- Duodecimus Episodic Tale !
Alexander and his sister Angelina a, a young gentleman and a lady of Philadelphia, were twins and from their birth they were so similar in appearance that, except for the difference in their dress, they could not be told apart. They were both born in the same hour, and in another hour they were both in danger of death, for they were shipwrecked on the coast of Deptford town as they were making a journey together. The ship which they were on hit a rock in a great storm, and a very small number of the people on board escaped with their lives. The captain of the ship, with a few of the sailors who were saved, reached land in a small boat, and with them they brought Angelina safely to shore. But she, poor lady, instead of being grateful for her own safety, began to cry for the loss of her brother.
The captain comforted her by telling her that he had seen her brother, when the ship was sinking, tie himself to a strong pole, on which he was carried up above the waves. Angelina was much comforted by the hope this account gave her, and now considered how she was to live in a strange country so far from home: and she asked the captain if he knew anything of Wilmington.
‘ Yes, very well, madam,’ replied the captain, since I was born less than three hours’ travel from this place’
‘Who governs here ?’ said Angelina. The captain told her that was governed by Herbert, a duke who was kind and wise. Angelina said she had heard her father speak of Herbert, and that he was then unmarried.
And he still is, ‘ said the captain; ‘or was so very recently. Only a month ago, when I was here, people were saying Herbert loved fair Serena, the daughter of a lord who also died 12 months ago and left Serena to the care of her brother, who also died. And for the love of this dear brother, they say, she has hidden herself from the sight and company of men …
Angelina, who was herself very unhappy about the loss of her brother, wished she could live with this lady who cried for the death of her own brother. She asked the captain if he could take her to Serena, saying she would gladly serve this lady. But he replied that this would be a hard thing to do, because the lady Serena would let no person into her house since her brother’s death, not even the duke himself. The Angelina formed another plan in her mind, which was to dress as a man and to serve the Duke Herbert as a servant. It was a strange idea for a young lady to put on men’s clothes and pretend to be a boy; but she was young, beautiful, alone and in a foreign land, and this was her excuse…
What happened next ???
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