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'Tis not in me to master fo


Passions ; I must know farther, or you have made good But half your Promise. - While my Love stood býr Holding her upright, and my Presence was A Watch upon her, her Defires being met too With equal Ardour from me, what one Proof Could she give of her Constancy, being untempted ? But when I am abfent, and my coming back Uncertain, and those wanton Heats in Women Not to be quench'd by lawful Means, and the The absolute Disposer of herself, Without Controul or Curb; nay more, invited By Opportunity and all strong Temptations, If then she hold out

Bapt. As no Doubt she will.

Math. Those Doubts must be made Certainties, By your Afsurance, or your boasted Art [Baptista, Deserves no Admiration. How you trifleAnd play with my Affliction! I'm on The Rack, till you

confirm me. Bapt. Sure, Mathias, I am no God, nor can I dive into Her hidden Thoughts, or know what her Intents are ; That is deny'd to Art, and kept conceal'd E'en from the Devils themselves : They can but guess, Out of long Observation, what is likely; But positively to foretell that this shall be, You may conclude impoffible; all I can, I will do for you. When you are distant from her A thousand Leagues, as if you then were with her, You shall know truly when she is solicited, And how far wrought on.

Math. I desire no more.

Bapt. Take then this little Model of Sophia, With more than human Skill limn'd to the Life ; Each Line and Lineament of it in the Drawing So punctually observ'd, that, had it Motion, In so much 'twere herself.


Math. It is, indeed,
An admirable Piece ; but if it have not
Some hidden Virtue that I cannot guess at,
In what can it avantage me?

Bapt. I'll instruct you.
Carry it still about you, and as oft
As you desire to know how she's affected,
With curious Eyes perufe it: While it keeps
The Figure it now has, entire and perfect,
She is not only innocent in Fact,
But unattempted ; but if once it vary
From the true Form, and what's row White and Red
Incline to Yellow, rest moft confident
She's with all Violence courted, but unconquer'd.
But if it turn all Black, 'tis an Assurance
The Fort, by composition or Surprize,
Is forc'd, or with her free Consent, surrender'd.

Nothing can be more fantastick, or more in the extravagant Strain of the Italian Novels, than this Fiction : And yet the Play raised on it is extremely beautiful, abounds with affecting Situations, true Character, and a faithful Representation of Nature. The Story, thus opened, proceeds as follows: Mathias departs, accompanied by his Friend, and ferves as a Volunteer in the Hungarian Army against the Turks. A complete Victory being obtained, chiefly by Means of his Valour, he is brought by the General to the Hungarian Court, where he not only receives many Honours from the King, but captivates the Heart of the Queen ; whose Passion is not so much excited by his known Valour, or personal Attractions, as by his avowed Constancy to his Wife, and his firmAssurance of her reciprocal Affection and Fidelity to him. These Circumstances touch the Pride, and raise the Envy of the Queen. She resolves therefore to destroy his conjugal Faith by giving up her own, and determines to make him a Vol. II.



desperate Offer of her Person; and, at the same Time, under Pretence of Notice of Mathias's being detained for a Month at Court, the dispatches two young Noblemen to tempt the Virtue of Sophia. These Incidents occasion several affecting Scenes both on the Part of the Husband and Wife. Ma. thias (not with an unnatural and untheatrical Stoicism, but with the liveliest Sensibility) nobly withstands the Temptations of the Queen. Sophia, though most virtuously attached to her Husband, becomes uneasy at the feigned Stories which the young Lords recount to her of his various Gallantries at Court, and in a Fit of Jealousy, Rage, and Resentment, makes a momentary Resolution to give up her Ho

While she is supposed to be yet under the Dominion of this Resolution, occurs the following Scene between the Husband and his Friend.


Bapt. We are in a desperate Straight ; there's 110

Nor Hope left to come off, but by your yielding
To the Necessity ; you must feign a Grant
To her violent Passion, or

Math. What, my Baptista?
Bapt. We are but dead else.

Math. Were the Sword now heav'd up,
And my Neck upon the Block, I would not buy
An Hour's Reprieve with the Loss of Faith and Virtue,
To be made immortal here. Art thou a Scholar,
Nay, almost without a Parallel, and yet

fear To die, which is inevitable ? You may urge The many Years that by the Course of Nature We may travel in this tedious Pilgrimage, And hold it as a Blessing, as it is, When Innocence is our Guide ; yet know, Baptifta, Our Virtues are preferr'd before our Years, By the Great Judge. To die untainted in

Our Fame and Reputation is the greatest;
And to lose that, can we desire to live?
Or shall I, for a momentary Pleasure,
Which soon comes to a Period, to all Times
Have Breach of Faith and Perjury remembred
In a still living Epitaph? No, Baptista,
Since my Sophia will go to her Grave
Unspotted in her Faith, I'll follow her
With equal Loyalty : But look on this,
Your own great Work, your Master-piece, and then
She being still the same, teach me to alter.
Ha! sure I do not sleep! Or, if I dream,

[The Picture altered.
This is a terrible Vision ! I will clear
My Eyesight, perhaps Melancholy makes me
See that which is not.

Bapt. It is too apparent.
I grieve to look upon't; besides the Yellow,
That does afsure she's tempted, there are Lines
Of a dark Colour, that disperse themselves
O'er every Miniature of her Face, and those

Math. She is turn'd Whore.

Bapt. I must not say fo,
Yet as a Friend to Truth, if you will have me
Interpret it, in her Confent, and Wishes
She's falle, but not in Fact yet.

Math. Fact! Baptifta ?
Make not yourself a Pandar to her Looseness,
In labouring to palliate what a Vizard
Of Impudence cannot cover. Did e'er Woman
In her Will decline from Chastity, but found Means
To give her hot Luftfull Scope? It is more
Poslible in Nature for gross Bodies
Descending of themselves, to hang in the Air,
Or with my single Arm to underprop
A falling Tower ; nay, in its violent Course
To stop the Lightning, than to stay a Woman


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Hurried by two Furies, Lust and Faithood,
In her full Career to Wickedness.

Bant Pray you temper
The Violence of your Pasion,

Math. In Extremes
Of this Condition, can it be in Man
To use a Moderation? I am thrown
From a tecp Rock headlong into a Gulph
Of Misery, and find myielf past Hope,
In the fame Moment that I apprehend
That I am falling. And this, the ligure of
My Idol, few Hours fince, while the continued
In her Perfection, that was late a Mirror,
in which I faw miraculous Shapes of Duty,
Staid Manners, with all Excellency a Husband
Could will in a chafie Wise, is on the sudden
Turn’d to a magical Glass, and does present
Nothing but Horns and Horror.

Bapt. You may yet
(And is the beft Foundation) build up Comfort
On your own Goodness.

Math. No, that hath undone me,
For now I hold my Temperance a Sin
Worse than Excess, and what was Vice a Virtue.
Have I refus'd a Queen, and such a Queen [ed
(Whoíeravishing Beautics at the first Sight had tempt-
A Hermit from his Beads, and chang'd his Prayers
To amorous Sonnets) to preserve my Faith
Inviolate to Thee, with the Hazard of
My Death with Porture, since the could inflict
No less for my Contempt, and have I met
Such a Return from Thce? I will not curfe Thee,
Nor for thy Failhood rail against the Sex;
"Tis poor, and common ; Pll only with wife Men
Whisper unto myself, howe'er they seem,
Nor present, nor past Times, nor the Age to come
Hath heretofore, can now, or ever swall
Produce one constant Woman.


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