Fiormonda had sufficient cause for the bitter tears which she had shed during her interview with the Duke of Montevallos. The conduct of Condulmar was too plain to allow even the most devoted love to deceive itself any longer. Amidst her sorrow and remorse, she had no longer the consolation of believing, that she was preferred or even beloved by him. The beautiful singer, who had lately appeared, of the name of Nirza, and the Princess of Ildebar, a lady of high rank, but of little morality, engrossed all his time; and, after the manner of women, lost no opportunity of displaying power, and of subjecting Fiormonda to as much mortification as possible. There is no man, / however unfeeling and remorseless, who does not fear and dislike the reproaches of a woman whom he has injured. This dread made Condulmar avoid seeing Fiormonda alone as much as possible. In public he still paid her attention; such attention as was calculated and intended to proclaim his triumph and the empire which he had established over her. His conversation, when near her, was in the most personal and scornful tone of satire. ‘Nothing,’ he would say, ‘can be more fatiguing than a permanent attachment; a beauty or an heiress are, either of them, the most wearisome of human beings; they are never contented or satisfied: but both characters in one form a compound that is utterly intolerable. We take infinite pains to win a woman’s affections exclusively to ourselves, but when they are gained we / find them the most troublesome possession with which a man can be encumbered. When one of whom we are enamoured bestows upon another aught of preference, we are apt to suppose the suffering we endure the greatest that can be inflicted upon us; but we shall find that it is nothing when compared to the tedium of having all her affections concentered upon ourselves.’6