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Queen Zarah by Mrs. Manley

 

THE Secret History, OF Queen Zarah,
AND THE Zarazians; BEING A Looking-glass FOR
——- —————-
In the Kingdom of ALBIGION.
Faithfully Translated from the Italian Copy
now lodg'd in the Vatican at Rome, and never
before Printed in any Language.


TO THE READER.

The Romances in France have for a long Time been Diversion and Amusement of the whole World; the People both in the City and at Court have given themselves over to this Vice, and all Sorts of People have read these Works with a most surprizing Greediness; but that Fury is very much abated, and they are all fallen off from this Distraction: The Little Histories of this Kind have taken Place of Romances, whose Prodigious Number of Volumes were sufficient to tire and satiate such whose Heads were most fill'd with those Notions.

These little Pieces which have banish'd Romances are much more agreeable to the Brisk and Impetuous Humour of the English, who have naturally no Taste for long-winded Performances, for they have no sooner begun a Book but they desire to see the end of it: The Prodigious Length of the Ancient Romances, the Mixture of so many Extraordinary Adventures, and the great Number of Actors that appear on the Stage, and the Likeness which is so little managed, all which has given a Distaste to Persons of good Sense, and has made Romances so much cry'd down, as we find 'em at present. The Authors of Historical Novels, who have found out this Fault, have run into the same Error, because they take for the Foundation of their History no more than one Principal Event, and don't overcharge it with Episodes, which wou'd extend it to an Excessive Length; but they are run into another Fault, which I cannot Pardon, that is, to please by Variety the Taste of the Reader, they mix particular Stories with the Principal History, which seems to me as if they reason'd Ill; in Effect the Curiosity of the Reader is deceiv'd by this Deviation from the Subject, which retards the Pleasure he wou'd have in seeing the End of an Event; it relishes of a Secret Displeasure in the Author, which makes him soon lose Sight of those Persons with whom he began to be in Love; besides the vast Number of Actors who have such different Interests, embarrasses his Memory, and causes some Confusion in his Brain, because 'tis necessary for the Imagination to labour to recal the several Interests and Characters of the Persons spoken of, and by which they have interrupted the History.

For the Reader's better Understanding, we ought not to chuse too Ancient Accidents, nor unknown Heroes, which are sought for in a Barbarous Country, and too far distant in Time, for we care little for what was done a Thousand Years ago among the Tartars or Abyssines.

The Names of Persons ought to have a Sweetness in them, for a Barbarous Name disturbs the Imagination; as the Historian describes the Heroes to his Fancy, so he ought to give them Qualities which affect the Reader, and which fixes him to his Fortune; but he ought with great Care to observe the Probability of Truth, which consists in saying nothing but what may Morally be believed.

For there are Truths that are not always probable; as for Example, 'tis an allowed Truth in the Roman History, that Nero put his Mother to Death, but 'tis a Thing against all Reason and Probability that a Son should embrue his Hand in the Blood of his own Mother; it is also no less probable that a Single Captain shou'd at the Head of a Bridge stop a whole Army, although 'tis probable that a small Number of Soldiers might stop, in Defiles, Prodigious Armies, because the Situation of the Place favours the Design, and renders them almost Equal. He that writes a True History ought to place the Accidents as they Naturally happen, without endeavouring to sweeten them for to procure a greater Credit, because he is not obliged to answer for their Probability; but he that composes a History to his Fancy, gives his Heroes what Characters he pleases, and places the Accidents as he thinks fit, without believing he shall be contradicted by other Historians, therefore he is obliged to Write nothing that is improbable; 'tis nevertheless allowable that an Historian shows the Elevation of his Genius, when advancing Improbable Actions, he gives them Colours and Appearances capable of Perswading.

One of the Things an Author ought first of all to take Care of, is to keep up to the Characters of the Persons he introduces. The Authors of Romances gave Extraordinary Virtues to their Heroins, exempted from all the Weakness of Humane Nature, and much above the Infirmities of their Sex; 'tis Necessary they shou'd be Virtuous or Vicious to Merit the Esteem or Disesteem of the Reader; but their Virtue ought to be spared, and their Vice exposed to every Trial: It wou'd in no wise be probable that a Young Woman fondly beloved by a Man of great Merit, and for whom she had Reciprocal Tenderness, finding her self at all Times alone with him in Places which favour'd their Loves, cou'd always resist his Addresses; there are too Nice Occasions; and an Author wou'd not enough observe good Sense, if he therein exposed his Heroins; 'tis a Fault which Authors of Romances commit in every Page; they would Blind the Reader with this Miracle, but 'tis necessary the Miracle shou'd be feisable, to make an Impression in the Brain of Reasonable Persons; the Characters are better managed in the Historical Novels, which are writ now-a-days; they are not fill'd with great Adventures, and extraordinary Accidents, for the most simple Action may engage the Reader by the Circumstances that attend it; it enters into all the Motions and Disquiets of the Actor, when they have well express'd to him the Character. If he be Jealous, the Look of a Person he Loves, a Mouse, a turn of the Head, or the least Complaisance to a Rival, throws him into the greatest Agitations, which the Readers perceive by a Counter-blow; if he be very Vertuous, and fals into a Mischance by Accident, they Pity him, and Commiserate his Misfortune; for Fear, and Pity in Romance as well as Tragedies are the Two Instruments which move the Passion; for we in some Manner put our selves in the Room of those we see in Danger; the Part we take therein, and the fear of falling into the like Misfortunes, causes us to interest our selves more in their Adventures, because that those sort of Accidents may happen to all the World; and it touches so much the more, because they are the Common Effects of Nature.

The Heroes in the Ancient Romances have nothing in them that is Natural; all is unlimited in their Character; all their Advantages have Something Prodigious, and all their Actions Something that's Marvellous; in short, they are not Men: A single Prince attack'd by a great Number of Enemies, is so far from giving Way to the Croud, that he does Incredibie Feats of Valour, beats them, puts them to flight, delivers all the Prisoners, and kills an infinite Number of People, to deserve the Title of Heroe. A Reader who has any Sense does not take part with these Fabulous Adventures, or at least is but slightly touch'd with them, because they are not natural, and therefore cannot be believ'd The Heroes of the Modern Romances are better Characteriz'd, they give them Passions, Vertues or Vices, which resemble Humanity. Thus all the World will find themselves represented in these Descriptions, which ought to be exact, and mark'd by Tracts which express clearly the Character of the Heroe to the end we may not be deceiv'd, and may presently know our predominant Quality, which ought to give the Spirit all the Motion and Action of our Lives; 'tis that which inspires the Reader with Curiosity, and a certain impatient Desire to see the End of the Accidents, the reading of which causes an Exquisite Pleasure when they are Nicely handled; the Motion of the Heart gives yet more, but the Author ought to have an Extraordinary Penetration to distinguish them well, and not to lose himself in this Labyrinth Most Authors are contented to describe Men in general, they represent them Covetous, Courageous and Ambitious, without entering into the Particulars, and without specifying the Character of their Covetousness, Valour or Ambition; they don't perceive Nice Distinctions, which those who know it Remark in the Passions; in Effect, the Nature, Humour and Juncture, give New Posture to Vices; the Turn of the Mind, Motion of the Heart, Affection and Interests, alter the very Nature of the Passions, which are different in all Men; the Genius of the Author marvellously appears when he Nicely discovers those Differences, and exposes to the Reader's Sight those almost unperceivable Jealousies which escape the Sight of most Authors, because they have not an exact Notion of the Turnings and Motions of Humane Understanding; and they know nothing but the gross Passions, from whence they make but general Descriptions.

He that Writes either a True or False History, ought immediately to take Notice of the Time and Sense where those Accidents happen'd, that the Reader may not remain long in Suspence; he ought also in few Words describe the Person who bears the most Considerable Part in his Story to engage the Reader; 'tis a Thing that little conduces to the raising the Merit of a Heroe to Praise him by the Beauty of his Face; this is a mean and trival Detail, that discourages Persons of good Taste; 'tis the Qualities of the Soul which ought to render him acceptable; and there are those Qualities likewise that ought to be discourag'd in the Principal Character of a Heroe, for there are Actors of a Second Rank, who serve only to bind the Intrigue, and they ought not to be compar'd with those of the First Order, nor be given Qualities that may cause them to be equally Esteem'd; 'tis not by Extravagant Expressions, nor Repeated Praises, that the Reader's Esteem is acquired to the Character of the Heroe's, their Actions ought to plead for them; 'tis by that they are made known, and describe themselves; altho' they ought to have some Extraordinary Qualities, they ought not all to have 'em in an equal degree; 'tis impossible they shou'd not have some Imperfections seeing they are Men, but their Imperfections ought not to destroy the Character that is attributed to them; if we describe them Brave, Liberal and Generous, we ought not to attribute to them Baseness or Cowardice, because that their Actions wou'd otherwise belie their Character, and the Predominant Virtues of the Heroes: 'Tis no Argument that Salust, though so Happy in the Description of Men, in the Description of Cataline does not in some manner describe him Covetous also; for he says this Ambitious Man spent his own Means Profusely, and raged after the Goods of another with an Extream Greediness; but these Two Motions which seem contrary were inspired by the same Wit; these were the Effects of the Unbounded Ambition of Cataline, and the desire he had to Rise by the help of his Creatures on the Ruins of the Roman Republick; so vast a Project cou'd not be Executed but by very great Sums of Money, which obliged Cataline to make all Sorts of Efforts to get it from all Parts.

Every Historian ought to be extreamly uninterested; he ought neither to Praise nor Blame those he speaks of; he ought to be contented with Exposing the Actions, leaving an entire Liberty to the Reader to judge as he pleases, without taking any Care not to blame his Heroes, or make their Apology; he is no Judge of the Merit of his Heroes, his Business is to represent them in the same Form as they are, and describe their Sentiments, Manners and Conduct; it deviates in some manner from his Character, and that perfect uninterestedness, when he adds to the Names of those he introduces Epithets either to Blame or Praise them; there are but few Historians who exactly follow this Rule, and who maintain this Difference, from which they cannot deviate without rendring themselves guilty of Partiality.

Although there ought to be a great Genius required to Write a History perfectly, it is nevertheless not requisite that a Historian shou'd always make use of all his Wit, nor that he shou'd strain himself in Nice and Lively Reflexions; 'tis a Fault which is reproach'd with some Justice to Cornelius Tacitus, who is not contented to recount the Feats, but employs the most refin'd Reflexions of Policy to find out the secret Reasons and hidden Causes of Accidents; there is nevertheless a Distinction to be made between the Character of the Historian and the Heroe; for if it be the Heroe that speaks, then he ought to express himself Ingeniously, without affecting any Nicety of Points or Syllogisms, because he speaks without any Preparation; but when the Author speaks of his Chief, he may use a more Nice Language, and chuse his Terms for the better expressing his Designs; Moral Reflexions, Maxims and Sentences, are more proper in Discourses for Instructions than in Historical Novels, whose chief End is to please; and if we find in them some Instructions, it proceeds rather from their Descriptions than their Precepts.

An Acute Historian ought to observe the same Method at the Ending as at the Beginning of his Story, for he may at first expose Maxims relating but a few Feats, but when the End draws nigher, the Curiosity of the Reader is augmented, and he finds in him a Secret Impatience of desiring to see the Discovery of the Actions; an Historian that amuses himself by Moralizing or Describing, discourages an Impatient Reader, who is in haste to see the End of Intrigues; he ought also to use a quite different Sort of Stile in the main Part of the Work, than in Conversations, which ought to be writ after an easie and free Manner: Fine Expressions and Elegant Turns agree little to the Stile of Conversation, whose Principal Ornament consists in the Plainness, Simplicity, Free and Sincere Air, which is much to be preferr'd before a great Exactness: We see frequent Examples in Ancient Authors of a Sort of Conversation which seems to clash with Reason; for 'tis not Natural for a Man to entertain himself, for we only speak that we may communicate our Thoughts to others; besides, 'tis hard to comprehend how an Author that relates Word for Word, the like Conversation cou'd be instructed to repeat them with so much Exactness; these Sort of Conversations are much more Impertinent when they run upon strange Subjects, which are not indispensibly allied to the Story handled: If the Conversations are long they indispensibly tire, because they drive from our Sight those People to whom we are engaged, and interrupt the Sequel of the Story.

'Tis an indispensible Necessity to end a Story to satisfie the Disquiets of the Reader, who is engag'd to the Fortunes of those People whose Adventures are described to him; 'tis depriving him of a most delicate Pleasure, when he is hindred from seeing the Event of an Intrigue which has caused some Emotion in him, whose Discovery he expects, be it either Happy or Unhappy; the chief End of History is to instruct and inspire into Men the Love of Virtue, and Abhorrence of Vice, by the Examples propos'd to them; therefore the Conclusions of a Story ought to have some Tract of Morality which may engage Virtue; those People who have a more refin'd Vertue are not always the most Happy; but yet their Misfortunes excite their Reader's Pity, and affects them; although Vice be not always punish'd, yet 'tis describ'd with Reasons which shew its Deformity, and makes it enough known to be worthy of nothing but Chastisements.

THE Secret History OF Queen ZARAH, &c.

Of all the Kingdoms in the World, Albigion is now reckoned the fullest of Adventures, there being scarce any Nation in the Habitable Earth but what it hath some Commerce or Communication with, insomuch that the People are become as Famous Abroad for Politicks as the Muscovites are at Home for Love and Gallantry. The Youth of that Country, encourag'd by their Parents Examples, Aspire to be Privy Counsellors before they get rid of the Rod of their Schoolmasters; and Prentice Boys assume the Air of Statesmen e'er yet they have learn'd the Mystery of Trade.

Mechanicks of the Meanest Rank plead for a Liberty to abuse their Betters, and turn out Ministers of State with the same Freedom that they smoak Tobacco. Carmen and Coblers over Coffee draw up Articles of Peace and War, and make Partition Treaties at their Will and Pleasure; in a Word, from the Prince to the Peasant every one here enjoys his Natural Liberty, whether it proceed from the Nature of the Climate or the Temper of the People I cannot resolve you; I rather think Subjects are such as the Rules and Laws of the Government make them.

This renowned Lady Zarah, (tho' of Obscure Parents) was Born in the Reign of Rolando, King of Albigion, one of the most Gallant Princes the World ever had, when Gallantry was so much in Vogue, that it was almost as Natural to be a Gallant as to Live: In those Happy Days it was she first receiv'd the Breath of Life, common to all other Creatures as well as her, but which none has improv'd to that vast Advantage; her Mother's Name was Jenisa, a Woman who mov'd in a low Sphere, but had a large Occupation, was one who knew the World well, and was studious of her own Interest; and though she was not admir'd for her Wit, that Defect was supply'd by some little Arts she had peculiar to some Sort of Women, by which Means she gain'd the Hearts of all the Men who convers'd with her.

In a few Years Zarah grew up to the Admiration of all that knew her Birth and Education, for her Mother had instructed her in ev'ry Art that was necessary to engage and charm Mankind, so that she soon became the Object of their Wishes and Desires, as well for the Excellency of her Wit as the Agreeableness of her Beauty; about that Time there was One Hippolito, a Handsome Gentleman, Well Born, Young and Vigorous, who had pleas'd other Women, and was reputed to make his Fortune that Way; she had Twice or Thrice seen him at the Ball, which was frequently made in those Days for the Diversion of the Ladies; Hippolito was excellent at Dancing, and always came off with Applause and Admiration; every Step he took carry'd Death with it, and made all the Company praise him, which sensibly touch'd Zarah's Heart: 'Tis not unusual to find Women affected with a Man's Merit upon Occasions of that Nature; She was deeply sensible of Applause and Honour bestow'd by the Company on Hippolito; when she came from the Ball she could not forbear being Melancholly and Pensive, even before her Mother; she could neither Eat, Drink, nor Sleep; this troubled extreamly the Indulgent Jenisa, who was so inquisitive after the least Concern of the Health and Pleasure of her Daughter, that she was more in Pain than her to see her languish as she did; she could not imagine what it should be that she should hide it from such a Mother, and was so much concerned at it she could not rest for thinking of it; Zarah was more and more Love-sick, which by degrees grew so upon her it alter'd her quite; the good Mother redoubled her Care, and if it had been possible wou'd have redoubled her Love; she pray'd her every Moment if she was in Love to tell her the Cause, and protested she wou'd not stick at any Thing for her Satisfaction, so tender a Regard had the Old Woman for her Daughter's Passion.

Zarah perceiving her Mother's Fondness, and how pleasantly she flatter'd her most passionate Desires, cry'd out with a surprizing Tenderness, Hippolito is the Man the most Charming in my Eyes, and the most Accomplish'd on Earth; but alas, he loves and is belov'd again by Clelia, and you know, continued she, what Disadvantages a Lover lyes under, to have a Rival that is both Proud and Handsome; besides, the Title of Chief Mistress to the King gives her both Power and Favour to oblige him, and affords him the greater Pleasure and Ambition to be obliged: For Clelia is wholly possess'd with a Passion for Hippolito; she loves the King as most Mistresses of that kind use to do, that is, as far as the Power of a Monarch cou'd make her love a Man who raised her above all other Women; she Reigned in all outward Splendor imaginable, but amidst all her Glories she was troubled with a Passion for a Man she could love for his own Sake. A Woman subject to such Reflections as these is hardly kept within the Bounds of her Duty; thus Clelia found it too hard a Task not to Transgress a little when she had cast her Eyes upon Hippolito.

The King's Bounties she thought were but her Due, or at least sufficiently requited in the superficial Acknowledgments she made him; and that if she lov'd him not heartily, 'twas not her Fault, but his, who knew not how to gain her Affection. Such is the Fortune of Monarchs in Love, when they are with their Mistresses they commonly lay aside that Majesty with dazles the Eyes and affects the Hearts of Mankind; they go undress'd into their Chambers, and make themselves so familiar with their Mistresses, they afterwards use them as other Men.

As Glorious as it is for an Ambitious Woman to see at her Feet every Day a Person who commands all others, yet Monarchs are deceiv'd if they think their Mistresses are always true. No Passion, but that of extraordinary Love, can fix a Woman's Heart. Ambition alone is too weak a Gage for their Fidelity; it frequently happens Princes owe their Amorous Conquest more to their Quality than Merit; and accordingly they extend only to what is External and Gross, when Love and Inclination, frustrated of their Expectation from them, and not satisfied with Pomp and Show, goes in Search of Satisfaction elsewhere.

If this be all (said Jenisa, the kind Mother) trouble not your self above it, this is but a small Matter in respect of what I have perform'd in my Time of the like Nature; for as Hippolito is a Brave Man, he will scorn to be oblig'd long to a Woman, who having first forfeited her Honour to her Royal Master, will Cancel the Obligations of Honour he otherwise owed to Her, and be glad of the Pretence to bestow her Favours on another Woman, in whose Beauty and Fidelity he can place his Heart as well as his Interest; for 'tis Natural for Men that Love Pleasure, to love that which is of their own procuring. And 'tis easie, continued she, to think of such Measures as will bring about what is very agreeable, both to your Wishes of Love, and my Desires of Ambition.

Accordingly as Jenisa had laid the Plot, the next Time Zarah went to Court Clelia saw her, grew violent fond of her, and invited her to her Apartments, little thinking she was her Rival, which Zarah was so far from denying, that she willingly accepted of the Favour. Night drawing on, Hippolito came as usual to pay Clelia a Visit, but how was Zarah confounded when she saw the Man she lov'd next Heaven best approach her with all the Advantages and Opportunities of a happy Lover, not knowing how he should come there; for Clelia was absent, being sent for suddenly by the King; Hippolito, who saw her in Surprize, gaz'd on her Beauty for a while, was Charmed with the Sight of it, and cou'd not express his Joy for the Transport of his Love. But at last recollecting himself, and observing Zarah's Confusion, he broke Silence thus, Madam I confess my Surprize, but it is altogether owing to your Beauty, for I can scarce satisfie my self that what I see is real, tho' my Heart wou'd willingly flatter me it is. Pray resolve me, Madam, Is this Place Enchanted? (For it was very spacious, and made on purpose for a Cooling Room in the Heats of Summer, and had in it several Beds of Turf very prettily made, with Pots of Jessamine Flowers, and other Sweets all about; in a Word, it was a Place pick'd out for the King's Pleasure:) Here Zarah was in Bed; and as there is nothing so handsome as a Beautiful Woman in Bed, he was so charm'd at the Sight of her, he was as much disorder'd as she, and knew not what he did. At last Zarah got the Liberty of her Tongue, which at other Times was voluble enough, and answer'd, I believe, Sir, (said she) you have mistaken the Object of your Passion, for I am not ignorant Clelia is her, the happy she, for whom those soft and tender things were meant. I confess Madam, said he, Clelia is my Mistress, but deserves not to possess a Heart whose Eyes have seen a Lady so Beautiful as you are: And nothing but a Passion equal to that I have for you cou'd prevail upon me to think less of her. Nothing but the extremity of your Beauty, whose Charms are irresistible, cou'd excuse me. But let a Man value himself never so much on his Integrity, yet a Passion raised in him by a Passion so Amiable as you, will be proof against all Batteries of Duty or Interest.

We may easily guess these passionate Expressions of Hippolito were not a little pleasing to Zarah, who reply'd, That she believed he was a Generous and Brave Man, but that his Heart was its own Master, and wou'd love one to Day, and another to Morrow; that his Sentiments were subject to change as other things; that Love, like Nature, was not Charming to him but in Variety: For Example, says she, to Day you are for me, but Three or Four Days hence you will be for another. And you wou'd think it Injustice in me to expect that you shou'd be truer to me than you are to Clelia.

It may be admired perhaps that Two Persons so little acquainted shou'd in so few Minutes become so familiar; but we must know Love in those Countries makes far quicker Progress than in ours, where the Winds, and the Snow, and the Rain, spoil his Wings, and hinder his Flight; for it is the Custom of the Grandees of that Country, when they have not a particular Inclination for any Woman, to take this to Day, and another to Morrow: And having lost the Taste of Love, to Search for Pleasure in Change and Variety.

Thus while the Two Lovers were wholly engag'd in their Amours, Hippolito us'd all the Gallantry of a Courtier, and all the Indearments of a Passionate Lover; Jenisa, who had contrived this Interview, had likewise procured Clelia's Absence, and resolving to strike while the Iron was Hot, goes directly to Clelia's Apartments, on purpose not so much to Surprize the Lovers, as to Compass the Design which she was then carrying on, of Marrying her Daughter to Hippolito. They heard a a Noise at the Door; what should be the meaning of all this? Said they one to another, having a Thousand Fears upon them, tho' they cou'd not imagine that any Person in the Apartments cou'd make the least Discovery of an Intriegue, which was so accidental that neither of them was the Contrivers of, or could have imagined to happen. But at last Jenisa breaks open the Door, comes in quite out of Breath, and throws her self half Dead (as she pretended) into the Arms of her Daughter. What frightful Fancies had Hippolito then in his Head? He presently imagined they were utterly undone, and that it was by Clelia's Contrivance, not suspecting Jenisa's Designs in the least.

Blast my Eyes, said she, what is this I see? (And then she let fall a Shower of Tears) Hippolito! and alone in your Company? For Heavens Sake my Daughter tell me how he came hither? And on what Design? Zarah not knowing what to Answer or Reply, continued Mute, while Jenisa loaded Hippolito with a Thousand false Reproaches for his unworrhiness in undertaking such a Base Attempt. This was a well-manag'd Scene on the Part of Jenisa, who had not so much as let her Daughter into the Secret, but fell upon her with that pretended Fury, that Hippolito interposed, and used all his Endeavours, lest She should be ill Handled. He was sensibly touched to the Quick at this Outrage, and no Consideration of Life or Duty cou'd have prevented him from doing Violence to Jenisa, had not the Fear of losing Zarah prevail'd more upon him than her Resentment.

The Scuffle was no sooner over, but Hippolito, before the Mother's Presence, took Zarah, and embracing her tenderly, Madam, said he, the Dangers you have gone through on my Account, and the cruel Assault you have now endured, will make me for the Future study your Repose and Satisfaction more than my own Love, tho' it is no easie Matter to be disengaged from a Passion like mine . This Declaration answered not Jenisa's Intentions so fully as she desired, for she was afraid by this his Passion of warm Love wou'd dwindle into cold Friendship and Respect, but that Zarah's Reply reliev'd her doubting Fears; Sir, said she, I am satisfied you have a Value for me by the Kindness of your Expressions, and the Concern I observ'd you in at this Rencounter, but I can never have the Vanity to hope you can so easily quit your Passion for Clelia as to think of loving any other. But you shall find, Madam, answer'd Hippolito, that all the Passion I can have for her, will never hinder the Tenders of Love I offer here; I will quit all my Pretensions to Clelia that I may prevent all Dispute with a Person to whom I am so deeply oblig'd, that there can be nothing so dear to me but I will part with it for your Sake.

At this Jenisa smil'd to perceive the good Effects of her Policy, while Hippolito made her a Thousand Oaths he would keep within the Bounds of that Respect and Discretion she might expect from the severest Virtue, and protested he desired only till to Morrow that he might have an Hour's Discourse with Clelia. Jenisa, who knew too well the Fickleness of Men, and all the seducing Arts the Women are Mistresses of, reproach'd him for such a Thought, while he requested it of Zarah with all the kindest Words and the most tender and passionate Expressions imaginable: Zarah answer'd, She ow'd that Duty to her Mother, and that Virtue to her self, she wou'd not betray for the whole World; and since he had profess'd such a Passion for her, and her Mother was now become a Witness of it, she did not know how he cou'd part from her without giving her such Satisfaction as Parents in those Cases expected; I have Honour and Virtue too, said he, as you have, and the Precepts of 'em are perhaps as severe us yours; but Love is stronger than all the Precepts in the World.

This began to nettle Jenisa, who was not very well pleas'd to think of any thing that might delay their being immediately Married, and therefore she told Hippolito there was but One of these Two Things that ought presently to be resolved on, either that Clelia be made Privy to this Affair, and then he might easily guess what wou'd be the Consequence, both as to himself and Zarah, or else to Marry her, which might preserve both his Honour and his Interest; for the King wou'd be better satisfied to have his Rival Married, and then Clelia, said she, cou'd not Reproach you with a dishonourable Action. Hippolito was silent for a Time, as if he studied what to say, but Jenisa pressing him to declare what he would do, looking with a Melancholly Air, he told her with some Trouble, Madam, said he, I am the most Unfortunate of Men, especially in Love; Zarah, added he sighing, the unkind Zarah, hath not the least Tenderness for me, no, not the least Pity for the Torments she sees me suffer for her; and unless you will be a little kinder to me I know not what will become of me: Let me but know what you desire of me, and what it is you'd have me do: I wou'd have you resolve, said Jenisa, instantly to Marry Zarah; I have a Priest attends without ready to perform the Ceremony. This Proposal astonish'd him on the sudden so extreamly, that having blush'd at it very much, he knew not what Answer to make, while Jenisa observing the Disorder he was in, went directly and fetch'd in the Priest, who without more Hesitation perform'd his Office, and pronounced them Man and Wife.

As soon as this was effected, to Jenisa's great Satisfaction, and Zarah's Desires, Hippolito, to both their Amazements, left the Room, and made a Thousand Reflections on his Ill Fortune that had drawn him into such a Fatal Snare; not but he was passionately pleas'd with Zarah's Beauty, and perswaded some Considerable Greatness wou'd attend her; but the Consideration of being Outwitted, and as it were forced into such a Compliance grated upon him exceedingly, and seem'd to be the chief Thing that troubled him.

But Zarah finding him leave the Chamber so abruptly, and fearing lest what had then pass'd, might occasion Hippolito to do some rash Act, immediately follow'd him into the next Chamber, where finding him in a Passion almost beyond the Power of Reason to manage, and enough to put him on the most desperate Enterprize, she fell at his Feet with all the Agonies of a despairing Lover; Am I then despis'd already? said she; and with Tears in her Eyes continued, Do you insult o'er your Conquest, because it was so easily gain'd? You have already too cruelly wounded me, not to pity me a little. More she would have said, but the Excess of her Passion stifled all her Endeavours to proceed, and she sunk down under the Conflict between her Love and Resentment. Hippolito snatch'd her from the Ground, rais'd her up into his Arms, and claspt her round with all the Tenderness possible; for the Transports of his Love had banish'd the Extravagance of his Fury, and he melted into all the Softness of a happy Lover: It is beyond Imagination to conceive the Joy Zarah was in at this sudden Change of Hippolito; and being about to return his Passion an equal Fire, after having given him some Looks that discover'd her Inclination, she had Time to say no more, than Heaven and my Hippolito support me, for I'm ravished with Excess of Pleasure; when Clelia, in a desperate Frenzy, occasion'd by what had happen'd that Night, enter'd the Room, where these two Lovers seem'd so happy; but hearing of a Voice she knew, and Hippolito's Name, she had not Conduct enough to stay and observe them, but hasten'd forward, and rush'd upon them, when she was too well satisfy'd 'twas Zarah and Hippolito she saw. Ah, Traytor, cry'd she, is it possible you shou'd be thus ungrateful? Have you the Confidence to make my own Lodging the Scene of your Villainy? Could you find no other Way for Revenge, but to make me Witness of your Infidelity? Barbarous Man, continu'd she, Is this the Way you repay my former Services to you? Madam, said he (with a Coolness of Temper, and great Presence of Mind peculiar to him) 'tis fit you should hear us speak for our selves; and if you please, we will send for those who shall justify us, and you shall see how we will defend our selves. What a Rage, what a Fury did this put her in! Good Heavens! said she, to what will this Impudence arise? At that she seiz'd the Sword he had on, not knowing which of the two to begin with first, being both equally perfidious; she thought at last Zarah, as most criminal, was first to be sacrificed to her Revenge; and just as she was going to stab her, Hippolito interposed, and receiv'd a slight Wound upon himself by staying of her Hand, when she threw her self upon him, Traytor, said she, this Blow was not reserv'd for thee, thou shalt not have the Power of being first reveng'd.

At these Words, and the Bustle that was made, Jenisa and the Priest not being yet gone, enter'd into the Room: But, Heavens! what Confusion and a Trembling seiz'd Clelia, when she saw them! This was a Scene more shocking than what her Thoughts and Jealousies could ever have suggested to her: Gods! she cry'd, (with all the Rage and Fury that Despair could raise) what mean these Apparitions here? Why that old Hag? And why that Bawding Priest? What, have you Robb'd me? And what have you done with my Hippolito? And then she ran round the Room like a distracted Woman, seeking in every place, but the Noise continuing, all the Servants awak'd, and came running in to their Lady's Assistance, supposing some Misfortune had happened; but when they saw Hippolito was there, they readily withdrew again, knowing the Disorders the Family had been sometimes subject to upon his Account; and he perceiving Clelia's Passion too violent to hearken to any thing he cou'd say at that time, committed her to the Care of her Woman, and with the rest of the Company retired.

In a few Days this Action was nois'd all over the Court, and at last it came to the King's Ears, who seem'd to be pleas'd with the News, that Hippolito was married, and that he now shou'd be quit of the Rival that had alienated from him the Affections of a Woman he loved the best in the World; for the King was no Stranger to Clelia's Unfaithfulness, notwithstanding he continued to doat of her Charms. Upon this he sent for Hippolito to Court, gave him Joy of his new Bride, and repeated Assurances of his continued Favour to him. This so much surpriz'd Hippolito, that he knew not whether to thank his Majesty for those Expressions of his Bounty, or no, thinking it could not be real, but that Clelia had told the King all that had happen'd, and that this was to mock him: But you may guess the Surprize was very agreeable to him, when the King continued in this good Humour, and told him, He was sorry he was not so happy to know the Lady that he had made his Choice, for she could not chuse but be very handsome, since he knew very well he had a good Taste in what was beautiful or agreeable. He desired to see her, and reproach'd Hippolito very handsomely, in telling him not to be concern'd, if she was as fair as he believ'd her, for he would moderate his Desires, and not think of invading any Man's Property again, since Clelia had shown him what he had to expect from the most Charming of her Sex. This put Hippolito into some Concern, lest the King should tax him with his former Love to Clelia; but instead of that, he being a Personage of admirable Wit and Pleasantry, began to be very facetious, and rally him. What would become of Men and Women of Gallantry, says he, if when they engage in Kindness with one another, they should absolutely sell themselves, and not be allow'd to change when they grow weary, or have a greater Inclination for another: 'Tis a natural Right to bestow our Affections where we please, and revoke them when we please: They are wretched who enjoy not that Liberty. And you know, Hippolito, continued the King, I glory in those Maxims; for if Clelia had not been of my Humour, I fancy I shou'd not have loved her so well; and perhaps I love her for nothing more than that she loves Inconstancy. I once endeavour'd to engage her to be false to me, insomuch that I told her one Day I dream'd I had seen her in your Arms, and it was not long ere I found it true: Now, Hippolito, wou'd you take it ill the King shou'd do as much for you as you did then for him? Yes, without Doubt, says he, Sir, for I did it not for that Purpose that you shou'd do as much for me. Well, answers the King prophetically, if I do not, another may. This pleasant Dialogue was soon interrupted by one less entertaining; for Clelia, who had heard of Hippolito's being there, who had free Admittance always to the King's Presence, enter'd very Majestically with that haughty Air natural to her Temper when provok'd, and thus accosted the King: Is it thus you love me, Sir, to entertain and countenance the Man that has abus'd me? And you, perfidious Traytor, says she to Hippolito, how durst you approach your Royal Master you have injur'd? 'Tis hard to represent the Astonishment, the Fear, and the Confusion of Hippolito, when he heard these Words, knowing how apt the King was to be seduc'd by this fair Flatterer: For pleasant as he was with Railing before, he was made to hear what was spoken; and without examining any farther into the Reason of Clelia's Resentment, cries out to her, You false one, without Honour or Truth, do you reproach me? Is this your Requital of the Obligation I put upon you in making you what you are? There was harsher Language in the Case, which I shall forbear repeating; however Hippolito came off with flying Colours, and left the King and Clelia to make up the Breach betwixt themselves.

Jenisa all this while was over-joy'd to think she had married her Daughter so well, considering all Circumstances; for Hippolito was a gallant Soldier, and one that had the Favour of the Court; for he had serv'd in the Armies of a Neighbouring Prince, who was famous for the best Generals and the best Troops then in the World, and he was look'd upon at that Time as one that was the likeliest to be preferr'd, whenever the Nation had Occasion to make Use of his Services that Way. However it was, he encreas'd in his Esteem both with the King and Court, so that Zarah and he liv'd very great and splendid, and began to draw the Eyes of envious People upon them, who stood gazing with Admiration to behold their sudden Rise, and successful Proceedings, while Hippolito insensibly wound himself into the Favour of Duke Albanio, the King's Brother, and next Heir to the Crown, who was a warlike Prince, and gave Encouragement to all Gentlemen about Court, who had been bred in the Field, or had a Genius to Arms. For having been educated in his younger Years with Drums and Trumpets, though he was forced from their Noise at Home by a fatal Necessity of relinquishing his own Country, to embrace a long and tedious Exile, he had still a strong Inclination to War, as hoping to make a better Security, if ever he came to the Crown of Albigion, by the Use of Arms than his Father had done, who lost it through the ill Conduct of his Soldiers.

But now Zarah (for so I shall call her still) was introduced to attend upon the Princess Albania, who was the second Daughter of the Duke, and afterward became Queen of Albigion; by this Means she had the Opportunity of improving the Interest of Hippolito with Albanio's Family, who were sure to succeed to the Crown; and likewise to ingratiate her self with the young Princess, who was then about the Age that Women settle their Affections upon those they like best, with the most lasting Impressions of Love and Friendship. About this Time it was Albania discovered a secret Inclination she had to Mulgarvius, a Nobleman of the greatest Gallantry, Wit, and Address, about the Court: This Passion, for so it was, Albania had stifled in her Breast some time before she could meet with one to whom she durst commit an Amour of such Importance. But finding Zarah a Woman every way qualified for a Confident, by the Observation she had, and the Account she gave of her own Life, and the Variety of Accidents that had attended her to that Time, she then made no Scruple to entrust her with the Narration of her Love to Mulgarvius, which to that Time had been a Secret to all the World beside.

But Zarah, whom Fortune had cut out purely for the Service of her own Interest, without any Regard to the strict Rules of Honour or Virtue, soon resolv'd within her self how she might make the best Advantage of this every Way, both to the Satisfaction of her Ambition, in having the Opportunity of communicating an Affair of this Consequence, both to the King and Albanio; and next, in gratifying her Pleasure with Mulgarvius, who was one she greatly admired, and whom she was glad she cou'd appear to be as his most particular Friend, when at the same Time she had taken Measures to frustrate any Success he cou'd pretend to gain by Means of those promising Hopes she design'd to flatter him with about Albania .

This was a treacherous Part, as was ever acted by Woman fill'd with Love and Ambition; for though she was resolved to gain the Last, she was one who left no Stone unturn'd to secure to her self the First, which has always made her Life one continued Scene of politick Intrigue.

No sooner was the Princess retired, but Zarah, fill'd with her intended Treachery, hastes away to the King's Apartments, where the first Person she met, was Mulgarvius then in waiting, who was very inquisitive what Affair had brought her at that Time of Night to Court, and if he could serve her? Zarah was puzzled, and knew not which way to dissemble her Infidelity, but at last, with a flattering Smile, answer'd, You little think, my Lord, how much the Thoughts of you imploy my Time. Don't mistake me, you are a happier Man than you think your self, the Princess loves you, ask no Questions now; I have Business with Albano, and they say he is with the King. She had no sooner done speaking, but the Duke came into the Gallery where they were; which Zarah perceiving, soon follow'd him, and desired to speak a Word in private with him, which as soon as he knew it was concerning his Daughter, he ordered her to go along with him back again into the King's Closet. Mulgarvius, who saw this Interview, was very uneasy, and could not imagine what mighty Business Zarah could have to be Closeted at that time of Night with the King and Albanio: In the mean time Zarah was busily imploy'd to acquit her self handsomely to the King, lest he should suspect she was guilty of any Treachery. 'Sir,' said she with a feign'd Story in her Mouth, 'the Princess her self does not know or suspect, that I am privy to the Amour betwixt Mulgarvius and her, nor had I been capable of doing your Majesty this piece of Service, by discovering an Affair that may be of so great Moment to the Royal Family in particular, or to the Nation in general, had not I accidentally met with Mulgarvius, as your Highness saw me, said she, turning to Albanio.

'I must confess,' continued she, 'I have lately observ'd the Princess very pensive and melancholy, but never cou'd obtain from her the Cause, which encreas'd in me a Suspicion that she was in Love; but I must own I had never known with whom, had not Mulgarvius himself confess'd it to me. What, said the King with a great deal of Passion, wou'd Mulgarvius own that Albania lov'd him, or was it only that he lov'd the Princess? The last speaks him what I always thought him, an ambitious Man; but the first declares him impudent, impolitick, and a Fool.' This Heat of the King's put Zarah into a trembling, knowing what a Falsity she had forged, she wou'd have given the World to have withdrawn; but the Duke, who was less passionate, and more thoughtful, encreas'd her Fears upon her, by asking how Mulgarvius durst commit such a Secret to her, considering the little Intimacy that appear'd betwixt them Two, and the great Confidence the King and he had placed, both in her and Hippolito. This put Zarah to her Wits end for an Excuse, which in this Confusion she must certainly have fail'd of, had not the King interrupted Albanio from taking her Answer by the Excess of his Rage. 'Sir,' said he, turning to Albanio, 'I cannot trifle with this Matter; therefore I lay my Commands upon you, that Mulgarvius be instantly Banish'd the Court, and such farther Care be taken of the Princess as may put me out of all Fears and Jealousies of this Nature.'

In this Disorder of the King and Albanio, Zarah found an Opportuniy to retire, which she could not do without Tears in her Eyes, and the utmost Confusion in her Face, which Mulgarvius soon discover'd as she came out of the Closet, for he had waited all the time with the last Impatience, to guess at the Meaning of this close Cabal betwixt the King, the Duke, and Zarah. Having this Opportunity, he was resolved not to let it slip without knowing something of this Grand Affair before he let her go. 'Madam,' said he, with all the Tenderness of a Lover, 'I conjure you, if you have any Honour, if you have any Pity or Compassion for a Man upon the Wrack of Dispair, satisfy me in this Point only; Was not I the Subject of your Discourse, when in the King's Closet? And have you not betray'd the Princess to her Father and the King? Answer me I entreat you, for my boding Heart foretels me it is true. Was it not barbarous and cruel to tell me, that the Princess lov'd me, when you design'd to ruin me? Could you not have kept that Secret from my Breast?' At this Rate he went on exclaiming against the Perverseness of his Stars, and reproaching Zarah so passionately, as if he had been rather her Lover, than Albania's. She all the while, tho' she had been confounded with Vexation, listen'd to the Musick of his melting Numbers, and found her Breast soon warm'd with a relenting Pity for the Usage she had treated him with; nor was she able any longer to keep on the Mask which veil'd her Passion from Mulgarvius, but cry'd out as in the Extasy of Love, 'You are undone, my Lord, and I have made my self unhappy!' At these Words she would have left him, but he used all Means possible to stay her. 'For Heaven's sake, Madam,' said he, 'tell me what you have done or said to my Prejudice or your own, that I may be able to vindicate my self if innocent, or sue for Mercy if guilty. You are guilty, answer'd she, for you love the Princess, and I am doubly guilty, for I have betray'd both her, my self, and you;' and with that she broke out of his Arms, and run down the Back-Stairs with such Violence; he was left in the greatest Surprize imaginable, not knowing what to think or do; sometimes he fancy'd one Thing, sometimes another; now he imagin'd this the Effect of some sudden Passion of Love in Zarah's Breast, and then again he thought this might proceed from something that Albanio had spoke against him to the King; and thus agitated betwixt Hope and Fear, he took as little Rest as we may suppose Zarah did that Night.

Next Morning a Message from the King was sent him, in which he was forbid the Court till further Orders: But, Good God! What Confusion was he in when he receiv'd it? Is it possible, said he, that any Person, much less that Zarah shou'd be so wicked, without any Reason or Provocation, to expose me to the King's Anger ? It is a Thing I cannot believe, I cannot penetrate into; but 'tis a Thing I can never pardon. Zarah in the mean Time being sensible what she had done wou'd reflect upon her, without she found out some Way to divert the Storm, instanc'd Hippolito all that Night to go to the King next Day, and give him such an Account of the Matter, as might intirely alter his Measures against Mulgarvius; for the King was easie to believe any Thing that might free himself from Trouble; and therefore thank'd Hippolito for his Information, and was glad he had an Opportunity now of showing the Esteem he had for Mulgarvius, whom he caus'd to be call'd to Court again very suddenly: This created many Speculations Abroad, as well as at Court, to know what the Secret of the King's sudden Displeasure was against Mulgarvius, and his as suddenly being reinstated into the King's Favour again; but at last it got Wind, and was publickly talk'd by every Body, that Mulgarvius had made Love to Albania, that she really approv'd of his Addresses, and that Zarah was Confident to the Amour, that the King had been inform'd of it, and that this was the Cause of Mulgarvius's sudden Disgrace; so that being made no Secret, it presently blew over, and there was an End of that Hurricane. But our Heroick Lover could never forget this Treachery of Zarah's all his Life after, though she courted him to her Favour by all the Arts and Endearments proper for a Woman now in her Rank and Station; for she had always a double Plot upon him, the one was to oblige her self by his Conversation, and the next was to oblige him by maintaining him in the good Graces of the Princess, whom he had always the Vanity to believe had a Kindness in Reserve for him; and therefore notwithstanding he cou'd never heartily forgive her, he carried a fair Outside to her, to show that either his Politicks, or his good Manners, or however both together, were able to surmount his ill Nature.

In a short Time after this Rolando dies, and Albanio succeeds to the Crown, when Hippolito became one of the greatest Favourites of his Court; and now there was no longer need to make Use of Mulgarvius for any Designs they had in View, but Hippolito and Zarah's Interest were sufficient to obtain what they cou'd reasonably desire. The King first of all, as his future Merits show'd he deserv'd, advanc'd him to one of the chief Commands of his Army, and afterwards made him a Grandee of Albigion. Zarah at the same Time was not wanting to establish the Interest of her Family firm as well as that of her own; and though her Sister had good Assurances of all the Favours Albanio's Queen cou'd bestow upon her, yet her Assistance was not wanting to make Onelio Viceroy of Iberia; and notwithstanding this had not all the good Effects they expected from so great a Design, they made still sure Work against all Accidents that might happen hereafter, to engage the Princess Albania, who was certain in her self or Posterity to succeed her Father; so that they took two Strings to their Bow, and were resolv'd, when ever either of them broke, they would still have something to trust to.

But it was not long e'er Zarah her self grew jealous of some Powers at Court growing too great for her or the Princess either to master: She did not like the Queen taking upon her so much, and particularly her Intimacy with Volpone, who was her Creature, and she saw the Queen had intirely gain'd him to her Lure, by some Arts she was sensible no ambitious or covetous Man could resist; therefore she presently rais'd a Misunderstanding betwixt Albania and the Queen, being continually near the Persons both of one and the other; in which Controversie she influenc'd both Hippolito and Volpone, pretending there was a great deal in it that concern'd the Good of the Nation, and the Succession of Albania to the Crown. Indeed there was such just Apprehensions of Danger as she spoke of; but they proceeded not from that Cause she wanted them to pique the Queen for, but from a private Grudge the Queen had against Zarah, whom she observ'd influenc'd Albania in all her Actions; and therefore she cou'd never have any Intimacy with her, but what immediately was communicated to Zarah, and so of Course came to Hippolito and Volpone, both whom were always on the watch, lest the Queen, by her subtle Insinuations, should alienate the Affection of Albania from those private Friends of hers, and procure her other Acquaintance of her own Interest, which was necessary to perswade her into a good Opinion of the Queen, and the indulgent Fondness of the King her Father, who at the same Time were contriving to deprive her of her Hopes of Succession to the Crown, and only wanted to make her an Instrument in her own Ruin.

This Matter was long in Agitation, to bring Albania into the Interest of the King's Designs; but their Measures were always broke or interrupted by Zarah, Hippolito, or Volpone, who still counterplotted all the Stratagems laid by the Court, till they were let into the Secret, and rewarded liberally by the King for their wise Management of Albania, whom they were directed to keep in Ignorance from the great Designs they had in View. All this Time there was one Solano, a perfect Machiavel, and one who was secretly in the Interest of Zarah, but had not at that Time declar'd himself, this subtle Statesman the King employs, caresses, and in short opens to him all the Secrets of his Heart, so that nothing was done now without Solano, he govern'd the King as absolutely as Zarah did Albania; no Designs were set on Foot but what he was first made privy too, and none were executed without his particular Direction. He was a Man of Zarah's Principles and Volpone's Politicks, wou'd sell his Master for a Groat, change his Religion for Policy, and betray his Country for nought; and therefore had this Gentleman been subject to Revenge, having shown us what Wonders he was capable of performing, what might not his Enemies have expected from him? But as it was not sufficient for the Legislators of the Greeks only to understand Philosophy, but also to put it in Practice; so it was his Pleasure to profess the Precepts of the Stoicks, and particularly that of taming his Passions, before he wou'd sit at the Helm to prescribe Rules of Government.

The Obligations which Albigion owes to this Great Man, render her incapable of Acknowledgment; and the Thanks they owe his Policy, are much greater than the Satisfaction they receive from it; though he made a bold Attempt to purchase the Benedictions of the Kingdom, and, by the Productions of strange and unheard of Revolutions, to furnish the rest of the World with Matter both for Envy and Admiration; for without being any Thing less than a Barbarian, no Man ought endeavour to blemish the Fame of his Politicks, who has made Albigion flourish so much in Policy as it has done of late.

But to proceed, Solano was the very Creature both of the King and Queen, so that all Foreign Princes made their Court to him, as they did afterwards to Hippolito. This uncommon Favourite of the King's being so intirely Master of all the Transactions at the Council-Board, and every where else, and not making the least Court to Albania, by which Means Zarah might pry into some of his mysterious Doings, perplex'd her very much, and she cou'd no longer bear the Torment of living ignorant amidst the Variety of Cabals that were then carry'd on without her Privity; for Volpone and Hippolito were both ignorant of the Designs Solano were advancing, in which he acted with such refin'd Subtilty, that he made even the King himself a Stalking-Horse to his dexterous Treachery. Zarah, on the other Hand, perceiving to what a Height Things were carried, and how Albania was now like to become no other than a Pensioner to that Crown she had Expectations to wear, resolves with all her Might and Power to thwart the Designs of Solano, which she by this promoted to the last Degree.

Away she hastes to Albania with all the Speed, Revenge and Jealousie could make in an enraged Woman: 'Madam,' said she to the Princess, 'Prepare to hear the dismal News I am obliged in Duty to tell you, that you are undone, and Solano has contriv'd your Ruin: I cannot doubt but you must understand the fatal Consequence of what is now transacted by the King your Father, who has at most excluded you from all Hopes to the Crown of Albigion; there was never so notorious a Thing done in the World as is now advis'd by Solano. The King asks Counsel no more of Salopius, Volpone, or Hippolito; therefore, Madam, for Heaven's sake see the Queen no more; I'll spread it then Abroad she has insulted you since Prince Cambrio's Birth; the Nation then will pity and protect you; then leave the Court, give it out as if the King had slighted you, and fly to some popular Place for Safety; the Court will be too much embarrass'd to take Notice of your Journey, if it be true as 'tis reported, that Prince Aurantio is marching with an Army to oppose the King's Designs.'

'Zarah' answer'd the Princess, 'What Danger is there for me to fear, that I should fly the Court? Is not the King infinitely fond and kind to-me? and has he not this Day ordered me Two Hundred Thousand Florins out of his Treasury? But, Madam, said Zarah, what is that to the depriving you of a Crown? Beside, it is dangerous to stay when the Nation appears in a Disposition to revolt and forsake your Father; and therefore, says Albania, would you have me forsake him, and become the first Rebel against my Father, to set Aurantio, my Brother, on the Throne, and so, lest I be thus depriv'd by my Father, run on headlong, and by this means deprive my self? But why do you perswade me to forsake the King, since Hippolito is oblig'd both by his Command and Duty to attend him? And Gratitude should tie you closely to his Interest, since he always generously promoted yours. I own you have convinc'd me of my Duty and Allegiance, answer'd Zarah; but consider, Madam, the Zeal you have express'd for the Religion of your Country, which you must leave, without you leave the King. You know, Madam, continued she, I hate Aurantio, nor do I love the Princess; but 'tis for your sake alone that I advise this Counsel. I'll instantly go to Hippolito, Volpone, and Salopius, see to perswade 'em all to leave the King now when he leasts expects it. Can you prevail on them, think you, to act such base Ingratitude? Said Albania: And would you perswade your Husband to be a treacherous Villain to his Master, and a Traytor to his King? As for Volpone and Salopius, I always took 'em for Statesmen, Politicians, Gamesters, and consequently ; but for Hippolito, he is a Soldier, and should have more Honour than to betray his Prince. Well, Madam, says Zarah, if you depend upon Honour, I hope you never expect to succeed to the Crown of Albigion.'

Upon this they parted, and the next News that was heard, was, That Hippolito had forsaken the King, and sent him a Letter of Excuse, wherein it plainly appear'd he did not leave him for Interest or Honour, but purely as Zarah had told the Princess, out of a Principle of Religion. This soon was made publick, and became the Subject of Discourse and Admiration of all the Court: Every Body wonder'd to hear of Hippolito's Defection; some thought it was only a Feint to try how the Army stood affected to the King, others supposed he had taken some private Disgust against Duraceo the General, but at last all the World was satisfied he had deserted his Master, and embrac'd the Interest of Prince Aurantio. Good Heavens! what Exclamations did the King's Friends make against him? the Army curs'd him, and every Body despis'd him, so that he was forc'd to retire a time, for fear of enraging the Populace, who, tho' they were imbitter'd against his Master, they could not forgive this Treachery of the Servant.

On the other Hand, Zarah was far enough out of the Reach of the Tumult, having with much Perswasion drawn Albania along with her. And now the Spirits of the People being on the Fermenr, occasioned partly by the Mismanagement of State-Affairs, directed by Solano, and partly by the Advance of Aurantio's Army, flock'd in great Numbers to Albania, as another Assertor of their Liberty and Freedoms. Zarah all this time pleased her self to think how she had obtain'd her Ends, by ruining all the Designs of Solano; hearing every Day how he was Curs'd by the People, and what grievous Crimes were laid to his Charge; that the whole Turn of Affairs that were prejudicial to the King, were laid at his Door: So that a great many good People there began to pity the King, and thought he had been too wretchedly abused by his Ministers, and particularly by those that appear'd at last to slight him; but this touching too near upon Zarah, notwithstanding she could with Pleasure hear Solano reflected on, she thought it was high time to interpose, and let the World know how barbarous Albanio and his Queen had been to the whole Nation in general, and how unkind they had been in particular to Albania then amongst them. This succeeded as she could wish, for the whole Country expressed their Value and Esteem for the Princess, by paying her all the Honours and Respect due to her Birth and Character. In a little time they heard Albanio almost distracted with the Infidelity he met with among those in whom he most entirely confided, fled from the hasty Advances of Aurantio, after he had endeavour'd to consult Solano, without so much as suspecting him false, or however, not in the least imagining, that he was the Person that had designedly betray'd him to Aurantio: But yet ere he could leave his Country, he was resolv'd to try Hippolito; but as he was enquiring for him, a fatal Letter soon inform'd him he was miserable beyond Redemption. This Stroke left him no room for Thought, but made him precipitate his Flight, and banish'd him Albigion for Ever.

And now the Time was come when Zarah found a happy Opportunity of flattering Albania. 'Madam,' says she with dissembled Tears, 'your Royal Father, Just as he was, and Kind to you, has been oblig'd to quit his Throne; Solano, whom you suspected always, has been the Author of his Misfortunes. Aurantio, your hateful Brother, revels in his Palace at Lodunum, and all the Peoples Voices Crown him King. You ought not Zarah, says the Princess, to reflect, since you might have well foreseen the Consequence that would ensue when you advis'd me hither. Madam, answer'd she, I dream'd not that Aurantio would be King, or that Albanio would be forc'd to fly, but only that he might be brought to Reason, and your just Right asserted to the Crown.' During this Discourse, a Messenger came in and told Albania, that Solano, who was supposed by every Body to have been the King's sincerest Friend, as he was his secret Counsellor, was the chief Instrument that betray'd him to Aurantio, with whom he was at present, and declar'd himself publickly in the Prince's Interest. At this Narration, Zarah, who was disappointed in what she had done to oppose Solano, fell into a violent Rage, and Curs'd her self a Thousand times. The Princess surpriz'd at what had happen'd, and not being able to guess the Cause, left the Room, and Zarah to her Passion, thus exclaiming against her own Mismanagement; Weak Woman, cry'd she, and unfit for those Designs thou are surely Born for, that could not penetrate into Solano's Treachery. I might have known a Man like him, Bred up in all State-Craft, could never design what he pretended, or was so shallow as to make Pretentions of any thing that he design'd. Poor Fool, is it for this Hippolito betray'd his Benefactor? Is it for this Volpone has lost his Royal Bubble? Is it for this I have Rul'd Albania? And is it for this at last I must repent? I hate my self for such a Thought, but worst of all I hate Aurantio who occasions it; in this Way she spent the remaining Part of the Day.

By this Time Aurantio had settled himself at Lodunum, and Albania was invited to the Court again, where Zarah had the daily Mortification to see her Rival in Dissimulation, and State Politicks, Flourish, and Caress'd by the very Man she most abhorr'd. She cou'd have kill'd her self for Spite, but finding that Disquietude was vain, she resolv'd to attempt whatever Statesmen she cou'd meet withal fit for a Competitor to Solano, to try if she cou'd Counterplot and Frustrate all the Designs laid by Aurantio; but still to encrease the Misfortunes of Zarah, and make more Work for her Intrieguing Brain, Aurantia, Sister to Albania, was sent for to be Crown'd with the Prince her Husband, King and Queen of Albigion; this was a Stroke beyond the Rank of her Invention to have thought of, and now beyond the Power of her Malice to prevent, so that she imagin'd her self Miserable beyond Redress; but being of a Restless and Indefatigable Spirit, she was resolv'd never to sit still till she had eas'd her self of this Oppression, by satiating her Revenge either to her Self or Enemies; to favour which Design the New King takes into his Council Salopius, a Man every ways as well Qualified to Betray him as Solano was his Predecessor; this gave New Life to Zarah, who knew Salopius was a Man of Wit and Intrigue; that he had formerly been very Amorous upon her, and that she thought such a Spark once kindled cou'd not be so soon extinguish'd in one that she knew had a great deal of Love in him and very little . Besides, he still retain'd a Secret Kindness for Albanio, which she understood how to improve to the best Advantage.

It happen'd about this Time there was a great Design on Foot to penetrate into Picardia by the Way of Dunecclesia, a Place of Vast Importance to the King of Albigion, as well upon the Account that he was at War with the Prince of that Country, as that he was a Friend to Albania in the Recovery of his own Dominions; this Affair was carried on with great Secrecy, and no Body thought fit to be entrusted with it but Salopius and Hippolito, who by his Interest was introduced to Aurantio as a proper Person to execute the Design, or at least to advise with about it, by reason he was allow'd to be a good Soldier, and a Man of great Conduct. Hippolito was now reckon'd to be as firm in the Interest of Aurantio, as any Officer employ'd about his Person, and in his Service, and accordingly the whole Plan of the Design was communicated to him, with strict Instructions to divulge it to no Person Living, upon any Pretence whatsoever; but Zarah, who was always upon the Watch to take Advantage, observed Something a doing more than usual, by the daily Attendance of Hippolito at Court, and therefore having the Ascendant over him, was resolved, if possible, to penetrate into the Bottom of this Affair, and accordingly she laid a Train for him which succeded, otherwise he had run the Risque of a Perpetual Noise in his Ears, which to free himself from he was resolved to Venture the Displeasure of his Prince, and the Forfeit of Honour.

Zarah by this Means having gain'd her Point, away she hastes to Salopius, being assured she cou'd work upon him to give her the Opportunity of Transmitting this Account to Onelia, her Sister, at Albanio's Court; she had no sooner met him, but with a Flattering Smile, 'My Lord,' says she, 'how glad am I to meet with a Person of your Merit, happily plac'd at the Helm of State, whereby you have the Opportunity of showing your large Acquirements to all the World, and your Particular Friends? Your Lordship has had always the Character of a Gallant Kind-natur'd Man; that I am sure you cannot think it Flattery in me who have made Trial of it to tell you so.' 'Madam,' answer'd he to Zarah, 'the only Way to convince me that you do not Flatter me, is to try how far I wou'd extend that Good Nature you are pleas'd to Complement we with to your Service. 'Tis but a Trifle, says she, I wou'd ask of you, but I know 'tis contrary to the Trust reposed in you to grant me a Conveyance of some little Domestick Occurrences to Onelia, my Sister at Albanio's Court, though I am confident you cannot but retain some small Respect for that Unhappy Prince, if you cou'd imagine without a Fault that I cou'd be guilty of giving any Intelligence to that Court I help'd to banish hence; but I know, my Lord, you are sensible my Interest is so firmly knit to Albania, and hers to the present Disposition of Affairs here, that it wou'd be impossible in me to have a Thought tending that Way.' Zarah pressing this Argument so very Affectionately, gave Salopius Reason to suspect there was something more in her Request than he at first apprehended; he therefore made some Excuses to try her a little further; but findind she grew warmer in her Request, he was then confirm'd in his Suspicion, and was not a little glad to find one of her Management had undertaken to do Something that he was unwilling however she shou'd know pleas'd him to have perform'd; upon this he consented to her Desires, and immediately dispatch'd her Intelligence, all the while being tickled with a Secret Pleasure to think he had discover'd this, without running the hazard of letting her know it was agreeable to his Inclinations; for no Body knew her Character better than he, and he was resolved never to trust her with any Secret but what was indispensably necessary to the maintaining both her Honour and her Interest; for though she might be prevail'd with to sacrifice one to the Service of the other, yet she would never part with the last, without it was to gratifie that Noble Passion of Revenge, which is the darling Vice of her Sex, and was not a Stranger to Zarah's Breast.

It was not long after this e'er Aurantio had Notice his well-laid Stratagem was Discover'd, he Betray'd, and his Expedition Frustrated; away he sends for Salopius and Hippolito, both whom persisted in their Innocence, and that they were ignorant of any Discovery that had been made by them; though at the same Time Hippolito cou'd not but be Conscious of what he had said, and Salopius of what he had done; Aurantio was gall'd at the very Soul to think such a great Design shou'd miscarry through Treachery, and he be thought so little a Statesman as not to know the Men better that he entrusted; never was Prince so perplex'd with Ministers, nor knew he how to help himself, for still as he chang'd he was but in a worse Condition; sometimes he thought to please the Friends of Albanio by Employing them, but they betray'd him; then he took the sworn Foes both of him and their Country, but they were true to nothing but their Interest. Hippolito was vex'd within himself to think what a strange Opinion the King wou'd entertain of him after such a Betraying of his Trust, and therefore went to Zarah with all the Passion of a Man justly provok'd to Anger; Madam, said he, What Fury has possess'd you to seek my Ruin by your Base Designs? Did you not study it to satisfie your Foul Revenge when I forsook Albanio, and now you have contriv'd this to bring Disgrace upon me from Aurantio? 'Tis you have done it, no other cou'd; no other durst but you: Has not Aurantio advanc'd me to Honour as Albanio did? And will you bury it while Fresh and Green? Good Heavens contain me that I act not some rash Deed to make us both for ever Infamous. With that he flung away, and left her to her own Melancholly Reflections, which however prevail'd not upon her to alter her Disposition; but she curs'd her Ill Fortune which had reduced Hippolito to the Extremity of serving Aurantio, yet was mad to think he shou'd be taken for a Villain, though she was glad of the Cause that gave the Prince that Occasion, notwithstanding she had Betray'd him so basely; Hippolito's Anger was not the Thing which troubled her, but the Thoughts of his being no more employ'd by Aurantio, whereby she wou'd be depriv'd of the Opportunity of giving Intelligence; for she wou'd not but have done what she did for all the World; and therefore that she might be sure to know what was always in Agitation, she resolved, how contrary soever it might be to her present Inclinations, to strike up a Friendship with Salono, in order to which she had made an Appointment that Evening with Aranio his Friend, where Love as well as Politicks was to be the Subject of their Conference.

While Salopius being sensible of the Favour he had bestow'd on Zarah so lately, resolv'd she shou'd serve his Ends in a Proposal that included as much Treachery in it as that he had transacted, and therefore purpos'd immediately to go and see her that Night in Disguise. He had not Patience to stay long, but as soon as 'twas Night he went away in such a Disguise as prov'd like that Aranio was to come in, and being come to the Apartment, he found only an Old Moor at the Door, whom he sent to Zarah to tell her a Particular Friend of her Acquaintance desired to speak with her in the Chamber of Repose; he made Choice of this Chamber as the most proper for his Design; the Old Moor innocently told her there was a Particular Friend of her Acquaintance desired to speak with her in the Chamber of Repose; Zarah hearing of this, made no Question at all but Aranio was the Man, and without farther enquiring what Kind of Man he was, or any other Consideration, she goes to the Place of Assignation: Had she made the least Reflection on the Message she cou'd not have been so deceiv'd, nor have exposed her self so easily. It was not the Custom of her Gallant to use her thus, or to see her usually in this Chamber. But those who are in Love as Zarah was, are subject to greater Oversights than these; she knew Aranio was not to see her till Late at Night, yet she apprehended nothing in this Amorous Expectation, which tantaliz'd her extreamly, and kept her in a Mortal Inquietude; whether he came or came not, there needed no Help to hurry her away when the Time drew near. Women who have been in Love will easily confess there is nothing so hard as to be prudent on such Occasions; and that the Name of their Love when expected has made them start up for Joy, and run to meet him, e'er they know whether he were come. The passionate Zarah, having given up her self to be led Blindfold where she thought Love waited for her, borrow'd Wings of that God to carry her the sooner into that Chamder where the Moor had first Conducted Salopius; there was not any Light there, but this did not Surprize her, it not being usual to place any there when Aranio came. Our Gallant, who waited for her took her by the Hand, and led her to the farther End of the Chamber, where he was so loth to lose time for making Use of the Occasion, that embracing her with some Transport, he had almost put it out of her Power to defend herself. Zarah thinking this Action too violent to be Aranio's, began to mistrust, and having given him his Liberty till then, she did the utmost in her Power to resist him. This Resistance she made after the Kindness she exprest at the first was observ'd by Salopius, and made him then sensible he was taken for some other; so that having no Hopes to succeed any other Ways, or at least not venturing to Fortune, without further dallying he made his last Efforts, and rendred those of Zarah so useless that she lay at his Mercy. But it was not long e'er this Transported Lover had allay'd his Passion, when he wou'd have withdrawn without saying a Word: But the Lady who was resolv'd to know who had been so bold with her Honour, held him fast, and refus'd to let him go till he discover'd himself, when Salopius spoke; Madam, said he, I hope you don't Regret this happy Moment I have had, tho' I own it equal to the Hazard of my Life and Honour, both which I ventured to oblige you. At these Words Zarah trembled, partly from the Confusion of what had happen'd, and partly from the Words that were spoken, fearing lest Salopius had made a Discovery of her Intelligence; however, she resolv'd to dissemble it a little further, that he might not think she understood him in this Hurry of her Spirit. For God's Sake, whoe'er you are, answer'd she, don't continue to fright a helpless Woman, whom you have thus injur'd by Surprize! I thought, Madam, said he, with all the Softness Love cou'd inspire him with, to sooth her up for the Violence he had offer'd; I am happier than e'er you design'd me, tho' I have ever been your Lover; I am now your Slave, your devoted Salopius; accept therefore, I beseech you, Madam, the Sacrifice I here make you. Bless me! Cries Zarah, is this you, my Lord? And cou'd you find no other Way to wrest a Favour from me but this unpresidented one! Madam, answer'd he, if all the Passion Man can have for a Woman is not capable to justifie the Crime I committed against you, yon ought to Pardon me at least, having suffer'd that for you which still fills my Soul with Grief and Confusion, tho' yet to serve you I will not spare the doing my self any Violence I am capable of; and if I have wrong'd you, I know how to punish my self for it, attempting to go. I should be heartily sorry, said she, so extraordinary a Person as you shou'd part with an ill Opinion of me, and that I know not how to Value your Friendship. Salopius extreamly Surpriz'd at this Answer, so full of Respect, cry'd out, I Love you, Madam, and Love you with a Passion as tender as it is lasting: And tho' I committed an Innocent Treason, it was the Power of your Charms provok'd me to it. However, I am more in Love than any Man Living, and what will become of me unless you pity me? This Dialogue continued for some Time, till Zarah recover'd her Surprize so far as to make Enquiries after what was doing afresh at Court, while Salopius was fond to discover to her all that was consulted; he told her the King resented the last Discovery so Heinously, that he was resolv'd to oblige Albania to discard her, else to forfeit his Displeasure, and so incur the Danger of being thought a Publick Enemy to the State, by Countenancing one that had Betray'd it. This Nettled Zarah so it disturbed all the Pleasure she cou'd otherwise have taken in Salopius's Company at that Time, since he was a Person so likely to be serviceable to her in her future Designs.

It was now the King sent Aurantia to her Sister on purpose to perswade her not to imploy Zarah any farther in her Service, and to give her the Secret Reasons why: But Zarah had so manag'd the Matter with Albania as to prepossess her with the Thoughts that her Sister was come on a private Message from the King to prevail with her to relinquish her future Title to Albigion, or at least to do something that wou'd be Prejudicial to her and her Posterity; and in order to that they design'd to engage her Highness to turn her out of her Service upon some Pretensions or other she heard they had form'd against her to facilitate their Designs. So that when the Queen was arrived at the Gates of Albania's Palace, which was then in the Country, which she had chose on purpose to be retired from Court, she had a Message ready prepared for her, that Albania was not in a Disposition to receive Visits, tho' it was from the Queen her Sister. This you may be sure cou'd not but afflict the Good Queen, who was full of Love and Affection to Albania, being a Woman that was always Compassionate, and shew'd a tender Regard to all her Subjects. But the King, who was naturally Passionate in himself, tho' he govern'd it more than most Men were capable of doing in the Publick Administration of Affairs, yet he took such Notice of this Carriage to Aurantia, that he scarce forgot it all his Reign after. And since he cou'd not reach Zarah, whom he never thought Innocent, he shew'd visible Marks of his Resentment to Albania, and neglected Hippolito a long Time after. Tho' it was not so long e'er Zarah remember'd the King again, when he had laid a Second Stratagem to penetrate into the Enemies Country by the Way of Briescia; but this succeeded worse than the First, and was so well known to the Enemy, that the whole Nation began to take Notice of it as a Miscarriage that redounded much to the Dishonour of Aurantio, who had more People about him, some said, than Zarah that studied to confound all his Devices, and render him Odious to the People, who then began to Murmur grievously against his Reign; others there were that extoll'd those very Persons the Court thought Instrumental to all the Treacheries that happen'd in the Publick Councils of the Nation.

At last Aurantio saw there was no good to be done without imploying those Persons who appear'd to thwart his Counsels; not but he saw at the same Time they were Persons fitly qualified for Publick Business, being Men of Discerning Parts and Quick Judgments; besides, Salopius began now to appear backward, and refuse every Thing the King would have put upon him, for he never suspected him at all, notwithstanding his Treachery, because he deceived him by his Indifference aud Shiness to be employed, when his chief Reasons were he lov'd his Pleasure too much to serve any Prince, and he lov'd Albanio too much to serve Aurantio to any Purpose; another Thing was, Solano, who transacted all Affairs behind the Curtain, was now become as one Person by his strict Alliance with Hippolito, and therefore recommended him to the King's Favour, who saw in him every Thing he cou'd desire to his Designs, and therefore received him again, both into the Council and the Army; nor was it long e'er Volpone, who had likewise ally'd his Family to Zarah's, was employ'd in the most Secret Councils, so that she had no room left now to entertain Envy or Revenge; yet still she had not what she chiefly wanted, Aurantio's Absence; for tho' the Queen was gone, her Fears were greater still least any Accident shou'd intervene to cross Albania of the Crown, for there were all her Hopes; and Fortune, which had pursued her close in every Aventure of her Life, resolving not to keep her long in Suspence, now made Way for all her Expectations to succeed, by the sudden Death of Aurantio, and Albania's Accession to the Throne of Albigion.

Now the whole Scene of Affairs was turn'd to Zarah's Will and Pleasure; she cou'd look no where round her without Tempting Objects of Grandeur, Riches and Ambition; every Thing that she saw flatter'd her, every Body made their Court to her, while the Formality of Albania's State hindred her of the Secret Pleasure Zarah enjoy'd among Crouds of Fawning Courtiers.

The Government of the Kingdom was in a manner in her Hands, and whoever expected Favours or Rewards must apply themselves to Zarah, by whom all was granted, as the Pipe that convey'd the Royal Bounty to the Subject; past Ages have furnish'd us with Examples of this Nature, and Posterity may see the like, but not equal to this; for it may be said without Exaggerating upon the Subject too much, Albania took the Crown from her own Head to put it on Zarah's. This great Rise of hers, and her Power at Court, gain'd her the Title of Queen Zarah among Foreigners, who knew not the Constitution of Albigion, where it has been an usual Thing for Kings to uncrown themselves, and place it on their Favourites; this rais'd her many Enemies among the Ambitious Grandees, who envy'd her Greatness; yet she had a particular Way with her of Monopolizing all Perquisities to her self, that gain'd her more hatred from the Court-followers; but the most Considerable and Dangerous Enemies she had were Roffensis and Mulgarvius, the last of which retained still a Relish of her old Grudge to him.

Statesmen and Favourites of this kind are seldom known to agree, the First aiming at the Good of the State, and the Felicity of their Monarch, the Last only striving to Enrich themselves, though upon the Ruin of their Countrey, are Opposites to one another; and so consequently when Favourites Flourish, the State Languishes, for Persons of their Characters being Rivals to one another, generally go cunningly to work, and so interrupt all other Business going forward but their own.

These Persons, though they were all of great Spirits, they were too Prudent to declare open War against one another, and let the World see their blind Side, and who had the apparent Advantage over the other. Albania on the other Hand was very Wise, and of a Peaceable Disposition, too Cautious as yet to Side with either to the Prejudice of the other; but having a Kindness for both Roffensis and Mulgarvius, and knowing Zarah had a Secret Distaste against them, as Persons that were only capable of Influencing her, he never gave Zarah the Encouragement of Speaking any Thing to the Prejudice of either of them.

And now we must suppose Hippolito advanc'd to the highest Pinnacle of Honour he was capable of having bestowed upon him as a Subject; and indeed none cou'd be too great for his Services, considering all their Circumstances; he merited a just Esteem both from the Court and Country; every Body now admired the Queen, that she had confirm'd the Wise Choice of Aurantio; for all the World spoke well of Hippolito, and Extoll'd his Gallantry, he was look'd upon Abroad as if he had been Sovereign of Albigion, from which he had been sent; and the same Honours were paid him in the Army as they use to Crown'd Heads: Thus laden with Honours at Home, and Victory Abroad, he Fought, he Conquer'd, and he Triumph'd over all the Heroes of his Age; nor was he less in his Family than in himself: Volpone, his nearest Ally, was Absolute at Home as he Abroad, under his Administration the Nation Flourish'd in Wealth and Riches. Soldiers turn'd Usurers in their Tents, and Salors in their Cabbins; the Merchant went no more Abroad for Gain, but Traded safer with the Government: The Queen sat easie in her Throne, nor felt the Weight that Crowns do give, and all the People wonder'd at the Tranquility the Nation felt in those Blest Days of Zarah and Volpone's Reign.

But there was still one Obstacle to all their Flattering Felicities, for what Humane Happiness has yet been without a But ? The Ecclesiasticks of Albigion were very Restless and Uneasie at this Tide of Government, which like a Torrent threatned the Destruction of their Constitution, which, as all Wise Men of the Nation thought, was the Foundation of Albigion's Future Peace and Tranquility; the Priests began now, as they had all the Reason in the World, to exclaim against the Modern Invasion of their Rights and Priviledges from the Pulpit, and to admonish their Audience boldly to adhere to the Principles of Religion their Forefathers had Taught 'em, and Purchas'd for 'em as an Inheritance, at the Price of their Precious Blood; they were daring enough at all Times, and in all Places, even in their Publick Assemblies, to point out, as we may say in Plain English, the Persons whom they saw were the Authors and Promoters of those Mischiefs that were then brought upon their Function, and daily like to encrease, to the Prejudice of the Present Establishment.

This Management, which was thrown upon Zarah and Volpone, caus'd great Alterations in the Ministry, and no small Feuds among the People, whose Heats rise to that Degree they were ready to knock those on the Head who appear'd to Vindicate the Religion of the State, which the others were endeavouring to laugh out of Countenance, and stigmatize all those that were its faithful Assertors with Infamous Nicknames, to render them Odious to the Populace; but this Hellish Stratagem so far fail'd of its design'd Success, that it produced quite contrary Effects, and those very Persons whose Fame and Reputations they design'd to Ruin, became the Darling Patriots of all the Wise, Disinterested and Unprejudiced People of Albigion, and may in future Times become a Scourge to those Impolitick Statesmen who now envy them the Honour that they themselves have establish'd upon them throughout either Country, and it is not unlikely they may prove a Thorn in the Sides of those Men who thought to stab them to the Quick.

If Mulgarvius and Roffensis be thrown out of the Ministry, who knows but Volpone and Fuimus may be drawn into the Mire? Obornius was as great in the Days of Ronaldo, who lov'd him as tenderly as e'er Albania cou'd Volpone; but yet this Wise and Just Favourite Minister durst not be trusted by his Master through the Streets of Lodunum for fear of the enrag'd Multitude: 'Tis a Happiness a Statesman knows not how sufficiently to value not to be too Popular: Hippolito has manag'd this beyond Example; he never made himself the Peoples Idol, and consequently the People will never make him their Sacrifice.

What though Danterius was made a Stalking-horse to the State? They were forc'd to part with him before they could catch the Game Volpone was hunting for; and though the Cambrian be a Tamer Beast, he's but an Ass at best, whose Ears will scare the Partridge before they can drive them to their Nets; Solano, the Beardless Legate, will return well fraught with long Experience, and then the State will have no further Use for Make-Shifts.

But all this while these intricate Affairs of Church and State perplex'd the Good Queen Zarah; for though her Royal Mistress was still Living, and Reign'd Absolute Queen o'er all her Subjects Hearts, yet the Weight and Burden of the Government press'd heavy on Zarah's Shoulders, which she, like a Second Atlas, kindly sustain'd, without the least return of Thanks from that Ungrateful Country of Albigion; that Country that could never speak well of her Protectors and Deliverers, but, like an Untam'd Horse, was always apt to kick those that dar'd to Ride her.

Nothing griev'd Zarah like this ungovernable Spirit of the Albigionois, who wou'd not bear to think of being rid with a Side-Saddle, having had their Backs gall'd so much before in the Female Reign of Rolando.

But notwithstanding all these Difficulties, Zarah was resolved to mount on the Stirrup of Hippolito's Fame and Conduct, and drive her Beasts forward by the help of Volpone's Rod; for though it wou'd not Smart as some other Rods do, it had a strange Faculty in it of Tickling such Cattle as were Froward into the most Pleasant Gentle Paces imaginable; by this Means she got on the Backs of the most Able Pads in the whole Kingdom of Albigion, some of which she rid to Death, others she Jaded, and some she rides still.

There were too very serviceable Black Nags she would gladly have Rid, and used all the Gentle Means she cou'd think of to manage, but they wou'd never submit to be Back'd; they had been so long us'd to Run at their own Liberty, it was not in her Power ever to get 'em bridled with either Curb or Snaffle; there was a Milk-white Steed that was thought wou'd have made one of the usefullest Beasts about the Court; this she managed so dexterously as to be able to mount him; but setting forward of a Journey where she design'd to ride him, he kick'd her Highness off at the Court-Gate, which so disgrac'd her she never cou'd endure a White Horse since; and some say it had such an Effect upon her that she begins to hate every Thing that is White, will scarce bear Clean Linen, and cannot endure Lawn Sleeves.

A small Time after these little Disgraces which Zarah met with, the great Esteem Mulgarvius gain'd among the Patriots of Albigion did not a little perplex her, for he had now both the Ear of Albania, and the Affections of the People, and Nature and Merit both had furnish'd him with a Capacity fit for Authority; and that which vex'd Zarah worst of all was, that they had given him so much Independency; for had he been one that wou'd have suffered himself to be carried away by the Perswasions of Flattery, he wou'd easily become a Prey to her Alluring Arts.

This was so insupportable to her, that she cou'd not rest till she had communicated her Resentments to Volpone, of continuing Mulgarvius still about the Court, to be an Eye-sore to her, and a Spy upon all her Actions. Volpone submissively told her all Things shou'd be according to her Mind in a short Time; but as yet she ought to wait a few Days, saying that great Politicians (such as himself undoubtedly) had found by Precedents, that Peace and Union preserves a State, that Love maintains it, that Ambition and Novelty destroys it, that Moderation banishes Hatred and Quarrels, that Swavity suppresses Envy; besides, continued he, amongst so many Illustrious Qualities as we have observed in Albania, I will not omit the Supream Virtue of Moderation, wherewith she favours her Friends, and even her very Enemies too, and which we both know by Experience she possesses in the highest Measure; and that her Irascible Part hath never been able to surmount it; wherein I take much more Notice of their Good Luck who have the Benefit of it, than of their own Deserts; and of the Influences which come from her, than of the Subject which makes her lay aside Severity, and shew her self Favourable and Merciful, I mean her Clemency, which is the Judge of Vengeance, and the Moderatrix of Power, when there is Question of lessening the Punishments, which a Person of Authority may inflict upon such as are under her Obedience.

This Virtue is a Gift of Piety, a Sweetness of Spirit; for Clemency is of an Heroick Essence; and the Defection of that Active and Unbridled Passion, which oppugns it, and seems to check it, is the most Wonderful Effect, that they who exercise this Virtue, are able to produce, and the Victory gotten over it is much more Glorious than that which is won by Force of Arms.

Here Zarah interrupted him, saying, Sir, you put me in Mind of an Act of this Virtue which she exercised some Days since at my Request in the behalf of — therefore it was that I spake of it, answer'd Volpone, because I was present when you begg'd that Person's Pardon, and when the Addresses of your Eloquence easily obtained what you desired of a Soul already dispos'd thereto by Virtue; and for this Cause it is I told you Clemency favours as well Enemies as Friends; and that we must hold our selves Happy when Fortune makes us meet with more Necessary Motions to Pardon in them whom we Petition, than Merit in the Offenders; not but that your Discourse might have wrought the same Effect even upon Barbarians, because you took Albania upon a good Advantage; but that with another you wou'd not have succeeded so well.

Sir, said Zarah, I will only tell you for what Reason I undertook this Affair, which was Accidental, for finding him alone in the Anti-chamber, I began to discourse with him about the Cause of his Disgrace; whereupon I observed in him a great Moderation of Spirit, and much Serenity of Mind, and as he was going into the Council-Chamber I took occasion to speak more freely to him; upon which I undertook his Peace with Albania after this Manner; Madam, said I, it is a Humane Accident to have an Advantage over one's Enemies; but to Pardon when we Overcome is a Divine Virtue; whence it comes that we prefer Clemency before Rigour; Pardon him therefore, Madam, and if you will not grant it for his Sake who hath offended you, nor for mine who deserve not this Favour, yet do it for your own Honour, which will be much more Glorious for you than to free your self from a Weak Enemy: An Enemy! I stile him False; for I protest to you he has as many good Wishes for you as you can think of Ways to destroy him, and he hath already received Punishment sufficient from the Sense of his Fault, and from the Terror you have given him; break therefore the Neck of your Indignation, and by forbearing to Punish him, show that your Hatred is not Immortal.

FINIS.

PART II

THE PREFACE.

The Kind Reception the first Part met with, has encourag'd me to Translate this Second, which I hope may prove as Acceptable to the Candid Reader, whom I shall no longer detain from the Story, than to remove the Misunderstandings some have conceiv'd, as if this was a Modern History, and related to several Affairs Transacted near Home, to the great Prejudice of the Original Manuscript, which I can assure them is highly Valued at Rome, and whoever refuses to believe, may be satisfied there if they think it worth their while to go thither on Purpose. In the mean time I wou'd have them rest satisfied the whole Story is a Fiction, that there is no such Country in the World as Albigion, nor any such Person now Living, or ever was, as Zarah, or the other Names Characteriz'd, either in This or the First Part.

The Manuscript is so Ancient that 'tis suppos'd to be Writ by Cain in the Land of Nod, before Cities were Built, or Men had form'd themselves into Government, and 'tis taken now for a kind of Prophesie against some Wicked F— F—te that shou'd in Future Days come into the World with this Mark of the B—t upon her, that she shou'd be a Second P— Joan, and R— the Ch—, by Reigning Absolute over her Sovereign, who ought to be Supream Head, both in Matters Civil and Ecclesiastical.

However the Matter may be Construed, it can relate to nothing transacted now-a-days, and therefore I am apt to think it is something yet to come, having never Read or Heard of such a Character before: And I almost believe it impossible any Nation under the Moon ever cou'd produce a Creature of so little Use to the rest of the Creation besides her self, as this Wonder of her Sex, Queen Zarah is feign'd to be. That alone is sufficient to perswade me this Story is all a Romantick Tale of a Tub, tho' some People, I cannot tell from what Grounds, are positive there is some Truth in it, and they fancy strange things, that they can tell the whole Design; that there is no Mystery in it, but the Mystery of F—y, and so please themselves with vain Imaginations of I know not what.

THE Secret History of Queen ZARAH, &c.

Albania had not been long set upon the Throne of her Ancestors, and as yet indeed it was not to be expected she shou'd understand how to hold the Reins of Government steadily, but Zarah pluck'd the slack Ones out of her Hand; and tho' she left those of Power behind her, she made sure of all that were of Profit, knowing, like a skilful Politician, they wou'd at last produce whatever her Ambition cou'd desire.

The Court having laid for this small space of Time much in the same Condition that Aurantio left it, 'twas high time now to think of a Remove, in Order to which Zarah cast her Eyes about to see what F— she cou'd find to place nearest Albania's Person, who at the same time might both secure and promote her own Interest. It happen'd at this Juncture Devonius, as Haughty and Noble a Peer as any was in Albigion, was then Principal Staff-Officer of the Houshold, and Zarah finding she cou'd not easily displace him, was resolved to weary him out, by discountenancing all his Under Officers, or make him obey Her Commands; by placing such in them as she directed. One Day there happen'd a Vacancy, upon which Instance was immediately made to Zarah to supply it, for no Body presumed Devonius wou'd be so Bold as to assert his own Right when it was contrary to Zarah's Will and Pleasure; but this Consideration did not in the least affect our Gallant Peer, who was so hardy as to enter himself into the Lists with this Powerful Enemy.

Zarah took upon her the Nomination, and sent away Her Officer without Ceremony to be confirm'd by Devonius; but to her great Mortification, and contrary to the least of her Expectations, he sent her a hussing Message back again, nor fail'd that Minute to Second it himself, by waiting on her with an Air of Grandeur Equal, if not Superior, to her own; Madam, said he, Are you Queen of Albigion? Or am I L—d S— of the H—d? If you are the first, take this Staff? If I am the last, I only do my Duty by this Justification, and you have done more than yours to be the Occasion of it. She was startled at this, it being the first Rub she had met withal since she fancy'd her self Absolute Mistress of the C—t.

We need not Doubt but this Usage made Zarah cautious how such Men of Spirit as Devonius were imploy'd again in any Considerable Posts that might Interfere with Her Government; therefore she pitch'd upon Canutius as a proper Person for her Turn, and one who wou'd make himself easie under her Administration; accordingly he had a Staff, and was made the next Great O— in the C—t to Devonius: I don't say it was given him.

For Canutius happening once to be at Play with Zarah, he lost more than a Talent of Gold to her; not at Cards or Dice, which were not known in those Days, but at a certain Game they call in Albigion Loose-all. And this Lady, who was always fam'd for Gratitude, finding she had so great an Obligation laid upon her, and he the only Person in the World she would have had that Place, without further Delay put him in Possession of his Desires; which some Malicious People said he Purchas'd at too Dear a Rate: But howsoever it was, he was gratified, and Zarah pleas'd she had got a Gamester that understood Loose-all so well.

The People of Albigion, which is a Country full of Ill-nature, made strange Constructions on this Affair; some talk'd very loosly of Zarah, others Reproach'd Albania, the best Woman in the World, for giving such Liberties to a Subject as Sovereigns themselves have been check'd for. But all the World agreed she was impos'd on by the subtle Insinuations and Devices of Zarah, who got such an Ascendant over her in her Youth, she cou'd never shake off all her Life after: But let the Matter be as it wou'd, Albania was never free from her Influence, no more than she was from her Person, for she stuck to her like a Bur to a Garment.

The chief Reason indeed why there was no Thoughts at this Time of Day of freeing the C—t from this H— L—h, which suck'd the L—s B—d of the Nation, tho' there was an Able Ministry then chose, because Hippolito was the Man pitch'd on, as the most fitting to serve his Country in that Station in which he was imploy'd, and which required one of a double Capacity, which he was Happy in, to wit, that of a good Statesman and a good Soldier. This made it necessary for Albania to give him all the Encouragement imaginable, and bestow upon him all those Honours his Merits might justly claim. While Albigion was equally pleas'd, both with her Choice and the Dispensation of her Favours, but at the same time cou'd not forbear to reflect, that Zarah had done nothing for the Publick Service that cou'd deserve such distinguishing Marks of Her Sovereign's Bounty, as were fit to make her equal to her Q—n, and had already given her that Title in the Mouths of all Her Subjects; many of which had felt the Resentments of her Anger keen as that of Regal Power.

Among the rest there is this particular Instance: As she was passing through the Streets of Lodunum, where she often went to Traffick with the Merchants, and where the Traders wou'd tremble when they saw her at their Shops, ever since the Story they had amongst them of her Cunning Way of purchasing of Velvets; through these Streets as she was passing in her Chair, an Unfortunate Aga met her passing by without Ceremony, his Cymeter broke the Glass, for which his Commission paid in a few Days; for her Imperial Highness discovering his Name by her Servants when he waited at Hippolito's Levee, without concealing her Anger, or the Cause of the Aga's Disgrace, got him absolutely Cashier'd from the Army, not suffering him to be heard, or his Friends to make Intercession for him.

This, as we may easily believe, provok'd the Aga to write the following Letter to Zarah, which he caus'd to be dropt in a Publick Coffee-House, and was read thus; Madam, How great a Shame it is for Albigion to see Albania the Mother of her Country, a Princess who loves Goodness, and the Repose of Her Subjects, sacrificed to the Ambition of a —, who renders her the weakest of all Women. The Generous Hippolito has too much Honour to Espouse your Actions, Albania too much Justice to Pardon your Crimes, Albigion too much Power to Bear your Usurpations, and I too much Wrong to Forgive the Injury.

This made a terrible Noise throughout Lodunum, and every Body pity'd the poor Aga, who was made a Sacrifice to her Indignation: And the whole Soldiery were so concern'd, it made the Young Rakes think coolly in an Evening, lest by getting Drunk they shou'd stumble against Zarah's Chair, and instead of breaking Her Glasses, be broke themselves. Some of them were so dis-spirited at the Narration of the Aga's Fate, they wou'd tremble at the Name, and as soon face the Mouth of a Cannon, as a Chair in the open Streets.

But these things did not at all affect the good Fortune of Zarah, which pour'd in upon her like a Deluge, and had been enough to have swept away the most Politick F—te, had not Albania, like a Rock, screen'd her from the Insults of Tempestuous Waves, which began to roul upon her apace from the opposite Shore. Danterius and Roffensis succeeded well in their Councils at Home, and Ormondo was successful abroad, Hippolito in the mean time had done little in the Field; so that Zarah had nothing to boast of, whereon to ground a Reason for her Usurpations over her Fellow Subjects. Mulgarvius upon this began to make her very uneasie, which soon put her upon the Methods of finding out a Way to make him silent, by less Attendance on the C—t. So that Counsels were held without Mulgarvius being call'd, and Business done without his Secrecy.

This being observ'd by Danterius, who was much valued by all Men for his Wise Counsels, soon sour'd his Temper from the Publick Business, for he found he was going to be made a Tool to Puimus, Solano, Devonius, and the rest of Volpone's Statesmen, to whom now he cou'd reckon himself no better than a Under S—y. This gaul'd him to the Heart to think of, considering the Services he had done, and the Slights he had receiv'd from C—t by Means, as it was suppos'd, of Zarah, who Monopoliz'd all Favours to her self and F—y.

Roffensis, Danterius, and Mulgarvius, perceiv'd now amongst themselves they cou'd no longer serve Albigion, since Albania was resolved to enter into other Counsels; and it seem'd plain to them no Body cou'd continue in the Service of Albania, that were not first resolv'd to do Homage to Queen Zarah; she wou'd admit of no Rival in C—t or C—l; and it is well known Volpone pays more Court to Zarah's Couchee than Albania's Levee.

For about this Time Somerius, a very great Officer in the C—t, having Business of Importance with Volpone, and seeing him go towards Zarah's Lodgings after Council was over, depended upon it he shou'd find him there. Now Somerius was one of those who never made it his Study to know how to Cog, Flatter and Prevaricate, and who never was of Opinion that the Chief Virtue of the C—t consisted in knowing how to Lie well, but rather valued himself upon having a good Stock of Freedom and Plainness. Volpone on the other Hand was a Man who knew perfectly how to wear Two F—s under One H—d, that was to F—ge, Flatter and Dissemble, and never to speak as he thought: And this he did for certain Reasons and Maxims which he wou'd have perswaded Albigion to believe were void of all Design and Artifice, and managed with such Temper and Moderation, that the least Inconstancy or Levity might not appear in them.

As soon as Somerius had dispatch'd his Affairs with Albania, he hastes with all speed to Zarah's Apartment, and enquires for Volpone; the Old Moor, who generally attended there, and having his Instructions, deny'd he had been there that Evening; but told him he believ'd he might find his L— there another time. Yes, answer'd Somerius angerly and aloud, that the whole with this Discourse; after Gallery might hear him; I believe so too, I may find V—e here, if I come early enough, and in — with Z—h. The Moor was Thunder-struck at these Words, proceeding from so Great a Man, and having so many People then in the Gallery, therefore, without any further Reply, clapt the Door on his G—, and withdrew into the Lodgings.

This did not a little provoke Somerius, who was Haughty, tho' he was Volpone's Creature in other Respects; therefore he turn'd from the Door with Anger in his Countenance, and Resentment in his Breast, and the first Person he met, which happen'd to be Lunarius, who had formerly been a Rakish P—r, and whom he entertains having told him how he had been us'd; My Lord, said he, Few Persons follow the C—t without engaging themselves in the Service, either of the Prince, or of some Chief Minister, to make their Fortune: A Friend of ours, who hath fix'd himself in a good One, made Use of a great deal of Art and Industry, agreeable to a Proverb known and us'd in Courtship, that is, to win the Maid before the Mistress, hereby to facilitate his Design, as well knowing that to be the only Way; in order to which he set all his Craft on work to gain the Maid, that by her he might find out her Mistresses Humour, and consequently to discern her Inclinations, without taking notice of the greatness of her Pomp and Condition, or having that due Regard to the Interest of her K—ms.

In fine, by this Course of his he came so perfectly to understand her, and please her, by complying with her in whatsoever he saw acceptable to her, that he very easily grew to obtain of her whatsoever he would, and to settle his Fortune so advantageously as he has done; in order to which the close Interest which he made, and the Friendship which he procured with her Cr— and D—k, was the main Spoak in the Wheel of his Fortune, and is still of the most considerable Use and Assistance to him.

I know who you mean, answer'd Lunarius; and it must be very troublesome, said he, for a Person of his Condition, who is so much courted himself, to submit to the Service of a —, whom he must be more careful to please than to please the Q—n herself; and there is no Doubt, continued he, but he who undertakes such kind of Service, finds at first a great many Difficulties in his Way, because he never moves but by a Second Motion, in respect of his Duty to one, and Obedience to another: But Pains and Troubles grow easie by Custom, whereas otherwise they are Odious and Burthensome; and some Men rather than they will use themselves to 'em, are content to lose what others gain, by undergoing them, tho' they are Matters both of Honour and Advantage, since by Humility and Assiduity we vanquish the greatest Difficulties; but every Body cannot follow the C—t, and maintain himself in the Service of a W—, and a Courtier; every Body cannot yield such entire Obedience to a State P—te, and make a Thousand Congees and Cringes for a favourable Nod, or a good Look.

Tonnario, no Enemy to Volpone and Zarah, and a Friend in the Interest with those Lords then Discoursing, standing near, and hearing great Part of what had been said, join'd Company with them, and spoke thus, My Lords, If I may have the Liberty to give my Opinion of the Affair you seem to take Notice of betwixt Volpone and Zarah; that Lady hath never much troubled her self at what either the C—t or the Town hath said concerning her frequent meeting Early and Late with Volpone, since they are so nearly Ally'd . Tho' some Enemies and Ill-natur'd People, censure her Guilty of a great deal of Im—, for showing so little Shame at it, yet the most Religious and Moderate Sort of People are perswaded to the contrary, and the most clear-sighted Eyes turn it to her Advantage, that her Constancy and Perseverance in the Matter are the Justification of her Innocence; and that good Intentions never make any Account at all of the Noise rais'd from Detraction: Guilt is never without a Character, we may Read it in the Criminals Faces; it will appear in their very Eyes, and express that the Contempt of Virtue hath caused an Insurrection of the Passions.

Now if these Two Persons, continued he, who are allow'd to have great Spirits, had neither Shame or Fear exprest upon their Faces, how wou'd it be possible for a Woman, whose Sex is no less bashful than weak, to have the Confidence to appear at C—t, and show her Face, after having blemish'd her Honour, and especially it being Publish'd?

As there are different Lovers, so there are different Loves: And tho' that Sympathy which in all Likelihood is between them, upon the account of their Resemblance to each other in Politicks, may have frequent Privacies, and those frequent Privacies some little Kindness, yet I believe, says he, neither of their Desires have transcended the Bounds of an agreeable Conversation. He wou'd have gone on, but the lateness of the Night prevented him, the Company breaking up, and leaving the G—t.

However, the Subject of this Debate was talk'd about Publickly the next Morning, insomuch that Aranio fought a certain Young Lord for spreading the Report, but being happily prevented from doing further Mischief, they enter'd into a Discourse of irresistible Love. 'Love,' says Aranio, 'is a Torch which kindles another, and Burns not long alone, and without help; the Experience I have had in this Lady is certain. I have ever observ'd in that Adorable Person a Spark of the Fire of Love, which wou'd have been extinguish'd if I had not stir'd it up. And tho' Men perswaded me it was as easie to disentangle one's self from Love, as it was to break with a Friend when one had a Mind to it, yet I have found all these Rules untrue in my self, and that they have nothing in them but vain Imaginations. As for the distinction of a Lover from a Friend, I have likewise had the same Motions with those who were of Opinion they might spur on my Hopes to the Atchievement of my Desires; and as for the Facility of forsaking her, tho' another's. Alass! I have not found a Possibility yet to effect it, after having put in Practice all the severe Lessons I cou'd think of to punish my self.

'I have tried all things in vain, as flattered by the Opinion that she had yet a Heaven of Love left, which I might Cultivate: Hereby you may judge of the Effect of Love, and the Power of Interest; and that the Chains of such as adore them are too strong to be broken. I shou'd not reckon my self Guilty of Impiety, says he, if I say, that Love which we bear to Women deprives us of the Use of our Free-will, and hath a kind of Tyrannical Influence upon our Liberty. I have ever observ'd this Truth amongst Lovers, when I have Read in Histories how many, have died for their Mistresses; and how a violent Passion of Love slights all kind of Danger and Considerations whatsoever; and I had sufficient Experience of this Power in my self, when I fought rather for the Interests of her whom I worshipp'd, than for my Friend, whose Honour was much more concerned.

'And yet it is very true, said the Young Lord, that Duels which are fought upon such slight Grounds have seldom any good Issue. For Cupid, who is but a Boy, is apt to be pettish without Cause, and comes often home by Weeping-cross, when he plays with Bellona; whereas on the other Side, if the Justice of a Cause presides, the Event proves as favourable as can be desired.' Aranio was going to have reply'd, when Volpone having heard of the Bustle, sent for him in great haste, and calling him into the Closet to stop the Fury of his hot and giddy Spirit, and to instruct him how to behave himself in these Affairs, he said to him thus.

The Love I have for your Family obliges me to give you a severe Reprimand; for it is not the VVay to get Reputation and Esteem to be found Quarrelling, and engag'd in a Duel. It is true, that of all the Parts which compose a true Man of Honour Boldness is the most remarkable, and Valour the most necessary; since without these Two Qualities a Man who pretends to Bravery cannot be valued, nor so much as aspire to it; for the former sets him forth, and makes him considerable both in Company and at Court, the latter gives him good Success in War and Duels; but with this Proviso still, that these fine Accomplishments be attended with Moderation and Judgment, which are the Productions of the Understanding, and the Beauty of the Soul. For Valour, which is an impetuous Heat, that for our Satisfastion throws us upon Dangers, is hurtful to a Man, unless he deliberately thinks before he executes. So that to fight, as you have done to Day with a Young Lord, upon little or no Ground, and for a slight and frivolous Occasion, exposes your Honour to every Idle Blast of Fame, and your Interest to the Hazard of a foolish Vanity. Here Aranio had not Patience to let him proceed, but interrupted him thus. Good Heavens! My Lord, said he, do you call your being in — with Zarah a slight and frivolous Occasion? And had I little or no Ground to Quarrel when you was tax'd with In—t and A—y? If I err'd to Day, I am sure your L—ds—p err'd last Night. These last Words had like to have ruin'd his L—ds—p's Pretensions to Moderation, for he was forced to summon all his Conduct and his Reason to support himself; nor were they able to calm the impetuous Stream of Blood that boyl'd into his Face, but in spight of all his Temper he discover'd his Confusion, which made Aranio retire with some Pleasure after his former Mortification, and cou'd not forbear now reflecting that he was Criminal, in engaging for one, who instead of returning his Gratitude, went to read a Lecture to him, that when it came to his own Turn he was not able to Practice One Lesson of.

Tho' this Matter blew like a Whirlwind about, it was as soon over, and Hippolito's Return from a Glorious Campaign put an end to every Malicious Tongue that wou'd now and then talk unluckily of Zarah: For as Hippolito's Health was observ'd to be oftner drunk, even than Albania's, Zarah's was what the Albiginois in general wou'd never once so much as attempt to offer in Publick for fear of Affronts; for as every Body were lavish of their Scandal against her, so every Body were as Cautious of praising her; for it was scarce possible to come into Company where the Fame of her Notorious Actions were not Trumpeted. For if P—n—s were withdrawn from Poor Widows of S—m, they were charitably design'd to be bestow'd on poor Workmens Widows that shou'd suffer by B—ing for her H—s. Nor wanted she a Salvo to save, Albania's Charity extending beyond the Provision for her own F—ly. If a Hundred Pound was given to Poor Petitioners, her H—s very well deserv'd Fourscore for the procuring of it.

Nor are these great Perquisites bestow'd, as some Malicious People wou'd suggest, for Private, but for Publick Ends; Albigion cou'd not be blest with Peace and Moderation at so cheap a Rate as the Price of a few dirty Acres are able to Purchase; no, no, there's more in it than a few dull-sighted People are able to see through: And the vast Sums of Money some fancy Zarah hoards up, are all liberally dispenc'd for Publick Uses; nor does Volpone fail to join with the Pious Work, by assisting her H—s in this great Design of uniting all the Hearts of Her M—s Liege People, when Pensions and Commissions are bestow'd Gratis, for the Promotion of Peace and Unity, and Ecclesiastical Dignities given to Quarrelsome D—rs on Purpose to keep peaceable C—m—n quiet.

How many Thousand Pounds are remitted Yearly for the Private Services out of Zarah's E—r and Volpone's T—ry? And all this to Support the Interest of Albigion, by keeping in such a Just Ministry, as knows how to lay out Her M—'s Revenues to the best Advantage: Not such as wou'd cautiously save our M—y, which hang it is not worth keeping, and let Zarah and Volpone H—g or Dr—nd they care not which, so it be but either. These are such M—rs as the Albigions doat on; for they are Covetous People, and wou'd save their M—y, tho' a Thousand such Excellent State T—s shou'd swing for it. And therefore they say Obornius and Roffensis were great Patriots, because they lov'd their Countries M—y; and had more Regard to a Farm in Albigion, than to a Kingdom in Utopia. But we find Crowns are not purchas'd at such easie Rates; for Albigion has paid more for a Title than some Kingdoms are worth.

And tho' Zarah Reigns without a K—m, she's a happy Q—n, because she lives in Luxury and at Ease, without her Subjects Assistance, and in spight of their Teeth: She Taxes them not, yet they pay her Revenues against their Wills; she is the Mirror of her Sex, and the Phoenix of a Qu—n, for there never was one like her, nor never will be.

But now we must meet her, paying her Devoirs to Albania, who is preparing to pass through Lodunum for Joy of Hippolito's great Success: Nor wanted Zarah an Opportunity to catch the Praises of the gaping Throng, without Albania and Hippolito ; she fails not to prepare her self, and Beautiful Solana her Daughter to attend Her M—y in this Procession. For Vanity and Ambition were Two things she wou'd not Miss, if to be had. And she wou'd be sure never to give Albania the Opportunity of gratifying any Body's Ambition besides her own, nor let the People Doubt who had the best Pretensions to Albania's Favours, but that she claim'd all as her undisputed Right.

There was no Body came near the C—t with the Vanity to think of being her Rival, but rather the utmost of their Ambition was to be their Creature; or however, to obtain so much Favour that she might not be their Enemy. This render'd her very happy and great, that she had nothing to fear, and scarce any thing more to hope for, but to revenge her self of her Enemies, which were too Numerous to give her the least Encouragement of any prospect that Way. However, she was resolv'd not to die without making some Attempts, and accordingly as she succeeded in these, to go on.

The first that was to be made sensible of her Resentment was Mulgarvius, who had beforehand made himself indifferent to all that Zarah or the C—t cou'd pretend to Offer or Tantalize him withal: But they being ignorant of his Resolution, was resolved to Devise something that might be offer'd him very great, yet very unsuitable to him, so that he cou'd not in Honour accept of it, or refuse it in Disdain; accordingly Volpone was to wait on him with, as they thought, an unexpected Message; which was, that Albania, out of her Esteem for him, and the Sense she had of his great Abilities, was resolv'd to confer upon him the greatest Dignity he cou'd enjoy in the Kingdom of Albigion, and was resolved to free him from the Burden of that smaller Office he now enjoy'd, by conferring it on another less deserving. But Mulgarvius, with a great deal of Wit peculiar to him, answer'd Volpone to his great Mortification, that he thank'd Her M—ty for her Superabundant Favours. And as to her great — he thank'd God he was bred a G—n, and had not his Fortune to make, but wou'd willingly wait till the Patriarchal Dignity shou'd fall, for which he thought himself as fitly qualified; if Albania wou'd be pleas'd to bestow that on him he shou'd return his Thanks, in the mean time he wou'd lay both his present Office and himself at her Feet, but did not think it proper to return it by the Messenger.

This nettled Volpone, who had the intended Affront he brought return'd upon himself; and the Relation of Mulgarvius, his bantering them with their kind Present, sent Zarah Twenty Miles out of Town, where the Bells of St. Albania Rung such a Peal in her Ears, she wish'd her self Deaf whenever she came there as long as she liv'd after; but this was but a Prelude, to what succeeded in a little time.

The next Person she discarded was an Old Patriot, and an Old Courtier; one that can Bite too as well as Snarl upon Occasion; and the Loss of his Staff, tho' he is Aged, will not so far disable him, but he may live to help a lame Dog over a Stile yet. He was formerly Hippolito's Friend, and no Enemy to Volpone, but Albigion now is the Care of his Grey Hairs; and Zarah's Anger will not provoke him to leave his Country to her Conduct, or his Sheepfolds to the Care of her Shepherd. He is grown too Powerful for the Wolves, and too Politick for the Devices of the Fox. The Cambrian is fitter for his Office, for he can fawn like a true C—t D—g, and lick the Feet of his M—s.

But now Zarah's Thoughts was busily employ'd how to manage Affairs against the next great Sitting of the States of Albigion, for the present M—rs were very resty, tho' to her great Satisfaction their Time was short; however, they perplexed her with what they did, and she cou'd not rest quietly till Albania had sent them into the Country like a Parcel of ill-manner'd B—, that had no more Respect for Zarah, when she came in Competition with their C—s Interest, than if she had been nothing but the Daughter of Jenisa: Therefore she was glad when she saw their Backs turn'd, and an Opportunity was given her to revenge herself upon some of them who had been very Malepert to her, when they suppos'd the Power was lodg'd in their Hands. So that she was resolv'd now, not only to make them sensible who' it was they were to obey, but for the future to secure her self under the Protection of a Shade of her own raising.

Therefore she sent Circular Letters with Secret Instructions to all those Petty States and Provinces, who sent R— to Lodunum, to debate about the Grand Affairs of Albigion, that they shou'd E—t no D—, but such and such as were by her H—s nominated and appointed, as fit to answer the great Ends for which they were design'd, under the Penalties of her Displeasure, and Forfeiture of her future Favours. Immediately upon these Intimations several States and P— under her H— Direction made their Acknowledgments in very Submissive Terms, and acquainted her they wou'd incontinently obey her Instructions, and thought themselves in Duty bound to thank her for the great Care she took of Albigion, and for the particular Regard she had to their several States, by the Munificent Bounties she had caus'd to be distributed among them. Tho' some immoderate People were so unconscionable as to be dissatisfied with these things, and said they were so far from reconciling Neighbours, that they set 'em all together by the Ears in the Country, for some got all the M—y, and they were for Peace and Moderation, others got none, and they were for War.

This made such Civil Dissentions, that Albania was obliged to make many new Gov— of Provinces, purely to support M—, and keep Mens Mouths shut, as well as tie their Hands, that they might not oppose such Men as were well Principled in Political Religion, and Zealously Affected to her H— present Government; but notwithstanding all this, the Stubborn People of Albigion were obstinately bent to oppose all her Tender Offers of G—. Few wou'd hearken to her kind Declarations, but some unthinking Heads, who were follow'd by a Train of giddy Mob, that hunger'd after the Flesh-pots of Egypt, but wou'd believe Miracles no longer than while their Bellies were full: For they were like all other Multitudes, on their side who fed them, but withdraw the Hand that gives them Bread, and they are gone like a Flock of Wild-fowl.

It was now high time to make Use of all the Stratagems her Female Wit cou'd think of, for the Tide seem'd to roul strong in spite of all the Efforts she had made to stem it. Zarah had caus'd Albania to make a Progress into the Country, whereby she might win the Hearts of her Subjects to her Obedience, and influence the most obstinate by her milder Presence. She Visited the Eldest Daughter of Urania first, and show'd her the Virtues she wou'd have her imitate; who not only own'd the bright Example who proposed 'em, but swore that Gratitude and Principle oblig'd them to pursue what their Sovereign had so kindly taught them. This Declaration animated Zarah so that she cou'd doubt of no ill Consequences after such a Frank Acknowledgment: Therefore she proceeded with Albania on their intended Expedition in all the height of Expectation, that every thing must now succeed according to her Wishes. But she was no sooner return'd to Lodunum, but the first thing she met withal was a Publick Defiance against her from Urania's Daughter telling her of all the Secret Designs she had to undermine her: That she had cover'd herself with so thin a Veil, they had discover'd her Fashionable Face, which rhey would never trust again for her Sake; in short, the whole Thread she had spun in that Journey was quite unravell'd. She had left her Mask of M—n, behind her, which was pull'd in Peices, and sent Albigion for a Specimen of her Religious Designs; but some burnt it, others cut it into Atoms, but the wisest Sort preserv'd it carefully in Spirits, as a Preservative in future Times against M—n, P—y and H—sy.

This Usage seiz'd upon her Head so violently, it had like to have cost her her Life; what to do in this Extremity she cou'd not tell, for all the Nation had their Eyes upon her, expecting how she wou'd behave her self in this Juncture; she durst not impart her Affliction to Albania, who had already enough to reflect on, for suffering her self to be carry'd about for a Show, only to Countenance Zarah's Designs. Besides, this Peevish Daughter of the Muses, had retorted Albania's Visit upon her, as a Treacherous In— of hers to draw them into a Snare, and then leave them to shift for themselves. She accus'd Albania of Fickleness, who had been applauded for unalterable Constancy, and began to Lampoon her, by comparing her to the Wind, which is always Subject to change; in short, she talk'd strangely, even of Albania herself, upon the Score of that Visit which she is still uncharitably inclin'd to believe was design'd for no good to her; and as to Zarah, she Despises her, she Ridicules her, in all Company, and to all the Young Fellows that Converse with her; and she will never forgive her for using her Danterius, her Bruscus, and all her Lovers, so ill.

The Noise of this Resentment struck Zarah's Ears with an unusual Surprize, she was troubled at it extreamly, and some say sigh'd for Sorrow, which she was scarce ever known to do before, but her better Thoughts prevail'd upon her at that Time, and she reproach'd herself for such Base Designs. But it is a ticklish Business for a Woman to repent of a Thing that extreamly delights her; and she seldom charges herself home for a Fault so pleasing as Revenge. For these Reproaches of Zarah against her self were not altogether the most violent that might be expected from one that pretended to have a real Sense of a Fault, but rather from one that was disappointed, that her Designs cou'd not have their intended Effect, so that sometimes she wou'd be angry with herself for making so much ado. At last, being assaulted by Turns, on the one Side by Reason, and the other by Interest and Passion, she got up early in the Morning, without having been able to take any other Resolution, than to yield her self up, if possible, to be govern'd by Volpone, and be for the future meerly Passive in the Management of that Business which so long had ruin'd her Repose.

But alas, these were but vain Imaginations, and Dreams of a sickly Mind; for she cou'd no more be Govern'd by Volpone, than Albania cou'd Govern her; for meeting with him in the Gallery presently after, she reproach'd him with want of Politicks for her Miscarriage in her late Progress. My Lord, said she, you might have inform'd me better, than suffer me to be exposed to a Thousand Malicious Tongues, I had avoided, if your L—p had not given me a more agreeable Character of 'em. But they are an abusive People, and throw all their Dirt upon me; mean time you pass for a Saint, and let the Odium lye at my Door; either assert my Innocence to the World, or Albigion shall know who B— her Liberties, and who S— her Freedom; who makes Religion a Politick Engine, and who Albania a Wooden Tool.

Volpone was confounded, and stood Mute as a Statue, while Zarah triumph'd in her Passion, and sooth'd her Rage for a Time with such like Reflexions: At last he recover'd himself, but with a trembling Voice answer'd; Madam, said he, the Sentiments I had of you were quite different from this outrageous Passion I find in you; pray tell me coolly what I have done that is not for your Interest and your Glory, for all the World besides is indifferent to me. How many Reflexions have I borne when I was constrain'd to oblige you? What Anxieties has it not caus'd in me since I was so near Ally'd to your H—? Yet you barbarously withdraw your Heart from me, whose Possession sweeten'd all my Sufferings, and you come now to sacrifice me to your Discontent, which I am not knowingly guilty of, my Tenderness still Interesses it self for you and weak as I am, I wou'd willingly serve you, tho' at the Expence of my own Life.

Weak indeed, my Lord, said Zarah, when you cou'd not protect me from being insulted in the Palace, but much weaker in your Head, when you could not foresee the Consequences of those feign'd Complements and Flatteries we paid Urania's eldest Daughter, to have a Return of the vilest kind imaginable, even to have our Favours despised, our Intrigues laugh'd at as empty Projects; Apprentice Boys hoot at me as I pass the Streets, and throw me Pills to Purge the Spleen; so that unless Volpone's Thoughts be better, I shall have nothing for the future to Justifie my Conduct; but all those who read the History of my Life will look upon me as a Monster.

Madam, said Volpone, if I do not redeem your Honour I desire to appear a Thousand times more Criminal than you can reproach me; but Fortune will sometimes play strange Fantastick and Surprising Tricks. However, rest assured, we have her in our Hands, and it is but turning the Wheel and she will represent new Scenes of Pleasure. This something appeas'd Zarah for the present, and they sedately consulted of new Measures to bring about such Designs as she wanted to establish, her Peace and Satisfaction, of Mind, by fresh acquirements of Riches and Honour.

In order to which, that her Interest might be firmer in Albigion, Zarah proposes an Alliance with Montecuto, a Family of Riches, but guilty of as dark Designs as Zarah's. The Goodness of Albania's Disposition daily receives fresh Trials from Zarah, for Montecuto now must be made one of the First Grandees of Albigion, that not one Branch of Zarah's Race fall to the Ground dishonourable. This gave new Life to Zarah; she was strengthen'd now by a Man of her own Kidney; and it wou'd be hard to attack her of any side, who had fortified her Interest with Four of the strongest Branches in Albigion. Young Montecuto and Hippolita, the most Charming of her Sex, were doom'd to Consolidate this last and strongest Alliance; everybody Pitied the Young Lover, because he was happy as Beauty cou'd make him, but was insensible of Love, while the Fair Hippolita set all the World beside on Fire.

And now it was time to think of Perpetuating Zarah's Honour, and Hippolito's Actions; for it is much question'd which of the Two will be remember'd longest in Albigion; if we owe a great deal to the first, there is no doubt but we are indebted to the last; and if the Noble Edifice, erected in Memory of that, continue as long as the remembrance of Zarah's Name, it will last as long as the Kingdom of Albigion has a Law in it for a Female to sit upon the Throne. The Reflexion of this was undoubtedly no little Pleasure to Zarah, to think how Posterity will read her Stong, and she live Immortal in the remembrance of a Nation she has taken such Pains to serve, and who were so ungrateful to her, even while the Marks of her Favours were fresh in their Minds.

By this time the C—t and M—y were almost all modell'd to her Mind; Volpone redoubled his Care and Diligence, to see that none were admitted unto Albania's Service, that wou'd fly in the Face of their Benefactors: And now it was both his and Zarah's great Concern to observe the Motion and Disposition of the People of Albigion, least the great Meeting of the States of that Country should fall into Heats about the Management of Affairs, call them to Account, and overturn all that they had been doing for so many Years. To prevent this Volpone feigns himself a Man of Sport and Pleasure, and Zarah to prevent Albania from thinking what was doing perswades her to take her Diversion along with Volpone; told her it wou'd be for her Health, and the Satisfaction of her People to see her, and find her Easie under the Differences that some of her Subjects endeavour'd to make in Albigion upon the account of Religion, they pretended; but, said Zarah, those kind of Men have no R—n among them, nor is it that they are so concern'd about, but because your M—y has got a Wise, M—y about you, and they are no longer imploy'd. You may remember, continued she, they were as troublesome in Rolando's Days, when he employ'd the greatest States-men of Albigion, that were different in their Opinions from them; how did they then torment the Good K—g, and caus'd him to Mu— his Best Friends. They would play the same Game with your M—y, if you shou'd hearken again to the Counsels of Mulgarvius, and the rest of that Party, whom you know are of turbulent, fiery, Tempers, nothing of the Meekness and Mo—n you so much recommend, and find practised by Volpone, Sigillarius, and the rest of your present M—. You know, Madam, said she, it was for want of this Policy your Father was so unhappy, was hurried on to Ruin by Solano, who Counsell'd quite contrary to Aurantio, who had the Subtilty all his Region to follow this Rule, as the only true State Maxim to be us'd in Albigion.

Albania, who was all Compliance to Zarah, yielded to her Perswasion, and every thing was prepared for her Expedition; she was now equipp'd like another Diana, to seek her Pleasure in the Woods and Plains, where oft Rolando had been happy before. For that Princes Crown had set like a Crown of Thorns upon his Head, had not that place Eas'd him sometimes from Regal Cares, which were the most insupportable to him of all Mankind; for tho' he had a Head as well qualified for Business as any Man Born, his Heart was all made up of Pleasure, which was the Loadstone govern'd all the Actions of his Life, which might have been as Glorious as the Riches of Albigion, and the entire Affection of the People cou'd make them; yet his Clemency, and other Princely Qualities he was Master of, made him die the most lamented Monarch in the World.

But to return to Albania, we shall find her on the Plains of Rolando, which I shall so call for his Sake who loved them so well, perfect Mistress of Rural Sports and Pastimes. Hunting, Hawking, Cocking, Horse-Racing, were all Princely Sports, and might possibly be made to relish with a Woman who was made up of Tenderness and Compassion; soft Female Virtues, which were by Degrees to be Harden'd, and made more Masculine.

Albania cou'd not be made sensible of the Diversion; but since she found it serviceable to her Health, she past away the Time with Chearfulness, and a great deal of Security of Mind. This pleas'd Zarah to see, for it answer'd her Purpose to find Albania easie, so that she cou'd pursue her Game with the greatest Satisfaction; for all she had to do, in order to answer her Designs, was to draw Albania to Cambriensis, to visit Urania's Second Daughter; tho' she was sensible how the eldest had resented the Favour she bestow'd on her, yet to show the Temper she publickly profess'd to Albigion, she was easily prevail'd to go, where all the Entertainment and kind Reception was given her that the whole Family was capable of. Nothing was too costly, nothing too good, that they cou'd treat her with; and Albania receiv'd their Expressions of Love with mutual Satisfaction.

This Prosperous Advance elevated Zarah and Volpone to the highest Pitch of Pleasure that cou'd gratifie their Desires. They found this Daughter of Urania in a Disposition of Mind suitable to theirs, for she was inclin'd, as they imagined, to those Terms of M—n they had proposed to establish throughout Albigion . Nor did she only receive Albania with such Demonstrations of Joy, but she Caress'd Volpone, Somerius, Fuimus, Tonnerius and Devonius, the very Person Zarah had pitch'd on to propose the Matter to her, for which this Grand Expedition was made, and upon which account she procur'd Honours to be conferr'd by Albania on several of the Family.

This so pleas'd the Mistress, who is an Ambitious Lady, that she told them all Cambriensis was at their Service, and she had Interest enough to engage that Place: This tickled their Ears, for this Declaration was what they wanted, and the Business for which they came there. Fuimus told her the Person they design'd to recommend was no less than a Zarazian, one who had Married Zarah's Daughter, and was Volpone's Son.

The Academian Lady soon gave her Consent, and promis'd her utmost Assistance, told Fuimus she was sensible of Volpone's Qualifications, and that he was the Man in the World she shou'd most willingly espouse, not only for his own Sake, but that he was the Son of such a Father, and ally'd to such a Mother; and she knew very well from their Two Interests her Family were to expect all that they cou'd wish for or desire in Albigion. Much more she said on this Subject to induce them to believe she was intirely theirs, and they need use no more Artifices to engage her further. So that now it was high time to haste to Lodunum, and consult what was further to be done in order to establish a firm and lasting Interest in the Senate of Albigion.

In order to which, Foeski, a Seditious Zarazian, and a virulent Pamphleteer, was set on Work, and encourag'd to abuse all the Able Patriots of Albigion, Lists of T— were Publish'd and Dispers'd abroad, to render them Odious to their Friends and Neighbours, but without the least Effect, except near Lodunum, where they had the Opportunity of improving their Designs by more Ways than one. For M—y about this time circulated apace, Lands were bought in all the Provinces near that Populous City, to make more V— for D—s that had been known before since Albigion was a Nation. Bruscus and Macaius were stigmatiz'd by all the Zarazians for Ringleaders of a Party who were very Zealous for Prelatical R—n, which they said brought Dissention among the People, disquieted the Repose of Albania's Government, tho' she was suppos'd to profess the same, having been Educated in those Principles which Zarah and Volpone made her believe were destructive of that M—n she had promis'd to maintain in Albigion.

These Disputes rais'd great Heats and Feuds everywhere, which were supported and carry'd on by Means of Zarah's Partizans, who were very Numerous, tho' of little Account in respect of the others, who were the Chief of the Gentry and Ecclesiasticks of Albigion ; a Country where the Better Sort were always fast Friends to the C—. This disquieted not the Zarazians a little, tho' they were more industrious in their Way abundantly than the others, who depended altogether on the Establishment of the Laws of their Country for their Protection, while the Zarazians were finding out Ways to avoid the force of 'em, or if that fail'd, to procure Power enough to overthrow 'em.

Accordingly Zarazian Governours were set over the Provinces of Exesia, Canutia, and many others, in order to bring the several Petty States to their Lure, and gain such an Interest among them, as might secure themselves and their Adherents, when the Grand C— of the Nation shou'd sit: For they dreaded this Critical Time of erecting themselves into a Body of Men, that for the future shou'd influence all Affairs in Albigion, and the the very People shou'd hereafter be known by no other Name than Zarazians. This very Thought pleas'd the Ambition of Zarah, and made her stick at no Difficulties to bring it about; and since she had now both new Modell'd the C—t and C—y, she thought there remain'd nothing to do, but set herself in the full enjoyment of her Labour; for every thing seem'd now to be out of the Reach of Malice, or the Power of Capricious Fortune, to prevent; for there was scarce a Borough in Albigion into which her Ferrets had not crept, so that she was almost confident there were no C— left to undermine her.

However, we may see the greatest Politicians sometimes deceived: For what she thought herself the most secure in first baulk'd her Expectations, even Sancta Albania, where all her E— had play'd their Game, despis'd her Overture of Greatness, and laugh'd at her Threats, as the trifling Passion of a weak Woman, whom they knew too well to trust in, and hated too much to be flatter'd by. Tho' she wou'd have perswaded some of them to believe she was Liberal, who at that time tasted of her Bounty, the rest knew she was —, and therefore scorn'd her ill-timed Munificence. Like true Lovers of Albigion, they search'd into the Bottom of the Zarazian P—, and found out the hidden Mystery of Iniquity that has spread it self so far on this Side the River Tweed. Nor was this the only Disappointment her Illustrious H— met withal, but that well laid Train at Cambriensis was discover'd, and the Miners themselves blown up. For when they expected with Assurance to hear of the promis'd Fidelity of the younger Daughter of Urania, she prov'd as Errant a B— to 'em as the Eldest, and instead of chusing a Zarazian of any Kind, sent them a Red Hot — C—n, an Albigensis, worse, if possible, to them than a Bruscus .

This Action set the whole C—t in an Uproar, for they had all talk'd with Assurance of Cambriensis, so that this was the most Considerable Disappointment that cou'd have happen'd to the Zarazians at this Juncture; and it not only lost their Interest there, but the Noise of it reach'd as far as the Lands-end; so that they durst not venture a Second Defeat at Exonia, where they had had as large Promises as at Cambriensis; nay, so far they had prevail'd there, as to engage her Prelate, who had been one of their Virulent Enemies, to Espouse Volpone; yet when it came to the Trial they declin'd it, and left that State entirely to the Disposal of Old Somerius, who hated a Zarazian, and us'd his utmost Power, which was very considerable, to throw out Men of their Principles everywhere in that Part of Albigion.

Zarah was in a Consternation to find herself outwitted, and it put her to the Rack of Invention to find out Ways to prevent the further Progress of these Malicious Enemies, to her and her Zarazians, and accordingly she resolved to visit Roffensia, one whom she had but little Value for, and wou'd ne'er have taken notice on, but on such an Occasion: However, she resolv'd with chearful Smiles in her Countenance, being an Excellent Mistress in the Art of Dissembling, to feign an extraordinary Friendship for her, and to use her utmost Power with her Husband, in an Affair of Importance that nearly concern'd her; Madam, answer'd Roffensia, who knew Zarah very well, what can your H—s propose too difficult that I can deny you, if in my Power? For the Honour you do me in asking a Favour, is sufficient for me to grant it.

That is enough, said Zarah, to perswade me you have a Friendship for me, which I cou'd heartily wish; but not to trifle time away in Complements, pray tell me, has my L—d secur'd his Interest in —? You know Madam, continued she, what I mean? This Question rais'd a great Suspicion presently in Roffensia that Zarah was come to Pump her, which brought her into some Confusion, which Zarah observing, presently replies, Madam, I find you hesitate, but let me assure you it will be his L—p's fault if the Business be not done. With that she shew'd a pretended Letter from the Governour of — to her H—s, written to that Purpose, at the Request of the State of —, and said the Inhabitants had such a Respect for her Husband, that there were no Doubt but his Affair wou'd take Effect. This Sham Letter pleas'd Roffensia wonderfully, and now took off all Jealousies she had entertain'd of her, tho' she cou'd not but remain in Surprize at this sudden and unexpected Kindness of Zarah's. But not being enough upon her Guard, together with Zarah's Subtle Insinuations, she discover'd the whole Business of her Husband, what Interest he had in —, and who were the Chief Men that oppos'd him: She was secretly pleas'd to hear this; but the more to cover her Treachery, told her those very Men were particularly obliged to her, and if she wou'd engage her Husband to write Letters after such and such a Manner, she wou'd find out Ways to make them take Effect; adding, that that State was very Necessitous, and the only Way to Establish my L—d's Interest was by B—s convey'd the Right Way, and by a Zarazian Hand, which was the Surest Way to succeed.

Roffensia was prevail'd upon to take her Advice, and directly went to her Husband, who Hastily, and without further Consideration, yielded to his Wife's Solicitation, and dispatch'd Letters according to Zarah's Desires, which she soon sends away, with Secret Instructions to expose them publickly abroad, and so ruin the Interest of R—, in order to bring in Coragio, a M—n of hers, and S—y to Hippolito. This piece of V—y succeeded even beyond her Expectations, for there happen'd to be a Particular Sort of Zarazians who espous'd the Cause, and resented R— with a great deal of Indignation. They caus'd his Letters to be expos'd on the Town Cross, and cry'd up Zarah for a great Friend to Albigion, in detecting this piece of V—y she had been the Inventer of. On the other Side, some of Zarah's private Conspiracies were discover'd, and made as publick here as they had been before at Sancta Albania, where Letters of the foulest Designs were expos'd, and the Character known to be that of her H—s's own Hand-writing.

But all these things, some say, proceeded from a Zealous Desire she had to promote Religion, which was sinking to nothing in Albigion; and unless it was followed with Fervency, People wou'd not distinguish True Zeal from Hypocrisie, but take the first for a Temptation of the Devil, and the last a pernicious Design to ruin all Mankind, under the Hellish Mask of M—n.

It is true indeed, we may be tempted to our Perdition under a fair and false Appearance of Religion, which commonly proceeds from the Discontentments of Life, or from some Capricio or Fancy of the Brain: And therefore it is very necessary to sound to the bottom of Mens Hearts, to know whether the Religion they profess spring from pure Principles, or be polluted with sensual Appetites? Whether Ambition be not the most prevalent, either to forward or hinder it; and that since Honour is so tempting, and we have no other Hopes to attain it, whether we do not aspire to it by Means of Religion? In short, there is an infinity of false and treacherous Motives, which bring Men to Perdition instead of Religion.

How many are they who affect it from a Principle of Vanity and Presumption, and do all they do out of Design and Vain-glory? Some pretend to it in order to be Statesmen, and make a Mystery of all Things, and by a certain counterfeit and studied Art labour to pass for great Men; others dispose of themselves by Interest, and insinuate with the Multitude to be protected by them, that so they may exact upon the World: All these People make Religion the highest Point of their Politicks; for by this Pretence they Reign imperiously over many, and captivate the obstinate and unthinking Vulgar, who are charm'd with their promising outside, and never enquire farther, but let such Men dispose of them at their Pleasure.

And it is a common Trick with them who study to sooth and gull the World with Specious Artifices, to make frequent Use of Sentences in pleasant Matters, and in grave Ones of Religion, which is as so many Precious Stones to embellish their Designs, and dress up their Secret Mysteries in such a pleasant Garb, as may excite the Minds of Men to Curiosity.

But to return to Zarah, we shall find her pluming herself under her treacherous Conquest over poor Roffensia, and glorying she cou'd act her Revenge upon any of the Enemies of the Family of Zarah. This animated her so, she immediately dispatch'd her E—s to Woodstockia, where a Zarazian was oppos'd by Walterius, who till then had always had the Favour of that State; nor had he been rejected now, but by a Secret Stratagem of Zarah's. For Cadogonius's Interest lay entirely upon her Management, which was more close and Secret, tho' not of half that Importance as that of Cambriensis. And this was owing in a great Measure more to the quick Thought of Zarah's F— V—, than to her own Contrivance; and the whole Scheme of this Affair laid by Volpone, Fuimus, Somerius, and the rest of the Zarazian Conspirators; for they were all in the Interest of Zarah, to destroy the F—m of all the States and Provinces of Albigion. The People were deduced to such a Condition, that they were no longer their own Master, but were turn'd this Way, and that Way, as they were mov'd by their Governours and Superiours, which were now almost all Zarazians throughout the Kingdom of Albigion.

This made the poor Wretches complain heavily, that they were toss'd to and fro like Waves by the Tempestuous Winds, and were not at liberty to do what they had a mind. They were compell'd to divide their Lands without Purchase, and give their V— without pay. They were hurry'd from their Houses in the Night, nor suffer'd to return Home when they saw the Day. They were taught to Swear against their Friends, for those they knew to be their greatest Enemies.

Here they saw to their Sorrow Men of Vicious and Corrupt Lives and Conversations, without one good Action to recommend them, rais'd in a Trice from Slaves, to be Governours of Provinces, from Poor, to be Rich and Powerful, from Base and Unknown, to be Noble, and Chief of the State; honour'd for their Merit, that is to say, their V—y, because they were Zarazians, and Zarah got by their Service. There was no such thing as frowning or grumbling for the rest of the Albiginois, if they expected to obtain any thing they desired; in short, they were for Exercising a kind of Arbitrary and Despotick Government against all that were not Zarazians, or at least something of their Kidney, who banish all the Signs of Generosity and Publick Spirits, and encourage little beside Vanity, Fraud and Cheatery, which runs in the very Blood of the meaner Sort of the Zarazians, and is to be found too exuberant in those of higher Rank. For Self-interest and C—th Designs spring from their Pedigrees, as Herbs from Plants.

This is too manifest in the Character of Artonio, the vilest Zarazian in Albigion, and one who is universally hated, even by his own Party. Who is so far from being rul'd by Reason, that he suffers himself to be carried away by every little Perswasion of Interest; for whose Sake he certainly precipitates himself upon some cholerick Action, the Event whereof sullies his Honour with the darkest Stains of Infamy and Disgrace; but that he values no more than he does Religion, which he observes as little as he does paying his Debts. But Generous Spirits exercise more Humanity towards them who have oblig'd them, than they whom they oblige, as we may see by Experience practis'd in the Triumphs of Great Men. All the World knows it is an Heroick Action not to be transported by our Passions; and tho' they may chance to assault our Wills, yet that Judgment that governs 'em will make us relish our Reasons. In short, the ill Life and Conversation of this Zarazian has obscur'd all the Great Achievements of his Politicks.

Nor had Zarah her self been less admired for her Policy than she is now for her — if she had truly followed that Policy which is the only and true Means to govern well, which every Day produces various Changes in Affairs; wherein the Reasons of State are so numerous and so ambiguous, as to hold the most Subtle Ministers in suspence, and wherein there are so many nice and abstracted Precepts, that unless Judgment or Experience give the Art to apply them, the Event thereof cannot but be pernicious or fruitless. For Policy composes the Union of Men; and we should not know how we lived if we were not taught; so that it is not only necessary for the Conduct of States, but useful also in such private Conversations as ours; and that it is exercised upon sensible and particular Objects, tho' it be of a great Extent, and of an eminent and superlative Original.

Society is a Character which Nature has imprinted upon Man, by a certain Instinct, or natural Law, which gives him an Internal Motion or Propensity to it, and this Motion is afterwards seconded by the Imitation of external things, which are the Conveniences and Commerce of this Life.

The Object of Policy took its Principle from particular Societies, and so by degrees, in Progress of Time, rise from small ones, to great ones. The First Man, and the First Woman, made the First Society in the World; and afterwards their Families and Posterities egrandiz'd it so much, that of One particular Society were made many; and so it necessarily follow'd, that what was proper to one Generation only, being augmented by different Families, must grow to be variously divided; that Houses, Borroughs, Forts, Towns, and whole Provinces, must be Built for Lodging and Habitation, and Convoys appointed for the Security of Commerce, and that all must be deducted in fine into Kingdoms and Common-wealths, and other Forms of Government, that so by the Direction of one or more, Order and Policy might be kept in Communions, which were made by Mankind, by its Safety and Conservations; and consequently that whatever might prove hurtful, either to the Publick or Private Interest, might be removed and avoided: This Order hath always been accounted something more than of bare Humane Invention; and tho' it may look as if the Body acted principally therein, and that Care, Vigilancy and Labour wrought most in it, yet it seems to derive its Origine from a higher Source.

For even Irrational Creatures, without Art and Study, are as capable of it as we, and seem to put this of Policy in Practice, to teach us how to guide our selves in the Management of States, and the direction of Nations. For Bees are a perfect Example of Policy, and that Policy of theirs is so well ranged, and so firmly establish'd in their Swarms, which are their Communities, that we must absolutely conceive there is something more than Natural Instinct given to them, for the Instruction of our Government, in regard they are in the Conduct of these Creatures such certain Maxims, and so well regulated an Order.

So that it has been a Dispute, whether Men ought not to follow the natural Reasons of those Creatures which are their Authors, and which we find to be as Potent as Just. And it has been judiciously decided, that Religion is the Principle and Foundation of Policy; and that those States are always in Danger and Disorder in which it is not firmly settled: So that the Bees, which never go out of their Hives, according to Tradition, without first crossing their Legs, and kissing them, by an Instinct as it were of Religion, shew us what we ought to do before we undertake any Business; and we ought of Necessity to Worship aright before we can know how to govern so.

But this was a Doctrine Zarah and her Zarazians was so far from practising, that they were rather for abolishing natural Laws of Government, and instituting new ones of their own, according to their Modern Scheme of Policy, and far-fetch'd Notions of Government, quite different from any yet Instituted by Divine or Humane Right before. For the Bees teach us that Men ought to employ themselves not meerly for their own Interest, but their Friends; Labour for their Country, and be Industrious for the Good and Peace of the Common-wealth; and that they ought to be content with what they have, without coveting what belongs to others, as they are with their Hives, without Trouble or Discord, and without taking or seizing upon those of their Neighbours.

'Tis the Character of an Honest Politician, to contribute as much as he possibly can in order to the general Content of the World; he must always avoid saying or doing any thing which may in any ways disoblige. An unbounded and affronting Raillery is an ill Talent: Men of this Temper spare not their Friends or themselves; I say that of unlimited Raillery, for nice Raillery is what's most agreeable in Conversation; but it must be used with the greatest Circumspection imaginable; just as a Ragout is spoil'd by overseasoning, so by railing too sharply we render our selves offensive and odious to Company.

Those who affect to rail, ought to have a nice Manner of doing it, which may please reasonable People; and 'tis even so by those who use themselves to Flattery: For those who flatter grosly, without Choice or Distinction, please but few Persons. But as most Men are blinded by their Vanity, and the Complaisance they have for their own Merit they don't perceive they are flatter'd, but let us understand by their Satisfaction that what was said obliged them, and they very much approved it, and that it gave them an extraordinary Pleasure; for vain Persons cannot forbear shewing the ridiculousness of their Vanity.

But those who countenance it by false Adulations, deserv'd to be punish'd as Poisoners of Society; for a true Complaisance ought to be free equally from Flattery and Incivility; the endeavouring to please Politeness and Civility are the Essential Parts of a Courtier, who aims at being esteem'd above others, and to have generally the Approbation of a Court; but I cannot excuse their cringing Embraces, base flatteries, and vain Offers of Service, with which they deceive those who court them; too mean in giving way to such Conditions.

It is dangerous for Courtiers to be too familiar, for it degrades them, and makes them become less esteem'd, by losing a certain kind of Dignity which a grave and serious Air affords. But notwithstanding, Men of that Rank ought not to affect a Grave Air, for too dull and serious an Aspect which continues long is very tiresome, and the greatest Men ought sometimes to unveil themselves, and act according to their Natures; for 'tis not always a Propos to be disguis'd under an affected Form.

Some Men have a perfect Fund of ill Humour, capable of disgusting all the Joys of the World; they are pleas'd with the dulness of their Melancholy, and they seem to find a Diversion in creating Strife and Division every where, and setting the best of Friends together by the Ears. They have always something quarrelsome to tell of one another: And when they are at Difference they are pleas'd with the Sport, and hug themselves for it in Secret.

Others less hurtful, but every whit as tiresome, groan continually under their Misfortunes, and complain severely of their Destiny; let the Year be never so Fruitful or so Barren, let there be either War or Peace, the Taxes doubled or lessen'd, 'tis nevertheless to them an everlasting Fund of Lamentation.

It signifies little to have Wit, Sense, or such like Qualities we must likewise have Proofs of a certain Character which encourages us, and makes our Merits valued. Without all that, Persons that have no Merit nor Wit, who neither labour for the Church nor State, but have good Patrons, will undo Persons of the greatest Merit, and will always exceed Men in their Dispensation of Favours. A Man that for his Share has Wit and Sense, is not fit to rival a Man that is very Rich, and very Foolish; 'tis but a Jest to compare them, and to prefer them first; for Women, who naturally love Interest, generally judge in Behalf of Riches.

A Rich and Liberal Lover, tho' never so great a Fool, is generally preferr'd before a Plain Honest Man, who is not in a Condition to supply their foolish Expences; they have banish'd from their Companies those Eternal Lovers, who spend their whole Life in saying Soft Things to them, and make no Expences but of Tenderness, they desire something more Real and Solid. I know no Reason why the Women shou'd be reproach'd with being Mercenary and Coquettish, 'tis a Piece of Injustice done them. I think they shou'd be so, and at all things make use of their Charms to please Men; we may find the same Desires in both Sexes.

I can by by no means approve of those Vapourish Ladies who pretend to be melancholly when they are out of Humour, since the Nature of the Sex obliges Women to be pleasant; and they ought never to disengage themselves from that, if they have a Mind to have the Men esteem them. They abuse themselves when they believe the Glory of a Woman consists in the Character of her Beauty; no, for it is rather comprehended in the Regularity of her Conduct. A nice Behaviour much becomes a Woman of Fashion, who ought not to permit any Emancipation or Prescription of Rules, but those which good Sense teaches.

I do not pretend to mean by this that they ought to live like Savages, nor look on Men as Seducers, but that they may with Civility receive the Praises they give them, and the Homage which they pay to their Merit.

Those Women that take a Fancy to Severity are generally too formal, and the Affectation of Wit which they shew when their Conduct is not entirely regular, renders them much more despiseable; we shou'd have much more Charity for them if they did not so absolutely set up for Nuns; their Reputation does not depend on the Capricious Notions of Men, and the Applauses they give them, but on their Merit and Virtue.

The Distaste of some fiery proud Women is not of that Service that they imagine, nor does it cause them to be the more respected. Those hot kind of Ladies have an odd Sort of Dulness in their Faces, and an Impression of ill Humour, which deprives them of One Part of their Charms, by lessening their Enjoyment; but when they have taken upon them this Humour of Peevishness they obstinately maintain it, and make good the Honour of their Characters.

There are some who have that Opinion of their Wit and Merit, that their Presumption carries them to think themselves above all the World. They have Notions which seduce them when any thing is to be decided, and the Precipitation with which they are carried away, hinders them from finding the Circumstances of any Subject. 'Tis those Opinions spoil them, and make them always take the wrong Side, and false Measures, when they are to do any thing that is difficult or uncertain: And when they have given themselves the liberty to think, their Obstinacy hardens them against all the Remonstrances that may be given them. They say and do a Hundred extravagant things to support them in this Humour; like those who dispute on the wrong Side, they do it with all the Fire imaginable, for fear of being contradicted: But they care not whether what they say be supportable or no; they think the Point of Honour is not to yield; and fancy they have received the greatest Affront that is possible, if they are obliged by substantial Reasons to subscribe to the Truth. That is the Effect of a ridiculous Positiveness and foolish Pride.

But how hard is it to find a solid Judgment in Women, or indeed to know what it is; either in Men or Women good Judgment extends it self infinitely large, and supposes very extraordinary Qualities; it enters into and makes every thing seasonable, but it is not so common as 'tis thought to be; many People flatter themselves with having it most exquisitely nice, altho' they only follow their own foolish and capricious Notions. 'Tis almost impossible to reform those that are possess'd with that Evil, because of the natural Aversion some Men have of being convinced; those who really have Judgment suffer themselves to be less biass'd by their own Opinions, and are not known to boast so much of their Talent as those that want it. Persons that are beautiful easily perceive what is fine in themselves, but then they fancy that others may be more agreeable.

An Excellent Artist is not like the Phænix, for he does Justice to the Merits of others; for Judgment governs our Thoughts and Ideas, and makes us know our selves to be what we are. Those who follow their Inclinations have little or no Judgment, because in a great Measure they resemble the Beasts, that act only by Instinct and Nature: Whereas good Judgment is the Effect of a true and perfect Reason, which always takes the right side in things doubtful or uncertain. After all this, the rareness of it is not to be wonder'd at, since so many People who think they have it, flatter themselves with very little Reason.

But they cannot long impose upon the Publick, for their Weakness and ill Judgment is soon discover'd when they meddle either with judging or deciding Controversies: But what appears more troublesome and ridiculous is, that they wou'd have Men applaud and agree with them in their Notions, how inconsistent soever. Nevertheless different Opinions claim some Grains of Allowance, and ought not to be confin'd under the narrow Limits and Circumspection of common Judgment, for every Man is not endowed with a penetrating Genius ; therefore they ought not to condemn other Mens Opinions, because they are contrary to their own; but before they condemn them, their Reasons for judging as they do ought to be consider'd, and after all those Precautions they may be mistaken. For in most Affairs there are generally many opposite Circumstances, which quite alter the Case: 'Twou'd then be very rash to censure those who are not of the same Opinion with themselves; for 'tis exposing their own want of Judgment to condemn others.

It may be taken for a general Rule, that there are few but have Judgment in one thing or another; the meanest Sort of People, who have no Education, and seem very dull, argue right in their own Cases, and their Arguments appear then more refin'd when they are for their own Interest. The most Essential Thing is for a Man to know his own Excellency, and to confine himself within his proper Sphere, without desiring to go beyond his Bounds: But suppose it never so unpleasant, capricious or false, Men always desire to dispute about things much above their Capacities.

There is a certain Self-conceit or Opinion that enters into the Actions of all Men, and that's the Reason they are determined for one thing rather than another; some have a fancy for Musick and Symphony, others of a more lively Temper love something tumultuous, and the noise of Drums and Trumpets please them. If it was to be enquired why so many People undertake Employs which seem so laborious, there can be no other Reason assign'd, but that 'tis according to their Fancy, for otherwise they might accept of more pleasant Professions; but we can never better dispose of our selves than after our own Inclinations, for we generally succeed in what we do with Pleasure.

'Tis Fancy that embelishes every thing; even the Products of Nature and Inventions of Art cannot be thought excellent unless they be pleasing; 'tis that which makes Paintings and Musick of different Kinds have different Admirers; it appears in the meanest things; many Women in Stuffs, by reason of their dressing with an Air, make a better Figure than others who are dress'd in the richest Cloaths, and have not a good Fancy. And tho' it be a difficult Matter to determine wherein this consists, yet we must not believe it to be barely Whim and Imagination, but something that is Real; 'tis a Sort of something which pleases us, and we cannot exactly express it. 'Tis by Virtue of this we judge of Dress, Building, &c. It serves as for a Guide, and conducts us everywhere.

Nature is a kind of Harmony, which by a strange Collection of Things, makes an Impression on our Senses and our Reason. This is the Origine of all our Passions, which is excited by the Agreement we find between our Senses and their Objects; 'tis that Likeness and Sympathy which gives us the Pleasure of our Senses; Sympathy consists in the Disposition of one Object in favour of another. A certain Collection which agrees with the Organ of Hearing, excites in us the Pleasure which causes the Harmony, and the well Understanding of Musick. In like manner, as the Nice Mixture in Sauces causes a certain Relish, which by its Delicacy pleases all Persons of a good Taste.

But as the organs in most Men are differently dispos'd, for that reason the Object works differently on their Senses; 'tis that is the Cause of the Natural Aversions which are observable in some Persons that can neither suffer the Sight nor Approach of some Objects: We may from the same Reasons concede to different Opinions, since the same Objects excite different Sensations, according to the Dispositions of the Fibres; and that which Pleases the Palate of one, causes a great Distaste in another.

'Tis not Tasting alone that causes such different Impressions on our Organs, 'tis very probable that other Objects may have the same Effect. Perhaps what seems to one Black, may seem to another of a different Colour; in short, we cannot absolutely determine whether or no the Eyes are not like Glasses differently cut, which after that manner changes the Colours of Objects.

There are Men of Sense as well as Wit, who think differently of every thing. Those who are endow'd with a fine and delicate manner of discerning, conceive those things under nice Ideas to be the same as they really are: Wits of a narrower Size generally conceive but the superficial Part of Objects. Subtle Wits define too much, and evaporate all their Conceptions into vain Imaginations. The difference which is observable in these arises from the Disposition of the Organs Diversity of the Fibres of the Brain, and the Substance wherewith it is fill'd. It is not to be doubted but that these things, altho' purely material, contribute to the Beauty and Nicety of Wit, because the Soul, when it is enclos'd in the Body, depends on the Organs, and those, when well dispos'd, are of much greater Aid to it in the performance of its Duty. Suppose a Painter be never so expert, he must have a Pencil for his Purpose when he has aim'd to draw fine and delicate Lines.

According to the Maxims of this Philosophy it is easie to judge why Persons of Quality have generally more Penetration, Vivacity and Spirit, than those of a meaner Rank: For tho' good Education infinitely contributes to the Polishing and Perfecting of Wit, yet 'tis certain that good Nourishment, and the Juice of Nice Meats, which mixes with the Blood, and other Humours of the Body, subtilizes them, and renders them more proper for the Functions of Nature. 'Tis perhaps for this Reason that Men of Spirit have an odd Fire and Liveliness in their Eyes, which distinguishes them from other Persons, whose Stupidity is perceiv'd by their dull and languishing Eyes.

The little Care taken in forming the Reasons of some Men, is the Cause why they produce so little in their Actions; Children have Masters to teach them to Dance and Sing, &c. but few or none to form their Minds, and teach them good Sense; that is not thought of; which is therefore the only Reason why most Men are more govern'd by Caprice and Fancy, than by the Guide of their Reason, which is not sufficiently cultivated. It must be observ'd too, that few Men are willing to curb their Passions, for all their Applications are only to find out Means to justifie them, and when they are forc'd to own themselves to be in the wrong, they answer they cannot help it.

'Tis not enough for Men to know in what Condition they are, and their Duty in that State, if they have but Courage to maintain it; but they generally flatter themselves that the World has nothing to reproach them with, tho' gross Faults expose them with Justice to the Publick Censure; Vanity and Presumption hinders them from knowing themselves, and doing themselves Justice, because they have not the true discernment they ought to have. Mens Self-conceit suggest to them a Thousand false Maxims to render their Faults unperceivable to themselves.

'Twou'd without doubt be a very Bold Enterprize to endeavour the — of some Men; for to do it the whole Course of their Lives ought to be chang'd: This Project is as difficult as that of endeavouring to change the Features of their Faces. But as there are Ways to whiten, and take all Blemishes from the Face, so perhaps there may be Means found out of reforming their Manners: Conversation, or Knowing the World, is of the greatest Importance to it; for People Bred at Court, tho' they are not always of the most sublime Genius, yet they judge indifferently well on most Subjects, and speak reasonably of every thing. Men, tho' but of indifferent Sense, who use good Conversation, appear much more Polite than those of readier Wit unus'd to Company. Those who are not accustom'd to good Manners, know no better than to discourse of things out of the Way, which happen not in the Conversation of the World, for they have no Knowledge of what is truly agreeable: Their Language is meer Jargon, and they appear awkward in the Company and Conversation of Polite People, and for want of studying the Gift of Pleasing, they become Noisie and Troublesome.

The Knowledge which teaches Men to live among People of Civility and Manners is certainly preferrable to any other; for tho' the Precepts are but few, the Practice of them are very difficult, and require more Care than every Body will take: A Man must learn to dissemble his dislike of every thing under the Disguise of good Humour and Pleasantry. Knowing how to Converse, is knowing how to Oblige; in fine, it is the best Method of pleasing, the shortest Way of gaining the Good-will of every Body. Men ought to fashion themselves to the Humours and Opinions of their Friends. If they are Fickle and Capricious, the others ought to be so too, and endeavour to comply with them in their Fancies.

Vain Persons are easily perswaded that they have some extraordinary Qualifications, whereby they outdo all their Rivals; their Folly is to Esteem none but themselves, and to have a Disregard for the rest of Mankind. If they are oblig'd to allow that they have committed some Faults, they are soon reconciled to themselves again, because they think they are made up by some other rare Perfections they are Masters of. 'Tis thus that the love of themselves seduces them. But if they indulge themselves much, they treat other Men with the more Severity, and pardon nothing they find amiss in them; for they have a Secret Pleasure in Backbiting those whose Personal Merit surmounts theirs.

But it is high time, after this long Digression, to return to our Story again, where we shall find Hippolito acting the most Generous thing, and Zarah the most Niggardly Unfriendly Part in the World. A certain Old Acquaintance, both of Hippolito and hers, making Application to her Highness amidst the rest of Suitors that waited on her for Preferment, got, after much Solicitation, the Promise of her Favour, if he wou'd bring her Information of a Vacancy proper to be bestow'd on him: He waited some time with Patience, as those that attend on Courts must do, at last he heard of something which he thought was for his Purpose, tho' it was with much Diligence he got the first Intelligence; he was satisfied for all the Pains he had taken, because he was sure his Interest was good, and rely'd entirely on it; accordingly he went, and told Zarah he had got Information of something whereby she might make his Fortune for ever, and he was confident he was come early enough, before it cou'd possibly be dispos'd of. Zarah seem'd pleas'd at this Relation, and told him she was glad he found out such a Thing that she cou'd serve him in, and therefore promis'd him if he wou'd attend on her next Day she wou'd give him an Answer, which she did not question but wou'd be to his satisfaction: Away went our New Courtier with full Expectations of being put in Possession of his Desires when he came again; he cou'd not forbear smiling to himself to think of the Old Proverb, That a Friend at Court was as good as Gold in a Man's Pocket. But it wou'd have mov'd a Stoick to some extravagant Action to have been disappointed after that manner this fancied Favourite was.

The next Morning, according to Appointment, he waited at Zarah's Apartment, with Pleasure in his Looks, and Satisfaction in his Mind, when in a short time her H—ss came to him, and thus accosted him. I am heartily sorry, Sir, you have given your self so much Trouble to enquire after that Business you were telling me of, for it was Yesterday dispos'd of before I had Notice to make Application for it. These Words struck the Poor Gentleman all on Heaps, that he had not one Word to say for himself; which Zarah perceiving, and knowing what a Treacherous Trick she had play'd him, in disposing of that she had actually promis'd him, and which he had inform'd her of first; nay, which she was in Gratitude for former Services oblig'd to do for him, she proceeded thus, Sir, you seem concern'd, but I promise you I will do whatever lyes in my Power to serve you. The Gentleman that has obtain'd this Preferment I believe is Needy, and I fancy I cou'd prevail upon him to resign it if you will give Five Thousand Florins, which it is very well worth. Madam, said he, I am not worth One Florin in the World, and I can assure you if I had been worth Five Thousand, your Highness shou'd have been the last Person in the World I wou'd have ask'd a Favour of.

Zarah was something concern'd at his Resentment, for fear of Stories, and therefore endeavour'd to soften him as well as she cou'd, for Five Thousand Florins was dearer to her than the best Friend that had spent his Fortune in her Service. However, she pacify'd him for the present, and sent him Home with Assurance, as she thought, of her future Favours, which he seemingly show'd a belief of; but went away with the utmost Resentment in his Breast, and resolved he wou'd acquaint Hippolito with her Usage to him, which he did by the first Opportunity he cou'd meet with: But, good Heavens! How was Hippolito amaz'd when he heard him relate the Particulars. Is it possible, said he, that she can be so ungrateful and perfidious to you, whom we both owe so much to ? I am asham'd of it, and blush to think it shou'd be named, therefore let it be forgotten, nor let her know I have heard of it, but take Five Thousand Florins here, with that she gave him a Bill for the Money, and pay it her for her Place; for she will be Zarah in spight of Hippolito.

Much about the same time Ufrania, a Lady about the Court, one who had good Interest formerly in the House of Albania made Application to Zarah for a Favour, but at the same time knowing her Highness's Disposition, brought a Pledge along with her, which without Ceremony she offer'd to her, with earnest Solicitations that she wou'd please to accept of it. Zarah took the Present, and looking upon it very narrowly, found it was not worth what she might get, or at least what she expected, for such a Piece of Service, return'd it to the Lady again with this Compliment, Madam, said she, with all the Subtilty of the Serpent, methinks I am loth to rob you of such a Jewel as this; it looks like a Family Relick, and I don't question but you set a great Value upon it; beside, I am cloy'd with Presents of this Kind, and have great Occasions for Money; Five thousand Florins wou'd please me much better, and it may be you may esteem that Jewel at double the Value ; when at the same time she knew the Jewel cou'd not be worth above a Thousand Florins, and that was as much as was thought fitting by the Lady to offer for the Favour she ask'd of her; for she knew beforehand it was necessary to bid a Market Price, but cou'd not believe Zarah had been so unconscionable as to overstand the Market. Therefore she went away with Regret, so Noble a Present wou'd not prevail with an Old Acquaintance to use her kindly.

But alas, this was nothing to Zarah, for a near Relation of hers making a kind Entertainment for her One Night, in the midst of their Satisfactions thought it might be proper to move her Highness, who out of Compassion might do something for an Infant or Two she had sitting with her at Table: Madam, said she, these are some of your own Blood, that may one Day live to thank you, if you will be so kind as to remember them when Opportunity serves. This, tho' spoke with all the Modesty and Regard possible to Zarah's Quality, put her in such a Passion as her Highness was subject to when she had a mind not to be troubled with Solicitations. Madam, answer'd Zarah, I thought you had known me better; what, do you take me for Queen of Albigion, that you apply your self to me, as if I cou'd grant what I pleas'd? I'll assure you, continued she, I have the Disposal of nothing but —; and so she broke up the Entertainment abruptly, mean while the Poor Lady was ready to expire betwixt Grief, Anger and Resentment.

FINIS.