſo long, nor continued, ſilent to my melancholy Complaints. Abſence, is one of the hardeſt Penalties Love has to undergoe; and would be intolerable, were it not eas’d by the Comfort of mutual Letters; which ſince I have been ſo long bereav’d of, I leave it to your ſelf to imagine (if you have a Heart like mine to judge by) How diſconſolately I ſpin out the tedious Hours of weary Life; for ſince the only Comfort the World affords me, is Abſent, What can I find that it ſhould be worth while to live for? ſince my Life is no longer valuable to me, than ’twill be pleaſing to you. There are a Thouſand Thoughts conſpire againſtgainſt 51 D2r 51 gainſt a Lovers Quiet, and every thing contributes to make Abſence unhappy. How often upon the fear of your Unconſtancy, have I ſate down and wept at the Imagination, then pleaded the cauſe of Love between us, and perſuaded my eaſie Heart, that you would ne’r be falſe? How often have Sigh’d at the dreadful apprehenſion, that ſome more happy Lover had taken you from the Thoughts of me? Then lookt into my Heart upon your lovely Image, and fancy’d ’twas ſtill the ſame, ſtill conſtant and loving as before? Thus do I plead in your behalfe, and ſtudy to convince my Heart, that our Loves will never have an end but with our Days; thus do I wear away the tedious Days, taking delight in none, but in the hopes of that which will let us meet again, and make me once more happy,
Who am Your entirely Affectionate, and Conſtant Lover.
The Sorrows of our Abſence have made me Poetical
How well I always Lov’d you know,
Since firſt your Charms did move;
But what for you I undergoe,
None knows but I and love.
Could you but ſee the endleſs ſmart
Which wretched Cælia bears,
Thoſe Eyes which ſet on fire her Heart,
Wou’d quench it with their Tears.
But diſtance from her Love keeps
Poor Cælia’s in cruel pain,
And ſhe laments, and Sighs, and weeps,
His Abſence, but in vain
The doom you gave my Heart to prove,
I know have doubled found.
You only left it burnt in Love,
But now in Tears ’tis Drown’d
From a Lady to a Gentleman, who after a long Converſe with her, and Promiſes of an entire and laſting Affection, was going to be Married to another.
For how can I forget thoſe ſoft Names by which my Affection has taught me to call you; or how can I alter my Language ſince I have never known how to ſpeak to you in any, ſince our firſt Converſe, but that of Love? But poſſibly now you underſtand it not, or are willing to forget that e’er you did; and cannot bear the Remembrance of that unfortunate Woman whoſe Crime was not that ſhe Lov’d, but that ſhe D3 Lov’d 54 D3v 54 Lov’d too well. Yet I ſhall not at all complain of your Unkindneſs, nor tax you with falſhood for breaking Promiſes which, may be, you ne’r intended ſhould be kept; but bend all my loud Sorrows against the Injuſtice of my Fate, which has given me ſo large a ſtock of Love, and been ſo ſcanty in Deſerts, as not to allow me wherewithal to merit a Return. Nor can I blame your new Choice, being a Perſon every way Meritorious; yet give me leave, when I hear ſhe is in Poſſeſſion of that Happineſs which I was ſo frail to hope once would be mine for ever, give me leave to Sigh to my ſelf, and ſay to my Heart with a relenting Thought, Is this the end of all my glorious Hopes? and are my delightful Expectations terminated thus? Muſt my entire Affection ſerve for nothing but an Inſtrument of my Miſery, and was my Paſſion ever true, only that I might be made Eternally unhappy? Then if my crowded Sorrows break forth in Tears, give me leave to mourn to my ſelf, and deny me not the Privilege of Grief, who have for ever taken from me all hopes of Joy: My Sighs will not reach your happy Ears, nor diſturb the peaceable Enjoyment 55 D4r 55 Enjoyment of your new Love; nor do I deſire they ſhould; there is ſome ſatisfaction even in being unhappy, ſince it pleaſes you I ſhould be ſo; and I will ſtudy to bear my Miſery with what Patience I can, ſince you have thought fit to Doom me to it, and ever acknowledge that there is a Crime in loving too well: The worſt Wiſh I have for you is, that the Lady may Love you as well as I did, and when you find your ſelf happy in ſuch Affection, give me leave to hope that ſometime or other you will think, (however our cruel Stars ordain’d it) that ſuch a Lover deſerv’d a Better Fate; and if ever you caſt away a Thought upon ſo Unfortunate a thing as my ſelf, remember that as I always Lov’d you above the World, ſo I muſt continue to my Grave.
Your ſtill Conſtant, tho’ Unhappy, Lover.
Phryne to Eugenia againſt Marriage.
Ireceiv’d yours, my Eugenia, by the laſt Poſt, in which you give me an Account of the Addreſſes of Lyſander. You might have ſpar’d your Character of him; he’s too well known to our Sex in this City to want his Picture to be ſent us out of the Country; his Wit, his Gaiety, fine Perſon, and all his other Accompliſhments have made more, than you, ſigh for him in ſpight of his being Married. Whatever Sentiments a Lady has of the Addreſſes of a Married Man, before ſhe ſees him, ſhe yet wiſhes for thoſe of Lyſander, as ſoon as ſhe beholds or hears him ſpeak. You have therefore a happineſs beyond thouſands in having captivated his Heart, and if you deny your ſelf the uſe of it, you owe your own 57 D5r 57 own Miſery to your own fooliſh and capricious humour. Ah! How many Ladies of my Acquaintance ſigh for, and have in vain endeavour’d to gain that Advantage, Fortune has voluntarily thrown into your Arms! But he’s Married you ſay, and therefore you can’t be happy, you can’t Enjoy your Wiſhes without a Crime; you can’t be his Wife, and you reſolve you’l not be what you diſdain to Name. I know not what influence Cuſtom may have on you; but I’m not at all mortified at thoſe ignominious Notions the Vulgar have, of having an Intrigue with a Man without the Prieſts Licence. For my part, Eugenia, I think the deſire of Marriage is more Unreaſonable and Unnatural, than that of Traytors, for ’tis immediately, and knowingly to conſpire againſt our own Liberty, and Happineſs. Love ſows the gilded Paths of Youth, with a thouſand ſoft and melting Pleaſures; but Marriage comes, and with one fatal blaſt blows them all away, and it makes us Old in the very dawn of Youth; for not to Love is to be Old, and to Marry is the certain way not to Love. If Love’s a Golden Dream, why ſhould we quit the D5 dear 58 D5v 58 dear Deluſion, (when in our own power to avoid it) to Wake to Horror, Miſery and Diſtraction? That is, why ſhould we Marry? ’Tis true, we read in Novels, and Romances of Lovers faithful and conſtant, nay obſtinate Adorer of the Wiſhing fair one, in ſpight of all the obſtacles of Fortune, Friends, or Rivals; but Eugenia, theſe Politick Writers lead ’em no farther than Marriage in that humour. When they have brought the Knight and the Damſel to the Nooſe, they there leave ’em; all the Golden Scenes of Love are over, and there remains no more happineſs to deſcribe. If they cou’d ſhew us any perſevering Lover after Marriage, they would do wonders; tho’ ’twould be ſo unnatural, ’twould paſs for downright Farce. Marriage in my mind is at beſt but like the drunken Feaſts of the Lapithites; the Mirth, Jollity, and Pleaſure of the Pompous Banquet ſoon degenerates into Strifes and Combats. Love and Conſtancy have their Reign before Marriage, but the very Words that ſeek to tye us faſter together, immediately (like the Medicines of Quacks) have a quite contrary Operation,ration, 59 D6r 59 ration, and Eternally divide us. Fortune and your own Heart has choſe you an object of your deſires, whom you can’t, according to Cuſtom, Marry, ſuch a ſure proviſion has Fate made for your Happineſs; and you like a froward Child ſlight the mighty gift. But you’re affraid of the Curſe and Infamy of an Old Maid; firſt I ſhall little value the opinion of the World, if they think me what, to my own real experimental knowledge, I am not; Next, where’s the neceſſity of acting ſo imprudently, as to hinder your Marriage hereafter? Nature has given us Deſires and Appetites, and added a vaſt Pleaſure to the very Act of their Satisfaction, which ſhews it can be no ill. All the dictates of Nature are eaſie, ſure, and plain, and we comply with ’em with Pleaſure; but the inventions of Whimſical Men, that oppoſe theſe, are not follow’d without pain, without conſtraint, and a thouſand inquietudes; by this judge of the Good or Ill of complying with our Inclinations. This is no plea for Proſtitution, for then is pleaſure, the conſtant Companion of Natural Actions loſt. There are no more Raptures, no more Tranportingſporting 60 D6v 60 porting Joys, and Melting Languiſhments; all is dead, heavy, and inſipid, if not Painful and Nauſeous. A moderate Exerciſe affords Pleaſure and Delight, but continutal Toil and Labour is not undertaken without Neceſſity. The ſame will hold in all things. ’Tis Nonſenſe to imagine, that, if Love will not make you happy, a few Canonical Words will do the feat. But I have been tedious, if this don’t pleaſe you; and long enough if it does; ’tis in your power to be Happy if you will, for how long I know not; but this I know, if we muſt ſeek no Happineſs here, but what’s laſting, we may be Miſerable all our Lives; for the moſt permanent we can’t graſp a Minute longer than Fate pleaſes.
My dear Eugenia, Adieu.
From a Lady to a Gentleman, confeſſing her Love, which had for ſome time paſs’d under the name of Friendship.
Theacquaintance I have had with the Generoſity of your Temper has made me hope, that you will pardon me a fault I cannot help committing; and excuſe what I write; ſince ’tis in obedience to an Affection that I have not power to reſiſt. Pardon, if I tell you, the Friendſhip that has been between us has on my ſide, chang’d its name, and is become ſomething that I dare not truſt my Tongue to tell you; yet I doubt not but my frailty has too plainly diſcover’d it ſelf, and ſomething beyond Friendſhip has appear’d in all my Actions; which I hope you will conſtrue no farther, than that your poor Friend 62 D7v 62 Friend has only ſinn’d againſt the Rules of her Sex, and committed a Crime which carries its own puniſhment along with it: Yet, if Love be a Crime, I am ſo vain to hope, you will give me leave to be guilty of it, and not condemn me for a fault, which the Charms of your own Perſon have made me commit. If this open confeſſion of a Frailty, which ought to have been conceal’d, be an offence, which Generoſity cannot pardon, I am doubly miſerable; and wiſh it ſtill lay buried in that unhappy Breaſt which gave it Birth; that I might rather carry it with me ſilently to Death, than let it appear to moleſt the Peace of one I love above the World: yet be not troubled, Sir, for if the Heart, which bears your Image, be ſo unfortunate, as not to be ſo acceptable to you; leave it to it ſelf, and ’twill ſoon revenge your quarrel, and puniſh it ſelf for the crime of Loving, which yet it will be guilty of till death, and when e’er it dies, carry to the Grave an Affection that cannot end but with the unhappy Life of,
Your more than Loving Friend, &c.
From a Lady to her Friend, ſent with the following Dialogue.
Itgrieves me very ſenſibly, my Dear Child, that the Sympathy, which is betwixt us in every thing elſe, ſhould be wanting in that which concerns me moſt nearly: that whilſt I am doom’d Eternally ſubject to the Laws of Love, you ſhou’d maintain ſo fierce a War againſt ’em, and not allow the leaſt ſhare of Reaſon to thoſe who are govern’d by him. It can’t ſatisfie me that you make an exception for me; I muſt reconcile you to my fellow Slave, before I believe you have the charity to think I have preſerv’d my Reaſon with my Love: For I know Fate has not done a Miracle for me; and you muſt either 64 D8v 64 either believe I am out of my Wits, or that Love and Reaſon are conſiſtent, Don’t think I have any deſign againſt your Liberty. I own that Freedom is more pleaſing than the nobleſt Captivity, and I wou’d not deprive you of yours, even for the ſake of having you agree with me in all things. All I deſire of you, is, to own that you ſhun Love more for uneaſineſs, than the folly of it. And ſure you can’t deny me that, when I have allow’d you ſo much: but that I may not give you a new Argument againſt me, by endeavouring to bring you over to a party, without convincing you of the Injuſtice of it: deſpairing to do it with my own Reaſons, I have been at the pains to Tranſlate the Dialogue, which I ſend you enclos’d. If you underſtood the Original, perhaps it might have a better effect upon you: but tho’ I cou’d not imitate the Authors Wit, and that pretty, eaſie, gentile way he has of Writing, I have done my part to give you his Sence. ’Twas, writ in French by Monſieur le Pays, whom you have often heard me commend, and wiſh you underſtood him; there is ſo much Flame and Spirit in his Letters, and 65 D9r 65 and moſt of his Verſes, and yet they are written in ſuch a natural and unaffected Stile, as ſhews him to be a Man of a great Genius: his deſign in this Dialogue is to juſtifie Love in thoſe things which ſeem moſt extravagant and unreaſonable; and ſure, if there is any colour of excuſe for them, you can’t but be reconcil’d to thoſe who ground their Affections well? ’Twas ſent by the Author to one of his Miſtriſſes, whom he calls Caliſta: and ſince all he ſays in it of her is due to you, give me leave to apply it, and to hope that ſince Reaſon never forſakes you, and that you create Love in all that ſee you, ſo frequent a communication may make ’em leſs Enemies to one another. With this expectation I leave you to be better entertain’d by Mr. le Pays; and ſo make haſte to tell you, Dear Caliſta, that whatever effect he may produce upon you, you ſhall always ſhare my Heart with Cl――n. and that as long as I am O――a. I ſhall be
A Dialogue Betwixt Love and Reason.
It was very difficult for us, agreeable Enemy, to meet in any place but at Caliſta’s: you always fly me ſo obſtinately, and I have endeavour’d ſo unſucceſsfully to accoſt you, that I could never have obtain’d my wiſh, if Fate had not conducted you to her; but ’twas impoſſible to ſhun me there, for I never abandon her, and now I’m reſolv’d not to loſe ſo favourable an occaſion. Whilſt I have you here, I will tell you a hundred things that lye at my Heart; I will ask you, why you hate me ſo violently, and if there be no means for us to be reconcil’d.Love 67 D10r 67
I don’t know, Madam, what cauſe you have to complain; I do not flie you; I am not your Enemy; and I never, that I can remember, was out of your company; much on the contrary, I always make you my Judge in all my Quarrels; I bring you to juſtifie my Conduct; and in fine, I make uſe of you in every thing I undertake.
How dare you maintain ſo great a falſhood to me? you, who chace me from every place where you enter; who are never ſatisfi’d whilſt I take up the leaſt part of a Soul which you wou’d ſubject: you, who grow angry when I reſiſt you, and who deſpiſe me ſo much, that you will not hear me ſpeak, when I complain of the diſorders, and of the violence you do me.
Yes, Madam, I maintain what I have ſaid: Is’t not making you a Judge of my Quarrels, when I oblige a Lover who loves without being belov’d, to appeal to 68 D10v 68 to you for the injuſtice which is done him? Is’t not appealing to you to juſtifie his Conduct; when he ſays ’tis reaſonable to love that which is lovelyflawed-reproduction1 word and is’t not making uſe of you in his actions, when in ſtealing a Kiſs, or ſome other Favour, he maintains that Reaſon counſels to pay ones ſelf, with the fortune of one who refuſes to pay.
I grant indeed, that you ſometimes make uſe of my Name, but never of my Self. Since I am welcome in all places which are not infected by you, or the other Paſſions that I am almoſt always deſir’d, and that you are as much dreaded as I am wiſh’d for. You are glad to employ my Name when you wou’d enter any where, that you may the ſooner gain admittance; but as ſoon as ever you are admitted, you eaſily discover that I’m not with you, and that you hardly know me, or if you do all the uſe you make of your knowledge is to fly from me, or to drive me from you. If at any time I reſolve to combate you, when you have attack’d on that I govern’d; your flatteries immediatelydiately 69 D11r 69 diately prevail with the Senſes to revolt againſt me: You intrench your ſelf in their Poſt, and then their ſupport makes you ſo bold, and yours makes them ſo wrong, that all my Darts are broke or blunted, without wounding you in the leaſt. ’Tis to no purpoſe I ſtir and make a Noiſe; call Honour and Duty to my aid; all my reſiſtance becomes vain, I ſink in the end, and muſt reſign the place to you.
You tell me, Madam, that I ſometimes make uſe of your name, but never of your ſelf; and I anſwer to this, and to all the other Reproaches which you make me, that on the contrary I often Combat the Name, but I never Combat you. ’Tis true, in many Hearts I find falſe Maxims, dangerous Opinions, and ridiculous abuſes, which having aſſum’d your Name, have alſo the inſolence to reſiſt me, and to deny me entrance into thoſe Hearts, which they have poſſeſs’d themſelves of. Then knowing ’em to be Enemies that have taken your Name, tho’ they do not belong to you, I do my utmoſt endeavours to deſtroy ’em. 70 D11v 70 ’em. I neglect no advantage; and ſeeing that they ſeek Protectors in their Quarrels, that they always interreſs in their party evil Cuſtom, ſtupid Shame, and falſe Glory: By their Example I engage the Senſes and the Pleaſures to my aid, who have lov’d me long, and who are inſeparable Friends. With this ſupport I undertake the Combat, and am almoſt always certain of Victory:I rout my Enemies, who without wearing your Livery, have the Inſolence to pretend they belong to you, and to engage againſt me under falſe Enſigns. So that, Madam, I revenge your Quarrel, as well as my own.
You are ingenious in defending your ſelf; but yet your excuſes are very weak. How can you know, that the Enemies you Combat with are not of my Retinue, ſince you don’t know my Livery, and that perhaps you don’t know me, who am always at the head of thoſe you call falſe Maxims, dangerous Opinions, and ridiculous abuſes? but you are a Young raſh one, that ſtrike without knowing who; who neither conſiders Honour, 71 D12r 71 Honour, Duty, nor Juſtice; and who call, all thoſe your Enemies, that oppoſe your Pleaſures.
Since I fight againſt you without knowing you; you ought not to be diſpleaſed with me for it: but is it poſſible, Madam, it ſhould be you that I always ſee at the head of ſo many falſe Maxims, which oppoſe themſelves to my deſigns? Really I might eaſily be deceiv’d in it: after having heard that you were the fineſt and the moſt Judicious Perſon in the World, I ſhould never have known you under the appearance of an old quarrelſome Woman, who is always out of humour; who Preaches eternally againſt pleaſure, and who is Natures Enemy as well as mine. I ſhould know you, Madam, if you did put on a Face more gay; If you were of a leſs ſevere hummour; if you did agree better with Nature and with me; and if, in fine, you wou’d furniſh us ſometimes with Counſels proper for our deſigns.Reaſon. 72 D12v 72
I underſtand you, my little Minion; to ſtand upon good terms with you, I muſt be at odds with my ſelf; or rather I muſt not be what I am, if I would make a Peace with you. But do not flatter youur ſelf, that I will be guilty of ſo mean a thing: ’Tis more juſt that Love ſhould conform to Reaſon, than that Reaſon ſhould condeſcend to Love; and I will have you know, that there’s no compariſon betwixt one that is Blind like you, and one ſo clear-ſighted as I; betwixt a little raſh Boy, and one that’s Prudent. If I ſeek after you, ’tis becauſe I am naturally good, an Enemy to diſorders, and careful to ſet thoſe right who are out of the way. But you are unworthy of my goodneſs; you are a little Hair-brain’d Boy, not ſenſible of the kindneſs one wou’d do you, nor of the good advice one gives you.
What! You condemn me for my Tranſports, and you fall into the fault you blame. You load me with reproaches, you are angry, you are tranſported your ſelf, and Reaſon is within a little of ſeeminging 73 E1r 73 ing unreaſonable. I perceive, Madam, that I muſt oblige you to retract to day, and to make you own, that my Extravagancies are better than your Prudence. To which end, ſince you have now made me ſome Complaints in general, I deſire you to come to particulars; and you ſhall ſee that I will ſatisfie you in every Article, and that Love has his Reaſons, which are better than thoſe of Reaſon her ſelf.
I begin to have better hopes ſince I ſee you Inclin’d to ſatisfie me. ’Tis no little matter to have reduc’d Love to reaſon the caſe; tho’ his Reaſons, ſhould prove very ill ones; ’tis however to have converted him in ſome meaſure: for hitherto he has been an Enemy to all that was call’d Reaſon. Let us take the advantage then of the humour you are in, Reaſonable Love (for at this time you deſerve that Name) let us ſee what particular reaſons you will give for every particular complaint I have to make to you. I am going to begin with one, which I believe will be hard for you to anſwer. Tell me a little, when I have E taken 74 E1v 74 taken poſſeſſion of the Soul of a Young Perſon, when I have ſubjected her to the will of a Father, who has commanded her to love ſome one, and to look upon him as one that muſt be her Husband; Why do you often make uſe of your Power to make her Love another, contrary to the Obedience which ſhe owes her Parents? Why do you take pleaſure in making her find a thouſand defects in the Husband that’s propos’d to her, and a thouſand Perfections in the Lover which you offer her? Why do you chaſe me from her, when I put her in mind of her Duty? Cannot the Obedience due to Parents which ſeems reaſonable to all Nature beſide, paſs with you for a Reaſon? If you were reaſonable, as you wou’d be thought, would you not make her Love what a Father Enjoyns her to Love? Would not you ſide with Duty, and would not you give her the ſame Counſels that I do? But ’tis enough that I adviſe her any thing to oblige you to counſel the contrary. You wou’d think you dishonoured your ſelf, if you had any Sentiments conformable to Reaſon.Love 75 E2r 75
Tho’ what you complain of does not happen every day, yet I own that I do ſometimes occaſion it: but in that it happens that ’tis not I, but the Father that wants Reaſon. If he took care as he ought to conſult me before he made ſuch a command, he ſhould not find me excite revolts againſt his will. If he were reaſonable, he wou’d not anticipate my Right, or pretend to act my part in the Heart of his Daughter. I am jealous of my Prerogative and of my Power; and when any Body does Incroach upon them, ’tis but juſt I ſhou’d make uſe of them for my Revenge. I know that the Obedience due to Parents is reaſonable; but it ceaſes to be ſo, when ’tis to the prejudice of my Authority. The Obedience due to me ought to be preferr’d, when a Father’s Counſel and mine diſagree. Reaſon muſt grant the Counſels of a God are to be follow’d before thoſe of a Man. Beſides mine being always agreeable to the taſte of thoſe I adviſe; their end is only to plant tranquility in a Soul that follows ’em; and the advices of a Father, which E2 oppoſe 76 E2v 76 oppoſe mine, cauſe always an inteſtine War in the heart of thoſe that receive ’em. So that Reaſon preferring Peace to War, will have my Counſels follow’d, even when they are contrary to a Fathers.
There is ſome appearance of Reaſon in your excuſe; but what can you anſwer for your malice in making one Perſon to be belov’d by many rivals. If you were reaſonable, you wou’d not wound ſeveral Hearts with the ſame Dart. You wou’d give but one Lover to each Miſtriſs; and but one Miſtriſs to each Lover. By this means you would hinder the fatal effects that jealouſie produces every day; and you wou’d not be the cauſe of a thouſand Quarrels, and a thouſand Murders, which we ſee happen among Rivals. For you can’t deny that you are the Author of thoſe Diſorders, ſince they would not happen, if you wou’d be content to make each Beauty be belov’d by one Lover only.Love 77 E3r 77
’Tis not ſo difficult as you imagine to prove that I am in the right in what you condemn ſo much. I know very well, that ’tis againſt common ſenſe to endeavour to make that paſs for reaſonable, which is condemn’d by Reaſon. But, Madam, I muſt tell you now, what I ſhould have told you at firſt, that it is becauſe you are a being which has never been well known: You put on different Faces to different Perſons, and yet every one of theſe Faces will paſs for Reaſon. You give divers counſels according to the Perſons you adviſe: among thoſe that contradict each another in all their actions, every one maintains that Reaſon counſel’d him his. ’Tis thus, that many Lovers love one Miſtriſs, becauſe all of ’em finding her Lovely, they ſay that Reaſon bids them all Love her; though it does not appear reaſonable to thoſe that don’t Love her. ’Tis thus, that a Lover follows the dictates of his Reaſon, when he frees himſelf from a Rival that’s an obſtacle to him, in the purſuit of what he Loves. ’Tis thus, in fine, that thoſe Actors of diſorders, whom E3 you 78 E3v 78 you blame with ſo much violence, believe they have follow’d your Counſels, when they commit Murders: becauſe you adviſe thoſe, who love to do and undertake all things, to poſſeſs what they Love; tho’ thoſe that don’t Love ſay, that Reaſon teaches that what the others do, is altogether unreaſonable; and that, as I have told you, becauſe you give different advices to the different Perſons whom you counſel.
If there is no ſolidity, at leaſt there is Wit in the Reoaſons you have given: but what expedient will you find to juſtifie your ſelf when you drive Reaſon from the mind of an Old Man; when you make him renounce Wiſdom to love a Young Perſon when he might be her Grandfather. I pardon you eaſily enough, when you are content to ſubject Young People to your Empire; for they hardly having known mine, I have no great regret to ſee them willingly ſubmit to yours. But may I not complain when you come to rob me of my faithful Subjects; thoſe who have ſo long rever’d me; those, in fine, who are grown 79 E4r 79 grown gay under my conduct; for ’tis what you do, when you ſlide into the Heart of an Old Man: when the Sentiments you give him are oppoſite to thoſe which I inſpire. Is it not doing me a cruel outrage, when you turn topſy-turvy a Mind which I had ſettled with ſo much care and pains? What chagrin do you think it gives me to ſee an Old Man perverted by your Counſels, leave me to follow you; become a Beaux in his Old days; ſhave his Beard, wear little Shoes; dreſs himſelf in the gayeſt colours; become a Slave to the Faſhion; read with Spectacles what you call Billet doux, and gallant Verſes; play the Child by a Young Perſon; whiſper her in the Ear; go to Balls, Plays, and publick Feaſts; and do, in fine, all the Fooleries which I can hardly excuſe even in Youth. What ――
If I did not interrupt you, I believe you wou’d never ceaſe complaining upon this Chapter; tho’ if I had nothing to anſwer but that I made uſe of the right of repriſal, when I ſlide into the Heart of an Old Man, I think I ſhou’d E4 not 80 E4v 80 not want Reaſon; for tho’ I don’t complain of it here, you ſometimes rob me of my Slaves, as I ſometimes rob you of yours. Very often, when I think myſelf Maſter of a Young Heart, you know how to take a time when it has ſome diſdain, ſome coldneſs, or ſome diſtaſt, and then ſeizing on the occaſion you drive me from it with a great deal of ſharpness and ſcorn: So that ’tis not without Reaſon, that I too ſometimes obſerve the time when an Old Man has moſt diſpoſition to leave you, and that with the Fire of ſome bright Eyes I melt his Ice, and warm the blood which was frozen in his Veins. I confeſs ’tis making your own Subjects revolt from you: But don’t you uſe me in the ſame manner when you excite Young People to Rebel againſt me. If this Reaſon appear weak to you, I’m ſure you can’t anſwer what I am going to add: You complain that I ſometimes make Old Men in Love with Young Women; and you pretend that nothing is ſo far remov’d from Reaſon; but I ſay that there is nothing more reaſonable, ſince by the reſult of what you have ſaid, a Man ſhould be the wiſer the Older he is, 81 E5r 81 is, he ought to love that which in reaſon is the moſt Lovely; and who is more reaſonably lovely than a young Perſon. Wou’d an old Man make uſe of his Reaſon, if he ſhou’d love one of his own age, whre there is neither Beauty nor Comlineſs, where there’s no Fire that can heat him, nor no Charms that can pleaſe him? And is it not more reaſonable him for to love a young perſon, which, one may ſay, makes one young again, and whoſe Humour and Gayety excites one to Joy and Pleaſures? For the reſt don’t think it ſtrange that he obſerves in his Actions and Dreſs all the Gallantries of Youth; ſince as old as he is, he becomes young, when he becomes amorous. Tho’ he minds Faſhions, tho’ he does all that you call fooleries, he does it with Reaſon; ſince, being a Lover, he muſt endeavour to pleaſe the young perſon he loves; and he knows that the way to pleaſe Youth, is to live like ’em: ſhew the ſame Deſires, and the ſame Inclinations. Wou’d he be welcome to his young Miſstriſs, if he came Preaching the Vanity and Inconſtancy of the Age, railing at Balls and other Diverſions, and finding ſomething to ſay E5 againſt 82 E5v 82 againſt all the pleaſures of Youth? Wou’d this be a fine way of making himſelf belov’d? and has not he Reaſon when he practices the contrary?
There is always a great deal of ſubtility in your Anſwers; but what can you ſay to juſtifie the Crimes you commit, when you oblige one that’s Marri’d, to love another beſides her Husband? Why do you ſnatch her Heart from him, who is the lawful Maſter of it, to give it to a ſtranger, who ought to have no pretence to it? Why do you ſeparate two Perſons whom the Laws have joyn’d, to unite Two others, who can’t be united without a Crime? Do you think your ſelf more reaſonable than the Laws.
Yes Madam, I am more reaſonable than thoſe Laws, which do not ſo much as conſult Reaſon, in thoſe Marriages, which generally are the Works purely of Chance, of Ambition, which ſometimes mix Fire and Water in joyninging 83 E6r 83 ing two perſons, who have no diſpoſition to love one another: have they any ſhadow of Reaſon? And has not a Woman more, who finds her ſelf ſubjected in that manner, to give her Heart to a Gallant that loves her, than to a Husband that hates her; to a Gallant well Faſhion’d both in Body and Mind, who thinks of nothing but how to pleaſe her, than to a Husband ill made and humorſome, who is Eternally grumbling in the Houſe?
But tell me, ſince you are reaſonable ſometimes, Why are not you always ſo? I’le allow that you are in the right, when you unite two perſons; but are you ſo again when you ſeparate ’em? If Thyrſis had reaſon to love Phillis, is he in the right too, when he ceaſes to love her? Is he in the right, when he leaves Phillis for Caliſta? What excuſe can you find for his inconſtancy; after having brought me to be pleas’d with his Love, How can you make me love his change? Is it reaſonable to deſpiſe what he did eſteem, and ſo throw down thoſe Altars upon which he has ſo often ſacrific’d, to ſacrifice upon new ones?Love 84 E6v 84
It is true, that ſometimes Lovers are Inconſtant, but they are not without reaſon in their Inconſtancy. When an Objects ſeems lovely to them, they have reaſon to love it; but when the ſame Object appears to them no longer ſo, they are in the right too, to give away their Love. Thyrſis had reaſon to love Phillis, becauſe he hop’d to be belov’d by her; he had reaſon to employ for her all the cares, and all the aſſiduity that a fair Perſon deſerves: but he had reaſon to leave her, when he ſaw that his Cares were in vain, and that his Hopes were without any Foundation. Beſides, is it not reaſonable to leave the leſs for the more; to abandon Phillis, who all charming as ſhe is, is however infinitely inferior to Caliſta? ’Tis thus, that every Lover is reaſonable in his Inconſtancy; tho’ he had no other reaſon for ceaſing to love an Object, than becauſe it ceaſes to appear lovely to him.
Tho’ I am not fully convinc’d of what you have ſaid, I will not however loſe 85 E7r 85 loſe time in anſwering you, becauſe I have ſomething to ask you that touches me very nearly. How comes it, unjuſt Love, that you ſlide often between Perſons of an unequal condition; and ſo unequal, that ſometimes, by your Injuſtice, we have ſeen Queens in love with Slaves, and Princes in love with Servants? I willingly pardon you, when you unite perſons that are equal. Nay more, I approve your Conduct, I authorize it with all my Power. But how wou’d you have me ſuffer to ſee, a Woman of Quality prefer to a Gentleman, accompliſh’d both in Mind and Body, ſome groſs Peaſant, in whom there appears nothing that’s lovely? How can I forbear to murmur, when Princes or Lords chuſe, to the prejudice of many Ladies as conſiderable for their Beauty, as Birth; a country Girl or Servant, who has nothing in her that’s fine or agreeable, but in the imagination of that Prince or Lord, your Malice has abus’d? Muſt not we condemn your irregularities in ſuch occaſions? May not we accuſe you of overturning your own Principles, ſince Sympathy which ought to be the principle of all your 86 E7v 86 your Actions, does not meet in ſuch Loves? For in fine, what ſympathy can you find between a Princeſs and a Slave, between a Prince and a Servant? Meanwhile theſe are the Loves we ſee many examples of; and that convinces all the World that you are altogether my enemy.
I never do what you accuſe me of, I own that ſometimes Princes have lov’d Slaves; but it does not follow from thence, that I have joyn’d two Perſons ſo unequal. When I kindle ſuch a Love, I raiſe the Slave equal to the Princeſs, or I humble the Princeſs to the Slave: and to me they ſeem always equal, tho’ they do not appear ſo to thoſe, that are ignorant of my Power and myſteries. I obſerve that Sympathy always, which you ſay I renounce, for Simpathy is not as you ſeem to think it, a conformity of Birth, of Riches, and of Honours: it is rather a conformity of Birth under the ſame Planet; to be of one temper, and to have the ſame inclinations. And may not this Conformity be found ſometimes between two perſons, which the differencerence 87 E8r 87 rence of Riches and Honours have render’d unequal. I cou’d explain it to you more clearly, and let you ſee that this Simpathy is ſufficient to make all the World equal. But ’tis a Knowledge that’s reſerv’d only for me: and my Policy teaches me, that, for the good of my Empire, it ought to be unknown to reaſon that Simpathy that hinders equality, thoſe ſecret Knots, thoſe inviſible Chains, that fetter Hearts, and tye Souls, are the foundations of all my Strength and Power: or rather, ’tis I that take pleaſure to appear only in my Effects, and ſcarcely ever in my Cauſe. And ’tis that, which renders my Empire very different from yours; for you Command nothing with abſolute Authority, ſince you are oblig’d to give a Reaſon for every thing. But for me, I act as a Soveraign, and only give a reaſon when I pleaſe. And to tell you the truth, ’Tis a Maxim I have eſtabliſhed over all my Empire, that they who Reaſon well, do not Love well; and that they Reaſon ill, who Love well.Reaſon. 88 E8v 88
I ſee plainly by your laſt words, cruel Enemy, that my Converſation begins to be tireſome; you are not us’d to Reaſon ſo long: you ſuffer too much violence in ſuch a Diſcourſe; and tho’ I have many things ſtill to ask you, I muſt make an end, ſince I grow troubleſome to you; I am alſo ſenſible that I loſe my labour, and that it is impoſſible for us ever to be reconciled. I hop’d that meeting at Caliſta’s, we might have contracted an Union, that has never been known between us: and that in the preſence of ſo charming a Perſon, I ſhou’d have made Love more reaſonable.
Be comforted, Madam, there is ſomething better happened than what you had undertaken. If Reaſon has not made Love reaſonable, I will believe that in the Preſence of Caliſta, Love has made Reaſon amorous.To 89 E9r 89
To a Lady he had Entertain’d in the Park in a Maſque.
You told me laſt Night, my lovely Moor, when we parted, that I ſhould forget you before Morning; but to let you ſee how great an impreſſion you have made upon my Heart, I do aſſure you, that even Morpheus’s Kingdom could not protect me from you; for I dreamt of you all Night, ſaw your lovely Motions, and that bewitching Air which you do every thing with; heard you ſpeak all thoſe pretty things over again, which you ſaid to me, and bluſht to ſee my ſelf out done by you in Repartees; nay, and had like to have broke my Man’s Head for waking me this Morning, tho’ ’twas for buſineſs of concern: thus have you won me, bewitching Charmer, altho’ I had but halfe an hours converſation with you, and in a Maſque: too 90 E9v 90 too: and I aſſure you, if you had not been ſo Gracious, as to let me know where to write to you, I had been deſperate e’re this time: I conjure you then, even by that Heavenly Beauty which ſhines through all the Velvet to Honour me with a Line from your fair Hand this Night, to let me know where I ſhall ſee you to Morrow: for I do aſſure you, I ſhall do ſuch pennance in the mean time, as ſhall have power to make atonement for all the Sins which ever were committed by
Your Humble Servant.
My Man hath Orders, to bring me your Billet to the Park, where I ſhall be ſitting on that dear Bench I found you at.
The Ladies Anſwer.
After a long diſpute with my ſelf, whether I had beſt go on in this folly, or make an honourable Retreat, I at laſt perceived that I had not left my ſelf a fair one, I mean, according to thoſe Romantick Rules of Virtue taught us by our ſecular Mothers; and therefore was reſolved to gratifie my humour a little further, altho’ at the expence of ſome few Bluſhes; and eſpecially when I consider that I ſhall take ſuch care, as that you ſhall never know more of me than you did laſt Night; and that you may perhaps ſee me hereafter in ſuch a place; where my Complaiſance will oblige me to rally the Masks as ſmartly as any of the Old Faſhion’d Company. After all this, aſſure your ſelf, that I meant no harm, only to have a little innocentnocent 92 E10v 92 nocent Chat with you, which I perceive you are very good at. I therefore Challenge you to meet me to morrow at Seven in the Morning, at the ſame Bench, and with the ſame Weapons in lieu of which I ſhall bring my Tongue and Mask; the laſt of which will, I hope, defend my Reputation, as much as the ugly Face under it will do my Chaſtity,
The Ladies Addreſs to the whole Aſſembly of Beaux, at Hippolito’s Chocolate-houſe:
Where ſhould a Diſtreſs’d Damſel be ſo likely to find Succour, as from you Young Lords, Knights, and Squires: To all ſuch therefore I addreſs this my Petition in behalf of a poor Lady, to whom Nature has given ſomething a larger ſtock of ſence than to moſt of her Sex; and not being willing to conceal this Talent, ſhe wou’d fain exerciſe her good Genius: But alas! in this ſtupid Age in which all ſort of Gallantry is as ſophisticated, as French Wines, ſhe has found it impracticable; not then having been ſo fortunate, as to meet with any ſingle Spark, that did not either want will or Capacity to hold up an agreeable 94 E11v 94 agreeable War of Wit; ſhe ſends this as her laſt Effort to the whole Society; Hoping that is ſuch a Numerous Aſſembly, ſome one will be Valiant enough to accept this proffer’d Challenge; and in ſuch Caſes let them chuſe their own Weapons, and if they think Love a theme too Threadbare for their Pen, let ’em endeavour to defend her ground as long as poſſible; and if Vanquiſh’d ſhe’l fairly acknowledge it, and own her ſelf oblig’d to the courteous Victor, who did not think it beneath him to wage a Writing War with a poor Woman.
Direct yours for Flora, to be left at Mr. Hardings a Bookſellers in Newport-ſtreet, and let me know how to ſend to you again.
The Two following Letters were deſired to be Printed by a Fair Lady.
To Acme before I had ſeen her.
Ihope, Madam, you’l forgive the Impatience, that Love begets, ſince I have (tho rack’d with the moſt eager and Violent of Deſires) waited ſo many tedious Minutes and Hours for a favourable Anſwer to my Humble Suit (of being admitted to a ſight of you, if not to the tranſporting Happineſs of your Converſation) If, at laſt, I again trouble you with a Repetition of it.
Will not the Juſtice, and tender Compaſſion that ſhould fill that Heavenly Boſom, grant ſo much to the moſt Uncommoncommon 95 E12v 96 common of Paſſions? Can all that Beauty, all that Immenſe Power be without Pity and Juſtice?
But you ſay, Madam, you can’t take my former Letter for any thing but a meer Banter; believe me, Divine Charmer, I wou’d ſooner Banter my Lawyer, when my Eſtate depended on my Sincerity, or my Phyſitian, when my Life lay at ſtake, than Banter You, the Goddeſs of my Heart, in whom a Happineſs centers of far greater Import than Eſtate or Life: ’Twould be a ſort of Sacrilege to trifle with the Divineſt of her Sex, and with an impudent Hypocriſie pretend a Devotion to that abſent Power, which all that are Preſent Adore.
Ah Madam! though Abſent, I am too ſenſible of your Power, to preſume to dally with, and abuſe it, who, tho I never yet beheld your Face, (except in Imagination, and in Dreams,) feel all the Racks, and Sighing Pangs of a Poor, longing, tortur’d Lover; and if the Uncommonneſs, and Extravagance of my Paſſion, bring its Reality into Queſtion, I ought, Madam, the more to be Pity’d, being by that means depriv’d of my beſt Plea, my Love; and, Madam, to 97 F1r 97 to doubt that is ſuch an affront to the Immenſity of Your Beauty, that I can’t ſuffer it with Patience, ev’n from you.
I am ſufficiently, Madam, ſatisfy’d, that I err’d not in the former direction of my Paſſion to you, and you will I hope, remove all doubts of the Reality of my being
Madam, For ever
Isent the Incloſed yeſterday, but the Bearer, by a miſtake, brought it back again, and I had ſent it again, had I not been inform’d that you were gone abroad. Ah lovely Charmer! Caſt off this ungrateful Veil of Cruelty, that ſullies all your Glories, for Cruelty is a Monſtrous Ingratitude, returning Diſdain for Love; for Services Contempt, and for Merit, Diſgrace. The miſtaken Fair indeed, affect it as a Virtue; but Charming Maid, ’tis not to be found in that Noble Liſt; for ’tis neither Prudence, Juſtice, Fortitude, nor Temperance. Fortitude bears unavoidable Ills with Courage, and repells hurtful and unlawful Force or Injury. But Love is ſo far from being an Ill, that it’s a Supream Good. It can never therefore be conſiſtent with Prudence, to reject the offer’d Bleſſing, ſince Prudence regulates our Actions by the Rules of Reaſon. Juſtice gives to every one his due and conſequently the belov’d to the Lover, crowning 99 F2r 99 crowning the Conſtant and Deſerving. Temperance denies not juſt Pleaſures (for they are founded in Nature, and our Right by its Fundamental Laws) but an ill Choice and hurtful Exceſs.
Thus, Madam you ſee this Idol, your Sex Sacrifices ſo many Precious, Unreturning Minutes to, is not to be found among the Glorious Rank of Virtues, but is of an oppoſite Nature, and conſequently a black Compound of the moſt ungenerous Vices. Cruelty may well be compar’d to Fortune, both being Blind, and the Reverſs of a Noble Mind; for whilſt they neglect the paſt Pleadings of Merit, this rewards it even in Rags. Fly therefore this pernicious Vice, ſo unworthy your Beauty, ſo unworthy your Youth; for it often brings down thoſe Curſes of Deſpair, that blaſt all the Glories and Pleaſures of the Obdurate Nymphs, which, kind Heaven defend the dear charming Acme from, and make her avert the impending evil conſequence of Cruelty, by being propitious to my Flame, and ſending me one Line or two, which ſhall be kept like a Fairy Treaſure, in the Boſom of
Your Devoted Slave,
To a Friend who was going to Travel.
How comes this Unkind Silence, Viridomar? I hop’d your own Friendſhip, without the addition of my repeated Deſires, wou’d not have let you miſs one Poſt without Writing to your Sorrowful Friend; but here are two paſt, and not a Word from you. Do you begin to break off a Correſpondence with Artemiſa before you leave England? That looks Ominous, as if you reſolved quite to forget her, as well as never to ſee her more. Your laſt, I hope, was not intended for a Final Adieu; No, I muſt hear from you more than once yet e’er you go, and have an Account what your Deſigns are, and where you intend to Retire, or I ſhall never forgive you; You ought to give this Proof of Friendſhip to my Concern and Grief for you, which is more than you can imagine. My 101 F3r 101 My Siſter tells me I was never ſo much a Widow as now in my Life; and I think there is a great deal of Reaſon for it, no Relation whatſoever being ſo near as a Faithful Friend, and ſuch I eſteem Viridomar to be. Indeed I know not what to do with my ſelf: alone I dare not be, then I am almoſt out of my Wits; all Company I hate; if I ſit down to Write, and think I ſhall not have my Viridomar to write to, I am ready to Die; Working is my Averſion; Reading it ſelf does not eaſe me, for I know not whether I read Senſe or Nonſenſe. I am fit for nothing but a Dark Room in Bedlam, only there they make too much Noiſe for me; Darkneſs and Silence being the only things that can pleaſe me, where I can Weep my fill; nor have I any Proſpect of any thing will bring reſt to my Mind, but the worſt of Remedies, the only Catholicon on this ſide the Grave, Time. But how tedious will that Remedy be? And how do I regret the Thoughts that Viridomar and I muſt Forget each other? No, ſure that muſt never be! No, no, Time, nor Abſence which deſtroysThe Cares of Lovers, and their Joys. F3 Muſt 102 F3v 102 Muſt not, cannot have that Effect upon a well-grounded, Tender Friendſhip. That’s a Weak Love that Abſence can defaceFriendſhip’s Immutable by Time or Place. And ours, I hope, will be ſo. Yet I muſt Never ſee nor Converſe with you more. Oh that Thought is Unſupportable! Is not the Doom Reverſable? Sure, Viridomar, it is. One of your Acquaintance, who I thought Lov’d you, and who I knew you had a Tenderneſs for, wou’d now be Dearer to me than all my own, with whom I might freely Converſe, and Talk of you; and from whom I might have an Account of all Accidents that my befall you, which my unacquaintance with all your Friends will deprive me of, when you are at ſo great a Diſtance. What I Write is ſtrangely Confuſed and Diſtracted, (but all my Thoughts are ſo) if I had never Writen to her, ſure you wou’d never have coveted a Correſpondence with Artemiſa, but you know the Cauſe, and muſt Pity your
Moſt Faithful, and Diſconſolate Friend,
From the ſame, upon the ſame Subject.
When I ſent away my laſt Letter, I had not time for fear of loſing the Poſt, to Anſwer yours of the 22d, or hardly to Read it, ſomething I did ſay, but I know not what; for yours put me into a great concern, which I have not yet Recovered; and could you ſee the Part I bear in your Troubles, you wou’d not think I caſt you off, becauſe of your Misfortunes; No, before we Part you ſhall confeſs Artemiſa’s Heart is of another Temper. It is my Opinion, that where there is the leaſt Cauſe to imagine ones Friendſhip is Deſir’d or Priz’d, after an Engagement in it, there is hardly any Cauſe will juſtifie the Deſerting a Friend; but to do it becauſeF4 cauſe 104 F4v 104 cauſe he is Unfortunate is a Crime of the blackeſt Nature, and would rank me among the worſt and moſt Flagitious of either Sex; it being as Baſe and Deteſtable even as Proſtitution it ſelf. If I have Sinn’d againſt your Friendſhip (which is very dear to me) by Misjudging of you, I heartily Repent of it, and beg your Pardon; my Mind was in very great Diſorder, my Friendſhip grew very Tender, and was ſenſible of the leaſt cold Blaſt. I found your Letters quite of another Nature, and different Stile from what they had been; the more of Kindneſs I expreſs’d, the more Cold and Indifferent were your Returns, without the leaſt Air of Friendſhip or Kindneſs, which at firſt I attributed to the Troubles and Diſappointments you had met with; but when I receiv’d yours of the --07-088th of July, wherein you Queſtion’d whether there were ſuch a thing as Solid Love? Then I no longer doubted but I was again Diſappointed of what I value above all things, viz. a True Friend. For, certainly, Friendſhip, (if Real) is a Solid Thing, nor can there be an Union of Souls without the greateſt and moſt Subſtantial Love; I 105 F5r 105 I grant all other Love is but Flaſhy and ſoon over, and therefore does not Deſerve to be call’d by that Name; but a well plac’d Friendſhip in Generous Hearts I ſhould think can never Decay; at leaſt I will anſwer for my ſelf, that nothing ſhall abate mine, but the loſs of yours; while that continues you may reſt confident, that neither Time, nor any Accident, ſhall alter me, but I will be your Friend, both in ſpite of Fate, and of your ſelf too, who are ſo willing to give me a Diſmiſſion; therefore, Viridomar, henceforth never Judge of my Friendſhip by any thing but your own; let that riſe to as high a degree as you will, mine ſhall keep Pace with it.
I know not whether You or I have the Trueſt Notions of Friendſhip, but I know I ſhould not do by you as you have done by me: were I in any great Affliction, I ſhould not be ſo Generous to deſire you to Leave me, and to Enjoy your ſelf; and bid you be happy in a more Fortunate Friend; No, I ſhould then endeavour to Retain you, for if any thing will Sweeten our Troubles, and make them Eaſie, it muſt be the Conſideration, that one has a Friend to F5 whom 106 F5v 106 whom we are very Dear, who Sympathizes with, and bears a part in all our Griefs; and wou’d, if it lay in his Power Redreſs them, nor can any one merit the Name of Friend that does not ſhare in all our Joys, and Sorrows, the firſt are redoubled, and the laſt very much leſſen’d by the Concern one ſo Dear to us takes in them. It may be you will ſay, this is Self-Love, but in it I deſire nothing more from my Friend than I will (nor can I help it) return, and aſſure your ſelf I am as heartily ſenſible of your Troubles, as if they were my own; and wiſh it lay in my Power to bring you out of them, you ſhould then find that Artemiſa’s is not only a Verbal Friendſhip.
I hope, Viridomar, you can Forgive the Errors of your Friend, you will the ſooner do it, if you call to mind how I have been once Treated by an Ungrateful Friend, and will allow ſomething to my Fears of ſuch another Defeat; I have laid my Heart open before you, as to my Confeſſor, if you find any Errata’s there, uſe the Authority of a Friend, and Correct ’em, give me Rules of Friendſhip both from your ſelf and Cicero, and ſee 107 F6r 107 ſee if I do not Obſerve and Practice ’em; for I would have mine as Perfect and Compleat as poſſible; but tho’ you Chide me, do not caſt me off, and take your leave of me, that goes nearer to me than all the reſt; but you ſhall not be rid of me ſo, for now till you tell me you do not Value me, nor think me worthy to be your Friend, I will look upon my ſelf as ſuch, and deal with you accordingly. I am in Pain till I am ſet right in your Thoughts, and therefore have writ this Poſt, I ſend it enclos’d to my Siſter, who will ſend it you by the Penny Poſt. Yours, which you ſay you writ laſt Thurſday, I have not receiv’d; I ſuppoſe it was an Anſwer to that I writ giving an account of this Place and People, I am ſorry I have loſt it, but hope you have a Copy. Viridomar, what thoughts ſoever you have of me, ſtill think me your Friend, and then you will think Juſtly of her, who is
Your True and Faithful Servant
Picture of Orontes.
Orontes is a middle ſiz’d Man, very well proportioned to his Heigth, but very ſtiff and Affected; his Face is the worſt part about him. I cannot compare his Temper better than to the Character of Sir Courtly, whoſe Original he ſeems to be. He is exceeding Civil and Well Bred, and would not be guilty of a Soleciſm in good manners for all the World. He is a pretender to Wit and Poetry, and paſſes for the firſt upon many, for which he is Indebted to good Company and a good Memory: And as Intrigue is the Eſſential part of a Beaux, he is a great admirer of it; but only beats the Buſh for others. He looks like a Toper, but is none; yet loves Company, but hates Noiſe and Clamour, for he is the ſofteſt Creature in Nature. He underſtands French enough, to pervert the Sence of an Author, and 109 F7r 109 and is ſeldom, or never without a French Book in his Pocket, of which he is a great admirer. In the main, he is a very honeſt Gentleman, and very much in favour with the fair Sex: for he will ſit you a whole Afternoon with Ladies, and talk of nothing but the Neweſt Faſhions, the moſt becoming Dreſſes and Colours,&c. Cajoles and Flatters, ſets the Ladies in a Flame, then leaves them to the next Pretender, Trudges to the Coffee-houſe, and ſets up for Politicks.
A Letter or Apology of the late M. Du Ryer of the French Academy, Tranſlator of the Works of Cicero and Seneca, and of many other Books, to which Poverty has not allow’d him to give all the Perfection he was capable of giving them, and would have done otherwiſe.
How, do you praiſe my Tranſlation of Seneca! That may Paſs with others, but you will never catch me at it again. Know, Sir, that I did it in Six Months time, and that it requires Six Years to do it, as it ſhould. be. My Tranſlation is one of Villeloin’s. An Ill Tranſlator. The only diffe- 111 F8r 111 difference between us, is, that he is very well pleas’d with what he does, and can do no better: But for my part I know my Faults and could mend them. Yes, I have the Vanity to believe, that I could be d’Ablancourt, or Vaugelas, and I am become Marolles. Another Ill French Author. Oh Fortune, Fortune! It is an Effect of thy Rigour. Thou haſt compell’d me, againſt my Will, to Sacrifice my Reputation to thee; but thou ſhalt never force me to make thee a Sacrifice of my Honour; and I will not deceive my Friend. This, Sir, is an Avowal I owe to you, for the kindneſs you do me ſometimes in lending of me Money: I ſend you the Twenty Piſtols you laſt lent me. My Bookſeller came Yeſterday to our Village, and brought me Two hundred Crowns. I gave them immediately to my Spouſe, who is overjoy’d, and makes me happy in my Misfortune. She thinks my Tranſlations as Excellent, as you ſeem to believe them; and as ſhe is an Eye Witneſs of my Diſpatch; She cannot apprehend how a Mortal can be capable of performing ſuch Wonders with ſo much eaſe, and fancies that there is ſome- 112 F8v 112 ſomething in me tha ſurpaſſes Human Nature. You have heard of poor B―― he had Marry’d an Engliſh Gentlewoman, who Cudgel’d him when he did not Work ſo much as ſhe thought he ſhould do. But mine is neither an Engliſh Woman, nor yet a Gentlewoman; ſhe is a very good Houſewife, that Loves me Tenderly, and honours me with an Incredible Reſpect. She keeps my little Parlour and my Alcove as neat and as bright as two Looking-glaſſes; She makes my Bed ſo well, that I am of opinion, no Prince lies more at his eaſe: and above all things, ſhe never fails to provide me an excellent Soup. I cannot imagine in my turn, how it is poſſible, with ſo little Pelf, to make ſo good a Cheer. So that in ſpight of Fortune, we paſs out Life in admiring each other. She admires my Genius for Tranſlations, and I admire hers for Huſwifery. Mrs. B.―― came along with my good Friend C―― to bring me the Two hundred Crowns, which were remaining due to me for my Tranſlation of Cicero’s Orations, which I will ſend you in a few days. That ſubtle Woman was ſet out to the beſt advantage, and ſaluted me with 112 F9r 113 with ſo good a Grace, that I am ſensible that a Bookſeller’s Shop is as good a School, as the Court, to teach young Women the new Method of ſaluting People, which the Gallantry of our Nation has lately introduc’d in the World. In a word, Mrs. B.―― has won my Heart; and has offer’d to advance me the Sum of One hundred Pounds upon my Titus Ligvius, which is very forward. My Spouſe immediately whisper’d to me, take her at her word, my dear Husband; I believ’d her, and the ſaid Sum was forthwith produc’d in beautiful Gold and Silver, to poor Du Ryer, who for fear of tiring of you, will trouble you no farther, and will endeavour to do better for the future, than he has done hitherto. I can ſafely promiſe it you now, finding my ſelf worth, beſides what I have paid you, upwards of Four hundred Crowns; who, ſince I have known my ſelf, never was ſo Rich; or rather, never leſs Poor. Farewell, Dear Sir, do not loſe this Letter, which I Deſire you to publiſh for my Juſtification, at the head, or at the end of the firſt of my Books 114 F9v 114 Books that will be Reprinted. I am as I us’d to be, that is, with great Affection and Gratitude.
Sir, Your moſt Humble Servant,
Picture of Alcidamas.
Alcidamas is of a low Stature, but very well made, Brave and Witty, True and conſtant to his Friend, Sober and Diſcreet, and a great admirer of the Fair Sex, a Qualification which is inſeparable from that of a Hero; his Diſcourſe is ſolid, and his Converſation eaſie. He is very well read in Hiſtory, and neither wants Memory nor Judgment. He loves Poetry, and writes a Song or Sonnet very prettily. He has a great Genius for Dreſſing, and Intrigue 115 F10r 115 Intrigue, for which he is admir’d and imitated by moſt Fops in Town, who are not able to reach his other accompliſhments. Mars and Venus have divided his younger Days, and ſtill are the Darlings of his Soul. He has been, and ſtill is famous for Ogling from Church to Playhouſe, &c. He admires the Creator in his Creatures, and is the True Abſtract of Modern Gallantry.
Almeria to Philander upon his reſolving to leave her to go beyond Sea.
Cruel Philander, Is it then poſſible that you are reſolved at laſt to forſake the unfortunate Almeria? Can you, after ſo many reiterate Proteſtations, Oaths, and Vows of Eternal Love and Conſtancy, reſolve to leave a wretch, who can no longer live without you? Ah; Why did you take ſo much pains to Charm, and to undo me, ſince you were 116 F10v 116 were reſolv’d to leave me expos’d to all the Racks and Horrors of Abſence and Deſpair? What injury have I ever done you, to make me ſo miſerable? Sure you never lov’d me; and only ſeduc’d my Heart to triumph over it. And theſe, oh Heaven! are theſe the Felicities I flatter’d my ſelf with, when my Soul was full of your dear Image, when my Heart could hardly contain its Joy in hopes of being united to you for ever then, then to hear of Parting, Oh! that dreadful Word, Parting, and for ever That Fiend that haunts and torments me perpetually: That Word contains Death and Hell in it! Sure there can be no Sin in an innocent Affection; Why then am I puniſh’d with an Eternal Separation? Oh barbarous Philander Could you not have conceal’d that cruel circumſtance of my Affliction from me, for ever, it would have been time enough to let me know, that I muſt never ſee you more after ſome years had inur’d me to your Abſence. But why do I blame you? It is the nature of Mankind: I ſhould curſe my ſelfe, my Fondneſs, and my eaſie Nature, which perſuaded me to believe what I wiſh’d. You ſeem’d to 117 F11r 117 to love me ſincerely; I thought my ſelf oblig’d to you for it, and thought I could do no leſs than to reward you with my Heart. I was proud to be belov’d by a Man of your Sence and Reputation, and pitty’d all my Sex. But now my Joys, my fatal Joys, are daſh’d with a never, never to ſee you more. Whither are you going? Why do you fly me? What can induce you to leave the wretch’d Almeria? Is it Honour forces you from me? No, Honour bids you ſtay to ſave my Life; Gratitude will not permit you to leave a wretch that languiſhes for you, and who had rather die a thouſand Deaths, that barely think of leaving you. Think on your Oaths, think on my Deſpair, and remember that my Life depends on your Reſolution. Sure you could never think to leave me, and this was only a trial of my Love, but I ought not to have out-liv’d it; if you have the leaſt niceneſs in you, you ought never to forgive it: It calls my Love in queſtion, and I mortally hate my ſelf for it. I am on the Rack, and nothing but your Preſence can eaſe my Pain. Return then, Oh! Return to my longing Arms. Yet 118 F11v 118 Yet do not, Why ſhould I deſire to ſee the only Author of my Miſery? Fly where your Honour calls you, and boaſt that you left the wretched Almeria loſt. Imploy that falſe proteſting Tongue to undo more credulous Maids; but let me never hear it more. I will ſtrive to forget you, or if ever I think on you, it ſhall be only for my wrongs. I’ll hourly call to mind your Falſhood, Perjuries, and Treachery, and that perhaps may cure me. Oh Heavens! I am but too ſenſible of the falſeneſs of that Sentiment; No, it is impoſſible, I do not wiſh it; I had rather be unhappy in loving you, than to reſume my former indifference. I impute my misfortune to the exceſs of my Paſſion. I ought to have conſider’d that my Pleaſures would end ſooner than my Love, and that you would never forſake your Fortunes for my ſake. I neither know what I do, or what I am, nor what I deſire. Can any one imagine ſo deplorable a Condition? I love you to Diſtraction, yet you will leave me. Do, Cruel, go, I ſhall not long out-live your Hate; for ſure you hate me or elſe you could never uſe me thus. But 119 F12r 119 But my Death will for ever diſturb your Mind. It invades my Heart already, my Senſes are all confus’d, and I can only add, that in ſpight of your Ingratitude, as I liv’d, ſo I die,
Silvia’s Neither Tall nor Low, She’s Fair and Comly, yet not Handſome, and has the Air of an Hoſteſs. She is not Witty, yet Subtle and Cunning, and neither Loves, nor is Belov’d by any of her Sex; but in recompenſe, She has been laviſh of her Heart flawed-reproduction1 wordand has receiv’d the Addreſſes of many a Spark. She is Imperious, Proud and Haughty, Ill-natur’d and Surly, and can diſſemble exquiſitely. She never miſſes Prayers, tho’ not out of Devotion. She ſeems fond of her Endimion, even to uneaſineſs; tho She only adores his Wealth. She has got an abſolute Empire 120 F12v 120 Empire over him, and knows how to uſe it. He ſeems to hug his Chain, and to be fond of his Bondage, tho’ ſome are of opinion, that he only acts the part of a prudent Turtle.
From a Lady to her Admired, who is in Love with an Old Woman.
For what can I call you but Cruel and Unkind? who neglective of my Love, can hear my Sighs with no reſentments. I have often (you know) when in our company, ſignify’d the eſteem I have for you, and by many Letters made known to you, the frailty of my Affection, which I was never guilty of to any but to you; However, it was my firſt Experiment, and if it proves fatal to me, I ſhall endeavourvour 121 G1r 121 vour to endure it, as a thing coherent to my Misfortunes. I write not theſe, that I would force your Love; all that I propoſe is, to remind you of the exceſs of mine; which as you have ſlighted, and think not worthy your acceptance, yet at leaſt, give leave to the unhappy to complain. There is Liberty in Love, for Womens Tears; and Cupid gives us leave, when he unkindly wounds our Heart, to make our Moan. You had with you, when I ſaw you laſt, an aged Woman; who, I am ſince inform’d, has the poſſeſſion of your Heart; at this I wonder’d, and was ſorry: thinking it pity that thoſe Worlds of Charms, which always in your Eyes I ſaw, ſhould loſe their Luſtre in that ruin’d Face, that weather-beaten Age of Time, in whoſe deſpairing Years Cupid ſits melancholy and alone; Oh! If you are not for me deſign’d, yet may you be joyn’d to ſome more happy Mate, and not fade your blooming Roſes in her wither’d Trunk. Pardon me, Sir, that I can’t praiſe what you admire; Could I doe e’ry thing I ought, you ſhould have been forgotten long ſince; but ’tis impoſſible; you are ſo faſt withinG in 122 G1v 122 in my Heart, that when I ſtrive to pull you out, I make it bleed; whence to my Sorrow I am forc’d to tell you, that in ſpight of all your unkindneſſes, I cannot blot you out, but with my unhappy Life; in which, as long as I remain, I ſhall be always,
From a Lady to a Gentleman, who promiſing her Marriage, Debauch’d her, and then left her, taking a Journey beyond Sea.
Cruelleſt of all your Sex.
Iwrite not now that I’de re-mind you of your forſaken Vows, for ſure you need not theſe as a reproach to your paſt Crimes, which always will remain in you, as an opprobrious Object to your future Reflections, that you have wrought an unhappy wretch to Ruin; One, who unskill’d in Mankind’s Falſhood, has this in her Fate; that ſhe was too loving; whence comes the cauſe of all my Misfortunes: my tender Heart unwarily ran out, and lodg’d G2 it 124 G2v 124 it ſelf with you, which, rifl’d of all its Treaſure, you have ſent home bleeding, and full of Wounds, which your unkindneſs made, and left it nothing but the Experiment. How wretched have you made me; Ah! Could you have return’d me all, how many Sighs and Tears would you have ſav’d me? But Oh! ’tis out of Nature’s reach, and as I was then forſaken by my good Angels, I am likewiſe left by you for ever.
Yet as you are going, I will not trouble you with my Sorrows, nor any farther make known to you, how miſerable Love has made me. Let my ―― go, and with him goe all the kind Stars, no matter what becomes of me; of whom you have no farther uſe, than only to remember, as an Example, how you may ruine more; Go then, and if in all your Travels you meet a wretch ſo frail, and ſo unfortunate as I, think with a relenting Thought of me again, and ſave the fond Believer from the Ruin I am in, who, tho’ undone, by you, yet cannot help, Subſcribing my ſelf,
Yours for ever.
From a Lady to Her Husband in the Camp.
My Dear Strephon,
Ireceived your kind Letter, and return you thanks for the Satisfaction I enjoy’d in reading you were well, in whoſe Safety alone depends the ſtock of all my future Joy; And now, all I have to return you is, that my ſelf, and your little Son are well alſo; whom I have taught to ſpeak your Name, which it repeats hourly, as if like me it wanted you at Home; but vain, alaſs! are all it’s Cry’s, and my Wiſhes, ſince Cruel Wars have rob’d us of you, and made the caſe uncertain whether I ſhall ever ſee you more, unleſs in the beloved Image of your Dear Child; and in his G3 Face 126 G3v 126 Face, his Eyes, his every Feature, do I ſee you Daily, and feed upon the thought when we may meet again: But when I think of Fights and dangerous Battles, my frighted apprehenſion makes me fear that you are hurt, and oft I wiſh that I was there, to dreſs your Wounds. Thus anxious of your Fortune I lead my Melancholly Life, and have no Pleaſure in your abſence, ſave that part of Joy only, which I have horded, and keep ready for the time when you ſhall come again. No Paſtimes, no Recreations are pleaſing to me, but rather inducements to my uneaſie Mind, to chide our Fate that makes us Live aſunder: Think then on my precautious Fears, and hazard not your Dear Life too far; and though you regard it not, yet love it for the ſake of mine. Oh! How many Sorrows are in that word Death! Which ſhould I hear of you, every Letter in that Fatal Word, would open a Wound within my bleeding Heart, to let my Miſerable Life out. But ceaſe my Prophetick Fears, my Strephon is yet alive, and Heaven protect and keep him ſo, which ſure, it wou’d could it behold him with my 127 G4r 127 my Eyes, or half the tenderneſs of my Heart, which for ever is always, his as is my Obligation, who am
Your moſt Obedient, and Loving Wife,
How unhappy is the Man that ſtrives with difficulties equal unto mine! Paſſionate Love prompts me to purſue a Happineſs guarded by Innocency and Honour, the Laſt of which, is only a Vain Notion to deprive us of true Felicity; a word contriv’d to create Deſire, and fill us with a Nobler Eſteem for what we wiſh; but why muſt I be the only Miſerable Perſon that’s baffled with what I know to be but an Empty Name? or do you covet a formal Siege, that the Victory may be greater G4 Can 128 G4v 128 Can you forget the Charms of Friendſhip, and the Endearments that attend thoſe who truly Love? Do you find a Chilneſs run through your Veins, occaſioned by a Chimera of Fear? or do you apprehend you know not what? No, (my Deareſt) by all that’s Juſt I will be faithfully Secret, act Honourably by you, may Swear never to Violate my Word. what have I left Unſaid, Unſworn, that may gain your Favour? Is your Heart impregnable to the Addreſſes of one that really Admires you? Can you deny him that is yours and only yours? Or do you take a pride in ſeeing me ruined? Who am
Your moſt Affectionate Friend.
Moreunhapy is that Woman, who knows not what Path to Tread; my Life is yours already, and muſt my Honour too? Can nothing ſerve but an entire Conqueſt, over that which when gain’d, you’l ſoon deſpiſe? the pleaſure of every action is in Deſire, and a Generous Heart’s is above wiſhing what may make another Miſerable. How can I yield, When I know the Moment: I surrender my Virtue I’m undone? It’s that now which alone Buoys me up amidſt my greateſt Afflictions: methinks I can look my beſt Friends in the Face without a Bluſh, whilſt I am Innocent; but alas! When I am ruin’d, nothing but Shame can attend each look and thought: Your Arguments might prevail with another, whoſe Charms might ſecure your Conſtancy: She might yield; but I have nothing but Virtue to ſecure your G5 Friend 130 G5v 130 Friendſhip, which as I prize beyond Expreſſion, I muſt never part with that which would Infallibly occaſion the loſs of it. I freely own that you have made deep Impreſſions on my Heart, and that it is Death to me to refuſe you any thing; but when I conſider that I muſt loſe you if I yield, my Weakneſs Vaniſhes, and I have courage enough left to ſay, I cannot, will not, grant your Request, and yet I am,
Ionce could command my Hand with ſuch a freedom that I ſeldom writ in Vain; But alas! What a change do I find, now I am Penning a Letter to your Dear ſelf, my Lines are faint, my Arguments not perſwaſive, and every thing ſeems to contradict my Love: Nay, my very Wiſhes are imperfect, and the moment I preſs forward, I expect a repulſe; a ſence of your Honour bids me deſiſt, and an Ardency of Affection reminds me of the Felicity I ſhall Enjoy in the Arms of my Deareſt Creature. Why were you made ſo infinitely good, except you’d diſpence your Favours to thoſe that paſſionately Admire you? Or were you only born to make me Miſerable? Does my Deareſt diſtrust the continuance of my Paſſion, or fear a fading 132 G6v 132 fading of my Flame? Do you expect that I again repeat Vows of Secrecy and Faithfulneſs? Or have you ſworn never to yield to my Deſires? If ſo, Heaven ſurely will forgive a Perjury ſo tender, and forget a Crime that produc’d ſuch effects. Indeed, I acquieſce to thoſe Noble Expreſſions your Letter is compos’d of, and own the worth of each Line; but why ſhould you ſo ſtrenuouſly plead againſt my being made Happy, or uſe ſuch Solid Reaſons to deprive me of Bliſs; ſince on your complyance depends wholly my Eternal Miſery or Felicity,
Ifwords Expreſs the Sentiments of the Mind, and are the only true means to confirm the ſincerity of our Intentions, ſurely then there remains nothing more to ſay, for I have given you ſuch Reaſons againſt your Love, as would have ſatisfied any but your ſelf; and I ſhould not again write on ſo nice a Subject, but that the tyes of Friendſhip, and the obligations I lye under to you, will not allow a Silence. I fancy your Pretenſions are only for a Proof of my Virtue; and that my Honour is more Sacred to you, than the Humour of being Immodeſt can be pleaſant; neither do I imagine you can forget, that Men always ſlight what they poſſeſs, and deſpiſe what is eaſily gain’d. Methinks I foreſee my ruin, and can look 134 G7v 134 look through all your Vows of Conſtancy, with Proteſtations of Faithfulneſs; and you’l believe it, if you’l remember how cold you appear, to ſome you have heretofore paſſionately Lov’d; and muſt I expect a better Fate, who leſs deſerve your Affection? No, no, my deareſt Friend, I muſt preſerve that which you ſo much Covet, and never part with what cannot be recall’d: If my Life will ſerve you, pray command it, for I’ll continue Virtuous, whilſt I am &c.
Urania to Theophraſtus, in Vindication of Age and Impotency.
You ſay I’m Old, yet give me no reaſon, why you think me ſo: but you’d ſay I am young indeed; if you knew what I can do ―― Yes, I know what I mean, I can ―― anſwer an Aſſignation, or ―― &c. perhaps you’d expect ſome greater matters in this, than a bare vindication of the calumny of Age; which at this time a- day I think there is but a very ſmall occaſion for; Since you have ſo little Faith, as to believe me Old and Impotent, becauſe my Body is deform’d: Nay, to believe it too, when I have the proſpect of ―― letting you ſee the contrary in facto. Don’t miſtake me, Sir 136 G8v 136 Sir, I don’t intend you ſhall ſee it, only I wou’d have you imagine ſo. ―― that my Deeds are much more compleat than my Perſon: For a green Apricock at beſt (you know) is but palatable on one ſide: but a rip’nd Peach never fails of pleaſing. And howe’r you may be diſpleas’d at my manner of Writing, I am ſure you can’t diſlike the ſubject. For as there are many Women write what they don’t think; ſo I think what I don’t write. This, you’ll ſay, is an odd ſort of an expreſſion; but I will aſſure you, a true one. So when I have finiſh’d this abortive Brat, I’ll diſown it, becauſe ’tis only an imperfect Idea of my Thoughts, For as I muſt confeſs, ’tis much againſt my inclinations to make Cripples, ſo tis much againſt my nature to Nurſe them ――. Yet in my own defence, I will ſay this is both Lame in Stile and Thought, beauſe you ſhan’t ſay, I am a Cold, as well as Old
My moſt kind Pa, Pa.
Heaven knows the rack I have endur’d e’er ſince I laſt receiv’d your Bleſſing, for want of an opportunity of being happy again. And for that wiſh’d for Moment, I here avow freely to offer up my Soul, and all that’s dear, a Sacrifice to thee my only Deity. But like the Damn’d, at preſent I am Chain’d to Torments, the kind Powers above grant like theirs, they mayn’t be laſting. Deareſt Angel, I have receiv’d all your Lines, and muſt confeſs, Fate is equally unkind, my Love’s as great as yours, and conſequently my Sufferings are no leſs; but aſſure your ſelf, the firſt opportunity we will be Bleſt and Happy; therefore I intreat you to be neither Reſtleſs nor Hopeleſs, ſo long as you are entirely Belov’d,
For Sir Timothy Squeze in Park-Proſpect in Weſtminſter, London.
By Your Sighing, Wiſhing, Panting, Kiſſing Dear Girl, Loriana.
Still Charming, and ever Dear.
Iam ſo unhappy as to diſappoint my Self, and you, by not meeting to Morrow, as I ſincerely intended, for as ſoon as I came home, I was unfortunately ſurpriz’d in being Commanded out of Town for Three days to Epſom; which will ſeem Three tedious Ages, there being nothing more deſir’d by me, than your moſt admir’d and agreeable Converſation. May I enjoy it innocently; for whatever you may imagine by my free Carriage, from my Soul I abhor any thing that in the leaſt favours of Rudeneſs, or Nicely touches upon immodeſty, and eſteem Virtue and Reputation more than Pleaſure or Life. The Liberty you took, when I was laſt with you, was the occaſion of my not ſeeing you ſince, and I had made a reſolution never to come in company 139 G10r 139 company with you more, tho’ at the ſame time I barr’d my ſelf from my greateſt Happineſs; for I Declare, if you can reliſh my Converſation in ſo Virtuous a way, as I offer, I ſhall willingly embrace ever opportunity to be with you, being unfeignedly,
Your Admirer, And Eternal Adorer
For Prince Prettyman, at the Chocolate-houſe in Bridges Street, Covent Garden, London.
Withhorror I remember the accurſed Moment when I firſt gave you the occaſion to believe that I lov’d you, ſince you have improv’d it according to the Greatneſs of your own incomparable ill Nature: A return, I confeſs, I cou’d not but expect from the Gratitude inſpir’d by your Wit, that prides it ſelf in expoſing the weakness of thoſe, whom it had deluded. This indeed is ſo natural to you, that you ought not to be blam’d for it: For, you can no more avoid it, than you can your impious Deſires of the ruin of our Sex; to which you are as directly and impulſively led, as other poiſons are to their deſtructive ends. So that to lead you falſe, were to be injurious to you ſince you were ever true to your own ruinous 141 G11r 141 ruinous purpoſes: Thou barbarous Murderer of my Peace and Fame! What Curſe can reach the Merit of thy Crime! But my ſatisfaction is , that I need not Curſe you: For you are a certain Curſe to your ſelf; and your daily Actions are ſo many induſtrious Attempts towards your own eternal Miſery: when, at the ſame time, I am in hopes, and not without reaſon, that my Crime was expiated in the very Commiſſion of it; ſince it carry’d along with it its own puniſhment, in the ſacrificing me immediately to the inſults of your Scorn and Ingratitude; which (doubtleſs) is a ſite of Damnation on this ſide Hell, proportionable to any impiety whatever, except yours.
How have I loſt a real Heaven for a counterfeit one, that you promis’d me! my continual Peace of Mind for a moments flattery! O! Had I retain’d any pity for my ſelf; I had ſhewn no compaſſion to you. Wou’d to God, you had periſh’d in an actual deſpair, e’er I had ſuffer’d ſuch exquiſite Torment! Fool that I am! What deſpair do I think on? Thine? Pretence, Painted Anguiſh; not to be felt, but by the wretched commiſe- 142 G11v 142 commiſerating Spectators. Hereafter, may’ſt thou be truly, as thou wou’dſt ſeem; paſſionately in love with ſome fair unbelieving Creature; that ſhall damn thee to a Real Deſpair; and ſo, of courſe, deſcend to thoſe everlaſting Torments that wait the Ungrateful and Faithleſs. And may’ſt thou at thy very laſt moment, continue remorſeleſs, and impenitent of thy Injuries to me; That thy Soul may appear all ſpotted over with thy Ingratitude and Perjuries, no deſire nor room left for Mercy; that I may be reaſonably aſſur’d (for I hope and wiſh to out-live thee) that thou are like to be as Eternally wretched, as I am now; nay, more if poſſible! O Vengeance! Grateful and Sweet as ſucceſsful Ambition to our Sex, Purſue, purſue the Monſter! And inſpire him at laſt, in utter and inexecrable Perdition, with a juſt Senſe of all my wrongs, that his then unfeigned ſorrow for ’em, may prove one of his greateſt Tortures. Then may the loſs of me, whom thou haſt moſt offended, aggravate thy leſs Plagues of Fire, Confuſion, and other Scenes of Horror, in the vaſt inſtant of Eternity I know you Will, and I would have 143 G12r 13443 have you Laugh at this; leſt you ſhould unhappily prevail againſt the juſt and hearty Prayers of ――
What pains (my Lord) you have taken to make me ſuſupect you! yet (I vow) the Entertainment was very diverting. You acted the Fool and Madman to the Life! ſo paſſing like, that it was, nay, and I believe it is impoſſible, to think you were otherwiſe, than as you endeavour’d to appear! ’Twas, in ſhort, an elaborate Scene, and you ſhew’d a great deal of Maſtery in it. Beſides, it was perform’d without Imitation, or Affectation: For, no Man can play anothers Character ſo well, as he whom it belongs to. And, as it is an Original, it is new; of a different Caſt from any I have ever ſeen on the Stage, or in my Converſation in Town. And all this for my ſake, to perſuade that you love me; which I believe as earneſtly and ſtedfaſtly, as that you love Partridge and Quail, which 144 G12v 144 which can gratifie your Appetite, only in their Deſtruction; or, rather as you love Oiſters, which you devour alive.
Had Madam E―― been here; what a deep, affected Melancholy you had put on! A much more dangerous Madeneſs, and (as the Phyſicians ſay) more difficult to be cur’d, than the Raving, Roaring, and Bellowing Frenzie, that ſeiz’d you laſt night. For my part, I’m of Opinion, that the different, Beauties and Tempers of Women, influence the ſame ſpark with different Humours in Love. With Her, you us’d to be as melancholy as a Cat; with me, you are generally as Mad as a March Hare. To me, it is now, Prithee Jenny )tell me roundly, &c. To her it was, Like the Damned from the Fire, &c. You ſee you don’t Dance in a Net. What wou’d you give now for a Copy of the laſt Damning Letter ſhe ſent you? For, I know you have made but a very ill uſe of what you receiv’d from her, I ſuppoſe that’s Torn and Burnt, as once you unhappily made her believe your Heart was Torn and Burnt, in deſpair and Love of her. She may wiſh it had met with the Fate of her Letter, which 145 H1r 145 which-ſoever it be, long before you had ſeen her ―― But ―― Lord! ―― I can’t but think, How, in leſs than a Minute after, I was grown weary and angry with my ſelf, for my little Petulancy and Gaiety of Humour, you cou’d change your Note, and ſigh out in a diſmal lamentable Key ―― I ſtill muſt love on, though I dye in deſpair &c. Now, this you muſt know, was the only way to bring me to my pleaſant Humour again. O! that I cou’d by any means be poſitively aſſur’d, that you do paſſionately love me! ’Twou’d (undoubtedly) be the greateſt ſatisfaction and obligation that you could do me. For, you can’t imagine how fond and pleas’d I am with a whining, deſpairing, and dying Lover: But ſtill he muſt continue ſo, even to the laſt gaſp of his Breath: when he ceaſes to deſpair at leaſt, I ſhall never endure a Thought of him more. And now (My Lord!) Let me ſee if you dare Love
A Character of a Coquet.
If I were not perſuaded that you are not ſo ſevere a Critick, but the Partiality of Friendſhip may prevail with you, to paſs a favourable Cenſure, where it is not deſerv’d, I could not with any Face, trouble you with this Trifle, which falls ſo every way ſhort of Wit or Diverſion; ’tis an Error only of well-meant Obedience, or at moſt a raſh Sally of that Ill Nature, I could no longer contain. But now to my buſineſs; My thoughts beat faſt, and Increaſing Malice ſports within my Veins, and by the help of your Unkindneſs I am Improving as faſt as I can, in that Excellent Talent call’d Railing, and God knows when I ſhall have done with it: Come, now, I’ll be as good as my word after this Preamble; A Woman that is Singulargular 147 H2r 147 gular for any Perfection in Dreſs, Meen, or Perſon, preſently is honoured with the Title of a Coquet Lady, or a Belle Femme; there are other Extraordinary Qualities to the making her ſuch; let me ſee, an Affected Carriage, Confident Diſcourſe, and nothing at all to the purpoſe; mighty Pretenſions to Wit, tho’ ſhe never in her Life ſaid any thing to Procure the Reputation of it, and exceſſive Cenſoriouſneſs; which is not altogether to be Imputed to Ill Nature, but to her want of knowing what to do; Firſt you muſt ſit ſtill by the hour, to hear her talk with a diſagreeable Noiſe, againſt all the abſent ſhe or you know; then ſhe fancies her ſelf to have abundance of Senſe, becauſe ſhe talks much, and ill of every Body: But if it happen, that you have a kindneſs for my Lady ſuch a one’s Daughter, and ſhe knows you have, perhaps (while you are in Company) ſhe’l turn her humour, and praiſe her Mantua, or ſay that ſhe is a dear Woman, dreſſes moderately Pleaſing, and has a tolerable good Humour; but wonders ſhe’d be ſeen with ſuch a Gentleman, or that ſhe will be acquainted H2 with 148 H2v 148 with Unhappy, and Undiſcreet Miſtriſs ſuch a one, for it can no ways be to her advantage. The very Gentlemen that are Lewd with her are not at all beholden to her; for ſhe Rails at them, that no body elſe ſhould like them, or that ſhe might not be ſuſpected of liking them her ſelf; then ſhe’l flear to the Play, and can’t ſit down for half an Hour after ſhe comes in, for making of Conges, her Acquaintance is ſo general, and yet declares in her Viſits, ſhe’s as unacquainted with them, as a Lawyer will be to a Cauſe, when there is nothing to be got by it. She continues in pretty good Equipage for ſome Years, till her Perſon and that has had as much wearing as her Chamber-Maids Scarf, or an Old Communion Cloath in a Countrey Church. A little time after, ſhe perceives her Gallants abate their Reſpects, by pretending buſineſs, when ſhe has ſome for them; they ſleight her by telling her ſhe’s grown the Refuſe of the Town, and bring it to an abſolute Quarrel, by laying a Diſeaſe to her Charge; then ſhe pretends to go off with flying Colours, as having left him, and ſo grieves, and keeps 149 H3r 149 keeps her Chamber, gives out the occaſion of it, is a dear Friend of hers that’s dead; to carry on the humour, ſhe Sighs, and cries ah! ſhe was the beſt of her Sex; when the Town and ſhe knows, the true reaſon is, ſhe’s Melancholly, diſſatisfy’d with her ſelf and the World, and Wiſhes that and her ſelf were in flames; In greater or more Violent ones ſhe could not, than perhaps ſhe’s in her ſelf: and now ſhe’s going off the Stage apace; for now ſhe is come full drive to the Jilting in Hackney-Coaches, and in a little time grows a Scandal to all the little reaking Petticoats, that frequent the Chocolate Houſe; and being paſt Pleaſure of pleaſing in her own Perſon, ſhe employs her ſelf in bringing People together, who want only an opportunity of Undoing one another. Bawds are now company for Women of Quality, and by their Garbs and dependance can’t be diſtinguiſh’d. You muſt know, notwithſtanding her Nauſeous and Libidinous Life, ſhe has ſome little Reputation amongſt thoſe who are ſo Unhappy, as not to have heard of her; then in Company ſhe’l let nothing be mention’dH3 tion’d 150 H3v 150 tion’d but the honourable Intrigues of her Younger Days, (tho’ ſhe never had any that was ſo) the many Adorers ſhe has had, with the ſeveral effects, (as ſhe would make you believe) of their deſperate Paſſions, and by what Stratagems they us’d to obtain her Ladiſhips moſt Reſerv’d affections: Oh! She’s in her Kingdom when you talk of Love; yet never will allow any Modern Amour,to be brought into Compariſon with thoſe of her Days. At laſt ſhe Marries a Soldier that beats her, firſt gets all ſhe has (which is but little) and then Runs away and leaves her to the wide World; ſhe Repents of her ill ſpent Life; makes a general Lamentation to all her Relations, who uſually are of the beſt Quality; ſhe finds nothing from them but Contempt, who ſcornfully cry, ſhe’s an Old Fool, and deſerv’d her preſent unhappy Condition, for Marrying a Young Fellow, and a Soldier to boot: She goes off the Stage with a Reputation as rotten as her Perſon; paſſes the remaining part of her deplorable Life, in a tatter’d Old Mantua, carrying News about from one acquaintance to another, for a Meals Meat 152 H4r 151 Meat, or a Glaſs of Wine. ―― This is uncorrect as it falls from my Fancy, and I wiſh it were better for your Diverſion,
Alexander is Acted to Day, being Friday, by Mr. Betterton: If you’l go in diſguiſe I’ll meet you there betimes, Pray ſend me word by Twelve a Clock if you will go, where you will ſit.
A Character of a Country Lady.
You ſay I’ve a very ill Opinion of the Squires, a worſe than they deſerve, I can’t; ſo that what already I have ſaid of them is nearer to Praiſe, than what I could; and to their being deceiv’d in their Wives Fortunes, I could not ſuſpect it, ſince the Kind Proverb protects them againſt all ſuch Miſchiefs; I wiſh my ſelf in the Circumſtance of their Eſtate, but I hardly envy any other of their Circumſtances. I have Experimented none of their Misfortunes, (as you ſay) I generally prevent them at the Expence of anothers Unhappineſs, not my own. Since my laſt, about a Country Eſquire, gave you some Diverſion, I hope this about a Country Lady in Town may be Receiv’d with equal Satisfaction: This Petticoat time has brought up abundance; according 153 H5r 153 according to the Antient and Laudable Cuſtom amongſt them; they lie conceal’d two or three Days, in which they Mob it about to their acquaintance, (whoſe unhappy time ’tis be trac’d) and to the Exchange they go, or to Round Court; one place to know whether Comodes continue in that vaſt Height, or whether any alteration is made in them; ſince they had their laſt, thoſe being worn out long ſince, by often waſhing: In the other, they go from Shop to Shop, and at laſt pitch upon the moſt Unfaſhionable, Gawdieſt, Gayeſt Silk, which the Second-handed Mercer ſells at an Under-rate, for fear her Allowance from her Father, the Broad or New Money ſhe has pick’d up at Cards, or ſav’d through Good Houſewifery, will ſcarce reach to a better Priz’d one; Then ſhe, to undervalue it, and ſo by conſequence to leſſen the Price, crys it Old Faſhion’d, though a New one would not pleaſe her ſo well; then the Mother halls the Daughters by the Sleeve, as if ſhe would carry them to another Shop; the Fellow knows they won’t go, he tells them there is no freſher Silk in Town; he makes it up in a ſort of Mantua Sleeve, H5 crys, 154 H5v 154 crys, did you ever ſee Colours better Mingled; Lord! How it ſets off the Complexion! ſure there can’t be a better Natur’d Silk; the Mother crys to the Daughter, Do you like it? Does it pleaſe you? Yes, Madam, with a Courteſie; Well, ſays ſhe to the Fellow, pray Cut it off, good Meaſure pray, and you muſt bait the Odd Money; they Pack up their things, come to their Lodgings, carry it to their Maid, and to the Miſtriſs of the Houſe, to ſhew their Pennyworth; they tell it coſt more than it did, to have the Reputation of affording it; If any happen to diſlike it, as very few do otherwiſe, they cry they’ve no fancy, and nothing can pleaſe them; they ſnatch it out of their Fiſts, and are angry; the Mother to appeaſe them, crys what’s matter who likes it, you are to wear it Daughters. In all this Splendor, the firſt place they appear Ridiculous in is the Church, and by their ſhuffing and Puſhing get a good place in it: I muſt needs ſay they are more attentive at the Ceremony, than our Town Ladies are, becauſe they are more Cuſtom’d to’t; they Sing Pſalms that you may hear their Untuneable Voices to the fartherther 155 H6r 155 ther end of the Church; they cry up the Man that Preach’d, for a very Learned Man, becauſe they don’t underſtand him; they Impoſe upon ſome Young Fellow of their Acquaintance to carry them to a Play; they face it in the Box, with their Pockets and Hands full of Oranges, which they buy at the beſt hand out of the Houſe; they pull out their Handkerchiefs that either ſmell of Ill Soap, or Lavender and Roſes, and ſpread it over the Box to lean upon, to ſave their Ruffles or Sleeves: If they ſpy any Body they know, cry to their Mother, as if they were frighted; (Oh Leminis!) There is Mr. ſuch a one, ſhall I bow to him: he coming to them looks as ſilly as they do, and waits to the leading them out. They generally order their Maid with a Magazine of Sweetneſs to ſit under the Box, ty’d up in one of their Courſe Genting Handkerchiefs, to tell who they are, if any happens to ask. If the Maid happens to be Prettier than the Miſtriſs, ſome Gentleman or other talks to her, and ſhe with much Put-on- Coyneſs, and feign’d Scorn, crys, Lord you have miſtook the Woman, I am none 156 H6v 156 none of that Lewd ſort; he finds her ſtink moſt Holiday-like of Oranges, and thinks her not worth his while, and leaves her. Theſe Ladies, when they are at Home, ſtand in the Balcony continually, as if they had taken no other part in the Houſe; Comes by ſome Covent-Garden Beaux, a general deſigner of Ruining Young Women, like’s her, and let’s her know it, gets her out upon an excuſe of ſhewing her the Queen, the Court, or Bedlam; Carries her out to ſome place, Debauches her as eaſily as he got her out. In a little time ſhe finds her ſelf with Child, trys all the tricks her Acquaintance can furnish her to prevent it, but all in vain; is carry’d down in haſte into the Country; ’tis given out the Town does not agree with her, or that they are afraid ſhe’l get the Small Pox. She offer’d to the Perſon, with the Encouragement of a little Ready Money, or ſent to a Corporation Town to Match with ſome Alderman’s Son; and theſe Misfortunes have happen’d very often to Country Miſſes. If my humour of Railing continues, and you have Patience enough, I may give you the 157 H7r 157 the Carriage or way of a Town Coquet; This is Juſt as Country Ladies behave themſelves in Town, found out by my Obſervation, and Illuſtrated but a little by my Invention. The length of this I’m afraid will tempt you to fling it by unread, Judging it not worth the loſs of ſo much time, as the reading it will require,
To her Lover, a moment after his having left her.
Ibegin to Write to you, as ſoon as you have left me. Could my Thoughts be taken up with any thing but you, in the moments that ſucceed thoſe which we have paſs’d together? Ah! My Dear! May I believe the Tranſports I have obſerv’d in you, as tender, and as ſenſible as mine. No, no living Creature ever had Tranſports like to mine, ſome Months paſt, and Love, in order to recompence my Sufferings, has made new Pleaſures for me. The Impreſſion they have made upon my Sences, is ſo Lively, that I have not dar’d to ſhew my ſelf to any body. It would be yet eaſie to read the Secrets of my Soul, but my Husband is juſt entring. God! It is very cruel to 159 H8r 159 to be oblig’d to ſee the Object of our Hatred in the moment we are parted from that we Love. I muſt recall the Fear and Modeſty which you had baniſh’d.
Two Hours after it.
Theconverſation I have been forc’d to undergo, is the Thorn of Roſes. Good Gods, what can be more cruel, than to be oblig’d to Entertain a Man in cold Blood, when we are all in a Flame! Being full of you, and of the Remembrance of our pleaſures, What could I ſay to him? I told him in few words, that I had been in-diſpos’d all the Afternoon, and fell immediately to Singing; without minding the contradiction between thoſe Starts of Joy, and what I had juſt told him. How ſhould it be poſſible for me to be wiſe to day, and to think on any thing but you. But you, Dear Charmer, tell me how 160 H8v 160 how are your Thoughts imploy’d this moment. For my part I think on you, in the ſame Place, where you have ſworn an Eternal Conſtancy to me. Nothing can equal the pleaſure of triumphing thus over the Vigilancy of the Jealous. Heaven! what could equal their Rage, if they know our Happineſs. Yet in my Opinion, there is ſtill ſomething wanting to our Happineſs, ſince they have not the grief to know how we deceive them. Let us acquaint them with it to be reveng’d of them; but no, Let no body enter into the myſtery of our Pleaſures, beſides our ſelves. Let us uſe our utmoſt endeavours, that the World may forget us, as much as I have forgot it. I fancy the Univerſe contain by you and I, and I do no longer ſee any thing, but what relates to my Love. Farewel, Reflection increaſes real Pleaſures, and I am glad they ſhould appear in all my Actions.
Are your Brains turn’d ſince I ſaw you laſt; you then ſeem’d reaſonable to me, and now I find you the maddeſt and moſt unjuſt of Men. Have you forgot the Reaſons I have to deny what you deſire? Is it poſſible that you would hazard your Reputation and my Honour for a moment’s Pleaſure? Ah! tho’ they have not been capable to baniſh Love from my Heart, it is not reaſonable that the ſame Love ſhould Triumph abſolutely over them; and I am ſo perſuaded, that a Miſtriſs without Honour can have no Charms for a nice Lover, that you ſhall never prevail with me to do a thing that will abſolutely ruin my Reputation, in going to the place you propoſe to me. If I could but hazard my Life without my Honour, to ſee you, I would not ſcruple it one moment; my Paſſion is proof againſt 162 H9v 162 againſt any thing but Infamy: You will own it your ſelf, if I can be ſo happy that the Rendezvous of to Morrow may ſucceed. I tremble for fear of flattering my ſelf in vain, with the pleaſure of ſeeing you alone. I expect it with a ſenſible impatience. Methinks, that ſince the Converſation we had laſt together in the Park, I have not entertain’d you ſenſibly enough of my Love; I fancy I had a preſentiment of the long Silence, in which I was going to be condemn’d. I never ſpoke to you more Tenderly, nor with more Boldneſs; for I own it to you, I often want confidence when I ſee you, I am only familiar as yet with your Idea, &c.. I ſay things to you, when I do not ſee you, which I dare no longer utter when you can hear them. Come then, Dear Tormentor, come to inſpire more boldneſs in me, and to Triumph over a ſmall remainder of modeſty, which deprives you of hearing me ſay, Whatever can be inſpir’d by a moſt violent Paſſion, and which often coſts you the Grief of being oblig’d to upbraid me with being more Paſſionate in my Letters, than in my Converſation.
You have (doubtleſs) the greateſt and juſteſt reaſon in nature, to encourage your deſire of Revenge; which, ſo far, as lies in me, I will be ſure to promote. You ſeem to be fully perſuaded that he loves me paſſionately, and I am really glad of it, for your ſake: For, this his fond miſtake ſhall be as much improv’d to his Torment, as I can contrive, or you deſire. But I am ſtrangely oblig’d to your Ladyſhip, For ſuppoſing and wiſhing, that I may be hapypy in the moſt ungrateful Monſter, that ever was ſent for the diſgrace and ruin of ſo many of our Sex. However, I find your wonted Good Nature; 164 H10v 164 Nature; or (perhaps) Chriſtian Charity begins to exert it ſelf on his behalfe. Since you ſeem not to deny there is a poſſibility that you ſhall hereafter endeavour to wiſh him happy. I am unwilling (Madam!) to diſcourage ſuch Religious and Pious inclinations in you; tho’ I am perſuaded, that a like injury done to me, wou’d have brought upon his accurſed Head, all the real Plagues within my Prayers and Performances, even to his laſt gaſp: But there I wou’d leave him.
When next you are pleas’d to engage your ſelf in the trouble of an Anſwer to this; be pleas’d to ſend me poſitive and particular Orders, how I ſhall proceed in this Affair: For, if you truly Thirſt for Revenge, believe me, you ſhall not want it, ſince I will ſooner ſacrifice my ſelf to him, bound in the ſtrong and durable ―― (What d’ye call ’em) Bonds of Matrimony. This you muſt needs own, is none of the leaſt Indications of a ſincere Zeal for the ſervice of you; if not, of my ſelf: (unhappily) his Vanity (which you will by no means approve of) will be apt 165 H11r 165 apt to flatter him, that it was intended in ſome meaſure for his ſake. Strictly therefore conſult your own moſt ſecret Inclinations; call ’em to a ſevere account, and adviſe with ’em what Inſtructions you had beſt ſend by the next, to
Iam ſtill at a loſs to think what return I ſhall make you for ſo great an Obligation, as you were lately pleas’d to confer on me: I am ſure, to my fſorrow, there can be none proportionable to it in my capacity: No, not though I were the moſt Adorable Creature breathing, and ſhould grant you the utmoſt favour, you cou’d ask of me; ſuppoſing, as Heaven be praiſed that you are not! of t’other moſt Perfidious and Ungrateful Sex; ſo much I prefer the hopes of my Revenge on that Perjur’d Wretch to all other conſiderations whatſoever, here on Earth: O! He has ſo Vitiated my Inclinations, that I can relliſh no pleaſure but what proceeds from 167 H12r 167 from a proſpect of Revenge. This Paſſion is more advanc’d and unhappily, ſtronger in me than ever Love was, or cou’d be; becauſe it has more Reaſon to encourage it, and more ill-natur’d Circumstances to back it, than that fooliſh miſtake of my Youth cou’d have had Obligations to enforce it. To you (Madam) I find, therefore, I am like to owe the greateſt ſatisfaction that my Soul can receive from Heaven, whoſe kind Inſtrument of this you may be to me: For he loves you moſt ruinouſly, to himſelf, I mean, tho’ if you ſhould deſcend to any kindneſs for him, the ruin would undoubtedly prove your own. However, if by misfortune, he has, or ſhall hereafter give you any impreſſion of tenderneſs for him; I doubt not that you are ſo well arm’d by you own diſcretion, and by my miſerable Example, as well as by the hard fate of others, that you will defend and ſecure your ſelf from the danger of any aſſault or ſurprize. But if you muſt needs yield to his Vigorous and Fierce Attacks (for ſuch they are indeed) may it be, as I know it will, upon the moſt honourable conditions that you can propoſe; and 168 H12v 168 and then, though you ſurrender, you will have an equal Victory; which may you ſtill maintain, and be for ever happy in him! Then (it may be) I ſhall endeavour to wiſh him the ſame happineſs with you: But all this is impoſſible, for he wou’d as certainly prove Ungrateful, tho’ Married to you, Madam, as ever he was to
Sent to Madam G.
If love be the Sweeteſt Paſſion of the Mind, why cauſes it all theſe Convulſions of the Heart to us Lovers; Why am I on the Rack for you, there is not a Moment but I think on you and in Dreams, I have enjoy’d that long’d for Moment, but ſtriving to graſp that Sweet Pleaſure, it flew ſwifter than the Northern Wind; Oh! could I but have had the happineſs, that wretched Fate hath deprived me of, How much above a common Mortal ſhould I eſteem my ſelf? But you are reſolv’d to be loſt to me, as you told me when we were laſt together, and that I muſt not enjoy one happy Minute again. Oh! fatal cruel Love, Why haſt thou depriv’d me of that which is more dear than my Life and Soul, and the Sight of you, which is more to me than either, I and 170 I1v 170 and why all at once, as if you deſign’d to make a Bankrupt of me, or throw me into utter Ruine; I have no hopes left but this of your, of reſerving one corner of your Heart, that you intend for one that ſhould be abſent from you; give me leave to make uſe of your own Words, tho’ they are cruel, Heart-breaking ones, to one that loves you above the World, and all that’s in it; I can’t compare my ſelf to any thing, except to a condemned Criminal, at the place of execution, that dallies with that which muſt put him out of pain; your unkindneſs may have done the work in Two days more; Let me hear from you, I expect my Sentence, or ſend me a Reprieve by a Letter, or I dye,
From St. James’s.
It may be that you will think I have taken time enough to conſider of your Requeſt; but I muſt tell you, all the ground you have gain’d, is, that if I comply, it is purely as the unjuſt Judge did with the Widow, leſt you weary me with your importunity, and which will be too upon conditions, which if you agree to, I will no longer deny you. Firſt, you muſt promiſe me, that no Perſon whatſoever, without exception, ſhall ever know who Silvia is, but that if it be known you have any acquaintance with me, ſtill Silvia may remain undiſcovered; for if you viſit me, I will appear without diſguiſe to you, not underſtanding what belongs to Clandeſtine Aſſignations, nor having any fear you ſhould hear any thing wherewith to reproach me from my paſt Actions; this being the moſt Towniſh one I was ever I2 guilty 172 I2v 172 guilty of. Another thing I ſhall peremptorily ſtand upon, is, that I muſt know who you are, of whom, being you tell me I ſhall have the true account from your ſelf, I will enquire of no one elſe; yet will not I inſiſt ſo hard upon it, that you ſhould, (if you have any Reaſon to the contrary) ſend it me in Writing, if you engage to let me know it, without deceit, when I ſee you; for, I muſt tell you, that tho’ I am not ſuſpitious by Nature, yet if I am once deceiv’d, I am loſt for ever, nor can I ever be brought to Truſt again. If you will Sign to theſe Articles, in my next you ſhall know when, and where you ſhall ſee Silvia.
You ask my Thoughts of a thing, the leaſt known and practiſed of any thing in the World, viz. Platonick Love, or Pure, Tender Friendſhip; that Denomination, I ſuppoſe, being only given it, when it is between Perſons of a different Sex; I confeſs, for a great while, my Ignorance, (while I judge of others by my ſelf) made me think it, as the fineſt, ſo the eaſiest thing in the World, but I have now got more knowledge of Mankind, and have fouunnd to my great vexation 173 I3r 173 vexation, that, that is the moſt fallacious way of Judging imaginable. Yet ſtill my Thoughts of that ſort of Love, (which I know is poſſible, tho’ hardly practicable) are the ſame, nor do I think any other Love merits to be call’d by that Heavenly Name, Only the Soul, ’cauſe that can Love againDeſerve’s a Love, Deſerve’s a Lover’s Pain. And beſides, I think Friendſhip diſtinguiſhes us from Brutes, far more than our boaſted Reaſon does, in which, many Animals out do the moſt of Men, and act with far greater Sagacity; But this Pure Divine Love, this Union of Souls, the Beaſts are not capable of; eſpecially, if ſtrictly maintained between a Man and a Woman, and exalts us ſo far above them, that it almoſt equals us with Angels; the very imagination has transported me above the Clouds, but I muſt deſcend to Earth again; and tell you, for all your pretences to it; I fear this Brutal Age will never furniſh us with one example of this Angelical State.
I am afraid, in my late vindication of my ſelf, I have done ſome prejudice to your Friend, which I ſhall be very I3 ſorry 174 I3v 174 ſorry for, not deſigning any ſuch thing, and therefore I beg of you not to take this advantage, to break with him upon my account, he having done you no injury in the World; but when you reflect on his Faults, at the ſame time rememeber (if that will weigh any thing with you) that he was the occaſion of your knowing Silvia, who you profeſs to have a value for; and let him be upon his good behaviour, till he offend again, for I cannot endure to be injurious to any Perſon whatſoever. I have not aſſurance enough to impoſe a Name upon you; Viridomar is a Name uncommon, and one I Love, tho’ I had rather you ſhould pleaſe your ſelf. But I muſt not forget how you are imploy’d, and therefore I will give you no farther interruption, but ſubſcribe my Self
’Twas to prevent your loſing your Labour, as you did laſt Night, that I deſir’d to know before-hand of your coming; for my ſtay in Town being but ſhort, I am more abroad than I uſe to be.
As to the other Grievance you complain of, ’tis what I know not how to Redreſs; for the more I think of it, the worſe I like it. You would Impoſe a new ſort of Friendſhip upon me, I underſtand not, and which favours more of the Body than the Mind; I fear your Notions of Friendſhip are much too groſs for me; and by asking too great Liberties, you will teach me to deny all. An entire Confidence I own there muſt be, or it is no Friendſhip; but then that I4 muſt 176 I4v 176 muſt only relate to the Soul, of which there is no difference of Sex’s, and not entrench upon Fleſh and Blood, and expoſe both my ſelf and Friend to a Temptation may be too hard to overcome; and in this I betray no greater a Diſtruſt of you than my ſelf; and tho’ I think I am ſo well acquainted with my own Temper not to fear much on that ſide, yet I will not part with my Guard. Beſides, were I of a humour to grant ſuch Favours, Prudence would not permit it, till by long Converſe I had (if it were poſſible) found your Temper and mine to be alike. If you leave me to my ſelf I ſhall be as Free as Decency will allow; but if you perſiſt in theſe Demands, I ſhall be very ſhy, tho’ I fear not turning a Friend into a Lover, for I am not cut out for a Miſtreſs.
As to what you have urg’d from Sir William Davenant’s Platonic Love, I ſhall only ſay, it may do very well in a Play, where the Repreſentation muſt always out-do the thing Repreſented: But ſhould any Woman Act in that manner, I know what wou’d quickly become of her Reputation; and ſhe that ſlights that has 177 I5r 177 has already Forfeited her Modeſty, and has but one ſtep to loſe her Innocence, and all that is valuable in Woman-Kind.
In ſhort, if you wou’d be Amilcar’s Succeſſor, as you muſt avoid his Crimes, ſo you muſt Practice what was pleaſing to me in him; and there was nothing did more Indear him to me than his Compliance in this matter; for to give him his Due, I muſt acknowledge, that he never gave me cauſe to Chide him for his deſiring any thing I was unwilling to grant; and he has often Proteſted, that in my moſt Intimate Converſes with him, he never ſo much as thought I was a Woman. To Morrow I will be at home to receive you, and am if you pleaſe
That Famous Powder, called Arcanum Magnum, formerly Prepared by the Learned Riverius, PhyſicianRegent 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 Superfluous Hair growing on the Face: In ſhort, it adds more Luſtre and Beauty than any 179 I6r any Powder or Waſh known, as many Perſons of Quality can Teſtifie, 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 Blue Ball being over the Door, where it may be had for 2s. 6d. the Paper with Directions for its Uſe.
Books Printed for Samuel Briſcoe, at the Corner of Charles-ſtreet, in Ruſſel-ſtreet, Covent-Garden.
The Satyr of Titus Petronious Arbiter, a Roman Knight: With its Fragments, recover’d at Belgrade. Made Engliſh by Mr. Burnaby of the Middle- Temple, and another Hand.
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.
A Moral Eſſay, preferring Solitude to Publick Employment, and all its Appanages, ſuch as Fame, Command, Riches, Pleaſures, Converſation: By Sir . Second Edition.