Infomotions, Inc.lite Courts of Europe. the Whole Calculated for the Entertainment and Improvement of the Youth of Both Sexes. / Haywood, Eliza Fowler, 1693-1756



Author: Haywood, Eliza Fowler, 1693-1756
Title: lite Courts of Europe. the Whole Calculated for the Entertainment and Improvement of the Youth of Both Sexes.
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): charlotta; horatio; louisa; dorilaus; melanthe; plessis; mademoiselle charlotta; coigney; mademoiselle; monsieur; baron; behaviour
Contributor(s): Kleiser, Grenville, 1868-1953 [Editor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 105,479 words (short) Grade range: 24-28 (graduate school) Readability score: 22 (difficult)
Identifier: etext10804
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Title: The Fortunate Foundlings
       Being the Genuine History of Colonel M----Rs, And His Sister,
       Madam Du P----Y, The Issue Of The Hon. Ch----Es M----Rs,
       Son Of The Late Duke Of R---- L----D. Containing Many Wonderful
       Accidents That Befel Them in Their Travels, and Interspersed with
       the Characters and Adventures of Several Persons of Condition,
       In The Most Polite Courts Of Europe. The Whole Calculated for
       the Entertainment and Improvement of the Youth of Both Sexes.

Author: Eliza Fowler Haywood

Release Date: January 23, 2004 [EBook #10804]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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[Transcriber's note: The spelling inconsistencies of the original have
been retained in this etext.]



THE

_FORTUNATE FOUNDLINGS_:

BEING THE

GENUINE HISTORY

OF

_Colonel_ M----RS, _and his Sister,_
_Madam_ DU P----Y, _the Issue of
the Hon_. CH----ES M----RS, _Son of the
late Duke of_ R---- L----D.

CONTAINING

Many wonderful ACCIDENTS that befel them in their TRAVELS, and
interspersed with the CHARACTERS and ADVENTURES of SEVERAL PERSONS of
_Condition_, in the most polite Courts of _Europe_.

_The Whole calculated for the Entertainment and Improvement of the Youth
of both Sexes_.


_LONDON_:

M,DCC,XLIV.



THE

PREFACE.

_The many Fictions which have been lately imposed upon the World, under
the specious Titles of_ Secret Histories, Memoirs, &c. &c. _have given
but too much room to question the Veracity of every Thing that has the
least Tendency that way: We therefore think it highly necessary to
assure the Reader, that he will find nothing in the following Sheets,
but what has been collected from_ Original Letters, Private Memorandums,
_and the_ Accounts _we have been favoured with from the Mouths of
Persons too deeply concerned in many of the_ chief Transactions _not to
be perfectly acquainted with the Truth, and of too much Honour and
Integrity to put any false Colours upon it_.

_The Adventures are not so long passed as to be wholly forgotten by
many_ Living Witnesses, _nor yet so recent as to give any Reason to
suspect us of Flattery in the Relation given of them, the Motive of
their Publication being only to_ encourage Virtue _in both Sexes, by
showing the Amiableness of it in_ real Characters. _And if it be true
(as certainly it is) that_ Example has more Efficacy than_ Precept, _we
may be bold to say there are few fairer, or more worthy Imitation.--The
Sons and Daughters of the greatest Families may give additional Lustre
to their Nobility, by forming themselves by the Model here presented to
them; and those of lower Extraction, attain Qualities to attone for what
they want in Birth:--So that we flatter ourselves this Undertaking will
not fail of receiving the Approbation of all who wish well to a
Reformation of Manners, and more especially those who have Youth under
their Care.--As for such who may take it up merely as an Amusement, it
is possible they will find something, which, by interesting their
Affections, may make them better without designing to be so.--Either way
will fully recompense the Pains taken in the compiling by_

_The_ EDITORS.

THE CONTENTS.

CHAP. I.

_Contains the Manner in which a Gentleman found two Children: His
Benevolence towards them, and what kind of Affection he bore to them as
they grew up; with the Departure of one of them to the Army_.

CHAP. II.

_Relates the Offers made by Dorilaus to Louisa, and the Manner of her
receiving them_.

CHAP. III.

_Dorilaus continues his Importunities, with some unexpected Consequences
that attended them_.

CHAP. IV.

_Louisa becomes acquainted with a Lady of Quality, Part of whose
Adventures are also related, and goes to travel with her_.

CHAP. V.

_Horatio's Reception by the Officers of the Army: His Behaviour in the
Battle: His being taken Prisoner by the French: His Treatment among
them, and many other Particulars_.

CHAP. VI.

_Describes the Masquerade at the Dutchess of Maine's: The Characters and
Intrigues of several Persons of Quality who were there: The odd
Behaviour of a Lady in regard to Horatio; and Charlotta's
Sentiments upon it_.

CHAP. VII.

_An Explanation of the foregoing Adventure, with a Continuation of the
Intrigues of some French Ladies, and the Policy of Mademoiselle Coigney
in regard of her Brother_.

CHAP. VIII.

_The parting of Horatio and Mademoiselle Charlotta, and what happened
after she left St. Germains_.

CHAP. IX.

_A second Separation between Horatio and Charlotta, with some other
Occurrences_.

CHAP X.

_The Reasons that induced Horatio to leave France: with the Chevalier
St. George's Behaviour on knowing his Resolution. He receives an
unexpected Favour from the Baron de Palfoy_.

CHAP XI.

_Horatio arrives at Rheines, finds Means to see Mademoiselle Charlotta,
and afterwards pursues his Journey to Poland_.

CHAP. XII.

_Continuation of the Adventures of Louisa: Her quitting Vienna with
Melanthe, and going to Venice, with some Accidents that there
befel them_.

CHAP. XIII.

_Louisa finds herself very much embarrassed by Melanthe's imprudent
Behaviour. Monsieur du Plessis declares an honourable Passion for her:
Her Sentiments and Way of acting on this Occasion_.

CHAP. XIV.

_The base Designs of the Count de Bellfleur occasion a melancholy Change
in Louisa's Way of Life: The generous Behaviour of Monsieur du Plessis
on that Occasion_.

CHAP. XV.

_Louisa is in Danger of being ravished by the Count de Bellfleur; is
providentially rescued by Monsieur du Plessis, with several other
Particulars_.

CHAP. XVI

_The Innkeeper's Scruples oblige Louisa to write to Melanthe: Her
Behaviour on the Discovery of the Count's Falshood. Louisa changes her
Resolution, and goes to Bolognia._

CHAP. XVII.

_Horatio arrives at Warsaw; sees the Coronation of Stanislaus and his
Queen: His Reception from the King of Sweden: His Promotion: Follows
that Prince in all his Conquests thro' Poland, Lithuania and Saxony. The
Story of Count Patkull and Madame de Eusilden._

CHAP. XVIII

_King Stanislaus quits Alranstadt to appease the Troubles In Poland:
Charles XII. gives Laws to the Empire: A Courier arrives from Paris:
Horatio receives Letters, which give him great Surprize._

CHAP. XIX.

_The King of Sweden leaves Saxony, marches into Lithuania, meets with an
Instance of Russian Brutality, drives the Czar out of Grodno, and
pursues him to the Borysthenes. Horatio, with others, is taken Prisoner
by the Russians, and carried to Petersburg, where he suffers the
extremest Miseries._

CHAP. XX.

_The Treachery of a Russian Lady to her Friend: Her Passion for Horatio:
The Method he took to avoid making any Return, and some other
entertaining Occurrences._

CHAP. XXI.

_The Prisoners Expectations raised: A terrible Disappointment: Some of
the chief carried to Prince Menzikoff's Palace: Their Usage there:
Horatio set at Liberty, and the Occasion_.

CHAP. XXII.

_What befel Louisa in the Monastery: The Stratagem she put in Practice
to get out of it: Her Travels cross Italy, and Arrival at Paris_.

CHAP. XXIII.

_Shews by what Means Louisa came to the Knowledge of her Parents, with
other Occurrences_.

CHAP. XXIV.

_The History of Dorilaus and Matilda, with other Circumstances very
important to Louisa_.

CHAP. XXV.

_Monsieur du Plessis arrives at Paris: His Reception from Dorilaus and
Louisa: The Marriage agreed upon_.

CHAP. XXVI.

_The Catastrophe of the Whole_.



THE FORTUNATE FOUNDLINGS.



CHAP. I.

_Contains the manner in which a gentleman found children: his
benevolence towards them, and what kind of affection he bore to them as
they grew up. With the departure of one of them to the army_.

It was in the ever memorable year 1688, that a gentleman, whose real
name we think proper to conceal under that of Dorilaus, returned from
visiting most of the polite courts of Europe, in which he had passed
some time divided between pleasure and improvement. The important
question if the throne were vacated or not, by the sudden departure of
the unfortunate king James, was then upon the tapis; on which, to avoid
interesting himself on either side, he forbore coming to London, and
crossed the country to a fine feat he had about some forty miles
distant, where he resolved to stay as privately as he could, till the
great decision should be made, and the public affairs settled in such a
manner as not to lay him under a necessity of declaring his sentiments
upon them.

He was young and gay, loved magnificence and the pomp of courts, and was
far from being insensible of those joys which the conversation of the
fair sex affords; but had never so much enslaved his reason to any one
pleasure, as not to be able to refrain it. Hunting and reading were very
favourite amusements with him, so that the solitude he now was in was
not at all disagreeable or tedious to him, tho' he continued in it
some months.

A little time before his departure an accident happened, which gave him
an opportunity of exercising the benevolence of his disposition; and,
tho' it then seemed trivial to him, proved of the utmost consequence to
his future life, as well as furnished matter for the following pages.

As he was walking pretty early one morning in his garden, very intent on
a book he had in his hand, his meditations were interrupted by an
unusual cry, which seemed at some distance; but as he approached a
little arbour, where he was sometimes accustomed to sit, he heard more
plain and distinct, and on his entrance was soon convinced whence it
proceeded.

Just at the foot of a large tree, the extensive boughs of which greatly
contributed to form the arbour, was placed a basket closely covered on
the one side, and partly open on the other to let in the air. Tho' the
sounds which still continued to issue from it left Dorilaus no room to
doubt what it contained; he stooped down to look, and saw two beautiful
babes neatly dressed in swadling cloaths: between them and the pillow
they were laid upon was pinned a paper, which he hastily taking off,
found in it these words.


_To the generous_ DORISLAUS:

'Irresistible destiny abandons these helpless infants
to your care.--They are twins, begot
by the same father, and born of the same mother,
and of a blood not unworthy the protection
they stand in need of; which if you vouchsafe to
afford, they will have no cause to regret the misfortune
of their birth, or accuse the authors of
their being.--Why they seek it of you in particular,
you may possibly be hereafter made sensible.--In
the mean time content yourself with
knowing they are already baptized by the names
of Horatio and Louisa.'


The astonishment he was in at so unexpected a present being made him,
may more easily be imagined than expressed; but he had then no time to
form any conjectures by whom or by what means it was left there: the
children wanted immediate succour, and he hesitated not a moment whether
it would become him to bestow it: he took the basket up himself, and
running as fast as he could with it into the house, called his
maid-servants about him, and commanded them to give these little
strangers what assistance was in their power, while a man was sent among
the tenants in search of nurses proper to attend them. To what person
soever, said he, I am indebted for this confidence, it must not be
abused.--Besides, whatever stands in need of protection, merits
protection from those who have the power to give it.

This was his way of thinking, and in pursuance of these generous
sentiments he always acted. The report of what happened in his house
being soon spread thro' the country, there were not wanting several who
came to offer their service to the children, out of which he selected
two of whom he heard the best character, and were most likely to be
faithful to the trust reposed in them, giving as great a charge, and as
handsome an allowance with them, as could have been expected from a
father. Indeed he doubtless had passed for being so in the opinion of
every body, had he arrived sooner in the kingdom; but the shortness of
the time not permitting any such suggestion, he was looked upon as a
prodigy of charity and goodness.

Having in this handsome manner disposed of his new guests, he began to
examine all his servants, thinking it impossible they should be brought
there without the privity of some one of them; but all his endeavours
could get him no satisfaction in this point. He read the letter over and
over, yet still his curiosity was as far to seek as ever.--The hand he
was entirely unacquainted with, but thought there was something in the
style that showed it wrote by no mean person: the hint contained in it,
that there was some latent reason for addressing him in particular on
this account, was very puzzling to him: he could not conceive why he,
any more than any other gentleman of the county, should have an interest
in the welfare of these children: he had no near relations, and those
distant ones who claimed an almost forgotten kindred were not in a
condition to abandon their progeny.--The thing appeared strange to him;
but all his endeavours to give him any farther light into it being
unsuccessful; he began to imagine the parents of the children had been
compelled by necessity to expose them, and had had only wrote in this
mysterious manner to engage a better reception: he also accounted in his
mind for their being left with him, as, he being a batchelor, and having
a large estate, it might naturally be supposed there would be fewer
impediments to their being taken care of, than either where a wife was
in the case, or a narrow fortune obliged the owner to preserve a greater
oeconomy in expences.

Being at last convinced within himself that he had now explained this
seeming riddle, he took no farther trouble about whose, or what these
children were, but resolved to take care of them during their infancy,
and afterwards to put them into such a way as he should find their
genius's rendered them most fit for, in order to provide for themselves.

On his leaving the county, he ordered his housekeeper to furnish every
thing needful for them as often as they wanted it, and to take care they
were well used by the women with whom he had placed them; and delivered
these commands not in a cursory or negligent manner, but in such terms
as terrified any failure of obedience in this point would highly incur
his displeasure.

Nothing material happening during their infancy, I shall pass over those
years in silence, only saying that as often as Dorilaus went down to his
estate (which was generally two or three times a year) he always sent
for them, and expressed a very great satisfaction in finding in their
looks the charge he had given concerning them so well executed: but when
they arrived at an age capable of entertaining him with their innocent
prattle, what before was charity, improved into affection; and he began
to regard them with a tenderness little inferior to paternal; but which
still increased with their increase of years.

Having given them the first rudiments of education in the best schools
those parts afforded, he placed Louisa with a gentlewoman, who
deservedly had the reputation of being an excellent governess of youth,
and brought Horatio in his own chariot up to London, where he put him to
Westminster School, under the care of doctor Busby, and agreed for his
board in a family that lived near it, and had several other young
gentlemen on the same terms.

What more could have been expected from the best of fathers! what more
could children, born to the highest fortunes, have enjoyed! nor was
their happiness like to be fleeting: Dorilaus was a man steady in his
resolutions, had always declared an aversion to marriage, and by
rejecting every overture made him on that score, had made his friends
cease any farther importunities; he had besides (as has already been
observed) no near relations, so that it was the opinion of most people
that he would make the young Horatio heir to the greatest part of his
estate, and give Louisa a portion answerable to her way of bringing up.
What he intended for them, however, is uncertain, he never having
declared his sentiments so far concerning them; and the strange
revolutions happening afterwards in both their fortunes, preventing him
from acting as it is possible he might design.

The education he allowed them indeed gave very good grounds for the
above-mentioned conjecture.--Louisa being taught all the accomplishments
that became a maid of quality to be mistress of; and Horatio having gone
thro' all the learning of the school, was taken home to his own
house, from whence he was to go to Oxford, in order to finish his
studies in the character of a gentleman-commoner.

But when every thing was preparing for this purpose, he came one morning
into the chamber of his patron, and throwing himself on his knees--
Think me not, sir, said he, too presuming in the request I am about to
make you.--I know all that I am is yours.--That I am the creature of
your bounty, and that, without being a father, you have done more for me
than many of those, who are so, do for their most favourite sons.--I
know also that you are the best judge of what is fit for me, and have
not the least apprehensions that you will not always continue the same
goodness to me, provided I continue, as I have hitherto done, the
ambition of meriting it.--Yet, sir, pardon me if I now discover a desire
with which I long have laboured, of doing something of myself which may
repair the obscurity of my birth, and prove to the world that heaven has
endued this foundling with a courage and resolution capable of
undertaking the greatest actions.

In speaking these last words a fire seemed to sparkle from his eyes,
which sufficiently denoted the vehemence of his inward agitations.
Dorilaus was extremely surprized, but after a little pause, what is it
you request of me? said that noble gentleman, (at the same time raising
him from the posture he was in) or by what means than such as I have
already taken, can I oblige you to think that, in being my foundling,
fortune dealt not too severely with you?

Ah! sir, mistake me not, I beseech you, replied the young Horatio, or
think me wanting in my gratitude either to heaven or you.--But, sir, it
is to your generous care in cultivating the talents I received from
nature, that I owe this emulation, this ardor for doing something that
might give me a name, which is the only thing your bounty cannot
bestow.--My genius inclines me to the army.--Of all the accomplishments
you have caused me to be instructed in, geography, fortification, and
fencing, have been my darling studies.--Of what use, sir, will they be
to me in an idle life? permit me then the opportunity of showing the
expense you have been at has not been thrown away.--I know they will say
I am too young to bear a commission, but if I had the means of going a
volunteer, I cannot help thinking but I should soon give proofs the
extreme desire I have to serve my country that way would well attone for
my want of years.

The more he spoke, the more the astonishment of his patron increased: he
admired the greatness of his spirit, but was troubled it led him to a
desire of running into so dangerous a way of life.--He represented to
him all the hardships of a soldier, the little regard that was sometimes
paid to merit, and gave him several instances of gentlemen who had
passed their youth in the service, and behaved with extreme bravery, yet
had no other reward than their fears, and a consciousness of having done
more than was their duty: in war, said he, the superior officers carry
away all the glory as well as profits of the victory; whereas in civil
employments it is quite otherwise: in physic, in law, in divinity, or in
the state, your merits will be immediately conspicuous to those who have
the power to reward you; and if you are desirous of acquiring a name, by
which I suppose you mean to become the head of a family, any of these
afford you a much greater prospect of success, and it lies much more in
my power of assisting your promotion.

To these he added many other arguments, but they were not of the least
weight with the impatient Horatio. He was obstinate in his entreaties,
which he even with tears enforced, and Dorilaus, considering so strong a
propensity as something supernatural, at last consented.--Never was joy
more sincere and fervent than what this grant occasioned, and he told
his benefactor that he doubted not but that hereafter he should hear
such an account of his behaviour, as would make him not repent his
having complied with his request.

The preparations for his going to Oxford were now converted into others
of a different nature.--Several of our troops were already sent to
Flanders, and others about to embark, in order to open the campaign; so
that there was but a small space between the time of Horatio's asking
leave to go, and that of his departure, which Dorilaus resolved should
be in a manner befitting a youth whom he had bred up as his own. He
provided him a handsome field-equipage, rich cloaths, horses, and a
servant to attend him; and while these things were getting ready, had
masters to perfect him in riding; and those other exercises proper for
the vocation he was now entering into, all which he performed with so
good a grace, that not only Dorilaus himself, who might be suspected to
look on him with partial eyes, but all who saw him were
perfectly charmed.

He was more than ordinarily tall for his years, admirably well
proportioned, and had something of a grave fierceness in his air and
deportment, that tho' he was not yet sixteen, he might very well have
passed for twenty: he was also extremely fair, had regular features, and
eyes the most penetrating, mixed with a certain sweetness; so that it
was difficult to say whether he seemed most formed for love or war.

Dorilaus thinking it highly proper he should take his leave of Louisa,
sent for her from the boarding-school, that she might pass the short
time he had to stay with her brother at his house, not without some
hopes that the great tenderness there was between them might put Horatio
out of his resolution of going to the army, who being grown now
extremely dear to him, he could not think of parting with, tho' he had
yielded to it, without a great deal of reluctance.

It is certain, indeed, that when she first heard the motive which had
occasioned her being sent for, her gentle breast was filled with the
most terrible alarms for her dear brother's danger; but the little
regard he seemed to have of it, and the high ideas he had of future
greatness, soon brought her to think as he did; and instead of
dissuading him from prosecuting his design, she rather encouraged him in
it: and in this gave the first testimony of a greatness of soul, no less
to be admired than the courage and laudable ambition which actuated that
of her brother.

Dorilaus beheld with an infinity of satisfaction the success of his
endeavours, in favour of these amiable twins, and said within himself,
how great a pity would it have been, if capacities such as theirs had
been denied the means of improvement!

After the departure of Horatio, he kept Louisa some time with him, under
pretence of showing her the town, which before she had never seen; but
in reality to alleviate that melancholy which parting from her brother
had caused in him. He could not have taken a more effectual way; for
there was such an engaging and sweet cheerfulness in her conversation,
added to many personal perfections, that it was scarce possible to think
of any thing else while she was present. She had also an excellent
voice, and played well on the bass viol and harpsicord, so that it is
hard to say whether he found most satisfaction in hearing her or
discoursing with her.

But how dangerous is it to depend on one's own strength, against the
force of such united charms! Dorilaus, who, in the midst of a thousand
temptations, had maintained the entire liberty of his heart, and tho'
never insensible of beauty, had never been enslaved by it, was now by
charms he least suspected, and at an age when he believed himself proof
against all the attacks of love, subdued without knowing that he was
so.--The tender passion stole into his soul by imperceptible degrees,
and under the shape of friendship and paternal affection, met with no
opposition from his reason, till it became too violent to be restrained;
then showed itself in the whole power of restless wishes, fears, hopes,
and impatiences, which he had often heard others complain of, but not
till now experienced in himself: all that he before had felt of love was
languid, at best aimed only at enjoyment, and in the gratification of
that desire was extinguished; but the passion he was possessed of for
Louisa was of a different nature, and accompanied with a respect which
would not suffer him to entertain a thought in prejudice of her
innocence.

Many reasons, besides his natural aversion to marriage, concurred to
hinder him from making her his wife; and as there were yet more to deter
him from being the instrument of her dishonour, the situation of his
mind was very perplexing.--He blushed within himself at the inclinations
he had for a girl whom he had always behaved to as a child of his own,
and who looked upon him as a father: not only the disparity of their
years made him consider the passion he was possessed of as ridiculous,
there was one circumstance, which, if at any time a thought of marrying
her entered into his head, immediately extirpated it, which was, that
there was a possibility of her being born not only of the meanest, but
the vilest parents, who, on hearing her establishment, might appear and
claim the right they had in her; and lo, said he, I shall ally myself
to, perhaps, a numerous family of vagabonds; at least, whether it be so
or not, the manner in which these children were exposed, being publicly
known, may furnish a pretence for any wretch to boast a kindred.

He was therefore determined to suppress a passion, which, as he had too
much honour to seek the gratification of by one way, his prudence and
character in the world would not allow him to think of by the other: and
as absence seemed to him the best remedy, he sent her down into the
country again with a precipitation, which made her (wholly ignorant of
the real motive) fear she had done something to offend him. At parting,
she entreated him to let her know if he had been dissatisfied with any
thing in her behaviour.--Wherefore do you ask? said he, with some
emotion, which the poor innocent still mistook for displeasure; because,
answered she, dropping some tears at the same time, that you banish me
from your presence. Why would you be glad to continue with me always?
again demanded he. Yes indeed, said she; and if you loved me as well as
you do my brother, you would never part with me; for I saw with what
regret you let him go.

This tender simplicity added such fewel to the fire with which Dorilaus
was enflamed, that it almost consumed his resolution: he walked about
the room some time without being able to speak, much less to quiet the
agitation he was in. At last, Louisa, said he, I was only concerned your
brother made choice of an avocation so full of dangers;--but I never
intended to keep him at home with me:--he should have gone to Oxford to
finish his studies; and the reason I send you again to the
boarding-school is that you may perfect yourself in such things as you
may not yet be mistress of:--as for any apprehensions of my being
offended with you, I would have you banish them entirely, for I assure
you, I can find nothing in you but what both merits and receives my
approbation.

She seemed extremely comforted with these words; and the coach being at
the door, went into it with her accustomed chearfulness, leaving him in
a state which none but those who have experienced the severe struggles
between a violent inclination and a firm resolution to oppose it, can
possibly conceive.



CHAP. II.

_Relates the offers made by Dorilaus to Louisa, and the manner of her
receiving them_.

Louisa was no sooner gone, than he wished her with him again, and was a
thousand times about to send and have her brought back; but was as often
prevented by the apprehensions of her discovering the motive.--He was
now convinced that love does not always stand in need of being indulged
to enforce its votaries to be guilty of extravagancies.

--He had banished the object of his affections from his presence; he had
painted all the inconveniences of pursuing his desires in the worst
colours they would bear; yet all was insufficient!--Louisa was absent in
reality, but her image was ever present to him.--Whatever company he
engaged himself in, whatever amusement he endeavoured to entertain
himself with, he could think only of her.

--The Town without her seemed a desart, and every thing in it rather
seemed irksome than agreeable; for several months did he endure this
cruel conflict; but love and nature at last got the victory, and all
those considerations which had occasioned the opposition subsided: he
found it impossible to recover any tranquility of mind while he
continued in this dilemma, and therefore yielded to the strongest side.
All the arguments he had used with himself in the beginning of his
passion seemed now weak and trifling: the difference of age, which he
had thought so formidable an objection, appeared none in the light with
which he at present considered it: he was now but in his fortieth year,
and the temperance he had always observed had hindered any decay either
in his looks or constitution.--What censures the world might pass on
his marrying one of her age and obscure birth, he thought were of little
weight when balanced with his internal peace.--Thus was he enabled to
answer to himself all that could be offered against making her his wife;
and having thus settled every thing, as he imagined, to the satisfaction
of his passion, became no less resolute in following the dictates of it
than he had been in combating it while there was a possibility of
doing so.

To this end he went down to his country seat, and as soon as he arrived
sent to let Louisa know he would have her come and pass some time with
him. She readily obeyed the summons, and found by his manner of
receiving her that she was no less dear to him than her brother. As she
had always considered him as a father, tho' she knew all her claim in
him was compassion, she was far from suspecting the motive which made
him treat her with so much tenderness; but he suffered her not long to
remain in this happy ignorance. As he was walking with her one day in
the garden, he purposely led her on that side where he had found Horatio
and herself in the manner already related; and as they came towards the
arbour, It was here, said he, that heaven put into my power the
opportunity of affording my protection to two persons whom I think will
not be ungrateful for what I have done.--I hope, Louisa, continued he,
you will not at least deceive my good opinion of you; but as you have
always found in me a real friend, you will testify the sense you have of
my good wishes, by readily following my advice in any material point.

I should be else unworthy, sir, answered she, of the life you have
preserved; and I flatter myself with being guilty of nothing which
should give you cause to call in question either my gratitude or duty.

I insist but on the former, resumed he; nor can pretend to any claim to
the latter;--look on me therefore only as your friend, and let me know
your sentiments plainly and sincerely on what I think proper to ask you.
This she having assured him she would do, he pursued his discourse in
these or the like terms:

You are now, said he, arrived at an age when persons of your sex
ordinarily begin to think of marriage.--I need not ask you if you have
ever received any addresses for that purpose; the manner in which you
have lived convinces me you are yet a stranger to them; but I would know
of you whether an overture of that kind, in favour of a man of honour,
and who can abundantly endow you with the goods of fortune, would be
disagreeable to you.

Alas! sir, replied she, blushing, you commanded me to answer with
sincerity, but how can I resolve a question which as yet I have never
asked myself?--All that I can say is, that I now am happy by your
bounty, and have never entertained one wish but for the continuance
of it.

On that you may depend, said he, while you continue to stand in need of
it. But would it not be more pleasing to find yourself the mistress of
an ample fortune, and in a condition to do the same good offices by
others as you have found from me?--In fine, Louisa, the care I have
taken of you would not be complete unless I saw you well settled in the
world.--I have therefore provided a husband for you, and such a one as I
think you can have no reasonable objection to.

Sir, it would ill-become me to dispute your will, answered she,
modestly, but as I yet am very young, and have never had a thought of
marriage, nor even conversed with any who have experienced that fate, I
should be too much at a loss how to behave in it, without being allowed
some time to consider on its respective duties.--I hope therefore, sir,
continued she, you will not oblige me to act with too much precipitation
in an affair on which the happiness or misery of my whole future
life depends.

Your very thinking it of consequence, said he, is enough to make you
behave so, as to allure your happiness with a man of honour; and indeed
Louisa, I love you too well to propose one to you whose principles and
humour I could not answer for as well as my own.

Yet, sir, replied she, I have read that a union of hearts as well as
hands is necessary for the felicity of that state;--that there ought to
be a simpathy of soul between them, and a perfect confidence in each
other, before the indissoluble knot is tied:--and this, according to my
notion, can only be the result of a long acquaintance and accompanied
with many proofs of affection on both sides.

Were all young women to think as you do, said he with a smile, we would
have much fewer marriages; they would indeed be happier; therefore I am
far from condemning your precaution, nor would wish you should give
yourself to one till well assured he was incapable of treating you with
less regard after marriage than before:--no, no, Louisa, I will never
press you to become a wife, till you shall yourself acknowledge the man
I offer to you as a husband is not unworthy of that title, thro' a want
of honour, fortune, or affection.

As Louisa thought this must be the work of time, the chagrin she felt at
the first mention of marriage was greatly dissipated; and she told him,
that when she was once convinced such a person as he described honoured
her so far as to think she merited his affection, she would do all in
her power to return it.

The enamoured Dorilaus having now brought her to the point he aimed at,
thought it best to throw off the mark at once, and leave her no longer
in suspence.--Behold then in me, said he, the person I have mentioned:
nor think me vain in ascribing those merits to myself which I would wish
to be the loadstone of your affection.--My honour, I believe, you will
not call in question:--my humour you have never found capricious, or
difficult to please; and as for my love, you cannot but allow the
conquering that aversion, which myself, as well as all the world,
believed unalterable for a marriage state; besides a thousand other
scruples opposed my entering into it with you, is a proof greater than
almost any other man could give you.--There requires, therefore, my dear
Louisa, no time to convince you of what I am, or assure you of what I
may be; and I hope the affection you bore me, as a faithful friend, and
the protector of your innocence, will not be diminished on my making
this declaration.

The confusion in which this speech involved her is even impossible to be
conceived, much less can any words come up to its description: she
blushed;--she trembled;--she was ready to die between surprize, grief
and shame:--fain she would have spoke, but feared, lest what she should
say would either lose his friendship or encourage his passion.--Each
seemed equally dreadful to her:--no words presented themselves to her
distracted mind that she could think proper to utter, till he pressing
her several times to reply, and seeming a little to resent her
silence--Oh! sir, cried she, how is it possible for me to make any
answer to so strange a proposition!--you were not used to rally my
simplicity; nor can I think you mean what you now mention. If there
wanted no more, said he, than to prove the sincerity of my wishes in
this point to gain your approbation of them, my chaplain should this
moment put it past a doubt, and confirm my proposal:--but, pursued he, I
will not put your modesty to any farther shock at present;--all I
intreat is, that you will consider on what I have said, and what the
passion I am possessed of merits from you. In concluding these words he
kissed her with the utmost tenderness, and quitted her to speak to some
men who were at work in another part of the garden, leaving her to
meditate at liberty on this surprizing turn in her affairs.

It was indeed necessary he should do so, for the various agitations she
laboured under were so violent, as to be near throwing her into a
swoon.--She no sooner found herself alone, than she flew to her
chamber, and locked herself in, to prevent being interrupted by any of
the servants; and as in all emotions of the mind, especially in that of
a surprize, tears are a very great relief, her's found some ease from
the sources of her eyes.--Never had the most dutiful child loved the
tenderest of fathers more than she did Dorilaus; but then it was only a
filial affection, and the very thoughts of his regarding her with that
sort of passion she now found he did, had somewhat in them terribly
alarming.--All she could do to reconcile herself to what seemed to be
her fate was in vain.--This generous man who offers me his heart, said
she, is not my father, or any way of my blood:--he has all the
accomplishments of his whole sex centered in him.--I could wish to be
for ever near him.--All that I am is owing to his goodness.--How
wretched must I have been but for his bounty!--What unaccountable
prejudice is this then that strikes me with such horror at his
love!--what maid of birth and fortune equal to his own but would be
proud of his addresses; and shall I, a poor foundling, the creature of
his charity, not receive the honour he does me with the utmost
gratitude!--shall I reject a happiness so far beyond my expectation!
--so infinitely above any merit I can pretend to!--what must he think of
me if I refuse him!--how madly stupid, how blind to my own interest, how
thankless to him must I appear!--how will he despise my folly!--how
hate my ingratitude!

Thus did her reason combat with her prejudice, and she suffered much the
same agonies in endeavouring to love him in the manner he desired, as he
had done to conquer the inclination he had for her, and both alike were
fruitless. Yet was her condition much more to be commiserated: he had
only to debate within himself whether he should yield or not to the
suggestions of his own passion: she to subdue an aversion for what a
thousand reasons concurred to convince her she ought rather to be
ambitious of, and which in refusing she run the risque of being cast
off, and abandoned to beggary and ruin; and what was still more hateful
to her, being hated by that person who, next to her brother, she loved
above the world, tho' in a different way from that which could alone
content him.

Dorilaus, who had taken the disorder he perceived in her for no other
than the effects of a surprize, which a declaration, such as he had
made, might very well occasion, was perfectly contented in his mind, and
passed that night with much more tranquility than he had done many
preceding ones, while he suffered his cruel reason to war against the
dictates of his heart; but having now wholly given himself up to the
latter, the sweet delusion filled him with a thousand pleasing ideas,
and he thought of nothing but the happiness he should enjoy in the
possession of the amiable Louisa. But how confounded was he, when the
next day accosting her with all the tender transports of a lover, she
turned from him, and burst into a flood of tears. How is this, Louisa,
said he; do the offers I make you merit to be treated with disdain? has
my submitting to be your lover forfeited that respect you were wont to
pay me as a guardian? O do not, sir, accuse me of such black
ingratitude, replied she; heaven knows with what sincere and humble duty
I regard you, and that I would sooner die than wilfully offend you; but
if I am so unfortunate as not to be able to obey you in this last
command, impute it, I beseech you, to my ill fate, and rather pity than
condemn me.

You cannot love me then? cried he, somewhat feircely. No otherwise than
I have ever done, answered she. My heart is filled with duty, reverence
and gratitude, of which your goodness is the only source: as for any
other sort of love I know not what it is; were it a voluntary emotion,
believe me, sir, I gladly would give it entrance into my soul, but I
well see it is of a far different nature.

Yet is your person at your own disposal, resumed he; and when possessed
of that, the flame which burns so fiercely in my breast, in time may
kindle one in yours. In speaking these words he took her in his arms,
and kissed her with a vehemence which the prodigious respect she bore to
him, as the patron and benefactor of herself and brother, could alone
have made her suffer.--Her eyes however sparkled with indignation, tho'
her tongue was silent, and at last bursting from his embrace, this, sir,
cried she, is not the way to make me think as you would have me. As in
this action he had no way transgressed the rules of decency, he could
ill brook the finding her so much alarmed at it; and would have
testified his resentment, had not the excess of his love, which is ever
accompanied with an adequate share of respect, obliged him to stifle it.
Well, Louisa, said he, looking earnestly upon her, ungenerously do you
requite what I have done for you; but I, perhaps, may bring myself to
other sentiments.--None, interrupted she, emboldened by the too great
freedom she thought he had taken with her, can be so dreadful to me as
those you now seem to entertain.

The look he gave her on hearing her speak in this manner, made her
immediately repent having been so open; and in the same breath, because;
pursued she, I look on it as the worst evil could befal me that I am
compelled to oppose them.

Come, said he, again softened by these last words, you will not always
oppose them: the fervor and constancy of my passion, joined with a
little yielding on your side, will by degrees excite a tender impulse in
you; and whatever is disagreeable at present, either in my person or
behaviour, will wear of.--Permit me at least to flatter myself so far,
and refuse me not those innocent endearments I have been accustomed to
treat you with; before you knew me as a lover, or I indeed suspected I
should be so.

He then kissed her again; but tho' he constrained himself within more
bounds than before, those caresses which she received with pleasure,
when thinking them only demonstrations of friendship, were now irksome,
as knowing them the effects of love: she suffered him however to embrace
her several times, and hold one of her hands close pressed between his,
while he endeavoured to influence her mind by all the tender arguments
his passion, backed with an infinity of wit, inspired; to all which she
made as few replies as possible; but he contented himself, as love is
always flattering, with imagining she was less refractory to his suit
than when he first declared it.

Every day, and almost the whole day, did he entertain her on no other
subject, but gained not the least ground on her inclinations; and all he
could get from her was the wish of being less insensible, without the
least indication of ever being so.

In this manner did they live together near three weeks; and how much
longer he would have been able to restrain his impatience, or she to
conceal the extreme regret in being compelled to listen to him, is
uncertain: a law-suit required his presence to town, and Louisa was in
hopes of being relieved for some time; but his passion was arrived at
such a height that he could not support the least absence from her, and
therefore brought her to London with him, so that her persecution ceased
not, he never stirring from her but when the most urgent business
obliged him to it.

One night happening to have stayed pretty late abroad, and in company,
which occasioned his drinking more plentifully than he was accustomed,
Louisa was retired to her chamber in order to go to bed: his love, ever
uppermost in his head, would not permit him to think of sleeping without
seeing her; accordingly he ran up into her room, and finding she was not
undressed, told her he had something to acquaint her with, on which the
maid that waited on her withdrew. Tho' the passion he was inspired with
could not be heightened, his behaviour now proved it might at least be
rendered more ungovernable by being enflamed with wine: He no sooner was
alone with her, than he threw himself upon her as she was sitting in a
chair, crying, O when my angel, my dear adored Louisa, will you consent
to make me blest.--By heaven, I can no longer wait the tedious
formalities your modesty demands.--I cannot think you hate me, and must
this night ensure you mine. While he spoke these words his lips were so
closely cemented to her's, that had there been no other hindrance, it
would have been impossible for her to have reply'd.--But terrified
beyond measure at the wild disorder of his looks, the expressions he
made use of, and the actions that accompanied them, she wanted even the
power of repulsing, till seeing her almost breathless, he withdrew his
arms which he had thrown round her neck, and contenting himself with
holding one of her hands,--Tell me, pursued he, when may I hope a
recompence for all I have suffered?--I must, I will have an end of all
these fears of offending;--this cruel constaint;--this distance between
us.--Few men, Louisa, in the circumstances we both are, would, like me,
so long attend a happiness in my power to seize.--Trifle not therefore
with a passion, the consequences of which there is no answering for.

O, sir! said she, with a trembling voice, you cannot, from the most
generous, virtuous and honourable man living, degenerate into a brutal
ravisher.--You will not destroy the innocence you have cherished, and
which is all that is valuable in the poor Louisa. She ended these words
with a flood of tears, which, together with the sight of the confusion
he had occasioned, made him a little recollect himself; and to prevent
the wildness of his desires from getting the better of those rules he
had resolved to observe, he let go her hand, and having told her that he
would press her no farther that night, but expected a more satisfactory
answer the next day, went out of her chamber, and left her to enjoy what
repose she could after the alarm he had given her.



CHAP. III.

_Dorilaus continues his importunities, with some unexpected consequences
that attended them_.

Poor Louisa concealed the distraction she was in as much as possible she
could from the maid, who immediately came into the room on Dorilaus
having quitted it, and suffered her to undress, and put her to bed as
usual; but was no sooner there, than instead of composing herself to
sleep, she began to reflect on what he had said:--the words, _that there
was no answering for the consequences of a passion such as his_, gave
her the most terrible idea.--His actions too, this night, seem'd to
threaten her with all a virgin had to fear.--She knew him a man of
honour, but thought she had too much reason to suspect that if she
persisted in refusing to be his wife, that passion which had influenced
him, contrary to his character, to make her such an offer, would also be
too potent for any consideration of her to restrain him from proceeding
to extremities. Having debated every thing within her own mind, she
thought she ought not to continue a day longer in the power of a man who
loved her to this extravagant degree: where to go indeed she knew
not;--she had no friend, or even acquaintance, to whom she might repair,
or hope to be received.--How should she support herself then?--which way
procure even the most common necessaries of life?--This was a dreadful
prospect! yet appeared less so than that she would avoid: even starving
lost its horrors when compared either to being compelled to wed a man
whom she could not affect as a husband, or, by refusing him, run the
risque of forfeiting her honour.--She therefore hesitated but a small
time, and having once formed the resolution of quitting Dorilaus's
house, immediately set about putting it into execution.

In the first place, not to be ungrateful to him as a benefactor, she sat
down and wrote the following letter to be left for him on her table:

SIR,

'Heaven having rendered me of a disposition
utterly incapable of receiving the honour
you would do me, it would be an ill return for
all the unmerited favours you have heaped upon
me to prolong the disquiets I have unhappily occasioned
by continuing in your presence;--besides,
sir, the education you have vouchsafed to
give me has been such, as informs me a person
of my sex makes but an odd figure while in the
power of one of yours possessed of the sentiments
you are.'

'These, sir, are the reasons which oblige me to
withdraw; and I hope, when well considered,
will enough apologize for my doing so, to keep
you from hating what you have but too much
loved; for I beseech you to believe a great truth,
which is, that the most terrible idea I carry with
me is, lest while I fly the one, I should incur the
other; and that, wheresoever my good or ill stars
shall conduct me, my first and last prayers shall
be for the peace, health, and prosperity of my
most generous and ever honoured patron and benefactor.'

'Judge favourably, therefore, of this action,
and rather pity than condemn the unfortunate

LOUISA.'


Having sealed and directed this, she dressed herself in one of the least
remarkable and plainest suits she had, taking nothing with her but a
little linnen which she crammed into her pockets, and so sat waiting
till she heard some of the family were stirring; then went down stairs,
and being; seen by one of the footmen, she told him she was not very
well, and was going to take a little walk in hopes the fresh air might
relieve her; he offered to wait upon her, but she refused, saying, she
chose to go alone.

Thus had she made her escape; but, when in the street, was seized with
very alarming apprehensions.--She was little acquainted with the town,
and knew not which way to turn in search of a retreat.--Resolving,
however, to go far enough, at least, from the house she had quitted, she
wandered on, almost tired to death, without stopping any where, till
chance directed her to a retired nook, where she saw a bill for lodgings
on one of the doors.--Here she went in, and finding the place convenient
for her present circumstances, hired a small, but neat chamber, telling
the people of the house that she was come to town in order to get a
service, and till she heard of one to her liking, would be glad to do
any needle-work she should be employed in.

The landlady, who happened to be a good motherly sort of woman, replied,
that she was pleased with her countenance, or she would not have
taken her in without enquiring into her character; and as she seemed not
to be desirous of an idle life, she would recommend her to those that
should find her work if she stayed with her never so long.

This was joyful news to our fair fugitive; and she blessed heaven for so
favourable a beginning of her adventures. The woman was punctual to her
promise; and being acquainted with a very great milliner, soon brought
her more work than she could do, without encroaching into those hours
nature requires for repose: but she seemed not to regret any fatigue to
oblige the person who employed her, and sent home all she did so neat,
so curious, and well wrought, that the milliner easily saw she had not
been accustomed to do it for bread, and was very desirous of having her
into the house, and securing her to herself. Louisa thinking it would be
living with less care, agreed to go, on this condition, that she should
be free to quit her in case any offer happened of waiting upon a lady.
This was consented to by the other, who told her, that since she had
that design, she could no where be so likely to succeed as at her house,
which was very much frequented by the greatest ladies in the kingdom,
she having the most Curiosities of any woman of her trade, which they
came there to raffle for.

On this Louisa took leave of her kind landlady, who having taken a great
fancy to her, and believing it would be for her advantage, was not sorry
to part with her. A quite new scene of life now presented itself to
her:--she found indeed the milliner had not made a vain boast; for her
house was a kind of rendezvous, where all the young and gay of both
sexes daily resorted.--It was here the marquis of W----r lost his heart,
for a time, to the fine mrs. S----ge:--here, that the duke of G----n
first declared his amorous inclinations for mrs. C----r:--here, that the
seemingly virtuous lady B----n received the addresses of that agreeable
rover mr. D----n:--here, that the beautiful dutchess of M---- gave that
encouragement, which all the world had sighed for, to the more fortunate
than constant mr. C----: in fine, it might properly enough be called the
theatre of gallantry, where love and wit joined to display their several
talents either in real or pretended passions.

Louisa usually sat at work in a back parlor behind that where the
company were; but into which some of them often retired to talk to each
other with more freedom.

This gave her an opportunity of seeing in what manner too many of the
great world passed their time, and how small regard some of them pay to
the marriage vow: everyday presented her with examples of husbands, who
behaved with no more than a cold civility to their own wives, and
carried the fervor of their addresses to those of other men; and of
wives who seemed rather to glory in, than be ashamed of a train of
admirers. How senseless would these people think me, said she to
herself, did they know I chose rather to work for my bread in mean
obscurity, than yield to marry where I could not love.--Tenderness,
mutual affection, and constancy. I find, are things not thought
requisite to the happiness of a wedded state; and interest and
convenience alone consulted. Yet was she far from repenting having
rejected Dorilaus, or being in the lead influenced by the example of
others.--The adventures she was witness of made her, indeed, more
knowing of the world, but were far from corrupting those excellent
morals she had received from nature, and had been so well improved by a
strict education, that she not only loved virtue for its own sake, but
despised and hated vice, tho' disguised under the most specious
pretences.

Her youth, beauty, and a certain sprightliness in her air, was too
engaging to be in the house of such a woman as mrs. C----ge, (for so
this court-milliner was called) without being very much taken notice of;
and tho' most of the gentlemen who came there had some particular object
in view, yet that did not hinder them from saying soft things to the
pretty Louisa as often as they had opportunity. Among the number of
those who pretended to admire her was mr. B----n, afterwards lord F----h;
but his addresses were so far from making any impression on her in
favour of his person or suit, that the one was wholly indifferent to
her, and the other so distasteful, that to avoid being persecuted with
it, she entreated mrs. C----ge to permit her to work above stairs, that
she might be out of the way of all such solicitations for the future,
either from him or any other. This request was easily complied with, and
the rather because she, who knew not the strength of her journey-woman's
resolution, nor the principles she had been bred in, was sometimes in
fear of losing so great a help to her business, by the temptations that
might be offered in a place so much exposed to sight. Mr. B----n no
sooner missed her, than he enquired with a good deal of earnestness for
her; and on mrs. C----ge's telling him she was gone away from her house,
became so impatient to know where, and on what account she had left her,
that this woman thinking it would be of advantage to her to own the
truth, (for she did nothing without that view) turned off the imposition
with a smile, and said, that perceiving the inclinations he had for her,
she had sent her upstairs that no other addresses might be a hindrance
to his designs.--This pleased him very well, and he ran directly to the
room where he was informed she was, and after some little discourse,
which he thought was becoming enough from a person of his condition to
one of her's, began to treat her with freedoms which she could not help
resisting with more fierceness than he had been accustomed to from women
of a much higher rank; but as he had no great notion of virtue,
especially among people of her sphere, he mistook all she said or did
for artifice; and imagining she enhanced the merit of the gift only to
enhance the recompence, he told her he would make her a handsome
settlement, and offered, as an earnest of his future gratitude, a purse
of money. The generous maid fired with a noble disdain at a proposal,
which she looked on only as an additional insult, struck down the purse
with the utmost indignation and cried, she was not of the number of
those who thought gold an equivalent for infamy; and that mean as she
appeared, not all his wealth should bribe her to a dishonourable action.
At first he endeavoured to laugh her out of such idle notions as he
called them, and was so far from being rebuffed at any thing she said,
that he began to kiss and toy with her more freely than before, telling
her he would bring her into a better humour; but he was wholly deceived
in his expectations, if he had any of the nature he pretended, for she
became so irritated at being treated in this manner, that she called out
to the servants to come to her assistance, and protected she would not
stay an hour longer in the house if she could not be secured from such
impertinencies; on which he said she was a silly romantic fool, and
flung out of the room.

Mrs. C----ge hearing there had been some bustle, came up soon after and
found Louisa in tears: she immediately complained, of mr. B----n's
behaviour to her, and said, tho' she acknowledged herself under many
obligations to her for the favours she had conferred on her, she could
not think of remaining in a place where, tho' she could not say her
virtue had any severe trials, because she had a natural detestation to
crimes of the kind that gentleman and some others had mentioned, yet her
person was liable to be affronted. The milliner, who was surprized to
hear her talk in this manner, but who understood her trade perfectly
well, answered, that he was the best conditioned civil gentleman in the
world;--that she did not know how it happened;--that she was certain
indeed he loved her; and that it was in his power to make her a very
happy woman if she were inclined to accept his offers;--but she would
perswade her to nothing.

These kind of discourses created a kind of abhorrence in Louisa, as they
plainly shewed her, what before she had some reason to believe, that she
was in the house of one who would think nothing a crime that she found
it her own interest to promote. However, she thought it would be
imprudent to break too abruptly with her, and contented herself for the
present with encasing her promise that neither mr. B----n, nor any other
person should for the future give her the least interruption of the
like sort.

From this day, however, she was continually ruminating how she should
quit her house, without running the risque of disobliging her so far as
not to be employed by her; for tho' she found herself at present free
from any of those importunities to which both by nature and principles
she was so averse, yet she could not answer to herself the continuing in
a place where virtue was treated as a thing of little or no consequence,
and where she knew not how soon she might again be subjected
to affronts.

Amidst these meditations the thoughts of Dorilaus frequently intervened:
she reflected on the obligations she had to him, and the mighty
difference between the morals of that truly noble and generous man, and
most of those she had seen at mrs. C----ge's: she wondered at herself at
the antipathy she had to him as a husband, whom she so dearly loved and
honoured as a friend; yet nothing could make her wish to be again on the
same terms with him she had lately been. It also greatly added to her
affliction that she knew not how to direct to her brother; for at the
time of his departure, little suspicious of having any occasion to
change the place of her abode, she had left the care of that entirely to
Dorilaus. She was one morning very much lost in thought on the odd
circumstances of her fortune, when a Gazette happening to lye upon the
table, she cast her eye, without design, upon the following
advertisement.


'Whereas a young gentlewoman has lately
thought fit to abscond from her best friends,
and with the most diligent search that could possibly
be made after her has not yet been heard of,
this is to acquaint her that if she pleases to return,
she shall hereafter have no disturbance of that
nature which it is supposed occasioned her withdrawing
herself, but live entirely according to
her own inclinations; and this the advertiser
hereof gives his word and honour (neither of
which she has any cause to doubt) faithfully to
adhere to.'

'It shall also be at her choice to live either at
the house she quitted, or to be again under the
care of that gentlewoman who was entrusted
with her education: she is therefore requested to
conceal herself no longer, lest her youth, beauty,
and inexperience of the town should betray her
innocence into those very snares she fears to fall
into.'


The very beginning of this paragraph gave her a conjecture it was meant
for no other than herself; and the more she read, the more she grew
convinced, of it.--It must be so, cryed she; every word,--every
circumstance confirms it.--How unhappy am I that I cannot return so
perfect an affection!--Instead of detesting my ingratitude, he only
fears I should receive the punishment of it.--What man but Dorilaus
would behave thus to the creature of his benevolence?--If I have any
merits, do not I owe them to his goodness?--My brother and myself, two
poor exposed and wretched foundlings, what but his bounty rear'd us to
what we are?--Hard fate!--unlucky passion that drives me from his
presence and protection.

Yet, would she say again, if he has indeed subdued that passion;--if he
resolves to think of me as before he entertained it; if I were certain
he would receive me as a child, how great would be, the blessing!

This confederation had so much effect on her, that she was half
determined to comply with the advertisement; but when she remembered to
have read that where love is sincere and violent, it requires a length
of time to be erased, and that those possessed of it are incapable of
knowing even their own strength, and, as he had said to her himself,
_that there was no answering for the consequences,_ she grew instantly
of another mind, and thought that putting herself again into the power
of such a passion was running too great a hazard.

The continual agitations of her mind, joined to want of air, a quite
different way of life, and perhaps fitting more closely to work than she
had been accustomed, threw her at length into a kind of languishing
indisposition, which, tho' it did not confine her to her bed, occasioned
a loss of appetite, and frequent faintings, which were very alarming to
her. Mrs. C----ge was extremely concerned to observe this change in her,
and would have the opinion of her own physician, who said that she had
symptoms of an approaching consumption, and that it was absolutely
necessary she should be removed into the country for some time.

Louisa readily complied with this advice, not only because she imagined
it might be of service for the recovery of her health, but also as it
furnished her with a pretence for leaving mrs. C----ge's house, to which
she was determined to return no more as a boarder. The good woman with
whom she had lodged at first recommended her to a friend of her's at
Windsor, where she immediately went, and was very kindly received.



CHAP. IV.

_Louisa becomes acquainted with a lady of quality, part of whose
adventures are also related, and goes to travel with her_.

Change of place affords but small relief to those whose distempers are
in the mind: Louisa carried with her too many perplexing thoughts to be
easily shook off; tho' the queen and court being then at Windsor, she
had the opportunity of seeing a great many of the gay world pass daily
by her window.--There also lodged in the same house with her a young
widow of quality, who was visited by persons of the first rank; but as
she was not of a condition to make one in any of these conversations,
she reaped no other satisfaction from them than what the eye afforded.

As she was not, however, of a temper to indulge melancholy, she made it
her endeavour to banish, as much as possible, all ideas which were
displeasing from her mind: to this end, a fine harpsicord happening to
stand in the dining-room, whenever the lady was abroad, she went in and
diverted herself with playing. She was one day entertaining the woman of
the house with a tune, which she accompanied with her voice, when the
lady returning sooner than was expected, and hearing the instrument
before she came up stairs, would needs know who it was had been making
use of it; for Louisa hurried out of the room before she came in: the
landlady, as there was no occasion to disguise the truth, told her that
it was a young woman, who not being very well, had come down into the
country for air.

She has had an excellent education, I am certain, said the lady, (who
henceforward we shall call Melanthe) for in my life I never heard any
body play or sing better:--I must be acquainted with her; on which the
other said she would let her know the honour she intended her.

That very evening, as great ladies no sooner think of any thing but they
must have it performed, was Louisa sent for into her apartment; and her
countenance and behaviour so well seconded the good impression her skill
in music had begun, that Melanthe became charm'd with her, and from that
time obliged her to come to her every morning; and whenever she was
without company, made her dine and sup with her. Being curious to know
her circumstances, Louisa made no scruple of acquainting her with the
truth, only instead of relating how she had been exposed in her infancy,
said, that having the misfortune to be deprived of her parents, it was
her intention to wait on a lady, and till she heard of one who would
accept her service, she had work'd at her needle.

Melanthe then asked if she would live with her; to which the other
gladly answering, she should think herself happy in such a lady; but you
must go abroad then, said she, for I am weary of England, and am
preparing to travel: as it is a route of pleasure only, I shall stay
just as long as I find any thing new and entertaining in one place, then
go to another till I am tired of that, and so on, I know not how long;
for unless my mind alters very much, I shall not come back in
some years.

Louisa was perfectly transported to hear her say this; she had a great
desire to see foreign parts, and thought she never could have a better
opportunity: she expressed the pleasure she should take in attending her
wherever she went with so much politeness and sincerity, that Melanthe
told her, it should be her own fault if she ever quitted her, and withal
assured her, she never would treat her in any other manner than a
companion, and that tho' she would make her a yearly allowance for
cloaths and card-money, yet she would expect no other service from her
than fidelity to her secrets, and affection to her person.

From the moment this agreement was made, the young Louisa regained her
complection and her appetite; and being now initiated into the family of
this lady, had no longer any care to take than to oblige her, a thing
not difficult, Melanthe being good-natured, and strongly prepossessed in
favour of her new friend, for so she vouchsafed to call her, and to use
her accordingly.

As a proof of it, she made her in a very short time the confident of her
dearest secrets: they were one day sitting together, when accidentally
some mention was made of the power of love. You are too young, Louisa,
said Melanthe, to have experienced the wonderful effects of that passion
in yourself, and therefore cannot be expected to have much compassion
for what it can inflict on others.

Indeed, madam, answered she, tho' I never have yet seen a man who gave
me a moment's pain on that score, yet I believe there are no emotions
whatever so strong as those of love, and that it is capable of
influencing people of the best sense to things which in their nature
they are most averse to.

Well, my dear, resumed the other, since I find you have so just a notion
of it, I will confide in your discretion so far as to let you know, that
but for an ungrateful man, I had not looked on my native country as a
desart, and resolved to seek a cure for my ill-treated and abused
tenderness in foreign parts.

My quality, continued she, I need not inform you of; you have doubtless
heard that my family yields to few in antiquity, and that there is an
estate belonging to it sufficient to support the dignity of its title;
but my father having many children, could not give very great portions
to the daughters: I was therefore disposed of, much against my
inclinations, to a nobleman, whom my unlucky charms had so much
captivated as to make him not only take me with no other dowry than my
cloaths and jewels, but also to settle a large jointure upon me, which,
he being dead, I at present enjoy. I cannot say that all the obligations
he laid upon me could engage a reciprocal regard:--I behaved with
indifference to him while living, and little lamented him when dead: not
that I was prepossessed in favour of any other man;--my heart, entirely
free, was reserved to be the conquest of the too charming perfidious
Henricus, who arriving soon after my lord's decease, and bringing with
him all the accomplishments which every different court he had visited
could afford, join'd to the most enchanting person nature ever formed,
soon made me know I was not that insensible creature I had
thought myself.

I happened to be at court when he came to kiss her majesty's hand on his
return; and whether it was that my eyes testified too much the
admiration this first sight of him struck me with, or that he really
discovered something more attractive in me than any lady in the presence
I know not, but he seemed to distinguish me in a particular manner, and
I heard him say to my lord G----n in a whisper, that I was the finest
woman he had ever seen; but what gave me more pleasure than even this
praise, was an agreement I heard made between him and the same lord to
go that evening to a raffle at mrs. C--rt-s--r's. I was one of those who
had put in, tho' if I had not, I should certainly, have gone for a
second sight of him, who when he went out of the drawing-room seemed to
have left me but half myself.

In fine, I went, and had there wanted any thing to have entirely
vanquished me, my conqueror's manner of address had done it with a form
less agreeable.--O Louisa, pursued she with a sigh, if you have never
seen or heard the charming Henricus, you can have no notion of what is
excellent in man; such flowing wit;--such softness in his voice and
air;--but there is no describing what he is. He seemed all transport at
meeting me there; among a number of ladies I alone engrossed him: he
scarce spoke to any other; and being so fortunate to win the raffle,
which was a fine inlaid India cabinet, instead of sending it to his own
house, he privately ordered his servant to leave it at mine, lord G----n
having, as he afterwards told me, informed him where I lived, and also
all the particulars he wanted to know concerning me.

I was prodigiously surprized when I came home and found the Cabinet,
which my woman imagined I had won by its being brought thither. It was
indeed a piece of gallantry I had no reason to expect from one so
perfect a stranger to me; and this, joined with the many complaisant
things he said to me at mrs. C--rt-f--r's, flattered my vanity enough to
make me think he was no less charmed with me than I too plainly found I
was with him. I slept little that night, and pretty early the next
morning received a billet from him to this effect:

MADAM,

'I thought the cabinet we raffled for was more
properly the furniture of a lady's closet than
mine, especially one who must daily receive a
great number of such epistles as it was doubtless
intended by the maker to contain: happy should
I think myself if any thing of mine might find
room among those which, for their wit and elegance,
may be more worthy of preferring, tho'
none can be for their sincerity more so than those
which are dictated by the eternally devoted heart of

HENRICUS.'

You cannot imagine, my dear Louisa, how delighted I was with these few
lines; I enclosed them indeed in the cabinet given me by the author of
them, but laid up their meaning in my heart:--I was quite alert the
whole day, but infinitely more so, when in the evening my admired
Henricus made me a visit introduced by lord H----, who had been one of
my late husband's particular friends, and had ever kept a good
correspondence with me.

Henricus took, not the least notice either of the cabinet or letter
before him; and as I imagined he had his reasons for it, I too was
silent on that head; he took the opportunity, however, while lord H----
was speaking to a young lady who happened to be with me, to ask
permission to wait on me with the hope of being received on his own
score as he was now on that of his friend. I told him that merit, such
as his, was sufficient to recommend him any where; and, besides, I had
an obligation to him which I ought to acknowledge. This was all either
of us had time to say; but it was enough to make me convinced he desired
a more particular conversation, and him, that it would not be
unwelcome to me.

Thus began an acquaintance equally fatal to my peace of mind and
reputation; and having said that, it would be needless to repeat the
circumstances of it, therefore shall only tell you I was so infatuated
with my passion, that I never gave myself the trouble to examine into
the nature of his pretensions, and lull'd with the vows he made of
everlasting love, resented not that he forbore pressing to that ceremony
which could alone ensure it:--yes, my Louisa, I will not wrong him so
far as to say he deceived me in this point; for tho' he protested with
the most solemn imprecations that he would never address any either
woman than myself, yet he never once mentioned marriage to me.--Alass!
he too well saw into my heart, and that all my faculties were too much
his to be able to refuse him any thing:--even so it proved;--he
triumphed over all in my power to yield;--nay, was so far subdued, that
I neither regretted my loss, nor used any endeavours to conceal
it;--vain of being his at any rate, I thought his love more glory to me
than either fame or virtue; and while I was known to enjoy the one,
despised whatever censures I incurred for parting with the other:--in
the mall, the play-house, the ring, at Bath or Tunbridge, he was always
with me; nor would any thing indeed have been a diversion to me had he
been absent.

For upwards of a year I had no reason to complain of his want of
assiduity to me, tho' I have since heard even in that time he had other
amours with women who carried them on with more prudence than I was
mistress of; but I had afterwards a stabbing proof of his insincerity
and inconstancy.

Perceiving a great alteration in his behaviour, that he visited me less
frequently, and when he came, the ardours he was accustomed to treat me
with still more and more languid and enforced, I upbraided him in terms
which, tho' they shewed more love than resentment, and had he retained
any tolerable remains of tenderness for me, must have been rather
obliging than the contrary, he affected to take extremely ill, and told
me plainly, that nothing was so dear to him as his peace,--that he was
not of a temper to endure reproaches, and that, if I desired the
continuance of our amour, I must be satisfied with him as he was. These
cool, and indeed insolent replies made me almost distracted; and
beginning to suspect he had some new engagement, I talked to him in a
manner as if I had been assured of it:--he, perhaps, imagining it was
so, made no efforts to cure my jealousy, but behaved with so cruel an
indifference as confirmed my apprehensions.

Resolving to be convinced whether I really had any rival or not, I
employed spies to observe where-ever he went, and to whom; but alass,
there required little pains to acquire the intelligence I fought.--I
was soon informed that he was every day with the daughter of a little
mechanic;--that he made her very rich presents, procured a commission in
the army for one of her brothers, and in fine, that he was as much
devoted to her as a man of his inconstant temper could be to any woman.

How severe a mortification was this to my pride! but it had this good
attending it, that it very much abated my love:--to be abandoned for so
mean a creature, and who had nothing but youth and a tolerable face to
recommend her, shewed such a want of taste as well as gratitude, as
rendered despicable in my eyes what had lately engrossed all my love and
admiration.--The moment I received the information I sent for him;--and
forcing my countenance to a serenity my heart was a stranger to, told
him it was only to take a last leave of a person whom I had been so far
mistaken in as to think deserving my affection: that I desired to see
him once more, but having now seen my error, desired he would desist his
visits for the future. He asked me with the same calmness he had lately
behaved with, what whim I had got in my head now, I, who had before
determined not to feed my rival's pride by shewing any jealousy of her,
only replied, that as amours, such as ours had been, must have an end
some time or other,--I thought none could be more proper than the
present, because I believed both of us could do it without pain.

Answer for yourself, madam, cried he with some emotion, for I could
perceive my behaviour had a little flung his vanity; and resolute to
give him in my turn all the mortification in my power, nay, said I with
a disdainful toss of my head, I do not enquire into your sentiments,--it
is sufficient mine are to break entirely off with you;--neither is it
any concern to me how you may resent this alteration in my conduct, or
dispose of yourself hereafter; but I once more assure you, with my usual
frankness, that I now can see none of those perfections my foolish fancy
formerly found in you, and cannot be complaisant enough to counterfeit a
tenderness I neither feel nor think you worthy of.

The surprize he was in kept him silent for some moments; but recovering
himself as well as he could, he told me, that if the levity of my nature
had made me cease to love him, he could not have expected endearments
should be converted into affronts; that if I was determined to see him
no more he must submit, and should endeavour to make himself as easy as
he could under the misfortune.

These last words were uttered with a kind of sneer, which was very
provoking, however, I restrained my passion during the little time he
stayed; but as soon as I found myself alone gave it vent in tears and
exclamations,--since which I have been mere at peace within myself; for
tho' I cannot say I hate him, I am now far from loving him, and hope
that time and absence may bring me to a perfect indifference.

Thus, Louisa, continued she, you see the beginning and end of an
adventure which has made some noise in town, to be out of which I have
taken a resolution to travel till the whole shall be forgotten, and I
have entirely rooted out of my heart all manner of consideration for
this ungrateful man.

Louisa thanked her for the condescension me had made her in entrusting
her with so important a secret, and said every thing she could in praise
of the resolution she had taken to leave England for a time, not only
because it was exactly conformable to her own desires, but also that she
thought it so laudable in itself. Melanthe then assured her that she was
not capable of changing her mind in this particular, and that her
equipage was getting ready at London for that purpose, so that she
believed they should embark in a few days. Louisa, on hearing this,
said, that she must then provide herself with some things it would be
necessary for her to have in order to appear in the station her ladyship
was pleased to place her; but the other, who, as may be seen by her
history, never preserved a medium in any thing, would not suffer her to
be at the least expence on that account, but took the care of furnishing
her with every thing on herself; and accordingly sent a man and horse to
town directly to her mercer's, draper's, milliner's, and other
tradesmen, with orders to send down silks, laces, hollands, and whatever
else was requisite; which being brought, were put to be made fit for
wearing by workwomen at Windsor; so that now our Louisa made as good a
figure, and had as great a variety of habits as when under the
guardianship of Dorilaus, and, to complete her happiness, this new
benefactress grew every day more, and more delighted with her company.

All being now prepared, they came to London, where they lay but one
night before they took shipping for Helvoetsluys in Holland, where,
being safely landed, they proceeded to Utrecht, and so to
Aix-la-chappelle; there they stayed some weeks for the sake of the
waters, air, and good company; and Louisa thought it so pleasant, that
she would have been glad not to have removed for some time longer; but
Melanthe was yet restless in her mind, and required frequent change of
place. Here it was, however, that Louisa thought she might venture to
write to Dorilaus, to ease him of that kind concern she doubted not but
he was in for her welfare, by the advertisement already mentioned in the
Gazette. The purport of her letter was as follows:

_Ever Honoured Sir_,

'Child of your bounty as I am, I flatter myself
that, in spight of my enforc'd disobedience,
it would be a trouble to you to hear I should
do any thing unworthy of that education you were
pleased to bestow on me: I therefore take the liberty
of acquainting you, that heaven has raised
me a protectress in a lady of quality with whom
I now am, as you will see by the date of this, at
Aix-la-chappelle. As all the favours I receive
from her, or all the good that shall happen during
my whole life is, and will be entirely owing
to you as the fountain-head, it will be always my
inclination, as well as duty, to pay you the tribute
of grateful thanks.--Poor recompence,
alas, for all you have done for me! yet those,
with my incessant prayers to heaven, are all in
the power of

_Your most dutiful_

LOUISA.'

She took no notice of the advertisement, not only as she could not be
positive it related to herself, as also because she thought, if he were
certain she had read it, he might resent her not answering it, as
discovering a too great diffidence of his honour. She added, however, a
postscript, entreating him to let her brother know, that whatever
happened, he should have no reason to find fault with her conduct.

After they left Aix-la-chappelle, they took bye roads to avoid the
armies; yet notwithstanding all their care, they now and then met
parties who were out on foraging, but as it happened, they were always
under the conduct of officers who prevented any ill accident, so that
our travellers met with no manner of interruption, but arrived safely at
the magnificent city of Vienna, where was at that time an extreme gay
court, affording every thing capable of diverting a much more settled
melancholy than either Melanthe or her fair companion were possessed of.

The arch-dutchesses, Mary Elizabeth, and Mary Anna Josepha, afterward
queen of Portugal, had frequent balls and entertainments in their
different drawing-rooms; to all which Melanthe, being a stranger and a
woman of quality, was invited: she kept her promise with Louisa; and
treating her as a young lady, whose friendship for her, and a desire of
seeing the world had engaged to accompany her, she was received and
respected as such; and by this means had an opportunity of shewing the
skill she had in dancing, singing, music, and indeed all the
accomplishments that a woman born and educated to the best expectations,
is usually instructed in. As neither her lady nor herself understood the
German language, and she spoke infinitely the best French, her
conversation was the most agreeable, which, joined with a most engaging
manner, and a peculiar sweetness in her voice, attracted all those
civilities which the rank of the other demanded.

Possessed of so many charms, it would have been strange if, in a city
throng'd like Vienna with young noblemen, who were continually coming
from all parts of the empire, she had lived without some who pretended
to somewhat more than mere admiration; but her heart had not refused the
worthy Dorilaus to become the conquest of a German; nor was it here she
was ordained to experience those anxieties in herself, she could but
imperfectly conceive by the description she had from others.

Melanthe, however, whose sole aim was to drive all perplexing thoughts
from her mind, encouraged a great number of visitors, so that her
lodgings seemed a perfect theatre of gallantry; and Louisa having her
share in all the amusements this lady prepared for the reception of
those that came to see her, or were contrived for her entertainment by
others, past her time in the most gay and agreeable manner imaginable,
and by this means acquired the knowledge of almost the only thing she
before was ignorant in, how to receive a multiplicity of company, yet to
behave so is each should imagine themselves most welcome;--to seem
perfectly open, without discovering any thing improper to be
revealed;--to use all decent freedoms with the men, yet not encourage
the least from them, and to seem to make a friend of every woman she
conversed with, without putting truth in any;--and in fine, all the
little policies which make up the art of what is called a polite
address, and which is not to be attained without an acquaintance with
the court and great world.

This, I say, our amiable foundling was now well vers'd in, and practised
among those who she found made a practice of it; but yet retained the
same sincerity of mind, love of virtue, and detestation of vice, she
brought with her from the house of Dorilaus:--neither was her youth too
much dazled with the exterior splendor she beheld; and tho' she was well
enough pleased with it, yet it did not in the least take her off from
the duties of religion, or inspire her with any ambitious or aspiring
wishes to become what the remembrance of what she was forbid any
probable expectation of. She knew the present fashion of her life was
not an assured settlement, and therefore set not her heart upon it. Few
at her years would have had the like prudence, or in time armed
themselves, as she did, against any change that might befal her.

In this happy situation let us leave her for a while: the young Horatio
claims his share of attention; and it is time to see what encouragement
and success his martial ardor met with on the banks of the Danube.



CHAP. V.

_Horatio's reception by the officers of the army; his behaviour in the
battle; his being taken prisoner by the French; his treatment among
them, and many other particulars._

The extreme graceful person of Horatio, his youth, handsome equipage,
and the letters sent by Dorilaus to several of the principal officers in
his favour, engaged him a reception answerable to his wishes: but none
was of greater service than the recommendation he had to colonel
Brindfield, who being in great favour with the duke of Marlborough, was
highly respected by the whole army. This gentleman made him dine
frequently with him, and testified the regard he had for Dorilaus, by
doing all the good offices he could to a youth whom he perceived by his
letter he had a great concern for. He not only introduced him to the
acquaintance of many officers of condition, but took an opportunity of
presenting him to the duke himself, giving at the same time his grace an
account that he was a gentleman whose inclinations to arms, and the
honour of serving under his grace, had made him renounce all other
advantages for the hope of doing something worthy of his favour. The
duke looked all the time he was speaking very attentively on the young
Horatio, and finding something in his air that corroborated the
colonel's description, was pleased to say, that he was charm'd with his
early thirst after same; and then turning toward him, you will soon,
pursued he, have an opportunity of seeing how the face of war looks,
near at hand:--I can tell you, that you must not always expect smiles.
No, my lord, replied he, without being at all daunted at the presence of
so great a man; but where we love all countenances are agreeable.

He arrived indeed opportunely to be a witness of the dangers of that
glorious campaign which brought such shame to the French, such honour to
the English, and such real advantages to the empire. Prince Eugene of
Savoy, and prince Lewis of Baden were come to the duke's quarters, which
were then at Mondesheim, to consult on proper operations; the result
was, that the duke and prince Lewis should join armies, and command each
day alternately, and that prince Eugene should head a separate army and
repair towards Philipsburg, to defend the passage of the Rhine, the
lines of Stolhoffen, and the country of Wirtenberg.

The two armies joined at Westerstretton, thence proceeded by easy
marches towards Donawert, between which and Scellenberg the enemy was
encamped. Fatigued as they were, the duke made them pass over a little
river and endeavour to force the intrenchments; which enterprize
succeeded, notwithstanding all the disadvantages the confederate armies
were in, and the others were obliged to retire with great precipitation,
many of whom were drowned in endeavouring to pass the Danube.

In this action was our young soldier unlisted, and had the glory to be
signalized by two remarkable accidents; one was, that pressing among the
foremost in this hazardous attempt, he had his hat taken off by a cannon
ball; and the other was, that seeing a standard about to be taken by the
enemy, the person who carried it happening to be kill'd, he ran among
those who were carrying it away, and being seconded by some others,
retrieved that badge of English honour; and as this was done in sight of
the duke, he rode up to him directly and presented it to him. Take it
for your pains, cried he, you have ventured hard, and well deserve the
prize. There was no time for thanks; the duke, who was almost every
where at once, was immediately gone where he found his presence
necessary, and Horatio returned to take the place of the dead cornet,
doubly animated by the encouragement he had received.

This victory opening a way into the elector of Bavaria's dominions, that
poor country was terribly ravaged, no less than 300 towns, villages and
castles being utterly consumed by a detachment of horse and dragoons the
duke sent for that purpose. Some old officers told Horatio that now
would be the time to make his fortune if he went with these squadrons,
there being many rich things which would fall to the share of the
plunderers; to which he answered, that he came to fight for the honour
of his country, and not to rob for its disgrace. This they laughed at,
and endeavoured to make him sensible, that the taking away an enemy's
treasure was to take away their strength; but all they could say was
ineffectual; he was not to be perswaded out of what he thought reason
and justice: and this conversation being afterward repeated to the duke,
he smil'd and said, he was yet too young to know the value of money.

After this, prince Lewis of Baden dividing from the duke, in order to
undertake the siege of Ingoldstadt, our young cornet attended his grace
to the relief of prince Eugene, who expected to be attacked by the
united army of Bavarians and French, then encamped near Hockstadt.

It would be needless to give any description of this famous battle, few
of my readers but must be acquainted with it, so I shall only say, that
among the number of those few prisoners the French had to boast of in
attonement for so great a defeat, was the young brave Horatio, who fell
to the lot of the baron de la Valiere, nephew to the marquis of Sille.
This nobleman being extremely taken with his person and behaviour,
treated him in the politest manner; and tho' he carried him with him
into France, assured him, that it was more for the pleasure of
entertaining him there than any other consideration. Horatio was not
much afflicted at this misfortune, because it gave him an opportunity of
seeing a country he had heard so much commended, and also to make
himself master of a language, which, tho' he understood, he spoke but
imperfectly.

The baron was not only one of the most gallant, but also one of the best
humoured men in the world; he spared nothing during the whole time they
tarried in his quarters, nor in their journey to Paris, which might
contribute to make his prisoner easy under his present circumstances;
and among other things, often said to him, if you and some others have
fallen under the common chance of war, you have yet the happiness of
knowing your army in general has been victorious, and that, there are
infinitely a greater number of ours who, against their will, must see
England, than, there are of yours conducted into France.

On their arrival, Horatio wrote an account to Dorilaus of all had
happened to him, not doubting but he would use his interest to have him
either mentioned when there should come an exchange of prisoners, or
that he would randsom him himself; but receiving no answer, he concluded
his letter, by some accident, had miscarried, and sent another, but that
meeting the same fate as the former, he wrote a third, accompanied with
one to his sister directed to the boarding-school, where he imagined she
still was: to this last, after some time, he had the following return
from the governess:

SIR,

'A letter directed for miss Louisa coming to
my house, I was in debate with myself
what to do with it, that young lady having been
gone from me last September, since which time
I have never heard any thing of her:--at last I
sent it to Dorilaus's country seat by a messenger,
who brought it to me again, with intelligence
that he was gone with some friends into the north
of Ireland, and that it was probable they had
taken miss with them:--I then thought proper
to open it, believing she had no secrets I might
not be entrusted with, and finding it came from
you, could do no less than give you this information
to prevent your being under any surprize
for not receiving answers to your letters. I am
sorry to find by yours that you have had such ill
success in your first campaign; but would not
have you be cast down, since you need not doubt
but on the return of Dorilaus you will have remittances
for your ransom, or whatever else you
may have occasion for.'

_I am_, SIR,
_Your most humble and obedient Servant,_

A. TRAINWELL.

This letter made him perfectly contented; he had no reason to question
the continuance of Dorilaus's goodness to him, nor that he should attend
this new proof of it any longer than the return of that gentleman to
England should make him know the occasion he now had for it. He
therefore had no anxious thoughts to interrupt the pleasures the place
he was in afforded in such variety; he was every evening with the baron,
either at court, the opera, the comedy, or some other gay scene of
entertainment; was introduced to the best company; and his young heart,
charm'd with the politeness and gallantry of that nation, and the little
vanity to which a person of such early years is incident, being
flattered with the complaisance he was treated with, gave him in a short
time a very strong affection for them; but there was yet another and
more powerful motive which rendered his captivity not only pleasing, but
almost destroyed in him an inclination ever to see his native
country again.

The baron de la Valiere had long been passionately in love with a young
lady, who was one of the maids of honour to king James's queen: he went
almost every day to St. Germains, in order to prosecute his addresses,
and frequently took Horatio with him. The motive of his first
introducing him to that court was, perhaps, the vanity of shewing him
that no reverse of fate could make the French regardless of what was due
to royalty, since the Chevalier St. George seem'd to want no requisite
of majesty but the power; but he afterwards found the pleasure he took
in those visits infinitely surpassed what he could have expected, and
that his heart had an attachment, which made him no sooner quit that
palace than he would ask with impatience when they should go thither
again. The baron had a great deal of penetration; and as those who feel
the power of love in themselves can easily perceive the progress it
makes in others, a very few visits confirmed him that Horatio had found
something there more attractive than all he could behold elsewhere: nor
was he long at a loss to discover, among the number or beauties which
composed the trains of the queen and princess, which of them it was that
had laid his prisoner under a more lasting captivity than war had done.

Princess Louisa Maria Teresa, daughter of the late king James, was then
but in her thirteenth year; the ladies who attended her were all of them
much of the same age; and to shew the respect the French had for this
royal family, tho' in misfortunes, were also the daughters of persons
whose birth and fortune might have done honour to the service of the
greatest empress in the world; nor were any of them wanting in those
perfections which attract the heart beyond the pomp of blood or titles;
but she who had influenced that of our Horatio, was likewise in the
opinion of those, who felt not her charms in the same degree he did,
allowed to excel her fair companions in every captivating grace, and to
yield in beauty to none but the princess herself, who was esteemed a
Prodigy. This amiable lady was called Charlotta de Palfoy, only daughter
to the baron of that name; and having from her most early years
discovered a genius above what is ordinarily found in her sex, had been
educated by her indulgent parents in such a manner, as nature left
nothing for want of the improvements of art; yet did not all the
accomplishments, she was mistress of give her the least air of
haughtiness; on the contrary, there was a certain sweetness of temper in
her which gave a double charm to every thing she said or did: she was
all affability, courtesy and chearfulness; she could not therefore avoid
treating so agreeable a stranger as Horatio with all imaginable marks of
civility; but she had been a very small time acquainted with him before
her liking ripened into a kind of tenderness little inferior to what he
was possessed of for her; and tho' both were then too young to be able
to judge of the nature of this growing inclination, yet they found they
loved without knowing to what end.

As both the Chevalier St. George and the princess his sister were
instructed in the English language, and besides many of their court were
natives of Great Britain, whose loyalty had made them follow the exil'd
monarch, the French belonging to them had also an ambition to speak in
the same dialect: mademoiselle Charlotta being but lately come among
them had not yet attained the proper accent, any more than Horatio had
that of the French; so they agreed that to improve each other in the
different languages, he should always speak to her in French, and she
should answer him in English. This succeeded not only for the purpose it
was intended, but likewise drew on a greater intimacy between them than
might otherwise have happened, at least in so short a time.

The baron having a real friendship for Horatio, rejoiced to find he had
so powerful an attachment to continue among them, and without taking any
notice how far he saw into his sentiments, encouraged his visits at St.
Germains all he could. Thus indulged in every thing he wished, he began
insensibly to lose all desires of returning to England, and receiving no
letters either from Dorilaus or his sister, was as it were weaned from
that affection he had formerly bore to them, and in the room of that the
new friendships he was every day contracting took up his mind.

He was indeed used with so much love and respect by people in the most
eminent stations, to whom the baron had introduced him, that it would
have been ungrateful in him not to have returned it with the greatest
good-will. Expressing one day some surprize at being so far forgotten by
his friends in England, de la Valiere told him that he would not have
him look on himself as any other than a guest in France, and that if he
chose to quit that country, he should not only be at his liberty to
return to England whenever he pleased, but also should be furnished with
a sum sufficient for the expences of his journey; but added, that the
offer he now made of depriving himself of so agreeable a companion was a
piece of self-denial, than which there could not be a greater proof of a
disinterested regard.

Horatio replied in the manner this generosity demanded, and said, that
if there was any thing irksome to him in France, it was only his
inability of returning the favours he had received: believe me, sir,
pursued he, were I master of a fortune sufficient to put me above the
necessity of receiving the obligations I now do, it would not be in the
power of all I left in England to prevail on me to return;--it is here,
and in the society of that company I at present, thro' your means,
enjoy, that I would wish to pass my whole life.

The baron then told him he would find a way to make all things easy to
him, and accordingly went the same day to monsieur the prince of Conti,
to whom he gave such an advantageous description of the courage and
accomplishments of the English cornet, and the inclination he had to
stay among them, that his highness told the baron, that he might
acquaint him from him, that if he were willing to serve under him he
should have a commission; or, if he rather chose a civil employment, he
would use his interest to procure him such a one as might afford both
honour and profit.

This the baron did not fail to communicate immediately to Horatio, who,
charm'd with the generosity both of the one and the other, broke out
into the utmost encomiums of that nation:--sure, said he, the French are
a people born to inspire and instruct virtue and benevolence to all the
kingdoms in the world! After the first raptures of his gratitude were
over, being pressed by the baron to let him know which of the prince's
offers he would chuse to accept; alas! replied he, this is a kind of an
unfortunate dilemma I am in;--my inclinations are for the army, and it
would be the height of my ambition to serve under such generals as the
French; but it would be unnatural in me to draw my sword against the
land which gave me being: O would to God! continued he, there were an
opportunity for me to do it in any other cause! how gladly would I leave
the best part of my blood to shew the sense I have of the generosity I
have experienced.

The baron had nothing to offer in opposition to a sentiment which he
found had so much of honour in it, and therefore acquainted the prince
that he chose to accept of his highness's favour in a civil employment;
on which he was ordered to attend his levee the next day.

His good friend accompanied him, and having presented him with the forms
usual on such occasions, the prince received him very graciously, and
was pleased to ask him several questions concerning the government of
England at that time, the battle in which he had been taken, and many
other things, to all which the young Horatio answered with so much
discretion and politeness, as made the prince say to the baron, you have
not flattered this gentleman in your description of him; for tho' I
believe your friendship ready enough to give a just idea of him, yet, I
allure you, his own behaviour is his best recommendation, and well
entitles him to more than I find it in my power to do for him at
present. I have been thinking for you, sir, continued he, turning to
Horatio, and imagine that the employment I have found you will not be
disagreeable to you:--one of the gentlemen of the bed-chamber to the
Chevalier St. George being dead, there is a vacancy, which I will make
interest shall be filled by no other than yourself;--you seem to be much
of the same age with him, and I dare say he will be extremely pleased in
the choice I make of you to be near him:--it is not indeed, added he, a
place of so much advantage as I could wish, but there is a handsome
pension annexed to it, which, with the honour, will, I believe, content
you till something better presents itself.

From the first mention the prince made of the post he had found for him,
the heart of Horatio leap'd in his breast with an agitation he had never
felt before: the thoughts of living at St. Germains in the same palace
with mademoiselle Charlotta so transported him, that he scarce knew what
he said; and the thanks he gave the prince were expressed with such
hyperboles of gratitude, as made his highness think he had a higher idea
of the employment than it indeed deserved; but the baron who knew the
motive, and could not help smiling within himself, to prevent any other
from suspecting it, however, told the prince, that it was not to be
wondered at that he testified so high a satisfaction, since he was now
to serve a family he had by nature a strong attachment to, and at the
same time continue in a country he liked much better than his own.

Horatio by this time having a little recovered himself, and sensible he
had gone rather too far, seconded what the baron had said, and no more
observations were made on it.

That same evening, the prince having made it his request, was Horatio
permitted to kiss the hand of the Chevalier St. George, and the ensuing
day took possession of the apartment appropriated to the office
bestowed on him.

After having received the congratulations of a whole court, who
testified a great deal of satisfaction in having him among them, and
paid his compliments in a particular manner to mademoiselle Charlotta,
he took abundance of pleasure in viewing all the apartments of a palace
famous for the birth of one of the greatest monarchs of the age, and for
being the asylum of the distrest royal family of England: when his
attendance on his master gave him leisure, he frequently passed many
hours together in a closet, where he was told the late king James used
to retire every day to pray for the prosperity of that people who had
abjur'd him. Young as Horatio was, and gay by nature, he sometimes loved
to indulge the most serious meditations; and this place, as well as the
condition of those he served, remonstrating to him the instability of
all human greatness, he made this general reflection, that there was
nothing truly valuable but virtue, because the owner could be deprived
of that only by himself, and not by either the fraud or force of others.

Indeed the behaviour of all the persons who composed this court could
not but inspire those who saw it with sentiments of the nature I have
described: the queen herself, tho' of too great a soul to shew any marks
of repining at her fate, was never seen to smile: even the Chevalier St.
George and princess had both of them a very serious air, which denoted
they had reflections more befitting their condition than their years;
and those about them being most of them persons who had left the
greatest part of their fortunes as well as kindred either in England,
Scotland or Ireland, had their own misfortunes as well as that of the
royal cause to lament, and therefore could not but wear a dejection in
their countenances: in fine, every thing he saw seem'd an emblem of
fallen majesty, except on drawing-room nights, and then indeed the
splendor of Marli and Versailles shone forth at St. Germains in the
persons of those who came to pay their compliments, among whom were not
only the Dauphine and all the princes of the blood, but even the grand
monarch himself thought it not beneath his dignity to give this proof of
his respect once or twice every week.

This way of living, and the company he was now associated with, gave
Horatio a manly way of thinking much sooner than otherwise perhaps he
might have had, yet did not rob him of his vivacity: some of the queen's
women, and the young ladies about the princess, particularly
mademoiselle Charlotta, had a thousand sprightly entertainments among
themselves, into which he, the baron de la Valiere, and some others who
had attachments at that court, were always admitted.

But now the time arrived in which he was to lose the society of that
valuable friend; the campaign was ready to open, and he was obliged to
head his troops and follow the marshals de Villars and Marsin
into Flanders.

All the conversation turning now on war, those martial inclinations,
which love and the season of the year had occasioned to lye dormant for
a while in the bosom of Horatio, now revived in him: he embraced the
baron at taking leave of him with tears of affection and regret: how
cruel is my fate, said he, to make me of a nation at enmity with yours,
and that I can neither fight for you nor against you!

Well, my dear Horatio, replied the other, France may hereafter have
occasion to employ your arm where there are no ties of duty to restrain
you:--in the mean time, continued he with a smile, softer engagements
may employ your thoughts;--mademoiselle Charlotta de Palfoy is a
conquest worth pursuing.

This was the first hint the baron had ever given him of the discovery he
had made of his sentiments, and it so much the more surprized him that
he was told by another what he was not certain of himself:--he knew
indeed the society of that young lady gave him infinite satisfaction,
and that he was restless when absent from her; but these words, and the
air with which they were spoke, shewed him more of his own heart than he
had before examined into;--he blush'd excessively, and made no answer;
on which, you have no cause, resumed the baron, to be asham'd of the
passion you are inspired with, nor troubled at my discovery of it:--I
assure you I have seen it a long time; and tho' you never honoured me
with your confidence in that point, have taken all opportunities of
doing justice to your merit in the conversations I have had with
mademoiselle, who I had the satisfaction to find was not displeased with
what I said upon that head; and I flatter myself with having a good
account of the progress you have made at my return.

I have too much experience of your friendship and goodness to me,
replied Horatio, not to assure myself of your doing me all manner of
kind offices;--I have indeed so great a regard for that lady you
mention, that I know none of her sex who I so much wish should think
well of me, yet is she utterly ignorant of the sentiments I have for
her; and if I am possessed of that passion which they call love, which I
protest I am not certain of myself, I have never made the least
declaration that can give her room to imagine any such thing.

The baron laughed heartily to hear him speak in this manner, and then
told him there was no need of words to make known an inclination of that
kind;--it was to be seen in every look and motion of the person inspired
with it.--Mademoiselle de Palfoy, continued he, young as she is, I dare
answer has penetration enough to see the conquest she has made, but has
not yet learned artifice enough to conceal that she is at the same time
subdued herself;--and if you would take the advice of a person who has
some experience in these affairs, you will endeavour to engage her to a
confession before too much observation on the behaviour of others to
their lovers, shall teach her those imperious airs by which women
frequently torment the heart that adores them, tho' their own perhaps in
doing so feels an equal share.

Horatio, who had seen something like this between the baron and his
mistress, found a great deal of reason in what he said, and promised to
be guided by him, especially as he had encouragement enough to hope, by
all the treatment he had found from Charlotta, that a declaration of
love from him would not offend her beyond forgiveness.

From that time forward he therefore began to think in what manner he
should first disclose the tender secret to the dear object of his
affections: when absent from her he easily found words, but when
present, that awe which is inseparable from a real passion struck him
entirely dumb; and whenever he was about to open his mouth to utter what
he intended, he had neither words nor voice; and tho' he saw her every
day, was often alone with her, and had opportunity enough to have
revealed himself, yet could he not get the better of his timidity for a
great while, and perhaps should have been much longer under this cruel
constraint, had not an accident favoured his wishes beyond what he could
have hoped, or even imagined, and by shewing him part of what passed in
her soul, emboldened him to unfold what his own laboured with on
her account.



CHAP. VI.

_Describes the masquerade at the dutchess of Main's; the characters and
intrigues of several persons of quality who were there; the odd
behaviour of a lady in regard to Horatio, and Charlotta's
sentiments upon it_.

The dutchess of Main was one of the gayest and most gallant ladies at
the court of Lewis XIV. she was for ever entertaining the nobility with
balls, masquerades, or concerts; and as she was of the blood royal, and
highly respected not only on that score, but by the distinguish'd favour
of the king, the Chevalier St. George, and the princess his sister,
frequently honoured her assemblies with their presence.

To divert those ladies whose husbands were gone to Flanders, as she
said, she now proposed a masquerade; and the day being fixed, it was the
sole business of the young and gay to prepare habits such as were most
suitable to their inclinations, or, as they thought, would be most
advantageous to their persons.

The Chevalier St. George was dressed in a rich Grecian habit of
sky-coloured velvet embroidered with large silver stars: the top of his
cap was encompassed with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, saphirs, amythists,
and other precious stones of various colours, set in rows in the exact
form of a rainbow: a light robe of crimson taffaty, fringed with silver,
was fastened by a knot of jewels on his left shoulder, and crossed his
back to the right side, where it was tucked into a belt of the finest
oriental pearls, and thence hung down and trail'd a little on the
ground: in fine, there was nothing that exceeded the magnificence and
eloquence of his appearance, or was in any measure equal to it in the
whole assembly, except that of the princess Louisa his sister.

She would needs go as a Diana, and obliged all her ladies to be habited
like nymphs: no idea of this goddess, inspired either by the painter or
the poet's art, can in any degree come up to that which the fight of
this amiable princess gave every beholder. Conformable to the character
she assumed, she had a large crescent of diamonds on her head, which had
no other covering than a great quantity of the finest hair in the world,
partly braided with pearls and emeralds, and partly flowing in ringlets
down on her alabaster neck: her garments were silver tissue, white and
shining as the moon on a clear frosty night; and being buttoned up a
little at the bottom as for the conveniency of the chace, shewed great
part of her fine proportioned ankle. In her hand she held an ivory bow,
and an arrow of the same headed with gold; and on her shoulder was fixed
a quiver curiously wrought and beset with jewels: her attendants, which
were six in number, had their habits green, but made in the same fashion
of the princess's, with bows and arrows in their hands, and quivers at
their backs: all of them had their hair turned up under a caul of silver
net, from which hung little tossels of pearl intermixed with diamonds.

Next to this fair troop the duchess of Main herself attracted the
attention of the assembly: she was habited like an Indian queen, with
robes composed of feathers so artfully placed, that they represented a
thousand different kind of birds and beasts, which, as she moved, seemed
to have motion in themselves: on her head she had a lofty plume
supported by a cap, and richly ornamented with precious stones; as were
all her garments wherever the propriety of the fashion of them would
give leave.

The young mademoiselle de Bourbon, in the habit of a sea-nymph, and
mademoiselle de Blois, in that of a Minerva, ornamented and decorated
according to their several characters, had also their share of
admiration.

Nor did the marchionesses of Vallois and Lucerne, both in the garb of
shepherdesses, serve as mere foils to those I have mentioned: there was
something; even in this plainness that shewed the elegance of the
wearer's taste.

The prince of Conde, the dukes of Berry, Vendosine and Chartres, the
young marquis de Montbausine, the counts de Chenille, de Ranbeau, and
the baron de Roche, had all of them habits extremely rich and well
fancied, as were many others of whom it would be too tedious to make
particular mention, and be likewise digressive to the matter I take upon
me to relate; I shall therefore only say, that there was not one person
of either sex, who did not endeavour to set themselves forth to all
possible advantage.

Those gentlemen who attended the Chevalier St. George were at their
liberty to appear in what habit they pleased: Horatio knowing his
charming Charlotta was a nymph of the forest, chose to be a hunter, and
was accordingly dressed in green, with a little cap on his head and a
javelin in his hand, as Acteon is generally portrayed; and indeed had he
studied what garb would have become him best, he could not have fixed on
one more proper for that purpose.

Fine madamoiselle de Sanserre at least thought him more worthy her
regard than any of those, the richness of whose habits made her know
were of a higher rank:--she took particular notice of him, made him
dance with her, and said a thousand gallant things to him; but he could
very well have dispensed with hearing them, and found little
satisfaction in any thing that deprived him of entertaining his dear
Charlotta, who he easily knew by her air and shape from all those who
were habited in the same manner. As he doubted not, however, but the
person who had thus singled him out was a lady of condition, he returned
her civilities with a politeness which was natural to him, but which had
received great improvements since his arrival in France. She was no less
charm'd with his conversation than she had been with his person, and
impatient to know who he was, made an offer of shewing him her face on
condition he would pluck off his mask at the same time: but this he
would by no means agree to, because still hoping to get rid of her, and
have some discourse with mademoiselle Charlotta, he did not think proper
he should be known by any other, who might perhaps make remarks on his
behaviour; and therefore excused himself from complying with her desires
in terms as obliging as the circumstance would admit.

As she had displayed all her talents of wit and eloquence to engage him,
she looked on the little curiosity she had been able to inspire in him
as an affront, and vexed she had thrown away so much time on an
insensible, as she called him, flung hastily away, and joining with some
other company, left him at liberty to pursue his inclinations.

This lady had been a royal mistress, but not having the good fortune to
be made a mother, was not honoured with any title; her being forsaken by
the king, who indeed had few amours of any long continuance, did not in
the least abate the good opinion she had of her beauty; and to fee
herself followed by a train of lovers being the supreme pleasure of her
life, she spared nothing to attract and engage: whenever she failed in
this expectation it was a severe mortification; but her vanity and the
gaity of her humour would not suffer it to prey upon her spirits for
above a minute, and she diverted the shock of a rebuff in one place by
new attempts to conquer in another; therefore it is probable thought no
more of Horatio after she had turned from him.

He now carefully avoided all that might interrupt his wishes, and seeing
Charlotta had just broke off some conversation she had been entertained
with, made what haste he could to prevent her from being
re-engaged:--She immediately knew him; and as their mutual innocence
made them perfectly free in expressing themselves to each other, she
told him she was glad he was come; that they would keep together the
whole masquerade, provided he did not think it a confinement, to prevent
her being persecuted with the impertinencies of some people there, who
she found thought a masque a kind of sanction for saying any thing.

It is not to be doubted but Horatio gave her all the assurances that
words could form, of feeling the most perfect pleasure in her society,
and that he should not; without the extremest reluctance, find himself
obliged to abandon the happiness she offered him to any other person in
the company: to recompence this complaisance, as she called it, she gave
him a brief detail of the characters of as many as she knew thro' their
habits; and in doing this discovered a sweet impartiality and love of
truth, which was no small addition to her other charms. She blamed the
baroness de Guiche for not being able to return the affection of a
husband who had married her with an inconsiderable fortune, and had
since she had been his wife pardoned a thousand miscarriages in her
conduct:--she praised the virtue of mademoiselle de Mareau, who being at
fifteen the bride of a man of seventy, behaved to him with a tenderness,
and exact conformity to his will, which, if owing alone to duty, was not
to be distinguished from inclination:--she expressed a concern that the
gaity of the dutchess of Vendome gave the world any room for censure,
and highly condemned the duke for being guilty of actions which had made
her sometimes give into parties of pleasure by way of retaliation:--but
she was more severe on the indecorum of mademoiselle de Renville, who
being known for the mistress of the duke of Chartres, and that she was
supported by him, was fond of appearing in all public places. She could
not help testifying a good deal of surprize, that any woman who
pretended to virtue would admit her into their assemblies: not but she
said the case of that lady was greatly to be pitied, who being high-born
and bred had been reduced to the lowest exigencies of life, and from
which to be relieved she had only consented to assist the looser
pleasures of the amorous duke; but, added she, I would not methinks have
her seem to glory in her shame, and in a manner of life which her
misfortunes alone can render excusable; nor can I approve of the
indulgence her mistaken triumph meets with, because it may not only
destroy all notions of regret in herself for what her necessities oblige
her to, but also make others, who have not the same pretence, find a
kind of sanction for their own errors:--vice, said she, ought at lead to
blush, and hide itself as much as possible from view, left by being
tolerated in public it should become a fashion.

Horatio was so much taken up with admiring the justness of her
sentiments, that awed by them, as it were, he could not yet, tho'
mask'd, make any discovery of his own: she was about entering into a
discourse with him concerning the first motives which had rendered some
persons she pointed out to him unhappy in the marriage-state, which
perhaps might have given him an opportunity for explaining himself, when
a lady richly dress'd came up to them, and giving Horatio a sudden pluck
by the arm; villain! cried she. Madam, returned he, strongly amazed. Is
the trifling conversation of Sanserre, resumed she, or this little
creature to be preferred to a woman of that quality you have dared to
abuse?--but this night has convinced her of your perfidy:--she sends you
this, continued she, giving him a slap over the face as hard as she
could, and be assured it is the last present you will ever receive
from her.

She had no sooner uttered these words than she flew quick as lightning
out of the room, leaving Horatio in such a consternation both at what
she said and did, as deprived him even of the thought of following her,
or using any means to solve this riddle.--He was in a deep musing when
mademoiselle Charlotta, possessed that moment with a passion she till
then was ignorant of, said to him; I find, Horatio, you have wonderfully
improved the little time you have been in France, to gain you a
multiplicity of mistresses; but I am sorry my inadvertency in talking to
a man so doubly pre-engaged, should cause me to be reckoned among the
number. In speaking this she turned away with a confusion which was
visible in her air, and the scarlet colour with which her neck was dyed.
By heaven! cried he, in the utmost agitation, I know so little the
meaning of what I have just now heard, that it seems rather a dream than
a reality. O the deceiver! returned she, a little slackening her pace,
will you pretend to have given no occasion for the reproach you have
received:--great must have been your professions to draw on you a
resentment such as I have been witness of;--but I shall take care to
give the lady, whoever she is, no farther room for jealousy on my
account; and as for mademoiselle Sanserre, I believe the stock of
reputation she has will not suffer much from the addition of one more
favourite to the number the world has already given her.

The oddness of this adventure, and the vexation he was in to find
Charlotta seemed incensed against him for a crime of which he knew
himself so perfectly innocent, destroyed at once all the considerations
his timidity had inspired, and aiming only to be cleared in her
opinion;--if there be faith in man, cried he, I know nothing of what I
am accused: no woman but your charming self ever had the power to give
me an uneasy moment;--it is you alone have taught me what it is to love,
and as I never felt, I never pretended to that passion for any other.

Me! replied Charlotta, extremely confused; If it were so, you take a
strange time and method to declare it in;--but I know of no concern I
have in your amours, your gratitude, or your perfidy; and you had better
follow and endeavour to appease your enraged mistress, than lose your
time on me in vain excuses.

Ah mademoiselle! cried he, how unjust and cruel are you, and how severe
my fate, which not content with the despair my real unworthiness of
adoring you has plunged me in, but also adds to it an imputation of
crimes my soul most detests:--I never heard even the name of the lady
you mentioned till your lips pronounced it; and if it be she I danced
with, I protest I never saw her face: and as for the meaning of the
other lady's treatment of me, it must certainly be occasioned by some
mistake, having offered nothing to any of the sex that could justify
such a proceeding.

All the time he was speaking Charlotta was endeavouring to compose
herself.--The hurry of spirits she had been in at the apprehensions of
Horatio's having any amorous engagements, shewing her how much interest
she took in him, made her blush at having discovered herself to him so
far; and tho' she could not be any more tranquil, yet she thought she
would for the future be more prudent; to this end she now affected to
laugh at the dilemma into which she told him he had brought himself, by
making addresses in two places at the same time, and advised him in a
gay manner to be more circumspect.

Thus was this beautiful lady, by her jealousy, convinced of her
sensibility; and as difficult as Horatio found it to remove the one, he
found his consolation in the discovery of the other.

From the time he had been disengaged from mademoiselle Sanferre, he had
retired with Charlotta to one corner of the room; and the greatest part
of the company being in a grand dance, the others were taken up in
looking on them, so that our young lovers had the opportunity of talking
to each other without being taken much notice of; but several of the
masquers now drawing nearer that way, prevented Horatio from saying any
thing farther at that time, either to clear his innocence or prosecute
his passion; and Charlotta, glad to avoid all discourse on a subject she
thought herself but ill prepared to answer, joined some ladies, with
whom she stayed till the ball was near concluded.

Horatio after this withdrew to a window, and flickered behind a large
damask curtain, threw himself on a sopha he found there, and ruminated
at full on the adventure had happened to him, in which he found a
mixture of joy and discontent: the behaviour of Charlotta assured him he
was not indifferent to her; but then the thoughts that he appeared in
her eyes as ungrateful, inconstant and perfidious, made him tremble,
left the idea of what he seemed to be should utterly erase that
favourable one she had entertained of what he truly was. By what means
he should prove his sincerity he knew not; and as he was utterly
unpracticed in the affairs of love, lamented the absence of his good
friend the baron de la Valiere, who he thought might have been, able to
give him same advice, how to proceed.

He remained buried, as it were, in these cogitations, when a lady
plucked back the curtain which screen'd him, and without seeing any one
was there, threw herself on the sopha almost in his lap.--Oh heaven!
cried she, perceiving what she had done, and immediately rose; but
Horatio starting up, would not suffer her to quit the place, telling
her, that since she chose it, it was his business to retire, and leave
her to indulge whatever meditations had brought her thither. She thank'd
him in a voice which, by its trembling, testified her mind was in some
very great disorder; and added, if your good nature, said she, be equal
to your complaisance, you will do me the favour to desire a lady,
dressed in pink and silver, with a white sattin scarf cross her
shoulder, to come here directly:--you cannot, continued she, be mistaken
in the person, because there is no other in the same habit. Tho' Horatio
was very loth to engage himself in the lady's affairs, fearing to give a
second umbrage to mademoiselle Charlotta, yet he knew not how to excuse
granting so small a request, and therefore assured her of his
compliance.

Accordingly he sent his eyes in quest, which soon pointed out to him the
person whom she had described: having delivered his message to her;
Horatio! cried she, somewhat astonished, how came you employed in this
errand? he knew her voice, and that it was mademoiselle de Coigney, the
mistress of his friend the baron, on which he immediately told her how
the lady had surprized him: she laughed heartily, and said no more but
left him, and went to the window he had directed.

For a long time he sought in vain for an opportunity of speaking to the
object of his affections: she was still engaged either in dancing or in
different parties; and as his eyes continually followed her, he easily
perceived she purposely avoided him. A magnificent collation being
prepared in a great drawing-room next to that in which the company were,
they all went in to partake of it. The entertainment was served up on
two large tables; but as every one was mask'd, and the vizards so
contriv'd, that those who wore them could eat without plucking them off,
they sat down promiscuously without ceremony or any distinction of
degrees, none being obliged to know another in these disguises; only the
attendants of the Chevalier St. George, and the princess Louisa, took
care not to place themselves at the same they were, so by this means sat
together; but a great number of others being mingled with them, no
particular conversation could be expected.

Supper being over, they all returned to the ballroom; and Horatio having
contrived it so as to get next Charlotta, she could not refuse the offer
he made her of his hand to lead her in; but as he was about saying
something to her in a low voice, a man came hastily to him, and taking
him a little on one side, presented him with a letter, and then retired
with so much precipitation, that Horatio could neither ask from whom it
came, nor well discern what sort of person it was that gave it him. He
put it however in his pocket, designing to read it at more leisure, his
curiosity for the contents not equalling his desire of entertaining
mademoiselle Charlotta; but that young lady, whose jealousy received new
fewel from this object, had slipt away before he could turn from the
man, and had already mixed with a cluster of both sexes who had got into
the room before them.

Horatio finding all attempts to speak to her that night would be
ineffectual, went back into the drawing-room where they supped, and
where but few people remaining he might examine the letter with more
freedom. He saw it had no superscription; but supposing the inside would
give him some satisfaction, he broke it open hastily and found in it
these lines.


'Whether false or faithful still are you dear to
me; and if I am in the least so to you,
the treatment you received will be pardoned for
the sake of the occasion:--I own that at a
place where you might have been as particular as
you pleased with me without suspicion, it enraged
me to see you waste those precious moments
with others which I flattered myself to have solely
engrossed;--besides, the character of mademoiselle
Sanserre is so well known, that I thought
you would have avoided her of all others; yet
had she forced herself upon you, sure you might
afterwards have come to me, when I had given
you so particular a description of the habit I
should wear; but instead of making any excuse
for a first transgression, you hurry to a second,
and pay all your devoirs to another, whom indeed
I knew not at that time, but am since informed
she is one of the maids of honour to princess
Louisa.--I must confess I had not resolution
enough to suffer so cruel an injustice, and being
too much overcome by my passion to resent it as
I ought, I left the place, and desired our friend to
do it for me.--I find she somewhat exceeded
her commission, but you must forgive her, since
it was her love for me:--I am now at her
house, where I impatiently expect you--The
baron is secure for some hours;--those we may
pass together, if you still think there is any thing
worth quitting the masquerade for, to be found
in the arms of

_Yours_, &c,

_P.S._ If you now fail, no excuse hereafter shall
ever plead your pardon.'


This letter confirmed Horatio in the belief he had before, that he had
been mistaken by the lady for some favorite person; but who the lady
was, he was as much in the dark as ever; nor would he have given himself
any trouble concerning it, if he had not hoped by that means to have
retrieved the good opinion of Charlotta. He was however impatient to
shew her the letter, as he doubted not but she had seen it delivered to
him; but with all his assiduity he could not obtain one word in private
during the masquerade; and when it was broke up, which was not till near
morning, and they returned to St. Germains, it was impossible, because
he knew she must be in the princess's chamber, as he in that of the
Chevalier St. George: he was therefore obliged to content himself with
the hope that the next day would be more favourable.



CHAP. VII.

_An explanation of the foregoing adventure, with a continuation of the
intrigues of some French ladies, and the policy of mademoiselle Coigney
in regard of her brother_.

It cannot be supposed that either of our young lovers enjoyed much true
repose that night, tho' the fatigue of the dance might naturally require
it: the one did but just know herself a lover before she felt the worst
torments of that passion in her jealousy; and the other having been
compelled, as it were, to lay open his heart in order to convince his
charmer it had no object but herself in view, knew not but his temerity
in doing so might be imputed to him as no less a crime than that from
which he attempted to be cleared: each had their different anxieties;
but those of Horatio were the least severe, because thro' all the
indignation of his mistress he saw marks of an affection, which he could
not have flattered himself with if they had not been evident; and
conscious of his innocence, doubted not but time would both explain that
and reconcile the offended fair:--whereas Charlotta was far from being
able to assure herself of her lover's fidelity: she could not conceive
how, in the compass of one night, such a plurality of mistakes should
happen to the same man, and trembled at the reflection that this man,
who possibly was the falsest of his sex, should not only have made an
impression on her heart, but also, by the concern she had so unwarily
expressed, have reason to triumph in his conquest:--ashamed therefore of
what she felt, and determined to make use of her utmost efforts to
conceal it for the future, if not to conquer it, she thought to shun all
occasions of seeing or speaking to this dangerous invader of her peace
was the first step she ought to take; but how little is a heart,
possessed of the passion her's was, capable of judging for itself, or
maintaining any resolutions in prejudice of the darling object!--she had
no sooner set it down as a rule to avoid him, than she began to wish for
his presence, and contented herself with thinking she desired it only
out of curiosity to hear what he would say, and to have an opportunity,
by a rallying manner of behaviour, to destroy whatever conjectures he
might have form'd in favour of his passion; but all this time she
deceived herself, and in reality only longed for an interview with him,
in hopes he would find means to justify himself. Horatio, who was
impatient to attempt it, seeing her at a distance walking on the terrass
with no other company than mademoiselle de Coigney, went immediately to
join them, thinking that if the presence of this lady might be a bar to
many things he wanted to say to Charlotta, it would be of service to him
another way, by preventing her from making him any reproaches.

As soon as he came near, I owe you little thanks, Horatio, said
mademoiselle de Coigney laughing, for the interruption you gave me last
night. In the multiplicity of those reflections which his own affairs
had occasioned him, he had entirely forgot the lady in the window; and
imagining some other accident had happened which should make him appear
yet more guilty in the eyes of Charlotta, ask'd her, with some
impatience, what she meant? don't you remember, answered she, that you
brought me a message from a certain lady? Yes, madam, said he, and in
that, thought I did no more than my duty obliged me to, as she seemed
under some perplexity, which I supposed she was impatient to
acquaint you with.

You judged rightly, indeed, resumed de Coigney; but had you known how
gladly I would have dispensed with the honour of her confidence, I dare
answer you would have spared it me:--I'll tell you, my dear, pursued she
turning to Charlotta, for the secrets of this lady are pretty universal;
and I am certain that I have heard from no less than fifty different
persons, that very affair she was in such a hurry to inform me of last
night: you must needs have heard of the amour between madam la Boissy
and the chevalier de Mourenbeau? frequently, replied Charlotta; her
ridiculous jealousies of him have long been the jest of the whole court;
and I never go to Marli or Versailles, but I am told of some new
instance of it. And yet to relate a long story of her passion, and his
ingratitude, said mademoiselle de Coigney, was I last night dragged into
a dark corner, and deprived for an hour together of all the pleasures of
the masquerade: it seems she had over-heard some gallant things between
him and the daughter of the count de Granpree, and that gave her the
occasion of running into a recapitulation of all the professions of
constancy he had made to herself, the proofs she had given him of a too
easy belief, and the little regard he now paid to her peace of mind.--I
was obliged to affect a pity for her misfortunes, and gratitude for the
trust she reposed in me, tho' neither the one or the other merited in
reality any thing but contempt.

One often suffers a good deal from one's complaisance this way, said
Charlotta; and for my part there is nothing I would more carefully avoid
than secrets of this nature; but you have not told me how far Horatio
was accessary to bringing you into this trouble.

He them said that he would save mademoiselle de Coigney the labour, and
immediately related how the lady they were speaking of threw herself
upon him, and afterwards enjoined him to deliver the message. But, added
he, I think last night was one of the most unfortunate ones I have ever
known, since, with all the care I could take, I was continually
prevented by other people's concerns from prosecuting my own.--I was not
only insulted and reproached for being mistaken for some other person,
for it could happen no other way, but also soon after received a letter
no less mysterious to me than the blow, which doubtless came from the
same quarter: as there is no name subscribed, or if there were, I should
look on myself as under no obligation of secrecy, I will beg leave to
communicate it to you, ladies.

With these words he took the letter out of his pocket and held it open
between them: Charlotta conquered her impatience so far as not to take
it out of his hand; but mademoiselle Coigney snatched it hastily,
imagining she knew the hand; nor was she deceived in her conjecture: she
had no sooner read it slightly over;--see here, mademoiselle Charlotta,
said she, a new proof of madam de Olonne's folly, and my brother's
continued attachment to that vile woman.

Charlotta then looked over the letter with a satisfaction that was
visible in her countenance; and as soon as she had done, then it is
plain, said she, that Horatio was mistaken for monsieur de Coigney: but
how it happened so is what I cannot conceive.

I can easily solve the riddle, replied mademoiselle de Coigney: I heard
my brother say he intended to wear a hunting dress at the masquerade;
but being disappointed of going to it, by his most christian majesty
sending for him to Marli, I suppose too suddenly for him to give notice
of his enforced absence to madame d' Olonne, and Horatio by chance
appearing in the same habit which he had doubtless told her he would be
in, and their sizes being pretty much alike, she might very well be
deceived, and also have a seeming reason for the jealousy and rage her
letter testifies.

Nothing could exceed the joy Horatio felt at this unexpected
eclaircisement of his innocence, which was also doubled by the pleasure
which, in spight of all her endeavours to restrain it, he saw sparkle in
the eyes of his beloved Charlotta. Neither of them, however, had any
opportunity of expressing their sentiments at this time, de Coigney
continuing with them till dinner, when they all separated to go to their
respective tables.

The next day afforded what in this he had sought in vain:--he found her
alone in her own apartment; and having broke the ice, was now grown bold
enough to declare his passion, with all the embellishments necessary to
render it successful: mademoiselle Charlotta knew very well what became
the decorum of her sex, and was too nice an observer of it not to behave
with all the reserve imaginable on this occasion. All the freedom she
had been accustomed to treat him with, while ignorant of his or her own
inclination, was now banished from her words and actions, and she
gravely told him, that if he were in earnest, it was utterly improper
for her to receive any professions of that kind without the approbation
of monsieur de Palfoy her father; and as there was but very little
probability of his granting it, on many considerations, she would wish
him to quell in its infancy an affection which might otherwise be
attended with misfortunes to them both.

It is certain, indeed, that in this she spoke no more than what her
reason suggested: she knew very well that her father had much higher
expectations in view for her, and that on the least suspicion of her
entertaining a foreigner, and one who seemed to have no other dependance
than that of favour, she should be immediately removed from St.
Germains; so that it behoved her to be very circumspect in any
encouragement she gave him: but tho' she spoke to him in this manner, it
was not, as her actions afterwards fully demonstrated, that she really
designed what she said should make him desist his pretensions, but that
he should be careful how he let any one into the secret of his heart.
She foresaw little prospect of their love ever being crown'd with
success, yet found too much pleasure in indulging it to be able to wish
an extinction of it, either in him or herself; and in spight of all the
distance she assumed, he easily perceived that whatever difficulties he
should have to struggle with in the prosecution of his addresses, they
would not be owing to her cruelty. They were both of them too young to
attend much to consequences; and as securing the affections of each
other was what each equally aimed at, neither of them reflected how
terrible a separation would be, and how great the likelihood that it
must happen they knew not how soon.

As the remonstrances of mademoiselle Charlotta had all the effect she
intended them for on Horatio, he so well commanding himself that no
person in the world, except the baron de la Valiere, who was absent, had
the least intimation of his passion, they might probably have lived a
long time together in the contentment they now enjoyed, had not an
accident, of which neither of them could have any notion, put a stop
to it.

Horatio thought no more on the affair of madame de Olonne and monsieur
de Coigney, from the time he had been cleared of having any concern with
that lady, yet was that night's adventure productive of what he looked
upon as the greatest misfortune could befal him. But to make this matter
conspicuous to the reader, it is necessary to give a brief detail of the
circumstances that led to it.

This lady, who was wife to the baron de Olonne, was one of the most
beautiful, and most vicious women in the kingdom; she entertained a
great number of lovers; but there was none more attached to her, or more
loved by her than young monsieur de Coigney: he had for a long time
maintained a criminal correspondence with her, to the great trouble of
all his friends, who endeavoured all they could, but in vain, to wean
him from her: he had lately a recounter with one of her former lovers,
which had like to have cost him his life; and it was with great
difficulty, and as much as the relations on both sides could do, by
representing to the king that they were set upon by street-robbers, that
they avoided the punishment the law inflicts on duelists. De Coigney was
but just recovered of the hurts he had received, when, so far from
resolving to quit the occasion of them, he made an appointment to meet
her at the masquerade:--they had described to each other the habit they
intended to wear, when, as he was preparing for the rendezvous, an
express came from the king, commanding his immediate attendance at
Marli, where the court then was: this was occasioned by old monsieur de
Coigney, who having, by some spies he kept about his son, received
intelligence of this assignation, had no other way to disappoint it than
by the royal authority, which he easily procured, as he was very much in
favour with his majesty; and had laid the matter before him.

The person who came with the mandate had orders not to quit the presence
of young Coigney, but bring him directly; by which means he was deprived
of all opportunity of sending his excuses to madame de Olonne, who
coming to the masquerade big with expectation of seeing her favourite
lover, and finding him, as she imagined, engaged with others, and wholly
regardless of herself, was seized with the most violent jealousy; and
not able to continue in a place where she had received so manifest a
slight, desired mademoiselle de Freville, her confidant and companion,
to upbraid him with his inconstancy; which request she complied with in
the manner already related, and which gave mademoiselle Charlotta such
matter of disquiet.

The amorous madame de Olonne, however, having given vent to the first
transports of her fury, could not hinder those of a softer nature from
returning with the same violence as ever; and for the gratification of
them wrote that letter which Horatio received, and occasioned afterward
the explanation of the whole affair, which explanation he then thought
fortunate for him; but by a whimsical effect of chance it proved utterly
the reverse.

Mademoiselle de Coigney, who had the most tender affection for her
brother, and passionately wished to make him break off all engagements
with a woman of madame de Olonne's character, and who might possibly
bring him under many inconveniencies, took the hint which mademoiselle
Charlotta unthinkingly gave, by telling her how she had been affronted
on his account by de Freville, of putting something into his head which
might probably succeed better than all the attempts had hitherto been
practised to make him quit his present criminal amour.

The first time she saw mademoiselle de Freville, she told her as a great
secret that her brother was fallen in love with mademoiselle Charlotta,
and that she believed it would be a match, for he had already engaged
friends to sollicit monsieur de Palfoy on that score. This she knew would
be carried directly to madame de Olonne, and doubted not but it would so
increase her jealous rage, that all he could say in his defence would
pass for nothing: she also added, that he was in the masquerade that
night, tho' for some private reasons best known to himself, said she, he
had ordered his people to give out he was gone to Marli.

De Freville, who was the creature of madame de Olonne, no sooner
received this intelligence than she flew with it to her, as mademoiselle
de Coigney had imagined: neither did it fail of the desired effect. When
he came to visit her, as he did on the moment of his return from Marli,
the violence of her temper made her break out into such reproaches and
exclamations, as a man had need be very much in love to endure: he
endeavoured to make her sensible of her error by a thousand
protestations; but the more he talk'd of Marli and the king's command,
the more she told him of Charlotta and the masquerade; and almost
distracted to find he still persisted in denying he was there, or had
ever made any tender professions to that lady, she proceeded to such
extravagancies as he, who knew himself innocent, could not forbear
replying to in terms which were far from being softening:--in fine, they
quarrelled to a very high degree, and some company happening to come in
at the same time, hindered either of them from saying any thing which
might palliate the resentment of the other.

Before they had an opportunity of meeting again, mademoiselle de Coigney
saw her brother; and artfully introducing some discourse of mademoiselle
Charlotta de Palfoy, began to run into the utmost encomiums on that
lady's beauty, virtue, wit, and sweetness of disposition, and at last
added, that she should think herself happy in having her for a sister.
Young de Coigney listened attentively to what she said: he had often
been in her company, but being prepossessed with his passion for madame
de Olonne, her charms had not that effect on him as now that the
behaviour of the other had very much lessened his esteem of her.

He replied, that he knew no lady more deserving than the person she
mentioned, and should be glad if, by her interest, he might have
permission to visit her: this was all mademoiselle de Coigney wanted;
she doubted not but if he were once engaged in an honourable passion, it
would entirely cure him of all regard for madame de Olonne, and as she
knew he had a good share of understanding, thought that when he should
come to a more near acquaintance with the perfections of Charlotta, the
loose airs of the other would appear in their true colours, and become
as odious to him as once they had been infatuating.

Finding him so well inclined to her purpose, she took upon herself the
care of introducing him, as it was indeed easy to do, considering the
intimacy there was between her and Charlotta. That young lady received
him as the brother of a person she extremely loved; and little
suspecting the design on which he came, treated him with a gaity which
heightened her charms, and at the same time flattered his hopes, that
there was something in his person not disagreeable to her.

Mademoiselle de Coigney took care that every visit he made to Charlotta
should be reported to de Olonne, which still heightening her resentment,
together with his little assiduity to moderate it, made a total breach
between them, to the great satisfaction of all his friends in general.
Those of them whom mademoiselle had acquainted with the stratagem by
which she brought it about, praised her wit and address; and as they
knew the family and fortune of mademoiselle Charlotta, encouraged her to
do every thing in her power for turning that into reality which she at
first had made use of only as a feint for the reclaiming of her brother.

The young gentleman himself stood in need of no remonstrances of the
advantages he might propose by a marriage with Charlotta; her beauty and
the charms of her conversation had made a conquest of his heart far more
complete than any prospect of interest could have done: not only de
Olonne, but the whole sex would now in vain have endeavoured to attract
the least regard from him, and as he was naturally vain, he thought
nothing but Charlotta de Palfoy worthy of him.

The success he had been accustomed to meet in his love affairs,
emboldened him to declare himself much sooner than he would have done
had he followed the advice of his sister, and too soon to be received in
a manner agreeable to his wishes by a lady of Charlotta's modesty and
delicacy, even had she not been prepossessed in favour of another; for
tho' she respected him as the brother of her friend, that consideration
was too weak to hinder her from letting him know how displeasing his
pretensions were to her, and that if he persisted in them she should be
obliged to refuse seeing him any more. He was now sensible of his error,
and endeavoured to excuse it by the violence of his passion, which he
said would not suffer him to conceal what he felt; but as, when a heart
is truly devoted to one object, the sound of love from any other mouth
is harsh and disagreeable; the more he aimed to vindicate himself in
this point the more guilty he became, and all he said served only to
increase her dislike.

Mademoiselle de Coigney after this took upon her to intercede for her
brother's passion, but with as ill success as he had done; and being one
day more importunate than usual, mademoiselle Charlotta grew in so ill a
humour, that she told her she was determined to give no encouragement to
the amorous addresses of any man, unless commanded to do so by those who
had the power of disposing her; but, added she, I would not have
monsieur de Coigney make any efforts that way; for were he to gain the
consent of my father, which I am far from believing he would do, I have
so little inclination to give him those returns of affection he may
expect, that in such a case I should venture being guilty of
disobedience.

Is there any thing so odious then, madam, in the person of my brother?
said de Coigney with a tone that shewed how much she was picqued. I
never gave myself the trouble of examining into the merits either of his
person or behaviour, replied she; but to deal sincerely with you, I have
a perfect aversion to the thoughts of changing my condition, and if you
desire the friendship between us should subsist, you will never mention
any thing of it to me;--and as to your brother, when I am convinced I
shall receive no farther persecutions from him of the nature I have
lately had, he may depend on my treating him with my former regard; till
then, you will do me a favour, and him a service, to desire he would
refrain his visits.

These expressions may be thought little conformable to the natural
politeness of the French, or to that sweetness of disposition which
mademoiselle Charlotta testified on other occasions; but she found
herself so incessantly pressed both by the brother and the sister, and
that all the denials she had given in a different manner had been
without effect, therefore was obliged to assume a harshness, which was
far from being natural to her, in order to prevent consequences which
she had too much reason to apprehend.

Horatio soon discovered he had a rival in monsieur de Coigney; and tho'
he easily saw by Charlotta's behaviour that he had nothing to fear on
this score, yet the interruptions he received from the addresses of this
new lover, made him little able to endure his presence, and he sometimes
could not refrain himself from saying such things as, had not the other
been too much buoyed up with his vanity to take them as meant to
himself, must have occasioned a quarrel.

She made use of all the power she had over him in order to curb the
impetuosity of his temper whenever he met this disturber of his wishes;
but his jealousy would frequently get the better of the respect he paid
her, and they never were together in her apartment without filling her
with mortal fears. She therefore found it absolutely necessary to get
rid of an adorer she hated, in order to hinder one she loved from doing
any thing which might deprive her of him; and tho' she had a real
friendship for mademoiselle de Coigney, yet she chose rather to break
with her, than run the hazard she was continually exposed to by her
brother's indefatigable pursuit.

But all her precaution was of no effect, as well as, the enforced
patience of Horatio: what most she trembled at now fell upon her, and by
a means she had least thought of. Madame de Olonne, full of malice at
being forsaken by her lover, and soon informed by whose charms her
misfortune was occasioned, got a person to represent to the baron de
Palfoy the conquest his daughter had made in such terms, as made him
imagine she encouraged his passion. Neither the character, family, or
fortune of de Coigney being equal to what he thought Charlotta might
deserve, made him very uneasy at this report; and as he looked on her
not having acquainted him with his pretensions as an indication of her
having an affection for him; he resolved to put a stop to the progress
of it at once, which could be done no way so effectually as by removing
her from St. Germains.

To this end the careful Father came himself to that court, and waited on
the princess: he told her highness, that being in an ill state of health
and obliged to keep much at home, Charlotta must exchange the honour she
enjoyed in her service, for the observance of her duty to a parent, who
was now incapable of any other pleasures than her society.

The princess, to whom she was extremely dear, could not think of parting
with her without an extreme concern, but after the reasons he had given
for desiring it, would offer nothing for detaining her, on which she was
immediately called in, and made acquainted with this sudden alteration
in her affairs.



CHAP. VIII.

_The parting of Horatio and mademoiselle Charlotta, and what happened
after she left St. Germains._

A peal of thunder bursting over her head, could not have been more
alarming to mademoiselle Charlotta than the news she now heard; but her
father commanded, the princess had consented, and there was no remedy to
be hoped: she took leave of her royal mistress with a shower of
unfeigned tears, after which she retired to her apartment to prepare for
quitting it, while the baron went to pay his compliments to some of the
gentlemen at that court.

To be removed in this sudden manner she could impute to no other motive
than that the love of Horatio had by some accident been betrayed to her
father, (for she never so much as thought of monsieur de Coigney;) and
the thoughts of being separated from him was so dreadful, that till this
fatal moment she knew not how dear he was to her:--to add to the
calamity of her condition, he was that morning gone a hunting with the
Chevalier St. George, and she had not even the opportunity of giving him
the consolation of knowing she bore at least an equal part in the grief
this unexpected accident must occasion. Mademoiselle de Coigney came to
take leave of her, as did all the ladies of the queen's train as well as
the princess's, and expressed the utmost concern for losing so agreeable
a companion; but these ceremonies were tedious to her, and as she could
not see Horatio, she dispatched every thing with as much expedition as
her secret discontent would permit her to do, and then sent to let her
father know she was ready to attend him.

When they were in the coach both observed a profound silence for some
time; at last, I hope Charlotta, said the baron, you have no
extraordinary reasons to be troubled at leaving St. Germains? none, my
lord, answered she, of so much moment to me as the fears my sudden
removal is owing to your being dissatisfied with my conduct. I flatter
myself, resumed he, you are conscious of nothing which should authorize
such an apprehension:--you have had an education which ought to inform
you that persons of your sex and age are never to act in any material
point of themselves:--but courts are places where this lesson is seldom
practised; and tho' the virtues of the English queen and princess are a
shining example to all about them, yet I am of opinion that innocence is
safest in retirement.

As she was fully convinced in her mind that it was only owing to some
jealousy of her behaviour that she had been taken from St. Germains, and
also that it was on the score of Horatio, she would not enquire too
deeply for fear of giving her father an opportunity of entering into
examinations, which she thought she could not answer without either
injuring the truth, or avowing what would not only have incensed him to
a very great degree, but also put him upon measures which would destroy
even the most distant hope of ever seeing Horatio more. He, on his side,
would not acquaint her with the sentiments which the above-mentioned
suggestions had inspired him with, thinking he should discover more of
the truth by keeping a watchful eye over her behaviour without
seeming to do so.

During the time of their little journey from the palace of St. Germains
to Paris, where monsieur the baron de Palfoy ordinarily resided, nothing
farther was discoursed on: but when they arrived, and mademoiselle
Charlotta had opportunity of reflecting on this sudden turn, she gave a
loose to all the anxieties it occasioned:--she was not only snatch'd
from the presence of what was most dear to her on earth, but as she had
no confidante, nor durst make any, was also without any means either of
conveying a letter to him, or receiving the least intelligence from him.

She had been in Paris but a very little time before she perceived the
baron artfully kept her in the most severe restraint under a shew of
liberty; pretending to her, as he had done to the princess, that he was
not well enough to go abroad, he would stay at home whole days together,
and oblige her to read, or play to him on the spinnet, which frequently
she did with an aking heart; and when she went out, it was always in
company with a relation whom he kept at his house on purpose, as he
said, as a companion to divert her, but in reality to be a spy over all
her actions; and had orders to dive, by all the insinuations she was
mistress of, into her very thoughts. All this mademoiselle Charlotta had
penetration enough to discover, and, spite of the discontent she
laboured under, so well concealed what they endeavoured to find out,
that all the traps laid for her were wholly ineffectual.

But in what manner did the enamoured Horatio support so cruel an
affliction! he was no sooner informed at his return from hunting of what
had happened, than he was seized with agonies, which, in the force he
did himself to conceal, threw him into a fever that confined him to his
bed for several days: as his passion for mademoiselle Charlotta was not
in the least suspected, every body imputed his disorder to be occasioned
by having over-heated himself in the chace, and during his indisposition
was visited by all the court:--the Chevalier St. George sent two or
three times a day to enquire of the health of his countryman, as he was
pleased to call him, and gave him many other tokens how greatly he was
in his favour; but all the civilities he received were not capable of
lessening the anguish of his mind, which kept his body so weak, that
tho' youth and an excellent constitution threw off the fever in a short
time, yet he was unable to quit his chamber in near three weeks, and
when he did, appeared so wan and so dejected, that he seemed no more
than the shadow of the once gay and sprightly Horatio.

But while he was thus sinking under the burden of his griefs, and
despairing ever to see his adorable Charlotta any more, fate was
providing for him a relief as unexpected as the cause of his present
unhappy situation had been, and to the very same persons also was he
indebted both for the one and the other.

Young monsieur de Coigney was not less alarmed than Horatio at the
removal of Charlotta, tho' it had not the same effect on him; he was
continually teizing his sister to make her a visit and repeat her
intercessions in his behalf; but she had received such tart answers on
that score, that she was very unwilling to undertake the embassy:
however, she complied at last, and was received by mademoiselle
Charlotta in the most obliging manner, but had not the least opportunity
of executing her commission, that lady having a good deal of company
with her, whom she purposely detained to avoid entering into any
particular conversation with her, till the hour in which she knew her
attendance on the queen would oblige her to take leave.

The baron de Palfoy was at that time abroad; but when he was informed
who had been there, was a little disturbed that the sister of de Coigney
endeavoured still to keep up her intimacy with his daughter, not
doubting but she had either brought some letter or message from him, as
he was fully persuaded in his mind that there was a mutual affection
between them; but he took no notice of it as yet, thinking that probably
she might make a second visit, and that then he should be better able to
judge of the motive.

In the mean time the father of monsieur de Coigney being informed of
these proceedings, thought it beneath his son to carry on a clandestine
courtship; and the great share he possessed of the royal favour, he
having been instrumental in gaining some point in the parliament of
Paris, rendered him vain enough to imagine his alliance would not be
refused, tho' there was a superiority both of birth and fortune on the
side of monsieur the baron de Palfoy.

In a perfect confidence of succeeding in his request, he went to his
house, and, after some little preparation, proposed a match between his
son and mademoiselle de Palfoy. The baron was not at all surprized at
what he said, because he expected, if the young people were kept
asunder, an offer would be made of this kind; and after hearing calmly
all he had to say, in order to induce him to give his consent, he told
him, that he was very sorry he had asked a thing which it was impossible
to grant, because he had already determined to dispose otherwise of his
daughter. Monsieur de Coigney then asked to whom. I know not as yet,
replied the other, but when I said I had determined to dispose her
otherways, I only meant to one who is of blood at least equal to her
own, and who has never, by any public debaucheries, rendered himself
contemptible to the discreet part of mankind.

De Coigney knew not how either to put up or resent this affront; he knew
very well that his son had behaved so as to give cause for it, yet
thought he had other perfections which might over-balance what, by a
partial indulgence, he looked upon only as the follies of youth; and as
for the reflection on his family, he told the other, that whatever he
was he owed to the merit of his ancestors, not his own, and that he
doubted not but his son would one day raise his name equal to that of
Palfoy. In fine, the pride of the one, and the vanity of the other,
occasioned a contest between them, which might have furnished matter for
a scene in a comedy had any poet been witness of it: the result of it
was that they agreed in this to be mutually dissatisfied with each
other, never to converse together any more, and to forbid all
communication between their families.

The baron went immediately to his daughter's chamber, and having ordered
her maid, who was then doing something about her, to leave the room, I
have wondered, Charlotta, said he, with a countenance that was far from
betraying the secret vexation of his mind, that you have never, since
your coming to Paris, expressed the least desire of making a visit at
St. Germains, tho' the duty you owe a princess, who seems to have a very
great affection for you, might well have excused any impatience you
might have testified on that score; besides, you owe a visit to
mademoiselle de Coigney.

The princess merits doubtless all the respect I am able to pay her,
answered she; but, my lord, as it was your pleasure to remove me from
that palace, I waited till your command should licence my return; as for
mademoiselle de Coigney, the intimacy between us will excuse those
ceremonies which are of little weight where there is a real friendship.

These words confirming all the baron's suspicions, he thought there was
no need of farther dissimulation, and the long-conceived indignation
burst out in looks more furious than the trembling Charlotta had ever
seen in him before.--Yes, degenerate girl! said he, I have but too plain
proofs of the friendship in which you have linked yourself with the
family of the de Coigney's;--but tell me, continued he, how dare you
engage yourself so far without my knowledge? could you ever hope I would
consent to an alliance with de Coigney?

De Coigney! cried she, much more assured than she had been before the
mention of that name, heaven forbid you should have such a thought!

The resolution and disdain with which she spoke these words a little
surprized him: what, cried he, have you not encouraged the addresses of
young de Coigney, and even proceeded so far as to make his father
imagine there required no more than to ask my consent to a marriage
between you!

How much courage does innocence inspire? Charlotta, of late so timid and
alarmed while she thought Horatio was in question, was now all calmness
and composure, when she found de Coigney the person for whom she had
been suspected. She confessed to her father, with the most settled brow,
that he had indeed made some offers of an affection for her, but said,
she had given him such answers, as nothing but the height of arrogance
and folly could interpret to his advantage; and then, on the baron's
commanding her, acquainted him with every particular that had passed
between that young gentleman, his sister, and herself, touching the
affair she was accused of.

She was so minute in every circumstance, answered with such readiness to
all the questions he asked of her, and seemed so perfectly at ease, as
indeed she was, that the baron could no longer have any doubts of her
sincerity, and was sorry he had taken her so abruptly from St. Germains:
he now told her, that she was at liberty to visit there as frequently as
she pleased, only, as he had been affronted by old monsieur de Coigney,
as well as to silence all future reports concerning the young gentleman,
he expected she would break off all acquaintance with mademoiselle. She
assured him of her obedience in this point, and added, that she could do
it without any difficulty; for tho' she was a lady who had many good
qualities, and one for whom she once had a friendship, yet the taking
upon her to forward her brother's designs had occasioned a strangeness
between them, which had already more than half anticipated his commands.

Monsieur the baron de Palfoy was now as well satisfied with his daughter
as he had lately been the reverse, and she was allowed once more all
those innocent liberties which the French ladies, above those of any
other nation in the world, enjoy.

It is not to be doubted but that the first use she made of liberty was
to go to St. Germains: she had heard from mademoiselle de Coigney, when
she came to visit her, that Horatio had been very much indisposed, and
at that time was not quite recovered, and was impatient to give him all
the consolation that the sight of her could afford; but fearing she
should not have an opportunity of speaking to him in private, she wrote
a letter, containing a full recital of the reason which had induced her
father to take her from St. Germains, and the happy mistake he had been
in concerning de Coigney; concluding with letting him know he might
sometimes visit her at Paris as an indifferent acquaintance, not the
least suspicion being entertained of him, and the baron now in so good a
humour with her, that it would not be easy for any one to make him give
credit to any informations to her prejudice. The whole was dictated by a
spirit of tenderness, which, tho' it did not plainly confess an
affection, implied every thing an honourable lover could either
expect or hope.

On her arrival at St. Germains, where there was an extreme full court to
congratulate the princess Louisa, on the great victories lately gained
by Charles XII. the brave king of Sweeden, to whom she had been some
time contracted, she passed directly to her highness's apartment; and
the Chevalier St. George being then with her, those of his Gentlemen who
had attended him thither, were waiting in the antichamber: among them
was Horatio: the alteration of his countenance on sight of her, after
this absence, was too visible not to have been remarked, had not all
present been too busy in paying their compliments to her, to take any
notice of it. He was one of the last that approached, being willing to
recover the confusion he felt himself in, lest it should have an effect
on his voice in speaking to her. She, more prepared, received his salute
with the same gay civility she did the others, but at the same instant
slipped the letter she had brought with her into his hand.

Any one who is in the least acquainted with the power of love, may guess
the transports of Horatio at this condescension; but, impatient to know
the dear contents, he went out of the room as soon as he found he could
do it without being observed, and having perused this obliging billet,
found in it a sufficient cordial to revive that long languishment his
spirit had been in.

At his return he found her engaged in conversation with several
gentlemen and ladies: he mingled in the company, but could expect no
other satisfaction from it than being near his dear Charlotta, and
hearing her speak. The Chevalier St. George soon after came out, and he
was obliged with the rest of his train to quit the place, which at
present contained the object of his wishes. She went in immediately
after to the princess, so he saw her no more that day at St. Germains.

All that now employed his thoughts was a pretence to visit her at her
father's house; for tho' she had told him in her letter that he might
come as an ordinary acquaintance, yet knowing that the continuance of
their conversation depended wholly on the secrecy of it, he was willing
to avoid giving even the most distant occasions of suspicion.

Fortune, hitherto favourable to his desires, now presented him with one
more ample than any thing his own invention could have supplied him
with: happening to be at Paris in the company of some friends, with whom
he stayed later than ordinary, he was hurrying thro' the streets in
order to go to the inn where his servant and horses waited for him, when
he heard the clashing of swords at some distance from him: guided by his
generosity, he flew to the place where the noise directed him, and saw
by the lights, which hang out very thick in that city, one person
defending himself against three who pressed very hard upon him, and had
got him down just as Horatio arrived to his relief: he ran among the
assaillants; and either the greatness of his courage, or the belief that
others would come to his assistance, threw them into such a
consternation, that they all sought their safety in their flight, while
the person they had attacked got up again and thanked his deliverer,
without whose timely aid, he said, he could have expected nothing but
death: those who set upon him being robbers, and, as he perceived by
their behaviour, desperate wretches, who were for securing themselves by
taking the lives, as well as money, of those who were too weak to resist
them: he pointed to a dead body on the ground, who he told Horatio was
his servant, and had been killed in his defence.

But how transported was our young lover when, he found that the person
to whom he had done so signal a piece of service, was the father of his
mistress. As he perceived he had some wounds, tho' they proved but
slight, he compleated the obligation he had began to confer, by
supporting him under the arm till he got home, where the baron made him
enter with him, and would have prevailed with him to stay all night; but
Horatio told him he could not well dispense with being absent from his
post; that it was highly proper he should return to St. Germains that
night late as it was, but would do himself the honour of waiting on him
the next day to enquire after the state of the wounds he had received.

Mademoiselle Charlotta was gone to bed; but being rouzed by the
accident, no sooner was informed by the surgeons, who were immediately
sent for, that there was nothing dangerous in the hurts her father had
received, than she blessed heaven for making Horatio the instrument of
his preservation. The sense the baron seemed to have of this obligation,
and the praises he bestowed on the gallant manner in which the young
gentleman came to his relief, made her almost ready to flatter herself
that fate interested itself in behalf of their love; and indeed monsieur
the baron, notwithstanding the haughtiness of his nature, had the most
just notions of gratitude; and to testify it to Horatio, would have
refused him scarce any thing except his daughter. But however that
should happen, she still found more and more excuses for indulging the
inclinations she had for him; and tho' she yet had never given him any
such assurances, yet she resolved in her own mind, to live only for him.

The baron being obliged to keep his bed for several days, Horatio had a
pretence for repeating his visits to him during this time of his
confinement, and afterwards went often by invitation; the other, besides
the obligation he had to him, finding something extremely pleasing in
his conversation, to which (not to take from Horatio's merits) the
obsequiousness he found no difficulty in himself to behave with towards
a Man of his age, his quality, and above all, the father of Charlotta,
not a little contributed.

The lovers had now frequent opportunities of entertaining each other
both at Paris and St. Germains: nor were any of those demonstrations
which virtue and innocence permitted, wanting between them, to render
them as perfectly easy as people can possibly be, who have yet something
to desire, and much to fear. But as smooth as now their fortune seemed,
they knew not how soon a storm might rise, and give a sudden
interruption to that felicity they enjoyed.--The charms of Charlotta
were every day making new conquests; and among the number of those who
pretended to admire her, how probable was it that some one might be
thought worthy by her father, and she be compelled to receive the
addresses of a rival. These were reflections too natural not to occur to
them both, and whenever they did, could not fail of embittering those
sweets the certainty of a mutual affection had otherwise afforded.

They had now no trouble from monsieur de Coigney; his father, in order
to make him forget a hopeless passion, had found an employment for him
which obliged him to go many leagues from Paris; and once the
conversation already mentioned at the baron's, his sister and
mademoiselle Charlotta, by command of their respective parents, as well
as their own inclinations, broke off all correspondence, nor even spoke
to each other, unless when happening to meet in a visit, there was no
avoiding it; and then it was in such a distant manner, and with so much
indifference, that none would have imagined they ever had been intimate
friends and companions.



CHAP. IX.

_A second separation between Horatio and Charlotta, with some other
occurrences_.

The season of the year now having put an end to the campaign, and the
French, as well as confederate armies, being retired into their winter
quarters, the baron de la Valiere, who had always a special permission
from the general, returned to Paris: Horatio promised himself much
satisfaction in the renewed society of this friend, and no sooner heard
he was on the road than he went to meet him. The baron, charm'd with
this proof of his affection and respect, received him as a brother, and
there was little less freedom used between them.

After the mutual testimonies and good-will were over de la Valiere began
to ask him concerning mademoiselle Charlotta; on which Horatio
acquainted him with her being removed from St. Germains, and the
occasion of it, not omitting the arrogance with which old monsieur de
Coigney had behaved to her father, and the resentment now between
the families.

Well, said the baron, but I hope you have been more successful, at least
with the young lady: I will never more trust the intelligence of eyes,
if yours did not hold a very tender intercourse; and I protest to you,
my dear Horatio, that amidst all the toils and dangers of war, my
thoughts were often at St. Germains, not envying, but congratulating the
pleasures you enjoyed in the conversation of that amiable lady.

I doubt not, replied Horatio with a smile, but we had you with us at a
place which contained mademoiselle de Coigney; and I am of opinion too
she was no less frequently in the camp with you; for in spite of all the
reserve she affected while you were present, she never heard the bare
mention of your name without emotions, which were very visible in her
countenance.

I would not be vain, replied the baron, but I sometimes have flattered
myself with the hope I was not altogether indifferent to her; tho' for
two whole years that I have constantly made my addresses to her, I never
could obtain one soft confession to assure my happiness:--but let me
know how you have proceeded on the score of mademoiselle Charlotta?
believe me, I am not so engrossed by my own affairs, as not to give
attention to those of a friend.

Horatio, who had been engaged by Charlotta to preserve an inviolable
secrecy in every thing that had passed between them, without any
exception of persons, would fain have turned the conversation on some
other topic: he truly loved the baron, had the highest opinion of his
discretion, and would have trusted him with the dearest secrets of his
life, provided they related to himself alone; but he had given his word,
his oath, his honour to Charlotta, and durst not violate them on any
consideration; yet, loth to refuse or to deceive his friend, he found
himself in the most perplexing dilemma. As often as the other spoke of
Charlotta, he answered with something of de Coigney; but all his
artifice was ineffectual, and the baron at last saw thro' it, and
assuming a very grave countenance, I perceive, Horatio, said he, you do
not think me worthy your confidence, and I was to blame to press you to
reveal what you resolve to make a mystery of.

These words made a very deep impression on the grateful soul of him they
were addressed to; and equally distressed between the necessity of
either disobliging a person whose generosity he had experienced, or
falsifying the promise he had made to Charlotta, at last an expedient
offered to his mind how to avoid both, and yet not be guilty of injuring
the truth.

Alas! my lord, answered he, you little know the heart of Horatio, if you
imagine there be any thing there that would hide itself from you:--I
freely confess, the charms of mademoiselle Charlotta had such an effect
on me, that, had I been in circumstances which in the least could have
flattered me with success, I should long ago have avowed myself her
lover: but when I reflected on the disparity between us, the humour of
her father, and a thousand other impediments, I endeavoured to banish so
hopeless a passion from my breast, and was the more confirmed in my
resolution to do so by the ill treatment monsieur de Coigney
received:--besides, her removal from St. Germains, depriving me in a
great measure of those opportunities I had before of entertaining her,
might very well contribute to wean off a passion, not settled either by
time or expectation, of ever being gratified; and I hope, continued he,
I shall always have so much command over myself as not to become
ridiculous by aiming at impossibilities.

Whether the baron gave any credit to what he said on this account or
not, he had too much politeness to press him any farther; and the
discourse soon after taking another turn, Horatio was very well pleased
to think he had got off so well.

De la Valiere having related to him some particulars of the late
campaign, which the public accounts had been deficient in, they passed
from that to some talk of the brave young king of Sweden, a topic which
filled all Europe with admiration: but the French being a people in whom
the love of glory is the predominant passion, were more than any other
nation charmed with the greatness of that prince's soul.

What indeed has any hero of antiquity to boast of in competition with
this northern monarch, who conquered and gave away kingdoms for the
benefit of others, disdaining to receive any other reward for all his
vast fatigues, than the pleasure of giving a people that person whom he
judged most worthy to reign over them!

The baron, who had attended the Count de Guiscard when he was
residentiary ambassador from his most christian majesty at the Swedish
court, had an opportunity of seeing more of this monarch than any other
that Horatio was acquainted with; he therefore, on his requesting it,
informed him how, at the age of eighteen, he threw off all magnificence,
forsook the pomp and delicacies of a court he had been bred in, and
undertook, and compleated the delivery of his brother-in-law, the duke
of Holstein, from the cruel incursions of the Danes, who had well nigh
either taken or ravaged the greatest part of his territories. He also
set forth, in its proper colours, the base part which Peter Alexowitz,
czar of Muscovy, and Augustus, king of Poland, acted against a prince
who was then employing his arms in the cause of justice; the latter of
these bringing a powerful army to take from him one part of his
dominions; and the former, at the head of an 100,000 men, were
plundering the other: but when he concluded his little narrative, by
reciting how this young conqueror, with a handful of brave Swedes,
animated by the example of their king, put entirely to route all that
opposed him, Horatio felt his soul glow with an ardour superior even to
that of love: he longed to behold a prince who seemed to have all the
virtues comprized in him, and whose very thoughts, as well as actions,
might be looked upon as super-natural.

He is, however, greatly to be pitied, said the baron de la Valiere, that
the wars he is engaged in, and which, in all probability will be of long
continuance, hinders him from the possession of the most amiable
princess in the world, and I dare answer, at least if I may credit those
about her, she wishes he were of a less martial disposition.

He will be the more worthy of her, cried Horatio interrupting him, and
the immortal fame of his actions be a sufficient attonement for all the
years of expectation that may be its purchase.

From the time Horatio had this discourse with the baron, the king of
Sweden was ever uppermost in his thoughts: he had always reflected that,
in the station he then was, it would be impossible to obtain any more of
mademoiselle Charlotta than her heart, at least while the baron de
Palfoy lived, and that a thousand accidents might deprive him of all
hopes of ever being more happy; but, said he to himself, were I among
the number of those who attend this hero in his martial exploits, I
might at least have an opportunity of proving how far fortune would
befriend me;--who knows but I might be able to do something which might
engage that just and generous monarch to raise me to a degree capable of
avowing my pretensions even to her father, and the same blessed day that
joined our principals, might also make me blessed in the possession of
my dear Charlotta.

With these ideas did he often flatter himself; but the manner in which
he should accomplish his desires was yet doubtless to him. The chevalier
St. George treated him with so much kindness, that he had no room to
doubt his having a great share in his favour; and was fully perswaded,
that if he communicated his intentions to him, he would vouchsafe to
give him letters of recommendation to a prince who was to be his
brother-in-law: but this he feared to ask, lest it should be looked upon
as ingratitude in him to desire to leave a court where he had been so
graciously received, and had many favours, besides the perquisites of
his post, heaped upon him, not only by the chevalier himself, but also
by the queen and princess, who, following the example of the late king,
behaved with a kind of natural affection to all the English.

He sometimes communicated his sentiments on this head to mademoiselle
Charlotta, who was too discreet not to allow the justness of them; and
well knew, that in the station her lover now was, they never could be on
any terms with each other than those they were at present: her reason,
therefore, and the advantage of her love, made her sometimes wish he
would follow the dictates of so laudable an ambition; but then the
dangers he must inevitably be exposed to in following a monarch who
never set any bounds to his courage, and the thoughts how long it might
possibly be before she saw him again, alarmed all her tenderness; and he
had the satisfaction of seeing the tears stand in her eyes whenever they
had any discourse of this nature; and tho' her words assured him that it
was her opinion he could not take a more ready way to raise his own
fortune, yet her looks at the same time made him plainly see how much
she would suffer in his taking that step.

Many reasons, both for and against following his inclination in this
point, presented themselves to him; and he had no sooner, as he thought,
determined for the one, than the other rose with double vehemence and
overthrew the former. In this fluctuating situation of mind did he
remain for some time, and perhaps had done so much longer, had not an
accident happened which proved decisive, and indeed left him no other
party to take than that he afterwards did.

Charlotta, being now entirely mistress of herself, gave him frequent
meetings in the Tuilleries, judging it safer to converse with him there
than at the house of any person, whom, in such a case, must be the
confidante of the whole affair; whereas, if they were seen together in
the walks, it might be judged they met by accident, and not give any
grounds of suspicion, which hitherto they had been so fortunate as
to avoid.

It was in one of those appointments, when entered into a very tender
conversation, they forgot themselves so far as to suffer the moon to
rise upon them: the stillness of the evening, and the little company
which happened to be there that night, seemed to indulge their
inclinations of continuing in so sweet a recess:--they were seated on a
bench at the foot of a large tree, when Charlotta, in answer to some
tender professions he had been making, said, depend on this, Horatio,
that as you are the first who has ever been capable of making me
sensible of love, so nothing shall have power to change my sentiments
while you continue to deserve, or to desire I should think of you as I
now do. He shall not long continue to desire it,--cried a voice behind
them, and immediately rushed from the other side of the thicket a man
with his sword drawn, and ran full upon Horatio, who not having time to
be upon his guard, had certainly fallen a victim to his rival's fury,
had not a gentleman seized his arm, and, by superior strength, forced
him some paces back.--Are you mad, monsieur, said he; do you forget the
place you are in, or the danger you so lately escaped for an enterprize
of this nature?

Mademoiselle Charlotta, now a little recovered from her first, surprize,
and knowing it was young monsieur de Coigney who had given her this
alarm, had presence enough of mind to ask how he dared, after he knew
her own and father's resolution, to disturb her, or any company she had
with her? he made no reply, but reflecting that there were other ways
than fighting, by which he might be revenged, went hastily away with
that friend who had hindered him from executing his rash purpose; but
they could hear that he muttered something which seemed a menace against
them both.

How impossible is it to express the consternation our lovers now were
in: they found by the repetition monsieur de Coigney made of the words
she spoke, that what they had so long and so successfully laboured to
conceal, was now betrayed:--betrayed to one who would not fail to make
the most malicious use of the discovery, and doubted not but the affair
would become the general talk, perhaps to the prejudice of Charlotta's
reputation; but the least thing either could expect, was to be
separated for ever.

Horatio, full of disturbed emotions, conducted his disconsolate mistress
to the gate of the Tuilleries, and there took a farewel of her, which he
had too much reason to fear would be his last, at least for a long time.
He was tempted by his first emotions to seek de Coigney, and call him to
account for the affront he had put upon him, and either lose his own
life, or oblige the other to secrecy; but then he considered, that there
was some probability he would not dare to own that he had given himself
any concern about mademoiselle Charlotta, after the injunction laid on
him by his father, much less as he had attempted a duel in her cause,
having, as has been already mentioned, been before guilty of a like
offence against the laws, which in that country are very strict, on
account of madame de Olonne; and this prevailed with him to be passive
as to what had happened, till he should hear how the other would behave,
and find what turn the affair would take.

Charlotta in the mean time was in the most terrible anxieties:--she
could not imagine what had brought monsieur de Coigney, who she thought
had been many miles distant, so suddenly to Paris: but on making some
private enquiry, she was informed, that having met some difficulty in
the execution of his office, he had taken post, in order to lay his
complaints before the king, and had arrived that very day.--She now
blamed her own inadvertency in holding any discourse with Horatio, of a
nature not proper to be over-heard, in a place so public as the
Tuilleries, where others, as well as he, might have possibly been
witnesses of what was said.

Young monsieur de Coigney suffered little less from the turbulence of
his nature, and the mortification it gave his vanity, to find a person,
whom he looked upon as every way his inferior, preferred to him. His
thoughts were wholly bent on revenge; but in what manner he should
accomplish it, he was for some time uncertain: when he acquainted his
father with the discovery he had made, and the resentment he had
testified against this unworthy rival, as he called him, the old
gentleman blamed him for taking any notice of it. Let them love on, son,
said he; let them marry;--we shall then have a fine opportunity of
reproaching the haughty baron with his new alliance. This did not
however satisfy monsieur de Coigney: all the love he once had for
mademoiselle Charlotta was now turned into hate; and in spite of his
father's commands not to meddle in the affair, he could not help
throwing out some reflections among his companions, very much to the
disadvantage of the young lady's reputation. But these might possibly
have blown over, as he had but a small time to vent his malice. His
father knowing the violence of his temper, in order to prevent any ill
consequences, compelled him to return to his employment; taking upon
himself the management of that business which had brought him so
unluckily to Paris.

But mademoiselle de Coigney had no sooner been informed by her brother
of the discovery he had made, than she doubted not that it was on the
score of Horatio that he had met with such ill success in his courtship;
and also imagined, that it had been owing to some ill impressions
mademoiselle Charlotta had given the baron de Palfoy, that her father
had been treated by him in the manner already recited. She complained of
it to the baron de la Valiere, and told him, her whole family had been
affronted, and her brother rendered miserable, for the sake of a young
man, who, said she, can neither have birth or fortune to boast of, since
he has been so long a prisoner without any ransom paid, or interposition
offered to redeem him.

The baron was too generous not to vindicate the merits of Horatio, as
much as was consistent with his love and complaisance for his mistress:
he was notwithstanding very much picqued in his mind that a person, to
whom he had given the greatest proofs of a sincere and disinterested
friendship, should have concealed a secret of this nature from him, and
the more so, as he had seemed to expect and desire his confidence. From
this time forward he behaved to him with a coldness which was sufficient
to convince the other of the motive, especially as he found mademoiselle
de Coigney took all opportunities of throwing the most picquant
reflections on him. It is certain that lady was so full of spight at the
indignity she thought her family had received, that she could not help
whispering the attachment of Horatio and Charlotta, not only at St.
Germains, but at Paris also, with inunendo's little less cruel than
those her brother had made use of to his companions; so that between
them, the amour was talked of among all who were acquainted with
either of them.

At length the report reached the ears of the baron de Palfoy, who, tho'
he did not immediately give an entire credit to it, thought it became
him to do every thing in his power to silence it.

Accordingly he called his daughter to him one day, and having told her
the liberty which the world took in censuring her conduct on Horatio's
account, commanded her to avoid all occasions of it for the future, by
seeing him no more.

The confusion she was in, and which she had not artifice wholly to
conceal from the penetrating baron, more convinced him, than all he had
been told, that there was in reality some tender intercourse between
them; but resolving to be fully ascertained, he said no more to her at
that time, but dispatched a messenger immediately to St. Germains,
desiring Horatio to come to him the same day.

The lover readily obeyed this summons, but not without some
apprehensions of the motive: the hints daily given him, joined to the
alteration, not only in the behaviour of mademoiselle de Coigney, but
likewise of the baron de la Valiere, gave him but too just room to fear
his passion was no longer a secret.

The father of Charlotta received him with great courtesy, but nothing of
that pleasantness with which he had looked on him ever since he had
defended him from the robbers. Horatio, said he, I am indebted to you
for my life, and would willingly make what recompence is in my power for
the obligation I have to you:--think therefore what I can do for you;
and if your demands exceed not what is fit for you to ask, or would
become me to grant, you may be assured of my compliance.

The astonishment Horatio was in at these words is impossible to be
expressed; but having an admirable presence of mind, my lord, answered
he, I should be unworthy of the favours you do me, could I be capable of
presuming on them so far as to make any requests beyond the
continuance of them.

No, Horatio, resumed the baron, I acknowledge my gratitude has been too
deficient, since it has extended only to those civilities which are due
to your merit, exclusive of any obligation; the conversation we have had
together has hitherto afforded a pleasure to myself, and it is with a
good deal of mortification I now find a necessity to break it off:--I
would therefore have the satisfaction of doing something that might
convince you of my esteem, at the same time that I desire you to refrain
your visits.

Not all Horatio's courage could enable him to stand this shock, without
testifying some part of what passed in his mind:--he was utterly
incapable of making any reply, tho' the silence of the other shewed he
expected it, but stood like one confounded, and conscious of deserving
the banishment he heard pronounced against him.--At last recollecting
himself a little,--my lord, said he, I see not how I can be happy enough
to preserve any part of your esteem, since looked upon as unworthy an
honour you were once pleased to confer upon me.

You affect, said the baron, a slowness of apprehension, which is far
from being natural to you, and perhaps imagine, that by not seeming to
understand me, I should believe there were no grounds for me to forbid
you my house; but, young man, I am not so easily deceived; and since you
oblige me to speak plain, must tell you, I am sorry to find you have
entertained any projects, which, if you had the least consulted your
reason, you would have known could never be accomplished.--In fine,
Horatio, what you make so great a mystery of, may be explained in three
words:--I wish you well as a friend, but cannot think of making you my
son:--I would recompence what you have done for me with any thing but my
daughter, and as a proof of my concern for your happiness, I exclude you
from all society with her, in order to prevent so unavailing a passion
from taking too deep a root.

Ah, my lord, cried Horatio, perceiving all dissimulation would be vain,
the man who once adored mademoiselle de Palfoy can never cease to do so.
He ought therefore, replied the baron, without being moved, to consider
the consequences well before he begins to adore:--if I had been
consulted in the matter I should have advised you better; but it is now
too late, and all I can do is to prevent your ever meeting more:--this,
Horatio, is all I have to say, and that if in any other affair I can be
serviceable to you, communicate your request in writing, and depend on
its being granted.

In speaking these last words he withdrew, and left Horatio in a
situation of mind not easy to be conceived.--He was once about to
entreat him to turn back, but had nothing to offer which could make him
hope would prevail on him to alter his resolution.--He never had been
insensible of the vast disparity there was at present between him and
the noble family of de Palfoy: he could expect no other, or rather worse
treatment than what he had now received, if his passion was ever
discovered, and had no excuse to make for what himself allowed so great
a presumption.

With a countenance dejected, and a heart oppressed with various
agitations, did he quit the house which contained what was most valuable
to him in the world, while poor Charlotta endured, if possible, a
greater shock.

The baron de Palfoy, now convinced that all he had been informed of was
true, was more incensed against her than he had been on the mistaken
supposition of her being influenced in favour of monsieur de Coigney: he
had no sooner left Horatio than he flew to her apartment, and reproached
her in terms the most severe that words could form.--It was in vain she
protested that she never had any design of giving herself to Horatio
without having first received his permission.--He looked on all she said
as an augmentation of her crime, and soon came to a determination to put
it past her power to give him more than she had already done.

Early next morning he sent her, under the conduct of a person he could
confide in, to a monastry about thirty miles from Paris, without even
letting her know whither she was about being carried, or giving her the
least notice of her departure till the coach was at the door, into which
he put, her himself with these words,--adeiu Charlotta, expect not to
see Paris, or me again, till you desire no more to see Horatio.



CHAP. X.

_The reasons that induced Horatio to leave France; with the chevalier
St. George's behaviour on knowing his resolution. He receives an
unexpected favour from the baron de Palfoy._

While Charlotta, under the displeasure of her father, and divided, as
she believed, for ever from her lover, was pursuing her melancholy
journey, Horatio was giving way to a grief which knew no bounds, and
which preyed with the greater feirceness on his soul, as he had no
friend to whom he could disburden it. The baron's estrang'd behaviour
was no small addition to his other discontents, and he lamented the
cruel necessity which had enforced him to disoblige a person to whom he
owed so many favours, and whose advice would now have been the greatest
consolation.

He could not now hope Charlotta would be permitted to come to St.
Germains, and doubted not but her father would take effectual methods to
prevent her visiting at any place where even accident might occasion a
meeting between them: he knew the watch had been set over her on the
account of monsieur de Coigney, and might be assured it would not now be
less strict, and that it would be equally impossible for either to
communicate their thoughts by writing as it was to see each other.

He was in the midst of these reflections when he heard, by some people
who were acquainted with the baron de Palfoy, that he had sent his
daughter away, but none knew where: this, instead of lessening his
despair, was a very great aggravation of it:--he imagined she was
confined in some monastry, and was not insensible of the difficulties
that attend seeing a young lady who is sent there purposely to avoid the
world; yet, said he to himself, could I be happy enough to discover even
to what province she was carried, I would go from convent to convent
till I had found which of them contained her.

It was in vain that he made all possible enquiry: every one he asked was
in reality as ignorant as himself.--The baron de Palfoy had trusted
none, so could not be deceived but by those persons who had the charge
of conducting her, and of their fidelity he had many proofs. Yet how
impossible is it for human prudence to resist the decrees of fate.--The
secret was betrayed, without any one being guilty of accusing the
confidence reposed in them, and by the strangest accident that perhaps
ever was, Horatio learned all he wished to know when he had given over
all his endeavours for that purpose, and was totally despairing of it.

He came one day to Paris, in order to alleviate his melancholy, in the
company of some young gentlemen, who had expressed a very great regard
for him; but his mind being taken up with various and perplexed thoughts
on his entrance into that city, he mistook his way, and turned into the
rue St. Dennis instead of the rue St. Honore, where he had been
accustomed to leave his horses and servant.--He found his error just as
he was passing by a large inn, and it being a matter of indifference to
him where he put up, would not turn back, but ordered his man to alight
here.--I forgot where I was going, said he, but I suppose the horses
will be taken as much care of at this house as where we used to go. I
shall see to that, replied the fellow. Horatio stepped into a room to
take some refreshment while his servant went to the stable, but had not
been there above a minute before he heard very high words between some
people in the yard; and as he turned towards the window, saw a man in
the livery of the baron de Palfoy, and whom he presently knew to be the
coachman of that nobleman. He was hot in dispute with the innkeeper
concerning a horse which he had hired of him, and, as the other
insisted, drove so hard that he had killed him. The coachman denied the
accusation; but the innkeeper told him he had witnesses to prove the
horse died two hours after he was brought home, and declared, that if he
had not satisfaction for his beast, he would complain to the baron, and
if he did not do him justice, have recourse to law.--There was a long
argument between them concerning the number of miles, the hours they
drove, and the weight of the carriage.--Among other things the innkeeper
alledged, that he saw them as he passed his corner, and there were so
many trunks, boxes, and other luggage behind and before the coach,
besides the company that was in it, that it required eight horses
instead of six to draw it. Why then, said the coachman, did it not kill
our horses as well as yours; if they had been equally good, they would
have held out equally.--I do not pretend mine was as good, replied the
innkeeper, I cannot afford to feed my horses as my lord does; but yet he
was a stout gelding, and if he had not been drove so very hard, and
perhaps otherwise ill used into the bargain, he would have been
alive now.

All this was sufficient to make Horatio imagine it was for the journey
which deprived him of his dear Charlotta, that this horse had been
hired, so tarried in the place where he was till the debate was over,
which ended not to the satisfaction of the innkeeper, who swore he would
not be fooled out of his money. As soon as the coachman was gone,
Horatio called him in, and asked what was the matter, and who it was
that endeavoured to impose upon him? on which the innkeeper readily told
him, that on such a day this coachman came to him and hired a horse in
order to make up a set to go to Rheines in Champaigne, my lord-baron
having three or four sick in the stable at that time.--Two days after,
said he, my horse was brought home all in a foam, and fell down dead in
less than three hours, and yet this rascally coachman refuses to pay
me for him.

Horatio humoured him in all he said, and let him go on his own way till
he had vented his whole stock of railing, and then asked him what
company were in the coach. The innkeeper replied, that there was one man
and two women, but did not know who they were, for their faces were
muffled up in their hoods. This was sufficient for him to be assured it
was no other than Charlotta, with her woman, and some friend whom the
baron had sent with them. The day mentioned, being the very same he had
been informed she was carried away, was also another confirmation; and
he had not only the happiness of knowing where his mistress was, but of
knowing it by such means as could give the baron no suspicion of his
being acquainted with it, and therefore make him think it necessary to
remove her.

Having gained this intelligence, which yet he was no better for than the
hope of being able to get a sight of her thro' the grate, which he was
resolved to accomplish some way or other, he resumed his design of going
into the army of the king of Sweden. As a perfect knowledge of the many
excellent qualities of the chevalier St. George, made him regard and
love him with an affection beyond what is ordinarily to be met with from
a servant to his master, he felt an extreme repugnance to quit him, and
yet more in breaking a matter to him which, while it testified a
confidence in the goodness of him whose assistance he must implore, he
thought, at the same time, would be looked on as ingratitude in himself;
and he was some time deliberating in what manner he should do it; and it
would have been perhaps a great while before he could have found words
which he would have thought proper for the purpose, if he had not taken
an opportunity, which, without any design of his own, offered itself
to him.

The chevalier St. George took a particular pleasure in the game of
Chess; and Horatio having learned it among the officers in Campaine,
frequently played with him: they were one evening at this diversion,
when the lover of Charlotta having his mind a little perplexed, placed
his men so ill, that the chevalier beat him out at every motion. How is
this, Horatio, cried he; you used to play better than I, butt now I have
the advantage of you.--May you always have it, sir, replied he with the
utmost respect, over all who pretend to oppose you.--Chess is a kind of
emblem of war, where policy should go hand in hand with courage; and
there is a great master in that art, whom if I were some time to serve
under, I flatter myself that I should be able to know how to move my men
with better success than I have done to night; but then my skill should
be employed only against such as are your enemies.

You mean my brother Charles of Sweden, said the chevalier smiling, but I
believe he seldom plays. Never, but when kingdoms are at stake, resumed
Horatio; and if a day should come when you, sir, shall attempt the
prize, how fortunate would it be for me to have learned to serve you as
I am obliged by much more than my duty, by the most natural and
inviolable attachment of my heart, which would render it the greatest
blessing I could receive from heaven. I believe, indeed, returned the
chevalier St. George, you love me enough to fight in my cause whenever
occasion offers. I would not only fight, but die, cried Horatio warmly;
yet I would wish to have the skill to make a great number of your
enemies die before me. Well, said the chevalier, we will talk of this
to-morrow; in the mean time play as well as you can against me at St.
Germains: in another place perhaps you may play for me. Horatio made no
other reply to these words than a low bow, and then elating his hands
and eyes to heaven, as internally praying for the opportunity his master
seemed to hint at.

The impression this little conversation made on the mind of the
chevalier St. George, proved itself in its effects the very next day.
Horatio being ordered to come into his chamber early in the morning,--I
have been thinking on what passed last night between us, said he, and if
you have a serious Intention of doing what you seemed to hint at, will
contribute all I can to forward you.

Ah sir! cried Horatio, falling at his feet, impute not, I beseech you,
this desire in me to any thing but the extreme desire I have to render
myself worthy of the favours you have been pleased to confer upon me,
and to be able to serve you whenever any happy occasion shall
present itself.

No more, Horatio, replied the chevalier, with a sweetness and affability
peculiar to himself; I am perfectly assured of your duty and affection
to me, and am so far from taking it ill that you desire to quit my court
on this score, that I think, your ambition highly laudable:--I will
write letters of recommendation, with my own hand, to my brother
Charles, and to some others in his camp, which I doubt not but will
procure you a reception answerable to your wishes:--therefore, as it is
a long journey you are to take, the sooner you provide for your
departure the better:--I will order you out of my privy purse 2000
crowns towards your expences.

Horatio found it impossible to express how much this goodness touched
his soul; nor could do it any otherwise than by prostrating himself a
second time, embracing his knees, and uttering some incoherent
acclamations, which more shewed to his master the sincerity of his
gratitude, and the perfect love he bore him, than the most elegant
speeches could have done.

After all possible demonstrations of the most gracious benignity on the
one side, and reverence on the other, Horatio quitted the presence, and
went to sir Thomas Higgons, who at that time was privy purse, and one of
the finest gentlemen that ever England bred, and acquainted him with the
chevalier St. George's goodness to him, and the change that was going to
be made in his fortune: he thanked him in the politest manner for being
made the first that should congratulate him, and told him, he did not
doubt but he should see him return covered with laurels, and enriched
with honours, by the most glorious and grateful monarch the world had to
boast of. The whole court, whose esteem the good qualities, handsome
person, and agreeable behaviour of Horatio had entirely gained, seemed
to partake in his satisfaction, and he was so engrossed with the
preparations for his departure, and receiving the compliments made him,
that tho' he was far from forgetting Charlotta, yet the languishment
which her absence had occasioned was entirely banished, and he now
appeared all life and spirit.--So true it is that idleness is the food
of soft desires.

It must be confessed, indeed, that love had a very great share in
reviving in him those martial inclinations, which for a time had seemed
lulled to rest, since it was to render himself in a condition which
might give him hope of obtaining the object of his love that now pushed
him on to war. He resolved also to make Rheines in his way to Poland,
where the king of Sweden then was pursuing his conquests, and see, if
possible, his dear Charlotta, before he left France; and as he was of a
more than ordinary sanguine disposition, he was much sooner elated with
the prospect of success in any undertaking he went about, than dejected
at the disappointment of it.

The baron de la Valiere, whose friendship over-balanced his resentment,
now gave an instance of his generosity, which, as things had stood of
late between them, Horatio was far from expecting. That nobleman came to
his apartment one day with a letter in his hand, and accosting him with
the familiarity he had been accustomed to treat him with before their
estrangement,--Horatio, said he, I cannot suffer you to leave us without
giving you what testimonies of good-will are in my power:--you are now
going among strangers, and tho' after the recommendations I hear you are
to carry with you from the chevalier St. George, nothing can be added to
assure you of the king of Sweden's favour, yet as many brave actions are
lost for want of a proper representation of them, and the eyes of kings
cannot be every where, it may be of some service to you to have general
Renchild your friend: I once had the honour of a particular acquaintance
with that great man, and I believe this letter, which I beg the favour
of you to deliver to him, will in part convince him of your merit,
before you may have an opportunity of proving it to him by your actions.

Horatio took the letter out of his hand, which he had presented to him
at the conclusion of his speech; and charmed with this behaviour, the
satisfaction I should take, said he, in this mark of your forgiving
goodness, would be beyond all bounds, were I not conscious how far I
have been unworthy of it; and that I fear the same goodness, always
partial to me, may have in this paper (meaning the letter) endeavoured
to give the general an idea of me which I may not be able to preserve.

I look upon myself to be the best judge of that, replied the baron with
a smile; and you may remember, that on a very different occasion I saw
into your sentiments before you were well acquainted with the nature of
them yourself.

As Horatio knew these words referred to the discourse that had passed
between them concerning his then infant passion for mademoiselle
Charlotta, he could not help blushing; but de la Valiere perceiving he
had given him some confusion, would have turned the discourse, had not
the other thought fit to continue it, by letting him know the real
motive which had constrained him to act with the reserve he had done on
that score.

The baron de la Valiere assured him that he should think no more of it;
and tho' at first he had taken it a little amiss, yet when he came to
reflect on the circumstance, he could not but confess he should have
behaved in the same manner himself.

The renewal of the former friendship between them, greatly added to the
contentment Horatio at present enjoyed; but soon after he received such
an augmentation of it, as he could never have imagined, much less have
flattered himself with the hope of.

Some few days before his departure, a servant of the baron de Palfoy
came to him to let him know his lord sent his compliments, and desired
to speak with him at his own house. The message seemed so improbable,
that Horatio could scarce give credit to it, and imagined the man had
been mistaken in the person to whom he delivered it, till he repeated
over and over again that it was to no other he was sent.

Had it been any other than the father of mademoiselle Charlotta, who had
invited him to a house he had been once forbid, he scarce would have
obeyed the summons; but as it was he, the awful person who gave being to
that charmer of his soul, he sent the most respectful answer, and the
same day took horse for Paris, and attended the explanation of an order
which at present seemed so misterious to him.

The baron was no sooner informed he was there, than he came into the
parlour with a countenance, which had in it all the marks of good humour
and satisfaction; Horatio, said he, after having made him seat himself,
I doubt not but you think me your enemy, after the treatment I gave you
the last time you were here; but I assure you, I suffered no less myself
in forbidding you my house, than you could do in having what you might
think an affront put upon you:--but, continued he after a pause, you
ought to consider I am a father, that Charlotta is my only child, that
my whole estate, and what is of infinite more consideration with me, the
honour of my family, must all devolve on her, and that I am under
obligations not to be dispensed with, to dispose of her in such a manner
as shall not any way degrade the ancestry she is sprung from.--I own
your merits:--I also am indebted to you for my life:--but you are a
foreigner, your family unknown,--your fortune precarious:--I could wish
it were otherwise;--believe, I find in myself an irresistable impulse to
love you, and I know nothing would give me greater pleasure than to
convince you of it.--In fine, there is nothing but Charlotta I would
refuse you.

The old lord uttered all this with so feeling an accent that Horatio was
very much moved at it; but unable to guess what would be the consequence
of this strange preparation, and not having any thing to ask of him but
the only thing he had declared he would not grant, he only thanked him
for the concern he was pleased to express, and said, that perhaps there
might come a time in which the obscurity he was in at present would be
enlightened; at least, cried he, I shall have the satisfaction of
endeavouring to acquire by merit what I am denied by fortune.

I admire this noble ambition in you, replied the baron de Palfoy; pursue
these laudable views, and doubt not of success:--it would be an infinite
pleasure to me to see you raised so high, that I should acknowledge an
alliance with you the greatest honour I could hope: and to shew you with
how much sincerity I speak,--here is a letter I have wrote to count
Piper, the first minister and favourite of the king of Sweden; when you
deliver this to him, I am certain you will be convinced by his reception
of you, that you are one whose interest I take no inconsiderable
part in.

With these words he gave him a letter directed, as he had said, but not
sealed, which Horatio, after he had manifested the sense he had of so
unhoped an obligation, reminded him of. As it concerns only yourself,
said the baron, it is proper you should read it first, and I will then
put on my signet.

Horatio on this unfolded it, and found it contained such high
commendations of him, and such pressing entreaties to that minister to
contribute all he could to his promotion, that it seemed rather dictated
by the fondness of a parent, than by one who had taken so much pains to
avoid being so. O, my lord! cried he, as soon as he had done perusing
it, how much do you over-rate the little merit I am master of, yet how
little regard a passion which is the sole inspirer of it! what will
avail all the glory I can acquire, if unsuccessful in my love!

Let us talk no more of that, said the baron de Palfoy, you ought to be
satisfied I do all for you in my power to do at present:--other
opportunities may hereafter arrive in which you may find the continuance
of my friendship, and a grateful remembrance of the good office you did
me; but to engage me to fulfil my obligations without any reluctance on
my part, you must speak to me no more on a theme which I cannot hear
without emotions, such as I would by no means give way to.

Horatio gave a deep sigh, but presumed not to reply; the other, to
prevent him, turned the conversation on the wonderful actions of that
young king into whose service he was going to enter; but the lover had
contemplations of a different nature which he was impatient to indulge,
therefore made his visit as short as decency and the favour he had just
received would permit. The baron at parting gave him a very affectionate
embrace, and told him, he should rejoice to hear of his success by
letters from him as often as the places and employments he should be in
would allow him to write.

Let any one form, if they can, an idea suitable to the present situation
of Horatio's mind at so astonishing an incident: impossible it was for
him to form any certain conjecture on the baron de Palfoy's behaviour;
some of his expressions seemed to flatter him with the highest
expectations of future happiness, while others, he thought, gave him
reason to despair:--sometimes he imagined that it was to his pride and
the greatness of his spirit, which would not suffer him to let any
obligation go unrequited, that he owed what had been just now done for
him.--But when he reflected on the contents of the letter to count
Piper, he could not help thinking they were dictated by something more
than an enforced gratitude:--he remembered too that he promised him the
continuation of his friendship, and had given some hints during the
conversation, as if time and some accidents, which might possibly
happen, might give a turn to his affairs even on Charlotta's
account.--On the whole it appeared most reasonable to conclude, that if
he could by any means raise his fortune in the world to the pitch the
baron had determined for his daughter, he would not disapprove their
loves; and in this belief he could not but think himself as fortunate as
he could expect to be, since he never had been vain enough to imagine,
that in his present circumstances he might hope either the consent of
the father, or the ratification of the daughter's affection.

Every thing being now ready for his departure, he took leave of the
chevalier St. George, who seemed to be under a concern for losing him,
which only the knowledge how great an advantage this young gentleman
would receive by it, could console: the queen also gave him a letter
from herself to her intended son-in-law; and the charming princess
Louisa, with blushes, bid him tell the king of Sweden, he had her prayers
and wishes for success in all his glorious enterprizes.

Thus laden with credentials which might assure him of a reception equal
to the most ambitious aim of his aspiring soul, he set out from Paris,
not without some tender regret at quitting a place where he had been
treated with such uncommon and distinguished marks of kindness and
respect. But these emotions soon gave way to others more
transporting:--he was on his journey towards Rheines, the place which
contained his beloved Charlotta; and the thoughts that every moment
brought him still nearer to her filled him with extacies, which none but
those who truly love can have any just conception of.



CHAP. XI.

_Horatio arrives at Rheines, finds means to see mademoiselle Charlotta
and afterwards pursues his journey to Poland_.

The impatience Horatio had to be at Rheines made him travel very hard
till he reached that city; nor did he allow himself much time for repose
after his fatigue, till having made a strict enquiry at all the
monasteries, he at length discovered where mademoiselle Charlotta
was placed.

Hitherto he had been successful beyond his hopes; but the greatest
difficulty was not yet surmounted: he doubted not but as such secrecy
had been used in the carrying her from Paris, and of the place to which
she had been conveyed, that the same circumspection would be preserved
in concealing her from the sight of any stranger that should come to the
monastry:--he invented many pretences, but none seemed satisfactory to
himself, therefore could not expect they would pass upon
others.--Sometimes he thought of disguising himself in the habit of a
woman, his youth, and the delicacy of his complexion making him imagine
he might impose on the abbess and the nuns for such; but then he feared
being betrayed, by not being able to answer the questions which would in
all probability be asked him.--He endeavoured to find out some person
that was acquainted there; but tho' he asked all the gentlemen, which
were a great many, that dined at the same Hotel with him, he was at as
great a loss as ever. He went to the chapel every hour that mass was
said, but could flatter himself with no other satisfaction from that than
the empty one of knowing he was under the same roof with her; for the
gallery in which the ladies sit, pensioners, as well as those who have
taken the veil, are so closely grated, that it is impossible for those
below to distinguish any object.

He was almost distracted when he had been there three or four days
without being able to find any expedient which he could think likely to
succeed:--he knew not what to resolve on;--time pressed him to pursue
his journey;--every day, every hour that he lost from prosecuting the
glorious hopes he had in view, struck ten thousand daggers to his
soul:--but then to go without informing the dear object of his wishes
how great a part she had in inspiring his ambition,--without assuring
her of his eternal constancy and faith, and receiving some soft
condescensions from her to enable him to support so long an absence as
he in all probability must endure.--All this, I say, was a shock to
thought, which, had he not been relieved from, would have perhaps abated
great part of that spirit which it was necessary for him to preserve, in
order to agree with the recommendatory letters he carried with him.

He was just going out of the chapel full of unquiet meditations, when
passing by the confessional, a magdalen curiously painted which hung
near it attracted his eyes: as he was admiring the piece, something fell
from above and hit against his arm; he stooped to take it up, and found
it a small ivory tablet: he looked up, but could see the shadow of
nothing behind the grate: imagining it only an accident, and not knowing
to whom to return it, he put it in his pocket, but was no sooner out of
the chapel than curiosity excited him to see what it contained, which he
had no sooner done than in the first leaf he found these words:


"As I imagine you did not come this long journey
without a desire to see me, it would be too ungrateful
not to assist your endeavours:--come a little before
vespers, and enquire of the portress for mademoiselle
du Pont;--say you are her brother, and leave the rest to me."


There was no name subscribed; but the dear characters, tho' evidently
wrote in haste and with a pencil, which made some alteration in the
fineness of the strokes, convinced him it came from no other than
Charlotta; and never were any hours so tedious to him as those which
past between the receiving this appointment, and that of the
fulfilling it.

At length the wish'd-for time arrived, and he repaired to the gate,
where telling the portress, as he was ordered, that he was the brother
of mademoiselle du Pont, he was immediately brought into the parlour,
where he had not waited long before a young lady appeared behind the
grate: as he found it was not her he expected, he was a little at a
loss, and not without some apprehensions that his imagination had
deceived him: I know not, madame, said he, if chance has not made me
mistaken for some happier person:--I thought to find a sister here.--No,
replied she laughing, Horatio shall find me a sister in my good
offices;--mademoiselle Charlotta will be here immediately;--she has
counterfeited an indisposition to avoid going to vespers, and obtained
permission for me to stay with her;--so that every thing is right, and
as soon as the choir is gone into chapel you will see her. It would be
needless to repeat the transports Horatio uttered on this occasion, so I
shall only say they were such as convinced mademoiselle du Pont, that
her fair friend had not made this condescension to a man ungrateful for,
or insensible of the obligation. He was indeed so lost in them, that he
scarce remembered to pay those compliments to the lady for her generous
assistance which it merited from him; but she easily forgave any
unpoliteness he might be guilty of on that score; and he so well attoned
for it after he had given vent to the sudden emotions of his joy, that
she looked, upon him as the most accomplished, as well as the most
faithful of his sex. They had entered into some discourse of the rules
of the monastry, and how impossible it would have been for him to have
gained an interview with mademoiselle Charlotta, but by the means she
had contrived;--she told him that young lady had seen him for several
days, and not doubling but it was for her sake he came, had resolved to
run any risque rather than he should depart without obtaining so small a
consolation as the sight of her was capable of affording. Horatio, by
the most passionate expressions, testified how dearly he prized what she
had seemed to think of so little value, when the expected charmer of his
soul drew near the grate.--All that can be conceived of tender and
endearing past between them; but when he related to her the occasion of
his coming, and that change of life he now was entering upon, she
listened to him with a mixture of pleasure and anxiety:--she rejoiced
with him on the great prospects he had in view; but the terror of the
dangers he was plunging in was all her own. She was far, however, from
discouraging him in his designs, and concealed not her admiration of the
greatness of his spirit, and that love of glory which seemed to render
him capable of undertaking any thing.

But when she heard in what manner her father had treated him, she was
all astonishment: as she knew his temper perfectly well, she was certain
he would not have acted in the manner he did without being influenced to
it by a very strong liking for Horatio; for tho' gratitude for the good
office he had received at his hands might have engaged him to make some
requital, yet there were several expressions which Horatio, who
remembered all he said, with the utmost exactness repeated to her, that
convinced her he would not have made use of, if he had not meant the
person better than he at present would have him think he did; and that
there was in reality nothing restrained him from making them as happy as
their mutual affection could desire, but the pride of blood and the talk
of the world, which the disparity of their present circumstances would
occasion. As she doubted not but the courage and virtue of Horatio would
remove that impediment, by acquiring a promotion sufficient to
countenance his pretensions, she had now no other disquiet than what
arose from her fears for his safety, which she over and over repeated,
conjuring him, in the most tender terms, not to hazard himself beyond
what the duties of his post obliged him to:--this, said she, shall be
the test of my affection to you; for whenever I hear you run yourself
into unnecessary dangers, I will conclude from that moment you have
ceased to remember, or pay any regard to my injunctions or repose.

Horatio kissed her hand thro' the grate, and told her, he would always
set too great a value on a life she was so good to with the continuance
of, not to take all the care of it that honour would admit; but she
would not give him leave to add any asseverations to this promise,
which, said she, you will every day be tempted to break;--the
enterprizing disposition of the prince you are going to serve, added to
your own sense of glory, will make it very difficult for you not to be
the foremost in following wherever his royal example leads the way:--nor
would I wish you to purchase security by the price of infamy; but as you
go in a manner such as will in all probability place you near his
person, methinks it would be easy for you, by now and then mentioning
the princess Louisa, to rouse in him these soft emotions which might
prevent him from too rashly exposing a life she had so great an
interest in.

How great a pity was it this tender conversation between two persons who
had so pure a passion for each other, who had been absent for some time,
and who knew not when, or whether ever they should meet again, could not
be indulged with no longer continuance! but now mademoiselle du Pont,
who had been so good as to stand at some little distance, while they
entertained each other, as a watch to give them notice of any
interruption, now warned them that they must part:--divine service was
over, and the abbess and nuns were returning from chapel.

Short was the farewel the lovers took; mademoiselle Charlotta had told
him it would be highly improper he should run the hazard of a discovery
by coming there a second time, which would probably incense her father
so much, as to convert all the favourable intentions he now might have
towards them into the reverse, and he was therefore oblig'd to content
himself with printing with his lips the seal of his affection on her
hand, which he had scarce done before, on a second motion by
mademoiselle du Pont, she shot suddenly from the place and went to her
chamber, that no suspicions might arise on her being found so well as to
have been able to quit it.

As he had passed for the brother of mademoiselle du Pont, she stayed
some little time with him: this lady, whom Charlotta in this exigence
had made her confidant, had a great deal of good nature, and seeing the
agony Horatio was in, endeavoured to console him by all the arguments
she thought might have force;--she told him, that in the short time she
had been made partaker of mademoiselle Charlotta's secrets, she had
expressed herself with a tenderness for him, with which he ought to be
satisfied, and that she was convinced nothing would ever be capable of
making the least alteration in her sentiments.

While she was speaking in this manner, Horatio remembered that he had
not given Charlotta her tablet, which he now took out of his pocket, and
with the same pencil she had made use of, and which was fastened to it,
wrote in the next leaf to that she had employed these words;


"I go, most dear, and most adorable Charlotta;
whether to live or die I know not, but which
ever is my portion, the passion I have for you is
rooted in my soul, and will be equally immortal:
life can give no joy but in the hope of being
yours, nor death any terrors but being separated
from you:--O! let nothing ever prevail on
you to forget so perfect an attachment; but in
the midst of all the temptations you may be
surrounded with, think that you have vouch-safed
to encourage my hopes, presuming as they
are, and if once lost to them, what must be the
destiny of

HORATIO."


Having thus poured out some part of the over-flowings of his heart, he
entreated mademoiselle du Pont to give it her, which she assured him she
would not only do, but also be a faithful monitor for him during the
whole time she should be happy enough to enjoy the company of that lady.
Horatio having now fulfilled all his passion required of him, quitted
Rheines the next day, no less impatient to pursue his other
mistress, glory!

But let us now see in what manner his beautiful sister Louisa, whom we
left at Vienna, was all this while engaged.



CHAP. XII.

_Continuation of the adventures of Louisa: her quitting Vienna with
Melanthe, and going to Venice, with some accidents that there
befel them_.

Not all the gaieties of the court of Vienna had power to attach the
heart of Melanthe, after she heard that a great number of young
officers, just returned from the campaign in Italy, and other persons of
condition, were going to Venice, in order to partake the diversions of
the near approaching carnival: she was for following pleasure every
where, and having seen all that was worth observing in Germany, was
impatient to be gone where new company and new delights excited her
curiosity.

Having therefore obtained proper passports, they set out in company with
several others who were taking the same rout, and by easy journeys thro'
Tyrol, at length arrived at that republic, so famous over all Europe for
its situation, antiquity, and the excellence of its constitution.

Here seemed to be at this time an assemblage of all that was to be found
of grand and polite in the whole christian world; but none appeared with
that splendor and magnificence as did Lewis de Bourbon, prince of Conti:
he had in his train above fifty noblemen and gentlemen of the best
families in France, who had commissions under him in the army, and
seemed proud to be of his retinue, less for his being of the blood
royal, than for the many great and amiable qualities which adorned his
person. This great hero had been a candidate with Augustus, elector of
Saxony, for the crown of Poland; but the ill genius of that kingdom
would not suffer it to be governed by a prince whose virtues would
doubtless have rendered it as flourishing and happy as it has since that
unfortunate rejection been impoverished and miserable. Bigotted to a
family whose designs are plainly to render the crown hereditary, they
not only set aside that great prince, under the vain and common-place
pretence, that on electing him they might be too much under the
influence of France; but also afterward, as resolved to push all good
fortune from them with both hands, refused Stanislaus, a native of
Poland, a strict observer of its laws, and a man to whose courage,
virtue, and every eminent qualification even envy itself could make no
objection, and thereby rendered their country the seat of war and
theatre of the most terrible devastations of all kinds. But of this
infatuation of the Poles I shall have occasion hereafter to speak more
at large, and should not now have made any mention of it, had not the
presence of that hero, whom they first rejected, rendered it the general
subject of discourse at Venice. Numberless were the instances he gave of
a magnanimity and greatness of mind worthy of a more exalted throne than
that of Poland; but I shall only mention one, which, like the thumb of
Hercules, may serve to give a picture of him in miniature.

Having the good fortune one night to win a very great sum at a public
gaming, just as he sweep'd the stakes, a noble Venetian, who by some
casualties in life was reduced in his circumstances, could not help
crying out, heavens! how happy would such a chance have made me! these
words, which the extreme difficulties he was under forced from him,
without being sensible himself of what he said, were over-heard by the
prince, who turning hastily about, instead of putting the money into his
own pocket, presented it to him, saying, I am doubly indebted to chance,
sir, which has made me master of this; since it may be of service to
you, I beseech you therefore to accept it with the respects of a prince,
whose greatest pleasure in life is to oblige a worthy person.

It would take up too much time to expatiate on the grateful
acknowledgments made by the Venetian, or the admiration which the report
of this action being immediately spread, occasioned; but, added to
others of a little less conspicuous nature, it greatly served to
convince those who before were ignorant of it, how blind the Polanders
had been to their own interest.

Among the concourse of nobility and gentry, whom merely the love of
pleasure had drawn hither, and for that end were continually forming
parties, Melanthe never failed of making one either in one company or
other: Louisa, whom that lady still treated with her former kindness, or
rather with an increase of it, was also seldom absent, and when she was
so, the fault was wholly her own inclination: but in truth, that hurry
of incessant diversion, which at first had seemed so ravishing to her
young and unexperienced mind, began, by a more perfect acquaintance with
it, to grow tiresome to her, and she rather chose sometimes to retire
with a favourite book into her closet, than to go to the most elegant
entertainment.

It is certain, indeed, that her disposition was rather inclined to
serious than the contrary, and that, joined with the reflections which
her good understanding was perpetually presenting her with, on the
uncertainty of her birth, the precariousness of her dependance, and her
enforced quitting the only person from whom she could expect the means
of any solid establishment in the world, had rendered her sometimes
extremely thoughtful, even in the midst of those pleasures that are
ordinarily most enchanting to one of her sex and age. But as she never
was elated with the respect paid to her supposed condition, so she never
was mortified with the consciousness of her real one, to a behaviour
such as might have degraded the highest birth; neither appearing to
expect it, or be covetous of honours, nor meanly ashamed of accepting
them when offered. And while by this prudent management she secured
herself from any danger of being insulted whenever it should be known
who she was, she also gave no occasion for any one to make too deep an
enquiry into her descent or fortune.

But now the time was arrived when those deficiencies gave her more
anxiety than hitherto they had done; and love in one moment filled her
with those repinings at her fate, which neither vanity or ambition would
ever have had power to do.

Melanthe here, as at Vienna, received the visits of all whose birth,
fortune, or accomplishments, gave them a pretence; but there was none
who paid them so frequently, or which she encouraged with so much
pleasure as those of the count de Bellfleur, a French nobleman belonging
to the above-mentioned prince of Conti: she often told Louisa, when they
were alone, that there was something in the air and manner of behaviour
of this count, which had so perfect a resemblance with that of Henricus,
that tho' it reminded her of that once dear and perfidious man, she
could not help admiring and wishing a frequent sight of him. This was
spoke at her first acquaintance with him; but after some little time she
informed her, that he had declared a passion for her. He is not only
like Henricus in his person, said she, but appears to have the same
inclinations also:--he pretends to adore me, continued she with a sigh,
and spares no vows nor presents to assure me of it:--something within
tempts me to believe him, and yet I fear to be a second time betrayed.

Ah! madam, cried Louisa, in the sincerity of her heart, I beseech you to
be cautious how you too readily give credit to the protestations of a
sex, who, by the little observations I have made, take a pride in
deceiving ours;--besides, the count de Bellfleur is of a nation where
faith, I have heard, is little to be depended on.

Those who give them that character, replied Melanthe, do them an
infinite injustice:--in politics, I allow, they have their artifices,
their subterfuges, as well as in war; but then they put them in practice
only against their enemies, or such as are likely to become
so:--wherever they love, or have a friendship, their generosity is
beyond all bounds.--

She pursued this discourse with a long detail of all she had ever read
or heard in the praise of the French, and did not forget to speak of the
prince of Conti as an instance of the gallant spirit with which that
people are animated.

Louisa knew her temper, and that it would be in vain to urge any thing
in contradiction to an inclination she found she was resolved to
indulge; but she secretly trembled for the consequence, the count having
said many amorous things to herself before he pretended any passion for
Melanthe; and tho' he had of late desisted on finding how little she was
pleased with them, yet that he had done so was sufficient to convince
her he was of a wavering disposition. Melanthe was not, however, to be
trusted with this secret; she loved him, and jealousy, added to a good
share of vanity, would, instead of engaging any grateful return for a
discovery of that nature, have made her hate the person he had once
thought of as worthy of coming in any competition with herself. She
therefore indeed thought it best not to interfere in the matter, but
leave the event wholly to chance.

The evening on the day in which this discourse had past between them,
they went to a ball, to which they had been invited by one of the
Magnifico's. The honour of the prince's company had been requested; but
he excused himself on account, as it was imagined, of his being engaged
with a certain German lady, who also being absent, gave room for this
conjecture: most of the gentlemen who had followed his highness from
France were there, among whom was the count de Bellfleur, and a young
gentleman called monsieur du Plessis, who, by a fall from his horse, had
been prevented from appearing in public since his arrival. The
gracefulness of his person, the gallant manner in which he introduced
himself, and the brilliant things he said to the ladies, on having been
so long deprived of the happiness he now enjoyed, very much attracted
the admiration of the company; but Louisa in particular thought she had
never seen any thing so perfectly agreeable: a sympathy of sentiment,
more than accident, made him chuse her for his partner in a grand dance
then leading up; and the distinction now paid her by him gave her a
secret satisfaction, which she had never known before on such an
occasion, tho' often singled out by persons in more eminent stations.

The mind which, whenever agitated by any degree of pain or pleasure,
never fails to discover itself in the eyes, now sparkled in those of
Louisa with an uncommon lustre, nor had less influence over all her
air:--her motions always perfectly easy, gentle and graceful, especially
in dancing, were now more spirituous, more alert than usual; and she so
much excelled herself, that several, who had before praised her skill in
this exercise, seemed ravished, as if they had seen something new and
unexpected:--her partner was lavish in the testimonies of his
admiration, and said, she as much excelled the ladies of his country, as
they had been allowed to excel all others.

The encomiums bestowed on her, and more particularly those she received
from him, still added fresh radiance to her eyes, and at the same time
diffused a modest blush in her checks which heightened all her
charms.--Never had she appeared so lovely as at this time; and the count
de Bellfleur, in spight of his attachment to Melanthe, felt in himself a
strong propensity to renew those addresses which her reserved behaviour
alone had made him withdraw and carry to another; but the lady to whom
for some days past he had made a shew of devoting himself was present,
and he was ashamed to give so glaring an instance of his infidelity,
which must in all probability render him the contempt of both.

This night, however, lost Melanthe the heart she had thought herself so
secure of; but little suspecting her misfortune, she treated the
inconstant count with a tenderness he was far from deserving; and having
transplanted all the affection she once had for Henricus on this new
object, told him, at a time that such discovery was least welcome to
him, that she was not insensible of his merit, nor could be ungrateful
to his passion, provided she could be convinced of the sincerity of it.
He had gone too far with her now to be able to draw back, therefore
could not avoid repeating the vows he before had made, tho' his heart
was far from giving any asient to what his tongue was obliged to utter;
but blinded by her own desires, she perceived not the change in his, and
appointed him to come the next day to her lodgings, promising to be
denied to all other company, that she might devote herself entirely
to him.

It is possible he was so lost in his passion for Louisa, as not to be
sensible of the condescension made him by Melanthe; but it is certain,
by the sequel of his behaviour, that he was much less so than he
pretended.

The ball being ended, these ladies carried with them very different
emotions, tho' neither communicated to the other what she felt. Melanthe
had a kind of awe for those virtuous principles she observed in Louisa,
tho' so much her inferior and dependant, and was ashamed to confess her
liking of the count should have brought her to such lengths; not that
she intended to keep it always a secret from her, but chose she should
find it out by degrees; and these thoughts so much engrossed her, that
she said little to her that night. Louisa, for her part, having lost the
presence of her agreeable partner, was busy in supplying that deficiency
with the idea of him; so that each having meditations of her own of the
most interesting nature, had not leisure to observe the thoughtfulness
of the other, much less to enquire the motive of it.

One of the great reasons that we find love so irresistable, is, that it
enters into the heart with so much subtilty, that it is not to be
perceived till it has gathered too much strength to be repulsed. If
Louisa had imagined herself in any danger from the merits of monsieur du
Plessis, she would at least have been less easily overcome by them:--she
had been accustomed to be pleased with the conversation of many who had
entertained her as he had done, but thought no more of them, or any
thing they said, when out of their company; but it was otherways with
her now: not a word he had spoke, not a glance he had given, but was
imprinted in her mind:--her memory ran over every little action a
thousand and a thousand times, and represented all as augmented with
some grace peculiar to himself, and infinitely superior to any thing she
had ever seen:--not even sleep could shut him out;--thro' her closed
eyes she saw the pleasing vision; and fancy, active in the cause of
love, formed new and various scenes, which to her waking thoughts were
wholly strangers.

Melanthe also past the night in ideas which, tho' experienced in, were
not less ravishing: she was not of a temper to put any constraint on her
inclinations; and having entertained the most amorous ones for the count
de Bellfleur, easily overcame all scruples that might have hindered the
gratification of them:--her head ran on the appointment she had made
him:--the means she would take to engage his constancy,--resolved to
sell the reversion of her jointure and accompany him to France, and
flattered herself with the most pleasing images of a long series of
continued happiness in the arms of him, who was now all to her that
Henricus ever had been.

Full of these meditations she rose, and soon after received from the
subject of them a billet, containing these words:

_To the charming_ MELANTHE.

MADAM,

"Tho' the transporting promise you made
me of refusing admittance to all company
but mine, is a new instance of your goodness,
yet I cannot but think we should be still more
secure from interruption at a place I have taken
care to provide. Might I therefore hope you
would vouchsafe to meet me about five in the
evening at the dome of St. Mark, I shall be
ready with a Gondula to conduct you to a recess,
which seems formed by the god of love himself
for the temple of his purest offerings, than which
which none can be offered with greater passion
and sincerity than those of the adorable Melanthe's

_Most devoted, and
Everlasting Slave_,
DE BELLFLEUR.

_P.S._. To prevent your fair friend Louisa from
any suspicion on account of being left at
home, I have engaged a gentleman to make
her a visit in form, just before the time of
your coming out:--favour me, I beseech
you, with knowing if my contrivances in
both these points have the sanction of your
approbation."


Tho' Melanthe, as may have been already observed in the foregoing part
of her character, was no slave to reputation in England, and thought
herself much less obliged to be so in a place where she was a stranger,
and among people who, when she once quitted, she might probably never
see again, yet she looked on this caution in her lover as a new proof of
his sincerity and regard for her. She was also fond of every thing that
had an air of luxury, and doubted not to find the elegance of the French
taste in the entertainment he would cause to be prepared for her
reception, therefore hesitated not a moment to send him the
following answer:

_To the engaging count_ DE BELLFLEUR.

"Sensible, as you are, of the ascendant your
merits have gained over me, you cannot
doubt of my compliance with every thing that seems
reasonable to you:--I will not fail to be
at the place you mention; but oh! my dear
count, I hope you will never give me cause to
repent this step;--if you should, I must be
the most miserable of all created beings; but I
am resolved to believe you are all that man ought
to be, or that fond tenacious woman can desire;
and in that confidence attend with impatience
the hour in which there shall be no more reserve
between us, and I be wholly yours.

MELANTHE."


Thus every thing being fixed for her undoing, she spent the best part of
the day in preparing for the rendezvous: nothing was omitted in the
article of dress, which might heighten her charms and secure her
conquest:--the glass was consulted every moment, and every look and
various kind of languishment essayed, in order to continue in that which
she thought would most become the occasion. As she ordinarily past a
great deal of time in this employment, Louisa was not surprized that she
now wasted somewhat more than usual; and the discourse they had together
while she was dressing, and all the time of dinner, being very much on
the ball and the company who were at it, her thoughts were so much taken
up with the remembrance of du Plessis, that she perceived not the hurry
of spirits which would else have been visible enough to her in all the
words and motions of the other, and which increased in proportion as the
hour of her appointment drew nearer.

At length it arrived, and a servant came into the room and acquainted
Louisa a gentleman desired to speak with her; she was a little
surprized, it being usual for all those who visited there to expect
their reception from Melanthe; but that lady, who doubted not but it was
the same person the count had mentioned in his letter, prevented her
from saying any thing, by immediately giving orders for the gentleman to
be admitted.

But with what strange emotions was the heart of Louisa agitated, when
she saw monsieur du Plessis come into the room! and after paying his
respects to Melanthe in the most submissive manner, accosted her, with
saying he took the liberty of enquiring of her health after the fatigue
of the last night; but, added he, the question, now I have the happiness
of seeing you, is altogether needless; those fine eyes, and that
sprightly air, declare you formed for everlasting gaiety, and that what
is apt to throw the spirits of others into a languor, serves but to
render yours more sparkling.

Louisa, in spite of the confusion she felt within, answered this
compliment with her accustomed ease; and being all seated, they began to
enter into some conversation concerning the state with which the
Magnifico's of Venice are served, the elegance with which they entertain
strangers, and some other topics relating to the customs of that
republic, when all on a sudden Melanthe starting up, cried, bless me! I
had forgot a little visit was in my head to make to a monastery hard
by:--you will excuse me, monsieur, continued she, I leave your partner
to entertain you, and fancy you two may find sufficient matter of
conversation without a third person. She had no sooner spoke this than
she went out of the room, and left Louisa at a loss how to account for
this behaviour, as she had not before mentioned any thing of going
abroad. She would have imagined her vanity had been picqued that
monsieur du Plessis had particularized her in this visit; but as she
seemed in perfect good humour at going away, and knew she thought it
beneath her to put any disguise on her sentiments, she was certain this
sudden motion must have proceeded from some other cause, which as yet
she could form no conjecture of.

This deceived lady, however, was no sooner out of the room, than
monsieur du Plessis drawing nearer to Louisa, how hard is my fate,
madame, said he, in a low voice, that I am compelled to tell you any
other motive than my own inclination has occasioned my waiting on
you:--heaven knows it is an honour I should have sought by the lowest
submissions, and all the ways that would not have rendered me unworthy
of it; but I now come, madame, not as myself, but as the ambassador of
another, and am engaged by my word and honour to plead a cause which, if
I succeed in, must be my own destruction.

Louisa was in the utmost consternation at the mystery which seemed
contained in these words: she looked earnestly upon him while he was
uttering the latter part, and saw all the tokens of a serious perplexity
in his countenance, as well as in the accents with which he delivered
them; but not being willing to be the dupe of his diversion, thought it
best to answer as to a piece of railery, and told him, laughing, she
imagined this was some new invention of the frolics of the season, but
that she was a downright English-woman, understood nothing beyond plain
speaking, and could no ways solve the riddle he proposed.

What I say, may doubtless appear so, madame; replied she, and I could
wish it had not been my part to give the explanation; but I cannot
dispense with the promise I have made, and must therefore acquaint you
with the history of it.

After the ball, continued he, monsieur the count de Bellfleur desired me
to accompany him to his lodgings, and, as soon as we were alone, told
me, he had a little secret to acquaint me with, but that, before he
revealed it, he must have the promise of my assistance. As he spoke this
with a gay and negligent air, I imagined it a thing of no great
consequence, or if it were, he was a man of too much honour, and also
knew me too well to desire or expect I would engage in any thing
unbecoming that character: indeed I could think of nothing but an amour
or a duel, tho' I was far from being able to guess of what service I
could be to him in the former. I was, however, unwarily drawn in to give
my word, and he then made me the confident of a passion, which, he said,
had received its birth from the first moment he beheld the Belle
Angloise, for by that term, pursued he, bowing, he distinguished the
adorable Louisa: that he had made some discovery of his flame, but that
finding; himself rejected, as he thought, in too severe a manner, and
without affording him opportunity to attest his sincerity, he had
converted his addresses, tho' not his passion, to a lady who, he
perceived, had the care of her, acting in this manner, partly thro'
picque at your disdain, and partly to gratify his eyes with the sight of
you, which he has reason to fear you had totally deprived him of but for
this stratagem. He confessed to me that he found the object of his
pretended ardours infinitely more kind than she who inspires the real
ones: but this gratification of his vanity is of little consequence to
his peace;--he engaged me to attend you this day, to conjure you to
believe his heart is incapable of being influenced by any other charms,
and whatever he makes shew of to Melanthe, his heart is devoted wholly
to you,--begs you to permit him to entertain you without the presence of
that lady, the means of which he will take care to contrive; and charged
me to assure you, that there is no sacrifice so great, but he will
readily offer it to convince you of the sincerity of his attachment.

This, madame, added he, is the unpleasing task my promise bound me to
perform, and which I have acquitted myself of with the same pain that
man would do who, by some strange caprice of fate, was constrained to
throw into the sea the sum of all his hopes.

The indignation which filled the virtuous foul of Louisa, while he was
giving her this detail of the count's presumption, falsehood, and
ingratitude, prevented her from giving much attention to the apology
with which he concluded. Never, since the behaviour of mr. B----n at
mrs. C--g--'s, had she met with any thing that she thought so much
merited her resentment:--so great was her disdain she had not words to
express it, but by some tears, which the rising passion forced from her
eyes:--Heaven! cried she, which of my actions has drawn on me this
unworthy treatment?--This was all she was able to utter, while she
walked backward and forward in the room endeavouring to compose herself,
and form some answer befitting of the message.

Monsieur du Plessis looked on her all this while with admiration: all
that seemed lovely in her, when he knew no more of her than that she was
young and beautiful, was now heightened in his eyes almost to divine, by
that virtuous pride which shewed him some part of her more charming
mind. What he extremely liked before, he now almost adored; and having,
by the loose manner in which the count had mentioned these two English
ladies, imagined them women of not over-rigid principles, now finding
his mistake, at least as concerning one of them, was so much ashamed and
angry with himself for having been the cause of that disorder he was
witness of, that he for some moments was equally at a loss to appease,
as she who felt was to express it.

But being the first that recovered presence of mind; madame, I beseech
you, said he, involve not the innocent with the guilty:--I acknowledge
you have reason to resent the boldness of the count; but I am no
otherwise a sharer in his crime than in reporting it; and if you knew
the pain it gave my heart while I complied with the promise I was
unhappily betrayed into, I am sure you would forgive the misdemeanor of
my tongue.

Sir, answered she, I can easily forgive the slight opinion one so much a
stranger to me as yourself may have of me; but monsieur the count has
been a constant visitor to the lady I am with, ever since our arrival at
Venice; and am very certain he never found any thing in my behaviour to
him or any other person, which could justly encourage him to send me
such a message:--a message, indeed, equally affrontive to himself, since
it shews him a composition of arrogance, vanity, perfidy, and every
thing that is contemptible in man.--This, sir, is the reply I send him,
and desire you to tell him withal, that if he persists in giving me any
farther trouble of this nature, I shall let him know my sense of it in
the presence of Melanthe.

Monsieur du Plessis then assured her he would be no less exact in
delivering what she said, than he had been in the observance of his
promise to the other, and conjured her to believe he should do it with
infinite more satisfaction. He then made use of so many arguments to
prove, that a man of honour ought not to falsify his word, tho' given to
an unworthy person, that she was at last won to forgive his having
undertaken to mention any thing to her of the nature he had done.

Indeed, the agitations she had been in were more owing to the vexation
that monsieur du Plessis was the person employed, than that the count
had the boldness to apply to her in this manner; but the submission she
found herself treated with by the former, convincing her that he had
sentiments very different from those the other had entertained of her,
rendered her more easy, and she not only forgave his share in the
business which had brought him there, but also permitted him to repeat
his visits, on condition he never gave her any cause to suspect the mean
opinion the count had of her conduct had any influence on him.



CHAP. XIII.

_Louisa finds herself very much embarrassed by Melanthe's imprudent
behaviour. Monsieur du Plessis declares an honourable passion for her:
her sentiments and way of acting on that occasion_.

After the departure of monsieur du Plessis, Louisa fell into a serious
consideration of what had passed between them: not all the regard, which
she could not hinder herself from feeling for that young gentleman, nor
the pleasure she took in reflecting on the respect he paid her, made her
unmindful of what she owed Melanthe: the many obligations she had
received from her, and the friendship she had for her in return, made
her think she ought to acquaint her with the baseness of the count de
Bellfleur, in order to prevent an affection which she found she had
already too much indulged from influencing her to grant him any farther
favours; but this she knew was a very critical point to manage, and was
not without some apprehensions, which afterward she experienced were but
too well grounded; that when that lady found herself obliged to hate the
man she took pleasure in loving, she would also hate the woman who was
the innocent occasion of it. Few in the circumstances Louisa was, but
would have been swayed by this consideration, and chose rather to see
another become the prey of perfidy and deceit, than fall the victim of
jealousy herself; but the generosity of her nature would not suffer it
to have any weight with her, and she thought she could be more easy
under any misfortunes the discovery might involve her in, than in the
consciousness of not having discharged the obligations of duty and
gratitude in revealing what seemed so necessary to be known.

With this resolution, finding Melanthe was not come home, she went into
her chamber in order to wait her return, and relate the whole history to
her as she should undress for bed. But hour after hour elapsing without
any appearance of the person she expected, she thought to beguile the
tedious time by reading; and remembering that Melanthe had a very
agreeable book in her hand that morning, she opened a drawer, where she
knew that lady was accustomed to throw any thing in, which she had no
occasion to conceal; but how great was her surprise when, instead of
what she sought, she found the letter from count de Bellfleur which
Melanthe, in the hurry of spirits, had forgot to lock up. As it lay open
and was from him, she thought it no breach of honour to examine the
contents, but in doing so was ready to faint away between grief and
astonishment.

She was not insensible that Melanthe was charmed with this new lover,
and had always feared her liking him would sway her to some
imprudencies, but could not have imagined it would have carried her, at
least so soon, to such a guilty length as she now found it did.

Convinced by the hour in which she went out, and alone, that she had
complied with the appointment, and that all she would have endeavoured
to prevent was already come to pass, she now considered that the
discovery she had to make would only render this indiscreet lady more
unhappy, and therefore no longer thought herself obliged to run any
risque of incuring her ill-will on the occasion; but in her soul
extremely lamented this second fall from virtue, which it was impossible
should not bring on consequences equally, if not more shameful than
the first.

Good God! cried she, how is it possible for a woman of any share of
sense, and who has been blessed with a suitable education, to run thus
counter to all the principles of religion, honour, virtue, modesty, and
all that is valuable in our sex? and yet that many do, I have been a
melancholy witness:--and then again, what is there in this love, resumed
she, that so infatuates the understanding, that we doat on our
dishonour, and think ruin pleasing?--Can any personal perfections in a
man attone for the contempt he treats us with in courting us to
infamy!--the mean opinion he testifies to have of us sure ought rather
to excite hate than love; our very pride, methinks, should be a
sufficient guard, and turn whatever favourable thoughts we might have of
such a one, unknowing his design, into aversion, when once convinced he
presumed upon our weakness.

In these kind of reasonings did she continue some time; but reflecting
that the trouble she was in might put Melanthe on asking the cause, it
seemed best to her to avoid seeing her that night, so retired to her own
room and went to bed, ordering the servants to tell their lady, in case
she enquired for her, that she was a little indisposed.

While Louisa was thus deploring a misfortune she wanted power to remedy,
the person for whom she was concerned past her time in a far different
manner: the count omitted nothing that might convince her of his
gallantry, and give her a pretence for flattering herself with his
sincerity:--he swore ten thousand oaths of constancy, and she easily
gave credit to what she wished and had vanity enough to think she
merited:--he had prepared every thing that could delight the senses for
her reception at the house to which he carried her; and she found in
herself so little inclination to quit the pleasures she enjoyed, that it
was as much as the little remains of decency and care of reputation
could do, to make her tear herself away before midnight.

In the fullness of her heart she had doubtless concealed no part of this
adventure from Louisa, but on hearing she was gone to rest, and not very
well, would not disturb her. The first thing she did in the morning was
to run into the chamber and enquire after her health, which she did in
so affectionate and tender a manner, that it very much heightened the
other's trouble for her.

It is certain that, setting aside too loose a way of thinking of virtue
and religion, and adhering to that false maxim, that a woman of rank is
above censure, Melanthe had many amiable qualities, and as she truly
loved Louisa, was alarmed at her supposed indisposition, which, to
conceal the perplexity her mind was in, she still continued to
counterfeit, as well as to avoid going to a masquerade, to which they
had some days before been invited, and which the present situation of
her thoughts left her no relish for.

Melanthe would fain have perswaded her that this diversion would
contribute to restoring her; but she entreated to be excused, and the
other went without her.

Monsieur du Plessis in the mean time having informed the count de
Bellfleur, how much it was in vain for him to flatter himself with any
hopes of Louisa, that proud and inconstant nobleman was extremely
mortified, and said, that since she was so haughty, he was resolved to
contrive some way or other to get her into his power, as well out of
revenge as inclination. This, the other represented to him, would be a
very ungenerous way of proceeding; and said, that as she refused his
addresses merely out of a principle of virtue, and not for the sake of a
more favoured rival, he ought to content himself; but these arguments
were lost on a man whom pride of blood, and an affluence of fortune, had
rendered too insolent and head-strong to think any thing reason which
opposed his will; and they parted not well satisfied with each other,
tho' du Plessis concealed part of the dislike he had of his principles
and manner of behaviour, on account of a long friendship between their
families, and also as the count was his superior in birth, in years, and
in the post he held in the army.

He had no sooner left him than he came to Louisa, thinking it his duty
to give her warning of the count's design, and that it would be a proper
prelude to something else he had to say. As the servants knew she was
not perfectly well, they told him, they believed she would see no
company; but on his entreating it, and saying he had something of moment
to impart, one of them went in and repeated what he had said, on which
she gave leave for his admission.

He rejoiced to find her alone, as he came prepared to reveal to her more
secrets than that of the count's menace; but the pleasure he took in
having so favourable an opportunity was very much damped, by seeing her
look more pale than usual, and that she was in a night-dress. Fearful
that this change proceeded from what had passed between them the day
before, he asked with a hastiness, that shewed the most kind concern, if
she were well. No otherways disordered, answered she, than in my mind,
and that not sufficiently to have any effect over my health; but to
confess the truth, monsieur, said she, the continual round of diversion
this carnival affords, has made what the world calls pleasure, cease to
be so with me; and I find more solid satisfaction in retirement, where I
am in no danger of being too much flattered or affronted.

Ah! madam, cried he, I see the audacity of the count dwells too much
upon your thoughts, and tremble to relate the business on which I came,
and which it is yet necessary you should know. You mistake me, monsieur,
replied she; a common foe of virtue, such as the count, is incapable of
taking up my thoughts one moment; it is only those I love can give me
real pain.

I understand you, madam, resumed he, and am too much interested in your
concern not to simpathize on the occasion: the misfortunes, such as I
fear will attend the too great sensibility of Melanthe, may give you so
terrible an idea of love in general, that it will be difficult to
persuade you there can be any lasting happiness to be found in that
passion:--but, charming Louisa, continued he, if you will make the least
use of your penetration, and examine with a desire of being convinced,
you will easily distinguish the real passion from the counterfeit: that
love, whose supremest pleasure is in being capable to give felicity to
the beloved object; and that wild desire, which aims at no more than a
self-gratification:--the one has the authority of heaven for its
sanction;--the other no excuse but nature in its depravity. From all
attempts of the one, I am confident, your virtue and good sense will
always defend you; but to fly with too great obstinacy the other, is not
to answer the end of your creation; and deny yourself a blessing, which
you seem formed to enjoy in the most extensive degree.

Both the voice and manner in which monsieur du Plessis spoke, gave
Louisa some suspicion of what he aimed at in this definition, and filled
her at the same time with emotions of various kinds; but dissembling
them as well as she could, and endeavouring to turn what he said into
raillery, you argue very learnedly on this subject, it must be
confessed, answered she smiling; but all you can urge on that head, nor
the compliment you make me, can win me to believe that love of any kind
is not attended with more mischief than good:--where it is accompanied
with the strictest honour, constancy, purity, and all the requisites
that constitute what is called a perfect passion, there are ordinarily
so many difficulties in the way to the completion of its wishes, that
the breast which harbours it must endure a continual agitation, which
surely none would chuse to be involved in.

Ah! madam, how little are you capable of judging of this passion, said
he; there is a delicacy in love which renders even its pains pleasing,
and how much soever a lover suffers, the thoughts of for whom he suffers
is more than a compensation; I am myself an instance of this truth:--I
am a lover:--conscious unworthiness of a suitable return of affection,
and a thousand other impediments lie between me and hope, yet would I
not change this dear anxiety for that insipid case I lived in before I
saw the only object capable of making me a convert to love.--It is
certain my passion is yet young; but a few days has given it root which
no time, no absence, no misfortune ever can dislodge.--The charming maid
is ignorant of her conquest:--the carnival draws near to a
conclusion.--I must return to the army, and these cruel circumstances
oblige me either to make a declaration which she may possibly condemn as
too abrupt, or go and leave her unknowing of my heart, and thereby
deprive myself even of her pity:--Which party, madam, shall I
take?--Will the severe extreme, to which I am driven, be sufficient to
attone for a presumption which else would merit her disdain?

Louisa must have been as dull as she was really the contrary, not to
have known all this was meant to herself; and the pleasing confusion
which this discovery infused thro' all her veins, made her at the same
time sensible of the difference she put between him and all those who
before had entertained her on that subject; but not knowing presently
whether she ought to attribute it to her good or ill fortune, she was
wholly at a loss how to behave, and, to avoid giving any direct answer,
still affected an air of pleasantry.

See, cried she, the little reason you, have to speak in the praise of
love; for if pity be all you have to hope for from your, mistress, I am
afraid the consolation will be no way adequate to the misfortune.

Yet if you vouchsafe me that, replied he, kissing her hard, I never
shall complain. Me! interrupted she, pretending the utmost astonishment,
and drawing her chair somewhat farther from him. Yes, beautiful Louisa,
resumed he; it is you alone who have been capable of teaching me what
love truly is:--your eyes, at first sight, subdued my heart; but your
virtue has since made a conquest of my soul:--if I dare hope to make you
mine, it is only by such ways as heaven, and those who have the power of
disposing you, shall approve:--in the mean time I implore no more than
your permission to admire you, and to convince you, by all the
honourable services in my power to do you while you continue here, how
much my words are deficient to denote my meaning.

Louisa, now finding herself under a necessity of answering seriously,
told him, that if it were true that he had sentiments for her of the
nature he pretended, they would not only merit, but receive the most
grateful acknowledgments on her part; but at the same time she should be
sorry he had entertained them, and would wish him not to indulge a
prospect which could last no longer than while both remained in Venice,
and must infallibly vanish on their separation.

No, madam, replied he, when the next campaign is over, I shall return to
France; and sure the distance between that kingdom and England is not so
great, but a less motive than yourself would easily carry me thither;
and such credentials also of who, and what I am, as, I flatter myself,
would not appear contemptible in the eyes of your friends:--the prospect
therefore is not so visionary as you seem to think, provided I have
your consent.

The mention he made of her friends reminding her of her destitute
condition, gave her the utmost shock; which not being able to overcome,
she remained silent some moments; but at last perceiving he waited her
reply, monsieur, said she, there may be a thousand indissoluble bars
between us which you do not think of.

None, interrupted he eagerly, but what such love as mine will easily
surmount:--it is true, I am ignorant of your condition in the world; but
if it be superior to mine, the passion I am possessed of will inspire me
with means to raise me to an equality; and if inferior, which heaven
grant may be the case, it will only give the opportunity of proving that
I love Louisa for Louisa's self, and look upon every thing she brings
beside as nothing.

The emphasis he gave these words manifesting their sincerity, could not
but give new charms to the person who spoke them: Louisa thought she
might, without a blush, testify the sense she had of his generosity; but
tho' what she said was perfectly obliging to him, yet she concluded with
letting him know, there still was something that rendered the
accomplishment of what he seemed to wish impossible.

Then your heart already is engaged, cried he, or you are predestined by
your parents to some happier man? Without either of these, answered she,
there may be reasons to prevent our ever meeting more;--therefore I owe
so much to the honourable offers you are pleased to make me, as to wish
you to overcome whatever inclinations you may have for one who I once
more assure you never can be yours.

It would be impossible to express the distraction monsieur du Plessis
testified at this expression:--a thousand times over did he repeat that
dreadful word NEVER;--then added, neither engaged by love or promise,
yet never can be mine! does my ill fate come wrap'd to me in
riddles!--yet many things have seemed impossible that are not so in
themselves:--O Louisa! continued he, if there be any thing beside my
want of merit that impedes my wishes, and you delight not in my torment,
speak it I conjure you.

There is a necessity of denying you in this also, said Louisa; but to
shew you how little I am inclined to be ungrateful, be certain that I
have the highest idea of your merits, and prize them as much as I
ought to do.

These last words, obliging as they were, could not console monsieur du
Plessis for the cruelty, as he termed it, of refusing to let him know
what this invincible obstacle was which put a stop to any further
correspondence between them: he spared neither prayers nor tears to draw
the secret from her, but all were ineffectual; and she at last told him,
that if he pressed her any farther on that head, she must for the future
avoid his presence.

This was a menace which he had not courage to dare the execution of, and
he promised to conform to her will, tho' with such agonies, as shewed
her how much he valued even the little she was pleased to grant; but it
was not in the power of her perswasions to prevail on him to resolve to
make any efforts for the vanquishing his passion; he still protested
that he neither could cease to love her, and her alone, nor even to wish
an alteration in his sentiments.

By what has been already said of the extreme liking which the first
fight of this young gentleman inspired Louisa with, it may easily be
supposed she could not hear his complaints, and be witness of the
anxieties she was enforced to inflict on him, without feeling at least
an equal share: she endeavoured not to conceal the pity she had for him;
but he now found that was far from being all he wanted, because it
forwarded not, as he at first imagined, the progress of his hopes, but
rather shewed them at more distance than ever.

The business of his love so engrossed his thoughts during this visit,
that he almost forgot to mention any thing of the count's designs upon
her, and she as little remembered to remind him of it, tho' he told her
on his entrance, that he had something to acquaint her with on his
subject, and it was not till he was going to take leave that it came
into his head. When he had related it to her, she assured him that she
took the caution he gave her as a new proof of his friendship, which,
said she, I shall always prize. At parting, she permitted him to salute
her, and gave her promise not to refuse seeing him while they continued
in that city; but told him at the same time, that he must not expect any
thing from his repeated visits more than she had already granted.

He durst not at that time press her any farther, but fetched a deep sigh
as he went out of the room, accompanied with a look more expressive than
any words could be of the discontent he laboured under, while she,
oppressed beneath the double weight of his and her own grief, remained
in a condition he was little able to form any conjecture of.

Pleased as she was with the presence of the only man who had ever had
power of inspiring her with one tender thought, yet a thousand times she
had wished him gone before he went, that she might be at liberty to give
vent to the struggling passions which were more than once ready to throw
her into a swoon. The perfections she saw in the person of her
lover;--the respect he treated her with, notwithstanding the violence of
the passion he was possessed of;--the sincerity that appeared in all his
looks and words;--the generosity of his behaviour in regard to her
fortune;--all the qualifications that would have made any other woman
blessed in the offer of such a heart, served but to make her wretched,
since she could not look on herself in a condition capable of
accepting it.

Alas! du Plessis, cried she, little do you think to whom you would ally
yourself:--you would, you say, despise a portion, but would you marry a
foundling, a child of charity, one that has neither name nor friends,
and who, in her best circumstances, is but a poor dependant, a servant
in effect, tho' not in shew, and owes her very cloaths to the bounty of
another?--Oh! why did the mistaken goodness of Dorilaus give me any
other education than such as befitted my wretched fortune! Better I had
been bred an humble drudge, and never been taught how to distinguish
merit:--What avail the accomplishments that cost him so much money, and
me so much pains to acquire, but to attract a short-liv'd admiration,
which, when I am truly known, will be succeeded with an adequate
derision:--Could I but say I was descended from honest, tho' mean
parents, I would not murmur at my fate, but I have none,--none to own
me;--I am a nothing,--a kind of reptile in humanity, and have been shewn
in a genteel way of life only to make my native misery more conspicuous.

Thus did love represent her unhappy circumstances in their worst
colours, and render her, which till now she had never been, thankless to
heaven for all the good she had received, since it seemed to deny her
the only good her passion coveted, that of being in a condition to
reward the affection of her dear du Plessis.

A torrent of tears at length somewhat mitigated the violence of her
passion, and unwilling to be seen by Melanthe in the present confusion
of her thoughts, she went to bed, leaving the same orders as she had
done the night before.



CHAP. XIV.

_The base designs of the count de Bellfleur occasion a melancholy change
in Louisa's way of life; the generous behaviour of monsieur du Plessis
on that occasion._

Had the agonies Louisa suffered been of very long continuance, she must
have sunk under them; but grief is easily dissipated in a young heart,
and she awoke more tranquil.--The principles of religion grew stronger
as her passion weaker, and she reflected that she ought to submit in
every thing to the will of heaven, which sometimes converts what seems
the greatest evil into good.--The offer of such a match as monsieur du
Plessis, a man she loved, and who was master of accomplishments which
might excuse the most violent passion, appeared indeed a happiness she
would have gloried in had she been really such as he took her for; but
then she had known him but a very short time, had no experience of his
principles or humour; and tho' he seemed all honour, could not assure
herself that the generosity which so much engaged her might not be all
artifice; at least she found to think so would most contribute to her
ease, therefore indulged it as much as she was able. She condemned
herself for having given monsieur du Plessis permission to continue his
visits, after having assured him he had nothing to hope from them,
because a further conversation might only serve to render both more
unhappy. She resolved however to give him no opportunity of talking to
her of his passion, and in order to avoid thinking of it herself as much
as possible, to go, as usual, into all company that came to Melanthe,
and partake of every diversion that offered itself.

Accordingly she forced herself to a gaiety, she was far from feeling,
vainly imagining that by counterfeiting a chearfulness, she should in
time be able to resume it; but du Plessis hung too heavy at her heart,
and when she affected the greatest shew of mirth, it was often
interrupted with sighs, which she was not always sensible of herself. He
visited her almost every day under one pretence or other; but she took
such care never to be alone at the times that she could possibly expect
him, that he had not the least opportunity to renew his addresses, any
otherways than by his looks, which, notwithstanding, were perfectly
intelligible to her, tho' she seemed not to observe them.

Melanthe, no longer able to keep the secret of her amour, finding
Louisa, as she thought, had entirely regained her former sprightliness,
acquainted her with all had passed between herself and count de
Bellfleur; which, tho' the other was no stranger to, she seemed
astonished at, and could not help telling her, that she feared the
consequence of an intrigue of that nature would one day be fatal to her
peace. Yet, said Melanthe, where one loves, and is beloved, it is hard
to deny oneself a certain happiness for the dread of an imaginary
ill.--In fine, my dear Louisa, I found I could not live without him; and
heaven will sure excuse the error of an inclination which is born with
us, and which not all our reason is of force to conquer.--But, added
she, you always seem to speak of the count, as of a man that wanted
charms to excuse the tenderness I have for him; and, I have observed,
deny him those praises which I have heard you bestow very freely on
persons that have not half his merit.

Louisa knowing how vain it was to contest with inclination, in persons
who are resolved to indulge it, and also that all advice was now too
late, began to repent of what she said. If, madam, replied she, after a
little pause, I have seemed unjust to the count's perfections, it was
only because I feared you were but too sensible of them; for otherwise,
it must be owned, he has a person and behaviour extremely engaging; but
as the carnival will put an end to all the acquaintance we have
contracted here, it gives me pain to think how you will support a
separation.

Perhaps it may not happen so soon as you imagine, said Melanthe:--tho'
the carnival, and with it all the pleasures of this place will soon be
over, our loves may be continued elsewhere:--suppose, Louisa, we go to
France, added she with a significant smile, that shewed it was her
intention to do so.

Some company coming in, prevented any farther discourse on this head for
the present; but afterward she confirmed what she had now hinted at, and
told Louisa, that she had resolved to pass some little time in seeing
those places which were in her way to France, and afterwards meet the
count at Paris, on his return from the campaign. Louisa, unable to
determine within herself whether she ought to rejoice, or be sad at this
intended journey, fell into a sudden thoughtfulness, which the other at
that time took no notice of, but it served afterwards to corroborate the
truth of something she was told, and proved of consequence little to
be foreseen.

The inconstant count, in the mean time, satieted with Melanthe, and as
much in love with Louisa as a man of his temper could be, was contriving
all the ways his inventive wit could furnish him with to get handsomely
rid of the one, and attain the enjoyment of the other. As he had spent
many years in a continual course of gallantry, and had made and broke a
thousand engagements, he easily found expedients for throwing off his
intercourse with Melanthe, but none that could give him the least
prospect of success in his designs on Louisa while they lived together
and continued friends: to part them therefore was his aim, and to
accomplish it the following method came into his head.

On his first acquaintance with these ladies his design was wholly on
Louisa, but meeting a rebuff from her, his vanity rather than his
inclinations had made him turn his devoirs to Melanthe, who too easily
yielding to his suit, served but to heighten his desires for the other:
the extravagant fondness of that unhappy woman rendering her visibly
uneasy at even the ordinary civilities she saw him behave with to any
other, discovered to him that jealousy was not the least reigning foible
of her foul, and the surest means to make her hate that person whom it
was not the interest of his passion she should continue to love. When
they were alone together one day at the place of their usual rendezvous,
in the midst of the most tender endearments, he asked suddenly if she
had ever made Louisa the confident of his happiness. She was a little
surprized at the question, but answered that she had not, and desired to
know the reason of that demand; because, cried he, I am very certain she
is no friend to our loves; and by the manner in which she behaves to me,
whenever she has the least opportunity of shewing her ill humour, I
imagined she either knew or suspected the affair between us.

Melanthe, conscious she had hid nothing from her, and also sensible of
the little approbation she gave to her intrigue, was very much picqued
that she should have done any thing to make the count perceive
it;--whatever she suspects, cried she, haughtily, she ought not to treat
with any ill manners a person whom I avow a friendship for. Vanity,
answered he, sometimes gets the better of discretion in ladies of her
years:--she knows herself handsome, and cannot have a good opinion of
the man who prefers any charms to her own.--I imagine this to be the
cause why she looks on me with such disdain, and, whenever you are not
witness of her words, is so keen in satyrical reflections.--On our first
acquaintance she looked and spoke with greater softness, and I can
impute it to no other motive than the pride of beauty, that this sudden
change has happened.

All the time he was speaking, the soul of Melanthe grew more and more
fired with jealousy.--It is natural for every one to imagine whatever
they like is agreeable to others. The distaste which Louisa had on many
occasions testified for the count, seemed now to have been only
affected:--the melancholy she had been in, and the deep resvery she
remembered she had fallen into when first she informed her of their
amour, joined to convince her, that the advice she gave proceeded from a
motive very different from what she pretended.

The wily count saw into the workings of her soul; and while he seemed as
if he would not discover the whole of his sentiments for fear of
disobliging her, threw out the plainest hints, that Louisa had made him
advances which would have been very flattering to a heart not
pre-engaged, till Melanthe, not able to contain her rage, broke out into
the fevered invectives against the innocent Louisa.--The ungrateful
wretch! cried she, how dare she presume to envy, much less to offer an
interruption to my pleasures!--What, have I raised the little wretch to
such a forgetfulness of herself, that she pretends to rival her mistress
and benefactress! In the height of her resentment, she related to the
count in what manner she had taken her into her service; but that
finding her, as she imagined, a girl of prudence, she had made her a
companion during her travels, and as such treated her with respect, and
made others do so too;--but, said she, I will reduce her to what she
was, and since she knows not how to prize the honour of my friendship,
make her feel the severities of servitude.

Nothing could be more astonishing, and at the same time more pleasing to
count Bellfleur than this discovery: what he felt for Louisa could not
be called love, he desired only to enjoy her; and the knowledge of her
meanness, together with Melanthe's resentment, which he doubted not but
he should be able to improve to the turning her out of doors, made him
imagine she would then be humbled enough to accept of any, offers he
might make her.

Pursuant to this cruel aim, he told Melanthe, that now not thinking
himself under any obligation to conceal the whole of the affair, he must
confess Louisa had not only made him advances, but gone so far as to
discover a very great passion for him.--As I had never, said he, given
her the least room to hope I was ambitious of any favours from her of
that nature, I could not help thinking she was guilty of some
indecencies ill-becoming a woman of condition, as well as infidelity to
her friendship for you, whom she might well see I adored:--but alas! I
little suspected the obligations she had to you, and now I know what she
is, am in the utmost consternation at her ingratitude, impudence and
stupidity. Heavens! added he, could she have the vanity to imagine that
the genteel garb you had put her in, could raise her to such an
equality, as to make me hesitate one moment if I should give the balance
of merit on her side, and quit the amiable Melanthe for the pert charms
of her woman?

Melanthe, believing every thing he said on this occasion, was ready to
burst with indignation; which impatient to give vent to, parted from her
lover much sooner than she was accustomed, in order to wreak on the poor
Louisa all that rage and malice could suggest.

That innocent maid, little suspecting the misfortune that was falling on
her, was at ombre with some ladies who came to visit them, when the
furious Melanthe came home, and taking this opportunity of heightening
her intended revenge by making it more public,--so, minx, said she to
her, after having made her compliments to the company, you ape the woman
of fashion exceeding well, as you imagine; but hereafter know yourself,
and keep the distance that becomes you. With these words she gave her a
push from the table in so rough a manner, that the cards fell out of
her hand.

It is hard to say whether Louisa herself, or the ladies who were
present, were most astonished at this behaviour; every one looked one
upon another without speaking for some time: at last Louisa, who wanted
not spirit, and on this occasion testified an uncommon presence of
mind,--if I have seemed otherways than what I am, madam, said she, it
was your commands obliged me to it:--I never yet forgot myself, and
shall as readily resume what distance you are pleased to enjoin me.
Insolent, ungrateful wretch, cried Melanthe, vexed to the soul to find
her seem so little shocked at what she had done, if I permitted you any
liberties, it was because I thought you merited them;--but get out of my
sight, and dare not to come into it again till I send for you. I shall
obey you, madam, replied Louisa, and perhaps be as well pleased to be
your servant as companion.

This resignation and seeming tranquility under an insult, she expected
would have been so mortifying, was the greatest disappointment could be
given to Melanthe, and increased her rage to such a degree, that she
flew to her as she was going out of the room, and struck her several
blows, using at the same time expressions not decent to repeat, but
such, as in some unguarded moments, women of quality level themselves
with the vulgar enough to be guilty of. This is a behaviour, madam,
which demeans yourself much more than me, said Louisa, and when reason
gets the better of your passion, I doubt not but you will be just enough
to acknowledge you have injured me.

She got out of the room with these words, but heard Melanthe still
outrageous in her reproaches; but determined not to answer, made what
haste she could into her own chamber, where having shut herself in, she
gave a loose to the distraction so unexpected an event must
naturally occasion.

Pride is a passion so incident to human nature, that there is no breast
whatever that has not some share of it; and it would be to describe
Louisa such as no woman ever was, or ever can be, especially at her
years, to say she was not sensibly touched at the indignity she had
received from a person, but a few hours before, had treated her as
pretty near an equality with herself.--Nor was her amazement inferior to
her grief, when after examining, with the utmost care, all her words and
actions, she could find nothing in either that could possibly give
occasion for this sudden turn.

From the present, she cast thoughts back on the past accidents of her
life, and comparing them together, how cruelly capricious is my fate,
said she, which never presents me with a good but to be productive of an
adequate evil!--How great a blessing was the protection and tenderness I
found from Dorilaus, yet how unhappy did the too great increase of that
tenderness render, me!--What now avails all the friendship received from
Melanthe, but to make me the less able to support her ill usage!--And
what, of what advantage is it to me that I am beloved by a man the most
worthy to be loved, since I am of a condition which forbids me to give
any encouragement to his, or my own wishes!

In this manner did she pour forth the troubles of her soul, till the
hour of supper being arrived, Melanthe's woman knocked at the chamber,
and Louisa having opened it, she told her that she was sorry to see such
an alteration in the family, but it was her ladyship's pleasure that she
should eat at the second table. It is very well, said Louisa, resolving,
whatever she endured, not to let Melanthe see any thing she could do
disturbed her too much, and in saying so, went with her into the hall
and sat down to table, but with what appetite I leave the reader
to guess.

Melanthe, who now hated her to a greater degree than ever she had loved
her, gave to the ladies who were with her the whole history of Louisa,
as far as she knew of it, and rather aggravated, than any way softened
the mean condition from which she had relieved her; but when they asked
her what that unhappy creature had done to forfeit a continuance of her
goodness, she only answered in general, that she had found her to be an
ungrateful and perfidious wretch.

As she mentioned no particular influence on which this accusation was
grounded, every one was at liberty to judge of it as they pleased.--The
accomplishments Louisa was mistress of, made every one convinced she had
been educated in no mean way, tho' by some accidents she might have been
reduced to the calamities Melanthe had so largely expatiated upon, and
more there were who pitied her than approved the behaviour of her
superior:--some indeed, who had envied the praises they had heard
bestowed on her, were rejoiced at her fall, and made it a matter of
mirth wherever they came;--and others again thought themselves affronted
by having a person, who they now found was no more than a servant,
introduced into their company, and would never visit Melanthe afterward
the whole time she stayed in Venice.

The affair, however, occasioned a great deal of discourse: monsieur du
Plessis heard of it the next day related after different fashions. The
concern he was in was conformable to the passion he had for the fair
occasion, and both beyond what is ordinarily to be found in persons of
his sex. Impatient to know the truth he went to Melanthe's, and she
happening to be abroad, he desired to speak to Louisa, but was told she
was indisposed, and could see no company. These orders had been given by
Melanthe, but were very agreeable to Louisa herself, who desired to
avoid the sight of every one she had conversed with in a different
manner from what she could now expect; but of the whole world this
gentleman she most wished to shun.

He concealed the trouble he was in as well as he was able, and affecting
a careless air, told the person who answered him, that he only came to
ask if she had heard the last new song, and that he would send it
to her.

The moment he came home he sat down and wrote the following billet.

_To the ever charming_ LOUISA.

"That invincible bar you mentioned, yet
made so great a secret of, is at last revealed,
and I should be unworthy of the blessing I aspire
to, if I were unable to surmount it.
Cruel Louisa! you little know me, or the force
of that passion you have inspired, to imagine
that any difference which chance may have put
between us, can make the least alteration in my
sentiments!--It is to your own perfections I
have devoted my heart, not to the merit or
grandeur of your ancestors. What has my love
to do with fortune, or with family!--Does a
diamond lose any thing of its intrinsic value for
being presented by an unknown, or an obscure
hand?--My eyes convince me of the charms
of my adored Louisa; my understanding shews
me those of her mind; and if heaven vouchsafes
to bless me with so rich a jewel, I never shall
examine whence it came.--If therefore I am
not so unhappy as to be hated by you, let not
vain punctilloes divide us, and, as the first proof
of my inviolable passion, permit me to remove
you from a place where you have met with such
unworthy treatment:--I hope you wrong me
not so far as to suspect I any other designs
on you than such as are consistent with the
strictest honour; but to prevent all scruples of
that nature from entering your gentle breast, I
would wish to place you in a convent, the
choice of which shall be your own, provided it
may be where I sometimes may be allowed to
pay my vows to you thro' the grate, till time
shall have sufficiently proved my fidelity, and
you shall prevail on yourself to recempence my
flame, by bestowing on me your hand and heart:--the
one I would not ask without the other;
but both together would render the happiest of
mankind.

_Your eternally devoted_

Du Plessis.

_P.S._ As I perceive it will be next to an impossibility
to gain a sight of you while you continue
with that ungenerous woman, I entreat
to know by a line how I stand in your opinion,
and if the offers I make you, in the sincerity
of my soul, may be thought worthy
your acceptance."


This epistle he ordered his valet de chambre to give to her own hand, if
there were a possibility of it; and the fellow so well executed his
commission, being acquainted with Melanthe's servants, that he was
carried directly up to her chamber. She was a little surprized to see
him, because she knew it was contrary to Melanthe's commands that any
one should see her; and doubted not but to find she was treated with any
kind of respect, would enhance her ill humour to her. But she said
nothing that discovered her sentiments on this point, and with all the
appearance of a perfect ease of mind, asked what he had to deliver to
her. Only a song, mademoiselle, answered he, which my master ordered me
to give you, and to desire you will let him know how you like it:--he
says it might be turned into an admirable duetto, and begs you would
employ your genius on that score and send it by me.

Poor Louisa, who took his words literally, and thought her present
circumstances too discordant for the fulfilling his request, opened the
supposed piece of music with an aking heart; but when she had perused
it, and found the artifice her lover had made use of to communicate his
generous intentions to her, it is extremely fine, said she to the valet,
and I will do what he requires to the best of my power, but fear I shall
not be able to give it such a turn as he may expect. If you please,
continued she, to wait a little, I shall not be long before I dispatch
you. In speaking these words she went into her closet, and read over and
over the offers he had made, in which, with the strictest examination,
she could find nothing but what indicated the most perfect love, honour,
and generosity. In the first transports of her soul she was tempted to
comply; but her second thoughts were absolutely against it.--Those very
reasons which would have prevailed with almost any other woman, made her
obstinate to refuse:--the more she found him worthy, the less could she
support the thoughts of giving him a beggar for a wife; and the more she
loved him, the less could she content to be obliged to him; so she took
but a small time for consideration, before she returned an answer in
these terms:

_To the most accomplished, and most generous monsieur_ DU PLESSIS.


"As it was not owing to my pride or vanity,
but merely compliance with the will of
Melanthe, that my real meanness was made a
secret, I find it revealed without any mortification;
but, monsieur, the distance between us
is not shortened by being known: as the consciousness
of my unworthiness remains with
me, and ever must do so, I again repeat the
impossibility of accepting your too generous passion,
and, after this, you will not wonder I
should refuse those other obliging offers you are
so good to make.--I left my native country
with Melanthe, devoted myself to her service
while she was pleased to continue me in it, and
only wait her commands for my doing so, or to
return to England.--I believe, by what her
woman told me this day, the latter will be my
fate.--Think not, however, most truly worthy
of your whole sex, that I want eyes to distinguish
your merits, or a heart capable of being
influenced by them, perhaps too deeply for my
own future peace:--this is a confession I would
not have made, were I ever to see you more;
but as I am determined to shut myself from all
the world during my abode at Venice, I thought
I owed this little recompence to the generous
affection you express for me, and had rather you
should think any thing of me, than that I am
ungrateful.

LOUISA.

_P.S._ I beg, monsieur, after this, you will not
attempt either to speak or write to me."


When she had sent this away, she fell into fresh complainings at the
severity of her fate, which constrained her to refuse what most she
languished for:--the uncertainty how she should be disposed of was also
a matter of grief:--she was at this time a prisoner in Melanthe's house:
she had sent several messages to that lady, by her woman, entreating to
know in what she had offended, but could receive no other answer than
abuses, without one word which gave her the least light into the cause
of this strange treatment; but that morning she was informed, by the
same woman, that her Lady protested she should never more come into her
presence, and that she would send her home: this, as she had wrote to
monsieur du Plessis, seemed highly probable, as there was no appearance
of a reconciliation; and the thoughts in what manner she should begin
her life again, on her return, filled her with many anxieties, which,
joined to others of a different nature, rendered her condition
truly pitiable.

It was in the midst of these perplexing meditations that word was
brought her from Melanthe, that she must prepare for her departure on
the ensuing day. It was in vain she again begged leave to see her, and
to be made acquainted with the reason of her displeasure; but the other
would not be prevailed upon, but sent her a purse sufficient to defray
the expences of her journey to England, and bid her woman tell her she
had no occasion to repine, for she turned her away in a much better
condition than she had found her.



CHAP. XV.

_Louisa is in danger of being ravished by the count de Bellfleur; is
providentially rescued by monsieur du Plessis, with several other
particulars_.

Louisa packed up her things, as she had been commanded, tho' with what
confusion of mind is not easy to be expressed; and, when she was ready
to go, wrote a letter to Melanthe, thanking her for all the favours she
had received from her, acknowledging them to be as unmerited as her late
displeasure, which she conjured her to believe she had never, even in
thought, done any thing justly to incur;--wished her prosperity, and
that she might never find a person less faithful to her interests than
she had been. Having desired her woman to deliver this to her, she took
leave of the servants, who all loved her extremely, and saw her go with
tears in their eyes.

The rout she intended to take was to Padua by water, thence in a post
chaise to Leghorn, where she was informed, it would be easy to find a
ship bound for England; to what port was indifferent to her, being now
once more to seek her fortune, tho' in her native country, and must
trust wholly to that providence for her future support, which had
hitherto protected her.

Accordingly she took her passage to Padua in one of those boats, which
are continually going between Venice and that city; and it being near
the close of day when she landed, was obliged to go into an inn,
designing to lye there that night, and early in the morning set out
for Leghorn.

She was no sooner in bed than, having never been alone in one of those
places before, a thousand dreadful apprehensions came into her head: all
the stories she had been told, when a child, of robberies and murders
committed on travellers in inns, were now revived in her memory:--every
little noise she heard made her fall into tremblings; and the very
whistling of the wind, which at another time would have lulled her to
sleep, now kept her waking: but these ideal terrors had not long
possessed her, before she had an occasion of real ones, more shocking
than her most timid fancy could have suggested.

The wicked count de Bellfleur, who had taken care to prevent the passion
he had excited in Melanthe against her from growing cool, learned, from
that deceived lady, in what manner she intended to dispose of her; and
no sooner heard which way she went than, attended by one servant, who
was the confidant and tool of all his vices, he took boat for Padua, and
presently finding out, by describing her, at what inn she was lodged,
came directly thither; and, having called the man of the house, asked
him if such a young woman were not lodged there, to which being answered
in the affirmative, he told him that she was his wife;--that being but
lately married to her, in compliance with her request, he had brought
her to see the diversions of the carnival, and that she was eloped, he
doubted not, but for the sake of a gallant, since he loved her too well
to have given her any cause to take so imprudent a step.

The concern he seemed to be under gained immediate credit to all he
said; which he easily perceiving, I know, said he, that if I have
recourse to a magistrate I shall have a grant, and proper officers to
force her to return to her duty; but I would feign reclaim her by fair
means:--it is death to me to expose her; and if my perswasions will be
effectual, the world shall never know her fault.

The innkeeper then told him she was gone to bed, but he would wait on
him to her chamber, and he might call to her to bid her open the door.
No, answered the count, if she hears my voice she may, perhaps, be
frighted enough to commit some desperate action:--you shall therefore
speak to her, and make some pretence for obliging her to rise.

On this they both went up, and the man knocked softly at first, but on
her not answering immediately, more loud.--She, who heard him before,
but imagining something of what she had heard of others was now going to
happen to herself, was endeavouring to assume all the courage she could
for supporting her in whatever exigence heaven should reduce her to:--at
last she asked who was there, and for what reason she was disturbed. The
innkeeper then said he wanted something out of the room, and she must
needs open the door. This she refused to do, but got out of bed and
began to put on her cloaths, resolving to dye as decently as she could,
verily believing they were come to rob and murder her.

The man, who spoke all by the count's direction, then told her, that if
she would not open the door, he must be obliged to break it, and
presently beat so violently against it, that the poor terrified Louisa
expected it to burst, so thought it would be better to unbolt it of her
own accord, than, by a vain resistance, provoke worse usage than she
might otherwise receive: but what was her astonishment when she beheld
the count de Bellfleur! On the first moment the words monsieur du
Plessis repeated to her, that _he would have her one way or another,_
came into her mind, and made her give a great shriek; but then almost at
the same time the thought that he might possibly be sent by Melanthe to
bring her back, somewhat mitigated her fears.--Unable was she to speak,
however; and the consternation she appeared to be in at his presence,
joined with his taking her by the hand and bidding her be under no
apprehensions, confirmed the truth of what he had told the innkeeper,
who thinking he had no other business there, and they would be soonest
reconciled when alone, left them, together and went down stairs.

When the count saw he was gone,--I could not support the thoughts of
seeing you no more, my dear Louisa, said he; I have heard Melanthe's
cruel usage of you, and also that your condition is such, that you have
no friends in England to receive you if you should prosecute your
journey:--I come therefore to make you an offer, which, in your present
circumstances, you will find it imprudent, I believe, to reject:--I long
have loved you, and if you will be mine, will keep you concealed at a
house where I can confide, till my return to the army; then will take
the fame care of you, and place you somewhere near my own quarters; and,
as I shall go to Paris as soon as the next campaign is over, will there
provide for you in as handsome a manner as you can wish;--for be
assured, dear lovely girl, that no woman upon earth will ever be capable
of making me forsake you.

That she had patience to hear him talk so long in this manner, was
wholly owing to the fear and surprize she had been in, and perhaps had
not yet recovered enough from, to make any reply to what he said, if he
had contented himself only with words; but his actions rouzing a
different passion in her soul, she broke from his arms, into which, he
had snatched her at the conclusion of his speech, and looking on him
with eyes sparkling with disdain and rage,--perfidious man! cried she,
is this,--this the consequence of the vows you made Melanthe; and do you
think, after this knowledge of your baseness, I can harbour any idea of
you, but what is shocking and detestable!

I never loved Melanthe, by heaven, resumed he; she made me advance, and
not to have returned, them, would have called even my common civility in
question;--but from the first moment I saw your beauties, I was
determined to neglect nothing that might give me the enjoyment of
them:--fortune has crowned my wishes, you are in my power, and it would
be madness in you to lose the merit of yielding, and I compel me to be
obliged to my own strength for a pleasure I would rather owe to your
softness:--come, come, continued he, after having fastened the door, let
us go to bed;--I will save your modesty, by pulling your cloaths off
myself. In speaking this he catched hold of her again, and attempted to
untye a knot which fastened her robe de chambre at the breast. On this
she gave such shrieks, and stamped with her feet so forcibly on the
ground, that the innkeeper fearing the incensed husband, as he supposed
him to be, was going to kill her, ran hastily up stairs, and called to
have the door opened, saying, he would have no murder in his house.

The artful count immediately let him in, and told him, he need be under
no apprehensions, his wife was too dear to him to suffer any thing from
his resentment; and all the noise you heard, said he, was only because I
insisted on her going to bed! By these words Louisa discovered how he
had imposed upon the man, and cried out she was not his wife; but as she
spoke very bad Italian, and the man understood no French, the count
being very fluent in that language, had much the advantage, the
innkeeper was fully satisfied, and they were again left alone, having a
second opportunity to prosecute his villanous attempt.

You see, said he, how much in vain it is for you to resist:--would it
not be wiser in you, therefore, to meet my flames with equal warmth;--to
feign a kindness even if you have none, and thereby oblige me to use you
with a future tenderness:--believe I love you now with an extravagance
of fondness:--it is in your power to preserve that affection for
ever:--give me then willingly that charming mouth.

He had all this time been kissing her with the utmost eagerness, so that
with all her struggling she had not been able either to disengage
herself from his embrace, or to utter one word; and he was very near
forcing from her yet greater liberties, when all at once heaven gave her
strength to spring suddenly from him, and running to a table where he
had laid his sword, she drew it out of the scabbard with so much speed,
that he could not prevent her, and making a push at him with one hand,
kept him from closing with, or disarming her, till with the other she
had plucked back the bolt of the door.

In this posture she flew down stairs, and reached the hall before he
overtook her, quite breathless and ready to faint. He was going to lay
hold of her, when he found himself seized behind by two persons, whom,
on turning to examine the reason, he found was monsieur du Plessis and
the innkeeper. He started at the sight of that gentleman, and was going
to say somewhat to him in French, when the innkeeper told him, the young
woman should be molested no farther till he knew the truth of the
affair; for, said he, there is a person, meaning monsieur du Plessis,
who is just come in, and says she has no husband, and belongs to an
English lady of quality now at Venice:--I will therefore take care of
her this night, and if you have any real claim to her, you may make it
out before the magistrate to-morrow.

The count was so enraged to find it had been by monsieur du Plessis he
had been disappointed, that he snatched his sword from Louisa, who had
all this time held it in her hand, and made so furious a thrust at him,
that, had he not been more than ordinary nimble in avoiding it, by
stepping aside, it must have infallibly gone thro' his body.--He
immediately drew and stood on his defence, but the innkeeper and several
other people, whom Louisa's cries had by this time brought into the
hall, prevented any mischief.

The confusion of voices and uproar which this accident occasioned, would
suffer nothing to be heard distinctly; but the guilt of count Bellfleur
might easily be read in his looks, and not able to stand the test of any
enquiry, he departed with his servant, casting the most malicious
reflections as he went out, both on Louisa and her deliverer.

Du Plessis less affected, because innocent, gave every one the
satisfaction they desired: he said that the young lady being of English
birth, came along with a lady of her own country, to visit several parts
of Europe merely for pleasure; that the lady was still at Venice, and
that on some little disgust between them, she who was there, meaning
Louisa, had quitted her, and was now returning home by the way of
Leghorn; of the truth of what he told them, he added, they might be
informed, by sending to Venice the next day.

He also said, that having a business to be negotiated in England, he had
followed this young lady, in order to beg the favour of her to deliver
letters to some friends he had there, not having the opportunity of
making this request before, by reason of her departure having been so
sudden, that he knew nothing of it before she was gone.

The truth of all this Louisa confirmed, and on farther talk of the
affair, acquainted them, that the gentleman who had occasioned this
disturbance, for she forbore mentioning his name, had often sollicited
her love on unlawful terms, and being rejected by her, had taken this
dishonourable way of compassing his desires, at a place where he knew
she was alone, and wholly a stranger.

The fright and confusion she had been in, had rendered her so faint,
that it was with infinite difficulty she brought out these words; but
having something given her to refresh her spirits, and being conducted
into another room out of the crowd, she began, by degrees, to
recover herself.

Monsieur du Plessis then informed her, that on coming to Melanthe's, and
hearing she was gone, he immediately took boat, resolving to prevail on
her to alter her resolution of going to England, or dye at her feet:
that he easily found the inn she was at, and that the man of the house
presently told him, such a person as he described was there; but that he
understood she had eloped from her husband, who had pursued, and was now
above with her.

Never, said this faithful lover, did any horror equal what I felt at
this intelligence!--The base count de Bellfleur came presently into my
mind:--I thought it could be no other who had taken this abhored method
of accomplishing the menaces you may remember I repeated to you:--I was
going to fly up stairs that instant, but was withheld, and found it best
to argue the man into reason, who, I found, was fully prepossessed you
were his wife: as I was giving some part of your history, I saw the
count's man passing thro' the hall; he saw me too, and would have
avoided me, but I ran to him, seized him by the throat, and asked him
what business had brought either him or his master to this place: the
disorder he was in, and the hesitation with which he spoke, together
with refusing to give any direct answer, very much staggered the
innkeeper, who was just consenting to go up with me to your chamber, and
examine into the truth of this affair, when we saw you come down, armed
as your virtue prompted, and at the same time flying from the
villain's pursuit.

Louisa could not help confessing that she owed the preservation of her
honour wholly to him; for, said she, the people were so fully persuaded
not only that I was his wife, but also that I had fled from him on some
unwarrantable intent, that all I did, or could have done, would only
have served to render me more guilty in their opinion; and it must have
been by death alone I could have escaped the monster's more
detested lust.

Monsieur du Plessis now made use of every argument that love and wit
could inspire, to prevail with her to accept of the offer contained in
the letter he had wrote to her; and concluded with reminding her, that
if the charming confession her answer had made him was to be depended
on, and that she had indeed a heart not wholly uninfluenced by his
passion, she would not refuse agreeing to a proposal, which not the most
rigid virtue and honour could disapprove.

Louisa on this replied with blushes, that since, by the belief she
should never see him more, she had been unwarily drawn in to declare
herself so far, she neither could, nor would attempt to deny what she
had said; but, added she, it is perhaps, by being too much influenced by
your merits, that I find myself obliged to refuse what you require of
me:--I cannot think, cried she, of rendering unhappy a person who so
much deserves to be blessed:--and what but misery would attend a match
so unequal as yours would be with me!--How would your kindred brook
it!--How would the world confuse and ridicule the fondness of an
affection so ill placed!--What would they say when they should hear the
nobly born, the rich, and the accomplished monsieur du Plessis, had
taken for his wife a maid obscurely defended, and with no other dowry
than her virtue!--My very affection for you would, in the general
opinion, lose all its merit, and pass for sordid interest:--I should be
looked upon as the bane of your glory;--as one whose artifices had
ensnared you into a forgetfulness of what you owed to yourself and
family, and be despised and hated by all who have a regard for
you.--This, monsieur, continued she, is what I cannot bear, neither for
your sake nor my own, and entreat you will no farther urge a suit, which
all manner of considerations forbid me to comply with.

The firmness and resolution with which she uttered these words, threw
him into the most violent despair; and here might be seen the difference
between a sincere and counterfeited passion: the one is timid, fearful
of offending, and modest even to its own loss;--the other presuming,
bold, and regardless of the consequences, presses, in spight of
opposition, to its desired point.

Louisa had too much penetration not to make this distinction: she saw
the truth of his affection in his grief, and that awe which deterred him
from expressing what he felt:--she sympathized in all his pains, and for
every sigh his oppressed heart sent forth, her own wept tears of blood;
yet not receding from the resolution she had formed, nothing could be
more truly moving than the scene between them.

At length he ceased to mention marriage, but conjured her to consider
the snares which would be continually laid, by wicked and designing men,
for one so young and beautiful:--that she could go no where without
finding other Bellfleurs; and she might judge, by the danger she had
just now so narrowly escaped, of the probability of being involved again
in the same:--he represented to her, in the most pathetic terms, that
her innocence could have no sure protection but in the arms of a
husband, or the walls of a convent; and on his knees beseeched her, for
the sake of that virtue which she so justly prized, since she would not
accept of him for the one, to permit him to place her in that other only
asylum for a person in her circumstances.

Difficult was it for her to resist an argument, the reason of which she
was so well convinced of, and could offer nothing in contradiction to,
but that she had a certain aversion in her nature to receive any
obligations from a man who had declared himself her lover, and who might
possibly hereafter presume upon the favours he had done her.

It was in vain he complained of her unjust suspicion in this point,
which, to remove, he protested to her that he would leave the choice of
the monastry wholly to herself: that in whatever part she thought would
be most agreeable, he would conduct her; and that, after she was
entered, he would not even attempt to see her thro' the grate, without
having first received her permission for his visit. Not all this was
sufficient to assure her scrupulous delicacy: she remained constant in
her determination; and all he could prevail on her, was leave to attend
her as far as Leghorn, to secure her from any second attempt the
injurious count might possibly make.

After this they entered into some discourse of Melanthe, and whether it
would be proper for Louisa to write her an account of this affair, and
the count's perfidiousness. Monsieur du Plessis said, he thought that
the late usage she had received from that lady, deserved not she should
take any interest in her affairs; but it was not this that hindered
Louisa from doing it:--the remembrance of the kindness she had once been
treated with by her, more than balanced, in her way of thinking, all the
insults that succeeded it; and when she reflected how much Melanthe
loved the count, and that she had already granted him all the favours in
her power, it seemed to her rather an act of cruelty than friendship, to
acquaint her with this ingratitude, and thereby anticipate a misfortune,
which, perhaps, by his artifices and continued dissimulation, might be
for a long time concealed: therefore, for this reason, she exacted a
promise from monsieur du Plessis not to make any noise of this affair
at his return to Venice, unless the count, by some rash and precipitate
behaviour, should enforce him to it.

This injunction discovered so forgiving a sweetness of disposition in
the person who made it, that monsieur du Plessis could not refrain
testifying his admiration by the most passionate exclamations; in which
perhaps he had continued longer, had not the eyes of the fair object
discovered a certain languishment, which reminded him, he should be
wanting in the respect he professed, to detain her any longer from that
repose, which, seemed necessary, after the extraordinary hurry of
spirits she had sustained; therefore having taken his leave of her for
that night, retired to a chamber he had ordered to be got ready for him,
as did she to that where she had been so lately disturbed: but all those
who are in the least capable of any idea of those emotions, which
agitated the minds of both these amiable persons, will believe neither
of them slept much that night.



CHAP. XVI.

_The Innkeepers scruples oblige Louisa to write to Melanthe: her
behavior on the discovery of the count's falshood. Louisa changes her
resolution and goes to Bolognia_.

Monsieur du Plessis, having found it impossible to dissuade Louisa from
going to England, now bent his whole thoughts to perform his promise of
conducting her to Leghorn, in the most commodious manner he could;
accordingly he rose very early, and calling for the man of the house,
desired he would provide a handsome post chaise, and if he knew any
fellows whose integrity might be relied on, he thought necessary to hire
two such, who, furnished with fire-arms, might serve as a guard against
any attack the count might take it into his head to make.

But the innkeeper had now entertained notions that forbid him to
correspond with the designs of monsieur: some of his neighbours, who had
heard of last night's accident, whispered it in his ears, that it would
not be safe for him to let these young people depart together; that he
could not be assured the person, who pretended to be the husband, might
not be so in reality; and if he should come again with proper officers
and proofs to claim his wife, it might be of dangerous consequence to
him to have favoured her escape; and that the only way he had to secure
himself from being brought into trouble, was to lay the whole affair
before the podestat. This advice seemed to him too reasonable not to be
complied with: he went directly to that magistrate, and while the lover
was speaking to him, officers came in to seize both him and Louisa, and
carry them before the podestat.

Monsieur du Plessis was very much surprized and vexed at this
interruption, and the more so, as he feared it would terrify Louisa to a
greater degree than the nature of the thing required; but in this he did
injury to her courage: when she was called up and informed of the
business, she surrendered herself with all the dauntlessness of
innocence to the officers, and suffered them to conduct her, with du
Plessis, to the house of the podestat.

Both of them flattered themselves with the belief, that when he should
come to hear the story, they would be immediately discharged; but he
happened to be one of those who are over wary in the execution of their
office; and he only told them, that what they said might be true, but he
was not to take things on the bare word of the parties themselves; and
that therefore they must be confined till either the person who claimed
the woman for his wife, should bring proofs she was so, or she should be
able to make out he had no right over her.

That is easy for me to do, said Louisa; I am only concerned that this
gentleman, meaning du Plessis, should be detained on an account he has
no manner of interest in. The podestat answered, it was unavoidable,
because as the person, who said he was her husband, had accused her of
an elopement, there was all the reason in the world to suppose that if
it were so, it was in favour of this gentleman, by the rage he was
informed he had testified at finding him in Padua.

Louisa gave only a scornful smile, denoting how much she disdained a
crime of the nature she was suspected of, and followed one of the
officers, who conducted her to the place appointed for her confinement.

Monsieur du Plessis was touched to the soul at the indignity he thought
offered to this sovereign of his affections; but he restrained himself
when he considered that it had the sanction of law, which in all nations
must be submitted to; and he only told the podestat, that the virtue of
that lady would soon be cleared, to the confusion of those who had
presumed to traduce it.

As, after they were under confinement, they had no opportunity of
advising each other what to do, monsieur du Plessis, uneasy at the
injustice done him, wrote immediately to the prince of Conti, in
these terms:

_To his Royal Highness the Prince of_ CONTI.


"It is with the extremest reluctance I give
your royal highness this trouble, or find myself
obliged to accuse the count de Bellfleur of
an action so dishonourable to our nation; but
as I am here under confinement for preventing
him from committing a rape on a young English
lady, who failing to seduce at Venice, he followed
hither; and under the pretence of being
her husband, gained the people of the house on
his side, and had infallibly compassed his intent,
had it not been for my seasonable interposition:
I am too well convinced of the justice I presume
to implore, to doubt if your highness will
oblige him to clear up the affair to the podestat,
on which she will be at liberty to prosecute her
journey, and I to throw myself, with the utmost
gratitude and submission, at your feet, who have
the honour to be

_Your royal highness's_

_Most devoted_

DU PLESSIS."

_Padua._


Louisa, who was ignorant what her lover had done, and knew no other way,
than by writing to Melanthe, to extricate herself from this trouble,
sent a letter to her, the contents whereof were as follows:


MADAM,

"On what imagined cause whatever you were
pleased to banish me, I am certain you
have too much goodness to suffer any one,
much less a person you have once honoured
with your friendship, to remain in prison for a
crime it is impossible for me to be guilty of:--I
am sorry I must accuse a person so dear to
you;--but it is, madam, no other than the
unworthy count de Bellfleur, who followed me
hither, came into the inn where I was lodged,
into the very chamber, and oh! I tremble
while I relate it, had proceeded yet farther; and
I had been inevitably lost, had not heaven sent
me a deliverer in the unexpected arrival of monsieur
du Plessis, who is also a prisoner as well
as myself, for the timely rescue he gave me.
You will wonder, doubtless, by what law either
I should be confined for endeavouring to defend
my chastity, or he, for generously assisting me;
but the detested artful count had pretended himself
my husband; and under the sanction of
that name it was, that he met no opposition to
his wicked will from the people of the house,
and rendered them regardless of my shrieks and
cries.--The magistrates are yet dubious of the
truth; and till it can be proved what I really am,
both myself and monsieur du Plessis must continue
where we are:--have pity on me, therefore,
I conjure you, madam, and write to the podestat:
I have already told him I had the honour to
belong to you;--a line from you will confirm
it, and once more set at liberty a maid, who
will ever remember all your favours with the
greatest gratitude, and your withdrawing them
as the worst misfortune could have befallen.

MADAM,

_From the prison
at Padua.

Your most faithful, and
Most humble servant_,

LOUISA."


These letters were sent away by special messengers, who had orders to be
as expeditious as possible in the delivery of them.

But while these accidents happened at Padua, Melanthe was not without
her share of inquietudes at Venice: she had not seen her beloved count
in two whole days, and, tho' she sent several times to his lodgings,
could hear nothing but that he was not yet come home. As her vanity
would not suffer her to think herself neglected, without having received
some glaring proofs of it, she feared some misfortune had befallen him,
and exposed herself not a little in the enquiries she made after him,
among all those who she could imagine were able to inform her any thing
concerning him.

At length some person, who happened to see him take boat, told her he
was gone to Padua, which being the rout she knew Louisa had taken, and
she had also informed him, a sudden thought darted into her head that he
was gone in pursuit of her.--It now seemed not impossible, but that all
he had said concerning his dislike of her might be artifice; and that
the love of variety might prevail on him at last to comply with the
advances he pretended she had made him.--The privacy with which he went,
none of his acquaintance knowing any thing of his journey, seemed to
favour this opinion; and never was a heart more racked with jealousy and
suspence, than that of this unhappy, and too easily deceived lady.

She had sometimes an inclination to go to Padua in person, and endeavour
to find out what business had carried him thither; and her impatience
had doubtless got the better of her prudence in this particular, if,
sending once more to his lodgings, she had not heard he was
returned.--On this she expected to see him in the evening, and flattered
herself with his being able to make some reasonable excuse for his
absence; but finding he came not, she was all distraction, and sent a
billet to him next morning, requiring him to come to her immediately on
the receipt of it; but as he was at that time in too ill a humour to
think of entertaining her, sent her an answer by word of mouth, that he
was indisposed, and would wait on her on his recovery.--This message
seemed so cold, and so unlike the passion he had hitherto professed for
her, that it threw her into almost convulsive agonies.--A masquerade
was to be that night at the house of a person of quality: she sent again
to know if he intended to be there, and, if he did, what habit he would
wear, it being customary with them, ever since their amour, to acquaint
each other with their dresses, that they might not mistake, by
addressing to wrong persons. His reply was, that he would go if health
permitted, but as to what he should wear he had not as yet thought
of it.

What, if he hat not thought of it! cried she haughtily, when she heard
these words;--the knowledge that I shall be there, ought now to make him
think of it.--Pride, love, and the astonishment at this sudden change in
his behaviour, rendered her wholly forgetful of what she owed her sex
and rank; and she was just going to his lodgings, in order to upbraid
him with his indifference, and prove what it was she now had to depend
on from him, when the messenger from Louisa arrived and delivered her
the letter, which contained a sad eclaircisement of all she wanted to be
informed of.

At first reading it, she seemed like one transfixed with a sudden clap
of thunder:--she had indeed been jealous, suspicious, fearful of her
fate; but so glaring, so impudent a treachery had never entered her
head, that any man could be guilty of, much less one whom her too fond
passion had figured to her imagination, as possessed of all the virtues
of his sex. It seemed too monstrous to be true; and she had accused the
innocent Louisa as the inventor of this falshood, merely in revenge for
her late treatment, had there been the least shadow of a pretence for
doing so:--gladly would she have encouraged such a hope, but common
sense forbid it;--all circumstances seemed to concur, in proving that he
was indeed that villain which the letter represented him; and that
surprize, which had in a manner stupified her on the discovery, was
succeeded by a storm of mingled grief and rage, which no words can
sufficiently describe:--she exclaimed against fate, cursed all mankind,
and accused every thing as accessory to her misfortune, but that to
which alone she owed it, her own imprudence.

The disorders of her mind had such an effect on her body, that she fell
into fits, and a physician was sent for, who, tho' esteemed the most
skilful in that country, found it required all his art to prevent a
fever: she continued, however, for five days in a condition, such as
permitted her not to do any thing either for the satisfaction of her own
impatient curiosity, or to comply with the just request Louisa had made;
and had not monsieur du Plessis's letter to the prince been mere
successful, they must both have continued where they were, perhaps for a
considerable time.

That, however, had all the effect could be expected from a prince of so
much honour: he immediately sent for the count de Bellfleur; and easily
finding, by the confusion with which he replied to his examination, and
the little low evasions he was obliged to have recourse to, that the
affair was as monsieur du Plessis had represented, gave him a severe
check, and ordered him to depart immediately from Venice, where he told
him, he had given such occasion to call the honour of the French nation
in general in question; and to repair with all expedition to his winter
quarters. Which command he instantly obeyed, without taking any leave of
Melanthe, or perhaps even thinking on her.

At the same time the prince dispatched his gentleman of horse to Padua,
with necessary instructions for clearing up the affair; on which the
prisoners were discharged, and their pardon asked by the podestat for
doing what, he said, the duties of his post had alone obliged him to;
tho' it is certain he had exercised his authority with greater
strictness than the necessity of the thing required; since, if the count
had been in reality the husband of Louisa, it would have been more easy
for him to bring proofs of it, than for those under confinement to
invalidate his claim.

After the proper compliments to the gentleman who had taken this
trouble, monsieur du Plessis entreated he would excuse him to the
prince, that he retarded the thanks he had to pay his royal highness,
till his return from conducting Louisa some part of her journey, which
being a piece of gallantry the lady herself seemed well pleased with,
was easily complied with by the other.

This faithful lover had now a full opportunity to entertain his mistress
with his passion, and represented it to her with so much force and
eloquence, together with the dangers she would continually be exposed
to, that she had at length no words to form denials, and gave him leave
to conduct her to some monastry in Italy, the choice of which she left
to him, till the campaign was over. This was indeed all he presumed to
request of her at present. It may happen, said he, that your lover may
fall a victim to the fate of war, among many other more brave and worthy
men, who doubtless will not survive the next battle, and you will then
be at liberty to pursue your inclinations either to England or
elsewhere; and be assured of this, that I shall take care, before the
hour of danger, to leave you mistress of a fortune, sufficient to protect
you from any future insults of the nature you received from Melanthe.

The tender soul of Louisa was so much dissolved at these words, that she
burst into a flood of tears, and cried out, Oh! too generous du Plessis,
think not I will survive the cruel hour which informs me all that is
valuable in man has ceased to be!--Take,--oh! take no care for me; when
you are no more, nothing this world affords can enable me to drag on a
wretched life!

What must be the transport of a man, who loved like him, to hear a mouth
accustomed to the greatest reserve, utter exclamations so soft, so
engaging, so convincing to him that he was no less dear to her than he
could even wish to be!--He threw himself at her feet, and even thought
that posture not humble enough to testify, as it deserved, his gratitude
and joy. But she not suffering him to continue in it, he took the hand
that raised him, kissed off the tears which had fallen from her eyes
upon it, with speechless extacies, and seemed almost beside himself at
the concern she could not yet overcome, on the bare imagination of
losing him in the way he mentioned. If you love me, said she tenderly,
you will endeavour to preserve yourself:--I have now put myself under
your protection, by consenting to do as you would have me, and have no
other from whom I would receive those favours I expect from you:--think
not, therefore, that I will perform my promise, unless you give me
yours, not to be so covetous of fame as to court dangers, nor, in too
eager a pursuit of glory, to lose the remembrance of what you owe
to love.

Oh thou divinest softness! cried he, be assured I will put nothing to
the venture that might take me from Louisa!--Your kindness, my angel,
has shewed me the value of life, and almost made a coward of your
lover:--no farther will I go than the duties of my post oblige me, and
that honour, which to forfeit, would render me unworthy of your care.

Louisa now found herself so much at ease, in having discovered a secret
she had so long laboured with, and suffered an infinity of pain in the
concealing of, that nothing could be more chearful than her looks and
behaviour. He, on the other hand, was all rapture, yet did it not make
him in the least forgetful of the rules he had prescribed himself, or
give her modesty any room to repent the confession she had made in
favour of his passion:--the conversation between them was all made up of
innocence and love; and every hour they passed together, rendered them
still dearer to each other.

Monsieur du Plessis having thus gained the point his soul was let on,
began to consider in what part of Italy it would be best to place his
dear Louisa: as Bolognia was a free country, under the jurisdiction of
the Pope, he thought she would there be the least subject to alarms, on
account of the army's continual marches and countermarches thro' most
other parts of Italy. He therefore got a post-chaise, and by easy
journeys conducted her thither; and having made an agreement with the
lady abbess of the Augustines, she was welcomed into the convent by the
holy sisterhood with all imaginable good-nature and politeness.

It would be endless to recite the farewels of these equally sincere, and
passionate lovers; so I shall only say that never any parting was more
truly touching; and the grief, which both of them endured, was only
alleviated by the confidence they had in each other's affection, and the
mutual promises of communicating the assurances of persevering in it, by
letters as often as opportunity would permit.

Melanthe being recovered of the indisposition of her body, tho' not of
her mind, was informed of every particular of her perfidious lover's
conduct as he had quitted Venice before she did her chamber, was obliged
to bear the load of discontent her too easy belief had brought upon her,
without even the poor ease of venting it in reproaches on him. The
carnival soon after ending, and finding that change of place was no
defence from misfortunes of the kind she had sustained, without she
could also change her way of thinking, took the first convenience that
offered, and returned to England, rather in worse humour than she
had left it.



CHAP. XVII.

_Horatio arrives at Warsaw, sees the coronation of Stanislaus and his
queen: his reception from the king of Sweden: his promotion: follows
that prince in all his conquests thro' Poland, Lithuania and Saxony. The
story of count Patkul and madame de Eusilden._

While these things were transacting in Italy, Horatio, animated by love
and glory, was pursuing his journey to Poland. His impatience was so
great, that he travelled almost night and day, already imitating the
example of the master he was going to serve; no wood, no river was
impassable to him that shortened the distance to the place he so much
longed to approach: and thus by inuring himself to hardship, became
fitly qualified to bear his part in all the vast fatigues to which that
prince incessantly exposed his royal person.

Not a city, town, or even village he puffed thro', but echoed with the
wonders performed by the young king of Sweden:--new victories, new
acquisitions met him wherever he came:--all tongues were full of his
praises; and even those who had been ruined by his conquests, could not
help speaking of him with admiration.--Horatio heard all this with
pleasure, but mixed with a kind of pain that he was not present at these
great actions.--How glorious is it, cried he to himself, to fight under
the banners of this invincible monarch!--What immortal honour has not
every private man acquired, who contributed the least part to successes
that astonish the whole world!

But notwithstanding his eagerness which carried him thro' marshes, over
mountains, and ways, which to an ordinary traveller would have seemed
impassable, he met with several delays in his journey, especially when
he got into Germany, where they were extremely scrupulous; and he was
obliged to wait at some towns two or three days before he could obtain
passports: he also met several parties of flying horse and dragoons, who
were scouting about the country, as he drew nearer Saxony; but his
policy furnished him with stratagems to get over these difficulties, and
he got safe to Punitz, in the Palatinate of Posnania, where a great part
of the king of Sweden's army was encamped.--He immediately demanded to
be brought to the presence of the grand marshal Renchild, to whom he
delivered the letter of the baron de la Valiere, and found the good
effects of it by the civilities with which that great general vouchsafed
to treat him. He would have had him stay with him; but Horatio, knowing
the king was at Warsaw, was too impatient of seeing that monarch to be
prevailed upon, on which he sent a party of horse to escort him to
that city.

He had the good fortune to arrive on the very day that Stanislaus and
his queen were crowned, and was witness of part of the ceremony. The
king of Sweden was there incognito, and being shewn to Horatio, he could
not forbear testifying his surprize to see so great a prince, and one
who, in every action of his life, discovered a magnamity even above his
rank, habited in a manner not to be distinguished from a private man;
but it was not in the power of any garb to take from him a look of
majesty, which shewed him born to command not only his own subjects, but
kings themselves, when they presumed to become his enemies. There was a
fierceness in his eyes, but tempered with so much sweetness, that it was
impossible for those who most trembled at his frowns to avoid loving him
at the same time.

Stanislaus had in him all that could attract respect and good wishes;
beside the most graceful person that can be imagined, he had a certain
air of grandeur, joined with an openness of behaviour, that shewed him
equally incapable of doing a mean or dishonourable action: his queen was
one of the greatest beauties of her time; and every one present at their
coronation, confessed, that never any two persons more became a throne,
or were more worthy of the dignity conferred upon them.

The whole court was too much taken up that day, for Horatio to think of
presenting himself before the king of Sweden; but the officer, who
commanded the party that general Renchild had sent with him, introduced
him in the evening to count Hoorn, governor of Warsaw, who provided him
an appartment, and the next morning introduced him to count Piper. That
minister no sooner read the baron de Palfoy's letter, and heard he had
others to deliver to the king from the chevalier St. George, and the
queen dowager of England, than he treated him with the utmost marks of
esteem; and assured him that, since he had an inclination to serve his
majesty, he would contribute every thing in his power to make him not
repent the long fatigues he had undergone for that purpose; but, said he
with a smile, you will have no need of me; you bring, I perceive,
recommendations more effectual, and have besides, in yourself,
sufficient to engage all you have to wish from a monarch so just and
generous as ours.

Horatio replied to this compliment with all humility; and as the count
perceived by his accents that he was not a Frenchman, tho' he spoke the
language perfectly well, he asked him of what country he was; to which
Horatio replied, that he was of England, but made him no farther
acquainted with his affairs, nor that the motive of his having remained
so long in France, was because he was not ransomed by his friends: not
that he concealed this out of pride, but he knew the character of most
first ministers, and thought it not prudence to unbosom himself to one
of those, whose first study, when they come into that employment, is to
discover as much as they can of others, without revealing any thing of
themselves. For this reason he was also very sparing of entering into
any discourse of the chevalier's court, or of that of the king of
France, and answered all the questions put to him by the count, that his
youth, and being of foreign extraction, hindered him from being let into
any secrets of state.

After a pretty long conversation, the count led him to the king of
Sweden's apartment, where, just as they were about to enter, he asked
him if he could speak Latin; for, said he, tho' his majesty understands
French, he never could be brought to speak it, nor is pleased to be
addressed in that language. Horatio thanked him for this information,
and told him, that tho' he could not boast of being able to deliver
himself with an affluence becoming the presence of so great a prince,
yet he would chuse rather to shew his bad learning, than his want of
ambition to do every thing that might render himself acceptable.

As he spoke these words, he found himself in his presence.--The king was
encompassed by the officers of the army, to whom he was giving some
directions; but seeing count Piper, and a stranger with him, he left off
what he was saying, and, without giving him time to speak, cried, Count,
who have you brought me here? One, may it please your majesty, replied
he, who brings his credentials with him, and has no need of my
intercession to engage his welcome. While the count Was making this
reply, the king, who had an uncommon quickness in his eyes, measured
Horatio from head to foot; and our young soldier of fortune, without
being daunted, put one knee to the ground, and delivered his packet with
these words:--The princes, by whom I have the honour to be sent,
commanded me to assure your majesty, that they participate in all your
dangers, rejoice in all your glories, and pray, that as you only conquer
for the good of others, the sword you draw, in the cause of justice, may
at last be sheathed in a lasting and universal peace.

I am afraid it will be long before all that is necessary for that
purpose is accomplished, said the king; wrong, when established, not
easily gives place to right;--but we are yet young enough to hope it.

He broke open his letters as he spoke this; and while he was examining
them, took his eye off the paper several times to look on Horatio, and
then read again.

When he had done, I am much obliged, said he, to the zeal these letters
tell me you have expressed for my service, and shall not be
ungrateful:--we are here idle at present but shall not long be so; and
you will have occasions enough to prove your courage, and gratify that
love of arms which, my brother informs me, is the predominant passion of
your soul.

After this he asked him several questions concerning the chevalier St.
George, the queen, and princess Louisa; to which Horatio answered with
great propriety, but mingled with such encomiums of the royal persons,
as testified his gratitude for the favours he received from them. But
when he mentioned the princess, and delivered the message she sent by
him, a more lively colour flushed into the king's cheeks, and he
replied, well, we shall do all we can to comply with her commands; then
turned quick about, and resumed the discourse he was in, before
Horatio's entrance, with his officers, as much as to say, the business
of his love must not interrupt that of the war; and Horatio had
afterwards the opportunity of observing, that tho' he often looked upon
the picture of that amiable princess, which he always wore in his bosom,
yet he would on a sudden snatch his eyes away, as fearing to be too
much softened.

Horatio was ordered to be lodged in the castle where the garrison was
kept; but he was every day at the king's levee, and received the most
extraordinary marks of his favour and affection; for which, as he looked
upon himself entirely indebted to the recommendations of his friends in
France, he wrote letters of thanks, and an account of all that
happened to him.

Poland being now entirely subdued by the valour and fortune of Charles
XII. and having received a king of his nomination, submitted cheerfully,
glad to see an end of devastation, as they then flattered themselves;
but the troubles of that unfortunate kingdom were yet to endure much
longer.--Augustus, impatient of recovering what he had lost, and the
czar of Muscovy jealous and envious of the king of Sweden's glory, came
pouring with mighty armies from Saxony and Russia. Shullenburgh, the
general of the former, had passed the Oder; and the other, at the head
of a numerous body, was plundering all that came in his way, and putting
to the sword every one whom he even suspected of adhering to king
Stanislaus: so that nothing now was talked of but war, and the means
concerted how to put a stop to the miseries these two ambitious princes
made, not only in that country, but all the adjacent parts.

It was agreed that general Renchild should go to meet Shullenburgh, and
the two kings drive out the Muscovites; who being divided into several
parties, Stanislaus went at the head of one army, and the king of Sweden
led another; and taking different routs, had every day what he called
skirmishes, but what the vanquished looked upon as terrible battles.

The king of Sweden, before their departure from Warsaw, told Horatio
that all his officers were gallant men, and it was not his custom to
displace any one for meer favour to another; he must therefore wait till
the fate of war, or some other accident, made a vacancy, before he could
give him a commission, in the mean time, said he, with a great deal of
sweetness, you must be content to be only my aid-de-camp. On this
Horatio replied to his majesty, with as much politeness as sincerity,
that it was the post he wished, tho' dare not presume to ask; for he
looked upon the honour of being near, and receiving the commands of so
excellent a monarch, preferable to the highest commission in the army.

Thus, highly contented with his lot, did he attend the king, thro'
rivers, lakes, marines, and all the obstacles nature had thrown in the
way of this conqueror; and whenever they came to any battle, was so
swift in bearing his commands to the general, and in returning to him in
which line soever he was, that Poniatosky gave him the name of the
Mercury to their Jove; nor did he less signalize his valour; he fought
by the side of the king like one who valued not life, in competition
with the praises of his master. In an engagement where they took the
baggage of Augustus, he did extraordinary service; and a colonel then
being killed on the spot, the king presently cried out, Now here is a
regiment for my Horatio. Our young warrior thanked him on his knees, but
beseeched he might not be removed from him, again protesting that he
could no were deserve so well, as where he was animated by his royal
presence. This Charles XII. took very kindly, and told him, he should
have his desire; but, said he, I must also have mine:--I will continue
you my aid-de-camp, but you shall accept the commission, and the
lieutenant colonel shall command the regiment in your absence.

He also allotted him so large a share in the prize taken in this battle,
that Horatio was already become rich enough to avow his pretensions to
the daughter of the baron de Palfoy; but, dear as she was to him, his
love and admiration of the king of Sweden, joined to the ambition of
desiring still more than he had received, kept him from entertaining the
least desire of quitting the service he was in.

In eight or nine weeks did the two kings clear the country round, and
drove their enemies into the heart of Lithuania. As they were about to
return, they were met by the welcome news that general Renchild had been
no less successful, and entirely routed the whole army of Shullenburgh,
and also that the diet of Ratisbon, fearing the king of Sweden would
enter Germany, had come to a resolution to declare him an enemy to the
empire, in case he offered to pass the Oder with his army.

They could not have taken a more effectual step to bring on what
they dreaded, than by daring him to it by this menace. He took but
little time for consideration, before he determined to carry the war
into Saxony, and drive Augustus from his electorate, as he had done from
his kingdom.

He had no sooner made known his resolution, than the troops began to
march, and with a chearfulness and alacrity, which shewed they had no
will but that of their king:--indeed he seemed the soul of this mighty
body, of which every single man was a member, and actuated only by him.

It is certain his heart was set on establishing Stanislaus on the
throne, and he knew no better way of preventing Augustus from molesting
him, than by calling off all communication between his electorate and
Poland:--accordingly he bent his course to Saxony, marched thro' Silesia
and Lusatia, plundered the open country, laid the rich city of Leipsic,
and other towns, under contribution, and at length encamped at
Alranstadt, near the plains of Lutsen, whence he sent to the estates of
Saxony, to give him an estimate of what they could supply, and obliged
them to levy whatever sums he had occasion for: not that he had the
least spark of avarice in his nature, but his hatred to Augustus, who
had by his injustice made him become his enemy, was so great, that it
extended to all those of his country, so far, as to humble and
impoverish the once opulent inhabitants, making them not only support
his numerous army, but laid on them besides many unnecessary imposts,
which he divided among his soldiers, so that they were all cloathed in
gold and silver, and every private man had the appearance of a general,
the king himself still preferring his usual plainness; but he loved, he
said, to see the Saxon riches upon Swedish backs.

Horatio had now a second opportunity of writing to France, which he did
not fail to do, and, as there was no talk of the army decamping for some
time, let his friends know he hoped to hear from them at Alranstadt.

Augustus, in the mean time deprived of every thing, and a wanderer in
that kingdom where he had lately reigned, sent a mean submission to him,
entreating peace, and that he might have leave to return to his
electorate. This was granted by the conqueror, on condition he would
renounce, for ever, all thoughts of re-entering Poland, or giving any
disturbance to Stanislaus. But as the treaty was going to be signed, the
czar sent an army of 20,000 men to his relief, who defeated general
Mayerfield, whom the king had left to guard that kingdom; and the
dethroned monarch once more entered Warsaw, the capital of Poland,
in triumph.

Charles XII. was so exasperated when he received this intelligence, that
he gave immediate orders to decamp, resolving he should not long enjoy
the benefit of his breach of faith; but the pusillanimity of Augustus
prevented him: that prince was afraid the czar should discover the peace
he had been secretly negotiating, and withdraw his troups; and as he had
neither any of his own, nor money to assist him, he sent the articles
demanded of him by the king of Sweden, signed with his own hand, and set
out to Alranstadt, hoping, by his presence and persuasions, to mollify
his indignation, and be permitted to enjoy his own Saxony in peace.

What more could the utmost ambition of man require than the king of
Sweden now received, to see a prince, so lately his equal and inveterate
enemy, come to solicite favour of him in his camp, almost at his feet;
but whatever were his sentiments on this occasion he concealed them, and
tho' he could not but despise such an act of meanness, he treated him
with the utmost politeness, tho' without making any abatement of the
demands he had exacted from him. On the contrary, he insisted on his
delivering up to him general Patkul, ambassador from the czar, who at
that time was a prisoner in Saxony, being determined to put him to death
as a traitor, having been born his subject, and now entered into the
service of his sworn enemy.

Augustus beseeched him in the most abject manner to relinquish this one
point, and remonstrated to him that the czar, his present master, would
look on it as the utmost indignity offered to himself in the person of
his ambassador: he assured him he hated Patkul, but feared the giving
him up would be resented by all the princes of Europe. All he could urge
on this head was to no effect; the king of Sweden was not to be moved
from any resolution he had once made; and the unfortunate Patkul was
sent to Alranstadt and chained to a stake for three whole months, and
afterwards conducted to Casimir, where he was to receive his sentence.

Horatio, who was an entire stranger to the motive of this behaviour in
the king, and had never seen any thing before in him that looked like a
cruel disposition, was one day mentioning his surprize at it to a young
officer with whom he had contracted a great intimacy, on which he gave
him the following account:

This Patkul, said he, is a Livonian born, which, tho' a free country, is
part of the dominions annexed to the crown of Sweden: Charles XI. began
to introduce a more absolute form of government than was consistent with
the humour of that people; his son has been far from receding in that
point, and Patkul being a person of great consideration among them,
stood up for their liberties in a manner which our king could not
forgive:--he ordered him to be seized, but he made his escape, and was
proscribed in Sweden; on which he entered into the service of king
Augustus, and was made his general; but on some misunderstanding;
between him and the chancellor, he quitted Poland and went to Russia,
where he got into great favour with the czar, was highly promoted, and
sent his residentiary ambassador in Saxony. Augustus, whose fate it has
been to disoblige every body, on some pretence clapp'd into prison the
representative of his only friend, and now, we see, has given him up to
death, to satiate the demands of his greatest enemy.

Horatio could not keep himself from falling into a deep musing at the
recital of this adventure: he thought Patkul worthy of compassion, yet
found reasons to justify the king's resentment; and as this officer had
often disburthened himself to him with the greatest freedom, he had no
reserve toward him, and this led them into a discourse on arbitrary
power.--Horatio said, that he could not help believing that nature never
intended millions to be subjected to the despotic will of one person,
and that a limited government was the most conformable to reason. The
officer agreed with him in that; except the person who ruled had really
more perfections than all those he ruled over and if so, said he, and
his commands are always calculated for the happiness of the subject,
they cannot be more happy than in an implicite obedience. True, replied
Horatio, I am confident that such a prince as ours knows how to chuse
for his people much better than they do for themselves; but how can they
be certain that his descendants will have the same virtues; and when
once an absolute power is granted to a good prince, it will be in vain
that the people will endeavour to wrest it from the hands of a bad
one.--Never can any point be redeemed from the crown without a vast
effusion of blood, and the endangering such calamities on the country,
that the relief would be as bad as the disease. Upon the whole,
therefore, I cannot think Patkul in the wrong for attempting to maintain
the liberty of his country, tho' I do for entering into the service of
the avowed enemy of his master.

It is that, I believe, resumed the other, that the king chiefly resents:
his majesty is too just to condemn a man for maintaining the principles
he was bred in, however they may disagree with his own; but to become
his enemy, to enlist himself in the service of those who aim at the
destruction of his lawful prince, is certainly a treason of the
blackest dye.

As they were in this discourse, colonel Poniatosky came in, and hearing
they were speaking of Patkul,--I have just now, said he, received a
letter from one of my friends in Saxony concerning that general, which
deeply affects me, not for his own, but for the sake of a lady, to whom,
after a long series of disappointments, he was just going to be married,
when Augustus, against the law of nations, made him a prisoner. I will
relate the whole adventure to you, continued he; on which the others
assuring him they should think themselves obliged to him, he went on.

When he first entered into the service of Augustus, he became
passionately in love with madam d' Ensilden, a young lady, whose beauty,
birth, and fortune rendered her worthy the affections of a man of more
honour than he had testified in his public capacity: her friends at
least thought so; and chancellor Flemming making his addresses to her at
the same time, had the advantage in every thing but in her heart: there
Patkul triumphed in spight of all objections: and tho' king Augustus
vouchsafed himself to sollicite in behalf of his favourite, her
constancy remained unshaken as a rock; which so incensed a monarch
haughty and imperious in his nature, before humbled by our glorious
Charles, that he made use of his authority, and forbid her to think of
marrying any other: to which she resolutely answered, that she knew no
right princes had to interfere with the marriages of private persons;
but since his majesty commanded it, she would endeavour to obey and live
single. This not satisfying the king, he hated Patkul from that moment;
and the rivals soon after meeting in madam d' Ensilden's apartment, some
hot words arose between them, which being by Flemming reported to his
master, he sent, in the moment of his passion, to require Patkul to
resign his office of general: he did so, but with a murmur that was far
from abating the royal resentments; and he had then ordered him into
confinement, but that private intelligence being given him, he made his
escape before the officers, commissioned for that purpose, reached his
house. He then went to the czar, who knowing him an experienced general,
of which at that time he stood greatly in need, gladly received him; and
it was there he first merited the hate of all good men, by countenancing
and abetting those ambitious projects his new master was then forming
against the king of Sweden: but see the fate of treason, he persuaded
him to enter into an alliance with, Poland and Saxony against Sweden,
which laid the foundation of this unjust war, and for which Augustus has
so dearly paid; and being sent Ambassador, in order to negotiate these
affairs, again renewed those of his love. Augustus, now obliged to the
czar for the preservation of his dominions, durst not openly espouse
chancellor Flemming, but no sooner heard that the marriage was near
being compleated, than he ventured every thing to prevent it; and, under
a pretence of his own forging, confined Patkul in the castle of
Konisting, where he lay a considerable time; the czar being too much
taken up with combating the fortune of our victorious king, to examine
into this affair, and besides, unwilling to break with Augustus, as
things then stood. Madam d' Ensilden did all this time whatever could be
expected from a sincere affection, in order to procure his enlargement;
but the interest of her friends, at least of those who would be employed
in this intercession, were infinitely too weak to oppose that of
Flemming and the king's own inclination, so that he remained a prisoner,
without being permitted either to write to madam d' Ensilden or see her,
till the time of his being delivered into our hands. But on hearing he
was so, my friend informs me her great spirit, which till now had made
her support her misfortune without discovering to the world any part of
the agonies she sustained, in an instant quite forsook her: she
abandoned herself to despair and grief, equally exclaiming against the
Czar, Augustus, and Charles XII; has ever since shut herself up in her
apartment, which she has caused to be hung with black, the windows
closed, and no light but what a small lamp affords, and only adds more
horror to the melancholy scene: she weeps incessantly, and, as she
expects her lover will obtain no mercy, declares, she only waits till
she hears the sentence of his fate is given, to dye, if possible, at the
same moment of his execution.

I must confess, continued Poniatosky, the history of this lady's
sufferings touch me very much; and tho' I think her lover well worthy of
the death he will undoubtedly receive, could wish some unexpected chance
might once more set him free, and in a condition to recompence so tender
a passion, which Augustus has now no longer any power to oppose.

Horatio had a heart too tender, and too sensible of the woes of love,
not to be greatly affected with this passage; and as they all were
young, and probably had each of them a lady to whom their affections
were given, could not help sympathizing in the misfortunes of two
persons who seemed to have fallen into them merely by the sincere
attachment they had for each other.



CHAP. XVIII.

_King Stanislaus quits Alranstadt to appease the troubles in Poland:
Charles XII. gives laws to the empire: a courier arrives from Paris:
Horatio receives letters which give him great surprize_.

Augustus being able to obtain no better conditions from the king of
Sweden, than leave to return to his almost ruined electorate, took leave
of his conqueror with an almost broken heart.--Intelligence soon after
arriving that Poland was half demolished by the violence of different
factions, who, in the absence of both their kings, contended with equal
fury for the sovereign power, Stanislaus took an affectionate farewell
of his dear friend and patron, and went to appease the troubles of that
kingdom, and make himself peaceably acknowledged for what he was, their
lawful king, not only by election, but by the gift of the conqueror,
Charles XII. of Sweden. He was attended by 10,000 Swedish horse, and
twice the number of foot, in order to make good his claim against any of
his rebellious subjects.

Charles having now accomplished all he could desire in relation to the
Polish affairs, began to grow weary of the idle life he led at
Alranstadt, and was thinking which way he should turn his arms; he had
been used ill by the czar, who, as has been before observed, plotted his
destruction while a minor, and began hostilities when he thought him not
in a condition to defend himself, much less to make any reprisals: his
resentment therefore against him was no less implacable than it had been
against Augustus,--But the emperor had also disobliged him. Count Zobor,
the chamberlain, had taken very indecent and unbecoming liberties with
his character, in the presence of his own Ambassador at Vienna; and that
court had given shelter to 1500 Muscovites, who having escaped his arms,
fled thither for protection. As he was now so near, he therefore thought
best to call the emperor first to account, and then proceed to
attack the czar.

To this end he sent to demand count Zobor, and the 1500 Muscovites
should be given into his hands: the timid emperor complied with the
first and sent his chamberlain to be punished as the king thought fit;
but it was not in his power to acquiesce with the other; the Roman envoy,
then at Vienna, having intelligence of it, provided for their escape by
different routs. The king of Sweden then sent a second mandate,
requiring protection for all the Lutherans throughout Germany,
particularly in Silesia, and that they should be restored to all the
liberties and privileges established by the treaty of Westphalia. The
emperor, who would have yielded any thing to get the king of Sweden out
of his neighbourhood, granted even this, disobliging as it was to the
pope and his own catholic subjects: and having ratified these
concessions, the king vouchsafed to let his chamberlain return, without
any other punishment than imprisonment, so long as these affairs
remained in agitation.

Having thus given laws to Germany and terror to the emperor, he resolved
to turn where he might expect more opposition; and accordingly he
ordered count Piper to acquaint the officers, that they must now begin
to think of preparing for a march.

In the mean time ambassadors from all the courts of Europe were sent to
his camp, most of them being apprehensive that they should be the next
who felt the terror of his arms: but those who had nothing of this kind
to dread, and more really his friends, made use of all the arguments in
their power to prevail on him to return to Stockholm. France in
particular sent courier after courier, remonstrating to him that his
glory was complete; that he had already exceeded Alexander, and should
now return covered, as he was, with lawrels, and let his subjects enjoy
the blessing of his presence. The court of St. Germains added their
entreaties to that of Versailles, but each were equally ineffectual; nor
could even the thoughts of the beautiful princess Louisa, his betrothed
spouse, and whom he was to marry at the end of this war, put a stop to
the vehemence of his impatience to revenge the many injuries he had
received from the czar of Muscovy.

These were the sentiments by which this conquering monarch were
agitated; but Horatio, tho' no less fond of glory, had a softness in his
nature, which made him languish for the sight of his dear Charlotta,
whom he had been absent from near two years; and being now blessed with
a fortune from the plunder of Saxony, which might countenance his
pretensions to her, passionately longed for an opportunity of returning
without incurring the censure of cowardice or ingratitude. By these
couriers he received letters from the baron de la Valiere, and several
others of his friends, but none from the father of Charlotta; nor did
any of them make any mention of that lady, tho' he knew the passion he
had for her was now no secret to any of them.

He was very much surprized that the baron de Palfoy had not wrote,
because as he had in a manner promised to correspond with him by
desiring him to write, he had a right to expect that favour when they
came to Alranstadt; for till then it was scarce possible, by reason of
the army's continual and uncertain motions; but he was much more so,
that the baron de la Valiere had not been so good as to give him some
information of an affair, of which he could not be insensible his peace
so much depended: that he did not do it, he therefore presently
concluded, was owing to the having nothing pleasing to acquaint
him with.

As love is always apprehensive of the worst that can possibly befal, he
thought now of nothing but her being obliged to give her hand to some
rival approved by her father:--what avails it, cried he, that fortune
has raised me to an equality with her, if, by other means, I am
deprived of her!

He was beginning to give way to a despair little befitting a soldier,
when another courier arriving from Versailles with dispatches to the
king, he also received a packet, in which were three letters. The first
he cast his eye upon had on it the characters of Charlotta: amazed and
transported he hastily broke the seal, and found it contained
these lines:

_To Colonel_ HORATIO.


SIR,

"I have the permission of my father to pursue
my inclinations, in giving you this testimony
how sincerely I congratulate your good fortune;
tho' I ought not to call it by that name, since I
find every-body allows your rewards have not
exceeded your merits; but as neither has been
found deficient either for your ambition or the
satisfaction of your friends, all who are truly such
think you ought to be content, and run no future
hazards.--Be assured you have many well-wishers
here, among the number of whom you
will be guilty of great injustice not to place

CHARLOTTA DE PALFOY."


How well were all the late anxieties he had endured attoned for by this
billet; it was short indeed, and wrote with a more distant air than he
might have expected, had the dear authoress been at liberty to pursue
the dictates of her heart; but as it informed him it was permitted by
her father, and was doubtless under his inspection, the knowledge that
he had authorized her to write at all, was more flattering to his hopes
of happiness than all she could have said without that Sanction. After
having indulged the raptures this condescention excited, he proceeded to
the rest, and found the next he opened was from the baron de Palfoy, who
expressed himself to him in these terms:

_To Colonel_ HORATIO.


"I think myself obliged to you for so much
exceeding the character I gave you; but I
value myself on knowing mankind, and am glad
to find I was not deceived in you, when I expected
you to do more than I durst venture on
my own opinion to assure the count. He tells me,
in a letter I received from him the last courier,
that the victorious Charles XII. himself cannot
behave with greater bravery in the time of action,
nor more moderation after it is over.--This
is a great praise, indeed, from such a man
as he; and I acquaint you with it not to make
you vain, for that would blemish the lustre of
your other good qualities, but that you may
know how to make proper acknowledgments to
that minister."

"Our court, I know, makes pressing influences
to the king of Sweden not to carry on the way
any farther: I wish they may succeed, or if they
should not, that you might be able to find some
opportunity of quitting the service for reasons
which you will see in a letter that accompanies
this, and to which nothing can be added to convince
you what part you ought to take.--I
shall therefore say no more than that I am, with
a very tender regard,

_Yours_,

PALFOY"


Rejoiced as he was at receiving a letter from the father of his
mistress, wrote in a manner which he might look upon as a kind of
confirmation he no longer would be refractory to his wishes, the latter
part of it contained an enigma he could by no means comprehend.--It
seemed impossible to him there could be any reasons prevalent enough to
make him quit, with honour, a prince who had so liberally rewarded his
service; but hoping a further explanation, he lost not any time in
conjectures; and tearing open the other letter without giving himself
time to examine the hand in which it was directed, found, to his
inexpressible astonishment, the name of Dorilaus subscribed. It was
indeed wrote by that gentleman, and contained at follows:

_Dear Horatio_,


"Accidents, which at our parting neither of
us could foresee, have doubtless long since
made you cease to hope any continuance of that
kindness my former behaviour seemed to promise;
but never, perhaps did heaven deal its
blessings with a more mysterious hand than it
has done to you.--That seeming neglect in
me, at a time when you were a prisoner among
strangers, and had most need of my assistance,
had the appearance of the greatest misfortune
could befall you; yet has it been productive of
the greatest good, and laid the foundation of a
happiness which cannot be but lasting.--I reserve
the explanation of this riddle till you arrive
at Paris, where I now am, and intend to
continue my whole life.--That I impatiently
desire to see you, ought to be a sufficient inducement
for you to return with as much expedition
as possible:--I will therefore make this
experiment of that affection, I might add duty,
you owe me, and only give you leave to guess
what recompence this proof of your obedience
will entitle you to.--If therefore the king of
Sweden is resolute to extend his conquests, entreat
his permission to resign: I know the obligations
you have to that excellent prince; but I
know also you have others to me which cannot
be dispensed with:--besides, his majesty's affairs
cannot suffer by the loss of one man: yours
will be in danger, if not totally ruined, by your
continuance with him, and myself deprived at
the same time of the only remaining comfort of
my days.--Your sister left me soon after you
did:--she went to Aix la Chapelle, since
which I have never been able to hear any thing
of her.--Let me not lose you both; if you
have any regard for your own interest, or the
peace of him whom you have ever found a father
in his care and affection, and whom you will
now find so more than you can possibly expect.

DORILAUS."


Impossible is it to conceive, without being in the very circumstances
Horatio was, what a strange variety of mingled passions agitated his
breast on having to read, and considered these letters:--to find such
unhoped condescension from the baron de Palfoy and that Dorilaus was
still living, and had the same, if not more tender inclinations for him
than ever, the latter of which he had long since ceased to hope, was
sufficient to have overwhelmed even the most phlegmatic person with an
excess of joy:--but then the dark expressions in both these letters put
his brain on the rack.--The baron had seemed to refer to an explanation
of what he darkly hinted at in the letter of Dorilaus, but that he found
rather more obsolete: he could imagine nothing farther than that
Dorilaus having resolved to make him his heir, as he remembered some
people said before he left England, on the knowledge of that
intelligence the baron de Palfoy had consented to his marriage with
mademoiselle Charlotta, and this, her being permitted to write to him
confirmed.--This indeed was the supreme aim of his desires; and this it
was that made him quit St. Germains, in hope of raising himself to a
condition which might enable her to own her affection to him without a
blush: but transporting as this idea was, it was mingled with disquiet,
to reflect on the terms which both the Baron and Dorilaus seemed to
insist on for the accomplishment of his wishes, tho' he impatiently
longed to see Dorilaus after so long an absence.--Tho' in the possession
of Charlotta all his hopes were centered, yet to leave a prince who had
so highly favoured him, and under whose banners he had gained so much
consideration, was a piece of ingratitude, which it was worse than death
for him to be guilty of.--No! said he, it would be to render me unworthy
of all the blessings they make me hope, should I purchase them on such
conditions!--How can they demand them of me!--The Baron, Charlotta, and
Dorilaus, have all of them the highest notions of honour, generosity and
gratitude, and can they approve that in me, which I am certain they
would not be guilty of themselves!--Sure it is but to try me, they seem
to exact what they are sensible I cannot yield to, without the breach of
every thing that can entitle me to esteem or love!

Thus did he argue within himself for one moment; the next, other
reasons, directly opposite to these, presented themselves.--Dorilaus,
cried he, demands all my obedience;--all my gratitude:--without
protection I had been an outcast in the world!--Whatever honours,
whatever happiness I enjoy, is it not to him I owe them! Can I refuse
then to comply with commands, which, he says, are necessary to his
peace!--Besides, was it not Charlotta that inspired this ardor in me for
great actions! Was not the possession of that charming maid, the sole
end I proposed to myself in all I have undertaken! and shall I, by
refusing her request, madly run the risque of losing her for ever!--Does
not she wish, her father persuade, and Dorilaus enjoin me to
return!--Does not love, friendship, duty call me to partake the joys
that each affords!--And shall I refuse the tender invitation!--No! the
world cannot condemn me for following motives such as these; and even
the royal Charles himself is too generous not to acquit me of
ingratitude or cowardice.

It must indeed be confessed he had potent inducements for his return to
Paris, to combat against those of continuing in the king of Sweden's
service; and both by turns appeared so prevalent, that it is uncertain
which would have got the better, had not an accident happened, which
unhappily determined him in favour of the latter.

Colonel Poniatosky, who had attended Stanislaus into Poland, now the
disturbances of that kingdom were quieted, on hearing the king of Sweden
was on some new expedition, obtained leave of Stanislaus to return to
the camp, and implored his majesty's permission to be one of those who
should partake the glorious toils he was now re-entering into. To which
he replied, that he should be glad to have him near his person, but
feared he would be wanted in Poland. No, may it please your majesty,
resumed Poniatosky, there seems to be no longer any business in that
kingdom for a soldier:--all seem ready to obey the royal Stanislaus out
of affection to his person, and admiration of those virtues they are now
perfectly convinced of; nor is Augustus in a condition to violate the
treaty of resignation:--refuse me not therefore I beseech your majesty,
continued he, falling upon both his knees, what I look on as my greatest
happiness, as it is my greatest glory.

The king seemed very well pleased at the emphasis with which he
expressed himself; and having raised him from the posture he was in, be
it so, cried he, henceforward we will be inseparable.

Horatio was charmed with this testimony of love and zeal in a person,
who had doubtless friends and kindred who would have been glad he had
less attachment to a service so full of dangers as that of the king of
Sweden, and somewhat ashamed he had ever entertained a thought of
quitting it, resolved, as he had been more obliged, not to shew less
gratitude than Poniatosky. Therefore, without any further deliberation,
retired to his quarters, and prepared the following answers to the
letters had been brought him. As all things in a lover's heart yields to
the darling object, the first he wrote was to his mistress.

_To mademoiseile_ DE PALFOY.


"With what transports I received yours,
adorable Charlotta, I am little able to
express!--To find I am not forgotten!--That
what I have done is approved by her for
whom alone I live, and whose praise alone can
make me vain, so swallowed up all other considerations,
that it had almost made me quit
Alranstadt that moment, and fly to pour beneath
your feet my gratitude and joy!--But
glory, tyrannic glory, would not suffer me to
obey the soft impulse, nor re-enjoy that blessing
till conscious I deserved it better!--My friends
over-rate my services; and tho' that partial indulgence
is the ultimate of my ambition, I would
dare not abuse what they are so good to offer."

"To feast my long, long famished sight with
gazing once more on your charms, I would
forgo every thing but the hope of rendering myself
one day more worthy of it!--Too dear I
prize the good wishes you vouchsafe to have for
me, not to attempt every thing in my power to
prevent the disappointment of them: the little
I have yet done, alas! serves but to prove how
much the man, who has in view rendering himself
acceptable to the divine Charlotta, dares
to do, when dangers worthy of his courage
present themselves.--A small time may, perhaps,
afford me an opportunity:--yet did you
know how dear this self-denial costs me, you
would confess it the greatest proof of affection
ever man gave:--permit me therefore to gratify
an ambition which has no other aim than a
justification of the favours I receive:--continue
to look with a favourable eye on my endeavours,
and they cannot then fail of such success,
as may give me a claim to the glorious.
title of my most adored and loved Charlotta's.

_Everlasting Slave_,

HORATIO."


To her father he wrote in the following manner:

_To the baron_ DE PALFOY,

_My Lord_;


"The favours your goodness confers upon
me are such as can be equalled by but one
thing in the world, and that is my just and
grateful sense of them.--Charming would be
the toils of war, did all employed in them meet
a recompence like mine!--Is there a man, so
mean, so poor in spirit, that praises such as I receive
might not animate to actions worthy of
them!--What acknowledgments can I make
the count suitable to the immense obligations I
owe him, for inspiring your lordship with sentiments,
which, tho' the supreme wish of my
aspiring soul, I never durst allow myself to
hope; and which afford a prospect of future
accumulated blessings, such as I could scarce
flatter myself with being real, were not the transporting
idea in some measure confirmed to me,
by your having given a sanction to a correspondence
I so lately despaired of ever obtaining!--Blessed
change!--Extatic condescensions!--Fortune
has done all she can for me, and anticipated
all the good that, after a long train of
services and approved fidelity, I scarce should
have presumed to hope!--Oh my lord! I have
no words to thank you as I ought! It is deeds
alone, and rendering myself worthy of your
indulgence, that must preserve your good opinion,
and keep you from repenting having overwhelmed
me with this profusion of happiness!--Yet
how joyfully could I now pursue the
rout to Paris, and content myself with owing
every thing merely to your goodness, were I
not with-held by all the considerations that
ought to have weight with a man of honour!--My
royal general is inflexible to the persuasions
of almost all the courts in Christendom,
and hurried by his thirst of fame, or some other
more latent motive, has given orders to prepare
for a march, where, or against whom, is yet a
secret to the army; but by the preparations for
it, we believe they are not short journeys we
are to take.--Should I now quit a service
where I have been promoted so much beyond
my merit, what, my lord, but cowardice or ingratitude
could be imputed to me as the motive!
--Not all my reasons, powerful as they are,
would have any weight with a prince, who is
deaf to every thing but the calls of glory; and
I must return loaden with his displeasure, and
the reproaches of all I leave behind!--Now
to return is certain infamy!--To go, is in pursuit
of honour!--Your lordship will not therefore
be surprized I make choice of the latter,
since no hazard can be equal to that of forfeiting
the little reputation I have acquired, and
which alone can render me worthy any part of
the favours I have received.

_I am_,

_With the extremest respect and submission_,

_Your lordship's

Eternally devoted servant,_

HORATIO."


The last and most difficult task he had to go thro', was the refusal he
must give to Dorilaus, who had laid his commands on him in such express
terms; and it was not without a good deal of blotting, altering, and
realtering, he at length formed an epistle to him in these terms:

_To my more than father, my only patron,
protector and benefactor, the most worthy
DORILAUS._

_Most dear and ever honoured Sir,_

"To hear you are living, and still remember
me with kindness, affords too great a
transport to suffer me to throw away any thought
either on the motives of your long silence,
or that happiness, which you tell me, I may
expect has been the produce of it:--it is
sufficient for me to know I am still blessed in
the favor of the most excellent person that
ever lived, and am not in the least anxious for
an explanation of any farther good.

To tell you with how much ardency I long
to throw myself at your feet, to relate to you
all the various accidents that have befallen me
since first you condescended to put me in the
paths of glory, and to pour out my soul before
you with thanksgiving, would be as impossible
as it is for me at present to enjoy that blessing!--The
king's affairs, it is true, would suffer
nothing by my absence; but, sir, what would
the world say of me, if, after a whole year of
inactivity and idleness, I flew, on the first appearance
of danger, and forsook a prince, by
whom I have been so highly favoured?--Instead
of the character I have always been ambitious
of attaining, should I not be branded with
everlasting infamy!--Put not therefore, I beseech
you, to so severe a test that love and duty,
to which you cannot have a greater claim than
I a readiness to pay?--Did you command my
life, it is yours:--I owe it to you, and with it
all that can render it agreeable; but, sir, my
honour, my reputation, must survive when I am
no more; it was the first, and will be the last
bent of my desires. No perils can come in any
degree of competition with those of being deprived
of that, nor any indulgencies of fortune
compensate for the loss of it:--pardon then
this enforced disobedience, and believe it is the
only thing in which I could be guilty of it.--
I very much lament my sister's absence, as I
find by yours she went without your permission:
time and reflection will doubtless bring her to a
more just sense of what she, as well as myself,
ought to have of your goodness to us, and make
her return full of sincere contrition for having
offended you. I should implore your favourable
opinion of her actions in the mean time,
were not all the interest I have in you too little
to apologize for my own behaviour.--All, sir,
I dare to implore is pardon for myself, and that
you will be assured no son, no dependant whatever,
would more rejoice in an opportunity of
testifying his duty, affection, gratitude and submission,
than him who is now constrained by
ties, which I flatter myself you will not hereafter
disapprove, to swerve in some measure
from them, and whose soul and all the faculties
of it are

_Entirely devoted to you_.

HORATIO."


These dispatches being sent away, he became more composed, and set his
whole mind on his departure, and taking leave of those friends and
acquaintance he had contracted at Leipsic and Alranstadt; the time of
the army marching being fixed in a few days, tho' what rout they were to
take none, except count Piper, general Renchild, count Hoorn, and some
few others of the cabinet council, were made privy to.



CHAP. XIX.

_The king of Sweden leaves Saxony, marches into Lithuania, meets with an
instance of Russian brutality, drives the czar out of Grodno, and
pursues him to the Borysthenes. Horatio, with others, is taken prisoner
by the Russians, and carried to Petersburg, where they suffer the
extremest miseries_.

The word at length being given, the tents were struck, the trumpets
sounded, and the whole army was immediately in motion. Never was a more
gay and glorious fight; the splendor of their arms, and the richness of
their habits blazed against the sun; but what was yet more pleasing, and
spread greater terror among their enemies, was the chearfulness that sat
on every face, and shewed they followed with the utmost alacrity their
beloved and victorious monarch.

It was in the latter end of September, a season extremely cold in those
parts, that they began their march but hardships were natural to the
king of Sweden's troops; and as they perceived they were going into
Lithuania, a place where their valour had been so well proved against
the invading Muscovites, their cheeks glowed with a fresher red on the
remembrance of their former victories. They passed near Dresden, the
capital of the electorate of Saxony, and made Augustus tremble in his
palace, tho' the word of the king, which ever was inviolable, had been
given that he should enjoy those dominions in peace.

During the course of this, the czar had fallen upon the frontiers of
Poland above twenty times, not like a general, desiring to come to a
decisive battle, but like a robber, plundering, ravaging, and destroying
the defenceless country people, and immediately flying on the approach
of any troops either of Charles XII or king Stanislaus. The Swedes in
their march met several parties sent on these expeditions, but who
retired on sight of the army into woods, and were most of them either
killed or taken prisoners by detachments sent in pursuit of them by the
king of Sweden.

In their march towards Grodno they found the remains of an encampment,
several pieces of cannon and ammunition of all forts, but not one
creature to guard it, the troops to whom it belonged having all
dispersed and hid themselves. On examining the tents, they were
surprized with the sight of a very beautiful woman, who was lying on the
ground in one of them, with three others, who seemed endeavouring to
comfort her, and, by the respect they paid her, that they were her
dependents; but had all of them their garments torn and bloody, their
hair hanging in strange disorder about their ears, their flesh
discoloured with bruises and other marks of violence, and, as well as
their disconsolate superior, were spectacles of the utmost distress.

The king of Sweden himself, followed by general Hoorn, Poniatolky,
Horatio, and several others, who hardly ever lost sight of him, came
into this tent, and, being touched with so moving a scene, demanded the
Occasion; on which the prostrate lady being told who it was that spoke,
started suddenly up, and throwing herself at his feet:--Oh king! cried
she in the German language, as famous for justice as for being
invincible in war, revenge the cause of helpless innocence and
virtue!--Oh let the murderous brutal Russians find heaven's vindictive
arm in you its great vicegerent.--She was able to utter no more: the
inward agonies she sustained, on being about to relate the story of her
wrongs, became too violent for speech, and she sunk motionless on the
earth. Two of the women, assisted by some Swedes, carried her out of the
tent, as thinking the open air most proper to revive her; and she who
remained, satisfied the king's curiosity in these words:

May it please your majesty, said she, my mistress, that afflicted lady
who just now implored your royal pity, is of the noble family of the
Casselburgh, in Saxony, only daughter to the present count: her person,
before these heavy misfortunes fell upon her, was deservedly reputed one
of the most beautiful that graced the court of Dresden: her birth, her
youth, her charms, and the great fortune it was expected she would be
mistress of, attracted a great number of persons who addressed her for
marriage: her own inclinations, as well as the count her father's
commands, disposed of her to Emmermusky, a Polish nobleman; and she had
been scarce one month a bride, before they unhappily took this journey to
visit my lord's mother who lives at Travenstadt.--In our way we met a
party of straggling Muscovites, who, notwithstanding the strict league
between our elector and the czar, and the knowledge they had by our
passports that we were Saxons, stripped us of every thing, killed all
our men-servants and having given my lord several wounds, left him for
dead upon the place, then dragged us miserable women to the camp.--My
lady, in the midst of faintings, and when she was incapable even of
flying to death for refuse, was brutally ravished, and we her wretched
attendants suffered the same abuse.--Shame will not let me, continued
she, blushing and weeping, acquaint your majesty with the shocking and
repeated violations we were compelled to bear!--the wretches casting
lots who first should gratify his monstrous desires!--We were all bound
to trees, and without any means of opposition but our shrieks and cries
to unrelenting heaven!--My lord having a little recovered himself, had
crawled, as well as his wounds would give him leave, after us, and
arrived even while the horrid scene was acting: rage giving him new
strength and spirits; he snatched a sword that lay upon the earth, and
sent to perdition the villain who was about to add to the dishonour
which had been, alas! but too much completed by others. The death of
their companion incensing the accursed Muscovites, they turned upon him,
and in a moment laid him dead just at the feet of his ruined and almost
expiring wife! After having satiated their wicked will, they left us,
bound as we were, where we continued the remainder of the day and whole
night, and had doubtless perished thro' hunger and extreme cold, if a
second party had not passed that way, who having been out on a maroding,
were then returning to the camp.--Being actuated by somewhat more
compassion than the former, one of the officers made us be untied, and
having heard our story, blamed the cruelty with which we had been
treated, and brought us to his tent, the same we now are in, and ordered
something should be given for our refreshment; but my lady has continued
obstinate to dye, and to that end has refused all subsistence. This, oh
invincible monarch! is the sad history of our misfortunes:--misfortunes,
which, alas! can never be retrieved, nor admit any consolation but in
the hope of vengeance!

Here a torrent of tears closed the sad narration; and the king cried
out, turning as he spoke to us that followed him,--It is the cause of
heaven and earth, my friends, said he, to punish these barbarians, and
shew them that there is a God; for sure at present they are ignorant
of it!

The generous monarch after this gave orders that these afflicted and
abused woman should be escorted to a place of safety, and for that
purpose halted for the space of two days, then proceeded towards Grodno
with such expedition, that after-ages will look upon it as incredible
that so large an army, and also encumbered with a great quantity of
baggage, could have marched in the time they did.

But the king of Sweden was on fire to encounter in person the czar of
Muscovy, who, with about 2000 men, was then in that city: so great was
his impatience, that he galloped before his troops, not above 600 of
those best mounted being able to keep pace with him, till he came in
sight of the south gate, which gave him entrance without any opposition,
while the czar and his forces made their escape out at the north gate,
not doubting but the king of Sweden's whole army were come up with him.

He was afterward so much vexed and ashamed to think he had quitted the
town to no more than 600 of the enemy, that, to retrieve a mistake which
he feared might be looked upon as cowardice, being informed the body, of
the army was near five leagues off, he sent a party of 1500 horse in
order to surprize the king and his few guards. The Muscovites entered by
night; but the alarm being given, the fortune which still had waited on
the Swedish armies, immediately put them all to the rout; and the army
soon after arriving, the conqueror lost no time, but pursued those that
remained alive into the forest of Mensky, on the other side of which the
czar had then entrenched himself, and had made the general rendezvous of
the Russian army, which was continually divided into parties; and
sometimes falling on the Swedes in the rear, and sometimes in the flank,
very much annoyed them in their march: these brave men had also other
difficulties to encounter with; the forest was so extremely thick, that
the infantry were obliged to fell down trees every moment, during the
whole time of their passage, to make way for the baggage and troops.

Their industry and vigour surmounting all these obstacles, they once
more found themselves in an open country, but on the banks of a river,
on the opposite side of which were 20,000 Muscovites placed to oppose
their crossing. The king made no delay, but quitting his horse, threw
himself into the river, and was instantly followed by all the foot,
while the troops under the command of general Renchild and Hoorn,
galloped round thro' the morrass in which that river ended, and both
together charged the enemy, who, after some faint shew of resistance,
fled with the utmost precipitation. The whole army being now joined
marched on toward the Boristhenes, but with fatigues which are
impossible to be described: Horatio kept still close to the king, and
whether he fought or marched, was on foot or on horsback, was always in
his fight ready to bear his commands to the generals, or assist him in
the time of danger. More than once had the conqueror been indebted to
this young warrior, for turning the point of the destructive sword from
giving him the same death he was dealing about to others; yet in all the
dangers he had been in never had he received one wound, and this often
made the king say, who was a firm believer in predestination, that
heaven designed him for a soldier: his fortune, his valour, his
activity, added to his obliging and modest behaviour, indeed rendered
him so dear to his royal master, that there were very few, if any, to
whom he gave greater marks of his favour. And had Dorilaus, or even
Charlotta herself, all tender as she was, and trembling for the hazards
she knew he had been exposed to, seen him thus caressed and honoured by
the most glorious prince and greatest hero in the world, they could
scarce have wished him to quit the post he was in, much less persuaded
him to do it.

He hitherto indeed had experienced only the happiness of a martial life,
for the fatigues, hardships, and dangers of it he as little regarded as
the intrepid and indefatigable prince he served; but now arrived the
time which was to inflict on him the worst miseries of it, and make him
almost curse a vocation he had been in his soul so much attached to.

The king of Sweden, with his usual success having passed the
Boristhenes, encountered a party of 10,000 Muscovites and 6000 Calmuck
Tartars; but they gave way on the first onset and fled into a wood,
where the king, following the dictates of his great courage more than
prudence, pursuing them, fell into an ambuscade, which, throwing
themselves between him and three regiments of horse that were with him,
hem'd him in, and now began a very unequal fight.--Many of the gallant
Swedes were cut to pieces, and the Muscovites made quite up to his
majesty:--two aid-de-camps were killed within his presence, his own
horse was shot under him, and as an equerry was presenting him with
another, both horse and man was struck dead in the same moment.--Horatio
immediately alighted in order to mount the king, who now on foot behaved
with incredible valour, in that action was surrounded and taken
prisoner, as were several others that had fought near his person. He had
the satisfaction, however, while they were disarming and tying his
hands, to see colonel Dardoff with his regiment force thro' the
Calmucks, and arrive timely enough to disengage the king, after which
the army recovering its rank, and pouring in upon the enemy, he was not
without hopes of regaining his liberty; but he was sat upon a horse and
bound fast to the saddle, and compelled, with the others that were taken
with him, to accompany the Muscovites in their flight, so was ignorant
in what manner this re-encounter ended. Soon after repairing to the
czar's quarters, these unfortunate officers of the king of Sweden were,
with some others who had before become their prize, sent under a strong
guard to Petersburgh, and thrown altogether into a miserable dungeon.

It would be impossible to describe the horrors of this place:--light
there was, but it was only so much as just served to shew to each of
these unhappy sufferers the common calamity of them all.--The roof was
arched indeed, but so low, that the shortest among them could scarce
stand upright:--no kind of furniture, not even straw to cover the damp
earthen floor, which served them for a seat by day and bed at night.
Inured as they had been to hardships, the noisomeness of this dreadful
vault killed many of them, and among the rest a young Swedish officer
named Gullinstern, one with whom Horatio had contracted a very intimate
friendship, and who, for his many excellent qualities, had been so dear
to the king, that seeing him one day greatly wounded, and in danger of
being taker, prisoner, that generous prince obliged him to mount on his
own horse, and fought on foot himself till another could be brought.

The light of this gentleman expiring in his arms, filled Horatio with so
poignant an anguish, that he wanted but little of following him; and,
indeed, had it not been for the sanguine hopes that the king would in a
short time complete the ruin of the czar, and not only restore them
liberty, but also add vengeance to it for the ill treatment they had
found in his dominions, few, if any of them, had been able to support
the miseries inflicted on them by these inhuman wretches, who, not
content with burying them in a manner alive, for the dungeon they were
in was deep underground, and allowing them no other food than bread and
water once in four and twenty hours, made savage sport at their
condition, ridiculed the conquests of their king, and spoke in the most
opprobrious terms of his royal person, which, when some of them were
unable to restrain themselves from answering in a manner befitting their
duty and love of justice, they were silenced by the most cruel stripes.

Thus were the officers of the king of Sweden, the meanest of whom were
fit to be generals in any other army, subjected to the servile taunts,
and insolent behaviour of wretches undeserving to be ranked among the
human species.

A very little time had doubtless made them all find graves among these
barbarians; scarce a day passed over without their company decreasing by
two or three, who were no sooner dead than dragged out by the heels, and
thrown like dogs into a pit without the least funeral rites. But
providence at length thought fit to send them a relief by means they
least expected.

In one of the incursions made by the Muscovites into Poland, a very
beautiful lady, whose father had been killed in asserting the cause of
Stanislaus, was made prisoner: prince Menzikoff, who commanded these
batallions, saw her, and became enamoured of her charms: she was
destitute of all friends, and in the conqueror's power, so thought it
best to yield what otherwise she found him determined to seize: in fine,
she was his mistress; and her ready compliance with his desires,
together with the love she either had or feigned to have for him,
afterward gained her an absolute ascendant over him. Every one knows the
interest he had with the czar; and he so far exerted it, as to get this
fair favourite lodged in the palace, where she was served with the same
state and respect as if she had been his wife.

This lady, whose name was Edella, happened to be walking with some of
her attendants near where these unfortunate gentlemen were buried, at a
time when three of them were dragged to their wretched sepulchre, was
touched with compassion to see any thing that had a human shape thus
coarsely treated, tho' after death, and had the curiosity to order one
of her people to enquire who those persons were, and what they had done,
which hindered them from being allowed a christian burial.

She was no sooner informed that they were Swedish prisoners, than her
soul shuddered at the thoughts of the Russian barbarity; and not
doubting but their usage during life had been of a piece with that after
their death, she resolved, if possible, to procure some abatement of the
miseries of those who yet survived.

To this end she made it her business to examine what number of prisoners
had been brought, of what condition they were, and where lodged; and
being well acquainted with all she wanted to know, went to the governor
of Petersburg, and so well represented how dishonourable it was to the
czar, and how opposite to the law of nations, to treat prisoners of war
in a worse manner than they would do condemned felons, that he knowing
the power of prince Menzikoff, and fearing to disoblige one so dear to
him by a refusal, consented they should be removed into an upper part of
the prison where they would have more air, and also that they should
have an allowance of meat every day.

As the governor was a true Muscovite in his nature and had an implacable
hatred to the king of Sweden and all that belonged to him, this was
gaining a great deal; but it was not enough to satisfy the charitable
disposition of Edella; after their removal, she went in person to visit
those of them whom she heard were gentlemen, and finding them covered
only with rags, which some of the soldiers had put on them after having
stripped them of their own rich habits, she ordered others lined with
furs to be made for them, to defend them from the coldness of the
season; and not content to retrench a great part of her own table, sold
several fine jewels, and other trinkets the prince had bestowed on her,
to supply them with wine, and whatever necessaries she supposed them to
be accustomed to. That she might be certain those entrusted by her did
not abuse her good intentions, she went often to the prison herself to
see how they were served, and would sometimes enter into discourse with
them concerning the battles they had been in, the settlement of
Stanislaus, and many other things relating to the Polish affairs. The
gallant and courtly manner in which Horatio expressed himself on every
occasion, made her take a particular pleasure in hearing him speak: that
rough blunt behaviour to which she had been accustomed since her being
brought a captive into Muscovy, gave double charms to the politeness
with which she found herself entertained by our young warrior; his
blooming years, and the gracefulness of his person, contributed not a
little also towards rendering every thing he said more agreeable. Her
liking of him grew by degrees into a friendship, no less tender than
that one feels for very near relations, and who have never done any
thing to disoblige us, are more endeared by being under undeserved
calamity: but as the inclination she had for him was perfectly innocent,
and no ways prejudicial to the prince who was in possession of her
person, she made no secret of it either to himself or those she
conversed with, and was always talking of the wit, delicacy, and
handsomeness of one of those prisoners, whom it was well known were
pensioners to her bounty. But how dangerous is it to be too open before
persons who, void of all true generosity, or the lead principle of
honour themselves, never fail to put the worst construction on the
actions of others. Edella was very near being undone by her sincerity in
acknowledging the distinction she paid to merit, or the compassion she
felt for misfortunes, in a country where humanity to enemies is looked
upon as a crime, friendship to those of the same party altogether
unknown, and even common civility never practised but for the
gratification of self-interest, or some favourite passion.

This beautiful Polander however being treated by the Muscovites, on
account of the influence she had over the prince Menzikoff, with as much
complaisance as it was in their power to shew, imagined their
disposition less savage than it was in reality; and when she testified
the pity she had for those unhappy gentlemen, it was with design to
excite it in others, and engage them to join with her in petitioning the
czar, at his return, for their enlargement, there being no cartel or
exchange of prisoners subsisting between him and the king of Sweden.

Among the number she hoped to gain to her party was Mattakesa, the
relique of a general who had been in great favour with his prince. This
lady, who could speak French, having learned it of a recusant that took
shelter in Russia, consented to go with her one day to the prison, and
no sooner saw Horatio, than, unfortunately for him, Edella, and herself,
she became charmed with him: as she was of the number of those who think
nothing a crime that suits their own inclination, she took not the least
pains to subdue the growing passion, but rather indulged it, in order to
receive the highest degree of pleasure in the gratification. She doubted
not but Edella was her rival, and that it was for his sake alone she had
been so beneficent to his fellow-sufferers: to supplant her, therefore,
was the first step she had to take, and she resolved to omit nothing for
that purpose.



CHAP. XX.

_The treachery of a Russian lady to her friend: her passion for Horatio:
the method he took to avoid making any return, and some other
entertaining occurrences._

It is easy to believe that Horatio, tho' relieved from that extremity of
misery he suffered while in the dungeon, was far from being able to
content himself with his present condition:--a thousand times he
reproached himself for pursuing the dictates of a glory which now seemed
so tyrannic:--Have I, cried he, hazarded the eternal displeasure of the
best of men,--refused the invitation of the adorable
Charlotta,--slighted the condescentions of her father,--been deaf both
to interest and love, to become a prisoner to the worst of
barbarians!--Who now will pity me!--Or if they yet would be so good, how
shall I acquaint them with my wretched fate!--Nay, were there even a
possibility of that, what would the compassion of the whole world avail,
since a slave to those, who, contrary to the law of nations, and even
common humanity, refuse, on any terms, to release the wretches fallen
into their savage power!

In this manner did he bewail himself night and day, and indeed had but
too just reasons for doing so:--he had heard that the last time the czar
had been at Petersburg, he had sent all the prisoners he had then taken
to Siberia, and other province of the greater Tartary, where they were
compelled, without any distinction, to do the work of horses rather than
men, and doubted not but at his next return all those now in his power
would meet the same fate, tho' the generous king of Sweden had sent back
the Muscovites he had taken, by 1500 and 2000 at a time.--This, however,
may be said in favour of the czar, that by the many attempts he made to
civilize his barbarous subjects, it must be supposed he would have been
glad to have imitated this generosity, had it been confident with his
safety; but the case had this difference, Charles XII. feared not the
number of the Muscovites, but the czar feared the courage of the Swedes.

What also increased the affliction of these gentlemen, was, that being
debarred from all intelligence, they could hear nothing of their king,
whom each of them loved with a kind of filial affection and
duty.--Horatio and two others had been witnesses of the extreme danger
in which they left him; and tho' at the time they were seized he had
killed thirteen or fourteen Muscovites with his own hand, and they
perceived general Dardoff had come up to his relief, yet they could not
be certain of his safety; till at length the sweet-conditioned Edella
perceiving the despair they were in on this account, informed them that
his majesty was not only well, but as successful as ever; that he had
passed far into Ukrania, had defeated the Muscovites in five battles,
and so far reduced the czar, that he had condescended to make some
overtures of peace; which having been rejected, it was the common
opinion, that in a very short time the Swedes would enter Moscow, and
become arbiters of Russia as they had been of Poland.

Adequate to their late grief was their satisfaction at this joyful
news:--Horatio was transported above his companions, and threw himself
at the feet of the fair intelligencer; but she desired they would all of
them moderate their contentment so far as to hinder the guards, who had
the care of them, from perceiving it, because, said she, it might not
only draw on yourselves worse treatment, but also render me suspected of
being against the interest of a court, on which my fate has reduced me
to become a dependant.

Horatio, as well as the others, assured her he would take care to manage
the felicity she had bestowed upon them, so as not to be any way
prejudicial to her; and she took her leave, promising to be with them
again in a few days, and bring them farther information, a courier from
the camp, she said, being expected every hour.

But while this compassionate lady was pleasing herself, by giving all
the ease in her power to the distressed, the cruel Mattakesa was
plotting her destruction.--She had several of her kindred, and a great
many acquaintance in the army, who were in considerable posts, to all of
whom she exclaimed against the loose behaviour, as she termed it, of
Edelia, and represented her charities to the prisoners as the effects of
a wanton inclination:--this she doubted not but would come to prince
Menzikoff's ears, and perhaps incense him enough to cause her to be
privately made away with; for as she imagined nothing less than the most
amorous intercourse between her and Horatio, she thought it unadvisable
to declare the passion she had for him, till a rival so formidable, by
the advantages she had over her in youth and beauty, should be removed.

This base woman therefore impatiently waited the arrival of the next
courier, to find how far her stratagem had succeeded; and the moment she
heard he had delivered his dispatches, flew to the apartment of Edella,
in hopes of being informed of what she so much desired to know.

She was not altogether deceived in her expectations: she found that lady
drowned in tears, with a letter lying open before her; and on her
enquiring, with a shew of the utmost concern, the motives of her grief,
the other, who looked on her as her real friend, replied, alas!
Mattakesa, I have cruel enemies; I cannot guess for what cause, for
willingly I never gave offence to any one;--but see, continued she, how
barbarously they have abused my innocence, and represented actions
which, heaven knows, were influenced only by charity and compassion as
the worst of crimes! with these words she gave her the letter which she
had just received from the prince,

Mattakesa took it with a greedy pleasure, and found it contained these
lines:

_To_ EDELLA.

Madam,


"I left you in a place, furnished, as I thought,
with every thing necessary for your satisfaction;
but I find I was mistaken in your constitution,
and that there was something wanting,
which, rather than not possess, you must have
recourse to a prison to procure:--ungrateful
as you are to the affection I have treated you
with, I am sorry for your ill conduct, and could
with you had been, at least, more private in
your amours: few men but would have sent an
order for removing you and the persons, for
whose sake you have made these false steps,
into a place where you would have cause to
curse the fatal inclination that seduced you:
think therefore how much you owe a prince,
who, instead of punishing your faults, contents
himself with letting you know he is not ignorant
of them.--If you make a right use of
the lenity I shew on this occasion, you may
perhaps retrieve some part of the influence you
once had over me; but see the Swedish prisoners
no more, if you hope or desire ever to see

MENZIKOFF."


Mattakesa affected the greatest astonishment on having read this letter;
and after having cursed the persons that put such vile suspicions into
the prince's head, asked her what she intended to do.

What can I do! answered the sorrowful Edella, but write to my lord all
the assurances that words, can give him, which heaven knows I can truly
do, that I never wronged him even in wish or thought; and that since
there are people so cruel to misinterpret to my dishonour, what was
nothing but mere charity, to obey his commands with the utmost
punctuality, and never set my foot into that prison more?

Her false friend could not but applaud her resolution, yet told her it
was pity that ill tongues should deprive those unfortunate gentlemen of
the relief she had hitherto afforded them, or herself of the pleasure
she took in their conversation.

As for the first, said Edella, heaven may perhaps raise the mother
friends more capable of lifting them; and as to the other, were it
infinitely greater, it would be my inclination, as it is my duty, to
sacrifice every thing to the will of a prince whom I love, and to whom I
am so much obliged.

Mattakesa having thus compared her design, so far as to be under no
apprehensions of being interrupted by her imagined rival, tho' she had
rather she had been poisoned or strangled, went directly to the prison
and told the gentlemen, it was with the utmost concern she must acquaint
them that Edella would never visit them any more, nor continue the
weekly pension she had hitherto allowed them.

Those among them who understood her, and the others to whom Horatio
interpreted what she said, looked one upon another with a great deal of
consternation, as imagining one of them had done something to offend
her, and thereby the rest were thought unworthy of her
favours.--Everyone endeavoured to clear himself of what he easily saw
his companions suspected him guilty of; till Mattakesa, with a scornful
smile, told them, that it was not owing to the behaviour of any of them,
but to Edella's own inconstant disposition, that they owed the
withdrawing of her bounty; but to console them for the loss of it, she
promised to speak to some of her friends in their behalf, and also to
contribute something herself towards alleviating their misfortunes; but,
added she, I am not the mistress of a prince and first favourite, so
have it not in my power to act as the generosity of my nature
inclines me to do.

She stayed with them a considerable time, and entertained them with
little else than railing on Edella; and to make her appear as odious and
contemptible as she could to Horatio, insinuated that it was for the
sake of a young needy favourite she had been obliged to withdraw the
allowance they had from her.

On taking leave she found means to slip a little billet into Horatio's
hands, unperceived by any of the company, which, as soon as he had a
convenient opportunity, he opened, and found these words in French:

_To the agreeable_ HORATIO.

SIR,


"Tho' I have not perhaps so much beauty
as Edella, I have twice her sincerity, and
not many years older: such as I am, however,
I fancy you will think a correspondence with
me of too much advantage to be refused:--if
you will counterfeit an indisposition, to-morrow
I will out of excessive charity visit you, and
bring you a refreshment, I flatter myself, will
not be disagreeable to a man in your circumstances:--farewell;--be
secret,--and love as well as you can,

_Yours_,

MATTAKESA."


Of all the accidents that had befallen Horatio since his leaving
England, none ever so much surprized him as the prodigious impudence of
this lady: he had heard talk of such adventures, but never till now
believed there could be any such thing in nature, as a woman that
offered herself in this manner, without the least sollicitation from the
person on whom she wished to lavish what ought only to be the reward of
an approved, or at least a shew of the most violent passion.

The dilemma he was in how to behave, was also equal to his
astonishment:--had she been the most lovely of her sex, as she was very
much the reverse, the ever present idea of his dear Charlotta would have
defended his heart from the invasions of any other charms; but he needed
not that pre-engagement to make him look with detestation on a woman of
Mattakesa's principles:--when he reflected on what she had said
concerning Edella, he found her base, censorious, and unjust:--and when
he considered the manner in which she proceeded in regard to himself, he
saw a lewdness and audacity which rendered her doubly odious, to
him:--he doubted not but she was wicked and subtle enough to contrive
some means of revenging herself, in case she met with a disappointment
in her wishes, yet had too great an abhorrence to be able to entertain
one thought of gratifying them.

As he was young and unexperienced in the world, he would have been glad
of some advice how to act so as not to incur her resentment, yet avoid
her love; but the strict notions he had of honour remonstrated to him
that he ought not to betray a secret of that nature, tho' confided in
him by an ill woman.--Her baseness, cried he to himself, would be no
excuse for mine; and it is better for me to risque whatever her malice
may inflict, than forfeit my character, by exposing a woman who pretends
to love me.

These thoughts kept him waking the whole night; and his restlessness
being observed by an old Swedish officer who by with him, he was very
much importuned by him to discover to him the occasion.--Horatio
defended himself for a good while by the considerations before recited;
but at length reflecting; that the person who was so desirous of being
let into the secret, had a great deal of discretion, he at length
suffered himself to be prevailed upon, and told him what Mattakesa had
wrote to him, for he did not understand a word of French, so could not
read the letter.

This officer no sooner heard the story, than he laughed heartily at the
scruples of Horatio, in thinking himself bound to conceal an affair of
this nature with a woman of the character Mattakesa must needs be:--he
also rallied his delicacy, as he termed it, in hesitating one moment
whether he should gratify the lady's inclinations.--One would imagine,
said he, that so long a fall from love as we have had, should render our
appetites more keen:--what, tho' Mattakesa be neither handsome nor very
young, she is a woman, and amorous, and methinks there should need no
other excitements to a young man like you.

Horatio, tho' naturally gay, was not at present in a disposition to
continue this raillery, and told his friend, he looked on this
inclination of Mattakesa to be as great a misfortune as could happen to
them; for, said he, as it is wholly out of my power to make her any
returns, that violence of temper which has transported her to forget the
modesty of her sex, will probably, when she finds herself rejected, make
her as easily throw off all the softness of it; and you may all feel the
effects of that revenge she will endeavour to take on me.

The other was entirely of his opinion; and they both agreed that, some
way ought to thought on to avert the storm, her resentment might in all
probability occasion.

After many fruitless inventions, they at last hit upon one which had a
prospect of success: they had in their company a gentleman called
Mullern, nephew to chancellor Mullern, who had attended the king in all
his wars: he was handsome, well made, and his age, tho' much superior to
that of Horatio, yet was not so far advanced as to render him
disagreeable to the fair sex: he was of a more than ordinary sanguine
disposition, and had often said, of all the hardships their captivity
had inflicted on them, he felt none so severely as being deprived of a
free conversation with women.--In the ravages the king of Sweden's arms
had made in Lithuania, Saxony and Poland, he was sure to secure to
himself three or four of the finest women; and tho' he had been often
checked by his uncle, and even by the king himself, for giving too great
a loose to his amorous inclinations, yet all their admonitions were too
weak to restrain the impetuosity of his desires this way. To him,
therefore, they resolved to communicate the affair; and as he was in
other respects the most proper object among them to succeed in
supplanting Horatio, so he was also by being perfectly well versed in
the French language, which the rest were ignorant of.

Accordingly they told him what had happened, shewed him the letter, and
how willing Horatio would be to transfer all the interest he had in this
lady to him, if he could by any means ingratiate himself into her
favour. Mullern was transported at the idea; and the stratagem contrived
among them for this purpose was executed in the following manner:

Mattakesa was punctual to the promise she had made in her letter; and
when she came into the room, where she usually found the gentlemen
altogether, it being that where they dined, and saw not Horatio, she
doubted not but he had observed her directions, and pretended himself
indisposed, so asked for him, expecting to be told that he was ill; but
when they answered that he was gone with one of the keepers to the top
of the round tower, in order to satisfy his curiosity in taking a view
of the town, she was confounded beyond expression, and could not imagine
what had occasioned him to slight an assignation, she had flattered
herself he would receive with extacy.

As she was in a little resvery, endeavouring to comprehend, if possible,
the motive of so manifest a neglect, Mullern drew near to her, and
beginning to speak of the beauties of that fine city which the czar had
erected in the midst of war, he told her, that having a little skill in
drawing, he had ventured to make a little sketch of it in chalk on the
walls of the room where he lay, and entreated her in the most gallant
manner to look upon it, and give him her opinion how far he had done
justice to an edifice so much admired.

It cannot be supposed that Mattakesa had in her soul any curiosity to
see a work of this nature, yet, to hide as much as she could the
disorder she was in at her disappointment, gave him her hand, in order
to be concluded to the place where he pretended to have been exercising
his genius.

As soon as they were entered he threw the door, as if by incident, which
having a spring lock, immediately was made fast--She either did not, or
seemed not to regard what he had done; but casting her eyes round the
room, and seeing nothing of what he had mentioned,--Where is this
drawing? cried she. In my heart, adorable Mattakesa, answered he, falling
at her feet at the same time:--it is not the city of Petersburg, but the
charming image of its brightest ornament, that the god of love has
engraven on my heart in characters too indelible ever to be
erased:--from the first moment I beheld those eyes my soul has been on
fire, and I must have consumed with inward burnings had I not revealed
my flame:--pardon, continued he, the boldness of a passion which knows
no bounds; and tho' I may not be so worthy of your love as the too happy
Horatio, I am certainly not less deserving of your pity.

Surprize, and perhaps a mixture of secret satisfaction prevented her
from interrupting him during the first part of his discourse; but rage,
at the mention of Horatio, forced from her this exclamation:--has the
villain then betrayed me! cried she.--No, madam, replied he, justice
obliges me to acquit him, tho' my rival.--He had the misfortune, in
putting your billet into his pocket, to let it fall; I took it up unseen
by him,--opened it, read it, and must confess, that all my generosity to
my friend was wholly swallowed up in my passion for you.--I returned not
to him that kind declaration you were pleased to make him, and he is
ignorant of the blessing you intended for him:--if the crime I have been
guilty of seem unpardonable in your eyes, command my death, I will
instantly obey you, for life would be a torment under your displeasure;
and if, in my last moments, you vouchsafe some part of that softness to
the occasion of my fate, that you so lavishly bestowed on the fortunate
Horatio, I will bless the lovely mouth that dooms me to destruction!

He pronounced all this with an emphasis, which made her not doubt the
power of her charms; and surveying him while he was speaking, found
enough in his person to compensate for the disappointment she had met
with from Horatio: besides, she reflected, that if what he had told her
concerning the dropping her letter, was a fiction, it was however an
ingenious one, and shewed his wit, as well as love, in bringing both
himself and friend off in so handsome a manner. She was infatuated with
the praises he gave her;--the pathetic expressions he made use of,
assured her of the ardency of his desires, and as she could not be
certain of being able to inspire Horatio with the same, she wisely chose
to accept the present offer, rather than wait for what might perhaps at
last deceive her expectations. She made, however, no immediate answer;
but her eyes told him she was far from being displeased with what he had
said, and gave him courage to take up one of her hands and kiss it, with
an eagerness which confirmed his protestations.

At last,--Well, Mullern, said she, looking languishingly on him, since
chance has made you acquainted with my foible, I think I must bribe you
to secrecy, by forgiving the liberties you take with me:--and if I were
convinced you really love me as well as you pretend, might indulge you
yet farther.--An unaccountable caprice indeed swayed me in favour of
Horatio, but I am now half inclinable to believe you are more deserving
my regard;--but rise, continued she, I will hear nothing from you while
in that posture.

Mullern, who was no less bold in love than war, immediately obeyed her,
and testified his gratitude for her condescention, by giving a sudden
spring and snatching her to his breast, pressed her in so arduous a
manner, that she would have been incapable of resisting, even tho' she
had an inclination to do so: but she, no less transported than himself,
returned endearment for endearment, and not only permitted, but assisted
all his raptures,--absolutely forgot Horatio, as well as all sense of
her own shame, and yielded him a full enjoyment without even an
affectation of repugnance.

Both parties, in fine, were perfectly satisfied with each other, and
having mutually sworn a thousand oaths of fidelity which neither of
them, it is probable, had any intention to keep, Mullern took upon
himself the care of continuing to entertain her in private as often as
she came to the prison, and in return she made him a present of a purse
of gold, after which they passed into the outer room to prevent censures
on their staying too long together.

On their return they found Horatio with the other gentlemen. Abandoned
as Mattakesa was, she could not keep herself from blushing a little at
sight of him; but soon recovering herself by the help of her natural
audacity,--Well, Horatio, said she, what do you think of the little
French epigram I put into your hands yesterday;--has it not a very
agreeable point?

Horatio had such an aversion to all kind of deceit, that even here,
where it was so necessary, he could not, without some hesitation, answer
to what she said in these words.--Some accident or other, cried he,
deprived me of the pleasure you were so good to intend me; for when I
put my hand in my pocket thinking to read it, I perceived I was so
unhappy as to have lost, it:--I looked for it in vain:--it was
irrecoverably gone, and I am an utter stranger to the contents.

And ever shall be so, replied she tartly, only to punish your
carelessness of a lady's favour; know, that it was a piece of wit which
would have been highly agreeable to you:--but don't expect I shall take
the pains to write it over again, or even tell you the subject on which
it turned.

Horatio cooly said, he could not but confess he had been to blame, and
must therefore allow the justice of her proceeding. As none present
besides himself, his bedfellow, and Mullern, knew the truth of this
affair, what passed between them was taken by the others as literally
spoken, and little suspected to couch the mystery it really did.

Mullern, after this, by the assistance of Horatio and the old officer,
had frequent opportunities of gratifying his own and the amorous
Mattakesa's desires.--The testimonies she gave him how well she was
pleased with his conversation, were for the common good of his
companions.--Horatio was easy in finding himself out of all danger of
any solicitations he was determined never to acquiesce in; and those
three who were in the secret passed their time pleasantly enough,
whenever they had an opportunity of talking on this adventure, without
any of the others being witnesses of what they said.



CHAP. XXI.

_The prisoners expectations raised: a terrible disappointment: some of
the chief carried to prince Menzikoff's palace: their usage there.
Horatio set at liberty, and the occasion_.

Our captives had soon after a new matter of rejoicing: a Polander in the
service of Muscovy, who had been taken prisoner by the Swedes, and was
discharged and sent home, with a great number of others, by the
unparallell'd generosity of Charles XII. was one of the guards who now
did duty in the prison. It was often his turn to bring them their poor
allowance of provision; and having some pity for their condition, as
well as gratitude for a people who had used him and his companions in a
different manner, told them, that they might be of good heart, for, said
he, you will soon be set at liberty:--our emperor has enough to do to
keep his ground in Ukraina: Charles is as victorious as ever:--the
prince of the Cosaques, one of the bravest men on earth, next to
himself, has entered into an alliance with him:--king Stanislaus is
sending him succours from Poland:--a powerful reinforcement is coming to
him from Lithuania; and when these armies are joined, as I believe they
already are, nothing can withstand them:--you will hear the Swedish
march beat from this prison walls,--and perhaps see your present
conquerors change places with you; and, to confirm the truth of what I
say, continued he, I can further assure you that the czar, before I left
the camp, was in the utmost confusion:--his council, as well as army,
were at a stand, and he had twice made overtures of peace, and
been refused.

This was an intelligence which might well be transporting to the king of
Sweden's officers:--the thought; of seeing him enter Petersburgh a
conqueror,--of once more embracing their old friends and companions, and
of triumphing over those who had so cruelly abused the power the chance
of war had put into their hands, made them all, in their turns, hug and
bless the kind informer:--they also asked him several questions
concerning the generals; and each being more particular concerning those
they had the greatest interest in, received from this honest soldier all
the satisfaction they could desire.

As couriers were continually arriving from the army, there passed few
days without hearing some farther confirmation of their most sanguine
expectations; but at length the guard being again changed, they lost all
further intelligence, and were for several months without being able to
hear any thing of what passed. They doubted not, however, but as things
were in so good a disposition, every day brought them nearer to the
completion of their wishes; and it was this pleasing prospect which
addressed their misfortunes, and enabled them to sustain cheerfully
those hardships which, almost ever since the withdrawing of Edella's
bounty, they had laboured under.--Mattakesa, in the beginning of her
amours with Mullern, had indeed made him some presents, which he shared
with his companions; but either the natural inconstancy of her temper
making her grow weary of this intrigue for the sake of another, or her
circumstances not allowing her to continue such Donations, she soon grew
sparing of them, and at length totally desisted her visits at
the prison.

As, ever since the compassionate Edella had procured them to be
removed from the dungeon, they had enjoyed the privilege of walking on
the leads, and going up to the round tower, which being of a very great
height, not only overlooked the town, but the country round for a
considerable distance, they frequently made use of this indulgence, at
first for no other purpose than to have the benefit of the open air, but
now in hope of seeing their beloved prince at the head of a victorious
army approaching to give them liberty and relief.--But, alas! how
terrible a reverse of their high-raised expectations had inconstant
fortune in store for them.--One day as they were sitting together,
discoursing on the usual topics with which they entertained each other,
and endeavoured to beguile the tedious time, they heard a confused noise
as of some sudden tumult.--Tho' they had now been above a year in
Russia, none of them could speak the language well enough to be
understood, so could receive no information from the guard, even should
they have proved good-natured enough to be willing to satisfy their
curiosity, so they all run hastily up to the round tower, whence they
easily perceived the town in great confusion, and the people running in
such crowds, that in the hurry many were trampled to death in
endeavouring to pass the gates:--at a distance they perceived standards
waving in the air, but could not yet distinguish what arms they bore.--A
certain shivering and palpitation, the natural consequence of suspence,
ran thro' all their nerves, divided as they were at this sight, between
hope and fear; but when it drew more near,--when, instead of Swedish
colours they beheld those of Russia;--when, in the place where they
expected to see their gallant king coming to restore them once more to
freedom, they saw the implacable czar enter in triumph, followed by
those heroes, the least of whom had lately made him tremble, now in
chains, and exposed to the ribald mirth and derision of the gaping
crowd, they lost at once their fortitude, and even all sense of
expressing their grief at this misfortune:--the shock of it was so
violent, it even took away the power of feeling it, and they remained
for some moments rather like statues carv'd out by mortal art, than real
men created by God, and animated with living souls. A general groan was
the first mark they gave of any sensibility of this dreadful stroke of
fate; but when recruited spirits once more gave utterance to words, how
terrible were their exclamations! Some of them, in the extravagance of
despair, said things relating to fate and destiny, which, on a less
occasion, could have little merited forgiveness.

Unable either to remove from the place, or view distinctly what their
eyes were fixed upon, they stayed till the whole cavalcade was passed,
then went down and threw themselves upon the floor, where their ears
were deafen'd by the noise of guns, loud huzza's, and other testimonies
of popular rejoicings, both within and without the prison walls.--What
have we now to expect? cried one,--endless slavery:--chains, infamy,
lasting as our lives, replied another. Then let us dye, added a third.
Right, said his companion feircely;--the glory of Sweden is lost!--Let
us disappoint these barbarians, these Russian monsters, of the pleasure
of insulting us on our country's fall.

In this romantic and distracted manner did they in vain endeavour to
discharge their breasts of the load of anguish each sustained.--Their
misfortune was not of a nature to be alleviated by words;--it was too
mighty for expression; and the more they spoke, the more they had yet to
say.--For three whole days they refused the wretched sustenance brought
to them; neither did the least slumber ever close their eyelids by
night: on the fourth the keeper of the prison came, and told them they
must depart.---They endeavoured not to inform themselves how or where
they were to be disposed of; in their present condition all places were
alike to them, so followed him, without speaking, down stairs, at the
bottom of which they found a strong guard of thirty soldiers, who having
chained them in a link, like slaves going to be sold at the market,
conducted them to a very stately palace adjoining to that belonging
to the czar.

They were but eight in number, out of fifty-five who had been taken
prisoners at the time Horatio was, and were thrown altogether in the
dungeon, the others having perished thro' cold and the noysomeness of
the place, before Edella had procured them a more easy situation; but
these eight that survived were all officers, and most of them men of
distinguished birth as well as valour, tho' their long imprisonment,
scanty food, and more than all, the grief they at present laboured under
made them look rather like ghosts, than men chose out of thousands to
fight always near the king of Sweden's person in every
hazardous attempt.

They were placed in a stately gallery, and there left, while the
officer, who commanded the party that came with them, went into an inner
room, but soon after returned, and another person with him; on which,
the first of this unhappy string was loosed from his companions, and a
signal made to him to enter a door, which was opened for him, and
immediately closed again.

For about half an hour there was a profound silence: our prisoners kept
it thro' astonishment; and the others, it is to be supposed, had orders
for doing so.--At the end of that time the door was again opened, and
the chain which fastened the second Swede to the others, was untied, and
he, in like manner as the former, bid to go in.--In some time after, the
same ceremony was observed to a third;--then to a fourth, fifth, sixth,
and seventh:--Horatio chanced to be the last, who, tho' alarmed to a
very great degree at the thoughts of what fate might have been inflicted
on his companions, went fearless in, more curious to know the meaning of
this mysterious proceeding, than anxious for what might befal him.

He had no sooner passed the door, than he found himself in a spacious
chamber richly adorned, at the upper end of which sat a man, leaning his
head upon his arm in a thoughtful posture.--Horatio immediately knew him
to be prince Menzikoff, whom he had seen during a short truce between
the czar and king Charles of Sweden, when both their armies were in
Lithuania. There were no other persons present than one who had the
aspect of a jew, and as it proved was so, that stood near the prince's
chair, and a soldier who kept the door.

Horatio was bid to approach, and when he did so,--you are called hither,
said the jew in the Swedish language, to answer to such questions as
shall be asked you, concerning a conspiracy carried on between you and
your fellow-prisoners with the enemies of Russia. Horatio understood the
language perfectly well, having conversed so long with Swedes, but never
could attain to a perfect pronounciation of it, so replied in French,
that he knew the prince could speak French, and he would therefore
answer to any interrogatories his highness should be pleased to make
without the help of an interpreter.

Are you not then a Swede? said the prince. Horatio then told him that he
was not, but came from France into the service of the king of Sweden
merely thro' his love of arms.

On these words Menzikoff dismissed the jew, and looked earnestly on him;
wan and pale as he was grown thro' his long confinement, and the many
hardships he had sustained, this prince found something in him that
attracted his admiration.--Methinks, said he, since glory was your aim,
you might as well have hoped to acquire it under the banners of our
invincible emperor.

Alas! my lord, replied Horatio with a sigh, that title, till very
lately, was given to the king of Sweden, and, I believe, whatever fate
has attended that truly great prince, those who had the honour to be
distinguished by him, will never be suspected either of cowardice or
baseness.--It was by brave and open means our king taught his soldiers
the way to victory, not by mean subterfuges and little plots:--I cannot
therefore conceive for what reason I am brought hither to be examined on
any score that has the appearance of a conspiracy.

Yes, replied the prince feircely, you and your fellow-prisoners have
endeavoured to insinuate yourselves into the favour of persons whom you
imagined entrusted with the secrets of the government:--being prisoners
of war, you formed contrivances for your escape, and attempted to
inveigle others to accompany your flight.

That every tittle of this accusation is false, my lord, cried Horatio,
there needs no more than the improbability of it to prove.--Indeed the
cruel usage we sustained, might have justified an attempt to free
ourselves, yet did such a design never enter our heads:--we were so far
from making use of any stratagems for that purpose, that we never made
the least overture to any of the guards, who were the only persons we
were allowed to converse with.

How! said the prince interrupting him, were not your privileges enlarged
by the interposition of a lady?--Did she not make you considerable
allowances out of her own purse, and frequently visit you to receive
your thanks?--And were you not emboldened by these favours to urge her
to reveal what secrets were in her knowledge, and even to assist you in
your escape?--You doubtless imagined you could prevail on her also to go
with you:--part of this, continued he, she has herself confessed:--it
will therefore be in vain for you to deny it:--if you ingenuously reveal
these particulars she has omitted, you may hope to find favour; but it
you obstinately persist, as your companions have done, in attempting to
impose upon me, you must expect to share the same fate immediately.

In speaking these words he made a sign to the soldier, who throwing open
a large folding door, discovered a rack on which one of the Swedish
officers was tied, and the others stood near bound, and in the hands of
the executioner.

This sight so amazed Horatio, that he had not the power of speaking one
word;--till Mullern, who happened to be the person that was fastened
upon the rack, cried out to him,--Be not lost in consideration, Horatio,
said he; are we not in the hands of Muscovites, from whom nothing that
is human can be expected?--rather prepare yourself to disappoint their
cruelty, by bravely suffering all they dare inflict.

Hold then, said Horatio, even Muscovites would chuse to have some
pretence for what they do; and sure the first favourite and
generalissimo of a prince, who boasts an inclination to civilize his
barbarous subjects, will not, without any cause, torture them whom
chance alone has put into his power, and who have never done him any
personal injury.--By heaven, pursued he, turning to the prince, we all
are innocent of any part of those crimes laid to our charge:--time,
perhaps, if our declarations are ineffectual, will convince your
highness we are so, and you will then regret the injustice you have
done us.

You all are in one story, cried the prince, but I am well assured of the
main point:--the particulars is all I want to be informed of:--but since
I am compelled to speak more plain, which of you is it for whose sake
you all received such instances of Edella's bounty?--Whoever tells me
that, even tho' it be the person himself, shall have both pardon
and liberty.

Impossible it is to express the astonishment every one was in at this
demand: five of them had not the least notion what it meant; but
Mullern, Horatio, and that friend to whom he had shewn the letter of
Mattakesa, had some conjecture of the truth, and presently imagined that
lady had been the incendiary to kindle the flame of jealousy in the
prince's breast. The affair, however, was of so nice a nature, that they
knew not how to vindicate Edella without making her seem more guilty, so
contented themselves with joining with the others, in protesting they
knew of no one among them who could boast of receiving any greater
favours from her than his fellows, but that what she did was instigated
merely by compassion, since she had never seen, or knew who any of them
were, till after she had moved the governor in their behalf:--they
acknowledged she had been so good as to come sometimes to the prison, in
order to see if those she entrusted with her bounty had been faithful in
the delivery of it; but that she never made the least difference between
them, and never had conversation with any one of them that was not in
the presence of them all. Mullern could not forbear adding to this, that
he doubted not but the persons who had incensed his highness into
groundless surmises, were also the same who had hindered her, by some
false insinuations or other, from continuing the allowance her charity
allowed them, and for the want of which they had since been near
perishing.

Prince Menzikoff listened attentively to what each said, and with no
less earnestness fixed his eyes on the face of every one as they
spoke.--Finding they had done, he was about giving some orders on their
account, when the keeper of the prison came hastily into the room, and
having entreated pardon for the interruption, presented a letter to the
prince, directed for brigadier Mullern, and brought, he said, just after
the prisoners were carried out.

Menzikoff commended his zeal in receiving and bringing it to him, as it
might possibly serve to give some light to the affair he was examining.

Having perused it, he demanded which of them was named Mullern? I am,
replied the brave Swede; and neither fear, nor am ashamed of any thing
under that name.

Hear then what is wrote to you by a lady, resumed the prince, with a
countenance more serene than he had worn since their being brought
before him, and presently read with a very audible voice these words:


"That you have been so long without
seeing me, my dear Mullern, or hearing
from me, is not owing to any decrease in my
affection, but to the necessity of my affairs:--if
you have any regard for me remaining, I
conjure you, if ever you are asked any questions
concerning the frequent visits I have made
you, to say I was sent by Edella, and that I was
no more than her emissary in the assistance you
received from me:--add also, that you have
reason to believe her charity was excited by
her liking one of your company:--mention
who you think fit; but I believe Horatio, as
the youngest and most handsome, will be the
most likely to gain credit to what you say.--
Depend upon it, that if you execute this commission
artfully, I will recompence it by procuring
your liberty:--nor need you have any
scruples concerning it, for no person will be
prejudiced by it, and the reputation preserved
of

_Yours,_

MATTAKESA."


I suppose, said the prince, as soon as he had done reading, turning to
Horatio, you are the person mentioned in the letter? Tho' I neither
desire nor deserve the epithets given me there my lord, replied he, yet
I will not deny but I am called Horatio.

Well, resumed the prince with a half smile, I am so well pleased with
the conviction this letter has given me, that I shall retain no
resentment against the malicious author of it.

He then ordered Mullern to be taken from the rack, which had never been
strained; nor had he any intention, as he now assured him, to put him to
the torture, but only to intimidate him, being resolved to make use of
every method he could think of for the full discovery of every thing
relating to the behaviour of his beloved Edella.--The other gentlemen
had also their fetters taken off, and the prince asked pardon of them
severally for the injury he had done them; then made them sit down and
partake of a handsome collation at that table, before which they had so
lately stood as delinquents at a bar.

The Russians are excessive in their carouses, and prince Menzikoff being
now in an admirable good humour, made them drink very freely:--to be the
more obliging to his guests, he began the king of Sweden's health in a
bumper of brandy, protesting at the same time, that tho' an enemy to his
master, he loved and venerated the hero: Horatio on this ventured to
enquire in what condition his majesty was; to which the prince replied,
that being greatly wounded, he was obliged to leave the field, and, it
was believed, had took the load toward the dominions of the grand
signior, some of the Russian troops having pursued him as far as the
Borysthenes where, by the incredible valour of a few that attended him,
they had been beat back.

The Swedish officers knew it must be bad indeed when their king was
compelled to fly; and this renewed in them a melancholy, which it was
not in the power of liquor, or the present civilities of the prince to
dissipate: they also learned that the generals Renchild, Slipenbock,
Hamilton, Hoorn, Leuenhaup, and Stackelburg, with the prince of
Wirtemburg, count Piper, and the flower of the whole army, were
prisoners at Muscow.

The misfortune of these great men would have been very afflicting to
those who heard it, could any thing have given addition to what they
knew before.--Prince Menzikoff was sensible of what they felt, and to
alleviate their grief, assured them that he would take upon him to give
them all their liberty, without even exacting a promise from them never
more to draw their swords against the czar, in case the king of Sweden
should ever be able to take the field again.

So generous a proceeding both merited and received their utmost
acknowledgments: but he put an end to the serious demonstrations they
were about to make him of their gratitude, by saying,--I pay you no more
than I owe you:--I have wronged you:--this is but part of the
retaliation I ought to make:--besides, added he laughing, Mattakesa
promised Mullern his freedom; and as she has done me the good office,
tho' undesignedly, of revealing to me her own treachery, I can do no
less than assist her in fulfilling, her covenant.

To prove how much he was in earnest, he called his secretary, and
ordered him to make out their passports with all expedition, that they
might be ready to depart next morning; after which he made them repose
themselves in his palace the remainder of the night; which being in a
manner vastly different from what they had been accustomed to of a long
time, indeed ever since their quitting Alranstadt, they did not fail to
do, notwithstanding the discontent of their minds.

Prince Menzikoff, being now convinced of the fidelity of Edella, passed
into her apartment, where the reconciliation between them took up so
much time, that it was near noon next day before he appeared: his new
guests had not quitted their chambers much sooner; but after reproaching
themselves for having been so tardy, went altogether to take leave of
the prince, and accept the passports he had been so good to order. As
they were got ready, he gave them immediately into their hands, and told
them, they were at liberty to quit Petersburg that moment, if they
pleased; or if they had any curiosity to take a view of that city, they
might gratify it, and begin their journey next morning. As it was now so
late in the day, they accepted his highness's offer, and walked out to
see a place which had excited so much admiration in the world, since
from a wild waste, in ten years time, a spacious and most beautiful city
had arose in the midst of war, and proved the genius of the founder
greater in civil than in military arts, tho' it must be owned he was
indefatigable in the study of both.

The officers of the king of Sweden were entertained with the same
elegance and good humour they had been the night before; and as they
were now resolved to quit the city extremely early, the prince took
leave of them that night, and in doing so put a purse of gold into the
hands of every one to defray the expenses of their travelling. This
behaviour obliged them to own there was a possibility of sowing the
seeds of humanity in Muscovy, and that the czar had made some progress
in influencing those about him with the manners he had himself learned
in the politer courts.



CHAP. XXII.

_What befel Louisa in the monastery: the stratagem she put in practice
to get out of it: her travels thro' Italy, and arrival in Paris_.

But while Horatio was thus experiencing the vicissitudes of fortune, his
beautiful sister suffered little less from the caprice of that fickle
goddess. Placed as she was, one would have thought she had been secure
from all the temptations, hurries, and dangers of the world, and that
nothing but the death or inconstancy of monsieur du Plessis could have
again involved her in them. These, indeed, were the sole evils she
trembled at, and which she chiefly prayed might not befal her. Yet as it
often happens that those disasters which seem most remote are nearest to
us, so did the disappointments she was ordained to suffer, rise from a
quarter she had the least reason to apprehend.

The abbess and nuns, with whom she was, being all Italians, she set
herself to attain to the knowledge of their language, in which she soon
became a very great proficient, and capable of entertaining them, and
being entertained by them in the most agreeable manner.--The sweetness
of her temper, as well as her good sense, rendering her always ambitious
of acquiring the affection of those she converted with, she had the
secret to ingratiate herself not only to the youngest nuns, but also to
the elder and most austere, that the one were never pleased but when in
her company, and the others propose her as an example of piety and
sweetness to the rest.

She had a very pretty genius to poetry, and great skill in music, both
which talents she now exercised in such works as suited the place and
company she was in.--The hymns and anthems she composed were not only
the admiration of that convent, but also of several others to whom they
were shown, and she was spoke of as a prodigy of wit and devotion.

In fine, her behavior rendered her extremely dear to the superior; and
that affection joined to a spiritual pride, which those sanctified
devotees are seldom wholly free from, made her very desirous of
retaining her always in the convent:--she was therefore continually
preaching up to her the uncertainty of those felicities which are to be
found in the world, and magnifying that happy serenity which a total
renunciation from it afforded;--nay, sometimes went so far, as to
insinuate there was scarce a possibility for any one encumbered with the
cares, and surrounded with the temptations of a public life, to have
those dispositions which are requisite to enjoy the blessings of
futurity.--Ah my dear daughter, would she say frequently to her, how
much should I rejoice to find in you a desire to forgo all the
transitory fleeting pleasures of the world, and devote yourself entirely
to heaven!--what raptures would not your innocent soul partake, when
wholly devoid of all thought of sensual objects! you would be, even
while on earth, a companion for angels and blessed spirits, and borne on
the wings of heavenly contemplation, have your dwelling above, and be
worshipped as a saint below.

All the old nuns, and some of the young ones, assisted their abbess in
endeavouring to prevail on Louisa to take the veil; but all that they
said made no impression on her mind, not but she had more real piety
than perhaps some of those who made so great a shew of it, but she was
of a different way of thinking; and tho' she knew the world had its
temptation, having experienced them in a very great degree, yet she
was-convinced within herself, that a person of virtuous principles might
be no less innocent out of a cloyster than in one.--She saw also among
this sisterhood a great deal of envy to each other, and perceived early
that the flaming zeal professed among them was in some hypocrisy, and
enthusiasm in others; so that had she had no prepossession in favour of
du Plessis, or any engagement with him, the life of a nun was what she
never should have made choice of.

She kept her sentiments on this occasion entirely to herself however,
and made no shew of any repugnance to do as they would have her; but
whenever they became strenuous in their pressures, told them, she
doubted not but such a life as they described must be very angelic, but
having already disposed of her vows, it was not in her power to withdraw
them, nor would heaven accept so violated an offering. This, they told
her, was only a suggestion of some evil spirit, and that all engagements
to an earthly object, both might and ought to be dispensed with for a
divine vocation. The arguments they made use of for this purpose were
artful enough to have imposed on some minds, but Louisa had too much
penetration not to see thro' them; and being unwilling to disoblige them
by shewing that she did so, made use, in her turn, of evasions which the
circumstances of the case rendered very excusable. But fully persuaded
in their minds that it was solely her engagements with du Plessis that
rendered her so refractory to their desires, they resolved to break it
off, if possible, and to that end now intercepted his letters; two of
which giving an account that he was very much wounded and unable to
travel, they renewed their pressures, in order to prevail on her to take
the habit before he should be in a condition to come to Bolognia.

These sollicitations, however, had no other effect than to embitter the
satisfaction she would otherwise have enjoyed during her stay among
them;--the time of which began now to seem tedious, and she impatiently
longed for the end of the campaign, which she expected would return her
dear du Plessis to her, and she should be removed from a place where
dissimulation, a vice she detested, was in a manner necessary. She had
received several letters from him before the abbess took it in her head
to stop them, each more endearing than the former; and last had
flattered her with the hope of seeing him in a very short time.

Days, weeks, and months passed over, after an assurance so pleasing to
her wishes, without any confirmation of the repeated vows he had made;
and receiving from him no account of the reasons that delayed him, she
began to reproach herself for having placed too much confidence in
him;--the more time elapsed, the more cause she had to doubt his
sincerity, and believe her misfortune real:--in fine, it was near half a
year that she languished under a vain expectation of seeing, or at least
hearing from him.--Sometimes she imagined a new object had deprived her
of his heart; but when she called to mind the many proofs he had given
her of the most unparallell'd generosity that ever was she could not
think that if he even ceased to love her, he could be capable of leaving
her in so cruel a suspence:--no, said she to herself, he would have let
me know I had no more to depend on from him:--paper cannot blush, and as
he is out of the reach of my upbraidings, he would certainly have
acquainted me with my fate, confessed the inconstancy of his sex, and
exerted that wit, of which he has sufficient, to have excused his
change:--I will not therefore injure a man whom I have found so truly
noble:--death, perhaps, his deprived me of him; the unrelenting sword
makes no distinction between the worthy and unworthy;--and the brave,
the virtuous du Plessis, may have fallen a victim in common with the
most vulgar.

These apprehensions had no sooner gained ground in her imagination, than
she became the most disconsolate creature in the world. The abbess took
advantage of her melancholy, as knowing the occasion of it, and began to
represent, in the strongest terms, the instability of all human
expectations:--you may easily see, my dear child, said she, that
monsieur either no longer lives, or ceases to live for you:--young men
are wavering, every new object attracts their wishes;--they are
impatient for a time, but soon grow cool;--absence renders them
forgetful of their vows and promises;--there is no real dependance on
them;--fly therefore to that divine love which never can deceive
you;--give yourself up to heaven, and you will soon be enabled to
despise the fickle hopes of earth.

Instead of saying any thing to comfort her, in this manner was she
continually persecuted; and tho' it is impossible for any one to have
less inclination to a monastic life than she had, yet the depression of
her spirits, the firm belief she now should never see du Plessis more,
the misfortune of her circumstances, joined to the artifices they made
use of, and the repeated offers of accepting her without the usual sum
paid on such occasions, might possibly at last have prevailed on
her.--She was half convinced in her mind that it was the only asylum
left to shield her from the wants and insults of the world; and the more
she reflected on the changes, the perplexities, and vexation, of
different kinds, the few years she yet had lived had presented her with,
the more reason she found to acquiesce with the persuasions of the
abbess. But heaven would not suffer the deceit practised on her to be
crowned with success, and discovered it to her timely enough to prevent
her from giving too much way to that despair, which alone could have
prevailed with her to yield to their importunities.

There was among the sisterhood a young lady called donna Leonora, who
being one of many daughters of a family, more eminent for birth than
riches, was compelled, as too many are, to become a nun, in order to
prevent her marrying beneath her father's dignity. She had taken a great
liking to Louisa from the moment she came into the convent, and a
farther acquaintance ripened it into a sincere friendship. Tho' secluded
from the world, the austere air of a monastery had no effect upon her,
she still retained her former vivacity; and it was only in the
conversations these two had toge whenever they could separate from the
others, that Louisa found any cordial to revive her now almost
sinking spirits.

One day as she was ruminating on her melancholy affairs, this young nun
came hastily into her chamber, and with a countenance that, before she
spoke, denoted she had something very extraordinary to acquaint her
with,--dear sister, cried she, I bring you the most surprising news, but
such as will be my ruin if you take the least notice of receiving it
from me; and perhaps your own, if you seem to be acquainted with it
at all.

It is not to be doubted but Louisa gave her all the assurances she could
desire of an inviolable secrecy; after which, know then, resumed this
sweet-condition'd lady, that your lover, monsieur du Plessis, is not
only living, but as faithful as your soul can wish, or as you once
believed:--the cruelty of the abbess, and some of the sisterhood in the
plot with her, have concealed the letters he has sent to you, in order
to persuade you to become a nun:--I tremble to think of their hypocrisy
and deceit:--but what, continued she, is not to be expected from bigotry
and enthusiasm!--To increase the number of devotees they scruple
nothing, and vainly imagine the means is sanctified by the end.

Little is it in the power of words to express the astonishment Louisa
was in to hear her speak in this manner; but as she had no room to doubt
her sincerity, only asked by what means she had attained the knowledge
of what the persons concerned, no doubt, intended to keep as much a
secret as possible; on which the other satisfied her curiosity in
these terms:

To confess the truth to you, said she, I stole this afternoon into the
chapel, in order to read a little book brought me the other day by one
of my friends; as it treated on a subject not allowable in a convent, I
thought that the most proper place to entertain myself with it; and was
sitting down in one of the confessionals, when hearing the little door
open from the gallery, I saw the abbess and sister Clara, who, you know,
is her favourite and confidant, come in together, and as soon as they
were entered, shut the door after them. I cannot say I had any curiosity
to hear their discourse; but fearing to be suspected by them in my
amusement, and not knowing what excuse to make for being there, if I
were seen, I slid down, and lay close at the bottom of the confessional.
They happened to place themselves very near me; and the abbess taking a
letter out of her pocket, bad Clara read it, and tell her the substance
of it as well as she could. I found it was in French, by some words
which she was obliged to repeat over and over, before, not perfectly
understanding the language, she could be able to find a proper
interpretation of. The abbess, who has a little smattering of it
herself, sometimes helped her out, and between them both I soon found it
came from monsieur du Plessis, and contained the most tender and
compassionate complaint of your unkindness in not answering his
letter;--that the symptoms he had of approaching death were not half so
severe to him as your refusing him a consolation he stood for much in
need of;--that if you found him unworthy of your love, he was certainly
so of your compassion; and concluded with the most earnest entreaty, you
would suffer him to continue no longer in a suspence more cruel than a
thousand deaths could be.

Oh heaven! cried Louisa, bursting into tears, how ungrateful must he
think me, and how can I return, as it deserves, so unexampled a
constancy, after such seeming proofs of my infidelity!--. Cruel, cruel,
treacherous abbess! pursued she; Is this the fruits of all your boasted
sanctity!--This the return to the confidence the generous du Plessis
reposed in you!--This your love and friendship to me!--Does heaven, to
increase the number of its votaries, require you to be false,
perfidious, and injurious to the world!

She was proceeding in giving vent to the anguish of her soul in
exclamations such as these; but Leonora begged she would moderate her
grief, and for her sake, as much as possible, conceal the reasons she
had for resentment. Louisa again promised she would do her utmost to
keep them from thinking she even suspected they had played her
false;--then cried, But tell me, my dear Leonora, were they not a little
moved at the tender melancholy which, I perceive, ran thro' this
epistle? Alas! my dear, replied the other, they have long since forgot
those soft emotions which make us simpathize in the woes of
love:--inflexible by the rigid rules of this place, and more by their
own age, they rather looked with horror than pity on a tender
inclination:--they had a long conversation together, the result of which
was to spare nothing that might either persuade, or if that failed,
compel you to take the order.

It is not in their power to do the latter, interrupted Louisa; and this
discovery of their baseness, more than ever, confirms me in the
resolution never to consent.

You know not what is in their power, said Leonora; they may make
pretences for confining you here, which, as they are under no
jurisdiction but the church, the church will allow justifiable:--indeed,
Louisa, continued she, I should be loth to see you have recourse to
force to get out of their hands which would only occasion you ill
treatment:--to whom, alas, can you complain!--you are a stranger in this
country, without any one friend to espouse your cause:--were even Du
Plessis here in person, I know not, as they have taken it into their
heads to keep you here, if all he could urge, either to the pope or
confessory, would have any weight to oblige them to relinquish you. A
convent is the securest prison in the world; and whenever any one comes
into it, who by any particular endowment promises to be an ornament to
the order, cannot, without great difficulty, disentangle themselves from
the snares laid for them.--It is for this reason I have feared for you
ever since your entrance; for tho' I should rejoice in so agreeable a
companion, I know too well the miseries of an enforced attachment to
wish you to be partaker of it.

Louisa found too much reason in what she said, to doubt the misery of
her condition;--she knew the great power of the church in all these
countries where the roman-catholic religion is established, more
especially in those places under the papal jurisdiction, and saw no way
to avoid what was now more terrible to her than ever. Those reflections
threw her into such agonies, that Leonora had much ado to keep her from
falling into fits:--she conjured her again and again, never to betray
what she had entrusted her with; assuring her, that if it were so much
as guessed at, she should be exposed to the worst treatment, and
punished as an enemy to the order of which she was a member. Louisa as
often assured her that nothing should either tempt or provoke her to
abuse that generous friendship she had testified for her; but as she was
not able to command her countenance, tho' she could her words, she
resolved to pretend herself indisposed and keep her bed, that she might
be the less observed, or the change in her should seem rather the
effects of ill health than any secret discontent.

It was no sooner mentioned in the convent that she was out of order,
than the abbess herself, as well as the whole sisterhood, came to her
chamber, and shewed the greatest concern: the tender care they took of
her would have made her think herself infinitely obliged to them, and
perhaps gone a great way in engaging her continuance among them, had she
not been apprized of their falshood in a point so little to be forgiven.

So great an enemy was she to all deceit herself, that it was difficult
for her to return the civilities they treated her with, as they might
seem to deserve; but whatever omissions she was guilty of in this
particular, were imputed to her disposition; and the whole convent
continued to be extremely assiduous to recover her.

During the time of her feigned illness, her thoughts were always
employed on the means of getting away. Whenever Leonora and she were
together, a hundred contrivances were formed, which seemed equally alike
impracticable; but at length they hit upon one which had a promising
aspect and Louisa, after some scruples, resolved to make trial of.
It was this:

As hypocrisy was made use of to detain her, hypocrisy was the only
method by which she could hope to get her liberty:--pretending,
therefore, to be all at once restored to her former health, she sent to
entreat the abbess, and some other of the most zealous of the sisterhood
to come into her chamber, where, as soon as they entered, they found her
on her knees before the picture of the virgin, and seeming in an extacy
of devotion: Yes, holy virgin, cried she, as if too much taken up to see
who entered, I will obey your commands;--I will devote myself entirely
to thee;--I will follow where thou callest me: thou, who hast restored
me, shalt have the first fruits of my strength:--and oh that Lorretto
were at a greater distance,--to the utmost extent of land and sea would
I go to seek thee!--In uttering these ejaculations she prostrated
herself on the floor;--then rising again, as transported in a manner out
of herself,--I come,--I come, cried she;--still do I hear thy
heavenly voice!

In this fit of enthusiasm did she remain for above half an hour, and so
well acted her part, that the abbess, who would not offer to interrupt
her, believed it real, and was in little less agitation of spirit than
Louisa pretended to be.

At length seeming; to come to herself, she turned towards the company,
as tho' she but just then discovered they were in the room; Oh, madam,
said she to the abbess, how highly favoured have I been this blessed
night!--The virgin has herself appeared to me, whether in a vision, or
to my waking eyes, I cannot well determine; but sure I have been in such
extacies, have felt such divine raptures, as no words can express!

Oh my dear daughter! cried the abbess, how my soul kindles to behold
this change in thee!--but tell me what said the holy virgin!

She bad me wait on her at Lorretto, answered she, and gave me hopes of
doing something wonderful in my favour:--I will therefore, with your
permission, undertake a pilgrimage and at her shrine expiate the
offences of my past life in tears of true contrition, and then return a
pure and fearless partaker of the happiness you enjoy in an
uninterrupted course of devotion:--oh! exclaimed she, exalting her
voice, how do I detest and despise the vanities and follies of the
world!--how hate myself for having been too much attached to them, and
so long been cold and negligent of my only happiness!

The abbess, and, after her, all the nuns that were present, embraced
Louisa,--praised to the skies this miraculous conversion, as they termed
it, and spared nothing to confirm the pious resolution she had taken.

In fine, they consented to her pilgrimage with a satisfaction equal to
what she felt in undertaking it,--they not in the least doubting but she
would return to them as soon as she had fulfilled her devotions, and
flattering themselves that the report of this miracle would do the
greatest honour to their convent that it could possibly receive; and
she, delighted with the thoughts of being at liberty to enquire after
her dear du Plessis, and being freed from a dissimulation so irksome to
her nature.

Her pilgrim's habit, and a great crucifix to carry between her hands,
with another at her girdle, and all the formalities of that garb being
prepared, she set forward with the prayers and benedictions of the whole
sisterhood, who told her, that they should be impatient till they saw
her again, and expected great things from her at her return, which, in
reality, they all did, except Leonora, who laughed heartily at the
deception she had put upon them, and whispered in her ear as she gave
her the last embrace, that she wished her a happy meeting with that
saint she went in search of.

To prevent all suspicion of her intention she left her cloaths, and
every thing she had brought into the convent, under the care of the
abbess, saying, that, at her return, she would have them disposed of,
and the money given to the poor: but, unknown to any one except Leonora,
she quilted some pieces of gold and valuable trinkets into her
undergarment, as not doubting but she should have occasion for much more
than, in effect, she was mistress of.

When on her journey, the pleasure she felt at seeing herself out of the
walls of the monastery, was very much abated by the uncertainty how she
should proceed, or where direct her way: and indeed, let any one figure
to themselves the condition she was in, and they will rather wonder she
had courage to go on, than that she was sometimes daunted even to
despair.--A young creature of little more than eighteen years
old,--wholly unacquainted with fatigue,--delicate in her
frame,--wandering alone on foot in the midst of a strange
country,--ignorant of the road, or had she been acquainted with it, at a
loss where to go to get any intelligence of what she sought, and even
doubtful if the person she ran such risques to hear of, yet were in the
world or not. The letter Leonora had informed her of, gave no account,
at least that she could learn, either where he was, or whether there
were any hopes of his recovery from that illness it mentioned; she had
therefore every thing to dread, and little, very little to hope: yet did
she not repent her having quitted the convent; and the desire of getting
still farther from it, made her prosecute her journey with greater
strength and vigour than could have been expected: her pilgrim's habit
was not only a defence against any insults from persons she met on the
road, but also attracted the respect, and engaged the civilities of
every one.--As that country abounds with religious houses, she was not
only lodged and fed without any expence, but received a piece of money
at each of them she went to, so that her little stock, instead of being
diminished, was considerably increased when she came to Lorretto, for
thither, not to be false in every thing, she went; and being truly sorry
for the hypocrisy which a sad necessity alone could have made her guilty
of, paid her devotion with a sincere heart, tho' free from that
enthusiasm and bigotry which is too much practised in convents.

From Lorretto she crossed the country to Florence, every one being ready
to direct a holy pilgrim on her way, and assist her with all things
necessary. As she went very easy journeys, never exceeding four or five
miles a day, she easily supported the fatigue; and had she been certain
at last of seeing du Plessis, it would have been rather a pleasure to
her; but her mind suffered much more than her body during this
pilgrimage, which she continued in the same manner she had begun till
she reached Leghorn, where a ship lying at anchor, and expecting to sail
in a few days for Marseilles, she agreed to give a small matter for her
passage, the sea-faring-men not paying altogether so much regard to her
habit, as the land ones had done.

No ill accident intervening, the vessel came safely into her desired
port, and Louisa now found herself in the native country of the only
person who engrossed her thoughts: as she had heard him say he was of
Paris, she supposed that the most likely place to hear news of him, but
was in some debate within herself whether she should continue to wear
her pilgrim's habit, or provide herself with other cloaths at
Marseilles. She was weary of this mendicant way of travelling, and could
have been glad to have exchanged it for one more agreeable to the manner
in which she had been accustomed; but then, when she considered how
great a protection the appearance she made, had been from all those
insults, to which a person of her sex and age must otherwise infallibly
have been exposed in travelling alone, she resolved not to throw it off
till she came to the place where she intended to take up her abode, at
least for some time. Young as she was, she had well weighed what course
to take in case du Plessis should either be dead, or, by some accident,
removed where she could hear nothing more of him; and all countries and
parts being now equal to her, as she must then be reduced once more to
get her bread by her labour, she doubted not but to find encouragement
for her industry as well in Paris as elsewhere.

With this resolution, therefore, after laying one night at Marseilles,
she proceeded on her way in the same fashion as she had done ever since
she left Bolognia, and in about six weeks got safely to that great and
opulent city, where she took up her lodging at a hotel, extremely
fatigued, as it is easy to believe, having never even for one day ceased
walking, but while she was on board the ship which brought her to
Marseilles, for the space of eight months; a thing almost incredible,
and what perhaps no woman, but herself, would have had courage to
undertake, or resolution to perform, but was, in her circumstances,
infinitely the most safe and expedient that prudence could suggest.



CHAP. XXIII.

_Shews by what means Louisa came to the knowledge of her parents, with
other occurrences_.

The first thing she did on her arrival, was to send for proper persons
to equip her in a manner that she might once more appear herself,
resolving that till she could do so, not to be seen in the streets.

While these things were preparing, she sent a person, whom the people of
the house recommended to her, to the palace of the prince of Conti, not
doubting but that some of the gentlemen belonging to his highness might
give some intelligence where monsieur du Plessis was to be found; but
the messenger returned without any other information, than that they
knew him very well, but could give no directions in what part he was at
present, he not having been seen in Paris for a long time.

It is hard to say whether she most rejoiced or grieved at this account:
she imagined that had he been dead they would not have been ignorant of
it, therefore concluded him living to her infinite satisfaction; but
then his absenting himself from the capital of the kingdom, and from the
presence of a prince who had so much loved him, filled her with an
adequate disquiet, as believing some very ill accident must have been
the occasion:--she dispatched the same person afterwards to all the
public places that she heard gentlemen frequented, but met not with the
least success in her enquiries. It would prolong this narrative to a
tedious length, should I attempt any description of what she felt in
this situation, or the reflections she made on the odd circumstances of
her life:--the greatness of her spirit, and the most perfect resignation
to the divine will, however, made her support even this last and
severest trial with fortitude and patience; and as soon as she had put
herself into a convenient neat garb, but plain, befitting her condition,
she went out with a design to take a private lodging, where she might
live more cheaply than she could at the hotel, till providence should
throw some person in the way that might recommend her either to work, or
to teach young ladies music.

She was wandering thro' several of the streets of Paris, without being
able, as yet, to find such a chamber as she wanted, when a great shower
of rain happening to fall, she stood up under the porch of a large house
for shelter till it should be over, which it was not for a considerable
time; and the street being very dirty, she returned to the hotel,
intending to renew her search the next day: she had not been come in
above half an hour, before the man of the house told her that a servant,
in a very rich livery, who, he perceived, had followed her, and had
asked many questions concerning her, was now returned, and desired to
speak with her.

As du Plessis was ever in her thoughts, a sudden rush of joy overflowed
her heart, which seemed to her the presage of seeing him, tho' how he
should imagine she was in Paris was a mystery:--but she gave herself not
much time for reflection, before she ordered the man to be admitted.

The manner of his approaching her was very respectful; but the message
he had to deliver seemed of a contrary nature.--After having asked if
her name was Louisa, and she answering that it was, I come, madam, said
he, from a gentleman who saw you stand just now at the gate of a house
in the Fauxbourg St. Germains, he commands me to tell you, that he has
something of moment to acquaint you with, and desires you will permit me
to call a chair, and attend you to his house, where he is impatient to
receive you.

What, indeed, could Louisa think of a person who should send for her in
this manner?--all the late transport she was in, was immediately
converted into disdain and vexation at being taken, as she had all the
reason in the world to suppose, for one of those common creatures who
prostitute their charms for bread.--

Tell your master, said she, that by whatever accident he has learned my
name, he is wholly ignorant of the character of the person he has sent
you to:--that I am an entire stranger at Paris, and he must have
mistaken me for some other, who, perhaps, I may have the misfortune to
resemble, and may be also called as I am;--at least I am willing to
think so, as the only excuse can be made for his offering this
insult:--but go, continued she, with that pride which is natural to
affronted virtue;--go, and convince him of his error;--and let me hear
no more of it.

It was in vain he assured her that his master was a person of the
highest honour, and that he was not unknown to her. All he could say had
not the least effect unless to enflame her more; when, after asking his
name, the fellow told her he was forbid to reveal it, but that he was
confident she would not deny having been acquainted with him when once
she saw him.

I shall neither own the one, cried she, nor consent to the other; then
bid him a second time be gone, with an air which shewed she was not to
be prevailed upon to listen to his arguments.

This man had no sooner left her than she fell into a deep study, from
which a sudden thought made her immediately start:--the count de
Bellfleur came into her head; and she was certain it could be no other
than that cruel persecutor of her virtue, that her ill fate had once
more thrown in her way.--As she knew very well, by what he had done,
that he was of a disposition to scruple nothing for the attainment of
his wishes, she trembled for the consequences of his discovering where
she was.--The only way she could think on to avoid the dangers she might
be exposed to on his account, was to draw up a petition to the prince of
Conti, acquainting him that she was the person who was near suffering so
much from the ill designs he had on her at Padua, when so generously
referred by monsieur du Plessis, and to entreat his highness's
protection against any attempts he might be safe enough to make.

She was just sitting down, in order to form a remonstrance of this kind,
when a chariot and six stopping at the door, she was informed the
gentleman who had sent to her was come in person, and that they knew it
was the same by the livery.--Louisa run hastily to the window and saw a
person alight, whom, by the bulk and stature, she knew could not be the
count she so much dreaded, this having much the advantage of the other
in both. Somewhat reassured by this sight, she ordered the master of the
hotel to desire him to walk into a parlour, and let him know she would
attend him there.

As she saw not the face of this visitor, she could not be certain
whether it were not some of those she had been acquainted with at
Venice, who having, by accident, seen her at Paris, might, according to
the freedom of the French nation, take the liberty of visiting her;--but
whoever it were, or on what score soever brought, she thought it best to
receive him in a place where, in case of any ill usage, she might
readily have assistance.

The master of the hotel perceiving her scruples, readily did as he was
ordered, and Louisa having desired that he, or some of his people, would
be within call, went down to receive this unknown gent, tho' not without
emotions, which at that moment she knew not how to account for.

But soon after she was seized with infinitely greater, when, entering
the parlour, she found it was no other than Dorilaus who had given her
this anxiety.--Surprize at the sight of a person whom, of all the world,
she could least have expected in that place, made her at first start
back; and conscious shame for having, as she thought, so ill rewarded
his goodness, mixed with a certain awe which she had for no other person
but himself, occasioned such a trembling, as rendered her unable either
to retire or move forward to salute him, as she otherwise would
have done.

He saw the confusion she was in, and willing to give it an immediate
relief, ran to her, and taking her in his arms,--my dear, dear child,
said he, am I so happy to see thee once more!--Oh! sir, returned she
disengaging herself from his embrace, and falling at his feet!--How can
I look upon you after having flown from your protection, and given you
such cause to think me the most ungrateful creature in the world!

It was heaven, answered he, that inspired you with that abhorrence of my
offers, which, had you accepted, we must both have been eternally
undone!--You are my daughter, Louisa! pursued he, my own natural
daughter!--Rise then, and take a father's blessing.

All that can be said of astonishment would be far short of what she felt
at these words:--the happiness seemed so great she could not think it
real, tho' uttered from mouth she knew unaccustomed to deceit:--a
hundred times, without giving him leave to satisfy her doubts, did she
cry out, My father!--my father!--my real father!--How can it be!--Is
there a possibility that Louisa owes her being to Dorilaus!

Yes, my Louisa, answered he, and flatter myself, by what I have observed
of your disposition, you have done nothing, since our parting, that
might prevent my glorying in being the parent of such a child.

The hurry of spirit she was in, prevented her from taking notice of
these last words, or at least from making any answer to them, and she
still continued crying out,--Dorilaus, my father!--Good heaven! may I
believe I am so blessed?--Who then is my mother!--Wherefore have I been
so long ignorant of what I was!--And how is the joyful secret at
last revealed!

All these things you shall be fully informed of, answered he; in the
mean time be satisfied I do not deceive you, and am indeed your father:
transported to find my long lost child, whom I myself knew not was so
till I believed her gone for ever;--a thousand times I have wished both
you and Horatio were my children, but little suspected you were so, till
after his too eager ambition deprived me of him, and my mistaken love
drove you to seek a refuge among strangers.

Tears of joy and tenderness now bedewed the faces of both father and
daughter:--silence for some moments succeeded the late acclamations; but
Dorilaus at length finding her fully convinced she was as happy as he
said she was, and entirely freed from all those apprehensions which had
occasioned her flying from him, told her he was settled in Paris; that
he lived just opposite to the house where she had stood up on account of
the shower, and happening to be at one of his windows immediately knew
her; that he sent a servant after her, who had enquired how long she had
been arrived, and in what manner she came; that he had sent for her with
no other intent then to make trial how she would resent it, and was
transported to find her answer such as he hoped and had expected from
her:--he added, that he had all the anxiety of a father to hear by what
means she had been supported, and the motive which induced her to travel
in the habit of a pilgrim, as the matter of the hotel had informed his
servant; but that he would defer his satisfaction till she should be in
a place more becoming his daughter.

On concluding these words he called for the master of the hotel, and
having defrayed what little expences she had been at since her coming
there, took her by the hand and led her to his chariot, which soon
brought them to a magnificent, house, and furnished in a manner
answerable to the birth and fortune of the owner.

Louisa had all this time seemed like one in a dream:--she had ever loved
Dorilaus with a filial affection; and to find herself really his
daughter, to be snatched at once from all those cares which attend
penury, when accompanied with virtue, and an abhorrence of entering into
measures inconsistent with the strictest honour, to be relieved from
every want, and in a station which commanded respect and homage, was
such a surcharge of felicity, that she was less able to support than all
the fatigues she had gone thro'--Surprize and joy made her appear more
dull and stupid than she had ever been in her whole life before; and
Dorilaus was obliged to repeat all he had said over and over again, to
bring her into her usual composedness, and enable her to give him the
satisfaction he required.

But as soon as she had, by degrees, recollected herself, she modestly
related all that had happened to her from the time she left him;--the
methods by which she endeavoured to earn her bread,--the insults she was
exposed to at mrs. C--l--ge's;--the way she came acquainted with
Melanthe;--the kindness shown her by that lady;--their travels
together;--the base stratagem made use of by count de Bellfleur to ruin
her with that lady--the honourable position monsieur du Plessis had
professed for her;--the seasonable assistance he had given her, in that
iminent danger she was in from the count's unlawful designs upon
her;--his placing her afterwards in the monastry,--the treachery of the
abbess;--the artifice she had been obliged to make use of to get out of
the nunnery;--her pilgrimage;--in fine, concealed no part of her
adventures, only that which related to the passion she had for du
Plessis, which she endeavoured, as much as she could, to disguise, under
the names of gratitude for the obligations he had conferred upon her,
and admiration of his virtue, so different from what she had found in
others who had addressed her.

Dorilaus, however, easily perceived the tenderness with which she was
agitated on the account of that young gentleman, but he would not excite
her blushes by taking any notice of it, especially as he found nothing
to condemn in it, and had observed, throughout the course of her whole
narrative, she had behaved on other occasions with a discretion far
above her years, he was far from wronging her, by suspecting she had
swerved from it in this.

But when he heard the vast journey she had come on foot, he was in the
utmost amazement at her fortitude, and told her he was resolved to keep
her pilgrim's habit as a relique, to preserve to after-ages the memory
of an adventure, which had really something more marvellous in it than
many set down as miracles.

And now having fully gratified his own curiosity in all he wanted to be
informed of, he thought proper to case the impatience she was in to know
the history of her birth, and on what occasion it had been so long
concealed, which he did in these or the like words:



CHAP. XXIV.

_The history of Dorilaus and Matilda, with other circumstances very
important to Louisa_.

You know, said he, that I am descended of one of the most illustrious
families in England, tho', by some imprudencies on the one side, and
injustice on the other, my claim was set aside, and I deprived of that
title which my ancestors for a long succession of years had enjoyed, so
that the estate I am in possession of, was derived to me in right of my
mother, who was an heiress. It is indeed sufficient to have given me a
pretence to any lady I should have made choice on, and to provide for
what children I might have had by her: but the pride of blood being not
abated in me by being cut off from my birthright, inspired me with an
unconquerable aversion to marriage, since I could not bequeath to my
posterity that dignity I ought to have enjoyed myself:--I resolved
therefore to live single, and that the misfortune of my family should
dye with myself.

In my younger years I went to travel, as well for improvement, as to
alleviate that discontent which was occasioned by the sight of another
in possession of what I thought was my due.--Having made the tour of
Europe, I took France again in my way home:--the gallantry and good
breeding of these people very much attached me to them; but what chiefly
engaged my continuance here much longer than I had done in any other
part, was an acquaintance I had made with a lady called Matilda: she was
of a very good family in England, was sent to a monastry merely for the
sake of well-grounding her in a religion, the free exercise of which is
not allowed at home, and to seclude her from settling her affections on
any other than the person she was destined to by the will of her
parents, and to whom she had been contracted in her infancy:--she was
extremely young, and beautiful as an angel; and the knowledge she was
pre-engaged, could not hinder me from loving her, any more than the
declarations I made in her hearing against marriage, could the grateful
returns she was pleased to make me:--in fine, the mutual inclination we
had for each other, as it rendered us deaf to all suggestions but that
of gratifying it, so it also inspired us with ingenuity to surmount all
the difficulties that were between our wishes and the end of them.--Tho'
a pensioner in a monastry, and very closely observed, by the help of a
confidant she frequently got out, and many nights we passed
together;--till some business relating to my estate at length calling me
away, we were obliged to part, which we could not do without testifying
a great deal of concern on both sides:--mine was truly sincere at that
time, and I have reason to believe her's was no less so; but absence
easily wears out the impressions of youth: as I never expected to see
her any more, I endeavoured not to preserve a remembrance which would
only have given me disquiet, and, to confess the truth, soon forgot both
the pleasure and the pain I had experienced in this, as well as some
other little sallies of my unthinking youth.

Many years passed over without my ever hearing any thing of her; and it
was some months after I received your letter from Aix-la-Chappelle, that
the post brought me one from Ireland: having no correspondence in that
country, I was a little surprized, but much more when I opened it and
found it contained these words:

_To_ DORILAUS.

SIR,


"This comes to make a request, which I
know not if the acquaintance we had
together in the early part of both our lives,
would be sufficient to apologize for the trouble
you must take in complying with it:--permit
me therefore to acquaint you, that I have long
laboured under an indisposition which my physicians
assure me is incurable, and under which
I must inevitably sink in a short time; but
whatever they say, I know it is impossible
for me to leave the world without imparting
to you a secret wholly improper to be entrusted
in a letter, but is of the utmost importance
to those concerned in it, of whom yourself
is the principal:--be assured it regards
your honour, your conscience, your justice, as
well as the eternal peace of her who conjures
you, with the utmost earnestness, to come immediately
on the receipt of this to the castle of
M----e, in the north of Ireland, where, if
you arrive time enough, you will be surprized,
tho' I flatter myself not disagreeably so, with
the unravelling a most mysterious Event.

_Yours, once known by the name of_ MATILDA,

_now_

M----E."


I will not repeat to you, my dear Louisa, continued Dorilaus, the
strange perplexity of ideas that run thro' my mind after having read
this letter:--I was very far from guessing at the real motive of this
invitation; which, however, as I once had a regard for that lady, I soon
determined to obey; and having left the care of my house to a relation
of mine by the mother's side, I went directly for Ireland; but when I
came there, was a little embarrassed in my mind what excuse I should
make to her husband for my visit.--Before I ventured to the castle, I
made a thorough enquiry after the character of this young lady, and in
what manner she lived with her lord. Never did I hear a person more
universally spoke well of:--the poor adored her charity, affability, and
condescending sweetness of disposition:--the rich admired her wit, her
virtue, and good breeding:--her beauty, tho' allowed inferior to few of
her sex, was the least qualification that seemed deserving praise:--to
add to all this, they told me she was a pattern of conjugal affection,
and the best of mothers to a numerous race of Children;--that her lord
had all the value he ought to have for so amiable a wife, and that no
wedded pair ever lived together in greater harmony; and it was with the
utmost concern, whoever I spoke to on this affair concluded what they
related of her with saying, that so excellent an example of all that was
valuable in womankind would shortly be taken from them;--that she had
long, with an unexampled patience, lingered under a severe illness which
every day threatened dissolution.

These accounts made me hesitate no farther:--I went boldly to the
castle, asked to speak with the lord M----e, who received me with a
politeness befitting his quality: I told him that my curiosity of seeing
foreign countries had brought me to Ireland, and being in my tour thro'
those parts, I took the liberty of calling at his seat, having formerly
had the honour of being known to his lady when at her father's house,
and whom I now heard, to my great concern, was indisposed, otherwise
have been glad to pay my respects to her. The nobleman answered, with
tears in his eyes, that she was indeed in a condition such as give no
hope of her recovery, but that she sometimes saw company, tho' obliged
to receive them in bed, having lost the use of her limbs, and would
perhaps be glad of the visit of a person she had known so long.

On this I told him my name, which he immediately sent in; and her woman
not long after came from her to let me know she would admit me. My lord
went in with me; and to countenance what I said, I accosted her with the
freedom of a person who had been acquainted when children, spoke of her
father as of a gentleman who had favoured me with his good-will, tho',
in reality, I had never seen him in my life, but remembered well enough
what she had mentioned to me concerning him, and some others of her
family, to talk as if I had been intimate among them. I could perceive
she was very well pleased with the method I had taken of introducing
myself; and, to prevent any suspicion that I had any other business with
her than to pay my compliments, made my visit very short that day, not
doubting but she would of herself contrive some means of entertaining me
without witnesses, as she easily found her lord had desired I would make
the castle my home while I stayed in that part of the country.

I was not deceived; the next morning having been told her lord was
engaged with his steward, she sent for me, and making some pretence for
getting rid of her woman, she plucked a paper from under her pillow, and
putting it into my hand,--in that, said, you will find the secret I
mentioned in my letter;--suspect not the veracity of it, I conjure you,
nor love the unfortunate Horatio and Louisa less for their being mine.

I cannot express the confusion I was in, continued Dorilaus, at her
mentioning you and your brother, but I had no opportunity of asking any
questions:--her woman that instant returned, after which I stayed but a
short time, being impatient to examine the contents, which, as near as I
can remember, were to this purpose:


"You were scarce out of France before I
discovered our amour had produced such
consequences as, had my too fond passion given
me leave to think of, I never should have hazarded:--I
will not repeat the distraction I
was in;--you may easily judge of it:--I
communicated the misfortune to my nurse,
who you know I told you went from England
with me, and has often brought you messages
from the convent:--the faithful creature did
her utmost to console me for an evil which was
without a remedy:--to complete my confusion,
my father commanded me home; my lord
M----e was returned from his travels:--we
were both of an age to marry; and it
was resolved, by our parents, no longer to
defer the completion of an affair long before
agreed upon.--I was ready to lay violent hands
on myself, since there seemed no way to conceal
my shame; but my good nurse having set
all her wits to work for me, found out an expedient
which served me, when I could think
of nothing for myself.--She bid me be of
comfort; that she thought being sent for home
was the luckiest thing that could have happened,
since nothing could be so bad as to have my
pregnancy discovered in the convent, as it
infallibly must have been had I stayed a very little
time longer: she also assured me she would
contrive it so, as to keep the thing a secret
from all the world.--I found afterwards she
did not deceive me by vain promises.--We
left Paris, according to my father's order, and
came by easy journeys, befitting my condition,
to Calais, and embarked on board the packet for
Dover; but then, instead of taking coach for London,
hired a chariot, and went cross the country
to a little village, where a kinswoman of my
nurse's lived.--With these people I remained
till Horatio and Louisa came into the world:--I
could have had them nursed at that place, but
I feared some discovery thro' the miscarriage of
letters, which often happens, and which could
not have been avoided being sent on such occasions;--so
we contrived together that my
good confident and adviser should carry them
to your house, and commit the care of them
to you, who, equal with myself, had a right to
it:--she found means, by bribing a man that
worked under your gardener, to convey them
where I afterwards heard you found and received
them as I could wish, and becoming the
generosity of your nature.--I then took coach
for London, pretending, at my arrival, that I
had been delayed by sickness, and to excuse my
nurse's absence, said she had caught the fever
of me;--so no farther enquiry was made, and
I soon after was married to a man whose worth
is well deserving of a better wife, tho' I have
endeavoured to attone for my unknown transgression
by every act of duty in my power:--nurse
stayed long enough in your part of the
world to be able to bring me an account how
the children were disposed of.--That I never
gave you an account they were your own, was
occasioned by two reasons, first, the danger of
entrusting such a thing by the post, my nurse
soon after dying; and secondly, because, as I
was a wife, I thought it unbecoming of me to
remind you of a passage I was willing to forget
myself.--A long sickness has put other thoughts
into my head, and inspired me with a tenderness
for those unhappy babes, which the shame
of being their mother hitherto deprived them
of.--I hear, with pleasure, that you are not
married, and are therefore at full liberty to
make some provision for them, if they are yet
living, that may alleviate the misfortune of
their birth. Farewell; if I obtain this first and
last request, I shall dye well satisfied."

"_P.S._ Burn this paper, I conjure you, the moment
you have read it; but lay the contents
of it up in your heart never to be forgotten."


I now no longer wondered, pursued Dorilaus, at that impulse I had to
love you;--I found it the simpathy of nature, and adored the divine
power.--After having well fixed in my mind all the particulars of this
amazing secret, I performed her injunction, and committed it to the
flames: I had opportunity enough to inform her in what manner Horatio
had disposed of himself, and let her know you were gone with a lady on
her travels: I concealed indeed the motive, fearing to give her any
occasion of reproaching herself for having so long concealed what my
ignorance of might have involved us all in guilt and ruin.

I stayed some few days at the castle, and then took my leave: she said
many tender things at parting concerning you, and seemed well satisfied
with the assurances I gave her of making the same provision for you, as
I must have done had the ceremony of the church obliged me to it. This
seemed indeed the only thing for which she lived, and, I was informed,
died in a few days after.

At my return to England I renewed my endeavours to discover where you
were, but could hear nothing since you wrote from Aix-la-Chappelle, and
was equally troubled that I had received no letters from your
brother.--I doubted not but he had fallen in the battle, and mourned him
as lost;--till an old servant perceiving the melancholy I was in,
acquainted me that several letters had been left at my house by the post
during my absence, but that the kinsman I had left to take care of my
affairs had secreted them, jealous, no doubt, of the fondness I have
expressed for him.--This so enraged me, when on examination I had too
much reason to be assured of this treachery, that I turned my whole
estate into ready money, and resolved to quit England for ever, and pass
my life here, this being a country I always loved, and had many reasons
to dislike my own.

Here I soon heard news of my Horatio, and such as filled me with a
pleasure, which wanted nothing of being complete but the presence of my
dear Louisa to partake of it.

Dorilaus then went on, and acquainted her with the particulars of
Horatio's story, as he had learned it from the baron de Palfoy, with
whom he now was very intimate; but as the reader is sufficiently
informed of those transactions, it would be needless to repeat them; so
I shall only say that Dorilaus arrived in France in a short time after
Horatio had left it to enter into the service of the king of Sweden, and
had wrote that letter, inserted in the eighteenth chapter, in order to
engage that young warrior to return, some little time before his meeting
with Louisa.

Nothing now was wanting to the contentment of this tender father but the
presence of Horatio, which he was every day expecting, when, instead of
himself, those letters from him arrived which contained his resolution
of remaining with Charles XII. till the conquests he was in pursuit of
should be accomplished.

This was some matter of affliction to Dorilaus, tho' in his heart he
could not but approve those principles of honour which detained
him.--Neither the baron de Palfoy, nor Charlotta herself, could say he
could well have acted otherwise, and used their utmost endeavours to
comfort a father in his anxieties for the safety of so valuable a son.

Louisa was also very much troubled at being disappointed in her hope of
embracing a brother, whom she had ever dearly loved, and was now more
precious to her than ever, by the proofs she had heard he had given of
his courage and his virtue; but she had another secret and more poignant
grief that preyed upon her soul, and could scarce receive any addition
from ought beside:--she had been now near two months in Paris, yet could
hear nothing of monsieur du Plessis, but that, by the death of his
father, a large estate had devolved upon him, which he had never come to
claim, or had been at Paris for about eighteen months, so that she had
all the reason in the world to believe he was no more. This threw her
into a melancholy, which was so much the more severe as she endeavoured
to conceal it:--she made use of all her efforts to support the loss of a
person she so much loved, and who proved himself so deserving of that
love:--she represented to herself that being relieved from all the
snares and miseries of an indigent life, raised from an obscurity which
had given her many bitter pangs, to a station equal to her wishes, and
under the care of the most indulgent and best of fathers, she ought not
to repine, but bless the bounty of heaven, who had bestowed on her so
many blessings, and with-held only one she could have asked.--These, I
say, were the dictates of reason and religion; but the tender passion
was not always to be silenced by them, and whenever she was alone, the
tears, in spight of herself, would flow, and she, without even knowing
she did so, cry out, Oh du Plessis, wherefore do I live since thou
art dead!

Among the many acquaintance she soon contracted at Paris, there was none
she so much esteemed, both on the account of her own merit, and the
regard she had for Horatio, as mademoiselle de Palfoy. In this young
lady's society did she find more charms for her grief than in that of
any other; and the other truly loving her, not only because she found
nothing more worthy of being loved, but because she was the sister of
Horatio, they were very seldom asunder.

Louisa was one day at the baron's, enjoying that satisfaction which the
conversation of his beautiful daughter never failed to afford, when word
was brought that madam, the countess d'Espargnes, was come to visit
her.--Mademoiselle Charlotta ran to receive her with a great deal of
joy, she being a lady she very much regarded, and who she had not seen
of a long time.

She immediately returned, leading a lady in deep mourning, who seemed
not to be above five-and-twenty, was extremely handsome, and had beside
something in her air that attached Louisa at first sight. Mademoiselle
Charlotta presented her to the countess, saying at the same time, see,
madam, the only rival you have in my esteem.

You do well to give me one, replied the countess, who looks as if she
would make me love her as well as you, and so I should be even with you.
With these words she opened her arms to embrace Louisa, who returned the
compliment with equal politeness.

When they were seated, mademoiselle Charlotta began to express the
pleasure she had in seeing her in Paris; on which the countess told her,
that the affair she came upon was so disagreeable, that nothing but the
happiness of enjoying her company, while she stayed, could attone for
it. You know, my dear, continued madam d'Espargnes, I was always an
enemy to any thing that had the face of business, yet am I now, against
my will, involved in it by as odd an adventure as perhaps you
ever heard.

Charlotta testifying some desire to be informed of what nature, the
other immediately satisfied her curiosity in this manner:

You know, said she, that on the late death of my father, his estate
devolved on my brother, an officer in those troops in Italy commanded by
the prince of Conti:--some wounds, which were looked upon as extremely
dangerous, obliged him, when the campaign was over, to continue in his
winter quarters;--on which he sent to monsieur the count to take
possession in his name; this was done; but an intricate affair relating
to certain sums lodged in a person's hand, and to be brought before the
parliament of Paris, could not be decided without the presence either of
him or myself who had been witness of the transaction.--I was extremely
loth to take so long a journey, being then in very ill health; and
hearing he was recovered, delayed it, as we then expected him in
person:--I sent a special messenger, however, in order to hasten his
return;--but instead of complying with my desires, I received a letter
from him, acquainting me that a business of more moment to him than any
thing in my power to guess at, required his presence in another place,
and insisted, by all the tenderness which had ever been between us, that
I would take on myself the management of this affair:--to enable me the
better to do it, he sent me a deed of trust to act as I should find it
most expedient.

As he did not let me into the secret of what motives detained him at so
critical a juncture, I was at first very much surprized; but on asking
some questions of the messenger I had sent to him, I soon discovered
what it was. He told me that on his arrival, he found my brother had
left his quarters and was gone to Bolognia, on which he followed and
overtook him there;--that he appeared in the utmost discontent, and was
just preparing to proceed to Leghorn, but did not mention to him any
more than he did in his letter to me, what inducement he had to this
journey:--his servant, however, told him privately, that the mystery was
this:--That being passionately in love with a young English lady, whom
he had placed in a monastery at Bolognia, and expected to find there at
his return, she had in his absence departed, without having acquainted
him with her design; and that supposing she was gone for England, and
unable to live without her, his intention was to take shipping for that
country, and make use of his utmost efforts to find her out.

I must confess, pursued the beautiful countess, this piece of quixotism
very much veved me:--I thought his friends in France deserved more from
him than to be neglected for one who fled from him, and who, as the man
said, he knew not whether he should be able ever to see again. I
resolved, however, to comply with his desires, and came immediately to
Paris; but heaven has shewed him how little it approves his giving me
this unnecessary trouble, for this morning I received a letter from him,
that meeting with robbers in his way, they had taken from him all his
money and bills of exchange, besides wounding him in several places, so
that he cannot proceed on his journey till his hurts, which it seems are
not dangerous, are cured, and he has fresh remittances from hence.

With what emotions the heart of Louisa was agitated during the latter
part of this little narrative, a sensible reader may easily conceive:
from the first mention of Bolognia, where there was no other English
pensioner than herself, she knew it must be no other than her dear du
Plessis who was in search for her abroad, while she was vainly hoping to
find him at home:--every circumstance rendered this belief more certain;
and surprize and joy worked so strongly in her, that fearing the effects
would be visible, she rose up and withdrew to a window. Mademoiselle
Charlotta, who knew she could not be capable of such an act of
unpoliteness, without being compelled to it, asked if she were not
well:--on which Louisa entreated pardon, but owned a sudden faintness
had come over her spirits, so that she was obliged to be rude in order
to prevent being troublesome.

As mademoiselle Charlotta knew nothing of her story, she had no farther
thought about it than of some little qualm, which frequently happens
when young ladies are too closely laced, and she seeming perfectly
recovered from, the conversation was renewed on the same subject it had
turned upon before this interruption; and the name of monsieur du
Plessis being often mentioned, confirmed Louisa, if before she could
have had the least remains of doubt, that it was her lover who,
neglectful of his own affairs, and the remonstrances of his expecting
friends, was about to range in search of one who, he imagined, was
ungrateful both to his love and friendship.

After having listened, with the utmost attention, to all the countess
said of him, and other matters becoming the topic of discourse, she took
her leave, in order to reflect alone what she ought to do in
this affair.

She debated not long within herself before she resolved to write to him,
and prevent the unprofitable journey he was about to take; and having
heard, by madam d' Espargnes, the name of the village where he was
obliged to wait, both for the recovery of his wounds and for remittances
for his expences, she wrote to him in the following terms:

_To monsieur_ DU PLESSIS.


"I should ill return the proofs I have received
of your generous disinterested friendship,
to delay one moment that I had it in my power,
in endeavouring to convince you that it was a
quite contrary motive than ingratitude to you,
that carried me from Bolognia:--but the story
is too long for the compass of a letter; when
you know it, you will, perhaps, own this action,
whatever you may now think of it, merits
more, than any thing I could have done, your
approbation:--this seeming riddle will be easily
expounded, if, on the recovery of your
wounds, you repair immediately to Paris, where
you will find

_Your much obliged_,

LOUISA."


Having finished this little billet, a scruple rose in her head, that
being now under the care of a father, she ought not to do any thing of
this nature without his permission:--she had already told him how
greatly she had been indebted to du Plessis for his honourable passion,
but had not mentioned the least tittle of the tender impressions it had
made on her; and she so lately knew him to be her father, that she was
ashamed to make him the confidant of an affair of this nature, but then,
when she considered the quality of du Plessis, which she was now
confirmed of, and the sense Dorilaus testified he had of his behaviour
to her while he believed her so infinitely his inferior, made her
resolve to drain her modesty so far as to inform him all.

She began by relating her accidental meeting with madam, the countess
d'Espargnes and the conversation that passed at mademoiselle de
Palfoy's, and then, tho' not without immoderate blushes, shewed him what
she had wrote, and beseeched him to let her know whether it would be
consistent with a virgin's modesty, and also agreeable to his pleasure,
that she gave this demonstration of her gratitude for the favours she
had received from this young gentleman.

Dorilaus was charmed with this proof of her duty and respect, and told
her, that he was so far from disapproving what she had wrote, that had
she omitted it, or said less than she did, he should have looked upon
her as unworthy of so perfect a passion as that which monsieur du
Plessis on all occasions, testified for her:--that, in his opinion, she
owed him more than she could ever pay; and that it should be his
endeavour to shew he had not placed his affections on the daughter of
one who knew not how to set a just value on merit such as his:--he made
her also add a postscript to the letter, to give a direction in what
part of Paris he might find her on his arrival; but Louisa would by no
means give the least hint of the alteration in her circumstances, not
that she wanted any farther proofs of his sincerity, but that she
reserved the pleasure of so agreeable a surprize to their meeting. This
letter was dispatched immediately, to the end he might receive it, at
least, as soon as that from his sister with the expected remittances.



CHAP. XXV.

_Monsieur du Plessis arrives at Paris: his reception from Dorilaus and
Louisa: the marriage of these lovers agreed upon_.

The innocent pleasure Louisa felt in picturing to herself the extacy
which du Plessis would be in at the receipt of her letter, was not a
flattering idea:--to know she was in Paris, where, in all probability,
she had come to seek him, and to have the intelligence of it from
herself, had all the effect on him that the most raptured fancy
can invent.

His orders to madam d' Espargnes being punctually complied with, his
bills of exchange also came soon after to hand; and the little hurts he
had received from the robbers, as well as those of his mind, being
perfectly healed, he set out with a lover's expedition, and arrived in
Paris to the pleasing surprize of a sister who tenderly loved him, and
expected not this satisfaction of a long time.

He took but one night's repose before he enquired concerning Dorilaus,
and was told that he was a person of quality in England; but, on some
disgust he had received in his native country, was come to settle in
France. As Louisa was extremely admired, they told him also that he had
a very beautiful daughter, of whom he was extremely fond. This last
information gave not a little ease to the mind of him who heard it, and
dissipated those apprehensions which the high character they gave of
Dorilaus had, in spite of himself, excited in him: he now imagined that
as they were English, his Louisa might possibly have been acquainted
with the daughter of this gentleman in their own country, and meeting
her at Paris, might have put herself under her protection.

Full of those impatiencies which are inseparable from a sincere passion,
he borrowed his sister's chariot, and went to the Fauxbourg St.
Germains; and being told one of the best houses in the place was that of
Dorilaus, he asked for mademoiselle Louisa, on which he was desired to
alight, and shewed into a handsome parlour while a servant went in to
inform her: after this, he was ushered up stairs into a room, the
furniture of which shewed the elegance of the owner's taste; but
accustomed to every thing that was great and magnificent, the gilded
scenes, the rich tapestry, the pictures, had no effect on him, till
casting his eyes on one that hung over the chimney, he found the exact
resemblance of the dear object never absent from his heart.--It was
indeed the picture of Louisa, which her father, soon after her arrival,
had caused to be drawn by one of the best painters at that time in
Paris. This sight gave him a double pleasure, because it, in some
measure, anticipated that of the original, and also convinced him that
she was not indifferent to the person she was with.

He was fixed in contemplation on this delightful copy, when the original
appeared in all the advantages that jewels and rich dress could give
her.--Tho' he loved her only for herself, and nothing could add to the
sincere respect his heart had always paid her, yet to see her so
different from what he expected, filled him with a surprize and a kind
of enforced awe, which hindered him from giving that loose to his
transports, which, after so long an absence, might have been very
excusable;--and he could only say--my dear adorable Louisa, am I so
blessed to see you once more!--She met his embrace half way, and
replied, monsieur du Plessis, heaven has given me all I had to wish in
restoring to me so faithful a friend;--but come, continued she, permit
me to lead you to a father, who longs to embrace the protector of his
daughter's innocence. Your father, madam! cried he; yes, answered she;
in seeking a lover at Paris I found a father; Dorilaus is my father:--I
have acquainted him with all the particulars of our story, and, I
believe, the sincere affection I have for you will not be less pleasing
for receiving his sanction to it.

With these words she took his hand and led him, all astonishment, into
an inner room where Dorilaus was sitting, who rose to meet him with the
greatest politeness, and which shewed that to be master of, it was not
necessary to be born in France; and on Louisa's acquainting him with the
name of the person she presented, embraced him with the tenderness of a
father, and made him such obliging and affectionate compliments, as
confirmed to the transported du Plessis the character had been given
of him.

After the utmost testimonies of respect on both side, Dorilaus told his
daughter she ought to make her excuses to monsieur for having eloped
from the monastry where he had been so good to place her, which, said
he, I think you can do in no better a manner than by telling the truth,
and as I am already sufficiently acquainted with the whole, will leave
you to relate it, while I dispatch a little business that at present
calls me hence. He went out of the room in speaking this, and Louisa had
a more full opportunity of informing her lover of all she had suffered
since their parting, till this happy change in her fortune, than she
could have had in the presence of her father, tho' no stranger to her
most inmost thoughts on this occasion.

The pleasing story of her pilgrimage rehearsed, how did the charmed du
Plessis pity and applaud, by turns, her sufferings and fortitude!--How
exclaim against the treachery of the abbess, and those of the nuns who
were in confederacy with her! But his curiosity satisfied in this point,
another rose instantly in his mind, that being the daughter of such a
person as Dorilaus, wherefore she had made so great a secret of it, and
what reason had occasioned her being on the terms she was with Melanthe.
He no sooner expressed his wonder on these heads, than, having before
her father's permission to do so, she resolved to leave him in no
suspence on any score relating to her affairs.

Tho', said she blushing, I cannot reveal the history of my birth without
laying open the errors of those to whom I owe my being, yet I shall not
think the sacrifice too great to recompence the obligations you have
laid upon me; and then proceeded to acquaint him with every thing
relating to her parents, as well as to herself, from the first moment
she was found in the garden of Dorilaus.

It is not to be doubted but that he listened to the story with the
utmost attention, in which he found such matters of admiration, that he
could not forbear frequently interrupting her, by crying, Oh heaven! oh
providence! how mysterious are thy ways!--How, in thy disposal of
things, dost thou force us to acknowledge thy divine power and wisdom!

He was also extremely pleased to find she was the sister of Horatio,
whom he had often been in company with both at the baron de la Valeire's
and at St. Germains, and had admired for the many extraordinary
qualities he discovered in him: this led them into a conversation
concerning that young gentleman, and the misfortunes which some late
news-paper gave an account were beginning to fall upon the king of
Sweden; after that, renewing the subject of their mutual affection, and
du Plessis running over the particulars of their acquaintance in Italy,
Louisa asked whether the count de Bellfleur had ever testified any
remorse for the injury he would have offered her, and in what manner
they had lived together in the army? To which monsieur du Plessis
replied, that the authority of the prince had prevented him from
attempting any open acts of violence; but that by his manner of
behaviour it was easy to see he had not forgiven the disappointment; and
he verily believed wanted only a convenient opportunity to revenge it:
but, continued he, whatever his designs were, heaven put a stop to the
execution of them; for, in the first skirmish that happened between us
and the forces of prince Eugene, this once gay, gallant courtier, had
his head taken off by a cannon ball.

The gentle Louisa could not forbear expressing some concern for the
sudden fate of this bad man, greatly as she had been affronted by him;
but when she reflected that the same accident might have befallen her
dear du Plessis, she was all dissolved in tears.

They were in this tender communication when Dorilaus returned leading
the countess d'Espargnes in one hand, and mademoiselle de Palfoy in the
other. Monsieur du Plessis was surprized to meet his sister in a place
where he knew not she was acquainted, and she no less to find him there.
The occasion of it was this:

Dorilaus, when he left the lovers together, went directly to the baron
de Palfoy's, and related to him and to mademoiselle the whole history of
monsieur du Plessis and Louisa; on which they contriv'd to make a
pleasant scene, by engaging the countess d'Espargnes to go with them to
Dorilaus's, without letting her know on what account.--The event
answered their wishes; madam d' Espargnes rallied her brother on finding
him alone with so beautiful a young lady; and mademoiselle Charlotta,
for his inconstancy to his mistress at Bolognia: but when the riddle was
solved, and the countess came to know that the lady left in the
monastery and Louisa were the same, she no longer condemned an
attachment which before had given her so much pain.

Mademoiselle Charlotta chid her for the reserve she had maintained to
her in this affair, especially, said she, as you were obliged to the
conversation you had with madam d'Espargnes in my apartment, that you
received any intelligence of monsieur du Plessis, or knew how to direct
your commands to him to return.

That, madam, is an obligation lies wholly on me, said monsieur du
Plessis; and I believe I shall find it very difficult to requite it, any
more than I shall to deserve my sister's pardon, for so industriously
endeavouring to conceal from her the secret of my passion and
its object.

Louisa told the ladies that she now hoped they would excuse the disorder
she had been in at the countess's discourse, since they knew the
motive:--a good deal of pleasantry passed between this agreeable
company; and as they were in the midst of it, the baron de Palfoy, who
had been hindered from accompanying Dorilaus, when he conducted the
ladies, now joined them; and tho' he was considerably older than any
there, was no less entertaining and good-humoured than the youngest.

Dorilaus had privately ordered a very magnificent collation, which being
served up, Louisa did the honours of the table with so good a grace,
that madam d' Espargnes was charmed with her, and took an opportunity of
asking Dorilaus when she might hope the happiness of calling so amiable
a lady by the name of sister. Du Plessis thanked her for the interest
she took in his affairs; and the baron de Palfoy added, that as the
lovers wanted no farther proofs how worthy they were of each other, he
would join in solliciting for a completion of their happiness. To which
Dorilaus replied, that he was too well satisfied with his daughter's
conduct, not to leave her entirely at her own disposal; and as to what
related to fortune and settlement, he should be ready to enter into such
articles as, he believed, monsieur du Plessis would have no reason to
complain of.

The passionate lover at these words cried out, that it was Louisa's self
alone he was ambitious of possessing; nor had either that lady or her
father any room to look on what he said as a mere compliment, because
his love had long since waved all the seeming disproportion
between them.

In fine, not only at this time, but every day, almost every hour, was
Louisa, as it now depended wholly on herself, importuned by her lover
and the countess d'Espargnes to render his happiness complete; but she
still delayed it, desiring to hear some news of Horatio, the baron de
Palfoy having settled every thing with Dorilaus concerning his marriage
with mademoiselle Charlotta, she was willing, she said, that as they
were born on the same day, their nuptials should be also celebrated at
the same time.

Monsieur du Plessis was obliged to content himself with this since he
could obtain no more; and for a time every thing passed smoothly and
agreeably on; but news after news continually arriving of the king of
Sweden's ill success in Ukrania, rendered all the noble friends of
Horatio extremely dissatisfied:--the public accounts were too deficient
for their information of any particular officer, and as there were very
few French in the Swedish army, they could hope for no intelligence of
him but from himself; which, as he omitted giving, they at last
concluded he was either killed or taken prisoner; which last misfortune
they looked upon as equal with the former:--the Russian barbarity, and
their manner of treating those whom the chance of war threw into their
hands, was no secret thro' all Europe; and whichever of these accidents
had happened, must be very grievous to a gentleman of Dorilaus's
disposition, who, when unknowing he was his son, loved him with more
tenderness than many fathers do their offspring, but now convinced not
only that he was so, but also that he was possessed of such amiable
qualities as might do honour to the most illustrious race, had fixed an
idea in his mind of such a lasting happiness in having him near him,
that the thoughts of being deprived of him for ever threw him into a
melancholy, which not all the friends he had acquired in Paris, not all
the gaieties of that place, nor the sweet society of the engaging and
dutiful Louisa, had the power to console. So deep was his affliction,
that monsieur du Plessis, amorous and impatient as he was, had not
courage to urge a grant of his own happiness, while those who were to
bestow it, were incapable of sharing any part of it.

Soon after there arrived a thunder-clap indeed:--certain intelligence
that the once victorious Charles was totally overthrown, his whole army
either cut to pieces or taken prisoners, and himself a fugitive in the
grand seignior's dominions.--Dorilaus, now not doubting but the worst he
feared had come to pass, shut himself from all company, and refused the
unavailing comfort of those who came to offer it.--The fair eyes of
Louisa were continually drowned in tears, and the generous du Plessis
sympathized in all her griefs. But what became of mademoiselle Charlotta
de Palfoy! her tender soul, so long accustomed to love Horatio, had not
courage to support the shock of losing him;--losing him at a time when
she thought herself secure of being united to him for ever;--when his
discovered birth had rendered her father's wishes conformable to her
own, and there wanted nothing but his presence to render both their
families completely blessed:--all that excess of love which modesty had
hitherto restrained her from giving any public marks of, now shewed
itself in the violence of her grief and her despair.--She made no secret
of her softest inclinations, and gave a loose to all the impatience of a
ruined love. Even the haughty baron was melted into tears of compassion,
and so far from condemning, that, he attempted all in his power to
alleviate her sorrows.



CHAP. XXVI.

_The Catastrophe of the whole_.

Poor Horatio, released, as I have already said, from his worse than
Turkish bondage, had now, with the companions of his misfortunes, left a
country where they had suffered so much and had so little to hope, that
their enlargement seemed even to themselves a miracle.--As they parted,
miserable and forlorn, thro' those provinces where, about a year before,
they had marched with so much pomp and force, as, together with the king
of Sweden's name, inspired admiration and terror over all those parts of
the world, it filled them with the most poignant anguish, and drew tears
from those among them least sensible of any tender emotions.

All this disconsolate company, except Horatio, being Swedes', they made
the best of their way, some to Stockholm, and others to Straelsund.--Now
left alone, a long journey before him, and altogether uncertain what
reception he should find at Paris, either from Dorilaus or mademoiselle
Charlotta, his condition was extremely pityable, and he stood in need of
more fortitude than could be expected from his years, to enable him to
go thro' it.

The nearer he approached Paris, the greater was his shock at the
necessity of appearing there in the despicable figure he now made; but
his courage still got the better, and surmounted all difficulties. If
Dorilaus thinks my disobedience to his commands a crime too great to
merit his forgiveness, would he say to himself, or Charlotta disdains,
in his misfortunes, the faithful Horatio, I have no more to do than to
return to Poland and seek an honourable death in the service of
Stanislaus.

He made his entrance into that opulent city through the most bye-ways he
could, and concealed himself till towards night in a little cabaret,
where having soon been informed where Dorilaus lived, he went when it
was quite dark to his house, though how divided between hope and fear it
is easy to imagine. He knocked at the gate, which being opened by the
porter, and he desiring to speak with his master, was answered with many
impertinent questions, as--who he came from, what his business was, and
such like interrogatories which the sawciness of servants generally put
to persons such as this fellow took Horatio to be by his appearance. But
he had no sooner desired he would tell Dorilaus that he came from
Russia, and brought intelligence of Horatio, than his tone of voice and
behaviour was quite changed.--Our traveller was now carried into a
parlour and entreated to sit down, and the late surly porter called
hastily for one of the servants, bidding him, with the utmost joy, run
in and inform his master that here was a person come from Russia that
could give him news of colonel Horatio.

This a little raised the lately depressed spirits of Horatio, as it
assured him his name was not unknown in that family, nor had been
mentioned with indifference.

He attended but a very little time before he was shewed up into
Dorilaus's apartment, who was just opening his mouth to enquire if
Horatio were yet living, and in what condition, when he saw it was
himself. Surprize and joy rendered him incapable either of speaking to
him, or hearing the apologies he was beginning to make for having
disobeyed his commands:--but he fell upon his neck and gave him an
embrace, which dissipated all Horatio's fears, and left him no room to
doubt if his peace was made.

No words were exchanged between them for a considerable time, but--oh my
dear son, my ever loved Horatio, on the one side, my more than father,
patron, on the other:--at length the tumultuous rapture of so unexpected
a meeting and reception, giving way to a more peaceful calm,--Dorilaus
made Horatio relate all the particulars had happened to him; and when he
had ended, now, said he, I will reward the sincerity I easily perceive
you have made use of in this narrative, by acquainting you, in my turn,
with secrets you are far from having any notion of, and which, I
believe, will compensate for all your sufferings, and make you own,
that while you seemed to groan under the utmost severities of fortune,
she was preparing for you all the blessings in her power to give, and
even more than your ambition aimed at. But I have first a message to
dispatch, continued he; at my return you shall know all.

With these words he went out of the room, but came back in a moment,
and, after renewing his embraces to Horatio, revealed to him the whole
secret of his birth, with all had happened to Louisa till the time of
their happy meeting in Paris.

With what pleasing wonder the soul of Horatio was filled at this
discovery, is much more easy to conceive than describe, so I shall leave
it to the reader's imagination to guess what it was he felt and spoke on
so extraordinary an occasion. While he was pouring out the transports it
occasioned in the most grateful thanks to heaven, and his new found
father, Louisa entered, Dorilaus having sent to the baron de Palfoy's,
where he knew she was, to let her know a messenger from Russia was
arrived with news of her brother:--they instantly knew each other,
though it was upwards of four years since they were separated, and in
that time the stature of both considerably increased:--nothing could
exceed the joy of these amiable twins:--never was felicity more perfect,
which yet received addition on Horatio's part, when Louisa told him,
that it was as much as Charlotta could do to restrain herself from
coming with her to hear what account the supposed messenger had brought.

Dorilaus on this immediately sent to let her know his son was well, and
expected in Paris the next day, for he would not suffer him to appear
before her, or the baron, till a habit was made for him more agreeable
to his condition than that he arrived in. It is certain that the
impatience of a lover would have made Horatio gladly wave this ceremony,
but he would not a second time dispute the commands of such a father.

But wherefore should I delay the attention of my reader, who, I doubt
not, but easily perceives by this time how things will end: so I shall
only say that the meeting of Horatio and Charlotta was such, as might be
expected from so arduous and constant an affection: that every thing
having been settled between the two fathers at the time they sent their
joint mandates to call him home, there now remained nothing but to
celebrate the long desired nuptials, which was deferred no longer than
was requisite for preparations to render the ceremony magnificent.

The generous du Plessis and his beloved Louisa were also united the same
day; and it would be hard to say which of these weddings afforded most
satisfaction to the friends on both sides, or were attended with the
most happy consequences to the persons concerned in them.

By these examples we may learn, that to sustain with fortitude and
patience whatever ills we are preordained to suffer, entitles us to
relief, while by impatient struggling we should but augment the score,
and provoke fate to shew us the vanity of all attempts to frustrate
its decrees.

_FINIS_.









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