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The illustrious shepherdess.: Dedicated to the Marchioness of Dorchester.Pérez de Montalván, Juan,

The illustrious shepherdess.: Dedicated to the Marchioness of Dorchester.

Pérez de Montalván, Juan, 1602-1638., Phillips, Edward, 1630-1696?

THE Heaven had new∣ly diplay'd it's blue Canopie, besprinkled with innumerous fla∣ming Gems; and that fair Star that leads up all the rest, and shares the glory of the E∣vening, was so profuse of her Rayes, that it might well have been thought that ei∣ther the Sun was not set, or else that ano∣ther Sun had succeeded in his room, and night, to whom he had surrendred his place, as to his lawful Successour, reposed in the bosome of her beloved silence; when Albanius leaving his little Flock of Sheep to feast themselves upon the sprouting dainties of the Field, retir'd himself to Contemplate the misfortunes of his past life. For though he was now Page 2advanced in years, yet he still retain'd a Passion, which in the summer of his age had taken possession of his heart, having married a fair Shepherdesse, with whom he liv'd in a fashion so tender and respect∣ful, as is not to be express'd: (For Love, not always a Courtier, oft-times vouch∣safes the rustick Villages his presence) but he had not been Married above two years, before her death depriv'd him of the sole felicity of his life, leaving him the most disconsolate man on earth: he sate neer to the brink of a cleer Brook, which with it's feet of silver, trampling upon the sands of gold, delighted to flow along so many banks of Roses, and convey'd the moisture of life to some certain little trees, that trusting to the swiftnesse of their growth, made full account (ere ma∣ny Springs had flourish'd) to become the Giants of the Wood. Here the good Shepherd diverted his minde with the thoughts of his former felicity, refreshing himself with those thoughts, the sweet∣nesse of the flowers, and the wanton pur∣lings of the crystal waves; when not far from the place where he sate, he heard a shrill voice, that with many sighs and sobs, often call'd upon Death; of which, not lesse sweet than mournful, the sportful Page 3Zephyrets were enamour'd; and for the love of that sound, stood playing the lon∣ger with the trembling leaves. Albanius arose, having his Soul touch'd with a tender compassion: for he had not a brest where pity was denied to harbour, nor was his Soul so base as to give it self up to fear: he was of a generous spirit, though a Shepherd; and full of compassion, though the Inhabitant of a rural Cottage: Musing with himself what should be the matter, he directed his course along the margent of the Rivoler, toward the place from whence those doleful accents seem'd first to pierce his eare and his heart. He drew neer to a little Island, crown'd a∣bout with trees so thick set together, that Day had in it but a small jurisdiction. En∣t'ring into it, and wandring a while in that delightful darknesse, he came to the place where there sate a Lady of a presence both lovely and majestick; who, with the pangs of Child-birth that had but just left her, was so dismay'd, that she seem'd to have forgot whether she liv'd or no: he drew nigh to her, and found her no other∣wise accompanied, than with an infinite number of perplexities, & that little crea∣ture but newly deliver'd from it's former habitation, which enjoy'd no other shelter Page 4than what the green boughs afforded; ta∣king up the babe in his arms, he cherish'd it, wrapt it in his warm Mantle, and de∣fended it from the bleak violence of the night; then he apply'd himself to the Mo∣ther, who was half dead with anguish and amazement; awak'd her out of her short death, offered his best assistance, endea∣vor'd to comfort her with friendly and courteous language.

The Lady took much notice of the Shepherds charitable usage, and look'd upon his arrival as an accident or∣dain'd by Heaven for the redresse of her miseries; and lifting herself up with much ado from that grassy Couch, she intreated him to accompany her to the place from whence she had been taken; who shewed himself ready to serve her with all respect and civility: and she, to gratifie his cour∣tesie, refus'd not (as they went along the way, he having requested her name and quality) to satisfie his curiosity with the story of her misfortunes.

I am (said she) a Woman that have the ill fortune to be accounted fair, since it ever happens, that the worst of chances do ever attend on beauty. I am born of noble Parents, yet to me im∣measurably cruel: they resolved in thePage 5midst of my tender years, to devote me to a Cloyster'd life, consulting more my obedience than my inclination; saying, That Children ought to subject their Wills to their Parents pleasure: a Maxime perhaps not altogether void of Reason, if it had been ordain'd by Fate, That all minds should consent together in one Election, and not be carried on to different designs. But experience in∣forms, That the Will of Man naturally desires an absolute Sovereignty, to have her motions free and unrestrain'd: but I was under an Influence that threatned many crosses to my life; for though I could obtain of my affections, to be sway'd somtimes against the current of my Nature; yet I could never so totally subdue them, as to make them become subservient in all things to my Parents intentions: nor did it avail me to say, That what they proposs'd agreed not with my disposition; affirming, that to alleadge this excuse, could not acquit me from disobedience to them; and that I offen∣ded God, by gainsaying those that ad∣vis'd me to be his Spouse; imputing this my adversenesse to their perswasions, to unchastnesse; and resolv'd not to settle me in any condition agreeable to myPage 6own Fancy, since I could not content my self with one of their providing. In these discontents did I dream away the flower of my youth, without the least enjoyment of it. And certainly my Pa∣rents were to blame, for that they con∣sidered not that I was arriv'd to that ma∣turity of years as was not flexible to all impressions. I had brought my self even to the point of despair, seeing these things fall out so crosly, at a time when I had yielded up my affection to a noble Cava∣lier; a man, that, for his worth, might well have deserv'd a Lady of the greatest fortune and extraction: the high esteem I had of him, made me uncapable to re∣ceive his Addresses with any great indif∣ferency. My Lover was very reserv'd in his designs, prudent in all his actions, valiant without ostentation, affable and courteous to all, real and fervent in his Love toward me; nor was he lesse be∣lov'd of me again. His opportunities of seeing me were very frequent, his daily walks were under my window, whereby we came to the Speech of each other; and there pass'd not a night wherein he was not admitted into the house undis∣cover'd by my Father or Mother: as our affections, so our meetings encreas'dPage 7(What a hazard doth that Maid run, though never so circumspect, that ven∣ters to see her lover often, much more to parley with him?) Being thus divided and wavering between the threats of my Parents, and the prayers of him I lov'd, I found a great conflict within me: this only comfort was left me, That he who was absolute master of my affections, had engag'd himself to serve me with an e∣ternal constancy and fidelity. The fre∣quency of his visits so confirm'd our loves, that at length he won me to yield him that last of Favours, which neither his intreaties, nor the purity of his passi∣on could ever obtain, till after a Solemn Contract between us, in the presence of two Friends, most faithful to our de∣sign. His Father was a Gentleman of Salamanca, (a noted City, the glory of Castile, and famous for being the foster-Mother of noble Sciences) who had design'd to marry him to a Kinswoman of his. (Parents commonly count no Matches lawful, if they be not altoge∣ther manag'd and concluded by their Counsels.) My Friend, loath to dis∣please his Father, seem'd outwardly willing to entertain the motion; but for my sake, spun out the time with manyPage 8doubts and delays. It happened about this time, that my Father being, for his eminent Learning and Deserts taken no∣tice of by his Majesty, was advanc'd to a place at Court of greatest Honour and Profit: he glad of this unexpected pre∣ferment, and intending to make his best advantage of it for the bettering his For∣tune, resolv'd upon removing to that place where his occasions requir'd him present: mean while, the Marriage so earnestly desir'd and endeavour'd be∣tween us, was disturb'd by the arrival of my Spouse's Father, who came him∣self in person on purpose to hasten his Sons return to Salamanca, that they might treat about the Match between him and that Gentlewoman, concerning whom he had so often writ to him; by this means I was plunged into a most re∣medilesse ill plight: I durst not make my Case known to my Parents; who were of that austere Nature, and so not to be perswaded to yield to any of my desires, that they would sooner be brought to consent to the taking away of my life, than not to have me confin'd to a Religious Cell: And that which made my Condition the more insup∣portable, was, That I found in my selfPage 9the evident Symptoms of being with Child. So deeply did I lay to heart these Crosses, that I sought occasions to bring my life to an end; and doubt∣lesse I should have done it, but that I consider'd, that with my own, the life of my Spouse was in danger, and that of my Infant in certainty to be lost: and it had been indeed a barbarous cruelty to have slain this innocent Creature whom as yet I have not seen, although it hath so lately cost me innumerous pangs. The preparations for our departure I knew not well how to resent; notwithstanding I bore it out with the cheerfullest face I could, and imploy'd the deepest of my cunning to conceal my mischance: at length I feign'd my self extreamly ill, discovering the truth to the Physitian, that by his help, my Fiction might be the more securely carried on; and think∣ing to conceal that by keeping my Bed, which I had no other way to keep un∣discover'd; for all this, my Father, that made no great matter of it, and judged by my countenance, That it was rather the state and delicacy of a great Dame tenderly brought up, than any real sick∣nesse that caus'd me to keep my Bed, forth with intended his voyage, withoutPage 10any regard to my being ill, giving me a very short space to prepare for the Jour∣ney: scarce had I time to dispatch a short Note to my Spouse; wherein, with more abundance of Grief than Reason, I set forth the sadnesse of my Condition, the heavie affliction of our being se∣ver'd, and the fears and dangers that at∣tended me: When, by that time it was mid-day, and I with much ado got rea∣dy, I was hurried with the rest out of the City; my Lover took silent leave of me at a distance, and accompanied me with his eyes as far as he could, endea∣vouring to make me understand the lan∣guage they spake: by the close of day we reach'd Pinto, a place not directly in the Road; but by reason of a piece of Land, which we there possesse, we di∣verted thither. No sooner were the rest of our Family well settled in their first sleep, but I perceiv'd my self sur∣priz'd with great pains; which were the lesse terrible to me, because my Soul was at that time as it were buried in other huge afflictions: notwithstanding in a short space they encreas'd in such sort, that I plainly knew them to be the cer∣tain fore-runner of my approaching la∣bour; so that leaving in the Bed a Ser∣vant-Maid,Page 11whom, having ever found most faithful to me, I had made ac∣quainted with my Condition; I thus so∣litary, distracted, and carelesse, having no other company but my Sorrows to attend me, betook my self to this Wood, and this soft Bed of Flowers; which Heaven, no question, out of ten∣dernesse, lest my shame should be di∣vulg'd, had made thus private; without hopes of Aid from any, save the shelter of this little tree; nor enjoying any other ease than my sighs: driven hither by this necessity, newly disburthened (as you see) of this poor Infant, and al∣most brought to the jawes of Death; here you have found me, being led hi∣ther by Providence, to be the Instru∣ment of my relief, and to save two lives at once; and, which is more, to protect my Honour from all violation, by ac∣companying me to the place from whence I came, if that small strength which is yet left me, will permit me to go so far: or at least, if the force of these misfortunes shall prevail over my life, I shall have obtain'd this benefit, to end my days with an unblemish'd Repu∣tation.

Albanius heard these things, with the Page 12same seriousnesse she related them, and was sorrowfully affected with the sadnesse of these passages. The adversity and tears of so delicate a personage, were able to force pity from Rocks, and to make rigor it self not rigid. She crav'd his Name, and in what place he abided; and presen∣ted him with a Purse, enrich'd with a great number of Crowns; saying,

That she would commit to his Education that little Creature, and that she would take care to give her Lover notice of this de∣liverance; and seriously enjoyn him to recompence, to the utmost of his power, this great humanity of his to her and her Child.

He promis'd to perform, with all since∣rity, the trust committed to him; and ha∣ving conducted her to a place not far di∣stant from her dwelling, he took his leave, admiring at the strangenesse of this event, and especially to see so undaunted a Wo∣man, of such a soft and curious frame, and plunged in such distresse: but what will not a generous Soul adventure, rather than suffer under a wounded Reputation? Re∣turning home to his Cottage, he related to his Wife (for he was again Married, although the Idea of his first Wives beauty could never be effaced from his Page 13memory) the whole story of this Adven∣ture; who, for all this, would have been apt to have entertain'd jealous imagina∣tions, if the Gold (than which, there is nothing more perswasive, and of greater Credit among men) which he brought along with him, had not satisfied those Scruples: and calling to minde, that a few days before, one of her neerest neigh∣bours had, with ill successful labour, brought forth a Son, which no sooner had touch'd the threshold of this life, but was snatch'd into the other world to en∣crease the number of the Angels; and thinking good to make use of this advan∣tage, they requested her to Nurse up this Child; which she willingly accepted; esteeming the sweetnesse, and admirable features of it, to be such, as that the earth might boast of being enrich'd with such a Seraphim: So committing it to her care, they went to buy all things ne∣cessary for the accommodation and adorn∣ment of so dainty an Infant.

While these things hapned in the Vil∣lage of Pinto, the Father of the Child having been debarr'd the sight of that beauty he so much ador'd, was return'd to Salamanca; where being advertiz'd by Letters, of this nights strange successe, he Page 14wrote immediately to Albanius, recom mending to him, with such endearing ex∣pressions as would have mov'd a Spirit lesse tender than his to have observ'd his desires, the Care of his Daughter; sen∣ding him such a large testimony of his li∣berality for what he had already done, as might well declare the generosity of his minde, and the plentifulnesse of his estate. At length, some emergent occasions cal∣ling him away into Italy, he enjoyned an intimate Friend, to be nigh in vigilance and care, to the bringing up of his Daughter; still giving so liberally, upon all occasions, that in a short space Alba∣nius became very rich, and had where withal to live contentedly, and at ease.

Silvia (for so the yong disguised Shep∣herdesse was call'd) grew up in beauty, as in years, every day adding to her per∣fection: no sooner had she attain'd to those years that made her capable of Mar∣riage, but she was courted by the princi∣pal men of the Village, who with Amo∣rous, though Rustick lays, ambition'd to be her Servants. She was so fair, that the Snow, which (if it had stay'd in the middle Region, would have been accoun∣ted white) compar'd with her Skin, quire Page 15lost it's reputation; her Hair was of a hue, only so remore from the Sun, and so neer resembling the Earth, as, lest being all of Gold, it should have been snatch'd up to it's own proper Sphere, and so have be∣come a second Ariadne's Crown; her Eyes, though black, yet quick and vivaci∣ous, and so watchful over their own glan∣ces, that they were scarce permitted a lawful liberty; her Cheeks free from the least tincture of art, display'd such a purely mingled white and purple, that they could not, without disparagement, have been compared either to Ivory or Gilloflowers; her Mouth was like a little Wound, and her Lips animated Cry∣stal, through whose transparency the blood discover'd it's pure rednesse; her Hands, two white soft Lilies, but much whiter and softer than any the earth bears; or at least, they had been certainly taken for Snow, but that they were unmelted by the Sun: she was of a Disposition mild and complaisant, yet of so natural a courtly behaviour, that it might be won∣der'd how in so low a condition she could bear so enlarged a Soul, she was much de∣lighted with the gallantry of some Gentlemen that us'd to passe that way, and was much in their company, not out Page 16of any wanton desires, but out of con∣fidence that well became her; and secret∣ly betray'd the Illustriousnesse of her birth. (So hard it is for those descended from a generous Lineage not to discover those vertuous inclinations that are Here∣ditary to them.) She was walking forth one Summer-night, to cool her self with the fresh Evening-gale, and to delight her self with the sweet smels of Flowers, which the officious Airs brought to her on their wings, to please her; when there hapned to passe by a Gentleman of Madrid who was call'd Don Francisco Osorio, ac∣companied with many Friends and Ser∣vants; who cast his Eyes upon her; and though she was clad in mean attire, was strangely surpriz'd at the unexpected sight of so surpassing a beauty, whereby she was fancy'd to him to be some rural Deity: forward he pass'd; and although he could have found in his heart a thou∣sand times to have look'd back upon her, yet he abstain'd, when he consider'd with himself that it would have been a dispa∣ragement to him, if he should be seen to be overcome with her beauty, who was the inhabitant of a poor Village: as if a Diamond were of the lesse price, for be∣ing inchas'd in Lead, or circled about Page 17with counterfeit Stones. His Reason at length assisting him to overcome the mo∣tions of his Will, he went on his Jour∣ney, and arriv'd at Aranjuez; where ha∣ving dispatch'd the businesse he came a∣bout, with the greatest expedition that could be imagin'd, he so order'd his re∣turn to Madrid, as to stay a while by the way at Pinto; (for there is a mans King∣dom, where his Desire keeps Court;) his intent was to see Silvia, and to bring his companions to a sight of her, that they might be Judges whether he had not a sufficient pretence for his staying there: they inform'd themselves from a certain labouring-man (whom they had won to their Service with Gifts) that she was walking in a Garden, with some other Virgins her companions.

It was about the time that the Sun ob∣scur'd by a very dusky evening, was just taking his leave of the day, when they all going to see her, met her coming forth of the Garden; Don Osorio began to salute her with a respect greater than her seeming quality requir'd: And ta∣king advantage of the darknesse of the night, he spake some things as a prelude to the discovery of his Passion.

Silvia, although well pleas'd that she Page 18was courted by a person of that quality and behaviour, was yet very slow to make any Answers, for fear she should be judged to discover somthing of lightnesse in them, or at least, want of wit: for where there is a disparity of conditions between persons, there cannot safely be an inti∣mate familiarity; the soundest and ho∣nestest of their intentions being apt to be made the worst of, and discountenanc'd. At length, overcome with a Maidenly shamefac'dnesse, she made more than or∣dinary haste to be gone, partly out of her own modest inclinations, partly that she might take away all occasions from her companions of insulting over her fail∣ings, that they might not think that she had lesse command over her Affecti∣ons than they. Don osorio in the mean while was lefe differently affected, contented that he had obtain'd the sight of her whom he ador'd; grieved to be so soon deprived of such a happinesse: but considering with himself, that this disfa∣vour might rather arise from the power of her bashfulnesse, than from any contempt of his person, he resolv'd to try whether he could, with lesse open testimonies of his Service, move her to be more sensible toward him; he went out in the depth of Page 19night, with certain musical Instruments, the choicest his love and curiosity could search out; and leaning to the Wall of Silvia's little habitation, he began three Canzonets; praising, among other things, the perfections of her Face; the great beauty of her Mouth, which was such, that it needed not the help of her Eye to subdue the heart of any man alive: which he sung in Consort with two other Musicians, his Servants:

I.So looks the virgin-Rose, Which cherish'd by the genial South; Her crimson beauties doth disclose, As do the ruby-portals of her Mouth:

Which when she doth unfold, Two bright transparent rows Of Pearly ye may behold; From between which a breath of amber flows.

II.AMore than Tyrian purple doth o'respread Her Lips, which softer are Than the Swans Down, and smoother far: The costly Juyce that dwells In Oriental shells, To them looks pale, they are so purely red. Page 20Fair Cheeks, that look like blushing Roses plac'd In purest Ivorie; Or Coral within Snow inchas'd: The glories of the Spring Grow pale, and languishing For Envie, so cutshin'd by them to be.

III.SWeetly triumphing Eyes, That in two crystal Prisons do contain Death in a frowns disguise: How gladly would I die, to be by these eyes slain!

Delightful cruelty Of those all-charming Eyes, That have on me, design'd to try With what a pleasing Empire they can tyran∣nize.

Silvia diligently list'ning to this Song, knew that it was sung by the Gentleman who had talked with her the night be∣fore; She was once about to have op'ned the Window, to testifie her grateful re∣sentment of his civility, and that it might appear her behaviour was not so rustick as her habit; but fearful, that if she should have been seen, it might have render'd her the object of some malicious tongue Page 21that would perhaps have taken that advan∣tage of bringing her Honour in question, she held it fitter to forbear. There were in Don Francisco those Excellencies, that she could not chuse but be much taken with his comely proportion of Body, his courtesie, and his discreet carriage: be∣sides the good opinion which his merit gain'd him in her heart, there super∣ven'd a certain natural inclination, which sprung from the agreeablenesse of their humours: but being dejected at the con∣sideration of her mean parentage, she could not perswade her self that his Ap∣plications were real; and therefore re∣solv'd to stifle in the birth this new-sprung Affection, which notwithstanding had already taken too deep an impression to be easily effac'd.

Don Osorio, on the other side, con∣cluded himself disesteem'd, because he thought she had slighted the Praises he had bestowed on her in his Serenade; not comprehending, that out of a prudent re∣serv'dnesse she had dissembled her true ap∣prehensions: So that he return'd to his Lodging in greater disquiet of minde than (one would have thought) the sound∣nesse of his Judgment would have per∣mitted: he imploy'd all the powers of Page 22his minde to fortifie himself against her disdain, and to enable him to overcome the violence of his passion; but he strove against the stream: The likeliest way he had, was, to remove from that place, wherein to have tarried, would have been to have proclaim'd himself her Lover; and to make that course, whereby he in∣tended to manifest his Service, a means to disoblige her; for he could not but be sensible that the habit he appear'd in at that time, would prove disadvantageous to him in his Addresses to Silvia, which thereby became liable to a strict observa∣tion in such an obscure Village.

Once he had in his minde to returne to Madrid; but to that, the force of love, and Silva's beauty, would by no means consent. In this languishing and desperate condition, for a while, remain'd the enamour'd Osorio, restlesse in his minde, and tost to and fro between many contrary imaginations: At last he advis'd with himself, (and resolv'd to put it to a tryal) whether if he should disguize him∣self, and change his habit, he might not become more acceptable to her; suppo∣sing that it might be, perhaps, not so much the dislike of his person, as the sup∣pos'd disparity of estate, that might make Page 23her backward to impart her Favours to him (for it is not safe to give way to the desiring of that, of which there is little hope of ever attaining to) but thought that if Silvia should behold him devested of his true quality, and clad in mean Country-attire, she might haply shew lesse aversion to him, descending to be her equal, than she did before.

In this Resolution he slept, being re∣solved to leave no way unattempted, to calm the inquietude of his thoughts. On the morrow, he call'd to him the Good∣man of the house, to whom he disclos'd the Love he had for Silvia, and the cold∣nesse wherewith she had hitherto treated him, in lieu of all the diligent tenders of his Service: And withal, reveal'd to him the design which he had pitch'd up∣on, for the subduing of her impassible heart; desiring him to add his best advice and assistance for the furtherance of this his purpose; for which he promis'd such a large reward, that he should be the better for it while he liv'd. This he urged so passionately, and with such tender sighs, that the Old-man, partly oblig'd with his promises, partly affected with the sorrow∣fulnesse of his condition, faithfully pro∣mis'd, that on his part there should be Page 24nothing omitted that might conduce to his advantage; and calling to remem∣brance a Son of his, who, when he left his Country, was scarce arriv'd to the Spring of his Age, of whom he had not heard any News, since his departure, till that very day: He told him,

He would give out that his Son was newly arriv'd home, and that he might very oppor∣tunely make use of this pretence to bring his wished design to effect.

Don Francisco exceedingly pleas'd, im∣brac'd the Old-man, and gave him a thou∣sand thanks for his happy invention; and imparting to his Companions the intenti∣on of his disguize, he went for a while to Madrid, where fitting himself with Cloaths for the purpose, very near, though of the plain Country-fashion, and chang∣ing his Name from Don Francisco to Car∣denio; he return'd one night to the house of his new Father, who, against his co∣ming, had divulg'd throughout all the neighbourhood the return of his own long look'd-for Son. All the Friends and Neighbours came to see him, and gave him a thousand welcoms home. Every one glad to see him so well improv'd, and become so brave a man through the Ex∣perience of his Travels.

Page 25Cardenio began to be acquainted with the principal men of the place: he know∣ing well the bounds of Courtesie, and what gallantry the meannesse of his dis∣guize would give him leave to use; so be∣hav'd himself toward all, that he was en∣vy'd of all, and yet attracted the good∣will of all. Thus liv'd he joyful and con∣tented with the happy successe of his En∣terprize; and underwent with a great deal of willingnesse this homely kinde of life; for he had every day happy opportunities offer'd of seeing Silvia: he serv'd her warily, and with much zeal; taking ad∣vantage of his being newly come home, to visit her often; which gave occasion to some curious pryers into other mens acti∣ons, (with which sort of people all places abound) to say that Cardenio lov'd Silvia; that his love was betray'd by his very eyes, which could not dissemble; and his following her from place to place, as if he had been the shadow of her brightnesse. She well observ'd the notice that was ta∣ken, and therefore carried her self with the greater Caution; not that it was any new thing to her to be Courted, but be∣cause she thought there was not any, anong all the Country-Swains, more de∣serving her Favour, than Cardenio. She Page 26being of a most prompt and acute wit, could easily discern the Graces and En∣dowments of him that should be admit∣ted to serve her; and having well consi∣der'd the admirable Attraits of this her new Servant, she could not chuse but think him worthy of her Love. (It is impossi∣ble that that thing should ever be abso∣lutely displeasing, which hath once throughly pleas'd.) So that by little and little she remitted much of her natural severity; discovering her minde fo far, as it might plainly appear, That if she lov'd not, she at least was pleas'd with his Service; which came to the same passe: for whosoever begins to be pleas'd with any thing, takes no pleasure in despising it.

She looks now upon Cardenio as on her equal; saw her self lov'd by him, and envy'd by many of the yong Shepherdes∣ses her Companions, who us'd in her pre∣sence oft-times to load Cardenio with infi∣nite praises; therefore she thought she should have been guilty of a grievous of∣fence, should she have persecuted with disdain one that dy'd for her. Many times would Silvia admit these considerations to her minde, in respect of many who had formerly serv'd her. Seldome doth a Page 27Woman lay to heart the sufferings of o∣thers, until she have undergone the pangs of Love her self: now Silvia loves; and since she loves, obligeth Cardenio with many Favours. As she stood alone one night in her Chamber, revolving these things in her minde, and Contemplating the perfections of the feigned Shepherd; Her Old-father (for so Albanius had hi∣therto been reputed by her) being in∣form'd of the Addresses that many had made to her to obtain her Affection, e∣specially Cardenio, whom he judg'd the same that he feign'd himself to be; and fearing lest she should unadvisedly run into some misbeseeming action, or engage her self in a Match that would be inferiour to the noblenesse of her descent; He re∣lated to her the story of her Parents mis∣fortunes, and the strange accidents of her Birth, which brought her into this condi∣tion; And shewing her some of the Let∣ters which he had receiv'd from her true Father, assur'd her, that she should be ex∣alted, sooner than she imagin'd, to a far more splendid manner of living than at present she enjoy'd; that it behov'd her to bethink her self, and consider that the Actions of great persons are more strictly censur'd, than those of the meaner sort: Page 28And that since she was born with such great Endowments of Wit and Beauty, and above all, such vertuous and discreet inclinations, he besought her not to ad∣mit of any demeanour that might in the least wise dishonour the generous Blood of which she was sprung; nor to hearken unto the Sollicitations of every foolish admirer of her, since none, thereabouts, could come neer to deserve her.

With notable attention did the discreet Maid hear the sage Counsel of Albanius, and the Secret of her Nativity; she gave full Credit to all that he had related, and promis'd not to swerve from his Advice; remaining not lesse troubled in her minde, than undeceiv'd in her own esteem: the thoughts of Cardenio 's deserts, came of∣ten into her minde, and the inequality of their estates, which strictly comman∣ded her to with-hold all her former Fa∣vours from him; which her minde could not very easily consent unto: yet consi∣dering, That to love him was to displease Albanius, and stain the greatnesse of her Birth, she resolv'd with her self (although not without much regret) to forget that ever she had the least appearance of love toward him, and to expect that day wherein her Affections should meet with Page 29a subject agreeable to her quality. Car∣denio, upon a calm evening, looking to∣ward the Walls of Albanius his Palace, (for so of a Cottage the presence of Silvia had made it, in his esteem) he saw her come forth, directing her walk towards a green flourishing Meadow, to passe away with pleasure the tedious night, and to enjoy the benefit of those cool Airs that gave life to the sweet Flowers in that cheerful season. Cardenio following, sur∣priz'd her unawares; but in such a man∣ner, that he might be perceiv'd to have done it rather out of design than chance: Notwithstanding, this disguized Diana kept on her pace toward the place inten∣ded; she seated her self in a little Garden of Common Flowers, which Nature, without the help of humane industry, had produc'd, assisted by a murmuring Rivo∣let that ran hard by; and seriously revol∣ving in her minde that which Albanius had the night before related to her, not without much admiration at the strange∣nesse of it; she began to bewaile her mis∣hap; for that no sooner had she almost yielded up her Affections to a Gentleman, whom for his Merits and his true Love to her, she could not chuse but very much esteem, but she was taken off by an opi∣nion Page 30of being far inferiour to him in de∣gree: and now that Cardenio being thought her equal, had so far succeeded in his Service toward her, as to be thought wor∣thy of answerable Love and Respect, the late knowledg she had learn'd of her noble Descent, interpos'd as an obstacle to their happinesse, and forbids them any farther progresse. These thoughts drave her in∣to such an extasie, and fixt Cardenio so deeply in her minde, that her outward sence had not leisure to take notice of him, though standing at a small distance from her: He on the other side perceiving the disturbance of her thoughts, was wil∣ling to reveal the Secrets of his heart some other way, than by directing his speech to her herself. So taking on him not to have seen her, and giving truce a while to his restlesse thoughts, he breath'd forth this sweet amorous Sonnet.

1.HIther I come, delightful Groves, To spend my sighs, and make my moan; To whose still shades it best behoves To make my plaints and sorrows known: And the gentle Trees invite To pity my discons' late plight.

Page 312.'Tis rigorous love that doth torment This disturbed heart of mine, But of a Creature so divine, That I ought not to repent To have lov'd, though unlov'd again; The sole Author of my pain.

3.Is bright Silvia, gentle Bow'rs, To your gloomy walks unknown? Who loves to spend the harmlesse hours Among silent Groves alone: And can with her presence bright, To the darkest shades give light.

4.Silvia hath about her, Charms, Nations able to subdue: And can conquer with those Arms More than mightiest Kings can do. But I that am her chiefest aim, Am destin'd to the greatest flame.

Page 325.I die, Silvia, when I behold Those Eyes that set on fire my heart; Yet I (for love is uncontrol'd) Greedy and fond of my own smart, And Captive to my misery, Love to behold those stars, and die.

So passionately was this sung by Car∣denio, and so deep an impression took it, in the heart of Silvia, that she resolved with her self not to return home, until she had had some discourse with the Author of those melodious complaints. Cardenio came forward, and seem'd to be surpriz'd himself with the suddennesse of meeting her in that place: she at first drew back, as intending to behave her self toward him in a more reserv'd manner than she had done before Albanius inform'd her of her true Condition; but she was shaken in her resolution, when she saw him represen∣ted to her more full of Charms at that time, than ever; and so much the more, by how much the lesse possibility she saw of enjoying him: however, unavoidably they being met, she enquir'd of him (al∣though Page 33though she knew full well, that it was he himself, who had lately been the Orpheus of those Woods, and that this Song was directed to her, having heard her name more than once repeated in it, and could willingly have been contented to have heard it many times iterated in so sweet∣ly-mournful a Song) whether it were he that had but even now so pathetically re∣lated to the Woods his amorous com∣plaints? He answer'd, that it was; and that the sorrows which he sustain'd through the cruelty of her whom he serv'd, had forc'd him to expresse him∣self in that manner: Upon which words, Silvia offer'd to be gone, fearing to hear that which might cause a more than ordi∣nary Vermilion to rise in her Cheeks, and so intangle her self more deeply in that from which she sought to flie: Cardenio with little ado detain'd her, assuring her that if she would but be pleas'd to hear what he had at present to say, it should be the utmost limit of her Favour that he would aspire to; and having obtain'd her Consent, he began in this manner:

Had I thought, Silvia, that my Love would have offended you, either as be∣ing a disparagement, or any other way distasteful to you; Heaven knows, IPage 34would sooner with my own hands have ended this wretched life, than not to have put an end to the occasion of your displeasure: but presuming upon the confidence of a passion the most pure and innocent in the world, I did imagine that the discovery of it could not be capable to offend you: yet hitherto I have only taken the boldnesse to discharge my brest of those restlesse thoughts that incum∣bred it, only by communicating them to the friendly secret of these Trees, who I was sure would not divulge ought committed to their trust: Here I stood, as you see, singing and bewailing (two things alike incident to those that Love) and I conjecture that I have been over∣heard by you; therefore since I am dis∣cover'd, let it not, I beseech you, trouble you, but consider how easily you may sustain the tediousnesse of being belov'd, since I can passe through the torment of loving. That you will love me, Silvia, is a thing I dare not require; but beg of you, that you will not take it amiss that you are lov'd by me: For alas! my love is of so small a value, that I have scarce courage enough to perswade my self that I love you: and I shall comfort my self with this consideration, That ifPage 35my love shall want the satisfaction of your Returns, it may at least be thought the more perfect, by continuing fervent without the hopes of recompence.

Silvia's heart, formerly hardened with disdain, is now melted into pity by the moving Speech of Cardenio: fain she would have been gone, but had not power to go; but assisted with the spi∣rit of no ordinary Woman, she put on a gallant resolution, and parted, with this rigorous Answer,

That he could have done no more, if he had plainly told her, That he hated her.

No sooner was she gone, but she was ready to weep that she had left him; griev'd that she must flie from him, whom, of all the world, she most affected; and sory that she had not been kept ignorant of the noblenesse of her Family.

Ah Cardenio (said she, of∣tentimes looking back) how willingly would I pay thee back the respect thou bearest me, were it not for blemishing the greatnesse of my Birth! O that I could obtain of Heaven, to ennoble thee with a Condition equal to my self! how willingly should I then sacrifice unto thee a heart, that is now scarce my own?

These Complaints had measur'd out a Page 36pretty distance of way from him, but with such regret, that she was like to have made so bold with her modesty, as to have return'd back to hearten him whom she left so disconsolate, with the evidence of more present Love, though smaller hopes of Love for the suture. Cardenio, on the other side, would not turn back after her, for fear of adding to her discontent, thinking she had been indeed throughly displeas'd: his prudence made him distrustful; and by how much the more he lov'd, by so much the more he fear'd; and by how much the more he fear'd, so much the more he blinded himself with the opinion of Silvia's disfavour: but that which aggravated his hard hap the more, was, to consider, That the disguising his quality, did no whit avail to the altering of her resolution; for when he appear'd in his right shape, a true Gentleman, she was altogether averse: and now that he had put on the Habit of a Country-Swain, she was as much offended, al∣though he could have been contented for her sake, to had led his life perpetually in that obscure Equipage; and would wil∣lingly have renounc'd the greatnesse of his Birth, that he might have enjoy'd his adored Silvìa. But to comfort him a little Page 37in these disasters, he met with an object somwhat sympathizing with his own Condition; for observing the Trees which grew thereabout, among the rest, he chanc'd to cast his Eye upon one, of so russet a hue, and so naked of Leaves, that it appear'd among the other Trees like one in disgrace, and as if Winter, banish'd from all the world beside, had there ta∣ken up her habitation. Seeing therefore he had lighted upon so fit a Companion of his Afflictions, with whom to com∣municate his griefs, he regardlesse, sung his misfortunes in this manner.

1.UNhappie Tree, who in thy greener years, Hast stood the shook of many a winters rage; Now thou art free from either hopes or fears Of sadder Fates to come, or these t' asswage.

2.Thou might'st have been the glory of this place, Had not the rigour of untimely Fate Rob'd thy fair Branches of their verdant grace, And thee reduc'd to this despis'd estate.

Page 383.Thou hast outliv'd thy hopes, which are expir'd; I linger out, and languish in despair: Thy Joys are past, and therefore not desir'd; But I the present scoffs of Fortune bear.

4.How willingly in this calamitie, Yield I to act my self the chiefest part! And yet I have a kinde of fear to die; As loth to be remov'd from this sweet smart.

5.To thee, that season which on every thing Except thee, smiles, is cruel and unkind; To me that cruel fair, who is my spring, More rigid is than the bleak Scythian wind, Or Winters rugged blasts: yet do not I Think strange, since to be cruel, is her property.

In the midst of these harmonious com∣plaints, the night stole on, and Silvia with stedfast attention stood all this while at her window, watching to see if Cardenio would appear; which he did not, till Page 39having retir'd himself to his Chamber, he had chang'd his Country-Habit, and instead thereof, put on the most rich and splendid Garment of all those he brought along with him, in reserence to whatever occasion might emerge: thus attir'd he came, when all others were buried in night and silence, toward the Mansion of his cruel Silvia; who, what with the extre∣mity of the seasons heat, and the restlesse∣nesse of her thoughts, could not prevail with sleep to take possession of her eyes, that so her minde might for a while have been diverted from those cares wherein it was involv'd.

Cardenio drew near, resolving to try a second change, to see if the altering his Apparel for the better, would bring the like alteration to his Fortune.

Silvia all this while was standing at her window; and seeing him on a sudden not to come forward, until he had by a sign fignified his desire to speak; She streight consulted with her honour how she were best to demean her self toward his request with the safety of her modesty and civili∣ty: which that she might the more secure∣ly deliberate, she was about to have shut the Casement, but was prevented by Car∣denio, who besought her not fear that a Page 40few words from him (her attention to which, would be but little losse of time) could have power to convert her from that obdurate rigour wherein she was re∣solved to persist: and without expecting her Answer, that he might not let slip the occasion which offer'd it self, he con∣tinued his Speech in this manner:

I am (said he) fair Shepherdess, a Gentle∣man, who not leng since passing through this place, chanc'd to espy that excellent beauty of yours, which made you in my Opinion, scarce descend to be a mortal Woman. But I would I had been born without eyes, that I might have been excus'd from the sight of that beauty which hath roh'd me of my repose, and the serenity of my life: my greatest unhappinesse was, for that having once seen you, I was press'd with an eager desire of seeing you again; for what greater misfortune can there be, than by a fatal con∣straint to chain ones Affection to a person, who returns nothing but Coldnesse and Disdain? returning back to gaze on those Eyes which were the source of my Afflictions, I found out a means, with much ado, to come to your sight and speech; but I was entertain'd with such a frozen indifferency, that my despair was with∣out bounds or respite; yet I endeavour'd to sup∣press the impetuosity of my flames, by frequen∣ting the delightful divertisements of the Court; Page 41and I had surely done it, had you been less fair, or that fairness less predominant over my soul: but finding it impossible, ever to forget the charms of those fatal looks which have inthral'd my reason and my quiet with indissolvable fetters; I could not be at rest till I returned to the place where I lost my Liberty, intending to make tryal whether I might not be so much the better accepted, by how much the more immedi∣ately, and with the greater observance I applied myself to your compassion; putting my self in hope, that if I did not finde love, I should at least finde a favourable respect toward the sin∣cerity of so devoted a heart. And now I attend the doom that I must trust to, from your own mouth; and however it prove, whether contrary to what I exsect, or not, it will yet be pleasure to me, to be convinc'd that I was de∣stin'd to become yours, although I have not me∣rited to have the Honour to own you for mine.

Silvia hearkned the more attentively, to see if by the listning to the words of her seeming new Servant, she could forget Cardenio fancy'd in his old shape: But as it oft hapneth, that a Lover takes a special liking to the very actions of the person lov'd; so she calling to remembrance the manner of his garb as she fancy'd it in his other habit, would needs dislike the ad∣dress he made in this; as if the alteration Page 42of his Attire, had chang'd the Fashion of his Voice or Action. 'Tis strange to see how humorous the passions of Lovers are: Cardenio is he, who the night before parlied with her, and was inwardly fa∣voured; and the self-same Cardenio, but even now, a Supplieant at her Feet, and is rejected: then a Villager, and meanly clad; now a Gentleman, & having on such Apparel as well beseem'd him that might presume to be her Servant. Who would have thought, that she should now dislike him, when she had neither his unworthi∣ness, nor any other crime to object against him? Miraculous is the mystery of Love; wherein nothing, be it never so com∣mendable, is liked in a person disfavour∣ed; but in a lov'd object, all Errors are dispens'd with. When he was plain Cardenio, the homely Weeds he went in, rob'd him of his Gentility, and by con∣sequence of her Favour: and now that his rich Attire discovered him a Gen∣tleman, and one deserving her Affection; the cause of his dis-esteem was, that he seem'd transform'd from Cardenio to ano∣ther man: and this seeming alteration in him, had a greater ascendent upon her minde, than one would have thought pos∣sible; so that in fine, making that the Page 43cause of her disgust, which ought to have been her chiefest satisfaction, she gave him this resolute Answer, That he need not trouble himself any further about her; for that, besides the disproportion of his Estate to hers, he was to consider the nature of the place; in which, being but a small Village, curiosity and slanderous tongues abounded; every action, though with never so much integrity done, would be liable to the grossest censure, and the effects of honest Love imputed to lascivi∣ousness: but that which most of all debar'd him of all hopes of enjoying her, was, that she had already parted with the right of disposing of her own affections, which she had long since engaged; and, that two several Loves ought not to harbour in one honest brest: therefore she de∣sir'd him to pardon her; and that if he lov'd her so truely as he profess'd, he would shew it by not coming again into those places where she us'd to be, lest is should be taken notice of, to the calling her Fame in question: and so bid∣ding him farewel, she shut the Window. Cardenio remain'd so bitterly stung with this cruel Reply, that he began almost to wish, that he had receiv'd his doom sooner, that he might by this time have made an end of dying; thinking it more tolerable than his present state; wherein, having so long lingred out his life in false Page 44hopes, he was now to begin to die; he griev'd, not onely that she was so averse from loving him, but that the pawning of her affections to another, was the cause she treated him so rigorously; and, as if his rich Habit had been the sole cause of his Grievances, he tore it to pieces, resolving to do penance in Rags for his Offences, although committed through error: he curs'd his evil Fortune, and wish'd ear∣nestly to be disburthen'd of his wretched life, since in a manner he was already slain by the cruelty of Silvia, that he liv'd but to the sence of his Miseries, but was dead to all hopes: and seeing, that all the ave∣nues to her pity were shut against him, that to all his Prayers she was a Rock, because she was uncivil and void of courtesie, not to be pleas'd with the most obsequious Services, because she took a pride in being ungrateful; with bravery of Apparel un∣mov'd, as wanting courtly breeding; de∣spising a homely garb, out of high-mind∣edness; denying her heart to him, whose faith & constancy gave him a just preten∣sion to it, because she pretended that it was else where bestowed: He bethought him∣self, that jealousie hath oft-times wrought miracles in the most wavering & obdurate minds, since a Woman is ever most apt Page 45to love being slighted, and to slight when she is lov'd; and took on a resolution, since his Truth and Simplicity so little a∣vail'd, to betake himself to Subtilty, as his last Refuge; purposing to try if he could discover, who this fortunate Lover should be, that deserv'd to have the sole possession of Silvia's heart: to effect which, an opportunity was soon offer'd. There dwelt in the Neighbourhood a young Shepherdess of a sprightly air, gentily educated, rich, and not of the meanest Quality; she having observ'd the compleatness of Cardenio, was many times so large in the Character of his worth, that it being reported to him, gave him sufficient assurance, that it would have been no very hard matter for him to have obtain'd her Love: so that Cardenio began not obscurely to declare himself her Lover. She, proud to be courted by him, counted her self happy in being thought worthy of his observance.

In his Letters he pretended much Love; but because it was faigned, he manag'd his Expressions warily; and her An∣swers, though somewhat cunningly and coyly fram'd, were yet courte∣ous, and far from giving him any de∣nial.

Page 46Silvia in the mean time, who had been so severe to her self, as to banish from her self that person whom she held so dear, purchas'd with the price of her health, the losse of that which she esteem'd more than her health; so really did she love, so really did she feign not to love; and was strangely divided within her self, be∣tween this one, yet divided, passion; con∣sulting whether it were best to adhere to her real Love, or to turn her feigned ha∣tred into real. When she look'd upon her self as Noble, she could not endure to think of staining her Honour with the mixture of an ignoble Blood: when she look'd upon Cardenio as greatly meriting, she thought it impossible to draw out her poor Pilgrimage of Life without him. In this plight, remain'd the unfortunately fair Silvia, wavering in her minde be∣tween not daring to love him, and not having the heart to resolve to slight him; when suddenly, the unwelcome fame of her Lovers chang'd Affection arriv'd to her Ears; which struck such an amaze∣ment into her heart, being careless of any other felicity than the enjoyment of Car∣denio, (though but in imagination) that her life had like to have forsaken her, at the same instant that her jealousie possess'd Page 47her: one while she intended to punish his neglect, by changing her love into hatred; but was not able to put in practice her de∣sign: for Love, although it be not easily produc'd without the consent of our wills; yet being once sprung up in the heart, and grown to maturity, it lieth not in our wills to remove it: another while, by coming where he might see her, to bring him to see his error; but that she durst not, lest he professing love to another, her reputation might have suffered by it: in fine, she held it best to conceal, as much as she could, those torments, which the vio∣lence of her jealousie made her endure; although it would have been a great ease to her minde to have discovered them; whereas to keep them smother'd in her brest, added much to the extremity of her anguish.

One evening, a cool fresh gale of winde invited her to walk forth into the Fields; and the rather, as being desirous to breath forth her grievances to those quiet soli∣tudes, and to communicate her sad thoughts to the pitiful Birds; wishing they were endued with articulate voice, that they might relate to Cardenio what she suffer'd; when casting her eyes to∣ward the skirts of a little Hill which serv'd Page 48as a stately Crown to the bor∣dering Plain, she saw three men most in∣juriously set against the Life of one Per∣son; who notwithstanding gallantly de∣fended himself; and recollecting all his Courage together, he made a shift, what with the puissance of his blows, and what with the advantage of place which he gain'd, and the skill where∣with he manag'd his Weapon, to keep off that approaching Fate wherewith the dangerousnesse of that assault threatned him: and to befriend him with her shades, the night came on so fast, that, partly having the darkness of their fact represented before them through the hor∣ror of the nights darkness; partly being sore wounded by the valour of their Ad∣versary, they sled away, leaving him as they thought dead, or with small hopes of Life. Silvia came nigh, and saw clasped in the Arms of a fair Shepherdess, this undaunted Combatant; who welter∣ing in his own Blood, gave to understand by the ghastlinesse of his look, that he wanted but little of yielding himself up to death. Silvia being about to have de∣manded of them the reason of this tragi∣cal accident; first observing the Maid, well perceiv'd, that it was her Corrival, Page 49and the Author of her Jealousies; and afterward, looking intently upon the wounded man, knew him to be her false Lover, her revolted Cardenio: so grievous was the sight unto her, so deeply did it strike her heart, that she could almost have wish'd that his Soul would quite forsake its unfaithful Mansion, both that she might be free from the pain of her tormenting Jealousie; and that he might cease to be, since he ceas'd to be constant; but leaving it to the will of Heaven, she suppress'd her distemper as well as she could, and condescended to ask the ene∣my of her quiet, what was the cause of that tragical mischance? Who Answer'd with a troubled mind, and weeping,

That Cardenio, whom she passionately lov'd a∣bove all men, standing by her under the shade of those Trees, had been assaulted by a man more fortunate in Riches than well descended, who repining at the good success of his love, being perhaps himself a Corrival, thought it a shame to suffer one that was a meer stranger in that coun∣try, to go so much beyond him in the opi∣nion of all men, and to be an obstacle to him in the course of his Love; therefore he sought all opportunities to work his mischief; and this night he found aPage 50means to put in practice his cursed treachery: for seeing us walk forth to take the Air, he followed privately, ac∣companied with two others, chosen for such a villanous intent; and when we least dream'd of any such superchery attending us, they all Three set upon him in that cruel manner; and, though I interpos'd my self, to shield him from the fury of their Blows, have left his life in that danger, wherein ye see it.

Silvia dissembling her ill resentment of the injury done her, (although her heart was ready to burst with sorrow and vexa∣tion) advis'd the disconsolate Maid, That it was necessary to have recourse forth∣with to Justice, to accuse the Authors of that villany, and to demand satisfaction for so insufferable a wrong, and to take some course for the dressing of his Wounds; remaining there in the mean while her self alone, and yet accompa∣nied with a thousand sad thoughts: on the one side, her jealous rage instigated her to wish his death, without whom she could not live: on the other side, her love and compassion mov'd her to pity his suffer∣ings; her love prevailing more to make her heart tender, than her rage to har∣den it.

Page 51Cardenio listing up his eyes, beheld Sil∣via not far off; and seeing himself free from the embraces of her, for whose sake he had undergone this bloody Adventure, began to thank the cruelty of his Ene∣mies, thinking that Silvia was invi∣ted thither by pity; having forgotten, at least in that moment of time, her natu∣ral severity: but when he remembred himself, that his Apostacy was known to her, how secret soever she kept it, he then pray'd that his wounds might prove so mortal, as to cause his speedy deliverance from his loath'd Life, and all those Cala∣mities that attended it: but seeing, that that great effusion of blood from a wound in his head onely, his other parts being protected by a stiff Leather Jerkin, which he wore under his disgune, avail'd not to free him from his misetable Life so soon as he desir'd, he vow'd to be aveng'd on those Assassinates for leaving him alive; imputing it to their malicious intentions to procure his dying by degrees, that so he might linger out his Life in that tor∣menting disquiet of minde, which arose from his being discover'd to Silvia; who, after she was satisfied, that those Vermi∣lion streams gush'd onely from the wound in his head; and, that that was not so dan∣gerous Page 52neither, as was imagin'd (although had it been less, such was her Love and pity to him, it would deeply have pierc'd her heart) she wip'd off with her hand some of the congeal'd Blood that stuck upon his Face; and binding up that part of the head from whence the Blood issued, with a linnen cloath, question'd him con∣cerning this Adventure; telling him, She admir'd how having so fair a Creature by his side, he could possibly receive any harm, were the opposition never so great; and, that if she had seen her Lover in the like danger, she would have so bestirr'd her self, that his Ene∣mies should either have left him without hurt, or first tried upon her the goodness of their Swords; which if they had sheathed in her brest, she should have esteemed it rather a Favour than an Injury, since she would have been freed thereby from becoming a spectator of her Lover's harm.

It was to Cardenio a thing both strange and unexpected, that Silvia should be sensible of his suffering; & made him a lit∣tle revive his languishing hopes, as know∣ing that Compassion is oft the Harbinger of Love; and, that there is no Love so sure, as that which springs from pity and to confirm the Truth of his Perswasion, he repeated to her the same Story, which she Page 53so lately receiv'd from the mouth of the amorous Shepherdesse; although it is o∣therwise resented by Silvia, being the se∣cond time told, than it was at first; the force of jealousie being most impetuous, when it is first conceived; and her Spirit was somewhat the more pacified, after he had so solemnly protested, That he was not in love with the fair Shepherdess whom she saw, nor had made her any other requital of the Affection she conceived toward him, than by general demonstrations of Civility. For should he have profess'd to love her, it might perhaps have prov'd as much to his disadvantage, as it redounded to his Cre∣dit that he was belov'd by her; it hapning, that although many Women by how much the more they are disdain'd, themore earnestly they love; yet others quite con∣trary, the more they are slighted, the col∣der they grow in their Affections. Silvia preceiving, that if she should not now at length disclose her minde to Cardenio, it might urge him to go on in his new love; she thought it best to make use of the time, while there was no Company to disturb her; forcing her self to a faign'd laughter, (for had tears been needful, it had been needless to faign) she began in this maner:

I swear to you, Cardenio, I cannot but bePage 54mov'd to Laughter, as oft as I consider how strangely the Opinions of Men do vary and contradict themselves, in a short space; and, that being naturally unfix'd in your resolutions, & born with unconstant minds, ye can have the face to be always accusing our Sex of that inconstancy wch is proper to your selves only, haply some women may justly have been charg'd with inconstancy; but stil there hath been found on your parts a sufficient cause to incite them to it: so that this defect a∣riseth not from their own instability, but the provocations of Men. What blame can she be obnoxious to, who, either in∣jur'd in the point of Honour, or by what∣ever miscarriage else offended, toward a false Pretender of Service, should strive to forget all Respect intended to such a Man? How finely had I been serv'd, had I, out of a fond credulity presently submitted to your faign'd Adoration? Or suppose some over-sensible Lady, o∣vercome by the prevalency of her Love, and the extream importunity of her Lovers Tears, admits him to the highest place of her esteem; and he having ob∣tain'd what he so earnestly sought for, makes himself absolute Master of her Heart, till satisfied with the easie fruitionPage 55of her Favours, he grow weary of them, and fall in love with the next Beauty he meets; and, which is worse, never de∣sists, till by making his perfidious deal∣ings apparent to her, he kills her with the sense of her own unhappinesse: I would fain know, Cardenio; may not this Wo∣man be held excus'd, if she prove in∣constant to him? It seems we are ob∣lig'd to suffer all vexations whatsoever at your hands, and not so much as offer to be reveng'd for them; and your selves not bound to be touch'd with the least shame for those injuries you do us: you think the advantage of Wit, which you arrogate to your selves above our Sex, was given you on purpose to delude us; and our lesse Prudence belike is allow'd us, onely that we may be wise enough to bear with your failings: if not, tell me, I conjure you, by that Respect which you once seem'd to owe me, and by the Beauty of that Maid that loves you so intirely, and could so easily consent to sit, and look on, while you were in such danger of being slain; How could you so easily forget those passionate preten∣sions, which you offered to me with so much zeal and devotion? Did you not call to minde, how a few dayes since, IPage 56saw you pitifully complaining, and re∣counting to the woods, whether your real passions, or your forgeries, I know not? And afterwards, did you not with great aggravation of your griefs, urge how much you had indured for my sake; and, that the Torments and restlesse A∣gitations of your Spirit, were all the ef∣fects of my unkindenesse? Moreover, did you not make serious Protestations to me, That should your life out-dure many Ages, it would never be within your power to desist from loving me? How happens it, if this be true, (as you are conscious to your self it is, and these very Trees can witness it) That I found you even now incircled in the Arms of a new Mistress, whose love you may high∣ly prize, since it hath been valued at the dear rate of so much blood. Tell me, Cardenio, upon these terms, what con∣sidence is to be repos'd in Men that professe never so much Love and Fideli∣ty? Or, what could you have done more, if after the highest demonstrati∣tions I could have given you of my Love, you had been forsaken of me? Must you make such haste to discover to me the falsenesse of your Faith, even be∣fore you had received the least assurancePage 57of a favourable reception from me? are you so soon tired with those Supplica∣tions which you so lately vow'd should never have an end? Perhaps you sup∣possest your self at Court, where be∣tween to request, and to grant, there is little or no interval, unless it be some∣times the want of opportunity: or it may be you did imagine me to be some Woman light of behaviour; expecting, that I should have rendred my self up to your first deceits, (for I know not under what other title your words should passe) or if you have not entertain'd altogether so sinister a conceit of me, could you have found in your heart, (if, as it is pos∣sible I might, (although it hath hapned o∣therwise) being surpriz'd with the charms of your person or minde, I had offered my self up a Victim to your impostures) to charge me with any blame, had I sought to right my self for this injury, in publishing you to the world a per∣fidious, unthankful, and disloyal Man? Be assur'd, Cardenio, that to offer any indig∣nities to Ladies of honour and esteem, is unsafe; for as they are alwayes deeply affected with the sense of receiv'd in∣juries, so they are apt to retaliate them, with a severity void of pity or modera∣tion:Page 58as for me, (since through the con∣duct of my good fortune, I have evaded the snares of your false pretensions, through which I might have suffered many inconveniences, and which per∣haps might have beguil'd the credulity of many an innocent Maid) I shall ad∣vise you to consider, since you take your self to be so discreet, that it behov'd you to have less confidence in your merits, and not to conceive you self arriv'd to that perfection, as to be able to subdue the affections of every woman you have to deal with: there are many defects in you, which you your self know not of, because you look upon your self on∣ly through the mirrour of your own Fancy.

She ended her Discourse with an action that signified much disdain; but yet so gracefully she did it, that Cardenio was in∣finitely charm'd with that which extream∣ly troubled him: yet his heart was some∣what lightned, to see that Silvia, although she had not declar'd her love to him, (for the sharpness of her expressions forbid him to hope a thing so much tending to his content and happiness) yet had con∣descended to so large an expostulation with him; and the better to satisfie her Page 59of his untainted fidelity towards her, and to let her understand, that she had been the onely Author of his inconstancy, he made her this Reply:

Upon what ground it is, Silvia, that you so confidently aver an Universal fickleness & ingratitude to be in all men, I know not, unless because I seem to you to be such a one, you thence infer that all men are so. but Heaven knows, you maintain an Argument, very difficult to be prov'd. There are many things to be Disputed, ere your Opinion will gain belief. It is true, I was seen by you making my Complaints, and relating my Grievances to these Woods; and how well am I repaid for being so observant, even to a kinde of deifying of you, I have now to my sorrow understood: but that ever I had a thought to relinquish or forget my first Love, so firmly devoted to you; I must both needs deny it, nor is it a thing likely to have been, whatever your suspitions may suggest into your mind; and I shall be very unhappy, until you shall become sensible how much this confidence hath hitherto deceived you: and I would to Heaven, fair Silvia, since both to you it seems so indifferent, andPage 60to me it would have been a means whereby the restlesse intranquillities of my minde might have been somwhat allay'd, that what you imagin'd had been true. You tell me, You are very glad, (and seem to applaud your own Prudence in it) that you consented nei∣ther to Credit nor to Love me, since you now perceive how ill requited you should have been; and that you would have had just cause to repent you of your Favours. Ah injurious Woman! what just cause can you have to traduce the sin∣cerity of my Love in such sort as you do? Grant that I am inconstant, ought you not in charity to judge that I do it for the best, lest in case your inclination be plac'd elsewhere, you should be of∣fended with my sollicitations? I know, Silvia, that you love; I know that the pains of an amorous passion sit heavy on your heart, and that from a very good Authority; for there be who heard it from your own mouth. Seems it then, so great a crime in me, to seek to allay the violence of my flames, and trifle away the tediousness of time by the diversion of a counterfeit Love? Since I am deny'd the satisfaction of your real Love, I cannot comprehend, how you should bePage 61taken with such a qualm of pity, for a lit∣tle Wound in my Head, having in the mean while the Heart to bring my Life into danger, with a thousand more mor∣tal Wounds. Was it not enough, Silvia, that I lov'd you without being requited? Was it not enough, that I was rejected by you? but that your Cruelty must needs mock me with an imputation of inconstancy; your self in the mean time continuing inflexible to a Passion the most pure and constant that any heart could be capable of: consider with your self, how gloriously you have done, by compelling me to languish out my sorrowful minutes in a dispair, which nothing but my Death can terminate. Seeing therefore, it im∣ports so little with you, whether I love you or no, suffer me to try, if by being a∣ble to forget you, I can triumph over my own Memory.

Silvia very diligently (though some∣what disturb'd at what he said) hearkned to Cardenio's words; and going about to vindicate her self from that inhumanity, which her severe Behaviour toward him had caused in him to apprehend in her, she was interrupted by a sudden refort of people thither, who hearing of that un∣happy Accident, came to inform them∣selves Page 62of the certainty of it: drawing neer, and viewing the Wound, they were glad when they saw it was not mortal (no∣thing so much retarding his Recovery, as the want of Blood) and returned back to the Village with him, where his mishap was universally bewail'd; so well his com∣plaisant & civil demeanour had made him belov'd among them: nor could the Jealou∣sie and Envy of a few, who had neither re∣gard to Pity, Reason, or Civility, be able to remove that good Esteem, so generally conceiv'd of him. His Weakness forc'd him to keep his Bed for some few dayes in which time, he was carefully and ten∣derly look'd to by Silvia; and appre∣hended with much Joy and Pleasure, the many Favours which she conferr'd upon him; for which, to shew himself thank∣ful, and confirm them the more sure unto him, he did that which he knew would be acceptable to her. He wrote un∣to the Country-Maid, through whose means his Love had been for a while withdrawn from Silvia, telling her,

That for his part, he was in that place rather a Stranger than a Native; that although it were the place where his Infant-yeers were spent, yet long absence had made him to become a Stranger; and that itPage 63was not convenient for him to do any thing that might disoblige those with whom he was to lead the remainder of his Life; for that, as he came thither on∣ly to see his Friends, so he intended not there to continue.

In fine, with these and the like pretences he dis-ingaged himself from her; giving her clearly to understand, that he meant no longer to apply himself to her in the way of love.

Silvia receiv'd much joy and satisfacti∣on from this resolution of Cardenio; and sent by a Maid of the House in whom she reposed trust, to tell him,

That as soon as he found himself in a condition to come abroad, she desired to see him, ha∣ving many things to impart to him, which perhaps he would not be unwil∣ling to be made acquainted with.

Cardenio counted every Hour an Age, earnestly expecting that happy Day, wherein he should have the opportunity to discover his minde freely to her, and to prevail with her not to hold him in suspence any longer. Silvia on the other side pray'd heartily for his amendment; being fully resolv'd, at their next meeting, to treat him less disdainfully and more obligingly than heretofore; for that now the Love of him had so absolute an em∣pire Page 64in her heart, that she resolv'd with her self, in case her Parents should oppose her choice, as thinking it a match too much beneath her, utterly to relinquish the Wealth and Grandeur of her own condi∣tion, and to live with him, though in the most obscure equipage: since no advance∣ment or worldly interest had so powerful a consideration with her, as her love of Cardenio.

One night among the rest, while the good old man, Albanius, having heard of the correspondency between her and Car∣denio, was beginning to reprove her, as if she had not sufficiently given credit to what he had made known to her concer∣ning her Quality; there came to the door a man, who inquired for Albanius, say∣ing, That a Gentleman without desired to speak with him. Albanius went down; Silvia in the mean time musing with her self a∣bout the resolution she had taken in the behalf of Cardenio: as he was going to∣wards the Gate, to see who inquir'd for him, there met him a Lady of a hand∣some proportion, and gentile presence, whom more by signs than her words, he understood to be the Mother of Silvia; who plainly appearing to have inherited her Beauty, it was no difficult matter Page 65for him who had seen Silvia, to discern this Lady to be her Mother: as she was ex∣pressing her great Obligements to him by a thousand civil Complements, came in her Husband, who greatly desiring to see his Daughter, spent not the time in many Ceremonies, but intreated him forthwith to bring him to the place where she was. So they all went up stayrs toge∣ther, where they found Silvia alone, and startled at their sudden surprising of her: after that with many expressions of ten∣derness and affections on both sides, and after they had solemniz'd with a great deal of Joy and Contentment, (and not without some Admiration) their being so happily met together, and so unexpectedly; and testified with infinite thanks, and large promises, their great obligations to Alba∣nio, for his eminent Humanity and Faith∣fulness: the mother of Silvia related to him the most remarkable things that had befallen her since she parted from him; telling him, that after she was return'd to her friends, there happened a disaster, which, for some years space, depriv'd her of the satisfaction of her husbands socie∣ty otherwise then by the mediation of Letters: for he having kill'd a Gentle∣man in Salamanca, one of the most princi∣pal Page 66of that place, was forc'd to retire him∣self to a remore place, where he might be out of the reach of Justice, until such time as his Majestie should be pleas'd to grant him a Pardon: the time of his ba∣nishment being expir'd, he return'd home to his Country and Friends, where he liv'd in great honour and esteem, wanting nei∣ther riches, nor any other contentment, but the society of her, without whom all other comforts were but distasteful; there∣fore, making known his resolution to his friends, he came with all speed to Granada, to see if my parents, having by this time remitted any thing of their rigorous hu∣mours, would at length consent that I should be married to him; but found no∣thing abated of their wonted severity. We seeing them still so obstinately bent, resol∣ved to steal away privately, one night, out of Granada, and to betake our selves to Madrid, where we might undisturbed live together; and to call here by the way, to take our daughter along with us.

Albanio, though he was somewhat un∣willing to part with her, esteeming her, for the many vertuous qualities she possess'd, as dearly, as if she had been his own daughter; yet seeing that there was no re∣meary, he told them, That whenever they Page 67pleas'd, he was ready to resigne up his in∣terest in her to them. They answered, that in regard the longer they stay'd there, the greater their danger would be, in case her Parents, missing her, should send after them, to bring them back; it would be necessary to make as little delay as might be, and therefore desired that Silvia might be ready to take her journey with them the next morning by break of day.

This unexpected news of the necessity of her so sudden departure, affected Silvia in such sort, as that she wish'd Heaven had been so favorable to her, as that she might have been born to no other condition than that wherein she had lived all this while; since the advancement of her Fortune tended to no less a prejudice to her, than the depriving her of him whom she lov'd above all the world; constraining them to live so far apart, that her eyes should henceforth be debar'd the dearest object of their sight. She labour'd all that in her lay, to get repeal'd the rigorous sentence which was determin'd of her; sometimes perswading their abode there, sometimes framing an excuse that she might be left behinde: but it little avail'd her; for her father and mother were induc'd to persist in their determination, both by fear and Page 66〈1 page duplicate〉Page 67〈1 page duplicate〉Page 68love: fear, lest if they should be pursu'd, their stay there might cause them to be taken; love, which suffer'd them not to leave her behinde, for whom they had so tender an affection. So that, with a kinde of unwilling consent, she at last submitted to the pleasure of her parents: and when the very time of parting came, she, all drown'd in tears, and with a heart over∣whelm'd in grief, took her leave of Al∣banio; intreating him, in the presence of that maid she rely'd so much in, and made the confident of all her counsels, That out of the respect he always bare her, he would certifie Cardenio of the unexpected occasion of her sudden departure from thence, without so much as bidding him Farewel. Albanio, although seriously taking upon him the trust of this Injun∣ction, and conjur'd by all the tyes of Friendship, besides his solemn promise, which in truth was made, onely to content her, and dismiss her with the greater con∣solation and serenity of minde; yet when he consider'd, that to perform this mes∣sage, was a thing, however pleasing to her humour, yet conducing to her disparage∣ment; he judg'd it a friendly part in him to omit it. Silvia, (though accompany'd with so near Relations) while she was up∣on Page 69her Journey toward Madrid, you may imagine in a most dejected posture, her eyes over-shadow'd with a melancholy so obscure, as nothing but the sadnesse of her minde could equal; each step she went, she thought upon him who was the Soul of her Thoughts; and as oft as she look'd back, perswaded her self she saw him who was far enough off from her real sight: but when her second Thoughts, like a true friend, dealt really with her, and undeceiv'd her Fancy, she began to be angry with her first Imagination, for deluding her with false appearances.

In this juncture of time, was the minde of Cardenio agitated with a thousand dis∣quiet Thoughts, when he perceiv'd, after his being recover'd, and well able to walk abroad, Silvia so regardlesse of the Mee∣ting, which she her self had appointed, to talk with him, as she sent him word, about many things that concern'd him, which by this time was more than expir'd; he had not long remain'd in this suspence, when it was murmur'd abroad, That she was missing in her Fathers house, (for so was Albanio reputed) and that she was privately gone away with one who had lately profess'd love unto her: so usual a thing it is with the vulgar, to report Page 70things otherwise than they really are, both by perverting the truth it self, and by adding a hundred Fictions of their own unto it.

Cardenio yet considered, That to have lent too easie a belief to the rash surmises of the multitude, had been unworthy the Favours he receiv'd from Silvia; and that to conclude ill of any Woman from a slight information only, was to accuse her in point of Honour, and to shew but a slender Opinion of her Vertue: but when he saw that what was lately but whisper'd abroad, was now become the general and loud talk of people; and had inform'd himself for a certain, That she was not at Albanio's house; he then gave in his Suf∣frage to the common voyce of Fame; suspecting, that her appointing to meet him, at such a certain time, was no other than a meer colour, that she might have all that intire to her self, for the more close carriage of her dark design, in contriving a safe slight with the secret possessour of her beauty: he was restlesse in every place, complain'd to Heaven, call'd upon death, rail'd, not only against Silvia, but the whole Race of Women∣kind; It hapning frequently in suchlike pas∣sions, that the whole Sex bears both the Page 71blame and the curse of one Womans mis∣carriage.

Ah (said he, transported with fury) cruel Murtherers, pitilesse to those that love ye, kind to those that hate ye; who would not desire to live from a∣mong you, to be free from your inso∣lencies and deceits? I have always in my minde those words of Marcus Aure∣lius, where having occasion to speak of your exorbitancies, he breaks out into this exclamation: O Women! as oft as I call to remembrance that I had my be∣ing from you, I am out of conceit with life; and when I bethink me that I live among you, I long for death. Aurelius spoke discreetly, and like a Philosopher, and one that had experience; suffering at that time by the ingratitude of Fausti∣na. Ye say that we are inconstant, and I believe it; not that we out of any volun∣tary choice of our own, are culpable herein; but it is confer'd upon us by you, by reason of that infection we draw from you before we come into the world: Ye are always making Com∣plaints, yet we always the offended par∣ty: as there is a hidden power in your eyes, which forceth men to pity; so your tears can always force credit to your dissimulations: when ye speak ofPage 72all men in general, ye bespatter our Fames with some ignominious imputati∣on; when of one man singly, he is sure to be flatter'd or traduc'd. Ah Silvia! inconstant and unchaste Silvia! did not I hear you one night so bitterly inveigh against all those that had any ignoble or unworthy intentions, that I was com∣pell'd to think Lucretia reviv'd, or that another Penelope was come to live in the world? But I know too well, that this was spoken by you, only to gain a plau∣sible esteem among men: for as it is in∣cident to most, however vicious they be, to desire to be thought vertuous; so especially to Women, be they never so wavering, the opinion of Constancy is not unpleasing; they loving to be prai∣sed for that very good quality wherein they are most defective. But indeed it cannot be imagin'd, that you should recede from those qualities which are inherent to your Sex; yet with what confidence could you, so unconstant your self, accuse me of ficklenesse, lay∣ing a kind of Obligation upon me to be∣lieve that no Woman was ever Cri∣minally false? and indeed, who would have thought that your Love had not been very firme and secure to me, thatPage 73had but seen, how much ado you had to forbear weeping through the force of your jealousie; if it were jealousie, and not much rather Envie? perhaps it griev'd you to see me apply my self to a∣nother, not so much because you lov'd me, as because you could not endure that I should disesteem you. Oh ingrateful! how ill am I repaid for those tender Ob∣servances wherewith I have so often cast my self at your feet! For your sake did I abandon my Country, my Friends, the garb wherein I liv'd: For your sake did I confine my self to this solitary place; and degrading my self of the Honours of Court, that I might be advanc'd in your esteem, I condescended to live with you in a quality equal to what yours repre∣sented, and assum'd the Habit of a Coun∣try-Swain: Methinks these Caresses were worthy to have been acknow∣ledg'd, if not recompens'd. But, Fool that I am, to require the mindfulnesse of Benefits, from a brest so utterly un∣capable of being generous.

Thus did the misdeeming Cardenio, complain him of the conceived falsenesse of his adored Silvia. But, had the truth been known, he had little reason; for she lov'd him with that zeal and fidelity, that Page 74there past not a moment wherein he was not passionately remembred of her: She on the other side thinking her self forgot∣ten of Cardenio (for mistakes are ever strongest at a distance) fear'd lest he was grown remiss and cool in that Love which he both pretended to her, and her Favours deserved from him.

Albanio using often to go to Madrid, she one time demanded of him, Whether he had made Cardenio acquainted with her being there, and with those things she spoke to him at her departure? He, to stop the Current of her Affections toward him, Answer'd, that Yes: and that he had wearied himself with often asking, Whe∣ther he would come to see her? But that he, his thoughts being confounded in the labyrinth of a new Love, had scarce lea∣sure to afford him an Answer.

Silvia gave too facile a credit to Al∣banio's untruths; and being much pre∣judic'd against Cardenio, she for his Crime, took sharp revenge of her own fair eyes, putting them to a vast expence of tears. This hapned about that time when the Parents of Silvia were preparing to Cele∣brate their Nuptials; and she having chang'd her Shepherdesses state for the gayetie of a splendid Court, the lustre of Page 75her natural Beauty, was heightned with all the advantages that Art and Glory could add unto it; and had already sub∣du'd to her chains such Captives as might have tempted the constancy of any Lady less vertuous than her self. Cardenio ha∣ving in vain long expected the perfor∣mance of Silvia's Agreement, he resented with so much rage her unfaithful breach of that performance, that he had not pa∣tience to expect any longer; so that ac∣cusing love for prompting him to such ex∣travagancies, he quit his Shepherds crook, and returned back to Madrid, to shine a∣gain in his own proper sphere of Gentil∣less and Gallantry.

Not long after his return, chancing to walk out into a Meadow one evening, ac∣company'd with one Gentleman only, his Friend, one that lov'd to quarrel in the night, and keep house in the day-time, they saw coming toward them a Lady, who, both by her being alone, and by the di∣straction of her walking, gave them to suspect, that some discontent or other dis∣quieted her minde. She had upon her head a Lion-coloured silken Vail, which cast so great an umbrage over her, that it could not be discern'd who she was; but the Skirt of her Gown overlay'd with a Page 76costly imbroydery, induc'd them to think that she was a Lady, if not of highest rank, yet at least of no mean degree: & coming toward her, they assured her, That if ought lay in them wherein they could serve her, she might command it. That you would both of you be pleased (answered the Lady) to follow me, I entreat, not command: It concerns me (said she) to be avenged in the highest measure upon a man who hath offered so notorious a disgrace, that it is enough to make me the subject of the Worlds laughter; nor can I be at quiet, till this injury be rated at the price of his blood. They led her between them, and walk'd several rounds about the Meadow; but could not finde the Man they look'd for. As they were returning homewards, a Coach which stay'd at the Monastery of Espiritu sancto, wherein there were four Gentle∣men, and four Musitians singing very loud in parts, caus'd them to stay their course; and that they might the more commodi∣ously hear the Musick, they seated them∣selves upon the steps of the Church. Af∣ter the Musick had ceas'd, and the Coach∣man had driven as far as the Fountains of St. Jeronimo, one of the Gallants within, chancing to spy the Lady, bid him, Stay his Coach; and alighting, made toward the Lady, to see who she was: CardenioPage 77swelling with anger, withheld him from seeing her, saying, That such a kinde of rude∣ness was not allow'd of at Court. I esteem my self (answered the Gentleman) not so ill∣bred, nor so little a Courtier, as to have need of your advice how to behave my self; but Love, especially back'd with Jealousie, stands not upon nice punctillo's. The Lady in your company (said he) is mine; and though taking some distaste at me, she seem to forsake me, yet I claim her as my own. All that I am to take notice of, (replied Cardenio) is, That she is at this time in my power, and cast her self upon my protecti∣on; therefore it concerns me to defend her from the violence of whoever shall pretend any right unto her. Thus there pass'd many Replies from one side to the other; and the Gal∣lants within the Coach somewhat the more confident, because of their greater number, were not sparing in their taunts and jeers. Cardenio and his Friend dis∣dain'd to put up such sharp affronts; and thinking it surer with Swords than words to decide the Controversie, began to draw upon them. Of the two that Cardenio had to deal with, one, after a short dispute, fell down at his seet, crying out that he was slain. No sooner was it perceiv'd that he was dispatch'd, but all the rest of them fled away, cautious of the danger Page 78that might ensue, if the Law of Duel should be infring'd; which was, that as soon as any one man fell, the rest should desist from farther violence, and retreat: Cardenio, only that he might not render himself suspected, made no extraordina∣ry haste away; but leaving that street where the Quarrel was manag'd, took sanctuary in the next house he saw open; desiring the Favour of those within, That he might there rest himself secure from the malice of some that sought his mis∣chief. A Servant of the house, who had been an eye-witnesse how valiantly he behav'd himself in the Combate, led him to an innermost Chamber, (at one end of which, there was a Door which op'ned into the Room where his Master and Mistris used to be) where he might remain conceal'd from the search of Justice, in case he were pursu'd. Leaving him there, and promising to afford him all the assistance he could, he lock'd the Chamber-door upon him, and went forth to see if he could gather, by learning out how the Report went of it about the Town, what this issue of the Fray was likely to prove; that according as he heard of it, he might the better know how to advise him for his safety.

Page 79 Meanwhile Cardenio, left all alone and pensive, in an unknown obscure place, had leasure to contemplate upon his adverse Fortune, and the mischances that every moment attended him; but more especi∣ally, he reflected upon the many troubles and inconveniencies which Silvia's un∣faithfulnesse had cost him: and being a∣bout to counsel himself to forget the love that was so fruitlesse, and had been so pre∣judicial to him; he heard from the next room the delicate sound of a Womans shrill Complaints, which interstop'd with many a heavie sigh and groan, argued her the subject of some unspeakable grief: His curiosity to know what it was, gave a breathing place to his own sad thoughts, and made him deeply attentive to what she said.

Ay me (said she) what hath this poor beauty of mine (if it be such as may deserve that name) profited me? or rather, how much hath it not injur'd me, by betraying my heart to him that is so ungrateful, and treats me with so little re∣spect? To what end have I so long gloriously re∣sisted his powerful intreaties & inveiglements, when in the end I could not forbear surrendring my self to him who hath so ill requited me? What hath it avail'd me to dissemble all this while the ardency of my love to him, since at Page 80length I am come off with the shame of yielding my self so quickly, and love without the recom∣pence of bring lov'd again. Oh Cardenio! who would have thought, That that Woman who disprais'd thee more justly than she her self imagin'd, should so easily yield her self a prey to thy false allurements? to perswade, thou art very Eloquent; but how to shew Gratitude. al∣together inexpert; thy Words speak thee Noble, thy Deeds act a Clown.

Cardenio, to hear his name mention'd in a strange place, was much amaz'd: yet he imagin'd that haply some other bearing his Name, though not his Fortune, might have been the occasion of this complaint.

By this time the Servant was return'd, assuring him, that he was now at liberty to go where he pleas'd: Justice being sa∣tisfied with the imprisonment of one of the Adversaries. Cardenio gratifying the man with the expressions of real Thanks for what he had done, and the reward of some Crowns; demanded the Name of him he serv'd? The Servant told him. It was a Gentleman that came hither to be Married to a Lady, whom since he first lov'd, there are many years now past, as appears by that sweet Pledge which they have brought along with them; a fair Daughter, born in the infancy of their Page 81Love, not above three leagues from Court, who till now, hath in a mean Village al∣wayes liv'd obscure, and under the notion of a plain Country-Shepherdesse, until such time as her Parents might with safe∣ty own her.

These things Cardenio hear, as it were transported out of himself with wonder, to observe the strange Story of Silvia's Fortune; and turning to the Servant, he said, Without doubt, this is the same Lady that I heard so tenderly complaining to her self but even now. 'T is most likely to be her, (the Servant reply'd:) for ever since she came to the City, she bath been noted for her ex∣cessive sadness; eft breaking forth into such violent passions of grief, that it is by most con∣ceiv'd, her melancholy ariseth from some strong affection left behinde her, which yet aetains her heart at Pinto: and although she created a be∣lief in most, that her perplexity was for the absence of those shepherdesses, her companions, whom her long conversation with them, had very much endeared to her affection; yet I, for my part, have some ground to think otherwise, because many times I have heard her bitterly complaining of one whom she calls Cardenio: therefore I presume it is not her love onely of her absent companions, that occasions this me∣lancholy.

Page 82 It was a Task sufficient for Cardenio, to suppress that excessive Joy he conceiv'd, hearing those happy tidings: but discreet∣ly concealing it, he entreated the man that he would, if it were possible, bear this Message from him to the Lady, That a Gentleman who was an intimate Friend to Cardenio, humbly desir'd her she would be pleas'd to give way that he might see her, and present her with a Letter from him. The Servant, though at first some∣what cautious to attempt the carrying of that Message to his Lady; yet oblig'd by Cardenio's Gifts, and knowing that what∣ever strangeness she might dissemble at first, she would quickly be perswaded to come to the speech of her Lover, went confidently to Silvia, (who was now call'd Donna Violanta) and deliver'd his Errant to her. Silvia was a little amaz'd; and the Conflict between her Love and Honour, bred some Demurs: but incited by the unresistable force of Love, she re∣solv'd to venture; and causing the door to be op'ned, she came into the Chamber to him.

Great was the Astonishment on both sides, when they beheld one another in ha∣bits so different from those wherein they were seen of one another last: you would Page 83have thought they had felt the power of Medusa's head, and were become Marble with admiring. Silvia was inwardly o∣ver-joy'd, that she had in her presence him whom she had given over for lost: but his chang'd apparel would scarce permit her to give credit to her own eyes. Cardenio, on the other side, seeing her so differently attir'd, could not tell what to think of it. As for Silvia, she imagin'd, that without doubt, Cardenio having learn'd the certain∣ty of her quality, lest his suppos'd dispa∣rity should cause her to forgo her love, had assum'd to himself this Gentile garb; and so began largely to insist how vain a thing it was to be taken with outward appear∣ances; saying, that to go in obscure or splendid Apparel, avail'd little, either to the confirming or infringing of a well-grounded affection: and she did not so much dis-esteem a mean habit, as she pri∣zed a rich minde; neither was a Rural courtship so unpleasing to her, as a Court∣ly and Civil deportment was pleasing: nor did she think it a shame for her to confess, that she would sooner chuse to love that man who was but of an obscure quality, and constant, than the most accomplish'd Gallant, and perfidious. And thinking to take revenge on him for his forgetfulness, Page 84she continued her discourse somewhat sharply, saying, That since his meanness not so much dishonour'd her, as his un∣faithfulness offended her, she was not so greatly incensed toward him for being in∣feriour to her in condition, as because she saw him not correspondent to her in firm∣ness and sincerity of affection: however, in this, she comsorted her self, That she hop'd she should be able rather to endure and conceal her afflictions, nay even to die, than to suffer her self any more to be incli∣nable to his false pretensions; the experi∣ence of whose Ingratitude, might be a suffi∣cient warning to her.

More she had said, would her passion have given her leave: but what she left un∣spoken, her eyes spake for her: for the violence of her sorrow, not able to be con∣tain'd within her brest, burst forth in tears.

Cardenio was put to a strange non-plus, hearing the undeserved complaints which Silvia made of his surmis'd neglect; when∣as, from the very day that she first forsook Pinto, he neither had receiv'd any message from her, nor could he come to know, by means of Albanio, where her abode was. Wherefore he made her this Answer: That as to the Ingratitude and Unworthiness she alleadg'd against him, such was his in∣nocence, Page 85that it was needless for him to make any excuse; and that he so far pre∣ferr'd her contentment before his own, that if she had design'd to bestow her Love up∣on some one more deserving, he would ra∣ther yeeld to the hazarding his life, by see∣ing her in the power of some other man, whom her affection might have made choice of, than seek to enjoy her himself, as long as his happiness should be incon∣sistent with her repose: yet, that she might be undeceiv'd in the opinion she had both of his condition, and his want of loyalty toward her; he told her, That whereas he had all this while gone under the name of Cardenio, and the form of a Country-villager, he was both of a quality Nobler than what he had hitherto profess'd, and his right name was Don Osorio; and that (to make the credit of what he alleadg'd the more indisputable, it was sufficient to say, he was ally'd unto the House of Lemos; and that it was he who passing one time thorow Pinto, and espying her, became a captive to her beauty; and impatient till he had obtain'd the oportunity of an ad∣dress unto her, came one night into her company, though through the nights ob∣scurity, he was scarce able to discern her: but that afterwards, to gain frequent opor∣tunities Page 86of seeing her, and to have time to make his passion known, by the most zea∣lous services he could be capable of rende∣ring to her, he had put on that same Coun∣try-disguise, in which he so oft appear'd to her: and that however she was pleas'd to inveigh against his neglect of her, he had ever remain'd a Rock in that sincerity he first profess'd; and at that very time when it was rumour'd abroad that she was mis∣sing from Albanio's house, he was exceed∣ingly perplex'd about it, seeing all men whisper and entertain odde conceits about it: but when neither from Albanio, nor any one else, he could receive the certainty of what was the occasion of her departure, nor whither she was remov'd; he thought it needless to stay any longer here, and so return'd back to Court; and walking forth one evening with a friend, he chanced to be engaged in a Quarrel, in which one of the adversaries fell; and that he fleeing from the severity of Justice, was by his good Genius happily directed to this house, where hearing his name repeated among many sighs and complaints, he came to be inform'd of the whole Story of her proceedings; and, that he remain'd absolutely devoted to her command, resol∣ving not to dispose of himself in any way Page 87that should not submit to her concern∣ments, or afford him the opportunities of having the honour to serve her: and that she might the better satisfie her self of the reality of his affection, he pray'd her to consider that he had not altogetherdeclin'd the acting of what might in some sort pre∣tend to her esteem; having devested himself of his own Quality for her sake, whom he absolutely concluded to be his inferiour: whereas she on the other side, since the late change of her Fortune, had out of the same consideration, sought to retract her long-profess'd Love. To which she answered, That notwithstanding the Reverend old Man, who in her esteem had ever had the place of a Father, had long since reveal'd to her whose child she was, & withal strictly admonish'd her, that having regard to her Modesty and Honour, she should not enter∣tain any one beneath her in degree; yet that she remain'd constant and unmov'd in that Affection, which took beginning in her, from that night forward, wherein he having obtained an opportunity of ad∣dressing himself to her, made so large pro∣fessions of his Love. And that he might see how much the reality of her Love pre∣vailed above the thought of her Quality, she gave him a Letter to read which she Page 88had written at Pinto, thinking to have left it behinde her, to be sent him by Al∣banio, as a testimony of her constancy: the Letter Cardenio read, it being to this effect.

Violanta to Cardenio. If with the change of my Habit and Fortune, I had chang'd that Love which I have so long borne you, I might seem to have done that which the respect of Blood and greatness oblig'd me to; but so far am I from the least thought of forsaking you, that I was never more firmly than now, resolv'd to be whol∣ly yours: he that gives you this, will give you an account of my condition, and the reason of my departure. Rest happy, and assur'd, that though at present the distance between our qualities be as great as that which separates our selves, my Love shall make you Noble, and render you worthy of my Nuptials. Violanta.

Cardenio had no longer what to doubt, nor Silvia what to fear: that night he kept in the Page 89same Lodging, Silvia's care not permit∣ting him, for fear of whatsoever danger might befal him, to stir out of the House. The next morning she went to her Father and Mother, acquainted them with the whole proceedings of their loves, and all the circumstances that had hap∣ned: they making it their own case, ha∣ving so fresh in Memory the powerful ef∣fects of Love in themselves; wisely con∣sidering, That to cross a Woman in her desires, is to drive her into remediless in∣conveniences; her Father also knowing Cardenio to be a man highly esteem'd of in Court, for his great Quality and his com∣pleat Vertues, they gave their free consent that they should be married. About the same time, it fortun'd that their Parents al∣so came from Granada to Madrid; who when they saw, that their Daughter match'd to so noble a Gentleman, and the Fruits of their lawful Loves appearing in so beautiful a Pledge, whom, not without great admiration they beheld, they were so far from continuing their former avers∣nesse, knowing it in vain to repine against that which Heaven hath decreed should come to pass, that they chang'd their dis∣pleasure into content, their anger into gladness. Cardenio enjoy'd his beloved Page 90Silvia: and the strangeness of their Loves adventure, being publish'd through the Court, their Nuptials were solemniz'd with a great deal of Joy; all Men ap∣plauding the happiness of Cardenio, and the Divine Beauty of Silvia, now a prin∣cipal Lady of the Court, who was lately a mean Shepherdess of Pinto.


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