LET. XXXIV. To Monsieur De GAILLARD.
BE of good courage, and start not at the opening of my pac∣ket; I doe assure you before∣hand, that it is not my Ghost that talkes to you, & that the Letter that I write unto you, doth not come from the other world. The rumor which was scattered concerning my death, hath not killed me; and I am yet, (since it is the pleasure of God) a witnesse of his works, and an Adorer of his power. I have ere this, received the alarme of the like newes; but J am no longer credu∣lous to dreams and presages; my soule doth not labour with those popular infirmities: and I doe con∣sent Page 142 with that Grecian, that all the wishes of enimies, all the impreca∣tions of Poets, and all the false bruits of Fame, are not able to bring on our destiny one houre the soo∣ner. There is a Gentleman in Gas∣cogne, who is Chronicled to have been slaine in the Battle of Yury; & he is yet very well notwithstand∣ing, and means to live long. J am Sir, of the same humor too, and confesse to you, that J doe not much hate my life, though J have litle cause to love it. Your Statio∣ners indeed, did not beleeve this: they have handled me as though I had been dead indeed, and have imagined withall, that they be my rightfull Heyres ex asse, having seiz'd upon the first papers of mine that they could meet with. J am something apprehensive of this in∣jury, Page 143 and it should grieve me if Monsieur — should be the Author of it; because J should then endure it with more impatience yet. To say truth, if this be not to wound & violate (downeright) the law of Nations, it is (at least) to deflowre and taint it: and you will confesse with mee, that it could not bee pleasing unto me, that the — should be publisht without asking my consent thereunto. Had it been so, J should not have been (perhaps) very averse, and J should have desi∣red him only to alter something for my sake, and something for his owne. For though his understand∣ing be passing good, yet you know well, that our Grammarians doe not allow his stile for regular; and though their scruples be ill groun∣ded, yet they must be considered. Page 144 That which I would faine have changed, and where I thought I had some small interest, was one word, which my ancient Enimy had already miserably mangled; and which, (not wanting spirit and life in its naturall place) doth re∣semble those delicate plants, which dye as soone as they be transplanted from their own banks. But reme∣dies come now too tardy. J must comfort my selfe against this, as well as other injuries. This is but dallying to former wrongs; and such pinches should well be borne with, by a man that never useth to complaine of Treasons and Assassi∣nates. For your satisfaction Sir, let it suffice that I have a perfect knowledge of your wisdome and Honesty, and that I would trust you with my life, my honour, and my Page 145 fortunes. If J had had so base a thought as to suspect you in this dealing, J should believe that J were bound to doe penance for my suspition. J know that you are e∣very way virtuous, and my firme friend, as I am very really
Balzac 10. Jan. 1634.