Incognita; or, Love and Duty Reconcild

Incognita: Or Love and Duty Reconciled (Hesperus Classics)
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But here our Cavaliers were under a mistake; for seeing a large Shield carry'd before two Knights, with a Lady painted upon it; not knowing who, but reading the Inscription which was in large Gold Letters Above the Insolence of Competition. They thought them selves obliged, especially in the presence of their Mistresses to vindicate their Beauty; and were just spurring on to engage the Champions, when a Gentleman stopping them, told them their mistake, that it was the Picture of Donna Ca tharina, and a particular Honour done to her by his Highness's Commands, and not to be disputed.

Upon this they would have re turn'd to their Post, much concerned for their mistake; but notice being taken by Don Fer dinand of some Show of Opposition that was made, he would have begg'd leave of the Duke, to have maintained his Lady's Honour against the Insolence of those Cavaliers; but the Duke would by no means permit it. By the Intercession of Don Ferdinand leave was given them; where upon a Civil Challenge was sent to the two Strangers, informing them of their Error, and withal telling them they must either maintain it by Force of Arms, or make a publick acknow ledgment by riding bear headed before the Picture once round the Lists.

The Stranger Cavaliers remonstrated to the Duke how sen sible they were of their Error, and though they would not justifie it, yet they could not decline the Combate, being pressed to it be yond an honourable refusal. To the Bride they sent a Complement, wherein, having first begg'd her pardon for not knowing her Picture, they gave her to understand, that now they were not about to dispute her undoubted right to the Crown of Beauty, but the Honour of being her Champions was the Prize they sought for, which they thought themselves as able to maintain as any other Pretenders.

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Wherefore they pray'd her, that if Fortune so far befriended their endeavours as to make them Victors, that they might receive no other Re ward, but to be crown'd with the Titles of their Adversaries, and be ever after esteem'd as her most humble Servants. The excuse was so handsomly designed, and much better ex press'd than it it here, that it took effect. That Sport ended, Marshals were appointed for the Field, and every thing in great form settled for the Combat.

The Ca valiers were all in good earnest, but orders were given to bring 'em blunted Lances, and to for bid the drawing of a Sword upon pain of his Highness's Displeasure. Aurelian 's Adversary was un horsed in the first Encounter, and Hippolito 's lost both his Stirrups and dropt his Lance to save himself. The Honour of the Field was immediately granted to them, and Donna Catha rina sent them both Favours, which she pray'd them to wear as her Knights. The Crowd breaking up, our Cavaliers made a shift to steal off unmarked, save by the watchful Leonora and Incognita, whose Eyes were never off from their respective Servants.

While several Conjectures pass'd among the Company, who were all gone to Dinner at the Palace, who those Cavaliers should be, Don Fabio thought himself the only Man able to guess; for he knew for certain that his Son and Hippolito were both in Town, and was well enough pleased with his humour of re maining Incognito till the Diversions should be over, believing then that the surpize of his Discovery would add much to the Gallantry he had shown in Masquerade; but hearing the extraordinary liking that every body ex press'd, and in a particular manner, the great Duke himself, to the Persons and Behaviour of the unknown Cavaliers, the Old Gen tleman could not forbear the Vanity to tell his Highness, that he believed he had an interest in one of the Gentlemen, whom he was pleased to honour with so favourable a Character; and told him what reason he had to believe the one to be his Son, and the other a Spanish Nobleman, his Friend.

This discovery having thus got vent, was diffused like Air; every body suck'd it in, and let it out again with their Breath to the next they met withal; and in half an hours time it was talked of in the House where our Adven turers were lodged. Aurelian was stark mad at the News, and knew what search would be immediately made for him. Well, we will leave them both fretting and contriving to no purpose, to look about and see what was done at the Palace, where their doom was determined much quicker than they ima gined.

His Highness was no Stranger to the long Fewd that had been between the two Families, and also understood what O vertures of Reconciliation had been lately made, with the Proposals of Marriage be tween Aurelian and the Marquess's Daugh ter.


Having waited till the Wine had taken the effect proposed, and the Company were rais'd to an uncommon pitch of Chearfulnes, which he also encouraged by an Example of Freedom and Good Humour, he took an op portunity of rallying the two grave Signior's into an Accommodation: That was seconded with the praises of the young Couple, and the whole Company joined in a large Encomi um upon the Graces of Aurelian and the Beau ties of Juliana.

In short, by the Complaisant and Perswasive Authority of the Duke, the Dons were wrought into a Compliance, and accordingly embraced and shook Hands upon the Matter. This News was dispersed like the former, and Don Fabio gave orders for the enquiring out his Son's Lodging, that the Marquess and he might make him a Visit, as soon as he had acquam ted Juliana with his purpose, that she might prepare her self. All the Company at first, as well as Juliana her self, thought he had rally'd, till the Duke coming in confirmed the serious part of his Discourse.

But the Marquess told her, she should have all the rest of her Life to consider in; that Aurelian should come and consider with her in the Morning, if she pleased; but in the mean time, he advised her to go home and call her Maids to Counsel. Juliana took her leave of the Company very gravely, as if not much delighted with her Father's Rallery.

Incognita: Or Love and Duty Reconciled (Hesperus Classics)

Leonora happened to be by; and heard all that passed; she was ready to swoon, and found her self seized with a more violent Passion than ever for Aurelian: Now upon her apprehensions of losing him, her active fancy had brought him before her with all the Advantages imaginable, and tho' she had before sound great tenderness in her Inclination toward him, yet was she some what surprized to find she really lov'd him. She was so uneasie at what she had heard, that she thought it convenient to steal out of the presence and retire to her Closet, to bemoan her unhappy helpless Condition.

Our Two Cavalier-Lovers had rack'd their Invention till it was quite disabled, and could not make discovery of one Contrivance more for their Relief. Both sat silent, each depend ing upon his Friend, and still expecting when t'other should speak. We must suffer, replied Aurelian faintly.

Incognita; Or, Love and Duty Reconcil'd

When immediately raising his Voice, he cry'd out, 'Oh ye unequal Powers, why do ye urge us to desire what ye doom us to forbear; give us a Will to chuse, then curb us with a Duty to restrain that Choice! Cruel Father, Will nothing else suffice! Am I to be the Sacrifice to expiate your Offences past; past ere I was born? No, I'll own my Flame, and plead my Title too. She knows not of thy Love! If she did, what Merit hast thou to pretend? And all the World has that.

All that have seen her. Yet I had only seen her once, and in that once I lov'd above the World; nay, lov'd beyond my self, such Vigorous Flame, so strong, so quick she darted at my Breast; it must rebound, and by Reflection, warm her self. Here a suddain stop gave a Period also to Hippolito 's Expectation, and he hoped now that his Friend had given his Passion so free a vent, he might recollect and bethink himself of what was convenient to be done; but Au relian, as if he had mustered up all his Spirits purely to acquit himself of that passionate Harangue, stood mute and insensible like an Alarum Clock, that had spent all its force in one violent Emotion.

Hippolito shook him by the Arm to rouze him from his Lithargy, when his Lacquey coming into the Room, out of Breath, told him there was a Coach just stopp'd at the Door, but he did not take time to see who came in it. Aurelian concluded immediately it was his Father in quest of him; and without saying any more to Hippolito, than that he was Ruined if discovered, took his Sword and slipp'd down a back pair of Stairs into the Garden, from whence he conveyed himself into the Street.

Hippolito had not bethought himself what to do, be fore he perceiv'd a Lady come into the Chamber close veil'd, and make toward him. At the first Appearance of a Woman, his Imagination flattered him with a Thought of Leonora; but that was quickly over upon nearer Approach to the Lady, who had much the Advantage in Stature of his Mi stress. She said, her Business was with Don Hippolito di Saviolina, to whom she had Matter of Concern to import, and which required haste.

He had like to have told her, That he was the Man, but by good Chance reflecting upon his Friend's Adventure, who had taken his name, he made Answer, that he believed Don Hippolito not far off, and if she had a Moments Patience he would enquire for him. He went out, leaving the Lady in the Room, and made search all round the House and Garden for Aurelian, but to no purpose. The Lady impatient of his long stay took a Pen and Ink and some Paper which she found upon the Table, and had just made an End of her Letter, when hearing a Noise of more than one coming up Stairs, she concluded his Friend had found him, and that her Letter would be to no purpose, so tore it in peices, which she repented; when turning about, she found her Mistake, and beheld Don Fabio and the Marquess of Viterbo just entring at the Door.

She gave a Shriek at the Surprize of their Ap pearance, which much troubled the Old Gentlemen, and made them retire in Con fusion for putting a Gentlewoman into such a Fright.

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The Dons were at a loss what to think, when, Hippolito coming into the Room to give the Lady an Account of his Errant, was no less astonished to find she was departed, and had left Two Old Signiors in her stead. He knew Don Fabio 's Face, for Aurelian had shewn him his Father at the Tilting; but being confident he was not known to him, he ventur'd to ask him concerning the Lady whom just now he had left in that Chamber. Don Fabio told him, she was just gone down, and doubt ed they had been Guilty of a Mistake, in com ing to enquire for a Couple of Gentlemen whom they were informed were Lodged in that House; he begg'd his Pardon if he had any Relation to that Lady, and desired to know if he could give them any Account of the Persons they sought for.

Hippolito made an swer, He was a Stranger in the Place, and only a Servant to that Lady whom they had di sturb'd, and whom he must go and seek out. And in this Perplexity he left them, going again in Search of Aurelian, to inform him of what had passed. The Old Gentlemen at last meeting with a Servant of the House, were directed to Signior Claudio 's Chamber, where they were no sooner entered but Aurelian came into the House.

He thought that to be no Place for him, since Claudio must needs discover all the Truth to his Father; wherefore he left Directions with the Ser vant, where Hippolito should meet him in the Morning. As he was going out of the Room he espied the torn Paper, which the Lady had thrown upon the Floor: The first piece he took up had Incognita written upon it; the sight of which so Alarm'd him, he scarce knew what he was about; but hearing a Noise of a Door opening over Head, with as much Care as was consistent with the haste he was then in, he gathered up the scattered pieces of Paper, and betook himself to a Ramble.

Coming by a Light which hung at the Cor ner of a Street, he join'd the torn Papers and collected thus much, that his Incognita had Written the Note, and earnestly desired him if there were any reality in what he pre tended to her to meet her at Twelve a Clock that Night at a Convent Gate; but unluckily the Bit of Paper which should have mentioned what Convent, was broken off and lost.

Here was a large Subject for Aurelian 's Passion, which he did not spare to pour forth in Abundance of Curses on his Stars. I say, a profound Si lence rouzed him from his Thought; and a clap of Thunder could have done no more. Now because it is possible this at some time or other may happen to be read by some mali cious or Ignorant Person, no Reflection upon the present Reader who will not ad mit, or does not understand that Silence should make a Man start; and have the same Effect, in provoking his Attention, with its opposite Noise; I will illustrate this Matter, to such a diminutive Critick, by a Parallel Instance of Light; which though it does chiefly entertain the Eyes, and is indeed the prime Object of the Sight, yet should it im mediately cease, to have a Man left in the Dark by a suddain deficiency of it, would make him stare with his Eyes, and though he could not see, endeavour to look about him.

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Here the Person who seemed to be the Op pressed, made several Attempts to speak, but they were only inarticulate Sounds, being all interrupted and choaked in their Passage. Aurelian was sufficiently astonish'd, and would have crept nearer to the Place whence he guessed the Voice to come; but he was got among the Ruins of an Old Mona stery, and could not stir so silently, but some loose Stones he met with made a rum bling.

William Congreve

Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy boxset 24, Later he became agent for the estates of the Earl of Cork, and ultimately the family moved to Lismore. Book Description Hesperus Press. In later years he was in constant attendance upon the Duchess of Marlborough and is believed to have been the father of the duchess's daughter, Lady Mary Godolphin. Edition: 1st Folio edition.

The Noise alarm'd both Parties; and as it gave Comfort to the one, it so Terrified the t'other, that he could not hinder the Oppressed from calling for help. Aurelian fancy'd it was a Womans Voice, and immedi ately drawing his Sword, demanded what was the Matter; he was answered with the Appear ance of a Man, who had opened a Dark Lan thorn which he had by him, and came to ward him with a Pistol in his Hand ready cock'd. Aurelian seeing the irresistable advantage his Adversary had over him, would fain have retired; and, by the greatest Providence in the World, going backwards fell down over some loose Stones that lay in his Way, just in that Instant of Time when the Villain fired his Pistol, who seeing him fall, concluded he had Shot him.

Aurelian, who was scarce assured that he was unhurt, got softly up; and coming near enough to perceive the Vio lence that was used to stop the Injured Man's Mouth; for now he saw plainly it was a Man cry'd out,—Turn, Villain, and look upon thy Death.

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He would have seen who the Person was he had thus happily delivered, but the Dead Body had fallen upon the Lanthorn, which put out the Candle: However, coming up toward him, he ask'd him how he did, and bid him be of good Heart; he was answered with nothing but Prayers, Blessings and Thanks, called a Thousand Deliverers, good Genius's, and Guardian Angels. They took little heed what became of the Body which they left behind them, and Aurelian was conducted from out the Ruins by the Hand of him he had delivered, By a faint light issuing from the just rising Moon, he could discern that it was a Youth; but com ing into a more frequented part of the Town, where several Lights were hung out, he was amaz'd at the extream Beauty which appeared in his Face, though a little pale and disordered with his late fright.

Aurelian long ed to hear the Story of so odd an adventure, and entreated his Charge to tell it him by the way; but he desired him to forbear till they were come into some House or other, where he might rest and recover his tired Spirits, for yet he was so faint he was unable to look up. Aurelian thought these last words were deliveed in a Voice, whose accent was not new to him.