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No. 491 ness prepossessed to his Advantage, upon the Decease of
Rhynsault that Command. He was not long seated in
, left no Arts untried to get into a Familiarity at her House ; but she knew his Character and Disposition too well, not to shun all Occasions that might ensnare her into his Conversation. The Governour despairing of Success by ordinary Means, apprehended and imprisoned her Husband, under Pretence of an Information that he was guilty of a Correspondence with the Enemies of the Duke, to betray the Town into their Possession. This Design had its desired Effect; and the Wife of the unfortunate Danvelt, the Day before that which was appointed for his Execution, presented her self in the Hall of the Governour's House, and as he passed through the Apartment, threw her self at his Feet, and holding his Knees, beseeched his Mercy. Rhynsault beheld her with a dissembled Satisfaction, and assuming an Air of Thought and Authority, he bid her arise, and told her she must
follow him to his Closet; and asking her whether she No. 491. knew the Hand of the Letter he pulled out of his Pocket, Tuesday, went from her, leaving this Admonition aloud, If
1712. would serve your Husband, you must give me an Account of all you know without Prevarication for every Body is satisfied he was too fond of you to be able to hide from you the Names of the Rest of the Con spirators, or any other Particulars whatsoever. He went to his Closet, and soon after the Lady was sent for to an Audience. The Servant knew his Distance when Matters of State were to be debated ; and the Governour, laying aside the Air with which he had appeared in Publick, began to be the Supplicant, to rally an Affliction, which it was in her Power easily to remove. She easily perceiv'd his Intention, and bathed in Tears, began to deprecate so wicked a Design, and relieve an innocent Man from his Imprisonment Lust, like Ambition, takes in all the Faculties of the Mind and Body into its Service and Subjection. Her becoming Tears, her honest Anguish, the Wringing of her Hands, and the many Changes of her Posture and Figure in the Vehemence of Speaking, were but so many Attitudes in which he beheld her Beauty, and further Incentives of his Desire, All Humanity was lost in that one Appetite, and he signified to her in so many plain Terms, That he was unhappy 'till he had possess'd her, and Nothing less should be the Price of her Husband's Life; and she must, before the following Noon, pronounce the Death or Enlargement of Danvelt. After this Notification, when he saw Sapphira enough again distracted to make the Subject of their Discourse to common Eyes appear different from what it was, he called Servants to conduct her to the Gate. Loaded with insupportable Affliction, she immediately repairs to her Husband, and having signified to his Goalers, That she had a Proposal to make to her Husband from the Governour, she was left alone with him, reveal'd to him all that had pass'd, and represented the endless Conflict she was in between Love to his Person, and Fidelity to his Bed. It is easy to imagine the sharp Affliction this honest Pair was in upon such an Incident, in Lives not used to any but ordinary Occurrences, The Man was
No. 491. bridled by Shame from Speaking what his Fear prompted Tuesday, upon so near an Approach of Death ; but let fall Words Sept: 23, that signify'd to her, He should not think her polluted
though she had not yet confess'd to him that the Governour had violated her Person, since he knew her Will had no Part in the Action. She parted from him with this oblique Permission to save a Life he had not Resolution enough to resign for the Safety of his Honour.
The next Morning the unhappy Sapphira attended the Governour, and being led into a remote Apartment, submitted to his Desires. Rhynsault commended her Charms, claim'd a Familiarity after what pass'd between them, and with an Air of Gayety, in the Language of a Gallant, bid her return, and take her Husband out of Prison : But, continued he, my Fair One must not be offended that I have taken Care he should not be an Interruption to our future Assignations. These last Words foreboded what she found when she came to the Goal, her Husband executed by the Order of Rhynsault.
It was remarkable that the Woman, who was full of Tears and Lamentations during the whole Course of her Affliction, utter'd neither Sigh or Complaint, but stood fixed with Grief at this Consummation of her Misfortunes. She betook her self to her Abode, and, after having in Solitude paid her Devotions to him who is the Avenger of Innocence, she repair'd privately to Court, Her Person, and a certain Grandeur of Sorrow negligent of Forms, gain'd her Passage into the Presence of the Duke her Sovereign As soon as she came into the Presence, she broke forth into the following Words: Behold, O mighty Charles, a Wretch weary of Life, though it has always been spent with Innocence and Virtue. It is not in your Power to redress my Injuries, but it is to avenge them. And if the Protection of the Distressed, the Punishment of Oppressors, is a Task worthy a Prince, I bring the Duke of Burgundy ample Matter for doing Honour to his own great Name, and wiping Infamy off of mine.
When she had spoke this, she deliver'd the Duke a Paper reciting her Story. He read it with all the
Emotions that Indignation and Pity could raise in a No. 491. Prince jealous of his Honour in the Behaviour of his Tuesday, Officers, and Prosperity of his Subjects.
1712. Upon an appointed Day Rhynsault was sent for to Court, and in the Presence of a few of the Council, confronted by Sapphira, the Prince asking, Do you know that Lady? Rhynsault, as soon as he could recover his Surprize, told the Duke he would marry her, if His Highness would please to think that a Reparation. The Duke seem'd contented with this Answer, and stood by during the immediate Solemnization of the Ceremony. At the Conclusion of it he told Rhynsault, Thus far you
have done as constrain'd by my Authority: I shall not be satisfy'd of your kind Usage of her, without you sign a Gift of your whole Estate to her after
Decease, To the Performance of this also the Duke was a Witness. When these two Acts were executed, the Duke turned to the Lady, and told her, It now remains for me to put you in quiet Possession of what your Husband has so bountifully bestowed on you, and ordered the immediate Execution of Rhynsault
Wednesday, September 24.
Tunbridge, Sept. 18.
I do assure you, a Maid of unspotted Reputation, founded upon a very careful Carriage in all my Looks, Words and Actions. At the same Time I must own to you, that it is with much Constraint to Flesh and Blood that my Behaviour is so strictly irreproachable ; for I am naturally addicted to Mirth, to Gayety, to a free Air, to Motion and Gadding. Now what gives me a great Deal of Anxiety, and is some Discouragement in the Pursuit of Virtue, is, that the young Women who run into greater Freedoms with the Men are more taken Notice of than I
The Men are such unthinking Sots, that they do not prefer her who restrains all her Passions and Affections, and
No. 492. keeps much within the Bounds of what is lawful, to her Wednes- who goes to the utmost Verge of Innocence, and parlies day, at the
Brink of Vice, whether she shall be a Wife or
very Sept. 24, 1712.
a Mistress. But I must appeal to your spectatorial Wisdom, who, I find, have passed very much of your Time in the Study of Woman, whether this is not a most unreasonable Proceeding. I have read somewhere, that Hobbes of Malmesbury asserts, That continent Persons have more of what they contain, than those who give a Loose to their Desires. According to this Rule, let there be equal Age, equal Wit, and equal good Humour, in the Woman of Prudence, and her of Liberty: What Stores has he to expect who takes the former? What Refuse must he be contented with who chuses the latter? Well, but I sate down to write to you to vent my Indignation against several pert Creatures who are address'd to and courted in this Place, while poor I, and two or three like me, are wholly unregarded.
Every one of these affect gaining the Hearts of your Sex: This is generally attempted by a particular Manner of carrying themselves with Familiarity. Glycera has a dancing Walk, and keeps Time in her ordinary Gate. Chloe, her Sister, who is unwilling to interrupt her Conquests, comes into the Room before her with a familiar Run. Dulcissa takes Advantage of the Approach of the Winter, and has introduced a very pretty Shiver, closing up her Shoulders, and shrinking as she moves. All that are in this Mode carry their Fans between both Hands before them. Dulcissa her self, who is Author of this Air, adds the pretty Run to it, and has also, when she is in very good Humour, a taking Familiarity in throwing her self into the lowest Seat in the Room, and letting her hoop'd Petticoats fall with a lucky Decency about her. I know she practises this Way of sitting down in her Chamber; and indeed she does it as well as you may have seen an Actress fall down dead in a Tragedy. Not the least Indecency in her Posture. If you have observ'd what pretty Carcasses are carry'd off at the End of a Verse at the Theatre, it will give you a Notion how Dulcissa plumps into her Chair. Here's a little Country Girl that's very cunning, that makes her Use of being young and unbred, and outdoes the