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Memoirs of Europe by Mrs. Manley



Book I.

Book II.

Book III.


Memoirs of Europe, Towards the Close of the Eighth Century. Written by
Eginardus, Secretary and Favourite to Charlemagne; And done into English
by the translator of the New Atalantis

TO Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq;

SIR,
As a Dedication is of necessity towards the Ornament of a Work of this Kind, I cou'd not hesitate upon my Choice, because Experience (and the Example of the Indians, who in the Worship of their Demons, consult only Fear, which seems to be their strongest Passion) has taught me to secure any One that might have been my Hero, from the well-bred, further Reflections, of so polite a Pen as yours. Tho' your Worship, in the Tatler of November the Tenth, has been pleased to call a Patron the Filthiest Creature in the Street, &c. yet I cannot but observe, in innumerable Instances, you are so delighted with such Addresses, as even to make 'em to your self: I hope therefore, a corroborating Evidence of your Perfections, may not be unacceptable.

I Have learnt from your Worship's Lucubrations, to have all the Moral Virtues in Esteem; and therefore take this Opportunity of doing Justice, and asking a certain worthy Gentleman, one Capt. Steele, pardon; for ever mistaking him for your Worship; for if I persever'd in that Accusation, I must believe him not in Earnest, when he makes me these following Assurances in a Letter, which according to your Example, Sir, who seem prodigiously fond of such Insertions, I venture to Transcribe Verbatim.

To Mrs. Manley.

Madam,
"I Have receiv'd a Letter from you, wherein you tax me as if I were Bickerstaff, with falling upon you as Author of the Atalantis, and the Person who honour'd me with a Character in that Celebrated Piece. I solemnly assure you, you wrong me in this, as much as you know you do in all else you have been pleased to say of me. I had the greatest Sense imaginable of the kind Notice you gave me when I was going on to my Ruin, and am so far from retaining an Inclination to revenge the Inhumanity with which you have treated Me, that I give my self a Satisfaction in that you have cancell'd, with Injuries, a Friendship I should never have been able to return.

"This will convince you how little I am an Ingrate; for I believe you will allow no one that is so mean as to be forgetful of Services, ever fails in returning Injuries.

"As for the Verses you quote of mine, they are still my Opinion, i. e.



"Against a Woman's Wit 'tis full as low,
"Your Malice, as your Bravery to show.

"and your Sex, as well as your Quality of a Gentlewoman (a Justice you would not do my Birth and Education) shall always preserve you against the Pen of your provok'd

Most humble Servant,
Richd. Steele.

Sept. 6. 1703."

Soon after, two most mighty Tatlers came out, levell'd directly at humble Me; but That I could have forgiven, had they not aim'd to asperse one too Great to name. Vain! ridiculous Endeavour! as well the Sun may be cover'd with a Hand, as such Merit sullied by the Attempts of the most malicious, most witty Pen.

Since Mr. Steele's reconcil'd Friendship (promised after my Application to him when under Confinement) could never be guilty of so barbarous a Breach, since he could not commit the Treacherousest! the Basest! the most Abject thing upon Earth! so contrary to his Assurances! It must be you, Sir, to whom my Thanks are due; making me a Person of such Consideration, as to be worthy your important War. A weak unlearned Woman's Writings, to employ so great a Pen! Heavens! how valuable am I? How fond of that Immortality, even of Infamy, that you have promised! I am ravish'd at the Thoughts of living a thousand Years hence in your indelible Lines, tho' to give Offence. He that burnt the Temple of Diana was Ambitious after much such a sort of Fame, as what your Worship seems to have in store for me! Nay, (just tho' you are) you even strain a Point to oblige me, as to the Fate of my Atalantis, calling that present State, Oblivion, which was Suppression. I doubt your Worship must be forced to make many as bold Attempts, else in my frail Woman's Life there will be little of Heroick Ills worth recording: Nor would I for the World (as your Worship seems to fear) by feign'd Names, or none at all, put you to your Criticisms upon the Style of all your Contemporaries, though to give you an Opportunity to show your profound Judgment. No, Sir, I will not hazard losing my Title to so promising a Favour: Draw what Lengths you please; I shall be proud of furnishing Matter towards your inexhaustible Tatler, and of being a perpetual Monument of Mr. Bickerstaff's Gallantry and Morality.

As to the following Work (for which I humbly implore your Worship's All-sufficient Protection) I refer you to it self and the Preface: But could I have found you in your Sheer-Lane, in which Attempt I have wander'd many Hours in vain, I should have submitted it, with that Humility due to so Omnipotent a Censor. Receive then, Sir, with your usual Goodness, with the same intent with which it is directed, this Address of,

SIR,
Your most Oblig'd
Most Humble Servant,
D. M.

THE PREFACE.

These following Memoirs were found by me in my Father's Library, and much valu'd by him for the Merit of the Author, and the Scarcity of the Book: He had met with it somewhere abroad, in his Exile for the Royal Cause, having been oblig'd by his Articles at the Rendition of Colchester, to depart the Kingdom. The French is so obsolete, that I have bestow'd much Pains and Application in the Work. The Preface tells us, 'Twas wrote originally in Latin by Eginardus, Secretary and Favourite to Charles the Great, King of the Franks, who wrote that Emperor's Life, and the History of those Times, from whence he was call'd by Valafrid Strabo, Eginard the Great.

They were design'd for Charles's particular Entertainment, and to instruct him in the Merits and Capacity of his Contemporaries, as well Ministers as Princes: The Secretary and Favourite, having been Ambassador at Rome and Constantinople, seems to expatiate upon the Finess and Defects of those Courts, (more particularly of Irene's the Empress, who was once in Treaty to have marry'd his Master, so to have join'd the East and West, making it worthy the Name of Empire) as afterwards with equal Success upon his own. Charlemagne, to witness the Esteem he had for the Piece, deposited a Copy of it in the University, which he had founded at Pavia, whence Francis the First (equally an Admirer and Incourager of Learning) brought it again into France, in the Year 1535, order'd it to be done in their own Language, Printed and Dedicated, with much Applause, to himself.

Paulus Diaconius, Secretary and Historiagrapher to Desiderius King of the Lombards, Baron. Annal. Theophanes, Ammianus Marcellinus, Zozimus, Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, Cassidiorus, and Zonaras (who wrote the History of that Century in the Reign of Alexius Commenus, A. D. 1118.) agree with Eginardus in most Points: They are only Historians relating Matter of Fact; whereas he takes in whatever occurr'd of particular Importance and Design, in the Age wherein he flourish'd. The Sarmatæ were a People so distant, that scarce any Author has shown us so early and so clear a Prospect of their Country and Interests as Eginardus: The succeeding Volume giving a full Account of the Wars between Theodorick, Gensericus, and Baraldus, 'till after the Death of this latter, and the Election of Lescus II. who was kill'd in Battle against Charles the Great.

Mr. Echard's Continuators, speak of easie Constantine's Reign, much to the same purpose as Eginardus; they indeed differ as to Plato, calling him only the Monk, not Patriarch, though agreeing as to his Persecution, and that his sacred Person was imprison'd, and the rest of the Monks banish'd for their Excommunicating (Irene's Patriarch) Tharasius, who had marry'd the Emperor to Theodecta, Mary his Wife, (whom they had confin'd to a Monastery) being still living.

As to Irene, though the Champions of the Papacy extol her blind Zeal for Image-Worship, yet the rest of the Writers concur, That she was an Adulteress, a Cruel, Cunning, Avaritious Woman, who wou'd stick at no Villanies that cou'd promote her Design; an Arrogant, Haughty, and Ambitious Princess, whom neither the Tongue of Men or Angels cou'd excuse for her unnatural Barbarity to her Son; yet have the Papists prophanely presum'd to vindicate it by Texts of Scripture. The ensuing Work compleats the Catastrophy: This leaves, where (with the unanimous Consent of all Historians) the Legions and Empire rose against her, humbly advising, and petitioning Cæsar, That he wou'd dismiss her, and her Adherents, take the Administration of Affairs upon himself, and be pleas'd to Reign alone.

Book I.

Of all those numerous Histories which in all Ages have been wrote, how few, very few, have remain'd with Applause to Posterity? Incapacity, Partiality, Hopes and Fears, mingling conspicuously with the Ink, has caused their Work to retain Eminently of the Composition. How small a Number (comparitively) survive their Authors? How many more (like Mushroms of a Night, or Abortives under the Mother-Pangs) have left their unhappy Parent the Mortification of seeing 'em expire as soon as they began to Be?

Who ever voluntarily becomes an Author, and at the same time crys out Indulgence from his Reader, for that he finds he has chosen too elevated a Subject for his humble Pen, writes Idiot on his own Forehead; tho' doubtless, a Person may believe too well of himself, yet I am bold to advance, if he own a conscious Incapacity to his Theme, the World will be complaisant, come early into his Opinion, and resolve it to be so. But for us that barely attempt without Presumption or Despondence, who tremble neither with too forward Desires, nor abject Fears, who think no Place lovely which Truth and Glory do not adorn, nor wou'd climb the Hill of highest Favour without their Support; let us with a chearful Boldness loose the Reins in view of attaining the latter, as the only Reward of our Endeavours, and impartially entertain our Reader with the former.

Our Design is to treat of rough Bellona's formidable Charms. Mars, dreadfully gay, adorned with the Spoils of Conquest, and covered with the Effusion of Human Blood. But to take in and compleat our Circle with the lovely Sex, to attempt their Heart, Eyes, and Attention by something less dreadful, tho' not less fatal than the native Horrors of the Warriour God; we shall not forbear to introduce the Queen of Love, her bitter Sweets, her Hours of Pain and Joy: With the fantastick Sway of the still changing Goddess, who in her various Dispensations, unequal Movements, Prodigality and Penury of Favours, fatal Frowns, and her more fatal Smiles, is Fortune-all, yet unto whom there are more Knees and Vows addressed, than to the whole Coelestial Hierarchy besides.

About the Declension of the Eighth Century, Constantine the Vth, a weak managable Prince, rested upon the Eastern Throne, with a Spirit unequal to the noble Task of Empire: Not so the mighty Charles his Contemporary, call'd the Great, King of the Franks; who by his own Conduct rais'd his Nation to a Summet of Glory, which for a while blinded the Eyes of the unwary Gazer. At the same time, young Theodorick, King of the Vandals, made such an Irruption of Brightness from his Actions, as dazzled and amaz'd the North; the North! that trembled both with Terror and Admiration, and no longer doubted those Performances of Old, recited by the Poets, which they had sometime (but now no more) thought fabulous, because they saw all what they had heard, surpass'd by Theodorick. And as if it were an Age fruitful of Prodigies, and consummate of Heroes, it produc'd One (but Time shall never produce Another) in whom all the Graces, all the Vertues were advantageously mingled; the truest Love of Glory taking the truest noblest Methods to attain it; Courage equal to his Conduct, his Conduct not to be equall'd, but by a Repetition of his own Actions; his continuing to be, and be himself. It was Horatio, named Immortal from his stupendious Conquests in Iberia. But as if Fortune had a Mind to mingle herself in all Things done below, and to put it to the Test, whether He cou'd be every way a Hero, and if that noble Ardor of Soul, so conspicuous in Prosperity, wou'd not forsake him, or at least degenerate in Adversity; she caus'd the Spirit of Emulation, or rather Envy, to seize upon those who had dismiss'd him to Iberia, there to gather unnumber'd Laurels, tho' from their Scheme of Affairs, they had had a Prospect of nothing but Thorns: But Horatio's Valour and inimitable Conduct, causing Things to succeed beyond Humane Expectation, the Empire was highly advantag'd by him; yet he was recall'd, tho' he went on conquering and amazing, performing Actions, that it was necessary to behold before one cou'd believe; and in the midst of unequal Matter of Triumph, made to resign, which he did with a Grace inseparable from him, resign his handful of Conquerors (for no larger was that miraculous Army with which he had regain'd Kingdoms,) resign to another General. Great indeed, but whose utmost Glory it was to be but Second to Horatio in all Things; Horatio in whom the Generous, the Wise, the Prudent, the Wonderful and the Sublime, had took up their Habitation, and thence imparted themselves to the rest of Mankind but by Sparkles! to him, without Reserve, blending as it were, with his very Composition, till he became all that was admirable, all that was desirable, and the nearest to Divinity of any Thing that was yet but Mortal!

His Person was of the tallest Make, you read a Prince in his Aspect, lofty by the Animation of the noble Sentiments within, yet in which there was not the least Ingredient or Appearance of Pride; his Eyes were as difficult to gaze upon as define, a Lustre, a Brightness participating of the Sun that dazzled and delighted: Whoever beheld him, cou'd not but ask themselves, What must be the inexhaustable Store of Spirits and Lights within, that so profusely darted themselves thro' those Casements of the Mind? they taught us to expect prodigious Vivacity from his Conversation, which his Conversation never fail'd of answering. All the Lineaments of his Face were noble, capable of uniting those two Contraries, Love and Reverence, for he had the Art of inspiring both: His Shape was exact, his Mien such as replied well to the rest of his extraordinary Qualifications; never had Nature put into the World a Mortal so Faultless as Horatio; his Composition knew not the Absence of any Vertue! Had the World been his, he wou'd have bestow'd it in raising and rewarding ! How stedfast was his Courage, yet how consummate his Humility? How without a Murmur did he depart from the Station whereto his Valour and Management had rais'd him? Depart! free from any other Regret, than leaving those few Companions of his Victories, destitute of the Recompence he had design'd 'em, and which he hoped the End of the War, and his accumulated Conquests, wou'd put it in his Power to bestow; far from a gloomy Discontent that arises from Self-love, he presented the Batoon with a generous Chearfulness, and modest Request of but being still permitted to serve in Quality of Volunteer, since (as he said) the Experience he had gain'd, might possibly make him useful to his Prince; and when it was thought beyond President, and not convenient to grant, he withdrew with a solemn Grace, and tenderness of Sentiments which arose from his general Humanity and particular Love of that little Army he was made to forsake: But with them it cou'd not be so calm! Their Grief was tumultuous and extream! not a Soldier but under his auspicious Eagles, was become many times a Conqueror, he had exchang'd his own Property, his very menial Necessaries for Bread to support 'em: They wou'd more willingly have dy'd at his Command, than have liv'd to be separated from him! Their condoling each other! Their Repineings! Their mutual Fears bespoke the Adoration they had for him! Their Grief and Murmurs rose so high, that it wanted but the smallest Encouragement from Horatio to make it Criminal, since but for him they wou'd have even disputed the Emperor's Commands, and sacrificed their new General, to have still preserv'd Horatio. His Heroick Tenderness made him but ill endure those Proofs of the Soldiers Affection, since he cou'd not but find it barbarous to punish the amiable Sin of Love in an Army that idoliz'd him, and against his Duty to his Prince, to permit the Marks they continually gave him of it; therefore he hasted to retire. And as if Fortune wou'd every where assault him, finding him Proof against Self-Love, Self-Interest, Ambition, and False-Glory, (by disobeying he cou'd not reap the True) she set upon him from within, he was attacked in his Retreat, in the only Place where Nature had made him accessible, his Love, his Tenderness for his adored Ximena! The Loss of his Lawrels, the Recompence of his Toils ravish'd from him, were but little compared with hers; he heard she was no more! Miraculously heard that she was dead without dying with the News! Ximena! whom his Soul was fond of, a lovely, faithful Wife, whose Beauty, Tenderness, and good Sense, made him place the Reward of his brightest Actions in her Indearments, Approbation, and Applause. When once reliev'd from the Fatigue of Conquest, he travell'd with Joy towards the Sea, with a Design to embark for Constantinople, because in Ximena's Arms he cou'd not but be happy; but alas! the News of her Death reach'd him even whilst he was redoubling his eager Steps to embrace her; so that having given way to the first Irruptions of Woe (which it was not in the Power of Reason, nor his better Sense to restrain) he found a settled Calm of Grief succeed the first Gusts of Sorrow, and which had the Air of working more sure and fatally than the most violent Efforts of Passion. He grew in-Love with that Melancholly Habit which taught him to forsake Mankind, and to retire into himself, there perpetually to entertain the Idea of his adored Ximena which his Imagination had so faithfully treasured up. To indulge that destructive Poison to his Constitution, he resolved to wander about the World, in Contemplation of Ximena; and since the whole Earth was but a larger Wilderness to him, since she no longer civilized and adorned it, it became equal to Horatio where he should languish out the Remainder of a Life, which his perfect Adoration for Ximena, had entirely dedicated to her Remembrance.

In this little Regard for Objects or Interest, sometimes by Land, and sometimes by Sea, he visited (almost without seeing) the greatest Part of Europe; unaffected and unconcerned at Conquests or Defeats, till his Martial Ardor, in spight of that Lethargick Grief that possess'd him, cou'd not but rouze it self with a sort of glorious Emulation, to hear of the unexpected Victories that had been gain'd by young Theodorick King of the Vandals: Fame spoke so loudly in Favour of his Person, Conduct, Temperance, Courage, and Piety, that Horatio resolved to make himself the Judge of what Renown had so profusely bestowed upon this Prince; so that travelling to the nearest Part, he embark'd on the East Sea. After many Days tossing on that boisterous Element, he came to a Gulf, whence reimbarking himself upon the River Nova, he design'd for that City, till he heard that Theodorick with a small Army was advancing to endeavour to raise the Siege, which Genseric, Emperor of the Goths and Russes, maintain'd by a numerous One. When he came within half a League of Nova, which was open on that Side next the River, he beheld with Pleasure, a Work of Nature, for the Water falling with an extraordinary Violence and Noise, forms a Precipice, and by Accident produces a wonderful Effect, for the Sun all the Morning shining thereon, causes the Appearance of a Rainbow as glorious as that which is seen in the Clouds; by reason of this Fall, the Merchants are obliged to unload in that Place all their Goods, to be ship'd off upon the Gulph. Horatio resolving not to shut up himself in a besieged City, took Directions from the Mariners how he might fetch a Compass, and by avoiding the Gothick Army, join the King of the Vandals, who was, as we have said, in motion to attempt the raising of the Siege.

After he had been set on Shore, and had mounted his Horse with only two Attendants, Grief so wholly employ'd his Soul, that there was not room for the least Ray of Joy, much less was there any Concern remaining in him for what the Universality of Mankind find the greatest Taste in; Pomp, Attendance, Ambition, and Pleasure. He had already wandred some Miles, when looking up to the Heavens, he saw the Winter Sun weakly shining in the West, and from thence informed himself, That it was time for him to seek some Habitation, if he did not resolve to pass the Night without any other Covering than that bleak Canopy Above. He was in the midst of a wild open Country, covered here and there with Shrubs and short Bushes, no living Creature in view; and advanced towards a lofty Pine, the only beautiful Tree of the Place, (all the rest by the Rigor of the Season, being disrobed of their native Bloom, nothing remaining but the sapless Twigs where Leaves had formerly flourish'd); against this Ever-Green, there was leaning in a careless Posture, a fair Woman, who seeming to be driven out of the World, no longer beheld the Light as any thing of Moment to her, as if it were no more the Object of her View; So retired into herself, so full of Contemplation from within she appeared! Notwithstanding the Inclemency of the Season, her Head was without any Covering, save a vast Quantity of graceful fair Hair, which fell in Curls a-down her Shoulders, the Whiteness not to be equall'd but by her Face; her Complexion had so dazling a Lustre, the Vermilion upon her Cheeks and Lips in full Strength of native Bloom, unharm'd by the Driving-Snow, or Wounding-Northern Blasts, and in whose Countenance there appeared so satisfied, so sweet a Languishment, that Joy itself was never so charming, never so inviting!

Horatio approach'd very near this Solitary Fair, with an Intent to inform himself of the Name of the Place where they were, what Retreat was at hand, and the Occasion of her extraordinary Manner and Garb in so cold, so destitute a Region! A certain new-born Curiosity (which he had been a Stranger to since the Loss of his adored Ximena ) reviving in his Breast; but she repay'd him not in Kind, nor witnessed the least Inclination to raise her Eyes or her Contemplation at the Noise his Horses might possibly make, though it cou'd not be great, upon that withered grassy Carpet. Horatio stop'd some Moments to contemplate so satisfying a Beauty! When from that Part of the wild that immediately faced her Eyes, he saw advance another blooming Maid, who seem'd to carry her Heart in her Hand! Her flowing Robes and Hair, as if not affected with any Season, discovered all the Charms of her Face and Person! There was no Disguise, nor the Attempt of any, all was Artless, all was ravishing and heavenly! Horatio seized with a certain Reverence and Awe; believ'd himself advanced upon forbidden Ground, that these were not Mortals he beheld, but something Divine, and the rather because in the Form which last appeared, he saw the Emblem of Sincerity bearing her transparent Heart in her Hand! He was confirm'd in his Contecture, when he heard the beautiful Virgin (after having by a Pressure of her Hand to her Breast, re-seated that lovely Heart in its native Throne) caress and embrace the melancholly Beauty whom he found to be Solitude, who then lifted up her languishing Eyes, and seem'd with a satisfy'd Smile, to clasp, kiss, and congratulate the Arrival of her amiable Companion! Well, my Dear, said she to her, Did I not prophecy to thee aright? Did I not tell thee, thou woud'st return to me again, that the World was unworthy of thee! Mancini having been so long since abandon'd by Justice and Virtue, what Employment can Sincerity expect? Of what Use art thou amidst a Race who never know what it is to converse with Truth? Hast thou not beheld in the greatest Courts, how little Refuge there is for thee? Interest! Corruption! Ambition! Flattery! every Thing has excluded thee from so much as the Possibility of being cherished amongst Them? Live then with me, my adored Companion! Here all is native Honesty and Truth! Returning to the World, thou must resolve to take up thy Habitation with the Indigent and Forlorn, for thou bringest along with thee Principles that will make, whoever entertains thee, poor! Principles destructive to their false Glory! glittering Pomp! swelling Ambition! noisy Wisdom! pretended Loves! boasted Knowledge! seeming Piety! affected Honesty! Wert thou to appear thus artlesly array'd in native Beauty, how woud'st thou be admired and avoided? Oh! how faded wou'd all their Pretences seem? How ridiculous! How unworthy the divine Original they count? Hast thou not Abhorrence at beholding their sublimest Wits, their brightest Genius's, prostituting that Brightness to those in Power ; such are to be bought and sold according to their real or imaginary Necessities, who live up to the Enjoyment of every Vice that their narrow Circumstances can reach, yet declaim against what they notoriously pursue, their whole Lives being but one continu'd Masquerade. These are no nearer acquainted with Virtue than by Name, which they have indeed by Rote, and apply only to those who have Power to raise and compleat their Advancement. What generous Breast can bear, without a Glow of Indignation, to hear a Tyrant famed for Cruelty, one that gratifies his own specifick ill Nature, under the Appearance of publick Good, and who would rather ruin than preserve the World: To hear him, I say, commended for Religion, who never knew so much of it as the very pretence, pursuing his Aversion to all Opinions under his Persecution of one, whose tyrannical Principles and Barbarian Temper wou'd equally lead him (were his Power equal) to the Destruction of the Whole: And who though as bold as witty Vice and native Confidence can make him, yet was never so hardned as to pretend the least Acquaintance with any of the Vertues, especially Religion, till the fulsom Orator had applauded him for the Extirpation of it, insomuch that himself forced a Smile at the Report, and cry'd till now, he had never thought to have been calender'd for a Saint!

Again, must not Sincerity be covered with lovely Blushes and Confusion, to hear a great Man (because he has Power to reward his Flatterer) prais'd for Learning, who knows no more of it than the Name; who heaps together a valuable Library, not for what it contains (for that is never his Enquiry) but for the false, fine Reputation he may obtain by such a Collection? To hear a froward Zeal for his own mistaken Principles, term'd Steadiness, Constancy, and good Sense! A perpetual burning Desire of vindicating his Conduct to the Destruction of all Opposers, even to Imprisonment and Persecution of those who dare so much as glance upon his Errors; to have this, I say, term'd Humanity, Honesty, and a wading through Prejudice and Difficulties to the desired Point, is an Impudence, an Adulation so glaring, as not to be equall'd by all the base abject Incense offered to the Vices of the old Roman Tyrants, who murder'd Nations in Sport, and set the Mistress of the World on a Blaze, only to enlighten a fantastick and abominable Masquerade!

Dost thou not blush, dost thou not weep, adorable Sincerity, in Pursuit of these fawning Sycophants? who, were a Turn of Affairs to arrive, wou'd as basely desert as they had basely prais'd! For Self-Interest being their true and only Motive, they know no Principles of their own, but shift as often as do their Patrons, and only wear appearing Vertues, nay, and their very Vices, but as they are fashionable Habits! To have these drawing indelible Characters of Abuse against those by whom they have been tenderly obliged, flourishing out in Threatnings and Self-conceited Boastings, as if Immortality, whether of Praise or Infamy, ever drop'd from a prostituted mercenary Pen, that is it self sure to fade and die reproachfully away with its Supporters; or even if they had such a Power, to be blasted by 'em, is still a greater Glory than to be praised.

These (who matter not to be call'd base, so their Fortunes are but establish'd) act even against the Judgment of their better Sense, and the private Beating of their own coward Hearts; must neither demn or applaud but as they are directed, and with their perpetual Pens are set to watch and affright whoever shall be so honest as (without Hopes or Fears) to tell the Vicious of their Vices, the too many Great of their Pride, Reserve, and Haughtiness ; that Pride which causes them to conclude themselves made of another Mold than those of their Fellow-Creatures, forgetting that some who are now Noble, had perhaps a Mechanick for their Ancestor; the immortal Specie being struck at one Heat by the wise Almighty Original! Vertue only shou'd claim that Pre-eminence which they are so blinded as not to see, is oftentimes given 'em barely by Merit of their fleeting Possessions! Larger Banks of Gold! The Brillancy of their Diamonds! And the Distinction of fading temporary Titles.

Hence also is the noble Debauchee alarmed! If the Poet introduce either by Fable or any other fictitious Representation, a glowing Lover set on fire, more by the Charms of another, than those of that beautiful Partner which first his own Choice, and then binding Laws have assigned to him alone, he resents as a particular Reflection what was intended but as a general; and tho' the Vice was only meant to be arraign'd, not the Person, yet is the Arraigner excruciated and exposed by all the bitter Calumnies of slandrous avenging Tongues! And if ever guilty of any Fault (as if Humanity cou'd be spotless) that Fault in the Multiplication-Table of Revenge and Malice, shall be certain, in a very little time, to amount to above a Million, and so to Infinite! Weak-Short-sighted Recriminators! As if the Truth were less the Truth, for being repeated by any Person however circumstanced; or wou'd the less be believed, when as obvious and glaring as the God of Day in his meridian Force.

Despair, Despair, my lovely Companion, ever to prevail amongst Men, whilst the united World is arm'd against thee! and that these Mercenaries are ever at hand with their Thunder, to stigmatize all that shall imitate thy Purity. Who shall dare to treat of Corruptions? Those congregated Corruptions that enlighten the Scene of unhappy Life! Those ignoble Designs, those publick Squandrings of Millions of wretched harmless Lives, to raise the Pride, the Ostentation, and the False, hard-labour'd for Glory of One, who drawing (as it were by Inchantment, or as by Instinct the Adamant does the Needle) the Spoils of Cities, of Provinces, of whole Nations, Foreign and Domestick, into his own Coffers, leaves the brave and suffering Soldier, (if he have not Gold,) to despair; he who has faced Death with a Courage almost superior to Humanity, is not permitted to fill those Vacancies (to which by the Law of War, he has an indisputed Right) without a Purse of much more Value than his Pretences.

This Sordidness of Temper, this Allay to the brightest Actions, is not only upheld, but applauded by our modish Panegerists, for being so much of Kindred to their own; those Hirelings, when prop'd by Power, and instigated by malignant Masters, shall dare (with all their Clog of Cowardice and Crimes) to fly full in the Face even of Princes, if their Merit be distinguishing! Those whom Royal Birth have made conspicuous, and whose splendid Vertues have fix'd those Eyes which their Quality but attracted; if they afford the least Glimmering of Protection (when implored) or of Heroick Charity, these Writers with sarcastical impotent Endeavours, ridicule a Goodness, which, in their Minds (however hardn'd) they cannot but reverence; and presume to treat with Contempt and Familiarity, a Rank they were born to tremble, at, but beholding: And this they do, because the Vertue they wou'd traduce is Real, and the very Thing their Patrons so potently envy, and yet outwardly aim to imitate; and for which these Mercenaries are kept in special Pay, the better, if possible, to pass 'em upon the World, tho' but for the Shadows of those glorious Substances.

Not but these Prostitutes to a Party, are odious even to those by whom they are employ'd, scorn'd for their servile Compliance and Readiness in abusing, and in private ridicul'd for Apostacy! Since Wit (next to Vertue, the noblest Gift of Heaven) ought to be anbyass'd and incorruptible.

Let such have ever the deserv'd Fate of Self-interested Scriblers, always attending in Hopes of a mighty Reward, and never in Possession but of (what they shall think) a little; with the same Fortune as Traitors of a larger Magnitude, the Usefulness of the Treason incourag'd, the Traitor generally neglected, and always detested.

Yet further, my innocent tender Maid! Wert thou ever so little encouraged, so much abandon'd as now? Hitherto the glowing Lover and wishing Fair, woo'd thee as a Principal in all their Misteries! There cou'd be no Extacy, no Joy, where thou wert not of Accord! Thou! that little valuable spirituous Particle, that animated the Whole! Thou! Life of Love! Thou! without whose Presence there can be no Vivacity! No Purity! No Happiness! Thou! the Refuge of the trembling Doubting Virgin! Who no sooner beheld thy lovely Face! Thy sacred Charms! but the Roses return'd to her frightned Cheek and quivering Lip! Thy Arms were to her a Sanctuary! She no longer scrupled to make happy the ardent Youth! She was secure! She was convinced! Her Joys were permanent where Thou wert in place! Thou! the inviolable Pledge of her Lover's Truth! Thou! the Amulet against Treachery! False Vows! Pretended Ardors! And deceiving Adjurations! Oh! How many blissful Pair hast thou formerly beheld, when the World was young in Deceit and Love of Gold! When there needed no Bribes, but mutual Desire! When Interest was not so much as thought upon amongst them! Hast thou not Indignation at reflecting upon those past, those happy Ages? Or is the Remembrance vanished? And art thou turn'd Apostate to thy self? art thou as much delighted with the pretended Adorations as the real? With the false Incense now offered to thee, as formerly thou wert with the true? Thou, whose Name they never invoke but to prophane! And make no further Use than till the deluded Virgin ceases to be such, or the rich and powerful Widow empties all her Store into the Arms of her Bankrupt Lover. Nay, the Neglect of thee is more and more conspicuous, since not alone confin'd to that Sex who glory to be term'd Deceivers! Ours also are infected! Their Treachery is become mutual! They are now upon the Square with one another! They have no longer Occasion for Sincerity! A new System of Amour wherein thou art not so much as mentioned! Gold circulates instead of thee! They stand in need of no either Recommendation! The blooming beauteous Virgin fells her high-bought-Charms for Gold, tho' the Parchaser be never so despicable and old! Their impure unnatural Desires have Occasion for nothing but Gold! Gold which accomplishes all Things! The antiquated Maid! and fading Widow, by Help of Gold, find Means to have their irregular Appetite appeased! And whilst they can buy and bribe, they prove without thee, Gold alone, of sufficient Account to Happiness.

But Sincerity thus return'd, My dear Solitude, the lovely Companion of my Youth, with whom I have worn away so many pleasing Hours of Day and Night, Oh! let me speak my Wonder and my Joy! You are in some Things mistaken: I am receiv'd, I am caress'd in the World! I lodge in the Arms and Heart of a young Triumpher! He is all Piety! all Justice! He knows not what it is to equivocate or falsify his Word! He is all my self, so very sincere! 'Tis Theodorick King of the Vandals, once more employ'd in endeavouring to overcome that Imperial Reformer of his People, Gensericus; Gensericus who would be too Great, cou'd he be but faithful. I took the Advantage of the Battle, to snatch a View of my dear Companion, to boast of my unexpected Reception at Court! Spread my fond Arms around thee, and protest that (this Scene of Novelty excepted) I never tasted any Happiness so pure as that which I have found with thee.

Horatio charm'd with what he had seen and heard, alighted from his Horse, and advancing with a slow Pace, and graceful Mein ! bowing low and respectfully! Began, Will you deign, aimable Virgins, to receive a Stranger into your Habitation? A Stranger driven (by the Excess of Ill-Fortune and Heart-breaking Anguish) to seek his Happiness in Solitude! Oh lovely Maid! You that have all your Pleasures pure! Neither mingled with Hopes or Fears, and are unacquainted with Crimes, nor knowing nor needing Repentance. You, the Preserver of Innocence! Receive, I beseech you, with Hospitality, the forlorn Horatio! Persecuted by an acute Passion! A Passion unpresidented! A hopeless Desire for what no longer Exists! A Love more fervent for a departed Wife, than was yet ever felt for a living Mistress: And you, amiable Sincerity, with whom I have ever had as great an Intimacy as was consistent (in this bad World) with the Service of my Imperial Master, and Self-Preservation! Do not reject a Votary, that in all Things relating to himself, reveres and follows what you dictate.

Alas! My Lord, (gracefully reply'd the solitary Maid) what can I promise my self, Rustick as I am? What Charms, what Hopes of entertaining the polite Horatio, whose Renown has fill'd the Globe, and even extended to this forlorn Retreat? Yet such as you see, I am proud to be all yours; my two lovely Companions, Innocence and Content are within my Call, they shall always attend your Retreat, we will make it the Business of our Hours to perswade your Lordship to Happiness, and be proud to find our selves so agreeably employ'd.

Here a Burst of Glory from the East of Heaven, enlighten'd all the Wild! And as they were attentively considering the Quarter from whence it came, behold the Goddess of Wisdom ! Pallas the Giver of double Victory, flowly descending upon a Cloud, till she fix'd at a convenient distance, whence all her Charms became conspicuous! Her blue Eyes seem'd, as they were, animated with new-born Fire and additional Sweetness, darting gracious Regards upon the attentive Mortal! Having thrice call'd Horatio! Oh Favourite, she continu'd, of me and of the Gods, I come to tear thee from the Embraces of that simple, yet inchanting Maid: It is not for such a Hero as Horatio, to resign up himself to Indolence and Solitude. Reject her feeble Charms; and let thy active Soul rush again into the Field of Glory! Thy Country expects thee! Thy unhappy Country, oppressed by Faction and Favourites! The Emperor himself groans under the Tyranny, which but by thy Arm and Head, can only be overthrown. I prepare a double Reward! A Crown of Valour and of Wisdom! Our self will attend and animate thee throughout. Pass on Horatio, and implore Assistance of the Vandal King to transport thee to Constantinople, where unlimited Glory does await thee!

Horatio, in prostrate Adorations, receiv'd this Oracle from the Goddess of Wisdom! with his Eyes and Praise accompaning her Return, till the Heavens had confessed their former Serenity, and Fear and Awe were a little dissipated; then turning to those two amiable Forms that had engaged his Admiration! He told 'em, however unwilling to forsake bewitching Solitude, he must obey the Divine Dispensation; but it was in hopes, when the Task assign'd him by the Goddess, was perform'd, to be again happy in such a Retreat, and re-united to the two lovely Bosoms of Solitude and Sincerity; that his Thoughts and Heart shou'd not be divided from 'em, tho' Destiny carry'd away his Person. They caress'd him, and confirm'd his Obedience; then directed him into a Road, and told him 'twou'd bring him with a little Riding, to the Entrance of Sarmatia, where possibly he might be better provided of a Retreat for himself and his Servants, than any that Wild cou'd afford.

He had not travell'd above a League, but Night over-took him; at the same time he discovered a sumptuous Tent, (as it is the Custom in that Country when Persons of Quality travel, because the Cabarets are few and very ill provided) ostentatiously enlighten'd with a vast number of White-Wax-Flambeaux: Horatio sent one of his Servants to enquire to whom it belong'd; who immediately return'd with another, who brought an Invitation from the Person within that magnificent Field-Apartment, for him to repose himself, and pass the Night there. Horatio was satisfied with his good Fortune, that had thrown him, in that desolate Place, into the Conversation and Conveniencies of one of the politest, most refin'd Genius's of the Age; it was Merovius, Prior of Orleans, and who had been a long time Envoy from Charles King of the Franks, to the Republick of Sarmatia. Horatio was formerly of his Acquaintance at Constantinople, where once Merovius's Curiosity (which wou'd be satisfied in all Things) had led him.

Monsieur L'Envoyé, after he had embraced Horatio, whom he receiv'd at the Extremity of the Tent, led him into that Part which was his Bed-Chamber, where renewing his Caresses and Embraces, he stop'd abruptly, and throwing him of a sudden, with a gallant Air, a Step or two from him; Is it possible (he cry'd) that this shou'd be the mighty Man that makes all Men tremble! He! who has not only catch'd but deserved the Applause of the Earth. Not Hercules, Theseus, Hector, Achilles, or Ulysses, with their united Exploits, perform'd half the Wonders as has Horatio! To you! it is given both to conquer and persuade! Whether in your Tent, or at the Head of your Army, you are alike victorious ! You design! as admirably as you perform. Whence then comes it that I find you reduced with no Train, no Conveniencies, wandring, and alone, in a cold, bleak, Northern Corner of the Globe? Oh! my Lord! Either your Fate is very fantastical and unjust, or you have grown too fast! Your Renown is too Tall! You overlook the rest of Mankind! And there are, I fear, those at home who find themselves concern'd to remove you; because your Prospect is so wonderful and fair, it forbids us to see any other but you! But went he on (perceiving Horatio silent) I am too intruding, 'tis now a Time, my Lord, to refresh your self, after which I will endeavour to deserve your Confidence, by giving you all mine; and if the Relation may be entertaining, as I cannot doubt, to one whom the Desire of Knowledge, has made inquisitive of all Things, I'll give you a Part, from the first Hand, of some of the Troubles of Sarmatia, and of what has occasion'd 'em.

Here he led Horatio into another Room, where was prepared a Supper suitable to the Plenty of the Country, and the Delicacy of the Grand Prior's Taste . Their Discourse during the Repast, was of Horatio's Design to visit Theodorick, his Travels from Iberia, and the Heart-wounding Loss of his adored Ximena, whom Merovius cou'd not forget he had seen and admired at Constantinople. After the Linen was remov'd, and the best Panonian Wines set upon the Table, he endeavour'd to comfort Horatio for his Loss, observing a melancholly Deadness which obscur'd in him a great Part of his native Brightness: He began to discourse of Love; It is my Opinion, my Lord, that one of the greatest Wonders of Love, is, That this Passion being so universal, that we may say all knowing Men, nay, and the simplest too have been touch'd with it; none have successfully defin'd either its Origine or Nature: And yet almost all who have wrote, have attempted it. The Philosophers have been as blind as the Poets: He who told us 'twas a Desire of Beauty, seems to have confounded two Passions in one, since Desire can only move towards what we have not, and is satisfied, and ceases when in Possession. The hopeless Passion for the admired Ximena, that still survives in your Lordship's Breast, explains what I advance, and shows Love not to be well defin'd when term'd a Desire of Beauty; because you cannot be thought to desire what you are in despair of, and are sure you never can possess; and yet still you feel your self to love; and love to such a height, that that one only Passion makes you dead to all Things besides. That is true, my Lord, answer'd Horatio, yet it does not forbid Love to be justly term'd a Desire of Beauty. Since there is no Possession how full soever, where Desire may not abide! If it be only employed in wishing a Continuation of what we enjoy, 'tis enough to render it inseparable from Love. Then, reply'd the Envoy, your Possession can't be entire, because it supposes a Part yet unenjoyed, and he who wishes the Continuation of a Good, considers it as what is not yet arrived, and has a different Motive to what its Presence gives, and that is enough to cause two several Passions; otherwise we should confound Love with Hope! For if Love be a Desire, it would, when in Possession, be no more Love, since we cannot desire what we enjoy! And by the same Reason Desire wou'd no longer be Desire .

To form then a Definition, without those Difficulties and Defects, we are first to suppose the Difference betwixt that Love, which is a Habit like yours, and that which is a real Passion! For Passion being a Motion ! when that Motion ceases, the Passion is at an End ; and we may say there is no more Love! But the Habit forbears not to be there still, which is nothing but the Impression the lovely beloved Object has made on the Mind, and which causes that at all times, when the Thought proposes it to the Appetite, it moves and forms the Passion of Love, and because we cannot possess without (in some manner) uniting our self to it, it necessarily follows, that Love is a Motion of the Appetite, by which the Mind unites itself to that which appears to it amiable and Good.

This does not seem clear to me, my Lord, answer'd Horatio, because that in Love, the beloved Object is often dead or absent with whom the Appetite cannot then unite it self! But, consider (interrupted Monsieur le Envoye) that Objects may be united to the Powers, by their Species! By their Images! Or by their true Beings! That there is an intentional Union and an Ideal ; but because the true Being of Things enter not into the Imagination, it's their Image only! And this Union is that alone which naturally belongs to the Appetite ; for as Imagination is the Center of all the Senses, so is the Appetite of the Inclinations.

But, reply'd Horatio, if Love be a Motion to unite it self to what is lovely; when united, there wou'd be no more Motion, and consequently no more Love? And as this Union may be made in a moment, (for that there is nothing can hinder it) it seems as if this Motion were also made in an Instant, and that therefore Love should not last any longer, which is absurd and contrary to the Truth.

Besides, it continues to agitate, and as differently as are the different Persons it possesses. There are no Disorders in the other Passions that are not found united in this! It's capable of all the Follies that can ruffle the most distracted Mind! It wears so many several Faces, that it is impossible to take their Pictures. What Colours? Nay, what Words can express all the Workings and Changes of the Heart and Eyes ? How can that resplendent Humidity be represented? That modest Disquiet? That laughing Grief? That amorous Anger ? Sometimes dwelling on the beloved Object as if they were fix'd, then turning away, as tho' their Sight were dazzl'd. It was well feigned of them, who call'd Love the Son of the Changing Wind, and the various colour'd Iris, metaphorically to explain his Nature, and shows that his Original is as much conceal'd from us as that of those two Meteors.

But, my Lord, we amuse the Time in a dry Dispute, a Dispute which can afford us no greater Certainty than that whatever is the Origin of Love, he is a Tyrant whose Sway we may oppose, but must however obey; therefore if your Excellency pleases, we will forbear to discourse of what we feel, in relation to that Deity, and enter upon what you were graciously pleas'd to promise me before Supper, an Account of what has pass'd in Sarmatia, since the King of the Franks sent you to reside there: I must further beg your Lordship, that you will take in the Country; Genius of the People, Manner of Living, and whatever you judge may be entertaining to one as greatly fond of Knowledge (and of all Things that your Excellency speaks) as he is a perfect Stranger to what relates to so remote a Region. Monsieur Le Envoye having made a Bow to return Horatio's Gallantry, began his Relation thus.

Since, my Lord, there is often as great a Pleasure in being entertain'd by the several Follies of Mankind, as their several Wisdoms and Wit, why may not the Knowledge, and some of the Adventures of a Barbarous Northern People, serve to amuse the Mind (at least for once) as well as that of the more polite Eastern World? At worst, I have Novelty to strengthen my Argument, and an implicite Desire of Pleasing, which shall make me forget you have been a General for the Emperor, and by your great Capacity the most formidable Enemy of my Master: I will also forbear to remember that I am Envoy from the King of the Franks, and only consider your Lordship in your own Person, that is to say, the most finish'd, the most accomplish'd Man upon Earth, and who has a Soul too large ever to make a dis-ingenuous Use of what is in Confidence reported to him, and which always carries with it such a tacit Implication of Trust, that I need not pre-ingage your Lordship as to what is either reasonable or fit.

Sarmatia is a flat fruitful Country, affording most Things necessary to happy Living; here is to be found Plenty of Corn, of Fowl, Flesh, Honey, Wax, Wood, Amber, Salt, Iron, Horses valu'd for their Swiftness; it furnishes other Nations with vast Numbers of Oxen, Sheep, Hogs; but as for Trade, the Sarmatians are absolutely forbid it; I mean the Gentry, upon Forfeiture of their Honour; therefore what Trade they have, is generally carry'd on by foreign Merchants. They exceed all Nations of Europe in Vivacity of Spirit, Strength of Body, and living hardily, except the Nobless, where the Luxury of the East is in request. They are generous and covetous, more apt to be deceiv'd than deceive; not so easily provok'd as appeas'd; fond of foreign Customs, and full of Imitation, to which their Genius leads 'em rather than to Invention Ingrateful, as not thinking themselves ever sufficiently recompens'd for any Service. Couragious, having never submitted to any foreign Force, no not even to the Romans, who once boasted themselves to be Masters of the World; running mad after Liberty, and rather drive than invite their Kings to observe their Laws; they not only hate the Name of Slavery, but abhor a just and hereditary Monarchy. Licencious in their Morals. The People of Condition claim Privileges that will scarce give 'em leave to be guilty of any Crime, and when they happen to own themselves so, the Prince hardly has the Power of punishing. All the Gentry are equal by Birth; there are no Princes but what belong to the Royal Family; they refuse, and think Titles odious if bestowed by a foreign Prince, and hate any shou'd pretend to a Superiority amongst them, unless it be by Employments, which constitutes 'em Senators; every Province sends their Deputies, which meet and are call'd The General Convention of the Estates. Here they make and defend their own Laws and Liberties, Elect their Monarchs, appoint Counsellors to instruct him, and their Number far exceeding the Senate (which are constituted from their numerous dignify'd Priests, great Officers of the Army, Crown, and Houshold) they easily keep the King and Senators in their Duty, and threaten both very often, especially in the Convention, where each Member has a Liberty to speak what he thinks, and think as he pleases; for if but one dissents, it hinders any Law from having its Force, or any Bill passing; neither is that Person oblig'd to tell his Reasons any otherwise than after their usual Manner, It is not my Pleasure it should be so; whereupon he immediately withdraws into the Country, if he can so escape, but very often is prevented, and by their Sabres cut in Pieces upon the Spot.

Not only these excessive Privileges make the Sarmatian Gentlemen powerful, but the vast Territories which a great Number of 'em enjoy with a despotick Sway over their Subjects: Some possess thirty Leagues of Land out-right; some also are Hereditary Sovereigns of Cities which the King has nothing to do with, and these maintain six or seven thousand Horse and Foot in Pay; for when the Great Men have any Difference between themselves, they scorn to submit the Determination to any Power but that of the strongest Sword; hence it is they plunder and burn each others Towns and Cities, and generally decide by a Field-Battle, while the King never declares himself for either Party.

The Peasants are born Slaves, and having no manner of Nation of Liberty, live quiet and contented; the Gentleman's Riches partly consists in Rusticks, whom they call their Subjects, and are often sold off with the Land on which they are establish'd; they have no Laws, no Judges, but their Lords Pleasure, to whom they pay an absolute blind Obedience and Adoration, fight for 'em to the Death, and which is more wonderful than all, love 'em. They can enjoy nothing of their own, nor ever become Free without their Masters Consent, unless he debauch a Wife or Daughter, and then that Slave to whom the Woman belongs, is freed by the Law; nor is she less esteemed or valued by those poor Wretches, who do not think themselves dishonour'd by it. The Sound of Property or Glory never reaches their Ear. They often work four Days in a Week for their Lords, for one that they work for themselves, having never seen or known a better Condition (their Fathers and so backwards for ever, Slaves before 'em) are well satisfied and contented with their Servitude; so true it is that Custom and Education, by making any State habitual, renders it easie; whilst those only can be call'd wretched, who born and nourished in Splendour and Prosperity, are reduced to descend and set in Obscurity and Poverty; whence surely it is no Impropriety to say, that 'tis a Misfortune (to such) to have been happy.

Their Religion is still that of the old Gentile; they will by no means hear of what they call the Christian Superstition ; but worship many Deities, pay Divine Adoration to Fire, which they call sacred, and keep it always, burning in particular Towns; several Priests attend to preserve it, by whose Neglect, or otherwise, if ever it comes to be extinguished, they are immediately beheaded. They worship Thunder, and pray to Tall-Straight-Trees, set a-part in several Groves, which they hold it Sacrilege but to touch: When the Sky becomes clouded, they are in Despair, and of Opinion, the Sun is angry with 'em, and use their utmost Art to appease him, by Musick, Prayer, and other Ceremonies. They worship the God Esculapius, under the Form of a Serpent, which are their Lares, or Houshold Deities, and therefore each Family keeps one in their House, to which they daily sacrifice Milk, Fowls, &c. and one of which, if they happen at any Time to offend, they look upon it to be an Omen of Destruction to their whole Progeny. Upon their Return from War, they offer one of the Chief of their Captives, with all their Booty to the Fire. Burn their Dead dress'd in the richest Ornaments they us'd to wear whilst living, together with one of their most faithful Servants. Horses, Arms, Dogs, and whatever the Deceas'd was fond of; whilst all the Relations bring Milk, Honey, Wine, and the like, with which they Feast and Dance about their Funeral-Pile, to Musick of various Kinds.

No Arguments cou'd ever prevail with 'em to make their Monarchy Hereditary; tho' it is observable, that but in the last Election, they always chose one of the Royal Family, not so much as a Daughter having been excluded when there were no Sons; yet always telling them, that they were not to attribute their Accession to the Throne to any Right contracted from their Parents, and that they thought themselves no longer oblig'd to pay Obedience than that they kept to their Oath, reserving to themselves a Right of Deposing 'em whenever they broke the Laws.

Not conceiving, my Lord, that you are absolutely streighten'd in Time, or that it is of much Importance to your Lordship whether you depart to morrow, or favour me with a longer Stay, I shall not find my self under a Necessity of finishing my Relation to Night, so to confine my self to the Busy, and omit the Diverting; for even in Reading (where we generally bring more Attention than in Discourse) we love a Relief, because the Mind is as wearied as the Body, if it continues long upon a Bent.

Therefore, my Lord, I think it not amiss to amuse your Lordship with an Adventure of my own before I left Gallia; an Adventure so far singular, that neither by Reason, Reading, or Reflection, I can satisfactorily account to my self for it. I know your Lordship as great a Philosopher as a General, and as well acquainted with Aristotle and Plato, as Alexander; therefore as something curious, I will not omit it.

Charles King of the Franks, held then his Court at Orleans : I was always about his Person, and sometime durst boast of the Honor of being heard by him. Nothing cou'd be more shining than the Ladies that formed the Circle; Gallantry, Luxury, and Pleasure, reigned in full Splendour under this Monarch; but it was not to any Beauties of the Court that my Heart surrender'd: So far as Amusement, and that sort of Engagement as is necessary to gain the Character of a gallant Man, I was at their Devotion; this was a sort of Amour where a reasonable Man shou'd rest, and not dip himself further, the Pleasing without the Painful: What tho' there is not that Extasie of Bliss, that transporting Pang, which the sublime Joys of Love, resulting from the Favours of a long adored Mistress, can bestow? yet is the Sense gratify'd, and the Heart, whilst unconcern'd, may well be at ease, and advantageously compound by the Absence of pungent Pain, for the Loss of supream Delight.

I Stuck a long while to this Opinion, and had not departed from it, if my Reason had still been free; neither yet is my Understanding clear-sighted enough, to define the true Nature of that Pain which tormented me: That it was Love was most certain, but of a Kind that the Circumstance made it as astonishing as unhappy to me; your Lordship, who so well understands natural Philosophy, may perhaps help to explain it.

Not longer to amuse your Lordship with Introduction, be pleas'd to know, That for some Years I had had an Acquaintance with a Man, who, tho' of no higher a Degree than a Bourgoise of Orleans, yet was he very ingenious: What Time he had to spare from his Calling, he employ'd in Reading; he had besides Genius for Painting, and added to his own Profession, that of collecting valuable Pieces, which being to be disposed of at his House, drew thither a Resort of several Persons of Condition that delighted in that Art, and who came to buy Pictures of my Merchand; whose Conversation was also so sensible, and above his Rank, that I pleas'd my self in it, and grew into such an Intimacy, I sought how I might be serviceable to him, and had the Satisfaction to succeed in several Affairs relating to his Business: This gave me a free and welcome Access to the House, where I was always caress'd, as well by himself as his Wife, who was a handsome Woman, but very coquet; some ill Neighbours would say, at the Expence of her Vertue, but that I leave to her own Conscience, as having never seen any thing of it; she was very silly, very vain, and talkative, yet very secret, which is a Talent so few of that Sex possess, even those who are most eminent for fine Qualifications, that I cou'd never give my self a Reason why this Woman should be endow'd with a Property so directly contrary to those I have named before, and which were her Ascendants in all Things where Secresie was not required.

To study Nature's Productions was always delightful to me, especially in any of her irregular Workings. This gave me to contemplate my Merchana's Wife for what I have lately told you, but much more a Daughter of hers of whom she was very fond; this Girl was call'd Agnes, most beautifully featured, but an Idiot, her Eyes of the fiercest finest Black, sparkling till they struck again; but attentively considering 'em, you found no Knowledge, no Management, nothing informing in their lustre, and yet wonderfully bright; her Eye-Lashes were peculiarly full, long, and charming, so that whenever she look'd down, they bewitch'd one. Her Eye-Brows were such as Apelles wou'd have chosen for his Venus, justly arch'd in a fair smooth Fore-head, that look'd more polished than Marble; the rest of her Features were answerable, and her Complexion a Friend to all, no Vermillion was purer than that upon her Cheeks, no Coral more lively than her Lips; nor had she any Defect through her whole Limbs or Person, but something too large a Head, whence it is plain, that that is no Indication of great Understanding. But now, my Lord, I am coming to the melancholly Part of fair Agnes's Description, her Mind, 'twas all a Blot, nor had it ever been otherways; she had no Notion of Things, no Discourse, no Memory, I have carefully minded her, had her carry'd abroad and entertain'd with all that may be suppos'd pleasing to a Girl of her Age, but cou'd not get her to report the least Syllable, nor was she ever known to tell a Tale, or complain of the ill Usage of the Maids, though by way of Experiment, I was an Encourager to one of 'em, naturally cruel, to use her harshly; her Mother, who doated so far upon the Girl's Out-side, that she never saw the Defect within; by her kind Usage gave her Confidence enough to make any Complaint, had she been capable of it. Her Appetite was large, and rejected nothing, nor did Instinct, as far as I cou'd perceive, carry her to distinguish in her Meats or Drink; whether it were that her Mother's Fondness seldom put her to the Choice, because she always gave her the best of every thing; or that lovely Agnes in Election, was even below a Brute? but she eat promiscuously of every thing, tho' rather the savory than the sweet, which she might also copy from her she Parent, who lov'd the Bonne-Goust: One thing puzzled me above the rest, that she shou'd have an Ear for Musick, wou'd learn a Tune and Song by hearing it; but the Notes cou'd never be beat into her, to bid her sing such or such a thing, was saying nothing to her; but if you began first, she immediately follow'd, and whatever was in her Power, she certainly perform'd justly and harmoniously, for her Voice was very good, though the Motion was never spontaneous in her; she wou'd also trip about to Musick, or by an imperfect Imitation of others, but her Danceing-Master with all his Endeavours, cou'd make nothing of her. It was with a wonderful Diligence and long Application, that she was brought to know her Letters, as Parrots talk, by Rote, but cou'd not read 'em, so that it was of little or no Use to her; and as to Writing, or Working with her Needle, all their Endeavours were successless; yet was her Mother so infatuated or proud, she either did not see, or wou'd not own these melancholly Defects in the fair Agnes, but never forbore to extol her Beauty, and to adorn that Beauty in all the Ornaments of modish Dress. 'Tis true, her Father was more reasonable, or less pre-possess'd; one cou'd not have so much of ill Nature, or so little of Manners, to entertain a Parent upon so melancholly a Subject, or else he cou'd not but have given us great Lights into this irregular Work of Nature, by the Observations he doubtless made of her Childhood; but how curious soever I was, I forbore to discourse him upon so ingrateful a Theme, having often found him too sensible of his Misfortune, and at her awkard Performance of many Things, wish her dead, and laid at Rest in her Grave.

Agnes was such as I have described her, and yet, my Lord, the malicious God of Love (that ow'd me a Revenge for having hitherto only play'd with his Bow and Darts) thought fit to give me a mortal Wound in Favour of this fair Idiot: It was a long time before I cou'd so much as guess at what ail'd me. The Court and Royal Favour became Tasteless to me; I fell into a languishing Melancholly, a Hectick State of Health and other Marks of a violent Restlesness of Mind. I was best alone, or at my Merchand's, contemplating Nature in the beautiful Agnes. I thought Philosophy caus'd my Search, and that it was that which made me so nicely inquisitive of all which related to that simple Maid; but it was the Philosophy of Love, and such a Love which prostrated my Reason, and all distinguishing Advantages, till it reduced me almost to as great an Incapacity of acting, as the Defect of Nature had done Agnes.

The Physicians finding that visible Decay in my Person, occasion'd, as they judg'd by an entire Loss of Appetite, advis'd me to change the Air: I left a House I had in the Fauxbourg of Orleance, and transported my Moveables to one I had taken three Leagues distant from the City; but because the Respect I ow'd his Majesty, often oblig'd me to be either at his Rising or Couchee, I shou'd inconvenience my self too much if I every Night return'd Home; therefore I took the best Apartment in my Merchand's House, which was very handsome; and there I found more secret, unknown (to my self) Pleasures, than the World besides cou'd bestow. Dear Agnes was now about Thirteen, with an Air so Majestick and Striking, that I'm still at a Loss to know what Nature meant in her Composition; so dangerous and so harmless, so lovely and so hateful, inspiring so much Admiration and Contempt, so great an Object both of Love and Pity, of Desire and of Allay.

By much application and long study, I gain'd this Knowledge of my fair Maid, that she cou'd distinguish enough to love, but shew'd no Signs of Hatred: When I say Love, I ought only to say Liking, which she expressed in an extraordinary manner, as thus: Upon the Absence of any that were Favourites, at their Review she wou'd stand as if it were to recollect her little Remembrance, seem busily employ'd, and when her Memory, as narrow as it was, had drawn from her Brain into her Mind, the Knowledge or Representation of the Idea which the Object occasion'd, she wou'd burst out in Tears, and by Kisses and Cries, express her Joy; which uncommon Sort of Transport, has foolishly given me more real Delight than the Embraces of the finest Woman I ever convers'd with. In the Affairs of Nature Love I found requir'd no great store of Wisdom. Her Tears were charming, having the singular Property of adorning instead of disfiguring, and whose Motive being Joy, there was none of that Bitterness, those Lines of Distortion, which Sorrow occasions. How often have I drank those lovely Pearls with a Prodigality of Thirst? a Thirst which by indulging, but the more increas'd the Fever of my Soul. She never forbore to distinguish me by that enchanting Rain of Love, and which indeed was the only distinction in favour of any one, that I ever observ'd her capable of.

The King, my Master, whose vast Capacity makes it a Question, whether he understands Men or Business best, did me the Honour of a gentle Reprimand for resigning my self up to Solitude: He told me that he design'd me for his Service, and wou'd take the first Opportunity to employ me; that it was my own Fault if I suffer'd my self by Absence to be forgotten. I answer'd his Majesty, that my ill State of Health had in a great measure banish'd me into the Country, the Preservation of which cou'd only seem to interfere with the vast Inclination I had of paying my Duty to his Majesty, but that I had no greater Regard in that Preservation, than by regaining my native Vivacity, to shew how much I desir'd to be his most humble and dutiful Servant. The King graciously receiv'd my Excuse, and bade me continue in the Country 'till I were perfectly recover'd.

I Invited a Sister of mine to be with me, one that Nature put into the World with a Design to make some honest Gentleman hereafter happy in a good Housewife, but she had little or no part in the Entertaining, or the Belle Demoisele; however, she was agreeable enough to my present Temper of Mind, which took no Pleasure in Conversation. I languish'd under so sensible a Decay, that I did not at all dispute, but that I was far gone in a Consumption, which Air cou'd not recover; therefore I was more at the Merchands than at my Villa, amusing my self with Pictures and beholding the aimable Agnes. Her parents had no manner of distrust of the Inclination I had for her (indeed it was as yet unknown to my self) and therefore did not dispute her being in my Apartment as much as I wou'd have her: It came into my Mind to invite her Mother to bring her with her, during the fine Season, to keep my Sister company; she was like all Citizens, fond of the Country, so that having easily inclin'd her Husband, whose good Sense never suffer'd him to dispute her domestick Sway, she carried Agnes along with her, and by that means so entirely endear'd my own House to me, that during her Stay, I was but seldom at the Merchands.

My Appetite began feebly to return; I was where I would be, that is to say, with the lovely Agnes; I wou'd often reflect on the Pleasure her Contact gave me, not suspecting my Understanding cou'd be so false ever to betray me, to become a Votary to an Idiot; but it was too true, the Cause and Knowledge of this Misfortune was so obscure and hid even from my self, that pursuing rather Instinct than Reason, I sought what was to gratify the former, without imparting the result of Nature to the other: I press'd the dear little Idiot's Lips with a Tenderness and Pleasure that set me all on Fire. I concluded at first, that 'twas only an Effect of the Sex, and therefore try'd all the other Girls that came near me in the same manner, but 'twas no such thing; Agnes was not there, and wanting her, I quickly found all Pleasure was wanting: I had often heard say, that loving a fair Fool, was doating upon a Picture; but whilst it was animated by Life, and such warm beautiful Colours of Flesh and Blood, as was in Agnes, it afforded Pleasure enough (to those who cou'd be sway'd only by their Senses) to recompence any other Defect.

This gave me to know of what nature was the Distemper I had so long complain'd: Never was any Admiration greater than mine! I began then to rally my absconded Reason, to ask what I cou'd intend by so shameful, so destructive a Passion? Pigmalion's Love for a Statue (had it been true) appear'd no longer as a Miracle to me; I question not but the Poet took the Hint from such a beautiful Idiot as mine; but no Metamorphose wou'd appear in Favour of this Image, to endow her with the Life of Reason, of which she was as utterly void (as to all rational Uses and Conversation) as Pigmalion's, before it was informed from above. The dear Idiot lov'd my Fondness, whether promiscuously wrought by Instinct, that reaches all Animals the desire of making themselves in some sort Eternal and vehemently incites to propagate their Specie, or peculiarly by Custom (inclin'd) to me, she wou'd give me her ruby Lips to kiss and press as soon as ever she came near me; this I had a thousand times done without hesitation, before all the World, till convinced of my extravagant Passion, I blush'd and guiltily declin'd the Offer; but when I got her alone, I greedily devoured her Breath, her Lips, and Kisses, and had the Pleasure to see Nature was not deficient in the charming Agnes. Oh! what cou'd I have done had I not been restrain'd by Vertue and Honour? Oh! how happy? Oh! how guilty might I have made my self? and how near (one Day) was I to forfeit both Vertue and Honour, to ruin my lovely Idiot, and render my self the greatest Villain alive? It was upon a Bank of Greens and Flowers, in a pretty retired Arbour, where her balmy Kisses had wrought me up to a degree of Distraction and Desire, her shining black Hair was adorn'd with yellow Ribons and Cærnations; nothing oppos'd my Joys, the simple artless Maid pursuing the Dictates of Nature, clinging around and embracing me in a manner bewitching and enchanting, prompting me by Kisses and ardent Breathings to give what Instinct required, till the Tears burst from her Eyes, the only Indication in her, as I before told your Lordship, of Joy and Pleasure .

Never was my Vertue put to so bold a Trial; never did I gain so noble a Conquest; yet not me alone, it cou'd not be my Work, it was the Inspiration of that Eternal Power who restrains us in Evil, but in Goodness has no bounds! Not, my Lord, that I have scrupled to be concern'd in Gallantry with Ladies who have met my glowing Wishes half-way; but it was ever my Opinion, that he who debauches a young Creature, is a Villain, and in a great measure the Author of all those Follies she afterwards becomes guilty of. But here I had been such, upon a double Score, both as Agnes was a Virgin and an Idiot; and tho' I was ragingly in love with her, and that probably nothing but Possession cou'd cure me, yet I resolv'd to endure whatever was most painful, rather than depart from the Laws of Honour and of Justice.

To prosecute this Resolution, I wou'd not trust my self any more alone with her; the beautiful Creature's Fondness (that incessantly pursu'd me in all Companies with her Kisses) made me conscious and ashamed: I was afraid that Action of hers might be interpreted to our Disadvantage, tho' I had not (her Mouth excepted) transgress'd the sacred Laws of Vertue; nor cou'd all my Passion or Curiosity betray me to the least Indecency, tho' I was sure she had never produced any Act of Memory, so as to make me fear she wou'd be able to tell her Mother what I shou'd offer to her.

I left the Charge of entertaining her and her Mother, to my Sister, and went back to Orleans to determine with my self what I shou'd do to ease my Passion, preserve my Vertue, and not dishonour my Family, which a Marriage with the Daughter of a Bourgoise wou'd consequently have done. Love that never stands upon any Interest but his own, incessantly tempted me to pass over that Disadvantage: It represented to me Monarchs that had waved their Dignity, and when throughly wrought by Love, give 'em to share their Diadem, and all the Glories of a Throne, with some humble She whose Beauty was her only Merit . In that Particular I was sure my fair Agnes was exceeded by none; her Charms were faultless and peculiar, but her Mind was a Rock upon which my Resolution struck: Love with all his Omnipotence cou'd never carry me over that Difficulty. I ask'd my self, What was become of my so boasted Reason? If I must unavoidably resign to Instinct, to love (only for the Sex) what cou'd not entertain the brighter Part, was poor and shameful? I well knew I was never to expect the Pleasures of the Mind in such an Union; nay, those Follies, when once nearly allied to my self, wou'd more inexplicably pain me; I shou'd blush, I shou'd hang the Head, expiring with Shame at my dear Idiot's Presence, which all beautiful, as her Face and Person were, cou'd never make a reasonable Man's Excuse for having so much preferr'd the sensitive, to the rational Part.

To be short, my Lord, this raging Passion was like to vanquish my Reason; but no longer to put it in my own Power to do an Action that wou'd dishonour me by its Weakness, and procure me a whole Life's Repentance, a Thought came into my Head, which as soon as it was born, I put in Execution; you may guess at the height of my Disease, by the Violence of its Cure; it was this, to take Holy Orders, and engage my self to the Church, by which Vow I for ever incapacitated my self to marry, without the Penalty of being burnt alive. All Mankind that had known the former Gaity of my Temper, wonder'd at this Resolution. Those who lov'd to hear themselves talk, prophecy'd my Repentance; the wisest contented to show their Astonishment by silent Gesture and shrugging their Shoulders. My Change was acceptable to none but the Clergy and the King, whose Approbation was worth that of a Million of the Vulgar: His Majesty, who was of late become really! truly! Religious! told me, he was well satisfied with me, and wou'd take care of my Fortune, which he so effectually did, that by his gracious Bounty, I was, as your Lordship knows, preferr'd to be Prior of Orleans.

Yet cou'd not either Religion or Ambition, create any Absence or Alteration in my Passion: It devoured all my Quiet, Days and Nights were as so many wretched Points of Time that only serv'd to prolong Miseries, which had the melancholly prospect of not ceasing but with my Life; neither was it in my Power to deny my self the Pleasure of seeing lovely Agnes, whose tender Tears and Kisses wou'd make me transported and mad. How ridiculous and absurd was it for a Man in my Circumstances, whom all the World concluded to have some Sense, to be thus agitated? My Folly was indeed unknown to all besides; but even that Knowledge I cou'd not forgive; and I am perswaded, if ever it were capable for Mankind to hate themselves, I had done it: But I doubt I have too long amused your Lordship with these Trifles. Therefore to conclude, I grew in Pain for any Accident that might arrive to my lovely Maid from the Charms of her Beauty; since they had so ragingly enflamed me, I dreaded their Power over some Lover who wou'd not prove so discreet and just to her as I had been. Besides, her Mother's Gaity led her into Conversation, which tho' she were insensible of, yet Instinct might make it terminate in her Ruin, which caused me to move her Father that she shou'd take the Veil and become a Religious. The honest Man sincerely protested to me, that his Affairs were far from being in so good a Posture as the World believ'd 'em; that he cou'd not spare such a Sum as was requisite to make Agnes a Nun, tho' it was the only Desire of his Life, because he saw her freed from a Number of Inconveniencies that her Incapacity wou'd make her liable to, in a World, where in all probability (if her Understanding were ever enlighten'd) she wou'd be forc'd to get her own Maintenance, or else prove miserable for want of it. My poor Merchand, made this Confession with Tears in his Eyes, and which I guess'd to be too true from his Wife's Extravagancy and Fruitfulness, having every Year presented him a Child, sometimes two. I told him, to shew the Respect I had for himself and his Family, if he wou'd take Care that it shou'd not be known whence it came, I wou'd furnish him with two thousand Crowns, which I freely gave to dear Agnes to secure her from all worldly Inconveniencies, in hopes of making her an acceptable Deodand to Heaven; that he shou'd order the matter so well with his Wife (whose misplaced Fondness wou'd possibly prevent our good Intentions) that she might suspect nothing of the Matter, till it was ready to be perform'd and past her Power to prevent.

Thus was I empower'd by the Aid of a more mighty Arm than my own, to turn this Passion (so blameable in it self) to a praise-worthy Event. When we had got all things ready, I went to take her and her Father in my own Coach, to carry her to the Monastery, which I did, and resign'd her with tender Recommendations into the Hands of the Lady Abbess, who was my Relation. Sure if Self-denial be meritorious, my Heart wore enough of it to recommend me to the Giver of all Victory. Never was Agnes so lovely! Never was I more sensible! I kiss'd and embrac'd her in the Parlor of the Monastery, with that Passion and Anguish, that I thought my Life wou'd have fled from me upon the Place. Her Father wept by Custom, for he was really rejoyc'd at having so well resign'd her. I shew'd Transports which was not in my Power to contain; none but a Lover, who loves to the height that I did, cou'd guess at my Agitation: I was to see no more that innocent lovely Creature without Grates and Bars of Iron between us! No more to embrace that beautiful Body! To gaze upon all that wondrous Harmony of Features, which had so entirely charm'd me! No more to receive her wounding healing Kisses and amiable Claspings! Oh! severe Self-denial! Oh! rigid Law of Vertue! I obey'd! I obey'd ye! then at a time when her Beauty was hastning to Perfection, when my ardent Wishes were at their most glowing height. —Forgive me, my Lord,—this Scene must still be touching to my Imagination; I saw her shut from my Sight for ever! I saw her conducted far away from me! And yet I surviv'd her Loss! Which shews the Heart of Man capable of mighty Sufferings, and that none but little Genius's sink under Misfortunes and Disappointments.

I will not enlarge, by dwelling upon her Mother's Impertinence, only this, she was distracted at missing the Girl, and wou'd know whence it was that her Husband, with whose little Circumstances she was acquainted, had it in his Power to make her darling Daughter a Nun, and of that Order the least severe, and where they are never receiv'd under such a Sum of Money: To quiet her, he was forc'd to discover me, by which he pretended to engage her Silence and her Gratitude. This mistaken Woman levelled all her. Rage against me; she came to a House I had taken in Town, and never ceas'd abusing me, as if I had been guilty of the highest Act of Dishonour to her Daughter. I knew not how to deal with one upon whom Reason was lost. She wou'd complain to the Bishop of the Diocess for making her Child a Nun without her Consent, and expressly against her Daughter's. She was yet in her Noviciat, and I justly fear'd this weak Woman might tutor the simple Maid to say as she directed, by which means she cou'd never be made to profess without her own Words that ought to desire the Veil. Therefore I went to the Lady Abbess, who very well saw I cou'd have no other End in it than poor Agnes's Good, and readily receiv'd my Instructions. The Money I had given was no longer in my own Power, but settled upon Agnes; so that if she did not like, when her Year of Probation was expired, it was to go along with her to maintain her, which made her Father more easily give in to his Wife's passionate Desires, that she might not become a Nun, by which means he hoped to have that Sum of Money in his own Hands to further his Trade: The Lady Abbess gave me an intimation of their Design, which I imparted to the Bishop, whom her Mother had petition'd; he was perfectly assured, that Charity cou'd be the only Motive, and desired to see this Miracle and Irregularity of the Specie. My beautiful Idiot, at this Interview, was all her self; that is to say, in her full Bloom of Charms and Folly! Not but that I find this Word very defective, and wanting of Force to explain her Defect, as well as that properly it comes under another head. He was both ravish'd and mortify'd at this Error of Nature, this Contradiction to her self, and presently became tender and compassionate of the miserable Maid: He agreed that it was best for her to be enclos'd, since she had not Understanding to guard her Beauty from the ill Effects it might produce upon Hearts unacquainted with Vertue. His Lordship advised the Lady Abbess not to let her Mother see her, and in the mean time, to win her by all manner of good Usage, to teach her proper Words that she might demand the Veil; which in short at the end of two Months she did, and was accordingly profess'd beyond the Capacity, not only of her Mother, but any other living Power, to recal her into the World. When it was over, I was so far easie that now I was sure I had secur'd her an Establishment liable to no ill Accidents, and not only prepar'd for the Repose of her Person, but her better Part, the immortal Soul, which Casuists perhaps may think a Work of Supererogation, because protected against the Power of Crimes by native Simplicity.

Soon after this, his Majesty finding me willing to travel, ask'd me, if I car'd to be his Envoy to the King of Sarmatia, who labour'd under an incurable Distemper, and in all probability cou'd not long survive, since in the View himself had of being made Emperor, it extreamly concern'd him that the Sarmatian Crown (which had ever been Elective) might fall to one who shou'd be in his Majesty's Interest; that he had a potent desire to advance his Cousin Prince Armatius, Son to the Duke of Aquitain, but the young Gentleman seem'd unsusceptible of Ambition; however, as he did not use to be disobey'd (especially by those of his own Family) he shou'd have time enough to work the Prince to a compliance. His Majesty also complain'd of the Sarmatian Queen, from whose great Genius, and her Ascendant over her Husband (considering that she was a Native of Gallia) he had promis'd himself much better things; but she had been for some few Years entirely in the Interest of the King of the Almains, since her eldest Son had married the Sister to the Queen of that Nation; whence it was that his Majesty order'd me to have a watchful Eye upon her Conduct, never to confide in her, even tho' she pretended to return to my Master's Interest, whose Principle it is, That him who trusts a Foe, tho' reconcil'd, ought, unpitied, to be deceiv'd.

The Uneasiness of Heart I labour'd under, made me willingly receive the Honour his Majesty design'd me: I order'd my Affairs with all possible Expedition, because I long'd to be out of a Kingdom that gave me so many Disquiets, though all center'd in the Passion. I still had for the too lovely Agnes. It was not in my Power to depart without seeing her. I took my leave at the Grate; her Charms were in Perfection! The Veil admirably became her; but this was the first time I had any Disgust against her want of Sense, it had always pain'd, but never before displeas'd me: Hence I hop'd that I was recovering my Understanding, since so far of use to me now, as to make me object that had hitherto only adored. I wanted from her that ingaging Sensibility, that noble Movement proceeding from Gratitude, and not always the Effect of high Birth, that Je ne scay quoy of Tenderness, arising from the Sense of Benefits, and which cannot forbear breaking forth in modest Sorrow and beautiful Distress, at being for ever separated from those who have powerfully oblig'd and serv'd us.

The dear Natural was intirely such, she knew nothing of Separation; Hopes, Fears, Distress, and Joy, near her, lost their omnipotent tumultuous Power: To talk of parting, was not to speak at all; 'tis true, the Compassion and Love I had for her, caused the Water to come into my Eyes, which Reason cou'd not restrain nor hinder from falling down my Cheeks; this she intently gaz'd upon and imitated, the Tears ran from her's, as if by Sympathy. In that burst of Sorrow I tore my self from her Presence, and immediately departed Orleans.

View me from henceforth, my Lord, as a Man void of all but the Pretence of Pleasures, tasteless, and alone devoted to the Service of my King, by whose masterly Instructions I was capacitated to enter upon a Scene, and to manage a considerable part in a Nation, so far remov'd both in Customs and Manners, from that where I had been brought up.

As the Sarmatians love nothing more than Pomp and Show, there is no Country where Ambassadors are oblig'd to make so great a Figure, especially if they have any Interest of the Prince they serve to carry on in the Grand Councel of the States; for the noble Sarmatians despise all those who either do not, or cannot make so good an appearance as themselves; of which the first Article is, a great Train of rich Coaches, and Servants proportionable; for in this last Particular they are very profuse: Next an open and luxurious Table, with a sort of familiar Humility, which is there wonderfully taking, being themselves generally very civil and easie in their Conversation. He must not likewise forbear to be a good Fellow, and have Plenty of the richest Wines to entertain them, for the Coldness of the Climate, as it in some sort makes that Excess necessary, so that Necessity makes their Excuse for so bad a Custom. Lastly, an Ambassador that wou'd infallibly succeed and obtain Voices in their Divan, must be perpetually presenting 'em with Gold, for a Nation so avaritious and profuse, was never known; and yet that is not enough, he shou'd be sure always to speak to their Hopes, for whatever has been receiv'd goes for nothing, the future is able to ingage 'em even beyond the present.

I had my Andience of his Sarmatian Majesty, some Days before the Marriage of the Princess his Daughter. The King was then at Marsovia, his Capital City, which was crowded upon this extraordinary Occasion, by most of the Nobless of the Kingdom, together with their Ladies and Children, for there had not been a Daughter Royal marry'd in more than a hundred and fifty Years: Nothing was more shining than that Court, the Women were gloriously habited; I may venture to assure your Lordship, that though I have seen Constantinople, Rome, and the Circle of the King my Master, yet I never beheld so vast a quantity of Jewels in any Assembly as in this.

The King was old and declining, nay, he dy'd so soon after, that however glorious had been his Reign, I shall not think fit to trouble your Lordship with a Description of either his Mind or Person, tho' very accomplish'd. As for the Queen, she was, of her Age, the most lovely Princess in the World, and tho' she be more than forty, in looking upon her, you wou'd not give her above thirty, which is exactly the Point of Time when Ladies first begin (unwillingly) to believe that there may be some small Alteration in their Charms. Her Birth was a Mystery; however, a Gallick Count and his Lady were willing to oblige her Mother (a Woman of exalted Quality) and own'd this Infant Beauty for their own Daughter. A Princess of the Lombards, espous'd by Proxy to the then King of Sarmatia, in her Travels through Gallia, took her at twelve Years of Age in Quality of Maid of Honour, and carry'd her with her into this Country, where she soon after marry'd to one of the Chief of the Nobility, who did not long enjoy his good Fortune, but left his charming Princess young and very rich, whence she fell in love with the Captain of the King's Guard, who having at that time an Engagement of the Heart, he did not receive the News of such a Happiness with so good a Grace as might be expected. Your Lordship may be pleas'd to know, that though the Ladies of Sarmatia are modest beyond Example (scarce a Precedent being to be found of any that have wrong'd their Husband's Bed) yet it is counted no Indecency, no Motive for their Blushes, to like any Man whilst they are yet unmarried, and so to like him, as to cause a Marriage to be propos'd to his nearest Relations, upon which the Person belov'd is left to his Choice, as are the Ladies in other Countries, whether he will be kind or cruel.

Our young Widow had so great an Ascendant over the Queen her Mistress, whom she then serv'd in Quality of first Lady of the Bed-Chamber, that through her Majesty, she influenced the King to propound her to the Captain of his Guard for a Wife, with so many Advantages, as more especially making him great General of Sarmatia, that he soon consented, and by that Marriage had an Opportunity of forming an Interest so considerable, that upon the Death of his Master he was elected King, and had a prosperous, long, and glorious Reign.

Sometime after my Day of Audience, I was upon a Visit to the Great Field-Master, and most agreeably diverted, to see his beautiful Lady enter the Chamber, preceded by a Train of twenty four she Servants handsomly habited, every one carrying two White-Wax Flambeaux in Silver Candlesticks gilt; the Lady was led by an old Gentleman who officiated as Gentleman-Usher, a reverend Matron march'd on the other side, in Quality of Governante; the Train of her Robe born by two Dwarfs: The young fair Creatures that carried the Lights, rang'd themselves on each side of their Mistress, who, after she had made her Reverence to me, with a slow and solemn Grace, made directly towards her Lord, and casting her self at his Feet, fell to embrace his Knees, to call him her Benefactor, her Sovereign, her amiable Husband, the Dispenser of Happiness, of Love, of all Things that were to her Valuable and Adorable.

When this beautiful Lady first kneel'd, I imagin'd her in Distress, and alarm'd as I was, ran Mal à propos, to raise and pity her, but with a Majestick Nod and Graceful Motion of her Hand, she seem'd to forbid my Intrusion, and I contented my self to expect the Consequence. Her Lord receiv'd her Caresses with such an Air of Satisfaction and Tenderness, as incourag'd her to make known her Suit, which, after all the mighty Expectation she had rais'd, ended in a Demand of a Nuptial Present for the Princess of Sarmatia.

It is a Custom in those of that Nation thus to implore their Husbands, when they have any extraordinary Expence to make; for the Women never keep the Purse, and are forced to content themselves to have all Things provided to their Hand; the Men are the sole Managers, so that the Ladies have nothing to do but Dress, Divert, Eat, Drink, and make Visits, which last are always perform'd with splendid Ostentation; for the Sarmatians love Show, rich Equipage and Habits: The Women seldom cross the Way without a Coach, six Horses, and a numerous Train of Servants; yet have they no Money, but upon every Occasion are forc'd to kneel and implore their Husbands, who take a Pleasure in being importun'd.

The Field-Master's Lady was so cunning as to time her Request whilst I was with her Lord; she knew his Temper, that he was vain-glorious and covetous; in my Absence, the latter wou'd, she fear'd, predominate, and therefore gave him an Opportunity of exerting the former. It came to pass exactly as she had foreseen, for he did not fail to tell her, that she shou'd make a Present equal, or superior to those that shou'd go before her, not excepting what came from the Part of Crown'd Heads; this gave me to listen with new Attention, for as yet I knew not that all who go to any Marriages in Sarmatia, from those of the Princess to that of the meanest Gentlewoman, are oblig'd to give something; that these Presents are often their only Dowry; so that a Lover makes it his Business as well to enquire after the Number of Relations and Friends his Bride has, as what her Fortune is.

In pursuit of this her Lord's Compliment, the Lady caus'd to be call'd in a Jeweller, who had brought her a World of Curiosities, amongst which, there was a Watch set with very valuable Diamonds, yet it self more valuable for its admirable and just Performance as to Time: This the Lady was pleas'd to pitch upon for the Princess, and said she desired nothing of greater Expence; her Lord, to express his Generosity, order'd the Merchand shou'd be paid for it, and at the same time made choice of a very fine Jewel which he presented his Wife, to shew he had not been disoblig'd at her Request.

The King had for a long time labour'd under a Complication of incurable Distempers: He seem'd to have nothing at Heart but heaping up Money, and getting his eldest Son, Prince Alexis, elected. The Queen had not that Tenderness for him as she had for his Brothers, who were yet too young by the Sarmatian Law, to pretend to the Crown. The Prince had some Merit, but not equal to his Father, whom he approach'd in none of those eminent Qualities that had justly given him the Character of the most valiant, most learn'd Prince of his Time. Indeed he exceeded him in Liberality, which, tho' however taking with the Sarmatians; he was not belov'd, principally because of the Endeavours the King had used to secure him the Promise of Voices in their Assembly, when he should be no more: They look'd upon this as a Step towards making their Monarchy Hereditary, a Rock which they have carefully preserv'd their Constitution from splitting upon, and which of all Things they the most industriously endeavour to avoid.

I Quickly found that the Queen's great Genius, her exalted Wit, Capacity for Business, her affable Demeanor, and real Sweetness of Temper, had given her a great Ascendant, not only over the King, but most of the Senators and great Officers of the Crown; no inconsiderable Step towards the Hopes she might have of her Son's Advancement. This I was oblig'd under Hand to traverse, and by force of Gold (the most powerful way of Reasoning to a Sarmatian Noble-man) gave 'em to see the Danger of Presidents, and that such a pre-ingaged Election wou'd quickly make their Monarchy hereditary.

Whether the prodigious quickness of her Majesty's Parts and Sense, caus'd her to suspect that the King my Master, and consequently my self, was not in Prince Alexis's Interest; or that I was revealed by some of the many I was oblig'd to present and Discourse: I cou'd easily find she gave but little heed to the Promises I made her on the part of King Charles my Master: I observ'd, notwithstanding, an exact Decorum as to all that related to her Wit and Person; for it was impossible, all insensible as Reason and Misfortunes had made me, not to do Justice to the Charms and Graces of this lovely Queen; a certain sort of Tenderness which knew not how to forsake, since it had once so wholly possess'd me, gave me to betray an Air of it in all I said and did, in relation to that bewitching Princess; since in endeavouring to gain her Esteem and Confidence, I pursu'd my Master's Desires as well as my own Inclinations, there was nothing I outwardly omitted to be well with her Majesty: She lov'd those of her own Nation, their Manners and Customs, as was apparent by her Habit, which she had not only her self retain'd, but brought in Request, and caus'd to become the Fashion and general Wear of all the Ladies; so that in beholding the Sarmatian Women, you wou'd believe your self in Gallia, though they have, it's confest, much the advantage of ours in the bright Fairness of Hair and Delicacy of Complection, which they enjoy to so great a Purity, as never to want any Emblishments of Art, frequent in other Countries; for here they always as little value as they need 'em.

What the Queen had done on several Occasions, in opposition to my Master's Interests, arose only from the apprehension she justly had, that he wou'd not believe it his, to see her Son on the Sarmatian Throne, because he was married into a Family that was nearly allied to that of his most potent Enemy. However she forbore not to be diverted and pleas'd with our People, even beyond those of which she was Queen; so that in all things not relating to Business (there she was too wise to grant us any of her Confidence) I had the Honour of her Majesty's Conversation and Approbation, which I never fail'd to value, and therefore made an exact Court to her. Gallantry being so natural to the Franks, and my self no great Enemy to it, it did not cost me much to commend the Beauty of this lovely Queen upon all Occasions; it even came into my Head to act as if I were not insensible, because I wou'd have her conclude she had an entire Power over me, which she cou'd no longer doubt, if but once convinced of my Adoration. It is no new Effect of Love to see him become a Triumpher over Friendship, Duty, Loyalty, Politicks, Interests, and Parties; he causes the Statesman perpetually to interfere with himself, and independent as he is, has nothing to do with any Power but his own.

I Play'd my Part with so much Address, that the Queen thought me guilty: I desired only to be believed by her in all I shou'd say; and therefore affected the real, respectful, despairing Lover, who wou'd leave his Eyes and Actions to express the Torment he had endured, and which he durst not have the Presumption to explain by his Words.

But, my Lord, said Horatio, with your Excellency's Pardon for my Interruption, Why will you not let me see the Wedding of the Sarmatian Princess? I rais'd an agreeable Idea from the Field-Master's Lady's manner of delivering the Present she had so handsomely requested. I aim to be diverted as well as instructed, therefore pray your Excellency give not me and that Princess occasion to complain of your Neglect.

I Humbly ask your Lordship's Pardon, reply'd the Envoye, with a Smile, I was just step'd into Politicks, and have so many things to say, that I may be easily excus'd in forgetting some.

That the Princess, whom your Lordship does the Honour to enquire after, very much deserves your Knowledge; she is fair, nicely made, and handsome, yet not so great a Beauty as the Queen her Mother, nor has her Wit such a Vivacity, but in return, her Sense is close; she is wife, and a perfect Mistress of four Languages; her Merit and her Modesty are invaluable; well did she deserve a more happy Fortune than she has since met with; if the Prince of Illyria, to whom she was married, had hearken'd to her prudent Advice, her continual Remonstrances, he had not been made the fantastick Ball of Fortune, the Sport of Winds, toss'd by every Blast, a wandring Star, without Habitation, despoil'd of his Country and Power, nor her self and beauteous little Infants, reduced to Extremity, so as to possess not any thing but what came from the Sufferance, and part of a merciful Enemy, or the charitable Assistance of her Friends.

But before we enter upon that melancholly Scene, we will show your Lordship a glorious Sun gilding and illuminating all the Hemisphere, the Prince of Illyria on the morning of his Nuptials: He is indisputably the most gallant Prince of the Age, his Soul unbounded in all its Possessions and Desires, with a Temper truly Royal, Generous, Magnificent, Grateful even to Prodigality; his Person very lovely; he was himself a Fashion, for all Mankind were his Imitators; Ambitious, a Lover of Glory and Pleasure, in the Pursuit of which he has often been more eager than consists with the Character of a Husband nicely just, and marry'd to a Lady so meritorious as the Princes of Sarmatia; but Custom has render'd that Liberty almost as no Blemish in Mankind, especially Monarchs.

The Prince, the Morning of the Day that rose upon his Happiness, went three Miles out of Town, and soon after return'd on Horse-back to make his Entry in a solemn and glorious manner; the two elder of the Sarmatian Princes rode on each side of him, preceded by a numberless Train of Coaches with six Horses, and a noble Cavalcade of the Sarmatian Lords; himself put on a rich Pannonian Habit, that had been, according to the Custom, presented him on the Part of the King, and he never appear'd more graceful. The first was a long Robe of Crimson Velvet lin'd with Sables, the Button-Holes set with Clasps of massy gold delicately imagin'd; his Waste-coat was a Stuff of the richest Brocaded Gold, with Diamond Buttons; his Girdle fine Turky Leather embroider'd with Gold, and clasp'd with Diamonds; the Handle of his Sabre richly set and adorned with Rubies and Diamonds; an invaluable Tiara upon his Head. He wore a lovely Emerald Ring, the present of his Princess, and a rich Zibelin Muff given him by the Queen.

As the King of Sarmatia was the richest Prince in ready Money of any Prince in Europe, he resolv'd nothing of Magnificence shou'd be wanting at the Marriage of his only Daughter; all things were splendid, shining, and expensive.

The Prince rode through the City, and alighting at the Palace-Gate, was met by the whole Court with the King, Queen, and lovely Bride, who appear'd between her Royal Parents in a Habit of white Silver Stuff, so richly embroider'd with Diamonds, Rubies, and Emeralds, artfully cast in Shades, that it was scarce possible to distinguish what was the Ground. Her lovely fair Hair shone in great abundance, dress'd up with Jewels and waving Carnation Feathers.

The Prince, after his graceful and becoming manner, bow'd low, almost to the Earth, first to the King, then to the Queen, and lastly to the Princess, in consequence of which he took her Hand, which, after he had respectfully put to his Lips with an Air of Desire and Delight, he began to lead her, preceded by an innumerable Cavalcade of Gentlemen, then of Ladies, who march'd two and two upon Scarlet Cloath, that was spread from the Palace to the magnificent Temple of Phoebus the Resplendent, where the everlasting Fire's preserved by a Train of Priests in white and glittering Habits. I had the Honour of assisting the Queen in her Walk, which was of the length of 300 Paces; we immediately follow'd the Princess, after which came the King alone, with an Air of Majesty, solemn and awful: Then the Princes his Sons, the great Officers of the Crown, superbiously habited, and to close the Parade, a Guard of the King's Body.

In Conclusion of the Nuptial Ceremony (which was perform'd by Honorous, who, as he is High-Priest, is a Prince by Office, a Person learned and polite) we return'd back to the Palace in the fame manner, and enter'd the Grand-Salle, to the Flourish of the King's Musick. The Bride was led to a Table, where under a State, was placed a Seat for her to sit down, and next, one for the Queen her Mother: Here the Royal Bride was to wait in Expectation of all the Presents that shou'd be made her; I had the Honour, on the Part of my Master, to be the first to make her the Compliment of Joy upon her Marriage with a Prince, whom for many Reasons, the King of the Franks was oblig'd to esteem and respect; my Gentlemen were ready, as soon as I had done, to set upon the Table as fine a Set as had ever been seen, of Gold Plate for her Toilet and Chamber, especially recommended by the Rarity of the Workmanship, together with a Chain of large Diamonds for her Neck, and Jewels for the Ears. The Princess graciously receiv'd both what I said and what she saw, and did me the Honour of her Thanks in a few, but very gallant Words. I took my Station behind the Queen's Chair, from whom I affected never to depart: The King, the Bridegroom, and Sarmatian Princes, were in another Room. It extreamly diverted me to see the solemn manner with which every one made their Presents, and the Variety of 'em; I did not fail to observe my beautiful Lady with her Diamond Watch; but what most amus'd us, was the Entrance of an amiable Child about ten Years of Age, habited like a Cupid with Wings, a Bow and Darts; the vast Crowd was so complaisant to divide to make way for him to approach the Princess; even the bare Representation of the God of Love is reverenced by the coldest Hearts. The lovely Boy put one Knee to the Ground, and then with a melancholly graceful Air, making Signs that he cou'd not give the expected Compliment, because he was dumb, presented a Nose-gay of invaluable Jewels, which by the sparkling Approbation of her Eyes, I saw more pleas'd the Bride than any thing had yet been given her. The Queen also was charm'd with the Novelty and Richness of the Posie; and whilst she was going to enquire who had sent it, the Child was dexterously vanish'd from the Place, such a Succession of Persons coming to present, that he found the Opportunity of slipping away much more unobserv'd than he had enter'd. I saw the Queen in some Perplexity at this Adventure, but however staying till all had given their Gifts, which consisted of such Variety, that I can't relate to your Lordship half what they were, nor their Value; she took the Nose-gay of Jewels in one Hand, and giving me the other, we follow'd the Prince of Illyria who was come to take his Bride to Dinner. 'Twou'd be fulsom to repeat to your Lordship the Particulars of a splendid Entertainment, wrought up to all the height of Luxury and Profuseness. As Drinking is a Quality I cou'd never be eminent in, I led the Queen after the Feast, to an Apartment where the Court, very fair and numerous, was waiting in Expectation of a Dramatical Entertainment, to be perform'd mostly by Singing and Musick.

The Queen took the Nose-gay from her Bosom, where she had plac'd it during the Repast, and fell to contemplate the Lustre and Order of the Jewels, which were so artfully ranged as to express several sort of Flowers; when she had consider'd it for some time, she began to speak to me of the Value of it, which gave her some Pain upon her Daughter's account; because, as she said, she did not know who the Person was that had made so rich a Present, and in so gallant a manner. I begg'd leave that her Majesty wou'd let me view the Novelty; the Queen gave it into my Hand, and at the same time the King and Bridegroom coming with a numerous Train of the Nobless, I quitted my Seat and went out of that Chamber into another, where I had the Pleasure to find my self alone.

I Easily imagin'd there must be some gallant Mystery in this Posie, both by the dumb Cupid, and the Owners Care of being conceal'd, therefore endeavour'd to find it out: Among the rest of the Jewels, I cast my Eyes peculiarly upon the Beauty of a flaming Ruby cut into the Shape of a Heart; the Arrows wherewith it affected to be wounded, were Brillant Diamonds. I consider'd it so long, so attentively, and turn'd it so many ways, that I concluded it contain'd the Arcana of the whole, because I found it was hollow; at length my Assiduity threw me upon the invisible Spring, which being a little press'd, flew open, and discovered a Piece of Paper neatly folded, and writ in so small a Character, that at first I was puzzled to read, but my Will being exceeding good, I soon became acquainted, and from thence, at my leisure, transcribed it into my Pocket-Book, which if your Lordship pleases, I will give you to peruse.

The Letter. ONLY TO THE PRINCESS.

"If this Paper ever meet your Eyes, judge something, Madam, in Favour of those extraordinary Sentiments with which you have agitated my Heart; Sentiments that no otherways concerns my self, than as they have Relation to your Serene Highness.

"Had not the King your Father often declared, he never wou'd bestow his only Daughter upon a Subject, I shou'd not now perhaps have the Heart-wounding Sorrow of seeing you in the Arms of a Prince, who great as he is, can possibly never love like me, because he has lov'd before, and even now will but with difficulty be brought to confine his Love; tho' in your Serene Highness, there centers more Charms and real Merit than ever yet adorned any other Princess.

Neither can this happy Husband "put a Crown upon your Head, a Glory I wou'd have contended for, and perhaps with Success, upon the Decease of your Royal Father, cou'd his amiable Daughter have then been found unmarried.

"Now nothing is left for me but Thorns and Despair; I am condemn'd never to be happy, but I incessantly implore our Eternal Fire that your Serene Highness may for ever be so.

"In order to it, Madam, let the Prince of Illyria (whose Will must certainly ever be the Victim of your Charms) forbear to engage his Arms for the ambitious Charles King of the Franks, who centers all things in himself alone. Oh! what do I not foresee of wretched for the Prince, your Lord, ambitious as he is, if once he attends to the false Hopes that enticing Monarch will give him! Beware of him, Madam, let the Prince beware, stand upon your guard, repel the very first Offers, if they are yet to make, those Blandishments which Charles knows so well to bestow. How many Princes is he ordain'd to ruin! His Gulph of Glory sucking like a Whirlpool, all that stands between himself and universal Empire! If he succeed, 'tis a necessary Consequence, none must be Great but himself: But if his Arms prove unsuccessful, the Territories of the Prince your Lord, will of course be conquer'd, and till then remain the Seat of War, which will no longer be an Assyle for the sacred Person of your Serene Highness.

"Oh! what inexplicable Torment will it be to hear that the Princess whom I so devoutly reverence, shou'd be made a wretched Wanderer, destitute of all things but Charms and Misery?

"Preserve him then, Madam, from so destructive an Alliance: Charles is even now busie at his Ear, his Eye, his Heart, he speaks to his Ambition, to his Pleasures, to his Generosity, to every Ascendant conspicuous or absconding in the Prince your Lord.

"But that your Serene Highness may not trust wholly to your Charms, omnipotent as they are, be pleas'd to let that Imperial Heart and Temper bow a little, at least in appearance; many Victories of the Mind have been gain'd by seeming to yield. I know you are Awful and Majestick in all your Movements, conscious of native Worth, and that it will be hard without repining, to see an undiscerning Husband, sometimes amusing himself with those who have nothing to recommend 'em but Novelty: But be blind, Madam, be blind upon this Failure of your Lord's, if it ever happens, and he will allow you to see all things beside.

"Let him beware, Madam, how he breaks Friendship with the King of the Almains: Live ever happy, and have some Goodness for the Memory of a wretched unknown Worshipper, who has not yet sinn'd to so high a pitch as to dare to reveal himself, tho' he does his Adorations."

Your Lordship may be pleas'd to imagin, that I was very glad to see a Paper of this Consequence to my Master's Interests, in my own Hands: Whoever was the Author, I was sure he was no Friend to us, nor cou'd I believe the Princess was absolutely ignorant from whom came that gallant and unknown Present, because of the Pleasure I observed in her Eyes. I put the Billet in my Pocket, and restored the Nose-gay to the Queen, who placed it in her Daughter's Bosom; she wore it during the four Days of Magnificence and Rejoicing that she staid at the Sarmatian Court; at the end of which, the Prince of Illyria took his leave to return home, and carry'd his Bride along with him.

I Visited Prince Honorous, High-Priest of the Fire, which they call Holy and Everlasting, and endeavour'd to gain him to the King my Master, because he cou'd be of mighty use to me in my Designs: I fail'd not to insinuate the Merit of Prince Armatius, and had already formed a considerable Party that were ready to give their Voice for him upon the Decease of the present Monarch; who immediately after the Princess's Departure, falling into a Relapse of all his Distempers, took his Chamber, from which he departed no more.

Honorius was a Man who deserv'd all the Praises that can be given Humanity. He was Master of those Graces that adorn the Mind and perfect the fine Gentleman, Art being join'd to Nature; for he had past his younger Years in Travel, from whence he return'd instructed in whatever was the peculiar Accomplishment of those several Nations through which he had pass'd. His paternal Estate was small, so that applying himself to Religion, which amongst the Sarmatians, is in the highest Veneration, he obtain'd to be made High-Priest and Prince, which upon the Decease of their Kings, 'till a new Election gives him the Regency, with the same Marks of Royalty that are bestow'd on their greatest Monarchs.

To this Prince I ventur'd to show the Paper I took out of the Nose-gay, that he might help me to guess at the Person who had wrote it: The Richness of the Present spoke it to be of no mean Extraction; the Character was so small, that there was not any Judgment to be made of the Author; for apparently this was adapted to the Situation of the Ruby Heart, and the little Room it was to find there, and not the usual Hand-writing of any Person, since too fine to be thought common. The Priest cast his Imaginations upon Prince Alexis the King's Son, for that he was an indefatigable Enemy to the King of the Franks, and might under the Feint of a Lover, insinuate that Advice which he durst not openly give to his Sister; tho' by the Cast of the Princess's Eyes, I cou'd not come into Honorius's Opinion.

His Eminence spoke with so much Bitterness against that Prince, that it was easie for me to find he was particularly prejudiced against him, which when I had observed, he answer'd me with an Air of Warmth, and yet Disdain: Not Me alone, my Lord Ambassador, but all the honest part of Sarmatia, have no true Love for him, and will never give him our Voice to make him King: We despise him, because he has done one Injury, and put up another, and such another, that no private Man cou'd ever forget.

Above all things, we Sarmatians require our Monarchs shou'd be Brave, or else wherefore do we elect 'em? If we wou'd take up with the Inglorious, Slothful, Unjust, and otherways Vicious, those Properties are so often Hereditary, that we need not undergo the Fatigue and Tumult seen at an Election, to gain such Accomplishments. No, my Lord, if we are so unfortunate to chuse a Prince defective of Vertue, it shall at least be one that has taken care to keep those Defects conceal'd; for 'tis to be suppos'd, that whoever is rapacious, voluptuous, supine, or any other way blamable, by way of Advance, will improve those his Inclinations when he comes to sit at his full length upon a Throne, which has always the Property of being indulgent to whatever are the darling Passions. Wherefore did the Sons of all our Kings take so peculiar a Care to accomplish themselves? but as knowing it was ever the Sarmatian Custom to Elect the most Worthy? this was our manner, 'till Gold and foreign Fashions unfortunately found an Entrance amongst us! This preserv'd us free! Unconquerable even by the Roman Cæsars who subdu'd the World around us! This has made our Diadem the Object of Desire for most of the Princes of Europe! But now indeed Women in our Counsels, and Gold in their Cabinets, enervates all; Prince Alexis can never but by them hope to succeed. Yet that your Excellency may not think my Aversion for his Person and Manners is without a Foundation for just Indignation to build upon; your self shall be the Judge, if your Excellency will permit a young She-Slave of Sense and Address, to give you a Relation, which my Grief does not suffer me to remember with any Temper; I will retire into my Study and cause her to be call'd. As the Confidant of her unfortunate Mistress, she is qualify'd to give your Excellency Satisfaction. I signify'd my Curiosity and willing Attention, Muty was introduced and his Eminence retired: I soon perceiv'd the pretty Slave did not want either Ingenuity nor a modest Assurance, two very good Requisits to a Story, a Story which I suppose she had been incourag'd often to tell; therefore without any impertinent Preambles, she began thus.

Honoria, my Lord, was a Lady to whose Mother I had the Glory to be born a Slave; a Slave as my Ancestors had ever been, and consequently I was bred to attend and serve the beautiful Daughter. She was Niece to my Lord, the holy Prince now become my Master, early taken into his Family, and bred as one he design'd to make his Heir; for your Excellency must be pleas'd to know that our Priests never marry. Honoria grew the most charming, most accomplish'd Lady of Sarmatia; her good Sense and good Education, improv'd each other. She was about Sixteen when her Parents dy'd; soon after Prince Alexis fell passionately in love with her; his Age and Quality gave him an easie Access. Your Lordship cannot but observe our Women are kept under no Restraint; we have so few Precedents of those that are Indiscreet, that our Vertue is not so much as suspected, nor any Dishonour fear'd; nay, scarcely can we tell how to believe the Report we hear from those of our Sex in other Nations, who abandon their Chastity as a Reward of those base Desires with which a Lover dares to importune his Mistress, tho' in good Sense and just Retaliation, they ought to be rather receiv'd with a Ponnyard: For of what Value is a Lady, if once she be rob'd of her Honour?

I Smil'd at this true and pert Reflection of the little Slave, wondering in my self, that Nature being eternally the same, Customs and Countries shou'd so powerfully vary her Effects; hence it is that the Legislature ought to be answerable for most of the Indiscretions that are committed: Were the same Order taken throughout, wou'd not the Result be the same? Were Vertue only countenanced, were she introduced with that admirable Beauty of hers, to the Cabinets of the Great? Were her amiable Companion Chastity receiv'd as an unalterable Principle into their Ruels? Were she more than a Name amongst the Young and Fair, shou'd we not be freed from those Disorders which her Absence creates? 'Tis not enough to declaim with our Mouth against what our Heart is devoted to, when the Pretence and Practice become so remote, what Esteem can they persuade? What sincere honest Man, wou'd not avoid the Conversation of such? The open Hypocrite! The private Debauchee! A despicable Paradox! A Libeller upon himself, who in declaiming against all Mankind sets for his own Picture, and ought to meet with Dis-encouragement or Reproof where-ever he appears and in whatever Forms. 'Tis these Race of People, who in our Sex are the great, the secret Corrupters, who admire and seduce. Amongst the Fair, there are also to be found of the same Specie, who scruple not to act what they condemn, and think 'tis Vertue enough, if they do but talk of her with Warmth, tho' as far remov'd in their Inclinations and secret Habits, as the Northern from the Southern Pole. Shou'd not our Laws therefore provide against such Practices? I beg your Lordship's Pardon, declaiming is not altogether so seasonable in a Story; I will therefore desire Permission to return to my little Slave.

I Have heard it said, she pursu'd, that in other Countries, in matters of Love, a Man is not always in earnest, and therefore seldom believed when he first declares himself: Can any thing be more preposterous? What Account can you give for this? What Sense must such a Set of People have, to lavish away their precious Moments, their Vows, where it is not their Interest or Desire to find Credit or Approbation? How false a Relish of Gallantry is this? What can be more remote from Reason? How does a Man of Understanding answer to himself, his taking pains to engage the Inclinations of a Lady for whom he has not any? Nay, often to carry his Pretensions to the most criminal lengths, without consulting Consequences, whilst he is so far from adoring, that he despises? No wonder the Wary and the Wise of our Sex stay to be convinced by Services, not Words. We have not the least Taint of such a Malignity amongst us; at least that Vice has been so imperfectly, and so newly introduced in the Person of Prince Alexis, 'tis not to be admired, that Honoria was not arm'd against the Deceit she was so far from imagining, that as yet she had never heard the mention of in Sarmatia.

The Court having not, by reason of the King's Illness, been at any of our wild Oxen Hunting, since before your Excellency's Arrival, I hope some Particulars relating to the manner of it, because it agrees with the Business of my Narrative, will not be displeasing.

The Queen and Ladies, drest in the Habit of the Field, do not disdain to find their Amusement in hunting of these wild Creatures; they take a peculiar Delight in beholding the manner how they are overcome, and even in their Deaths: Whether it proceeded from Weakness or Compassion, but, my Lord, the painful Tenderness Honoria always felt in behalf of those unhappy Animals who are cruelly tortur'd to make us Sport, took away from her the Pleasure that most other Women have in those sanguinary Diversions. When a wild Ox is to be kill'd, a vast Number of Horsemen surround him, each of 'em throw their Arrows against him; the Beast finding himself wounded, eagerly pursues him that he imagines his greatest Enemy, while another darting him from behind, he turns with additional Rage against that Person, and so successively as he feels himself successively darted, 'till the poor Creature tired with pursuing such a number of Assailants, falls down and is easily kill'd. When they wou'd take 'em in the Woods, they cause Rusticks to enclose a great Number of them in a place with the Trees fell'd down; thus they can but seldom escape them, the Hunters chusing their several Posts, the Beasts are frightned into the middle by Dogs, and the noisie Cries of the Assailants, where they are wounded by Darts and taken.

Prince Alexis had not declar'd himself to be the beautiful Honoria's Lover, any otherwise than by his Assiduities, which always carryd' him near her Person; therefore at one of these Huntings in the Woods, he stay'd with her at some distance from the enclos'd Scene where those miserable dumb Creatures were to suffer. She had so perfect a Goodness of Temper, that she cou'd not bear to see the fashionable Cruelty there in practice, but leaving the Queen and Court to their Diversions, gave the Reins to her Horse, and rode further into the Wood; when one of those inrag'd Creatures smarting with the Darts he had receiv'd, and which were still profusely sticking in his Body, broke the Hunters Toils, and took the Wood; they held so many more enclos'd that the Escape of one cou'd scarce be heeded.

Prince Alexis was that Day habited in Scarlet, a Colour to which those wild Creatures have an Antipathy, for by that means they are often taken, most of the Hunters carrying such a piece of Cloath, holds it forth to the Creature when he wou'd divert his Rage to another Hunter, who is provided for his coming, and consequently kills him.

Honoria and the Prince were riding together, and pleasingly amusing themselves with every thing but Love, when that terrible wild Beast pursuing the Track by which he made his Escape, seeing 'em before him, and detesting the Colour of Prince Alexis's Habit, ran at the poor Lady's Horse, who, immediately wounded by the Ox's Horns, threw his Rider, and gallop'd away, and this so suddenly coming from behind, that it was felt before perceiv'd. Honoria's Shrieks was the first notice the Prince had of her Danger; the furious Beast, after goring her Horse, drew her to him by her Garments, with his Tongue, which is by Nature so rough, that if any part of the Cloaths be within their reach, they have that Power. The Prince reflecting, that if he approach'd nearer her in that Garb, it wou'd inevitably be the Death of his Mistress (for tho' the Beast by Antipathy might run away from him, he wou'd first toss her with his Horns) divested himself in a moment of that outward offensive Habit, then taking his Poniard, ran to the beautiful distress'd Honoria just as the Ox had got the Command of her Body, and was stooping his Head to push her with his Horns; the Prince had the happy Dexterity, arm'd as he was, by Love and Rage, to strike him into the Skull, and as if it were but one motion; at the same time dis-engaged Honoria, who lay so unhappily expos'd, that the Beast in falling down dead, as he did upon the Instant, had she not been remov'd, must have crush'd her with his weight.

Prince Alexis's Joy, in saving the Life of the Woman he ador'd, was extream, he threw himself upon his Knees by her, where raising her fair Person into his Arms, he had not at first the power of Words to enquire of her Condition, 'till after some time, when he had repay'd himself for the Pains he had taken, with so many ardent repeated Kisses and Embraces as brought back to that lovely Lady some degree of Strength, which she employ'd to rescue her self from those tender Efforts of Love and Transport; a native Principle of Modesty prevail'd even over her Gratitude and Inclination, so that feebly repelling him, Is it thus, my Lord, she enquir'd, that we return our Acknowledgments to Heaven for our Preservation? bruis'd and frightn'd as I am, this Condition of mine can sure be no Motive to such Endearments. If it be Compassion? If it be Joy? take another way of expressing it, a way, in which I may have my Share without Offence to Decency. You live! You breath! You speak! adored Honoria, cry'd out the Prince, Oh! is it possible that these things can be, after the Danger we have pass'd, and I not run wild with Profuseness of Rapture? I who have lov'd you since first I beheld, but durst never before declare it, that like a true, an ardent Lover, value nothing in comparison of you. Be not displeas'd, too cautious Maid, that I receive these Benefits with the Ragings of a youthful Heart, glowing with Desire and Delight! Do you love me, my Lord, answer'd the equally transported Virgin? Am I so blest? Oh! Balm to all my Sufferings! Oh! only Happiness! The pleasing return of my hourly Adorations to Citherea and her irresistible Son! Yes, my Lord, I have long, long, desired it shou'd be thus, but durst never presume to hope it! That awful distance in our Quality, that real Merit abstracted from your Birth, forbade Honoria to aspire after the Possession of so many Excellencies! Speak again, confirm what your Highness has lately said; make me all yours, make me rich without reserve: The mighty Cordial raises me from the Grave: This, this, only cou'd have restor'd me: Mortify'd by Pain, under Terror of the Consequence, and amaz'd at the Danger whence your rescu'd me, yet am I insensible of every thing but Gratitude and Joy.

Forbear, answer'd the Prince, you pain me with Excess of Pleasure; so strait you draw the inchanting Line, Nature can bear no more. I can't endure to be belov'd; 'tis impossible to have Honoria tell me she is mine, and I calmly live to hear her. —These convulsive Graspings,— These blissful Agonies—can best explain my Agitations—Oh! powerful Maid— Thus resting on thy fragrant Bosom, let me pause upon my Happiness—. Let me take a Truce with Extasies too racking and too exquisite for frail Humanity, whose brittle Frame o'er-wrought with Joy, sinks on thy lovely Breast and dies within thy Arms, resistless. —Honoria exerted her utmost Strength in turn to support her Lover, who for some moments was so overcome by Passion, that he was no longer sensible: At length they both recover'd the Power of Kneeling, where the Prince in view of all the awful Hierarchy above, invoking each propitious Power, the tall strait consecrated Trees, and every listning God, swore an unalterable Love, and exchang'd with her his Vows never to wed another. Thus happily engaged by mutual Love and mutual Promises, they were suddenly surrounded by a Train of Huntsmen, who had been several Ways in the Wood in search of 'em, for Honoria's wounded Horse was found and known, and soon after, that of Prince Alexis; for in the instant Danger of his Mistress, he had not thought or Leisure to secure him. It was not long before one of the Queen's Chariots arriv'd, in which they plac'd Honoria, who was so bruis'd by what she had undergone (when Love call'd not upon her to exert her force) that she had scarce the Power of moving. Prince Alexis, who took the late Fatigue for his pretence, plac'd himself by her, and in that manner they return'd to Court, where they were met by the King and Queen, the High-Priest, and others, with Joy and Congratulations. Since that Day the Ladies, for fear of the like Accident, never go to these Huntings in any other Habit but Scarlet.

Prince Alexis and Honoria, tho' possess'd by mutual Love, of mutual Happiness, had many Measures to observe. The Queen had such an Ascendant, and was made by Nature and Fortune so haughty, that she wou'd never consent to her Son's Marriage with a Subject, who had not any thing considerable but the Expectation of being her Uncle's Heir. Prince Honorius was so little a Friend to the King of the Almains, that he wou'd never come into his Interest, tho' to favour that of the Prince, who aim'd at succeeding his Father; this the Lovers were well acquainted with, and therefore despair'd of seeing themselves perfectly haypy, 'till after the Decease of the King; however they forbore not to taste many pleasing Moments; for Love is always sufficient to it self; 'till the Prince, whose Vertue had no solid Foundation, began to impatient himself, and importune Honoria for that rest of Happiness which she had not yet bestow'd: He represented to her how miserable he was, how impossible for him longer to consider her as his Wife, and not possess her as such, how he hourly languish'd and consum'd by Desires; that the Ceremony being nothing but a Name, few People of their Quality, among the bordering Nations, staid to expect it; that neither Glory nor Vertue, being outrag'd by it, since they were by Vows already effectually pair'd, it were Pain and Madness to sacrifice those blissful Moments they might enjoy, to a Caprice which had no Foundation but fantastick Opinion, and Self-conceited Self-denial.

Honoria, whose Vertue was solid as her Love, receiv'd the Proposition with as great an Indignation as she cou'd have for what came from the part of a Man whom she regarded as her Lord. "Alass! Prince Alexis, answer'd she, Are these the Sentiments by which your Highness is agitated? How is Love, that noble Passion, so far degenerated? Wou'd you prefer the deluding sensual Appetite to Honour? Honour! that faithful and unalterable Guide of Life; Honour! who is of such Importance to the well-being of every vertuous Breast, that there can be no just comparison between him and vicious Love. It is not possible in rejecting his Sway, to have any Peace of Mind within, or a Calm without. How ruffled, if you well observe, is the Face of every faulty Person? How confus'd? How apt to flush? conscious of inward Crimes, especially before the truly Vertuous. For what wou'd you exchange this invaluable Jewel? for the false glittering Toy of Touch, a momentary Joy, a Flower that often fades in gathering, a reproachful Sweet, destroying all Esteem and Merit, and which conceals under it a deadly Bitter: Not but that I love, and love to such a height, that I cou'd undergo any Death, rather than see you another's; but at the same time wou'd revive again, tho' to live in endless Miseries, rather than conceive a Thought that shou'd make me unworthy of your Passion, or the Dignity of my own Vertue. I am, and will be, chaste; I am, and must be a Lover of Prince Alexis to my Tomb; they are such Agreeables as can never be separated. Mine you already are, by binding Vows and mutual Inclination; take care not to shake that Esteem I have hitherto had for you; 'tis a sure Foundation, a Rock which will dash the most nosie dreadful Billows. Do not make me cease to value you, lest I cease to love, or see reconcil'd in my self, the greatest of all Misfortunes, a Love which I cannot, must not cure, because you are my Lord, and at the same time to find That Lord grown an Enemy to Vertue."

These were the Sentiments of that Heroick Maid, with which she never fail'd to restrain Prince Alexis his unbounded Desires, 'till she had pall'd and cool'd those Ardours in him, once so noble and conspicuous; which shews that his Passion was defective of Vertue, and sought the Ruin, not the Establishment of the Object that had caus'd it.

The Queen, ever busie and full of Intriegue, had cast her Eyes upon a Match much more advantagious for him; the Spies which she maintain'd in all the great Families of Sarmatia, inform'd her of the Prince's Passion for Honoria: She harrangu'd him upon that Head, and let him see, that if he were so weak to marry a dowerless Subject, and one that was so nearly related to the most inveterate Enemy of their House, he must not expect any part of that great Wealth the King his Father had heap'd up, in which he had been so industrious, denying himself many Expences, only in prospect of continuing the Crown to his Children; that his Highness, as being the First-born, had doubtless the best Pretence to it, but he must be sensible, that without Money, to purchase Voices among the States, all those Pretences wou'd be vain; that she durst venture to answer on the part of his majesty, shou'd the Prince marry Honoria, the King wou'd be so entirely disoblig'd, as not to leave him any thing: On the other side, if he were dispos'd to obey the Commands they had for him, they shou'd be such as wou'd render him entirely happy. Since the rich and beautiful Princess Emely, Relict of the King of Pannonia's Brother, had consented to marry him, all things were already prepared and brought to a Conclusion, and nothing wanting but to render himself at the Pannonian Court, to receive from that King's Hand a Bride of so much Consideration: In short, she represented to him a thousand Advantages that Princess had over Honoria, her Person excepted, the Charms of which, hers, she said, also equal'd; that the Prince's Faith began to stagger, his Passion, as I told your Excellency, having been before cool'd by what ought to have increas'd it: In a Word, the Queen carry'd her point; the Prince promis'd to obey their Majesties, and all things were immediately directed for a splendid Equipage, in order to his Journey to Pannonia.

Prince Honorius had too good Intelligence at Court to miss this, however secret the Queen and Prince affected to keep it; he had heard something of his Niece's Inclinations; but hoping it was not true, without putting her to the pain of questioning her upon a Subject that might distress her Modesty; he contented himself by way of Confidence, to tell her of Prince Alexis's Marriage with the Princess Emely, as a thing the Court had resolved upon, and that as soon as his Equipage cou'd be form'd, his Highness wou'd depart.

Whatever Constancy Honoria was Mistress of, she summon'd it all at this dangerous Juncture, that the Prince her Uncle might not read the Secret of her Soul; but when no longer restrain'd by his Presence, she gave a loose to Sorrow and Despair: What Heart cou'd be so obdurate as to remain unmov'd at her Tears and Sufferings? She ran to me with a distracted Air, throwing her self upon my Bosom, wept aloud; her Words were so interrupted by Sobs and Groans, that it was a long while before my Importunity cou'd prevail with her to tell me what had caus'd her Woe. I who had been so many times a Witness of their innocent Indearments, she cou'd not scruple to acquaint with the News of his Inconstancy. He is false! he is false! Maty said she, Wou'd you believe that lovely Prince shou'd introduce amongst the Sarmatians a new Sin, only to render the unfortunate Honoria miserable? My Life is the intended Victim; by this Novelty I am murther'd. Here the Prince enter'd, who imagin'd not that she was acquainted with his Crime, but seeing her all in Tears, her Dress disorder'd, Despair in her Eyes, and yet never so beautiful as now, when she appear'd most distress'd, made haste tenderly to ask the Occasion of that Scene of Woe. "Dost thou Traitor, she cry'd, enquire what thus afflicts the abandon'd Honoria? What can it be, but Prince Alexis's Perjury? thy early Falsehood; thy, 'till now, unpractis'd Sin of Vow-breach! Art thou not mine? thou art, if oaths are binding, and yet thou dost attempt, and I living, to be another's. Oh! never! That must never happen, assure thy self; my Death shall at once convince thee of my Love, and do thee the Obligation to set thee free from the Tye thou woud'st in vain without me, dispense with.

The Prince finding himself discover'd, never attempted to deny, but barely to extenuate his Fault, by telling us the positive Commands of his Majesty, and what the Queen had said to him; he begg'd Honoria however to believe that he still lov'd her, above all Considerations, and to show her that he did, if she cou'd resolve to oblige him in her turn, by admitting him privately, without the Nuptial Ceremony, to her Bed, he wou'd renounce all other Pretensions but those that ingag'd him to be a tender and unalterable Husband to her alone.

Honoria, however she had been broken and oppress'd by Sorrow before she had heard this Proposition, in a moment return'd her self to that calm which inseparably accompanies Vertue, and with a compos'd and majestick Air, her Eyes full of that Fire which true Glory inspires, said, No, my Lord, if there be no other way to make your Highness Just, but by Honoria's becoming Base, assure your self, you shall for ever be a Criminal; I will sink into my Tomb untainted even in Thought or Wish, my Innocence shall mingle with my Ashes! My Vertue, sacred, as I thought your Vows, is not like them to be violated, but must to the last moment adorn my Life, and make me worthy of a better Destiny! But to show you that I am so far a mortal Woman, as to love with Rage and Constancy, I must resolve to die, to free my self from Miseries I cannot bear—Farewel, my Lord,—Mine—whilst you were Just— farewel—not only to your Highness, but with your Highness a last Farewel to any earthly Happiness: Here the Tears sell in such an abudance from her Eyes, that to conceal the too powerful Weakness, she pass'd into her Cabinet and left the Prince to retire ruminating and disorder'd.

However his Remorse was not powerful enough to hinder his intended Journey to Pannonia; he seem'd to give himself no further pain about the Injustice and Barbarity he was going to be guilty of, in relation to Honoria, the Breach of sacred Vows sate light upon him; he pretended rather to retain Indignation against her for refusing to sacrifice her Vertue, than to feel any Remorse in himself for breaking so solemn an Engagement, and when I attempted to tell him her Sorrows and Sufferings, that I fear'd they wou'd be fatal to her: He answer'd, few dy'd of Grief that talk'd so much of it; and receiv'd all I said with an Air so little serious, that I cou'd not but conclude his Heart was entirely dis-engaged, or transferr'd to his new Pretensions, since he did not fail to take the minutest Care, as to whatever concern'd the Magnificence of his intended Equipage.

Honoria pass'd the time in real Distress and Solitude; the Pretence of Indisposition favour'd her Retreat, tho' it was more than a pretence. Her Love was unalterable even by Injuries, and being as well as her Vertue fix'd upon Principles, nothing but Death cou'd remove it. When her Hopes were entirely desperate, she intended not to survive the Loss of what was so dear to her: But if possible, to give the Prince some Remorse, she resolv'd to die before he shou'd depart, and even in such a manner that he might see her when dead. I was but a Slave, born to obey, and not betray her, and tho' the Assistance I lent this unhappy Victim, was a Heart-wounding Distress to me, yet it was my Duty to perform whatever she commanded, else I cou'd never hope a Blessing from our God's. After having presumed, tho' in vain, to endeavour at overcoming her Resolves by Argument and Reason, I became her Convert, instead of making her mine; she convinced me thoroughly of the Necessity there was for her to rid herself from a State where the Evil so far surmounted the Good; Death was become incomparably, to her, more eligible than Life: Her Love, her Hopes, her Happiness, being fix'd upon the Prince, it was not to be supposed she cou'd survive the loss of him without Horror and Loss of Sense, which wou'd make her Frantick Being, despicable, forlorn, and much more wretched than are the Dead or Dying: Neither her Youth, Beauty, or Innocence, cou'd persuade her to any Compassion of her self; black Despair and hourly Anguish took entire Possession of her Soul, nor cou'd she wish or foresee any Relief but Death; she commanded me to infuse some of that deadly Gum which grows in great abundance among the Trees, in the Country of the Alans, which, as your Excellency cannot want to be inform'd, is a Dukedom annexed to the Republick of Sarmatia.

Sure none ever precipitated their own Death with a Frame of Mind so compos'd as was Honoria's: After she had fix'd her Resolutions, and beheld the Gum dissolving in a proper Vehicle, she wept no more, she raged, she grieved no more; all was calm, all was devout and heavenly: She incessantly kneel'd in hopes of Pardon for that Offence she was about to commit, the greatest that Human Nature, she acknowledg'd, cou'd be capable of; a Sin! of such a Scarlet, that she must die in it, without the Power of Repentance to wash away her Pollution! But since the great Disposers of her Destiny, had submitted her Reason to the Sway of a tyranick Passion, and that Despair succeeded the unsuccessfulness of it, she wou'd fall a Sacrifice to free her from its Torture, still in prospect of seeing the Elizian Shades, since tho' her Life was made an Offering to Love, she had preserved her Chastity inviolable, and her Vertue incorruptible.

Adorned with Innocence, and dress'd in Robes of White, an Emblem of that Innocence, with fantastick Greens, and a Garland of various Flowers to crown the lovely Victim, she seem'd more charming than in all those glittering Ornaments of Court, with which she us'd to grace the Circle. I survey'd her o'er and o'er, with Tears that almost took away my use of Sight, 'till on my Allegiance, she commanded me to reach the Liquid-Death, and to weep no more for her, for that she shou'd shortly be at rest. She drank with Eagerness the bitter Draught, whose Property it is to cause lethargick stupifying Slumbers, which overcoming all the Offices of Life, ends in a lasting Sleep.

When Fate seem'd to be busie with her, and that she was become more a part of another World than she was of this, she caus'd me to call two Men-Slaves, whose Business it was usually to attend at the Foot of the Back-Stairs, Them she swore to obey whatever Commands shou'd be brought 'em, on her Part, by me; she was ever so perfectly good and gracious, that not one of us all, but at her request, wou'd have fac'd the greatest Danger, so they did not hesitate to ingage themselves as she commanded. She bade 'em retire and remain within her Call, but by no means to depart 'till licens'd; then taking her last leave of me, where, to my everlasting Glory be it remember'd, she wept with Tenderness! a Tenderness due to a more exalted State than that of Slave, who cou'd not however be term'd wretched, obeying so much Goodness.

When she had once more strictly prohibited my Tears, she bade me wait without, and not on any Terms to discompose her Fate, so to render it terrible and painful by mistaken Kindness, or unavailing Cries and Compassion, and instructed me how decently to compose her lovely Limbs, to close her Brillant Eyes, and when she was no other than lifeless Clay, to throw a Covering o'er her breathless Limbs, and secretly to cause those two Slaves to bear her to the Prince's Lodging, introduced by me, where he might behold what Love on her side, and Perjury on his, had done.

I Beseech your Excellency to spare all the dismal Circumstances of that wretched Day and Night; the strong Convulsions, the Agonies between Death and Life, that poor Honoria suffer'd! Yet inwardly compos'd and steadfast to the last. She dy'd upon the point of Morning. I thought my self in Duty concern'd, to obey punctually her Orders, and prov'd so happy in the Execution, that I was admitted, with my fatal Present into the Prince's Chamber, few of his People being stirring, himself so early up, with an Intent to go a Hunting.

See there, my Lord, said I to him, when the Slaves had set down the Body of Honoria, approach and see, what Perjury, what Breach of Vows, and Change of Love has done. The Prince intently gazing upon the cover'd Fair, knew not what it was, 'till I drew off the Embroidery, and show'd the breathless Maid, adorn'd, and charming, as if she waited for the Bridal Happiness; so little terrible was Death, so reconcil'd to Innocence and Beauty, that he had no Darts which did not seem subdu'd by both.

I Believe the Prince never felt any Consternation like this; I had left Orders with some of the Slaves to awaken the High-Priest, and to send him to the Lodging where it was told him his Niece was dead, and had commanded her Body shou'd be carry'd. Honorius all affrighted at the Report, enter'd before Prince Alexis cou'd do any thing but gaze upon the departed Beauty. Then was it to be seen, that Religion, and the finest Understanding is not proof against such extraordinary Accidents. I find my self utterly defective when I wou'd express the Grief and Shame that possess'd these two Princes; taking advantage of their Wonder, I gave, in these Words, a short and impartial Relation of what had pass'd since the unhappy Hour that Honoria first engag'd herself to the Prince.

"View here, my Lord, said I, addressing to the High-Priest, view the Fair, but Murther'd Honoria! Honoria! the Vertuous as well as charming! View her as the Trophy of Prince Alexis's Victory and Inconstancy! Honoria dy'd by her Lover's Infidelity! A Lover! who by holy and interchangeable Vows, was sworn to become her Husband; having subdu'd her Heart, he wou'd have basely profited himself of the Conquest, by triumphing over her Vertue; but finding the Heroick Maid set the Value upon it that she ought, he abandon'd what he shou'd have worshipp'd, and from that moment thought no longer of Her, or of his Vows! Oh! Apostate to Love and Chastity! Thou didst prepare thy self (after being engag'd by Oaths and solemn Imprecations to Honoria, in the sight of Juno the awful Goddess, and Queen of Marriage-vows) thou didst prepare, as all Sarmatia knows, to wed the Princess Emely! Oh! unpresidented Perjury! Oh! inconsiderate Youth, to barter real Merit for glaring Titles. Oh! capricious God of Love, How wert thou so easily disgusted? How canst thou be appeas'd with Trifles, at the moment that thou dost cover all things? Behold her a Monument of Infidelity; it was the Arm of Treachery, and not her own, that lifted the fatal Draught to her despairing Lip! It was Prince Alexis's Cruelty and Apostacy, that determin'd, and gave her to swallow the stupifying Death! Alexis! who anticipated his Triumphs, and used to smile when he was told it wou'd be thus! Revenge! Revenge! you immortal Powers! You that are ever excellent! Revenge! upon his Name and Family, Honoria's Wrongs; take Possession of him all ye Furies! Seize him ye Infernal Powers! May his Life be short and miserable, but may his hereafter Torments be never ending! Detest him! ye chaste and blooming Maids; detest him whilst, he is amongst you, you that know the price of Vertue! Detest Him, the Corrupter of Vertue! May his Memory be ever detested! Shun him all ye Good! May his Walks be lonely, his Hours painful, and the Remainder of his Life, one perpetual Remorse for his Ingratitude, Perjury, and Barbarity to Honoria!

There is something so eloquent and persuasive in Truth alone, without the Advantage of Oratory; that there were none present (for by this time the Report of her Death had drawn a Crowd) but what wept her Fate, and detested the Lover's Injustice.

That good Prince Honorius forbore not to kiss the beauteous Clay, to weep over it with Tears almost of Blood, making Imprecations to Phoebus, in the first Transports of his Grief, for Revenge upon the Traitor who thus insulted the Honour of his Name. Some of the less prepossess'd Spectators, discover'd a Writing fix'd upon her Breast, under a Stomacher of Flowers. Curiosity made 'em immediately press about the Corps to endeavour to read it, but Prince Honorius commandimg 'em back, bade me unloose it from the Body; I obey'd, and deliver'd it to him, where he read these Words.


Thou! that wou'dst fill the Sarmatian Annals,
   With Crimes hither to unknown.
Thou! that by the inviolable Trust of Love
Woud'st draw the list'ning Virgin to Dishonour,
   Look here, and regulate thy Desires;
   Look here, and lament thy Perjuries.
Learn from me, a wandering Shade,
   How fleeting are mortal Charms;
And that nothing can be permanent but Vertue. That Life once preserv'd by Prince Alexis's Arms,
Now falls a Sacrifice to his Injustice

I Find it impossible to represent to your Excellency the Tears and Tumult of the Spectators, upon the reading of this Paper; it was so great, that probably without respect to Prince Alexis's being the Son of a King, they had torn him in pieces, if the High-Priest, whose Allegiance was inviolable, had not restrain'd and commanded 'em to depart. The Prince had all this while continued silent, weeping and kneeling upon one Knee, over the breathless Beauty; but seeing that they were going, by Honorius's Orders, to bear the Body to his own House, he gave a Vent to that Woe which had so long been pent within his Bosom, and became formidable to all by the Excess of his Ravings, his Indignation against himself, and Complaints for the untimely Fate of his once adored Honoria. When he cou'd no more by his Prayers, Tears, Struglings, and Endeavours retain her, but that she was carry'd from his Sight, he attempted to murder himself with his Poniard, but that being wrested from him, he wou'd have strangled himself had he not been held; his Rage was so extream, they were forced to bind him in his Bed, and when the King and Queen were call'd, how did he exclaim against false Ambition, Avarice, Perjury, and those other Crimes which had occasion'd Honoria's Fate?

They left his Cure to Time, and the Care of the Physicians, and sent their Complement of Condoleance to the High-Priest, who, like a Man truly prudent and religious, submitted himself, with a Moderation very surprizing to all who knew how much he had valu'd and lov'd Honoria. The wiser part believed he only smother'd his Resentment, deferring it to an Hereafter, when he shou'd have, upon the King's Death, a blameless opportunity of pursuing his Revenge.

Honoria's Body was burnt with utmost Pomp, not a Virgin of any Distinction but what render'd herself with Garlands, Elegies, and Tears, about her Pile, bestowing Millions of Invectives against her perjur'd Lover. I begg'd the Glory to have been sacrific'd to her Manes, but the High-Priest reserv'd me to do her Memory Justice; so that another, tho' less favour'd than I had been, was burnt with that lovely Clay, together with those Ornaments and Moveables that she had most valu'd when living.

A magnificent Tomb was erected to her Memory, a bright Repository for her invaluable Ashes! whereon the High-Priest caus'd to be ingrav'd in Characters of Gold, the Inscription found upon her Breast; but this did not long survive, some Agent of the Royal Family, took an unseen Opportunity to deface the Writing, which ought to have remain'd an everlasting Monument of Prince Alexis's Injustice.

Whose Grief, not acted by Principles quickly pass'd over, but because he was ashamed immediately to appear where he had occasion'd so lamented a Catastrophy, he departed privately for Pannonia, in pursuit of his first Design, where his Equipage met him. The King and Princess Emely had given their Consent to the Nuptials, so that he was there receiv'd with great Magnificence.

The lovely Prince of Noricum, Brother to the Queen of the Almains, out of Friendship and Respect to the King of Sarmatia, render'd himself at the Panonian Court, to give Prince Alexis the Meeting, and to grace the Marriage-Ceremony.

Fame, that indefatigable Goddess, had brought poor Honoria's Adventure to the Ears of the Princess Emely; she took a Resolution worthy her exalted Soul, which was revenging the Dishonour had been done one of the most meritorious of the Sex, upon the Traitor who had deceiv'd her; in order to it, she sent a Lady of Address and bright Understanding, to the Prince of Noricam to ask him if he would be contented to Marry her? And to convince him upon what Principles she went, the Story of Prince Alexis's Perjury, by her Directions, was related to him: The Princess's great Beauty, Merit and Possessions, soon determin'd his Resolution: They were marry'd that very Evening, before the Morning design'd for her Nuptials with the Sarmatian Prince.

And that his Disgrace might be the more particular, it was industriously conceal'd from his Highness, 'till he came, in Nuptial Ornaments, to take the destin'd Bride at her own Lodgings. But was then told below, by an Officer in waiting, not to make a noise to disturb the Princess, who could not be spoken to, for that she was in Bed with her Lord, the Prince of Noricum, whom she had lately Married.

He staid not to have the Publick, a Witness of his Disgrace, nor to call his false Friend to an Account for breach of Friendship, the greatest that mortal Man could have been guilty of; and which the poorest Spirited Slave would have resented and reveng'd. The King of Sarmatia, upon his return, talk'd very high of the Injury and Affront that had been done Him, in the Person of his Son, and pretended that the Pannonian King should give him Satisfaction for the Outrage that had been committed in his Court: But an Expedient was found out, which this narrow-Soul'd Prince agreed too; an Expedient, that made his littleness of Spirit more conspicuous, it was a Marriage between Him, and a Sister of his Rival; these Nuptials were soon after Solemniz'd, and all was well again: But the Sarmatians secretly despise and ridicule his Conduct, which is the true reason that so very few of 'em ever desire to see him become their Monarch.

Thus, my Lord, pursu'd the Envoy, I have given you Prince Alexis's History, in most of the Slave Maty's Words, which will inform your Lordship of the true value of that Prince: Now it was no longer a Mystery to me, why he was not beloved by the Sarmatians. I also observ'd, that Mademoiselle Maty expected a world of Applauses, for so handsomly acquitting her self. She was very Beautiful, and more Eveliez and Spiritual, than any I had met, among the Women of the first Distinction: Add to this her Youth, and something of an Air which bespoke Satisfaction and Self-sufficiency, as if she more Govern'd than Obey'd, and rather, imposed Chains upon others, than wore 'em her self; which, together with the richness of her Habit, and the Respect all the Domesticks paid her, gave me to suspect, that the High-Priest, being no more than a Man, this beautiful Slave found her Account near his Eminence; nor was I deceiv'd, as afterwards I was convinc'd: Therefore I did not play away the Opportunity that was given me, but with all sorts of Address, and artful seeming Sincerity, I celebrated her Merit, affected to be infinitely Charm'd, infinitely Sensible, and render'd her Wit and Beauty some part of what she thought her due: It was impossible to do her Charms the Justice she expected; nor could they have so great an allay as her own Esteem and Knowledge of 'em; tho' we must grant she took their height, from the difficult and illustrious Conquest they had obtain'd.

I Resolv'd to bring her in to my Interest, and added Presents to my Praises. She permitted me the Favour to see her often. It was not long before she gave me the best Proof that my Mony had been well bestow'd; very Faithful and very Grateful, beyond what was to be found in the Men, even among those who are call'd Noble. She never forbore 'till she brought the High Priest to declare himself, and I happily receiv'd his Promise, that he wou'd carry on my Master's Interest the next Election, in the Person of Prince Armatius, to the prejudice of all others.

Thus by a lucky Hit, and the help of a critical Smile from the Goddess Fortune, I obtain'd, what, before, I had so many waking Hours rack'd my Brain for in vain: So true it is, that all Men have their Foibles, and Ascendants, even the Wisest and most Abstemious; the Difficulty lies only in the Discovery, for after that, there are few Favourites, but what have Favourites, or at least Omnipotent Gold has a Power so extensive, that we presume we are not guilty of Hyperboly, and Paint but after the Life, in representing it, as the grand Universal.

But, my Lord, the Hour grows late, permit me to wait upon your Lordship to your Repose: I have enough intruded upon your Patience for once; to Morrow, if your Curiosity continue, I will not forbear to do my self the Honor of repeating to you whatever has since hap'ned of moment in Sarmatia.

Horatio return'd the Envoy his Acknowledgments, and with much unwillingness, was oblig'd to let him attend him to his Bed-Chamber, which was the same that had before been his: Merovius having resign'd it to him, order'd a second Field-Bed to be set up for himself in another Appartment. Horatio was forc'd to comply with this, and told him, that he found it was impossible to contend in Gallantry with such a Master, whom he wou'd always make it his Glory, rather to imitate and obey, than fruitlesly to contend with.

Book II.

Monsieur L'Envoye was agreeably awak'ned in the Morning by the Count de St. Girrone, a Native of the Celtick Gallia; he called for his Cloaths, the better to receive and caress that Friend, whom he had not beheld in so long a time. When their first Indearments were over, and the Prior dress'd, they went both together to Horatio's Appartment, having sent before to know, whether he were stirring. The Prior presented his Friend to the Roman Hero, and desired he wou'd be pleas'd to consider him as a Person of Merit, well acquainted with the World, and one whose Conversation was very diverting. General Complements being over, Merovius enquir'd of the Count how he came to be so happy to see him in Sarmatia. To whom in return, the Count gave this following Relation.

Your Excellency knows I am a Soldier of Fortune, have a roving Head, love to see strange Customs and Countries, which caused me to forsake my own, just after the last Peace, which our mighty Monarch made with his Enemies. Tho' 'tis true, his Majesty did not dissolve his Army, yet I con'd not understand that sort of Paradox, being a Soldier with nothing to do; I lov'd Action, and therefore resolv'd to travel in pursuit of some.

I Cou'd not have more fortunately executed my Design, than in the Company of Count Martel, a Person of Merit and Address, who was going Ambassador from King Charles to the Emperor Constantine, or rather to the Empress Irene, for all things are govern'd in that Court and Kingdom, as she and her Favourite the General Stauratius pleases, with whom it is believ'd she has contracted une Marriage de Conscience: The Emperor is no more minded than a Baby in Leading-Strings, for so his Mother will have it. Did your Lordship make any Stay in that Court, interrupted Horatio? About eighteen Months, reply'd the Count, enough to be weary of it, tho' part of the Time was spent in a Campaign, under Stauratius against the Persians; but his Avarice was so excessive, that it disgusted even those that were not to suffer by it; something so sordid and offensive resulting from that Vice, as to make the Wearer secretly despis'd, be his Quality never so conspicuous, or his Power so extensive; nor can any thing attone for it, because of the Baseness of its Companions, Injustice, Extortion, Cruelty, and Ingratitude, are its Inseparables. Constantinople is no longer the Eternal City transferr'd! In forsaking the old Roman Vertues, they have imbibed the Vices and degenerated into those Barbarians, once so contemptible in their Eyes; a few excepted, amongst which still are to be found the Love of Glory! Love of their Country! and Constitution! The rest run mad after Liberty, new Notions! new Vices! and new Religions! This latter so entirely possesses 'em, that if you are acceptable to 'em upon every other Account, and differ there, they hate and persecute you, and are so unjust, not to allow you any part of that Merit they before admired you for; and which is more ridiculous than all, they still are thus warm for every Opinion that they embrace, (for I wou'd have you to know there's few but have, and do change, and more than once) they are constant to nothing but Inconstancy: Sometimes the Orthodoxy, sometimes Heterodoxy is uppermost; they have Fashions for Religions as well as Cloaths, are as fond of 'em, and new cut 'em as often: At present the Orthodox is discountenanc'd; the Empress Irene introduc'd Image-Worship, and has got a Pope to her own Heart's Desire, Dull! Stupid! and as little tenacious of the Rights of the Pontificate, as she cou'd desire. The Patriarch of Constantinople indeed is not so passive, he asserts the Purity of the Primitive Times, and opposes all Innovations; whence it is, that the Bishop of Rome is at perpetual Variance with him: But I forget my self, that I am speaking to a Roman, whose Knowledge in all things, especially the Manners of his own Country, is confirm'd, whereas mine can be but superficial.

I Assure your Lordship, answer'd Horatio, that I am much ignoranter than I dare own; 'tis more than three Years since I was there, and only know, that from the time of my Departure, Affairs have often chang'd Hands. After Monsieur L'Envoy's Curiosity is satisfied, I will beg a little Information of the Measures that were in fashion, then, when your Lordship left Constantinople; for a Person of your Penetration, with those Lights, which the piercing and refin'd Count Martel cou'd give him, can (I'm certain) be ignorant of nothing that you had a Desire to know. Your Lordship is too obliging, answer'd the Count, but in all things that depends upon me, you may be sure to be obey'd.

Wearied, as I told your Lordships, with the busie Intrigues, Faction and Dulness, of the Constantinopolitant Court, (for Gallantry is no longer the Theme, the greatest Beauties seem to forget that they have Charms, since they have not any Lovers to put 'em in mind of 'em; all are buried in Politicks and Strugglings which Opinion shall prevail); wearied, I say, with those sort of unnatural Divisions, I went in the Train of an Ambassador, from the Emperor, to the Prince of Rhetia in Germany; we happen'd to reach the Court just before his Nuptials; I had the good Fortune to carry the prize at those Justs and Tournaments that were held in Honour of the Bride, which so far recommended me to his Highness, that he receiv'd me into his Army, and gave me a very considerable Post there.

I Can't forbear telling your Lordships, that the Princess of Rhetia is a Person full of so many Attractions, that without being the greatest Beauty in the World, she can do more than the most Charming; she penetrates, she enters into the secret Wishes of her Beholders, and causes their Best to be made for Her; in short, at her appearance at Court, not a Man but found her to his Taste; she was universally taking; her Air, her Wit, her Eyes, her Manner, her Vivacity, every thing about her, created Admirers, even from amongst those of her own Sex; yet with all these Agreements, she has not been able to defend herself from becoming unhappy: The Person who was suspected to be her Favourite, is now wretched, and under my Guard, in a Tent pitch'd not far from your Excellency's, where we arriv'd last Night; tho' I was then ignorant of my good Fortune in being brought to be your so near Neighbour, or, late as it was, I shou'd not have forborn to have paid my Duty to your Excellency.

And do you imagine, Monsieur Le Count, reply'd the Prior of Orleans, observing the Count was silent, that we will compound for this; I assure your Lordship, that I am too fond of all Occasions that can make you speak, to pass by, one so particular. Something I have already heard of this unhappy Gentleman, I think he is a Man of Quality of the Vandals; but the distance makes things so confus'd, that one cannot depend upon what one hears. Pray favour the generous Horatio and my self, with what your Lordship knows of that Affair: Horatio having joyn'd his Endeavours to the Envoy's, the Count cou'd no longer defend himself, but addressing to both, thus continu'd his Relation.

Your Excellency is well inform'd Count Alarick was born among the Vandals, but he has liv'd more abroad than at home; as his Exploits have been perform'd and renown'd more under the Queen of Love than the God of War, the Ladies can give a better account of him than can those of our Sex. His Person is handsome, and did not Misfortunes preserve him sacred from Curiosity, your selves shou'd be Judges; but as this Intrusion is a sort of insulting, which no well bred Man wou'd be guilty of, you will be pleas'd to be contented with what I can tell your Lordships.

I Have never had the Honour to enter the Count's Cabinet; so that I do not pretend to give you a part in any of his Thoughts; his Actions, and those only, that have made such a Noise in the World, that none about him are ignorant of 'em, shall be my present Entertainment.

I Think Count Alarick had more of Title than Estate, which caus'd him to use all his Endeavours to better it; those which offer'd most plausibly to a Man well made, young, handsom, and gay, as he was, seem'd such as he cou'd procure from the fair Sex. In his Travels, it was his Fortune, in the Lower Batavia, to meet a Lady whose Circumstances were pretty fantastical; she was born in one of the Islands, of high Birth, and a vast Heiress. A Person of the first Distinction for Quality, tho' not Merit; a Titular Prince, of which there are Numbers in that Part of the World, found her Possessions wou'd be infinitely commodious for him, because his Estate was but little answerable to the Rank he held; but knowing the young Lady's Mother wou'd never be for him, he contented himself with wishing some unforeseen Smile of Fortune might conduct him to his Happiness.

Mean time his Mistress is marry'd, without asking her Consent, to a Gentleman who was the Reverse of the Prince, for he had much more Estate than Title; but Lady Isabela's Mother very careful and tender of her only Child (tho' she was not too young in the Opinion of the rest of the World) capitulated with him that he shou'd not bed her in a Year; the Bridegroom agreed to these Articles, and kept his Word: He was guilty of another Over-sight, and that was forgetting to secure Lady Isabella's Woman, who had been before tamper'd with by the needy Prince his Rival; her Power over the old Lady was not so great as with the Young, and consequently she cou'd not prevent the Marriage: But when she saw the Consummation was deferr'd, and that the Bridegroom was departed without bribing her, she poison'd Lady Isabella's unwary Innocence against her Husband: The first thing she did, was to bring her a Looking-Glass, and asking her, as the young Charmer survey'd herself there, Who but an insensible, or diseas'd abject Wretch, or perhaps with Affections pre-engag'd, cou'd leave so vast a Share of Youth and Beauty un-enjoy'd? That 'twas true, her Husband had capitulated so to do, but if he had lov'd as another wou'd have done, what he had said to the old Lady to gain her, ought to have gone for nothing: He was now become the Master; all the World wou'd therefore have been on his side, when the Possession of a Bride so charming was in question: His Neglect was unpardonable, affronting, cold, indifferent! That true it was, one shou'd have been apt to have pity'd and forgiven the wretched Mortal (taking his unnatural Apathy to proceed from a Defect of Nature) had he not given guilty Proofs of his liking and Immorality in other places: Therefore nothing cou'd be said for him here to his Advantage; for either he must be in an ill State of Health, perhaps one, infectious, or still in love with his Mistress; or which was as bad, not in love with his Wife.

Lady Isabella, was as full of her self as any Lady of her Birth, Fortune, and Beauty cou'd be, and never had any Liking to her Husband's Person or Address, who, because secure of her Mother, had neglected those necessary Applications by which a Lover insinuates himself into the tender Inclinations of the Fair. She fired, with Indignation at this Contempt of her Beauty, and was quickly wrought up to all the Resentment that was necessary to make her resolve never to live with a Man that held her in such despicable Estimation. Her Woman, who thought it hard, when such an Heiress, as was her Lady, came to be dispos'd of, if she cou'd not in the Destiny make her own Fortune, play'd her part dextrously, and kept her incessantly warm, 'till she was determin'd to fly from their Island into Batavia, where the same Laws were not in force, and nothing in place to hinder her from becoming Mistress of her own Conduct.

Accordingly she came to take the Batavian Ambassador's Lady one Morning, early in her Bed, and told her, if she had but half the Friendship for her which she profess'd, she shou'd now give her a Proof of it, and fly with her beyond the Seas; that however it were, if she refus'd to take part in her Destiny, she herself was determin'd, and wou'd go, tho' it were alone; but, she conjur'd her not to deny her the Protection of her Presence, for Slander that was ever busie, wou'd not know how to approach her under the Sanction of so much Vertue and Conduct, as her Excellency had ever been Mistress of.

Lady Isabella's Woman was an industrious Incendiary, and did not fail to inform the Prince her Benefactor, of their Design; she advis'd him to follow 'em where-ever they shou'd go; but Love and Nature rais'd up for some time, an Obstacle to his Pretensions. Count Alarick with his Charms, Generosity, and Address, met her in her Pilgrimage, and had the Glory to touch Lady Isabella's Heart, who engag'd to marry him, if her former Nuptials cou'd be set aside. She was, as I have remark'd, a mighty Heiress; and tho' the necessary Ceremony that perfects a Marriage were unaccomplish'd, her Possessions were too large to let her go without making all the Defence that cou'd be made; at best, it wou'd be a Work of Time: Count Alarick's seeming Passion cou'd not stay for that, he therefore dispatch'd a Gentleman of his Chamber, too faithful a Domestick, who hired Ruffians, and assassinated the unfortunate Gentleman in his Coach, to the Reproach of all Gallantry, Humanity, or Honesty; for since they were Masters of a Sword, he ought by that way and no other, to have pretended to Isabella.

Love, in spight of our selves, often carries us where we never thought of going; we can't foresee any Passion with certainty, Hatred, Love, Revenge, Jealousie, Anger, and Ambition, arise in our Breasts, when they are not expected; they surprize and arbitarily govern those of whom they become absolute Mistresses; 'tis principally for this Reason, that we ought to use all our Endeavours not to be inslaved, since 'tis a matter so difficult to defend ourselves from the ill Effects of their tyrannick Pre-possession.

Love and Riches were the Motives to, this dishonest Assassination, nor did it succeed as the Count expected: Isabella was a Lady of too distinguishing a Quality, not to have all the World interess themselves on her side; they advis'd her to abandon him, that she might preserve, or not irreparably wound her Character, by a Marriage with the Murderer of her Husband! Her Character! which had already suffer'd too much, by the Kindness she had shown the Count, and which caus'd ill-natur'd Censures to conclude, he wou'd not have been so base, and mad, as to do a Wickedness, for the sake of Wickedness, if he had not been sure of his point. But, alas! what dependance is there upon the frail Inclinations of Women? The varying Seasons! Nor the changing Winds! can but faintly represent the April Weather of their Affections! Nothing in Nature but themselves, can come up to their Fantast; Whirlwinds, and Whirl-pools! The Crocodile and Hyena have been us'd as Emblems of their Cruelty and Inconstancy! Those are indeed devouring Evils, but not comparable to Woman! Who are false by Inheritance, full of native Deceit and attracting Fraud! They center in themselves the Dominion of the World; for not one of 'em but wou'd angle and allure, 'till all Mankind were their Slaves, and as Slaves they wou'd tyrannize and use 'em! Impatient to miss the most despicable Adorations, and therefore are their own Sex hated by 'em: Nor are their dear sudden, momentary, Intimacies; ever design'd, but to be let into each others Defects, which they unpitifully expose to us, with a Mask of Vertue dissembling their own Vices, yet transported to convict others, of their's upon which they are inexorable, and never forgive, tho' their Repentance be never so sincere: And what is all this for? why truly, to gratifie their first Principle, Pride! For so short-sighted are their Judgments, they know not how to set a just Estimation upon themselves, or others, and as often, under, as over-value both; so that generally, some lurking, worthless Wretch, is made Master of their Charms, when in turn they are themselves despis'd, even by those whom they before rejected and trampled upon. Can we use these Deceivers, by way of Reprizal, too ill? 'tis They that have taught us, Frauds, and the Dexterity of turning upon 'em their own Artillery; from Them we have learn'd Ingratitude, to insult Benefits, ridicule Innocence, and happy Simplicity of Manners; from Them we have learn'd false Vows, to give feign'd and flattering Hopes, to breath pretended Sighs, to despise what we have conquer'd, and yet to aim at conquering, what we despise! Truth is never to be spoken to 'em, they think so Omnipotently of themselves, that without Hyperboly, or a Magnifying-Glass, you must never hope to reach 'em: In short, they have set us the Pattern, but Man has prov'd so excellent an Imitator as to refine upon the Invention, and now we may pretend even to out-do 'em at their own Weapon: They may thank themselves for giving us a Sample of their Artifice; wou'd they have been contented with simple generous Love, and a just Reverence of their human Persons, without Deification and Adulations, we might mutually have found our account, and like humble innocent Mortals, been innocently, mutually happy.

Then are they implacable Enemies, and never forgive any Slight or Neglect, that seems to be offer'd to their Persons, whether fair, or not; to commend others is a mortal Crime amongst some of 'em. I remember a Case, wherein a Writer of Memoirs suffer'd for this: He had found a Prince of distinguishing Merit to address to, a Prince happy in his own Perfections, happy in those of the Princess his Wife, and in an Aunt, a living Pattern of Beauty and Goodness; together with a Dowager who was Mother to the Prince his Father; all meritorious, and deserving as much as the Race of Women cou'd deserve! The Historian endeavour'd, according to the Capacity Nature had given him, to do 'em Justice; nay, he even strain'd for it: But here was the Mischief, the Prince's own Mother was not mention'd; and why? because indeed that Noble Race had never intermarry'd with the City before, nor was she preferr'd, but by the Weight of her Gold, with which, she brought an excessive Love of Cards and Play, besides an insupportable Spirit of Dominion which made all those uneasie that wou'd not submit to it: But this was not all, the Poet had fix'd a Merit to the Elder Dowager, for not admitting a second Embrace, to sully the Nuptial Sheets, sacred to the Memory of the departed, the immortal Prince her Lord; this was directly wrong, for the Lady Omitted, had not only marry'd her self twice, but was the third time in Treaty, for a third Husband; and if she goes on as she has begun, and with the same good luck, she may possibly swell 'em to a Number proportionate to her Inclinations.

Not satisfy'd at being omitted (tho' by her Birth, she cou'd not have been mention'd to the Glory of that illustrious Family into which she had the happy Fortune to be thrown) the Praise of another she thought a Reflection upon her self, and never ceas'd persecuting the Prince her Son with all the Malice and Invectives she cou'd invent, to cause him to commit Hardships upon the Person that had dared to confine the Ubiquitary Sex, to the Pleasure of a single Embrace; tho' true it is, no Woman of just, of strick, of distinguishing Vertue, ever admitted a second.

Another of Quality, not inferior, who was taken notice of for her exalted Pride, persecuted her Son-in-law, who had had the deserved Consideration that his Merit prompted, and wou'd have him to reject the Author, tho' in his just Distribution, her own Daughter had met with the just Praise, that her Youth and Beauty deserved.

Monsieur Le Count, interrupted Horatio, with a Smile, has sure been very ill us'd by what he calls that undistinguishing Sex, tho' by his Form one wou'd scarce believe it; or he wou'd hardly have digressed so much to their Prejudice, and given us cause to desire him to return to his Subject; whatever he says meets with such Approbation, that we cannot but be angry at the narrowness of our Memory, which wou'd retain all that one hears from so just a Speaker, and suffers but with pain (as it will happen in Discourses of any length) the last still to get the Precedence of the first in our Remembrance.

I Humbly stand corrected, says the Count, I was then angry, but not for my self, 'twas Lady Isabella's little discernment, who was drawn to make a choice which had been beneath an ordinary Gentlewoman, and yet it was That of a Prince, great by Title, little by Merit, one who cou'd no more understand than deserve her Charms; fruitful in nothing but ill Nature, Spleen, and narrowness of Soul; haughty both to his King and Mistress, obstinate and impatient even of Royal Commands, but from the Spirit of Contradiction not Principle; lewd in his Nature, low and promiscuous in his Amours, void of all Delicacy, rigid, penurious, and snarling to his Attendants, often chastizing 'em for imaginary Faults with real Blows from his own Hand; whimsical, offensive, never to be pleas'd but with Novelty, and yet a moment's time puts an end to that Novelty. How the good Temper and Prudence of his Princess has been able to wade with Chearfulness through this Sea of stormy Discontent, is a Miracle! but something sure of Mortification is due to her, for the Catastrophy that befel her other unhappy Husband.

Count Alarick having been defeated here, made his Tour of Gallantry through several Nations; he had once like to have been surprized by a Man of Quality in his Bed-Chamber, and escaped so narrowly, that he was forc'd, at the hazzard of his Neck, to save his Person by a Leap from a high Window; but it did not happen so well with the poor Lady, for her angry Lord, tho' no longer jealous, since convinc'd, inhumanly cut her to pieces upon the Spot; neither her Prayers, Repentance, Youth, or Beauty, cou'd protect her: The other half of his Rage had escaped, he was therefore resolved that she shou'd suffer for the whole, and the better to satisfie his Caprice, and to make it he thought that he had wash'd away the Pollution with the Villain's Blood, he caus'd it to be reported, That that was the Body of the Person who had dishonour'd his Family, and stain'd his Bed; whence the Rumour ran in most Countries, that Count Alarick had been discover'd, murther'd and hew'd to pieces upon the Instant.

Happy had it been for Annagild Princess of Dacia, if so it had prov'd; then had she never found her self sensible of those Charms which have caus'd her Misfortunes: It was in the Court of the Prince her Father, that the Count refug'd himself against his implacable Adversaries. I am persuaded, my Lords, that Merit is not always necessary towards subduing the most meritorious of the fair Sex; there's a Knack, besides a lucky Hit; don't you see worthless Fellows that have nothing to recommend 'em, and little else to divert, always succeed in this? The Women will have a Man's whole time, or else they have no part in his Heart; this the Idle, and those who are not acceptable among People of Learning and Sense, can do. I have heard some Ladies confess, That they cou'd have no real Regret, or ever regard him as a Lover, who suffer'd Interest, Devoir, Devotion, or any Avocation, to interfere with their Passion; and that 'till a Man was insensible of Property, Friends, Duty, Affection, he was not worthy to be call'd a Lover; nay, they scruple to confer the Dignity upon any that retains the least Share of common Sense, or the Taste of Meat and Wine; for your true Lover, say they, must neither eat nor drink; he shou'd have an Appetite for nothing but his Mistress; and whatever is the Subject of the Discourse, he ought always to center it in the Person he adores.

I Understand that Count Alarick possess'd these Accomplishments in Perfection; by his Assiduity he had gain'd Princess Annagilda's Heart, but Destiny had not resolv'd 'em for each other. The Prince of Dacia, had just concluded with the Rhetian Ambassador, who was come on the part of that Prince, to demand her in Marriage. What did she not say, to find herself, made a Sacrifice of State? How did she regret her Birth, that determin'd her to be made an Offering to Interest rather than tender Inclination? How did she envy the lowly Cottage-Maid, who knew no Dignity but what was conferr'd by Love? How often wou'd she have abandon'd that Royalty, that unweildy Air of Greatness, to have fix'd in some easy, humble, safe, Retreat with Count Alarick, her Lover and her Friend? 'Tis believ'd she wou'd have fled with him away, but her Inclinations having been discover'd by his Indiscretion, she was carefully guarded; yet with the utmost Secresie, least the Report of this unhappy Passion, shou'd fill the Wings of Goddess Fame, and fly abroad to the prejudice of the young Princess's Glory, who, in vain, cast her self at the Prince of Dacia's Feet, to beg he wou'd grant her at least, some time, to get over her Misfortune and first Inclination, that so she might by her Compliance, endeavour to render her self worthy of the Honour she had of being his Daughter.

Mean time the Prince of Rhetia was not less ingaged, tho' more criminally; he had a Mistress named Rodegund, who, for a long time, had held over him a despotic Sway; but as there are very few Affections but what die of themselves, especially if unoppos'd, because Difficulties are like the fanning Winds, makes the Flame burn fiercer, renders it more bright and towering; so the Prince finding it for the good of his State, that he shou'd provide 'em Posterity, and sated with the long and full Possession of Rodegund, having heard much of the Princess Annagilda's Charms, sent his Ambassadors to demand her: When all Matters were adjusted, and his Bride made such by Proxy, he came to his Mistress, and desired her to depart the Court, without Thoughts of a return, 'till she had a Permission from himself; that in Compliance with his Counsel, he had been forc'd to marry the Princess of Dacia, who was a Lady too young and beautiful to receive so early a Digust, and of such a Nature, as the Presence of a belov'd Mistress wou'd give. Nor must her self expect to make a very good Figure, amidst the Caresses he shou'd be oblig'd to bestow upon a Bride so charming: That he begg'd her pardon for not asking her Advice upon a Matter of so great Importance; that he did not do it, because either way, as a Friend, or Lover, it must have given her Confusion to speak against his, or her own Interest; therefore in Tenderness he had spar'd, and shou'd always respect her, beyond every thing but his Devoir, and not be fonder of any Interest than of giving her Testimonies of it.

Haughty Rodegund, who had Cunning as well as Pride, heard what the Prince of Rhetia said, as a definitive Sentence; she justly imagin'd her Blandishments wou'd be but vainly apply'd: Her Power was departed, and, that, she assur'd her self by his voluntary Marriage, for whatever he had said of his Counsel she knew was nothing but pretence. Who, without any Motive or Sollicitations, gives away a Jewel, that they yet are fond of? She ran over these, and several other Considerations in a moment. Ill cou'd she bear that Change of Scene, ill exchange the Government of a Court and Kingdom, for that Solitude and Decline of Power that were going to be her undoubted Companions. She was not ignorant that the Prince was the Sun which had influenced those Court-Adulations she had met with; and that when he was set to her, she shou'd be despicable, forlorn, and no longer regarded as of any moment. What cou'd she do? Tears and Complaints were vain; this had none of the Air of those Disgusts, which in the Morning of their Love, so sweetly endear'd 'em to each other, and made the pleasure of Reconciliation greater than had been the Pain of Separation. The little God is so good an Oeconomist, as never to suffer those who are his Vassals, to be wanting of either, Joy, or Affliction; they always reside together in the same Heart, where they subsist of themselves and maintain alternate Sway.

Rodegund let fall some graceful Tears, which gave her an Air of tender Regret, very moving and serviceable to her, for that it left a grateful Impression upon her Lover's Heart. She told him, That as her Beauty, Virtue and Honor, had been early Victims to his Desires, she should still be ready to sacrifice all things, even her Life, to make his Highness easy. Her Business had ever been to obey, and not dispute; therefore now she would not be wanting in her Duty: Her only Request was, that he would please to remember her with some Compassion, for that she was going to be, not alone, the most unhappy, but the most despicable Woman living, only for having made him Happy: Since she well knew nothing upon Earth, was so great an Object of Reproach and Misery, as an abandon'd Mistress.

His Highness told her, he wou'd take such care of her Circumstances as should secure her against Contempt; the World was no longer rigid, to any but the Indigent. There indeed, an offence to Virtue was Immortal; for tho' the Repentance of the Poor prov'd never so ardent and conspicuous, those others of the Sex, that had not yet either been guilty, or discover'd, would never countenance but condemn, and cry fie upon her for a naughty Creature, I detest the Thoughts of her, I would not for the World be seen to speak to her, or forgive her she is so Wicked; and presently steps into her Coach to go to Cards, or to take the Air, or Collation with the Mistress of a King, a Prince, or any Man's who has a mind to support His, with Equipage and Expence. So that the fault is not in the want of Virtue, but the want of Quality and Mony, both which he had secur'd her against, and wou'd always take care of her Interest as much as of his own.

Rodegund, seeing his Highness was pleas'd to turn her most serious Complaints into Raillery, grew infinitely mortify'd at it, and concluded that painful interview, with telling him she would so punctually obey, that her Behaviour shou'd extend even to his Thoughts, which she did not doubt were less in favour of her, than were his Words. Therefore she would speak to Them, and so emphatically, as absolutely to retire to be seen no more in any Visits; nor wou'd she maintain Conversation at home, but in all things that depended on her self, be what he would wish to have her. The Prince, transported at her Compliance, return'd her his Thanks with such an Air, that she knew he was infinitely pleas'd; who after having embrac'd her in his Arms, and took a farewel of her Lips, left a Kiss upon her Hand; and as if he had gain'd a most important Victory, departed in Triumph, perhaps with as much Pleasure at foregoing, as he once had had in possessing: So humorous and changeable are those Affections that have not Virtue for their Establishment.

The Mistress retir'd indeed, but it was to brood over her imaginary Wrongs, and to meditate a Revenge upon that Innocent Beauty that had occasion'd her Disgrace; which if she could but effect, she thought her return to Court and Favour, would certainly be the Consequences: A very remote View, and yet Fortune, that delights in Change, favour'd her, even beyond her own Expectations.

Annagilda, much against her Inclinations, was forc'd to give her Hand to the Rhetian Ambassador for his Master; but when that was done, she endeavour'd also to give the Prince her Heart. The unlucky Count was ready to die: He! the most Fortunate, Unfortunate Lover, that ever had been, always belov'd, and yet never successful! The Princess resisted his earnest Intreaties to bring her to a Rendevouz, and sent her Governess (whom with Tears, Prayers and Presents, she had gain'd) to tell him he must no more remember Annagilda, but as Wife to the Prince of Rhetia.

Rosaline was the Lady Governess's Name, she had had the Honor of bringing up the Princess, preferrable to those of greater Quality and Merit; but a Mistress of the Prince her Sovereign, had procur'd her that Employment, an Employment which ought to have come from any Recommendation, rather than that of a Mistress. She was none of the Rigid, her Behaviour had enough of Complaisance, to make the young Beauty rather love than fear her. Lady Governess's Inclinations to Gallantry and Assemblies, caus'd that little Court to abound in Musick, Balls, gay Conversation of the most Modish, most Spirituel ; and in short, with whatever could divert the Mind, or accomplish the Person. Rosaline penetrated not so far, as to trouble herself with moral Instructions, and musty Maxims; requisits of a College rather than a Court. Count Alarick shin'd in all these Amusements, and being an excellent Dancer, had the Honor often to ingage the Princess, whence he gain'd those Opportunities of an entire Victory over her young and tender Inclinations.

Madam, the Governess, had often beheld him with an Eye of Approbation, but being then ingag'd in an Amour, that she was forc'd to leave behind her, when she departed for the Rhetian Court, found herself under no such a Necessity, as afterwards, of making advances to the Count. She was as Gay and Girlish as any Lady of fifty cou'd be, with a Resolution in spight of time, never to grow Old, nothing of that standing could be more Amorous than was her Ladyship: She had also the remains of a lovely Youth, but yet we all know how feeble those remains; are without too faithful a Memory of a Season so long since past, she thought her self as Handsom as at fifteen, and if she had not the Charms of one of that Age, in Recompence, she had, at least, double the Vanity.

When she was to tell the Count, all that she ought to have done, from a young Lady sollicitous of her Glory, she exchang'd her Precepts for Compassion, and instead of telling him the Princess was resolv'd to be Cruel, seem'd to wonder how she could be so, to a Person of the Count's agreeable make. He immediately clos'd in with the favourable Sentiments that Rosaline had for him, and besides the Complements, which those she bestow'd, extorted from him, he told her, That 'twas his Misfortune, in knowing a Lady of her Charms, not to have a Heart to devote to her; but if she would but sometimes honor him with the Delights of her Conversation, he would do all that was in him, to render himself worthy and insensible to any other.

Thus Circumstanc'd, they enter'd the Rhetian Court, the Count in Disguise and without the Princess's Knowledge, who notwithstanding the little care the Lady Governess had taken to fix her Virtue; had from her own good Inclinations, a Fund sufficient to accomplish her. She forbad Rosaline, ever to deliver her any Message from the Count, nor wou'd so much as hear how he had taken those Orders she had sent him never to approach her more. Whatever were her inward Avocations she seem'd all resign'd, pleas'd and happy, with the Prince her Lord.

Rodegund had retir'd, but not into the Country, because that would be too far, for the Intelligence which she wanted; so diligent and profuse was she, that not a Person of any Consideration, that came with the Princess out of Dacia, or that attended about the Person of the Lady Governess, but what she had brib'd and bought. So that she quickly became acquainted with Count Alarick's Pretensions, knew that he was come Incognito, and in Disguise, to the Rhetian Court, and was often at Rosaline's Lodgings, contiguous to those of the Princess's.

Frequent Conversations with the Count, together with his dextrous Conduct, so inflamed this combustible Fury, that she burnt incessantly for him. He that had the fair Idea of the most lovely Princess breathing, fix'd upon his Mind and Heart, cou'd be but little sensible of the unnatural Ardors of a Bedlam, who became more and more nauseous to him, the more he became charming to her: However he did not make appear his Disgust, but wrought her up, by his Inchantments, to such a degree of Infatuation, that there was nothing she wou'd not have promis'd, to possess him; nay, even to have paid her own Life as the Price; therefore she did not scruple to ingage herself by execrable Oaths, to give him one Opportunity of discoursing for the last time with the Princess alone, so to upbraid her with her Perjury, and shew her his Indignation for abandoning him; after which, he said, he wou'd never think of Annagilda more, but entirely devote himself to the Pleasures of her Arms.

Madam the Governess, knew it wou'd be a Work of greater length than her Impatiency cou'd brook, to win the Princess to this Interview, and therefore resolv'd to surprize and betray her into it. This she propos'd to the Count, who wou'd have agreed to any Conditions to have been once more blest with the possibility of speaking to Annagild, whom he did not doubt, considering the Incantation of his Person, but to influence so far, as that she might prove willing to make him hereafter happy in a continu'd Conversation; but since this View of his was directly opposite to what he had insinuated to Madam the Governess, he kept his Thoughts to himself, and suffer'd her to run what lengths of Impertinence she pleas'd upon their future Happiness and present Affairs, which being long debated, ended in a Resolution, that the next Night when the Prince shou'd be with his Cabinet-Counsel, which generally ingag'd him till late, Rosaline upon pretence of Illness, shou'd give the Princess a lonely Invitation to her Lodgings, where she wou'd receive her in the Bed-Chamber; the Count shou'd be conceal'd behind the Curtains, from whence, when he was come, the Governess shou'd depart the Room, and secure the Door, that none might surprize or interrupt them.

The Scene was laid thus for Annagilda's Ruin; Annagilda ! who was born vertuous, and with the very worst Education, had been able to stem the Tide of powerful Inclination, when once her Duty oblig'd her to turn the Current. Annagilda! who, whatever she endured, never complain'd, nor wou'd indulge her self in the smallest Particular, when it was contrary to that Glory she was fond of, and that strickness of Behaviour which she resolv'd with her self ought to be inseparable from Women that were married, and had Honour. Annagilda! who was chaste by Nature, and not for want of Temptation. Annagilda! who had lov'd to such a degree, as to be willing to abandon Grandeur and Ambition; and yet cou'd resist, nay reject that Love when it cou'd be no longer innocently preserv'd; yet, behold and pity her with never-ceasing Compassion; behold her falling a Victim to Revenge and Malice!

Rodegund's accurs'd Gold, had made her Spies diligent: Madam the Governess's chief Woman, was upon the Watch for all Advantages, and heard the detestable Contrivance between her Lady and the Count; she immediately posted away with it to the revengeful Mistress, who rewarded her above her hopes, and further told her, if she wou'd be just, and certain in her Intelligence to her, the moment that the Princess was enter'd the Lady Governess's Chamber, she wou'd give her enough to make her an envy'd Fortune; and lest she shou'd lose time by coming so far as her House, she appointed a Chamber in the Palace, which Rodegund had the Command of, where this Emissary shou'd attend her with the News; and because she wou'd free her from all Despondence, told her, she shou'd be that moment either receiv'd into her Family and Protection, or rewarded with Gold enough to give her the choice of any Place through the whole World to reside in with Splendor.

This was doing things to the purpose. Rodegund was diligent and cruel; her Spy too punctual; no sooner had she brought the fatal certainty, that the Princess and the Count were alone together, (for she had been so lucky to her self, to see her detestable Mistress turn the Key of the Bed-chamber upon 'em) but the merciless Rodegund flew to the Room adjoining to the Cabinet where was the Prince, one of the Council, who had been made by her, (and was still grateful, a Vertue rarely found in Courts, when Persons have no longer the Power of obliging;) attended by Appoiment, and no sooner heard that all was fix'd, but he scratch'd at the Door of the Cabinet, where as yet were but two of the Counsellors; one came to open it to him, whom he whisper'd to depart, for there wou'd be no Council held that Night, and that what he said was by the Prince's Orders; in like manner he got rid of the other, and then luckily introduc'd Rodegund veil'd, himself waiting without, to prevent any one's Approach.

She had taken care to dress her fair Hair and Complection, in all the heightnings of graceful Mourning; so that raising her Cypress-Veil, the Prince was struck with the Lustre of her Eyes, and the Gloss of her Skin: Having not seen, or scarce thought of her, in so long a time, she appear'd almost as a new Face to him. She saw with pleasure the delightful Blush that flush'd into his Cheeks; but not to lose a moment more than needed of that time, which was so precious, I hope, said she, your Highness will forgive me, for breaking your last, but cruel Commands; nothing but the Concern of your own Honour cou'd have induced me. The Princess Annagilda is unfaithful, she is now in the most criminal Circumstances with Count Alarick, with whom she had an Intrigue, as all the Dacians know, before her Marriage; if you dare be convinc'd, do not stay to hesitate, but follow me without noise to the Scene of their guilty Joys, where you shall find for whom you abandon'd my sincere and faithful Affections.

The Prince struck as with Thunder, said no more to her, but bid her lead on! and besure that she made good her infamous Charge, or else her Head shou'd certainly pay the Forfeit. That Lord of the Council, who was Rodegund's Friend, join'd 'em together with the Captain and Lieutenant of the Guard. They came silently, and swiftly, even to the Door of that unhappy Bed-chamber where was the accurs'd Rosaline in waiting with the Key in her Hand, which the Prince commanded from her; the Door was immediately open'd, he enter'd the Room with his Sword drawn, preceded by the two Officers, and found the lovely Annagilda (who had apparently been weeping) alone with a Stranger, who notwithstanding his Disguise, appear'd to be a Person of no ordinary Mien or Quality.

A Deity from above, scarce had been able to have clear'd the Princess's Vertue from those guilty Appearances; nothing less durst have the Presumption to endeavour it; to compleat her Ruin, she immediately, without the power of making her own Defence, drop'd down into a Swoon. The Prince bid her Women to be call'd, and caus'd his Rival to be taken, he having commanded him to the Dungeon of the Castle, and a Guard to be set upon Annagilda, and the Lady-Governess, then gave his Hand to the wicked triumphant Rodegund, and led her to his own Apartment, from whence he immediately order'd his Chariots to be brought, and, late as it was, took her with him to a House of Pleasure he had three Leagues out of Town, leaving Orders that he shou'd not be follow'd by any one, because he wou'd be alone to pause upon his Misfortunes.

I Hold it impossible to express the Royal Annagilda's Sentiments and Sorrow. Upon the Recovery of her Knowledge, she ask'd to speak with her Lord? she conjur'd those that were her Guard, to let her speak with her Husband, who had been falsly prejudiced against her. Rosaline, too late and too insignificant, accus'd her self as the Cause of all these Misfortunes that had happen'd; none, or very few believ'd 'em to be innocent, unless it were the illustrious Princess Dowager, who knew Fortune and Accidents too well to judge by appearances. Her unhappy Daughter in-law, sent to desire she wou'd have the Goodness to afford her some moments of Audience. She came, where the graceful Annagilda express'd her Gratitude and Acknowledgments for the Favour; then falling upon her Knees, wept the Fate of her departed Glory, and gave such a pathetick and impartial Relation of her Adventures and Misfortunes, as entirely ingag'd the Dowager in her Interest.

I Think this Princess so worthy both your Lordships Admiration, that it were not to be forgiven, did I not stop a little to receive the Honour of introducing her into your Acquaintance. Time may be truly said to stand still in relation to this Lady; we learn by her prodigious Knowledge of all things, that so much Experience cannot be obtain'd without a long Application, or else in looking on her, you wou'd believe she were still otherwise able to engage Hearts; nor does the Recital of her Power seem distasteful to her; For who can be truly displeas'd at pleasing? She is a perfect Mistress of several Languages, not only what they say, but what they mean: Her Wit is too unbounded to be only confin'd to the Pale of the Sex; she takes in with her prodigious Views, Nature, Philosophy, and History, which are her Intimates: Nothing can be more Debonair than her Temper: She is the Life, the Soul of living; all things seem gay, easy, and graceful near her, and she is perhaps the only Woman in the World, whose Company so infinitely pleases, that if she were younger, she cou'd not do it more; nor has one any Desires near her, but always to see her, and still to see her, such as she is.

No Lady had ever been more a Friend to Gallantry, she always inspires the niceest; whence it is, that her little Court may vie with the greatest, for Politeness. She had all the Humanity and tender Compassion that was possible for the unhappy Annagilda's Misfortune, and never left soliciting the Prince her Son to her Advantage; whether he were convinced of her Innocence, is uncertain, but as small a Hero as he was, he had learn'd to speak from the Greatest, and to cry out with Cæsar, That His Wife shou'd not be so much as suspected. Therefore concerting the matter, as well as they cou'd with the Prince of Dacia, she was privately conducted to a Castle of the Prince her Fathers, without the Permission of seeing her Husband. She remains a sort of Royal Prisoner at large, amusing her self with what innocent Diversions she can find in the Field, and among her Domesticks; where I am afraid she will have leisure enough to regret that ever she heard the Name of Count Alarick.

I Had had the Honour of often pleasing the Prince, and acquitting my self in several Services, wherein he had employ'd me: One Evening he caus'd me to be introduc'd into his Closet, where he gave me a Warrant to receive at the dead of Night the Person of Count Alarick from the Goaler, together with a Commission which he commanded me not to open 'till I came to the first Town within the Territories of the barbarous Huns. A Party of Horse with all necessary Conveniencies met me at the Prison-Gate; one of the Ports was kept open for us. We began our Journey, dark as it was, and travel'd with Precipitation, 'till we were out of the Rhetian Territories: From whence we have never allow'd our selves any more Refreshment than what was of absolute Relief to Nature, 'till this happy Morning, which has thrown me into a Conversation so agreeable, that I may measure the World, before I can hope to find any thing equal to it.

Thus ended Count St. Girrone's Memoirs. Horatio and his Excellency did not fail to return him their Acknowledgments, with Expressions how much they were pleas'd; at the same time tenderly regretting the Fate of the lovely Princess Annagilda, detesting Rodegund's Cunning and dextrous Malice. They amus'd themselves for some time, at guessing what cou'd be the result of the Count's Commission, and at the Destiny of Count Alarick. They did not suppose the Prince design'd he shou'd be murther'd, because he cou'd have effected that, without giving himself the Pain, and others the Fatigue of sending him to a Country so barbarous and remote. They concluded, that he was to be dispos'd of into some Prison, there to languish out a miserable Life never to be heard of more. Count Girrone told 'em, if it were his good Fortune to find 'em upon his return, he shou'd be able to give 'em a more perfect Account, and that he wou'd be as diligent as possible, since he cou'd not hope to find any thing diverting, or even to encounter, but with terrible Objects, 'till he was so fortunate to see them again.

Monsieur L'Envoye wou'd not part with him 'till after Dinner; the Snow that incessantly fell, and had done since Day-break, seem'd to favour the Inclinations of those who wish'd not to be so soon divided. The Count sent a Complement to Alarick, and begg'd to be excus'd, since he must that Day deny himself the Honour of waiting upon him at Dinner, to eat with him, as had been his Custom, since they began their Journey.

Horatio begg'd the Count's Excuse for his impertinent Intrusion, but he told him he cou'd not forbear to ask how the Criminal behav'd himself in ill Fortune? and the Apprehensions he seem'd to have of what was like to befal him? I wou'd know, continu'd he, with Monsieur Le Count's Permission, whether his Soul be unshaken; going upon a wrong Principle I do not expect much Fortitude from him; I can never take that Man, either to have Sense, or to be brave, that is not honest; For who but a Villain can be guilty of Assassinations? unless it were to revenge some Act of foul Dishonour, where the Criminal were not worthy to find fair play for his Life; besides his Perseverance and Persecution of the poor Princess of Rhetia, was something so immoral, that however it may pass in the School of Gallantry, I am sure it will be condemn'd, in that of Honesty and Reason.

Doubtless your Lordship is in the right, reply'd Count St. Girrone; but as to the Prisoner, he does not seem to be apprehensive of a rigid Destiny, because, he says, he was not guilty. I suppose, he thinks this extraordinary Expedition is only to set him at Liberty; when we come to our Journey's End, he expects it, and I who am by no means fond of Melancholly Complaints, do all I can to divert and keep him in those Thoughts; he expresses a World of Regret for the Princess's Disgrace, and has often assur'd me, that nothing cou'd be more undeserv'd. She was irreconcilable at their last Interview, and even wept with Anger and Rage, to find he still persisted in a Passion, which, in regard of her Marriage, was become highly Criminal; nor cou'd all that he said, win her, to suffer him to be near her any longer, but that vigorously pressing his immediate Departure, he was just resolv'd upon it, in that fatal moment when the Prince enter'd upon 'em.

Dear obliging Count, answer'd the Envoy, did you but know the Pleasure of meeting those of our own Country, after so long an Absence from it, and who speaks so well as does your self, you wou'd not wonder at my regretting every moment of your Silence. I have order'd Dinner shou'd not be ready 'till late, that I may possess the more of you; whilst 'tis preparing, forbear not to gratifie this noble Roman's Curiosity and mine, as to what, in the East, you found worthy yours. It was in the late Emperor Leo the IV's time that I was at Constantinople, the Empress Irene was in Disgrace, had been expell'd the Court, and carried her Son with her into Exile, and of so little Consequence then, that she was scarcely spoken of. Pray let me into something of her Character and History, those of her Favourites, and particularly that of Stauratius.

Horatio is so much more capable, modestly reply'd the Count, that if his Lordship will but give himself the trouble, your Satisfaction must be real; whatever comes from him, may be depended upon; whereas I only heard in common, with other Strangers, and consequently must report at random.

I Promise my self a new sort of Satisfaction, reply'd Horatio, in your Discourse, because I shall be able to judge how much of it is Truth; 'tis pleasing enough to hear what sort of a Figure we make in the Mouth of a Stranger. But to engage your Lordship, more easily to oblige us, depend upon it if your Information, as to matter of Fact, be not just, I will do my self the Honour to set you right in your Relation.

The Count very well perceiv'd, that Horatio's Discretion wou'd not suffer him to say things of the Constantinopolitant Court, which might reflect upon the Weakness of the Emperor, since in speaking of him, one cou'd not forget his Indolence, and those other Weaknesses that had suffer'd Irene and Stauratius with five or six of their Creatures, to manage Affairs, to the Exclusion of all those who are either capable of the Cabinet, Army, or lov'd the ancient Glory of the Empire.

Therefore to oblige both, he began with telling 'em thus. Irene is a Greek, (the now fashionable Appellation for the Empire instead of Roman, a Word we very seldom hear mention'd in the Imperial City) born at Athens; her Mother brought her young to Constantinople, and by her Intriegue and Management, became very well known to the whole Court, where when she had once fix'd her Daughter, she thought she had no more to manage, but gave up her self to indulge her own vicious Appetites! 'Twou'd have something the Air of a Priest, if I shou'd descant upon the Judgment that I have heard befel her; she was a very careless Speaker, not to say false, and at every Word us'd to reiterate and wish, she might rot, and perish alive, when the matter in question was never so untrue; which accordingly happen'd: Before she dy'd, one-half of her was so entirely mortify'd, as she lay upon her Sick-Bed, as to be cut away to the very Ribs and Bones of her Limbs, she expir'd in an unlamented, stinking, loathsom Condition; a warning to others how they make use of rash Oaths, Curses, and Imprecations, as did this most abominable Woman: Lewd for the sake of Vice, her Inclinations led her to that Sin which Poverty does others, a Sin much more detestable than Prostitution. Sure none but her self, ever made Procuring their choice; her Taste that way grew so scandalously peculiar, that she was not contented to bring happy Lovers together, but she wou'd be an Eye-Witness of their Happiness. A certain Lady in the Empire, whose Lord was of Consular Dignity, vertuous till first seduced by this vicious Matron's Sollicitations, and her own native Inclinations for Gold, to wrong her Husband's Bed with a Person of the first Distinction, who had been created of the Nobilissimus, and who was then very agreeable. Irene's Mother caus'd a Door to be made from her House into that of the Lady, whom she affected to be very fond of; this Door open'd privately into a lower Room which she kept the Key of her self, where she caus'd a Bed to be set up: Here the Lovers met, but if the Patrician chanc'd to be too hasty, and got to Bed before she cou'd make a third, she wou'd cry out to his Lordship to stop—and upon his Life to stay 'till she came—generously rising as often as they wanted any thing, and was very officious in providing at her own cost, Cordials, Wine, Sweet-meats, or any other Refreshments; but still upon Honour, he was not to embrace his Mistress out of her Sight. This Story I mention to you as a very peculiar one, which has something of a more vicious Taste in it than I have ever met with. I fancy this Reverend Gentlewoman wou'd have been very eminent in the Court of Tiberius, and serv'd to have furnish'd out his Island with new invented Abominations, and Lusts, more unnatural than his own.

She saw her Daughter was fair, and very well lik'd at Court; when first she came there, she gave her in Charge, to make all things subservient to Interest, discreetly telling her, that Vertue was no more than a Name, and Chastity less, since it was much to be doubted whether there ever was such a thing. That which went under the Appellation, was little other than Defect of Nature, Coldness of Constitution, Phlegm, and Affectation; she foresaw Irene's towering Genius, and upheld it, bidding her besure, whilst her Charms were in their Bloom, to make her self Friends, the Effects of whose Services might remain to her when her Beauty was gone; that as to Fidelity to a Husband, why, 'twas a very good thing to those whose Souls were by Nature fitted for Slavery, and who cou'd be contented to know no other Pleasures in living, than what the scanty Scraps thrown out by a tyranical penurious Master cou'd afford 'em; but that scarce any Lady who had her Fortune to make, ever did it by Regularity; true it is, that many have been advantageously married, but few were long happy, or ever absolute, unless they pass'd over Forms. That she foresaw something more great wou'd mingle with her Character, than that of being a good Wife, despicable Commendations! and to be regarded only by those who cou'd not rise to a higher, or make themselves considerable another way. That Fortune she hop'd, wou'd be more propitious to her, unless her own base, inborn Love of Money, shou'd traverse it; it, which was a Vice she by no means approv'd of, since it never cou'd be of any Advantage to those who had it, and indeed was never good but to the Survivor, who happ'ned to enjoy the Effects of what the Deceas'd had ignominiously scrap'd together.

The Emperor Constantine Copronymus, thinking Irene's Beauty and Wit, deserv'd the Imperial Purple, marry'd her to his Son Leo Augustus. Her reproachful Mother happ'ned to die, which left her alone to manage by her own Conduct. Her Dominion over her Lord became such, as well answer'd to her own haughty Temper, and those Precepts that had been infus'd into her, dividing those her first Years between the Pleasure of governing her Husband, and being governed by her Favourites, of which she had several; but he who is now Questor has retain'd his first Prerogative, a Person of as much Management as Cowardice, yet he can act every thing, but dares own nothing, even that which it is a Fault for him to be ignorant of. Æmilius knows excellently how to advantage himself by the Ingenuity and Invention of others, but in such a manner that the Honour may abide to him; generally we find the greatest Projectors are Persons of abject Fortunes; Necessity sharpens their Wit, and puts 'em upon redressing the Injuries of Fortune. Æmilius got a Reputation by hearing what cou'd be said by others; so that when any had a Project in his Head, away he went to this Favourite, who was sure to reward him if good for little; but on the contrary, if he heard any thing that he himself desir'd the Reputation of, he wou'd tell the unhappy Projector (after dexterously finding what were his Inventions) that 'twas strange, People not conversible with one another, shou'd happen to think the same thing, that he had made the like Discovery, and was already executing of it: But because Ingenuity ought to be encourag'd, if any thing else occurr'd, he shou'd be sure to let him know, and he wou'd take care to see him rewarded.

Æmilius once found a Projector, as vain, as he was inventive; he wou'd not resign his Glory tho' for Gold, which he needed more than Fame: He had hit of an Expedient to enlarge the Funds of the Royal Treasury, and he might have been very well paid for his Silence, if he cou'd have kept it, and left the Honour to Æmilius, who was that Year Consul; but seeing his offensive Vanity prevail'd, the Patron took the Invention to himself, and threw off the Projector, who became so mortify'd by his ill Usage at Court, and so reduc'd by native Poverty, that he perish'd miserably in a Prison; his very Bed taken from under him, without the Relief of a single Denari, either from Æmilius or Sergius, another Sur-intendant of the Royal Revenue, tho' the Advantage of his Projects remain'd to them as well as the Reputation.

In the Reign of Leo the IV. the King of the Bulgarii made a troublesom, uncertain War upon the Empire, which sometimes had the better, oftentimes the worst. The Barbarian Monarch found means, by the prevalency of his Gold, to have many Pensioners, even in the Senate and Court of Constantinople. Irene her self, tho' styl'd Mistress of the World, and in Possession of all things, was made his Spy upon her Husband's Designs, by Merit of that corrupting Metal. Leo had Intelligence with one of the King of Bulgaria's Captains, who commanded a strong Frontier Cittadel that had formerly belong'd to the Empire, which he promis'd to deliver to the Emperor: Irene by her Wiles, made her self Mistress of this Secret, which she sold to a Barbarian King for twenty Talents of Gold, and a Set of Jewels for her Person: Infamous Treachery, to betray the Secrets of the Nuptial Bed for what she was in no necessity of; her unbounded Avarice cou'd have no Equivalents, but her own Pride and haughty ill Nature; yet she gloss'd 'em over with an Air of Pleasure and Gallantry, that whilst she was yet young, agreed admirably with her Face and Manner.

The Emperor was well assur'd that Treachery had been play'd him, he knew his Designs were discover'd, hearing the Disgrace and Death of the Governour, who had ingag'd to deliver him the Cittadel, without any Crime objected against him; this was a Blow that was felt before it was heard: He well knew he had trusted but one, with it, besides his Wife, whom he unwillingly suspected, and therefore tax'd Her the last. Truth has something so noble and conspicuous, that it seldom fails of manifesting it self, especially when urg'd to speak in its own Defence: The Minister acquitted himself, and the Empress was expell'd the Court, but working upon her Son Constantine Augustus's Youth and native Temper, which inclin'd him rather to be led by others, than to go of himself, she inveighled him so far, as to make him withdraw from Court, and accompany her in her Disgrace.

Leo the Emperor us'd every Argument, but Force, to persuade his Son to return to Court, and abandon his Mother. Irene's disorderly Life was now the publick Theme, her Gallantry became the more notorious, because she cou'd not resolve with her self to part with any Money so requisite in secret Services; they who are bribed never so high, sometimes will talk, but those who are never bribed, will always do it. The Empress believ'd her self above the Tattle of the World, and therefore apply'd her self only to make an absolute Conquest of Constantine, which was not very difficult. The Emperor seeming to forget he was to succeed him, abandon'd the Youth to a total Neglect, as if unworthy of him, in some sort despising him, when once he found he cou'd not divide him from Irene; the Ministers and Courtiers were too much so, not to follow their Monarch's Example, so that the Empress and her Son seem'd to be forsaken by all things but themselves.

Here the Empress laid the sure Foundation of her future Greatness: Here she apply'd herself, not to instruct, but to pervert the young Prince: He was, what may be term'd good Natur'd, but no Conjurer. His Inclinations unactive, soft and supine: How far a liberal Education might have better'd 'em, we must not pretend to judge; because under Irene's Care, he hap'ned upon the very worst? She got an insensible ascendant over him, never speaking to his Reason, but his Pleasures, never giving him to consider he was one Day to Reign for the Benefit of Mankind, but to indulge himself: 'Tis well he was not Cruel, Voluptuous, or positively Evil, since the Empire has suffer'd so much only by his not being positively Good; the Encouragement all his Desires met with by this artful Mother, wou'd have made him another Nero, and caus'd Constantinople to blaze with Fires, as obscene, as those that destroy'd Rome.

Here, the then, submissive Stauracius, was introduced to his Favour, being the only Man of the Emperor Leo's Court, that paid his Duty to Constantine, and cou'd bring him intelligence of what was done there. He insensibly indear'd himself, and became necessary to their Conversation: Fraught with Instructions from Irene, his only Business was to establish Constantine's good Opinion of his Mother, and to confirm him in his Resolutions not to abandon the Empress, who every Day suffer'd so much for the Love of him. Stauracius continually advis'd him against submitting himself to the Emperor, by which means he might have regain'd his Favour, telling him, That the People who never are acquainted with the spring of Actions, examine only the Actions themselves, and from thence form their own Sentiments, whether of Resentment or Approbation; that they being by Nature more pitiful than otherwise, were always to be found on the part of the Distress'd, and consequently compassionated Constantine's Sufferings, his melancholy Exile, his being excluded from any part of Government, or the Imperial Ornaments and Attendance that was due to his Person, as he was Cæsar, and the undoubted Heir of the Empire; that nothing could make him more popular than did his Disgrace, or cause the Emperor so much to be hated. That whenever he should happen to Die (as his accumulated Distempers gave 'em assurance it wou'd not be long first) what an Advantage wou'd it be to step into the Throne, with the unanimous Prayers, good Wishes, Rejoicing and Acclamations of all his Subjects, who so eagerly desir'd he might find the end of his Suff'rings, and the Reward his Virtue and Religious Life deserv'd? For the Empress had taught him an outward Habit of Devotion, by which he never fail'd being present at all the Duties of the Church, and show'd an exact Conformity, interpreted Love, to the Orthodox, which had long made him the incessant Wish and Desire of that Party.

Nor were there any Servants about his Person, ev'n in the most menial Offices, but what had been placed there by Irene, tho' 'tis true they had bought their Places, for she was never one of those that did something for nothing, yet Mony that way is well laid out, let the Extortion be never so high; so that they all aim'd at preserving 'em when bought, which was only to be done by a duteous application to her, from whence their Interest was deriv'd; they look'd no further than the Power of her who placed 'em there, contented to worship Irene as their Sun, without troubling themselves with recourse to the Omnipotence that form'd her.

Unactive in his Constitution, indolent by Nature, easy of Temper, soft in his Humour, and generally Obliging, he liv'd with Mary the Armenian his Wife, in an accord that had given him the Reputation of being an uxorious tender Husband. There was also an amorous Ingredient in Constantine's sweetness of Blood, which made him find in the Nuptial Joy a peculiar Relish, and as he sought no variety, his Caresses to his Wife, and the number of Children she bore him, who all dy'd almost as soon as born, destroy'd her Health, and made her yet a living weakly Monument of Affection to the Conjugal State.

Lest this might disgust her Son, Irene who work'd upon his Appetite, and trembled for fear he shou'd make a Choice that did not immediately depend upon her self, continually extoll'd to him the Charms Stauracius's Wife was Mistress of, had she not been tall, well made, graceful, handsome, and ingaging, it had prov'd much the same thing to easie Constantine, who lov'd not to go far in search of Agreeables; his Temper was such, that whatever did not give him Pain, gave him Pleasure; whereas (contrary to the general Taste) nothing cou'd give him Pleasure that gave him Pain.

Irene cou'd depend upon her Favourite Stauracius, who was then of Constantine Cæsar's Bed chamber, and Stauracius upon his Wife: Wou'd any dare to mingle their Censure in a Commerce where a Husband ever made the third? When Mary us'd to rise from Agasias's Bed, to go into her dressing Room, Affairs of State (into which she never intruded) were to succeed the Marriage Endearments; and because Constantine's Delicacy of Constitution, wou'd not always suffer him to be early, and the Exigency of State sometimes call'd upon him to debate Matters before he was up, his chief Councellor Stauracius's Wife, was usually introduced by her Husband to his Bed-side, who, leaving 'em together, withdrew at a convenient waiting distance, to take care none shou'd intrude to disturb their important Communication.

Tender Irene, who watch'd over the Health of her Son, was ever at hand to strengthen it with Imperial Cordials, Water of Life, and other Requisites to support weak Constitutions. This upheld their Spirits for the Fatigue of State-Conferences, after which a luxurious Breakfast was introduc'd to the Bed-side of the young Cæsar, Mary his Wife (an exact Tally of his Indolence) was generally employ'd in Affairs much of the same Importance, with her own People of her own side.

After the Incumbrance of Dress, a thing the easie Constantine always slipp'd over, with as much Precipitation, as Fashion and Decorum wou'd permit, Cards and Dice were call'd for, where tho' he had nothing to pay, he must still lose, as knowing his Credit was good, and he might take up what Sums he pleas'd upon Trust of the coming Empire.

By this time, a profuse Dinner, cramm'd with Rarities, and the Produce of every early Season, was serv'd up; the Prince had inherited a good Appetite from his Mother, and 'twas not the most unsuccessful way of making one's Court to him: These Repasts, together with the generous Wines that attended, and succeeded, us'd to be prolong'd to such a convenient length, as the better fitted Cæsar to sign, tho' not to read, the Dispatches that Irene and her Favourites continually brought him.

Thus insensibly she gain'd, and has by Custom preserv'd the Art of even preventing his Desires, towards looking into any Papers that were thought of never so great Consequence; she taught her Son this admirable Lesson of Government, What, shou'd a Monarch load himself with dirty Business? shou'd he fatigue his Pleasures, Embarrass his Amusements, confound and bury himself in Speculations so far below him, as was the good of the Empire, his Creature! his Slave! Let Them born with drudging Souls, Wretches! fed and cloath'd, for such abject Uses, charge themselves with Business, and answer for the Consequence; They, whose Duty it was to relieve Royal Care, and fit every thing for the Dash of the Imperial Pen: Cæsar was form'd for nobler Uses! The Enjoyment of Empire! of Pleasure, without the Pain! for the Delights of Dignity, without the Weight and Toil! to which if he shou'd apply himself, with never so great, tho' unnecessary an Industry, there wou'd be still found those that cou'd out-do him, Creatures fitted by Birth and Clay, to so course a Mold, with well-form'd Allay, unknowing the noble Composition of which the Cæsars were made; the Cæsars! who were never requir'd to do things so far below 'em, and which if perform'd, seem'd as if done directly in opposition to the Will of their wife Creator, who, as he had made 'em greatest, design'd 'em to be the happiest! which they cou'd never be, if not abstracted from the unweildy, unnecessary Cares, or rather Burthen of Empire.

Nor was it the least of Irene's Study, to keep Cæsar from bettering his Inclinations, or awaking his Mind by the Conversation of Persons of Prudence, Fortitude, Capacity and Probity! who might lead him to an Enlargement of his Understanding; she signify'd the delicacy of his Constitution, that cou'd not submit to Speculations, and the Sophistry of the Schools, and openly ridicul'd all those Wits who rose higher than Plautus's Obscene Comedies, as Pedantick and beneath the Knowledge and Soul of one born to universal Empire; hence in compliance with Court-Taste, Sophocles and Euripides began to be generally exploded, and only Farce and Buffon'ry introduc'd with the Approbation of the unthinking Many.

Religion! or the Pretence of it (which has ever employ'd and embroil'd the Empire, since it became Christian, with perpetual Division of Opinions, and the never dying War of Pen and Tongue) was the only Point wherein Irene was contented to have her Son preserve appearances; but because their manner of living was little acquainted with Vigils and Fasting-Days, the Empress took care always to have an early private Dinner, secretly provided for him in her Cabinet, from whence he issu'd out with as mortify'd an Air as he cou'd assume, which very well satisfy'd and pleas'd the People, who look no further than they can see, and beheld, that according to the Text, he appeared unto Men to fast.

Whilst she was thus preparing him for the Imperial Purple, loading his Appetite with unnecessary Pleasures, and unloading his Mind of any Acquirements necessary to Government, the Emperor Leo fell ill of a burning Fever, immediately the Eyes of the whole Empire was turn'd towards the rising Cæsar, they began, but of the latest, to make their Court to him, who now neither saw nor heard any thing but through Irene and Stauratius, the two Confidants of his Thoughts, and Witnesses of all his secret Actions.

Leo the Fourth departed this Life, and Constantine the Sixth was proclaim'd with so universal an Approbation, that whatever were the Reports of his Excesses before, all vanish'd upon his assuming the Imperial Purple.

The Patriarch of Constantinople, and the rest of the Orthodox Clergy, who were not inclin'd to Idol Worship, according to the Custom of that Party, bore their triumphant Joy in their Faces, letting their Satisfaction boil-over in tumultuous Congratulations of each other, and insulting the abject fallen Interest of the Hereticks, amusing themselves with boasting of their own Success, and as if all were well assur'd, and mortal Affairs not subject to Vicissitudes, they Triumph'd before the Conquest was ascertain'd, and without seeking how wisely to secure it, gave their Enemies (who were Masters of cunning, and a lurking Fore-sight) an Opportunity to turn the Tables upon them, and get the better of a Game, which had been more than once, already lost, and gain'd.

Irene's haughty Temper, that never knew how to stoop to any thing scarce the getting of Money, which yet however she found ways to have brought to her, felt little Mortification in complying with every thing that she believ'd her Son's Inclinations, because his Temper was so sweet, that it suffer'd it self to be manag'd without Contradiction or Disgust; hence what was call'd Irene's Cunning, might more properly have been term'd Constantine's Easiness, tho' she did not want ready Wit enough, to say and do many things off hand, agreeable to her purpose. That Night that her Husband Leo the Emperor was departing, rather than to go to weep with him, she sate up to condole with her Son, expecting every Moment the News of his Death: When Morning was well advanc'd, a Person of Consular Dignity, who had seen him breath his last, posted away, as for his Life, to be the first to salute the new Cæsar: Irene kept the Door carefully, that none might carry the News sooner than her self; when this Person scratch'd, she let him in, stopping him to enquire of the Emperor? he gently put her by, and past on to find Constantine. The Empress reading his Business in his Face, enter'd as soon as himself, and whilst he was making his Introduction and formal Bow, she took up a sparkling Bowl of Wine ready fill'd, part of that generous God with which they had been endeavouring to lessen the Fatigues of the Night, and the Excess of their Sorrow, and kneeling upon one Knee, cry'd out with Joy and Assurance, Long live the Emperor Constantine the VI. Life to mighty Cæsar! which quickly brought the Courtier out of his Forms, to turn and ask her Imperial Majesty, with Amazement, How she came so soon to hear of Leo's Departure, since he thought himself had been the first, to bring the Emperor the News?

Constantine's Access to the Crown was so universally acceptable, that Irene had nothing to manage, unless it were still to keep him in the same State of Tranquility, and to prevent him from inlarging his Understanding; things play'd themselves, and they had little more to do than to receive the Congratulations of their People, indulge in all the Sweets of Power and the Luxuriousness of Empire: Her first Step was to get Stauratius declared Commander of the Thracian Legions, and Father of the Empire, and as it is believ'd, privately to marry him, his Wife dying opportunely, as if out of Complaisance. None disputes their Familiarity, and therefore those who are most consciencious, give it the Sanction of the Church.

Pray Monsieur le Count, interrupted the Envoy, let me a little into the Character of the Person you call Stauracius, I already know he pleases the Empress; But is he so happy as to please you, or even to deserve her Approbation?

Stauracius, answer'd the Count, is the Son of (what they call) a Roman Knight, a Dignity your Excellency can't be ignorant of: It is only a Name of Honour, but all who possess it are not rich: As for Example, Stauracius's Father, who put his Son into the Pretortian Bands, in one of the most inferior Posts; but 'twas such as he cou'd then arrive at; his Person was very handsome, whence a Lady, one whose Husband was what they call Nobilissimus, fell in Love with him. This Court Messalina, had Interest enough to raise him to a Centurion, and thence got him recommended to Constantine the Vth, who made him of his Houshold. She lavish'd away a prodigious Treasure upon him, sold her very Jewels to enrich him, but coming into the Empress Irene's Favour, he grew weary of that Lady, knowing he cou'd not keep 'em both, because they were equally jealous and termagant; he sacrific'd Her that rais'd him, to endear himself to the Empress, and betray'd her Amours to her own Lord, who never wou'd have any further regard for her: So that she languish'd out the rest of her infamous and necessitous Life, necessitous, when we compare her to her self, and the glorious Circumstances from whence Stauracius's Ingratitude precipitated her: Soon after he betray'd a Prince who had made him his Favourite, and done prodigious things for him, a Prince! who with his own Hand had sav'd his Life, yet Stauracius's Greediness of Money, made him take a Sum, first to pervert, then to betray his Counsel, and afterwards, when his Subjects rose against him, upon pretence of Remorse he abandon'd him, so that the Prince was driven out and perish'd miserably; lamented by his very Enemies! tho' not so happy as to have Pity shown him by those who ought to have been his Friends.

Irene never cou'd have found a Favourite whose Love of Money, Gratitude, Sincerity, Morality, and Religion equall'd her own, unless Stauracius; this endear'd 'em to each other, not that her old and true Friend Æmilius was forgot by her, she caus'd her Son to create him Questor, first Minister, and Favourite, so far as to perform what she wou'd contemptibly call, the Drudgery of State, and she even made the Emperor believe he was oblig'd to him for accepting that servile fatiguing Office, so that Æmilius upon the Carpet, and Stauracius in the Camp, totally manag'd Affairs, much to the Regret of the Schismaticks, who were sunk in all their great Expectations, whilst they beheld the Orthodox Triumphant, in the Persons of the Emperor, Empress, Minister, and General.

Æmilius had as much Artifice and Experience in Affairs, as was requisite to his Post; had he had but half the Honesty and Courage, he wou'd have been deservedly Eminent. Concern'd as he was in four or five Reigns, and changing in 'em all, he resolv'd he would lose nothing that he cou'd keep, if turning cou'd preserve him. Lamented Ingenuity! Can that Man be said to have Understanding and Capacity, who has not enough to be honest? All his boasted Wit, wanting of That Principle, is but tinsel Merit, the false glittering Ornament of a common Prostitute, unworthy the Wear and Name of a Lady of Dignity or true Vertue.

In the third Year of the Emperor Constantine's Reign (his Spirits not yet rais'd from that Lethargy in which he lay intranc'd by the Artifice of the Empress Irene, his own Inclinations, and the new Pleasures of an Imperial Crown) the Sclavi invading Thessaly and Macedonia, Stauracius was sent against 'em. The late Reigns had been more upon the defensive than offensive; they us'd to reckon themselves victorious if they were not beaten, so that it was intoxicating matter of Triumph to the Empire, to hear Stauracius had not only vanquish'd the Enemy, but retook several Places of more Eclat than Importance. Æmilius and the Sur-intendants of the Royal Treasury, by Irene's Influence, took Care that nothing shou'd be wanting to supply the Army that was under his Command; the whole Funds of the Revenue lean'd that way, he lack'd nothing, either to pay, to bribe, to buy, in short, to make himself as absolute as he cou'd desire; whereas those other numerous Forces, with the Navy that were dispers'd throughout the Provinces, and Islands for the Defence of the Empire, were destitute of Cloaths, Food, Ammunition, and in such vast Arrear, that they who defended, prov'd the most miserable part of the Empire: Under this partial Dispensation of Æmilius, he yet met the good Luck to have all his other Neglects buried in his noisie Assiduities and unwearied Diligence of supplying Stauracius, now beginning to be consider'd as the good and glorious Genius of the Empire, who had Conduct and Success enough to reconcile 'em to their once so propitious Deity, Fortune, and capable of raising the Eastern Throne to that ancient Splendor and Figure it had made under the first Constantine, or rather the first Agustus.

Irene and her Partisans, was not wanting perpetually to sound his Praise in the Ears of Cæsar, Stauracius was triumphant! Stauracius had drove back the invading Barbarians, retook the Booty they had pillag'd from the Empire, and the Towns they were unjustly possess'd of! Stauracius! who had again reconcil'd Victory to the Roman Legions, and caus'd the Imperial Eagles, so long dishearten'd, to rouze and flutter their Wings with new and almost forgotten Victory, therefore Stauracius must be rewarded! Ovations! and Triumphs ought not only to be decreed him! but something shou'd be found out more substantial than airy Fame, to reward those real Benefits the Empire possess'd by his Conduct and Courage.

This was the Tone of the Empress; the fawning Courtiers eccho'd an Applause, which from thence dispers'd to the lighter part of the People, fond of Bruit and the least Glare of Brightness. Constantine's Inclinations towards Stauracius, were more favourable, if possible, than Irene's, so that nothing oppos'd the Reward that was thought his due, but the Impotence of the Imperial Power, which tho' it had decreed him Ovations and Thanksgiving, yet something more solid was still remaining to crown his Expectations; a Statue was no longer the Fashion, since the Empire was become Christian, and not yet a Thorough Friend to Idol Worship! Nor wou'd That add the least Title to his Possessions, whatever it did to his Glory. The Bounty of the former Emperors to Favourites, lavishing away the Royal Domain in Imperial Grants, had left the present Cæsar nothing to bestow, therefore a Demand must be made to the Senate, of a certain Portion of the new Conquer'd Territories, to reward the Conqueror of 'em, Stauracius.

This, as a Violation of the Agrarian Law, was rejected; They, ungrateful Wretches, saw not with Constantine and Irene's Eyes, nor heard with their Ears, and which was worst, those who were loudest against it were such of the Orthodox, who trusting to the Merit of their Cause, thought That alone wou'd support 'em, without having recourse to those expedient Policies that shou'd have maintain'd 'em in their Post, from whence they cou'd not foresee they shou'd ever be thrown, because they thought, they so well sustain'd, and always deserv'd to fill 'em.

Haughty and revengful Irene! who never knew what was Religion but to ridicule it, bore this Repulse as an Affront offer'd to her own Imperial Person, and so in her Heart she wish'd Constantine might resent it: But she had so totally subverted, or intirely laid asleep (with powerful lethargick Dormatives) the resentive Faculty in him, that she knew not how to infuse, or awaken the necessary Sting with which she had accasion to wound; all that she cou'd do was to take him by his Fears, and thence to insinuate that the Orthodox were his Enemies, for in them who oppos'd the Imperial Purple; their next step was to endeavour to divest those that wore it, since none who had a Disposition to obey, ever disputed the Commands of a Prince, no not even Rebels in their Hearts, 'till they were well assur'd they had Power to vindicate their Disobedience.

Constantine's noble Faculties (enfeebled by Neglect and Indolence) presently absconded at a Scene of Terror, and all pale and dastardly, shrunk behind the Representation his Mother had made. The Race of Leo Isauricus, was never fam'd for Courage, This Cæsar did not degenerate; his Education had not taught him to do it, therefore trembling and apprehensive of the Future, with Tears he conjur'd Irene to advise him for the present.

Staucacius wounded in Property, his greatest Darling, as well as piqu'd in Pride, was chief at this Consultation; he even condemn'd the Mediocrity of his own Temper, in hearing the exalted Impudence of his Wives, she, without any Hesitation or Remorse (as Women are generally for having Business thoroughly done, and to the purpose) advis'd 'em to throw off at once, the Shackles of the Greek Church, punish the insolent Orthodox, by reconciling the Empire to Rome, and the better to please the Pope, by introducing Image-Worship, bid 'em publish an Edict for so doing. But how my dear Mama, answer'd the trembling Cæsar, shall we excuse our selves to the Legions, who are generally Orthodox, and have always thought me such? You know they are yet the greatest Party, and shou'd not be irritated, at least 'till they are disarm'd.

Cæsar spake Volumes in these few Words, Irene's Revenge cou'd not but stop to consider the adventitious Sentence which she thought Inspiration rather than Reason, having so little us'd Constantine to the use of any. Your Imperial Majesty has concluded unanswerably, she reply'd, do but let us alone, we will not only effect the Business, but bear the Odium: You shall still go to Church, and still be dear to your People. I am convinc'd from your Majesty's better Sense, that this must be a Work of time; Stauracius's Reputation and Courage, shall prevent our Enemies from gaining ground, they whose Insolence are scarce to be aw'd even by his Successes, must certainly be ripe for Mutiny, they who dare refuse that condescending Request of yours, unworthy the primitive Cæsars, who needed but to say it shou'd be so, and so it was: This way I advis'd your Majesty to move, but you were all for Lenity and good Will, and see what you have got by it: However remember so to act as if you had not been provok'd, and leave us to show hereafter what are the Sentiments of a disappointed, an offended Cæsar.

Stauracius cou'd indeed command an Army, which is not always to face an Enemy (because unless the Generals please, they are not always expos'd, and often abide in the Center); He, I say, who had never felt any mighty Impulse in himself, unless to Ingratitude, and Gain, was for no violent measures; all things, he said, were to be brought about by Time, and Moderation; and tho' to Death he hated the Party that had envy'd him the Recompence of his Toils, yet he wou'd not precipitate their Ruin, since it was but leaving 'em to their own changeable Passions and Disgusts, and they wou'd quickly bring the business of their greatest Enemies to pass by jarring among themselves. But because in the multiplicity of Counsellors, there was Safety, he humbly mov'd that Cataline the Patrician, might be introduc'd to advise upon those new measures they were necessitated to take.

Irene answer'd he shou'd be heard at leisure, but because Nicephorus, Christopher, and the rest of her Husband's Brothers, might be Impediments against the intended Innovation, she advis'd they shou'd be honourably dispatch'd by some Imployment foreign from the Court. Christopher seeming to bury himself in the Delights of Solitude, came rarely to Constantinople, and therefore but little alarm'd 'em. Nichephorus! the Champion of the State and Church! tender of his Nephew Constantine, as of the Purity of their Religion, was a Sun, that with his unspotted Brightness, hung between them, and what they call'd a clearer Light, therefore he must be dark'ned or remov'd. Cæsar, who had a native Inclination to reverence his Unkle, wou'd have hesitated a good deal, before he cou'd have been brought to consent that there shou'd be any Hardship inflicted upon him: How often did haughty Irene curse that Lenity of Temper in her Son, to which however her own Authority was owing: That Lenity! which she had ever made it her Business to indulge, by which she had sweet'ned the Acid of his Blood, 'till it was become all soft and milky, fitted for her former purpose, which was to obtain an implicit Ascendant over his passive Temper, but now that she wou'd tyrannize, as well as reign, she wish'd to have the Power of infusing a little more Gall, or rather some, for as yet it was a question, whether Constantine Cæsar had any in his Composition. She was provok'd at his Tardiness, his little Comprehension of what she ambition'd; she wou'd have had him eager and swift to obey whatever she dictated, prompt, and cruel in the Execution.

But wisely considering, that if more Fire were infus'd into him, it might chance with the first to burn her; she rested in her former Maxims, of taking from him the Desire of knowing what he saw, or of hearing what was spoke, and therefore begging Pardon for this inroad into his Repose, she return'd him to his former Supineness, with a Promise to her self, and his Imperial Majesty, of no more disturbing his sacred Hours with the insignificant, impertinent Load of Business.

Nicephorus, Brother to Leo the IV, late Emperor of the Greeks, was immediately to be remov'd, and therefore distinguish'd by being made Prætor of Mauritania, the very best Government that was remaining in the Empire, since the Exarchate of Italy fell, which was now swallow'd up in the Bishop of Rome's Pretences and Ambition, and thence call'd the Patrimony of St. Peter, or rather of the Church. Nicephorus who was truly Orthodox, and saw this was only given him to draw him from about his Nephew and the Court (since the Præfects of Mauritania were obliged, for at least half the Year, to reside in Affrick, from whence they cou'd not come to Constantinople without License obtain'd of the Emperor) contented himself not to refuse the Honour, but prov'd however so slow in his Preparations, that it was their Opinion (whose Interest it was that he shou'd be gone) that he never design'd to depart.

Presently the Scene was shifted, and a new Sett of Court Officers introduc'd, who really were, and believ'd themselves Orthodox, but yet had a Pliancy of Temper, which was term'd a Medium between two Extreams, such whose Principles were not loose enough to come directly into the Wrong, but yet wanted Courage boldly to defend, and assert the Right.

Then was Publicola disgusted, equal to the first Valerius for Vertue, Probity, Love of his Country and Religion, who had Capacity to govern when never so strenously oppos'd from abroad, but yet became piqu'd and aw'd by a Faction at home, quitting the Helm at the first Omen of a tempestuous Sea, whereas his Business shou'd have been to have rid it out, and if he cou'd not have prevail'd himself, he might at least (by the Post he sustain'd) have hinder'd others from prevailing.

Cataline now trod the Stage, and became an important Actor. A Man who with a Complication of Vices, had but this one Vertue, not pretending to any; every way Mercurial, he wou'd sin up to the height of Pleasure, yet drudge on to the last Extremity of Business! Indefatigable in his Pursuits, not by Fits and Starts, but a regular Succession! Vast was his Ambition! Vast was his Artifice! Mighty in Lewdness, not less in Politicks; his long Head saw beyond the Age he liv'd in, and cou'd calculate any present Accident to an heareafter Purpose, fawn and lie, flatter and swear, seem sincere, but never be so! No view of his, tho' never so trivial, but what he bent his whole Endeavours to obtain, and always accomplish'd. His oily, deceitful, artful Tongue, cou'd insinuate any thing. Bold even to Impudence! Mischievous even to cruelty! Base even to Cowardice! Implacable to Eternity! Yet Acceptable even to Popularity! With-held by no Reserves of Avarice; he never matter'd what he Stak'd, so he cou'd but draw the Prize: All his Passions subsiding, 'till he had reach'd the Port whether he was bound. He knew no personal Resentment, no personal Vindication; never to be made angry, always seemingly pleas'd. When foil'd in any Attempt, he fell, but to rise with the greater Force, observing the weak-side through which he had miss'd his Aim, he return'd with double Vigour, and double Conduct to the Assault. Many had been his Endeavours in several Reigns, to get footing at Court, but none so fitted as this (full of Divisions, Jealousies, and Fears) for his intricate Purpose, introduc'd to advance the Empress Irene's Revenge and Designs upon the Orthodox, but bent upon accomplishing his own. The Roman History having furnish'd him with Presidents of such who had mounted the Steps of the Imperial Throne, through Craft and Dissimulation, he thought, if those were Qualifiations, himself as well fitted to reign as any; his Business therefore was to jumble all things into Anarchy, and Confusion.

How did he pack the Senate; how the Voices at any Promotion; in his Temper an admirable Tribune of the People; he wou'd stoop to the meanest Office, nor lose the most despicable Voice for want of Assiduity, Promises, Rewards, Bribes, Hopes, Fears, Threatnings, or whatever cou'd influence the Passions or Circumstances of those with whom he had to deal; he wou'd play with the Gamester, be lewd with the Libertine, and rather than fail, Pimp for him, tho' his own Wife were the Mistress; be drunk with the Debauchee, sober with the Abstemious; no Proteus so various, full of real Ambiguity, and pretended Openness; his House, his Purse, his Advice, his Interest, his Mistress, his Pains, all at the Service of whomsoever was considerable enough to be oblig'd by him: Fond of giving, but hating to pay, because Justice and he are at mortal Enmity: No Principles so fix'd, but what he endeavour'd to undermine; he found the weak Side of all Mankind; those unsusceptible of Avarice, and who were only Ambitious, he attack'd by Grandeur, Dignities, and Honour; the Covetous, or Poor, he had Pensions for; Jewels and Lovers for the Ladies he wou'd influence, but generally speaking, as himself had observ'd, he prevail'd more by Vanity, and sacrificing to that Idol, than to any other Deity; his fine Wit never wanting acceptable Eloquence, as well as Salt and Malice, to ridicule, and give any thing what turn he pleas'd.

Irene the Empress, disappointed of the Reward she expected for Stauracius, began to let her ill Nature work out in Invectives against others, and Spleen within her self; she who never knew what was Humanity, true Affection, or Love for any thing but Money and Ambition, as her Age advanc'd, so did her Pride, Avarice, Reserve, and Frowardness; only to her Husband she was not sparing of her Voice, or Favours, letting him often know that she was not only his Wife, but his Empress; and if he ever fail'd to remember, she had an admirable knack, a very refreshing Stroke of Memory, both with her Hands and Tongue, besides an Imperial Toss of her Head, most expressive and significant.

She grew weary of that artful Submission, and implicit Compliance, with which she had, by insensible degrees, entirely made her self Mistress of her Son's Affections; she thought, that as she had built the Machine according to Art, after the first-hand, it wou'd still run on in the same Track and Motion; but because one must have something to do, let one be never so supine, either to laugh, or play, or talk, or eat, the time away with some body, she bethought her self of supplying the Place, which she was weary of, with one that shou'd always be with Cæsar, when the Publick did not require his Appearance at Audiences, Meals, Devotion, Hunting, or at the Council-board, where Irene thought it requisite, how contrary soever to those Delights that inherently attended the Cæsar's, he shou'd sit to declare, whatever she, and her Favourites, had resolv'd upon before.

This Election was to be made from one that absolutely depended upon her self, and rather a Woman than a Man, because they were not only more governable, less treacherous, less busie, and more incapable, but because her Son's Inclinations inclin'd him not to robust Diversions, but soft Conversation and Amusements; whence a Lady of the Court, without any thing else to recommend her, but a facetious Vein, and being a tolerable Droll, had a Pension allow'd her to make the Emperor laugh, which perhaps with all her Endeavours, was not above once a Year. Irene fear'd lest any Favourite of the other Sex, shou'd inlarge Cæsar's Soul, give him to hear the Name of Glory, teach him War, and Ambition, which wou'd prove destructive to her Interest, therefore a Woman was only proper; nor did she fear Mary the Armenian's Jealousie, who only busied her self to consult Physicians, and in endeavouring to mend her ill, or rather desperate State of Health.

Theodecta, a Relation of the Empress's, and one of her Maids, was pitch'd upon for this Choice; the Lady had a latent Ambition, Greatness of Soul, Humanity, Ingenuity, Religion, and other conceal'd Vertues, that she had made no noise of, for fear of allarming Irene, who always took it as a tacit Reproach to her self when another deserv'd well, or was commended.

Constantine, who had hitherto seen but what his Mother the Empress Augusta directed, fail'd not after her Commendations, to behold Theodecta with Complaisance, who being naturally sweet temper'd and engaging, apply'd her self with Diligence to gain Cæsar's Inclinations, which was no hard matter to do, they having been first directed by the Empress.

But when once Theodecta had got ground, and that Irene's greater Avocations had left Constantine more to himself than ever he had been, this Maid who was truly Orthodox, and trembled at the Innovations they were preparing, by which Image-Worship wou'd be for ever confirm'd, fail'd not to whisper Cæsar, that if he suffer'd the Church and Cabinet to change Hands, Religion wou'd be overthrown, the Empire embroil'd, and all things reduc'd to the utmost Despondence and Confusion. Constantine was then in his Heart Primitive, yet aw'd by Irene, he ask'd the generous Maid what he shou'd do? Who boldly answered, "Discharge the still changing Æmilius; give the Command of that Army Stauracius has, to the Duke of Campania; restore Horatio the Immortal, to the Legions in Iberia; Horatio, who was remov'd but to make way for the cunning luckless Rutilius, who will lose all, because his Business is not to contend for Fame with Stauracius : Call Nicephorus and Puplicola about your Imperial Person: Let them sit at the Head of the Board; dismiss the Schismatick Bishops, they'll exchange at any time for a Pension: Confirm the Patriarch of Constantinople in his Seat, order the Vacancies to be fill'd by those truly Orthodox, whose Interest and Principles it is, to have Cæsar live, and reign, 'till he shall be chang'd into a Saint. But because she was but a Woman, and not worthy or able to advise any further, she begg'd that his Imperial Majesty wou'd suffer her to introduce Herminius to his Presence without the Knowledge of the Empress, Stauracius, or the dastardly Statesman Æmilius."

Herminius was then an Officer of State, a Man of great Capacity, Eloquence, true Principles, Generosity, and extreme habile in Business: But not foreseeing the destructive Violence of the Bishop of Rome, and his Adherents, he thought by temporizing to gain ground, 'till convinc'd by too dear bought Experience, That that obstinate encroaching Sect, are not to be dealt with by Indulgence, whatever you give, is but so many Steps for 'em to get more; they hate and reprobate who are not Fellow-Idolators, and persecute with implacable, never ending Malice: Artful, undermining, treacherous, lurking, far-sighted Restless; they pretend Religion, but never practice further than the Out-side! Depose Kings, and Saints, as fast as they create others: Their own Party can have no Faults, the rest of Mankind not any Beauty!

These were the People to whom Herminius yielded some things, in hopes of gaining others; That small Indulgence so hearten'd their unwearied Industry, together with the Empress's Resentment and Avarice (which accepted of all they brought) that the Court and Offices in a short time became almost entirely fill'd by 'em.

The Duke of Campania had dealt the first Blow for Victory after Constantine was Emperor: He had defeated the Persians, and took from 'em a prodigious Booty more wealthy than can be imagin'd: 'Tis true, he triumph'd upon his return, the Emperor and Empress, in one Chariot grac'd the Ceremony; but the unanimous Congratulations of the People, drunk with Love and Joy at the Duke of Campania's Successes, whose Person they adored, fester'd the proud Heart of Irene, who assisted with a sullen gloomy Discontent, at hearing the Praises of any but Stauracius, therefore Campania was barely coldly thank'd, and afterwards laid aside.

No Prince had ever a greater Bravery of Soul; his Courage cou'd be equall'd by nothing but his Magnificence; he fought as he gave, largely, or rather without Reserve. In the late Emperor's time, he did such things against the Persians, as made him equally the Love and Admiration even of his Enemies; in one Battle, where he happen'd to be taken Prisoner, he carry'd himself so undauntedly and magnificently, so much to the Reputation and Glory of the Empire, that the Persian ask'd, How many more such Heroes they had amongst the Greeks? That it was time for him to conclude a Peace, if there were but a few such as him! For tho' he shou'd not be out-done in Arms, he must be conquer'd by superior Vertue. Campania lavish'd a mighty Revenue in Glory of the Empire; whilst a Prisoner, he knew no Property, but dealt his Treasure to the Relief of the Unhappy: That alone was Title enough to his Favour, and many of 'em had perish'd without it. But all Hero as you see him, He is still a Mortal, that is to say, not totally without Exception, tho' his Sin is certainly the most beautiful of any, good Nature; by which his Favourites, of both Sexes, have too often impos'd upon his Bounty, and made themselves, rather than him, Objects of Reproach.

Theodecta succeeded in her Sute. Herminius was often introduced to Constantine's Ear, and it is believ'd, if he had profited of the Occasion, laying aside his Notions of Mediocrity, and boldly bravely struck for Religion, and the Good of the Empire, he cou'd then have preserv'd, not only them, but himself, assisted, as doubtless he wou'd have been, by Nicephorus the late Emperor's Brother, the Duke of Campania, Pablicola, and in a Word, by all the Orthodox, Laity, as well as Clergy.

But Irene's Regal Star was yet to maintain the Ascendant; she had quickly Intimation of these secret Practices, the Emperor had no Money (abstracted from the Knowledge of her and her Creatures) to bestow upon Theodecta, by which they might have over-bought the Empress, or at least preserv'd their Consultations private. She rav'd! She more than exclaim'd! She call'd 'em Traitors! Theodecta Traitress! and which is more than all, and past Belief of Posterity, she took upon her to correct the Emperor, shut him up in his Chamber, and box'd him with her own Hands, calling him ungrateful to her Cares, her Toil, sensless Fool! Drone! unfit for Government, and the Reins of Empire! which he had never held a Month but by her wise Conduct and Advice, that had conceal'd his Incapacity behind her Perfections, and as a Sun, cast a Glory upon his Defects! What had he to do with Politicks? Cou'd not he eat, and sleep, and loll, and yawn, and fool away the Day unmolested, or had he a Mind to have his Weaknesses discover'd, and despis'd, shav'd and shut up in a Cloyster! whilst Nicephorus ascended: If those were his Designs, she desir'd Information, that she might take care of her own Interest, abstracted from such a Whirligig as he was.

The good Emperor, mortify'd by the Termagancy of his Mother, and intirely in her Hands as to Affairs, of which he knew no more, as she had industriously contriv'd, than the meanest Man of the Empire, wept a good deal before she wou'd forgive him, and that but conditionally, that he shou'd sign whatever Commissions were brought him by Æmilius, for those who were to supply the Post Herminius and his Adherents held at Court: Easie Constantine compounded, upon Condition he might still keep Theodecta about him, whom the Empress so severely upbraided, and so well tutor'd, that 'twas thought she wou'd not be very much in haste to discourse Cæsar again about Politicks. Cæsar! who still remembring his Corrections, in a long time thought not fit to dispute Irene's Sway, going out, and coming in, rising and sitting down, signing and letting alone, as her Imperial Majesty, Stauracius, Æmilius, and others of that Junto advis'd; tho' 'tis certain after this breach, so great a degree of Aversion and Coldness possess'd both Irene and her Son, that they saw one another but as seldom as possible, and then with Heart-burnings and Reluctance, Æmilius being left to manage all with the Emperor, and the Empress with Æmilius.

In the mean time Cethegus succeeds Herminius; Cethegus ! the Executioner of the Junto, scarce cou'd he defer the Stroke, 'till he heard the Sentence, or receiv'd the Command! All that Fire and Fury cou'd inspire animated his Frame! He was an Engine not to work with, but destroy! Not fit for Consultation, but Destruction! A Bigot to Idolatry, and the Party he had embrac'd! Relentless and remorseless, a zealous Image-Worshipper and Faction Broacher! yet affected to be thought learned and wise! But Wisdom and Learning never take up their Dwelling in a Breast where all the Passions are sulphureous, burning and destroying to the very Root; so that merciless Cethegus never preserv'd but when he cou'd not ruin.

Cicero next was call'd, not him that sav'd the Common-wealth from being made a Monarchy, but he that wou'd have made the Monarchy a Commonwealth; he was advanc'd by Irene to be Magister Officiorum, the God of Eloquence hung upon his Tongue; Minerva her self inspired his Brain, and fir'd his Heart. His Wisdom and Sedateness of Temper, preserv'd and kept together the Cabal. Furious Cethegus! and precipitate Cataline! cou'd only be restrain'd by him. He it was, that gave 'em their Cue, when to bellow, when to strike, when to comply, but seldom to save; for however disagreeing in other Points, they us'd all to come into accord for Revenge and Persecution.

And which was not the least astonishing Ingredient of their Composition, these zealous Reformers! these Image Worshippers! these pretended Devoters, who ran mad after the Out-side of Religion! were as Immoral as those that had never heard of any! Cicero himself (an Oracle of Wisdom) was whirl'd about by his Lusts, at the Pleasure of a fantastick worn-out Mistress: He prostituted his inimitable Sense, Reason, and good Nature, either to Revenge, or Reward, as her Caprice directed; and what made this Commerce more detestable, this Mistress of his was a Wife! Impious Excess! Abominable Adultery! Were there not enough of the frail Race unmarried? Had not Sergius's immemorial Assiduities corrupted enough of that Order, but this Patrician, this Director of Nations and Imperial Assemblies, must bring his Pollutions to defile the Marriage-Bed, and corrupt a Wife? Nay, which is more execrable, the Wife of a Friend. Was it not a good Comedy, or rather Farce, when you beheld this sententious Man, this decisive Orator, who by the Enchantments of his Persuasion, left not even Destiny to her self, for Fate and Fortune were, whenever he spoke, his Slaves. To see this great, this stupendious Man, that cou'd enchant an Empire with the Musick of his Voice, skulking in the obscene Habit of a Slave, hiding his Face in an abject Robe, as if that cou'd conceal his Vices, waiting at a back Door to get undiscover'd Entrance into his own Palace, after passing the guilty Night in Adultery with an infamous Prostitute! And this not for once, or twice, but for Months and Years! 'till his Sin was become as confirm'd a Habit as his Hypocrisie! The poor Husband distracted with his Wrongs, grows uncapable of following the necessary Duties of his Calling, by which Neglect his Maintenance fell, and he drank the bitter Draught of Poverty! the Adulterers rioting in all the Luxury of the East! shifting Aboads in scandalous By-Corners, from Place to Place, for fear the Cuckold's Prerogative shou'd seize upon the Ornaments and Riches of his Wife as lawful Spoil, which when he was so lucky to do, the vindictive Patrician interpos'd with a thorough Revenge, first casting him into a loathsome Prison, where when he had sufficiently languish'd, a Warrant was produced to the Goaler to deliver his Prisoner to some Persons, who receiving him into their Custody, dispos'd him in such sort, that to this Day he has never been heard of. Let the Idolaters consider how much they ought to pride themselves in the Morality, Religion, and Vertue of this Atlas of their Empire.

Now dy'd Pope Adrian, and Leo the IIId. was elected by the Empress's Intrigues, not for his Vivacity but his Dulness. He was so wise, as to desire to know no more than Irene permitted, infected with the new Contagion, and zealous for Images (if for any thing) he reconcil'd the Empire to the Holy See, and accepted Heraclius's Crown, which she, together with her Son, presented to the Church. The Holy Drone who fill'd St. Peter's Chair, rather slumbering than awake, had yet all the Obstinancy in favour of her, his Mistress, that Ignorance and good Will cou'd inspire; he even absolv'd her from the Murder of her Husband's Brothers, Nicephorus, Christopher, and others that she caus'd to be made away at Athens, and then, as the Roman Emperors were wont to do, order'd her self to be drawn in a gilded Chariot, the Patricians attending on her like her Slaves, through Constantinople; in her way she scatter'd Money among the People, which trivial Donative, was miraculous, coming from her! And now all the Race of Leo Isauricus were extinct (unless her Son) she every Day gave out such Speeches as might make his Friends apprehensive, that his Life shou'd not be long, for as yet he had never Reign'd! whilst Stauracius's Popularity and her own Audacity fitted 'em with Preparitives to step into the Imperial Throne, whenever she shou'd think fit to declare it vacant.

And now she took another Air and Manner; Her Pride and Covetousness found none upon Earth so great and so rich as her self, when she enter'd the Cirque or Amphitheater, she forbore to sit where the Empress's us'd, because that was mixing with other Ladies, whom in her haughty Soul she despised, but in the most infamous Corner, caus'd a Throne to be rais'd for her self, and three or four more of her Companions, whom she vouchsaf'd to suffer in her Presence, for she was grown too great for Conversation, like a Deity, Self-sufficient to her self in every thing. As soon as she enter'd, her Custom was to turn her Back upon the Audience, after giving a Look of Disdain and Contempt arround her, and in a little while (as if her mighty Soul above those petty Amusements, scorn'd to be so meanly entertain'd) she wou'd rise and abruptly depart, without respect to the Order of the Performance, or what an Irruption she must make amongst a Set of fawning Followers, who all watch'd her Nod with base Adulations worshipping that triumphant Idol, equally the Representative of those two mischievous Deities, Pride and Avarice.

Then was Tarasius advanc'd to the See of Antioch, by his Habit only, appearing to be of the Temple: Tarasius! who was as great an Original in his kind as Irene. He had all the Pride, Ambition, Turbulancy, Inconstancy, Violence, Obstinacy, and Spirit of Persecution, that is suppos'd to have infected the fallen Angels. Nor cou'd a more advanced Age bring any Allay to his Fury; he wou'd have made an excellent Pope, when what they call Heresie was to be extirpated. In his Youth he had been of the Orthodox, but finding Idol-Worship was coming to be the fashionable Religion, he profess'd and preach'd it, and so was made Bishop of Antioch, without the least Blush or Reserve of Modesty, at hearing what were his former Opinions recited, he seem'd to have grown craftier, but not more holy; nor did he pretend to it, indulging his amorous Vein, and making as many Conquests over the Bodies of the fair Sex, as of their Souls. He was once upon his Knees to a Lady, afterwards famous in the Altar-Service for the Sweetness and Compass of her Voice, the finest Singer of her Age, the good Priest laid about him with the Zeal of his Function, and begg'd her for Heaven's sake, and something more, to be kind and have Mercy upon him, it might be a means of saving his Soul, for he shou'd die of Melancholly, or Despair, or turn Self-Murderer, if she continu'd to be cruel.

The Bishop of Galatia also became a Convert to Idolatry, or rather to Irene's Power, and the Court. This holy Merchand wou'd have made an incomparable Vender of Books, Nature fits every one with a peculiar Genius; for he understood the Value of their Price more than the Value of Learning: He was Master of an extraordinary Library, which he had found the Art of getting, without paying Extortion for; and because he wou'd be sure to be a thorough Divine after he was made Lord of Galatia, he set himself to study the Cure of Bodies, the better or easier to come at that of the Soul.

These and others of the same Principle, were assign'd (with their indefatigable Industry) to manage a Council that was to meet at Constantinople in the seventh Year of Constantine's Reign, but the Citizens and Soldiers understanding the Deputies were pack'd for Irene's purpose, such as wou'd restore Image-Worship, they couragiously drove 'em out of the City as fast as they arriv'd there, which oblig'd the Empress to adjourn to Nice, where the first general Council sate. Three hundred and fifty Fathers out of the East, and West, met on this Occasion; the Number of the Italian Bishops gave the Idolaters the majority. They decreed, That Images shou'd be made use of, but not be worshipp'd with Latria. The Pope's Agents were so rampant, that they wou'd have as much Respect paid to the Idols as if the Deity were visibly present, which the Fathers wou'd not allow, tho' they were most of 'em Irene's Creatures, whom she had perverted to Idolatry since she came to the Administration, and was disgusted concerning Stauracius. This Council was never receiv'd by the Orthodox Christians. Seven Years after Charles King of the Franks call'd One at Frankfort, where three hundred Fathers assembled, who condemn'd Images and the Synod of Nice. The good Patriarch of Constantinople cou'd only give Examples of Purity, he had no Power remaining, and tho' perhaps the most learn'd, the most pious, the most eloquent Divines that ever adorn'd the East, were then Prelates of the Empire, yet Ignorance, Stupidity, Idolatry, and Persecution, under Constantine the Orthodox, had like to have bid fair for the Extirpation of Them, and of their Worship.

It had been Cæsar's good Fortune still to be belov'd by his People, who pity'd his unhappy motherly Infatuation, rather than explor'd it. Whatever Miscarriage happen'd, were all attributed to Irene and her Ministers, not to him; they car'd not to learn, That a Prince, far from Evil in himself, is still answerable for all the Evil he suffers others to commit under the sacred Umbrage of his Name. Constantine Cæsar thought not of any, or rather thought not at all. Æmilius and Irene's Artifice kept him from Reflection: How cou'd he believe himself in the Wrong, who was hourly applauded for being in the Right? All that approach'd offer'd Incense to Cæsar! and sounded Stauracius's Glory! The Empire, he was told, never made so great a Figure as under his Auspices; the Barbarians trembled at his very Name: His Name! which was sufficient of it self to settle, or overthrow, Provinces, and Kingdoms. All the known Nations of the East and West crowded under the Wings of his Eagles for Protection: He was their Doom, their definitive Sentence! Letters, Ambassadors, Congratulations, still came cramm'd with Cæsar's Glory, and Stauracius's Success!

Does the wisest Mortal ever have Recourse to Remedies, when the whole Body of his Physicians, upon whom he depends, tells him he has no Occasion for any; or rather that his State of Health is so well confirm'd, that whatever Alteration happens, must be to his Prejudice? This was Constantine Cæsar's Case; he was truly, luckily belov'd by his People, and no less happy abroad. He saw none but what tickl'd him with the repetition of his Praises, his Glory and Reputation; he did not so much as dispute but that he was ador'd as a visible Divinity; the real rankling Sore that lay latent and was but skin'd over by the artful Gloss Irene and Æmilius gave, was to all Intents conceal'd from Cæsar, who cou'd not apprehend the Malignancy, when he knew of no Distemper.

But Irene, who now regretted even that shadow of Empire which was yet in Constantine, saw that whilst he was so belov'd, she cou'd not step into his Place with her adored Stauracius: Her first Artifice was to get him to marry Theodecta, Mary the Armenian his first Wife being still alive, and nothing laid to her Charge reflecting on her Chastity, by which she knew he wou'd quickly become odious, and her self be reveng'd for what that Maid had done against her. Terasius perform'd the Ceremony; Plato the Patriarch, and others, the chief of the Clergy of Constantinople, excommunicated Tarasius for it; but Constantine, or rather Irene, imprison'd Plato, and rais'd up so furious a Persecution, against the Orthodox Clergy, that even the most sanguine of the Empire, cou'd not but perceive they were now in good earnest bent upon Image-Worship, and upholding the Church of Rome, to the Destruction of the Greek.

Vindictive Irene, was resolv'd to take this Opportunity to wreck the Envy and Malice brooding in her Heart against Plato Patriarch of Constantinople, and his Adherents, for having oppos'd Stauracius, and been so forward in their Excommunications, she wou'd try her Right and Title, whether Religion or her Self shou'd reign. How durst those saucy Priests dispute what she directed? Or pretend to argue upon the Validity of the Emperor's Marriage, when she had advis'd it? Now was the Struggle, whether shou'd be mortify'd, the Greek or the Roman Church; Irene, that furious new Convert, who never was of any Opinion, 'till now to do Mischief, sate in nightly Councils how they might get the Patriarch condemn'd, not as he was a Man, but as a Priest contrary to their Worship; not for himself alone, but for his Brethren in him, who took upon 'em an Office that did not appertain to 'em, What had they to do to excommunicate for Houshold and State Concerns? Cou'd not a Man marry, or let it alone, but they must interpose with telling what was just and fit? Their Business was only to preach Holiness of Life, the Salvation of Souls, not to busie themselves with what Men did with their Bodies. Cou'd not every one live as they wou'd for them? Shortly, if this was encourag'd, one shou'd not shift a Scene, or remove an Officer, but leave must be ask'd of the Patriarch, good Man, who tho' he made the Care of gaining Heaven his Pretence, his Aim was to come in for a share in the Dominion of the World, else he had never dar'd to thunder his bold Reflections and Excommunications upon those who had Cæsar's Commission for acting, and did but what Conscience, and the Exigency of Affairs, requir'd.

Irene, Cethegus, Cicero, Sergius, Cataline, the illustrious Prelates formerly mention'd, and others of the Junto, met in Consultation at Æmilius's to debate of punishing the Patriarch of Constantinople in the most glaring manner: Wise Cicero, tho' thrown into the Idol Party, yet was no great Bigot to any Religion, and therefore advis'd, "That Plato shou'd be set at Liberty, with severe Advice not to meddle in Excommunications, nor suffer his Brethren any more to concern themselves with a thing so remote to them, as an Imperial Marriage. Nothing, he said, advanc'd, or made a Cause so considerable as Persecution the Parent of Perseverance; from whence is deriv'd a Sanction that made it venerable to the People, and took into its train a sort of good natur'd Animals, conscientious Fools, who catch'd the Spirit of Pity from one another, by way of an infectious Imitation, whence Millions had been cajoll'd into a Cause, and even out of their Lives, as if it were inglorious to show less Obstinacy than their Leaders had done. Contemptible Beginnings cou'd not be made great, but by the Apprehension they gave, like neglected Libels, or Flowers without Moisture, that die away of themselves, and never spread but when they appear of Importance enough to provoke the Notice of those to whom they are directed, Answers begetting Rejoinder; whence the wisest part of Mankind never permitted any, but silently left the Authors to expect the Reward and Neglect, which ill Nature merited. He further observ'd, that the Fear of Punishment, awes more than does the Punishment it self; many a Man has been known to tremble at the Thoughts or Prospect of Evil, that when it was arriv'd, bore himself couragiously under it. That whatever cou'd happen of Hardship to the Patriarch, wou'd but the more indear the People, who always compassionate the Sufferers for Conscience-sake, and were ready to idolize as Martyrs, such who met Persecution on that account; at least it wou'd make the Patriarch more reverenc'd and popular, since his Behaviour had ever been so blameless, that Malice it self cou'd not assign him over to the Odium, even of his Enemies.

"That the Innovation they were endeavouring, was to be compass'd more by degrees than of a sudden; at several times, rather than at once; by Artifice, sooner than by Force; if they wou'd but submit the Conduct to him, he wou'd stake his Head upon the Event: Fire and Sword were very good Arguments to those who had already the Majority of their side. But as he took it, that was not the Case in question, Idol-Worship having not yet been the obtaining Religion; and tho' the Bishop of Rome might be Pope in Italy, yet at Constantinople Plato was Patriarch."

Cataline the new made Præfect of Sicily, wou'd do something meritorious of his Promotion, and tho' he had not been dispos'd at this time to be grateful, a Scene of Confusion and Ambiguity prov'd so agreeable to his Inclinations, that he must have very much cross'd them, not to have push'd it to the uttermost. So that rising from his Seat, he thus address'd the Empress.

"As there is nothing, Madam, so nearly ally'd to the Deity as the Desire of revenging Injuries, I humbly offer to Your Imperial Majesty, that You will vouchsafe upon this occasion, truly to appear their Representative. Plato the presuming Patriarch of Constantinople, deserves to be punish'd, not only as a Miscreant in himself, but chiefly for a Terror to others. He Wretch! Despicable in his own Capacity! A Trumpet-Fellow! The Tool of the Party! halloo'd on by a full-mouth'd, noisie Pack of Curs, to essay whether Your Imperial Majesty, and Constantine Cæsar Augustus, Your Royal Son, are ripe for those Affronts and Mortifications they mean You: Shou'd ye bear so great an Insult, to what a height wou'd they not be incourag'd to sin? I humbly move, That both Your Imperial Majesties wou'd be pleas'd to call a Synod with the soonest, to punish with indelible Characters of Infamy, this audacious Man: Leave it to my Care to get the Majority, if Your Imperial Majesty but once empowers me; it will go very hard (the Empire to back me) if I prove not too strong for Hereditary Opinion, ill-bred Crossness of the Will, Prejudice of Education, notional Religion, pretended Piety, affected Vertue, and twenty such slender Oppositions which are never so much enforc'd, as when the Wearers design to part with 'em to advantage, and consequently set the greatest Value to inhance the Price. Have we not Gold, and Honours, and Power to reward those that shall most strenuously do their Duty? loyal and conscientious Subjects shou'd be encourag'd. Leave it to me to select out Men of Spirit and Mettal, not to be aw'd and brow-beaten by such Bug-bears, with which our Patriarch long has rid us; Men of Fire and Ambition, Bright and Daring, with so happy an Eloquence, were the Goddess of Vertue to be arraign'd before 'em, their Noise and Gloss, cou'd seemingly turn her into Vice! and give even herself to doubt whether she yet had an Entity. Madam and my Lords, I hope you will find what I say reasonable. Were it not hard, that we who have waded through so many Difficulties, and are now in possession, shou'd part with our hold, for a Notion, or fear of Excommunications! No! No! We will contend! We will wrestle! to the last Drop, before we lose those Images which Your Imperial Majesty, and Cæsar's gracious Goodness, have entitul'd us to. You shall behold us trembling with Zeal! Yearning for Revenge against that Excommunicator, vehement for Persecution of the Persecutor! Stammering, and even foaming at Mouth out of an unbounded Desire to acquit ourselves, and make that sorry Fellow contemptible: Will not all the Auditors be of our side? Shall we not even carry Justice before us? Will they endure to hear what he shall offer in his own Defence, or rather let us not suffer him to make any? Cicero, Madam, is wise, but the wisest may be mistaken: As this Scene shall be manag'd, I hope we shall force him (with all his Coolness) to confess he was not infallible, and that we only were in the right, himself in the wrong. I doubt not but Your Imperial Majesty will obtain from the Synod such a Sentence as shall for ever keep Busy-bodies within their own Pale! they shall be glad to meddle no more with Marriages! and Emperors! with Excommunications! or Fulminations! Shou'd we despise, or neglect to punish, as the Noble Cicero advis'd, they wou'd not interpret it our Contempt, but Fear. Let us then proceed boldly; let us strike sure and home; let us even leave none to remember they were injur'd! Order succeeds Confusion: I prognosticate this will end in the utter Extirpation of our Enemies and their Heresie; let us secure this Point, and we may assure our selves of the rest. Have I for seven long Years been busying my Brain to bring things to this happy State, to have 'em lost by Pusilanimity or Lenity, miscall'd by the wise Cicero, Policy? No! No! Let's dispute no further of the Fact, but hasten to ascertain a glorious Event.

"I can produce irresistible Orators, such who always carry the Forum of their side, besides the witty Stelico on ours. What tho' he grows dull, has Recourse to Authors, and is often forc'd to go to the Shades for Recruit, a Man is not oblig'd to hold out for ever, we must not let him lay down because he is ready at any Occasion; tho' I must tell you, my Lords, 'tis a hard Task to be forc'd to be witty, be one in never so opposite an Humour, but he has still Fire and Malice enough to do our Business: They call him in Contempt, a Bread-Writer, a sorry half Sesterce Fellow; but his Pen is generally acceptable, he pleases those whom he stings; a commodious useful Hireling, stops at nothing, goes through thick and thin: He cants admirably, and pretends to Vertue, but is as ingrateful and unfair as one cou'd desire. He'll lay on any Colours, and is so great an Artist, he can metamorphose in a Twinkling the brightest Hero into a dirty Scavenger. Then as to the other Extreme, Has he not made a very Deity of me, and giv'n me and some of my Fellow Patricians, such gay Clothing, that I defy our best Friends to know us in his Garb? He has almost persuaded me to believe (did I not feel the contrary) that I am Just! Couragious! Religious! and very near, Merciful! and I have rewarded him for it, and wou'd have done more, but that 'tis not Politick, being too liberal, lest the poor Rogue shou'd get above his Necessities, and grow too Great for Business, or else indulge too far his native Genius to Laziness, and being govern'd by his Wife. Where shou'd we then meet such another diligent, obsequious, trembling, dutiful, Mercenary? Many indeed are willing, but how few are found able? Stelico shall make it his Care to daub and misrepresent even the brightest and greatest Characters, to threaten and stigmatize with his Pen, those whom we fear and disapprove; he shall prepare Mens Minds for a favourable Approbation of our Proceedings, vilifie to the Life those of our Enemies, and when we have done our Parts, applaud us for the well Performance."

This Speech of Cataline's, was receiv'd with a Plaudit ; even Cicero himself subsided, seeing it was the general Wish, and Irene's particular one to have Plato sacrific'd to her Resentment. Only hot Cethegus said, "He did not know what occasion they had for a Synod, their formal Paces and tedious Lengths wou'd spin out a tedious Time; his humble Opinion was, That Cæsar alone was sufficient to command, and for his part he stood forth resign'd, ready and willing to obey."

However, Cethegus, his Spirit of Persecution was forc'd for once to mix with the Allay of Time, which was no little Mortification to him. Gracious Irene resign'd all things to the well-pleas'd Cataline. A Synod was summon'd, which he took indefatigable Pains to manage, so as to get the Majority on his side; the holy Patriarch, together with the rest of his Brethren that had join'd with him in the Excommunication of the bold Bishop of Antioch, were brought out of Prison, not to hope any thing from their Defence, but to receive their Sentence; all that Ecclesiastical Zeal and Fury cou'd suggest, was put in force against them, and Divorces justify'd; never were Barbarian Pyrats, nor a Banditti so unpitifully insulted; Pride and Ignorance, mix'd with a wordy Eloquence foreign to the Purpose, were made use of to condemn 'em for Excommunication; the Harrangue was one perpetual Train of Invectives; they offer'd nothing substantial, they had nothing to offer, and therefore were to supply the Defect of Matter of Argument, by bitter Satyr and twanging hyperbolical Reproach and Contempt: Christ had positively forbidden that any one shou'd divorce his Wife unless she was convicted of Adultery: Tarasius of Antioch had dared to re-marry the Emperor, Mary his first Wife being yet living, for which the good Patriarch, and others of his Brethren had excommunicated him, which being according to the Command of Scripture, Plato cou'd very well make appear he acted but to obey That and his Conscience. He receiv'd all the haughty stinging Insults of his Enemies, their Pride, Arrogance, ill Manners, and Scorn, with a Humility truly Primitive, far from recriminating: he lowly bow'd at every period of Reproach, and when he was put to prove whence he took his Authority for Excommunication, he acquitted himself to the Applause of all his impartial Hearers: His Defence was so holy, so moving, so humble, so unaffectedly natural, so free from Ostentation, or Vanity, that drew Tears from the Eyes of the Spectators, who reflected how he had been persecuted, imprison'd, ruin'd in Property, abandon'd to the Friendship of the Faithful, and every way an Object both of Admiration and Pity. However, all he cou'd say signify'd nothing to those who came prepar'd in their Hearts to condemn him for daring to meddle with Constantine's second Marriage, and in that the Business of the Empire, full of the Eloquence of those of their own side and deaf to his, he was convicted, and remanded back to Prison, whilst the triumphant Irene and her Party got a Decree to confirm Constantine Cæsar's Marriage with Theodecta, Cæsar himself appearing in place, not to judge of the Merits, because they were determin'd before, but by his Presence, to invigorate and skreen those who acted on the Emperess his Mother's side, tho' in regard to his double Marriage, against the Honour, Conscience, and Interest of his own. But so well they had manag'd the native Timidity of his Race, as to tell him, if double Marriages were condemn'd, he shou'd lose his Title to his Wife Theodecta, and consequently her; that if they remov'd the Foundation, the Marriage was necessarily destroy'd, which so alarmed Cæsar that his former Tranquility was no more; all gave place to his Fears, and the Desire he had still to preserve to himself the Possession of his new Empress.

Tarasius, who had marry'd Constantine to Theodecta, now translated from the See of Antioch, and made Titular Patriarch of Constantinople in the room of Plato, (tho' none acknowledged him but those on his own side, Plato still being "esteemed Patriarch) pretended to prove from Scripture, that tho' second Marriages (the first Wife still alive) were in themselves expresly forbidden, and unlawful; yet in Cases of great Necessity, such as the utter Extinction of the Race of Leo Isauricus for want of Heirs (which Cæsar could not have from Mary the Armenian, whose Constitution was destroy'd by Diseases) they might be dispens'd with; or rather Dispensations were lawful, as Inclination and Necessity suggested, expresly against St. Paul, who forbids us to do Evil that Good may come of it. The new Patriarch insinuating, that 'twas a Law, and no Law, binding, or not binding, sometimes to be kept, sometimes to be broken, as Conscience or Desire would prompt. The Exigency of the Case cou'd only determine the Point; but as to this he boldly ventur'd, in regard of Mary's Defects, to pronounce the Emperor's Marriage with Theodecta, lawful. Plato and the rest of his Adherents ought therefore to be condemn'd for speaking against it, and much more for daring to Excommunicate those that had assisted, and were the principal Actors in it."

Victorious over the Patriarch, Irene resolv'd to go on, and extirpate in favour of her Idols, even the Remains of the Orthodox, all Places of Trust and Profit were fill'd by the Schismaticks, there was even a Majority in the Senate; the Legions only cou'd not be affected, for those few great Commanders that were made by her and Stauracius were forced to give in to the Tide of the Soldier, all the Empire (as if by Inspiration) took the Alarm, and rose as if at one moment; not a Plebean, scarce a Citizen, but became tenacious of that Religion they had, seemingly so long neglected; they exclaim'd against Irene as the Perverter of her Son, they counted up all her Male-Administration, her Cruelty, the Murther of her Husband's Brothers, her Extortion, her perverting Cæsar to Idolatry; for he now gave in to her Taste, and did little in Favour of the Orthodox, or rather all things in Favour of the Romanists ; an universal Spirit of Mutiny seiz'd the People, the Armenian Legions quarter'd in Thrace, first began and peremptorily require that the Emperor would take the Administration of Affairs upon himself; they were followed by all the Legions, Provinces and Cities of the Empire, who at first gently, and afterwards more loudly, Petition'd Cæsar, That he would be pleas'd to Reign alone : They ask'd that his Go-Carts might be dismiss'd, to find if he were able to walk of himself, for as yet he had appear'd but as a Pageant, the Representative of Augustus; they wanted to be introduc'd, and acquainted with Constantine their Emperor, and pray'd him that he would act without Irene, that they might, as it was high time, form a Judgment of his Capacity and Temper. If he were Orthodox, let him exclude Idolators from his Person and the Service of the Altar: If he were Merciful, let it be seen in giving Repose to the World after so lingring and expensive a War; which tho' it bestow'd upon 'em the empty Name of Victory; yet forbore not to drein the Empire of its Blood and Wealth: If he were generous, let Persons of Merit be preferr'd, those whose only Recommendations lay not in Dissimulation, and in their Coffers: If he were just, let not Stauracius's Legions be the only that were paid, let him remember the suffering of the rest, and the long Arrear to the Marriner: If he were wise, let him himself administer to his People: But if on the contrary, they cou'd with Resignation receive any Misfortunes that deriv'd immediately from Cæsar, and as their Duty, suffer the Will of Heaven and Constantine's, not requiring more than the eternal Power had thought fit to bestow; whereas all things from cruel Irene, and those merciless Idolaters, her Favourites, were insupportable. The same said the Citizens of Constantinople, when they found there was no other way to preserve the Purity of their Religion, and stop the Progress of Idolatry, their Rage, animated by their Fears, turn'd into Fury, they call'd to Arms, which the Emperor cou'd only stop the Progress of, by sending him who had so long been term'd Father of the Empire into Exile, with the rest of the Male Administrators, he re-instated Plato in the Patriarch's Seat, and permitted the Return of his own Friends about his Person; but they cou'd not be appeas'd whilst yet the cruel Empress remain'd at Court, they clamour'd louder than ever, that she might be deliver'd to the Soldiers with all her ill-gotten Riches, as lawful Spoil: But the Emperor had a meritorious Tenderness for his Mother, tho' she had deserv'd so ill of him, and of the State; therefore he requir'd she might only be banish'd his Presence, and to preserve her from the Resentment of the People that wou'd have torn her in pieces, in her Passage he himself led her out of the Imperial Palace, with great Respect (having by her former Blandishments been induc'd to love, and by her latter haughty Severities brought to fear hear) accompanying her to another more Superbe and Costly, that she had built at Elutherium, where by her own and her Favourite, Stauracius's Griping and Extortions, she had laid up an immense Treasure, which Cæsar out of his Sweetness of Temper suffer'd her to enjoy.

Then were Mediators dispatch'd, who in good earnest intended to give Peace to the exhausted Empire, which at Heart, notwithstanding its Renown, it so much wanted; all things tended under Constantine Augustus's own Conduct, to the Advantage of Religion and the People. Publicola Agrippa, of whom we have not yet spoken, (tho' none can be ignorant of his high Quality, Perseverance, Capacity, and the share he at first had in Constantine's Favour,) truly Orthodox, and the greatest Votary of Religion that had yet ever been an Honour to the Muse: The Prince of Campania, Herminius, and others, were restor'd to their former Posts, from which, if they again depart for Pique or Resentment, or any other Injury or Reproach, (as having beheld the Mischief their Desertion occasion'd) they deserve to be never forgiven; for had they at first suffer'd boldly, and endur'd the Prosecutions of the Idolators, even to Neglect and Contempt, 'till they had durst to have crowded others in their Places, these Calamities possibly of the Empire had never been: Then shin'd forth the glorious Orthodox Empress Theodecta (Mary the Armenian just before expir'd) then did she meet the Rewards her Vertue merited from the Approbations of the Church and People, and the Honours the Emperor her Lord and Sovereign so well (when not directed by Irene) knew how to bestow crowding about her Person, to the Acclamation and Approbation of all that had ever heard her Fame, and the extent of her Deserts.

Thus miraculously was the Greek Church deliver'd from the slavish Terrors and cruel Persecution of the Roman, and Her sacred Purity preserv'd (from the Pollution of Hereticks and Idolaters) undefil'd; nothing less than a Miracle, a Miracle due to the Prayers and Examples of those holy Prelates that incessantly implor'd Heaven for Redress, and gave Examples to the Earth, cou'd have reliev'd her from the Jaws of that Lion, who in his Heart had already devour'd her, and left her even without a Name, or a Memorial for any to remember that she had ever been: The Fortitude and Resolution of the Legions and People came not from themselves, it was the Inspiration of that Almighty Power, who will never abandon his Church, tho' for the Sins of many, he may seem for a time to leave her mournful Beauties oppress'd with Grief and Despondence, 'till his interposing Goodness renews her Charms with quickning Lustre, and causes 'em to shine forth clear and strong, after the Dissipation of those Clouds, that had for a while obscur'd her Brightness.

The Count de St. Girrone wou'd have rested here, but that Monsieur the Envoy without staying to return him the Thanks that he deserv'd, desir'd him to expatiate a little upon Stauracius's Character who had fill'd the East and West with the Report of his Victories, what he had already heard did not seem satisfactory enough; to whom, when the Count had answer'd, that he had little more to say of him, but by way of repetition, or summing up what had been spoken before, which perhaps his Excellency wou'd find tiresome and dull, he paus'd a while, and thus continu'd his Discourse.

Stauracius the Thracian, having retriev'd himself from the Exigency of narrow Circumstances by ways so infamous, that no generous Man, but what wou'd rather endure the last extremity, found Fortune that fantastick Goddess, (who hover'd over him at his Birth, and cry'd, Thou shalt be mine, thou art my Darling) unaccountably kind and indulgent to her adopted, upon whom she diffus'd so great a share of her Blessings, that an extraordinary Courage was by no means necessary to accomplish him, such as her Minion ought to be, since by her Favour alone she caus'd him to gain Victories, to gain Cities without having occasion for any, as it were by an Impulse of Destiny, that so it must be as if Fate and Fortune shou'd say, You are our Agent, and nothing shall be able to prevent what we design. He came into the Field in a lucky Point of Time; the Period of an Empire, that had flourish'd long and was grown to so gigantick a height, as to be shaken by her own Weight, a degenerate Timidity succeeding that Courage, which under Cyrus had rais'd 'em to universal Monarchy. Kingdoms have doubtless their Bounds and Revolutions, as well as other sublunary things, therefore wou'd the Persian have fallen, tho' Stauracius had never been born, who had no occasion to contribute any one Vertue but good Luck, towards so tremenduous an Event, unless it were, allying himself to Irene and Æmilius.

Fortue does not always choose the most worthy, yet seldom do her Favourites prove altogether unworthy, yet when a Foundation is ill laid, the Building generally proves irregular: It seems to me as if Stauracius rather chose to establish himself by Ingratitude and Treachery, than Vertue and Fidelity, because he rejected the means that lay fair before him to attain that end; yet as our good and gracious Mother Nature, is said to send no Poison, but she provides an Antidote, the Vice of Avarice, (Stauracius's Darling) tho' so despicable in it self, doubtless preserv'd the Greeks from a more despicable Consequence; for had he had a Nobless of Soul, or even not have been so sordidly covetous, assisted as he was by Fortune, his Parent and his Mistress, what might he not have done? Where might he not have reign'd? But however ambitious he might be, Money still had the Ascendant. His Success in Battle he look'd upon only as a larger means to oppress the Conquer'd, and ravage with Impunity; 'twas in Wealth that he seem'd to bound his Desires; 'twas in That, that he plac'd his most Affecting Delights, through the whole Scene, from the Morn to the Meridian, from the Meridian to the Decline of Life, without End, and without Change, entirely devoted to the God of Riches, advancing only his own Creatures, those that were Accessaries with him in so base a Work. Had a Man of Cataline's make, had those Opportunities, he wou'd quickly have been the most dreadful Thing upon Earth: But Stauracius's mediocrity cou'd rise no higher, or rather sink no lower, than doing all things without omitting the meanest, to increase his already unnumber'd Store.

He was a Man govern'd, or rather aw'd by his Wife, to whom he durst not but submit his own Understanding, in concert with her Creatures, acting nothing abroad but what they first advis'd at home. Happy in having a Temper so compliable, for it was in Consideration of that, and him, that Pectolus and Ganges gave up their shining sandy Gold, the glittering East its Riches, and the fertile Campania her Fruitfulness. His Army was fed, and cloath'd, and pamper'd, whilst the half-starv'd naked Legions of Africk, Greece, and Iberia, groan'd under a long Arrear, fed only with distant Expectation, exploring a wintry Sky, and the parching Summer Sands of Mauritania defenceless and expos'd! whilst Æmilius drain'd the Empire, to prevent even Stauracius's Desires; the Flower of the Soldiery, the Heart of the Treasury, were perpetually sent to reinforce an Army, that cou'd not but overcome, when Nature and Fortune were for them, Fate and Destiny against their Enemies.

His Person, Quality, and Reputation, procur'd him many Favours from the fair Sex, whose Hearts are generally the Warrior's Prize; but when he grew too old to please, without any other Consideration, being fix'd to his Principle of Covetousness, he went in search of much cheaper Pleasures, and found his Account with a Reverend Matron, in a Common House of Entertainment, where as Occasion call'd, he us'd to come Incognito, and through a Glass-Door with a transparent Curtain, seeing and unseen, make choice amongst a Number of fair Ladies; The she who was ordain'd for his Evening Diversion, had a Present of One Hundred and Twenty Nine Sesterces from his Highness, so despicable a Reward, that his Page or Footman, that perhaps succeeded him, wou'd be asham'd not to give more. Then for his Probity, he promis'd whatever you requir'd, but was sure never to perform, unless you brought an Equivalent in your Hand. Owing all to his Prince, yet arriv'd to that height of Insolence, as not to yield him the Disposal of any thing, complaining upon the least Attempt, that his important Services were neglected, and the Reward assign'd to others: Justly an Enemy to Peace, because Peace wou'd certainly be an Enemy to him, prolonging the Persian War, left his own Power shou'd end, never valuing the Lives of the Soldiers, so he but preserv'd his own, nor weighing the exorbitant expence of a foreign War to the People at home, whilst enriching himself abroad. His Ambition wou'd have had no Bounds, had not his Avarice confin'd it, which happening to be his Ascendant, has prov'd not less mischievous, tho' the other might have been more fatal.

Monsieur le Count, answer'd Horatio, perceiving St. Girrone had done speaking, you are a bitter Enemy; I hope at least you are as good a Friend, they are generally Consequences of one another. My Lord, reply'd the Count, I beg your Lordship not to mistake me. I have no personal Quarrel to those I have been speaking of, they have done me no particular Injury, it is only because they are great and glaring Enemies to Vertue that I am an Enemy to them, and therefore I must quote Presidents. Xenophon, Thucidydes, Plutarch, Livy, Salust, and those other Writers who have impartially related the Imperfections even of Hero's, are valu'd more particularly for their Sincerity; it is not because they were suppos'd to have receiv'd Injuries, or even been acquainted with all those whose Imperfections they thought fit to record, and therefore cou'd have no personal Prejudice. But because an honest Man is impatient to have Justice done to the worthy and unworthy, who can bear to have the Oracle of an Empire, live in a Course of Craft, Deceit, and known Adultery, and not detest those fine Qualifications, that want force enough to teach him this plain Lesson, That no Man can have true, good, sound Sense, who is Immortal? Those very Advantages he possesses makes him more destructive to the Community. Vice is very infectious! and will not the half-witted Man, who has not enough to be thoroughly honest, be apt to think an Imitation after so bright an Original, very pardonable, if not laudable? Have not vicious Habits their Fashions, as well as Garments? 'Tis the Great that make Examples, which the Little are proud to follow: Ought they not to set a double Guard upon themselves, since in Them a Nation often sins? Methinks 'tis hard, and I have often wonder'd at it, why that Man shou'd be thought uncharitable, a Satyrist, or Libeller, who but repeats with his Pen what every Body fearlesly reports with their Tongue: Is it because the Reproach is more indelible? Let the Great take heed then how they give the Occasion; let 'em beware how they set to have the Picture of their Vices made immortal. Do you believe the Liberty suffer'd at Athens, in their Dramatick Pieces, did not restrain several who were viciously enclin'd, fearful of seeing themselves represented? The Satyrist must be thought of use to his Country, tho' I can't forgive him, that betrays the Weakness of his Friend, or any Secret that he happens to be let into, of what Nature soever; or who, having been oblig'd, or receiv'd into Families, finds the defenceless part, and expoises their Foible to the World: Those are Meannesses below Contempt, scarce any can be guilty of 'em. I must always condemn the Person from whom Scandal first arises; he that gives a Man or Woman to the ruin of Tongues (perhaps yet young in Vice) and throws their Reputation to the Winds, to be torn and scatter'd by malignant Fame. I wou'd have every one tender even how they repeat any thing disadvantagious of another, 'till he were very well assur'd not only of the Truth, but that the Mater of Fact were no longer a Secret: Nay, and even then, I wou'd have him distinguish between a Start, and a confirm'd Habit of Vice. We have all our Frailties, the Suppression of 'em is doubtlesly meritorious; but the glorying in 'em, by an ostentatious long Course of Evil, and refuging under the Splendor of a Great Name and Quality, is something so abominable, as must give Offence to every honest Man. How likes the grateful Person the Ingrateful? Ingratitude is the vilest of all Vices! and most opposite to natural Equity, and yet it is the most common; it is never found among Brutes, not even the most savage and cruel: The Lions are to be molify'd by Benefits; Men alone are naturally ingrateful, and yet there is something in it so shameful, that there was never yet one found that prov'd an Advocate for it, or that wou'd confess himself guilty: Therefore when we behold it conspicuous in a Prince, have we not Liberty to decry, detest, and expose it? In like manner, unbounded Covetousness, Gripings, and Extortion; to see such Vices crowding the Souls of those, who ought to be employ'd in thinking how to give profitable Examples to the People beneath 'em, it's abominable! And so in respect of all those other Defects, which I have observ'd conspicuous in the Constantinopolitan Heroes, and which are so obvious and confirm'd, that not a Child, who has ever heard of the Name of Cataline, but knows his Irreligion, Wickedness, and Artifice! of Cethegus, but is acquainted with his Vanity, Cruelty, and fiery Ill-nature! of Stauracius, but detests his Ingratitude and Avarice! and so of the rest. Therefore, my Lord, pursu'd he, speaking to Hortatio, 'tis not that I am unfair, but because that they are notoriously foul. If we speak of 'em at all, we must speak of 'em as they are, or else it is no longer Them; and tho' perhaps a great many may think, 'twere better to let the Subject alone; I say again, that 'tis the Duty of every particular Person to contribute what he can to the Service of Vertue; and sure it is not the worst way to decry Vice, even in the Greatest; nay, 'tis There more-particularly our Duty, because it may warn others from coming into their Fashion.

The Count has reason, answer'd Monsieur l'Envoy; but we do not hear him say any thing of Irene's Return to Court, and of Constantine Cæsar's being more infatuated than ever. Because, my Lord, Modestly, reply'd the Count, that I know no further than what pass'd whilst I was at Constantinople. The Empress-Dowager, as she was beginning to be call'd, was just then gone to her fine House in Elutherium, and Stauracius with her; Things took a new Turn at Court, the Idolators were suppress'd, and the Emperor call'd about him his own Friends: But this Change was not above four Days before I departed, so that I forbear to speak of what I have since been inform'd but by hear-say. I'll assure your Lordship, the Aboad I made at Constantinople (contrary to my Genius, which has not yet took such a serious turn) forced me to appear a Politician in my own Defence; for there is nothing but That, and Religion the Mode, unless in Julius Sergius's Palace, where Luxury reigns at the height, if you wou'd discourse of Love and Gallantry, you must have Recourse to those antiquated Beauties, who know not how to go out of the Road of their own Time, and wou'd still be admir'd, tho' contrary even to Nature, as well as the Fashion. Tell a young Lady she's handsome, and she'll presently stare as if she thought you mad. 'Tis not now-a-days That they hear any such things, but ask her, Who she's for, the Pope or the Patriarch? and she'll understand you presently; and after she has deliver'd her Opinion, she'll defend it with a Volley of Arguments: Implore a tempting Beauty, talk of her Cruelty, and beg her to have pity; she'll presently ask you, Is the Patriarch, &c. in Danger? Do they design to punish him? and eagerly conjure you, for Heaven's sake, to let her into the Secret? In a word, the most illiterate, the least spiritual, have a Chain and Rote of Argument, which, by hearing nothing else, they are become intirely Masters of, and can discourse upon, to the Exclusion of their formerly ador'd Topicks, Scandal, Cloaths and Gallantry; Heavens! how they crowded to hear the Patriarch of Constantinople examind'! Every Day, and all the Day, they besieg'd the Assembly. I remember I once sat by a certain Lady, who had been constantly there; she ran on mightily in the Praise of Solitude, how much she was an Admirer of that, and hated a Crowd; yet she had been forced to rise every Morning at Four a-clock to come there: Then talking of what they design'd to do with the Patriarch, who had been the occasion of all this Bustle, she wish'd he were crucify'd for it: For her part she lov'd Moderation, and did not desire any thing worse shou'd come to him. This, my Lords, was the Court-Strain when I was at Constantinople.

The greatest Pleasure I found was in an Adventure that happen'd to me of the Asian Side, where I was retir'd upon account of an Indisposition, thinking the Air and Solitude a better means of Recovery, than the Crowd and Vapours of a Court. I left my People at my usual Residence, and took only my Valet and one Slave: I chanced into a neat House, with an agreeable Landlady; and because I avoided Company, I paid her her Price for the whole, tho' much more than I had occasion for, or design'd to use. I had scarce been there two Days when she came to me, and intreated me to spare her some part for a Lady of Quality and her three beautiful Daughters, who design'd to remain Incognito, having some Measures to observe before they appear'd at Court, and cou'd not conveniently be any where but at her House, whom she cou'd trust. I told her, I found the way in the East was to be mercenary; I cou'd do nothing without a Bribe; but if she wou'd promise to introduce me to their Acquaintance; the whole House, unless my own Apartment, shou'd be at the Service of the Ladies. You may be sure the Bargain was quickly struck, and, after a Night's Repose, I had the Honour to be admitted.

One must do the Person, who appear'd the Mother, this Justice, that she look'd very youthful to have three such well-grown Daughters; she was perfectly fair, but infinitely affected, it had been the Fashion when her Ladyship was the Fashion, and she knew not how to depart from it. I had the good Luck, I don't know why I call it so, but, in short, I pleas'd her, without desiring it, (doubtless any young Fellow, of a promising Constitution, might have done the same) because my Eyes and Heart were already directed to one of her Daughters. She was as quick as Lightning, and observing my Attach, would prevent my Affections taking that Route; and therefore, by some intelligent Glances and Nods, got rid of those insupportable Companions, that would destroy her Claim to Youth and Admiration.

The first thing she said, was to tell me, She marry'd extremely young; That there was scarce Thirteen between her self and her eldest Daughter; That her Lord was an old Man when she marry'd him, and she had suffer'd an insupportable Martyrdom, had not his Quality oblig'd 'em both to be very much at Court, where the Gallantry that then reign'd compensated for any Mortification that one met with at Home. She ran on next in a long Chain, of how many Lovers she had had, and, under feign'd Names, gave me a Catalogue of Swarms that had suffer'd for her: I did not ask which way. I think she put no less than three Emperors into her List, besides a Train of Consuls, Nobilissimi, and Patricians: She destroy'd my past Wonder every moment with new; I thought, if ever I shou'd suffer Martyrdom under a Female Tongue, it was now. Thus far she did me a Kindness, that not knowing very well what to say to her (resolving not to be put upon the Roll for one of her Lovers) I cou'd scarce have furnish'd any thing on my Side for Conversation, being naturally sincere, I hate vain Oblations and Flattery, and have ever found my self at a Loss how to begin with a Woman I was not dispos'd to love: A pretty young Lady has something in her Face, her Person and Manner, that gives one a thousand agreeable Hints: I wou'd positively have some Method found out to acquaint all Women with their Decay; they shou'd be told when they begin to be no longer charming, for they will never know it else: Nothing is so ridiculous as their carrying things to Extremity; they wou'd joyn the Spring to Autumn, May and December, the two Ends of Time, in a True-love's Knot. When a Man, Owner of either good Nature or Politeness, happens in the way of a Woman, that will be taking, and finds him so, what a foolish Part must he act! I took such a Surfeit that Evening of an elderly Lady's Amours that I have run away ever since when there was the least Danger of being left alone with any of 'em.

At last, Heaven be prais'd! a Collation reliev'd me; take her out of her vain amorous Strain, and she was very good Company, understood the World, and a Court, and had seen much that way, but was poison'd with Affectation and Self-Conceit; she had been us'd to those who flatter'd her Charms, and she cou'd not be reconcil'd to Indifferency; it was easie to find where she had had her Education. I had not the least Inclination to enquire of her, who she was? which I believe she wou'd not have took ill, tho' never so much against the Rules of good Breeding: Curiosity is often a Proof of liking, which I quickly found, upon the return of the young Ladies, who fill'd their Places at the Table with us. I took care to confine my Eyes, tho' I cou'd not my Wishes, so that Supper over; I made a Pretence to retire, tho' her Ladyship wou'd fain have engag'd me at Chess, a Game so sedate, that I wonder how the Mercury in her Temper wou'd ever permit her to learn it.

I was so happy in an Hour after, to find the young Ladies in the Garden, who were diverting themselves at my Cost; they raillied me for the Complaisance their Mother had for me, which I had receiv'd with such an awkard Air, that as they were pleas'd to say they pity'd me for it, we laugh'd good part of the Night away, in an agreeable Conversation, tho' I found they were very much upon the Watch, for fear her Ladyship shou'd know of the Liberty they took. I was so happy to single out her that had charm'd me, we began a Commerce something more tender than Gallantry; all I cou'd learn from her that Night was, that she was marry'd more for Interest than Inclination; she even proceeded to tell me, that it was dangerous for young Ladies in her Circumstance to converse with Persons so agreeable as I was, this rous'd my Vanity, that had lain latent since I departed from the Court of Orleans: I had heard nothing like an Amusement of that inchanting kind in the politick Air of Constantinople, tho' 'tis true there are the handsomest Women of the World there. The Greeks, your Lordships knows, have the Reputation of it, but they are sour'd by the new Fashion Tour of Religion and Politicks; tho' I wou'd not have you think that they are a Jot more holy, lead better Lives, or are grown more wise; on the contrary, their Impertinence is now in the wrong place, and therefore a thousand times more intollerable, since we can sooner forgive an Absurdity that's natural than one that's acquir'd.

I conjure your Lordships to believe, that I never found my self in such a Surprize since I was born, as the next Morning at, seeing a Coach of Hire stop at the Gate, and the Emperess Irene lighting out of it, with only one Woman of her Chamber, who lugg'd a small Cargo, which I afterwards heard was some Wine and cold Fragments of her last Night's Supper, which she had caus'd to be set aside, by way of good Husbandry, which she is perfectly acquainted with, to come and eat with those Ladies. I with Astonishment heard that the old one was her own Sister. Madam, the Princess (the Mother was so call'd) her Lord had been perpetual Proconsul, or rather Prince in Mauritania, but apostatizing to the Sarazen Religion, he was expell'd the Empire, and refug'd himself in the Persian Court, by which I cou'd recollect how her Highness came to reckon so many Emperors in her Amorous Train, she was a Widow, and hated at Constantinople ; for it was suspected by the force of Gold dexterously apply'd to her Sister's Foible, the Secrets of the Empire, were no longer such to the Persian, therefore she durst not publickly appear, 'till the way was smooth'd for her, and the Inclinations of the People consulted: My beautiful Mistress was so complaisant to tell me Their Quality, knowing I had seen the Empress, but she recommended the Secret to me, and suffer'd me to value my self upon the Favour she had shown me in revealing it. They yet staid a Week longer at that House, where Irene always came in the same manner, every Day for three Hours; she us'd us shut up her self with the Mauritanian Princess, and was so obliging, as to allow me the Conversation of her Nieces, who were kind in their turn, and left me no more alone with her Highness, whose Civilities I did not much pride my self upon, when I once became acquainted with her diffusive Character.

We all return'd to Constantinople, where yet the Princess remain'd incognito; the young Ladies who had no such things to fear, were every Day at the Empress's, by which means I came oftner on her side than before. I thought my self very happy in an agreeable tender Correspondence with that lovely Lady who had charm'd me; but being oblig'd to follow her Lord into Sicily, she carry'd away with her all the Taste I had for the Constantinopolitan Court. I cou'd not remain in a place which her Absence had made so disagreeable, and therefore departed without Regret, carrying her fair Image with me, which yet I have not been so unhappy to lose the Idea of.

Monsieur le Count has finish'd in a lucky moment, reply'd the Envoy, I see my People coming to tell us they have serv'd, Allons, my dear St. Girrone, refresh your self at Dinner, and receive our Approbation and Thanks within.

Book III.

Notwithstanding the splendid Entertainment, generous Wines, polite Conversation of Monsieur Le Envoy, and that of the diverting Count de St. Girrone, Horatio was buried in so profound a Melancholly, that it was easie to see all his Regards were turn'd inwards, there to contemplate upon what more powerfully affected him, than outward Objects: Not that he was wanting in the least to Decorum, or an ease manner of Behaviour, but that Spriteliness and Fire which us'd to enliven his Conversation, seem'd exchang'd for a languid Tenderness, if not quite so animating, yet not less moving. It was impossible to see him, and not take part in all his Concerns, he made it every one's Wish to contribute to his Relief, and to share in a Burthen which seem'd so oppressive.

Monsieur de St. Girrone fail'd not to say a great many sensible things to him on the part of Ximena, whose merit and Death he had learnt from the Prior, but because he saw that returning to a Scene so doleful in it self, rather increas'd Horatio's Sorrow, he endeavour'd, by changing the Subject to one more diverting, to bring if possible, tho' but for a short time, some Suspension to the Excess of it.

Speaking of the merit of Wives, he ask'd Horatio if he knew at Constantinople, such a one, naming a Lady who had found a method to double her Fortune by the Generosity of her Gallant, by which means her Husband became infinitely fond of her, tho' he had ever been cool 'till then; at the same time continuing his Discourse, he enquir'd of his Lordship if he was not intimately acquainted with Gratian of consular Dignity? He has drank, my Lord, in favour of Florella, the Court Droll, out of Circe and Medea's Cup; for 'tis certainly Infatuation that not leans but bows him that way, he's the first Man sure of sense, that doats in spight of Nature, or even in Contradiction to her. You know Florella; alas! can any thing be so forbidding, not to say frightful? Yet he passes whole Days in kissing her Toes, and playing with her Ears, a new method of Amour, and she brags of it. Will any body pretend to dispute of Taste after this? The honest Gentleman her Husband is the only one in the Empire that knows Them, and knows not their Intrigues; he is so jealous of his Honour, it wou'd certainly drive him to Extremity, therefore they forbear to tell him of it, tho' the Affair has been of a long standing. How much Sincerity, and Ignorance of what, 'tis presum'd, we ought to know, can sometimes expose a Man? He was, a little before I left Constantinople, at a publick Assembly, where the Consul show'd a very fine Diamond he had lately purchas'd: Every one gave their Opinion of it, at length it came to his Turn; Why ay! says the poor Gentleman with a very ingenuous Air, 'tis very fine; but is it not great Vanity to lay out so much Money upon Right, when Counterfeit makes as good a Show? There's Bird at home as glorious as the Sun, you wou'd swear she was stuck with Jewels, and all false. The whole Company had much to do to forbear laughing in his Face, fortunately he was call'd away, and left 'em to do it among themselves, not forgetting to commend Florella's Address, who cou'd pass the real, substantial, resplendent Diamonds given her by Gratian, for false glittering Imaginaries, on the Credulity of her uxorious Husband.

The indiscreet Conduct of Ladies, such as these, reflect, thro' Misapplication, upon the whole Sex. I cou'd never give my self a Reason why the Ephesian Matton of Petronius shou'd please so much, unless it were for the Sarcasticalness. Can any thing be more unnatural than a beautiful Lady (who doubtless might have commanded the most lovely of the Youth) just expiring thro' Grief and Abstinence, tempted to dishonour herself, and that Glory she had so dearly purchas'd, for a despicable common Sentinel! Cou'd the Charms of his Meat and Wine in a Moment make her forget what had been most valuable to her, so as to pass to an Extremity like her's, without a bigger Temptation; something more shining, than cou'd be suppos'd to adorn the manner of such a Fellow: He shou'd have at least allow'd her one Night, that Gratitude might have interpos'd in Merit of the Benefit receiv'd from her Benefactor, and not have made so much haste unnaturally to corrupt a Vertue, that seem'd confirm'd. Petronius's Designs were doubtless to expose the Frailty of the Sex show their Passions in full Force, and their Reason of no account, when compar'd with them; but had he liv'd to this Age, had he ever been at Constantinople, and beheld the wonderful Porcia, he wou'd have been a Convert to their Vertue. Your Lordship cannot be ignorant of Porcia's Charms. I have never been so happy to see her, reply'd Horatio, therefore, pray Count, consider me as one who hearkens with Pleasure to all you can say.

Then your Lordship, answer'd the Count, has never survey'd what most in the Sex deserves your Admiration. Her Person has as many Charms as you wou'd desire in a Mistress, if from all that beheld her you wanted to have your Choice confirm'd and applauded. She is one of those lofty, black, and lasting Beauties, that strikes with Reverence, and yet delight; there is no Feature in her Face, nor any thing in her Person, her Air and Manner, that cou'd be exchang'd for any others, and she not prove a Loser: Then as to her Mind and Conduct, her Judgment, her Sense, her Stedfastness, her Reading, her Wit, and Conversation, they are admirable; so much above what is most lovely in the Sex, shut but your Eyes, (and allow for the Musick of her Voice) your Mind wou'd be charm'd, as thinking your self conversing with the most knowing; most refin'd of our's; free from all Levity and Superficialness, her Sense is solid and perspicuous. Lovely Porcia is so polite, so neat, so perfect an Oeconomist, that in taking in all the greater Beauties of Life, she does not disdain to stoop to the most inferior; in short, she knows all that a Man can know, without despising what, as a Woman, she shou'd not be ignorant of.

Inimitable has been her Conduct, and 'tis owing to her prodigious Modesty alone, that the whole Eastern Empire does not sound her Glory. She has desir'd to live unknown, and has confin'd herself to a narrow Part of it, else her Fame had been as diffusive as her Merit; wisely declining all publick Assemblies, she is contented to possess her Soul in Tranquility and Freedom at Home, amongst the few Happy she has honour'd with the Name of Friends.

Porcia was marry'd very young to a Gentleman, who possess'd larger Territories, than other fine Qualifications: Their Years were unequal as their Deserts. His Education, which had not always brought him to Constantinople to converse, together with a certain Moroseness of Temper, made him rather a rigid Master, than a tender Consort to the amiable Porcia; yet she never complain'd, supporting his Excesses, both in Debauch and Ill-humour, like a Martyr, chearful under her very Sufferings.

Propitious Heaven! unloos'd the rugged Chain: He dy'd, she was no longer marry'd, left very young, very handsome, very rich, but very wise: The three former Qualifications drew Crowds of Adorers, the latter as dexterously dispers'd 'em.

Since her Widowhood, she has been the perpetual Mark of those who wanted Fortune, of such who wanted Merit and Beauty; a Crowd of Undeservers, a Train of Deservers: The Distinguishing adore her own Perfections, the Generality worship her Possessions. Many are her personal Lovers, and who even deserve to be belov'd; but her Resolution no more to inslave herself, has left 'em little Part to hope in her Favour, all in her Esteem.

Certain of being Heiress to her Father, a Gentleman of great Riches, together with her own large Possessions, had she been influenc'd by her Passions, might not some tender Sentiment at an unguarded Moment, given her to have made a Choice from out of the Crowd that importun'd her, a Choice worthy the Name of Happiness?

Porcia shining in true Merit, and possess'd of all things glorious, when possess'd of herself, has in every minute particular fulfill'd the Character of a Woman of nice Honour, and strict Vertue, joining in Opinion with those, who think all Women of Fortune ought to marry once, and fix'd to her own, That Glory permits none of the true Possessors of it, without some undeniable Consideration, to marry twice.

Strictly Orthodox, Porcia has bent her Fortune and Applications to the Advantage of the true Religion. In a word, no Perfection is feeble, or shines dim in Porcia; all is strenuous, bright, confirm'd, and unexceptionable. She only is worthy to supply the Loss of Ximena, in so great a Breast as Horatio's, were Fortune to do what Merit has done, wou'd she not make the Union? Where more justly cou'd we bestow the Charms of a Heroin, who has done all things for Vertue and Honour, than in the Arms of a Hero, who has left nothing undone for Fame and Glory?

Horatio, with a Smile, perhaps less constrain'd than any that had departed from him, since the Loss of his still too-much-belov'd, since lost, Ximena, told the Count de St. Girrone, He had Power to do all things; and if ever he return'd to Constantinople, as he hop'd, because the Destinies had call'd him, his first Business shou'd be to get himself introduced to the charming, more than charming, the meritorious Porcia. The Ambassador said, when his Affairs were dispatch'd he wou'd beg Leave to attend his Lordship with the same Curiosity, to behold the Ornament of her own Sex, and the Desire of their's.

Nothing can be more my Wish, pursu'd the Count de St. Gironne, addressing to Horatio, than bringing any Diversion to that deep settled Thoughtfulness I observe in your Lordship. I hope I have at least amus'd you in speaking of Portia's Merit. I rest expresly so long upon the Constantinopolitan Court, because the Adventures of those we know, are incomparably more diverting to us, than of such whom we never heard of; and in this Pursuit, my Lord Ambassador, I must have leave to forsake your Excellency for some Moments, applying mostly to Horatio. Your Lordship tells me, 'tis more than three Years since you were at Constantinople. Do not believe that I have many such as Porcia to speak of; we'll change the Scene to the fair Messalina's of the Age. Surely you must have observ'd Julius Sergius; he began to sprout in your Time; but, alas! his Growth is now past Knowledge! the tallest Dignities of the Empire are scarce worth his Acceptance! I'm sure the Sea and Shore are industriously and daily ravag'd to supply his Luxury. Who wou'd believe, beholding him dissolv'd in a Mid-night Debauch, and the Delicacies of his own Palace, playing every Day for immense Sums of Gold, which he had scarce ever beheld before, that some time since he had hardly Sandals to his Feet? The sorry Income that he was born to, cou'd not well afford him a Draught of Wine, or Change of Habit, to distinguish him from the Plebeian.

Wisely, for his first Adventure, he concluded with a Reverend Marron, the Relict of a Patrician, and now settled in her Patrimony, he began to look big, and thence took it into his Head to be Witty: Who can help it, if in spight of Nature? But there were a Club, especially one of 'em, that, foreseeing the rising Sun, offer'd, with the Persians, their early Adorations, and were contented to depart even from their Wit, a Reputation all Men are peculiarly fond of, to adorn their good Friend, and Midnight Companion Julius Sergius. 'Twas like buying of good Bargains, lumping Pennyworths, wisely laying out Money in a Purchase that you inevitably foresee will turn to account. Neither cou'd the lucky Rogue rest in the acquir'd Reputation of Poetry, but he must pass on to be a Projector, a necessary Engine, a Mechanick for Government; he was bold and forward; the Necessity of the Times, and the Exigency of some Affairs, needed such Spirits. He thriv'd in all his Pretences, whether to serve the Party he had espous'd, or himself: By doubling and trebling, not dabling in small, but dealing in great, in a little time he found himself Master of a prodigious Fortune. I will not pretend to give you the Detail how he came by it, nor does it concern us; but as the Heart of Man is restless, perpetually in Motion, to be a Statesman, Rich, and consequently an excellent Poet, were not enough; he must refine upon the matter, and pretend to Learning, Gallantry and Politeness: How superficial soever were these his Accomplishments, he made more Noise and Glare with 'em, than did those in whom they had never so sure, so deep a Foundation.

Irene and Æmilius contributed by a pleasant Piece of Court-Politicks to his Excesses; there was such an Alotment, by theirs and the Junto's Appointment, out of Constantine Cæsar's Privy-purse of secret Services, for Sergius to keep a Court and Table, to invite, and entertain, the Young, the Fair, the Idle, the Busie, the Wanderer, and even the Sedate; not any cou'd defend themselves against the Charms of his Banquets, and the Luxury of his Rewards. I had once at Julius Sergius's Palace the Honour of an Assignation, by the young Lady whom I ador'd, the Princess of Mauritania's Daughter; but her Charms so wholly possess'd me, that I had then no leisure for Reflection: I saw all was gay, enchanting, easie, and luxurious; but having been so happily introduc'd, and so favourably receiv'd by Sergius, I ventur'd another time alone, with an intent to make my self Master, as far as my Memory wou'd permit, of all that occurr'd. Whoever enters there is oblig'd, like some happy Lovers as to what they feel, to take an Oath never to report, whilst they are in the Empire, whatever they shall see or hear in Julius Sergius's Court. I am now out of it, and, being a Man of some Honour, am glad 'tis no longer binding, but am pleas'd to find my Tongue at liberty to entertain both your Lordships. This religious Introduction to the most notorious Freedoms, banishes all Constraint; the Young, the Old, the Gay, and the Severe, the Coquet and the Prude, seem equally satisfy'd with the Assurance: The mutual Trust and Fidelity they have in one another, they eat, they laugh, they drink, they dance, they play, they loll, they love, with less Constraint, than in their own Apartments; nay, so far are their Freedoms stretch'd, that a Husband, in beholding his own Wife in such Company, that he wou'd no where else approve of, is oblig'd to turn his Eyes, as if to unknow, or at least must take no notice of here: In like manner, a Wife stuff'd with Jealousie, must not give Fire to the Train in that sacred Recess, tho' she behold her Lord even in the Embraces of her Rival. In a word, all the rougher Passions disappear, you are allow'd to remember nothing but Pleasure and Interest, which is the true Foundation, the invisible Spring on Julius Sergius's Side, that moves the Machine even in this soft, this delectable Retreat.

Here your Diversions are vary'd according to the Seasons: If the Hearts are extreme, Sergius's beautiful Palace, built upon the Constantinopolitan Shore, has the Asian Side in an unlimited Prospect, with the harmonious Dash of the Sea, that runs between, and divides it from Europe! Along the Margin of the Water is rais'd a beautiful Terrass, adorn'd with flourishing and perpetual Greens, that preserve their Beauty thro' every Season. Resplendent Christial Lamps are fix'd at equal Distances, in Silver and Gold-Cases, as also to the Branches of these Trees, that on the side next the Sea form a pleasing Ascent to the Palace. Fountains and Cascades make a noble Fall and Dashing, which joining to the soft Murmurs of the Trees, full of Sabæan Sweets, perpetually fann'd, and in a gentle Agitation, by those Breezes which comes off the Water, adds an inchanting native Harmony to the artful Consort of Voices and Musicians. Here you shall find those who hope to be happy Lovers, extended on the Grass, their Limbs all careless and supine, resting their Head (whilst stretch'd with an Air of Delight, at the Feet of the consenting Fair) upon their Mistresses Knees, taking a thousand Kisses from those charming Hands, that deliciously, and as if by chance, and undesignedly often wander, and pass over their Face to oblige 'em to remember how magical are the Touches of the lovely Belov'd.

Dissolv'd in more substantial Joys, the more forward Lovers tread the conscious adjoining Groves, enlightn'd as their Charmers Eyes, with thousands of Lamps blazing an artificial Day, which checker'd with the brown Shade beneath, cast from the lofty Trees, and mingling Branches, makes that Silvan Scene vie with the most glorious, most poetical Elizian for Delight, the perpetually falling Blossoms furnishing the fragrant Couch. Distant Musick, the best the East affords, is plac'd to advantage, with Airs languishing, enchanting, melting, which ravishes the Ear, and fills the Vacancies of Mind (if any) that Love has left un-employ'd: Officious beauteous Boys, like Cupid, Hyla's, and Ganimedes, are plac'd in call to bring whatever you can imagin of Refreshing as to Wines or Collation, no Hour, no Obligation, but Inclination tempts you to depart from those Joys you are in possession of; 'tis there always the beginning of the Feast, a perpetual Supply, makes no point of time necessary to enjoy the whole; you are not oblig'd to attend a supercilious Master of the Entertainment at the unanimous Instant he expects to hear his dull Harrangue upon what he designs to treat you with; here none are at an uneasie Moment call'd, the Moment that perhaps confirms their Bliss; all are welcome, all are happy, and employ'd in those Delights, most grateful to their Taste.

You pass, by an easie Ascent, thro' three Marble Porticoes, and find the first Apartments full of Bathing Rooms, the Odours, the delicious Spinknard, and all things luxurious, as well as neat, and proper, invite to the Bath when there is no occasion: They are distinguish'd by those of the Ladies and the Gentlemens. In the first of these are young, charming, well-dress'd, airy Girls attending for Service; in the other, Boys with their flaxen curling Hair, as wanton and beautiful as little Cupids.

By Marble Steps next you ascend to the Grand-salle, which for height and largeness, may vie with any Dining Chamber of the East, the noble Performances of Zeuxys, Protogenes, Apelles, and Phidias are the Ornaments of it, supported with Corinthian Pillars, whose Foliage is admirable, as is the Painting and Carvings of the Roof that sustains this ample Building: The Beds and Furniture are such as well chosen Magnificence cou'd invent, twenty noble Appartments open into the Grand-salle by christal Doors, all those Appartments finish'd to such a Nicety, as to inspire Delicacy and Luxury into those that shall happen to be the Guests; the Gallery is adorn'd with modern Pieces of Painting, but the best in the kind, done by the most able Masters, and the Representatives of those that have been famous in the Sciences and Poetry; there are not only such of the Departed who have been admirable, but the happy Living find themselves already secur'd of Immortality (in the Choice Julius Sergius has made) of which they are ascertain'd by being plac'd in his Gallery, there you may behold old excellent Cassius who in one Comedy has furnish'd out more Wit than cou'd Plautus and Terence in their whole Compositions. Corvino lives in an Age unworthy of him, who in exalting the Drama to the Perfection of the Ancients, never consider'd his inimitable Performances were to be judg'd by the undistinguishing Moderns; the Moderns, who have not only lost all good Taste with the very Knowledge of the true Beauties of Writing, but are grown doatingly fond of a Bad, preferring Farce, Noise, Sound and Buffonery, before the nicest turn'd Wit, the genteelest Dialect, and even (which indeed is wonderful, (because a Rustick is Judge of that) before the truest Representations of Nature wherein Corvina is admirable, and in spight of their no Learning, no Breeding, and Stupidity, pleases even the degenerate; yet far from suffering himself to be entic'd by the Applause of an ill-judging Audience, he is contented to depart and please no more the Many, who know not why they are pleas'd; he confines all his Excellencies to the few distinguishing, yet a Number suffers by that Partiality, who tho' they can't give an account why he gives 'em Pleasure, but as his Silence gives 'em pain, yet think it hard that so excellent a Muse as Corvina's, shou'd upon any terms, disappear.

I who can't be properly nam'd a Judge of the Greek, find yet such Inchantment in Maro's strain, that feeling how I my self, a Foreigner, am ravish'd, must thence conclude his better Judges the Grecians, entranc'd by him. I cou'd not behold him in Julius Sergius's Gallery, without something of Ejaculation, an Oblation due to Maro's Shrine from all that can read him. O pity! that Politicks and sordid. Interest shou'd have carry'd him out of the Road of Helicon, snatch'd him from the Embraces of the Muses, to throw him into an old wither'd, artificial Statesman's Arms. Why did he prefer Gain to Glory? Why chuse to be an idle Spectator, rather than a Celebrator of those Actions he so well knows how to define and adorn? Virgil himself, nor Virgil's greater Master, Homer, cou'd not boast of finer Qualifications than Maro: Maro! who alone of all the Poets truly inspir'd, cou'd cease to be himself, cou'd degenerate his godlike Soul, prostitute that inborn Genius, all those noble Accomplishments of his, for Gold, turn away his Eyes from the delicious Gardens of Parnassus, of which he was already in possession, to tread the wandring Maze of Business. Farewel Maro, 'till you abandon your artificial Patron, Fame must abandon you!

Can Julius Sergius with any Modesty, or indeed without Remorse, behold the Picture of Gallus? Gallus! whose easie natural Muse and early Friendship, has made both of 'em immortal! Where is Gratitude? Where is Honour, in neglecting the first Step upon which he mounted from Obscurity? O Sergius! you learnt not all things of Gallus: You did not affect it, else you had been acknowledging, you had been just, you wou'd have forbore being vindictive, or revengeful, and have distinguish'd between private Acts of Friendship, and a publick conscientious Dispensation, you wou'd have never forgot the Obligation to rest upon the Resentment: Yet shall Gallus live for ever in his peculiar Strain, his own immortal Numbers, and in the Reputation he has acquired to the Glory of the Empire abroad; when Julius Sergius's Ill-Nature and Ingratitude shall be only spoken of, Gallus shall still be remember'd with Esteem, with Pleasure, and Admiration: Gallus! who in raising Sergius's Fame, has for ever establish'd his own.

Julius Sergius is superficially gallant as well as polite, and wou'd be loath to leave the Ladies room to complain of him, for not affording 'em a Place in his Gallery, he suffer'd Sapho the younger to be exalted there, who tho' when living, was Owner of a Soul as amorous as the elder, yet wanted much of that Delicacy and all that nice, yet darting Spirit (of which hers is but a faint Imitation) so applauded in Phaon's Mistress.

Nor has another of the Sex forbore to intrude her self, Constantinople abounds in Pretenders of both kinds, the result of that Silence, which has invaded those who are truly Master of the Muses; but this Thing without a Name, is only known by the permission Julius Sergius gave her to invoke him as a Patron; if she had any other Art of pleasing him, he had best conceal it, lest he make himself the Laugh of those numerous Coxcombs, by whom her Address and Adulations have been so often rejected: Much good may it do you, Sergius, with Lais's Charms, the Leavings of the Multitude.

The great Interest he had, commanding That which commands all, drew many to address to him: For one season it was become an absolute Fashion, none thought themselves the Poet, if Sergius the Mæcenas were not the Patron. This Custom induc'd a certain Lady to present his Lordship with the Labours of her Brain, but she was so forbidding, or rather so shockingly ugly, that Sergius with all his good Nature and affected Gallantry, cou'd not afford her a Place in his Gallery, deferring to ask the Favour of Clarinda to set for her Picture, 'till he shou'd have an occasion to make a Collection of the Furies, where she may assure her self of the Preference

Delectable lazy Lucretias, are you to conclude as you began with Phædra alone? are you contented to have out-done the Pattern Euripides set? Do you believe all that heavenly Bounty of the Muses, was lavish'd upon you to treasure up in your own Breast? That Strength and Perspicuity of Stile, the Numerousness of your Verse, that easie flow of Numbers, that enchanting happy Art of yours, in Metaphors and Similes, and all those ravishing Beauties that at once delight and astonish!

My Lords, I am far gone in the Gallery of Poets, and know not how to get out, not even to take part of Sergius's sumptuous Feast, imagin the Beds carv'd by the most exquisite Workmen, the Quilts and Pillows of finest Wool the double Phenician Purple Dye, with Coverings of Embroidery in Gold, Scarlet and Pearls; the Tables either massy Silver, or more expensively inlaid; not Apicius himself was a greater Epicure than is Sergius: Lucrin Oysters, British Cockles adorn his Board, the stately Turbut and delicious Sicilian Mallet swim again in the rich Wines of Calabria, cramm'd Peacocks, the African Hen, and every Bird that wings the Air, pays Tribute to his Feast; the Lake of Thrasimene, and the Shore of Liguria, provides him Cavear and Sturgeon; in short, nothing is wanting, or rather all things are there, with huge Corinthian Vessels, massy Plate imboss'd; earthen Ware double gilt; christal Glasses; his Musicians are as admirable in their Art as are his Cooks: Then for Desert, after a Parade of Fruit and Sweetmeats, who can compare with Sergius? Who like him covers the Table for the last time with something more solid than Meat and Drink? there you may behold a vast Service of Perfumes, precious Ointments, sweet Grecian Oils and scented Waters, even Jewels and Gold in Specie are the Produce of his Board, with inchanted Pieces of Sticks so artificially carv'd, that 'tis but delivering 'em to the Imperial Treasurer, and they shall strait at his touch be converted into Silver, so many Notches so many Talents; there are also Scrips of Paper, upon which are drawn Hieroglyphicks, intelligible to the Surintendants, who upon sight exchange 'em for good Money: What is requir'd here from the Ladies in return to Sergius's Generosity, is only, to follow their own Inclinations in pleasing the Men, from the Men to obey and please Irene and Æmilius.

Julius Sergius was the only Person, when I was there, that seem'd unentertain'd at his own Festival; I observ'd a Cloud upon his Brow which he in vain strove to drive away with Wine and Dice which us'd to charm. Bacchus is a Familiar of his, he carrouses every Night with that jolly God, 'till he sometimes loses the Remembrance of any other Deity: But I wou'd have your Lordships to know, how awful so ever he is at other times in Quality of Statesman, he is no wiser than other Men at his own Table, and his own midnight Diversions. My fair Introductress, together with the Honour I had of being Favourite to Count Martell, Charles the King's Ambassador, whom all made it their Business to oblige, render'd me of no mean Consideration to Julius Sergius, after he had long labour'd himself in doing the Honours of his House, running from Room to Room, drinking Bowl after Bowl, he at length found himself fatigued, and alone, in the Grand-salle, only my self who was as idle as he, no charming Fair making me blest; and as to deep play so many things are to be said against that ungenerous, unfair Diversion, and nothing for it, that I never pursue it, tho' there were Numbers that bent themselves to it at Sergius's Palace, and vast Sums in every Corner of the House were won and lost: Julius, whose Genius that Night was turn'd another way, declin'd the Dice and came to entertain me, which I was assur'd was an excessive Compliment and Self-Denial; I was surpriz'd at the Honor; the rich Calabrian and Chios Wines quickly made us Intimates; but I who had more Curiosity than Desire of Drinking, meant only to introduce my self into his Confidence, that he might wander with me from Alcove to Alcove, and explain the History of blissful Lovers, those Hierogliphicks, of the Happiness of his Palace.

Beginning to speak of himself, to himself, knowing his Character, that he was Vain-glorious, affected Politeness and Generosity, endless Topicks, in which perhaps we might have consum'd the Night when once enter'd, before I shou'd be able to draw him thence to gratifie my Designs, I hasted to his Amours. I think, my Lord Julius Sergius, continu'd I, addressing more closely to his Lordship, 'tis hard, that of all this heavenly Prospect of Happiness, your Lordship is the only Solitary Lover; What is become of the charming Bartica? Can she live a Day, an Hour, without you? Sure she's indispos'd, dying or dead. You call the Tears into my Eyes, Dear Count, answer'd the Hero sobbing, she's a Traitress, an inconsistent proud Baggage, yet I love her dearly, and have lavish'd Myriads upon her, besides getting her worthy ancient Parent a good Post for Connivance. But wou'd you think it? She has other things in her Head, and is grown so fantastick and high, she wants me to marry her, or else I shall have no more of her truly; 'twas ever a proud Slut, when she pretended most Kindness, when she was all over Coquet, and coveted to engage me more and more; when our Intimacy was at the height, she us'd to make my Servants wait three Hours for an Answer to a How-do-ye or a Letter, which I sent every successive Morn. As to a Letter, interrupted I, there may be some Excuse for that, my Lord: For what Woman, or indeed Man, can dare to write to a Person of your Lordship's Character, the Quintescense of Wit and Politeness, without copy and recopying again? That's true, dear, St. Girrone, answer'd his propitious Lordship, then kissing me close, and doing me the Favour of the Glass, to let me know he expected I shou'd follow his Example, he drank deeply, and after cry'd out in an Extasie,



And Wit for ever Scarlet from this Vien shall flow!

Then asking my Excuse, 'twas a Flight of his own Poetry, he presented me the Wine, and continu'd his Indignation against Bartica. He told me, if he pin'd himself to Death, he was resolv'd not to marry her whilst she was so saucy. I don't brag, my dear Count, but methinks I have some Qualifications, besides my Wealth, and being of Consular Dignity, that deserves as good a Wife; my Person is not contemptible, and as to my Wit and Sense, look into the Writings of all those Moderns who durst deliver their Opinions, who durst presume to dedicate to me; see There what future Ages will think of me; time was, a Man thought his Fortune made, if he cou'd but invoke Julius Sergius; and as to State Affairs, I'll say no more, let things speak for themselves, every Body knows how Matters were reduc'd when I took 'em in hand. Had they a Denari but what was adulterated, and very few left of Them? Who retriev'd all? Who did such Wonders that amaz'd our Enemies, and set our very Friends at a Gaze? 'Tis true, I found my Account prodigiously in what I did, and have got a good Post for Life; What of that? happen what will, they can do me no hurt: Few Governments, my Lord, are as grateful as they shou'd be! if I had my Deserts, where wou'd Æmilius be? and yet he's the fortunate Man, and tho' I say it, crowds into that Station which is my due; but I see the Petticoats governs all; 'tis something indeed to have been able to please Them, I know no other Merit, between Friends, that Cajus Æmilius can pretend to. Come, my Lord the Count, pledge me in this sparkling Bowl of Calabria, let us not forget Irene that magnificent grateful Empress, who when a Man can please no more, still considers him for what he has done; so much for Æmilius. I might have been as lucky, but the Destinies he hated for it: I cou'd not take the hint and improve my good Fortune; 'twas one Morning when a Piece of foreign News brought me to her Bed-side, she coqueted with her Eyes, and every part about her, but I was an unintelligent Blockhead, and never reflected on't 'till I was going out of her Appartment; I had a good mind to have return'd, and endeavour'd to have atton'd for my Omission, but the Court fill'd, and she never gave me another Opportunity: Fool and Beast as I was, I did not deserve it; but she has look'd upon me since with quite another Air: And did I do not those things you see, make these Feasts, and initiate all the Youth of any Consideration, so as to make 'em fit to bear whatever Impression the Party think fit, I suppose I might have been laid aside: He wou'd have run on for ever, if the Waiters had not introduc'd Euriphilus the Eunuch, and Maria the Asian Singer, with a whole Chorus of inferior Voices: Whilst Sergius was busying himself in receiving those Hirelings, who have more Respect shew'd 'em at Constantinople than Persons of the first Merit and Distinction, I stole away, and resolv'd to wander through that Maze of Bliss by my self, since I found there was no Hopes of getting Julius along with me. Each Appartment was accessible, all yielding to the Sight by their chrystal Lights, and an exact Decorum observ'd, not to intrude upon one anothers Pleasures; but as I was a Stranger and not very solicitous of Fame, I made no Scruple to pry about, and even to lean my Ears and Eyes to the magnificent Glass-Doors, that bestow'd a clear and noble Prospect of that Happiness I was in search of, and cou'd not forbear to envy.

Bring a Stranger, and having none to explain to me the Names, Persons, or Adventures of those whom I beheld, I shall be able to give but an imperfect Relation.

The first that offer'd was a Lady, well-featur'd, an excellent Complexion, with a great deal of Youth upon her Face, but mingled with an Air so enterprizing, that I cou'd not forbear thinking she had Courage enough for an Amazon. The beautiful Youth that had the Honour to please, seem'd all obsequious, and careful to oblige: Whatever had been their tender Moments, those, I heard, were fill'd with the Lady's Adventures, and her Conquests over her Husband: She walk'd about as if a robust restless Spirit were natural to her. Wou'd you think it, Narcissus, said she, I am stronger than my Lord, and have got the Better of him several times at Cuffs? My Lord! I shall never be reconcil'd to that hideous Name! my Plague, my Fool. He is the ugliest Fellow in the Empire! A Whey-fac'd, Wall-ey'd, Water-gruel Wretch! Had my Mother no Body else to pick out for me? Ah! odious Creature! But I am bound, and must obey; I know my Duty. How do you think we agree about the Point of Superiorship? There's scarce a Night but we've a Trial of Skill. Our Diversion is Kicking, and who shall kick best is the Word, 'till one of us is kick'd out of Bed; thump we fall upon the Floor. The Victory often remains on my Side. Let me speak it, my dear Narcissus, without much Boasting, I am a Soldier's Daughter, I was Conqueress last Night. The impertinent Fool wou'd know when I saw you; but I made him pay for his Question. Here the Lady repeated the Motion with her Feet, at which she seem'd very expert, very much in her Element, and diverted even with the Repetition of her Heroick Exploits: And then, went she on, We observe Conditions most honourably; for the Vanquish'd, without a Murmur, is oblig'd to rise and depart to another Bed: And do not you think, that this Matrimonial Life is very Heavenly?

The next I saw was a Scene of much more Softness, in an Alcove, where repos'd a Lady, under the Figure of Arisdne, as she is represented almost naked by the Painters when in the Embraces of Bacchus, for such appear'd the Mien of the Person that was with her. This more lovely Ariadne had an Air of Desire and Sweetness infinitely engaging: she lean'd upon the Bosom of her Deity, as if dissolv'd in Pleasure, and crown'd a Goblet that was in her Hand, full of Muscadine, to the Immortality of their Joys. Lydia, her Confidant, and Fashioner of her Wardrobe drank deep; then fill'd to Philomela, a Nymph agreeable for her Voice and the knack she had in pleasing Ariadne. Bacchus did not forbear to do Justice in his turn, when the Lady, whom he held embrac'd, playing with those Garlands of Vine-leaves that he wore, commanded Philomela to give 'em an amorous Air; which when she had perform'd, she drew her to her, and kiss'd her Lips, with Eyes swimming in Delight and a peculiar Satisfaction: Let me die, my lovely Girl, said she, if thou hast not all the Deliciousness and Flavour in thy Breath that one can imagine. My dear Bacchus, try the Pleasure of her moist Kisses; I cou'd wear away a Life upon her Lips, press me closer, thou enchanting Girl: Not all Mankind can give me such poignant Joys! Here follow'd a very new and out-of-the-way Scene, but of what I can only imagine; for dexterous Lydia slipp'd a twisted Cord of Silk, which in a Moment left all in the Dark, the numerous Lamps being at one Instant not extinguish'd, but cover'd by Silver-Machines artificially contriv'd. I heard tender Sighs and broken Murmurs succeed the Light, 'till after a convenient Season of Darkness, Adroit Lydia pull'd the Cord, and all was Day again. The new-fill'd sparkling Bowels grac'd their Hands afresh; they drank all together to the God of Love, and wish'd themselves, and one another, unintermitting Health, to taste for ever the Joys of Love and Wine in Perfection, as they did now.

I cou'd not forbear laughing, when, in the next Apartment, I beheld that old luxurious Patrician Catalin with a young Girl of no extraordinary Beauty. She look'd wholsome, ungain and country, those were all the Charms that appear'd in her. He affected to cajole her with amorous Transports and Artifices so easily seen thro, as indeed are the best of his, that I am surpriz'd there are any so weak to be deceiv'd by him. Just enter'd before I had gain'd the transparent Door, I saw their Meeting, and with what pretended Amour he left his first Kisses upon her Lips. Well, my dear Corina, don't you find I am a Man of Honour? Tho' I deceive all the World, I'll never deceive thee? How dost thou like him? I promise he shall be thy Husband, if thou'lt but accustom thy self to my Embraces. The Girl seem'd coy, and he pursu'd her with his Kisses: Why, my Dear, what art thou afraid on? Let me but come to thee, I'll do thee no hurt in the World. Ask that malicious Slut Cloe, my last Mistress, she'll tell thee I am a very civil Person. I thought I had Impudence enough, but she even out does me. I remember my Wife was newly brought to Bed of a Son, no matter how she came by it; There it was, that concerns no Body, as long as I am easie, why shou'd others be busie? I suppose they'll be now upon the same Enquiry. That bold Cloe, tho' she had just before left me for a younger Spark, had the Confidence to send to me, as she said, for the last time, for a good round Sum of Money, which if I shou'd have refus'd, she threaten'd to tell all the Town, upon her Knowledge, That that Boy my Wife had cou'd be none of my own. Therefore, pretty Corinna, thou need'st not be afraid of me; to Morrow thou shalt be marry'd: I have fix'd all things with thy Mother, and the young Booby Patrician; neither can his Father, with his covetous Tricks, disinherit him of all; there's a very good Estate settled upon him as eldest Son. What! I know sure what I do? If that old Curmudgeon, that won't afford Oil to his Lamps, nor Meat to his Board, is not reconcil'd, I'll take care of thee, thou shalt command all I have. In the mean time, accept of these Jewels, and be sure to wear 'em as Nuptial Ornaments, that thy Husband may think they were given thee by thy Mother. The Diamonds seem'd to make the Girl more complying; she grew fonder of them than of her old Lover. I did not stay to see how he succeeded, because the distance of their Age seem'd so unnatural, it gave me no Pleasure.

I was wandring to another Apartment, when I was met by Julius Sergius, who did me the Favour to tell me, He had been in search of me, and that the Tables were re-cover'd with a thousand Delicacies. Since I had not a Mistress to employ me better, he wou'd take no Denial; I must return to the Banquet with him. As we were traversing the Gallery, I was struck with the sight of so majestick a Beauty, that my Blood thrill'd, and ran to guard my Heart from the Surprize her Features gave me! Ha! Sergius! cry'd I out, all transported. What have we here? the Idalian Queen, Citherea herself is descended in Honour of your Festival! Behold her conspicuous in that lovely, all-commanding Form: I must make haste to worship her. Come away, Mad-man, cry'd Julius Sergius, retaining me, Do you not see that Gentleman with her? He is her Lover, and a Man of Honour. Your Adorations had better take another Turn, or you must expect a Rencounter. And is she then a Mortal, interrupted I? Who? What? for Heaven's sake, dear Julius, inform me: Let me have one View more of that inevitable Goddess. Let us walk silently, and in Admiration, by 'em. Heavens! what a Symetry of Beauty! how graceful her Mien! how awful her Presence! what a Harmony is there in that glorious Face! how well-form'd! what Glances she throws from her bewitching Eyes! how arch'd are her Eye-brows! how finely turn'd her Nose! I shall be distracted till I press the Rubies of those enchanting Lips; there's Incantation in her Smiles: Behold, she speaks and shows a thousand new Beauties. Was ever any Teeth in the World to compare to her's? How white! how well-rang'd! how red her Gums! how fragrant must be that Breath, which departs from so charming a Mouth! I shall run mad in gazing on her. What I can say is, That till this moment I never beheld Perfection. All the Nations I have pass'd thro' cou'd never show me any thing comparable to her. Is she not a Queen, an Empress? Had she her Deserts, as she is most excellent, she shou'd surely be the Greatest. Dear Sergius, keep me no longer on the Rack, but let me know something of her who has inevitably wounded me. She is far from being what she deserves, reply'd Sergius: Her Name is Alenia, born of Parents of very good Repute; but dying whilst she was yet a Girl, they left her with little or no Fortune, to be ruin'd by those Charms which shou'd have rais'd her; for if Beauty, as certainly it is, be a Woman's greatest Merit, Alenia ought to have been Empress of the East. Tho' her Mind is also nearly ally'd to her Form, she is just, she is generous, good-natur'd, universally complaisant, and taking even to her own Sex, who can't help admiring, tho' they envy her to such a degree, that despairing by the Malice of their Tongues to lessen the Reputation of her Charms, they fall foul upon her Fame, and severely revenge themselves there; for if a Lady happens to be but once indiscreet, tho' seduc'd in an Age so early, that she knows not the Value of Discretion; she is at the Mercy of ill Tongues for ever after, and becomes answerable for all they shall think fit to charge her with, tho' it be for those she never beheld.

But why does not some generous happy Man, answer'd I, atone for the Injustice of Fortune, and marry her, since she has Honour and Gratitude to set a Value upon the last Obligation? Who wou'd not be proud of such a Wife? Because, reply'd Sergius, there are many that seek to ruin the Honour and Virtue of Women, few to repair 'em; all are fond of having a fine Creature upon their own Terms, scarce any on her's, when without a Dowry she raises her Pretensions to Matrimony. The bless'd Man that first possess'd Alenia, if he did marry her, as some imagine, has thought fit to disown it. Was it possible, think you, that so bright a Charmer cou'd live without Millions of Importunities? Amongst the Crowd that ador'd and follow'd her Steps, she has declar'd in favour of that Person you beheld with her, who does every thing else to deserve the Blessing, and is envy'd for his good Fortune by all that have Eyes, and know the Value of such miraculous Beauty: I may very well call her's so, because I never yet saw any who were not charm'd by her, the whole Amphitheatre and Cirque being directed, whenever she appears, to her alone: In the Imperial Gardens, or any other Walks, they divide and make a Lane, that she may pass triumphantly along. Oh! how unjust is Fortune! interrupted I, That that Form should be attended with any Unhappiness, that an early Fault, before Reason cou'd be born, shou'd make her future Character unfair. Can any Man pretend to love, who is in Circumstances to deserve her, and not retrieve her Fame? what does he fear? All Mankind in beholding her must be of his Side: Is not so much Beauty an Excuse for any Indiscretion, granting it were so? But for my part I call it otherwise; I term it Vertue, and doing a meritorious Action, to redeem so lovely a Creature from the greatest of Misfortunes, the Aspersions of the World.

You are really charm'd, answer'd Sergius. So much, I continu'd, that I dare no more behold her, since only a Soldier of Fortune; 'twou'd be Temerity in me to pretend to the least of her Favours. Were I a Monarch, you shou'd quickly see how much I ador'd and valu'd Menia.

Hist! hist! cries Julius Sergius, Do you observe nothing, pulling my Robe to make me attentive, nothing new but an old Woman, I know her to be such by her Gate, tho' her Vail be down; she that steals along, That's no such a Sight sure, answer'd I peevishly, to divert me from killing Alenia's Prospect! Follow her! follow! her! reply'd he, I give you leave, and then bring me word thro' the Chrystal-Gates what you have seen. I obey'd, and beheld an Alcove richly, lasciviously adorn'd, even superior to the rest, where a beauteous Woman was waiting, one whose Face is very well known, and the better, because it is none of her own. The old Beldam (in Appearance) threw up her Vail, and flew to the Charmers Arms, who, in receiving the Caress, threw her fair Face over the Madona's Shoulder, and put out her Tongue with a mien of Scorn and Dislike; then turning short upon me, the Extacy seem'd to require it, the reverend Matron confess'd the Figure, or magical Representative of Caius Æmilius disguis'd, it cou'd not surely be he; I burst out into so excessive a Laughter, that I was forced to withdraw from my Chrystal Perspective. Julius Sergius attended me, perceiving I had made the Discovery: Come Count, cry'd he sneering, the Entertainment waits us, she was once mine, Play and Money, gave me an Opportunity of seeing her often at her Mother's, but we must not be always happy.

Whilst Monsieur St. Girrone went on endeavouring to divert Horatio, one came from his Tent, to tell him, That Count Alarick was taken dangerously ill with a violent Fever, Lightness of the Head and Pain of the Side; that he had complain'd in the Morning, but wou'd not have his Lordship disturb'd 'till now, that there was an absolute Necessity for a Physician, and a Person to bleed him: The Count receiv'd the Message with much good Nature and Concern, praying Horatio and Monsieur Le Envoye, to permit him to wait upon the Sick. The Prior order'd his Physician shou'd attend him; they found Alarick very ill, but his Illness appear'd not dangerous, because Bleeding and proper Remedies being apply'd (the Envoy's Pavilion affording all things necessary) his Pain began to abate, and he fell into a Slumber, which when the Count de St. Girrone perceiv'd, leaving proper Orders, he return'd to the ingaging Horatio and the Envoy.

After having satisfy'd their Curiosity and Concern, about Alarick's Health, Fortune gives in to my Desires. My Lords, continu'd he with a gallant Air, tho' I won'd not wish to have bought their Gratification at so great a Price as the Count's Danger, yet in the Inclination I have to possess the Conversation of two so polite, I can by no means quarrel with the Incident, apparently it will be some time (if the Count escapes with Life) before we shall be able to continue our Journey; I fear it was the late Precipitation with which we travell'd, that occasion'd his Illness. I have endeavour'd to obey in a long Relation about Constantinople: My Lords, shall not I be oblig'd in my turn? Will not Horatio the Immortal, give me some Account of the Iberian War, and of those Adventures that have made him dear to Fame, or rather the only Man upon Earth that is truly in possession of her? Charles the Franck, and Theodorick of the Vandals, may be justly said to have done stupendious things, but they had Armies to fight their Battles, and Money to pay their Men; whereas your Lordship has out-done even Knight-Errantry, and took Towns and Kingdoms, as if by Enchantment, without Men or Money! Well may the coming Ages, as certainly they will, think it all Romance, since even those that were Spectators, scarcely believ'd what they saw, rubbing their Eyes as if to awaken themselves from a Dream of Fairy Land. I never was so curious of any Knowledge as what relates to the Actions that your Lordship has perform'd: In spight of Suppression, Misrepresentation and Envy, they reach'd Constantinople, and with such Eclat, that made the Glory Stauracius had been labouring for, tremble from the Pinacle upon which his Flatterers had hoisted her! All Tarnish'd! Pale! and Quivering! She cou'd no longer maintain her Station; she precipately descended, or rather fell! She in a moment disappear'd when Horatio the Immortal was mention'd: You were the Theme that amaz'd, and delighted! Irene her self said he must be remov'd, to prevent the People returning to their old Heathen Worship; you wou'd again incite Idolatry, and force 'em to believe there was more in it than Fiction, since neither Mars nor Hercules had perform'd things so astonishing as had Horatio ! Your Disgrace, my Lord, was owing to your self; you were in earnest, you meant to overcome, and you had doubtless succeeded. The World under your inimitable Conduct had had Repose, the Conquest of Iberia wou'd have been the finishing Stroak; the Stroak! that at once had shut the Gates of Janus's Temple, and restor'd Peace to the Empire of the East and West. But what then wou'd have become of the invulnerable Stauracius? his Valour had been without Employment, nor had the good Intentions of Fortune avail'd him any thing; all those mighty Conquests he has since gain'd, wou'd have never been; it does not suffice to say, there had been no occasion for 'em; think you it is a small thing to take a Hero short in his Course to Glory? No! No! Better a Million of vulgar Lives and Mines of Treasure shou'd be sacrific'd, be exhausted, than he abate the least Grain of that stupendious Reputation he has acquir'd. You must be contented, my Lord, at being remov'd as a foreseen unlucky Incident, that wou'd have prevented with an over-officious Valour and Conduct, those Matters of Triumph he has since met with, and which has concurr'd to make him an Object at once formidable and fortunate.

Indeed, Monsieur the Count, answer'd Horatio, with an obliging Air, I know how to take things spoken in Gallantry. I do not pretend to merit any part of what you have been pleas'd to attribute to me, yet I am sorry that I cannot obey your Commands; imagin to your self what a perpetual Monument of Vanity I must appear in giving you my self the Detail of a War which was upheld by Miracle, and where Fortune doubtless deserv'd the share which my Friends or Flatterers have made over to me. But because I must not wholly refuse you, be pleas'd to await the Return of one of my Servants, who is gone with two of Monsieur Le Envoy's, and his passe par toute to Nova, I hope they will come back with the most agreeable Person upon Earth: That City was appointed our Rendezvous, in parting with him I design'd thither, but the Siege has prevented me; you will find in that Gentleman an inevitable Charm, there is Strength, Sweetness, Perspicuity, Truth, and Eloquence in all he writes and speaks; he is an Excellent Advocate for a Declining General; oppress'd as I am by Fortune, do you not think I stand in need of such a one? my Friend, my Physician, and if the Term may be allow'd, my Lover, as all Mankind must be his; you will be charm'd with his Conversation, his Wit is so just, so bright, his immense Views have taken in all things. If we consider him in his own Profession, there is none more learn'd, more diligent, more generous, or more lucky; his Philosophy and new Hypotheses, young as he is, is already quoted by the learned World, with the same Authority as Hippocrates ; his Latin is that of the Augustean Age; he has done surprizing things that way: Upon his Return to Constantinople, I do not doubt but to see him Eminent as his Deserts, Great in all the Offices of Life. I can refer you to him with an Assurance of Satisfaction, since none is so fit to give an Account of the Iberian War, because he attended my Person, and was an Eye-Witness of all that pass'd. I need not fear in raising your Expectations, to do him any Diskindness; for I can give no Character to his Advantage, that he will not answer; he is so much a Gentleman, so well turn'd, so refin'd, his Modesty is only an Exception against him; for in meriting all things Celsus will hear of nothing, it puts him in Pain even to have his Probity and good Principles commended, which all may own without a Blush, because People shou'd rather Blush to be without 'em, since none are sufferable when Truth and Honesty are departed from 'em.

You give us Pain, interrupted the Envoy, 'till we are so happy to see this Gentleman; if he be already arriv'd at Nova, we may expect the good Fortune to morrow. One common Curiosity inspir'd us both, answer'd Horatio, the young King of the Vandals, we are come so far to behold him, his Glory has given us Desire: He is indeed an Original, pursu'd the Ambassador, a very new Character, so much a King in his Performances, so small a one in his Manner, I dare say your Lordship will agree you never saw any thing like him, but himself; yet he's very handsome, I speak only of his Behaviour and Contempt of Grandeur, he is as careless of his Person as he is mighty in War; so over-run with Neglect of himself, that there is something in That as extraordinary as in his Courage. 'Tis not his time to be Polite, or rather young as he is, he is past it, and so much past it, as 'tis fear'd never to return to it again: That Coldness and Stiffness which he affects towards the fair Sex, and which the World think so unnatural, is a Disgust he took in a very early Age. Your Excellency, answer'd Horatio, is acquainted with every thing: Since my dear Celsus is not yet come, we must beg leave of Monsieur de St. Girrone, to suspend his Curiosity as to the Affairs of Iberia; the Count with a Bow seem'd to acquiesce, and Horatio addressing to him, continued in expectations of my Friend's Arrival, whom it will be impossible for you to know and not love him as well as I do. If your Lordship permits, I will beg from his Excellency Monsieur Le Envoy, the Continuation of what has pass'd among the Sarmatæ: He began the Relation last Night, and it will be extreamly obliging, if he be pleas'd to continue it now.

My Lord Ambassador, answer'd the Count with a Smile, How comes the heavy dull King of the Almains to have outwitted the refin'd Policy of the King our Master, and your Excellency? His procuring the Election of the Prince of Saci unknown, unthought of, in Prejudice to Prince Armutius, was such a Master-piece, as will for ever retrieve his Character, and darken that of Charles: We did not expect a Storm from that Quarter, reply'd the Envoy a little confus'd, our Views were not so extensive, and I acknowledge, we were to blame: But who wou'd have imagin'd that a Christian Prince, how ambitious so ever, wou'd have renounc'd his Religion to worship Idols? But there was something more in it than That, Love and Disgust were at the bottom, the first for his Mistress, the second to his Princess; but if both your Lordships please, I will return to the Story where I left last Night: Horatio and the Count assur'd his Excellency that there wou'd be nothing more acceptable, which occasion'd him to begin thus.

THE CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF SARMATIA.

With your Lordship's leave, addressing to Horatio, I will sum up in a few Words, to the Count de St. Girrone, what I had the Honour to tell your Lordship last Night, which having accordingly done, ending at the Lady Honoria's Death, his Excellency pursu'd his Narrative in this manner.

Fond of any occasion that cou'd engage me with the Queen, (whom I desir'd might confide in me, tho' in vain, she was too crafty and distrustful) I one Day happen'd upon one that I imagin'd favourable, because all Women love to hear of their Power, Charms can countervail Misfortunes, I found her Majesty in Tears: the Physicians had just told her, The King's Distemper had puzzel'd all their Art, and they cou'd form no advantageous Judgment of the Success. I did my Endeavour, by extolling the Happiness she might hereafter expect, to perswade her to bear the present Misfortune as became a Heroine, as she was: I know not whether I did not even go further, and assure her Majesty, that I took so great a part in all her Concerns, that she cou'd not be griev'd; but I must be infinitely disquieted, because that nothing upon Earth affected me in comparison to the Interests of her Majesty, whose Beauty had made so deep an Impression upon my Heart, that Time cou'd not efface: I am not us'd to such Gallantries, my Lord Ambassador, she answer'd, neither do I believe that you so much as know what you are discoursing of. Wou'd to Heaven, I reply'd with something too great an Empressment, that I were so insensible of what your Majesty says, but to my misfortune I am much less than I dare tell your Majesty: Behold, my Lords, what a goodly Foundation here was for the Queen's Rage? Had her Beauty been in its first Bloom, the Anger and Ill-nature she assum'd, wou'd in a moment have destroy'd it! Her Brows purs'd, she wrinkl'd her Forehead, already very obedient and ready by time to run into that Tract, the Rays of her Eyes united in a point, from whence they darted a Stream of Envy, Pride, and Desire of Revenge; her whole Countenance became furious and distorted, not flush'd with a generous Red, but Pale almost to Death, or worse, an ashy livid Hue, whence in a Moment succeeded a Purple that approach'd near to Black, and made her quivering Lips frightful; Disdain and Resentment had turn'd her Blood adust, the Veins of her Neck swell'd, her Voice enlarg'd, and with a shrill and furious Accent, she ask'd me, "How I durst lose my Respect towards a Person of her Rank? Did I imagin my self in the Court of Orleans? yet even there, the Center of Foppery and des Sottisse, Crown'd Heads were exempt from such insolent Attempts! That she had long observ'd my Folly, but had for her own sake forbore to take notice of it, 'till the thing spoke it self too plainly; that however she had been born in the Country of Coquets and Fops, her Education had happen'd where true Vertue reign'd, where Women were conscious that Merit sprung not alone from Beauty, 'twas Glory that compos'd their Coronet! not to be approach'd or sullied by Hands so prophane as mine; so saying, her sacred Majesty, with the same Air, flounc'd into the next Appartment, and left me alone; and had I been really a Lover, as disconsolate as she cou'd wish; but Heavens be prais'd, her Disdain not much tormenting me, I felt no great Remorse or Dissatisfaction, nay was more dispos'd to laugh than to lament; so true it is that the affected Cruelties and Indignation of a mistaken Prude, ever affords matter of Diversion, rather than Mortification.

But as contemptible as this appear'd in it self, the Consequences were considerable, since it excluded her vertuous Majesty, and her wise Off-spring from the second Vote, either from us or our Confederates, for Prince Armutius not succeeding, we might have assisted Prince Alexis; she writ that Hour to the King of the Franks, complaining in obscure Terms of my Insolence and want of Respect, desiring I might be recall'd. The next Day to make her Indignation more remarkable, she went to the Palace where I was lodg'd, knowing I was engag'd at Court, and search'd all the Apartments, 'till in my Bed-Chamber, she found her own Picture, which I had bought some Days before of a very good Limner at an excessive Price; her Majesty had been told it by some officious Person, and thinking me unworthy to have such a Jewel in my Possession, however dearly bought, came in Person to take it triumphantly away without any sort of Complement, Apology, or Consideration of the Money it had cost me.

Some few Days after, the King fell into a Lethargy, which in eighteen Hours carry'd him off: I went to condole with her Majesty, but was not admitted; I laugh'd at the Fantast, considering how very free my Heart beat; it was particular, something peculiar, to be treated as a Criminal when nothing cou'd be more innocent; the Princes her Sons, except the eldest, were something less unreasonable, and receiv'd my Complements of Condoleance with a very good Grace, especially the Princess whom Prince Alexis had the Honour to marry; she knew the World, and thought it cou'd not at all disadvantage her to be Civil to the Ambassador of so potent a King as Charles of the Franks, in that particular much wiser than her Lord, who took so great a part in the Queen's Resentments, that it was easie to see an Air of extream Coldness through that forc'd Civility, which for a while he thought himself oblig'd to pay me.

Prince Honorius, High Priest of the everlasting Fire, was proclaim'd Regent, with all the Pomp and Acclamations due to their Kings: He came heartily into my Master's Interests; I was indefatigable, gave my self no rest, buying and bribing, extolling Prince Armutius, and running down Prince Alexis, who seem'd the most formidable Candidate, though there were several more that put in. The late King left an immense Sum in Jewels, and ready Money. The Queen still kept her Court in the Capital, where by her Address, Eloquence, and Generosity, she drew after her Numbers of those term'd Noble, and by her Charity attracted the Prayers and good Wishes of the Poor and Needy; her Coffers were however replenish'd at the Soldiers Cost, a vast Arrear being due to them; for the late King had for a long time made it his Business to pay as little as possible, to save Money for his Queen and Children, foreseeing that whenever he shou'd happen to die, that wou'd be the only Service to 'em, whereas what was due to the Army wou'd be look'd upon as a Debt of the Crown's, and generally to be paid by the next Successor. But the Number of Candidates increasing, they foresaw that it wou'd be a long time before the Election was likely to be determin'd, and 'till then, there was no probability of their Arrears: To bring things to a nearer Conclusion, I instigated the Lieutenant-General to a Confederacy among the Soldiers, by which they mounted on Horse-back got into the Field and exacted Contributions, demanding a speedy Election. Then began the Troubles of the Sarmatæ, but we foresee not when they can have an End. The Regent sate in daily Consultation how to raise Money to satisfie the Demands of the Mutineers, as knowing they had but too much Cause to complain. The Crown-General thought it was best to reduce 'em by Force, and eager to be reveng'd upon his Lieutenant, who had debauch'd so considerable a part of the Army from their Duty and his Obedience, drew up the Soldiers that still remain'd under his Command, and gave the Rebels Battle, but was beaten with a considerable Loss, which to all Purposes rather increas'd than diminish'd the Confusion of the Kingdom. The victorious Mutineers pursu'd their good Fortune, and took one of the richest and largest Cities, which having put under Contribution, they establish'd their Winter-Quarters, and made a new Standard the Figure of two Swords, with this Motto, For our Country under One; For us, the Defenders of our Country, under the other; then began War and Desolation to reign, they loudly demanded that the Queen shou'd be made to retire from the Capital with the Children Royal, which if she refus'd, they wou'd force her to depart the Kingdom: The Regent went with seeming Regret, to tell her Majesty the unwelcome News; he cou'd not forget the untimely Fate of Honoria, nor the Injustice of Prince Alexis; now was his time to revenge her Wrongs: The Queen receiv'd the Order with something more Weakness than he expected from a Soul so haughty, by which he guess'd that her Designs were proportionably disappointed; the Tears fill'd her Eyes when she told his Highness she wou'd depart to a House of Pleasure she had some few miles from Marsovia, but cou'd not forbear making a bitter Invective against my Proceedings, which she said she assur'd her self was not by the Orders of the King my Master.

This Inter-regnum began to wear as mischievous a Face as long Minorities, never was known more Divisions, more Confusion, and more Disorders in a Nation; the Rebel Army committed as many Cruelties upon the Lands of the Republick as an Enemy cou'd have done, and to add to their Misfortunes, the barbarous Huns taking an Advantage of these Calamities, made a Descent upon the Borders robbing and spoiling wherever they came, putting all to Fire and Sword, sweeping the Places of the Inhabitants that were fit for Slavery, hawling 'em away into a deplorable and miserable Captivity.

The Regent, to put some end to these Misfortunes, sent to the Mutineers to assure 'em they shou'd be paid all their Arrears, upon condition they laid down their Arms, or return'd under the Obedience of their lawful General; but they refus'd, telling the Deputies, That tho' all their Demands were satisfied, they wou'd not dis-unite 'till a new King was chosen: It was my Business to uphold these Sentiments, therefore I spar'd for neither Money, or Advice to keep 'em warm, and stedfast in their Resolution.

The Prince Regent went yet further, and form'd an Association, which he oblig'd all to sign, where after having provided for their false Religion, they appointed a remote Day for the Election. Prince Honorius as deserving as he was, car'd not to resign the Sovereignty, which during the Inter-regnum, was absolutely lodg'd in him, but that which more gratify'd him; and by which he struck directly at Prince Alexis, they enter'd into a strict Obligation, not to Elect upon any Terms a Native of Sarmatia, but pronounc'd all those to be publick Enemies, who shou'd aspire to the Crown, and such to be Rebels who acknowledg'd any of the Sarmatæ for their King.

The late King had during a long Reign, made it his Business to hinder the States from convening; they had almost forgot what was their Authority, 'till now in this Inter-regnum, where the first thing propos'd, was to reduce the Monarchy to its former Limits, that whatever Prerogatives so great a number of successive Kings had unjustly got by Inchroachment, might be resum'd before a new Election.

New Troubles broke out in the Dukedom of the Alani, subjected to the Sarmatæ; the Duchy is govern'd by Dux, interpreted among us Viceroys; the General of the Army has a Power independant of the Dux; these two mighty Posts are Hereditary, and possess'd by Families who have long been Enemies, upon an occasion, which small as it was, has produc'd large and fatal Consequences.

There was a Viceaux, an Age or more since, who had a Daughter named Amoria, perfectly handsom, excessively good natur'd and devout, almost to a fault, of a serious or rather melancholly Temper: She was marry'd at her own Request, by her Father, to the Great General's eldest Son call'd, Iagello; the Youth was wild, young, amorous, and inconstant, but Amoria had made him her Choice, and was excessively charm'd with him; for some Years he liv'd in a good Correspondence with his Lady, whose Temper had too much Allay for his Fire, but perfectly understanding her Duty, and very much in Love, she made it her Business rather to force Nature than do any thing that shou'd be distasteful to her Lord, 'till the Viceroy with whom they liv'd being dead, and his Son succeeding, Iagello thought himself at more liberty to follow his Pleasures, the Coldness and native Vertue of the Women of the North, not answering to the height of his Taste in Debauch, he resolv'd to try the warmer Southern Climate, and therefore unknown to all the World, he forsook the Court, and wander'd into Gallia, Lombardy, Ravena, Rome: In short, after a ten Years loose Pilgrimage, he felt some Remorse for having bandon'd Amoria a doating Wife, to weep away her Beauties Bloom, his whole Family and all the Friends and Acquaintance he had, lamenting his Absence, for he never took care to let 'em know any thing of his Rambles, but when he wanted Supplies. He had left his Lady possess'd of two beauteous Boys, which now he felt some natural returns, some Sentiments of Tenderness for, after so long an Absence: When he was come as far as the Frontiers, he writ a Letter to Amoria, wherein he conjur'd her, "To forget all that was past, to receive him as a Husband who wou'd henceforth bound all his Desires in her alone, by doing her Merit a future Justice, he wou'd endeavour to atone for his former Neglect; he pray'd her to receive him without any of those Frowns he deserv'd, but to forget, if possible, the very remembrance of his Fault; begg'd her Arms might be open to him, tho' he confess'd, he was unworthy of so much Happiness, but to leave no Thought upon either of their Minds that might disturb that Delight and Tranquillity he expected, he requir'd her by the Duty of a Wife, that their Meeting shou'd be without Reproach"

Amoria us'd to Melancholly and Misfortune, knew not how to believe that flattering Prospect of Happiness which her Lord gave her in his Letter; she read it over and over, suffering the kindling Joy to inlarge to Transports; she return'd him an Answer all kind and forgiving! He receiv'd it with proportionate Satisfaction, and sent her another, 'That the next Night he wou'd be so happy (if the Destinies permitted him) to restore to her a Wanderer, who desir'd nothing with more Impatiency than the Happiness she cou'd give him; but because he wou'd avoid the idle Congratulations of his Friends, 'till he had first been blest in her's, he begg'd her to conceal his Return, and to suffer him to pass the Night alone with her, unknown to any but their dear Children, and the Woman of her Bed-Chamber.'

The indulgent tender Wife, resolv'd to comply in all things with his Inclinations; but the Misfortune was, Amoria had been one of those Beauties that fade without the help of Time, her Grief and Melancholly had so totally destroy'd her Charms, that tho' she was not old, there did not remain the least Tract or Air of that Beauty which had formerly been so convincing; the fair Hue of her Complexion was degenerated to a pale sickly Yellow, the Roses upon her Cheeks so perfectly faded, that there was not the least Blush of their native Vermilion; her Lips were grown thin and livid, the largeness of her Eyes still remain'd, but so as to make her more frightful, because they were forsaken by her Cheeks, and seem'd staring and hollow: Her Nose once so well turn'd and white, look'd red and large, her Face appear'd fallen, lean, and flat; in a Word, she was no longer that Amoria whom Iagello her Lord had known.

Conscious of some Change, tho' she cou'd not believe it so great: We are least acquainted with our selves, and will but with difficulty admit that even Time (we allow little to any thing else) makes an alteration to our Disadvantage, 'tis the very last thing our Vanity suffers us to be convinc'd of, and which we with unwillingness acknowledge, tho' convinc'd. Amoria knew well her Lord was nice of Taste, even before he had seen the Southern Beauties, therefore to prepare him for that Alteration she wou'd have him expect, she sent him a Letter, a Copy of which is still extant in their Histories, and is counted one of the Master-pieces of that Time.

"She begg'd him first to believe, That the Joy she felt for his Return, was equal to that Love he knew she had ever had for him, as her dearest Lord and Husband, and which had possibly only displeas'd by the Excess she had learnt by melancholly Proofs that a Wife might be thought to love too much, tho' a Mistress never enough, tho' her present Pleasure equall'd the Sorrow, which had incessantly prey'd upon her Mind and Form, since his fatal Absence, and which she needed take no Pains to represent to him, it spoke too fatally, too significantly for it self; the Moment he shou'd cast his Eyes upon her Face, he wou'd be able to guess at what had been her Sufferings, he wou'd think it impossible a Woman cou'd bear so much as he wou'd see she had done; she therefore conjur'd him to put the Merit of her Woes in the place of her once commended Beauty, and when he no more beheld that Air which had formerly distinguish'd her, he shou'd ask himself what this poor Mourner had endur'd? She that had made a voluntary Sacrifice of that which all Women so eagerly desire and study to preserve; when he no longer beheld her Eyes sparkling with their native Lustre, he shou'd consider she had wept enough to extinguish not only theirs, but all the Splendor in the World; nor cou'd Lillies and Roses, ever sustain their Bloom against incessant falling Showers, or rather Storms, for such had been the Tempest of her Sorrows! the Night affording no Intermission or Repose, nor the Sun any Refreshment to her, who no longer counted Seasons the Periods of Time, the Alternative of Day and Night, because her every Moment was without change devoted to deplore his irremediable Absence, and bewail the Remembrance of his Unkindness!"

Amoria's Letter instead of giving him any frightful Idea's of her Change, fill'd him only with Tenderness and new Desire to behold her; he thought it a little Artifice of the Sex, to indear her Beauty the more and prepare him for some small Alteration; that he allow'd was indispensible, since ten Years is Time even in the youngest Face, especially when once made a Wife, and in these cold Climates they never marry very soon: But good Heaven! how was Iagello surpriz'd when he was brought to Amoria's Arms, and knew her not; when he ask'd his Wife for his Wife, when her very Voice was so alter'd, as to become strange to him, when he was shock'd at her sight, when his Blood curdl'd with Aversion, when he ran over her Form to recollect in vain some Lineaments of what she had been, his Heart no longer confess'd the Charmer that once cou'd draw the Eyes and Wishes of all Beholders. Himself was still in full Strength and Vigour of manly Bloom, his Beauty ceasing to be so Effeminate as before, had gain'd a glowing Vigour that mantl'd upon his Cheeks, there was a daring, strenuous, lofty Air, added by Time and the Converse of the World; he had liv'd luxuriously, but not to destroy his Health, he was too great a Self-Lover, for in that he center'd every thing. Amoria beheld him with new Reinforcements of Love and Delight, but when she saw that he repell'd her Embraces, that he even threw her from him and walk'd off, folding his Arms, and hanging his Head, telling her he cou'd not bear her Sight, she was so very, very ugly! he wou'd, he must be gone again, and never see her more, she gave a burst to that Woe that had never had an entire Vent before, that Woe which languishingly enfeebl'd her, and by slow degrees had consum'd, but never united as now in a fatal Point fit for Ruin and Destruction! She stamp'd! she beat her Breast! there was the Anguish! She tore her Dressings and her Hair! but cou'd not weep; she sigh'd! she burst her self with Sighing, and fell down upon the Floor in a deadly Sound, as if her Heart-strings had that moment crack'd; her Grief was so excessive, that she had not Power to speak one word to ease her self; her two Children who were there to receive their Father, ran to her Assistance, the youngest, a Boy about twelve Years of Age, was frightn'd and fell a-screaming, which brought the Women; the eldest Son now near Sixteen, the most beautiful Youth of his Time, drew his Sword, and came up to Iagello, animated even to Rage, by that Tenderness he had for his Mother, whose Vertue and good Temper, made her ador'd and lov'd by her Children, and valu'd by all the World: "My Lord, says the bold Youth, they tell me you are my Father, but I can't believe it, whilst I see you use my Mother so inhumanly; either with your kind Endeavours try to restore, and afford her a Reception worthy of her, or prepare to give me Satisfaction for her Wrongs." Iagello, whose Passions were naturally violent, never stay'd to answer the lovely Boy any further than by some base, hot, injurious Names and Reproaches, drawing his Sword with his Height, Rage, and Strength, he presently got within him, throwing him down, he set his Foot upon his Body, and run him into the Heart, bidding him take the Reward of Presumption and Paracide.

By this time the Viceroy was allarm'd, whose Apartment being upon the same Floor, the Women ran immediately to tell him his Sister was dead, and Iagello was about to murder her Children; he had heard from Amoria of his intended Return, but to oblige both, he wou'd not disturb their Meeting with Ceremony 'till Morning; he enter'd just as Iagello, that inhuman Monster, had kill'd his lovely Son, without being able to dis-engage his Sword from the Body, the Viceroy ran upon him finding him disarm'd, and with reiterated Stabs immediately laid that Libyan Tiger dead at his Feet.

Amoria was more happy than to recover to a sense of Knowledge, or she had dy'd again, beholding that Scene of Horror, her Son murtherd by her Husband! her Husband by her Brother! Her Understanding never return'd, she languish'd three Days in a lethargick Fit, which in carrying her from the World, sent her Shade to reproach that unnatural Father, and most abominable Husband.

Iagello's Brother by his Absence officiating as General of the Army of the Alaus, made the Viceroy dissemble his Return, he conceal'd his Death as long as he cou'd; when it was discover'd, there happened a long and inveterate War which ended not but with the Death of the Principals: Since that, an immortal and hereditary Hatred seems fix'd between the Iagello's and the Amorii; upon every Opportunity they break out into fresh Flames, the Inter-regnum afforded 'em liberty to prosecute their ever enduring Malice, which together with a new Incident that happen'd amongst them, set all the Dutchy, and even Sarmatæ, in a new Combustion.

The present Viceroy is a Man in the Decline of his Age, he wedded in second Marriage an imperious Princess, taken from amongst the barbarous Hans; not to disgrace her Country, Gonneril was as Savage as the rest, her brutal Soul scorn'd to degenerate. The Viceroy had one Daughter before he marry'd her, call'd Ismena, now growing to be a Woman, her Beauty was a perpetual Eye-sore to her imperious Step Dame; she caus'd her Lord to send her to the Frontiers that borders upon the Empire of the Goths, there to languish away her Prime with an old ill-natur'd Aunt, whose uneasie Temper wou'd never permit her to see a happy Hour. Ismena is indeed a killing Beauty. I beheld her in her Misfortunes, and yet nothing was so proper to infuse Delight; her beauteous Eyes, tho' weigh'd down by a load of Tears and Grief, seem'd like the two contending Elements, but the Fire overcame, and shot Flames through all the watry Woe. She gives one Concern and Pain, 'till one can relieve her; one can't behold Ismena distress'd, without accusing the Destinies that did not proportionate her Happiness to her Charms.

Brutal and splenatick as her old Aunt was, Ismena's Form and Sweetness of Temper, won so far upon her, that when she was to depart (for the Viceroy apprehending lest the Goths taking Advantage of the Inter-regnum, and the new begun Troubles in Sarmatia, shou'd, as usual, upon any Prospect of Advantage, plunder the Borders, and carry away his lov'd Ismena into Captivity) notwithstanding the Vice-Queen's Displeasure, sent a Party of Horse to convoy her to Court the Aunt at least regretted, that she was losing an Object upon which she us'd to whet her Spleen and Ill-nature, without any returns but Softness on Ismena's part, who wou'd fain have perswaded her to have secur'd her self at the Viceroy's with her, tho' in all probability she was still to suffer by her Temper if she continu'd to be with her. The old Lady in Love with her own Abode, and trusting Destiny, wou'd not forsake it, so that Ismena departed without her disagreeable Presence and Conversation.

The Viceroy had not judg'd amiss, that very time Ismena was upon the Road, a Party of the Goths and wild Russes came down to seek for Booty; they immediately surrounded her Chariot, and began to encounter with the Horse-men that guarded it, their Numbers were so unequal, that they soon became Conquerors, killing to the last Man; they were just carrying the beautiful Maid into perpetual Slavery, when a new Troop appear'd on the part of the Alani, with a graceful Youth at the Head, who seem'd by his Martial Air, as if he went in search of Adventures, and desir'd nothing so much; he set upon the savage Goths, who seeing themselves out-number'd, durst not stand the Attack of regular Troops, but abandoning all the Booty they had elsewhere plunder'd, and the Prisoners they had taken, ran for their Lives, being very dextrous at Retreat (mounted upon small swift hardy Horses) they immediately disappear'd, and left the Commander of the Alani to approach Ismena, and make her his Compliment upon her Deliverance.

'Tis hard to see two Persons more handsome than the young General and Ismena, they immediately exchang'd Eyes, and if it be permitted me to say, Souls. There happen'd an inevitable Simpathy, but alas! their Love was born in Sorrow, no sooner did they know they were worthy each others Admiration, but they began to mourn their mutual Sensibility; no sooner did they feel that their Heart, by strong Impulse carry'd 'em to Friendship, but they knew their Houses were mortal Enemies to each other. Ismena the only remaining Branch of the Amori, of the Viceroy's side, and Iuvius the darling Son of the General Iagello, between whose Families there had till then been an unextinguishable Hatred! This young Iagello had been sent that Morning by his Father, with a Detachment to secure the Borders, he had chanced to rescue the Daughter of his Enemy from Slavery, the Fears of which had made so terrible an Impression upon her Mind, that her Joy and Gratitude smooth'd the way, assisted by Juvius's Graceful Form, so that Love found an unforbidden Entrance; her Charms were sufficient of themselves; there needed no Prepossession but what departed from them, to gain a Conquest over any Heart that was not already ingaged. Iagello was vanquish'd! and being born with a lofty Soul, and height of Courage, he did not hesitate at the Prospect of Danger and Difficulty, but resolved to prosecute his Wishes, till they were crown'd in Ismena's Arms. It appear'd Meritorious to him, and the Work of Heaven thus to extinguish that long Hatred and Barbarity of Families, by a Reconciliation of Animosities, immerging the rougher Passions in the more tender. As Indifferency had began the fatal Disunion, Juvius told himself, his induring Perseverance should end it. Ismena bred to no Dissimulation, and who for a long time had beheld at her Aunts only Objects disagreeable, was struct by his Beauty and good Mien, young and sensible as she was, untaught to refuge in Affectation and Cruelty, Habits acquir'd in the Sex by mistaken Pride, she would have thought it Criminal to begin the Artifice here to her Benefactor and her Lover, for such he immediately declar'd himself, and having a Soul as sensible as Great, a vast Capacity and sound Judgment, he foresaw all they were like to suffer from their unlucky Stars, and the implacable Hatred of their Families: Therefore after some hours Conversation, he endeavour'd to dissuade the Maid from returning to her Father's Court, since the cruel Gonneril, whose Ill-nature and Dishonesty was the publick Discourse, wou'd certainly prepossess the Viceroy to their Disadvantage: She was known a publick Enemy to Virtue, and the Quiet of Persons less wicked than her self; nor cou'd he expect more Tenderness from Iagello, who was implacable in his Temper, and not to be mollify'd or influenc'd, but by those more mighty than himself; therefore this ardent Lover, full of his New-born Passion, proposed that they should proceed no farther on their intended Journey; but leaving the Road that led to the Capital of the Alani, take the Route of Sarmatia, where throwing themselves at the Regent's Feet, as he was High-Priest and Prince, he would make it matter of Conscience to compose the Enmity between their Families, of such Offence, both to Heaven and Earth, and afford them a safe and honourable Retreat and Protection. Happy had it been for the lovely Pair, if Ismena had been influenced by this Advice, but our Destinies are perhaps inevitable, sometimes I think that were we to know the Evil that is to befal us, and acquainted with even the Methods by which we might avoid it, yet it would not be in our Power to disappoint the Designments of Fate, which upon any Terms must be accomplish'd.

Ismena could by no means take such a Resolution, all that was thrown into her Composition, was soft and tender; she had never dared to disoblige those with whom she lived, nor had she any such Inclination. Love was not yet strong enough to teach her Resolution and Fortitude, she had already done too much in esteeming, as she did, the Enemy of her House, but that Fault seem'd so amiable, it was no longer in her Power to reject it, her Consent was not at all necessary in that Point. Love would have her to take part with him, spight of her self, she was wounded in favour of the young Iagello .

Who when he saw he could not prevail with her as to their Flight, he prepared himself to attend her to the Viceroy's Palace, incessantly importun'd by her. "That no time might be lost lest her Glory should suffer by their Delay. Courage, my Heart, cry'd the Youthful Lover, prepare thy self to suffer. I see! I see by way of advance, the Extremity of ill Fortune that attends us; this is perhaps the only smiling Moment of our Lives, by which it is now in our own Power to evade our Destiny, we are suffering it to glide away unpossessed, and perhaps it never will return: But however, let us still remember, that as we began to love, the instant we began to know each other, we never cease so to do, till we have no longer a part in the Knowledge of any thing."

To make short the Entertainment, be pleas'd to imagine all that could be said by a young Lover, who knew the value of Time, the difficulty of gaining another Opportunity, and full of Desire effectually to ingage her to be his Wife; but Ismena like most of her Sex, was first to suffer Persecution, by which their Lovers are generally indear'd to 'em. Many are brought by ill Usage and Contradiction to do Favours they had never consented too. If they had been left free and without Persecution, Ismena knew not yet the Progress her Lover had made in her Heart, nor could imagin, till she was separated from him, how touching would be his Loss.

The Viceroy was taking the Air on Horse-back with Gonneril, and a full Court of both Sexes, when Juvius and Ismena with the Detachment under his Command, surrounded 'em. Had he still been an Enemy and not a Lover he would have pursu'd the Custom between the Families, (when it was not open Enmity) to avoid one another, but alighting, he went to take the Princess from her Chariot, who threw her self at htr Father's Feet (by this time, at the Sight of her, dismounted;) she wept with Joy at embracing him, and thinking of the Happiness of her late Deliverance, she began to recount the Obligation she had to the young Iagello, who had redeem'd her from a miserable Captivity. The Viceroy stop'd her short, and ask'd her, "Why she was so poor spirited to receive a Favour of that Consequence from the Hand of a mortal Enemy? That better it were to dye ten thousand times over, or be led away into perpetual Slavery, than have been oblig'd to a Race, whom when the good of the State did not require the contray, they should always meet as mortal Foes, and never with lesser than deadly Enmity."

Iagello possess'd by his new and Virgin Passion, was unwilling to say any thing that might widen the Breach, but getting on Horse-back he desir'd the Viceroy not to believe himself at all oblig'd to him for having rescu'd the Fair Ismena; he had done nothing but his Duty as she was of that Country, and with a number of other Persons made by the Chance of War unfortunate, he did not pretend upon that Score that he should at all lessen his Aversion, however irreligious and unjust such Enmities were; so saying he departed, bowing very low to the Vice-Queen, who never took her Eyes from his Face since the Moment he appear'd, and with equal Respect and more Tenderness, saluting the lovely Ismena, who could only tell him with hers, that she repented of not following his Advice, and that That was the first Moment wherein she began to be unhappy, since it was the beginning of their Separation.

Were one to know all the Circumstances of their Amour, it could not be unentertaining, the Assiduity and Pains the young Iagello must take to endeavour to get undiscover'd Opportunities to address the fair Ismena. I happen'd upon none that were Confidants to 'em, and therefore go along with publick Reports and open Matters of Fact; the next time we hear of him is in the Princess Ismena's Bed-chamber at Mid-night. Gonneril that imperious Step-Mother and dishonest Wife, had often beheld the well-made Juvius with dying Eyes, but had never been so near him as the Day of Ismena's Return, when with wanton Glances, she had devour'd his Looks, and resolved him for her peculiar Pleasures, tho' she knew not what way to compass what she had resolved. The Woman amongst the Hans are by no means tenacious of their Honour, as are the Sarmatæ, nor set any other Price upon Virtue, but what may be bought off by Inclination. The Vice-Queen had already given Proofs that she did not intend to confine her self to the Arms of her decaying Lord: She was Handsome, tho' with something barbarous in her Air, and very powerful, which gave her Opportunity of gratifying her Pleasures to whatever Object directed. She hated the Merit and Beauty of her Daughter-in law, and therefore did all she could to impare the Credit of both; she had perpetual Spies and Agents of Mischief, with whom she had often in vain consulted how to get the young Iagello, shou'd she write to him to tell him her Pains as an Enemy (forgetting the Gentleman) he might expose and ridicule her Letter; but if he were disposed to a mutual Gallantry, she doubted he would hardly confide himself to any Rendezvous that she should appoint, because she had the Reputation of being his mortal Foe, as she was Wife to the Viceroy. At last she determin'd to send an Agent in secret Services, who without any Credentials from under her Hand, should discreetly, make the first Discovery of her Passion to the lovely Youth that had raised it.

Iagello, who had in vain waited an Opportunity to see Ismena ; would have said and done all things to have procur'd that Happiness: They had had a long and lucky Intercourse of Letters, in which he had fruitlesly endeavour'd to infuse Courage enough into her to make her abandon that Court and Gonneril's cruel Usage; but no happy means was found out to introduce him to her Sight. The Vice-Queen's Agent and Proposals he heard, as he writ to the Princess with Horror; for he not only ador'd Ismena, but was a Lover of Virtue, yet dissembling his Dislike he told the Person who spoke to him, that not being naturally vain, he could not tell how to flatter himself, that so Great and Beautiful a Lady, had any Passion for him, more especially considering the Family into which she was marry'd, being at mortal Variance with his; but if it were true, that Destiny had reserv'd so great a Portion of Happiness for him, he begg'd the Favour of seeing it under the Vice-Queen's own Hands; together with the Key of the Inaccessible Garden, where he would wait upon her at any hour she would please to appoint, and put his Person and his Life wholly in her Power.

Forgetting to tell your Lordships that the Women in that Nation are kept much more strictly than among the Sarmatæ, where there is not the least Shadow of restraint, you have doubtless wonder'd why before this; Iagello found not an Opportunity to discourse Ismena: The greatest Obstacle was the hereditary Hatred of their Families, whence he durst not attempt the Viceroy's Palace; for should he be seen there it would hazard his Life, there was no other way for him to hope an Introduction than by Gonneril's means thro' the Garden call'd Inaccessible, because it was sacred to the Vice-Queen's, and the Princess's Lodgings, where none but Gard'ners of Mankind ever presum'd to enter: There was a Back-door that open'd into the Country of which the Viceroy and Queen only kept the Keys; the Walls were of a prodigious height, so guarded with tall Spikes of Iron, that it was impossible for any one to attempt an Entrance that way.

The Vice-Queen, whose amorous Desires for the young Juvius, were impetuous and impatient, no sooner heard how bold and brave a Lover she had found, but she hasted to give him those Proofs of her Love which he demanded: She writ him a Billet in a tender melting Strain, sent him the Key which he demanded, and appointed him exactly at Midnight, to come into the Garden, where at the Door which open'd from the Back-stairs, she wou'd her self attend his coming, that he might from her Presence and her Mouth, assure himself of all manner of Happiness and Security.

Iagello no sooner saw himself Master of that Key, but he caus'd another to be made by it; had he rested there, and not have gone to the guilty Rendezvous, but upon pretence of Fear or Remorse, have return'd the Original to the Vice-Queen, he had been much less guilty, tho' I will not pretend to judge of the Extent of his Crime. All we know is, that he was introduc'd into her Apartment, the Excuse he made to Ismena was, because he had an Occasion to learn the way, by which from that Garden, one was to get into the Lodgings, however it were, he staid some Hours with Gonneril, where I guess, Cruelty was not his Business; she her self in his Return, attended him to the Back-gate, and as he had foreseen wou'd not leave the Key with him, but told him once in two or three Days she wou'd send to him again.

The Morning was no sooner come, but he writ to acquaint Ismena, by means of their usual Intelligence, that he was Master of the Inaccessible Key, and conjur'd her, if she meant to preserve his Life, or at least not drive him into absolute Despair, that he might be permitted that Night to bring a Flamen with him, and begg'd of her to meet him in the cover'd Walk, the next to that into which the Back-Door open'd.

To conclude, they were that Night marry'd, so bold and necessary a Step taken: The young Bridegroom cou'd not rest there, they dismiss'd the Priest, and he prevail'd with his Wife to let him pass some Hours of the Night in her Bed-Chamber.

Fortune was for once of their side, she wou'd not destroy before she had blest 'em, but her niggardly Favours stinted 'em to a Night, had she lent 'em one more, Iagello had prepar'd all things for their Flight, which Ismena, now his Wife, had consented to, or had he been less amorous, or more discreet, and not attempted to renew the Danger in search of that Happiness which in a little time he might possess without Difficulty, he had been safe, and Ismena not made miserable by his Loss! But fond of that Treasure which her Arms had enrich'd him with, he cou'd not live a moment without! He importun'd, she admitted him, and they were once more happy in mutual Passion and Embraces.

But cruel Gonneril, by means unknown to me, discover'd their Commerce. She was inflam'd to that height of Fury and Revenge, that nothing but his Blood cou'd quench her Rage. She found too late, she had been the Pretence, and devoted him to Death and Destruction, for the Deceit and Treachery he had us'd. Her Charms, when her self was the Judge, surpass'd Ismena's, and therefore she concluded he was left without any Excuse. She went to the Viceroy's Chamber, inflaming him by her Invectives, to a Sense of Honour and Revenge: She told him, his Enemy, the accurs'd Iagello, dishonour'd his House, and was that moment in Bed with his only Daughter, they took part of the Guards, and forc'd the Chamber Door; the unhappy Bridegroom had scarce time to put on his own Cloths, he help'd Ismena to her's, and conjuring her, the moment the Door shou'd be broke open, to make her Escape to his Palace, where his Servants had already all things in order for their Flight to the Regent of Sarmatia, where he hop'd Fortune wou'd permit him in a short time to meet her. He took his Sword in his Hand, and expected the Crowd of Enemies that burst in upon him. Ismena not being their design'd Prey, and full of Dread of her Father's Anger, in that first Fright, made her Escape without staying to see what became of her unhappy Husband, who no sooner saw Gonneril (animating with Rage, and Fire in her Eyes, those that were come to destroy him) but he knew his Fate was inevitable; neither had he leisure for Reflection, they fell upon him all at once, he defended himself for some time, but over-power'd by Numbers, was murther'd! mangl'd! with as much Barbarity, and as many Wounds as there were Swords, every one of the Soldiers pressing forwards, to shew themselves the officious Ministers of Gonneril's Cruelty.

Inhuman and vindictive Monster! Poor Iagello lost his Life for his weak Compliance with her base Desires, tho' done in order to a lawful Happiness. Heaven did not approve the Deceit, however vertuous was the Cause, but punish'd him for the guilty Effects.

Neither did she escape: The Hand of Vengeance was not slow in punishing her Adultery! Murder! and Cruelty! The Viceroy commanded his Daughter's Cabinet shou'd be seiz'd, that he might judge from her Papers of what length had been her criminal Correspondence with Iagello, but much to his Surprize and Joy, he not only found they were marry'd, and so the Honour of his Child preserv'd, but as an Allay to that Satisfaction, saw the Letter cruel Gonneril had sent Iagello with the Key, and which he had sacrific'd in one of his to Ismena, giving her an account, in Raillery, how he had pass'd the Night with the Vice-Queen, and what Pennance he had undergone in hopes of Happiness! The Blessing of seeing her, which he now assur'd himself of, since he was become Master of the Inaccessible Key.

The Viceroy throughly convinc'd, order'd his Wife shou'd be seiz'd and kept for her Trial, he caus'd several of her Servants, and those that were suspected to be Agents in her secret Pleasures, to be Rack'd; a Cloud of Witnesses inform'd against her, she was convicted of notorious Adulteries, and condemn'd to the Trial Ordeal, a Pile was rais'd of all manner of combustible Fewel, with vast Quantities of Bitumen and other Gums; the Vice-Queen was brought forth, cover'd by a large Veil of white Taffaty that reach'd down to her Feet, and trail'd upon the Ground; she ascended the Pile with assured Steps, with Indignation mix'd with a haughty Air, that robb'd her of the Pity of the Spectators, for as yet her Face was uncover'd: The Herald read the Charge of Adultery against her, and demanded whether she wou'd put her Chastity to the Trial of Fire? She answer'd, Yes, give me the burning Scepter; at which the Executioner took out of the Fire (that was there prepared) with proper Instruments, a red hot Bolt of Iron, made in the Form of a Scepter, and presented it to Gonneril; having first veil'd her self, she took it with both her Hands, from whence, at the first Touch, she drop'd it upon the Pile; the Miracle was not for her, an Adulteress cou'd not expect to touch Fire unharm'd, though they say, she had invok'd her false Gods, and the Priests had assur'd her, they had charm'd the Scepter, so that she shou'd be able to endure the Trial, but she was convinc'd too late, the Pile took instant Flame, and in few Moments reduced her to Ashes: A Punishment due to her Crimes, and an Atonement to Iagello's Ghost.

Now War and Desolation, Bellona in all the dreadful Attire of Horror and Distruction invaded the Alani, not a Quarter was free, all were interested in the Common-Cause, either revenging Javius Iagello's Death, or defending Them that had commanded it; then ensu'd a terrible Slaughter and Massacre of the Inhabitants that dwelt upon both their Lands; all were fill'd with Horror! War! Cruelty! and Amazement! Ismena alone, was so happy by means of her Husband's Servants to secure her self among the Sarmatæ: I saw the lovely Mourner, when she was introduced to the Regent, demanding Vengeance on Gonneril (for as yet her Fate had not reach'd us) and Compassion for her Father, who had been misled by the wicked Artifices of his Wife. It was with a World of Difficulty that they cou'd bring her the Journey, her Sorrows, her Despair, at hearing the Murder of her Lord, had very near occasion'd her death. Nothing but the Hopes of Revenge upon her cruel Step-Mother, cou'd have maintain'd Life in her. She cast her self at the Regent's Feet, bewailing that hard Fate which had made her Happiness so short, her Miseries so lasting; the Audience participated her Woe; we condoled, and in Consort with her, conjur'd the Regent to endeavour to see Justice done upon that cruel Woman: He receiv'd Ismena into his Protection, and dispatch'd away Orders to the Viceroy to come and give an account to him of Iagello's Death; but, alas! all was Blood and Confusion in that Dukedom, the Furies were enter'd among 'em, and they were under no other Regiment. Iagello's Father and Brother, carried Death and Destruction where-ever they went; on the other hand, Amori, the Viceroy's Nephew, put himself in the Head of their Troops to defend his Uncle, and offend the Enemy; they not only ravag'd and plunder'd the Lands belonging to one another, but became formidable by the Inroads they made upon the Sarmatæ; the Regent cou'd only pity, not relieve, the miserable Condition of his Country; this lawless Hour of Plunder and Mis-rule seem'd to have no Prospect of a Cure but the Election of a King. Prince Armutius, my Prince, ought to have appear'd, tho' Incognito, to have shown and acquainted the People with his Beauty and Merit; I insinuated how Good, how Brave, how Generous he was; so that it wou'd be found to be their own Interest to assist Armutius . I told 'em, as to the particular Respect I felt for a People where I had so long resided, I cou'd not forbear for their sakes, doing 'em the important Service of presenting 'em a Prince, who by the Confession of all the World, was worthy the Throne, not only for his personal Merit, but the Glory he had acquir'd in War; I ask'd what they sought after in an Election? Was it not Power, Valour, Wisdom, Magnanimity, Liberality, Modesty, Affability? They were all united in Armutius, without any Allay, or the least Cloud to darken, (tho' it were but by Intervals) so much Brightness. From my Prince, the Republick might assure themselves the Restoration of their former Happiness and first Splendor, the forgotten Art of triumphing over their Enemies abroad, uniting domestick Divisions and teaching their Neighbours how to observe the Alliances contracted with 'em: From him expect a Monarch, who wou'd rather chuse to govern his People by Example than Authority, and be with the first in Action as well as Council, and in the Goodness of his Manners, a Model for the Conduct of others, swaying that Scepter by the Standard of true Glory, obtain'd not by Succession and Custom, but Vertue: And which is another Advantage, shou'd he ever degenerate, shou'd he go about to violate the Laws, or impose a Yoke upon his People, he wou'd find neither Neighbours nor Princes to support him, or who cou'd afford him any Sanctuary, Gallia being at too great a distance, and the Almains and Illyrians his Enemies, too near him.

During these Negotiations, and that I left nothing undone to procure his Election, instead of seeing him in Person as I expected, I receiv'd this long Letter from his Highness.

My Lord Ambassador,
"The Esteem which your Excellency has formerly made appear for my Person, the Affection and Acknowledgement I always had for yours, by which I have been happily carry'd to do your Excellency many former Services, ingages me to write this present Letter, of such a Nature that nothing but the extream Confidence I have in your Gratitude and Discretion, and by which I give you the utmost Proof of my good Opinion of both, could have drawn me to address your Excellency with a Freedom and Assurance beyond President.

"I am not, my Lord Ambassador, as perhaps you may expect, solliciting you for a Crown; I do not incite you to Assiduities and Politicks, I alarm none of those Hours, Nature has destin'd for Repose, I do not even thank you for your Vigilance, your unwearied Industry, and that indefatigable, but cruel Zeal, with which you have set the Sarmatæ on a blaze, till even the Goddess of Discord, and her attendant Furies, are glutted with the Effects of your Artifices; these are Vertues extreamly laudable, as you are Ambassador from the King of the Franks, and pursue his Intents, his Interests to the height; but as you are Agent for Prince Armutius, they are wounding, they are destructive of his Happiness, fatal to his very Life, since he cannot succeed amongst the Sarmatæ, but he must die for that Success.

"I conjure you, dear Merovius, to remember if ever you were a Lover (as something I have heard whisper'd of that kind) I conjure you not to forget, that a Heart truly touched, values nothing in comparison with the Toucher.

"Your Excellency knows what is due from Persons of any Rank to their Sovereign, I dare not seem to dispute the Commands of the King, who is more absolute over us by the Dignity of his Merit, than that of his Kindred or Crown; he will have me to Reign, his Interests require it, and I dare not object that he can't bestow a Scepter, but by destroying his Nephew's Repose, and even taking away his Life.

"Already he has been too fatally obey'd, I am marry'd by his appointment; and though there be no Virtue wanting in the Princess, whose Beauty and good Humour are capable of ingaging the most insensible Heart; yet mine, my Lord, prepossest before, leaves me nothing but perpetual Remorse for not being able to do Justice to so much Merit.

"O! my Lord Ambassador I shudder at the Resolution I have taken, bold in my Midnight, wakeful Hours, where I first determin'd to unbosom my self to you; yet Weakness and Inconsistencies attend the Execution. Regard me—with these Breaks—these Interruptions —Regard me as a Lover, Regard me as a Sacrifice to Love—Regard me once more, by a return of Courage, as a Person proud of the Infamy, the Character that attends such, who desire to triumph in no other Name, but that of Lover.

"Impossible to have any pleasing Ideas, but what arises from the Person I adore, be pleas'd to think as I do, prepossess your self as much as Man can be prepossess'd; yet before you comprehend a part of what Lucasia deserves, you must elevate your Immagination; you must recollect your Remembrance as to whatever you have seen most admirable, either in Life or Painting; imagin a Beauty whose Rays are so Pointed, that at the first Glance she darts you thro' and thro', raise your Conceptions beyond Mortality, such as we form of those Etherial Beings, whose transcendant Make first taught the World Idolatry! By these Helps you may attain to some small conception of the admirable Lucasia's Person! but no Imagination can touch the Merit of her Mind! her Goodness! that soft Compassion which makes her deplore, even the extent of her own Charms, and gives her Pain for creating Pain to others; survey the unequal'd Beauty of her Face, her nice gentile Person, that inexpressible Air, a Manner that infuses Delight and Love, the Symmetry of her Limbs, her well-turn'd Hands, Arms, Neck, and what besides is left to the Imagination: Praxiletes could never give his Venus any thing so exact for not seeing Lucasia, he wrought but after Fancy, which never rising higher than what the Ideas are, he never could rise to her, because there never before was formed so visible an Excellence, so finish'd a Masterpiece, so much a Perfection as Lucasia.

"Satisfied in so Goddess-like a Form, who wou'd not believe that she should, as the World does, rest with Pleasure upon so bright an Out-side? there apply her Cares with lesser Regard, or neglecting what is to be found within. But Lucasia leaves no Benefit of Heaven unimprov'd; she has Art, she has Reading to better Nature; she has Application to perfect both; she has a faithful Memory, and every Ornament of the Mind that can adorn and compleat the Courtier; she is dear to the Queen; the Queen is belov'd and reverenc'd by her.

"Who cou'd not wear away an Age in hearing Lucasia speak? With what Application does she turn her self to Business? How well fitted for what she undertakes? How sound and decisive her Judgment? How deserving to be a Favourite? Are any in Pain? Let none fear being Arbitrarily distress'd by the over-weening Pride of self-conceited Ministers; whilst Lucasia is her self, whilst she has Justice, Compassion, Tenderness, Generosity and indefatigable Zeal; will she not espouse the Cause of the Unfortunate? will she not represent those Distresses of the Supplicant to her gracious Sovereign with Success?

"How does she persevere in, and adorn the Holy Religion? What an admirable Wife? (Jealousie forbids me to recount the Merits of her Lord) How does she Reverence his Father? Cou'd that God-like Man have ever been bless'd in a Daughter-in-law as he is in her? Must one not acknowledge that he has instructed Lucasia in his Arts of Government, his just Conception of things, his extensive Capacity, and all those accomplishments that have made him dear to the deserving part of his Country, as his Country is to him?

"Lucasia being such or more than I can represent, do you believe the Lustre of a Crown can tempt me from losing the Sight of a brighter Lustre her Eyes? Can there be half the Pleasure in reigning over the World, as there is in being her Slave? O no! Tho' she permit me only to adore, not hope! Yet in losing the Prospect of her Beauty, my Life will be inevitably lost.

"Further, if a Crown cou'd buy me to depart from where Lucasia reigns, shou'd I not be undeserving of her Pity? I who even tremble with Delight at the bare Apprehension of being one Day able to excite Compassion, a Pleasure that thrills my Blood, gives convulsive Throbs and Pantings to my Heart, my Hand unable to support the Pen, drops in perspective Extasies, thinking of that Elizian, Lucasia's Goodness can bestow.

"Wou'd I shut out my self from all that Heaven of Bliss, lose the Merit of a long-suffering Passion, and those early Adorations I paid to Lucasia's Eyes, for no sooner cou'd they begin to charm but I was subdued; quit the Delicacies of tender Friendship, those nameless Pleasures, for black Despair and rugged Discontent! But even if I wou'd, it is not in my Choice, I cannot reign over the Sarmatæ, whilst Lucasia reigns over me; I have no Power! no Will! no Wish! no Capacity but what centers alone in Love: There I can be Wise, be Vigilant, be Brave, be Just, be Honest, be Bold, be Humble and Ambitious! There I can with Pleasure, lose even my Life, if it were in Vindication of, or in Obedience to what I love.

"Let those who never knew what it was to Love, be amus'd with Crowns and Sceptre, sollicit my Lord Ambassador for some less happy, more groveling Wretch who can stoop to a Throne, I rise to more substantial Glories, in prospect of being by this Sacrifice not unacceptable to Lucasia.

"Destiny will have me depart; the King has commanded I shou'd make this cruel Voyage; I am hastning to you, but if you wou'd have me survive the Meeting, order it so that my Pretensions may inevitably miscarry, put the Crown on some other Head, Me it will oppress! I shall be much more acknowledging for the Disappointment than another for the Accession: In a Word, I perish if I succeed! You only can cause things to take the turn which my Inclinations direct. How glorious will it be for me to be disappointed, baffled, and what the World will call disgraced; neither shall you need to fear the King's Displeasure, since I assure you of dividing my Patrimony with you, and sacrificing with Joy to him who preserves me. Adieu! my Lord Ambassador, as you succeed, I am the Blest or Lost.

"Armutius."

The Eve of the Election a Courier brought us certain News, that Beraldus, Prince of Saci was upon the Frontiers, at the Head of twice five thousand regular Troops, who pretended he led 'em only to assist the King of the Almaines, with whom he had an Interview. In a Word, it was known in the Morning, that his Highness was not only a Canditate, but had voluntarily renounced the Christian Religion, and made Profession of the Idolatry practised among the Sarmatæ; all the World wonder'd at his Apostacy, it intirely indear'd him to those that he hoped were to be his Subjects. The Prince Regent not to be amused by such Pretences continued fast to Pr. Armutius's Interests, he knew that the Motives which induced the Prince of Saci, were neither Religion nor Ambition, he already reign'd with absolute Sovereignity over a People that reverenced him, and where he had enough of Dominion to make him a considerable Prince, but he was so unfortunate to love the beauteous Ethelinda better than his Princess, who was a Lady extream devout, and so tenacious of her Religion, he foresaw she would never depart from That, to follow him into Sarmatia, where he might undoubtedly have the Pleasure to reign alone, or at least to divide his Power with Ethelinda, created by him Princess of Marsovia . This is the private Reason of a Change that has surprized all the World, known only to a few. Beraldus departing from the true Religion, and his more civiliz'd People, to go to steep himself in Idolatry, among a Nation too fond of Liberty, Barbarous, Avaritious and Ungrateful, in view of marrying Ethelinda after the manner of the Illyrians with the Left-hand. This attractive Princess was also the Source of Theodorick King of the Vandals's early Disgust and Aversion to the Sex; but as that is a History by it self I will conclude with the Sarmatæ, who when the Election came to a Scrutiny, the Majority of the Voices were found on Prince Armutius's Side, who was immediately declar'd King by the Regent ; which when those of Alexis's observed, to exclude him and disappoint K. Charles of the Franks, they went over to the Prince of Saci. Their two Interests being join'd, they out number'd us, and that Prince was saluted King by the unanimous Consent of those who had not voted for P. Armutius; they dispatch'd away a Messenger to present him with the Crown, together with the Articles he was to swear to; the Regent and my self, with those of our Party protested against the Election, and withdrew our selves, but that did not hinder Beraldus Prince of Saci to be proclaim'd King of the Sarmata and Alani; he brought his own Troops with him, and since that Hour, Heaven as it were in Indignation for his Apostacy, has punish'd his People for his Crimes, and never left them 'em a breathing Space from Misfortunes, one continued Scene of War, Famine, Desolation, Blood, Distruction, and Division, overwhelming the Sarmatians, in which Beraldus himself has been so deeply involved, that we may very well say, in obtaining the Crown he has ceas'd to be Innocent and Happy, perpetually harrass'd by a foreign War, and Homebred Faction, divided in Interest, Religion, Duty and Inclination, his Wife abhorr'd by him, his Mistress abhorring him! yet leading him on to breach of Alliances, and the Invasion of the Territories of the young Theodorick King of the Vandals to whom she was born a Subject; in the midst of a profound Peace, and full Security, no Provocation given, no War declared, invading his Dominions with War, Fire, Sword, and most tremendous Horror!

As the Envoy was pursuing his Relation, a Gentleman came to tell him, That Madam the Princess of Marsovia, the beauteous accomplish'd Ethelinda, of whom he had just then been speaking, was return'd from her Embassy to Theodorick King of the Vandals's Camp, where she had been sent by King Beraldus, and was now in her Tent at some little Distance from his Excellency; hearing of his being so near her she had sent to desire the Honour of his Company at Supper; the Count de St. Girone immediately put in his Claim, that Monsieur le Envoy wou'd be pleas'd to carry him with him, since it was to see that miraculous Lady, who had divided and inflamed the North: Horatio was owner of but little Curiosity, and wou'd willingly have been excus'd, but the Ambassador cou'd not depart without him, and sent to her Highness, to beg Permission for two Men of Quality, Strangers, to kiss her Hand; after he had received Ethelinda's Compliment upon the Honour his Excellency and those Lords design'd her, he told 'em that however prepossest they were, one by Sorrow, the other by Indifference, he was going to show 'em a Beauty that would not fail to establish her self in the midst of ten thousand Difficulties, a victorious, an universal Charmer, who yet never met with any that durst make Opposition to her Sway, and an undisputed Charter she had in her Eyes, of subduing all that durst suffer themselves to be gazed on, and consequently warm'd, by such an Obtaining, such Authentick Brightness!


FINIS.

 
 
 

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