[Page] THE Fair Jilt: OR, THE HISTORY OF Prince Tarquin AND MIRANDA.

WRITTEN BY Mrs. A. BEHN.

LONDON, Printed by R. Holt, for Will. Canning, at his Shop in the Temple-Cloysters, 1688.

TO HENRY PAIN, Esq

SIR,

DEdications are like Love, and no Man of Wit or Eminence escapes them; early or late, the Affliction of the Poet's Complement falls upon him; and Men are oblig'd to receive 'em as they do their Wives; [Page] For better, for worse; at lest, with a feign'd Ci­vility.

It was not Want of Respect, but Fear, that has hitherto made us keep clear of your Judgment, too piercing to be favou­rable to what is not nicely valuable. We durst not awaken your Criticism; and by begging your Pro­tection in the Front of a Book, give you an Occa­sion to find nothing to de­serve it. Nor can this [Page] little History lay a better Claim to that Honour, than those that have not pretended to it; which has but this Merit to recom­mend it, That it is Truth: Truth, which you so much admire. But 'tis a Truth that entertains you with so many Acci­dents diverting and mo­ving, that they will need both a Patron, and an Assertor in this incredu­lous World. For however it may be imagin'd that Poetry (my Talent) has [Page] so greatly the Ascendant over me, that all I write must pass for Fiction, I now desire to have it un­derstood, that this is Rea­lity, and Matter of Fact, and acted in this our lat­ter Age: And that, in the Person of Tarquin, I bring a Prince to kiss your Hands, who own'd himself, and was receiv'd, as the last of the Race of the Roman Kings; whom I have often seen, and you have heard of; and whose Story is so well [Page] known to your self, and many Hundreds more: Part of which I had from the Mouth of this unhap­py great Man, and was an Eye-Witness to the rest.

'Tis true, Sir, I pre­sent you with a Prince un­fortunate, but still the more noble Object for your Goodness and Pity; who never valu'd a brave Man the less for being unhap­py. And whither shou'd the Afflicted flee for Re­fuge, [Page] but to the Gene­rous? Amongst all the Race, he cannot find a better Man, or more cer­tain Friend: Nor amongst all his Ancestors, match your greater Soul, and Magnificence of Mind. He will behold in one English Subject, a Spi­rit as illustrious, a Heart as fearless, a Wit and Eloquence as excellent, as Rome it self cou'd produce. Its Senate scarce boasted of a bet­ter States-man, nor Au­gustus [Page] of a more faith­ful Subject; as your Im­prisonment and Suffe­rings, through all the Course of our late National Distractions, have suffi­ciently manifested: But nothing cou'd press or de­ject your great Heart; you were the same Man still, unmov'd in all Turns, easie and innocent; no Persecution being able to abate your constant good Humour, or wonted Gal­lantry.

[Page] If, Sir, you find here a Prince of less Forti­tude and Vertue than your self, charge his Miscar­riages on Love; a Weak­ness of that Nature you will easily excuse, (being so great a Friend to the Fair;) though possibly, he gave a Proof of it too fatal to his Honour. Had I been to have form'd his Character, per­haps I had made him something more worthy of the Honour of your Pro­tection: [Page] But I was ob­lig'd to pursue the Mat­ter of Fact, and give a just Relation of that part of his Life which, possibly, was the only reproachful part of it. If he be so happy, as to entertain a Man of Wit and Busi­ness, I shall not fear his Welcome to the rest of the World: And 'tis only with your Pass­port he can hope to be so.

[Page] The particular Obliga­tions I have to your Bounty and Goodness, O noble Friend, and Patron of the Muses! I do not so much as pretend to acknowledge in this little Present; those being a­bove the Poets Pay, which is a sort of Coin, not currant in this Age; though perhaps may be esteem'd as Medals in the Cabinets of Men of Wit. If this be so happy to be of that Number, I desire [Page] no more lasting a Fame, than that it may bear this Inscription, that I am,

SIR,
Your most Obliged, and Most Humble Servant, A. Behn.

THE Fair Hypocrite; OR THE AMOURS OF Prince Tarquin AND MIRANDA.

AS Love is the most noble and divine Passion of the Soul, so is it that to which we may justly, attribute all the real Satisfactions of Life; and without it, Man is unfinish'd, and unhappy.

[Page 2] There are a thousand things to be said of the Advantages this gene­rous Passion brings to those, whose Hearts are capable of receiving its soft Impressions: for 'tis not every one that can be sensible of its ten­der Touches. How many Exam­ples, from History and Observation, cou'd I give of its wondrous power; nay, even to a degree of Transmi­gration? How many Ideots has it made wise? How many Fools, elo­quent? How many home-bread Squires, accomplish'd? How many Cowards, brave? And there is no sort or Species of Mankind, on whom it cannot work some Change and Miracle, if it be a noble, well­grounded Passion, except on the Fop in fashion; the harden'd, incor­rigible Fop; so often wounded, but never reclaim'd: For still, by a dire Mistake, conducted by vast Opinio­natreism, and a greater portion of Self-Love, than the rest of the Race of Man, he believes that Affecta­tion [Page 3] in his Mein and Dress, that Mathematical Movement, that For­mality in every Action, that Face managed with Care, and softned in­to Ridicule, the languishing Turn, the Toss, and the Back shake of the Periwigg, is the direct Way to the Heart of the fine Person he adores; and instead of curing Love in his Soul, serves only to advance his Fol­ly; and the more he is enamour'd, the more industriously he assumes (every Hour) the Coxcomb. These are Love's Play-things, a sort of A­nimals with whom he sports; and whom he never wounds, but when he is in good humour, and always shoots laughing. 'Tis the Diver­sion of the little God, to see what a fluttering and bustle one of these Sparks, new-wounded, makes; to what fantastick Fooleries he has re­course: The Glass is every moment call'd to Counsel, the Vallet consul­ted and plagu'd for new Invention of Dress, the Foot-man and Scru­tore perpetually employ'd; Billet­doux [Page 4] and Madrigals take up all his Mornings, till Play-time in Dres­sing, till Night in Gazing; still, like a Sun-flower, turn'd towards the Beams of the fair Eyes of his Celia, adjusting himself in the most Amorous Posture he can assume, his Hat under his Arm, while the other Hand is put carelesly into his Bo­som, as if laid upon his panting Heart; his Head a little bent to one side, supported with a world of Crevat-string, which he takes mighty care not to put into Disor­der; as one may guess by a ne­ver-sailing, and horrid Stiffness in his Neck; and if he have an occa­sion to look aside, his whole Body turns at the same time, for fear the motion of the Head alone shou'd in­commode the Crevat or Periwigg: And sometimes the Glove is well manag'd, and the white Hand dis­played. Thus, with a thousand o­ther little Motions and Formalities, all in the common Place or Rode of Foppery, he takes infinite pains to [Page 5] shew himself to the Pit and Boxes, a most accomplish'd Ass. This is he, of all Humane Kind, on whom Love can do no Miracles; and who can no where, and upon no Occa­sion, quit one Grain of his refin'd Foppery, unless in a Duel, or a Bat­tle, if ever his Stars shou'd be so se­vere and ill-manner'd, to reduce him to the necessity of either: Fear then wou'd ruffle that fine Form he had so long preserved in nicest Order, with grief considering, that an un­lucky, Chance-Wound in his Face, if such a dire Misfortune shou'd be­fal him, wou'd spoil the Sale of it for ever.

Perhaps it will be urg'd, that since no Metamorphosis can be made in a Fop by Love, you must consider him one of those that only talks of Love, and thinks himself that happy thing, a Lover; and wanting fine Sence enough for the real Passion, believes what he feels to be it. There are in the Quiver [Page 6] of the God a great many different Darts; some that wound for a Day, and others for a Year; they are all fine, painted, glittering Darts, and shew as well as those made of the noblest Metal; but the Wounds they make, reach the Desire only, and are cur'd by possessing, while the short-liv'd Passion betrays the Cheats: But 'tis that refin'd and il­lustrious Passion of the Soul, whose Aim is Vertue, and whose End is Honour, that has the power of changing Nature, and is capable of performing all those heroick things, of which History is full.

How far distant Passions may be from one another, I shall be able to make appear in these following Rules. I'll prove to you the strong Effects of Love in some unguarded and ungovern'd Hearts; where it rages beyond the Inspirations of a God all soft and gentle, and reigns more like a Fury from Hell.

[Page 7] I do not pretend here to enter­tain you with a feign'd Story, or any thing piec'd together with Ro­mantick Accidents; but every Cir­cumstance, to a Tittle, is Truth. To a great part of the Main, I my self was an Eye-witness; and what I did not see, I was confirm'd of by Actors in the Intrigue, holy Men, of the Order of St. Francis: But for the sake of some of her Relations, I shall give my fair Jilt a feign'd Name, that of Miranda; but my Hero must retain his own, it being too illustrious to be conceal'd.

You are to understand, that in all the Catholick Countries where Holy Orders are establish'd, there are abundance of differing kinds of Religious, both of Men and Wo­men: Amongst the Women there are those we call Nuns, that make solemn Vows of perpetual Chastity: There are others who make but a simple Vow; as, for five or ten [Page 8] Years, or more or less; and that time expir'd, they may contract a­new for longer time, or marry, or dispose of themselves as they shall see good; and these are ordinarily call'd Gallopping Nuns: Of these there are several Orders; as, Chano­nesses, Begines, Quest's, Swart-Si­sters, and Jesuitesses, with several others I have forgot: Of those of the Begines was our fair Votress.

These Orders are taken up by the best Persons of the Town, young Maids of Fortune, who live toge­ther, not inclos'd, but in Palaces that will hold about fifteen hundred or two thousand of these Fille-Devotes, where they have a regulated Go­vernment, under a sort of Abbess, or Prioress; or rather, a Governante. They are oblig'd to a Method of Devotion, and are under a sort of Obedience. They wear an Habit much like our Widows of Quality in England, only without a Bando; and their Veil is of a thicker Crape [Page 9] than what we have here, through which one cannot see the Face; for when they go abroad, they cover themselves all over with it, but they put 'em up in the Churches, and lay 'em by in the Houses. Every one of these have a Confessor, who is to 'em a sort of Steward: For, you must know, they that go into these places, have the Management of their own Fortunes, and what their Parents design 'em. Without the Advice of this Confessor, they act nothing, nor admit of a Lover that he shall not approve of; at least, this Method ought to be ta­ken, and is by almost all of 'em; though Miranda thought her Wit above it, as her Spirit was.

But as these Women are, as I said, of the best Quality, and live with the Reputation of being retir'd from the World a little more than ordinary, and because there is a sort of difficulty to approach 'em, they are the People the most courted, [Page 10] and liable to the greatest Tempta­tions; for as difficult as it seems to be, they receive Visits from all the Men of the best Quality, especially Straangers. All the Men of Wit and Conversation meet at the Apart­ments of these fair Fille Devotes, where all manner of Gallantries are perform'd, while all the Study of these Maids is to accomplish them­selves for these noble Conversations. They receive Presents, Balls, Seri­nades and Billets: All the News, Wit, Verses, Songs, Novels, Musick, Gaming, and all fine Diversion, is in their Apartments, they them­selves being of the best Quality and Fortune. So that to manage these Gallantries, there is no sort of Fe­male Arts they are not practis'd in, no Intrigues they are ignorant of, and no Management of which they are not capable.

Of this happy number was the fair Miranda, whose Parents being dead, and a vast Estate divided be­tween [Page 11] her self, and a young Sister (who liv'd with an unmarry'd old Uncle, whose Estate afterwards was all divided between 'em) put her self into this uninclos'd Religious House; but her Beauty, which had all the Charms that ever Nature gave, be­came the Envy of the whole Sister­hood. She was tall, and admirably shap'd; she had a bright Hair, and Ha­zle-Eyes, all full of Lovo and Sweet­ness: No Art cou'd make a Face so fair as hers by Nature, which every Feature adorn'd with a Grace that Imagination cannot reach: Every Look, every Motion charm'd, and her black Dress shew'd the Lustre of her Face and Neck. She had an Air, though gay as so much Youth cou'd inspire, yet so modest, so nobly re­serv'd, without Formality, or Stiff­ness, that one who look'd on her wou'd have imagin'd her Soul the Twin-Angel of her Body; and both together, made her appear some­thing Divine. To this she had a great deal of Wit, read much, and [Page 12] retain'd all that serv'd her purpose. She sung delicately, and danc'd well, and play'd on the Lute to a Miracle. She spoke several Languages natu­rally; for being Co-heiress to so great a Fortune, she was bred with nicest Care, in all the finest man­ners of Education; and was now ar­riv'd to her Eighteenth Year.

'Twere needless to tell you how great a noise the Fame of this young Beauty, with so considerable a For­tune, made in the World; I may say, the World, rather than confine her Fame to the scanty Limits of a Town; it reach'd to many others: And there was not a Man of any Quality that came to Antwerp, or pass'd through the City, but made it his Business to see the lovely Mi­randa, who was universally ador'd: Her Youth and Beauty, her Shape and Majesty of Mein, and Air of Greatness, charm'd all her Behol­ders; and thousands of People were dying by her Eyes, while she was [Page 13] vain enough to glory in her Con­quest, and make it her Business to wound. She lov'd nothing so much as to behold sighing Slaves at her Feet, of the greatest Quality; and rreated 'em all with an Affability that gave 'em Hope. Continual Musick as soon as it was dark, and Songs of dying Lovers, were sung under her Windows; and she might well have made her self a great For­tune (if she had not been so already) by the rich Presents that were hour­ly made her; and every Body daily expected when she wou'd make some one happy, by suffering her self to be conquer'd by Love and Honour, by the Assiduities and Vows of some one of her Adorers: But▪ Miranda accepted their Presents, heard their Vows with pleasure, and willingly admitted all their soft Addresses; but wou'd not yield her Heart, or give away that lovely Person to the Possession of one, who cou'd please it self with so many. She was na­turally Amorous, but extreamly In­constant: [Page 14] She lov'd one for his Wit, another for his Face, a third for his Mein; but above all, she admir'd Quality: Quality alone had the power to attack her entirely; yet not to one Man, but that Vertue was still admir'd by her in all; where ever she found that, she lov'd, or at least acted the Lover with such Art, that (deceiving well) she fail'd not to compleat her Conquest; and yet she never durst trust her fickle Humour with Marriage: She knew the strength of her own Heart, and that it cou'd not suffer it self to be confin'd to one Man, and wisely avoided those Inquietudes, and that Uneasiness of Life she was sure to find in that married Life, which wou'd, against her Nature, oblige her to the Embraces of one, whose Humour was, to love all the Young, and the Gay. But Love, who had hitherto but play'd with her Heart, and given it naught but pleasing, wanton Wounds, such as afforded only soft Joys, and not Pains, re­solv'd, [Page 15] either out of Revenge to those Numbers she had abandon'd▪ and who had sigh'd so long in vain; or to try what power he had upon so fickle a Heatt, sent an Arrow dipp'd in the most tormenting Flames that rage in Hearts most sen­sible. He struck it home and deep, with all the Malice of an angry God.

There was a Church belonging to the Cordeliers, whither Miranda of­ten repair'd to her Devotion; and being there one Day, accompany'd with a young Sister of the Order, after the Mass was ended, as 'tis the Custom, some one of the Fathers goes about the Church with a Box, for Contribution, or Charity-Mo­ney; it happen'd that Day, that a young Father, newly initiated, car­ry'd the Box about, which, in his turn, he brought to Miranda. She had no sooner cast her Eyes on this young Friar, but her Face was over spread with Blushes of Surprize: [Page 16] She beheld him stedfastly, and saw in his Face all the Charms of Youth, Wit and Beauty; he wanted no one Grace that cou'd form him for Love, he appear'd all that is adorable to the fair Sex, nor cou'd the mis-sha­pen Habit hide from her the lovely Shape it endeavour'd to cover, nor those delicate Hands that approach'd her too near with the Box. Besides the Beauty of his Face and Shape, he had an Air altogether great; in spight of his profess'd Poverty, it betray'd the Man of Quality; and that Thought weigh'd greatly with Miranda. But Love, who did not design she shou'd now feel any sort of those easie Flames with which she had heretofore burnt, made her soon lay all those Considerations aside which us'd to invite her to love, and now lov'd she knew not why▪

She gaz'd upon him, while he bow'd before her, and waited for her Charity, till she perceiv'd the love­ly Friar to blush, and cast his Eyes [Page 17] to the Ground. This awaken'd her Shame, and she put her Hand into her Pocket, and was a good while in searching for her Purse, as if she thought of nothing less, than what she was about; at last she drew it out, and gave him a Pistole; but that with so much Deliberation and Lei­sure, as easily betray'd the Satisfa­ction she took in looking on him; while the good Man, having re­ceiv'd her Bounty, after a very low Obeisance, proceeded to the rest; and Miranda casting after him a Look all languishing, as long as he remain'd in the Church, departed with a Sigh as soon as she saw him go out, and return'd to her Apart­ment, without speaking one Word all the Way to the young Fille De­vote who attended her; so absolute­ly was her Soul employ'd with this young holy Man. Cornelia (so was this Maid call'd who was with her) perceiving she was so silent, who us'd to be all Wit and good Humour, and observing her little Disorder at [Page 18] the Sight of the young Father, though she was far from imagining it to be Love, took an Occasion, when she was come home, to speak of him. Madam, said she, did you not observe that fine young Cordelier, who brought the Box? At a Que­stion that nam'd that Object of her Thoughts, Miranda blush'd; and the finding she did so, re-doubl'd her Confusion, and she had scarce Cou­rage enough to say,—Yes, I did observe him: And then, forcing her self to smile a little, continu'd; And I wonder'd to see so jolly a young Friar of an Order so severe, and mortify'd. Madam (reply'd Cornelia) when you know his Story, you will not wonder. Miranda, who was impatient to know all that concern'd her new Conqueror, oblig'd her to tell his Story; and Cornelia obey'd, and proceeded.

The Story of Prince Hen­rick.

YOU must know, Madam, that this young holy Man is a Prince of Germany, of the House of—whose Fate it was, to fall most passionately in Love with a fair young Lady, who lov'd him with an Ardour equal to what he vow'd her. Sure of her Heart, and wanting only the Approbation of her Parents, and his own, which her Quality did not suffer him to despair of, he boasted of his Hap­piness to a young Prince, his elder Brother, a Youth amorous and fierce, impatient of Joys, and sen­sible of Beauty, taking Fire with all fair Eyes: He was his Father's Darling, and Delight of his fond Mother; and by an Ascendant o­ver both their Hearts, rul'd their Wills.

[Page 20] This young Prince no sooner saw, but lov'd the fair Mistress of his Brother, and with an Authori­ty of a Soveraign, rather than the Advice of a Friend, warn'd his Brother Henrick (this now young Friar) to approach no more this Lady, whom he had seen; and seeing, lov'd.

In vain the poor surpriz'd Prince pleads his Right of Love, his Ex­change of Vows, and Assurance of an Heart that cou'd never be but for himself. In vain he urges his Nearness of Blood, his Friendship, his Passion, or his Life, which so entirely depended on the Possession of the charming Maid. All his Pleading serv'd but to blow his Brother's Flame; and the more he implores, the more the other burns; and while Henrick follows him on his Knees, with humble Submissions, the other flies from him in Rages of transported Love; [Page 21] nor cou'd his Tears, that pursu'd his Brother's Steps, move him to Pity: Hot-headed, vain-conceited of his Beauty, and greater Quality, as elder Brother, he doubts not his Success, and resolv'd to sacrifice all to the Violence of his new-born Passion.

In short, he speaks of his De­sign to his Mother, who promis'd him her Assistance; and according­ly, proposing it first to the Prince, her Husband, urging the Languish­ment of her Son, she soon wrought so on him, that a Match being con­cluded between the Parents of this young Beauty, and Henrick's Bro­ther, the Hour was appointed be­fore she knew of the Sacrifice she was to be made. And while this was in Agitation, Henrick was sent on some great Affairs, up into Ger­many, far out of the way; not but his boading Heart, with perpetual Sighs and Throbs, eternally fore­told him his Fate.

[Page 22] All the Letters he writ were in­tercepted, as well as those she writ to him. She finds her self every Day perplex'd with the Addresses of the Prince she hated; he was ever sighing at her Feet. In vain were all her Reproaches, and all her Coldness, he was on the surer side; for what he found Love wou'd not do, Force of Parents wou'd.

She complains in her Heart on young Henrick, from whom she cou'd never receive one Letter; and at last, cou'd not forbear bursting into Tears, in spight of all her Force, and feign'd Courage; when on a Day the Prince told her, that Henrick was withdrawn, to give him time to court her, to whom, he said, He confess'd he had made some Vows, but did repent of 'em, knowing himself too young to make 'em good: That it was for that Reason he brought him first to see her; and for that Rea­son [Page 23] that after that he never saw her more, nor so much as took leave of her; (when, indeed, his Death lay upon the next Visit, his Brother having sworn to murther him; and to that End, put a Guard upon him, till he was sent into Germany.)

All this he utter'd with so many passionate Asseverations, Vows and seeming Pity for her being so in­humanely abandon'd, that she al­most gave Credit to all he had said, and had much a-do to keep her self within the Bounds of Moderation, and silent Grief. Her Heart was breaking, her Eyes languish'd, and her Cheeks grew pale, and she had like to have fallen dead into the treacherous Arms of him that had reduc'd her to this Discovery; but she did what she cou'd to assume her Courage, and to shew as lit­tle Resentment as possible for a Heart, like hers, oppress'd with Love, and now abandon'd by the [Page 24] dear Subject of its Joys and Pains.

But, Madam, not to tire you with this Adventure, the Day ar­riv'd wherein our still weeping fair Unfortunate was to be sacrific'd to the Capriciousness of Love; and she was carry'd to Court by her Pa­rents, without knowing to what End, where she was almost com­pell'd to marry the Prince.

Henrick, who, all this while, knew no more of his Unhappiness, than what his Fears suggested, re­turns, and passes even to the Pre­sence of his Father, before he knew any thing of his Fortune; where he beheld his Mistress and his Bro­ther, with his Father, in such a Fa­miliarity, as he no longer doubted his Destiny. 'Tis hard to judge whe­ther the Lady or himself was most surpriz'd; she was all pale and un­moveable in her Chair, and Hen­rick fix'd like a Statue; at last [Page 25] Grief and Rage took place of A­mazement, and he cou'd not for­bear crying out, Ah, Traytor! Is it thus you have treated a Friend, and Brother? And you, O perjur'd Charmer! Is it thus you have re­warded all my Vows? He cou'd say no more; but reeling against the Door, had fall'n in a Swown upon the Floor, had not his Page caught him in his Arms, who was entring with him. The good old Prince, the Father, who knew not what all this meant, was soon in­form'd by the young, weeping Princess; who, in relating the Sto­ry of her Amour with Henrick, told her Tale in so moving a man­ner, as brought Tears to the old Man's Eyes, and Rage to those of her Husband; he immediately grew jealous to the last Degree: He finds himself in Possession ('tis true) of the Beauty he ador'd, but the Beauty adoring another; a Prince, young, and Charming as the Light; soft, witty, and raging [Page 26] with an equal Passion. He finds this dreaded Rival in the same House with him, with an Autho­rity equal to his own; and fansies, where two Hearts are so entirely agreed, and have so good an Un­derstanding, it wou'd not be im­possible to find Opportunities to satisfie and ease that mutual Flame that burnt so equally in both; he therefore resolv'd to send him out of the World, and to establish his own Repose by a Deed, wicked, cruel and unnatural, to have him assassinated the first Opportunity he cou'd find. This Resolution set him a little at ease, and he strove to dissemble Kindness to Henrick, with all the Art he was capable of, suffering him to come often to the Appartment of the Princess, and to entertain her oftentimes with Dis­course, when he was not near e­nough to hear what he spoke; but still watching their Eyes, he found those of Henrick full of Tears, rea­dy to slow, but restrain'd, looking [Page 27] all dying, and yet reproaching, while those of the Princess were ever bent to the Earth, and she, as much as possible, shunning his Con­versation. Yet this did not satis­fie the jealous Husband; 'twas not her Complaisance that cou'd ap­pease him, he found her Heart was panting within when-ever Henrick approach'd her, and every Visit more and more confirm'd his Death.

The Father often found the Dis­orders of the Sons; the Softness and Address of the one gave him as much Fear, as the angry Blush­ings, the fierce Looks, and broken Replies of the other, when-ever he beheld Henrick approach his Wife: So that the Father fearing some ill Consequence of this, be­sought Henrick to withdraw to some other Country, or travel in­to Italy, he being now of an Age that requir'd a View of the World. He told his Father, that he wou'd [Page 28] obey his Commands, though he was certain, that Moment he was to be separated from the sight of the fair Princess, his Sister, wou'd be the last of his Life; and, in fine, made so pitiful a Story of his suffe­ring Love, as almost mov'd the old Prince to compassionate him so far, as to permit him to stay; but he saw inevitable Danger in that, and therefore bid him prepare for his Journey.

That which pass'd between the Father and Henrick being a Secret, none talk'd of his departing from Court; so that the Design the Bro­ther had, went on; and making an Hunting-match one Day, where most young People of Quality were, he order'd some whom he had hir'd to follow his Brother, so as if he chanc'd to go out of the Way, to dispatch him; and accor­dingly, Fortune gave 'em an Op­portunity; for he lagg'd behind the Company, and turn'd aside into a [Page 29] pleasant Thicket of Hazles; where alighting, he walk'd on foot in the most pleasant part of it, sull of Thought how to divide his Soul between Love and Obedience. He was sensible that he ought not to stay, that he was but an Affliction to the young Princess, whose Ho­nour cou'd never permit her to ease any part of his Flame; nor was he so vitious, to entertain a Thought that shou'd stain her Vertue. He beheld her now as his Brother's Wife, and that secur'd his Flame from all loose Desires, if her native Modesty had not been sufficient of it self to have done it, and that pro­found Respect he pay'd her: And he consider'd, in obeying his Fa­ther, he left her at ease, and his Brother freed of a thousand Fears; he went to seek a Cure, which if he cou'd not find, at last he cou'd but die; and so he must, even at her Feet: However, that 'twas more noble to seek a Remedy for his Disease, than expect a certain [Page 30] Death by staying. After a thou­sand Reflections on his hard Fate, and bemoaning himself, and bla­ming his cruel Stars, that had doom'd him to die so young; af­ter an infinity of Sighs and Tears, Resolvings and Unresolvings, he on the suddain was interrupted by the Trampling of some Horses he heard, and their rushing through the Boughs, and saw four Men make towards him: He had not time to mount, being walk'd some Paces from his Horse. One of the Men advanc'd, and cry'd, Prince, you must die.—I do believe thee (reply'd Henrick) but not by a Hand so base as thine: And at the same time, drawing his Sword, run him into the Groin. When the Fellow found himself so woun­ded, he wheel'd off, and cry'd, Thou art a Prophet, and hast re­warded my Treachery with Death. The rest came up, and one shot at the Prince, and shot him into the Shoulder; the other two hastily [Page 31] laying hold (but too late) on the Hand of the Murtherer, cry'd, Hold, Traytor; we relent, and he shall not die. He reply'd, 'Tis too late, he is shot; and see, he lies dead: Let us provide for our selves, and tell the Prince, we have done the Work; for you are as guil­ty as I am. At that they all fled, and left the Prince lying under a Tree, weltering in his Blood.

About the Evening, the Forester going his Walks, saw the Horse richly caparison'd, without a Ri­der, at the Entrance of the Wood; and going farther, to see if he cou'd find its Owner, found there the Prince almost dead: He imme­diately mounts him on the Horse, and himself behind, bore him up, and carry'd him to the Lodge; where he had only one old Man, his Father, well skill'd in Surgery, and a Boy. They put him to Bed, and the old Forester, with what Art he had, dress'd his Wound, [Page 32] and in the Morning sent for an abler Surgeon, to whom the Prince enjoin'd Secrecy, because he knew him. The Man was faith­ful, and the Prince, in time, was recover'd of his Wound; and as soon as he was well, he came for Flanders, in the Habit of a. Pil­grim, and after some time, took the Order of St. Francis, none knowing what became of him, till he was profess'd; and then he writ his own Story to the Prince his Father, to his Mistress, and his ungrateful Brother. The young Princess did not long survive his Loss, she languish'd from the Mo­ment of his Departure; and he had this to confirm his devout Life, to know she dy'd for him.

My Brother, Madam, was an Officer under the Prince, his Fa­ther, and knew his Story perfect­ly well; from whose Mouth I had it.

[Page 33] What! (reply'd Miranda then) is Father Henrick a Man of Quali­ty? Yes, Madam, (said Cornelia,) and has chang'd his Name to Fran­cisco. But Miranda, fearing to be­tray the Sentiments of her Heart, by asking any more Questions about him, turn'd the Discourse; and some Persons of Quality came in to visit her (for her Apartment was, about Six a-Clock, like the Presence-Chamber of a Queen, al­ways fill'd with the greatest Peo­ple.) There meet all the Beaux E­spreets, and all the Beauties. But it was visible Miranda was not so gay as she us'd to be; but pensive, and answering Mal a propo, to all that was said to her. She was a thousand times going to speak, a­gainst her Will, something of the charming Friar, who was never from her Thoughts; and she ima­gin'd, if he cou'd inspire Love in a course, gray, ill-made Habit, a shorn Crown, a Hair-Cord about his [Page 34] Waste, bare leg'd, in Sandals instead of Shooes, what must he do, when looking back on Time, she beholds him in a prospect of Glory, with all that Youth and Illustrious Beau­ty set off by the Advantage of Dress and Equipage. She frames an Idea of him all gay and splendid, and looks on his present Habit as some Disguise proper for the Stealths of Love; some feign'd put-on Shape, with the more Security to approach a Mistress, and make himself happy; and that, the Robe laid by, she has the Lover in his proper Beauty, the same he wou'd have been if any other Habit (though never so rich) were put off: In the Bed, the silent, gloomy Night, and the soft Embra­ces of her Arms, he loses all the Friar, and assumes all the Prince; and that awful Reverence, due alone to his holy Habit, he exchanges for a thousand Dalliances for which his Youth was made; for Love, for ten­der Embraces, and all the Happiness of Life. Some Moments she fan­sies [Page 35] him a Lover, and that the fair Object: that takes up all his Heart has left no room for her there; but that was a Thought that did not long perplex her, and which, al­most as soon as born, she turn'd to her Advantage: She beholds him a Lover, and therefore finds he has a Heart sensible and tender; he had Youth to be fir'd, as well as to in­spire; he was far from the lov'd Object, and totally without Hope; and she reasonably consider'd, that Flame wou'd of it self soon die, that had only Despair to feed on. She beheld her own Charms; and Ex­perience, as well as her Glass; told her, they never fail'd of Conquest; especially, where they design'd it: And she believ'd Henrick wou'd be glad, at least, to quench that Flame in himself, by an Amour with her, which was kindl'd by the young Princess of—his Sister.

These, and a thousand other Self­flatteries, all vain and indiscreet, [Page 36] took up her waking Nights, and now more retir'd Days; while Love, to make her truly wretched, suffer'd her to sooth her self with fond Imaginations; not so much as permitting her Reason to plead one Moment, to save her from Undo­ing: She wou'd not suffer it to tell her, he had taken holy Orders, made sacred and solemn Vows of everlasting Chastity, that 'twas im­possible he cou'd marry her, or lay before her any Argument that might prevent her Ruin; but Love, mad, malicious Love was always call'd to Counsel, and, like easie Monarchs, she had no Ears, but for Flatterers.

Well then, she is resolv'd to love, without considering to what End, and what must be the Consequence of such an Amour. She now miss'd no Day of being at that little Church, where she had the Happi­ness, or rather, the Misfortune (so Love ordain'd) to see this Ravisher of her Heart and Soul; and every [Page 37] Day she took new Fire from his lovely Eyes: Unawares, unknown and un­willingly he gave her Wounds, and the difficulty of her Cure made her rage the more: She burnt, she lan­guish'd, and dy'd for the young In­nocent, who knew not he was the Author of so much Mischief.

Now she revolves a thousand Ways in her tortur'd Mind, to let him know her Anguish, and at last pitch'd upon that of writing to him soft Billets, which she had learnt the Art of doing; or if she had not, she had now Fire enough to inspire her with all that cou'd charm and move. These she deliver'd to a young Wench who waited on her, and whom she had entirely subdu'd to her Interest, to give to a certain Lay-Brother of the Order, who was a very simple, harmless Wretch, and who serv'd in the Kitchin in the na­ture of a Cook in the Monastery of Cordeliers: She gave him Gold to secure his Faith and Service; and [Page 38] not knowing from whence they came (with so good Credentials) he undertook to deliver the Letters to Father Francisco; which Letters were all afterwards, as you shall hear, produc'd in open Court. These Letters fail'd not to come every Day; and the Sence of the first was, to tell him that a very beautiful young Lady, of a great Fortune, was in love with him, without na­ming her; but it came as from a third Person, to let him know the Secret, that she desir'd he wou'd let her know whether she might hope any Return from him; assuring him, he needed but only see the fair Languisher, to confess himself her Slave.

This Letter, being deliver'd him, he read by himself, and was sur­priz'd to receive Words of this na­ture, being so great a Stranger in that place; and cou'd not imagine, or wou'd not give himself the trou­ble of guessing who this shou'd be, [Page 39] because he never design'd to make Returns.

The next Day Miranda, finding no Advantage from her Messenger of Love, in the Evening sends ano­ther (impatient of Delay) confessing that she who suffer'd the Shame of Writing and Imploring, was the Person her self who ador'd him. 'Twas there her raging Love made her say all things that discover'd the nature of its Flame, and propose to slee with him to any part of the World, if he wou'd quit the Con­vent; that she had a Fortune con­siderable enough to make him hap­py, and that his Youth and Quali­ty were not given him to so unpro­fitable an End as to lose themselves in a Convent, where Poverty and Ease was all their Business. In fine, she leaves nothing unurg'd that might debauch and invite him; not forgetting to send him her own Cha­racter of Beauty, and left him to judge of her Wit and Spirit by her [Page 40] Writing, and her Love by the Ex­tremity of Passion she profess'd. To all which the lovely Friar made no Return, as believing a gentle Capi­tulation or Exhortation to her wou'd but inflame her the more, and give new Occasions for her continuing to write. All her Reasonings, false and vitious, he despis'd, pities the Error of her Love, and was Proof against all she cou'd plead. Yet notwithstanding his Silence, which left her in doubt, and more tormen­ted her, she ceas'd not to pursue him with her Letters, varying her Style; sometimes all wanton, loose and raving; sometimes feigning a Virgin-Modesty all over, accusing her self, blaming her Conduct, and sighing her Destiny, as one com­pell'd to the shameful Discovery by the Austerity of his Vow and Habit, asking his Pity and Forgiveness; urging him in Charity to use his fa­therly Care to perswade and reason with her wild Desires, and by his Counsel drive the God from her [Page 41] Heart, whose Tyranny was worse than that of a Fiend; and he did not know what his pious Advice might do. But still she writes in vain, in vain she varies her Style, by a Cun­ning, peculiar to a Maid possess'd with such a sort of Passion.

This cold Neglect was still Oil to the burning Lamp, and she tries yet more Arts, which, for want of right Thinking, were as fruitless. She has recourse to Presents; her Let­ters came loaded with Rings of great price, and Jewels, which Fops of Quality had given her. Many of this sort he receiv'd, before he knew where to return 'em, or how; and on this Occasion alone he sent her a Letter, and restor'd her Tri­fles, as he call'd em: But his Habit having not made him forget his Quality and Education, he writ to her with all the profound Respect imaginable; believing by her Pre­sents, and the Liberality with which she parted with 'em, that she was of [Page 42] Quality. But the whole Letter, as he told me afterwards, was to per­swade her from the Honour she did him, by loving him; urging a thou­sand Reasons, solid and pious, and assuring her, he had wholly devo­ted the rest of his Days to Heaven, and had no need of those gay Tri­fles she had sent him, which were only fit to adorn Ladies so fair as her self, and who had business with this glittering World, which he dis­dain'd, and had for ever abandon'd. He sent her a thousand Blessings, and told her, she shou'd be ever in his Prayers, though not in his Heart, as she desir'd: And abundance of Goodness more he express'd, and Counsel he gave her, which had the same Effect with his Silence; it made her Love but the more, and the more impatient she grew: She now had a new Occasion to write, she now is charm'd with his Wit; this was the new Subject. She ral­lies his Resolution, and endeavours to re-call him to the World, by all the [Page 43] Arguments that Humane Invention is capable of.

But when she had above four Months languish'd thus in vain, not missing one Day, wherein she went not to see him, without discovering her self to him; she resolv'd, as her last Effort, to shew her Person, and see what that, assisted by her Tears, and soft Words from her Mouth, cou'd do, to prevail upon him.

It happen'd to be on the Eve of that Day when she was to receive the Sacrament, that she, covering her self with her Veil, came to Vespers, purposing to make choice of the conquering Friar for her Confessor.

She approach'd him; and as she did so, she trembl'd with Love: At last she cry'd, Father, my Confessor is gone for some time from the Town, and I am oblig'd to morrow to re­ceive, and beg you will be pleas'd to take my Confession.

[Page 44] He cou'd not refuse her; and led her into the Sacriste, where there is a Confession-Chair, in which he seated himself; and on one side of him she kneel'd down, over against a little Altar, where the Priests Robes lie, on which was plac'd some lighted Wax-Candles, that made the little place very light and splendid, which shone full upon Miranda.

After the little Preparation usual in Confession, she turn'd up her Veil, and discover'd to his View the most wond'rous Object of Beauty he had ever seen, dress'd in all the Glory of a young Bride; her Hair and Stomacher full of Diamonds, that gave a Lustre all dazling to her brighter Face and Eyes. He was surpriz'd at her amazing Beauty, and question'd whether he saw a Woman or an Angel at his Feet. Her Hands, which were elevated, as if in Prayer, seem'd to be form'd [Page 45] of polish'd Alabaster; and he con­fess'd, he had never seen any thing in Nature so perfect, and so admi­rable.

He had some pain to compose himself to hear her Confession, and was oblig'd to turn away his Eyes, that his Mind might not be per­plex'd with an Object fo diverting; when Miranda, opening the finest Mouth in the World, and discove­ring new Charms, began her Con­fession.

Holy Father (said she;) amongst the number of my vile Offences, that which afflicts me to the greatest De­gree is, that I am in Love: Not (continu'd she) that I believe simple, and vertuous Love a Sin, when 'tis plac'd on an Object proper and suita­ble; but, my dear Father, (said she, and wept,) I love with a Violence which cannot be contain'd within the Bounds of Reason, Moderation, or Vertue. I love a Man whom I can­not [Page 46] possess without a Crime, and a Man who cannot make me happy with­out becoming perjur'd. Is he mar­ry'd? (reply'd the Father.) No; (answer'd Miranda.) Are you so? (contiu'd he.) Neither; (said she. Is he too near ally'd to you▪ (said Francisco:) a Brother, or Re­lation? Neither of these, (said she:) He is unenjoy'd unpromis'd; and so am I: Nothing opposes our Happiness, or makes my Love a Vice, but you:—'Tis you deny me Life: 'Tis you that forbids my Flame: 'Tis you will have me die, and seek my Remedy in my Grave, when I complain of Tortures, Wounds and Flames. O cruel Charmer, 'tis for you I languish; and here, at your Feet, implore that Pity which all my Addresses have fail'd of procuring me.—

With that, perceiving he was about to rise from his Seat, she held him by his Habit, and vow'd she wou'd in that posture follow him, [Page 47] where-ever he flew from her. She elevated her Voice so loud, he was afraid she might be heard, and therefore suffer'd her to force him into his Chair again; where being seated, he began, in the most pas­sionate Terms imaginable, to dis­swade her; but finding she but the more persisted in Eagerness of Pas­sion, he us'd all the tender Assu­rance that he cou'd force from him­self, that he wou'd have for her all the Respect, Esteem and Friendship that he was capable of paying; that he had a real Compassion for her; and at last, she prevail'd so far with him by her Sighs and Tears, as to own he had a Tenderness for her, and that he cou'd not behold so ma­ny Charms, without being sensibly touch'd by 'em, and finding all those Effects that a Maid so young and fair causes in the Souls of Men of Youth and Sense: But that, as he was assur'd he cou'd never be so happy to marry her, and as certain he cou'd not grant any thing but [Page 48] honourable Passion, he humbly be­sought her not to expect more from him than such; and then began to tell her how short Life was, and transitory its Joys; how soon she wou'd grow weary of Vice, and how often change to find real Re­pose in it, but never arrive to it. He made an End by new Assurance of his eternal Friendship, but utter­ly forbad her to hope.

Behold her now deny'd, refus'd and defeated, with all her pleading Youth, Beauty, Tears and Knees, imploring, as she lay, holding fast his Scapular, and embracing his Feet. What shall she do? She swells with Pride, Love, Indigna­tion and Desire; her burning Heart is bursting with Despair, her Eyes grow fierce, and from Grief, she ri­ses to a Storm; and in her Agony of Passion, which looks all disdain­ful, haughty, and full of Rage, she began to revile him, as the poorest of Animals: Tells him, his Soul [Page 49] was dwindl'd to the Meanness of his Habit, and his Vows of Poverty were suited to his degenerate Mind. And (said she) since all my nobler Ways have fail'd me; and that, for a little hypocritical Devotion, you re­solve to lose the greatest Blessings of Life, and to sacrifice me to your re­ligious Pride and Vanity, I will ei­ther force you to abandon that dull Dissimulation; or you shall die, to prove your Sanctity real. Therefore answer me immediately, answer my Flame, my raging Fire, which your Eyes have kindl'd; or here, in this very Moment, I will ruin thee; and make no Scruple of revenging the Pains I suffer, by that which shall take away your Lise and Honour.

The trembling young Man, who, all this while, with extream An­guish of Mind, and Fear of the dire Result, had listen'd to her Ravings, full of Dread, demanded what she wou'd have him do. When she re­ply'd,—Do that which thy Youth [Page 50] and Beauty were ordain'd to do:—This place is private, a sacred Silence reigns here, and no one dares to pry into the Secrets of this holy place: We are as secure from Fears of Interruption, as in Desarts unin­habited, or Caves forsaken by wild Beasts. The Tapers too shall veil their Lights, and only that glimme­ring Lamp shall be Witness of our dear Stealths of Love.—Come to my Arms, my trembling, longing Arms; and curse the Folly of thy Bigottry, that has made thee so long lose a Blessing, for which so many Princes sigh in vain.

At these Words she rose from his Fcet, and snatching him in her Arms, he cou'd not defend himself from receiving a thousand Kisses from the lovely Mouth of the char­ming Wanton; after which, she ran her self, and in an instant put out the Candles. But he cry'd to her, In vain, O too indiscreet fair One; in vain you put out the Light; for [Page 51] Heaven still has Eyes, and will look down upon my broken Vows. I own your Power, I own I have all the Sense in the World of your charming Touches; I am frail Flesh and Blood, but yet—yet—yet I can resist; and I prefer my Vows to all your powerful Temptations.—I will be deaf and blind, and guard my Heart with Walls of Ice, and make you know, that when the Flames of true Devo­tion are kindled in a Heart, it puts out all other Fires; which are as in­effectual, as Candles lighted in the Face of the Sun.—Go, vain Wanton, and repent, and mortifie that Blood which has so shamefully betray'd thee, and which will one Day ruin both thy Soul and Body.—

At these Words Miranda, more enrag'd, the nearer she imagin'd her self to Happiness, made no Reply; but throwing her self, in that in­stant, into the Confessing-Chair, and violently pulling the young Friar into her Lap, she elevated her Voice [Page 52] to such a degree, in crying out, Help, help: A Rape: Help, help, that she was heard all over the Church, which was full of People at the Evening's Devotion; who flock'd about the Door of the Sa­cristy, which was shut with a Spring-lock on the in-side, but they durst not open the Door.

'Tis easily to be imagin'd, in what Condition our young Friar was, at this last devilish Stratagem of his wicked Mistress. He strove to break from those Arms that held him so fast; and his bustling to get away and hers to retain him, disorder'd her Hair and her Habit to such a degree, as gave the more Credit to her false Accusation.

The Fathers had a Door on the other side, by which they usually en­ter'd, to dress in this little Room; and at the Report that was in an instant made 'em, they hasted thither, and found Miranda and the good Father [Page 53] very indecently struggling; which they mis-interpreted, as Miranda de­sir'd; whc, all in Tears, immediate­ly threw her self at the Feet of the Provincial, who was one of those that enter'd; and cry'd, O holy Fa­ther, revenge an innocent Maid, un­done and lost to Fame and Honour, by that vile Monster, born of Goats, nurs'd by Tygers, and bred up on savage Mountains, where Humanity and Religion are Strangers. For, O holy Father, cou'd it have enter'd into the Heart of Man, to have done so barbarous and horrid a Deed, as to attempt the Virgin-Honour of an unspotted Maid, and one of my Degree, even in the Moment of my Confession, in that holy time, when I was prostrate before him and Hea­ven, confessing those Sins that press'd my tender Conscience; even then to load my Soul with the blackest of In­famies, to add to my Number a Weight that must sink me to Hell? Alas, under the Security of his in­nocent Looks, his holy Habit, and [Page 54] his awful Function, I was lead into this Room, to make my Confession; where, he locking the Door, I had no sooner began, but he gazing on me, took Fire at my fatal Beauty; and starting up, put out the Candles, and caught me in his Arms; and raising me from the Pavement, set me in the Confes­sion-Chair; and then—Oh, spare me the rest.

With that a Shower of Tears burst from her fair dissembling Eyes, and Sobs so naturally acted, and so well manag'd, as left no Doubt up­on the good Men, but all she had spoken was Truth.

—At first, (proceeded she,) I was unwilling to bring so great a Scan­dal on his Order, as to cry out; but struggl'd as long as I had Breath, pleaded the heinousness of the Crime; urging my Quality, and the danger of the Attempt. But he, deaf as the Winds, and ruffling as a Storm, pursu'd his wild Design with so much [Page 55] Force and Insolence, as I at last, un­able to resist, was wholly vanquish'd, robb'd of my native Purity: With what Life and Breath I had, I call'd for Assistance, both from Men and Heaven; but Oh, alass! your Succours come too late:—You find me here a wretched, undone and ra­vish'd Maid. Revenge me, Fathers; revenge me on the perfidious Hypo­crite, or else give me a Death that may secure your Cruelty and Injustice from ever being proclaim'd o'er the World; or my Tongue will be eter­nally reproaching you, and cursing the wicked Author of my Infamy.

She ended as she began, with a thousand Sighs and Tears; and re­ceiv'd from the Provincial all Assu­rances of Revenge.

The innocent betray'd Victim, all this while she was speaking, heard her with an Astonishment that may easily be imagin'd; yet shew'd no extravagant Signs of it, [Page 56] as those wou'd do, who feign it to be thought innocent; but being really so, he bore, with an humble, modest, and blushing Countenance, all her Accusations: Which silent Shame they mistoook for evident Signs of his Guilt.

When the Provincial demanded, with an unwonted Severity in his Eyes and Voice, what he cou'd an­swer for himself; calling him Pro­phaner of his sacred Vows, and In­famy to the holy Order; the Injur'd, but the innocently Accus'd, only re­ply'd, May Heaven forgive that bad Woman, and bring her to Repentance: For his part, he was not so much in love with Life, as to use many Arguments to justifie his Innocence; unless it were to free that Order from a Scan­dal, of which he had the Honour to be profess'd: [...] as for himself, Life or Death were things indiffe­rent to him, who heartily despis'd the World.

[Page 57] He said no more, and suffer'd himself to be led before the Magi­strate; who committed him to Pri­son, upon the Accusation of this im­placable Beauty; who, with so much feign'd Sorrow, prosecuted the Mat­ter, even to his Trial and Condem­nation; where he refus'd to make any great Defence for himself. But being daily visited by all the Reli­gious, both of his own, and other Orders, they oblig'd him (some of 'em knowing the Austerity of his Life, others his Cause of Griefs that first brought him into Orders, and others pretending a nearer Know­ledge even of his Soul it self) to stand upon his Justification, and discover what he knew of that wicked Wo­man; whose Life had not been so ex­emplary for Vertue, not to have gi­ven the World a thousand Suspicions of her Lewdness and Prostitution.

The daily Importunities of these Fathers made him produce her Let­ters: [Page 58] But as he had all the Gown-Men on his side, she had all the Hatts and Feathers on hers; all the Men of Quality taking her Part, and all the Church-men his. They heard his daily Protestations and Vows, but not a Word of what pas­sed at Confession was yet discover'd: He held that as a Secret sacred on his part; and what was said in na­ture of a Confession, was not to be reveal'd, though his Life depended on the Discovery. But as to the Letters, they were forc'd from him, and expos'd; however, Matters were carry'd with so high a Hand against him, that they serv'd for no Proof at all of his Innocence, and he was at last condemn'd to be bur­ned at the Market-place.

After his Sentence was pass'd, the whole Body of Priests made their Addresses to Marquis. Casteil Ro­derigo, the then Governor of Flan­ders, for a Reprieve; which, after much a-do, was granted him for [Page 59] some Weeks, but with an absolute Denial of Pardon; so prevailing were the young Cavaliers of his Court, who were all Adorers of this fair Jilt.

About this time, while the poor, innocent young Henrick was thus languishing in Prison, in a dark and dismal Dungeon; and Miranda, cu­red of her Love, was triumphing in her Revenge, expecting, and daily gaining new Conquests; and who, by this time, had re-assum'd all her wonted Gaity, there was a great Noise about the Town, That a Prince of mighty Name, and sam'd for all the Excellencies of his Sex, was ar­riv'd; a Prince young, and glo­riously attended, call'd Prince Tar­quin.

We had often heard of this great Man, and that he was making his Travels in France and Germany: And we had also heard, that some Years before, he being about Eigh­teen [Page 60] Years of Age, in the time when our King Charles of blessed Memory was▪ in Bruxels, in the last Year of his Banishment, that all on a sud­dain, this young Man rose up upon 'em like the Sun, all glorious and dazling, demanding Place of all the Princes in that Court. And when his Pretence was demanded, he own'd himself Prince Tarquin, of the Race of the last Kings of Rome, made good his Title, and took his Place accordingly. After that, he travell'd for about fix Years up and down the World, and then arriv'd at Antwerp, about the time of my being sent thither by His Late Majesty.

Perhaps there cou'd be nothing seen so magnificent as this Prince: He was, as I said, extreamly hand­some, from Head to Foot exactly form'd, and he wanted nothing that might adorn that native Beauty to the best Advantage. His Parts were suitable to the rest: He had an Ac­complishment fit for a Prince, an [Page 61] Air haughty, but a Carriage affable, easie in Conversation, and very En­tertaining, Liberal and Good-na­tur'd, Brave and Inoffensive. I have seen him pass the Streets with twelve Foot-men, and four Pages; the Pa­ges all in green Velvet Coats, lac'd with Gold, and white Velvet Trunks; the Men in Cloth, richly lac'd with Gold; his Coaches, and all other Officers, suitable to a great Man.

He was all the Discourse of the Town; some laughing at his Title, others reverencing it: Some cry'd, that he was an Imposture; others, that he had made his Title as plain, as if Tarquin had reign'd but a Year a-go. Some made Friendships with him, others wou'd have nothing to say to him; but all wonder'd where this Revenue was▪ that supported this Grandure; and believ'd, though he cou'd make his Descent from the Roman Kings very well out, that he cou'd not lay so good a Claim to the [Page 62] Roman Land. Thus every Body medled with what they had no­thing to do; and as in other pla­ces, thought themselves on the surer side, if, in these doubtful Cases, they imagin'd the worst.

But the Men might be of what Opinion they pleas'd concerning him, the Ladies were all agreed that he was a Prince, and a young, hand­some Prince, and a Prince not to be resisted: He had all their Wishes, all their Eyes, and all their Hearts: They now dress'd only for him; and what Church he grac'd, was sure, that Day, to have the Beauties, and all that thought themselves so.

You may believe, our amorous Miranda was not the last Conquest he made. She no sooner heard of him, which was as soon as he ar­riv'd, but she fell in love with his very Name. Jesu!—A young King of Rome! Oh, 'twas so novel, that she doated on the Title; and [Page 63] had not car'd whether the rest had been Man or Monkey almost: She was resolv'd to be the Lucretia, that this young Tarquin shou'd ravish.

To this End, she was no sooner up the next Day, but she sent him a Billet-Deaux, assuring him how much she admir'd his Fame; and that being a Stranger in the Town, she begg'd the Honour of introducing him to all the Belle-Conversations, &c. Which he took for the Invita­tion of some Coquet, who had In­terest in fair Ladies; and civilly re­turn'd her an Answer, that he wou'd wait on her. She had him that Day watch'd to Church; and impatient to see what she heard so many Peo­ple flock to see, she went also to the same Church; those sanctified A­bodes being too often prophan'd by such Devotee's, whose Business is to ogle and ensnare.

But what a Noise and Humming was heard all over the Church when [Page 64] Tarquin enter'd; his Grace, his Mein, his Fashion, his Beauty, his Dress, and his Equipage surpriz'd all that were present: And by the good Management and Care of Miranda, she got to kneel at the Side of the Altar, just over against the Prince; so that, if he wou'd, he cou'd not avoid looking full upon her. She had turn'd up her Veil, and all her Face and Shape appear'd such, and so inchanting as I have describ'd: And her Beauty heighten'd with Blushes, and her Eyes full of Spirit and Fire, with Joy to find the young Roman Monarch so charming, she appear'd like something more than mortal, and compell'd his Eyes to a six'd Gazing on her Face: She never glanc'd that way, but she met 'em; and then wou'd feign so modest a Shame, and cast her Eyes down­ward with such inviting Art, that he was wholly ravish'd and charm'd, and she over-joy'd to find he was so.

[Page 65] The Ceremony being ended; he sent a Page to follow that Lady home, himself pursuing her to the Door of the Church; where he took some Holy Water, and threw upon her, and made her a profound Re­verence. She forc'd an innocent Look, and a modest Gratitude in her Face, and bow'd, and pass'd for­ward, half assur'd of her Conquest; leaving him to go home to his Lodg­ing, and impatiently wait the Re­turn of his Page. And all the La­dies who saw this first Beginning be­tween the Prince and Miranda, be­gan to curse and envy her Charms, who had depriv'd 'em of half their Hopes.

After this, I need not tell you, he made Miranda a Visit; and from that Day, never left her Apartment, but when he went home at Nights, or unless he had Business; so entire­ly was he conquer'd by this fair One. But the Bishop, and several [Page 66] Men of Quality in Orders, that pro­fess'd Friendship to him, advis'd him from her Company; and spoke se­veral things to him, that might (if Love had not made him blind) have reclaim'd him from the Pursuit of his Ruin. But whatever they trusted him with, she had the Art to wind her self about his Heart, and make him unravel all his Secrets; and then knew as well, by feign'd Sighs and Tears, to make him dis-believe all. So that he had no Faith, but for her; and was wholly inchanted and bewitch'd by her, at last, in spight of all that wou'd have oppos'd it, he marry'd this famous Woman, pos­sess'd by so many great Men and Strangers before, while all the World was pitying his Shame and Misfor­tunes.

Being marry'd, they took a great House; and as she was in­deed a great Fortune, and now a great Princess, there was nothing wanting that was agreeable to their [Page 67] Quality; all was splendid and mag­nificent. But all this wou'd not ac­quire 'em the World's Esteem; they had an Abhorrence for her former Life, despis'd her; and for his espousing a Woman so infamous, they despis'd him. So that though they admir'd, and gaz'd upon their Equipage, and glorious Dress, they fore-saw the Ruin that attended it; and pay'd her Quality very little Respect.

She was no sooner marry'd, but her Uncle dy'd; and dividing his Fortune between Miranda and her Sister, and leaves the young Heiress, and all her Fortune, entirely in the Hands of the Princess.

We will call this Sister Alcidiana; she was about Fourteen Years of Age, and now had chosen her Bro­ther, the Prince, for her Guar­dian.

[Page 68] If Alcidiana were not altogether so great a Beauty as her Sister, she had Charms sufficient to procure her a great many Lovers, though her Fortune had not been so considerable as it was; but with that Addition, you may believe, she wanted no Courtships from those of the best Quality; though every Body de­plor'd her being under the Tutorage of a Lady so expert in all the Vices of her Sex, and so cunning a Mana­ger of Sin, as was the Princess; who, on her part, faild not, by all the Caresses, and obliging Endear­ments, to engage the Mind of this young Maid, and to subdue her whol­ly to her Government. All her Sen­ces were eternally regal'd with the most bewitching Pleasures they were capable of: She saw nothing but Glory and Magnificence, heard no­thing but Musick of the sweetest Sounds; the richest Persumes em­ploy'd her Smelling, and all she eat and touch'd was delicate and invi­ting; [Page 69] and being too young to con­sider how this State and Grandure was to be continu'd, little imagin'd her vast Fortune was every Day di­minishing, towards its needless Sup­port.

When the Princess went to Church, she had her Gentleman bare before her, carrying a great Velvet Cushion, with great golden Tassels, for her to kneel on, and her Train born up a most prodigious length; led by a Gentleman-Usher, bare; follow'd by innumerable Foot­men, Pages and Women. And in this State she wou'd walk in the Streets, as in those Countries 'tis the Fashion for the great Ladies to do, who are well; and in her Train, two or three Coaches, and perhaps a rich Velvet Chair embroider'd, wou'd follow in State.

'Twas thus for some time they liv'd, and the Princess was daily press'd by young sighing Lovers, for [Page 70] her Consent so marry Alcidiana; but she had still one Art or other to put 'em off, and so continually broke all the great Matches that were propos'd to her, notwithstanding their Kindred, and other Friends, had industriously endeavour'd to make several great Matches for her; but the Princess was still positive in her Denial, and one way or other broke all. At last it happen'd, there was one propos'd yet more advanta­geous; a young Count, with whom the young Maid grew passionately in Love, and besought her Sister to consent that she might have him, and got the Prince to speak in her Behalf; but he had no sooner heard the secret Reasons Miranda gave him, but (entirely her Slave) he chang'd his Mind, and suited it to hers, and she, as before, broke off that Amour; which so extreamly incens'd Alcidiana, that she, taking an Opportunity, got from her Guard, and ran away, putting her self into the Hands of a wealthy [Page 71] Merchant, her Kins-man, and one who bore the greatest Authority in the City; him she chuses for her Guardian, resolving to be no longer a Slave to the Tyranny of her Si­ster. And so well she order'd Mat­ters, that she writ to this young Ca­valier, her last Lover, and retriev'd him; who came back to Antwerp again, to renew his Courtship.

Both Parties being agreed, it was no hard matter to perswade all but the Princess: But though she op­pos'd it, it was resolv'd on, and the Day appointed for Marriage, and the Portion demanded, demanded only, but never to be pay'd, the best part of it being spent. How­ever, she put 'em off from Day to Day, by a thousand frivolous De­lays: And when she saw they wou'd have recourse to Force, and that all her Magnificence wou'd be at an End, if the Law shou'd prevail a­gainst her; and that, without this Sister's Fortune, she cou'd not long [Page 72] support her Grandure, she be­thought her self of a Means to make it all her own, by getting her Sister made away; but she being out of her Tuition, she was not able to ac­complish so great a Deed of Dark­ness: But since 'twas resolv'd it must be done, she revolves on a thousand Stratagems; and at last, pitches upon an effectual one.

She had a Page, call'd Van Brune; a Youth of great Address and Wit, and one she had long manag'd for her purpose. This Youth was about Seventeen Years of Age, and ex­treamly beautiful; and in the time when Alcidiana liv'd with the Prin­cess, she was a little in love with this handsome Boy; but 'twas check'd in its Infancy, and never grew up to a Flame: Nevertheless, Alcidiana retain'd still a sort of Tenderness for him, while he burn'd in good earnest with Love for the Princess.

[Page 73] The Princess one Day ordering this Page to wait on her in her Clo­set, she shut the Door; and after a thousand Questions of what he wou'd undertake to serve her, the amorous Boy, finding himself alone, and caress'd by the fair Person he ador'd, with joyful Blushes, that beautify'd his Face, told her, There was nothing upon Earth, he wou'd not do, to obey her least Commands. She grew more familiar with him, to oblige him; and seeing Love dance in his Eyes, of which she was so good a Judge, she treated him more like a Lover, than a Servant; till at last the ravish'd Youth, wholly transported out of himself, fell at her Feet, and impatiently implor'd to receive her Commands quickly, that he might fly to execute 'em; for he was not able to bear her char­ming Words, Looks and Touches, and retain his Duty. At this she smil'd, and told him, the Work was of such a nature, as wou'd mortifie [Page 74] all Flames about him; and he wou'd have more need of Rage, Envy and Malice, than the Aids of a Passion so soft as what she now found him ca­pable of. He assur'd her, he wou'd stick at nothing, though even a­gainst his Nature, to recompence for the Boldness he now, through Indiscretion, had discover'd. She smiling, told him, he had commit­ted no Fault; and that possibly, the Pay he shou'd receive for the Service she requir'd at his Hands, shou'd be—what he most wish'd for in the World. To this he bow'd to the Earth; and kissing her Feet, bad her command. And then she boldly told him, 'Twas to kill her Sister Al­cidiana. The Youth, without so much as starting, or pawsing upon the Matter, told her, It shou'd be done; and bowing low, immediate­ly went out of the Closet. She call'd him back, and wou'd have gi­ven him some Instruction; but he refus'd it, and said, The Action, and the Contrivance shou'd be all his own, [Page 75] And offering to go again, she—again re-call'd him; putting into his Hand a Purse of a hundred Pi­stols, which he took; and with a low Bow, departed.

He no sooner left her Presence, but he goes directly and buys a Dose of Poyson, and went immediately to the House where Alcidiana liv'd; where, desiring to be brought to her Presence, he fell a-weeping; and told her, his Lady had fallen out with him, and dismiss'd him her Service; and since, from a Child, he had been brought up in the Fa­mily, he humbly besought Alcidia­na to receive him into hers, she be­ing in a few Days to be marry'd. There needed not much Intreaty to a thing that pleas'd her so well, and she immediately receiv'd him to Pension. And he waited some Days on her, before he cou'd get an Op­portunity to administer his Devilish Potion: But one Night, when she drunk Wine with roasted Apples, [Page 76] which was usual with her; instead of Sugar, or with the Sugar, the baneful Drug was mix'd, and she drank it down.

About this time there was a great Talk of this Page's coming from one Sister, to go to the other. And Prince Tarquin, who was ignorant of the Design, from the Beginning to the End, hearing some Men of Quality at his Table speaking of Van Brune's Change of Place (the Princess then keeping her Chamber upon some trisling Indisposition) he answer'd, That surely they were mis­taken, that he was not dismiss'd from the Princess's Service. And calling some of his Servants, he ask'd for Van Brune; and whether any thing had happen'd between Her High­ness and him, that had occa­sion'd his being turn'd off. They all seem'd ignorant of this Matter; and those who had spoke of it, be­gan to fancy there was some Juggle in the Case, which Time wou'd bring to Light.

[Page 77] The ensuing Day 'twas all about the Town, that Alcidiana was poy­son'd; and though not dead, yet very near it; and that the Doctors said, she had taken Mercury. So that there was never so formidable a Sight as this fair young Creature; her Head and Body swoll'n, her Eyes starting out, her Face black▪ and all deform'd: So that diligent Search was made, who it shou'd be that did this; who gave her Drink and Meat. The Cook and Butler were examin'd, the Foot-men call'd to an Account; but all concluded, she receiv'd nothing, but from the Hand of her new Page, since he came into her Service. He was exa­min'd, and shew'd a thousand guil­ty Looks: And the Apothecary, then attending among the Doctors, prov'd he had bought Mercury of him three or four Days before; which he cou'd not deny; and ma­king Excuses for his buying it, be­tray'd him the more; so ill he [Page 78] chanc'd to dissemble. He was im­mediately sent to be examin'd by the Margrave or Justice, who made his Mittimus, and sent him to Pri­son.

'Tis easie to imagine in what Fears and Confusion the Princess was at this News: She took her Cham­ber upon it, more to hide her guil­ty Face, than for any Indisposition. And the Doctors apply'd such Re­medies to Alcidiana, such Antidotes against the Poyson, that in a short time she recover'd; but lost the fi­nest Hair in the World, and the Complexion of her Face ever af­ter.

It was not long before the Trials for Criminals came on; and the Day being arriv'd, Van Brune was try'd the first of all; every Body ha­ving already read his Destiny, ac­cording as they wish'd it; and none wou'd believe, but just indeed as it was: So that for the Revenge they [Page 79] hop'd to see fall upon the Princess, every one wish'd he might find no Mercy, that she might share of his Shame and Misery.

The Sessions-house was fill'd that Day with all the Ladies, and Chief of the Town, to hear the Result of his Trial; and the sad Youth was brought loaded with Chains, and pale as Death; where every Cir­cumstance being sufficiently prov'd against him, and he making but a weak Defence for himself, he was convicted, and sent back to Prison, to receive his Sentence of Death on the Morrow; where he own'd all, and who set him on to do it. He own'd 'twas not Reward of Gain he did it for, but Hope he shou'd command at his pleasure, the Pos­session of his Mistress, the Princess; who shou'd deny him nothing, after having intrusted him with so great a Secret; and that besides, she had elevated him with the Promise of that glorious Reward, and had dazl'd [Page 80] his young Heart with so charming a Prospect, that blind and mad with Joy, he rush'd forward, to gain the desir'd Prize; and thought on no­thing but his coming Happiness: That he saw too late the Follies of his presumptuous Flame, and curs'd the deluding Flatteries of the fair Hypocrite, who had sooth'd him to his Undoing: That he was a mise­rable Victim to her Wickedness, and hop'd he shou'd warn all young Men, by his Fall, to avoid the Dis­simulation of the deceiving Fair: That he hop'd they wou'd have Pi­ty on his Youth, and attribute his Crime to the subtile Perswasions a­lone of his Mistress, the Princess: And that since Alcidiana was not dead, they wou'd grant him Mer­cy, and permit him to live to re­pent of his grievous Crime, in some part of the World, whither they might banish him.

He ended with Tears, that fell in abundance from his Eyes; and im­mediately [Page 81] the Princess was appre­hended, and brought to Prison, to the same Prison where yet the poor young Father Francisco was lan­guishing, he having been from Week to Week repriev'd, by the Interces­sion of the Fathers; and possibly, she there had time to make some Reflections.

You may imagine Tarquin left no Means unessay'd, to prevent the Im­prisonment of the Princess, and the publick Shame and Infamy she was likely to undergo in this Affair: But the whole City being over-joy'd that she shou'd be punish'd, as an Author of all this Mischief, were so generally bent against her, both Priests, Magistrates and People; the whole Force of the Stream run­ning that way, she found no more Favour than the meanest Criminal. The Prince therefore, when he saw 'twas impossible to rescue her from the Hands of Justice, suffer'd with Grief unspeakable what he cou'd not [Page 82] prevent; and led her himself to the Prison, follow'd by all his People, in as much State, as if he had been go­ing to his Marriage; where, when she came, she was as well attended and serv'd as before, he never stir­ring one Moment from her.

The next Day she was try'd in open and common Court; where she appear'd in Glory, led by Tar­quin, and attended according to her Quality: And she cou'd not deny all the Page had alledg'd against her, who was brought thither also in Chains; and after a great many Circumstances, she was found guil­ty, and both receiv'd Sentence; the Page to be hang'd, till he was dead, on a Gibbet in the Market-place; and the Princess to stand under the Gibbet, with a Rope about her Neck, the other End of which was to be fasten'd to the Gibbet where the Page was hanging; and to have an Inscription in large Characters upon her Back and Breast, of the [Page 83] Cause why: Where she was to stand from Ten in the Morning, to Twelve.

This Sentence, the People, with one Accord, believ'd too favourable for so ill a Woman, whose Crimes deserv'd Death, equal to that of Van Brune: Nevertheless, there were some who said, It was infinite­ly more severe than the Death it self.

The following Friday was the Day of Execution, and one need not tell of the abundance of People, who were flock'd together in the Mar­ket-place: All the Windows were taken down, and fill'd with Specta­tors, and the Tops of Houses; when, at the Hour appointed, the fatal Beauty appear'd. She was dress'd in a black Velvet Gown, with a rich Row of Diamonds all down the fore-part of the Breast, and a great Knot of Diamonds at the Peak behind; and a Petty-coat [Page 84] of flower'd Gold, very rich, and lac'd; with all things else suitable: A Gentleman carry'd her great Vel­vet Cushion before her, on which her Prayer-Book, embroider'd, was laid; her Train was born up by a Page, and the Prince led her, bare; follow'd by his Foot-men, Pages, and other Officers of his House.

When they arriv'd to the Place of Execution, the Cushion was laid on the Ground, upon a Portugal-Matt, spread there for that purpose; and the Princess stood on the Cushion, with her Prayer-Book in her Hand, and a Priest by her Side; and was accordingly ty'd up to the Gib­bet.

She had not stood there ten Mi­nutes, but she had the Mortification (at least, one wou'd think it so to her) to see her sad Page Van Brune approach; fair as an Angel, but lan­guishing and pale. That Sight mo­ved all the Beholders with as much [Page 85] Pity, as that of the Princess did Dis­dain and Pleasure.

He was dress'd all in Mourning, and very fine Linen; bare-headed, with his own Hair, the fairest that cou'd be seen, hanging all in Curls on his Back and Shoulders, very long. He had a Prayer-Book of black Velvet in his Hand, and be­hav'd himself with much Penitence and Devotion.

When he was brought under the Gibbet, he seeing his Mistress in that Condition, shew'd an infinite Con­cern, and his fair Face was cover'd over with Blushes; and falling at her Feet, he humbly ask'd her Par­don for having been the Occasion of so great an Infamy to her, by a weak Confession, which the Fears of Youth, and Hopes of Life, had oblig'd him to make, so greatly to her Dis-honour; for, indeed, he had wanted that manly Strength, to bear the Efforts of dying as he ought, [Page 86] in silence, rather than of commit­ting so great a Crime against his Duty, and Honour it self; and that he cou'd not die in Peace, unless she wou'd forgive him. The Prin­cess only nodded her Head, and cry'd, I do.

And after having spoken a little to his Father Confessor, who was with him, he chearfully mounted the Ladder; and in the sight of the Princess, he was turn'd off, while a loud Cry was heard through all the Market-place, especially from the fair Sex; he hanging there till the time the Princess was to depart: And when she was put into a rich em­broider'd Chair, and carry'd away; Tarquin going into his; for he had all that time stood supporting the Princess under the Gallows, and was very weary, she was sent back, till her Releasment came; which was that Night, about Seven of the Clock; and then she was conducted to her own House in great State, [Page 87] with a dozen white Wax-Flambeau's about her Chair.

If the Affairs of Alcidiana and her Friends before were impatient of having the Portion out of the Hands of these Extravagants, 'tis not to be imagin'd, but they were now much more so; and the next Day they sent an Officer, according to Law, to demand it; or to sum­mon the Prince to give Reasons, why he wou'd not. And the Offi­cer receiv'd for Answer, That the Money shou'd be call'd in, and paid in such a time; setting a certain Time, which I have not been so curious as to retain, or put in my Journal Observations; but I am sure it was not long, as may be easily imagin'd; for they every Moment suspected the Prince wou'd pack up, and be gone, some time or other on the suddain; and for that Reason they wou'd not trust him without Bail, or two Officers to remain in his House, to watch that nothing [Page 88] shou'd be remov'd or touch'd. As for Bail, or Security, he cou'd give none; every one slunk their Heads out of the Collar when it came to that: So that he was oblig'd, at his own Expence, to maintain Officers in his House.

The Princess finding her self re­duc'd to the last Extremity, and that she must either produce the Value of a hundred thousand Crowns, or see the Prince, her Husband, lodg'd for ever in a Prison, and all their Glory vanish; and that it was im­possible to sly, since guarded; she had recourse to an Extremity, worse than the Affair of Van Brune. And in order to this, she first puts on a World of Sorrow and Concern, for what she fear'd might arrive to the Prince: And indeed, if ever she shed Tears which she did not dissemble, it was upon this Occasion. But here she almost over-acted: She stirr'd not from her Bed, and refus'd to eat, or sleep, or see the Light; [Page 89] so that the Day being shut out of her Chamber, she liv'd by Wax-Lights, and refus'd all Comfort and Consolation.

The Prince, all raving with Love, tender Compassion and Grief, never stirr'd from her Bed-side, nor ceas'd to implore, that she wou'd suffer her self to live. But she, who was not now so passionately in love with Tarquin, as she was with the Prince; not so fond of the Man, as his Ti­tles, and of Glory, fore-saw the to­tal Ruin of the last, if not preven­ted, by avoiding the Payment of this great Sum; which cou'd no otherwise be, than by the Death of Alcidiana: And therefore, without ceasing, she wept, and cry'd out, She cou'd not live, unless Alcidiana dy'd. This Alcidiana, (continu'd she,) who has been the Author of my Shame; who has expos'd me under a Gibbet, in the publick Market-place. Oh!—I am deaf to all Reason, blind to Natural Affection. I re­nounce [Page 90] her: I hate her as my mortal Foe, my Stop to Glory, and the Fi­nisher of my Days, e'er half my Race of Life be run.

Then throwing her false, but snowy, charming Arms about the Neck of her Heart-breaking Lord, and Lover, who lay sighing and list'ning by her Side, he was charm'd and bewitch'd into saying all things that appeas'd her: And lastly, told her, Alcidiana shou'd be no longer an Obstacle to her Repose; but that, if she wou'd look up; and cast her Eyes of Sweetness and Love upon him, as heretofore; forget her Sorrows, and redeem her lost Health, he wou'd take what Measures she shou'd pro­pose, to dispatch this fatal Stop to her Happiness out of the way.

These Words fail'd not to make her caress him in the most endearing manner that Love and flattery cou'd invent; and she kiss'd him to an Oath, a solemn Oath, to perform [Page 91] what he had promis'd; and he vow'd liberally: And she assum'd in an Instant her good Humour, and suffer'd a Supper to be prepar'd, and did eat; which in many Days before she had not done; so obstinate and powerful was she in dissembling well.

The next thing to be consider'd was, which Way this Deed was to be done; for they doubted not, but when 'twas done, all the World wou'd lay it upon the Princess, as done by her Command: But she urg'd, Suspicion was no Proof; and that they never put to death any one, but when they had great and certain Evidences, who were the Of­fenders. She was sure of her own Constancy, that Racks and Tortures shou'd never get the Secret from her Breast; and if he were as confident on his part, there was no Danger. Yet this Preparation she made, to­wards the laying the Fact on others, that she caus'd several Letters to be [Page 92] written from Germany, as from the Relations of Van Brune, who threa­ten'd Alcidiana with Death, for de­priving their Kins-man (who was a Gentleman) of his Life, though he had not taken away hers. And it was the Report of the Town, how this young Maid was threaten'd. And indeed, the Death of the Page had so afflicted a great many, that Alcidiana had procur'd her self abun­dance of Enemies upon that Ac­count, because she might have sav'd him if she had pleas'd; but on the contrary, she was a Spectator, and in full Health and Vigour, at his Execution: And People were not so much concern'd for her at this Report, as they wou'd have been.

The Prince, who now had, by reasoning the Matter soberly with Miranda, found it absolutely neces­sary to dispatch Alcidiana; he re­solv'd himself, and with his own Hand, to execute it; not daring to [Page 93] trust to any of his most Favourite-Servants, though he had many who, possibly, wou'd have obey'd him; for they lov'd him, as he deserv'd; and so wou'd all the World, had he not been so poorly deluded by this fair Enchantress. He therefore, as I said, resolv'd to keep this great Secret to himself; and taking a Pi­stol, charg'd well with two Bullets, he watch'd an Opportunity to shoot her as she shou'd go out, or into her House or Coach some Evening.

To this End he waited several Nights, near her Lodgings; but still, either she went not out; or when she return'd, she was so guar­ded with Friends, or her Lover, and Flambeau's, that he cou'd not aim at her, without endangering the Life of some other. But one Night, above the rest, upon a Sunday, when he knew she wou'd be at the Thea­tre; for she never miss'd that Day, seeing the Play; he waited at the Corner of the Statt-house, near the [Page 94] Theatre, with his Cloak cast over his Face, and a black Periwigg, all alone, with his Pistol ready cock'd; and remain'd not very long, but he saw her Kinsman's Coach come a­long. 'Twas almost dark; Day was just shutting up her Beauties, and left such a Light to govern the World, as serv'd only just to distin­guish one Object from another, and a convenient help to Mischief. He saw a-light out of the Coach, only one young Lady, the Lover, and then the destin'd Victim; which he (drawing near) knew rather by her Tongue, than Shape. The Lady ran into the Play-house, and left Al­cidiana to be conducted by her Lo­ver into it; who led her to the Door, and went to give some Order to the Coach-man; so that the Lo­ver was about twenty Yards from Alcidiana; when she stood the fai­rest Mark in the World, on the Threshold of the Entrance of the Theatre; there being many Coaches about the Door, so that hers cou'd [Page 95] not come so near. Tarquin was re­solv'd not to lose so fair an Oppor­tunity; and advanc'd, but went be­hind the Coaches; and when he came over against the Door, through a great Booted, Velvet Coach, that stood between him and her, he shot; and she having her Train of her Gown and Petty-coat on her Arm, in great quantity, he miss'd her Bo­dy, and shot through her Cloaths, between her Arm, and her Body. She frighten'd to find something hit her, and to see the Smoak, and hear the Report of the Pistol; running in, cry'd, I am shot: I am dead.

This Noise quickly alarm'd her Lover; and all the Coach-men and Foot-men immediately ran, some one Way, and some another. One of 'em seeing a Man haste away in a Cloak, he being a lusty, bold Ger­man, stopp'd him; and drawing up­on him, bad him stand, and deliver his Pistol, or he wou'd run him through.

[Page 96] Tarquin being surpriz'd at the Boldness of this Fellow to demand his Pistol, as if he positively knew him to be the Murtherer, (for so he thought himself, since he believ'd Al­cidiana dead,) had so much Presence of Mind, as to consider, if he suffer'd himself to be taken, he shou'd poor­ly die a publick Death; and therefore resolv'd upon one Mischief more, to secure himself from the first: And in the Moment that the German bad him deliver his Pistol, he cry'd, Though I have no Pistol to deliver, I have a Sword to chastise thy Insolence. And throwing off his Cloak, and flinging his Pistol from him, he drew, and wounded and dis-arm'd the Fellow.

This Noise of Swords brought every Body to the place; and im­mediately the Bruit ran, The Mur­therer was taken, the Murtherer was taken; though none knew which was he, nor the Cause of the Quar­rel [Page 97] between the two fighting Men, which none yet knew, for it now was darker than before. But at the Noise of the Murderer being taken, the Lover of Alcidiana, who by this time found his Lady unhurt, all but the Trains of her Gown and Petty-coat, came running to the place, just as Tarquin had dis-arm'd the Ger­man, and was ready to have kill'd him; when laying hold of his Arm, they arrested the Stroak, and re­deem'd the Foot-man.

They then demanded who this Stranger was, at whose Mercy the Fellow lay; but the Prince, who now found himself venturing for his last Stake, made no Reply; but with two Swords in his Hands, went to fight his Way through the Rab­ble: And though there were above a hundred Persons, some with Swords, others with long Whips, (as Coach-men,) so invincible was the Cou­rage of this poor, unfortunate Gen­tleman at that time, that all these [Page 98] were not able to sieze him; but he made his Way through the Ring that encompass'd him, and ran a­way; but was however so closely pursu'd, the Company still gather­ing as they ran, that toil'd with figh­ting, oppress'd with Guilt, and Fear of being taken, he grew fainter and fainter, and suffer'd himself, at last, to yield to his Pursuers, who soon found him to be Prince Tarquin in Disguise: And they carry'd him di­rectly to Prison, being Sunday, to wait the coming Day, to go before a Magistrate.

In an Hour's time the whole fatal Adventure was carry'd all over the City, and every one knew that Prince Tarquin was the intended Murtherer of Alcidiana; and not one but had a real Sorrow and Com­passion for him. They heard how bravely he had defended himself, how many he had wounded before he cou'd be taken, and what Num­bers he had fought through: And [Page 99] even those that saw his Valour and Bravery, and who had assisted at his being siez'd, now repented from the Bottom of their Hearts, their ha­ving any hand in the Ruin of so gal­lant a Man; especially, since they knew the Lady was not hurt. A thousand Addresses were made to her, not to prosecute him; but her Lover, a hot-headed Fellow, more fierce than brave, wou'd by no means be pacify'd; but vow'd to pursue him to the Scaffold.

The Monday came, and the Prince being examin'd, confess'd the Mat­ter of Fact, since there was no harm done; believing a generous Confes­sion the best of his Game; but he was sent back to closer Imprison­ment, loaded with Irons, to expect the next Sessions. All his Hous­hold-Goods were siez'd, and all they cou'd find, for the Use of Al­cidiana. And the Princess, all in Rage, tearing her Hair, was car­ry'd to the same Prison, to behold [Page 100] the cruel Effects of her Hellish De­signs.

One need not tell here how sad and horrid this Meeting appear'd be­tween her Lord and she; let it suf­fice it was the most melancholy and mortifying Object that ever Eyes be­held. On Miranda's part, 'twas sometimes all Rage and Fire, and sometimes all Tears and Groans; but still 'twas sad Love, and mourn­ful Tenderness on his: Nor cou'd all his Sufferings, and the Prospect of Death it self, drive from his Soul one Spark of that Fire the obstinate God had fatally kindl'd there: And in the midst of all his Sighs, he wou'd re-call himself, and cry,—I have Miranda still.

He was eternally visited by his Friends and Acquaintance; and this last Action of Bravery had got him more, than all his former Conduct had lost. The Fathers were perpe­tually with him; and all join'd with [Page 101] one common Voice in this, That he ought to abandon a Woman so wic­ked as the Princess; and that how­ever Fate dealt with him, he cou'd not shew himself a true Penitent, while he laid the Author of so much Evil in his Bosom: That Heaven wou'd never bless him, till he had renounc'd her: And on such Condi­tions, he wou'd find those that wou'd employ their utmost Interest to save his Life; who else wou'd not stir in his Affair. But he was so deaf to all, that he cou'd not so much as dissemble a Repentance for having marry'd her.

He lay a long time in Prison, and all that time the poor Father Fran­cisco remain'd there also: And the good Fathers, who daily visited these two amorous Prisoners, the Prince and Princess; and who found, by the Management of Matters, it wou'd go very hard with Tarquin, en­tertain'd 'em often with holy Matters relating to the Life to come; from [Page 102] which, before his Trial, he gather'd what his Stars had appointed, and that he was destin'd to die.

This gave an unspeakable Tor­ment to the now-repenting Beauty, who had reduc'd him to it; and she began to appear with a more solid Grief. Which being perceiv'd by the good Fathers, they resolv'd to attack her on the yielding Side: and after some Discourse upon the Judgment for Sin, they came to re­flect on the Business of Father Fran­cisco; and told her, she had never thriv'd since her Accusing of that Father, and laid it very home to her Conscience; assuring her, that they wou'd do their utmost in her Ser­vice, if she wou'd confess that secret Sin to all the World; so that she might atone for the Crime, by the saving that good Man. At first she seem'd inclin'd to yield; but Shame of being her own Detector in so vile a Matter, re-call'd her Goodness, and she faintly persisted in it.

[Page 103] At the End of six Months, Prince Tarquin was call'd to his Trial; where I will pass over the Circum­stances, which are only what is usual in such Criminal Cases, and tell you, that he, being found guil­ty of the Intent of killing Alcidia­na, was condemn'd to lose his Head in the Market-place, and the Princess to be banish'd her Coun­try.

After Sentence pronounc'd, to the real Grief of all the Spectators, he was carry'd back to Prison. And now the Fathers attack her a-new: And she whose Griefs daily increas'd, with a Languishment that brought her very near her Grave, at last con­fess'd all her Life, all the Lewdness of her Practices with several Princes and great Men; besides her Lust [...] with People that serv'd her, and others in mean Capacity: And last­ly, the whole Truth of the young Friar; and how she had drawn the [Page 104] Page, and the Prince, her Husband, to this design'd Murther of her Si­ster. This she sign'd with her Hand, in the Presence of the Prince, her Husband, and several holy Men who were present. Which being signi­fy'd to the Magistrates, the Friar was immediately deliver'd from his Irons (where he had languish'd more than two whole Years) in great Triumph, and with much Honour, and lives a most exemplary pious Life, and as he did before; for he is yet living in Antwerp.

After the Condemnation of these two unfortunate Persons, who be­got such different Sentiments in the Minds of the People, (the Prince, all the Compassion and Pity imagi­nable; and the Princess, all the Contempt and Despight;) they lan­guish'd almost six Months longer in Prison; so great an Interest there was made, in order to the saving his Life, by all the Men of the Robe. On the other side, the Princes, and [Page 105] great Men of all Nations, who were at the Court of Bruxels, who bore a secret Revenge in their Hearts against a Man who had, as they pre­tended, set up a false Title, only to take Place of them; who, indeed, was but a Merchant's Son of Hol­land, as they said, so incens'd them against him, that they were too hard at Court for the Church-men. How­ever, this Dispute gave the Prince his Life some Months longer than was expected; which gave him also some Hope, that a Reprieve for Ninety Years wou'd have been granted, as was desir'd. Nay, Father Francisco so interested himself in this Concern, that he writ to his Father, and seve­ral Princes of Germany, with whom Marquis Castiel de Roderigo was well acquainted, to intercede with him for the saving of Tarquin; since 'twas more by his Perswasions, than those of all who attack'd her, that made Miranda, confess the Truth of her Affair with him. But at the End of six Months, when all Appli­cations [Page 106] were found fruitless and vain, the Prince receiv'd News, that in two Days he was to die, as his Sen­tence had been before pronounc'd; and for which he prepar'd himself with all Chearfulness.

On the following Friday, as soon as it was light, all People of any Condition came to take their Leaves of him; and none departed with dry Eyes, or Hearts unconcern'd to the last Degree: For Tarquin, when he found his Fate inevitable, bore it with a Fortitude that shew'd no Signs of Regret; but address'd him­self to all about him with the same chearful, modest and great Air, he was wont to do in his most flourish­ing Fortune. his Vallet was dres­sing him all the Morning, so many Interruptions they had by Visiters; and he was all in Mourning, and so were all his Followers; for even to the last, he kept up his Grandure, to the Amazement of all People: And indeed, he was so passionately [Page 107] belov'd by them, that those he had dismiss'd serv'd him voluntarily, and wou'd not be perswaded to abandon him while he liv'd.

The Princess was also dress'd in Mourning, and her two Women; and notwithstanding the unheard of Lewdness and Villanies she had con­fess'd of her self, the Prince still ador'd her; for she had still those Charms that made him first do so: Nor, to his last Moment, cou'd be brought to wish that he had ne­ver seen her. But on the contra­ry, as a Man yet vainly proud of his Fetters, he said, All the Satisfaction this short Moment of Life cou'd af­ford him was, that he dy'd in endea­vouring to serve Miranda, his ado­rable Princess.

After he had taken leave of all who thought it necessary to leave him to himself for some time, he re­tir'd with his Confessor: where they were about an Hour in Prayer, all [Page 108] the Ceremonies of Devotions that were fit to be done being already past. At last the Bell toll'd, and he was to take leave of the Princess, as his last Work of Life, and the most hard he had to accomplish. He threw himself at her Feet; and ga­zing on her, as she sate more dead than alive, o'erwhelm'd with silent Grief, they both remain'd some Mo­ments speechless; and then, as if one rising Tide of Tears had sup­ply'd both their Eyes, it burst out in Streams at the same Instant; and when his Sighs gave way, he utter'd a thousand Farewel's, so soft, so pas­sionate and moving, that all who were by were extreamly touch'd with it, and said, That nothing cou'd be seen more deplorable and melan­choly. A thousand times they bad Farewel, and still some tender Look or Word wou'd prevent his going: Then embrace, and bid Farewel again. A thousand times she ask'd his Pardon for being the Occasion of that fatal Separation; a thousand [Page 109] times assuring him, she wou'd fol­low him, for she cou'd not live with­out him. And Heaven knows when their soft and sad Caresses wou'd have ended, had not the Officers as­sur'd him, 'twas time to mount the Scaffold. At which Words the Prin­cess fell fainting in the Arms of her Women, and they led Tarquin out of the Prison.

When he came to the Market­place, whither he walk'd on foot, follow'd by his own Domesticks, and some bearing a black Velvet Coffin, with Silver Hinges; the Heads-man before him, with his fa­tal Scimitre drawn; his Confessor by his Side, and many Gentlemen and Church-men, with Father Fran­cisco, attending him; the People showering Millions of Blessings on him, and beholding with weeping Eyes, he mounted the Scaffold; which was strow'd with some Saw-dust about the place where he was to kneel, to receive the Blood: For [Page 110] they be-head People kneeling, and with the Back-stroke of a Scimitre; and not lying on a Block, and with an Ax, as we in England. The Scaf­fold had a low Rail about it, that every Body might more convenient­ly see: This was hung with Black; and all that State that such a Death cou'd have, was here in most decent Order.

He did not say much upon the Scaffold: The Sum of what he said to his Friends was, to be kind, and take care of the poor Penitent, his Wife: To others, recommending his honest and generous Servants; whose Fidelity was so well known and commended, that they were soon promis'd all Preferment. He was some time in Prayer, and a ve­ry short time speaking to his Con­fessor; then he turn'd to the Heads­man, and desir'd him to do his Of­fice well, and gave him twenty Leue d'Or's; and undressing himself with the help of his Vallet and Page, he [Page 111] pull'd off his Coat, and had under­neath a white Satten Waste-coat: He took off his Periwigg, and put on a white Satten-cap, with a Hol­land one, done with Poynt, under it, which he pull'd a little over his Eyes; then took a chearful Leave of all, and kneel'd down, and said, When he lifted up his Hands the third time, the Heads-man shou'd do his Office: Which accordingly was done, and the Heads-man gave him his last stroak, and the Prince fell on the Scaffold. The People, with one common Voice, as if it had been but one entire one, pray'd for his Soul; and Murmurs of Sighs were heard from the whole Multitude, who scrambl'd for some of the bloo­dy Saw-dust, to keep for his Me­mory.

The Heads-man going to take up the Head, as the manner is, to shew to the People, he found he had not struck it off, and that the Body stirr'd. With that he stepp'd to an [Page 112] Engine which they always carry with 'em, to force those who may be refractory; thinking, as he said, to have twisted the Head from the Shoulders, conceiving it to hang but by a small matter of Flesh. Though 'twas an odd Shift of the Fellow's, yet 'twas done, and the best Shift he cou'd suddainly propose. The Mar­grave and another Officer, old Men, were on the Scaffold, with some of the Prince's Friends and Servants; who seeing the Heads-man put the Engine about the Neck of the Prince, began to call out, and the People made a great Noise. The Prince, who found himself yet alive; or rather, who was past Thinking, but had some Sense of Feeling left, when the Heads-man took him up, and set his Back against the Rail, and clap'd the Engine about his Neck, got his two Thumbs between the Rope and his Neck, feeling himself press'd there; and struggling between Life and Death, and bending himself over the Rail backward, while the Heads-man [Page 113] pull'd forward, he threw himself quite over the Rail by Chance, and not Design, and fell upon the Heads and Shoulders of the People, who were crying out with amazing Shouts of Joy. The Heads-man leap'd after him, but the Rabble had like to have pull'd him to pieces: All the City was in an Uproar, but none knew what the matter was, but those who bore the Body of the Prince, whom they found yet living; but how, or by what strange Miracle preserv'd, they knew not, nor did examine; but with one Accord, as if the whole Croud had been one Body, and had had but one Motion, they bore the Prince on their Heads, about a hun­dred Yards from the Scaffold, where there is a Monastery of Jesuits; and there they secur'd him. All this was done; his Beheading, his Falling, and his being secur'd, almost in a Moments time; the People rejoicing, as at some extraordinary Victory won. One of the Officers being, as I said, an old, timorous Man, was so [Page 114] frighten'd at the Accident, the Bustle, the Noise, and the Confusion, of which he was wholly ignorant, that he dy'd with Amazement and Fear; and the other was fain to be let blood.

The Officers of Justice went to demand the Prisoner, but they de­manded in vain; they had now a Right to protect him, and wou'd do so. All his over-joy'd Friends went to see in what Condition he was, and all of Quality found Admittance: They saw him in Bed, going to be dress'd by the most skilful Surgeons, who yet cou'd not assure him of Life. They desir'd no Body shou'd speak to him, or ask him any Que­stions. They found that the Heads-man had struck him too low, and had cut him into the Shoulder-bone. A very great Wound, you may be sure; for the Sword, in such Exe­cutions, carries an extream Force. However, so good Care was taken on all sides, and so greatly the Fa­thers were concern'd for him, that [Page 115] they found an Amendment, and Hopes of a good Effect of their in­comparable Charity and Goodness.

At last, when he was permitted to speak, the first News he ask'd was after the Princess. And his Friends were very much afflicted to find, that all his Loss of Blood had not quench'd that Flame, nor let out that which made him still love that bad Woman. He was sollicited dai­ly to think no more of her: And all her Crimes were laid so open to him, and so shamefully represented; and on the other side, his Vertues so ad­mir'd; and which, they said, wou'd have been eternally celebrated, but for his Folly with this infamous Crea­ture; that at last, by assuring him of all their Assistance, if he aban­don'd her; and to renounce him, and deliver him up, if he did not; they wrought so far upon him, as to promise, he wou'd suffer her to go alone into Banishment, and wou'd not follow her, or live with her any [Page 116] more. But, alass! this was but his Gratitude that compell'd this Com­plaisance, for in his Heart he resolv'd never to abandon her; nor was he able to live, and think of doing it: However, his Reason assur'd him, he cou'd not do a Deed more justifiable, and one that wou'd re-gain his Fame sooner.

His Friends ask'd him some Que­stions concerning his Escape; and that since he was not beheaded, but only wounded, why he did not im­mediately rise up. But he reply'd, he was so absolutely pre-possess'd, that at the third Lifting up his Hands, he shou'd receive the Stroak of Death, that at the same Instant the Sword touch'd him, he had no Sense; nay, not even of Pain, so ab­solutely dead he was with Imagina­tion; and knew not that he stirr'd, as the Heads-man found he did; nor did he remember any thing, from the Lifting up of his Hands, to his Fall; and then awaken'd, as out of a [Page 117] Dream; or rather, a Moment's Sleep, without Dream, he found he liv'd; and wonder'd what was arriv'd to him, or how he came to live; ha­ving not, as yet, any Sense of his Wound, though so terrible an one.

After this, Aloidiana, who was extreamly afflicted for having been the Prosecutor of this great Man; who, bating his last Design against her, which she knew was the Insti­gation of her Sister, had oblig'd her with all the Civility imaginable; now sought all Means possible of getting his Pardon, and that of her Sister; though of a hundred thou­sand Crowns, which she shou'd have pay'd her she cou'd get but ten thou­sand; which was from the Sale of her rich Beds, and some other Fur­niture: So that the young Count, who before shou'd have marry'd her, now went off for want of Fortune; and a young Merchant (perhaps the best of the two) was the Man to whom she was destin'd.

[Page 118] At last, by great Intercession, both their Pardons were obtain'd; and the Prince, who wou'd be no more seen in a place that had prov'd every way so fatal to him, left Flanders, promising never to live with the fair Hypocrite more; but e'er he departed, he writ her a Letter, wherein he order'd her, in a little time, to follow him into Holland; and left a Bill of Exchange with one of his trusty Servants, whom he had left to wait upon her, for Money for her Accommodations: So that she was now reduc'd to one Woman, one Page, and this Gentleman. The Prince, in this time of his Imprison­ment, had several Bills of great Sums from his Father, who was exceeding rich, and this all the Children he had in the World, and whom he ten­derly lov'd.

As soon as Miranda was come in­to Holland, she was welcom'd with all imaginable Respect and Endear­ment [Page 119] by the old Father; who was impos'd upon so, as that he knew not she was the fatal Occasion of all these Disasters to his Son; but ra­ther look'd on her as a Woman who had brought him a hundred and fif­ty thousand Crowns, which his Mis­fortunes had consum'd. But, above all, she was receiv'd by Tarquin with a Joy unspeakable; who, after some time, to redeem his Credit, and gain himself a new Fame, put himself in­to the French Army, where he did Wonders; and after three Cam­paigns, his Father dying, he return'd home, and retir'd to a Country-House; where, with his Princess, he lives as a private Gentleman, in all the Tranquility of a Man of a good Fortune. They say Miranda has been very penitent for her Life past, and gives Heaven the Glory for having given her these Afflictions, that have reclaim'd her, and brought her to as perfect a State of Happiness as this troublesome World can af­ford.

[Page 120] Since I began this Relation, I heard that Prince Tarquin dy'd about three quarters of a Year ago.

FINIS.

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