LET. XXVI. To Monsieur D' Espesses Counsel∣lour of the King in his Coun∣saile of State.
YOU make me (truely) to lan∣guish, & it is more then foure months, since J have expected our Translation: J call it ours, because you made it in my Chamber, and on my paper; and J might call it mine too, by a rule in the Law, which doth adjudge the surface to goe along with the profunditie; but that J remembred the exception of the Emperour which he adds in fa∣vour of excellent Artizans. Nobis contrà videtur, meliùs esse Tabulam▪ cedere Picturae: Ridiculum enim est pi∣cturam Apelli• vel Parrhasií in acces∣sionemPage 98vilissimae picturae cedere. We must not urge a man that is intent upon more important affaires. Yet when your leasure serves, be pleas'd to perfect that same Translation, & try if our language can expresse Te∣rence in that noblenesse of style, and the Character of Scipio and Laelius, which the Roman Nation observe to be in it. Jn the meane time Sir, to have the more colour to demand of you, I send you here a small gift; some Verses which I received late∣ly from one of my friends in Eng∣land, who doth chardge the Muses of the Low-Countreyes with the ma∣king. You are in some sort interes∣sed in't, seeing they question the credit & trueth of an Author who a∣mong you, is cryed for Indubitable; and seeme to thwart your judge∣ment of him, as concerning the cer∣tainty Page 99 of his Testimonie. But (in good sooth) the Flemmings have reason to require such a scrupulous and punctuall truth in our newes: They who are the most fabulous Historians of this Age, and for the most part, truck away nothing but Apocryphall Relations. By changing the proper names only in their Ver∣ses, we might retort all their Sar∣casmes upon them-selves; wee could speake truely of their Gazet, what they have falsely written of ours; and tell them farther, that that which they deride so, is well esteem'd all over by the most inge∣nious Nation of the world; It is cer∣taine that the fine wits of Rome doe admire the acutenesse and apposite expressions therein; and Monsieur the Abbat of — upon his return from Italy did assure me, that it was Page 100 pronounc'd in the Academy of the Humorists, that each section of the Parisian Gazet was worth a Chap∣ter in Florus, or Valerius Maximus. They are Sir, as you know, Epi∣grams in prose: and the determina∣tion of so famous a Tribunall, is a sufficient Countermure against the assaults of this new Poem. I would desire you to impart it to Monsieur Gaulmim, and some other grave Judges of Latin learning. That we may know the gust of your great world, and what we are to believe in the Provinces. The Description of the Bureau d' Adresse,* seemes to me to have been drawn upon the plaine, or modell, of that Palace which Ovid hath erected to Fame. But you will make us upon this, & all the rest most large and learned Observations; and I doe promise Page 101 my selfe to receive from you at once, both a Translation and a Com∣mentary. I am perfectly
Balzac. 25. Nov. 1636.