LET. XXIV. To Monsieur De SILHON, Musque∣teer of the Kings Company.
HAving your person in great admiration, I cannot mis∣prize Page 90 or undervalue your friend∣ship. The faire tokens whereof, which I have receav'd in the Letter, that you were pleas'd to write unto me, have obliged me so farre, that I confesse that I owe you already that which you are pleas'd now to promise me. I will tell you but this, that if Princes could bestow health and vertue, I should be a more sedu∣lous Courtier then I am, and should stand in more neede of your testi∣mony and the recommendation of your friend. But truly in the case that I am, my desires are so feeble, and my passions so cold and lan∣guid, that I could hardly bee per∣swaded to take up a Crosier, if I found it on the earth. Though Phi∣losophy doth not teach, that wee must seeke for happinesse out of the wheeling Orbe of the Court; Page 91 my owne lazinesse would cause me to apprehend it as a fortune, under whose weight J should per∣petually groane and not a place of any ease; and J doe lesse esteeme of a place of Government that might cumber me, then a field of liberty that may solace me. Jf you goe a∣ny time into Gascony, and doe me the honour to take my house in the way, you will verify what J say to you; and avouch, that if J were as well cured of all maladies as that of Ambition, I had not many wishes to commence. Jt is true that some company (like that of Monsieur your Brother) is wanting unto me; and if this were added to my Her∣mitage, J durst contend with Jupi∣ter for happinesse. This is a speech of Epicurus which Seneca doth al∣leadge, but which I doe mean to Page 92 apply better then it was by the Au∣thor; since Bread and Beare (which this Philosopher made the two E∣lements of soveraigne Good) are not so rare or so good, as those excel∣lent Instructions and perfect hone∣sty, which I should finde and injoy in the person of my friend. I doe charge you to assure him, that I doe ever honour and esteeme him infi∣nitely, and for your particular, you may believe, that you cannot affect a man that could be more sincerely then I am,
Balzac. 19. Dec. 1635.